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Think Small Thoughts

Think small thoughts, even more in depth, we’re going to discuss mind sculpture, developed by Ian Robertson. Mind sculpture requires that we pretend that we’re actually doing an event without actually doing anything.

I’ll give you a little backstory, so you understand more of what I’m talking about. When I was younger, playing football, our coach used to tell us to lie down and envision. playing on Friday. What would you do? How are you going to Catch the ball, how are you going to run past the Defenders, how are you going to throw the perfect spiral. Basically, envisioning yourself doing it.  A better example From One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way, is they had experimented with two different groups, one group that actually did it, practiced. And another group that practiced with mind sculpture, mentally practiced.It was who would have a higher free throw percentage. And then a week later, they shot free throws. The group that practiced in their minds without actually picking up a basketball, performed better than the people that actually practiced the basketball. That’s crazy. But that’s what we’re talking about today with mind sculpture. How we can train ourselves to do something without actually having to do it.

Because sometimes, if you’ve ever noticed, like in a dream. Sometimes when you dream, you’re like, “Man, that was real. That was so unbelievably real.” Well, what happens is your brain doesn’t really know the difference. Now, mind you, you have to actually really do this. You can’t just be like, “Oh, well.” Kind of do it, or it’s not going to work. Your brain is not that stupid.. It’s actually really intelligent and really smart. however it is hackable.

When you close your eyes and you follow these steps, your brain doesn’t really know that it’s not there. If you imagine yourself doing this over and over and over, shooting free throws, like we were talking about. And the perfect form, elbow in, flick the wrist. And you’re imagining yourself doing this over and over and over in your head, the perfect form. Then your brain is basically thinking that it’s doing it. You have to practice and see yourself being successful in turn, building your self confidence up. Obviously, you can do the complete inverse and imagine yourself missing every single one of them. And I guarantee you, you’ll probably miss them. That’s just how your brain works.

If you start sculpting the way that you think, the way that you present yourself, the way you approach a different challenge, you’ll be amazed on how you can divert the fear (the midbrain) let’s not forget. And go right on to accessing the cortex( which is the frontal lobe).

How does mind sculpture work? Now, there are few keys to make this work. First isolate a task either that you are afraid to do, or that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you really want to do this,to operate correctly (mind sculpture), you can’t be like, “Okay, I got a test tomorrow.” That’s not going to work. You didn’t give yourself the amount of time to do it. Give yourself sufficient time before you actually have to start doing the uncomfortable task.

So, give yourself a sufficient amount of time, you can exercise, You can practice in your mind before you actually have to do it. After you do this a few times and you’ll know for yourself better and you’ll know how long it takes you to do it. But best start with about a month. A month before you actually have to accomplish the intended task, start to practice, start the process and start sculpting your mind.

Decide how many seconds you’re willing to devote to mind sculpture on any day for each task. If it’s sculpting your mind to shoot free throws, if it’s sculpting your mind for being a success in school, if it’s sculpting in your mind to get a new promotion, if it’s sculpting your mind to ask a beautiful girl on a date, whatever it is. How much time are you going to allot per day to sculp your mind?

I’m not talking about minutes or hours, I’m talking about something so unbelievably small that it’s impossible for you to not do. So if you’re talking about 15 seconds, that’s really hard not to do it. It goes by really, really fast. So 15 seconds, If you commit to yourself every day for 15 seconds, you’re going to sculpt your mind. That’s it. We’re not talking 20 seconds. That’s too much. 15 seconds.

What we want to happen is for the sculpting to become subconscious. You need complete focus, shut everything off. In today’s world, I understand you want to be on your phone. Shut your phone off. Turn it on airplane mode, 15 seconds, 30 seconds, whatever time that you need so you have zero distractions for that small itty-bitty amount of time.This is when you can begin the process of sculpting your mind. It’s very important that you cancel every distraction out, while you’re doing this. But since we’re doing it for such a short amount of time, it’s really difficult to come up with an excuse on why you can’t shut your phone off for 15 seconds.

Repetition is a key, remember for this to work you have to truly envision your success. That’s why we’re doing it a month in advance. We’re not doing it the day before. A month, that’s a good 30 days of you doing this every single day. All right.

When you’re ready to practice mind sculpture, sit down or lie down in a quiet spot and close your eyes, really shut off all distractions. It’s not going to work if you’re thinking about five different things while you’re in your 15 seconds. Really shut everything off for those 15 seconds. In These 15 seconds – 30 seconds, whichever one is more optimal for you. 

Imagine that you’re in a difficult or uncomfortable situation. What do you see? What is the setting? Who’s there? What do they look like? See the expressions on their faces, the clothes they’re wearing, their posture. You want to really get descriptive here. After you practice you might find 15 to 30 seconds not to be enough. After you’ve built your setting. Then go even deeper. What does it smell like? You’re really, trying to paint a picture so your brain imagines being there. So, really close your eyes, and paint the picture, pristinely. If there’s something around you, what does it feel like? If you’re on the beach, then what does the beach feel like? If you’re standing in front of a crowd, what does the podium feel like? What color is the podium?

If it’s confronting a boss or confronting your girlfriend/boyfriend, whatever it is, what are they wearing? Where are you? What office are you in? Or what situation are you in? Then without moving a muscle, You are only using your brain.

Imagine you’re doing it. If it’s talking in front of a crowd, imagine that you’re talking to the crowd without moving any muscles, don’t move your mouth. Just imagine yourself doing it. If it’s talking to your boss, imagine doing it. If it’s the free throw concept, then imagine doing the free throws without moving a single muscle. We’re only trying to tap into our cortex in our brain. Imagine a positive response to your activity. So if it’s the free throw example, imagine it goes in. If it’s the public speaking, imagine people are in tune to what you are saying. On the edge of their seats or meticulously writing notes in their note pad. Imagine the best case scenario. What is the desired outcome that you’re looking for? Imagine that!

Now, we got that down. It’s pretty simple. It’s not rocket science. So, you find a calm, cool, collective space. Allot about 15 -30 seconds. In depthly describe the spot in your mind. Practice the event, whatever it is, without moving a single muscle. So, that’s basically mind sculpture.

Now, let’s go on to a little bit more. Now, when this becomes habitual and second nature to where you’re doing it, and you’re not even thinking about it. 15 seconds is like, “Man, that’s not enough. I want to envision more. I’m enjoying this. This task that I was nervous about, now I’ve done it so many times in my head, now I want to do it a little bit more. I want to practice a little bit more.”

So then give yourself that little bit of time. Maybe go up to 30 seconds. If you’re already at 30 seconds, go to 45 seconds. Go for a minute, but do not go too much. You can always increase the amount of time. Only increase a small amount. Don’t increase a large amount. Don’t forget, we’re trying to do something that is something that you do every day and you don’t think about.

If you increase the time too much, then it becomes a burden. Then it becomes a task that you have to do. It becomes a chore. This can’t be a chore because if it becomes a chore, you’re not going to do it. So, if you went from 15 seconds to a minute and then you’re having problems doing it every single day. And you’re just like, “Man, you know what? Screw it.” Then you put too much time. Go back down and go for 20 seconds, 25 seconds. Again, to where it becomes enjoyable, where it could actually even be relieving stress. Because when you’re doing this, you’re enjoying yourself. Right. You’re enjoying the visioning yourself doing it. But when it becomes too much like a chore, it becomes stressful and it becomes counterproductive.

All right. Now, two last but very important aspects to mind sculpture. You’re like, “Whoa, that’s all great. That’s so positive.” Well, obviously, your fear is that it doesn’t happen how you want it to work. That’s the big roadblock. That’s the scary part. The success is not the scary part, It’s the failure.

Well, while you’re mind sculpting and you become comfortable with the positive aspect of it. Now start imagining what happens when it doesn’t go your way and what are you going to do in that situation? So, if you’re public speaking and everyone starts laughing, what are you going to do? Are you going to cry? Are you going to run off the stage? Prepare yourself for that situation.

If it’s the end of the game and your team is down or it’s a tied ball game and you get fouled and you got two free throws. You missed the first one, now it’s all on you to make this last one, put yourself in that situation. What are you going to do if it doesn’t go in? What are you going to do when that first one doesn’t go in.Try and simulate the pressure.

How are you going to react, implement that nervousness in your mind sculpture so you can sculpt your mind, and be prepared. Obviously, we don’t want that to happen. We obviously want to succeed. But in an instance or situation where it doesn’t go exactly how you wanted it to go, it doesn’t go as planned. We’re already prepared. So it’s not something that’s just, pow, and hits you. You’re ready for it. In one of my programs, when I was in my teenage years, I was mostly in just different programs. at one of the programs they taught us, hope for the best, but always plan for the worst.

What we’re doing while we mind sculp is we’re planning for the best, or we’re hoping for the best. But we’re also planning for the worst. So we’re planning for the worst thing that could happen. And you’ll be amazed how calm you become, when you’re planning for the worst as well. We’re also planning for the best because we’re understanding that situation. We’re playing the tape out and we’re seeing that happen, but we’re also seeing what happens if it doesn’t happen.

So we’re preparing ourselves for the worst. So, we don’t mentally destroy ourselves if it doesn’t go our way. Or we don’t break down and throw a temper tantrum or start breaking down and crying in front of everybody or whatever it is. We’re already prepared for something not going our way.

Now the last one. This is actually pretty easy. What you want to do is practice. Now that we’re out of our minds, we’ve done mind sculpture. We’ve sculpted ourselves, how we want it to be. How we envisioned ourselves. And now the thing to do is to go practice it. Obviously, you don’t want to go practice immediately in front of 8 million people. So practice by yourself, in the mirror. Look at yourself. Practice. Do you like your gestures? Can you understand yourself? Are you pronouncing your words correctly? Are you fidgeting with your shirt? Are you grabbing your hands? Are you doing this kind of stuff? What are you doing? If it’s shooting a basketball. Go outside, practice by yourself. Is your elbow in? Are you shooting two hands, one hand, underhand? Which one are you doing?

Always ask someone who’s going to be honest with you. You don’t want someone that’s going to just blow smoke up your butt and always tell you, “Oh, you look perfect. You’re always great.” You don’t want that. That’s not going to help you. If you understand what I’m saying. Go find someone and go practice.

Once you become successful with mind sculpture the first time, then rinse and repeat. Hope this taught you something about mind sculpture. How we can sculpt ourselves to conquer any large task. Once again, we’re taking that big rock, from here and moving over here. 

