How To Unleash Your Soul (With Guidance From Tony Robbins)

The Massive Crowd Photo Credit: Not Known (let me know)

The Massive Crowd
Photo Credit: Not Known (let me know)

 

I was there. I was in Dallas when the fire started—the fire that won’t go out. I attended Unleash The Power Within, Anthony Robbins entry level event. And I was unleashed. I’ve definitely been unplugged from the matrix for many years now, but the process of mastery is never ending. Realizing my full potential will require a lifetime commitment and I enthusiastically accept that demand.

Fire At The Gates Photo Credit: Lina Marie Acosta

Fire At The Gates
Photo Credit: Lina Marie Acosta

Before I begin I must preface this. Throughout this piece, if there is a sentence or phrase in bold/italics is a direct takeaway from the seminar. Anything that is bold is an outstanding piece of information, and anything that is bold, and italicized is a gemstone of wisdom that I hope you take and enrich your life to the utmost with. All of the phrases that fall into the categories above are not my own, I don’t own the copyrights to them. I didn’t explicitly dissect and reproduce the whole seminars curriculum, just extracted things from my notes and memories—some things may be slightly misquoted or not exact verbatim.  If there is anything that violates any precedent or infringes let me know and I’ll revise the piece.

WHY?

Why did I decide to go? I decided because I’m evolving. Because I refuse to allow myself to get caught up in a life that I didn’t consciously design. Because I need every opportunity to grow. Because I want to contribute beyond myself and learn the best ways to make that happen. Did I answer your question? Hope so. There’s another underlying reason—I was pulled.

I want to tell you everything that happened that fateful weekend and how it has been a catalyst for several areas of my life that I’m committed to improving. I want to tell you all this for a few reasons: firstly, to provide value to YOU—the reader—I want you to take something out of this article that is inspirational and actionable. Secondly, to review the copious notes and memories that are stored in my notebooks and brain—re-living and re-integrating the teachings and wisdom that I was exposed to. Lastly, I want to share all of this to truly express a truth—we have 100% responsibility for our experience of life. 

I am sharing the experience in 4 parts: What happened before the event leading up to it, what happened at the event, what’s been happening after, and the most valuable takeaways. If you’re only interested in the takeaways scroll to the bottom I don’t blame you. But, there are insights sprinkled throughout the before, during and after parts that are just as important. Let’s begin.

BEFORE THE EVENT

I committed to attending Unleash the Power Within and seeing Anthony Robbins over two months before it was scheduled to take place. I made it a MUST to go there and learn. I leveraged my resources and took action to make it happen. Once I was registered there was a homework assignment in the form of getting a program from Tony and completing it. Unlike in school, I actually did my homework and enjoyed it. I took a course called ‘Creating Lasting Change’ and it was very relevant and deep with acuity. I told a few people that I’d be going to this event—most of them didn’t “get it”. But, then again most people misunderstand me. In the days leading up to the even,t I began to use Tony’s Hour of Power and Priming morning rituals to start my day in a peak state (sooooo much peak state coming up). This was good. I actually love doing this ritual in the morning. In 2015 I spent a few months consistently practicing but fell out of the habit (much to my detriment). I think one of the most important things I did before the event was this: I created an R.P.M. Plan. See I try to study Tony’s work the way Tony himself would study it—intensely focused and taking action on it. What’s an R.P.M. Plan? It’s a method Anthony Robbins teaches to bring intent and focus to how we use our time. It stands for Results, Purpose, Massive Action Plan. What do you want? Why do you want it? And How are you going to get there? (what’s your  M.A.P. ?) Here are a few links to resources on this methodology (PDF, WEBSITE). I did this process before attending to get clear on what I wanted, why I wanted it and how I was going to make it happen.

Take Massive Action Photo Credit: Brenda Sisson

Take Massive Action
Photo Credit: Brenda Sisson

In summary, before the event, I prepared and became intentional. Attending an event of this magnitude should be approached with a reverence. You’re investing time into it that you can never get back (the money you can get back) so why not plan and prepare to be fully committed?

