When You Get Stuck…

by Dan on October 1, 2011

This past week, I was talking to a friend who had just broken up with his long-time girlfriend.  It was a relationship he had expected to bring him marriage, children, and long-lasting happiness, so you can see how traumatic it was to find out it was over so fast.

He was understandably depressed about it and asked me what he should do to feel better.  I asked him what he was doing day-to day, and he said, “Really not too much.  Been smoking a lot, drinking, not working out like I used to.  Staying up late just cause I can’t get to sleep.”

It hit me that this is a very normal and irrational thing we tend to do when we’re having trouble in life.  Our mind is in pain so we punish our body to bring it down to the same level.  I’m not sure if that’s the exact reason abusing your health happens during emotional struggle, but it does seem like there is an odd comfort in having that kind of congruence between your body and your mind.

I told him that if he wanted to feel better, he should get to sleep, start eating right, including two vegetables a day for the next two weeks, and start working out regularly.  Understandably, he felt a lot of resistance to that.

I asked him, “Suppose you were really healthy, happy, successful, and for some reason, wanted to feel really bad…  What would you do to make that happen?”  He pondered that a bit, and I continued, “You’d probably start cutting your sleep hours, quit working out, start eating unhealthy stuff, and drink and smoke a lot.” He agreed, and it was clear he was doing the exact thing you would do if you didn’t want to feel good.

I told him that if he wanted to have a mourning period for his relationship, that was perfectly ok, and that he could take a few weeks to feel bad if he wanted to, but that it was always available for him to feel good again sooner.  In the end, it’s just a personal choice.

It reminded me about something I’d heard from Dan Kennedy and Sean Stephenson, put in different ways.  Dan Kennedy calls it “behavior congruence.”  In his words, it’s “If you want to be rich, act like a rich person already does.  If you want to be in great shape, act like a person in great shape already does.”  The people I know that are in great shape hit the gym regularly and watch their diet.  Contrary to what you might think, they don’t act like they’re at the “finish line” already and slack off.  So if you just model those behaviors of people who are fit, your body will close the gap.

Sean Stephenson said that when he’s not in a good state, he makes a list of ten things he’s doing when life is going perfectly.  Some of them include minor things like being clean-shaven, and others include meditating for X amount a day, visualizing his goals, and exercising.  If he just starts doing what’s on the list, things pick up.

So it’s really a pretty simple three part process.

1)    Decide if you really want to be healthy/happy/rich, and if you don’t, that’s a perfectly respectable decision.
2)    Ask yourself what habits people have that are already in that state.  If you’ve already been in that state yourself, ask yourself what you were doing differently then.
3)    Take on those behaviors in your life.

You’ll be really surprised how fast your circumstances can change just by cutting a few things and adding a few things to your life.

When you feel resistance to doing these things, it means your body feels a incongruence in where your mind is focused and where your body is.  Your ego wants to have everything congruent, so something has to give.  If you persist in positive habits, the rest of you has to come along eventually.  Just don’t let the aching parts of you (body or mind), bring down the rest.

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The Dark Side Powers of Charity

by Dan on August 22, 2011

As I’ve studied marketing, I’ve become more and more of a fan of Dan Kennedy.  He is a great writer, brilliant businessman, and has a way of instilling his attitudes right into your being in a very short period of time.

In his book “No B.S. Wealth Attraction in the New Economy,” he has a 90-day challenge he suggests you take part in.  All you do is take 10% out of each paycheck or income stream you get, and give it to charity.  You also take 10% out and put it in a separate savings or investment account.

It’s getting close to the end of the 90 days and I’m going to keep doing it, onwards.  For some reason, more money comes in as I give a significant portion away.  Maybe it’s karma or maybe it’s an attitude of abundance.  There’s also a sense of deservedness that comes with it, as you see yourself as a vessel for goodness coming into the world.  You understand that money is more likely to go to the poor if it comes to you than if it comes to your competitor.

However, I wrote this article to explore the other benefits of charity that don’t get talked about as much.  This is what I call the “Dark Side” powers of charity.  When you give a significant amount of your income (even 10%) to charity, you’re saying some very powerful things to yourself, both consciously and unconsciously.

For one thing, you gain a tremendous sense of power, because you understand on a very real level that you decide who eats and who doesn’t.

It’s true.

While before, you could pretend you couldn’t afford to help the unfortunate in this world, your regular of habit of giving awakens you to the fact that you in much more control than you previously thought.

Suppose you make $7,000 over a month or two.  When you take out that $700, you are effectively deciding, “Do I want some grannies to get their wheelchairs, or do I want some children in Somalia to eat breakfast today?”