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Take Small Action

Take small actions. Now, remember, the basis of FYMM is to do things so small we don’t even notice. Also don’t forget, the difference between innovation and the FYMM way, innovative ways involve a shock factor, making a huge, drastic change. Big bold efforts to make change can be counter-productive. They can raise our doubts and fears, they have the ability to initiate the mid-brain, the amygdala. That’s why we don’t want to do grand, innovative things. It can add more stress in our lives. It can lower our creativity because we initiated the fight or flight response, we’ve learned about. But with the FYMM way, Allows us to slide by the amygdala On a direct path to the cortex. Allowing us to execute our strategies, accomplish the plan that we want done, or any goal we want accomplished. Let me give you a couple of examples for eating healthy, exercising, saving money, meeting people, asking for a raise, and using time more productively. 

So let’s get into it. Eating more healthy. These are just steps. Take one. Choose it. Let’s see what happens. Do it for yourself. Toss out one bite of a fattening snack. If that’s what you’re doing, If you’re eating a lot of candy bars, and you’re having a problem with that, a small FYMM action is when the candy bar is about 90% done, toss it out. Instead of eating the whole thing, eat 90% of it, this will help you learn to eat less portions.

The second step, toss out the first, and the last bite. So break off a little front part, and then only eat 90% of what is left. So, instead of eating a whole candy bar, or the bag of chips, Pringles. Throw out the top little part and don’t eat the bottom part. Don’t save the bottom part and eat them later. Just toss it out. I hope you understand. So back on the candy bar. So, first step we take out a little part, don’t eat it. The second step, take out the first part and the back part. Right now, we’re just eating the middle part. Continue this process by making your candy bar smaller and smaller until it’s just about Bitesize. What we’re doing is training our brain to not need as much chocolate, while we’re weaning ourselves off of the addictive substances.

Exercise. The FYMM way to exercise. If you can’t get off the couch, buy one of those little things that you squeeze with your hand. And squeeze that while you’re cooking, or while you’re watching TV. While you’re watching your favorite TV show, buy two of them. So you can squeeze both simultaneously while you’re watching your favorite TV program. If you’re also having a problem at work, take a pencil, or a pen, put it on the ground and lift it with your foot. Lift it, shift your foot, (to the left or right) drop it, lift it, shift your foot, (to the left or right) drop it. Do it on the other foot. Continuously do that until you can start building yourself up. Do that until it just becomes so easy you’re like, “I’m doing something else this is ridiculous.” Then move your arms. Keep your arms out and continuously circle them in circular motion, during the commercials. Don’t do it during the whole 30 minutes. Why would you even try to do that? You’re never going to continuously do that in the beginning if you try to do it for 30 minutes. No, no, no, no, no. Start off with something so easy that is impossible for you not to do it, And then, add more, with your arms during a commercial you’ve seen a million times, start it halfway through the commercial, or get yourself all the way through the entire commercial with your arms up, put it down. You’re done for the day.

Obviously this has to do a lot with each individual personally, If you consider yourself to be in better than average health adjust accordingly, the concept is unanimous anywhere you start. 

Our goal is to initiate some physical activity on a daily basis. Then little by little, gradually, not innovatively, not in one day, but gradually, get yourself to walk in place when you’re watching TV. Walk in place. Or walk in place while you’re cooking. Walk in place while you’re talking on the telephone. Doing something like that. And then eventually get yourself into the gym if that’s your overall goal. If you’ve noticed I keep saying eventually, this is on purpose because I do not want you to put a time goal when you want something accomplished. if you have been paying attention or joined my exercise class, you can see how having a timed goal can be counterproductive. I’m going to reiterate, our only goal in the beginning is to stay consistent.  If you start adding too many goals then you’re expanding the problem or challenge and can be difficult to overcome without the necessary skills you are obtaining now. 

 Let’s not forget mind sculpture. So on all these, on everything that I’m talking about, with saving money, with meeting new people, with eating healthy, with everything, mind sculpture’s going to be very big in this process and is going to help us out a lot. Don’t forget how easy mind sculpture is. It really is, 15 – 30 seconds a day. Close your eyes, envision the change that you want. Envision you accomplishing the goals, envision you failing, so you understand how you’re going to feel/cope, and how you can transform yourself in changing that negativity into a positive thing.

Saving money. So if your goal is a dollar a day, maybe that’s too much. Maybe you don’t even have a goal right now. You’re just like, “I just want to save.” The easiest way to start saving money is to stop using your credit cards. Go to your bank every week, so you don’t have to pay the ATM fee. What hurts a lot of people is they don’t understand percentages. if you keep going to the ATM machine and only take $20 but paying a $3 fee you are paying an incredible high percentage on your money, over 10%. The very easiest thing for you to do to start saving money is start looking at fees. And start understanding the percentage of something. Whether… If you’re getting a cash payday advance loan, look at how much money in interest and in fees you actually are paying. If you’re going to the ATM three times a week, add up how much money you’re paying the ATM. If you’re paying your bills over the phone and they tell you there’s a service fee, start cutting down the fees first. Cancel out all the fees. That’s one way to help save money if you’re having a huge problem, just cut fees out.

I understand I’m going to get a lot of flak for what I’m about to say, stop going to the grocery store and buying a lot of food, I have watched numerous documentaries and I see Americans especially waste about half their food they buy.  if you know no one in your family is going to eat leftovers do not cook more than your family is going to eat at one sitting. If you are on food stamps, buy seeds because they are covered through food stamps and grow a mini garden,  I did not say a mini Farm so you cannot have an excuse that you do not have space, technology is so advanced you can grow a tomato plant upside down. If you are not using the reward system at your grocery store,  either you are really lazy or you are very frivolous. It’s as simple as typing in your phone number. Type your phone number in, and then look at how much you’re saving.

 But then also remember, pay attention to small moments. So when you are starting to do this, you need to pay attention to where your money’s going. That’s the fastest, easiest way to start saving money, is to see where your money is going.

Does that make sense? Because if you don’t know where your money’s going, then it’s kind of hard for you to save something that you don’t know where it’s going. So once you recognize where it’s going, then recognize where you can cut off the excess money. Like, “I really don’t need to go to the ATM four times in a week. I can be responsible and get money from my own bank once a week.” And then what do you do with the change? Do you save the change, or do you spend it? So if you want to save money, take that same change, put it to the side where you can’t touch it. Where you cannot touch it. Well, I mean, you can touch it, but just, don’t touch it. Put it to the side and then a very smart move to do, this is a little bit more advanced, You can do your own research on this. I’m not going to teach it, or go into it. But with that change, at the end of the month, take it to your credit union and get a bond. A secure 10 year bond, that will basically double your money in ten years. And then what you do with that bond, put it away. And so every month you take your change, you save it, you put it in a bond, throw it away, not throw it away, but put it away. And then you’re doubling your money in 10 years and off of money that you’re not even paying attention to. It’s just change pennies, quarters and dimes. Who cares?

Meet more people. Don’t forget, we envision ourselves doing this thing. Think of an interesting place to go with people who have the same interests as you. So it could be a place of worship, adult education, athletic event. How about the disco or the bar? Yes. But we’re trying to think of positive places, not places where it’s not the most positive environment. I’m not saying going to the bars is a negative thing, and meeting people in the bar is a negative place. But when you’re meeting people under the influence of alcohol, it might not be the most promising relationship. I’m just saying, for the longevity of things. Just saying.

Every day think of one additional location or group. Remember, this is just for ideas. So just think of another place every day. Think of someone who has a full and happy social life, and ask where they met friends. So in your life, after you’ve been brainstorming different places where to meet people, go find someone that you know. It could be your mom, could be your dad, could be your sister, brother, aunt, uncle, co-worker, boss, whatever. Someone that you see at Starbucks, and they just have the bubbliest personality, and it looks like they know everybody. Ask them, where do they meet people? How do they socialize? Then, what’s the next thing? Join a social group. With Facebook nowadays, they got social groups for everything. There’s also with WeChat, you got a who’s shaking their phone, right? It’s literally who shakes their phone at the same time as you, and it would show you who’s shaking the phone with you.

So even if you’re shy, you can go out and you can do small little steps. Once you brainstorm all these different environments, try going to one. If you like basketball, go to a college game. A local, small college. If going to a professional game and being around thousands of people makes you nervous. If you’re more of an introvert, and you kind of get nervous around people, then start with a small college. Go somewhere where it’s smaller, where there’s not so many people and then try to interact with people, try to meet people there, get to know a couple people. Go to a bookstore, go to a poetry-reading event, go to a seminar, go to anything, go to small little things around you, where there’s going to be sociable people. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Just give yourself the goal of only going to this place for 15-20 minutes, getting the feel for it. then work yourself up from 15-20minutes, to meet two or three people. And if that’s too scary, one person. “I’m going to go 15 minutes and talk to this one person. And then I’m out of here.” Set yourself up for goals that you can accomplish. If 15 minutes is too scary? Set it up for five.

Asking for a raise. Start a list of reasons you deserve more money. Every day add another reason why you deserve more money. Spend one minute a day practicing your request to your boss. So once you write down your list of different reasons why you deserve more money, then start practicing out loud on why you deserve a raise. Increase this time a little at a time, at first it’s only a minute. So increase it maybe two minutes, three minutes, until you feel comfortable, until you get your ins and outs. Now remember, think of different things, like when we envision things, and sculpt our mind we also have to think of the opposite. So if our boss doesn’t react the way we want, how are we going to act in this situation? This better prepares us for when we Finally discuss higher compensation with our superiors. if we only look at it from our argument, from our side, then we’re never going to be able to intuitively give our defense on why we need a raise, because we’re only looking at it from why we need a raise. Now we should also look at why they need to pay us more. What value do we bring to the company? What are we doing? What is it, that they should be paying us more? If we can’t convince, ourselves, why we deserve more, then we have a lot of work to do before we ask for a raise. Through experience what I’ve noticed is a lot of people expect they deserve more, but when they actually look and analyze their position in the company there’s a lot more they could do to bring more value to their current position. Before we want to upgrade our current position we want to make sure that we are completely optimized in our current position to bring more value to the company and to ourselves. If we do this then we will slowly but surely put our superiors in a place where it is impossible for them to say no, Because we have become too valuable to the operation. 