DURING THE EVENT (How to Get the Most Out of a Seminar)

I was there to play. I was all in. During Unleash the Power Within I was there to learn as much as possible, and immerse myself in Anthony Robbins material in a fun and social environment. I was there to create breakthroughs. I gave everything I had at the event: laughing, dancing, clapping, screaming, crying, shaking my ass, and just going “full out” as the culture calls it. By the fourth day, my voice had completely gone. Couldn’t make a peep. But, that ended up being a fun exercise in non-verbal communitcation and listening. I gave my entire being to an active involvement and providing the necessary effort in each moment. In order to make that happen, I consciously decided to not utilize my phone as much as possible—which is more feasible than you think. I left only sending a handful of text messages, posting once on Instagram and posting one to two daily updates on Snapchat. I knew that being there wouldn’t be nearly as valuable if I was on my phone constantly distracted. I actually put my phone on airplane mode during the event, and I’m grateful I chose to be that way. There were lots of people I noticed doing otherwise, but that’s their choice and path I shouldn’t judge. But, a teaching we learned there is whatever you learn is linked to the emotional state in which you learned it. So knowing that; being happy, enthusiastic and free of distractions was my prerogative. Thousands seemed to be on the same page.

At events of this scale (7000+ participants), there is an energy in the air. A vibe that is strong and pronounced. I met some amazing people, and proximity is power. I definitely got some great contacts and networked, but I truly became most focused on the overall experience and learning the most I could rather than handing out business cards wilily-nilly. During this seminar, I was constantly taking notes and absorbing everything I possibly could. Sitting for 50h during a weekend could be monotonous, so the organizers and Tony continually had the audience change our physiology and enter into a peak state. I loved this! The repetition of this procedure let us embed it deeply in our nervous system and we created movement patterns to trigger this and a state of absolute certainty. I’m so grateful to have this tool in my arsenal for my future endeavors.

So what does that exactly mean? Basically several times a day we would celebrate like we just won the SuperBowl. Cheering, screaming, dancing, emoting, and allowing a full blast unleashing of our inner soul. I remember thinking that this is so awesome—how many people practice celebrating like this or ever even know how it feels? They settle for seeing it on TV, seeing others celebrate a championship or major achievement. They don’t have it in their own nervous system—they can’t summon it at will. Of all the skills we learned, I think this is one of the most powerful and potentially overlooked. Learning how to celebrate at maximum intensity and what that feels like. It feels incredible. I now understand how it will feel, and what I will do at the crowning moments in my life. Also, how I can bring added power to the small victories too. Who cares what other people think? I’m doing it as often as possible.

 

Unleashed!  Photo Credit: Trinh Tran-Shiozaki

Unleashed!
Photo Credit: Trinh Tran-Shiozaki

After our first day, entering peak state many times, we were faced with overcoming and releasing our biggest fear—then walking over hot coals to show that we can conquer anything. My biggest fear was rejection. I participated with my full focus towards the activities to overcome it, and I honestly know now I no longer am controlled by that fear. It has been released and no longer perpetuates my mind. If it were to rise up at any future moment I would face it and own it—no doubt in my mind. After that, we entered peak state again and walked across fire! To be totally truthful I wasn’t scared beforehand, or during—I was ready for any pain that may have occurred. Fortunately, none did, and I along with thousands of others rose up to the challenge and defeated hesitancy and fright.

The next day there was some extremely negative news coverage that was circulating on the internet. I got multiple text messages and emails asking if I was burned and maimed. Laughable really. In actuality, less than 1% got minor burns, but the media chose to blow it way out of proportion and spread fear. (Heres a nice piece from Inc,and Huffington Post on what really happened)

Later in the program Tony was in the audience and noticed a young lady sitting there. Her name was Annie, she was 6 years old. He asked her “did you walk on fire?”

“Yes.” She said.

“Did you burn your feet off and die?” he asked.

“No.” She said shaking her head adorably.

That memory really stands out in my mind. So many memories do. It’s hard to even properly write how this experience has shaped my life and everything I’ve learned, but I’ll keep trying.

Another major thing we did at Unleash the Power Within was to take on 3 limiting beliefs we held, destroy them and replace them with 3 new empowering beliefs. I literally felt my brain rewire and I can’t even say the old beliefs anymore—let alone write them down. But I would love to share some of my new beliefs. My old bullshit beliefs were in 3 categories: financial, relationship, and ethical. My old bullshit belief in finance was replaced with this empowering gem—money is a skill that I am learning and mastering. That’s what plays in my head now not the bullshit. It’s awesome. I literally have something short circuit in my brain if I even try to think or say the old beliefs. I just go to the new ones now. It’s amazing.

Can this happen to anybody that attends? I think only if you really give your best effort and focus to the exercise. If you’re in your head saying “what is this crap?” then that question is not going to provide you with the right frame of mind or answer. But if you visualize and truly block out everything but the task at hand then yes I believe that a willing student can learn to do this. I understood how this process worked intellectually, but to see it and feel it work was something else entirely. Taking notes boosts information retention to 40-50% (from 10% if just passively listening), but interacting with energy can boost retention to 80-90%. What that means is that interacting with energy during this process of transformation is why it retained for me—whereas passively listening would have 70% less efficacy for another person.

