Mon, 1 August 2016
It doesn't matter if you're dealing with drug addiction, alcoholism, or any other issue on that level, you can all learn about the mental aspects of overcoming an external force which is controlling our life.
If you're in business, trying to get into shape, or working on your relationships, you will be amazed by how you can overcome your struggles by learning from someone who overcame drug and alcohol addiction. It's all the same battle on a different scale.
This episode is sponsored by Thrive: Make Money Matter event coming in October of 2016 in my hometown of San Diego. Save 20% off your ticket price when you use the promo code: Desmond.
This is my first ever interview on Mental Mastery Mondays. I sit down with Tom Conrad who's the Chief Operating Officer as Rock Recovery Center in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
Tom discusses how his alcohol addiction started, moved into drugs, was enabled by his father, and ultimately was addressed by facing the stark reality of his situation.
This is Part One of the interview. Part Two is available right now so you can continue the story and discover even more in recovery.
If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a 5 STAR rating and review in iTunes or wherever you listen. It will help others find and benefit from the show. Thank you!
Wed, 15 July 2015
If I had heard what I'm telling you in this episode, 20 years ago, I would be a millionaire several times over. This is number one thing that's stopped me from reaching my goals in the past. I'm so grateful I figured this out. I can't stress to you enough, learn what's in this episode and it will change your life.
Fears Stop Us
I go over the fears that stop us in a one page report I put together on the 5 Fears which kill out ability to finish. you can get it at PDesmondAdams.com/5fears or if you’re on your smart phone, send a TEXT to 33444 with the word 5Fears (all one word) in the body of the text.
Fear of Failure.. that’s one is easy for people to accept but...
Fear of Success, I’ve found is just as, if not MORE, likely to stop people. But how do you know if you have a fear of success? I go into that in the report I mentioned and a follow email I send just on that topic, but to give you an idea…. If we have a BURDENSOME view of what success looks like, we may fear it.
Fear of Mediocrity is a huge issue for me. If I’m not done with a project, then in my mind, it’s not mediocre.. it can’t be, because I’m not done with it. Think about that.
That’s just 3 of the 5 fears. It almost always comes down to fears which keep us busy but never finished.
Inertia - Don’t Stop Until It’s Done
This whole inertia thing you’ve heard about in science classes… it applied to your projects as well.
When you stop, you will have one hell of a time trying to get it started again.
If you’ve ever run a race you know first hand, when you slow down and eventually stop, you have a HUGE amount of mental and physical inertia to overcome.
Don’t stop… adjust your speed but never ever stop until you reach the finish line.
Take All You Want But Eat All You Take
When I was a kid, my dad always repeated the same thing, every meal.. He said he got it it from the Army (how could it be wrong..? haha): “Take all You Want But Eat All You Take.”
It’s actually a great mindset when it comes to our projects productivity. I mean, it’s not limiting an any way… Take all you want. Start as big a project as you desire. Set your dreams as high as you want. BUT...
Eat all you take. Meaning… if you’re going to pile up your plate, you better make sure you can eat it all. Finish what you started.
Leftovers on our plate, were eaten the next day… cold. Cold liver and onions are not that great… even if you like liver. haha..
I learned how to take a smaller bite… FINISH my plate of food and go in for another serving. Take all you want, but eat all you take.
Success Isn’t About What’s On Your Plate, It’s About What Isn’t.
Honestly, I find myself sometimes trying to impress people with what I’m doing… not what I’ve done, but what I’m doing…
Seriously, that’s not easy for me to admit. Sometimes I want people to think I’m doing something amazing… but I’m only doing it, I haven’t finished it.
If you’re in a food eating contesting, it’s not about how many hot dogs are on the plate in front of you, it’s about how many aren’t when the time is up.
Finish Something Today
Figure out what you can FINISH today. Maybe it’s a big task, a small project, or a major goal you set a while back. FINISH IT.
If there’s nothing within your sights, reset your definition of “FINISHED.”
