Whether you realize it or not, every action that you take is generated by your mindset. And those actions add up to give you the life that you have which is why, in this video, we’re going to cover three counter-intuitive mindsets for changing your life and this comes straight from Tim Ferris whom I’m a huge fan of and I’m going to tell you how I used these to change my life.
But before we get into it, one little thing, stick around to the end because we are making a hire at Charisma on Command; I’m going to tell you about that and how you can make some money for referring that person. Let’s just jump into it. The first mindset is to ask ridiculous questions. Here’s what Tim has to say about it. I find that levels of success in almost any industry or area correlate to a person asking great questions. In some cases, they seem absurd. In fact, the hallmark, in a way, of great questions is that it sounds completely ridiculous.
Now, Charisma on Command actually started with me asking myself a completely absurd question which was, “What would I do if I woke up tomorrow morning with a one hundred million dollars in my bank account?” Now, obviously, this wasn’t going to happen but it completely shifted how I approached my life. You see, at that time, I was working as a consultant; I wasn’t completely in love with it and I was looking for other avenues. And at this time, I was just thinking, “Well, what jobs can I get? What sort of diagonal moves can I make to maybe make a bit more money and do something a bit different?” But when I asked myself, “What would I do if I had a hundred million dollars? Money’s no object,” that changed everything.
All of a sudden, I didn’t want to get a job. I wanted to go to Brazil, I wanted to live on the beach, I wanted to spend time with my friends, I wanted to learn something new every day, and I wanted to find a way to teach other people. And it was about a year from first asking that question to when I was on an airplane on the way to Brazil with six of my closest friends to run Charisma on Command. So these questions are powerful but you have to get crazy with them because that breaks you out of the old stuck ways of thinking. So for business, that one is great — your career. “What would I do if I had a hundred million dollars?” It’s not about jumping right into that thing; it’s about orienting your actions around your dream.
For relationships, you can ask yourself, “What kind of person would I want to be with if I knew that I could attract anyone?” I see oftentimes that both men and women will just kind of take the first boyfriend or girlfriend that they can get or settle for someone that they’re not crazy about because they don’t think that they don’t think that they can have that kind of connection that they truly might dream of.
So if you ask yourself of these orienting questions, you’re going to get more from your life which brings us to this second piece which is something that was huge for me and is actually very counter-intuitive to the people who practice positive psychology, and I count myself amongst that group, and it’s to define, very clearly, the worst case scenario from pursuing the dream that comes out of that first question. And Tim Ferris actually talks about the power of doing this in this next clip. And I can trace all of my biggest wins and all my biggest disasters averted back to doing fear-setting at least once a quarter.
Now, this exercise of fear-setting is something that Tim covers very deeply in his TED Talk; I’ll link to that below. Here’s the basic gist of it. You got three parts — you define your fears, you talk about how to prevent them, and then what you could do to repair them. So take my idea of going to Brazil Almost always, when you have dream and you’re not going for it, there’s this really amorphous fear that is holding you back.
And in my case, it was — if I went to Brazil and this business doesn’t work out, my life’s over. In which you’ll realize, when you have to write it down, is that your life isn’t actually over. And what happened in my case is, okay, I couldn’t afford rent — that would really sting; I’d have to beg someone that I knew to let me sleep on their couch, I’d have to save the last of my money to fly back home and maybe go to my parents’ house which is really embarrassing but I wasn’t going to starve to death. And this is something I’m very fortunate to have in my life but I assume a lot of people watching have someone or something that would prevent them from literally sleeping outside or from actually starving to death. So the worst case scenario of death isn’t on the table, realistically.
The second step then is — how can I prevent this thing? And I wrote down, “Oh, my gosh. There’s all these ways that I couldn’t run out of money even if the business fails.” I mean, one, I could work really hard on a business but, two, I could go outside and busk and play the guitar or I could Airbnb my room — I could take some rent, sleep on the couch for a couple of weeks, months, or whatever it took and then I could spend that on food and rent. I could tutor. I was pretty good on the SATs; I could volunteer to tutor kids.
Now, the repair part — if it all fell apart — I thought, “You know what? Worst case scenario is I save enough money, I get a flight back, I call up my boss, and I beg him to get my old job back at, like, 25 or 50% discount just so I could get back on my feet,” and I had to imagine that he would take that If not, I’d be flipping burgers and I would survive. The point is — the downside is measurable and I could handle it but the upside of going to Brazil and living with my friends and starting this business that I love was so inspiring so as Tim puts it, I was looking at an upside if it worked like 8, 9, or 10 and a very temporary downside of a -3 or -4 if things didn’t work out which pushed me over the edge.
So when you ask yourself the questions from number 1 with the absurd questions, apply fear-setting to it and if you want a longer explanation, check out the TED Talk.
The third mindset which is also very counter-intuitive especially amongst our culture nowadays which is all about #Hustle, #DoIT, #BeEverywhere and it’s before you go to bed, set one thing that if you accomplish tomorrow, would make the entire day a win.
Here is Tim talking about it himself in other words, if I have ten things on my to-do list or ten potential projects. I could pursue, what to do in that situation? And what I ask myself if is, “Which one of these, if done, will make the rest irrelevant or easier?” This is a key question I ask all the time.
No matter what your goal is, the truth is that in any given time, you could probably be doing a million things to take you closer but it’s only one or two things that are really, really going to make strive towards hitting that goal and everything else is a distraction. And we know this implicitly but we hide and stay busy because those one or two things are often very uncomfortable. So in my business, it would be very easy and I’ve wasted an entire days replying to emails back and forth, getting in there in the comments, and I love it and it’s fun and it’s engaging but I know, deep down, the most valuable thing. I could be doing is to create a video and I would find ways to avoid doing it all week which is why, today, and I did this last night, I wrote before I went to bed the one thing you need to do tomorrow is to film this video. Prior to that, it was to come up with a topic that I was going to cover. And I realized that even though this might take just a little bit of time to shoot this video, it’s the most valuable thing that I could be doing and this is true to your life as well.