We did so much more than I can even write about but to wrap up this section of what happened DURING THE EVENT, I’ll give a few more summations. We studied Business Mastery with Mike Melio and learned the 7 Forces of Business Mastery. This was amazing and so valuable to where I am in life right now. Studying this material as I’m starting my own business is beyond advantageous. We had the pleasure of Joseph McClendon III guiding us through many hours of ass shaking, and truth telling. He also instructed us on the day where we focused on health and wellbeing—a tremendous day and experience.

There is much more I could espouse on but it’s not only what you learn, it’s what you DO with what you learn that matters. So let’s talk about what happened and is happening still after the event.

AFTER THE EVENT (Putting it Into Practice)

When it’s not working, that’s when you know it’s working. Change your state, use the teachings. Some people go through everything and then just go back to living their “normal lives”. I simply can’t do that. I’m sure I could, but I won’t. When I got home from the seminar I took massive action. I quit two jobs the next day. Burn the boats: take the island. I understood that remaining in the same situation is not going to lead me to my intended destination or produce the result that I’m committed to. So why wait? I have contingencies in place and a small runway to work off of. Do I want my dreams or not? Simple to say the yes, harder to embody the yes. I’m not about what’s easy anymore though. Unless it’s the ease that comes from the repetition of a skill until it’s honed and automatic. That kind of ease I can dig. Just wanting “things to be easier” is not me. So I’m the perfect student for the material that was taught at Unleash the Power Within. I am going to use it. I am going to keep studying it. I am going to realize my ultimate vision of my full potential. Learning is creating a relationship between the known and the unknown. I love learning. I truly do. So with that as my attitude, I cannot ever completely fail. For in failure I will find instruction and allow my love of learning to distil truth out of tribulation. After this event, I knew that if I didn’t keep my commitment to growth and learning in order to facilitate contribution at the highest level—I could regress. I learned that conditioning and training never end on the path to mastery. Certainty is created by YOU, not your environment. As said by Anthony Robbins.

Up Close and Personal Photo Credit: Lina Maria Acosta

Up Close and Personal
Photo Credit: Lina Maria Acosta

 

I came up with this metaphor to illustrate what life is like after the event for any participant. Tony is like Amazon—a way to get anything delivered—but YOU must make use of it. That treadmill, or kettlebell, or yoga mat gathering dust does work. It’s not Amazon’s fault that after it was delivered you didn’t use it. It’s not Tony’s fault that he taught you something and you didn’t apply it repeatedly until it became a habit. We all need to utilize what’s around us, and what we know–not just understand it.

I’m putting in the work after the event to make sure that I got the most out of the investment. I will schedule review time, and continue the learning. You wouldn’t work out for a weekend and say “Well, I’m fit for life. Glad that’s done”. No. That’s not how it works. After the event is the most important. Every day is the most important. What can I do today to embody the man I strive to become? That’s a question I ask myself now.

I took so much away from Unleash the Power Within. Taking it away is great. Keeping it with me is greater.

TAKEAWAYS AND HIGH-VALUE INSIGHTS

If I bored you with my previous sections I apologize. My skills as a writer are under development and perhaps I could have been more concise. With that in mind, I’ll practice that here. As follows are some of the most vital teachings and takeaways from my experience at Unleash the Power Within.

  • Complexity is the enemy of execution.
  • You can only build on success, you can’t build on failure. 
  • Our culture reinforces blame of others.
  • Words have a biochemical effect on the body 
  • Who you spend time with is who you become.
  • Information is potential power—execution trumps information every time. 
  • Stress is a code word for FEAR.
  • We are suffering so much because we are overlooking the gifts around us.
  • Trade expectation for appreciation and our whole life changes in an instant.
  • The Past does not equal the future. Biography does not equal destiny. 
  • The culture wants you to be one thing—to keep you simple. (my blog and beliefs/values are the antithesis of this)
  • People will give up goals and dreams to meet their needs.
  • A Strategy is a system of producing a consistent result.
  • Faith is freedom.
  • A belief is a feeling of certainty about what something means.
  • CHANGE YOUR STATE! (PHYSIOLOGY)
  • There is a way beyond the way you’ve been programmed and that’s to program YOURSELF. 
  • People who succeed long term live on pull not push.
  • Only 3 things hold you back in business: 
    • Failure to anticipate
    • Lack of follow through
    • Your own psychology and mindset
  • You can’t be grateful and fearful at the same time.
  • Leaders are READERS: Minimum 30 minutes a day. (A book, not a fluff piece, social media or magazine or list-acle.)

