Thinking Magically™ | I’m Scott Grossberg and This is How I Work

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking.
Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own voice.
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition,
They somehow already know what you truly want to become.
Everything else is secondary.”
- Steve Jobs

For some time, the wonderfully entertaining and informative site, Lifehacker, has been running a “How I Work” series. Various people are interviewed and together they explore learn about what makes these people tick … From their favorite apps to their preferred gear and, of course, how they work. Lifehacker hasn’t gotten around to asking me to be part of this series, yet … So I thought I would do it myself. Many of you have asked how I accomplish my day-to-day magic. Well, here’s a sampling.

Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA (just outside Los Angeles)
Current Gig: Creator (that should nicely encompass me being an author, public speaker, executive coach, attorney, and magician)
One word that describes how you work: Passionate
Current mobile device: iPhone 5s (Space Gray)
Current computers: iMac (with dual display), MacBook Pro (Retina Display, 15-inch), iPad Air (128GB), and iPad Mini (128GB)

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Why?
I live in either iThoughts HD (for iPad and iPhone) or XMind (for my desktop and laptop). Both are mind mapping tools that sync with each other. These tools mirror the way my brain works and allows me the greatest flexibility for my workflow. I still long for Lotus Agenda and I’ve now created my own Lotus Agenda replacement with these mind mapping tools.

Next would be Notesy (for iPad and iPhone) and Notational Velocity or nvalt (for my desktop and laptop). These are how I capture quick thoughts, reminders, and even record my time.

I’ve started using Siri a lot more. I probably dictate about 30-40% of the time now. I find it truly effective and efficient to dictate several emails in one Notesy entry and then break them apart later into more formal email transmittals. And when Apple’s iOS 8 is released, Siri is going to be even more compelling and omnipresent.

GoodReader is my filing system for my iPad and iPhone. It’s really the Swiss Army Knife of apps.

My handwritten notes are usually captured in a Moleskine (yes, I keep a terrestrial journal) or in an app called Noteshelf.
Naturally, I work a lot in my calendar – it’s how  manifest what I want to accomplish. So I am going back and forth between my desktop/laptop Outlook program and Pocket Informant Pro on my iPad and iPhone. They sync back and forth and make my life easier.

What’s your workspace setup like?
My office kind of looks like Mission Control. I have a dual monitor iMac setup. Dual monitors make me much more effective and efficient. I may even move to three screens at some time. I also have a Wacom tablet hooked up so I can draw digitally or make notes as needed.

I also have a standing desk. My MacBook Pro usually sits on that so I can move freely around without losing time.
Naturally, my iPad goes everywhere with me. When I’m traveling, my workspace is made up of my iPad, iPhone, personal hotspot, Apple TV, and extra batteries for the iPad and iPhone.

My workspace really isn’t complete without workout equipment (I like to keep moving). I have a Bosu ball, TRX suspension cord, a large stability ball, and a medicine ball in my office. I make it a habit to periodically take breaks and exercise.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?
Planning, scheduling, and actually participating in my own success. I find that most people spend most of their time mostly reacting to what Life mostly throws at them. I like to plan, plan, plan. That doesn’t mean that I’m not flexible. But, I know what I want to create and accomplish on any given day. And I’m ruthless about not participating in and eliminating anything that doesn’t further my grand designs. I like structure. And I like routines.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
I keep a Moleskine journal that is carefully configured to track my to-dos. For more complex and fluid projects, I will use iThoughts HD and XMind (mentioned above) to create elaborate action item workflows and deadline tracking.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
My iPod. I still use the old iPod Classic. It’s got 160GB of storage and holds my entire music library. I must have music around me.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret?
I’ve been told that I’m very organized and have a systematic way to make certain that things happen when, where, and as they should. I think that’s really a manifestation of my ability to see patterns in just about anything and everyone. I look at those patterns (even my own) and connect them to what I want to have happen.

Results are very important to me and my clients. That means I start with the desired result, first, and then systematically create a workflow and flight plan that will take me (or my clients) from where I am to where I want to be. It’s a very scripted and structured progression that has improvisation time built into it (no matter how much you plan, Life has a way of throwing you surprises).

What do you listen to while you work?
I listen to all kinds of music. Neil Diamond is my favorite artist. And I’ve really become enamored with Delta Rae lately. I usually set up custom listening stations on iTunes Radio.

I have been experimenting with ambient noise, as well. Take a look at coffitivity.com, rainycafe.com, and soundrown.com for some ideas of what I’m talking about.

What are you currently reading?
I’m notorious for reading three or four books at a time.
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Col. Chris Hadfield; Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way by Sir Richard Branson; It Worked for Me in Life and Leadership by Colin Powell

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
I’m an introvert who’s learned to be an extrovert. Many of you have heard the story before: I used to hide under my bed when I was little and I was afraid to go into stores. I’ve developed a strategy – a system, if you will – that guarantees the superpower of being sociable. Still, I need my alone time to regenerate that superpower.

What’s your sleep routine like?
Sleep? What’s that? Okay, seriously, I don’t usually sleep through the night. It’s more like a series of naps. Cumulatively, I get about 4-5 hours sleep a night. Sometimes a little more.

There are times when I’ll take a power nap of 30-45 minutes during the day if I know I have a late night ahead.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions.
Albert Einstein, Neil Diamond, and Jesus

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My parents constantly reminded me that I could be, do, and have anything I wanted. The best advice from them was actually not a saying but their actions. My father was insanely entrepreneurial. My mother is the role model for being a bohemian. When you combine those two traits, you have magic.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers/fans?
The world is moving so fast and technology is changing so quickly that many people don’t think they can keep up. I promise you that by just employing a few, simple systems and creating a habit of success you can achieve what others think is impossible.

