Category Archives: Change

If It Doesn’t Suck, It’s Not Worth Doing!

Came across this article by Benjamin P. Hardy that he had originally contributed to in Inc.com. I find that what Mr. Hardy has written is a very insightful article sharing some important truths. Take a read and see for yourself.

Original Hardy article posted on Inc.com

According to psychological research, the anticipation of an event is almost always more emotionally powerful than the event itself.

According to psychological research, the anticipation of an event is almost always more emotionally powerful than the event itself.

The dread of asking your boss for a raise is paralyzing and can last months. Yet, once you get yourself to finally do it, it’s over before you know it. The excitement of attaining some object or objective can become obsessive. Yet, shortly after you obtain your desire, you’re bored and in search of something else. “We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them,” says Dr. Thomas Gilovich, Cornell psychologist.

Interestingly, your mind can seduce you so much so that the idea of something becomes more satisfyingthan the thing itself, so you stop at the idea and never make it real. Thus, in his book, Ego is the EnemyRyan Holiday explains that a primary obstacle to success is the idea of success.

It’s so easy to dream.

It’s easy to tell people about your ambitions. It’s easy to create vision boards and write down your goals. It’s easy to stand in front of a mirror and declare affirmations.

And that’s where most people stop.

The very act of dreaming stops you from achieving your dreams.

You’ve played-it out in your mind with such intoxicating detail that you become satisfied enough. You become numbed. And you deceive yourself into believing you’ve actually done something productive.

Consequently, when you attempt the activity itself, you immediately hit a stone wall of resistance. More often than not, you quickly distract yourself from the discomfort with some form of momentary pleasure. Yet, Robert Greene explains in his book, Masterythat you can learn to love this internal resistance. In his words, “You find a kind of perverse pleasure in moving past the pain this might bring.”

How To Get Out Of Your Rut

In his book, Living with a SEALJesse Itzler tells the story of being inspired by a certain Navy SEAL and consequently inviting him to live at Itzler’s home for a month. Itzler admitted being in a personal rut and wanted to shake himself out of his routine.

Day 1: “SEAL” asked Itzler, “How many pull-ups can you do?” Itzler squeaked out eight shaky pull-ups.

“Take 30 seconds and do it again,” SEAL said.30 seconds later, Itzler got on the bar and did six, struggling.

“Take 30 seconds and do it one more time,” SEAL said. 30 seconds later, Itzler got on the bar and did three, at which point his arms were exhausted.

“Alright, we’re not leaving here until you do 100 more,” SEAL stated. Itzler was puzzled. “Alright, we’re gonna be here a long-time. Cause there’s no way I could do 100.” However, Itzler ended-up completing the challenge, doing one pull-up at a time. Thus, SEAL convinced Itzler that he could do way more than he thought he could.

The principle SEAL taught is what he calls the 40% rule – which essentially means people feel maxed-out mentally and physically, and thus stop, when they are at only 40% of their actual capacity. Going past this 40% capacity is when it becomes uncomfortable. Thus, SEAL’s mantra, “If it doesn’t suck, we don’t do it.”

The Power Of Objective-Based Pursuits

“The pain is a kind of challenge your mind presents – will you learn how to focus and move past boredom, or like a child will you succumb to the need for immediate pleasure and distraction?” – Robert Greene

Like Itzler who shattered a mental barrier by completing 100 pull-ups, you too can get out of your rut by pursuing tangible objectives.

The concept is: Do something and don’t stop until it’s complete, no matter how long it takes.

Your goal is to learn how to accomplish hard things without continuously distracting yourself. You want to develop what Greene calls “A perverse pleasure” in experiencing internal conflict, and sitting with it.

This concept is embedded in Crossfit. Unlike most people, who check their smartphones between exercise “sets,” at Crossfit, you have a specific objective and you kill yourself until it’s done.

If it doesn’t suck, we don’t do it.

You can apply this principle to anything and everything. You can do a homework assignment and just do it until it’s complete. You can write an article and stick-to-it until it’s published. You can do 100 pull-ups, or run 5 miles, and go until you’re done. Who cares how long it takes?

The Greatest Opportunity In History

In his book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport states the following:

“The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive.”

Without question, we live in the most distracted time in human history. It is almost impossible to remain focused on a single-task for more than a few minutes at a time.

The law of opposites is in affect. With every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. While most of the world is becoming increasingly distracted, a select few are capitalizing on this fact. There is also a widening chasm between the spiritual and secular – where the two used to be synonymous.

Hence, Economist Tyler Cowan has said, “Average is over.” The middle-class is gone. Either you’re among the select few who are thriving, or you’re like most people who are distracted, overweight, and struggling.

The choice is yours.

When something sucks, do you quit? Or do you push-through and eventually enjoy the satisfaction of growth and success?