In other words, grab a smaller plate and FINISH that plate
Wed, 1 July 2015
To many people in the personal development world present a false reality to their audience. They present a view that their life is pretty, clean and packaged perfectly. That's not the way your life is and it's certainly not what my life looks like.
Your life is real. Your life isn’t made up of theories, it’s made up of real situations that aren’t always pretty and packaged up in a neat little bow. Too much personal development advice is presented in this way.
My life is like yours. Real and very messy sometimes.
But your success in life isn’t determined by what others do to you, but how you react to that.
When others bring a mess into your life, you can let that stop you and keep you from where you want to go, or you can bear down and push through and make progress.
When the Storms Raise at Sea
One of my dreams is to take up sailing and spend an indefinite amount of time sailing around the world with no schedule and no agenda.
I’ve learned a bit about sailing, including sailing in the midst of a storm. You try to avoid them but sometimes you find you’re stuck in the middle of one and you have to deal with it.
There’s something called furling your sails. This is when the winds get too strong and you have to shorten your sails to keep the boat under control.
You’re reducing what you expect out of your sails.
You have to do this in your life sometimes as well. This doesn’t mean you head to shore, turn around or just sit there. This mean you continue to move forward but you adjust what you’re expecting out of your sails.
Adjusting My Expectations
I’ve had a storm in life the past 24 hours. Not a storm I sailed into intentionally, but one that just showed up all of a sudden. For me, it’s a family member who’s hurt and not dealing with their emotional pains in a healthy way. You love people but you can’t fix them without their desire to join in on the process.
I’m going on 2 hours of sleep. I’m exhausting and hurting today because of this. But, I also have made a commitment to bring a new show every weekday.
This isn’t the show I expected. I had to furl my sails today. So I’m just going from my heart. I’m trusting this will resonate with you.
Trust Your Instinct
Listen, sometimes we feel like doing less because we should be doing less. Trust your instinct and measure it against your current knowledge and wisdom from the past.
I’m a firm believer that when we trust the spirit within us, amazing things happen and I am trusting this show will have a bigger impact for people than what I had planned.
I wanted to just go to bed. Felt that before?
I said… I’ll just do a 5 minute show and share that life has turmoil sometimes and I’ll mention how we need to press on and do whatever we can. We have to be in control of life not have life be in control of us.
I plopped myself down and just wanted to write a few notes for an outline.
Look at where I am now. I just took one step. Opened up my Evernote app where I keep my notes and I just started to write.
I want this to be an inspiration to you for the days when you’re overwhelmed.
Don’t compound the overwhelm by keeping your sails unfurled. By that I mean, don’t compound the overwhelm by keeping the same expectations.
I furled my sails and I pressed on through the storm… keep in mind, this isn’t about the past, this is what you’re experience live with this episode. This isn’t a cute story, this is reality right now.
In doing that, the stronger wins on my furled sails have taken this episode even further than I originally planned. That’s not uncommon in life.
If today is the day, press on. If today is great for you, remember this episode for the day in the future when you’re in a similar situation.
Tue, 23 June 2015
As I mention in the intro, this show focuses on something I like to call “success for failures.”
The only thing is… most of us who have been made to feel like failures have so because we haven’t been able to do well on the "Grit Test."
The Grit Test
The Grit Test was developed by Harvard Research Angela Duckworth.
She went over decades of data on what brought people to greatness in life and she came up with two major factors:
People who didn’t change course just because they wanted a change. Something new.
People who didn’t change course just because the current one become difficult. Maybe that’s you.
As you can see, at the core of what she looked at was the ability to stick to the course you’re one. Basically … GRIT. Making it to the finish line…
G-R-I-T Predicts Success More Than S-A-T
Angela Duckworth took her study of grit to Penn State
She tested incoming students and found the ones with a high grit score but a low entrance exam, ended up having a higher GPA than those with a lower Grit score but higher SAT.