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you cgo ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved. thinkingmagically.com

(Source: scottgrossberg.wordpress.com)

Thinking Magically™ | Life is a One-Legged Event

My movements, ma’am, are all leg movements.
I don’t do nothing with my body.
- Elvis Presley

YOU HAVE TO KNOW THE ANSWER TO THE RIGHT QUESTION FIRST

In preparing for the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon I was fortunate to have access to a wonderful running coach, Chris Heuisler.

Right from the beginning, Chris asked me: “Is running a one-legged or a two-legged activity?

What the hell,” I thought. “This has got to be a trick question.” But he seemed earnest in asking me so I thought about it a moment. Then the answer was clear: “It’s two-legged,” I proclaimed.

It’s a one-legged sport,” Chris corrected.

If it was a two-legged sport, it would be called jumping.”

Think about it.

He’s right.

And Chris’ repartee with me is also a great lesson in Life, itself.

For most of us, life is about putting one foot in front of the other one day at a time.

Oh, I know that we all periodically leap from one goal to another. And there are times we all feel like a rocket on a trajectory to a desired success point. But …

JUST MAKE SURE YOU’RE NOT PLUMMETING SOMEWHERE

Let’s start with some distinctions.

When you walk, you’re placing one foot at a time in front of the other. And only one foot leaves contact with the ground at a time. And there are times when both feet are touching the ground at the same time. It is the most common way we all get around.

When you run, you obviously move faster than when you walk. And there are points in the activity when both of your feet are off the ground at the same time. Here’s the interesting thing about running: because of its unbroken nature, there is really no part of the actual activity that is considered a “beginning.”

When you jump, you are catapulting yourself into and through the air. Jumping is different from running (and certainly walking) because of how long you stay in the air and usually you land in one spot and that’s it. (I know there are creatures who get through life by hopping about – but humans aren’t know to do that.)

The reason Chris was so adamant about marathon training being a one-legged activity is that, as opposed to jumping, you have a starting point, you move forward, you keep moving towards a specific goal by walking or running or some combination of the two, you pass the finish line, and you keep moving. There is always one foot on the ground at some point to keep you stabilized and your momentum assured.

When you’re setting goals for success that are consistent and sustainable, you want to be in a one-legged activity – moving forward one foot at a time, constantly able to shift your course and speed as may be needed, and able to move on to the next goal once the initial one is achieved.

THERE ARE ALWAYS HURDLES TO BE OVERCOME

I was on the track team in high school. Periodically, I was asked to participate in hurdling to help round out the team. Hurdling involves both running AND jumping (it’s really called hurdling – not jumping). There are a sequence of barriers set up and runners must pass over these obstacles. The ideas is to hurdle correctly so you’re not just jumping over an obstacle and landing. Rather, you want to run, pass over the obstacle, AND KEEP GOING.

The last thing you want to do -TRUST ME – is crash into the barrier. You’re not going to finish, let alone win, the race. And you just might get hurt.

And without the proper training as to the technique you should be using, you can overcome a hurdle only to find that you’ve injured yourself because you’ve landed wrong on the other side.

And you don’t want to focus on the hurdle. That is nearly a guarantee you’re going to hit it.

Rather, you want to be confident in your training, your stride, and your technique so that, when the obstacle appears, you seem to just magically glide over it and get back to the race.

Life certainly has a way of surprising us, doesn’t it? When that happens, wouldn’t it be nice to know you’ve taken the time – ahead of the surprise – to determine some well-planned steps that you can rely upon to get you to, over, and through your obstacles?

If you will spend your passion and energy on planning your steps toward your goal, then you will be able to spend the least amount of that passion and energy getting over Life’s obstacles.

START YOUR ONE-LEGGED TRAINING TODAY

Nothing will destroy your pace through a race (and Life for that matter) than an injury to one of your legs. I know that most trainers have you concentrate on bilateral exercises and strength training. However, whether you’re participating in a marathon or going through Life, you will only have one foot on the ground for most of the time.

For racing, this means you need to concentrate some of your attention on what stabilizes you: each leg and foot. That means you should be doing some one-legged exercises to strengthen your core, stance, and enhance your performance.

For Life, this means you need to concentrate some of your attention on what stabilizes you: each step along the way to your dreams. That means you should be constantly training and learning new concepts and workflow ideas to strengthen your resolve to reach your goals and enhance what you do along that path so you are fulfilled when you finally “get there.”

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved. thinkingmagically.com

(Source: scottgrossberg.wordpress.com)

Thinking Magically™ | The Most Important Thing You Can Be Clear About To Achieve Your Goals (Pt 2)

What’s important at the grocery store is just as important in engines or medical systems.
If the customer isn’t satisfied, if the stuff is getting stale,
if the shelf isn’t right, or if the offerings aren’t right, it’s the same thing.
You manage it like a small organization.
You don’t get hung up on zeros.
- Jack Welch

Today we continued to transform you from just being results-oriented to also being systems-oriented. (As a reminder, you will still focus on being results-oriented once you wrap your head around a system-for-success-type of focus so you can ensure the attainment of whatever goal you have.)

STARTING OUT: THINKING ABOUT THE PROCESS RATHER THAN THE PRODUCT

Let’s begin with an important concept that you’ve probably not really considered before – without YOU you can’t have success. YOU are the one who determines what success means at any given time. And YOU are the one who has to do something to make that success happen.
That means what YOU do is the foundational element to all success.