Does that make sense? It’s a process. So, once you feel successful, or completely comfortable with why you deserve more money, what it is that you’re going to do, you’ve practiced a rebuttal of what your boss might say. We are already well-prepared for whatever our boss has to say, with a well-thought-out answer to his response.

Use time more productively. Make a list of activities that take up time, but are not useful or stimulating you. It could be watching TV, browsing the internet, reading things that you don’t find pleasant, doing things that you do, but it’s a waste of time, after you think about it, you find something more productive to do with your time. Make a list of activities you would like to try that could be more productive and add a new one each day. So what we’re doing is the FYMM way. First, you’re writing a list of all the things that we think that are wasting our time, that are unproductive. And then on the other side, we’re writing a list of things that we could do, that we want to try, that could be more productive. And then try the activities in a limited manner, stop doing the unproductive list, and start doing the productive list. Everything that could be unproductive, let’s try to stop doing those things and let’s try working on the new list we just created, that could be more productive.

Write down each day, one person that is very productive with their time. The person you are like, “Wow, they’re always doing something, always. They’re always accomplishing their goals. They’re a go-getter.” Don’t just find one because you want to find different examples.

Could be somebody on TV, someone you read in a book, somebody that you see on a daily basis, someone that’s working in a Starbucks and they’re on the ball all the time. They don’t waste any time when they do anything, and then ask them. Or, if you’re too nervous to ask them, or if they’re in a book, then study what they do and then see what you’re doing differently in your life, from what they’re doing, and then adjust accordingly.

Taking small actions to get to what we want. I hope these little things helped you. I tried to give a vast array of different things. With productivity, asking for a raise, meeting more people, saving money, exercising, eating more healthy. If there’s anything else that I missed, feel free to send me a message. Let me know, and then I’ll bring that up and we can discuss that. Thank you.

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Solve Small Problems

All right. The strategy for today, solve small problems. Now, over the years, society has just become accustomed to accepting our small little problems. And we don’t even call them problems anymore, it’s become so normal, they’re not even problems. Whether it’s your desk is dirty or unorganized, that’s a problem but now we just classify it as, oh well, he’s just messy. So in today, the main thing that we’re trying to get across is how to spot these problems early. The faster you can spot a problem… And I mean, it takes training to be able to do this, it’s not something you can do overnight. But the faster you can spot a problem, a small problem, the faster you can avoid it turning into something larger.

Imagine getting a splinter from wood or even metal, you can get a splinter from metal as well. When you get that splinter in you, if you don’t solve that problem fast, then what can happen is it starts to fester, and before you know it, then it can get infected. Now, if you still don’t solve that problem, then it can get even worse and then eventually they have to cut that whole little finger off or whatever. Now that’s a drastic example, but I hope you understand the point. The smallest little problem, a little itty-bitty shard of wood or metal that went into your hand and that you just ignored, and you’re like, “Oh, well it’s normal. It’s normal. I get it all the time. It’s normal. It’ll go away.” Well, that one time that it doesn’t go away, it turns into a huge problem. We’re trying to learn how to spot those small problems before they turn into having to get your hand cut off.

Recall a major mistake that you’ve made some point in your life. Now think about it for a second. It’s going to take a minute to think. When you’re thinking, don’t just think of the problem, but think of playing the tape out. Like where did the problem start, and then how did it get to where it’s at? If it’s being overweight, you didn’t just have that problem yesterday, so where did it start? Because usually it’s a trigger that started it. Or being disorganized, or a problem in a relationship with somebody else, a significant other, a mom, a child, a teacher, whatever. You don’t know until you think. You don’t know until you know. So we’re at the beginning of the problem, at least as far as you can remember the start of the problem. Then see if you can start thinking of things, interactions that happened in your life that were small signs of telling you that this was a bad idea. Or this is going to have a result that you do not want if you continue down this path.

Did you ignore the problem? Did you correct the problem? Did you brainstorm or try something different and it didn’t work, or did you just be like, “Whatever, I’m going to wing it, see what happens.” Now, once you’ve thought about that. Remember we’re just practicing because it’s a new process. However when you do this, when you’re practicing, you’re also giving yourself the ability to analyze faster. The more you practice, the better you get, just like shooting basketball or playing tennis, learning a new language. If you do not practice, you will not learn it. But if you practice, you will get fast at it. In fact, you’ll learn it and you get faster and more efficient.

So now, identify one mistake that you made today, without becoming angry at yourself. Because again, like I said, we’re just analyzing the situation. We’re not criticizing ourselves. Is this a problem that you do every day? Or is this an anomaly? Is it misplacing your keys? when I was stocking my Amazon bookstore it was a common theme between me and my neighbors that Erik would lose his keys for weeks at a time. That’s a mistake. I didn’t mean to lose them. Well, once you think about that problem, it’s like, “You know what? I do that quite often.” And then start thinking about it, and break it down, when are the times that you tend to lose them? Is it when you have groceries? Think about what you were doing before you lost them. We noticed most of the time I would lose my  at night when I entered the house through the back door. 

If it’s a consistent problem that you’re having, find the consistent trait. What is it that I keep doing? When is it? Is it when I’m on the telephone? I’m walking in the house, I’m on the telephone, or is it when I have groceries? Or when I have the kids? Or whatever, find the one constant. You’ll find that the losing of the keys is just the end result. The problem is before the losing of the keys. Now, that’s kind of a basic example, but I hope that you follow along with what I’m talking about. The one constant every time I lost my keys; I was inebriated walking in the back door. I would set them down and not remember when I woke up in the morning where I put them,  obviously the night before when I was inebriated I put them in a very safe and obvious place, but when I was sober that place was no longer obvious. 

What we’re trying to do is raise awareness to mistakes. The mistakes we’re making might have a deeper root of cause and reaction. Just like with the keys the end reaction is losing the keys. Something might have caused you to lose the keys on a consistent basis for me it was my constant struggle with alcohol. So there might be something that you’re doing in a relationship that you’re not even noticing, that is causing a problem, you might swear up and down you’re not even doing it.

It could be as simple as every time that your significant other, or your coworker, or your boss, or your employee, or your son, or your daughter, or your mom, or your dad, or your whatever, every time they open their mouth and they’re trying to explain something, you automatically be like, “Oh yes, I get it.” In your mind, you could be like, “Well, I’m trying to show them that I feel them. That I’m trying to be empathetic and I’m trying to be with them.” But in other people’s eyes, you could be overbearing. Like they’re trying to express something to you, but you won’t allow them. You see what I’m saying?

So it’s something as small as that, can have a huge effect on a relationship. But if you don’t learn how to break down problems and spot problems when they’re small, opposed to when they’re big. Because what happens over five years of you consistently doing this and you’re thinking that you’re being extremely supportive, but in all actuality, you’re being very unsupportive on the way that this person receives support. And over the years, you guys start growing resentments towards each other because you’re like, “Man, I’m trying to be so supportive.” And she’s like, “Man, he’s just not supporting me the way that I need. He’s just always interrupting me. I’m trying to get it all out and he just won’t let me.” Something as simple as that can be avoided by focusing and being able to spot small problems. Find the small problems in each relationship and become self-aware of yourself. A small problem that you both think is a normal relationship problem could be the cause of multiple other less obvious reactions .

Now let’s talk about when failing is not an option, like The airplane director people. Failure for them is not an option. Dr. Carl Wyke studied HROs, high reliability organizations. what he’s saying is their services are so vital and precise, they’re all forced to find ways not to fail. A common characteristic in all of this is they distinguish themselves by being able to detect incredibly weak warning signs and taking strong decisive action in the beginning. When they hear any bit of stress in a pilot’s voice, they’re trained for that, they’re trained to hear it. They’ve trained their ears to hear things that the normal person will not hear. When they go over their checklist, they have a hundred different things they have to check off every single time before they can even move on to step two. They’re checking things three, four times to make sure that it works. If something even looks like it’s off, they stop, and redo it. Like the assembly line when building a car, it’s the same thing. They’re doing their best not to fail. Trained not to assume the system works perfectly on its own, instead they look for the slightest signal that things are going awry.

On the boat when the fighter jets fly in and if the water’s moving, if the boats come in a little bit too hard, they’re looking for if there’s any debris on the deck, anything that could cause a problem, they’re looking for it. Most of us, me, included, in our minds, we’re like, “Oh, everything’s fine. Don’t worry about it. Everything’s great, it’s going to be okay.” Well, these people are trained to think, “It’s not okay. It’s not going to be okay. Let me find a reason that it’s not okay. Let me make sure and double-check that I’m going to be fine.”

Now, if we take that same approach I’m not saying we’re all going to be that disciplined, that’s a little bit extreme, but if we were to take a little bit of their training and their perspective on life, the way that they perceive things and we add that into our own life, how much more we’d focus on our finances, right? If we weren’t allowed to fail, how much we would focus on our love life. If this marriage is not allowed to fail, if this relationship isn’t allowed to fail, if you didn’t have an option for it not to work, then you would focus on it and you’d make it work. You’d figure a way to make it work. And that’s why solving small problems early, or training your brain to detect things that are not working, early.

A quote by Tao Te Ching. “Confront the difficult while it’s easy. Accomplish the great task by a series of small acts.”

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Identify Small Moments

Identify small moments. Throughout our life, there’s always just small moments that count. It’s the little things that matter. It’s the small, little note that you put out for your wife or your husband, telling them to have a beautiful day and that you love them. It’s the little flowers you send, it’s the little chocolates. It’s the little small thank yous or when you see somebody having a bad day, walk over there, you tell them, “How are you doing? What’s wrong?” It’s the small things that matter.

When practicing the FYMM Framework, we want to always remember the small things. I was mostly just spurting out some things, but let’s give some better examples, like some massive examples of how identifying the small things matter. Let’s talk about Walmart with Sam Walton. Sam Walton used to fly to every single one of his competitors’ stores and spend time, he was even quoted saying that he thinks he spends more time in his competitors’ stores than his own. Why was he doing that? By trying to identify small things. Small moments, small things that other stores are doing that he’s not doing.

