Category Archives: Perception

Drill Into Some Cookies

Hammer Out Your Skill Zone

There are a lot of good metaphors about our comfort zone.

The elephant that was tied up as a kid, for example.

Then later, they removed the rope, but he still was afraid to go outside of his rope-zone.

That’s all he was comfortable with.

Or the shark whose growth was stunted because he was kept in a small tank.

But the thing about comfort zones is they distort our reality.

Sure, we can see things just on the outside of them, recognize that they make us uncomfortable.

Which means we can sort of define the “boundary” of our comfort zone.

You can think of a small area just outside our comfort zones as a kind of defining “outer limit” of what we MIGHT be capable of.

But beyond that, we really can’t perceive of anything at all.

I had a friend once who was baking cookies. She wanted to make three times as many, but she absolutely COULD NOT do the math required to do so.

So she was stuck.

She had an IDEA of what she wanted, but she couldn’t figure out how to do it.

Imagine somebody, on the other hand, who could EASILY complicated arithmetic in their heads.

They could plan things with a lot more accuracy.

Therefore they could SEE things in their future with a lot more accuracy.

We can only see based on what we MIGHT be able to do, in the case of the comfort zone and the cookies.

Imagine walking down the street in a foreign country, where you have NO IDEA what any of the signs meant.

Imagine that same scenario but with a HUGE “to-do” list.

Shopping, laundry, getting a haircut, buying shoes, etc.

Simple things would be difficult.

The more you are comfortable doing, the more clearly you’ll see MORE options.

The more things you are capable of understanding, the more clearly you’ll see all the opportunities outside of your SKILL zone.

If ALL you have is a hammer, you’ll only find nails.

But if you have a MASSIVE set of tools in your brain, you’ll find a lot more things to use them on.

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Future Predictions

Blaze Your Way Into The Future

It’s hard to be ultra successful in life without at least a little bit of luck.

How much of this “luck” depends on how you define luck.

If you define it as “preparation meets opportunity” that you have a lot of control over how “lucky” you are.

If, on the other hand, you see luck as completely outside of your control, then it can feel frustrating if “other people” are the ones getting lucky all the time.

It certainly helps if you are born with a set of skills that can get you a lot of money, or fame, or whatever else you are looking for.

Some people are born natural athletes, and they don’t do much other than what comes easily.

Same with people who are gifted artists, singers, actors etc.

Most of us have some skills, and with a little bit of work we can make a decent live for ourselves.

On the other hand, with more “focused” work, we can crate some pretty powerful results.

A lot of this has to do with how “efficient” you are in doing things.

There’s that common expression, “work smarter, not harder.”

What EXACTLY does that mean?

It usually means spending most of your time on the things that get the most results.

This, of course, depends on what you are doing.

One thing that will make anything easier is always being on the lookout for new ways of doing things.

Of always having the mindset of, “this works for now, but when something better comes along, I’ll be all over it.”

You can accelerate this even further if you are always PURPOSELY hungry for new information.

To always be looking for ways to improve in some way.

One of the biggest dangers is thinking that “you’ve arrived.”

If you think you’re done, that means you won’t think you need to keep learning.

But in a world with seven billion other people, things don’t stay static for very long.

There will ALWAYS be somebody in front, creating new ways of thinking and doing things.

Why not be one of those people?

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This Is Not My Beautiful House

They’ll Want You More

When I was a kid we had this dirty trick we’d play on each other.

You told your buddy that if you rubbed your palms really hard together, in a certain direction, it would make them smell like roses.

Then when the “sucker” put his palm up to smell it, somebody would push it into his face.

Then everybody would run, and the “sucker” would chase us.

Then we would all go and do it to somebody else.

As you can guess, it didn’t take long before all the kids knew the “con.”

But the structure has been around for a long time.

Using people’s natural tendencies against them.

This is how goofs like Jim Jones build massive cults that willingly follow him to their deaths.

But driving skills, as they say, can be used to drive a getaway car or an ambulance.

Or a hammer can be used to build a beautiful home or to destroy something.

For example, a very common tendency for us humans, when we hear somebody tell us about their big plans, is to question them.

And not neutrally, usually from a slightly “critical” viewpoint.

Trouble is most of us tell ourselves that we’re “just trying to help.”

Like somebody says they are going on a trip alone to a foreign country.

We say something like, “Wow, isn’t that kind dangerous?”

We pretend that we’re concerned, but in reality we’re jealous.

We’d LOVE to be able to do the same thing, but for one reason or another, we don’t.

