The Plus, Minus, Equals training system of Frank Shamrock

The Plus, Minus, Equals training system of Frank Shamrock

Frank Shamrock & Plus, Minus, Equals

Frank Shamrock was an early pioneer of mixed martial arts and had a special Plus, Minus, Equals training system that gave him a unique approach to cross-training and fight strategy. It enabled him to become the first UFC light heavyweight champion before vacating it after an all-time classic match against Tito Ortiz. He formed an alliance and cross-trained his shoot wrestling style with the kickboxing skills of Maurice Smith and the Judo & Jiu-Jitsu guard work of Tsuyoshi Kohsaka and successfully blended them together to form a well-rounded skill set. Each member of the alliance was able to help each other improve in a different area and in many ways exemplifies his plus, minus and equals training system which we will discuss in this article.

Table Of Contents
Plus, Minus, Equals Training System

Perhaps due to its inclusion in the book “Ego is the Enemy” by author Ryan Holiday one of the most notable aspects of Frank Shamrock’s training is his system of plus, equals and minus. The plus, equals and minus formula is as simple as have a training partner that is better than you, at the same level and of lesser skill than you, which will enable you to always continue learning and growing. Author Ryan Holiday explains the benefit of the system as follows: 

“The purpose of Shamrock’s formula is simple, to get real and continuous feedback about what they know and what they don’t know, from every angle.” – Ryan Holiday

Let’s now go more in-depth about how the three parts of the plus, minus and equals system will connect. 

The Plus

The plus will be a martial artist who is more skilled than you who you can learn from and will expose your gaps. In many cases, this will be your coach who will have more expertise on the subject than you but also sparring partners who can put that knowledge into action. The coach can provide the role of mentoring, training guidance and knowledge of techniques that can help develop your martial arts skills. But martial artists will always have a coach who should fill this role except in the rare case that someone was self-training and if so they should go find a coach to become “the plus” immediately. 

Sparring partners who are also a step above you will fill this role as you need someone to be exposing the weak areas in your game to help you become aware of them and give you the incentive to work on them. Without a partner who can best you in training, then you are merely giving yourself delusional confidence that may be exposed in a real fight or confrontation. These mini losses in practice will help you grow, and you want to have these experiences in the gym in an environment where your partner is helping you to learn rather than for it to occur in a public competition setting. 

The Minus

The minus will be a martial artist who is of lesser skill than you who you can teach and help grow. It is someone that you can help along the way to improve their skill set, and in the process, it will help you gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of your skills. It many ways the best way to understand is to figure out how to teach it to another person, and these people will provide an opportunity to do so, ensuring they are willing. Simply giving unsolicited to people can be very frustrating, and some peoples pet peeves in the gym when it is considered the primary responsibility of the coach. 

Another practical way that you need to have someone who is a minus is you need someone who can help you put implement skills you have just learned before you can get them to work at a higher level. When you learn a new technique, the chances of you being able to execute it flawlessly at first will be very slim. But you might be able to make it work on someone less skilled than you while you refine the application of the technique over repetitions. Whereas if you immediately try to apply a new technique on someone who is of more considerable skill, it might be stopped immediately before it, you can see it develop into being usable. Ideally, you can take a new ability and troubleshoot it on a minus to a point where it starts working on equals and further and then get a chance to show that technique and any possible counters to your training partner to help them also benefit from the process. 

The Equal

The will be a martial artist who is roughly at the same skill level and can match you in sparring. It can be someone who started training at the same time as you or someone with who you happen to be matching skill levels with but overall these are people who are at the same point in their development as you. Now we can consider every one of our training partners as our equals as everyone trains together with the same goal of improving and solving the same problems. It can be everyone in your gym being on the same team and all trying to strengthen each other on the same journey. But at a more individual level, you want to have people who are matching you in training with neither person able to get a clear advantage. 

These sessions with people who have been your equals should be fun and enjoyable and will also give you a guide to know if you or they have improved. It would help if you were motivating each other by knowing that you are on the same course together and that you are helping each other grow and develop in a way that can be more team building than being bested by someone better than you. A practical example is having a group of people preparing for a competition on the same day. Everyone can help push each other and raise the overall level of the group as everyone works towards the same goal. 

The Plus, Minus, Equals Training System of Frank Shamrock

The Plus, Minus, Equals Training System

The plus, minus or equals training system will be there if you look for it after training for a short period of time. Even if it’s just having the plus being your coach and the equal being your training partners. Once identified, you can use the system to provide you with continuous real-time feedback on your progress throughout training. Getting that constant feedback will help keep you grounded and honest about your skill level and in the book “The Ego is the Enemy” the chapter that discusses this focuses on always remaining a student throughout life. Frank Shamrock describes the benefit of doing so as follows: 

“False ideas about yourself destroy you. For me, I always stay a student, that’s what martial arts are about, and you have to use the humility as a tool”. – Frank Shamrock

The system of plus, minus and equals training will simplify the process of remaining a student by giving you a readily identifiable way to learn new skills, collaborate as a team and share what you know with others while continuing to grow, improve and strengthen yourself as a martial artist

Four Esoteric Principles of Martial Arts Skill Development

Four Esoteric Principles of Martial Arts Skill Development

The core of talent in martial arts is not dependent on the presence of remarkable attributes but rather the absence of limitations imposed on yourself by society and your subconscious. In the following article, I will examine some principles of Martial Arts Skill development that take those factors into account.

All humans are naturally born free of all obstructions, and it is only through external influences of society and our upbringing that we unconsciously develop these restrictions that stifle our development as martial artists.

Martial Arts Skill Development

These four principles can all be witnessed in the natural world and explained in proverbs with which you might already be familiar. Trees that bend in the wind are examples of the principles of non-resistance, a gentle stream that can cut through stone is a case of the principle of accommodation, life thriving in moderate cycles is an example of the principle of balance and the regular changing of seasons is an example of the natural order.  

Nature can reveal these principles in action, but they are all psychophysical forces that transpire both equally in the human mind as well as the human body. It is said that training in the martial arts is 50 per cent physical and 50 per cent mental, or as former UFC heavyweight champion, Bas Rutten would say it is 100 per cent mental as you have to use your brain to want to get out of bed and go to training.

A connection between the natural environment, the human psyche and the body create a psychophysical hurdle that can be overcome by the four principles mentioned. Including these principles in your martial arts practice will change your training from a mere repetition of physical movements to natural movements that are influenced by your mental state, energy and environment. Embracing these principles can lead to reawakening your learning abilities and create benefits that will be developed through martial arts that can transfer to your daily life.

The Principle Of Non-Resistance

The forces of life will impact people in various forms, yet the ways to deal with these effects can be broken down into four different ways. You can disregard these forces and risk having accidents that are caused by your ignorance; you can attempt to resist them in a manner that is inefficient and turbulent uses of energy, or you can implement the principle of non-resistance and use these forces to naturally blend with and energise your life. H is like building a sail that catches the wind to cross vast distances or how a bird can use that same wind to fly or a fish that swims with the current. All are examples of working together and in harmony with natural forces as resistance is not found in nature but is constructed in the minds of humans.

“Non-resistance is the key to the greatest power in the universe” – Eckhart Tolle

It should be clarified that non-resistance is not merely passive inaction in the face of life events as anyone with a lack of motivation can resign themselves to do nothing of consequence. Rather non-resistance is actively cultivating sensitivity and intelligence to discern and interpret life’s subtle forces and then be able to naturally flow with them in peace. Problems of day to day life can be handled using the principle of non-resistance, but martial arts training and competition will also benefit from this concept. Through non-resistance, you use an opponents movement to your advantage and you can understand your opponent is a teacher that will educate you on your weaknesses and help you to improve and better yourself. Redirecting an opponent’s force to use it against them is a common theme in martial arts and is an excellent example of the principle of non-resistance in action.

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Master Yoda

Unfortunately, most actions of humans are endeavours to push or pull on the river of life rather than flow with it in harmony, and this constant resistance is what causes physical and emotional anxiety. Anxiety or tension are subtle signals that something is amiss and should be carefully listened to so you can take responsibility for actions that may be causing this pressure and not resist by shifting the blame onto circumstances out of your control. The most common way a martial artist will experience resistance is by “trying” because the moment you begin to “try” you are immediately assuming a weakness to the challenge ahead of you, and this will cause tension. The tension created by “trying” is entirely a mental construct generated from trying too hard instead of flowing with nature.

“Aikido is the principle of non-resistance. Because it is non-resistant, it is victorious from the beginning. Those with evil intentions or contentious thoughts are instantly vanquished. Aikido is invincible because it contends with nothing.” – Morihei Ueshiba

A talented martial artist will never “try”, they will instead be smooth, relaxed, calm, confident and have a naturally continuous and flowing approach when training and competing. Trying to make or force things to happen creates turbulence and will be met with direct opposition, you can still achieve your goals by working with nature and flowing. Let things transpire naturally based on the complexities of circumstance and train without tension and resistance. 

For an example of this, consider placing a balance beam on the floor and walking across it and you will find the task relatively simple. But if you place the same balance beam across two skyscrapers you be in a different mental state that can cause tension despite it being the same physical task you have to perform. As soon as you begin to “try” in martial arts you have created a mental opposition to your work instead of flowing, this psychological opposition will then create physical symptoms causing muscles to tense and breathing to be interrupted.

The Principle Of Accommodation

Placing demands on yourself to encourage growth in training will need to take the form of progressive overloading where you repeatedly demand a little more of yourself than you are currently capable of dealing with comfortably. Progressive overload will require patience and the ability to tolerate repeated failures as you continually push yourself and take risks to achieve your life goals. Tolerance for failure will come with an intuitive understanding that each failure is an opportunity to learn and to make accommodations for these failures and lessons. To be able to build tolerance for your inevitable failures you must make your expectations realistic and achievable, so you know that with patience and continued perseverance you can achieve the goals you have set if you make your goals unrealistic and unachievable you will create frustration at your repeated failures.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

Martial arts training then becomes a process of consistent development through an incremental progression of practical and sensible demands of your body and emotions. The principle of accommodation is much similar to a bodybuilder who wishes to increase muscle the muscle fibres must be broken down over time so that they can grow back stronger and evolve over time. Or think of grinding rock into the shape of an arrowhead, this can be achieved if you grind the rock slowly and with patience but if you attempt to rush it and grind the rock quickly you risk breaking it.

The demands you place on your body, mind and emotions must be gradual and within your capacity, taking one step at a time and this is the principle of accommodation. If you ever find yourself asking if you can become good at a skill, thinking that particular skill would be too difficult you are not embracing the principle of accommodation. These questions to yourself will create tension in your body and chip away at any motivation you have to achieve your goals. Instead, you must look at the gradual demands you can place on yourself and start making the steps on your path to whatever higher goal it is you wish to achieve.

“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.” – Morihei Ueshiba

The Principle of Balance

Essentially the principle of balance can be summed up by stating “Neither too much nor too little.” and it is a principle that can be used in every aspect of your daily life, martial arts training and body and emotion. For a martial artist, balance is seen by not moving too fast or too slow, not being too aggressive or too tentative and not being too far high, low, left or right. The balance will control the pace and timing that every martial artist relies upon to be successful, and this will also filter through to your mindset in training.

Understanding balance in training will allow you to accept that you will have good days and bad days and not become frustrated or impatient with an unrealistic expectation that every day of training should constantly be “good”. This understanding will free your mental state from the dependence of your outcomes of any particular training session and instead leave you to focus on the practical process of training and realise that the cycle of good and bad days will balance itself. Training becomes a balance of body, mind and emotions and any days where your physical performance is not excellent should be used to pay more attention to your mental clarity and emotional stability.

 “Everything too fast is not good but everything too slow is also not good. You need balance. That’s why I like martial arts: it always tells you how to control your body, your mind, your heart. Balance. Balance can keep the world’s peace. I think that’s a very good thing.” – Jet Li

A martial artist will become centred and in balance with your physical body, mental and emotional states all simultaneously and notice how they all affect each other and are interconnected. The opposite effect of this can be seen in an opponent who is mentally out of balance or emotionally upset as they become much easier to defeat.

Upsetting an opponent’s composure is what some prizefighters look to exploit when they trash talk an opponent in an attempt to emotionally unbalance their opponent so that their physical performance also becomes unbalanced. Physical balance and emotional turmoil are like fire and water as they do not mix.If you spend too much time thinking about your emotional problems, then you will become unbalanced, but if you meditate on your balance, then you will get rid of your emotional problems.  

The Principle Of Natural Order

The principle of natural order is understanding the continual progressive development and changes that occur over time. For instance, the four seasons always stay in the same order and a tree always grows from a seed and never goes from a tree to seed. These processes cannot go backwards and cannot be rushed; it is human nature to want to accelerate the natural order, and this causes our mind to race faster than life is capable of moving. Although progression in the martial arts can still be seen as an equation of both time and concentration where you can spend less time to make the same progress if you concentrate your intensity, it still must remain in balance at all times.

Training too long and too intense will cause you to overtrain, which is where your body cannot properly recover from the stress you are putting it under. Also not training enough and without any passion will cause you never to achieve your goals, so it is something that must be balanced and follow the natural order. A great sign that you have a balanced attitude to training is that you are happy and have a sense of humour, as you understand that no matter what achievements you make in martial arts they will not matter in the scheme of the universe or on the scale of the cosmos.

 “There is no quick way to grow a tree that is strong enough to withstand a storm”

If you ever find yourself thinking that you should be doing better or you should be progressing faster, it is a sign that your mental state is not in the natural order as the word “should” has no place in the mind of the martial artist. As with the word “Try” the word “Should” suggest you are dissatisfied with your current state of being and will cause tension and emotional turmoil. Time is better spent taking action on what you can control rather than spending time thinking about the way things should be which can eventually lead you nowhere other than into neurosis. To continue your martial arts training with the principle of natural order, you must look to always be happy with your training and keep the enthusiasm and inspiration of a beginner.

Principles of Martial Arts Skill Development

Principles of Martial Arts Skill Development

These four principles of developing talent in martial arts will help you with your enjoyment and growth of both your martial arts practice and your daily life. You want to balance between the positive and negative aspects of life and practice nonresistance with whatever circumstances life will bring towards you. Do not get stressed if things do not happen fast enough for you and realise this is part of the natural order and instead embrace accommodation and work on the process of achieving small goes and make continued progress. You will use all these principles to transcend illusionary self-concepts, break down emotional obstacles and develop martial arts talent.

ReferenceMillman, D. (1979). The Warrior Athlete. Walpole, N.H.: Stillpoint Pub.

Learning How to Learn – Course Notes and Summary

Learning How to Learn – Course Notes and Summary

Focused vs. Diffused mode.

A Learning How To Learn Summary.

  • Our brain has two primary modes of learning. Focused and Diffused mode.
  • Focused mode moves through your brains neurological network as if it is following a familiar path. It can move step by step through your mind till you learn the new information.
  • Diffused mode runs through your brain in a more erratic motion. Diffused mode operates as if you need to draw upon many different parts of your brain and existing knowledge to help you understand the new insights.
  • Think of focused mode as like a spotlight with a single sharp focus of light and diffused mode as a floodlight that covers a much larger area.
  • Salvadore Dali had a creative output of surrealist art and talked about his method for thinking about what to paint. He would lie on a chair with a key in his hand and gently start drifting off to sleep while thinking about his desired topic. As he would fall asleep, he would drop the key on the ground, and the noise would wake him. He would then get up and take his gathered thoughts and go paint. This is often described as a hypnogogic nap.
  • The routine Dali practiced was him going from a diffused mode of thinking until he would go and paint at which point he would become focused.
  • Thomas Edison would have a creative output of many rational inventions, but he also spoke about using a similar technique. He would instead hold onto ball bearings. The process was the same for him as he would gather knowledge in a diffused mode then wake and act on it in a focused manner.
  • You do have to build a neural scaffold to gather new knowledge and grow your capability to learn. Think of it as similar to weightlifting where you will require daily practice while slowly increasing the weight to build up your mental muscles.