If you’re ever going to have consistent and sustainable achievement, you have to develop a system for success that works for YOU.
And here’s the real profound secret to all this … because it’s all about YOU, there isn’t a cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all approach to a system for success. Rather, this is all about finding out what works for you and how you do that success. From there it’s simply a matter of being mindful to the system you need to adhere to and following the steps.

SYSTEMS WILL GET YOU THE SUCCESS YOU WANT

This quote from Michael Basch, a founding officer of FedEx, says it well: “Ordinary people working with extraordinary systems deliver extraordinary results.” I like to paraphrase it like this, though: “Extraordinary systems used with extraordinary purpose will make anyone extraordinary. The results will follow.”

What does this all mean for you? If you want to change your results, change the way you get them.

If I could sit down with you and immerse you in the reprogramming for your success, most of the time we would essentially be creating and embedding “if-then” commands. There would be a whole bunch of conditional constructs that go like this: “IF this [whatever event you might imagine] happens, THEN I will do this [whatever action you want to happen] or ELSE I will do this [whatever alternative action you will take if the imagined event does not happen].”

With this simplistic system, you quickly learn that you can program yourself to respond to challenges in a way that furthers your bigger goal. This subtle program takes you from being re-active to pro-active. I wonder how many of you have ever actually done this: sitting down and actually programming now you will specifically and powerfully and meaningfully respond in a variety of situations. I can tell you that most of the people I encounter simply react to what they view as the uncertainty and whims of Life. That makes them – and perhaps you – the pawns of those who know what they want. I don’t think this latter scenario is the way you really want to go through life.

YOUR JOB IS TO FIND THE RIGHT SYSTEM THAT WILL GUARANTEE YOU THE OUTCOMES YOU WANT

Then, and only then, is it time to actually implement your master plan.

The formula is easy: ENVISION. PROCESS. EXECUTE.

I promise you that, if you will just obsessively follow this formula, you will FEEL BETTER. And … you’ll start seeing the results and impact and significance that you desire.

But you have to take the time to fathom out what the right system is for you. So, again, look back over your life and make a list of those things you do that bring you the best results or the best returns on your investment of time, energy, and money. Then, deconstruct what you did in the past and turn that into your own personal success system.

SIX SIMPLE STEPS TO SYSTEMATIZE YOUR LIFE (WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SANITY OR BEING TOO RIGID)

If you still need a little help figuring out what the right system for you might be, here’s a possible outline for you to expand upon:

1. Write down what you want to achieve. Not the little day-to-day victories. What’s your one Big Hairy Audacious Goal (from James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1994 book, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies)

2.  Compare where you are with where you want to be. Be brutally honest. Really dig and find the gap that exists between now (where you are) and then (what you wrote down in Step 1). This is the gap that exists for you.

3.  Give your monster a name. Ask yourself: What’s keeping me from having what I want right now? There’s something (or someone) keeping you from having what you want most in life. What is it? Until you give a name to your monster, it will control you.

4. Fill in the blank. If I could be, do, and have anything I want to destroy what’s keeping me from having what I want, this is what it would be: ______________________________

5.  Brainstorm ways to destroy your obstacles. Again, take careful and complete notes of the system you need to put in place (the strategy and tacts you must follow) to eliminate your nemesis.

6. Fix the gap by implementing your system. Don’t just mind the gap. Don’t just give your gap lip service. And certainly don’t ignore it (if you do that, it will eventually gain on you and bite you in the butt on the way). You’re going to ACT. You have to carry out the plan you have devised step-by-step.

7.  Reassess where you are and what you want. Every time you make a decision or achieve a smaller goal, your bigger goal (what you want to achieve) might change. Be ready to start with Step 1 every step of the way.

As Ian Malcom said, “Life finds a way.” Now you can, too!

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved. thinkingmagically.com

(Source: scottgrossberg.wordpress.com)

Thinking Magically™ | The Most Important Thing You Can Be Clear About To Achieve Your Goals (Pt 1)

Is the system going to flatten you out and deny you your humanity,
or are you going to be able to make use of the system to the attainment of human purposes?
- Joseph Campbell

I ALMOST DIDN’T WRITE THIS BECAUSE I’M NOT SURE YOU CARE.

Every time I’ve thought about writing this particular article for you … I’ve stopped.

As powerful as I think the concept we’re going to talk about might be, I’ve stopped myself from sharing it with you (until now). Because I know that a great many of you not only don’t use systems for your success: you resist them mightily.

Don’t tell me what to do,” you might say. Or, “I’m a free spirit kind of person.” Or, “I don’t focus on just one thing – I’m more than that – and no system in the world is going to work for me.

Are you one of those who believe that confusion and unpredictability create the adrenalin rush that fuels your life? Or are you simply someone who’s come to believe that life is too complex to control – so why bother?

We all have something we want to attain, accomplish, reach, or win in life. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t.

You might have even set a definite major goal for yourself, already. Perhaps you’re still “finding yourself” and your dream and don’t quite know what you want to be when you grow up.

FOR THIS DISCUSSION, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHERE YOU FIND YOURSELF TODAY …

You see, I’m not going to talk about your dreams and goals and aspirations. Rather, we’re going to focus on how you get there.

Just for a moment – and this is where you take a deep breath because it might be uncomfortable (and that’s okay – this doesn’t have to be soul-soothing to be powerful) – I want you to tune out your goals.

That’s right …

Forget what you actually want to achieve.

None of that matters in this particular Here and Now.