Another example. I think it was American Airlines one of the flight attendants noticed that all the customers were taking the little black olives off the salad. No one was eating them. She made that discovery, and she went up the proper chain of command and told her superiors. That small little thing, her general manager, realized that The Airlines were being charged by the ingredient. It’s like when you’re ordering a pizza. You get charged on how many items you put. You just get a cheese pizza, it’s completely different from an all-you-can-eat meat-lover’s pizza, right? Cheese in-expensive, Meat lover’s expensive.  So if all the customers were not eating the olives, then there’s no point in adding them.  They realized that taking off some of the ingredients, (the ingredients that the people did not want to eat anyways,) they saved thousands, probably over the years, millions of dollars. Finding that small, little thing, identifying small moments in time. Innovation comes from solving problems, I kind of almost say laziness. So identify something small, something that you don’t like, something in your life, you’re like, “Man, you know what? I think I could do this better.”

Remember, everything starts with a thought, so start from there. Identify different things. Identify with your kids, If your kid’s not doing something a hundred percent how you want it done, instead of automatically jumping the gun, take the time, slow down, maybe there’s a reason. Maybe the kid’s telling you something that you’re not paying attention to. Maybe they can’t vocalize or they can’t explain how they want to explain it, so they’re trying to communicate in a different way. One of the greatest tragedies of life is to try to turn an artist into a conformist and a conformist into an artist. 

Same thing with a dog, you trained yourself to notice when the dog goes to the door, let it out. It has to go to the bathroom. But if you weren’t raised around animals, you wouldn’t really know that. I mean, it’s kind of obvious, but it’s obvious to people who owned animals. My aunt told me when I was younger, she said, “All you need in this world is common sense.” She didn’t tell me that things don’t become common sense until it’s already knowledge that you know. It’s common knowledge, right? So, it’s common sense to let a dog out when it needs to go to the bathroom if you’ve had a dog before. If you’ve never had a dog before, that’s not common sense. It’s really not. But by being attuned and being aware, you would notice, as you can identify that small moment, whether you’ve had a dog in your life or not, is becoming aware of your surroundings, being attuned to what’s going on.

Another example, David Gold. He owned a liquor store and he noticed that every time he put 99 cents on something, that it would be out the door. He noticed this over and over and over again, and he was like, “Well, what is this?” Then, he started realizing, he started finding products he could make a profit off of 99 cents. What he did is he identified that small moment, and then went on to open up a 99 cent store with 149 different stores by selling products that are only 99 cents. He identified something small and then boom, changed, adapted, created. So, that’s what I’m asking you guys to do. Go around your house, really, honestly, go around your house and then identify the small things that you didn’t notice before, and just write it down. Take a notepad and identify every little thing that you didn’t notice before. If you live by yourself, it’s going to be a little bit easier because the majority of the things that you put into the house, you put in. But if you have other people in your house, identify the small moments. Go look around and go notice everything that you’ve never even noticed before. Take the time to slow down. Then through that, you’re going to start noticing things you never thought that you would notice. Whether it’s with your finances, whether it’s with your love life. 

This is like the number one thing with a girl. They get their nails done, pay attention and say, “I like your nails.” Or if they’re changed their hair and you don’t notice, oh man, you made a big mistake. Right? It’s identified in those small moments, and especially when it comes to a female, as in telling a female. I could be wrong, but from my experience, growing up with a lot of sisters, it’s the smallest, little, itty bitty things that they change about themselves. If you notice it, you get extra points. Right?. 

Think of the small, little things and you’ll be amazed on how that changes your life and gives you more opportunity. If you’re trying to lose weight, take time and imagine. Start looking at the weight, start looking at everything that you put in into your system. I guarantee. You’re going to be like, “Wow Are you serious?” Identify the small little things. If you’re trying to lose weight, or if you’re diabetic and you can’t eat a lot of sugar, and you smoke cigarettes, do you know what they put in cigarettes? They put a little sugar in the filter because they know addictive sugar is, and sugar will give a better tasting cigarette. Identify the small little moments. 

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Small Rewards

Small rewards. Now, whether you’re trying to train yourself, a dog, an employee, your kid, whatever it is, we all like getting gifts, we all like being rewarded for our actions. Now the problem with that is you have to give the right reward for the action. Dr. W. Edwards Deming, studied  “a large gift kills people’s intrinsic motivation to do a good job. People want to be proud of their work. They want to attaboy. But if you just give them money or you bestow them with large gifts every time, okay, that might work once. But then towards the end, it decreases the value of it. And in the end it could actually send the inverse message that you want.”

You could be trying to motivate somebody but by giving them big rewards and big things, it’s actually demotivating them. So that brings us to the perfect reward for the person or for the problem. So the gift or reward should be appropriate with the goal. So don’t give chocolate to somebody who’s diabetic or having health problems. That doesn’t make sense. Maybe give a health book or take them out to lunch at a healthy place. I don’t really go out to lunch pretty often, I have a garden and then in the summertime, so I just eat out of the garden. But do something nice like give them some seeds. There you go. Give them a nice gift that fits the accomplishment.

Understand who you’re dealing with because some gifts people don’t like. And some things that I’m thinking, “Well, this would be an amazing gift.” I give to people and they look at me like I’m crazy. Like what is this, Erik? What is this? This isn’t a gift. This is work, to me, I’m like, “Wow, this is great. Look, look what you can do with this.” Understand who you’re giving the gift to if you give the wrong kind of gift, then it’s not a gift. Or it’s not showing someone’s accomplishments. You could be sending the wrong message.

I do this quite often. Like I said, I’m not very good at giving gifts. I tend to give people gifts that are educational or to better themselves and sometimes people just want a gift. They don’t want to have to think and educate themselves all day long, just some of the days. Have you ever heard the expression, it’s the thought that counts? Well in this situation it is. It’s the thought that counts. So yeah, you can give people Gucci and Prada and Ferrari, but what message are you sending? You can also take the time, especially if you have the money and all you know how to do is just give gifts of money. Well in the beginning, that’s cool but in the end that can get old. Because you’re not telling that person that you care about by doing this. It’s like having your assistant buy your kid a Christmas gift. If you were to take the time and make something that takes you 10 minutes? If you take the time and you give a small gift, it was free for you to do, but it was personalized and it’s something from the heart. That has a much more effective effect on somebody, and longer lasting. Have you ever got something from a little kid they can’t afford, extravagant gifts. they don’t have an income. Well some of them do, but we’re not talking about them. It’s almost the reason they invented magnets for your refrigerator, to put small drawings, pictures, crafts your kids make.

When they want to express love, they make something out of the tools they have and they give it to you and then your heart melts. Now that’s all pretty and everything, because it’s something that was heartfelt and it was something that they took time and they put into it. So it’s the same thing, if you want to do something nice or have a gift for your wife, instead of buying her a diamond, maybe take the kids out and give her some time to herself. Ask her what she wants. Not as in what do you want materialistically, do you want a new Ferrari or this or that? No. Like what do you want? What would give you peace? And then try to do that.

Or if it’s an employee, my buddy, he was so happy. His job acknowledged him and told him he was doing such a great job. He’s still running high off of that now, and it’s been about two weeks since the incident actually happened. And it was for free. They didn’t give him anything. They just told him he was doing a good job and gave him a pat on the back. Imagine if they gave him a big bonus or something, that would have been great, but in the end he would have been like, “All right, whatever,” everyone would move on with their day. He would have been inspired a little bit. But then look at the comradery by acknowledging my friend in a positive attitude, they brought the morale of everybody else up. If they would have passed out money it would have done the inverse and created a competitive environment opposed to a supportive environment.  like crabs in the bucket. Only doing their best to beat the next person to get the money. By not giving money and giving an attaboy, everyone’s like, “Attaboy, Erik. Good job man. Yo, I’m happy for you.” Takes the monetary value out of it and now we all can enjoy and celebrate together. So hope you got something out of that message. 

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6 Strategies

All right. Hope everyone’s having a good evening, afternoon, morning. In the last chapter we learned the difference between FYMM and Innovation. If we don’t remember, FYMM small steps, Innovation shock factor. Second one learned what FYMM is, a little bit more in depth instead of just what’s the difference. we learned it’s based on taking minor, minute, little, itty-bitty steps to accomplish large goals. FYMM is broken down into six strategies.

The six strategies are: asking small questions to dispel fear and inspire creativity; thinking small thoughts to develop new skills and habits without moving a muscle; taking small actions that guarantee success; solving small problems, even when you’re faced with an overwhelming crisis; bestowing small rewards to yourself or others to produce the best results; recognizing the small but crucial moments that everyone else ignores.

asking small questions to dispel fear and inspire creativity. So what does that really mean? When we ask small questions on a larger goal. let’s say we have to write a huge paper, or we have to study for a huge exam, or we don’t know if this is the right career for us, becoming financially free whatever it could be. Anything that’s grandiose. I’m not talking about what pair of socks we’re going to wear in the morning, even though that to some people that might be a really large decision, but for most, we might just have a thousand of the same color. But we’re talking about bigger problems,bigger obstacles that cause us to have fear. Causes us to stop moving forward, to stop progressing in life, to decide that we don’t want to do it anymore and just give up, to quit. These are the big issues I’m referring to.

If you’re having problems starting going to the gym, ask the small questions to get away from the fear. What is it that you don’t want to do? What is stopping you? What is it that you feel that you’re going to miss out on by doing this new thing? If it’s stopping cigarettes, or cutting down on cigarettes or candy or chocolate, asking the small questions on why do you need it? What is the fear that you have by not doing this? 

Then on the flip side, when you realize there is nothing to fear, with something or wanting to start something. We allow our cortex, creativity, to begin working. Now I’ve asked this small question, how can… “I know that when I get nervous, I smoke a cigarette, how can i inspire creativity, When I’m nervous, opposed to jumping the gun and grabbing a pack of cigarettes or grabbing a cigarette, I’m going to do a pushup, or I’m going to go grab some water, or I’m going to call a friend, or whatever inspire creativity. If it’s losing weight, it’s the same thing, dispel fear. Well, I have a fear that I’m going to miss out on this great meal, or that I’m going to go hungry, or whatever it is that your fear is, that could be anything, of not changing or keeping the same habit and not reversing that habit in the other direction. So instead of enforcing a bad habit, what is your fear of flipping that and turning that bad habit into a positive habit. A negative habit into a positive habit.