The Brain

Learning How To Learn Summary
  • The brain is the most complex system in the known universe. With far more capability of the worlds fastest computers. But we are not conscious of the way the brain works with most of the heavy lifting taking place in the subconscious. Your brain is active even when resting.
  • An old view of the brain suggested that the patterns of synapses would not change much once the brain matured. But we now know that new synapses can always be formed, and others are lost.
  • Synapses are the 20th the size of a human hair.
  • New synapses formare formed when you sleep, so you wake up with a different brain than when you went to sleep. “Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleeve of care,
    The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath,
    Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
    Chief nourisher in life’s feast,” – Shakespeare
  • Practice will help strengthen neural connections in the process of learning.
  • Math and science use symbols that have no emotion attached to them and are not analogous to anything in nature so they will need to be practiced more.
  • A thought pattern is when neurons become linked through repeated use. The more abstract the ideas are, the more, you will need to repeat them through practice. Practice makes permanent!
  • When you first understand something, a faint neural pattern is created. But as you practice further you will deepen a neural model.
  • When you are learning, you want to study something intensely and focused and then take a break. During the break, your brain will be in a diffused mode, and your “neural mortar will be able to dry”.  Similar to physical exercise the growth takes place during the rest periods.
  • Scientists believe we have two major memory systems, Long-term memory, and Working Memory, you can bring long-term memories into your working memory so you can think about it.
  • Working memory is the part of memory that controls what you are immediately working on and processing in your mind.
  • Researchers now widely believe working memory only holds four chunks of information. We automatically group information into chunks, so it seems larger that it is. Working memory can be considered like a blackboard.
  • This is why your may repeat a memory to help remember it to stop other items invading the four chunks you have available.
  • Long term memorys are more like a warehouse and are stored in different areas of the brain. The long term memory has room for billions of items.
  • Long term memory is important because it is where you store new techniques you are learning. Everything you learn will first be entered into your working memory and to transfer it to your long-term memory will take time and effort.
  • You can make the transfer with a technique called “Space repetition,” this method involves repeating what you are trying to retain but spacing it out over several days.
  • Research has shown that trying to learn something by repeating it several times in an evening it will not be nearly as efficient as doing it less time but over multiple days. This is the same function as “letting your neural mortar dry”.
  • Simply being awake creates toxic products in your brain, when you sleep your brain cells shrink and decrease the space between your brain cells that allows fluid to flow past and wash these toxins clean. Sleep helps you keep your mind clean and healthy.
  • Sleep helps you think clearly, getting too little sleep makes you do worse on tests and perform poorly and sleep deprivation over a long time causes many health issues.
  • Sleep is essential to the memory and learning process. During sleep your brain tidy up the ideas and concepts, you are learning and erases the less important parts of memory you are trying to remember.
  • Sleep helps reinforce the neural patterns that you are working to develop. It has also been shown to help with deeper problem solving. This diffused mode of problem solving has to be activated by doing focused style learning first.
  • This process allows your brain to go over tougher aspects and talk to all areas of itself to help with problems you are attempting to solve.
  • To help learn you want to surround yourself with a stimulating environment and people, but if you cannot do this, then you can get the same benefit from exercise.
  • Aerobic Exercise for New Brain Cells and Cognitive Performance:


  • When you first look at a new concept, it is where you unite scrambled information into one piece through giving it meaning. It is the opposite of mere memorization. By chunking, you can then see how the information relates to other items and subjects.
  • Chunking is like taking many computer files and turning them into a single zip file.
  • The concept of chunks pertain to academic information but is also in sports and music or any other skill that can be learned.
  • Learning a song on a guitar can be considered a large chunk, it involves listening, watching and acting. Grasping a song you may need to break it up into mini chunks of the song and learning certain parts of the song first and then piecing it all together. Piecing all the mini chunks together into a larger chunk is the process of chunking. This process can be applied to sports when learning certain techniques.
  • Building your ability to comprehend an entire chunk can be considered as building your cognitive muscles and load.
  • It is important to look at how individual chunks connect between steps and not entirely on why a particular chunk works.  It is not just memorization of chunks but understanding why and how the chunks can connect.
  • Focused Attention: When you first begin to learn a technique you create new neural patterns that connect with existing neural patterns, This requires your focus so that your brain is not having its attention divided.
  • Understanding: Understanding the information you are attempting to chunk is also crucial, you can focus and use your focused and diffused modes to get the gist or vibe of the idea. You can still create a chunk if you don’t understand but it can often have a problem fitting into other chunks. Also, just because you can grasp an idea does not immediately lead to expertise, a review is still required.
  • Practice: Learning a chunk will also require understanding the context of the chunk, so you know when to use it and when not to use it and how it fits into the bigger picture. Practice will help you broaden the neurons connected to your chunk.
  • Learning takes place in 2 ways, the bottom up chunking process and the top down big picture process. Both of these are critical to gaining mastery.
  • Recall: Simply re-reading knowledge is not as useful as looking away after reading and attempting to see as much as you can recall. Retrieving knowledge is not just a mindless robotic process, but the recall process helps build neural hooks that knowledge is hung upon. Remembering material when you are outside your usual place of study will also help you prepare for taking tests which will be in an unfamiliar room.
  • The illusion of Competence: Merely glancing at a solution and thinking you know it yourself. You have to have the information living in your memory to be able to recall it later. For instance just highlighting text can mislead you into thinking you have learned and stored the information in your brain. Instead, create notes in a margin that synthesize ideas.
  • Motivation is essential to learning. If you are not motivated about a topic, it is a lot harder to learn.
  • Most of the neurons in your cortex carry information about what is happening around you; it will send information not about the content of what you are learning but the importance of it to you.
  • Acetylcholine, Dopamine, and Serotonin are neuromodulators that control how neurons respond to other neurons.
  •  Acetylcholine: neurons form connections that are necessary for focused learning.
  • Dopamine: Our motivation is controlled by dopamine. This helps reward learning and also affects decision making. Dopamine predicts future and immediate rewards so it motivates you to do something that may not be an immediate reward but lead to a long term reward.
  • The ability to combine chunks of information is a skill that many top innovators practice and master. Bill Gates would set aside a week of reading to help build different chunks of information in his mind.
  • Musicians, linguists and scientist can each access large amounts of information in their field. Chunking is not all you need, but it is crucial.
  • It can help understanding different fields as when you know one chunk it can help you understand other chunked concepts in a different field. This process is called Transfer.
  • A chunk is a process of compressing a lot of information to the most compact form. When you have many chunks of information, your diffused mode of learning can help you connect different chunks of information.
  • You can imagine chunks as being pieces of a puzzle that you are putting together.
  • The bigger your library of chunks you have you will be able to see patterns between chunks and find solutions.
  • You have two ways to solve problems, and these are Sequential (step by step) and Holistic (intuition). Most difficult problems are grasped through intuition, it works in diffused mode, because they are normal with topics that are unfamiliar.
  • Law of serendipity: Fortune favors the brave. Only focus on whatever subject you are studying and if you concentrate on the first concept, the following ideas will be a bit easier to understand.
  • Overlearning: This is when you continue to examine something after you master it. This can be valuable in practices that involve automaticity.
  • Be careful of overlearning in a single session. Once you have a concept down in a single session, you do not reap any benefits by going over and over the idea. Instead, use a subsequent study session.
  • Repeating something over and over that you have already mastered can create an illusion of competence on a given area. Instead, continue to focus on areas you do not completely understand with deliberate practice.
  • Einstellung: This is a concept where you have an initial thought, or pre-existing neural pattern may prevent a better idea from being found.  This is a sort of rut that prevents your brain from going to a new area where a solution may be found. It is a mental roadblock.
  • You sometimes have to unlearn old approaches to learning new ones.
  • Mastering a new subject involves not only learning basic chunks but how to select and use them. Learning basic chunks can be practiced by alternating between different problems that require different methods of solution. This process is called Interleaving.
  • Interleaving is what builds flexibility and creativity as it leaves the realm of repetition. If you interleave between different subjects and discipline, you can weave your different knowledge chunks together.
  • There is a tradeoff here of becoming a specialist to a jack of all trades. The specialist may be more susceptible to Einstellung but learning many disciplines may not allow you to go as deep in one area.
  • Different areas of knowledge do not have to be strictly academic areas of learning.
  • Chunks are pieces of information that are bound together via use and meaning. They compactly store essential ideas. They can get bigger and complex and are built with focus, attention, understanding and practice. This simple recall is an excellent way to help to learn Chunks.
  •  Changing your environment when learning the same ideas will help you be able to chunk ideas and recall in many areas.


  • Building stable long term memory takes time, and you cannot put off until the last minute.
  • Real learning takes time and cannot be done by simply cramming information. That is why you need to avoid procrastination.
  • We procrastinate about things that make us feel uncomfortable; you shift focus to something more enjoyable which gives you a temporary feeling of happiness but can cause long term unhappiness.
  • Procrastination is a bad habit that can influence many different areas in your life.
  • Consider procrastination like poison. It is deadly to you, but you can build up a tolerance by ingesting small doses of it.
  • Four parts of a habit: Habits can be good, bad or neutral. They can have four parts, The cue that launches the trigger. The routine, habitual response that you will fall into after you receive the prompt. The reward you receive from going through with the routine that helps form and cements your habit. The belief in habits gives them power, to change a habit you need to change your underlying conviction.
  • The journey, not the destination: Focus on the process, not the product. Focus on spending the time working, not what will be produced at the end of the time which you may consider unpleasant and cause procrastination.
  • Changing your habit: The only place you need to focus your willpower on changing a habit is to change your reaction to the cue. Recognise your cues and what launch you into your procrastination habit. They usually fall into four categories, location, time, how you feel and reactions.  The routine is where you must actively rewire your habit, to do this you must make a plan for what to do next time you notice your cue has triggered your habit.  You will need to find out what your reward is for your habit and see what it is and what it can be substituted for that is beneficial. You will need also to change your belief system and believe that your plan to change your habits will work.
  • Life and learning: Once a week write a list of essential tasks in a journal. Then write a daily “to do” that you can easily work on. Write your daily “to do” the night before, so your subconscious can work on the topics.
  • Plan your day, especially your quitting time! Break times are also important to have planned. Eat your frogs in the morning, tackle your most difficult tasks first, so you do not procrastinate them all day.
  • Learning and tackling procrastination has to be done bit by bit like building a wall or weight lifting for muscle. Commit yourself to a routine each day.


  • Human brains have a superior visual memory system. We can look to tap into this visual memory system to help us remember non-visual memories by associating them with an image. We can enhance this further by association the sounds and feel that the image creates. The more memorable of a picture that we associate with a chunk of information they more vividly we will be able to remember it.
  • This visual image still needs to be repeated to help form the neural connections. Handwriting ideas appear to help establish the neural connections the best.
  • You can use flash cards to write down ideas with associated images and feelings, Then shuffle the cards to help interleave these memories into place. Take breaks and re-look at the flash cards at different intervals.
  • I good online flashcard system is
  • Whenever you recall a memory, it changes through a process called reconsolidation. AS we learn new things our old memories also change. This is why it is best to space learning over time than to cram and mass in a short period.
  • Memory Palace Technique: Creating meaningful groups of words and images is a powerful key to remembrance. Using the first letters of each word and creating a sentence with these is a classic memory technique. The memory palace technique involves creating or recalling a familiar physical layout like your house or a castle. This memory of a physical place becomes your memory palace. Add things you want to remember to your image of the house or palace, so you create a familiar memory of the palace and add additional memory withing the different rooms. and Method of Loci.
  • Creating a disciplined system to learn your memory is crucial in building a superior learning system.

Unlocking Your Potential

  • The best way to grow new neurons to help your learning is through physical exercise. It is by far more efficient than any drug on the market to help you learn; it is important for schools to have P.E and recess as this contributes to the learning process.
  • One of the best techniques you can use to remember ideas is creating a visual image, metaphor or analogy that associates this idea.
  • Being able to use your mind’s eye and visualize has been responsible for many breakthroughs in both art and science.
  • We can learn physical actions by repetition to create muscle memory. But chess masters, surgeons, and fighter pilots have to make complex decisions in split seconds, so they have to shut down their conscious and go by intuition.  AS an idea you are already holding in mind (Einstellung) can block new thoughts.
  • Deliberate practice on the hardest parts of a problem will help build your mental muscles to rival anyone who is naturally gifted.
  • The imposter syndrome: Even if you are highly proficient in a topic you feel like you are getting lucky or that you will be found out as a fraud. This feeling happens to a lot of people. More on Imposter Syndrome.
  • Perseverance can outwork talent if you free yourself from cognitive bias.
  • Teamwork: The best way to catch your blind spots and prevent yourself from fooling yourself is to brainstorm and collaboration with other people who have knowledge of the subject. If you work on your own, you can lead yourself to believe you have a much higher level of competence than you possess.
  • A checklist for tests: Test taking is a powerful learning experience, you retain far more information from taking test and practice testing than from merely studying. The following questions are used to quantify if you have done all you can before taking a test. Did you make a serious effort to understand the text? Did you work with classmates to check solutions? Did you outline every test solution? Did you actively participate in active group discussion? Did you consult with tutors if you didn’t understand something? Did you carefully go through a study guide?
  • Test taking tips: Common knowledge suggests that when taking a test you should first work on the easier problems then move on to the harder problems. Science suggests the best way is to start with the harder problems first, and if you spend a minute and get stuck on this issue then stop and switch to an easier question, this allows your diffused mode of thinking to work and you can go back to the hard problem again.
  • To calm yourself if you are stressed in a test you should place your hand on your chest and breath deeply. If you practice this test into the weeks before the test, then you will be able to call upon this technique to relax much easier.  Also, try consciously relaxing your tongue, cover up the answers to multiple choice questions and try to recall the information, face your fears, the day before a test have a final quick look at the material, but you will need all your brainpower the next day so do not use it before hand.
  • Teaching ideas to others will help them strengthen and resonate in your mind.

Learning How To Learn Summary of Course Located Here.

An Introduction To Strategic Thinking

An Introduction To Strategic Thinking

An introduction to strategic thinking
An introduction to strategic thinking
  • Strategy and strategic thinking have their origins in ancient warfare.
  • Strategic thinking also puts emphasis on the future and how we talk about and maneuver in the future.
  • A more general view of strategic thinking is that it is about knowing. This gets complicated when you consider the nature of the future is unknowable so to understand strategic thinking we will need to understand the many different ways it means to know something.
  • This relates to the question of “modes of knowing” or “modes of thought” that philosophers have studied for a long time.

Game Theory AS AN INTRODUCTION TO Strategic Thinking

  • Strategic thinking is used in a setting where the outcomes depend not only on your actions but also the actions of others.
  • Game theory cannot tell you what your goals in life should be. But once you know what your goals are then perhaps game theory can help you reach them
  • Play “The grade game“.
  • Do not play a strictly dominated strategy because instead if you play the strategy that dominates it you will do better in any case.
  • Rational choice can lead to outcomes that are inefficient. A great example of this is “The prisoners dilemma”.
  • “You can’t get what you want unless you know what you want”. As a piece of logic, this is false but as a strategy this works.
  • The essence of strategic thinking is the ability to out yourself in you opponents shoes, workout what their payoffs are and try to figure out what they will do.

Economists at the University of Dayton and Texas A&M released a study called “Aggression in Mixed Martial Arts: An Analysis of the Likelihood of Winning a Decision.”

  • This study looked at fight metric data and concluded that a fighter that throws more overall strikes is more likely to win a judge’s decision regardless of if the strikes land.

Strategy as Scenarios and Futures

  • The real voyage of discovery comes in not seeking new landscapes but in seeking new eyes – Marcel Proust
  • The seeds of the future are in the present we just have to be able to see them.
  • “The art of the long view.”
  • When we.make decisions about the future, we are operating on a mental map of how the world works The quality on these decisions will depend on the quality of the map.
  • If you get your facts wrong y9ou get your map wrong, if you get your map wrong, you do the wrong thing.
  • Once you believe a mental map, it is very hard to change. The strategy will involve being able to think differently.
  • You have to understand the interplay between what you want to accomplish and what the world will allow.
  • What we tend to do is take one model of the world and vary it slightly to give us our range of possibilities. But we need to use multiple models to get our variance.
  • To see the big changes, it is insufficient to take one view of the world and only vary it slightly.
  • This has to do with changing how we think. We often have over confidence, think from the inside out, not see the whole story, frame the questions wrong.
  • If you haven’t thought about you are unlikely to see it in time.

Plotting your STRATEGIC THINKING scenarios

  • Scenarios are not predictions or strategies. They are imagined alternative futures in which your decisions could play out in.
  • The should be designed to highlight different risks, opportunities and threats that face your strategic issue.
  • Scenarios need to be written in an engaging narrative style, well constructed and believable plots so that that the people reading them will become deeply involved and then will make better attempts to understand them.

Finding a few plots

  • You want to create a team of people who have thorough knowledge of the situation but come from as diverse a background and skill fields as possible. People with different intellectual disciplines and cultures so you have the widest range of perspectives as possible.
  • Getting the widest range of perspective is the key to success and the exclusion of unorthodox thinkers is the key to failure.

Decision Focus

  • You then need to identify the key decision that needs to be made and develop a deep understanding of questions to ask about it.
  • Keep your time frame in mind. Your questions can change over time.
  • Not all scenarios have to be decision focused and can be more general, but you will still need to develop relevant questions in the same way.

Brainstorming a list of key factors

  • Make sure no idea is immediately dismissed.
  • Try to identify driving forces and trends.
  • You five general categories of external forces are technological, social, environmental, political and economic.

Distinguishing Predetermined Elements from uncertainties.

  • You must identify what trends are inevitable and are not likely to change. These will be trends in each of your scenarios.
  • Uncertain trends or factors must also be identified. You must look at how uncertain you may be about this factor and also how important this factor will be.

Identifying a few scenario logics.

  • Figuring out which trends and forces are the most important will take extensive discussion.
  • Two possible methods for figuring out the basic ideas for a small number of scenarios are inductive and deductive.
  • Inductive is less structured and involves a lot of free-flowing group discussion to reach a conclusion.
  • The deductive approach uses simple techniques to create a 2 x 2 matrix of the two most critical uncertainties.

The Inductive approach

  • This has two variants. One is called emblematic events and the other is called the official  future.
  • In emblematic events you will come up with events that are typical of different scenarios, You will build up scenarios from single plot points.
  • In the official future, you come up with a vision of the future with very little surprising changes taking place. Then brainstorm variations of the official future with unexpected changes taking place.

The deductive approach

  • With the deductive approach you want to get a priority of all your factors and trends and then work out what the two most critical uncertainties are.
  • One you have your two most critical forces you set these up in a 2×2 matrix. Using a matrix assures that your scenarios are different in a logical way and that the most important factors are included in all scenarios,

Fleshing out scenario plots.