Now I want you to ask yourself: Do I have a specific system or plan that I use ALL THE TIME to get whatever it is I might happen to want?

To put is another way …

DO YOU HAVE A WAY OF DOING LIFE THAT RESULTS IN CONSISTENT AND REPEATABLE SUCCESS FOR YOU?

Do you have a structure – a system – that allows you to consistently and systematically determine where you want to go and what you want to achieve in the future?

When they say things like this, I keep hearing, in my head, the commentary about Chaos Theory by Ian Malcolm (the mathematician character in Jurassic Park). It does like this:

Chaos theory says two things. First, that complex systems like weather have an underlying order. Second, the reverse of that-that simple systems can produce complex behavior. For example, pool balls. You hit a pool ball, and it starts to carom off the sides of the table. In theory, that’s a fairly simple system, almost a Newtonian system. Since you can know the force imparted to the ball, and the mass of the ball, and you can calculate the angles at which it will strike the walls, you can predict the future behavior of the ball. In theory, you could predict the behavior of the ball far into the future, as it keeps bouncing from side to side. You could predict where it will end up three hours from now, in theory.

But in fact, it turns out you can’t predict more than a few seconds into the future. Because almost immediately very small effects-imperfections in the surface of the ball, tiny indentations in the wood of the table-start to make a difference. And it doesn’t take long before they overpower your careful calculations. So it turns out that this simple system of a pool ball on a table has unpredictable behavior.”

I understand that Life might seem complex at any given time. I also understand that Success – whatever that means for you – can be a tangled mess of emotions, impulses, needs, and wants. That’s why …

I WANT YOU TO IGNORE WHAT YOU WANT (JUST FOR A MOMENT) AND FOCUS, INSTEAD, ON WHAT COULD BE THE REAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SUCCESS AND FAILURE.

I want you to immerse yourself in what it’s going to take to get you regularly …

Organized

Productive

In Control

Effective

Efficient

Profitable

Passionate

… no matter what the particular goal you might have in mind.

I want you to participate in your own success – not to be a haphazard victor or victim of whatever might come your way. It’s time you start mastering what happens to you rather than reacting all the time (and getting those short little bursts of satisfaction that happen AFTER you solve a problem).

The elements above are all needed in order to turn your goals, dreams, and wishes for success into sustainable freedom. To put it another way:

A SYSTEM FOR SUCCESS IS GOING TO HELP YOU FEEL BETTER

And that’s what WE ALL REALLY WANT – to feel better. You might want more money as a goal. You might want more time to spend with your family. You might want more career options. You might want more love. All of those, though, come down to one thing – you want to feel better.

Next week, I’m going to share some specific ways for you to create your own System FOR Success. Until then, just spend some time figuring out what system you’ve been using so far.

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved. thinkingmagically.com

(Source: scottgrossberg.wordpress.com)

Thinking Magically™ | Why Your Pain is Pleasing (and how to stop doing that)

Nature has placed mankind under the government of two sovereign masters,
pain and pleasure –
they govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think:
every effort we can make to throw off our subjection,
will serve but to demonstrate and confirm.
- Jeremy Bentham

I’VE DISCOVERED A PAIN PATTERN

I have a group of powerful and hard-hitting businessmen I meet with on a regular basis. We discuss our goals, motivate each other to succeed, and hold each other accountable for both our glorious wins and our damning losses.

I’ve started noticing something very interesting about each of them lately. A pattern. A trend. A habit.

And then I discovered that nearly everyone else I encountered is doing the same thing.

Most people are afraid of pain,
but they specify their goals for success in the context of avoiding that pain.

Most people desire pleasure,
but that feeling of delight is not enough to motivate them to actually get off their butts and do anything at all.

PLEASURE HAS NOT BEEN ENOUGH TO MOTIVATE YOU … UNTIL NOW

In the past, most of you have believed that, by seeking pleasure rather than avoiding pain, you will be seeking personal benefits over anything else. And you’ve somehow been taught that’s a bad thing. So what do you do?

You set yourself up for a variety of pain points and,
in doing so, usually sacrifice your shot at a future, greater pleasure.

So how would your life be different if, instead of primarily avoiding pain, you sought to maximize your pleasure all the time?

Your answer to this question is truly important.

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU, DEFINES YOU

A curious thing happens when you get to the point in your personal and professional life when you start to perceive pain as pleasing. When that happens – and I’ve seen this far too many times to think it accidental – your internal voice changes. The way you talk to yourself starts to crackle a bit and becomes distorted from the clear vision you once had. It’s like listening to a static filled phone conversation.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m well aware that as far back as Aristotle it was said, “The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain.”

I’m just concerned that, for most of us, we have developed into a society that stops taking action that will lead to success because our fear of pain has immobilized us. Jumping from one one pain avoidance to another becomes like a game. We can’t wait to commiserate with a colleague over drinks or at our desks. It’s almost as if we’re in a my-pain-can-beat-your-pain mode most of the time.

So, let me say this, again: WHAT MOTIVATES YOU, DEFINES YOU.

It’s time to start talking to yourself better, don’t you think? In other words, it’s time for you to start teaching yourself how to treat yourself better.

IT’S TIME TO BE SELFISH

That’s right – selfish (with a small “s”). I don’t mean selfish in the inconsiderate, ungenerous way. But in a way that forces you to extinguish your bad habits of short-term pain avoidance, pain-induced decision making, and pain-ridden restraint.

Look, if you’re pain avoidance is serving you well, ignore everything I’m writing about. I don’t think it is, though. And I think you’re ready for a change; a redefining of what works and does not work for you. I think you’ve been waiting for quite some time for permission to live a life of pleasure. Well, I declare it here and now:

YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO LIVE A LIFE OF DELIGHT AND ENJOYMENT!

