CRD Minicourse, Pillar 2: Outcome-Aligned Decisions

It’s awesome when we make a decision, and we get the outcome we planned for.

You decide to visit your mother, you programme your GPS, and presto: a few hours later you’re knocking on the door. Happy outcome. Bring flowers.

Most of the time though, the outcomes we get are probably nice, but nowhere near what we hoped for.

For example: you decide to launch a new website, because that way you’ll get more traffic, subscribers, and business.

Site goes live, you watch the statistics, and you realise: no bump in traffic, meaning your decision was incomplete. Just a new website won’t do the trick.

Whenever this happens, it’s because you’re not a GPS.

A GPS holds a map, an accurate representation of the outside reality.

But we don’t have that same map. Our view on the world isn’t accurate at all, and it’s far from complete (as per yesterday’s article: you only ever perceive a tiny fraction of reality, not the whole thing).

Think of it like this: there’s you here, a timeline stretching to ‘outcome’, and inbetween there’s a whole bevy of activities and decisions to be made.

What you do in the middle section determines whether you get the outcome or not.

And what determines what you do in that middle section?

Exactly: the map you have at this moment of reality, or in other words: what you believe the world to be like.

And if that map ain’t right, neither will your actions be, and you won’t get the outcomes you want.

Simple? Yes. Easy to fix? Sure thing!

Question is: do you *want* to fix it?

Because doing so means you’ll need to give up what we tend to treasure most: our opinions, views, convictions, and: beliefs.

They say that money is the root of all evil, but it’s not. The worst, most insidious and most damaging thing, is our attachment to what we tell ourselves about the world.

The more we cling to that, the more it becomes a personal ideology, and the more we doggedly operate in accordance with erroneous interpretations.

So if you want to get that flow and effortless mastery I’m always on about, there’s one seminal decision to make.

Decide to question what you call reality.

It’s the only way to start making decisions that are aligned with the outcomes you’re after.

Just like with a GPS: if you start out with a bad map, who knows where you’ll end up…



Free CRD Minicourse: How This Thing Actually Works

I thought it might be useful to explain what this Calibrate Reality Dojo framework is really all about.

You know, in case you didn’t make it to the webinar last week.

So over the next 9 days, I’ll be highlighting each individual pillar.

Think of it like a mini-training…

The premise of CRD:

Everybody can, and ought to, live with effortless mastery.

Without it, we get stress, procrastination, bad outcomes, and generally a life that doesn’t feel like we have any control over.

But with effortless mastery, we get to be creative and resourceful, we get excellent outcomes, and we work in effective and efficient ways.

I built CRD to help you make that real, with three simple modules:

Module 1: Think and decide like a CEO.

Of which pillar 1 is: question everything.

The simple fact is, successful people take time to think things through.

They know the importance of giving proper, rational thoughts to things.

Because if we don’t, we sorta guess at the best choice in any given situation, and since we’re guessing, those choices often don’t get us the desired outcomes.

And to make thinking properly easier, the first thing – a ninja-move of sorts – is to question everything.

Question your views, your interpretation, your beliefs. Question your why, question the data, question your VA and your designer and your clients.

Question ‘reality’.

Never take anything for granted, and never take anything at face value.

What you take for granted could hide a data point that could make all the difference in your business, if only you stopped to look at it, to think about what that thing actually is. And can also be. And also, and also.

Everything is many different things at the same time.

The ‘face value’ vision you get of it, that’s just the first convenient interpretation of what the thing is – not the thing itself.

So, don’t stop there, but think about what else it may mean, be, represent, or tell you.

We live in a world of millions of impulses coming at us relentlessly.

Our brain can’t help but filter out a tiny set of impulses, so that we get to interact with the world in a way that doesn’t drive us insane.

Given that fact, it’s not only arrogant, it’s also outright foolish to operate under the assumption that our view of a minute amount of data coming in from the world, is an accurate representation of what that entire world is, does, or means.

What we know about the world is, factually, incomplete. And in most cases: pretty erroneous as well.

That’s why questions are the answer, and the more questions you pose yourself, the greater your clarity and insight will be, which enables you to make better decisions.

And since decisions are the cornerstone of how your individual life shapes up, better decisions is the road to a better life and more prosperous business.

But before we get to decisions, first we need to look at the precondition for good decisions:

Sensible, reasonable, logical thinking.

Which is a lot more fun than you might think, so stay tuned for that tomorrow…



How a Teacher Blew my Mind 25 Years Ago

A lazy summer afternoon in the early 90’s, another class to sit through drowsily.