  • There is no single correct way to flesh out a scenario plot.
  • Just predicting change will not be enough you have to consider the reactions to that change.
  • Systems thinking is useful for deepening the plots. Narrative development is good for lengthening the plots into stories. Characters are good for populating the scenario.
  • Systems thinking: Instead of just focusing on the individual events in a plot point you look at the underlying systems that cause these events to happen. The mechanisms and patterns behind events can be more beneficial to understand than just the event itself.
  • Building Narratives: This is fleshing out your scenario with a beginning, middle and end. It is giving the story behind how your plot points will likely weave together over the time period in your scenario.
  • Characters: While you want to avoid building your entire plot around aj 9ndividual characters living in your scenario are great ways into convey your plot and the importance of you events

Typical Plots

  • You want all your plots to be different yet remain relevant to your central question.
  • Effective plots make people rethink their assumptions about the future.
  • Winners and losers: A common plot point that see the scenario as a zero sum game. This sees the plot as being a conflict between two forces.
  • Crisis and Response: A challenge will arise in your plot and adaptation to the challenges will either be met or not met. If adaption is met then a new set of challenges or a new situation with winners and losers may arise.
  • Good News/ Bad News: Make sure to include both good and bad elements in your future scenarios,
  • Evolutionary Change: Taking its cues from biological evolution the idea is that change will occur in all systems over time.
  • Revolution: A sudden erupt overhall and change of circumstances in the plot.
  • Tectonic Change: Deep structural chnges which will produce massive resuolts. Like the moving of tectonic plates causing an earthquake.
  • Cycles:  Looking at the tming and rythem and the cycles which all factors move in.
  • Infinite possibility: he best case scenario where infinite growth wsill occour.
  • The lone ranger; a David vs goliath story where you pit yourself against the rest of the world,
  • Generations:  Takes into account the new generations born and generational changes between them.
  • Perpetual Transitions:  Looks as change to be infinite and continuous but that adaption wiool not be uniform.

Wild Cards

  • As the name suggests these are surprises that can completely overhaul the scenario. Like a natural disaster.
  • If you construct a four scenario matrix you may want to add a fith scenario with an out of the box wildcard scenario.

Tips for scenarios

  • Do not simply design a high, middle and low case for your scenarios. Expand upoAn the question further.
  • Avoid just designing a most likley cenario. The idea is to look at the scenario from as many viewpoints as possible.
  • Avoid making too many scenarios You can get caught in a trap of just making too many small variations on a theme. Workout your biggest priority’s and build complex scenarios around those,
  • Name your scenarios something memorable and catchy. This will help sell your ideas and get people to invest time into them.

Winning in an Uncertain Future through Scenario Planning

Thinking about Stories and Metaphors

  • Metaphors allow us to percieve the world in different ways which will help us to think strategically.


Metaphor and Design

The Magic of Metaphor: What Children’s Minds Reveal about the Evolution of the Imagination

I hope you enjoyed An introduction to strategic thinking!

Sonny Brown

Self Made Wealth by Eben Pagan – SummarY & Notes

Self Made Wealth by Eben Pagan – SummarY & Notes

The things that you need to do to create wealth for yourself in your life are counterintuitive.

Principles of Self Made Wealth

  • We are wired for a time that do doesn’t exist anymore. The concept of “Wealth” is a brand new invention, evolutionarily speaking. Another recent invention is planning for a long-term future.
  • We are not naturally wired to deal very well with money. We have an unhealthy emotional relationship with money. We have bad cultural and societal programming when it comes to money.
  • The Money isn’t the wealth; it is just the medium we use to exchange the value of one asset to another. Money isn’t real, so we screw up when we try to get it and use it.
  • We have poor habits with money. We use cash unconsciously. We make spending decisions at the moment. Using the money, costs you money.
  • Wealthy people buy and invest in assets; poor people invest in liabilities. Wealthy people invest in assets. Wealthy people invest in knowledge. Wealthy people invest in relationships. Money is not an asset. Money is not the wealth.
  • Borrowing money is the ultimate trap.The modern indentured servant program is not the way to create wealth
Self Made Wealth Notes an Summary

Becoming a Financial Adult

FIAT Currency: Currency or money that is not backed by anything. Invented by a criminal named John Law.

DEBT: We went from using debt as a tool to now basing our whole financial system on it. Debt does not serve us.

CONSUMERISM: Ideas such as “Buy things to express yourself, get attention, make yourself feel good”, but it does not work.

ENTITLEMENT: The modern business model is now a job. The old paradigm of an entitlement of job for life, pension and retirement is no longer. We will have to turn ourselves into someone valuable that other will seek out. On average most people spend more money per year than they make. This is unsustainable. We have become a wants to be based culture. We buy things, so people think we are cool, whereas we used to only buy things we needed to sustain us. We have been behaving like spoiled financial teenagers, and it is time to become fiscal adults.

Spending vs. Investing

  • When you spend money, you are buying liabilities, things that have no long-term value.
  • When you invest in something, you are taking your money and trading it for something that has lots of intrinsic values and goes up over time.

Assets vs. Liabilities

  • An asset is something that has intrinsic value, over time its values also grow, and it will throw off cash flow and other value.
  • A liability does not have intrinsic value and will go down over time and can consume more of your money time and energy.

How to invest your money is usually counter-intuitive, the obvious thing is to spend.

Needs vs. Wants

  • You will have an intuitive compass to know if something is a Need or a Want.

If you want to build real wealth, then you must first make a switch to buying things based on wants to needs.

WEALTH MANTRA: I invest in only what I need.

Creating a wealth game that you can win:

  • “The story of how we arrived at our current picture of the universe is the story of understanding how we see” – Stephen Hawking
  • “The human brain sees thing that are most familiar to it” – Gregory Burns (Book: Iconoclast)
  • Our mental model of reality is our reality.
  • It’s not your fault that you were never taught how to handle money, to think about money or to have financial literacy on how to build wealth over time BUT it is 100 percent your responsibility how what I know about money and wealth and how I behave around money and wealth.
  • It is not my fault I was not taught the way things work, but it is my responsibility to work it out now.
  • Creating Wealth: You are creating new value and its assets that are creating value and its long term.
  • It is harder to keep wealth than it is to make it. Once you come up with a system to create wealth, you then need to come up with a system to keep it.
  • Using money prevents us from understanding money. Because we are using money every day, it prevents us from seeing its true, complete nature.
  • The game of using “money as the value” is fixed against us, and we cannot win if we do not understand this.

Create your reality:

  • Money: Is money a cause or an effect? Most people see money as a cause (I need money before I can cause anything to happen), wealthy people see it as an effect or as a side effect of creating value.
  • Wealthy people do not have the paradigm of running a scam for your ship to come in, and then sitting on the beach and doing nothing the rest of your life. They want to work continually to increase the value because it is something they enjoy.
  • Get rich quick schemes never get anyone rich.
  • In modern times, the best investment is in education, skills and relationships. Knowledge is the new currency.
  • The more “stuff” you own, the less success you can enjoy. Because the more management hassle you have.
  • The more contributions I make to the world and other people the more I will be personally satisfied.
  • The more I say no, the more successful I become. Don’t spread yourself too thin, instead focus like a laser beam. It is also good to build your personal boundary.
  • We do not live in a world of scarce resources, because of innovation and creation of value we live in a world of abundance. Get into the creation of value rather than extract value.
  • Wealthy people are not trying to impress everyone.
  • Don’t look down on what you have. Look for what you have and be appreciative and grateful. This will free up allot of energy to focus on creating your reality and creating value for others.
  • We can create success for ourselves, and anyone can do it through the power of the mastermind group.

Taking control of your self-image and seeing yourself as a creator of wealth:

  • Identification: When humans identify with an idea or a concept we actually at a level in our minds cannot tell the difference anymore between the ideas and ourselves. If we identify with a group or ideology, we begin to identify at a very deep level that our self and the group or ideology are the very same thing. This is also true for physical items like a car. People will see an idea and themselves as the same thing.
  • Looking at things in a frozen or static way robs our minds of a chance to involve.
  • NLP – Denomilization : Is where you take a process of taking a freezing of something “this is the way it is” to something flowing “this is the way is is evolving”.
  • Avoid saying things like “I am” or “it is”.
  • We can change our story. We can change our mythology. We can construct a self-image that can continuously evolve over time.
  • New “Money Maps”:
  • We live in a world of unlimited, abundant resources, all we have to do is to learn to create value for other people.
  • We live in a world and a universe of unlimited opportunity.
  • I will be a constantly evolving creator of value. I can change my beliefs and self-image and will use that power to create value for others.
  • Do what you know is right.
  • I will be a creator of value.
  • What does the other person think is valuable so I can bring it to them.
  • A flowing creating evolving creator of value.

The beliefs of wealth, using your mind to change your mind:

  • Money isn’t wealth. Money can be turned into wealth and wealth can be turned into money.
  • Modern Miracle: We can change our beliefs.
  • The first type of goal: Achievement orientated goal that is external. e.g. I want to make a million dollars, or I want to buy this car.
  • Another type of goal: Mastery goal. e.g. learning how to do something or mastering a particular skill.
  • Focus less on achievement goals and concentrate more on mastery goals.
  • The first skill we want to master is the skill of creating value for others in all situations. Once you have mastered this, you can then figure out how to turn that into wealth.
  • The concept of failure is imaginary.
  • The notions of “Problem” and “Failure” are two of the most limiting concepts that we humans have created.
  • You can eliminate any failure or problem in your life by learning from it.
  • “Problems” and “Failures” are just things that people made up.
  • Another level to think of money at is currency. It is a tool that allows us to make transactions very quickly.
  • Another level to think of Money at is capital.
  • Money is a tool. It is something you use to create value in the world.
  • As a general principle in life what you focus on expands. But when you focus on money it doesn’t expand, if you want money to grow you must concentrate on creating value for others.

The psychology of wealth prevention, how our emotions prevent us from becoming wealthy and what to do about it :

  • Crowd Psychology : Negative emotions inside one person directs them in a certain way but negative emotions inside a hole group of people affects the individual at a much deeper level.
  • My body and emotions are using my mind to get what they want.
  • We are all constantly in the middle of self-deception all the time, but this keeps us from going crazy if we where to perceive everything simultaneously we would not be able to handle it. But it can go too far.
  • “Humans have an infinite capacity for self-deception” – Tony Schwartz
  • “Self-deception covers its own tracks” – Daniel Goleman
  • Confabulation : People make up story’s about what happened always. My emotions will not only drive me to do irrational things
  • When you do something that is counter productive your mind will make up a reason as to why that happened and you will confabulate a whole story about why you are not responsible but this is just the self-deception that the mind uses to keep you safe and healthy gone wrong. We need to start noticing this and be aware of this mechanism and if we start noting it we can become more free of it and start using it to weave more positive story’s and about how we learned from experience.
  • We are making decisions at an unconscious level all the time. We make decisions unconsciously, it then lets out conscious mind know.
  • This decision making process is largely driven by our emotions which are driven by our programs.
  • Most of the decisions we make are made unconsciously, then filtered up to our  conscious mind and then we have the illusion that we are making the decision because we confabulate a story.
  • Secondary Pay Off: It is possible that the reason I do not have the financial success I would like is because of the secondary payoff of keeping myself poor.
  • The Story: Gets people to feel sorry for us, gets us pity, gets us to make excuses for not succeeding, Think the donkey from Winnie the Pooh, he gets allot of attention from complaining.
  • Not having to endure disapproval, ridicule and shame: If you start becoming more successful the people around you will start thinking “Whoa that’s weird” and will often criticise and disapprove.
  • What’s the payoff I am getting from keeping myself unsuccessful financially?
  • When humans are in the presence of an influencing factor, we automatically respond without having to think about it.
  • One of the weapons of influence is Reciprocity: “the old give and take”, if someone does something nice for us then we feel we have to do something nice for them. Even if it is not “equal”.
  • Authority: If we are in the presence of someone in authority we will automatically do what they say as they are the authority. (See Stanly Milgram experiments).
  • In western society the things that we are “triggered by” to spend our money on are created by other people and made up by large organisations after figuring out all these influence mechanisms to get humans to do what they want.
  • How do I control my emotions so that they affect my conscious mind, so I make the decisions that I want to make, so I do what I want to do automatically?
  • The justice mechanism will get in the way of financial success as to give away massive value you will have to do things that are unfair to yourself.

 Fear, the ultimate emotional block to creating wealth:

  • If you spend most of your life living in fear, you are going to find it very difficult to have any lasting wealth in your life.
  • “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take in life” – Wayne Gretsky
  • “I’ve missed over 9000 shots in my career, I’ve lost 300 games and on 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the winning shot for my team and I have missed, I have failed over and over in life, and that’s why I have succeeded” – Michael Jordan
  • To create big success in life, you have to overcome your fear and go for it.
  • What is fear? Emotions are kind of like channels that we put our mind and body on, if you are under the influence of one emotion, then it changes how you see the world, interpret it and react. How you would understand an event would be entirely different depending if you were in a state of ecstatic joy or fear.
  • The fear mechanism in biologically natural, but maybe in the modern age it is working at the wrong times, and what was meant to be the ultimate protector is now the ultimate prison.
  • Fear is expected to be brief.
  • Fear is meant to be a servant of intuition.
  • If you are feeling fear in your life, it is almost certain evidence that that thing you are feeling isn’t happening. When an emergency happens you are looking to escape, running, dealing with the moment, you are not feeling fear.
  • Simple binary model, higher self and lower self. We know when we are in our higher self when we are positive and know everything is going to be okay. When you are in your lower self, you are suffering fear and pessimism. When you are in your lower self you should not be making any important decisions, do not communicate anything important and do not take any significant actions. When you are in your higher self that is when you need to make important decisions, that is when you need to take decisive actions. When you are in your lower self, realise it, acknowledge it , don’t judge it and don’t act on fear.
  • Whenever you feel yourself going into your lower self, notice it, and then make it your top priority to get back to your higher self.
  • If you put apes in a zoo, they become lethargic, depressed and stop acting like themselves. We have voluntarily put ourselves in the human zoo.
  • It is now rare for humans to experience fear naturally, so we often look for an opportunity to feel fear e.g. scary movie’s, extreme sports, etc.
  • We have to wake up to the reality that we are allowing fear to dominate our lives and allowing anxiety to exist at a low level.
  • The general news is one of the most destructive forces we humans have invented. Nearly all news storeys are negative where in reality almost all experiences we will have are positive. It irrationally skews the perception of reality to that of negative experiences. It is not an accurate representation of reality. It gives excuses not to act, to feel like victims, etc.
  • Negative Gossip creates a feedback loop of negative emotions, fear and anxiety.
  • What is worry? Negative emotions combined with mental planning scenario about the future. When you are in a negative emotion and think about the future, you will think of a negative future. This will paint a negative future and put us into more fear.
  • The general news, gossip and worry all put us into fear. If we can eliminate these from our life, we can pull ourselves up into our higher self and start seeing the world in a more positive way.
  • The two side of fear: The most common concern in the modern world is the fear of failure. Another kind of fear is the fear of success.
  • If you become a success financially, what are some of the things that will happen that you fear? You must address these and notice them when they come up. Accept yourself, acknowledge it then make the decision. Take the responsibility, push through to success.
  • One type of financial fear is the fear of loss; another kind is one that prevents us from doing things for creating wealth.
  • Humans are bad investors. The amateur investor will hold onto a stock when it goes down because we are afraid of loss. Conversely when a stock starts to rise we sell it because we begin to make a bit of profit, and we sell it because we fear to lose that benefit. A professional investor does the opposite, if it starts to go down they sell the stock, if it begins to go up they hold onto it cause they know it could be one of the few that goes way up.
  • We do not want to have our fear stop us from doing something that creates value.
  • When something goes wrong when it is an absolute emergency it is very very very rare and even when it does happen it can typically wait an hour or two.
  • You have to overcome fear and the justice mechanism. You should not be afraid to give away your best ideas. You will never have enough time to implement all your many great ideas.
  • Don’t be afraid that you can’t create value. You can ALWAYS create more value.

Fear Deprogramming Steps:

  1. Don’t watch, read or pay attention to the general news.
  2. No more negative gossip. Build relationships with people that do not have the need to talk negatively about people in idle conversation. Cultivate relationships that speak positively of others be wary of people that speak negatively of others.
  3. Eliminate worry over finances. Stop worrying about finances and go create some value in the world. You are not going to make good decisions when you are worrying; you are not going to raise your self-esteem by worrying. Go create value and immediately do whatever it takes to get back to your higher self.