To live such a life, though, you have to make a conscious choice to reframe and redefine what you have previously believed about pain and pleasure. The formula is easy to understand and yet challenging to actually implement.

Here it is …

THE UNEASY TRUTH AND A STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS

The most important step is to specify what pleasure really means for you.

What brings you satisfaction? What brings you delight? What brings you joy?

And how do you “do” pleasure? That’s right: “do.” Pleasure doesn’t just happen to you. It’s something you engage in or make a conscious choice to have happen.

It’s a participation sport, if you will.

Still can’t put your finger on what pleasure means for you? You’re not alone.

Most of us go through life asking the following question: “What’s the worst that can happen?” We cipher the worst-case scenario out in all its glorious, terrorizing detail. And then we spend the rest of the time looking under the bed, staying clear of the dark closet, worried that our past skeletons will start rattling, and planning for disaster. We’ve been looking for things that haven’t happened yet but might happen and which might cause us pain so we do all we can to avoid that collision with distress.

What would be different if, instead, you started asking – first and foremost – “What’s the best that can happen?” And what if you then started preparing for the “best” to happen?

Can you see what I’m getting at? My guess is that many of you won’t. And that’s okay. The few that do are in for a life-changing experience.

So for those of you who are still with me: take a moment and write out all those things that are worth your effort to attain, do, obtain, and acquire.

And, once you’ve determined where your effort is best spent, then fathom out the “because” behind each one of them. For example, making tons of money might bring you pleasure BECAUSE you will be able to care for your family in the style you believe they should be taken care of in.

All of this, of course, is a highly personal determination and I’ll warn you now that sharing this with anyone else can end in disaster simply because someone else won’t understand. So keep what you find to yourself.

One more thing, I want you to understand that this is all designed to change your perspective of what motivates you. This is subjective. I don’t want you using this technique to promote yourself, position your business, or grow your career. For these latter things, you’re still better off finding other people’s pain and showing them how you can solve that for them.

Remember, everyone else is still doing all they can to avoid pain. You now have the tools to seek your pleasure by solving what they think is hurting them.

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved. thinkingmagically.com

(Source: scottgrossberg.wordpress.com)

Thinking Magically™ | Dream-Killer: The Cost of Carrying On

KEEP CALM
AND
CARRY ON

Today we’re going to get profoundly practical.

=======================================================
MOST PEOPLE WILL SPEND MOST OF THEIR TIME MOSTLY ON CODAS
=======================================================

You see, I spend quite a bit of time talking to people about uncomplicated and proven ways to make their dreams a reality. And with that type of discussion, there’s always some exploration of what I call the “Cost of Dream Acquisition” (or CODA: A coda, by the way, is a musical term meaning that part of a musical score that brings the piece to and end or climax. Do you see the similarity with that and your life?)

Similar to the business concept of the “cost of customer acquisition,” there are startup expenses – emotional, energetic, health, and financial handling charges, so to speak – for getting anything you want that is of value. To put it another way, it is all the stuff you need to do and spend in order to get what you truly want (or need). Once you acquire your dream, this “Cost of Dream Acquisition” is naturally part of its perceived value to you (and perhaps others).

========================================================
BUT MOST OF YOU WILL THEN MOSTLY TURN TO MOSTLY WANTING MORE
========================================================

Once you get what you want, however, most of the time … YOU WANT MORE. You want MORE money. You want MORE love. You want MORE time. You want MORE sense of community. Whatever it is … YOU WANT MORE of it.

And, usually, there’s a better return on your investment of time, energy, money, and emotion by carrying on with what you have already acquired and turning it into “more.” Of course, that brings us to today’s discussion:

The Cost of Carrying On

(Okay, if I can use the acronym “CODA,” then it’s only appropriate we now turn to “COCO:” that part of your life that just might be the sweetest and most stimulating additive.)

Let’s dig right in.

=======================================================================================================
ONE OF THE BIGGEST DREAM KILLERS: FAILING TO LIVE THE DREAM AFTER YOU’VE GOTTEN THE DREAM TO MANIFEST.
=======================================================================================================

I’m not interested in you experiencing or getting a taste of a fleeting successful dream. I’m interested in you having a sustainable and long-lived successful dream. You see, most people will give you step-by-step instructions, motivation, encouragement, and even numerous upsells to “get” The Dream. Very rarely – if at all – do I see any discussion about how to keep The Dream.

So, I’m proposing to you an idea – as you plan for your dreams, include as a core element the thought of how you’re going to make The Dream a viable, durable, and fulfilling part of your life. In other words, what are you willing to give back in order to KEEP The Dream? Most people will tell you they’ll do “anything” to get their heart’s desire. Few have ever thought about what they’ll do to keep the ride going.

========================================================
AND BE SURE TO WATCH OUT FOR THE DREAM-MAKER’S SOFT SPOT: HOPE
========================================================

Look, I get it. To be a great and expansive dreamer you have to be an incurable romantic, optimist, and visionary all rolled into one “hopeful” mixture. The good news is that type of person naturally tends to turn a blind eye to the CODA. The bad news I that disregard of the CODA can easily turn into a disregard of the COCO, too. And that will doom you to failure because you will fail to pay enough attention – fail to tend – to keeping and getting MORE of your dream.

If you remember nothing else from this article – take this one to heart: HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY when it comes to tending and growing The Dream. In fact, Hope, at the tending and growth stage, will keep you out of balance.