There is a lot more I could write about the experience and countless more takeaways and insights I could share. In place of that I would say look up Anthony Robbins and listen to some of his free stuff on YouTube or get his latest podcast to let the man illustrate his teachings himself. He’s the master I’m the apprentice. I can’t currently convey his work as well as he can, but I hope I was able to at least pique your interest.

Between my writings and this taste of some of the best takeaways I gleaned, I hope I gave you some insights into what it’s like to go to Unleash the Power Within, how it has affected me, and how to make the most out of it if you did go to that or any other seminar.

If you read the whole post I’m super grateful for your time, and if you liked it please leave a comment, and if it sucked also do that. I want to get better and welcome all feedback.

First Post of 2016

Wow. So even with ample time, I still let 2015 go by with hardly the proper attention this blog deserves. I’m grateful if you’re reading this and want to share some of my vision for this blog’s future as well as my own.

Since this is the first post of 2016 I just want to briefly touch on 2015 and what was an amazing year of self-discovery and adventure. I will be writing a dedicated post with the highlights and lowlights of last year, but for now, let me keep it concise.

2015 I left the “full time” workforce and waded into the ever growing freelance economy. Pretty soon I wasn’t just wading in I was drowning in an endless sea of opportunities, and my own personal struggles. With a buffet of chances and choices, the actual process of deciding becomes very important. I can’t make everybody happy, and capitalize on every opportunity while still having quality as a primary emphasis. There are people out there that can definitely manage more projects, execute more ideas, and balance a life better than I can do at present. Yet, I am learning and will eventually grow my creative work capacity. 2015 taught me that I have some conditioned behaviors and changing things that are very ingrained has a high difficulty factor. Nothing is impossible, but the effort level put into changing these kinds of behaviors is very high versus accepting and adjusting to get around or through the road blocks. Use what you’ve got rather than starting construction on a new thoroughfare. I recently wrote about this on Medium and had the realization that I benefit from a physical location to show up to do my work, that is separate from my home. This is true at least in my current situation, possibly having a larger house with a dedicated office I could indeed “show up” and get to work the way I’ve conditioned myself to from years of working in restaurants and events. So I emphasize my newly found awareness of this because this was one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in the last year. The second great lesson or teaching 2015 had for me was a greater understanding of the power of choice. The more choices that face an individual, the less likely that each choice will be a rational and well-made decision. Understanding what kind of decisions you make under decision fatigue, and how to adjust or avoid this autopilot if it’s not in your best interest. This is an ongoing evolution in my mindset and behavior adjustments, not a master by any means yet but I do put focus and attention into better and fewer choices. What else did 2015 mean for me? I took lots of chances, and had many go well, but many also fail to materialize or be executed. My third takeaway is that I’m on the right path, and those failures were a necessary part of my growth as a man and a professional. I’m still here breathing, healthy, strong and ready to move forward so reflecting but not dwelling on failure is a facet of my mindset I’m developing. I pushed myself hard at certain points throughout the year, but the push wasn’t sustained. Pace. The same as doing an Obstacle Course Race can’t push the pace to a frenzy if you can’t recover from a frenzied pace. Better to give a constant 80% push dipping down to 70-75% to recover than pushing at 98% but dropping down to >60% to recover. A steady pace in my creative projects, fitness, and professional/personal development is what I’m aiming for in the coming year(s). That (s) shows a maturity in my thought process—I’m okay with not everything happening this year, or next year. I learned in 2015 what a year really feels like on my terms. How much time I really made the most of and how much I’ve wasted. Going forward, I’m glad to think of things unfolding over several years as opposed to wanting instant gratification and results without enough emphasis on PROCESS and PERSEVERANCE.

That essentially gives a brief snap into 2015, here are some of my key takeaways:

  1. I can’t make everybody happy, and capitalize on every opportunity while still having quality as a primary emphasis.
  2. The more choices that face an individual, the less likely that each choice will be a rational and well-made decision.
  3. I learned in 2015 what a year really feels like on my terms. How much time I really made the most of and how much I’ve wasted.