Thinking small thoughts to develop new skills and habits without moving a muscle

 Now, when we’re asking all these small questions to ourselves and others or even Google. Ask Google a small question, it’s going to give you a thousand answers. But thinking small thoughts. When we’re thinking something, it’s basically like a question inside ourselves. So we have a thought like, “Well, what if? Hmm,” that’s a question. Most of the thoughts are questions and internal questions. Now, when we’re doing this and we’re having small, little, itty-bitty thoughts on the new inspired creativity that we got from asking small questions to other people and asking the small questions to ourselves, it gives us the opportunity when our front brain is being inspired, our subconscious can start developing the new skill or new habit without us even knowing.

we’re breaking down the old habit, the negative habit, that we don’t want. And without us even knowing it, without moving a muscle, we’re creating a new habit. By taking a sip of water opposed to puffing a cigarette, or as easy as your fear of working out is you don’t have time. Well, picking up your pencil up and down at the office 10 times with each hand. Now, doing that you might not think that you’re creating a new skill because you’re like, “Well, Erik, that’s easy,” you know what I’m saying, “I can do that, that’s not working out,” but what you’re doing is you’re creating a habit of moving. So the more that you do that and it’s easy, and you’re like, “Man, this is ridiculous. Dude, this isn’t even doing anything. I’m going to go ahead and lift this coffee cup 10 times.” Well look at that, before you even know it, without even moving a muscle, you’ve already upgraded yourself from a pencil to a coffee mug, without even knowing it. You created a new skill and habit without moving a muscle right. That’s just a really simple example but it works for everything if you just break it down.Saving money start with all your pennies or your change, at the end of each month take it to your local credit union and buy a bond. It is so small it’s impossible not to do. 

Taking small actions that guarantee success. I would have to say probably everybody, people on different degrees are going to be different, but no one likes failing. Nobody. Even a baby doesn’t like when they do something wrong, or if they fall, or when they crawl. Look at it, look at the baby, they get frustrated. So no one likes to fail. When you’re trying to do something and you fail, your whole glow about you becomes a little darker. And a lot of that has to do with the size of the goals we choose to have. No, I’m not saying every goal that we have needs to be something so easy as in, “Today I’m going to wake up.” Well, that’s kind of easy. Most of the time you’re going to wake up, but for some people, if you’re having a problem, and you just had a breakup with somebody and you’re really depressed, maybe that’s something that’s big, “I’m just going to wake up and I’ll be able to get out of the bed today.”

So as simple as that, I’m glad I thought about it like that because getting out of the bed to me, that seems simple but in different circumstances, it is a big thing. Like if you’re really depressed and you can’t get out of the bed and you don’t want to answer phone calls and all that looks good is some tissue paper and a movie and the same blanket that you’ve been in for a couple of days. Or maybe it’s even worse, it’s some beers and some pizzas laying around and you’re stuck in a rut. You don’t know what to do, you just broke up with your girlfriend, boyfriend, got fired. We all go through different things, lost a parent, lost a best friend, lost a dog, lost anything. Anything that can put us into something that we all know is not healthy for us.

Well, if we want to change something, a lot of people will say, “Just do this.” “They snap their fingers and say just do that or take this” it’s like, “Whatever, dude. You obviously don’t understand where I am right now.” And no one ever does, because they don’t understand you. They might think they do, but each and every one of us are different. So when you’re in that situation what is there to do? 

taking a small action to guarantee your success! If what you want to do is get over it and you want to stop feeling the way that you’re feeling, then make small little steps. Little ones that you know you’re not going to fail, don’t tell everybody, you don’t need to, it’s not for everybody, it’s for yourself.

So set it out as, “Today I’m going to throw away the pizza boxes.” And just make that your goal all day. Make it something that you can do, it’s not too big. Don’t be like, “Oh, I’m going to clean the entire house today, and I’m going to take a shower, and do all the laundry, and tomorrow I’m going to be better.” That’s the innovative way and we know this might work every now and again, but the success rate of doing that is very low compared to the alternative, which is the FYMM way we are discussing. Because you didn’t build a habit the other way, you just cleaned everything up, but you didn’t have the building blocks, so you’re more susceptible of crashing. You do small little things.

we were talking about going to the gym, or about working out with the pencil, guaranteeing yourself something so small that you’re not going to fail. Lifting that pencil, lifting the lighter 10 times, lifting your phone. We’re on our phone all day long, well, do a curl with your phone on each arm, doing something that you know you can’t fail and then build on that. We’ll get back to getting yourself out of a rut. Just every day, try to do one little thing that’s going to guarantee a success and slowly but surely you’re going to get yourself out of any problem.

And that brings us right into solving small problems, even when you’re faced with an overwhelming crisis. What we were just talking about was like overwhelming crisis. We just lost somebody really dear to our hearts, just went through a huge breakup, it could be anything, lost a job, car just got repossessed, lights just went out. Anything could be an overwhelming crisis. Every crisis is different for each and every one of us, it doesn’t matter how large or how small it is, because each one of us, the crisis to ourselves is equal. You know what I’m saying? It doesn’t matter what the crisis is, it’s equally a crisis to each and every one of us.

When we’re just overwhelmed and can’t think, like, “Oh man, I don’t know. Man, the lights are out. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I got to cook food. I got to do this. How are we going to do this? How am I going to do that?” So you’re asking, which brings us back to number one, small questions. But you’re not asking them to dispel fear, you’re actually adding to your fear. Because you’re asking overwhelming questions. You’re not thinking small thoughts. You’re not taking small actions. You’re not asking the right kind of small questions.

Solving the small problems in crises is dealing with one at a time. Okay, you don’t have any lights, what is the first smallest problem that you can take care of? And then build off of that. Like a perfect example is, a few years ago, I was running pallets and a buddy of mine was driving a truck behind me with a trailer on the back and we blew a tire. And we’re at the gas station now, it’s starting to get late, starting to get cold, I think it was fall. And there were like five or six of us. Now, he was sitting there feeling bad about himself, like, “Woe is me! I popped the tire,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I went up to him, I was like, “Look, Dawg. We don’t have time for the woe is me. I understand you popped a tire, that’s a big problem. But what are we going to do now to solve this problem so we can get home?” And we started solving the smaller problems.

Okay, the first problem usually is this, your attitude. If you change your attitude, then you can change your outcome. When he changed his attitude from, “Woe is me,” to, “Okay, who cares? I don’t care what happens, I can feel bad when I get home. I got a problem at hand, I need to solve it. I’ll feel sorry for myself later.” When you saw that first problem with feeling sorry for yourself, you’ll be amazed of what you can accomplish. the doors, the windows open up. And just like that, the sun starts to shine again.

So that brings us with… Well, it doesn’t bring us at all to bestowing small rewards. But, bestowing small rewards to yourself and others produce the best results. A lot of time we think that you can buy people with large gifts. You and your wife been fighting, go buy her huge diamond earrings, a car, she’s always wanted this dress, so you think you’re just going to solve the problem with this dress and it’s all going to go back to normal or go back perfect. And how often does it really work? Exactly, it doesn’t. When you try to solve a problem with something large. With some innovative way of solving it, or, “I love this girl. I know if I buy her this car, buy her this million dollar diamond, she’s going to be in love with me forever.” But it didn’t work like that, did it?

Great movie, Casino. We all know that movie. If you haven’t watched it, great one. Robert De Niro with, can’t remember her name, Ginger or whatever. He thought he could buy her with large gifts, $2 million in jewelry, all the money and the fame and everything. But it was her other little boyfriend that did the small little things that she could never leave. No matter how large and how much Robert De Niro gave her, she never loved him. And so that’s a grandiose way of thinking of it, but it has some validity and some truth.

Bestowing the small rewards to yourself and others to produce the best results. Saying, “Thank you”, and “Please,” and allowing someone the feeling to be appreciated. In the end we all desire that feeling, the feeling of being appreciated more than anything. Like you buy your wife, you buy your girlfriend, that magnificent gift. You saved all month for it. You saved all year for it, it doesn’t matter. You put time and energy into it, to be able to buy this for her, you give it to her or you give it to him and he’s not very happy. They’re happy momentarily, but then it just doesn’t matter to them. How does that make you feel? It makes you feel horrible, right. Because all you really wanted is to feel appreciated. So now that we know that that’s what we want, imagine how other people feel. They want to feel appreciated as well and that’s the smallest thing in the world, it basically doesn’t cost anything, it is letting people understand and letting people know how much you appreciate them. Bestowing small rewards to yourself or others to produce the best results.

Now, recognizing the small but crucial moments that everyone else ignores.So let’s say you’re at work, or your wife, or boyfriend, girlfriend, daughter, son, grandma, mom, dad, whatever, it doesn’t matter, any particular relationship you have with another person, even the dog, whatever. When you’re paying attention and you’re observant and you’re aware of different things, they could be so small, like you’re asking the question of, If someone likes the end of the bread on a loaf of bread?

A quick story. I don’t know who told me this or even know if it’s true, I don’t know where I got it from. But it’s a great story and it teaches you a lot. So this couple got married when they were young and have been together for 30 – 40 years. Grew up together, basically getting old together. One day, they ran out of the end bread or there’s just two of the end pieces. I forgot how the conversation came up. And one of them finally let it be known that, “I really don’t like the end pieces.” Let’s say it was the husband that said that. And the wife, mind you they’ve been together 30, 40 years, it doesn’t matter, they’d been together their entire life. And the wife was like, “What do you mean?” She’s like, “I love the end pieces.” And he’s like, “I can’t stand them. In my family, we grew up and the end pieces were the worst pieces. And all these years I’ve been eating them because I was sacrificing for you.” And she is taken aback because she’s like, “In my family, those are the best pieces. And all these years I’ve been giving them to you, sacrificing for you.” And both of them were sacrificing, which is amazing, that all this time they were sacrificing. But the small, crucial moment, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, 40 years ago, 50 years ago, if they just asked, “Do you like the end pieces of bread?” Imagine the difference. Imagine the happiness, just on that. They’ve had 30, 40 years of sacrificing and not even knowing it. They did it for absolutely no reason because neither one of them liked what they were giving or like what they were receiving. One didn’t like it, the other one loved it. But they were both sacrificing for no reason.

Recognizing the small but crucial moments that everyone else ignores. The smallest things in the world. And that’s why I used the bread, the end pieces of the bread, it’s something that we all know and some of us like it and some of us don’t. But something as simple as asking and noticing that small little crucial moment is huge. If you think about it in terms of other aspects of life. with the bread, everybody eats bread at one point in time. All cultures eat some sort of bread, so all cultures can halfway understand it. Maybe one culture likes the brown, the more burnt part of the flat bread, I can’t think what it’s called. The other one likes the whitest part, you know what I mean? But it’s recognizing those small moments in life is what makes the difference. Because once you start recognizing the small things, you can start recognizing other small things. You can recognize small things in yourself. You can recognize, “Okay, well, wow, when I do this particular thing, this result happens.” But if you’re not training yourself and you’re not aware of those small things, you’ll never be able to change.