Let me suggest this, instead. Spend some time … right now … figuring out what’s important to keep The Dream alive distinct from those things that are just nice to know or fun to think about or even exciting for others.

==========================
A SWEETNER OF A CHECKLIST
==========================

Perhaps these will help you focus a little more on what could be an earth-shattering change in how you’ve thought about The Dream until now:

• What type of people do you need to surround yourself with in order that The Dream will flourish?

• What part of The Dream allows you to capture value (create profit)?

• Is there a way to leverage The Dream by using other people’s money?

• What do you want The Dream’s message be to the world? And, is it consistent with your brand?

• Are you being penny-wise but pound-foolish when it comes to the assets you need to keep The Dream alive?

• Are there ways that you can get other people to promote The Dream with you?

• (Here’s the lawyer in me talking) Have you protected your intellectual property? If The Dream is THAT good, other people will try to copy it.

Don’t let your dreams get killed off prematurely. Spend time concentrating on the “Cost of Carrying On” by really focusing on the intent, design, and continuance of those dreams.

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved. thinkingmagically.com

(Source: scottgrossberg.wordpress.com)

Thinking Magically™ | Stuff That Matters (Pt 2)

The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working.
To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system,
let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.
- William James

Last week, I shared some of my beliefs with you. So, here’s the thing: where all this is going – would you like to start figuring out your own beliefs? One of MY THEME SONGS is The Script’s “Hall of Fame” (by Daniel John O’Donoghue, Mark Anthony Sheehan, and James Barry). It goes like this:

Yeah, you could be the greatest
You can be the best
You can be the King Kong banging on your chest

You could beat the world
You could beat the war
You could talk to God, go banging on his door

You can throw your hands up
You can beat the clock
You can move a mountain
You can break rocks

You can be a master
Don’t wait for luck
Dedicate yourself and you can find yourself

Standing in the hall of fame
And the world’s gonna know your name
Cause you burn with the brightest flame
And the world’s gonna know your name
And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame

You could go the distance
You could run the mile
You could walk straight through Hell with a smile

You could be the hero
You could get the gold
Breaking all the records they thought could never be broke

Do it for your people
Do it for your pride
Never gonna know if you never even try

Do it for your country
Do it for your name
Cause there’s gonna be a day
When you’re …

Standing in the hall of fame
And the world’s gonna know your name
Cause you burn with the brightest flame
And the world’s gonna know your name
And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame

Be a champion
Be a champion
Be a champion
Be a champion
On the walls of the hall of fame

Be students
Be teachers
Be politicians
Be preachers

Be believers
Be leaders
Be astronauts
Be champions
Be truth seekers

Be students
Be teachers
Be politicians
Be preachers

Be believers
Be leaders
Be astronauts
Be champions

Standing in the hall of fame
And the world’s gonna know your name
Cause you burn with the brightest flame
And the world’s gonna know your name
And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame

(You can be a champion)
You could be the greatest
(You can be a champion)
You can be the best
(You can be a champion)
You can be the King Kong banging on your chest

(You can be a champion)
You could beat the world
(You can be a champion)
You could beat the war
(You can be a champion)
You could talk to God, go banging on his door

(You can be a champion)
You can throw your hands up
(You can be a champion)
You can beat the clock
(You can be a champion)
You can move a mountain
(You can be a champion)
You can break rocks
(You can be a champion)

You can be a master
(You can be a champion)
Don’t wait for luck
(You can be a champion)
Dedicate yourself and you can find yourself
(You can be a champion)
Standing in the hall of fame

Again, if you’d like to watch the video, click here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk48xRzuNvA

Why am I taking all this time to go over a song? Because in that song THERE’S A POWERFUL FORMULA you can use to get your head on straight, get your personal manifesto started, and get your life in order for a change. Take a look …

THE 9-STEP “HALL OF FAME” BELIEF GENERATOR

Get a piece of paper or get in front of your computer. Be ready to write.

For each of the following 9 areas, write out your beliefs:

1.  What do you love to learn about? (BE A STUDENT)

2.  What lights you up to teach about? (BE A TEACHER)

3.  What are some of the intrinsic rules that you live by? (BE A POLITICIAN)

4.  What message do you believe the rest of the world needs to hear? (BE A PREACHER)

5.  What do you simply accept as fundamental truths about your life? (BE A BELIEVER)

6.  What kinds of people is your tribe composed of? (BE A LEADER)

7.  What sparks your curiosity and sense of adventure? (BE AN ASTRONAUT)

8.  What has to happen for you to feel like a winner? (BE A CHAMPION)

9.  What do you need to see, hear, touch, or taste in order to know something is the truth? (BE A TRUTH SEEKER)

Now take some time to contemplate what you’ve just written down. Reassemble it into a personal manifesto of sorts.

Finally, just remember, I BELIEVE IN YOU. And I’d love to read what the 9-Step “Hall of Fame” Belief Generator lead to for you …

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved. thinkingmagically.com

(Source: scottgrossberg.wordpress.com)

Thinking Magically™ | Stuff That Matters (Pt 1)

There are no lessons to be learned from the past.
This is the first thing I learned from it. There is nothing back then that there isn’t here now.
What matters. Are you a good person? Do you have any love in your heart?
What would you do in a given circumstance?
It all comes down to something like that.
- Tom Lichtenberg, Time Zone

I’ve been writing to you – for you – for almost four years now! Can you believe it? It feels like only yesterday that I started doing this.

Some of you are probably wondering, “Why are you wasting your time?” You could turn your attention and your drive to more profitable stuff.