The difference between wealth and happiness and how to create both:

  • Why do we want wealth?
  • There is an enormous difference between wanting to get away from being poor and creating value and wealth.
  • The nature of happiness:
  • Happy is an emotion, the feeling that you get when something fortunate happens; it is real and possible but also temporary.
  • Happiness is the long term sense of being happy. But it is not physically possible to have long-term happiness. Because Happy is an emotion, and all emotions are temporary. So if you are chasing happiness, you will get very frustrated, as a human you just cannot experience one emotion all the time.
  • What we can have that is even better than happiness is fulfilment, and underlying feeling of success, it will still be punctuated by positive and negative emotions, but fulfilment the aim.
  • One of the keys to satisfaction is to realise it is not a temporary emotion. It is a combination of how you see the world, yourself and situations. Working on a process of improving yourself, achieving the “Flow state”, self-reliance, realising everything in the world will be OK.
  • The road to fulfilment is not through happiness or wealth.
  • To get to that real feeling of peace and satisfaction with life, you can’t get there through money, wealth, or emotions of feeling happy. If you try, it will keep you distracted and frustrated for a long time, and you will never get there.
  • One way to move towards fulfilment is to reduce and minimise our suffering as much as possible.
  • The difference between pain and suffering: Suffering is woven into life, is is a part of life. Pain is also a part of life and is woven into life. You cannot avoid pain in this world, it is part of life, but suffering is something else entirely.
  • The road to bliss involves detachment. Everything in this world is temporary, getting attached to things will lead to pain.
  • Pain x Resistance = Suffering
  • Pain is a part of life, but suffering is optional.
  • Reducing your created suffering is possibly the most powerful thing you can do to usher in fulfilment and satisfaction.
  • It is even possible for humans to create suffering from pain over things that have not even happened !!! Just relax, accept and flow with the events that happen! DO does not experience suffering in advance of pain. Be water!
  • Most of us prevent real fulfilment in our lives because we are creating massive suffering.
  • What humans have been forgetting lately in our modern culture, is that joy is built by doing things that are completely in contrary to consumerism. To create fulfilment we have to look at our natural gifts, form strong social bonds, improve ourselves from the inside, taking care of and teaching children, getting into shape,learning art and contributing to other people’s lives.
  • The consumerist lifestyle doesn’t work. You were born with everything you need to be fulfilled; you do not need to buy it.
  • If you bring a more peaceful, joyful and satisfied person to life, it will be easier to create wealth.
  • The paradox of choice: Two types of decision when buying something,  Maximising and Satisficing
  • Maximising: looking at every possible option, weighing up all the variables and looking at what the best choice would be and making the purchase.
  • Satisfying: Looking at what you want to get out of something, looking at the options and choosing something that meets our needs and are satisfied with it.
  • If you want to experience, allot of emotional pain and be unsatisfied then be a maximiser. Maximising is the road to dissatisfaction in life.
  • If you want to create more satisfaction, then develop the habit of satisficing. Find something that is a good fit for you, make choices based on your needs and not making sure that you universally get the best possible option out of every single thing available.
  • The Gap: We get an idea of what we think we would like , be it how much wealth, the perfect body, relationships, something that might not even be possible and then compare ourselves to it and then feel upset because we do not meet our unrealistic ideals.
  • The flip side of this is looking back to where we started and then looking at how much progress we have made. This will build self-esteem and self-worth and paves the way to more positive emotions.
  • How to get money, wealth and long-term satisfaction and fulfilment: The best way to get all of these things is to align your wealth goal with creating a better reality for other people and creating a better world in general.
  • You as an individual are just a tiny piece of the big picture, of the wealth equation.
  • The planet and our species will punish the attempt to get, control or consume all the resources from one’s good or power.
  • Align your vision for creating wealth and creating wealth for yourself with creating wealth for others and creating wealth for the world and creating a better world.
  • What is your vision for a better world?
  • The formula for creating fulfilment while creating wealth is aligning your vision for how the world can be better, generate wealth for the world, creating wealth for other people around you then creating wealth for yourself.
  • Once you align all these things and get clear on all of these then you drastically increase the chances of yourself becoming wealthy dramatically, you are contributing, your wealth becomes wealth for the world, your individual creation of wealth literally becomes a better future. That will give you an unyielding motivation.

Inner wealth creation and how inner wealth creates outer wealth:

  • “Every public victory is preceded by a private victory” – Stephen Covey
  • “It is crucial to learn how to accumulate wealth and assets over time” – Napoleon Hill
  • “Your external world is really like a printout of what you have going on in the inside” – Harv Ecker
  • “Thoughts are things” – Napoleon Hill
  • “We become what we think about” – The Strangest Secret
  • Integrity: A critical factor when it comes to creative value and wealth in your life.
  • Integrity is the alignment of your thoughts, your words and your actions.
  • “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to destroy it” – Warren Buffet
  • Financial Integrity: The wise use of value, money and assets over an extended period of time. The consistent creation of value over an extended period. A financial strategy that you commit to and stay the course on over a long period of time.
  • Receiving: The ability to be right here in the present moment as someone else is contributing something to your life. It’s the capacity to be present and fully receive without needing to explain, deflect it, make a joke about it, minimise it, push it aside or think now I owe you one. To stand in the present moment and completely receive the gift someone is giving you.
  • When you are not receiving then, you, are taking something away from the person who is trying to give to you.
  • What stops us from receiving? A feeling of deserving and a feeling like we do not have permission.
  • Deserving: Will feel like we don’t deserve this
  • Daily Affirmations: I give me permission to receive fully any gifts or contributions that are offered to me. I deserve all of the gifts and all the things that are contributed to my life, and, I receive them entirely.
  • The ability to receive teaches us the lesson of contribution. When we are receiving, it gives us the opportunity to contribute.
  • Start receiving thanks, truly start receiving when people say thanks. When you say “Your Welcome,” mean it genuinely, from the heart and heartfelt.
  • 6 Success Emotions: if you can create these and combine them at any time you need them they will make you an unstoppable force.
  • Desire: Desire is an emotion you can cultivate and build inside of yourself. Wealth creation is a  long term game, it requires persistence and desire is something that will help you stay in the game. “Burning desire for riches is critical if you want to create wealth” – Napoleon Hill. Focus on what it is you want to create, keep focusing on it and imagine it as if it was true. Every day you get up in the morning imagine the outcome you want, imagine it happening right now then going out into the world and making it happen, also before you go to sleep.
  • Responsibility: Most people walk through life not taking responsibility for what happens around them, always projecting the blame outside themselves, this is called the victim mindset. The better way is to take responsibility for everything that happens in your life. Say “I am responsible!”. The way to get this mature adult emotion of trust, say “I am responsible!”.
  • Commitment: “99% is hard as hell, but, 100% is easy”. If we are 99% committed, then there is always 1% of doubt in the background, but when we go to 100% commitment then the answer is always easy if we question if we are going to do it or not. Saying “I am going to figure this out, I am going to get this done.” say the words to yourself “I am going to figure this out, I am going to do whatever it takes.”.
  • Optimism: People who are consistent winners can manufacture their optimism. How do you create your optimism? Look at the future scenario you are looking to build, then look at all the challenges you are currently facing, then look at the challenges you are facing and re-see them as the causes for you getting to your future scenario. See the challenges you face as the reasons for your success.
  • Gratitude: Gratitude is appreciation. Start appreciating how wonderful I have it. Understand my position in life.
  • Faith: When you know your truth and, it is also the right thing for the world. It is something that only you can know. Only I can be the only one to have this knowing experience. Faith is built over time; its is something that is cultivated and developed over a long time. The more you find your truth, seek to understand and look for a better reality in the future and the more you know that you will grow and survive in the world. Having faith in your desire to create value that this is the path to lead you to your promise land.
  • By combining these six emotions, you will be unstoppable.
  • Quick Mindset: If I show up trying to “get something” from people generally they will brush me off, but if I am interested in helping their inner reality, to make them happier, give them more confidence, make them less confused you will be able to make incredible amounts of value.

Outer Game: Stopping self-sabotage, why habits are the key to creating long-term financial success:

Get rid of any ideas of “Get rich quick” schemes, generate wealth over time. “No matter how far down the wrong road you have gone, turn back” – Turkish proverb Top wealth prevention habits that work well:

  • Buying with credit cards or with debt.
  • Buying new cars.
  • Car payments.
  • Buying is rapidly depreciating assets.
  • Buying liabilities.
  • Impulse spending.
  • Fear based credit card accumulation.
  • Switch from a mindset of ” I’ll believe it when I see it “to “I’ll see it when I believe it”. Then turning to a reality of I am going to create it!
  • “Trust, but verify” – Ronald Reagan. Believe that you will create wealth for yourself, and then check that you are doing the things to create it.
  • Ask yourself the question how do I keep myself on track for 10, 20, 30 years.
  • We have to behave the way we want to believe and then get around others who behave the way we want to think so that they influence us.
  • When we have awareness what we need to do is take that focus to put things in place to create habits and rituals, so we do the new behaviours every single day.
  • The biggest habit of wealth prevention is the habit of “Instant Gratification”.  For instance “The goose and the golden eggs”, if you can delay gratification you will achieve more.
  • Life is hard if you live it the easy way and easy if you live it the hard way! Impulse control!
  • When the instance comes up when we feel we “need” to buy something, just experience it and don’ resist and don’t turn it into suffering. But don’t buy things on impulse, only buy things you plan to buy. On minor purchases wait at least 7 – 10 days, major purchases wait 30 days, really major purchases wait at least 3 – 6 months.
  • Avoid debt like the plague. Pretend debt is the black plague.
  • The more wealth you want to create in the future the more you need to accept and actualize the concept that you can survive on much less. In fact, you can thrive on much less.
  • Most of the things you think you need to buy you simply don’t need. Do not indulge your impulses on a whim.
  • Think about what happens if someone who eats junk food every day. They become unfit and unhealthy.
  • Habits that keep up poor: Buying consumables and rapidly depreciating assets. Consumable: Something you buy then uses and all the value has disappeared. Rapidly depreciating assets: New TV’s, anything that loses value quickly. Liabilities: something that will cost you more and more money over time, maintenance, upkeep, storage, etc.
  • Not only will you lose money on these things, but the real loss is that you did not put the money into a valuable asset.
  • Stop with the debt logic, looking at things in terms of monthly payments, something on sale / half price so you have to buy it now, if you use debt logic and think in monthly payments or thinking that you will pay it off later you have become deluded, it is purchasing insanity.
  • Always keep you monthly overhead down low and minimise as much as possible, ALWAYS.
  • Creating wealth is about creating habits e.g. keeping little amount of cash and credit cards around, not looking at online shops with credit card in hand and spending money on things you don’t need, pre choosing and selection of what you will eat how you will entertain yourself.
  • Fear and greed typically drive credit card accumulation. Impulse drives credit card use. Stop thinking in monthly payments. Stop retail therapy, celebrating by spending, stop debt logic.
  • Build positive habits!

Create Massive Value:

  • Stop Sabotaging – Create Massive Value – Accumulate Personal Assets – Accumulate those assets and turn them into long-term wealth.
  • Create value – Accumulate Assets – Build Wealth
  • Value – Assets – Wealth
  • The more you do this over time, the better you get at all three of these then they will all improve exponentially.
  • What is Value? One way to look at it is something that is 100% external, that only exists in others, so we have only created value if another person thinks it’s valuable.
  • What product or service can I create that will take away someone’s fear, anxiety or pain or will create happiness, joy or pleasure. Or something that they could buy or own that could do one of these things.
  • How to create knowledge or systems to help people get what they want and avoid what they don’t want?
  • There are assets, appreciating assets and even assets that through off an income stream.
  • Wealth is a balanced portfolio of several different assets, and we have allocated our assets into many different platforms that are rock solid and stable.
  • Focus not on where you are “sick” financially, concentrate on reaching your financial potential. Keep your sights set on reaching your wealth potential that will be way bigger than average.
  • How high is high? How far can I go? Always ask how you can create the most significant amount of value you possibly can. Do not focus on what you will get back in return, always concentrate on creating the maximum value you can in any situation.
  • There is a difference between “taking” unconsciously as part of the animal survival process and consciously “taking” as a way of life. Deliberately “taking” as a part of life will prevent you from creating value and overcoming your justice mechanism.
  • Move first from the “taking” paradigm to the “trading” model and then finally move to the level of just contributing value.
  • What helps you evolve is to see the problems at each level, for instance, to move from the “taking” paradigm you have to see how that mindset poisons you and how it is keeping you poor. The problems with the “trading” paradigm is that it is very inefficient always to make sure that everything is fair, it is a great energy waster, it prevents collaboration, it pits you against other people.
  • Find your gifts, find your talents and contribute, get on that path for life.
  • Forget about “How do I make money”, they are focused on themselves, the short term, survival, security, on getting, on taking. The wealthy person asks “how do i create value?” focusing on others and their needs, how do i create value and long-term value for them, then how do i take that value I get back turn it into assets and wealth.
  • Creation: Making or manifesting something that is new in some respect. Value is a process
  • I great question to always ask yourself is “What is a value?” and “what is value for other people?”.
  • What is the process of really creating value? What is the process of evaluating?
  • Entrepreneur: someone who creates value.
  • Intrapreneur: Being an entrepreneur inside a company structure.
  • Realise that you need to create at least ten times the value that you expect to be paid.
  • If you do not get paid, then you have learnt a lesson that is worth more than the money.
  • Expect to create ten times the amount of value for the money you expect.
  • Understand, get inside the heads, heart, emotions, hands and body’s of other people and create value from that space. Create value while you are thinking like the other person.
  • A common mistake is just to think what I like, what I want and then tell people you should like this. Make sure you understand what people want, get feedback of what people want get aligned with what they want and only then create value.
  • Also, Wealth and Assets only have value because other people appreciate them, so this is all about thinking from the other person perspective.
  • Profound lesson: The ultimate business skill and the ultimate value creation ability is compassion.
  • Compassion: Being pro-active with your empathy, being pro-active in seeking to understand what it’s like be another person then trying to alleviate suffering or create joy in their life. This is a skill that has to be learned and cultivated over your life.
  • Practice being pro-active with your empathy.
  • The distinction between value and veneer, the veneering of reality, we are now veneering everything, food, relationships, health. Cupcakes are like food veneer, a food-like substance that tastes good but has zero nutritional value. Think about what the media does with relationships, what society is doing with sex and sexuality, it is turning it into pornography which is the veneer and superficial part, emotions are now being gained by taking drugs that are the superficial way of achieving feelings without having to do any work, learning’s or personal growth that leads to getting to that feeling.
  • How did this happen? Our genetic wiring is tuned to the superficial as each of these aspects of life because the external parts used to mean there was some nutrition or meaning or reproduction.
  • If you don’t create real value, just veneer, people will find out, and you won’t be able to create long-term wealth. If you create stable products that build relationships with customers, then you will be able to build wealth. Do not confuse veneer with value.
  • To create we first must imitate, and then assimilate then we can finally innovate.
  • Imitate – Assimilate – Innovate
  • First we imitate what other people do, then we absorb and learn how people do it, then we can innovate and tweak and add things ourselves.
  • To create you must first stand on the shoulders of giants. Study the masters, see if you can understand it and assimilate it and only then go and try and create.
  • Learning to create value and creating value must be practised for years and decades.
  • Start noticing the emotion, physical and intellectual responses when you have value created for you or when you receive value.
  • Invest at least 20 – 30 percent of all your income in creating value for yourself. e.g. eating healthy, gym membership, relationship, do beautiful things for your relationship, education.
  • Create REAL value for others. The primary contexts in life where we create value and get value back in return that we turn into assets and wealth. For most it is a job, others it is starting your own business and for some it is investing. Pick the one that makes the most sense for you. If it is a job, learn your job and your company and ask what it would take to create massive value in that company. If it is your own company determine what it will take to create value in your industry. If you are going to invest become the genius investor in that area and know everything about it. Become masters of the domain of value creation we are in.
  • The personal value tipping point: When you go from trying to find places where you can find value to when you have people coming to you asking if you can create value for them. Finally, we become in demand where you have a line of people wanting you to work for them. You will start off trying to look for a job and get to people contacting you asking for you to create value for them.
  • Why do people not reach their personal value tipping point? You have to become an expert in something, this will take at the very least 5 – 10 years.
  • One of the tragedies of modern life is the extinguishing of apprentices and now instead of wanting to master something people want an instant quick fix.
  • Look at this as you becoming a craftsperson, striving to become a master, you will reach your personal value tipping point.
  • Our entire civilisation is going through a massive shift, we are going from valuing physical things to valuing intangible things, we are starting to value knowledge, joy and happiness. We all must learn to master knowledge, learning and teaching, learn and teach systems and skills. You have to keep educating yourself.
  • There are a few types of value creation that you need to do and need to master, but you will not get paid directly. These are Teaching, Coaching, Mentoring and “Fusion” / Fusing other people together.
  • We need to learn to teach information. When you learn something teach it to someone else as soon as possible, learn to explain things, use metaphors, etc.
  • We need to get to coach. Help someone develop some part of themselves, keep them on track.
  • We need to learn to mentor. Helping someone actualize who they are, to find their gifts and talents and develop them.
  • We need to learn “Fusion”. This is taking people and introducing them. Connect people on a daily basis, fuse them together and help them work together.
  • Look at other programs on how to do these particular skills.

Accumulating Personal Assets:

“The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary” – Thomas Jefferson If you want to build the security, the ability to help others and the power you have with wealth and avoid all the problems that come without having wealth then you need to build the assets to achieve it. Saying someone “Is rich but cheap” is like saying “Someone did an excellent job quitting their alcohol addiction, but they are boring because they won’t drink when we go out”. It is an incredible self-deception, it is like saying someone is incredibly accomplished yet not accomplished at all. We will have to go through incredible challenges to discipline ourselves. So if you see someone rich, but acting cheap, realise that is why they got to where they are, they have figured out how to overcome the temptation to spend money wildly. Spending is a behaviour that has to be managed; it is an addiction for most people that they do unconsciously. If you see someone who has overcome it blesses them! Assets (From Wikipedia): Assets are things of value that can be readily converted into cash. Ebens take: Assets are things that have real, sustainable, actual value. Wealthy people do not often want to convert things into cash because it loses value, you have to pay tax, pay the slippage fee. Wealthy people will often trade assets. The rich, the wealthy, they buy assets that have real sustainable value. The poor, they buy liabilities. The middle class buy liabilities thinking that they are buying assets. A quick tour of the history of money: FIAT currency, it essentially a currency that is not backed by anything, not gold or land, we just printed a bunch of it and trusted each other. The Roman coin “Denarius” was a silver coin that over time the actual amount of silver kept reducing. Now that money is paper this problem is worse, cause all they have to do is print more money. Alan Greenspan has said that FIAT currency is essentially robbing people of their wealth. Isn’t it odd that you give up your time to only be reimbursed a piece of paper or a number in your bank account? “It is well enough that people of the nation understand our monetary and banking system for if they did I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning” – Henry Ford In the 1700’s in France I guy called “John Law” created paper FIAT currency in the West. It turns out that John law was a criminal that used the scheme of printing paper money to his advantage, note that he invented the term “Millionaire”, he also said that “Money is not wealth” – John Law. He was essentially a great criminal mind. Frances currency eventually collapsed as most FIAT currency’s do, but everyone kind of adopted his system. In America, the Federal Reserve is neither federal nor a reserve, it is a private institution created by bankers. When the federal reserve creates the money they lend it to America; then the country has to pay interest on the money that they borrowed. The same people that own the federal reserve or created it own most of the banks, the banks then lend money out to the people. The system is mainly designed to filter up the value from the lower levels of the economy to the higher levels. Inflation is defined as the dilution of the money system. Banks create money themselves, it’s called “The Fractional Reserve system”, which means they only have to keep a fraction of the money that they owe in reserve. The ration is about 90%, so they can take $10 and lend out $90. This can even multiply as they can take that $90 and give that to another bank who can then lend out $900 based on that. Companies can do the same thing as FIAT currency and just issue more stock, split shares, etc.