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What asking small questions does, it creates an environment for our brain to be creative and playful. When we have a large question or an extremely huge problem, fear comes, the fear part of our brain stops us. It gets in the way, and we start getting anxious and irritable. Asking small questions, diffuses the anxiety. 

So a quick quote, before we get started, is this. “What shapes our lives are the questions we ask, refuse to ask, or never think to ask.” Sam King. Now let’s say that again. “What shapes our lives are the questions we ask, we refuse to ask, or never think to ask.” Now let’s get into it. The brain loves questions, the hippocampus is located in the mammalian part of the brain.

The hippocampus main criteria is for the storage of repetition and memory. By asking the same question over and over and over again, it forces your brain to do nothing but to pay attention to that small question. Does that make sense? Let me say it again. That’s another reason why we said the quote again, so let’s say it again. “What shapes our lives are the questions we ask, refuse to ask, or never think to ask.” So what the hippocampus does is it stores it in the repetition part of the brain. All right, so asking the same question over and over again. I’m repeating it just for a reason so it sticks into your head because what we’re saying is repeat over and over again. So I’m repeating it more than once so you guys understand that repeating something over and over again, then you remember it more. So again “What shapes our lives are the questions we ask, refuse to ask, or never think to ask.”

What repetition does is it forces your brain to pay attention. If I say something once, you’re going to Most likely dismiss it. The Second time I say it, it’s going in your brain it might stay in there, but most likely, leave. But if I continuously repeat it, by the end of this you’re going to be like, “You know what? I get it.” It is said, it takes an average person 9 times before they retain information.

So ask small questions. So ask the same question over and over and over again. If you want to make a change, ask yourself small questions about the goal. For example, if you want to be healthy, ask yourself the same question every morning you wake up. “What can I do today to make myself healthy?” Or actually, start a little smaller than that, because ask yourself small questions. “What can I change in my daily schedule today that will take less than 30 seconds to help my health?

So now that’s a much more precise and it’s a smaller question. Ask the smallest question you can think of. Brainstorm, at first it’s going to take a little bit, because as you see, the natural progression of what I just did. What’s the first attempt “What can you do in the morning to change your health? Well, that’s a big question. Second attempt, “What can I change in my daily routine that I can change in 30 seconds?” Okay. Well, that’s grand, I can march in place for 30 seconds. Brainstorm, whatever it is. Now, you can also take that same small question and apply it to anything that you want to change. “I want to be more financially responsible.” Okay, so you wake up in the morning, “What can I do today to be financially more responsible?” Break down your list. Ask more questions. How many people have been around a little kid? Not the terrible twos, but more like the question threes, to where everything they say is, “Why? Why mommy? Why daddy? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?”

Small questions, each one of those small questions is what we’re doing right here. There’s a reason why kids ask, little people ask those thousand questions, a question for everything. Because their brain is constantly moving and learning, constantly asking questions is how they learn. And that’s why they’re asking. So what I’m challenging you to do is the same, ask yourself a thousand little questions. And what that will do is allow you to tiptoe past fear.

When a question triggers fear, it restricts the cortex. So let’s break that down a little bit. So like I said, we’ll go back to the bigger question. Like the, “I’m overweight,” or, “I’m poor.” That is a huge question. “How can I change this? How can I no longer be poor?” Or “How can I be financially secure, or the best shape of my life?” Because some people just will never get a six-pack, that just won’t happen. Some people, it just won’t happen. But the best shape of their life is, It varies for each person.

With a big question, it can be crippling, it can block you, and shut you down abandoning the creative part of your brain. It’s deer in the headlights, you’re like, “What to do? I don’t know.” And so by asking these small iddy biddy questions, we kind of tiptoe past the amygdala, the midbrain. We talked about that in the beginning part of the book. So by doing that, it diffuses us. So just try it one good time, So when you’re really, really stressed out and you’re like, ” I don’t know how I’m going to do this. I don’t know how I’m going to pay for all these bills. I don’t know what I’m going to do, enter your problem ______.” Most of the time while we are in this stressful State we end up putting ourselves in a deeper hole. We tend to find things that distract us from our problem opposed to solving our problem. 

I don’t know how many have done this, but I’ve done this numerous times, I’ll be stressing about something, and instead of just doing it, I end up doing something else that compounds the problem. It makes it even worse than what it was in the beginning. And if I had just slowed myself down, seeing this big problem like, “You know what? That’s impossible for me to think of right now. I’m getting stuck. So I need to ask for help. And I need to start asking small questions and turn that little three-year-old back on in my body.”

Speaker 1:

What I mean by the little three-year-old is the million questions to question everything, question the smaller questions, try to break it down. Because every problem is huge in the beginning, but then when you break it down and you’re like, “Oh, well, all right, okay. If I do this in the morning, then this is going to happen.” 

I kind of got my drinking down. I struggled with alcoholism a lot when I was in my twenties. I was drunk every day. I was like, “Yeah. Let’s party.” But then as I’m getting older, I’m trying to take that out of my life, and cigarettes and everything else. So I’ve got this nice little lovely thing called sparkling water. So asking small questions. So the big question is, how am I going to stop my vices? So the very first thing with the drinking, I didn’t tell myself I’m going to stop. Because that’s an all or nothing statement, and that’s very difficult to maintain in the beginning. It really, truly is. Even when you tell yourself, “I’m just going to stop doing it,” that’s almost saying that you’re going to fail, because you’re not giving yourself any bit of leeway. So stay away from making statements Like, “I’m never going to… I hate this,” or, “I’m never going to do this ever again.” Because you might in turn lower your self-confidence, but WHY? When you make definite,or all-or-nothing statements and you break them, you’re breaking your own self-confidence, you’re breaking your own integrity you start distrusting yourself. My first approach was asking small questions. “Well, how am I going to slow myself down?” Seltzer water, I just picked it up from the store. I was like, “I’m going to try this.” And in a weird way, it’s starting to work because of the carbonation. What I noticed is at the end of the water,  it doesn’t taste the same as beer, but it serves the same purpose. I’ve had a couple of beers. I’m not saying that it’s perfect, I have stopped everything in the world, but I’ve slowed myself down just by doing something small. Asking a small question on a habit. The small question, how am I going to solve this problem?

Now, by doing that, you’re seeing the small little things like the habit of grabbing a beer and drinking it. So knowing that I have the habit of actually drinking, is a habit, how are you going to break that habit of drinking beer? So then I replaced it with water. I didn’t want to replace it with soda because then eventually I’m going to have a different problem. I’m going to have a sugar problem, and then a terrible teeth problem.

So I don’t try to substitute with something negative. Try to solve your problems in a positive way. If it’s with money, saving money, well, how can I do that every day? Matter of fact, buying water has saved me quite a bit of money. By default, my goal wasn’t to save money by doing this. My goal was to slow down on drinking alcohol, but by default, it’s helping other aspects of my life. Does that make sense?

So asking small questions, you can kill two birds with one stone. Does that make sense? Every morning, ask the same thing, look at the problem that you have and then break it down just a little bit, because… Like a big rock, a big boulder. If I were to tell you to move this from here to here, and it does not matter how you do it. Now, the first few people’s reaction is, “Oh my God, let me try to push this big boulder.” It’s not going to happen. But now I gave you some tools, I gave you any kind of tool that you can think of. Well, if you break that rock down, then you’ll be able to move it faster. You’ve got a rock chisel and break it down, take it piece by piece. And so that’s the same thing, it’s like asking small questions for the grander problem, the grander thing in life, the grander rock it is. And ask a small question, “Well, how can I break this little piece off of this rock and bring it over? How can I break this little piece off and bring it over?” Ask small questions and you have a higher success rate of accomplishing your goals.

Fears tend to sort themselves into two major categories. The fear of not being worthy, “I don’t deserve it.” And the fear of losing control, So think about that again, the fear of not being worthy and the fear of losing control. Now, to break those into manageable parts, what would you do?

If your overall goal on “a fear of not being worthy” is getting a job promotion, what would you be doing differently today in order to deserve it? Make sure you ask a  positive question in a positive manner not a negative question. If you ask a negative question, you’re going to go backwards, not forwards because you’re questioning yourself in a non-productive manner. It’s the same as if you say to a little kid, “Don’t be bad.” Well, nine out of 10, they’re going to be bad because they heard the word bad. But if you tell them, “Be good,” I don’t know why it does it and what it is. I forgot what doctor or what scientist came up with this, but it’s true. So you have a higher success rate if you keep it positive. If you say positive words, opposed to negative words. So the fear of not being worthy, “I don’t deserve it,” or, “Why me? Why am I not good enough?” Well, switch that question around and be like, “Why am I good enough? And what is it that I need to fix in order to show my positive sides?”

Let everyone see why you do deserve it, right? Because the same amount of energy that you’re putting into thinking of why you don’t deserve it, is the same amount of energy you can think on why you do deserve it. It’s the same amount of energy, it’s going to take the same amount of time. Just one’s positive, one’s negative. One’s going to get you what you want, the other one’s going to continuously get you where you are. And I say that as serious and nonchalantly as possible, but you’re actually regressing. You’re not progressing, you’re regressing if you think negatively.

Because something that does not progress, something that stays stagnant is going backwards. So if you’re losing control… Well, before you even have that. “Well, what if I like him and he leaves me?” Was first, is this the right person? If you have the fear that this person’s going to leave you for something, well, why don’t you ask yourself the first major question, “Is this my ideal mate?” Because the fear of something happening, that can be a huge fear. And then that can dictate what you do, what you say, how you act, how you dress, everything. How you smell, everything. What job you get, that can dictate everything just to appease somebody else. But what if… Ask yourself the question, “What do I want?” And you might find out that the person that you’re so scared about leaving you or losing control, you don’t even really want. It doesn’t even match up with what you want for yourself. But if you don’t ask these small little questions of yourself, then you’ll never know. Then the whole time you’re going to have this fear of someone leaving you, when the entire time you never even wanted to be with the person in the first place. You were just so scared of them leaving you, that you were doing everything in the world to make sure that they didn’t leave you. I hope that makes sense.