Well, that “stuff” is what I want to talk to you about today.

Why have I invested all that time and energy and money and creativity with you?

Because I have some beliefs …

I BELIEVE that I’m on the same journey of discovery as you. I consider the lessons I’m handed (and sometimes seek out with a vengeance) by the Universe give something of immense significance we can all use to be better and achieve more.

I BELIEVE that my mistakes, my frustrations, my attempts and failures, and my efforts … have left deep scars. And my triumphs and wins and passions … have left deep scars. My world is sometimes dented and sometimes completely free of shortcomings. My world is sometimes bent and sometimes flawless. The stuff of success has been born in those alchemical twists and turns. It can be mirrored for even more victory.

I BELIEVE that my world works best with some order, some rules, some advance planning: formulas constructed to make fulfillment and a realization of my desires a surer thing than not. Now I’m not a proponent of rules for the sake of rules, alone. Not at all. I simply don’t believe that confusion and disorder lead as quickly to realizing your dreams as do harmony and stability.

I BELIEVE that we all have a calling; a voice that speaks to us and entrusts the Fate of our individual worlds solely in our ability to just listen. And then we have a personal obligation to follow that personal message so that we actually involve ourselves in our own success. Once firm in that calling, you can then be an advocate for your form of success and perhaps reach a few others who can benefit from where you’ve been, what you’ve seen, and how you got to where you are today.

I BELIEVE that believing is the magic! What do you trust in? What do you swear by? What do you understand so completely that it has taken hold of your every fiber and refuses to let go until you permit it travel alongside you? I’m not talking about a notion or a hint or even an impression. I’m talking about something that has the power to control your destiny.

I BELIEVE that you must stand for something. And you must do so “out loud” so that others are aroused and induced and stimulated to strand for “their something.” I know that every one of you has the ability to lead. You have the ability to encourage. You have the ability to help.You are more influential than you could ever believe right now. Still, your power is there: waiting to affect the world around you.

I BELIEVE the Universe is filled with glorious places to explore and that we are born curious and full of wonder. We all have a thirst to know more. We seek pleasure. We desire to find things that bring us joy. We want “new and different.” A White House publication from 1958 read: “The first of these factors is the compelling urge of man to explore and to discover, the thrust of curiosity that leads men to try to go where no one has gone before.” I don’t want anyone to simply try, though. We are all born to go where no one has gone before.

I BELIEVE that everyone wants to be victorious. Whether you’re just getting out of bed or leading a country, we are constantly presented with challenges that could so easily lead us to simply give up. But we know – deep within our warrior soul – that our honor demands we prevail. And we must do so publicly so that others can be inspired and excited and compelled on to their own successes.

I BELIEVE we want to know what’s real and what’s not. Not that my truth is necessarily your truth. Or that our respective truths have to make sense to anyone else. Only that we all need to find that loving, constant, loyal, dependable, trustworthy, open, and genuine “stuff” that serves us well. No one thing is true. That’s why it’s so important for each of us to find our own truth. So we can figure out what makes sense in a world that sometimes seems quite crazy.

And there’s one more thing I believe in: I BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH. I believe you’re worth all this effort of mine. In fact, if you’re reading this and taking all this to heart, I believe that you can be a phenomenal success. Otherwise, I’d just be wasting my time, wouldn’t I?

I believe you just have to give yourself permission to do that. To be a success. And sometimes, like now, you just need to hear someone else’s beliefs in order to breathe life into your own.

Next week, we’re going to explore how to figure out your own beliefs. And to give you a little hint of where we’re going, watch this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk48xRzuNvA

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved. thinkingmagically.com

(Source: scottgrossberg.wordpress.com)

Thinking Magically™ | It Has Nothing to Do With Active Listening. It’s Active Doing That Matters

I like to listen.
I have learned a great deal from listening carefully.
Most people never listen.
- Ernest Hemingway

How many times have you been told that listening is what matters most? And when you actually listen to the person who’s telling you that, have they ever explained to you precisely how that listening is supposed to happen?

Here’s what I know … all of us were born good listeners. From the time our hearing developed inside our mothers at 16 weeks, we started listening. And most of us even started hearing the outside noises. In perceiving those outside noises, understanding begins. Only after that happens, do we start to use our mouth to make our own sounds. Eventually, our sounds become words. And, if we’re lucky, our words eventually make sense to someone else.

Ponder over that for a moment.

What we eventually see and put into some type of context…

What we ultimately hear and appreciate as a message …

What we first feel and translate into a state of mind …

What we finally think and make judgments about …

What we perpetually want and thus crave …

all started with us listening to some “thing” or some “one” other than ourself.

We’ve been listening for a long time. That doesn’t mean, however, that we’re getting better at it. In fact, I think quite the contrary is true. In this fast-paced world filled with a barrage of messaging and content and noise, we have actually learned not to listen in order to be heard, make a difference, and keep our sanity.

So when someone tells you to be a better listener or, worse, to be an active listener, ignore them. That’s right. Turn a blind eye – or better yet, a deaf ear – to them. They’re wrong. You don’t need to actively listen.

You need to actively DO.

What do I mean?

Well, when you “do” anything it becomes experiential. It is observing and participating. It is enduring. It is enjoying. It is suffering through. And it is relishing,

Most importantly, it is about participation and being hands-on and being involved. Listening is really passive. Participation and involvement are choices. You always want to make choices. In fact, where you are right now in your life is a direct result of the choices you’ve made. Keep that in mind as you choose who to “listen” to and who to untangle from.