And most people don’t really like the idea of other people doing all the fun stuff.

So we throw out the “Wow, isn’t that dangerous?” statement, pretending to be concerned, but really trying to throw a tiny wet blanket on their plans.

OF course, since everybody does this to everybody I’m sure you’ve been on the receiving end quite a few times.

What’s the antidote?

To simply do the opposite.

Instead of saying something silly like, “Wow, isn’t that dangerous?” We can ask them a question that PRESUPPOSES they will be able to handle ANYTHING that comes up.

And this actually WILL help them.

Not only that, but it will make them feel much better about what they’re doing.

The cool thing is you can use this “trick” ANY TIME somebody is talking to you about something they want.

Even if they only “halfway” want it.

By the time the finish talking to YOU, they’ll want it a lot more.

And they’ll associate that WANT with YOU.

Learn More:
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Don't Fall For Self Deception

Ditch Self Deception

Our mind is very clever.

But it’s also like an overprotective mother.

The one who makes you promise when you go outside that you won’t talk to strangers, won’t cross the street, and stay within ten yards of your front door.

This is the whole angle behind cognitive dissonance.

Our own brains don’t let us see things it thinks might hurt our feelings.

Kind of like having your mom walk behind you and cover your ears of she hears people saying curse words.

Take a moment to think about the insidiousness of cognitive dissonance.

Since we literally CAN NOT see what might make us “feel bad,” we are necessarily MISSING plenty of opportunities.

This happens to guys all the time.

They literally (not figuratively or metaphorically) CANNOT see positive signals that girls are giving them.

Their brains figure that if they DID see that cute girl over in the corner who’s been checking him out, he would have to DO something about it.

And that would be very scary.

So that overprotective brain doesn’t let him see it.

So he goes home, and complains to his friends.

“Any luck?” they ask.

“Nope, didn’t see ANY cute girls.”

Look on any pick up, seduction, or relationship forum, and this is the most common complaint.

“I’m not in a relationship because the dating market sucks.”

Because it’s easy to find this belief today, we are even LESS LIKELY to question it.

We “see it” in our experience. (We actually “hallucinate it”). And then it’s verified through social proof.

But here’s a secret trick to self development.

One that FEW PEOPLE have the courage to even contemplate.

Few people get what they want in life.

Most people complain.

And the EASIEST excuse to “accept” (because of that over protective cognitive dissonance) is of the form, “It’s not my fault.”

In fact, if you look over political slogans since the dawn of time, they are of the form:

“Your problems are not your fault. Vote for me and I’ll fix ’em.”

So what’s the secret?

Tell your cognitive dissonance to take a hike.

Even if you TRULY BELIEVE that all of your problems are “somebody else’s fault” pretend, just for a little bit that you HAVE more power than you really think.

Because just by taking a few TINY steps outside of your comfort zone, you’ll start to see those things that you may now be missing.

Don’t accept excuses, especially from yourself.

Get Started:

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No Bananas

Yes There Are No Bananas

Us humans have a lot of blinders.

One of the better known ones is “cognitive dissonance.”

The ability to negatively hallucinate things that would harm our ego.

Like if you got into a huge argument with your spouse or significant other.

She said there were plenty of bananas at the store.

But you said they stopped selling bananas years ago.

You argue for hours, and finally she gives up and lets you win.

Then you go the store, and there ARE bananas.

But your subconscious doesn’t allow you to see them.

Because that would mean admitting not only you were wrong, but you were wrong about something very silly.

So your own brain hypnotizes you so your ego can stay intact.

(In this example, assume your spouse never goes to the store so she can’t buy a banana and throw it at you).

Cognitive dissonance is, by it’s nature, something that’s easy to notice in others, but never in ourselves.

One of the ways it crops up is when we have an opportunity, but we don’t take it.

The REAL REASON we don’t take it is because we are afraid.

Terrified of social exposure and rejection.

But we don’t admit that to ourselves.

We PRETEND that it’s for another reason.

We give ourselves a logical sounding excuse for NOT making an attempt.

We don’t fail, and our ego stays intact.

The problem is the world is OUT THERE.

While our excuses stay IN HERE.

Safely in our heads.

From the world’s standpoint (which means all the other people who see us), the ONLY THING that matters to THEM is what we DO.

They are NOT CONCERNED in the least how we convince ourselves that we really COULD take action if we wanted to.

They just see us NOT taking action.

And they (whoever they are) end up interacting (however they interact) with whoever DOES take action.

Because no matter how clever or brilliant or insightful you are, it’s your ACTIONS that get results, not your thinking.