With lazy movements we settle in and get our books out – but within minutes, I’m wide awake and super-switched on.

What did the teacher just say?

I’m around 20, studying to be a psychiatric nurse, and this class is on group dynamics.

And the teacher just said something that would change my life:

“You cannot not influence”.

Blew my mind.

What it means is: no matter what action, attitude or position you take in relation to a group, your being there has some sort of influence on the group and the individuals.

Even if you only observe, from the outside and without interaction: that still has an influence.

And just as you can’t not influence, you can also not be not influenced.

Even if you were to hole yourself up in a white room, that room too has an influence on you.

The very absence of stimuli will affect you.

(it will, in fact, have you question your sanity after 5 days, and very likely do mental damage after 10).

Anyway: in our lives, we have stimuli, and lotsof ‘em.

Millions of influences, each day: from minute ones like the sound of a train in the distance that you don’t notice, to the way the news influences you, to insidious and addictive like Facebook (and, again, the news), to the books you read and the chatter you overhear on the train… influences and stimuli, all day long.

The only way your poor brain can keep up with that is to only pay attention to a tiny section of it all, and that then gets called reality.

That’s what you get to work with.

And *what* you choose to perceive has a massive, huge influence on you, because you literally can not prevent from being influenced.

And while you might think that tiny influences make little difference: the add up. A bunch of small annoyances throughout the day will leave you feeling… exactly: annoyed.

That’s why it’s good to pay attention to what you let in, and it’s exactly why the Calibrate Reality method has as one of its tools: elimination.

To eliminate everything that doesn’t contribute to your state of being, so that you make space you can fill with things that do.

Because your state is your most precious resource, since it influences (heh) your thoughts, emotions, decisions and actions.

Protect your state.

And the best way to do that, and easiest too: ruthlessly eliminate.

So grab your axe, look at the influences that bring down your state, and…

Chop chop…



Be a Bigger Ear

You might think you’re this person thing, with a history and values and relationships and all…

But really all that is just props for enabling you to be what you really are:

A perception engine.

(inaccurately illustrated in this piece as an ‘ear’. But you get the picture).

What you are, at your most fundamental level of being human: built to perceive.

It’s what you do, it’s what you’re for.

In that sense, the entirety of ‘you’ is your most important organ.

But there’s a funny thing connected to perceiving stuff: it becomes memory.

And even funnier: you choose what kind of memories the experiences become, built specifically to perceive.

If you want to change or grow or become enlightened or wealthy (and/or, actually), the best thing you can do is become a better perceptor.

Learn, really learn on a ruthlessly honest level of self-awareness, how you are at every moment colouring and filtering your perception.

Next you choose to change your perception, and then you get the wonderful outcomes like flow and fulfillment and ease.

Not by trying to change the world around you, not even changing yourself.

Just the way you perceive: get better at choosing what kind of memories get stored up, by being deliberate about what you perceive and how to interpret it.

Because nothing, ever, is the thing you think you’re perceiving.

So become a better perceptor. Become a bigger ear.



How to Stop ‘Good People Syndrome’ from Sapping Your Strength

Being liked makes a lot of sense.

Whether your POV is business, evolution, sales, society or relationships:

Being liked is worth a lot. It’s good to be ‘good people’.

Opportunities, connections, sales, mentors and helpers: we tend to give a lot to those we like.

In addition, helpfulness, altruism and a giving attitude are fantastic ways to raise your own state of satisfaction and well-being. Researchers can literally see the brain get happier, when test subject do favours for others.

What makes zero sense though, is sacrificing your own well-being and productivity to the god of likeability.

Yet we fall into the trap with ease: a little yes here, a bit of help there, an urgent thing they need your support for… and before you know it, you spend your days putting out other people’s (usually small) fires, and are left feeling depleted, with hardly anything checked off your own todo list.

When that happens, you’ve entered the land of people-pleasing, where everyone likes you, but nobody respects your time.

The obvious solution is to say no. A bit of healthy self-care (not selfishness), making sure you put your own oxygen mask on first etc.

But what if you can’t? What if helping others is one of your core values, and – for better or worse – you’re not able or willing to start saying no… does that mean you’ll spend your life depleted and helping others while your own results suffer?

Fortunately, no.

There’s a third option, between the default ‘yes’ or the decisive ‘no’.

It’s called ‘later’.

See, helping people is good. Society needs it, and you need it.

The trick is to say no to dropping everything the moment a request shows up, because that instant switching from ‘working on my own stuff’ to ‘something for someone else’ – that is the big problem.