SCOTT’S FOUR RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

Want to be a massive success? Then participate in your own listening like this:

STEP ONE.  Shape the conversation you are going to have before it ever happens. Anybody can listen. Relatively few are good at comprehending what someone else is saying. I spend more time sorting through misunderstandings people have when they “listen” to each other than anything else. Most of these mistakes and misconceptions could have been avoided if the parties to the conversation and exchange would simply have made a conscious choice, beforehand, to appreciate, believe in, or simply comprehend what the other person is saying (or not saying).

STEP TWO. A personal belief marks boundaries. Finger-pointing marks conflict. If you’re going to be involved with someone in a conversation, you don’t want it to be struggle from the beginning. Not if you want the two or more of you to realize what the other is saying. This means you need to talk with someone without those blame sirens going off in your head all the time.

STEP THREE. Multi-tasking is for computers not for someone who actively “does.” Most people have the attention span of a gnat. And when you couple that with the new “need” of people to always check the latest post, alarm, reminder, update, email, or text message on their “smart” phone, it’s a wonder anyone knows anyone else is around them in the first place. I get it. I get that there’s a high that’s experienced by the constant new input from your mobile device. But, if you want to really connect with someone and truly be understood and appreciated and even remembered, you need to focus your attention and intention on the person you are speaking with. You’ve developed a habit of inattention. It’s alright, you have permission to also develop a new habit of being immersed in another person and what they have to say.

STEP FOUR. Silence is your superpower. When I coach politicians, I routinely tell them that they have a superpower – the Power of Silence. I know it will come as a shock to you that very few of them actually use that superpower. So that’s a perfect excuse for you to do something that our leaders don’t do … be quiet for a little while. If you can’t figure out how to be silent from time to time, you can cheat a little by simply focusing on your breath as someone else is talking. That does not mean you are actively engaged in the conversation. It does mean, however, that you won’t be interrupting them or talking about yourself or bemoaning your situation.

Normally I’d finish up with some great closing paragraph. This time, I think I’ll just be quiet and let you finish the conversation for both of us …

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved. thinkingmagically.com

(Source: scottgrossberg.wordpress.com)

Thinking Magically™ | The Ultimate Realist’s Guide to Being an Original

Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.
- C.S Lewis

For a long time I have proclaimed that you have a personal obligation to be a success. And I have challenged you to go out and live your dreams each and every day in order to make that success a reality. What happens, though, when you agonize over whether you’re original enough or innovative enough or path-breaking or even just plain weird enough?

We’ve all had it happen.

We see our role models or our competitors or someone appears on television or in our favorite magazine and they’re doing the very same thing we want to do. Or are already doing, as well.

What then?

I’m usually pretty upbeat and focused. Still, even I’ve had those days when I see someone else speaking at an event or I read someone’s book or I listen to a recording and think, “Why am I even bothering anymore? They’re so much better than me.” And it can get even worse when we see a competitor or role model attracting bigger crowds, more customers, and larger sales. Wouldn’t you begin to wonder if you’re just hitting your head up against a wall or running in place?

And don’t get me started on how many times I’ve suddenly seen something or heard something or experienced something and said, “I had that idea years ago!” By the way, I see this most in the entertainment arena. Indeed, ask any author, playwright, or screenwriter about synchronicity. It’s almost like a universal mind is sending the same story, script, and book ideas to those receptive enough to listen at the same time.

It can get pretty discouraging …

… unless you know how to refocus and reframe and realize what’s truly happening. The secret is not to wait until “your day will come.” The secret is not to wait until “your ship will come in.” And the secret is certainly not to give up on your passions, loves, and positive addictions.

The First Reality to understand is that, as Oscar Wilde put it, “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” I wonder if any of us are really first with any idea. That being said, you can be incredibly original with your manner of presentation, your cross-breeding and mixing of ideas, and your life story. Don’t be a copycat. Be daring. Be novel. And be aroused by all that interests you.

The Second Reality to embrace is that there are plenty of people out there who want to hear “your” message or buy “your” product or use “your” service. And there are more people coming online and finding you every single day. The world is getting smaller and your connections are growing. Do you just frequent one store all the time or one restaurant or eat the same thing day in and day out? I doubt it. It’s no different with whatever you have to say or offer or give to others. Rest assured that there is an audience for you.

The Third Reality to take to heart is that there will always be someone richer or bigger or better than you. Find the successful ones in your line of work and learn from them. It’s like Tony Robbins says: “Success leaves clues.” If there is a business or individual you look up to, find their ritual of success and take from it what can also authentically work for you. The interesting thing is that when you combine another’s habit of success with your own personality and abilities, a strange alchemy happens … it’s called Originality.

The Fourth Reality to embed in your thinking is that you have to believe in yourself. I know that sounds old-hat and overused. But if you don’t believe in yourself or your idea or your product, why should anyone else? Have pride in what you want to achieve. Have confidence in the source of your inspiration and where it is leading you.

The Fifth Reality to adopt is that you are already an original. As long as you bring the genuine you to what you do and say, you can’t help but be an unparalleled success. That does not mean by the way that everyone is going to love you or buy your product or read your book or listen to your thoughts. That’s not the type of success I’m referring to. I’m talking about doing what you love and being true to your personality. Real success is enjoying what you do, not necessarily how many people are involved.

Now, go out and make it an ORIGINAL day …

If you enjoyed any of these articles, I’d be grateful if you go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Thank you!

And make sure to sign up for my blog mailing list so you get all future postings delivered directly to your inbox.

© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved. thinkingmagically.com

(Source: scottgrossberg.wordpress.com)