And you know what?  When it comes down to it, it is your decision, and no one else’s.

This is why it’s very helpful to make your charity donations one at a time, instead of setting up a recurring payment.  It’s enjoyable to switch it up, so you can get a real sense of who you’re helping this week or month.

This sense of power will make you stronger in both business and your interpersonal relationships.

Let’s look at another area of giving in life: paying for each other’s needs and experiences. We tend to relish getting a free lunch or dinner.  Maybe we feel especially lucky when a stranger buys us a drink at the bar.

However, let’s ask ourselves, when someone buys you dinner, and can easily afford it with no discomfort, who is in the real position of power here?

It’s much better to be the provider in this sense, as you are in control of the other person’s experience.  This is why when a company wants to do business with you over a lunch meeting, they usually offer to buy your meal.  Aside from the simple reciprocity principle, when you agree to accepting their care, you are effectively making them the host of the event, the person running the show.  This is also a reason why when a woman is not enjoying a date, she may insist on paying her half.  Doing this robs the man of his providing role in the situation.

Let’s get something straight, though.  This does not work at all if you are either seeking their approval or feeling uncomfortable about spending money.  People lose respect at a staggering rate for someone that is needy for approval or spending money they don’t have.

This is even more powerful when the person knows that if the shoe was on the other foot, they would be worrying about their budget for the rest of the month.

I was explaining some of this to a friend last night, and he said, “Man, how could you make charity sound so evil?”

Like I said, this is Dark Side stuff, so if parts of this article were uncomfortable for you, I understand.  Just know I mean no malice in it.  This blog is about improving every part of your life that includes the parts of us we don’t always like to look at.

And if you want to start giving but are unsure where to start, I suggest you go to http://www.charity.com or http://www.charitynavigator.com.  They rate charities for their effectiveness, efficiency, and weed out the bad ones that waste a lot of money.  There are some excellent organizations that spend a very low percentage on overhead and do tremendous good for the world.

If you end up doing the 90-day challenge I talked about, it would be great to hear your experiences.  Write in or comment how things work for you.


The Reflector Awareness Exercise

August 18, 2011 Uncategorized

I talked about the Yellow Zone last week, and wanted to continue on the topic of how to build your awareness. I gained a lot of insight from using the Yellow Zone exercise, but something bothered me.  I could only see what was in front of me and to the sides of me, but not [...]

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Getting in the Yellow Zone

August 10, 2011 Uncategorized

I learned this great awareness building exercise from a marketing course I took.  In the class, the instructor said that if we wanted to really connect with our audience, we had to learn the power of stories and see how people have narratives in their everyday life. To build this skill, he taught us about [...]

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Social Awareness Fog – When You’re Out of the Zone

August 6, 2011 Uncategorized

On the personal development path, one of the areas that people want to improve, but doesn’t get much attention, is the actual skill in creating new social contacts and developing acquaintances into true friendships. In terms of improving social skills, there have generally been two schools of thought.  The first is the idea that all [...]

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Week 2 of Master Key System

August 5, 2011 Uncategorized

The purpose of this week’s lesson was to teach about the conscious mind and the subconscious mind, and how they work together.  The idea was that the conscious mind’s main purpose is to decide the information that the subconscious mind accepts and implements. Haanel hammers in that most people dramatically over-estimate how much power their [...]

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Week 1 of Master Key System

July 29, 2011 Uncategorized

The experience has been intriguing, to say the least, since I started reading and applying Master Key System.  As I said, this a 26 week course, so it’s a slow builder.  The first week’s lesson covered basic concepts about the power of the mind and how the inner world creates the outer world. The exercise [...]

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Starting Master Key System

July 21, 2011 Uncategorized

You’ve heard about some of my 30 day and 6 week challenges on this blog. Now I have a new one… a SIX MONTH challenge. It’s actually not nearly as hard as the others, so I’m not going to boast about it too much.  Still, it’s a real undertaking. Have you ever heard of the [...]

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Comic Con Insights Part 1 – Goal Setting and Achieving

July 24, 2010 Uncategorized

Thanks to the readers of this blog, I was able to obtain a pass for this year’s Comic Con.  I was only able to go one day, but wanted to share some of the insights I got from this great event.  If you live anywhere near San Diego, I highly recommend you check out Comic [...]

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What Makes a Man Rich?

February 21, 2010 Uncategorized

I suppose I should give James Arthur Ray some royalties if this blog ever starts bringing in the big bucks.  He’s been a rather large source of content since the Sedona sweat lodge incident, and even before then, when I saw him give a speech. An interesting news story circulated this week, regarding the case.  [...]

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