All right, on to more of the negativity, negative questions, toxic mental brew. “Why am I a jerk? Why could I be so stupid? Why is everyone else’s life easier than mine?” Your brain is going to continuously work. And if you keep asking yourself negative questions, then you will get negative results.

Think of it like this. You have a finite amount of energy to expend in a day. And let’s say it’s a number of a 100. So if you spend 99 out of a 100 thinking negatively, or, “Why am I such a jerk? Why am I so poor? Why is this person’s life better than mine?” Well, then you’re only spending one point thinking how that you can actually solve these problems. These are the problems that you want solved. The, “Why am I such a jerk?” Well, if that’s what you keep asking yourself that question, then the complete opposite of that is, “How can I be nice?” So instead of thinking, “Why am I such a jerk?” Think, “How can I be nice?” 

If something continuously happens, then you’re obviously doing something, you’re missing something that you should be seeing. So look at the positive. All right. Well, find out exactly what it is. I don’t want to touch that, it will mess it up. Find out exactly what it is that’s not working. Ask yourself the questions and move forward. The small questions to progress you into a positive socket. “How come everyone else’s life is easier than mine?” Well, why are you so focused on everyone else’s life, instead of yours? If you focus on your life, ask yourself, “How can I make my life better every single day?” Instead of asking yourself, “Why is their life better?” Well, “How can I make my life better?” it’s the same thing. It’s just transferring the energy from a negative into a positive.

If you’re unhappy but aren’t sure why, try asking yourself this. “If I were guaranteed not to fail, what would I be doing differently?” The next one. If you’re trying to reach a specific goal, ask yourself every day, “What is one small step I could take towards reaching that goal?” The next one. Often we focus our attention on what people we think are most important. A key employee, the problem child, or our mate, leading us to ignore others who may have valuable insights for us. We’re so used to asking advice from the people that we’re used to getting advice from. Our mom, our sister, our brother, our co-worker, or whatever. If you want to change, well, then change your perspective. Ask somebody that you’ve never asked before, get their perspective on the same situation, and see maybe that they’ll enlighten you to something different, to see something different in your life that you’ve never seen before. And that information could spark your cortex to be creative and playful. Like we said, asking small questions.

If you tend to feel pessimistic or negative, try asking yourself the question, “What is one small thing that is special about you, or your spouse, your organization?” And then ask yourself this every single day until it becomes second nature. And instead of you being negative and pessimistic, you’re starting to be positive, and you’re starting to think positive thoughts about yourself.

Speaker 1:

Instead of being like, “Well, why am I so ugly, and why am I so fat?” Start thinking of one positive thing for yourself. 

For me “Why am I out of shape?” Or, “Why am I fat? Why am I so lonely?” whatever it is. Instead of asking myself a negative question about myself, I have to in turn, switch that around and start thinking of something positive. “Well, I help a lot of people. I can give great advice. When friends come to me, they feel that they can get great advice or they can get advice that can give them a different perspective on looking at things.”

So by looking at that, I’m positively reinforcing my self-confidence and my personal aura about myself. And that’s what we’re trying to do is with the FYMM way, we want to change ourselves, by small, little steps. So this particular one, by asking small questions, we’re diffusing the midbrain and the fight-or-flight. And by doing that, we’re giving ourselves a better percentage chance in order to achieve our goals. So I hope that you’ve learned something from this, and I didn’t confuse you too much. just ask small questions and repeat over and over, and over, and over, and over. And then after you’re done doing that, redo it again.

So every morning, it all depends on what it is that you want to change. Ask yourself every morning, “What’s the smallest thing that I can do today?” And then once you got that down, start working on the next smallest thing that you can do, not the biggest. Most of the time, we’re always trying to conquer a huge problem. Something that takes hours upon hours, and days upon days, trying to solve it. Always start with the next easiest thing you can do until it is done.

This morning, I was like, “Okay, what is the one thing that I can do?” Well, I can get the studio setup. It’s not the greatest of studios but the filming location is set up. And then I sat down, and then, Okay, well, what’s the next smallest thing that I can do, where I can get my phone situated? All right. Well, what’s the next smallest thing. And then 30 minutes later I was in business. By asking myself the smallest questions and “what it is I needed to do this morning”. By asking myself the small questions, I diffused the amygdala and I gave myself no other choice but to sit down and do it. Does that make sense? See the process?

But by forcing myself to ask small questions, “What’s the next smallest thing?” Not the next biggest thing. Not like, “How am I going to get this done today?” I didn’t ask myself how am I going to get this done today? I said, “What’s the next smallest thing I can do?”

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Why It Works

All right, so far we’ve learned FYMM and innovation, what’s the difference. We’ve learned what FYMM is, what it’s based upon. We’ve learned the six different strategies of The FYMM Way. Now, let’s break down into why it works, before we get into the strategies.

What it does is the small steps, like we talked about in the six strategies (if you notice, all of them say small this, small that.) With the small steps of FYMM, they disarm the brain’s fear response, stimulating rational thought and creative play. Fear of change is rooted in the brain’s psychology. When fear takes hold, it can prevent creativity, change and success.

The brain has consistently evolved over the years. We have three separate brains. The challenge is to develop harmony among the different brains, so as to avoid physical and emotional illness and stress.

At the bottom of the brain, which we developed about 500 million years ago, and it’s called the reptile brain. This wakes you up in the morning time, it puts you to sleep at nighttime, and it tells your heart to beat. It’s the most animalistic, or whatever you want to call it, part of the brain.

Then we have the mid part. The mid part of the brain is about 300 million years old, and is the mammalian part of the brain. The mammal part, which makes us more into mammals. It regulates the body temperature, it houses our emotions and it governs the fight-or-flight response that keeps us alive in danger, which is very important.

So what the midbrain does, is it gets back to the fight or flight, keeping us alive in the face of danger. So back in dinosaur times or when we weren’t living in cities, or even when we’re living in cities, have you ever heard of the phrase deer stuck in the headlights? Well, that’s what it is, it’s our fight-or-flight. When we were in the Serengeti and a lion came through, we didn’t need time to analyze the situation. Our whole body needed everything to shut down and make a decision: fight or flight. We didn’t want to analyze the situation; it needed to make a split decision extremely fast.

Nowadays that gets in the way sometimes, but it also is very helpful. When we’re driving a car and someone cuts us off, we don’t want to analyze, we don’t have the time for that. We need that immediate response to kick in, the midbrain to kick in and make that decision for us, because it’s a split-second decision and it could be life or death.

Then we have a third part, about a hundred million years ago. This one creates civilization. The art, the sciences, the music, it all resides in the frontal part, the cortex. It gives us rational thought and creates impulses. So when you want to create a new project, or you’re an artist and you’re drawing a new product or you’re an artist and you’re writing a new song, or a scientist, whatever, this is the part of the brain that you tapping into, the frontal part, cortex.

So if we want to make a change or jumpstart the creative process, we need to access the cortex. What happens to most of us, or to the majority of us, or the ones that haven’t studied this and don’t know exactly what’s going on in our body or in our brain when this happens. When we face a new project or a new challenge, our midbrain usually jumps in, and blocks us. It’s called writer’s block, it’s actually blocked, right, deer in the headlights. We get stuck at the piece of paper; we don’t know what to do, and then we start getting frustrated and we end up probably not even doing it. It happens with everything in life, so it’s not just with writers. It could be with starting a new project, building the tree house that you’ve promised your kids for the last six years. They’re not even kids anymore, they don’t even want it anymore, but you’re still making that promise, that, one day, you’re going to do it. Well, what caused you to do that is, it was just such a big project. It just put you in your block, the fight-or-flight. What happens is, our fight or flight, shuts off our creativity. Then it kind of transforms us into our basic reptile, animal stage, where it’s like fight, or we get out of here. Either you’re going to fight like a lion or dance like an antelope.

When we are in this state, our heart starts beating faster, we start getting nervous. And our other senses shut down. It shuts down your sexual desire, your thought process, your digestion, it shuts down everything. So if you had to go to the bathroom before and you get distracted, one of two things going to happen. Either you’re going to go on yourself or you’re going to forget that you had to go. This happens because you are no longer your front part of your mind. It has been replaced with fear, you are now using the amygdala. The “Let’s get out of this situation, I got to go, or, the clock’s running down and it’s the end of the game. And for the last 10 minutes, you’re exhausted. But then now it’s 1 minute to go, and somehow, you’re rejuvenated with energy. Well, it’s the same thing as the fight-or-flight. In that instance, your body decided to fight. And so everything else stops, and now you have this new energy because you’re putting every last little inch on the line and you’re fighting.

What happens when we face fear, our creativity is gone, we go into, robot mode. You see this when Michael Jordan, he’s sick He had the flu (1997 finals). Well, most of you guys might not know this; he wins the NBA Championship. His body stops being creative and becomes a robot. Muscle memory and the desire to win forces his body to choose fight or flight, and It went into fight mode. When we understand and can control the fight or flight mechanism that is an example of how powerful we can become. 

Now on the contrary, when we want our creative side and we don’t want to be a robot, we need the cortex, the very front part of the brain. That gives us the creativity. To use it in a different sense, when we have a large goal, it causes fear, and then it restricts our access to the creative part of our brain, and we tend to fail; writer’s block, getting frustrated. For example When you start something for the first time, and then without putting forth 100% energy you’re like, “This is too hard, whatever, I quit.”

So what is the solution?

By having small goals; you bypass the fear. Remember we were talking about this in the previous chapter how, when we start so small we don’t even notice it. With the picking up the pencil or the lighter or whatever, you’re doing a repetition, you’re building new habits. Small goal, fear bypassed, the cortex engaged. You’re allowed to sit there and think of more creative ways. Instead of just picking up the pencil, now you’re picking up the coffee cup. It gives us the ability to become successful. By acquiring the skill to be able to build new habits, is exactly what we are discussing.

An excerpt from “ One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way” The brain is programmed to resist change, but by taking small steps, you actively rewire your nervous system so that it does the following: unsticks you from the creative block, bypasses the fight-or-flight response, creates new connections between neurons so that the brain enthusiastically takes over the process of change and you progress rapidly towards your goal.

I hope that all makes sense, because it is huge. It allows us to come up with new ideas, be able to accomplish new goals and new feats. Going to the gym, painting a whole house by yourself, writing books, and large unimaginable goals. It also builds self-confidence, before, you might need other people to do things with you, if you have fear of being alone or fear of being ridiculed. With this secret we are taking the most minute steps to complete our goals. we’re bypassing fear, in a way you don’t even notice the change until it becomes a habit.