A touch on the past and now a look to the future. I’m chasing my dreams, period. It’s not all sunshine and light refracting through water droplets (rainbows) though. There is plenty of pain mixed with the pleasure. Most of the pain is self-caused through my interpretation of events meanings. That’s a hard one to accept, but I find a lot of truth in that statement. Looking towards 2016, 2017, 2018 and beyond, I am happy with the vision I’m creating. I’ve looked at my major goals and desires in life and have done my best to create a large enough vision to enable great progress and eventual completion of the most important goals. Deepening self-awareness as I move forward is a commitment I’m making. Sharing that development is another commitment I’m making and that’s what this blog is ultimately for. A record of my becoming on the path that I’ve decided on. I am pledging right now to make the records more frequent, insightful and valuable to others. I will be posting 1-2 blog posts a week minimum for the rest of this year and likely beyond. They will likely take many formats and vary from deeply personal, to relevant and useful tactics, techniques and information for others. I don’t’ want to flood this blog with a bunch of crap, so 1-2 quality posts a week is my goal. I’m also creating on Medium and YouTube  more and more often. My Instagram and Twitter are also part of the record. That’s why I show the Twitter and Instagram feed for readers right here on my blog, because not everything that I do in life is captured and instantly translated into a thoughtful blog post yet, but my tweets and Instagram are great insights into the actual flow of my life—what I’m learning, feeling, and working on. My focus for 27th Renaissance the blog is to create, share and develop useful, truthful and evergreen content on my journey.

My future for creative projects is bright, and I’m building a framework, schedule and deadlines into my everyday life. 2016 will be a year of imposing deadlines and eliminating what stands between me and those deadlines.

Thank you for reading, and as always feel free to reach out or comment and share your thoughts on what I’ve written.

Look forward to many more posts and an authentic look at me, Brendan McCaughey.IMG_1193

I’m At Brendon Burchard’s Worlds Greatest Speaker Training: Review (Day 4)

DAY 4:

Last day 😦

6:27 AM

Slept in a little bit more today, these hotel beds are super comfy. An abbreviated workout here in my hotel room and some visualizing took the place of my gym workout yesterday. Getting some writing done too has been good. I’m ready for another great day here at WGST.

Ready to put in the work required for Greatness.

Ready to put in the work required for Greatness.

9:00 AM

Here we go, last session. I’m going to finish strong. This is the 4th quarter I will give all my focus and energy into these last few hours.

3:00 PM

It’s very challenging to put into words how exactly this event has impacted me. Now that it’s all over I really feel strongly as I mentioned on my day 1 post—this has been the best investment of time and money that I’ve ever made. The level of inspiration I feel; coupled with almost 60 pages of notes on strategy, tactics, techniques, tips, and great information has me already at my next level. But I can’t stop. I can’t go back to “normal life”. I won’t let the ball touch the ground. This is the beginning of the next decade of work I put in to become amongst the Worlds Greatest. I’m coming back next year, and I’m going to be up on that stage sharing a Signature Story. I hope that anybody reading this will consider first and foremost following Brendon Burchard and his message—his podcast, YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and all of his books are of immense value to anybody at any stage in life. You can even get his new book: The Motivation Manifesto here for FREE! (Just pay Shipping & Handling) After that immersion, get one of his online courses. And attend a live event. Then at any point come back to this blog post and comment on how he’s helped. Because I know without a single doubt that this man is here to help the world, he has already helped me immensely and I know he can help you too. Secondly, I hope that anybody reading this will also consider investing in themselves. Time, money, energy, love, kindness and compassion. Invest those in directions that bring inner fulfillment and by doing so enable you to make a real difference in the world.

World’s Greatest Speaker Training ended with great value from each speaker, and the final series of Signature Stories. The last person to step up on stage was Brendon’s mom. She had been there helping as a volunteer the whole time, and I had definitely seen and interacted with her several times. Brendon expressed that she was the real reason he’s achieved what he has and he does what he does. I was moved to tears thinking of my own mother and the immense generosity and love she’s always given to me. I actually posted a Video to Twitter which Brendon Burchard himself retweeted! Amazing.

How can I summarize something that I truly believe changed my life? I can’t here on this page. But what I can do is put into practice what I’ve learned and live from a place of joy and faith that I can and will change the world. That I can and will live my dreams. I encourage you to cultivate these beliefs, and to watch me grow into a Renaissance Man.

Thank you Brendon, Roger, Bo, Rachel, Chelene, everybody who had the courage to get up on stage and share their signature stories, the entire team that put on World’s Greatest Speaker 2015, and thank you to the AMAZING people that made up the crowd. I know we’ll work together and do great things for the world.

I'll be back next year!

I’ll be back next year!

Stay tuned…I’m just getting started.