Anybody can think brilliant thoughts.

But ONLY those with the courage to turn those thoughts into effective ACTIONS will get results.

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Social Confidence

The Hidden Ingredient To Standing Out

When you go on a job interview, (or any kind of interview) what kinds of questions do they ask?

Lots of books have been written on the subject.

People spend lots of time role-playing and coming up with the best way to answer the more difficult questions.

But sometimes they throw you a curve ball.

They aren’t really interested in the answer itself, it’s how you behave when something unexpected happens.

The more money any job pays, the more these situations will come up.

Anybody can follow a simple, step by step process.

In fact, a lot of those jobs will be gone in the next couple decades.

Replaced by robots who ONLY know how to follow EXACT step by step instructions.

Since most high paying jobs involve a LOT of “thinking on your feet” they want to see how you actually “think on your feet.”

They ask silly questions like, “If you were an inch high and stuck inside of a blender, how would you get out?”

Knowing how to answer that relies on the SAME TRAIT that people find in “leaders.”

Knowing what to do when something unexpected happens.

When something goes wrong, and it even SEEMS dangerous, most people panic.

They look around, desperate to find somebody of “authority.”

Somebody who’s NOT panicking like them.

Somebody who’s calmly figuring out what’s what.

This quality will help you get VERY FAR.

Because the amount of UNEXPECTED things that happen in life will FAR OUTNUMBER the stuff you can expect.

Even most people PURPOSELY avoid any situations where they might have to “think on their feet.”

However, as harsh and unfair as it sounds, if you purposely avoid situations where you might feel “uncertain” about what to do, you’re not going to have a lot of fun.

Nobody got rich playing it safe.

Nobody met the love of their life playing it safe.

None of the great heroes of literature and history made their mark while playing it safe.

Does this mean they were FEARLESS?

Absolutely not.

But that didn’t hold them back.

How can you GET that quality?

You can BUILD IT, just like any other skill.

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Maximum Social Confidence

Leverage The Secret of Economics

There’s a concept in economics called the “invisible hand.”

It was described first by Adam Smith a few hundred years ago.

It’s basically the idea that a mass of people, all operating independently can solve problems much more quickly and effectively than a central authority.

For example, let’s say there’s a city that has a bunch of hamburger shops. They all buy their bread from a few different bread factories.

And the bread factories buy their raw materials from a few different countries.

But for some reason, the price of wheat goes up. Which makes the bread more expensive, which makes the hamburgers more expensive.

One hamburger shop gets an idea to wrap their burgers in lettuce, (for example).

One guy with one idea. Then all the other shops copy him and pretty soon all burgers are cheap again, and everybody’s happy.

Meanwhile, the bread factories have found some other sources of wheat that are cheaper, and now the bread is cheap again.

End result is now the hamburger shops have two different types of burgers.

Those with bread and those wrapped in lettuce.

The bottom line of this goofy example is nobody really needs to know WHY the wheat suddenly got expensive. Everybody from the bread factories to the hamburger customers only knew that they had a problem, and EVERYBODY, on their own, in their own way, figured out how to solve it.

And when one guy figured it out, everybody knew as well.

Compare this to the central authority model, that says you need to study why the wheat is so expensive and come up with farming reforms and all that stuff.

That would take YEARS.

But in the above example, the solution took maybe a week, at most.

All because people interact, share information based on their own view of their own world around them.

Being alive right now is significant in that there are TONS of ways to connect with other people.

No matter WHAT kind of problem you have, no matter what kind of idea you have, you will more than likely find the solution within your own social circle.

Which means the BIGGER your social circle, the more effective you’ll be.

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Make Life Easy

Resistance Isn’t Futile, It’s Optional

Make Life Easy

Once a buddy of mine and I went hiking.

We went up a local mountain, and for some reason, we didn’t check the maps before we left.

We followed the trail, but pretty soon we got lost.

We figured if we kept heading uphill, we’d make it eventually.

But soon we found ourselves pushing through very thick brush.

Which meant we had to backtrack until we found the trail.

Kind of embarrassing.

A lot of people plan their future this way. They figure that as long as they keep going forward, they’ll eventually get there.

However, no matter what you’re building in your life, there are easy ways, and there are hard ways.

Obviously, going the easy (or less difficult) way is better. You’ll get their quicker, or build something MUCH bigger in the same amount of time.

Of course, you NEED to go off the beaten path a little bit, otherwise you’ll be following everybody else and getting the same “safe” things that everybody else gets.

But going straight up a hill covered in thick brush (literally or metaphorically) is never a good idea.