Before you notice, you’re reading that big book that you’ve never been able to read. You’re doing those 100 pushups that, at the beginning, you couldn’t even think to do five. You’re doing 20 pull-ups. Imagine being able to accomplish the un-accomplishable. amazing right?

Stress or Fear. The modern medical name we have given for the feeling produced when approaching a new challenge or goal is called stress. However for countless generations, we called it fear. Most successful people confront fear instead of relying on terms like anxiety, stress or nervousness. Now, this is very important for us to grasp. Nowadays, I’m stressed, I don’t know what’s going to happen, or I’m anxious, I’m nervous. Instead of focusing on the root problem, I have fear, I am scared of this.

When adults typically see a Psychiatrist, they talk about their emotional pain. They choose words like stress, anxiety, depression, nervous, tense. But then if you remember, when you were a kid, or if you’re around a lot of kids, they tell you root emotions such as scared, happy, or sad. Anxiety, stress, and depression are new terms. The terms we used when we were little, were scared, sad, happy, and afraid. Right? You don’t hear a two-year-old talking about, “Oh, I’m so stressed.”or “I’m so anxious”. When they’re anxious, and they’re bouncing around and their heart’s moving fast, they tell you, “I’m scared.” They don’t go to the doctor and be like, “I’m anxious.” “Well, what are you anxious about?” If you break it all the way down, it usually has to do with fear. Children know they live in a world they can’t control. They have an understanding that fear is a part of everyday life. Everything’s bigger than they are. Even walking down the street, it can be petrifying for a little kid because just a normal adult is towering over them. You know what I mean? We walk faster than them, especially with a little guy/girl who’s more waddling than walking. They’ve got people running past them, dogs that are twice the size of them, wagging his tail, knocking them over and things. That kid knows that, life is dangerous! You never know. There’s the side of the table that you could just, bam, hit yourself, now for the next week or something, your head’s hurting. Don’t forget touching a hot surface, a kids worst nightmare. As a little kid, you’re scared. There’s a whole bunch of things that they know they cannot control; it’s a part of their daily lives. This is why we say kids are like a sponge, they have to learn fast in order to survive.

But adults, for some reason, we feel like we can control everything in our lives. And when we don’t, or can’t, we feel like there’s something wrong: “Why am I not feeling perfect? Everything Is supposed to be perfect.” As opposed to the kid that knows that he’s not supposed to be feeling good all the time. He knows that there’s something out there that’s scary. Us as adults feel that we can control everything, we know everything. So instead of admitting the fact we could actually just be scared, we come up with fancy terms and call them stress, anxiety and depression. So we run to the doctor to solve the problem, then another uncomfortable emotion arises and we run back to the doctor to save us again, never once even thinking to just solve the root of the problem.

Speaker 1:

And why do we do that? I don’t want to get too much into it. Just think for a second, pharmaceutical companies have a financial duty to make money for their shareholders, not to solve your problems. If they made it as simple as, you’re fearful, so conquer your fear. Name what you’re scared of, figure it out and then figure out how you’re going to overcome that fear. If it was that simple, then there wouldn’t be a market to sell things. For example antidepressants can cause erectile dysfunction, so when you subscribe to an antidepressant you also now have a different problem erectile dysfunction. Now you go back to the doctor to get an ED drug which is made by the same company that  made your antidepressant drug. 

To finish up, if you expect life to be ordinary and well-run, you’re setting yourself up for panic and defeat. When life gets scary and difficult, we tend to look for solutions in places where it’s easy or at least familiar to do so, and not in a dark uncomfortable place where a real solution might lie.  It’s human nature, it’s a reaction. And that’s why we call things “comfort food”, ect. Or when people get their heart broken, they say “I gained weight because I started eating.” When something in life gets difficult or when a speed bump slows us down, or we run into a wall, we tend to go back to what’s comfortable, right? Have you ever been in a long-term relationship with somebody? You know it’s not a good relationship, but the only reason you’re with that person is because it’s comfortable. Or you might even break up with that person, go try somebody new, and then before you even can know if this person’s better or worse or whatever, you’re already back to the old, because it’s comfortable.

It’s great for you to feel comfortable, but it’s horrible if you want change. If you always go back to what’s comfortable, you never give yourself the ability to change. Change doesn’t come from being comfortable. Change comes from being uncomfortable. Does that make sense? If you’re always sitting on your couch, well, your body is going to change, but it’s just not going to be a positive change. You’re a couch potato, your body’s going to change, but it’s going to change in a way that you might not want it to change. Your body’s never going to be stagnant, it’s never the same. It’s constantly changing. So either you’re changing in a positive way or in a negative way. Negative change occurs in a comfort zone. Positive change comes from being uncomfortable. 

When you always go back to the same, there’s a definition for it, keep doing the same thing over and over and over again, and expecting a change. What do they call that? They call it the definition of insanity. But fear can cause us to unconsciously sabotage ourselves by going back into the same routine, it’s the fear of the unknown that causes us to go backwards. The FYMM approach is so great, why it works, is we’re bypassing our fear. We’re taking baby steps so small we don’t even know to be scared.

The next time you’re a deer in the headlights, or getting writer’s block, think of this perfect example. You study all night for a test. You know the test backwards and forwards. You’re dreaming about it, you know it so well. But then when it’s time for the test and you sit down, your mind goes blank. In a situation like that, take a little bit, take a deep breath and just realize what is happening is that it’s your fear. Your fear has taken over. Your cortex no longer has the ability to function because your midbrain has 100% control. So calm down, understand what’s happening, that it’s the fear that has taken over, and then adjust accordingly.

Through understanding the six strategies or six steps, however you choose to term it, by the end, you’ll hopefully be able to sit down, be in a stressful situation understand when fight or flight appears and have the ability and the knowhow to be able to assess the problem and to solve the problem quick, fast and efficiently. That’s the goal in all this, to be able to see something we don’t like about ourselves, to assess ourselves, to better understand ourselves and to give ourselves the ability to change ourselves in a positive, more efficient and more effective manner.

We have to remember this: fear is a normal and a natural sign of ambition. So it’s going to be normal that, when we go through this journey, a change in our lives, to better ourselves, it’s going to be fearful, and there are going to be times that we’re going to want to revert backwards, into the past (Go buy that pack of cigarettes; go talk to that ex-girlfriend, boyfriend; go back to the old job that you hate.) There’s always going to be self-doubt as well, that we’re just not going to be able to do it, we have to remember, that’s the normal part of this entire process, the fear.

Let’s embrace the fear and remember to be more childlike sometimes, and to understand and accept the world is a fearful place, and it’s okay to be scared. What’s not okay is to avoid our fears, because if we don’t face them, we’re never going to be able to get over our fears, we will succumb to them. Reading this book and learning the six steps, we’ll be able to accomplish what we’re trying to accomplish.

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6 Strategies Introduction

It has been raining all day, so I am stuck in the house. I figured it was a great day to start writing about FYMM and the different ways to change. Really, there’s two different ways of changing. There’s the innovative way. and then there’s the FYMM way.

The innovative way is the shock factor, right? Let’s imagine going to the gym, and you jump in there, you haven’t been in the gym in six weeks, six years, whatever it is, some extended amount of time. You go in there, you start maxing out on everything. You go run three miles. You go max your legs on the leg press. You go on your bench press. You bench press every last little thing. You do as many pull-ups as you can. Trying to prove to the world that you’re strong, right? But what happens with innovation, is it’s very expensive for you to do, because the next day or the next three days, the next month, or however long, it depends on how old you are and how long it was since you were last exercising, you’re going to feel it, right? You’re going to pay for that innovative way of changing. 

Or trying to stop smoking cigarettes. Like, “Okay, I’m going to stop today. I’m never going to buy a cigarette, never going to smoke another one, today.” Some people have the willpower to be able to do that, but most of us don’t. Just be honest with yourself, most of us don’t. Or, it could be “I’m going to break up with this girlfriend or boyfriend.” Whatever it is in your life. I hope you understand the innovative change, a drastic change that most of the time doesn’t work and could be very expensive both physically and emotionally, if it works then it’s amazing, Great! you were able to change extremely fast and effective.

 But when it doesn’t work, it causes you to almost give up. Going to the gym and trying the innovative way and it doesn’t work and you’re sore and you’re like, “Screw this. I’m good.” You know what I’m saying? “I’m good with being a couch potato. I’ll just get used to… I’ll just buy bigger clothes.” Another example; is learning a new marketing skill spending a few thousand dollars on the class and then only spending a few hours taking the class, get frustrated, Stop watching the class halfway through it and proclaiming it to be a scam because it didn’t happen overnight.  or a common example is  when you leave an unhealthy relationship but returned to the relationship because you’re lonely. 

But what the FYMM way is the complete opposite. It teaches us to take small steps, almost so small that you don’t even notice them. You’ll hear me talk about this in future chapters; picking up a pencil every day 10 times with each hand to start working out, or maybe even marching in place for five minutes during the commercials of your favorite TV show. Or to stop smoking cigarettes, buy the rollie pack first, or buy some tobacco that you think is absolutely disgusting and some rolling papers, so every time that you want to smoke a cigarette, you start smoking those. You train your brain to stop going into the store and buying a pack of cigarettes. It sounds crazy, but little by little you’re retraining your brain to go look at the cigarettes and not even think about a cigarette, and you’re going to put yourself in a situation, when you do smoke a cigarette, as you’re not going to be used to the flavor because you’re used to something that you don’t really want. But then, slowly but surely weed yourself down. I’m not saying just replace it. I’m saying weed it down. If you’re smoking 20 cigarettes a day of regular cigarettes, then try to roll-up 20 little itty bitty cigarettes. Break down 20 cigarettes and make 40 out of them, of the little rollies so you’re still getting your nicotine fix but you’re smoking half as much. Right? That’s the FYMM way, or like I said, going to the gym, just marching in place for a little bit, getting yourself used to the moving, building a habit.

Anything that it is, the slow approach, FYMM way of accomplishing things. It’s in the name. If you want to learn how to mountain bike, or you want to climb Mount Everest, you’re obviously not going to just start from the beginning and run up the hill. You gotta do it in stages, and that’s what the FYMM approach basically is, it is doing everything in stages.

I look forward to you reading the next chapter, it gives you a little bit more understanding of what it is, and then talking about the six different strategies of this new approach and why it works.