Smarter Kids Don’t Have to Try As Hard
Looking further into the studies of Angela Duckworth, we see how she discovered young children in a spelling bee who had a higher grit score but lower verbal IQ ended up doing just as well as students with a higher IQ and lower Grit score.
This means yes, the kids with a higher IQ could perform as well without trying as hard. But…
Here’s some hope for you…
Her studies indicated, even the kids with lower IQ’s and less self-control (less fidgety and able to do what they’re told) who had a high grit score ended up doing just as well as the kids with higher IQ’s.
So Do You Have Grit?
Let’s look at how you do on the grit test. You have to be honest or you’re not going to find out anything real.
Here are my results:
Total = 33 (average 2.75)
I will say… that’s tough to see… but it also lets me know.. I have to remind myself all the time to push on… show that grit. Keep going when I want to quit. Being conscious of it is what will help you overcome.
I’ve increased my number from where I was 10 years ago, I know that for sure. So can you.
Call to Action
Take the grit test and see what you come up with. Let me know what you get.
Tue, 16 June 2015
Truth is, you’re incredibly unlikely to reach any goal you set if you don’t have the habits needed to make it happen. If it’s going to be grueling work the entire time, you’re increasing your chances for failure several times over.
Last Wednesday we talked about how we can lose our willpower and self-discipline when it’s needed in numerous areas at the same time.
Discover Where You’ll Need Will Power
Let’s say you set a goal of “fitting into your old prom dress before your class reunion in 9 months."
If that’s your goal, you’re immediately going to start doing some things that probably aren’t habits for you at this point. Thinks like:
If you try to do ALL of those things at the exact same time, you’re probably going to fail. Your willpower and self-discipline is going to be so incredibly fatigued that you will probably fail.
But, most of us don’t really sit down and think about those things when we set the goal of “Fit into my old prom dress before the class reunion in 9 months."
Break Down The Goal Into The Needed Habits
Look at any one of your biggest goals, maybe launching a podcast, or starting an online business, or maybe learning to play the guitar. Look at that goal and write down the habits you’d need to have in order to support that goal.
Honestly evaluate whether each one of those items is already a habit of yours.
Make the Habit The Goal First
Once you have the list of habits, decide if any of them will support or help learning additional habits. For example, if reading 15 minutes a day is a habit, that might be a good one to focus on first, because it can help support your habit of writing every day. But don’t do them both at the same time. Make reading a habit then work on making writing a habit.
Spend your willpower energy on one habit at a time until the energy it takes is so small, you can easily start the next habit. Some say it’s 21 days and others say it’s over 60, on average. Some things may take even longer.
As you do this, you’ll find that the goal you had set will start to take care of itself.
The pieces will all fall together and it will seem that you’re barreling towards your bigger goal at a speed you never imagined and it’s seeming like it’s taking no effort at all.
One desired habit until it’s developed, then go on to the next one. This means you may have to project out a bit further when it comes to the ultimate goal, but it’s well worth it when you realize your chances for success have increased dramatically.
Habits Cross-Over and Benefit Future Goals
That’s more good news in this, the more you develop habits to support your goals, the more habits you’ll have for future goals.
There are some habits that will cross over into other areas. In the future you won’t have to develop those ones as they’re already there for you.
This is why it seems successful people can be successful at so many things in life. I mean the really truly successful, not just the ones making a lot of money. Remember, money doesn’t define success.
This is how some people are said to have “the Midas Touch” which means “everything they touch turns to gold.” It’s because they’ve got the core habits already in place.
Call to Action
Look at your biggest goal up ahead.
Write done the habits you’ll need to accomplish the goal
Focus on the one habit which will have the greatest impact on the other habits and the eventual goal.
Wed, 10 June 2015
Our brains can only handle a certain number of decisions before they just slow down.
There’s a fascinating study put out about prisoners facing parole boards. Here's an article about in the New York Times. They looked at 1,100 decisions over the course of one year.
Prisoners facing the parole board in the morning were paroled about 70 percent of the time.
Prisoners facing the parole board in the afternoons were paroled less than 10 percent of the time.
