How to muster superpowers in your weakest moments
I once heard this (maybe not so) crazy »advice« about being depressed…
If you throw someone down a stairway, you can be pretty sure, they won’t be depressed on the way down.
Maybe the feeling will come back.
But it will be gone for at least a little while.
Now, of course you don’t want to throw people down stairways, but it is true though—I bet that you (like me) can easily picture, that the mind would simply HAVE to change focus from the depressed state if someone forced you to into a dangerous fall (or something similar).
Don’t do it (not even to yourself).
But it’s still worth reflecting over the fact, that you CAN take yourself (or others) out of mindsets, that are not helpful.
Maybe there are less dramatic ways?
Anyway, I thought of it the other day, when I watched Calvin’s latest video called “A neat trick to keep you going”.
I also thought, that my boss made a yuge understatement when he wrote that headline.
Because the trick he reveals in that video BLEW me away (!) in its utter simplicity, and yet being a piece of advice that you instantly—upon hearing it—know will work when, just like said “stairway-trick", the difference being that the advice Calvin gives you is actually something you SHOULD do whenever you…
Well, let men not reveal too much.
After all, my job is to make you so curious you can’t not watch the video right away.
So before we go, I will reveal ONE thing.
(Spoiler alert: This one thing might just make you MORE curious, who knows?).
Calvin also reveals an insight about how to achieve success.
But I guess you already know that.
So don’t go there.
Stay home from the game.
Or if you go, sit on the substitutes bench with a nice cool towel around your neck and look at the other players take all the risk (and have all the fun).
You WANT to go play?
And you also wanna know the simple superpower-trick and the success-insight?
Well, alrighty then.
You are above average, and I shall certainly say unto thee…
Go meet the Calvin...
Community Manager at Simplero
Here is a transcript of the live video, if you'd rather read it:
... People. It is me.
I wanted to talk to you about a little neat trick to keep going and going that I got from this book. It is Jocko's Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual. Jocko Willink. I have thoughts on this book. I think there's things in this book that are fantastic, and some of it is a little problematic, but I think I can definitely learn a lot from this guy.
Discipline has never been my strong suit. It's become something I'm pretty good at, but as a feminine man, it's something that I've always had a problem with. So as man that had troubles with dad, discipline's something that I've had problems with. I'm glad to say that I've put all that behind me, and I'm now actually learning to really appreciate it and enjoy discipline, and the whole concept that discipline equals freedom, I can relate to that. I can see the power in that.
I can tell you some stories about that. When I quit smoking, for example, the fact that it was a hundred percent decision. It wasn't like, "Well, I'll smoke when I drink, or I'll smoke sometimes, or when I feel like it, or when I'm with people." It was just like, "No, I'm never gonna take a puff of anything again," and then it wasn't even a question, and then it was just a matter of getting on the other side of that desire. And every time it popped up, it was just like, "No, I've made a firm decision," and there's a lot of freedom in that. And when there's that, "Well, maybe sometimes," then you end up wasting a lot of energy negotiating with yourself.
So same thing with my workout routine. It's eight hours a week. There's no wiggle room. I've been doing it for over a year. I'm currently ahead by a couple of hours, but that's over an entire year, right? So sometimes I'll be like, "You know what? I'm traveling next week. I might not get to work so much, so it's good to have a little bit in the bank. I'm gonna keep it up, but not necessarily at the same level." So it's nice to have some time in the bank there.
No. So the trick that I wanted to share that I think was really cool is if you don't feel like doing whatever it is ... It might be your business or some new business initiative that's stretching you, that's difficult, that requires you to shift gears and learn new skills and do things that are unfamiliar or get out of excellence zone and into, "You're a genius," right? So if it's stuff like that or exercise ... Whatever ...
Here's the trick. If you feel like skipping the day, just do today, and if you still feel like you need a break tomorrow, then you can do it.