So this is obviously a system that very savvy, powerful humans created and perfected over thousands of years with really their needs as the driving force behind this system. So don’t blindly trust that money or stock is value. There are power players that are using this system to their advantage, and if you want to play you have to learn the rules and play the way the winners play. To get control of money and use it as a tool, you have to depersonalise it. “Objectifying your demons robs them of their ability to control you” – Ken Wilbur A victim makes their oppressor into their god. If you identify with money, or any object or any form of value then you are controlled by it. But if you depersonalise it, see it as a tool and as a means to an end then you take control of it. In negotiation one of the most important strategies is to always be ready to walk away from any deal, “negotiate with one hand on the door”, so that you never seem needy or seem like you want something too much. It is the same thing with money, assets or wealth, you can’t get too excited if you gain some money or assets or lose them. You have to depersonalise it. You have to depersonalise money so you can get rid of most of it to turn it into assets and then you can depersonalise assets so you can distribute your value or wealth among your assets in a way that’s logical that has the highest chance of sustaining over a extended period.

Two Types of Assets

Inner assets: Skills, Experience and Knowledge External Assets: Soft assets (Intellectual property, brand image, trademarks) Hard assets (Real estate) You must learn how to think like a wealth builder. You must learn how to work on the process and systems of creating wealth and not just in them. This is objectifying things so you can control it. Work on your business not just in your business, if you solve a problem you don’t just solve it again and again, you create a system for solving it and teach it to other people. You can’t solve a problem on the same level of thinking that created it – Einstein The shift you have to make is from someone going to Vegas to game to becoming the casino. You have to depersonalise money, move above it, dis-identify with it, someone who sits outside it and uses the tools and has mastery over its elements. You earn gross, and you spend net.  Any business has overheads, a company doing $1million of abusiness may only be profiting 100 thousand. As a general rule of thumb inside any company, you have to make 5 – 10 times the sales that you expect to profit. This is where a job is good, as they will just give you your wage.

A good way to see this in your personal life is say you get paid $5000 a month, how much of that do you actually get a month, taxes are taken out, rent is taken out, etc. So this is earning gross and spending net. But humans like to think about earning gross and spending gross. When making purchasing decisions, we think about the gross we are earning and not the net. So earn gross and spend net. Most of us get paid in money, turn that money into an asset as soon as possible. Don’t spend it, don’t go buy a liability. Poor people never learn this strategy, poor people think the money is the asset. Money needs to be turned into real assets. While everyone trusts it and while we can readily convert it into assets, and then let’s do that. Put the money into assets that have real value, appreciate and put off cash flow. The wealthy keep their value in assets. Tangible real world assets: Real Estate: There are booms and busts. So if you are going to invest in this learn about it, learn the market, learn the trends and become an expert. Stock: There are booms and busts. So if you are going to invest in this learn about it, learn the market, learn the trends and become an expert. Precious Metals (Gold, Silver and Platinum): Money has been made out of these things for thousands of years, they have a lot of utility value. Collectables: Especially luxury collectables, stamps, cars, coins but remember they only have value as long as other people think they are valuable.

Financial Instrument: A bond, a mortgage. But again they are financial, they are money, so you only want to get into this if you understand them. A Business: Ebens favourite, one of the reasons he likes it is because he is in charge of the growth. With a business instead of taking money out, and paying tax, you can reinvest that money in your business you can write it off. You can end up paying a lot fewer taxes. The rule of thumb is to follow Warren Buffet and only invest in what you understand. The big mistake people make taking their money and giving it to some “investment expert” and not understanding the process. Warren Buffet would never give his money to someone and say “You figure it out”. He invests in a lot of furniture stores, Gillette razors, coca cola, things that he understands. Warren Buffet is reported to read 8 hours a day, and, his goal is to make one sound investment decision per year. Get the money, depersonalise it, use it as a tool, turn it into assets, understand the classes of assets, know and become an expert in 1 or more of these types of assets.

“The appreciating and cash flowing asset” – This is where you want to become an expert. IF you are investing in real estate, look for one that will appreciate. If you are looking at stock get one that pays dividends and grows. Same with business, one that produces and earns cash. Invest in assets that grow and cash flow! Soft assets: you as an individual are your best asset. Your Relationships, three key types of asset relationships. Network – All the people you know. “The strong power of weak ties”, “Its not you know it’s who you know” you don’t necessarily need to know them well.

Build a network! Mastermind – The small group of people that you meet with on a regular basis that are looking to grow wealth and assets over time. These are the people you share your growth plans and aspirations with.

Mentors – The super genius who will pull you up a level, help you see the flaws in you communication and other parts of your life and will also help you understand your talents and help you be the best you can be. You need to attract and cultivate these relationships.

Reputation – Your reputation is critical maintain. You want it as someone who keeps their word, someone who show up on time, someone who does what they say, someone who promises small and delivers large, someone who can is counted on. Your time, effort, energy and attention – Most of us don’t control these, but it is all you have got.

Cultivate the ability to focus on one thing for an extended period. It is harder to see the ability of soft assets, with hard assets you can know what you have got, but with soft assets think of compounding interest charts and visuals in mind, with exponential growth and remember that when you are accumulating soft assets. Some of these soft inner assets can be built through investment. Expertise can be constructed through the investment of education and experience.

Education can be gained through reading, seminars, programs and experience is what you learn from actually doing something, the best way to get experience is doing something with a master. You can also pay people for advice. Invest at least 10% of whatever you earn on expertise. Your expertise is really all you got, if you don’t have it you can’t size up an investment opportunity, you can’t attract people to your mastermind, you will not give off the appearance of value.

From now on the only types of people you will interact with is “Superstars”. When you start interacting, you will notice some people get it, and some people don’t. Surround yourself with only the people that get it. A “Superstar” is only the top 1%. This can also be applied to a company. You can find a superstar company with superstar people working inside of it. The only network with superstars, if you are in business only hire superstars. Talk to people and ask them what their aspirations are and only put them on your system. Superstars know and worth with other stars, but you have to ask them. Superstars get the whole value exchange thing, if you create value for them, they will create value for you. So what do you have to do to attract superstars? YOU HAVE TO BECOME A SUPERSTAR.

You have to have integrity, you have to become a driver, deliver results, make and meet commitments to other people, show people you are willing to take risk, take personal responsibility and not make excuses. As people become more and more successful in life they are looking for referrals. They are more looking for people they trust, they are unlikely to use the phone books, so as someone that creates fusion with others, your priority when you meet a superstar is to introduce them to someone else who can synergies and create value with them. On average you should be introducing at least one person to another person per day. The best way to create fusions is you connect people with something special, you connect them through something where their realities are the same, so if you are connecting someone who is looking for a job and someone who owns a business, don’t just tell one about the other in reference to the job and business. Connect them on the basis of something special as they have the same tastes in music. If you develop this skill, it will pay off exponentially over time.

Build Long Term Wealth:

  • Meditation for this session: Money follows the action. The value follows the action. Assets support action. Wealth follows the action.
  • Wealth exists on three different levels, the physical, emotional and mental level.
  • What is wealth in the ultimate sense? One way to look at it is freedom, freedom to be who we want to be, freedom to do what we want, freedom to help people.
  • “Wealth consciousness”: Think that money is abundant, it’s easy to get and safe for you.
  • “There is a lot more money than their is deals” – More people are looking to invest. Wealth and money are abundant. There are so many people out there, so much richness, so much money that it is all in abundance.
  • We must pursue excellence and hone our craft and become the best we possibly can with our gifts.
  • We live in the most abundant time in the history of the world. All we need to do is go out there and create massive value, and then once the money and worth start flowing to us, we convert that to assets and wealth.
  • Build the relationships and go deep and go long term.
  • New Frames:
  • Building wealth is a project just like any other.
  • Most people cannot do it because they cannot overcome their inner animal, their need for instant gratification, the ability to stick to it and persist

Wealthy people realise that all you need to do is do the same things to build wealth every single day. The bottom line is to build wealth as a project in your life.

  • This is very possibleit too.
  • 1 in 50 people is a millionaire, and you can do it to.
  • Wealth building is a project.
  • We have to dehypnotize ourselves if we want to build wealth long term.
  • The mainstream media holds up the exceptions, not the rules.
  • We have to wake up and realise the fantasy that is put on TV is not the reality for us.
  • We have to choose an area of wealth building we understand and know more and more over decades.
  • Wealth creation isn’t taught, it is learned.
  • If you want to create wealth you have to become personally fascinated with it. You have to get enamored with it; you have to get intrigued with it.
  • You have to go out and figure out how it works.
  • You have to become personally committed and do a study of your whole life of wealth creation.
  • When the student is ready, the knowledge will appear.
  • The most important word in your investment vocabulary is “NO”.
  • There is far more investment opportunity than you can ever take advantage.
  • The time you are going to waste on an “OK / pretty good” investment opportunity is worth more than you will make on the investment itself.
  • Learn to say no, become very selective.
  • The distinction between ownership and control.
  • Wealthy people would usually rather manage a resource or asset than own it
  • Wealthy people are not attached to any one particular thing in their life.
  • Everything on the planet is temporary, and you can’t really “own” anything as you will not be forever.
  • None of this material stuff belongs to anyone in a sense, we are just here to steward it, we are more here to find your niche, create value for others, then channel some of the resulting value that flows back to you where it might do you and some others some good while trying not to take it all for yourself it will do you good.
  • If you attach yourself to something, then it can own you and control you rather than you controlling it.
  • Manage Risk.
  • One of the biggest problems would be wealth creators face they just can’t take the risk. They play it safe.
  • The mindset that it is important to get when you want to take intelligent risk is that risk is something to be managed.
  • Risk is inherent in life, every minute you are alive you are risking death from many different things, but we have learned with most things to not be afraid of them because the chances are small. The same mindset is valuable when accumulating assets as you will need to take some risk.
  • Do not be afraid of risk, manage it.
  • For you to succeed you may have to do it in secret.
  • If you know failure minded people and people that resent wealth and resent success, then you may have to create wealth in secret.
  • You may have to do it separately and not share with other people what you are doing.
  • Sometimes you will have to do consciously things that will alienate other. This is tough emotionally and intellectually. But as you start becoming more and more successful people are going to resent you because they have their issue with success.
  • The obstacles that I will face as I start accumulating assets each one of them, the key that opens up the lock, is a new skill. The answer is always a new skill.
  • Anytime you have a challenge the answer is a new skill.
  • Any time you face a roadblock or challenge or obstacle all you have to do is learn a new skill, pick up a book, learn the skill required.
  • The key to this is as you add these new wealth building skills they make each other exponentially more powerful.
  • Make the decision to use your super powers.
  • If you want to learn how to behave like a mature human being who has flipped on their super powers then use what might be one of the most potent forces anyone has which is the decision to follow healthy rules in your life.
  • Make a healthy decision about a whole class of things we will do in the future.
  • Set rules like, learn about investing 1 hour a day over time.
  • Set a rule to create value, multiple times than we expect to be paid.
  • Master the first thing, then master the second thing, and then the third thing, keep mastering areas in life.
  • Master many spheres of life then combine them.
  • It is the synthesis of this that turns you into a very powerful adult human being
  • Master your personal health first, learn about ideal size meals, eat highly nutritious.  Learn about exercise, your immune system. Get your health together.
  • Master relationships with other human beings, learn how to be a great friend. Read the emotional intelligence, social intelligence, how to win friends and influence people.
  • Work on getting your personal health and fitness, relationships and money. These synergies and multiply each other and create a “you” that is much more powerful.
  • Investing is like farming
  • When it comes to investments and building wealth and assets your “seed” to plant is a combination of your knowledge, mind, attention, effort, money, assets and relationships.
  • Take good care of your seeds and plant them ahead of time of your harvest. You need to learn to eat from the harvest, not from the seed.
  • If you are going to plan to be wealthy, you need to prepare the harvest later. You need to take all the assets you have now and plant them, so they grow over the long term.

Four real approaches to long-term wealth building:

  • Career based wealth building: Earn a modest income, live debt free, invest in relatively low-risk market average investments and look to create wealth for retirement. Good if you have a lot of stability in your job. The trick is to stay out of debt and to invest at least 10 – 20 percent ideally more for the long term and put it into market average funds.
  • Lifestyle based wealth building: Someone who likes to fix up investment properties, but they live in the properties they are fixing up, then sell them. A lifestyle or place where you can live inside the place you are creating wealth.
  • The investment-based wealth building approach: You can become a certified investor. They put all their time, energy and training by learning how to invest in other things. They create their value by taking their resources and investing it in things other people are doing. A great example of this is Warren Buffet.
  • The business based wealth building model: You start a business, reinvest some or most of the profits into the business to grow it over time, and then the business becomes the asset. You are not just building the company for a stream of income, but so it is a product that you can eventually sell.
  • Some people do combinations of the above, but whichever one makes sense to you go deep, develop expertise, become someone who can create value like nobody else in that area so your attention becomes a very highly value commodity so that the experts look to you. Anybody can do it you have to realise that this is long term.
  • Whatever are you go into you have to look at long term trends? Choose the right horse to ride. Work with people who are going to be successful. Go to work for a company that is already very successful. GO to work in an industry that has good long term prospects. Make it easier for yourself to move forward.
  • Look to Internet marketing. Bet on the stars, follow the trends, follow things that are already going to be successful.
  • Learn how to do something that wealthy people enjoy doing, e.g. charity work, golf, whatever just get into something they enjoy so you can get around them in a social atmosphere.
  • Your greatest asset you can have is you. Refine your expertise, improve your personality or communication. Improve your communication so you can get your point across better than anyone else.
  • Temptation: temptation, impulses and short-term firing of neurology are things that will take us off the path to success. See the Greek metaphor and tale of the sirens. In life, we need to figure out how to lash ourselves to the ship, so we are not called to the siren song of junk food, using credit, using drugs, instant gratification behaviour, etc.
  • If you are going to create wealth long term, most of us are not strong enough to do it without lashing ourselves to the ship. We have to set up our lives so that we don’t have the temptation to turn the value we create into liabilities or waste it, so our lives naturally make success inevitable.
  • We know our inner chimpanzee wants to go out and eat that thing right now and spend that money. Deal with temptation. Set your life up so you can overcome it and avoid it. SO you can win the wealth building game in the long run.


  • Stay away from debt and debt thinking.
  • Remember that wealth comes not from getting money, but from creating value, then converting the value into assets then accumulating assets that grow in value and throw off value and money until ultimately you have wealth.
  • Keeping your value in money reduces the value, money has a hole in its bucket. Turn the money you get into assets and wealth.
  • Overcome your negative emotions around money wealth, business and rich people.
  • Go deep into the area where there is a huge demand.
  • Develop your expertise and go deep, expect to spend at least ten years. Persist. Most people will experience their biggest breakthrough right after a failure.
  • Get around experts, get around people that have created wealth, get around people who are trying to do what you are attempting to do. Absorb and model these people.
  • Pay your dues in life, don’t let your justice mechanism get in the way.
  • Keep seeking the edge of your comfort zone, keep pushing your own boundary’s, keep experiencing novel things and evolving past your beliefs. When in doubt of what to do next go and create massive value every single day Create physical value, emotional value, mental value, tangible value, spiritual value. Focus on creating value for those that are the most successful already.
  • Focus on developing yourself into a polished, professional communicator. Focus on becoming someone that can express what is on their mind.
  • Follow and develop long-term trends to creating wealth. Remember that creating wealth is first an inner game and then an outer game.

You must develop the expertise to both create value, turn that into assets then accumulate and grow those assets into wealth that is ultimately a lifelong exercise.

ReWork Book – Notes and Summary

Change the way you work forever with REWORK. A Book by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson – Notes and Summary


REWORK Book by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson - Notes and Summary
REWORK Book by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson – Notes and Summary

The new reality.

  • Is for people who are looking for an edge in their business. To work smarter and kick ass.
  • Today anyone can be in business. Tools that used to be out of reach are now readily available as the price of technology has dropped.
  • Tasks that would have been impossible a few years ago are simple today or what may have taken entire departments can be done by one person.
  • You don’t need to deplete your savings to start a business on the side. It can provide you with cash flow, and you can work from home.


Ignore the real world.

  • “This would never work in the real world” is often used to shut down a new idea. The real world is a somber place; it is where new ideas, novel approaches and foreign concepts always lose.
  • Only things that win in the “Real world” are what people already know and do. No matter how flawed or inefficient they may be.
  • This idea of the “Real World” is very pessimistic and assumes that society isn’t capable or ready for a change. People with this outlook want to drag others down into it and convince you that your ideas are impossible. Don’t believe them.
  • That world may be real for other people, but it doesn’t mean you have to live with it.
  • This idea of the real world isn’t a place it is just an excuse for not trying, and it has nothing to do with you.