I’m At Brendon Burchard’s Worlds Greatest Speaker Training: Review (Day 3)

DAY 3:

5:45AM

Back on my grind with my warrior path. Knew I needed to get in the gym this morning and get my body back into my priorities. Just a quick workout: run half mile on 15% Incline at 6mph, chest press 3×12 w 135 lbs, leg raises 3×15, Hammer Curl 25/12, 35/10, 45/8 45/8, 20/15, and myotatic crunch 3×15. Nothing epic on a Spartan training level, but a good travel workout.

8:45AM

Ready for a great day of learning and interaction, as I get ready to enter the conference for day 3. Having a great experience so far, let’s hope it continues.

1:55 PM

Enjoying lunch break and working by the pool.

Enjoying lunch break and working by the pool.

Poolside work. Getting back to planning my days with more intention. The morning session was wonderful. Lot’s of time with Bo on stage and he is so charismatic. Beyond charisma. I want to attend his workshop just as bad as I want to attend Rogers, or this one again. Learning to have the same level of presence and dominance on stage or in any discussion the same way Bo Eason does will be a great tool in my future, and I will purchase his course in my lifetime. I’ve felt pretty great all day from taking the time to get my morning ritual more in place and exercise. Even without that it’s almost impossible to feel anything but great at this event because there is SO much positive energy everywhere. The people in the crowd that I’ve met have all been incredible. And WOW! there is SO many fellow Canadians here! Can’t believe how many I’ve met, maybe 20-30. And they’ve all been stellar individuals.

8:00 PM

As Day 3 Wrapped up there was more signature stories and some really valuable short to the point takeaways. I’ve got at least 20 pages of notes at this point maybe more, and I’ve realized that there are several stories from my life that I can share effectively to communicate a message or give the audience some valuable information. I have had many creative flashes of insight throughout this experience, including many business ideas. Day 3 featured lot’s of techniques for getting ready right before going on stage, including movements and breathing patterns, (wait for my video(s) for further information) and strategies to avoid or eliminate the stage fright that everybody even the greatest feel. Turning the fear into love.

I’ve seen and experienced so much this past 72h and I know I was supposed to be here. Grateful to all the teachers and everybody in the audience for coming together for the betterment of our lives and the world through our new skills, refined stories/messages, and the new friends and allies we’re making.

Do You Read, or Look at Your Own Content From the Past?

 

Revisiting a Photograph I took from Sunset Blvd.

Revisiting a Photograph I took from Sunset Blvd.

I’m curious. Take this poll and let’s see how many people look back on their work after time has elapsed.

 

Recently I re read a post I did on Medium, and was blown away that I wrote it. It’s about excuses, and I’m still making them. I was astonished at the poignancy of my words and their still applicable nature to my life. I found myself thinking “Wow! I wrote that?” and “I should really heed my own words.” I’m writing to ask if you read and revisit your content at all after creating it? If so, do you find value in it? I certainly have, and intend to make this a regular practice. If I can get value after the fact out of my posts, that gives me hope that others may also find my words, photos or videos of value. Lifetime value not just the day it’s published but ongoing in the future. Creating evergreen content, not just a paltry list post that becomes obsolete as times change, and the marketplace evolves. Can the value sustain? Am I digging deep into life to examine worthwhile issues and sharing the best of what I’m learning on a day to day basis? Documenting my life and journey in a way that will have value in a year, or 5. That is much more of a strategy I can stand behind and work towards as opposed to continually posting only for volume. Clogging or diluting my portfolio and brand that I’m developing with quantity and not quality. Maybe I’m not the best writer or content developer now, but I genuinely want to publish and share my best work in any channel or platform. I don’t want only selfies on my Instagram or tawdry list posts on my blog. I want to push and pull the best out of my experiences. By doing that I will develop more skills, confidence, and content. Waiting for the perfect moment, or until I can create without finding flaws only delays my dreams. I eliminate the excuses for not taking action (insert Nike slogan).

I’m glad that I’m writing. Having the dream & goal of being a writer without writing has annoyed me for some time. Looking back over my content is a nice way to check my process and progress.