The study indicated, the judges ability to make sound decisions wore down as time went by in the day.
A closer look at this study shows decisions in favor of parole would spike up right after a lunch or afternoon break.
A lot of decisions - or big difficult ones.
Last Wednesday in episode 127 we talked about how we could increase our self-discipline if we focused on having it in one area alone. So instead of trying to cut smoking, learn a new skill, eat healthier and start exercising, just focus on doing one of them at a time until it becomes a mindless habit and then move to the next one.
But, this idea goes beyond just our projects. It applies to all of the decisions we make each day.
The less we have to make, the more disciplined we’ll be in making good ones.
Eliminate the unnecessary decisions
I saw a very successful Facebook friend of mine the other day posted a photo of what he eats every day. No, not a bunch of photos showing each item, but one photo with the food he eats every day… as in the same thing.
This friend said, “By eliminating the need to decide on what I’m going to eat, I free my mind up to focus on important decisions that matter more than what I’m going to eat.
Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and President Obama
This same friend said he owns 20 or more identical polo shirts other than the color. He wants to eliminate that as a fatigue factor. The same pants, the same shirt… every day. No need to agonize over what goes well with what and if you have a pair of shoes to match.
Mark Zuckerberg was once asked “Why do you wear the same exact T-Shirt every day? His response was, and I quote:
"I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community,” He went on to point out that every decisions is using our “decision energy tank.”
President Obama said “I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing because I have too many other decisions to make.”
Steve Jobs wore his iconic black shirt everywhere he went. Whether it was to introduce the brand new iPhone or going in for a normal day at work, he had that same black shirt on. It was for the same reason the president and Zuckerberg cited. Decisions fatigue.
If you’ve ever spent a day at the mall, you know this decisions fatigue is real. in fact, I’m suspecting this is how Cinnabon has made a fortune. By preying on mentally fatigued shoppers who would normally say no to something like a sticky gooey cinnamon bun. Brilliant!
Just for Decision Days
This doesn’t mean you throw out all of your fun clothes, but it means, when you wake up Monday morning, you’re going to go into the closet, grab a shirt (they’re all the same) pants and shoes and go into work. No decisions no fatigue.
You can have another section of your closet where you keep your fun going out clothes. That’s fine on the weekends or for an evening event. But, for daily work… keep it to the same thing and save that decision energy for the important stuff.
Call to Action
I have to admit, I’m entrigued. I’m working on so many things at once, I’m always feeling this decision fatigue and I know I would benefit from something like this. I’ve already started this with my weekday breakfasts and I may even do the same for lunch.
This isn’t easy for me… i love food. My wife could do this without any problems, but I thrive on variety in my food.
The clothing I think would be much easier for me. It just means I’ll have to buy a week of identical clothes so I don’t have to think about it.
Will you try this with me and report back on how it worked for you? I really want to see if this will help with self-discipline.
Now.. to decide what that one piece of clothing is going to look like. Haha…
Wed, 3 June 2015
I’m obviously still consumed with consuming Jay Papasan’s book, The One Thing. This is like finding a vein of gold and following it to an abundance of riches.
I’m giving you “one year to master 5 things and turn them into habits.”
Most people would go to work immediately, planning their day to include a bit of each one.
THIS IS WHY WE FAIL.
We’re trying to take 5 things all at once and condition our mind to make these regular habits in our life. AND we’re exhausted each day.
In addition to everything else you do, you’re trying to add in five things you’re not used to doing.
The process of learning a new habit consumes so much of our the available power in our prefrontal cortex, we’re completely tapped-out when we’re trying to learn too many things at once.
Within a couple of months, we’re distracted and slowing letting our new desired habits die off.
Now, let’s look at a new approach that will change your life.
A study published by Health Psychology Researcher Phillippa Lally in the European Journal of Social Psychology shows that the average time to form a new habit is 66 days.
This takes into consideration the simpler habit like drinking a glass of water every morning along with the more difficult ones like including daily exercise (at least difficult for me). Average is 66 days.