Learning from mistakes is overrated.

  • Failure is not a rite of passage. You will often hear that failure builds character and to fail early and fail often or even fail better. But other people’s failures are not yours.
  • If other people can’t market, build or price services it has nothing to do with you.
  • What you learn from mistakes is what not to do again which doesn’t tell you what you should do next so it’s not as valuable as some people would say.
  • It is much better to learn from your successes as this gives you real ammunition.
  • If something succeeds, you know what worked, and you can do it again and possibly even better.
  • Failure is not a prerequisite for success. Evolution doesn’t linger on past failure; it’s always building on what worked. So should you.

Planning is guessing.

  • Unless you are a fortune teller or a psychic a long term business plan is simply fantasy. There are too many unknown factors that are out of your hands to predict things accurately.
  • A plan makes you feel in control of stuff you can control. They are guesses.
  • Turning guesses into plans is dangerous as plans are inconsistent with improvisation. You have to be able to improvise. But a plan is driven by decisions made in the past.
  • I disregard for plans does not mean to say you shouldn’t think about the future, just don’t obsess over it or write it down. Decide what you will do this week, not the year.
  • Working without a plan may seem scary but blindly following a plan that does not respond to changing environments is even scarier.

Why grow?

  • Expansion and having a larger business should not always be the goal.
  • Find the right size for your business and stay there. Grow slow and see what feels right.
  • Small is not just a stepping stone it is a great destination in itself.
  • A big business would dream about being as agile and flexible as a small business.
  • Make your goal to run a business that’s sustainable and profitable, If it is big or small should not make a difference.


  • Our culture celebrates the idea of a workaholic.But working more does not mean you get more done.
  • You want to make sure you work in a sustainable manner otherwise you will just cause more problems for yourself.
  • You don’t just want to try and fix problems by throwing hours at them and brute force. You want to come up with efficient, elegant solutions.
  • It is much better to figure out a faster way to do things.

Enough with the entrepreneurs.

  • Be a starter. The term entrepreneur is outdated and loaded with baggage. Everyone should be encouraged to start their own business not just people that think they are entrepreneurs.
  • People are out there creating businesses and making profits by doing what they love on their terms and get paid for it. These are starters.


Make a dent in the universe.

  • To do great work, you must believe that you are making a difference in the world. That you are putting a meaningful dent in the universe and that what you are doing is part of something important.
  • You just have to make sure that your efforts feel valuable and that people would notice if you stopped doing what you do.
  • If you are going to do something, do something that matters.

Scratch your itch.

  • The easiest way to create a great product or service is to make something you want to use.Find something that is missing in the world or an area where an excellent product does not exist that you would use and build that.
  • If you are solving someone else’s problem you are taking stabs in the dark but when you solve your problems you know exactly what the right answers are.
  • The solve your problem approach lets you fall in love with what you are making. There is no substitute for that.

Start making something.

  • Just start. Having the idea for eBay has nothing to do with actually creating eBay. What you DO is what matters not what you think or say or plan.
  • If you think the ideas you have are valuable, then go and try to sell them and see what you get for them. You likely won’t get much.
  • Until you start making something, your brilliant idea is only an idea, and everyone has one of those.
  • Ideas are cheap and plentiful. The real question is how well you execute.

No time is no excuse.

  • The most common reason people give is they do not have enough time.They claim they would do exceptional work, but there are not enough hours in the day.
  • But there is always enough time if you spend it right. You can work a day job and work on your project at night instead of watching TV.
  • You only have to squeeze in a few extra hours every week, and that will be enough to get something going.
  • When you want something bad enough, you make the time. Don’t give yourself an excuse. Take the responsibility of making your dreams come true.

Draw a line in the sand.

  • Once you get your project going keep in mind why you are doing what you are doing. Great businesses have a point of view.
  • You have to believe in something . You need to know what you are willing to fight for.
  • A strong stand is how you attract super fans. They will point to you and defend you and they spread the word further and wider and more passionately than any advertising.
  • Having a strong opinion will turn some people off, they will accuse you of being arrogant, but thats life, for everyone who loves you there will be others who hate you.
  • If no one is upset by what you are saying you are not pushing hard enough.
  • When you don’t know what you believe in everything is debatable. But when you stand for something decisions are obvious.

Mission statement impossible.

  • Live it or leave it. There is a world of difference between truly standing for something and just having a mission statement that says you stand for something.
  • Standing for something isn’t about just writing it down . Its about believing in it and living it.

Outside Money is Plan Z.

  • Far too often people look to raise money from outsiders. If you are building something like a factory you may need outside cash.
  • If you are running a service business you will not need expensive infrastructure.
  • No matter what kind of business you are starting it is best to take on as little outside cash as possible.
  • Spending other peoples money may sound great. But You give up control . Once you have accepted outside money you have to answer to them too.
  • Cashing out will begin to trump building a quality product because investors want their money back .
  • Spending other peoples money is addictive and it is usually a bad deal where you have no leverage.
  • Customers move down the totem pole as you end up building what the investors want instead of what the customers want.
  • Raising money is distracting you from doing the actual work.

You need less than you think.

  • Do you really need ten people or will two do for now ? Do you really need six months or can you make something in two ? Do you need a big office or can you work from a home office ? Do you need a warehouse or can you rent a small storage space or use your garage?
  • Maybe eventually you will need to go the bigger more expensive route but there is nothing wrong with being lean and efficient.
  • Good companies start in garages all the time and yours can too.

Start a business, not a start-up.

  • Start-ups are a magical place in a fairy tale. They spend other peoples money and are not concerned with revenue.
  • But every business has the same market forces to deal with. Revenue in , expenses out . Turn a profit or wind up gone. But start-ups try to ignore this reality.
  • Anyone who has the “We will figure out how to make a profit in the future” attitude is delusional.
  • Actual businesses worry about profit from day one. Act like an actual business and you have a better chance of succeeding.

Building to flip is building to flop.

  • You need a commitment strategy not an exit strategy. Your priorities are out of whack if you are thinking about how to get out before you even dive in .
  • You should be thinking how to make your project grow and succeed not how you are going to jump ship.
  • Focus on running a business you actually enjoy and believe in and will provide you with satisfaction.

Less Mass.

  • Embrace the idea of having less mass. Right now you are the smallest, fastest and most lean your business will ever be  and from here on you will start to accumulate mass.
  • The more mass the more energy is required to change direction. Avoid mass wherever you can so you can quickly change anything.
  • With low mass you can fix mistakes quickly, you can change your priorities and you can change your mind.


Embrace constraints.

  • “I do not have enough time, money, people, experience.” Stop complaining less is a good thing and constraints are advantages in disguise.
  • Limited resources force you to make do with what you have got and to be creative with it.
  • Writers use constraints to force creativity all the time. Having these constraints stops you from making bloated work.
  • See what you can do with what you have.

Build half a product, not a half-assed product.

  • You can turn a bunch of great ideas into a crappy product by trying to do them all at once.
  • You can’t do everything and do it all well. You have limited time, resources and abilities. Make a sacrifice and spend your time on one idea and make it great, do not waste your time making something half assed.
  • Getting to great starts by cutting stuff that is merely good.

Start at the epicentre.

  • When you start something new you have forces pulling you in many different directions.
  • You have stuff you could do and stuff you have to do. You should start with the stuff you HAVE to do . That is the epicentre.
  • To find the epicentre you can ask yourself “If i took this part away would what i am selling still exist?”
  • Find the epicenter and focus all your energy on making it the best it can possibly be. This build a strong foundation that everything else will rest on.

Ignore the details early on.

  • Details make the difference but getting infatuated with details too early leads to disagreement, meetings and delays.
  • You can get lost in things that don’t really matter and you waste time on things that will change anyway.
  • Also you often can’t recognise the details until after you start building and thats when you see what needs more attention. Start the work first and worry about the details later. Do not let the details delay the work.

Making the call is making progress.

  • When you put off decisions they pile up and piles get ignored, thrown out or dealt with in haste.
  • Swap “Lets think about it” for “Lets decide on it” whenever you can. Commit to making decisions and don’t wait for the perfect solution as it may never come and you end up wasting time.
  • Get into the rhythm of making choices. The more decisions you make the more progress you make. This will build momentum and boost morale.
  • You are as likely to make a great call today as you are tomorrow or next week so just do it.
  • Long projects drain morale and the longer things take the less likely they are to launch. Make the call and make progress while you have the motivation and momentum to do so.

Be a curator.

  • You don’t make a great museum by putting all the art in the world in a single room that is called a warehouse.
  • What makes a museum great is the stuff that is not on the walls. A curator is involved making conscious decisions about what should stay and what should go.
  • Its the stuff you leave out that matters. COnstantly look for things to remove, simplify and streamline. Stick to what is truly essential.
  • You can always add things back later if you need too.

Throw less at the problem.

  • When things aren’t working the natural inclination is to throw more at the problem, more people, time or money. But all that will do is make a bigger problem.
  • The right way to do it is the opposite. Cut back.
  • Do less. You will be forced to make tough calls and sort out what truly matters.

Focus on what won’t change.

  • Lots of companies follow what is hot and new and the latest trends but that is the fools path.
  • The core of your business should be built around things that won’t change and will be timeless.
  • Fashion fades away so focus on permanent features that will never go out of style.

Tone is your fingers.

  • You can buy the same guitar, effects pedals and amplifier as Jimi Hendrix but when you play that rig it will still sound like you.
  • Fancy gear can help but at the end of the day the tone will come from you.
  • Its always tempting to obsess over tools instead of what you are going to do with the tools
  • People use equipment as a crutch. They dont want to put in the hours required to improve they just want to spend money on fancy gear that they think will make them improve. They are looking for a shortcut.
  • You don’t need the best gear in the world and you sure don’t need it to get started. The content is what matters not the tools. Use whatever you have already got or can afford.

Sell your by-products.

  • When you make something you always make something else. Everything has a by product. Spot these opportunities

Launch Now

  • When is your product or service finished and when should you put it on the market ? .
  • This is probably a lot sooner than you will be comfortable with. Once your product does what it needs to do just get it out there.
  • Just because you have a list of things still to do does not mean it is not done. You cannot put a project on hold because you have a few leftovers. You can do them later.
  • Put off everything you don’t need for launch. Build the necessities now. Worry about the luxuries later.
  • You still want to build something great just recognise the best way to get there is through iterations.


Illusions of agreement.

  • The business world is littered with dead documents that do nothing but waste peoples time. These documents take forever to produce and seconds to forget.
  • If you do have to explain something you should be doing everything you can to remove layers of abstraction.   With too much abstraction a hundred people could read the same document and interpret it a hundred different ways.
  • Get the chisel out and start making something real. Anything else is just a distraction.

Reasons to quit.

  • Its easy to put your head down and just work on what you think needs to be done but its a lot harder to pull your head up and ask why.
  • The important questions you need to ask yourself to make sure you are doing the work that matters are …
  • Why are you doing this ? What problem are you solving? Is this actually useful ? Are you adding value ? Will this change behaviour ? Is there an easier way ? What could you be doing instead ?
  • Is it really worth it ? Is what you doing really working. Is it worth pulling an all nighter or could you finish it up tomorrow ?  Determine the real value of what you are about to do before taking the plunge.
  • Keep asking yourself the above questions, you don’t need to make it a formal process just dont let it slide.

Interruption is the enemy of productivity.

  • If you are constantly staying late and working weekends its not because theres too much work to be done its because you are not getting enough done at work and the reason is interruptions.
  • When do you get the most don ? Late at night and early mornings when you have no interruptions
  • Interruptions break your workday into a series of work moments. You can’t get meaningful things done if you have to stop and start all the time. Get in the zone and set up a system that will give you alone time and block out all interruptions

Meetings are toxic.

  • The worst interruptions of all are meetings. They are usually about words and abstract concepts, not real things. They drift off subject. They require preparation. Its easy for one person to waste everyone’s time. One meeting will lead to another.
  • If you must have a meeting try to make it as productive as possible by sticking to rules.
  • Set a timer, when it rings the meeting is over. No exceptions. Invite as few people as possible. Always have a clear agenda. Begin with a specific problem. Point to real things and suggest real changes. Always end with a solution and make someone responsible for implementing it.

Good enough is fine.

  • A lot of people get off on solving problems with complicated solutions. Flexing your intellectual muscles can be intoxicating.
  • A better idea is to use a judo approach one that delivers maximum efficiency with minimum effort. Judo solutions are all about getting the most out of doing the least.
  • When good enough gets the job done, go for it . Its way better than wasting resources or doing nothing because you can’t afford a complex solution.

Quick Wins.

  • Momentum fuels innovation. It keeps you going It drives you and without it you can’t go anywhere. If you are not motivated by what you are working on it won’t be very good.
  • One way to build momentum is to get some things done and move on to the next thing.
  • The longer something takes the less likely you are going to finish it. Small victories let you celebrate and release good news and you want a steady stream of good news.

Do not be a hero.

  • A lot of times it is better to be a quitter than a hero .You can be determined to make things work despite how much longer it is taking compared to what you planned to spend on it.The hero will think that you cannot give up .
  • But you have to asses if the task is really worth it? If a task was worth it it would not take a large chunk of your time that you could have gotten many other things done.
  • Sometimes the obvious solution is quitting. Sometimes its exactly what you should do .
  • If you have already spent too much time on something walk away from it . You can’t get the time back and the worst thing is to waste more time on it.

Go to sleep.

  • Forgoing sleep is a bad idea. Sure you get those extra hours right now but you pay for it later. Once in a while you can pull an all nighter just don’t make it a habit.
  • When you lack sleep you become stubborn, lack creativity have diminished morale and are easily irritable.

Your Estimates suck.

  • We are all terrible estimators. We think we can guess how long something will take but the truth is we have no idea. We only see best case scenarios but reality is never like that.
  • Break big tasks into smaller thing. The smaller things are the easier they are to estimate . But you are still likely to get it wrong but you will be less wrong.

Long lists don’t get done.

  • Start making smaller to do lists. Long lists collect dust. They are guilt trips , the longer the list of unfinished items the worse you will feel about it  and stress you out.
  • Break that long list down into a bunch of smaller lists. You will still have the same amount of stuff to do but you can look at the small picture and be motivated.
  • Whenever you can divide a problem into smaller chunks so you can get it done as quickly as possible.
  • Simply prioritise visually and put the most important things at the top , do not worry about labels or numbers.

Make tiny decisions.

  • Big decisions are hard to make and hard to change. Once you make one you tend to continue with it and stick with it even if it was the wrong decision.
  • Instead make small choices that are enough that they are effectively temporary.
  • Small decisions mean you can afford to change. This doesn’t mean you can’t make big plans it just means you achieve those things one small decision at a time.
  • Attainable goals are the best ones to have.


Do not copy.

  • Sometimes copying can be part of the learning process.  but copying in business is more nefarious. Its tempting to try and build a business by being a copycat but it is a formula for failure.
  • You have to understand why something works or why it is the way it is and copying skips those steps.
  • If you are a copycat you can never keep up You never lead you always follow.

Decommoditize your product.

  • If you are successful other people will try and copy what you do. Its a fact of life.
  • A great way to protect you from copycats is to make YOU part of the product.
  • Inject what is unique about yourself into the product or service and this will make it something no one else can offer.
  • Pour yourself into your product and everything around your product and competitors will never be able to copy it.

Pick a fight.

  • If you think a competitor sucks , say so . When you do you will find others that will agree with you and rally to your side.
  • Being the Anti – Is a great way to separate yourself from the pack and get followers.
  • You can even put yourself as an opponent of an entire industry.
  • Having an enemy gives you a great story to tell customers. Taking a stand will always stand out. People get stoked by conflict. Passions are ignited and they will take notice.

Underdo your competition.

  • Conventional wisdom says you must outdo your competition and constantly one up them.
  • Instead you should do less than your competitors. Solve the simple problems and leave the big nasty problems to the competitors.
  • Dont shy away from the fact your product or service does less. highlight it and be proud of it.

Who cares what they are doing ?

  • In the end its not worth paying much attention to the competition anyway . Because worrying about the competition can turn into an obsession Every little move becomes something to analyse, this leads to stress and anxiety and is a terrible state of mind to have.
  • Instead focus on yourself and your own work . These are the things that are within your control . THere is no point spending time worrying about someone else when you can spend that time on improving yourself.
  • If you focus on other peoples ideas you become reactionary instead of visionary  . Just focus on making your own product the greatest it can be.


Say no by default.

  • “if i had listened to customers i would have given them a faster horse” – Henry Ford.
  • It is very easy to say yes to another feature an optimistic deadline a mediocre design. You can make the stack of things you have said yes to so tall that it will out grow the things you should really be doing.
  • Get into the habit of saying no. Use the power of no to get your priorities straight. People avoid saying no because confrontation makes them uncomfortable. But the alternative is even worse. You will drag things out and make it more complicated.

Let your customer Outgrow you.

  • When you stick with your current customers no matter what then you will wind up cutting yourself off from new customers.
  • If your product or service only becomes tailored to existing customers you can stop appealing to any new customers which will cause your business to fail.
  • Scaring away new customers is worse than losing old customers. If you let customers outgrow you it will keep things simple and basic which is easier for you.
  • You can’t change everything to suit everyone. Just be true to the type of customer you want to attract.

Don’t confuse enthusiasm with priority.