All right. So I was actually in this exact situation yesterday. It was like 2:00 P.M., and it had just been a shitty day, like one of those days where it seemed like everything I touched just blew up in my face. We have a continuous integration server. It was just a big reminder to stay out of my excellence zone and just not touch the code, but I was just like, "Oh." I was going to write some stuff up for the other guys to do, and then I was like, "Let me just fix this little thing," and then that turned into, "Oh, it wasn't a little thing," but then I kept thinking, "Oh. It's almost done." And then I ended up blowing my development environment completely, so it wouldn't compile, and it wouldn't do anything, and I was just like, "[inaudible 00:03:54]."
Now that was a sign right there. Just don't have a local development environment. Don't code. I always have another computer that is set up, so it wasn't that bad, if there's an emergency or whatever, but yeah. So then I got that, but then our test server, our continuous integration server, wasn't running. So I was like, "Instead of figuring out what's going on, let me just update the packages on that box," 'cause they needed updating anyway and see if that doesn't fix it, and then it removed then, and then it just broke completely. It wouldn't do anything. So one of the guys, Josh, he was like, "Today's the day that you should use our competitor's products and just break them, if you can," but it really seemed to be one of those days.
And then, long story short, I was sitting, in the afternoon. I'd just completely [inaudible 00:04:51], like knocked out mentally, and so I was like, "Let me go for a break. Let me go work out," and I was just like, "I don't want to work out today. Today is chest day." I knew I had to do the 65 pound dumbbell chest press, and I'm like, "[inaudible 00:05:11]. I can do it, but it's so hard to get them up there." Oh, I didn't want to do it, but then I remembered Jocko.
And I was like, "All right. You don't feel like doing it today. That's okay. Maybe you need a break. Maybe something needs to change here with work, with exercise, whatever. It's fine, but just do your workout today. Just do the workout today, and then if you still don't feel like working out tomorrow, you can take a break." I can easily afford a day of not working out, in my scheme here. I'm plenty ahead for the week, but I was like, "All right. Let me just do it." Turned out fine. It wasn't my best. It wasn't my best workout, I have to say, but it went just fine.
And you know what? This morning, I woke up at five something, couldn't go back to sleep, and then at little over six, I decided, "Let me just get up and go downstairs and do a workout." And so I did, and so I did an hour and twenty odd minutes of exercise in the morning. And here I am. It's eight something, and I've already worked out. So I did feel like doing it today.
So I think that's a good habit. We talk a lot about turning pro, around here, this concept from ... Why do I always keep forgetting his name? Steve ... What's his name? I don't think I have his book in print actually. Excuse me. Steven Pressfield. He talks about turning pro, and it's that concept of ... If you're a doctor, you go to work every day. You do your doctoring, even if you feel like it or not. It doesn't really matter. It's not like you wake, you're like, "Oh. I don't feel like surgery now really." You go, and you do it, right? If you're a professional bodybuilder or something, I guess, you just go to the freaking gym, and you just do it 'cause it's what you do, and so on.
So if you're someone who's starting a business ... Well, you're seeing a lot of people starting online businesses here, where it's a new thing for them, right? Maybe you've been a nurse, and then you got into coaching, and then you're like, "Oh, I think I can teach a lot of nurses something about their mental state or something like that, and let me do a business doing that," but it's new to you. All this stuff is new to you, right? That's where this concept of turning pro is really useful, and this one trick that says, "If you really feel like skipping today, don't. Just stick with it. Sit down in front of whatever ... Paper, computer, whatever it is that you need to use, or the phone, or whatever ... And do it. And if tomorrow you still absolutely feel like you just need a break, take a break tomorrow. Take a break tomorrow, but today just keep going one more day."
And I think we can do one more day, right? Of course, we can one more day. Just do it, and then it feels good to have one in the bank, knowing that I am totally okay skipping today 'cause I did the thing yesterday, and I didn't cop out. And today I can take a break. I have one in the bank. It feels good to have one in the bank. All right. So the flip side of this is ... I think, it's very, very important when we talk about this. A lot of this gets very, very masculine. Everything's a fight. You're fighting the negative beliefs, and you're fighting.