Anything worth doing is going to suck at the beginning. Anything worth doing is meant to require pain and sacrifice. Herein lies the problem facing America, which originally was built on the moral of impulse control. What once used to be a country filled with people sacrificing momentary pleasure for a better future, the overpowering message of today is live for the moment.

And that’s exactly what people do. They live for this moment. Consequently, when something sucks, or becomes hard, most people quit. Most people indulge themselves in momentary satisfaction at the expense of a better future.

To make matters worse, the twin “truth” of today’s culture is love yourself for who you are. The self-esteem movement of the late 20th century is an enormous contributor to America’s faltering success.

People are taught to love themselves regardless of their performance. Thus, they justify mediocrity. Yet, Asian’s and other immigrant groups who often are considered to have low self-esteem consistently outperform American’s who have high self-esteem.

Unlike in other parts of the world where hard work is seen as a virtue, the repeated phrase in America is: “Don’t work too hard!” Success these days is to get as much as you can for as little work as possible.

In the book, The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in AmericaAmy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld explain that most successful people not only control their impulses, but also have an implicit sense of inferiority.

These people may have confidence, yet, they remain unsure of themselves. They have a chip on their shoulder due to being oppressed in some way. So they continuously push themselves, regardless of how successful they become, to prove themselves. They are never satisfied with what they’ve done. They continue to feel inferior.

These very traits are awarded in today’s economy because they are so rare. Again, few people control their impulses, but instead live for the moment. And few people, especially in America, have any sense of inferiority. Rather, most people have bought into the myth that you must first love yourself before you can become successful.

Garbage.

True confidence is earned. It’s earned by succeeding. Not by wishing for success. Meta-analytic research confirms this.

True confidence emerges when you consistently push-through things that suck. The longer you sit with the boredom, pain, and discomfort – and actually create something meaningful, the more confident and successful you will be.

Hence, Ryan Holiday explains in an interview with Lewis Howes: you are rewarded for the work you actually accomplish. Not the promises you make.

Doing the work is hard.

Getting into elite physical condition is brutal.

Building deep and committed relationships is nearly impossible. Most marriages end in divorce.

All of these things “suck,” at least initially, and in-the-moment. However, if it doesn’t suck, it’s not worth doing. And you absolutely can learn to endure the discomfort of the moment to build a life worth having.

If you’re stuck in a rut, like Itzler, challenge yourself to complete specific objectives – no matter how long they take.

Pleasure Vs. Happiness

“A life that doesn’t include hard-won accomplishment and triumph over obstacles may not be a satisfying one. There is something deeply fulfilling – even thrilling – in doing almost anything difficult extremely well. There is a joy and pride that come from pushing yourself to another level or across a new frontier. A life devoted only to the present – to feeling good in the now – is unlikely to deliver real fulfillment. The present moment by itself it too small, too hollow. We all need a future. Something beyond and greater than our own present gratification, at which to aim or feel we’ve contributed.” – The Triple Package

True happiness – joy – is fundamentally different than momentary pleasure. Not to say momentary pleasure is inherently bad. However, it often gets in the way of something more real and lasting.

Anything worth doing brings a satisfaction that distraction never can. Don’t give into the resistance. Push through the difficulty. That’s where a joy that those who stop will never taste.

Said Geologist James Talmage:

“Happiness leaves no bad after-taste, it is followed by no depressing reaction; it brings no regret, entails no remorse. True happiness is lived over and over again in memory, always with a renewal of the original good; a moment of pleasure may leave a barbed sting, [as] an ever-present source of anguish.”

Read the original article If It Doesn’t Suck here.

 

Are You Ready To Set Sail?

Have you ever wondered why it always seems that the other guy gets all the breaks?

Or, does it seem like as you put in your effort what one would expect for returns just doesn’t quite make it?

I’ve always thought that if I put in my fair share I certainly should get what I felt I deserved. However, in the end things don’t always work out the way we expect not knowing all that is involved.

For example, let’s say you fixed up a house that you purchased for some renovation, and then would intend to sell off at a higher price to account for the time and material you put in hopefully making a nice profit.

In this example we’ll say that you purchase the home for $150,000. After three years the updates were complete and the house was ready to be sold.

It turns out that the amount you put in to get the house ready for sale over the three-year period was $25,000. Unfortunately, the most that buyers were willing to offer to purchase the house was $165,000.

It turns out that there were more houses available than buyers at that time, therefore giving buyers a greater option to choose from and what to offer when they did wish to buy. At that time is had become a buyers’ market, something that is beyond our control.

A similar situation like this had happen to me recently. My situation was a financial loss in the end, but it did provide many exciting opportunities over those years getting the house ready in the end.

Yesterday I was attending a meeting and the speaker, Chris Brady, shared this statement, “Your ship doesn’t come in until you send one out!”