  • The enthusiasm you have for a new idea is not an accurate indicator of its true worth. You will get new ideas from everywhere and if you end up chasing them all you will never get anywhere.
  • Let your latest ideas cool off a bit first. Keep having great ideas but just don’t act in the heat of the moment. Write them down and let them sit for a few days and look over them again with a calm mind.
  • Only with a calm mind can you make a good judgement about priority.

Be at-home good.

  • To often you can buy a product that looks great in the store, the packaging and marketing but then you get it home and it doesn’t live up the the claims and hype of the box.
  • You want to make a product that is even better when you get it home even if you have to sacrifice some of the in store sizzle.
  • Being great at a few things and delivering on those may not seem as good as competitors who load up with bells and whistles . But to create a long term relationship of trust with your customer it is better to be great at a few things and exceed their expectations.

Don’t write it down.

  • Don’t keep track of every little request from customers. The important ones you will hear over and over again and that is what you should focus on. The ones you can’t forget are the ones you should work on.
  • The really important stuff won’t just go away but trivial stuff will.

Welcome obscurity.

  • No one knows who you are when you start out and that is a blessing in disguise. You can use this time to make mistakes without the whole world watching them.
  • You can test random ideas and try new things and it won’t be a big deal if you make mistakes. The obscurity will protect your ego and preserve your confidence.
  • The early days of obscurity are something you will miss later on when you are under the microscope. In the beginning take risks without worrying about embarrassing yourself.

Build an audience.

  • All companies have customers but lucky or great companies have fans. But the most fortunate companies have an audience.
  • Most business will have to spend money to reach people every time they have something to say. But this approach is expensive and unreliable.
  • Today’s smartest companies know that instead of going out to reach people it is much better to have people who want to come to you and listen to everything you have to say.
  • When you build an audience you don’t have to buy peoples attention they will just give it to you.

Out-teach your competition.

  • Everyone is advertising and sponsoring and has salespeople working for them. Instead of trying to outsell them you should try to out teach them.
  • Teach and you will form a bond you just don’t get from traditional marketing tactics. You can buy attention with an ad but you will earn loyalty by teaching them and it will form a stronger connection with more trust and more respect.
  • Teaching is something a smaller company can do that larger companies cannot. Teaching is your chance to out maneuver them.

Emulate chefs.

  • Why do you know some great chefs when there are countless great chefs in the world ? They are the ones that share everything they know in cookbooks and on cooking shows.
  • As a business owner you should share everything you know too. Most businesses are paranoid and secretive but you shouldn’t be afraid of sharing.
  • What can you tell the world about how you operate thats informative, educational and promotional ?

Go behind the scenes.

  • Give people a backstage pass and show them how your business work. Even boring jobs can be fascinating when presented right.
  • People are curious about how things are made, like a factory tour or behind the scenes footage.
  • Letting people behind the curtain changes your relationship with them as they will feel a bond with you and see you as a human being instead of a faceless company and they will develop a deeper level of understanding and appreciation for what you do .

Nobody likes plastic flowers.

  • The business world is full of professionals who wear the uniform and try to seem perfect. But they will just come off as stiff and boring and people can’t relate to that.
  • Do not be afraid to show your flaws. Imperfections are real and people respond to that. We like real flowers the wilt not fake plastic flowers.
  • Talk like you really talk and reveal things that others are unwilling to discuss. It might not seem as professional but it will be a lot more genuine.

Press releases are spam.

  • A press release is a generic pitch sent out to hundreds of people hoping that someone will take notice of it . This is the same as spam.
  • Press releases are supposed to get you noticed but these are using the same technique as everyone else and will not stand out.
  • Instead call someone or write a personal note. Contact journalists who have written stories about similar companies or products.
  • Do something meaningful. Be remarkable. Stand out. be unforgettable.

Forget about the wall street journal.

  • Forget about all the big mainstream publications , getting a hold of someone at those places is almost impossible. You are better off focusing on a smaller trade publication or niche blog.
  • The barrier is much lower and you don’t have to deal with an editorial board. The audience will be more targeted and people will already trust these tastemakers.
  • Coverage in mainstream publications is nice but you will get a lot more traction from stories in smaller more trusted platforms.

Drug dealers get it right.

  • Drug dealers are astute business people. They will give away some product up front for free because they know you will be back for more.
  • Make your product so good and addictive so that giving customers a free taste will make sure they come back ready to buy.
  • Be confident in what you are offering and give a little bit away for free.

Marketing is not a department.

  • Everything is marketing. Marketing is something everyone in your company is doing all the time. Every time you answer the phone, send an email , your invoice or any communication between you and the customer is marketing.
  • All of these are more important than a single ad. Marketing is more than an individual act it is the sum total of everything you do.

The myth of the overnight sensation.

  • You will not be a big hit right away and you will not get rich quick. Any overnight success story you hear is not the full story. It usually involves years of hard work before the success happens.
  • Start building an audience , start getting people interested and keep at it for a few years and then one day you might be an overnight success story.


Do it yourself first.

  • Never hire anyone to do a job until you have done it yourself first. That is the only way you will understand the nature of the work and what a job well done looks like.
  • You can write realistic job description and know what question to ask in an interview and it will make you a better manager.
  • Be intimately involved in all aspects of your business otherwise you will end up in the dark and in the hands of others.

Hire when it hurts.

  • Do not hire for pleasure hire to kill pain. But always ask yourself what would happen if you didn’t hire anyone, if the extra work is really necessary or if you can solve the problem first with a change of practice ?
  • If you lose someone don’t replace them straight away, see how long you you can get by without them as you may be able to cope and it will save you money and help streamline your business.
  • The right time to hire is when there is simply more work than you can handle for a sustained period of time.

Pass on great people.

  • Some companies are addicted to hiring. But pass on hiring people you don’t need and bringing on extra staff for the sake of it. You will be doing your company more harm than good if you hire talented people but give them nothing to do .
  • Problems arise when you have more people than you need because you will start to invent work to keep people busy but it will not be the necessary work and can lead to artificial project that will just increase the complexity of whatever you are doing.

Strangers at a cocktail party.

  • If you go to a cocktail party and no one knows each other you will find the conversation dull and boring and generally small talk where you shy away from controversial opinions.
  • A small intimate dinner party with old friends will involve genuinely interesting conversation.
  • If you hire a ton of people too rapidly you will create a strangers at a cocktail party vibe where everyone is too polite and doesn’t want to offend anyone.
  • You need to build a safe environment that people feel they can be honest in . Hire slowly and let your team grow like an intimate dinner party.

Resumes are ridiculous.

  • We all know resumes are a joke filled with exaggerations and buzzwords. They can be sent out to hundreds of companies in just another form of spam.
  • You want candidates that care specifically about your company. To do this check the cover letter and make sure you get actual communication instead of a list of skills. Make sure it is personalised for you.
  • You can tell more about a person from the cover letter than from the resume.

Years of irrelevance.

  • A job ad might ask for a certain amount of years experiance but that really tells you nothing about the candidate.
  • You do of course need a baseline level of experience of 6 months to a year but beyond that the curve of what people will learn starts to flatten out.
  • How long someone has been doing something is overrated and not important you want to concern yourself with how well they have been doing it.

Forget about formal education.

  • I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. – Mark Twain.
  • Plenty of companies have formal education requirements. But you will miss out on plenty of intelligent people who don’t excel in the classroom . Too much time in academia actually will do harm .

Everybody works.

  • Delegators are dead weight. With a small team you need people who will actually do work not delegate work. No one can be above work.
  • Delegators will tie people up to make themselves feel important while not doing any work and drawing other people away from doing the real work.

Hire managers of one.

  • Managers are people that come up with their own goals and execute them. People who don’t need direction or daily check ups they manage themselves and get things done.
  • You want someone who is capable of setting up projects from scratch and completing them. Find those people and members of your team wont burden others.

Hire great writers.

  • If you have to decide among a few different people to hire pick whoever is the best writer. No matter what position you are looking to fill writing skills will always pay off as it is a sign of clear thinking
  • Good writers can communicate clearly and make things easy to understand. This is the currency for good ideas and can be more valuable than any other skill. .

The best are everywhere.

  • Just because someone lives far away is no excuse not to hire them. In todays world with our current technology it is easy to bring everyone together online.
  • Catch up online a few hours everyday and meet in person once and a while but just focus on hiring the best person do not worry about where they live. Focus on talent not geography .

Test-drive employees.

  • Interviews can only tell you so much But you really need to evaluate how people work from day to day and the best way to do that is actually see people work.
  • Hire people for a mini project that may only take a day or two and you will see how they make decisions and get to judge them on actions instead of words.


Own your bad news.

  • If something bad happens someone will want to tell the story so it is better off that it is you delivering the story. Otherwise it creates an environment for rumours or false information to spread.
  • If something bad happens , tell your customers, don’t think you can just ignore it. In this day and age it is very hard to hide information and keep secrets.
  • People will respect you more if you are open and honest. and responsive during a crisis.
  • You want to own the story. The message should come from the top , spread the message far and wide, apologise the way a real person would, honestly be concerned about the fate of your customers.

Speed changes everything.

  • Getting back to people as quickly as possible is probably the most important thing you can do in customer service. You can easily diffuse a bad situation and turn it into a good one if you are speedy.
  • People are now used to waiting , being put on hold so you can stand out and make people happy by responding fast. This is especially true if your response is personal.
  • Even if you don’t have a perfect answer saying “let me research it and let me get back to you” can work wonders.

How to say you’re sorry.

  • You may not have a great way of saying sorry but there are plenty of terrible ways.
  • One of the worst ways is the non apology apology which is an apology but does not accept blame. “we are sorry this upset you”. Whatever
  • A good apology accepts responsibility and has no conditional “if” phrase attached. It shows people that the buck stops with you which is why an “I” apology is much stronger than a “We” apology.
  • Think how you would feel if you were on the other end of the apology. There is no magic apology to win back trust. Keep in mind that everything you do before things went wrong counts for much more than the apology. If you already have a rapport with your customers they are more likely to cut you some slack.

Put everyone on the front lines.

  • A lot of companies have a split of customer facing and non customer facing employees. This means that the people at the back of house never get to directly hear what the customers are telling them. This can lead to confusion.
  • The more people you have between your customers words and the people doing the work the more likely it is that the message will get distorted.
  • Everyone on your team should be connected to customers, it doesn’t have to be everyday but at least a few times a year. Do not protect people from feedback.

Take a deep breath.

  • After you change anything in a service or product knee jerk reactions will pour in. People will always be shocked at changes and react straight away but resist the urge to panic and make quick changes in response to this criticism.
  • Passions will flare in the beginning but ride it out and see if things settle . Humans are creatures of habit and see change as a negative but have often made up their minds before even giving the new way a try.
  • Remember that negative reactions will always be louder than positive ones. Still let them know you are listening and are aware of what they are saying but let things go and see if people change and adjust and end up liking the new way.


You don’t create a culture.

  • A culture is a by product of consistent behaviour. It will just happen. If you encourage trust people will be more trusting and if you treat customers right then treating customers right will become the culture.
  • You can’t force a culture but it will develop overtime.

Decisions are temporary.

  • Do not make up problems you do not have yet. Its not a problem until it is a real problem. Do not waste time resolving “What if?” problems. As most likely they will never happen anyway.
  • Besides the decisions you make today don’t need to last forever. When circumstances change your decisions can change.
  • Do not waste time , energy or shoot down ideas because of problems that may never happen.

Skip the rock stars.

  • Too many companies post adds looking for ninjas or rock stars. Instead of looking to get a room full of rock stars think about the room instead and how you can make it an environment that encourages everyone to do great work.
  • You want to create an environment that gets the full potential out of everyone in it so they all do great work.
  • These environments develop out of trust, autonomy and responsibility. Environments that show respect for great work and the people who do it.

They’re not thirteen.

  • If you treat people like children you get children’s work. Yet that is how a lot of managers treat their employees. They have them ask for permission , they need to get approval ,and in that culture you will develop non thinkers.
  • It creates a dynamic which has no trust. If you have to ban employees for doing things that time won’t magically convert to great work. You will gain nothing and lose trust.

Send people home at 5.

  • You don’t need more hours of work out of your employees you need better hours. People get the work done in the office because the have lives and somewhere else to be and will find ways to be efficient when they have to .
  • If you want something done ask the busiest person. You want busy people with a life outside of work and don’t expect work to be someone’s entire life.

Do not scar on the first cut.

  • The natural tendency when something goes wrong the first time is to make a policy straight away. Policies are organisational scar tissue, codified overreactions to situations that are often unlikely to repeat.
  • This is how bureaucracies are born and sneak up one policy at a time. Don’t create a policy because one person did something they are only for situations that come up repeatedly.

Sound like you.

  • When in business don’t try to sound so big with stiff language formal announcements and titles, artificial friendliness  and legalese. When you read this stuff it will sound like a robot wrote it instead of you.
  • The mask of professionalism is a joke yet small companies try to emulate this thinking it makes them sound big when really it makes them sound ridiculous.
  • A small company’s greatest asset is the ability to communicate directly with customers without having to seem like a faceless corporation.
  • Write to read don’t just write to write. Avoid corporate speak and useless jargon just be honest.

Four letter words.

  • The four letter words you should never use in business are need, must, cant , easy, just, only and fast.
  • These words create black and white situations but the truth is rarely like that and people will get upset if you misrepresent something.
  • Very few things need to get done instead try :What do you think of this?” or “How does this sound?  Dont make assumptions.
  • Once these words are said it can be hard to find solutions to problems as you get boxed into a corner by absolutes.

ASAP is poison.

  • ASAP is always implied so there is no reason to say it. Everyone always wants things done as quick as they can be. If you always use ASAP you mark everything as high priority and when everything is high priority then nothing becomes the high priority .
  • Do not use this false sense of urgency to create stress and burnout and only use emergency language for real emergencies.


Inspiration is perishable.

  • Everyone has ideas and ideas are immortal and will last forever. But what doesn’t last forever is inspiration. Inspiration always has an expiration date.
  • If you want to do something you have to do it right away when you are inspired. If you put it on a shelf you may never get the inspiration back to do it again.
  • Inspiration is a productivity multiplier and a motivator but it won’t wait for you . If it grabs you grab it back , ride it and put it to work for you.

REWORK Book by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson Summary

It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be By Paul Arden – Summary

It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be Summary

Nearly all rich and powerful people are not notably talented, educated, charming or good looking. They became rich and powerful by wanting to be rich and powerful. Your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have. Without having a goal it’s difficult to score.

Why do we strive for excellence when mediocrity is required? 

There is little demand in the commercial world for excellence, and there is a much bigger demand for mediocrity. Imagine the world where clients gave you total freedom to produce anything you wanted. You would react against it and get bored by it. That is the nature of the creative person; they need something to rebel against. 

So how good do you want to be? 

Everyone wants to be good but exactly how good is that? Talent helps but ambition will take you further. Few are willing to make the sacrifices it takes to be great. You must not confuse being good with being liked. The only way to learn to be good is to experience through mistakes, and you will become whoever you want to be.

You can achieve the unachievable. 

You need to aim beyond your capabilities. You must completely disregard where your abilities end and try to do things that seem incapable. If you think you can’t do something, then make that your aim. Nothing is impossible.

“I want to be as famous as Persil Automatic.” 

 – Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham’s dream was not just to become famous but to become a world brand. It’s not how good she was that mattered it’s how good she wanted to be. She didn’t compare herself to another famous singer but rather Persil Automatic and it’s that imagination that got her where she is today.

Have you noticed how the cleverest people at school are not those who make it in life? 

At school, you only learn to remember and accumulate facts. Some people simply don’t have a good memory, but it doesn’t mean they are stupid. People who are conventionally clever at school will be overtaken by those who continually strive to be better than they are.

Do not seek praise. Seek Criticism. 

You can always ask people who will tell you what you want to hear. Most people will say nice things rather than be too critical. Instead of seeking approval ask “What’s wrong with it and how you can improve it? And you are likely to get a more honest answer.

It’s all my fault. 

If something goes wrong blame no one but yourself.  If you accept responsibility, then you are in a position to do something about it. There are no excuses.

Do not covet your ideas. 

Give away everything you know and more will come back to you. People are secretive with ideas as they fear other people will take credit for them. But if you horde ideas you will eventually become stale. If you give away everything, you will be forced to be aware and come up with new ideas. The more you give away, the more comes back to you. Ideas are just floating out in the ether, they are open knowledge, do not claim ownership of them just put yourself in the frame of mind to pick them up. 

Don’t look for the next opportunity. The one you have in hand is the opportunity. 

You can always wait for a perfect project, but it almost never happens. Whatever you are working on is the perfect project you have to make it the best you possibly can.

Accentuate the positive. 

Find out what is good about your product or service and dramatise it as a caricature drawn by a cartoonist so that it is instantly recognisable.

Eliminate the negative. 

Don’t bother wasting time attacking the competition. It gives them undue attention.

Do not put your Cleverness in front of the communication. 

Creative people often feel the need to have ingenious ideas to justify themselves. But that can lead to work that on the surface appears clever but has little substance and does not tell a story. Spend time on what the problem is and you will discover a solution. Ask the right question and you will get the right answer. Let the answer and solution tell a story.

Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. 

It is easy to promise too much and if you don’t match your expectations people will not trust you. If instead you underpromise and point out possible weaknesses and how to resolve them then you will build trust. They will also be grateful when you over-deliver.

Know your client’s aims. 

A client’s motivations may be different from what they write down. Their personal aspirations would not be something they write down to give to you, but this is the clients real objective. All customers aspire to some form of status.

What do you do when your client doesn’t buy? 