Outlining a Writing Workflow

Outlining a Writing Workflow

Two blog posts a year (2014) does not cut it. Being inspired to dedicate myself to learning content creation and marketing is a good feeling. Can I keep it up? Time will tell. When creating anything do you just ship it out and forget about it? Moving on to the next project and the next and the next? Take a moment to examine and revisit it after time has passed, does it still have relevancy? Is it timeless? I want to end with a paraphrased quote from Drake. Yes the R&B/hip hop artist. I remember hearing him being interviewed describing parts of his work and method. He stated he was all about lasting power. Creating music that can be listened to with the same enjoyment years after its creation. “I want my CD to stay in your car.” Perpetual relevance by placing an emphasis on quality. I realized that when listened to that interview at the time his CD Take Care had literally stayed in my car’s 6 CD changer since buying it. Create product that’s going to still be worth something in the future, maybe worth even more. That’s what I’m working towards, I have a long way to go, but knowing the difference between instant gratification and lasting power is truly valuable.

 

I hope you like what you read and decide to go re-visit some old work of yours.

 

An aside:

I started my first real content channel with my Instagram in 2012. I’ve always tried to put only photos that I think are good from a photographic standpoint first, and being an authentic representation of what I love and strive for. Over time my captions or comments have become more thoughtful. But I don’t post something unless I want it to stay there for 5 years. Will I look back at that snapshot and say “Why did I put that on the internet?” Or “That was important that I shared that, wow look at that great shot or I remember that rawness and hustle.”

 

My first Instagram Post Ever!

My first Instagram Post Ever!

 

 

What Can I Give the World?

Blades of Grass holding Life's Essence

Blades of Grass holding Life’s Essence

Do I have anything meaningful to give to the world? Can I contribute and make my mark on an ever changing, crowded, and evolving planet Earth. Do my other 7 billion brothers and sisters feel the same way? Does everybody want to leave a positive legacy and be known for great things?

I’ve been pondering these questions, and I think the answer to all is a yes. At least to some degree. Certainly I wasn’t born without SOMETHING meaningful to give back—I can’t simply be a taker or consumer. Surely, I can develop a worthy attribute, skill, or mission that gives value to others on the planet we share, and the planet itself. Making my mark on the world has been a calling I’ve always felt, sometimes with a crushing pressure. I reflect upon the cliche “pressure makes diamonds” and aim to thrive under the pressure of expecting greatness from myself. A challenge I’ve faced is overload. I literally want to be excellent in my skill set in so many things that it is overwhelming. On the positive side it I’ve got an endless To Do list of things that I enjoy and can categorize as productive time on some level. This is great, but there is a bottom line that must be met for me to be functioning as a member of society. Some avenue that is being pursued must create “a living” in the societal sense. I just thought of this metaphor about my current undertakings. Taking one swing of an axe at 27 trees one at a time is a bad strategy to cut them all down. Possibly a better tactic would be to completely take each tree down, sharpening the axe between each tree. Or taking a few choice trees and rotating between them 1/3 at a time. The most ideal plan may be to step back and look at the forest. What? Looking at the alignment of the trees and noticing which one if cut with the right technique and forethought may knock down several other trees using the force of gravity on its way down. That is just a metaphor, I don’t want to cut down any trees, I’d honestly rather plant many many trees in m lifetime. If that metaphor was written poorly or I lost you replace the trees with goals and cutting down with accomplishing. So if I try to accomplish 27 goals at once versus accomplishing one at a time, or clustering a handful, or looking at the complete picture and seeing which goal can accomplish many others once it is completed.

 

So realizing that I need a better strategy, what do I even intend to give. The list of what I want is clearly posted on my blog, and that’s somewhat partial and not as specific as the goals I’m working with now on a daily basis. But, all that is me me me. What about you you you and we we we? Will I create soley for a selfish and personal reason, or can I ensure that I’m giving value and hopefully creating in service to others and good causes. The latter sounds much more noble, but can I or you say that that is our intent at all times? I can’t. Maybe it’s because I was an only child for most of my life, but I’ve noticed in times of reflection that I often behave very selfishly. Look out for number one they say. I don’t really consider that a great piece of wisdom. Number one is just one number. Focus entirely on that and that’s just one looking after one. Can’t I look after many, and then should I ever be in need have many that would consider looking after me? Has a nicer ring to it. Looking over the words that are written above it’s apparent there is a lot of “I” in this writing. This is a reflective and personal questioning of my motives in life, and I hope that you can see some value somewhere within. Gratitude for reading my words. Let me finish by answering the question initially posed. What can I give the world? Myself, my best self, working hard, candidly as I pursue deepening my strengths, improving my weaknesses and overcoming the obstacles while taking ideas through the creation and execution process—defining dreams and questing for success for myself but also for the tribe that we all are a part of.

(Morning) Rituals and Routines—What Might Be the Unifying Factor in Success.

BY @multitude27

Day Break. #nofilter

First post of 2015!!!!!!