So, what if you forgot the other 4 habits you had to learn and focus on the one you thought might take the longest, such as learning a musical instrument.
If each of the new desired habits takes an average of 66 days to learn, it will take you (on average) 330 days to integrate all 5 habits. That leaves you 35 days of wiggle room in case one takes a bit longer.
This is why so many of us are failing at so much of what we want to accomplish in life. We’re trying to do it all at once.
Pick the one thing that’s most important to your success… drop the others and stay focused on the ONE THING (see, there’s that book again) until it’s a habit.
Habits take little mental effort. New tasks take tons of effort. Learning something new will tax your mind in a big way.
Doing what you’ve always done is often called a mindless task. It takes little mental power. Think about a drive you take every day. Sometimes you get to work and don’t even remember the drive (unless you’re in Southern California… you remember EVERY morning commute.).
Again, I’m giving you the summary of this. In the book The One Thing, Jay Papasan does a more in depth explanation as to why this happens. There’s a lot of science that goes into it.
Listen, you can spend the next year trying to master 5 new habits, end up frustrated you didn’t accomplish any of them, or you can drop 4 of them for the next 66 days while you master the first one and then be excited in a year when all of them are mindless habits.
What ONE THING are you going to turn into a habit over the next 66 days?
Wed, 27 May 2015
"Do the insignificant consistently and it becomes something significant."
Here are the five things I would teach my younger self:
1. Success doesn’t come from extraordinary ideas. Instead it comes from extraordinary consistency.
2. Don’t chase money, instead pursue your soul’s desire.
3. Focus on one thing until it’s done.
4. Save whatever you can on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be huge. Just $10 a paycheck would have made a huge difference. It’s not really about the money, it’s about the discipline of doing it.
5. Exercise regularly - Again, it’s not about being a muscle-head, it’s about the discipline
Tue, 19 May 2015
Grab your free one page report on the 5 fears that are keeping you from finishing what you've started and finally reaching your goals.
Or Text the word MYFREEGIFT to 33444 and I'll send the report immediately (only works in the U.S.)
Look at Your Money Like You Do Your Time
We can benefit greatly from looking at our money the same way we look at our time. There is no way you're going to spend 25 hours in one day doing anything. You can't use more time than you have available. It's impossible.
Rest is like a savings plan. Most of us spend all the money that comes into our life. If we did the same thing with our time, we'd be in the hospital being treated for exhaustion. Honestly, that's what a lot of bank accounts need, to be treated for exhaustion.
Start with budget
We all have clocks which tell us how much time is left in our day. Once the clock strikes midnight, that's it, the day is over. Our budget acts in the same manner.
Your budget doesn't need to be complex. In fact, keep it as simple as possible, at least in the beginning.
It's not just about saving
The wealthy don't just focus on savings. They focus on earning as well.
Get rid of your debt on depreciating items
Other than real property (for most people, your home) everything else is a depreciating assets.
Homes can be a tremendous investment when you leverage your money (with a small down payment) and including the magic of compounding interest.
Self Discipline is spending less than you earn
The same rule you use for money can be used for food or other items.
This is how the wealthy are different from the rest of society.
This is how the physically fit are different from the rest of society
Wed, 13 May 2015
The information in this episode comes directly from my course Reaching the Finish Line: How to Transform your Ideas into Achievements. This will be out in it's complete form by the middle of June 2015.
You can get more information about this episode by sending a TEXT MESSAGE to 33444 and putting the words MYFREEGIFT (no spaces - all one word) in the body of the text.
Caution about risk is normal - Paralyzing fear about risks is not.
We bombard our minds with all sorts of information about real and imagined risks through media and entertainment.
At the core of our fear of risk is a lack of self-confidence.
When we don't believe in ourselves, we don't believe we can overcome the risks in life, real or imagined. So the key is to build self-confidence.
Self-confidence is like any muscle in your body, the less you use it, the less usable it seems.
You have to start small and build up that self-confidence muscle.