The Next Level

It’s not enough to do what coach tells you to do.  It’s not enough to simply put in the time.  If you’re not giving it everything you’ve got on any given day you’re never going to make it big.  Rest and rejuvenation are important, but on the days you go to the gym you can’t just be going through the motions.  You have to push the envelope and see how far you can possibly go.

One small example of this in my own life actually happened yesterday.  Since I’ve always been an introverted person who’s lacked the drive to develop social skills I set a goal to get out of the house and socialize at least once per day.

Yesterday I got out of the house and made a juggling video with a friend, and while that technically fulfilled my goal to socialize for the day I understood that if I stopped there I really wouldn’t be experiencing much growth.

I instead decided to try cold approach for the first time and it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.  Making conversation with strangers may not be a big deal to other people, but for me it’s a huge hurdle I need to overcome.  My first cold approach was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, but at the same time tremendously rewarding.

It was one small victory on my path to greatness.  It’s also got me thinking about other areas of my life where I’m doing well, but haven’t been putting in one-hundred percent.

I won’t list them all as that would be dull and repetitive for you, but there’s a number of them.  Take Spanish for example.  Studying flash cards is good, but I’m never going to be a fluent speaker if that’s all I do.

I’ve made the excuse that I can’t speak to people yet because I don’t know enough words, but honestly I could get along just fine. It’s my ego that’s getting in the way.  I may not be able to have an extremely in depth conversation, but I could surely chat on Skype with other Spanish speakers to get experience.

The thing that separates good from average is showing up and putting in the time.  The thing that separates the greats from everyone else is they’re willing to go further than anyone else is willing to go.  They live knowing that they only get one chance to do this and failure’s not an option.

Failure is not an option.  What areas of life do you need to start taking it to the next level in?  How can I help?  Let me know in the comments.

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My First Cold Approach

I’m what most pick up artists would call a keyboard jockey. The guy that watches endless videos about high level game concepts like transcending your ego, but doesn’t even go out. Today I began my work to change that.

According to the socialization goal I set for this month I’m supposed to go out everyday. According to that post leaving the house to hang out with one of my guy friends and shooting a juggling video counts as socializing.

That’s exactly what I did today. But even though making a juggling video with my friend was fun and social to some degree, I knew that if I stopped there I really wouldn’t have experienced much growth in the social aspect of my life. I knew that I could push myself further. So I did.

After we finished shooting our video I drove us to Barnes and Noble. He’s a really understanding guy, so I explained to him what I was doing and he was completely cool with it. I told him that if I didn’t make conversation with at least one person before we left he would need to punch me in the guccis. He agreed.

I also told him to punch me in the arm as hard as he could if I didn’t approach the first person I saw. Thirty-seconds later he winded up and delivered me a world of pain. My arm turned somewhat purple and it’s still sore more than two hours later.

Afterwards I wandered through Barnes and Noble attempting to muster up the courage to approach someone while at the same time trying to massage the pain in my arm away. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in both pursuits.

The pain in my arm continued to persist and I kept making excuses to not approach people. I planned to use an indirect opener telling whoever I opened that I was shopping for my mother’s birthday, or Father’s Day (depending if they were male or female) and that I needed advice on what to buy.

(The reason I opened older people instead of people my age is that most of my peers are still in school.) The problem I faced with this was I was afraid I was going to ask someone for advice on what to buy for my parents, and they were going to be offended because I thought they were older than they actually were.

However, what I feared most was rejection. I wasn’t even really putting myself out there by asking a simple question, but I was afraid of someone ignoring me or giving me a rude remark. Logically I knew this was just my ego trying to get in the way of my success, but I still felt these feelings on an emotional level.

The important thing, however, is I was able to push myself through it. I approached a middle aged man asking for advice on what to buy my dad for Father’s Day. I noticed a slight shake to my voice and he wasn’t particularly helpful, but I was proud I was able to finally push myself to action.

Logically I know most people don’t consider talking to a stranger as having any significance, but this was a huge milestone for me. I want to delve deep into pick up and meet beautiful girls and make greats friends though it, but for today at least, I can be satisfied in taking the first tiny step towards that.