 

This post is adapted from a post I published at Medium yesterday. I’m a huge fan and follower of Tim Ferriss (follow him on Twitter and his blog to be on the cutting edge of performance and success) Through his blog and podcast Mr. Ferriss has really emphasized the morning routine of the successful and how they vary but can contain striking similarities.

 

The following words are a synopsis of where I’m at personally adopting a functioning routine into my life.

 

 

(Morning) Rituals and Routines—What Might Be the Unifying Factor in Success.

I honestly don’t practice a routine right now. But, I’m developing a system. I am the type of person that can’t have a monotonous life, and routines are monotonous, or at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself. Completely wrong. In all my studying of success nothing recurs quite as often as having a routine to spark creativity and productivity. Maybe list making, but that is often part of the routine! Chicken and egg aside, I’ve put a great deal of effort into the study of routine and routine building in my life. However, to date, I have yet to actually practice my routine(s). To overcome my fear that having a routine would add too much monotony regardless of its productivity benefits, I’ve decided to create different routines for different styles of days. Wait, hear me out—there are core tenets that form the ultimate simplicity of my routine, but I tailor other aspects and steps outside the core to jumpstart engagement in how I want to direct and create my day. How does that work? Something like this: I broke days down into primary themes and differentiate/adjust the routines accordingly.

Each day should have one major goal/tenet:

Brain Dayslearn and absorb at least one truth, skill, or lesson.

Fitness DaysFocus on health and fitness, with a major workout or mission accomplished

Creative DaysMust create one item. Whether that’s a cog to a larger creation or a finalized product.

Money DaysCreate Income/Profit. Goals and target numbers set and strived for. Financial Management and Improvement.

Love Days—purposefully free of routine…spontaneity and freedom rule. Days devoted to love, and enjoying the moment.

Macro with some good morning Dew

Macro with some good morning Dew

 

What makes each day different is the desired outcome and goal. The goal overall is to have systems in place that make each morning an enjoyable and effective way to start my day. Designing the differences in the routines is in accordance with these goals. I wouldn’t say that each day is fully set out yet, in total detail but some things have been established. Each day gets it’s own musical accompaniment to the routine based on how I’m setting the tempo for the day. For instance, fitness days are geared towards higher tempo music to induce a more intense frame of mind before training. I believe certain days don’t need music.

The inclusion of a day free of routine I felt necessary, to avoid negative self talk and criticism. I tend to gravitate towards harsh self-appraisal so this can insulate me. Go on? A day where I can be free and spontaneous built within the greater framework of a structured routine system alleviates me from pressure or need to berate my failure. After all who can be mad at a day spent in freedom, love and pursuing the enjoyment of our limited time in this plane of existence? So I broke routine? End of the world? No. Not unless I can’t look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day and say that I lived my way and no day is bad. Which is never.

The purpose of this wasn’t to long windedly explain that I’ve got a different way of routinizing life, the purpose was to share what gets results and that’s why if you’re still reading you ultimately clicked this story.

My routine system I’ve discussed is complicated, but it suits me because I’m complicated as well. That being said I do know that a high level of complication can ultimately defeat the real purpose of a routine…to simply do tasks in a manner that doesn’t require the level of conscious thought it would to independently accomplish these tasks: with the overall system leading to higher functioning as a human.

Here is the simple stuff. What have I found to work for me and common among the successful?

COMMONALITIES AMONGST DAYS:

  • • Each routine should include the sourcing/planning/preparing of the day’s first meal.
  • • Make Bed
  • • Hydration—8–20 oz. of water.
  • • Some form of affirmative thought/visualization/gratitude/meditative time
  • • A baseline minimum physical activity: Yoga/Stretch, 200 pushups, breathing exercises.

Following these activities I would tailor the following steps to the day. Creative days would involve a writing practice with various projects ongoing. Fitness days, a great training session or sessions. Money days, an evaluating my personal and company finances with increasing income and profit taking center stage. Brain days, deeply immersive study of a subject of my choosing. Love days, who knows?

Overall, I think that using these commonalities as a foundation and building off of them can prove very beneficial. The rest of your day already has a sense of purpose and accomplishment. You’ve followed a routine, and that’s a key to reaching a happy and successful life. Ask anybody. Anybody that you consider to be successful, and see if they don’t have some form of routine to become more effective.

 


 

Any thoughts or comments? What do you do that is different or similar to my set up? Am I crazy? Let me know in the comments below or Tweet me @multitude27 on the side bar.

 

Thank you,

 

Brendan