Let me see if I can find something. "Yes, life can be overwhelming. That's the way life works. It is testing you. It is going to throw problems at you, and it is going to throw them at you all at the same time. This is the way life works. Murphy's Law. It is easy to feel beaten, when you're faced with all those problems at once, but let me tell you. That does not mean give up fighting. In fact, it means the opposite. It is time for you to fight harder, to dig in, to go on the warpath, to assess what the problems are and decide which one you're going to attack first. Then get started. Attack. And listen. It won't be easy. In fact, it will be hard. Life is hard. That's what life is. And these challenges you face, they're going to do their best to take you down. Do not let them. Stand up. Dig in. Line up those problems and confront them. Face them. Fight them. Do not let them bring you down. Instead, let these challenges raise you up. Let them elevate you. Let their demands and their trials make you stronger. Let the adversity you face today turn you into a better person tomorrow, so in the future, you look back at these struggles, and you say to them, "Thank you. You made me better.""
And lest you think that I'm just making that I'm just making ... He writes in italics and big uppercase and bold and spaced out. This is what I just read. This shit is real. And I honestly don't think life is a fight, and I don't think it is a fight. I think life is a dance, if anything. I think life is a game. It's play. It's supposed to be easy and fun, and the trick is to find those little things that make it not feel like a struggle, like today when I did go and work out, it was like, " [inaudible 00:10:46]," but knowing that I just do this now, and tomorrow you can take the day off, made it feel like not such a fight. It was like, "All right. Just do this. All right. Not a huge deal."
So I wanted to bring something else up that's complementary, and I try to keep these fairly short, but I'm not always that good at keeping things short, just between you and me. Don't tell anyone. Don't tell anyone 'cause sometimes I go long. You should see some of the videos I've done. They were hours long. So I'm really trying to keep this short, but there's a book here called Success is For You, and holy shit.
What a title. What a title. Success if For You. It's like, "All right. Great." But the book is amazing. I don't love the title, but the book is amazing. David R. Hawkins. You may be familiar with him as the author of a book called Power Versus Force. Seems like cover and cover pages is the same thing.
I just want to read something to you from the first chapter. I want to show you something here. "So it's about the bananas," so it's all about success, and it's all about kind of the inner game of success. Before I show you all that, his main point is success and everything honestly, in life, is all about being, and then you do, and then you have. We think that, in order to achieve success, you do. Struggle, struggle, struggle, struggle, struggle. You do all these things. It's a fight. Every day, you get to have a hustle, like Gary Vaynerchuk and that kind of thing, like, "[inaudible 00:12:26] every day." You fight, and then you get to have those things, and then you get to be successful or be famous or happy or whatever it is you want to be.
And his point is that's totally in reverse. That's missing cause and effect. It's not all the doing that makes you successful. It's the fact that you are successful on the inside that makes you do things in a way that actually leads to some outer results, but it's the inner. It's your being that is the cause, and the outside, the results, are just the effect. And I think a guy, honestly, like Gary Vaynerchuk, bears this out because when I first saw him back in 2007, 8-ish is when I first saw his videos ... And I was captivated ... He was a winner from the get go. You could just tell from those videos this guy is a winner. This guy is onto something. He just had an energy around him and a charisma, and it was just a matter of time.
And the same experience I had with David Heinemeier. By the way, he was the one who introduced me to Gary Vaynerchuk. Not in person, but to seeing him online I think. But David Heinemeier who created Ruby on Rails, which is the software platform that we use ... The opensource framework that we use. I was there from the very beginning because he was a friend of a friend in Copenhagen. We lived in the same city, and you could just tell. Just completely obvious, this guy is gonna be fantastically successful. Ruby on Rails is gonna be fantastically successful. The world doesn't know it yet, but he's gonna take the world by storm. It was just obvious. He just had that thing, and that's the point ... Is you have that thing, and then you do all these things, and it's easy.
So let me read you a passage from the book, and it's a story about bananas and monkeys. So it goes like this, "In a well known experiment, the monkey was put in a cage, and a bananas were placed outside the cage on the opposite side from the door, just beyond his reach. Once the monkey spotted the bananas, the door was opened. What happened?" So we have a monkey inside of a cage, right? And right there in front of you is bananas. Right in the back is a door, and as soon as the monkey sees the bananas, he tries to reach, right?