It’s true that I didn’t even talk to a girl today, but now that I’ve taken the first step I can build off it. The next time I practice approaching I may talk to two or three strangers. Maybe the time after that I’ll focus on opening girls my age.

Before you know it I’ll be comfortable meeting a random chick at the beach and going on a date with her later the same day. But even if it takes a long time I’m ok with it. I’m enjoying the process. The possibilities of the future are exciting.

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Me: Hey, I know this is kind of random, umm but do you watch sports?

Him: Oh yeah.

Me: So Father’s Day is coming up and I need to get something for my dad so, you know any good books?

Him: Actually I don’t haha. I really don’t. I don’t read many books.

Me: Alright, well are you a father?

Him: Oh yeah.

Me: Alright then, so what are you hoping you get for Father’s Day?

Him: I really don’t know…

Me: haha cuz I don’t know what to get him.

Him: Yeah I don’t know.

Me: Alright.

Him: I don’t know what to tell you there buddy.

Me: Ok well thanks anyway.

Him: Yeah.

Him: Well hey, here’s history of baseball. How ‘bout that?

Me: He’s into baseball.

Him: Yeah?

Me: Yeah, his favorite sport is golf though.

Him: Oh yeah there’s tons of books I’m sure, just look in the golf section or sports section.

Me: Alright.

Him: I think that’s your best bet.

Me: ok, thanks!

Not a great conversation by any means, but it lasted almost a minute and for a first approach I’ll take it! More coming soon…

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You Need Focus

Growing up I heard lots of conflicting advice.  Some people said I should always be working to improve while others said it was best to accept myself for who I am.  I never knew which route to take until I realized they’re not mutually exclusive.

I used to lean heavily toward the idea of constantly working to improve.  I still do.  The difference is before I wanted to be the best in the world at everything, however, I came to realize that although it’s possible for me to be the best at anything, I can’t be the best at everything.

There’s just not enough hours in the day for me to be the world’s best juggler, motivational speaker, writer, and rapper.  It’s possible for me to be the best at any one of those pursuits, but not all of them.  At first this idea made me rather uncomfortable, but I’ve since grown to accept it.

Efforts need to be focused. The sun’s rays are weak while they’re unfocused, but when they’re concentrated through a magnifying glass they’re powerful enough to start fires. People are the same way.  We’re able to accomplish amazing things when our energy is being focused.

I’ve decided that although being the world’s best juggler and rapper would be cool, they’re not my main priorities.  My number one goal in my remaining decades on Earth is to be the best motivator this world has ever seen.

I’m going to be the guy that helps people move mountains.  I’m going to be the guy that little kids look up to.  I’m going to be the guy that shows kids who don’t believe in themselves that they can do it.  This is where my energy’s being focused now.

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June 2013 Goals

In my post earlier this week titled, “Where are your goals?”, I talked about the importance of location in where you keep your goals as well as the actual significance of the goals themselves.

Today I’m addressing both issues in my life.  I recently realized that many of the goals I set at the beginning of the year didn’t even make sense.  My good friend Warren helped me identify some of the issues with those goals as well as possible solutions.

In doing so he’s helped pushed me into setting some new goals as well as posting them here for public accountability purposes.

Perhaps the biggest problem with my old goals was that many of them were over things I couldn’t control.  I can’t will myself to get 100,000 views on Youtube.

I can’t force myself to fall in love.  But, I CAN maximize the chances of it happening.  This is key.  Even if I’m going out on dates and meeting new girls everyday, I may not end up finding my dream girl anytime soon.  However, I’ve got a much better chance than if I chose not to go out on a regular basis.

The lesson to be learned here is that goals should be focused on the process rather than the result.  Intelligent goals emphasize things within your control instead of random variables.

Another issue I had with my New Year’s resolutions was that although making big year long goals was a lot of fun, they were ultimately too far into the future to provide me any sense of urgency.  I felt that time was on my side and this attitude often encouraged me to research my goals rather than take action on them.