If you show a client what you want but not what he wants he will tell you. Show him what he wants first and then you can then show him what you recommend which will make them the empowered chooser instead of boxing them in.

Don’t take no for an answer. 

Triumph through perseverance.

When it can’t be done, do it. If you don’t do it, it doesn’t exist. 

An idea cannot be judged by the description it needs to be done to exist. Until something exists, it is very hard for anyone to understand it. You may have to do whatever it takes to get something done so you can make it live. If you can’t solve a problem it is because you are playing by the rules.

The person who doesn’t make mistakes is unlikely to make anything. 

“I haven’t failed, I had 10,000 ideas that didn’t work”

– Benjamin Franklin

Of the 200 light bulbs that didn’t work every failure told me something that I was able to incorporate into the next attempt.” – Thomas Edison. “False starts are the precondition of success. Failure is a major contributor to success. Failing is not regrettable, but a lack of initiative is. 

“Fail, Fail again, fail Better.” 

– Samuel Beckett

It is wrong to be right. 

Being right is based on knowledge and experience, knowledge comes from the past and is out of date and the opposite of originality. Experience builds from solutions to old problems, and these problems are likely different from present ones. Experience is the opposite of being creative. If you can prove you are right, then you are set in stone and cannot move with the times or go with the flow. Being right is also called being boring, having a closed mind and being arrogant. It is wrong to be right because these people are smug, rigid and rooted in the past.

It’s right to be wrong. 

Start being wrong and anything will become possible. You no longer have to be perfect. You are exploring the unknown and you have no way to tell what will happen. You have a much greater chance of creating something amazing than if you were trying to be right. Of course, there is also a risk but people who don’t take risks are merely trying to preserve what they already have. People who do take risks often end up having more. Fortune favours the brave.

Don’t be afraid of silly ideas. 

Everyone can get mental blocks and the way to be unblocked is to stop being concerned with being right.

“High creativity is responding to situations without critical thought.”

– John Cleese

To clear a mental block do the opposite of what the solution requires. Pick a random object to be the solution to your problem.

Play your cards right. 

How you portray yourself will determine how people regard you. Give yourself some spin. Be more ambitious. How you perceive yourself is how others will perceive you.

It’s not what you know it’s who you know. 

You can be the most talented worker in the world but someone less skilled will be seen as a greater authority if they are able to talk and present themselves better. Unfair as it may seem this is the reality of life. If you know what the tricks are you can play your cards right.

Don’t give a speech. Put on a show. 

Instead of giving people the benefit of your wit and wisdom try painting them a picture. Tell them a story. The more strikingly visual your presentation is the more people will remember it and the more they will remember you.

Getting fired can be a positive career move. 

It means that you were at odds with the company and the job was not a right fit for you. This can be because you have too much initiative.

Doing a layout means having an idea. 

Treat a layout with the same passion and intensity that you bring to the main idea.  Don’t just arrange words and pictures arbitrarily, Invent a brand image, a look that dramatises the product or service. You want it to be recognisable at a hundred paces. You want it to be striking and stick to peoples subconscious even if they only catch a fleeting glimpse.

Compose your ad from the weakest point. 

Start a layout knowing where the big problems are that will need to be solved and make this an integral part of the idea. Be unfashionable and take risks.

Rough layouts sell the idea better than polished ones. 

If you show a client a highly polished layout they will probably reject it. There is nothing for them to do and it is all your work and not their work so they will not feel involved.  If they don’t like what one expects they will reject it upon seeing it. It is hard for them to imagine anything else if you show something with so much detail. Instead, first, show the client a scribble, explain it to him, let him use his imagination and get him involved. Work with him rather than confronting him with your idea.

If you get stuck, draw with a different pen. 

Change the tools you are using and it may change the way you are thinking. Experiment with different tools and see what different results you get.

Suppliers are only good as you are. 

You are the magic. Don’t hand work over to a supplier expecting them to produce the magic. You have the vision and allow them to expand it into something they haven’t done before. Lead them along the path to enlightenment. Show them a better way and show no fear.

Don’t be afraid to work with the best. 

The best people can be difficult, single-minded and have tunnel vision and that is what makes them good. Approach them with the attitude to do good work and they will respond well as they want to do good work also. If you are clear and strong about what you want to do you may have arguments with them but they will respect you afterwards.

Get out of advertising. 

90% of advertising inspiration comes from other advertising. To be original you must seek your own inspiration from unexpected sources and merge influences.

Do not try to win awards. 

Awards are judge by consensus, in other words by what is in fashion but originality can never be in fashion. Do not follow the fashion be true to yourself and it is far more likely that you will create something that is timeless. That is true art.

How you can make your company great. 

Everyone wants to be proud of where they work. But not everyone is fortunate enough to work in a glamorous company.. What you can do about it is to start talking your company up. Begin thinking like a winner and behaving like a winner. This will halt negative thinking and a defeatist attitude. If people are talking your company down take issue with them. Don’t expect anyone else to lead the way. A company’s reputation can be built by one or two people so aim to be one of them. Decide you are going to make the company great. Just do it better.

How a senior manager can make a big difference. 

A senior manager can broker an abnormal deal that can make huge differences to both creative standards and morale.

How a junior account handler can make a big difference. 

You can use your initiative to further your agency’s image and your own. Set aside some time and money to make astonishing fresh creative work. Speak to the very best creative people about doing some extra special work. Do not make it politically correct but focus on making it creatively excellent. Take risks. If you fail do it again.

How a media buyer can make a big difference. 

They have a huge influence on when, where and what advertising is seen. They normally make these decisions based on statistics and are boring and dull. Instead, make your advertising more visible.

What is meant by the word “creative”? 

“Creative” is the currency in which ad agencies operate and means something different to each client. So you must find out exactly what your client means by it as it will probably be different from your definition.

How to improve your strike rate. 

Slogans win business. You need to find a way to sum up what the client wants to feel about his company but cannot express themselves. You need to make them proud of the company they work for. Make your slogan an integral part of the headline. Every version you show will imprint the idea on the client’s mind. Advertising starts with a name, if you have a presentation use their logo and colour schemes. Make them feel at home. Present the creative work first don’t bore them with charts and statistics. Do not do something too original or too controversial on your first meeting with a client. Present on a Tuesday.

My finest hour. 

The subject itself is the story and it is better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission. Would you rather be fired for having taken a risk or not be fired for playing it safe?  Take the risks

Notes from the pulpit. 

People can regard advertising as trying to sell people things they don’t want and as rather distasteful. But everyone is selling something, everyone is hustling trying to make people buy something, it could be their services or their point of view. The way you dress is selling yourself, you clean your car to sell it so you show it to its best advantage. We are all selling it as a part of life.

Lifes creative circle. 

The popular idea of creativity is that it has to do with the arts but this is nonsense. Creativity is imagination and imagination is for everyone.

Wit and WisdomI

It’s better to fail in originality than succeed in imitation” – Herman Melville.

“Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

“The first thing to decide before you walk into any negotiation is what to do if the other fellow says no.” – Ernest Bevin

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills

“Those who lack courage will always find a philosophy to justify it.” – Albert Camus

“Some people take no mental exercise except from jumping to conclusions.” – Harold Acton

“If everything seems under control you are not going fast enough.” – Mario Andretti

“Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you a mechanic” – Laurence Peter

Maximum Achievement By Brian Tracy – Notes

Notes On Maximum Achievement By Brian Tracy

Maximum Achievement
  • Nature is neutral – She gives you back what you put in.
  • Fable: Many years ago, in ancient Greece, a traveller met an old man on the road and asked him how to get to Mount Olympus. The old man, who happened to be Socrates, replied by saying, “If you really want to get to Mount Olympus, just make sure that every step you take is in that direction.”
  • Sir Isaac Newton is generally considered to be the greatest scientist who ever lived. In his later years, he was asked how it was that he, one man, had managed to make such significant contributions to the world of science. He replied: “By thinking of nothing else.”
  • Success begins with you exercising your power of choice and using it to take systematic, purposeful control over the thoughts you hold in your conscious mind.
  • By rigorously disciplining yourself to talk and think about only the things you do want and refusing to dwell on those you don’t; want you begin your journey towards the stars !
  • To become all you can be you must live more consciously, you must become more alert, more aware and more awake. You must take more control over your own thought process so you move in the direction of your choosing rather than steering blindly on mental auto pilot.
  • Every experience is a positive experience if you choose to view it as an opportunity for growth and self mastery.
  • Life is a series of events and experiences that are conspiring towards me achieving a great goal and making a great contribution to mankind.

Maximum Achievement – Immutable Laws of the universe:

  • Law of Control – You feel positive about yourself to the degree to which you feel you are in control of your own life. You apply this law by choosing consciously to view yourself as an active creative influence in your own life.
  • Law of Cause and Effect – For every effect in your life their is a specific cause. Everything happens for a reason, their are no accidents. Specific causes for success and happiness, you reap what you sow.
  • Law of Belief – Whatever you believe with feeling becomes your reality. You trigger the law of belief by believing your life and experiences are leading you towards something important.
  • Law of expectations –  Whatever you expect, with confidence becomes your own, self fulfilling prophecy. Expect to be happy successful and liked. Apply this by confidently expecting to gain something worth while from everything that happens to you. Make your life into an adventure! Go around all day thinking something wonderful is about to happen !
  • Law of Attraction – You are a living magnet, you invariably attract people and situations into your life in harmony with your dominant thoughts. Discipline yourself by keeping your thoughts on what you want and refusing to think about what you do not want.
  • Law of Correspondence – That your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. Your relationships in the outer world correspond to your “true self”. Your outer world of health & income depend on the inner attitudes of your mind.
  • Law of Subconscious Activity – Any idea or thought that you accept as “true” in your conscious mind will be accepted unquestioningly by your sub-conscious mind and your sub-conscious will immediately being work to bring it into your reality. All your words, actions and body language set a pattern consistent with your dominant thoughts and goals.
  • Law of Concentration – Whatever you dwell upon, grows. Whatever you think about something the more it becomes a part of your reality. Dwell on thoughts of love, courage, hope, confidence etc and meditate on these daily.
  • Law of Substitution – Your conscious mind can only hold one thought at a time and you can substitute one thought for another. This “crowding out” principle deliberately allows you to replace a negative though with a positive thought. This allows you control of your emotional life. Stop thinking about the problem and start thinking about the Solution.

Whatever you want, wants you

  • Leo Tolstoy story, tells kids to go into a garden and not think of a white rabbit and they will find the secret to happiness , they cannot do this. The white rabbit is the excuses people use. Don’t make excuses !
  • We are all self employed no matter who signs the paycheck. Any company you work for is your company !
  • Take full responsibility for all results, successes and failures.
  • Holding grudges and anger towards people you feel may have hurt you is the number 1 cause of mental illness.
  • The law of forgiveness !
  • The inability to forgive lies at the root of resentment, guilt and allot of negative emotions.
  • Put your desire to live a good life and have a good character higher than any negative emotion.
  • Forgive your parents. Forgive everyone else. Forgive Yourself.
  • Overtime in your life you create your innermost convictions of what is possible of you.

Steps to Activating your Subconscious Mind

  1. Verbalisation – Articulate in words the desired outcome.
  2. Visualisation – Creating a clear mental picture of what the outcome will look like.
  3. Emotionalisation – Creating the emotion and feeling of satisfaction and pleasure that would accompany the resolved situation.
  4. Releasing all concern  – While you turn your mind to other things.
  5. Realisation -The appearance of the solution the achievement of your goal.

The Comfort Zone

  • Push yourself outside your comfort zone, Do this consciously otherwise your subconscious will always try to keep you in it.
  • If something is worth doing right, then its worth doing awkwardly at first.
  • Success = Goals, and all else is commentary.
  • Learn to set out and achieve goals naturally.
  • Your only limitation is your desire, how badly do you want it ?
  • You are equipped with a success mechanism and a failure mechanism. Your failure mechanism is your natural tendency to follow the path of least resistance, your impulse towards immediate gratification, with little or no concern for the long term consequences of your actions. Your success mechanism can override your failure mechanism. Your success mechanism is triggered by a goal. The bigger your goal and the more intensely you desire it the more likely you will be to exert your powers of self discipline and willpower, the more capable you will be at making yourself do the things you need to do to get where you want to go.
  • “First Decide exactly what it is you want. Most people never do that. Second determine the price you will have to pay to get it and then resolve to pay that price” – H.L. Hunt, his formulae for success.
  • You have to pay the price for success in advance. When you have sown you will reap. Cause and effect. Action, Reaction.
  • The Greatest single enemy for your potential for greater success and achievement is your comfort zone, your tendency to get stuck in a rut and never change, even positive, that will get you out of it.
  • All growth requires change and change is inevitable. Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your life allowing it to be self determined.
  • People who do not have goals are doomed forever to work for those that do.
  • The fear of failure is because people do not understand that t is impossible to succeed without failure.
  • Success is a numbers game. There is a direct relationship between the number of things you attempts and your ability of ultimately succeeding.
  • It took Thomas Edison 11,000 experiments before he discovered the carbon filament for the light bulb. A journalist once asked him why he persisted, he said “you do not understand the way the world works, I have successfully identified 5000 ways that will not work, that just puts me 5000 ways closer to the way that will work”.
  • Vince Lombardi once said on losing a football game “We didn’t lose, we just ran out of time”.
  • Accept temporary setbacks and obstacles as the inevitable price to pay for any great success in life.

Maximum Achievement – 12 Step Goal Setting System

  1. Desire – Burning, Intense, Desire. The motivational force of power to overcome the fear or inertia that holds most people back. Dwell on your desires till they override and push aside your fears. Desires are personal, decide what YOU really want !
  2. Belief – Conviction ! You must absolutely believe it is possible to achieve your goal. You must have complete faith that you desire the goal and it will come to you exactly when you are ready for it. Nurture your faith and beliefs until they deepen to an absolute conviction that your goal is attainable. Belief is the catalyst to activate your subconscious.
  3. Write It Down – Goals that are not in writing are not goals at all they are merely wishes. When you write a goal down you crystallise it and make it tangible.
  4. Make a list of all the ways you will benefit from achieving the goal – Reasons why are forces that intensify your desire. Motivation depends on your motive and the more reasons you have the more motivated you will be. Your reasons why must be uplifting and inspiring, they must be big enough to drive you onward. It is when you have big reasons for achieving your goal that you develop the intensity and purpose that makes you irresistible. If your reasons are big enough, your beliefs solid enough and your desires intense enough nothing can stop you.
  5. Analyse your starting point – Determining your starting point gives you a baseline to measure your progress and lets you know exactly how much you have to do to achieve. The clearer you are about where you are coming from the more likely you will be to get where you want to go.
  6. Set a deadline – Set a deadline on all tangible goals. People resist setting deadlines for fear of not meeting them.Think about your goal by projecting forward till after you have completed it and imagine the steps you took to get there. Then think backwards from the achievement to the goal.
  7. Make a list of all the obstacles that stand between you and the achievement of your goal – If there are no obstacles it is probably not a goal and more likely an activity. Make a list of obstacles then arrange them in order of biggest to smallest. The biggest obstacle is your rock. You will need to remove this first. Obstacles are the flip side of success and achievement. Your rock may be internal or external – Be honest !
  8. Identify the Additional information you will need to achieve your goal – The most successful people have more essential information than others. Make a list of all the information, skills, talents, abilities and experience will need then make a plan to learn, buy, borrow or attain these as quick as possible.
  9. Make a list of all the people who’s help and co-operation you will require – TO accomplish anything worthwhile you will need other people, people will help you accomplish your goals once you have shown them a willingness to help achieve theirs. Make a list and order it !
  10. Make a plan – Write out in detail what you want, when you want it , why you want it then make a list of activities ordered by priority. Many activities can be worked on simultaneously or others have to be done in sequence. Once you have all the actions listed in value for the plan, then START! The more detailed and better organised your plans the more likely you are to reach your goals exactly as you have desired them.
  11. Visualisation -Create a clear mental picture of your goal as it would appear if it was already achieved. Project this picture over and over again in the screen of your mind, with emotion !
  12. Make the decision in advance that you will never give up ! – Back your goals and plans with persistence and determination. Never consider the possibility of failure. Never think about quitting, hold on no matter what happens of all qualities to develop your ability to persevere is the most important.
  • Mark each day with an accomplishment of some kind !
  • Accept the powers of your super conscious mind!
  • Learn from every experience, refuse to get upset, keep your mind calm and focused on your goals.

How to bring all the powers of the superconscious mind to bear on a single issue

  1. Define the problem or goal clearly. Preferably in writing. Exactly what is it you want to achieve, exactly what is the problem ?
  2. Gather as much information as you can, do research ask questions, actively seek the answer you need.
  3. Consciously try to solve the problem by reviewing all the information you have gathered.
  4. If you still have not solved the problem consciously then turn it over to your super conscious mind. The way you would a balloon and let it float away.
  5. Get your conscious mind busy elsewhere. Turn you attention away. and let your super conscious mind take care of your problem for you.

Social Skills

  • Great way to raise an objection is to put it into the mouth of an imaginary third person e.g. “What would our customers think if they knew that” or “Wouldn’t someone in this position think this” etc.
  • Smile
  • Express appreciation
  • Express approval
  • Correct in private, praise in public.
  • Active listening.
  • Practice the art of conversation!

    Overall It’s a great book on goal setting and achievment from Brian Tracy.


Sign up for my newsletter and receive updates on my articles, podcasts and videos.

You will also get a download of my guide "The Morning Routine for Martial Artists" which details the top five routine habits to start a martial artists day.

You have Successfully Subscribed!