The guide with a rifle strapped to his back grabbed my mother’s shoulders to stop her from running. The silverback gorilla was tearing through the underbrush as it charged toward her.
It was my brother’s 16th birthday. His long-awaited gift was a family outing up the side of a mountain in Rwanda to see the nearly extinct mountain gorillas in the wild (our family was living in Rwanda at the time).
When a gorilla charges, you don’t want to run or make eye contact. You’re supposed to stare at the jungle floor and remain as still as possible.
As you can imagine, that runs contrary to our human instincts.
And that’s one of the reasons you’re not allowed to go without a guide. You need someone who has mastered the right knee-jerk reactions that can save your life if the silverback decides to charge.
A simple rule can be more useful than a complex decision process because of its ability...
A lot of productivity comes down to state management.
It sounds goofy, but if I’m ever really struggling, I may stop work for 5 minutes to watch a few fight scenes from my favorite action movie, The Bourne Identity. That’s state management.
If you’re a Tony Robbins fan, you may know he jumps on a trampoline while shouting affirmations to himself for a few minutes before he rushes on stage to greet the crowd. That’s state management.
If I’m feeling sleepy before hopping on a coaching call, I’ll do 50 push-ups, or step outside for two minutes without a coat during the winter. That’s state management.
Thinking can only take you so far. Sometimes you need to change your state first and then the right kind of thoughts begin to emerge with less struggle.
Before I learned this truth of human nature, I used to try to fight drowsiness by thinking my way out of it. I’d be driving during the midafternoon slump, my wife asleep in the passenger...
There’s a thief lurking in the shadows of your mind.
He’ll never break into your home or rob you at gunpoint. He just waits for you to invite him in. He stands beside you in broad daylight, quietly siphoning away your motivation, creativity, and drive.
His favorite mark? Entrepreneurs who take destiny into their own hands.
He targets people with enough talent to drive progress by the sheer power of their will. Anyone smart enough to have multiple options for building an empire, creating from scratch, or blazing new trails one step at a time.
Your enemy is uncertainty. He is the thief in the night. The killer of dreams. The kryptonite that drains your powers of productivity.
Have you ever experienced a burst of productivity and effortless focus? Did you ride the wave of creative synthesis, sidestepping hurdles at breakneck speeds?
For a moment, you held in your hands the two active ingredients of peak productivity. Clear goals...
The French mathematician, Blaise Pascal pointed out there are some areas of life that can only be understood as twin truths.
You cannot fully grasp the truth of the matter without understanding both sides of the coin. And each side appears to be the opposite of its companion.
When it comes to productivity, we encounter these twin truths:
1. We do best when we make a plan, set deadlines, and follow a pattern of commitment and accountability to reach specific goals.
2. We make the fastest progress when we simply walk in the direction of our goals, knowing we will only discover the way forward one turn at a time.
How could these both be true?
They are twin truths. You cannot understand the whole truth without examining both halves.
Without specific goals, commitment, and measurement of your progress, you will inevitably drift from one project to another without making any meaningful progress. The human mind is attracted to novelty.
We are easily distracted by a new idea which on the...
I believe there is. And once you catch a glimpse of this mind-bending method, you’ll understand the true foundation of what it means to be smart.
To make decisions, we run mental simulations of the future. The better you get at that skill, the more likely you are to get what you want. That, in a nutshell, is intelligence.
While it sounds simple, mental simulation is a marvelous form of power. And generating complex models of the future is one of the most impressive feats of the human mind.
Would you like to get better at it?
In the movie Next, Nicolas Cage plays the part of Cris Johnson, who has one unique ability. He can see two minutes into the future.
Each time he faces a high-stakes decision, he makes a choice about how to proceed. Then he sees the future outcome of that choice before taking action. If he doesn’t like what he sees, he considers another decision option....
Much of what you accomplish in this life depends on your beliefs about who you are and what you are capable of.
So, it makes sense that many of my clients practice affirmations.
They want to adopt beliefs that support the grand vision they hold for their lives and businesses. They want to instill a sense of possibility, strength, and certainty deep within the mind’s subconscious operating system.
So they use affirmations.
It’s a common practice stemming from a self-help industry that is propelled forward by ideas that sell, even if those ideas have no scientific merit or practical utility.
I’d like to show you something better. Something that actually has the power to change your life.
It’s an alternative to practicing positive affirmations for those who want to test the limits of what’s possible, and for those who enjoy the thrill of truly striving for uncommon results.
Affirmations represent an attempt to change your...
Have you been mulling over some tough decisions?
Here’s the truth about decision making. It’s mentally exhausting.
And for many entrepreneurs, it’s the hundred little decisions that wear away our resolve and mental clarity.
Mental fatigue is real.
We need breaks to rest and recharge, yet studies show Americans in particular are notorious for not taking their much-needed breaks.
Around half of American workers feel they’re not able to take a proper lunch break. Almost half don’t take all of their vacation time, while there is a significant number that just don’t take vacations.
The problem is that, while we martyr ourselves on the altar of work, our productivity, our ability to make clear decisions, and our overall health and wellness suffer. Here’s why you may just need a break…
How many times have you felt fatigued, only to...
We’re often busy, but not really productive.
So how do we change that?
What if there was a better way to supercharge your productivity?
I’ve given this a lot of thought and applied some of these techniques to my own work. Here's what I recommend...
Upgrade your capacity for speed.
Parkinson’s law states that “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”
Cyril Northcote Parkinson, the British historian and author who made this statement, was qualified to make the observation. He worked in the British Civil Service and saw first-hand how bureaucracy could impact productivity.
In fact, you’ll see this in action in many office environments today. There is still a notion we should be “working harder” rather than faster or smarter. Research suggests that given the standard eight-hour workday, most of us are only productive for around three hours!
So, if we’re simply making our work expand to...
Have you reached a point where it’s time to make a career change?
If you’re contemplating a change, you’re not alone!
This is where most people find the next big hurdle - you’ve decided you’re ready for a change, but now what? How do you know what to do next?
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the weight of the decision that you go around in circles.
Now, change is almost never comfortable - it’s much easier to cruise along with what you already know. But mapping out a decision-making plan can build your confidence as you consider whether it’s the right time to switch careers.
The right decisions tend to be made with good planning. Have you planned out your decision-making strategy?
Here are some key steps or milestones for that journey:
“Inbox Zero” is a concept that effectively triages your inbox so you can achieve better productivity.
No more “675 unread emails” for you! Here’s how it works:
“Inbox Zero” is a term that was coined by productivity evangelist, Merlin Mann, who gave a popular Google Tech Talk on the subject in 2007. Since then, there have been several different methodologies proposed for achieving Inbox Zero, so you can choose the method you prefer.
What is Inbox Zero? It’s a system for organizing and filing email messages quickly. You label and triage emails so that you reach and maintain the coveted status of an empty inbox every day.
It’s important to note here that Mann’s premise isn’t to fanatically keep your inbox at zero, but the term refers to the amount of time an employee’s brain is in their inbox.
From Mann’s original...