Anyway, the main point is that I need to set new, more intelligent goals.  These goals will be more short term, covering the remainder of June.  At the end of the month I’ll write a post about how I did with my goals and I’ll likely continue to do so monthly as I think this new style of goal setting and accountability will prove to be much more effective than my previous style.

So without further ado, here are my goals for the rest of the month.

Goal #1

Do at least one social activity per day.  I’d prefer this to be hanging out with friends, but there’ll likely be some days where plans fall through or I simply can’t keep my schedule full.  In those cases I’ll practice cold approach, go door to door marketing my juggling services, or perform AND stick around to chat with my audience afterwards.  The purpose of this goal is to develop my social skills, have fun, and maximize my chances of developing new, more fulfilling relationships.

Goal #2

Write and publish at least 24 articles by the end of the month.  This is a pretty self explanatory goal.  There’s 24 days left of June so I’d be satisfied with averaging a post per day the rest of the month.  I understand writing is easier on some days than others which is why I’m making my goal to average a post per day rather than simply write one post everyday.  

Goal #3

Practice Spanish for an hour per day.  Similar to my writing goal, I know that I probably won’t be able to practice Spanish every single day.  My goal is to be consistent, but if I happen to miss a day it’s not the end of the world.  The important thing is I don’t miss two consecutive days and that I’m averaging at least an hour per day.  I’ll be using Anki to learn new words as well as speaking with natives over Skype.

Goal #4

Continue writing daily in the book I’m working on.  I’m currently working on a book regarding my 90 Day Social challenge.  I’m currently producing at a rate of about 600 or so words per day, but the amount of words I’m writing is unimportant to me. The thing I care about is that I’m recording my experiences and insights every single day. 

Thanks again to Warren for his help in pushing me to set new goals.  I really appreciate your support.  If anyone has advice or questions about my goals feel free to leave a comment below! 🙂

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Stop Researching And Start Taking Action

I haven’t written a new article in almost five days.  Why?  It’s not because I’ve been too busy.  I’ve had a lot going on, but I’ve had multiple opportunities to sit down and write.

It’s not because of my 90 day social challenge.  I’m more than 5 days and 3,000 words into that experiment, but there’s no reason that should have prevented me from writing new personal development material.

The real reason I haven’t written a new article in five days?  I’ve been too busy being semi productive.  I’ve been too busy researching personal development, and not enough time producing.

It’s a dangerous trap to fall into.  Mental masturbation it is.  Habits with one-percent payoffs are sneaky.  It’s easy to justify spending hours everyday looking for the idea or method that’s going to change your life.

There’s a running joke in the pick up community that most guys will never end up going out and approaching girls because there too caught up in finding the fool proof method.  I thought it was hilarious until I realized that I was the type of guy these jokes were being aimed at.  That’s why I’m doing the 90 Day Social Challenge.

However, even if you’re already experiencing abundance in the relationship area of your life this concept can still be applied to other areas as well.  For example, blogging.

I spent two years researching blogs and internet marketing before I finally created one.  Is my blog better than some other new blogger who’s never researched the blogging industry or internet businesses?  Probably.  Is it better than someone who’s actually been blogging for two years? Hell no.

At this point in time, someone who’s been blogging for two years is almost guaranteed to have a higher quality blog.  The reason being is that they simply have more reference experiences in this domain.

They haven’t spent years engaging in mental masturbation and searching for the fool proof method.  They’ve gotten into the real world and have found out what actually works first hand.  The’ve spent less time worrying about failure, and more time learning from it.

You can pick up ideas about blogging (or anything else) from reading about other people’s experiences of it, but you’ll never internalize the lessons until you start getting in the field and gaining those first hand reference experiences yourself.

STOP RESEARCHING AND START TAKING ACTION!

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90 Day Social Challenge Intro

Just wanted to announce that today is the first day of my 90 Day Social Challenge.  I’ve been extremely introverted my whole life so I’m using summer 2013 to get out of the house and learn the social skills I never had the opportunity to develop.