Although my “ship” didn’t come back overflowing with profit when I sold that house, it did come back chock full of experience, knowledge, memories, opportunities, and more that I would have never been able to obtain had I not sent that ship out when I bought that house and taken the chance initially!

I’ve since been able to move forward to my next opportunity that I would never have considered had I not sent my first “ship” out…

When one is looking to do something more in their life they need to take the first step and see what that life looks like. If we wait for the right thing to come to us we’re going to miss it only because we won’t recognize it not knowing what we’re looking for!

Get up and experience things you want to do. Determine what you what to be doing in life and go do it!

Believe in yourself,

Warren La Duke

Look Through My Eyes!

I’ve always been the type of person who always wanted things done not only correct, but also done my way! My wife will definitely confirm to that.

But anytime when one takes on a project that involves multiple areas of expertise, something will suffer. What we see through our eyes isn’t always see the same through another’s. So, even though I may feel my way is the correct and right way the next person will disagree! I’m sure you do.

In my last article I discussed how we should focus on our own circle of competency, what it is that we are an expert ourselves at. Whenever we step outside that circle not only is there now a zone of doubt around all that we do just from our lack of knowledge and experience, but we also increase the time factor in all that is done.

Just so we may now be comfortable and think we are confident in what is happening.

This might even require that we must do additional research to find out more information on what needs to be done. Resulting in some trial and error episodes that lead to mistakes and backtracking in what has occurred ending up in additional costs.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? It sure does to me…

By remaining within our own circle of competency and then working with others experienced in the issues located outside our own, this will result in an expert in that area resolving those issues

  • Faster that anything we are capable of
  • The job will be completed with fewer problems
  • The final cost will be less
  • We’ll be much more satisfied with the end results
  • We’re able to remain focused on our own tasks at hand

And when the dust settles we now have another client that to work with on future projects as well as be referenced by them to other clients of theirs.

Believe in yourself,

Warren La Duke

Who’s Rocking The Boat Now?

Was reading an article today that was talking about how as the next generation of Millennials begin to take charge of the work force we need to also prepare for how the working environment will change.

This wasn’t anything negative or against Millennials. Like so many articles I’ve seen written about the upcoming next generation that is about to flood the work force we should be prepared for the changes they will bring upon us all…

Definitely there will be some truth to that. As I was growing up there was all sorts of things being said about the changes that baby boomers would being, and how they will change the work force environment, etc., etc. Then it was all about Gen X’ers and what they will do to the work force and how they will change the world!

Some truth about every generation:

  • The two things that will always affect people and how they make their decisions are power and money. This has never changed and never will.
  • Overall people are lazy and will always look to find the easiest way to resolve a situation.
  • With each generation there are leaders and there are followers. There are always more followers than leaders.
  • And whoever is presently in charge is in charge. While the new leaders are finagling their way into the leader’s seat they also are watching and listening to those who are also presently leading.
  • People are afraid to make changes in their life not knowing how it may affect them

To become a leader you must have followers otherwise, as the saying goes, you’re just out for a walk!

A good leader, no matter what generation they’re from, will also learn from those who have already been through mine field, so to speak. Otherwise, they’re making the same mistakes, and are wasting time and money as well.

When you learn from the old, you also learn the how and why they are doing things their way. As we age we also learn that often, there’s a reason many things are the way they are.

Thus, the desire to change by so many, albeit a good one, is nothing new. It’s just being repeated as the next generation comes into their own and more are finding their way into the work force.

If we don’t like the life we’re living, no matter what generation we’re from, it’s time to make a change!

To break the cycle of repetition, find someone to work with who can offer help through the difficulties that you may be dealing with. Make certain that they are familiar with your needs versus just talking about them.

If they’re going to coach you, then the coach should be their working with you, willing to get their hands dirty too. Get references from past clients before giving up too much.

And when something goes wrong make certain you take the time to both sit down and determine what happened so it doesn’t happen again. Always learn from mistakes!

Remember, if the hole you find yourself in is a deep one it’ll also take time to fill it back in! Give yourself the time to properly adjust and make necessary corrections to see the right results.

Believe in yourself,

Warren La Duke

Old Habits

I really enjoy to garden. It can be a vegetable garden or flower garden, it just doesn’t matter. I truly love doing it. The joy of getting out and getting my hands dirty as I prepare the soil for planting, watching the plants grow, and produce fruit or seed or whatever beauty they will eventually offer is amazing.

But to me one of my most favorite things about gardening is being out in the garden and pulling weeds! Keeping the garden under control and I guess I’ll just say clean. What a joy I’ve found that time is for me to be as I’m outside by myself, usually, with the opportunity to enjoy not only that beauty provided by the garden, but also what surrounds me everywhere else.