One thing that can both hurt you, and help you is other people.

How you think about them, how you interact with them, how you can elicit their help or advice if you need it.

If you choose any goal, and put yourself out in the future after you’ve created it, you can look back and see what helped.

Almost always it will be the relationships you created along the way.

The easier you can do that, the less likely you’ll find yourself stuck.

You can think of your interpersonal or social skills as the ability to go off the beaten path, finding the easiest and quickest way to the top, without getting stuck in a bunch of thick bushes.
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Social Confidence

How To Turn Heads

Social Confidence

What makes people charismatic?

The kind of quality where they walk into a room, and everybody turns to see them.

This can quickly build, and everybody is soon checking out what everybody is checking out.

It’s usually described as a kind of energy, a kind of magnetism.

But what is it really?

One thing about charismatic people is they rarely worry about what other think about them.

But this can’t be the only reason. Plenty of people aren’t really concerned with the opinion of others, but they aren’t exactly charismatic.

Another ingredient in charisma is genuinely liking yourself. Charismatic people tend to enjoy being who they are.

Think back to a time when you were a kid. And you found something cool, or maybe got at cool toy as a gift.

And you couldn’t wait to show it to your friends.

Charismatic people feel that way about themselves. Not in an egotistical way, but in a genuine way.

And not really themselves, but their experience of themselves.

They like being themselves, they like experiencing the world as themselves, and they like how interacting with others can amplify that.

And one crucial ingredient in that is that they have an equal appreciation for others.

When they look at somebody, they don’t worry about getting rejected, or getting bored, or getting judged.

They look at everybody with a positive expectation. And because of this, they tend to bring out the best in others.

This, of course, creates a self-fulfilling loop.

The more they interact with others, they more they prove to themselves that life, most especially other people, is a fantastic adventure.

How can you develop this trait?

Like anything else, it’s a skill you can learn. In particularly, it’s the skill of holding the right mindset when looking out over a group of people.

Instead of wondering if you’ll get accepted or rejected or judged, purposely wonder what cool things you’ll find out about other people.

At first, you don’t need to interact with others. Just watch people, and purposely hold the question in your mind, “I wonder what treasure they have.”

When you purposely hold this frame in mind when being around others, you’ll be on your way.

Pretty soon YOU’LL be the one who walks in the place and turns everybody’s head.

Click Here To Learn How

Social Confidence

How To Radiate Friendly Energy

Social Confidence

Nowadays, everything anybody famous does is always recorded.

However, most of those people KNOW they are being recorded and they act accordingly.

On top of that we have tons of “reality TV” showing people how they REALLY are.

Of course, it’s not REALLY how people are. They take a whole week of conversations, interactive behaviors and situations and edit them down to the BEST of the week.

So even those “reality TV stars” are more or less “packaged and sold.”

A long, long time ago, Nixon and his buddies got in trouble. Nixon secretly recorded everybody that came into his office.

And when the newspapers published the transcripts of what went on in those “secret” meetings between leaders of the free world, people were flabbergasted.

Not because of the CONTENT of their conversations, but the STRUCTURE.

Or the lack thereof.

Even when the leaders of the free world get together to have a powwow, if they think nobody’s listening, they speak like idiots.

“Uh, what about that thing?”

“Yeah, the, what, how do we, uh, that other stuff…”

Etc.

Unfortunately since most of us spend TONS of time watching FAKE PEOPLE behave as FAKELY as they can, when we act “normal” we don’t look so good in comparison.

But this is actually GOOD news.

Why?

Because if you ever need to make an impression on somebody, it’s pretty easy, since the competition ain’t all that.

But you DO need to do a LITTLE bit of practice.

But not much.

Luckily, there’s tons of opportunities to brush up on your social skills.

Chatting up people in line, for example, is a great way to practice.

Everybody’s bored, and wanting to pass the time (so long as they don’t have their eyes glued to their phones watching porn or something).

An EASY way to “break the ice” just for practice is to throw out a “pacing statement.”

These are verifiably TRUE statements about the environment.

It’s sunny today.

This line is slow.

That lady has a lot of pineapples in her cart.

The idea is to get the person you say these to to automatically agree. Say a couple of them, and you’ve effectively merged your frame with their frame.

Just this skill in and of itself is pretty useful, and will make you STAND OUT when people meet you.

Once because you will have practiced how to easily start conversations with anybody.

Two because you will radiate a different energy than most people.

One that says you’re friendly and easy to talk to.

Two things that will help people remember you from all the other people out there.

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