For the next 90 days I’m going to leave the house and do at least one social thing per day.  I plan to develop my social circle, meet new people, and have lots of fun.

My main inspiration for this challenge is Tyler of Real Social Dynamics.  Although my challenge isn’t focused on pick up, I will do some amount of cold approach this summer.

Even if I don’t do enough approaches this summer to get any good, I’ll still do some amount of approaching to at least gain the experience and learn to deal with both success and rejection.  It’ll be a great growth experience for me.

Optimally I’ll be spending every day having a blast with friends and meeting hot babes. 😉  Of course, I’m sure there’ll be some days where my plans just don’t pan out, but on those days I’ll simply practice approaching.

Obviously I’m not old enough to be meeting people at bars or clubs, but I’m sure there’ll be plenty of interesting people around town at the mall, or beach.  Assuming I have the guts to approach them I should have no trouble spending an afternoon meeting new people.

I may provide occasional updates on here regarding my progress, but the majority of my effort will be spent on going out, writing about my experiences in the book I’m working on, and continuing to regularly produce quality personal development material for you guys!

I’m really pumped for all the new experiences I’m going to have this summer and it’s also going to be exciting to watch my book develop.  By the end of the summer I’ll be an author and a completely different person.

Feel free to join my challenge or create one of your own.  It’ll be a great opportunity for all of us to improve an area of life we’ve been neglecting!

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Where Are Your Goals?

Today is June 1st.  We’re almost half way through 2013.  Logic would dictate that being 50% of the way through the year I should be half way towards accomplishing my goals.  The reality… I can’t even remember my New Year’s resolutions.

I’ve always considered the placement of your goals to be an extremely important element of acheiving them.  Goals that are too low will fail to inspire you, while goals that are set too high, at least initially, will feel out of reach and also cause a lack of motivation.

I feel that the metaphorical concept of where you set your goals has been covered to death both on my website and on others so I’d like to use this article to talk more about the literal placement of your goals.

Shortly after I became interested in personal development I remember reading about belief boards.  The idea was that if you put your goals somewhere you’d see them frequently they would gradually become a part of your identity.

I didn’t feel that hanging my goals up in my room would significantly improve my chances of achieving them, but I figured the worst-case scenario was me wasting five minutes of my time.

I can’t remember exactly what my goals were at the time, but I remember accomplishing all of them a few months later.  Afterwards I printed out some new goals and restarted the cycle.

I went through several revisions of my belief board until sometime in late 2012 I decided I’d grown past the point of needing a belief board.  The result?

I clearly do.  I mentioned earlier I couldn’t even remember my goals, but I looked them up and the results aren’t pretty.

Goal #1- Perform 50 juggling shows.

Result #1-  Have only performed twice.

Goal #2- Become fluent in Spanish

Result #2-  Can do little besides introduce myself and discuss the weather.

Goal #3- Get 100,000 views on Youtube.

Result #3-  At 1,833 views.

Goal #4- Spend at least an hour writing and rapping per day.

Result #4- Stopped at the end of January.

Goal #5- Juggle 7 balls for more than 50 catches

 Result #5- Stuck on 7 catches.

Goal #6- Fall in Love.

Result #6- nada.

The decision to stop pursuing some of these goals has been conscious.  I decided at the end of January I simply didn’t have enough hours in a day to juggle, rap, AND blog.  I felt I needed to have some degree of focus and I’m completely satisfied with the decision to stop spending so much time rapping.

Some on the other hand are absolutely inexcusable.  It took me a few months to create a unique juggling routine, but I’ve been show ready for over two months, and only performing twice thus far is completely unacceptable.

I haven’t worked to market myself and even worse I’ve had opportunities to perform, but simply haven’t taken them.

I’m not even sold that goals are the best method of accomplishment anymore.  I’ve read a lot from Leo Baubauta over the last couple months and am beginning to think that principles are a lot more effective than goals.

Regardless, the point I’m trying to make is if you’re not being constantly reminded of your goals or principles, you’re going to stray from them.

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