"What happened was that monkey stretched his arm between the bars. He struggled and practically dislocated his shoulder, frantically trying to grasp that which was just beyond his reach. He could struggle there for hours, weeks, or months, and it was always going to be just beyond his reach. To get the bananas, he had to turn his back on them and walk through the open door, and we know that the minute he got that "aha" and saw the open door, success was automatic. He just had to go out the door, go around, and grab the bananas."
"It's only the manifestation of what had already happened. The minute the monkey saw the open door, in effect, he already had the bananas. He could have and eat as many bananas as he could hold. Fame and success are exactly like that. They happen the instant we see something. Success is the automatic expression of what has already happened. What the world considers fame and success are merely the symbols and the outer representations of what has already happened."
Let me see here. "If we look around, as we'll see the millions struggling year in and year out to reach the bananas, and we have an inkling as to why. Fame and success, like happiness, cannot be saw directly.
Happiness cannot be achieved by struggle. It's the automatic consequence of an inner sense of delight, joy, and satisfaction. Happiness automatically comes from being a certain kind of person and being a certain way in the world and about life. A truly happy person is happy no matter what. I've been happy rich. I've been happy poor. I've been happy single. I've been happy married. Been happy as a student. Been happy as a teacher."
All right. Let's see here. Yeah, so he talks about power and force. "So in World War Two, the Germans assembled the greatest military force of its time. Adolf Hitler, who relied on force, ended up insane, suicidal, disgraced, dead, anathema to the human race and brought defeat to the whole country. Force may create the illusion of success for a period of time, but as in the case of every celebrity who kills him, apparently, the symbols of success are not what success really is."
Then he tells a story. "What is the source of power? Power is something that we own within ourselves. When Winston Churchill catalyzed the will of the British people, he manifested power. Consequently, Hitler's forces ran into power. When force meets power, it always loses. Then he mentions the example of the British Empire versus Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi had the principle of universal truth, the equality of all men by virtue of the equality of their creation. These are the same principles that empower the Constitution of the United States, and so that gives you power versus the British Empire that was motivated by self-interest, which is force."
So let me see if there's anything else I just want to throw it. One secret of knowing whether we've achieved this or not is the presence of joy. If we're tired and burned out at the end of the day, then it's from the monkey business of trying to grab the bananas. When we invent a better product, the world beats a path to our door. There's no need to knock our brains how. How long does it take to succeed? It takes exactly one split second."
All right. Check out this book. It's amazing, but this the gripe that I have with this guy, right? It ends up being a lot of force. So some of it ... That's what I love about ... That example of quitting smoking. The decision is instant, and the moment you've made that decision, you're cured for your addiction to cigarettes or whatever it is. Boom. That's it. You're done. And that's, in my mind, is power 'cause you're deciding. It's instant. Now you're non-smoker, right? It was one of the thing that was important for me. I didn't want to be a non-smoking smoker. I didn't want to be a smoker, who just didn't smoke and was always like, "I wish I could smoke." That was very critical to me that I did not want to be one of those guys. I wanted to be someone who was not a smoker. Just didn't need it 'cause you walk around. Most people don't seem to need it, so clearly, it's not something that we need to function.
And so there's parts of this book that speaks to that power, but there's also a lot of it that speaks to force, and I just don't think that's helpful. And the thing is that with the example with the monkeys and the bananas, the more force they exert, the less likely they are to realize that there's a door right behind them that's open. They can just go out and go around and grab the fricking ... They don't see that because they're so focused over her on the bananas in front of them and the struggle, and they really get into the struggle, and it can be addictive. It can be like, "Yeah. We're running on adrenaline. Yeah.
We're fighting. We're hustling. We're doing all this stuff." It can be really exciting and addictive. So don't do that. It's really important to take that time to figure out, "All right. Is there a better way? Is the direction at all that we should be going?" And if you're exhausted at the end of every work day, then you're definitely doing something wrong, and that needs to change.
So that's what I got for you today. Thank you so much for watching. Very cool to have you here. I got a great email from someone who said that the video I did the other day about the zone of excellence and zone of genius really touched her, so very happy to hear that. Thank you so much. And yeah, we'll be in touch guys.