It also provides me with one of my best times to think about just what’s going on in my life and dealing with issues that may have recently come up or ones that I know will be coming up.

For years as I have done my gardening I would always purchase the seeds and then take the time to get them started indoors or to plant them outside appropriately. Then fuss with the seedling to make sure it would get sufficient light and water and grow to a reasonable size before I transplanted it. In the end it was always a lot of work, and always worth it.

Last year my older brother, also and avid gardener, informed me that he stopped that and just purchases the number of seedlings he needs from a nearby greenhouse at a reasonable price.

Looking into buying the seedlings this year I decided to also just purchase what I needed instead of going through the issues of growing the seedlings and transplanting them myself.

What a difference! For the minimal price that I paid I can’t believe I’ve been putting myself through all this extra work over the years. Actually, I can’t believe that I was that blockheaded to not consider this sooner and had to wait for my brother to tell me about it first!

Too often when we’re doing things for our business or our jobs, there’s always an easier or a simpler way that makes the process better, more cost efficient, and is easier for all to understand. Many times, different options are right in front of us, but we may just be too blind to notice them.

Initially when we learned a process for doing something, that way of doing it has stuck with us and we may find it hard to consider other options. That doesn’t mean what we learned is the best or easiest way. Especially, when it comes for others to understand also!

Keep your mind open to new ideas and new methods that may improve whatever it is you’re doing.

Remember, it’s all about our customers and clients and how they see it not how we see it!

Believe in yourself,

Warren La Duke

If Waldo Can Find It, Why Can’t I?

Sometimes I wonder why success is so darn elusive. I mean, it seems that we read about so many other people who have claimed to have found their golden nugget, why is it so difficult for me to find?

Have you ever asked yourself that question, or some variation of it? Now a day just about everyone is looking for some way of easy living and no longer having to worry about where the money is going to come from.

Unfortunately, success isn’t something that is given to us unless you win the lottery or are born in the right situation. But even then, to retain what has been given you has to be earned and learned otherwise before you know it all will be gone, and you’ll be looking for ways to earn money again.

We seem to feel that the circumstances we’re under at any one time are what are restraining us from moving forward. If that’s where you find yourself, then I must say it’s time to get yourself our from under those circumstances and take control of your life and all that’s taking place!

It’s easy to find excuses for what’s happening in our lives, and there might be comfort when we’re able to point the finger somewhere. Realize, however, there’s a reason that there’s always three fingers pointing back at ourselves whenever we point the finger trying to place blame somewhere else.

We’re always the reason that something happens or doesn’t happen in our lives. And that’s a fact we must accept to move forward. Once that’s done we’ll be able to see things from a completely different perspective and be willing to consider what is happening from a totally new viewpoint.

Being positive and accepting responsibility opens the door to a new way of living that provides us opportunities we otherwise didn’t know existed.

This also allows us to plan our life differently than what we do now, how we spend our money, how we prepare for our future, where we spend our free time, and with whom we spend our time with.

The Pope asked Michelangelo, “Tell me the secret of your genius. How have you created the statute of David, the masterpieces of all masterpieces?” Michelangelo answered, “It’s simple, I removed everything that is not David.”

Are we willing to remove all that is not the David in our lives to create our masterpiece?

Believe in yourself,

Warren La Duke

What Language Are You Speaking?

Congratulations on your decision to buy _____________ (fill in the blank).

Don’t worry about all the paperwork of the legal jargon just sign here and here and here and we’ll take are of everything else for you…

Too often when we decide to make a purchase the requires signing paperwork that includes agreeing to things that we don’t take the time to read through it just might lead to something harmful. In the end though we’re willing to do sign and move on because we don’t understand what has been written down.

In most situations if we were to take the time to read through the extra paperwork it might take a while, but in the end, we would find that it does make sense. Even though some of it truly is repetitive hogwash that is there to cover someone’s backside.

Most of the confusion comes when someone tries to explain it to us.

Either they have no idea of what they’re trying to tell us, or they are putting it in terms that they completely understand but no one else can because they feel everyone else speaks at the same level of comprehension as they do.

When speaking to others it’s necessary to speak at their level of understanding otherwise they won’t be listening very long. If you’re an attorney and you’re speaking to other attorneys it’s okay to talk in legal jargon, but if your audience is familiar with legal terminology then it’s best to scale the language back and use words they understand. This applies to written as well as verbal.

I do believe that it’s so important to make certain you understand you’re talking at the same level is so important I want to take this one step further.

How often have you had a conversation go sour because the other person just couldn’t agree with you over something that you felt was so simple?

Here’s the question I have, were you both talking about the same thing? When the discussion starts to get heated make sure that you’re first talking about the same thing before trying to resolve anything.

Believe in yourself,

Warren La Duke