Helping someone is fine, but not if you let it cut short your own plans or progress.

(When that happens, there’s a good chance you’re using your value of charitability as a way to procrastinate. Ruminate on that…)

You don’t need to do more less of being helpful… just make sure you chunk it.

There’s research that suggests people feel better about themselves by spending a block of time (a morning a week, for example) being charitable, instead of constantly sprinkling helpfulness on others.

So you can stay true to your values, keep being helpful and supportive, but without the constant drain on your energy, with just one word: later.

Set aside a few hours a week for being helpful, and chunk all the requests that reach you into that block of time.

And when someone asks your help, tell them ‘later’. “Sure! I’ve got some time reserved on Friday for requests like this. I’ll get back to you”.

Not only will you have more peace of mind, knowing that you’re not violating your values, you’ll also gain respect from the other person, for being mindful of your time.

Obviously, some common sense is in order here: there’s a set of requests that should never be honoured, like people asking for free work.

But anything that’s reasonable and not greedy, and something you want to help with?

Chunk it. It’ll even give you the feeling that you have more time in your week (which it literally does, because you won’t lose energy by constantly switching between ‘for you’ and ‘for them’).



Sneaky Way we Sabotage Ourselves + the Remedy

When I get excited about an outcome, I imagine what that outcome can do for my life.

And then I remove the actions and attitudes that are required to make that outcome real

Wait, what’s going on there – isn’t Martin the productive, the sensible, the Good Decision Maker?

I suppose I am, but I’m not immune to the human condition.

And that’s why I fall prey to a simple yet destructive mistake that’s part of all of our lives:

We dream too much. Or rather, we dream too much of the wrong things.

See, your brain can’t tell the difference between the experience of an actual reward or outcome, or – hang on to your brain, it might be blown right now: imagining the reward or outcome.

To your brain, an imagined outcome is exactly the same as a real outcome.

This by itself is why things like the law of attraction don’t work: the moment you colourfully imagine and visualise an outcome (be it money, clients, lifestyle or relationships or whatever), you subconscious thinks it’s already there, and goes:

“Nice. Someone bring me some laurels to rest on” and takes off its working clothes.

I never saw this as clearly as in the last few weeks, building up to releasing the CRD webinar.

Months ago, I had a huge plan for launching: personal outreach, ad campaigns, videos before and after the webiner, all designed to create some ruckus and get bums in seats.

But as I got closer to launching, and getting more excited about the outcome (lots of viewers, a new community, buyers etc etc), I gradually started removing elements from my masterplan, reducing it to a minimum viable launch. (it’s kinda the way I do things, it seems)

Which resulted in a good outcome, in terms of viewer number and level of interaction, but it didn’t impact hundreds of viewers, the way I had hoped for. Which is why I built the CRD webinar for in the first place.

No problem, but: I could have avoided that very easily, if only I had remembered:

Don’t dream of the outcome…

See, this is the dirty little secret of all personal change:

You only get to change on a personal level, if you (second mind-bomb coming up) instead of dreaming and visualising the outcome, you *visualise you being the person who does the things that will get you the outcome*.

In other words: don’t visualise what you will have – visualise who you will be.

Whether or not you eat the icecream matters far less than whether or not you’re the kind of person who doesn’t buy icecream.

Whether you struggle with procrastination daily matters less than seeing yourself as a person who relentlessly resumes that battle everyday.

Trying to will yourself into not going on social media is far less effective than choosing to be the kind of person whose habit is to put down the phone each time you think ‘Oh, I’m doing it again’.

Dream yourself up an attitude, and a set of habits and behaviours, instead of the enjoyable set of outcomes you can only get if you actually adopt those attitude, habits, and behaviours.

That way, your subconscious will actually fuel the fire you need for taking action, instead of quenching it.

When you find yourself dreaming of a cruise/girlfriend/bank balance/dream job/etc, know that you’re on thing ice.

Shift your inner image to the you that you need to be, quick as can. Otherwise, you’re likely to take your foot off the pedal, and that’s not what you want.



You will Benefit, Even if You Think You Don’t Have the Time

It doesn’t happen every year, but every so often, I enter a phase of pretty intense, lasting euphoria and happiness.

It never lasts of course (as per the Sufi’s: this too shall pass), but while it’s there it’s pretty damn awesome.

And it’s something you can work towards for yourself as well.

Of course you might not have the very helpful 12 years in a monastery and decades of meditating behind you like I do, but I just realised that you do have something in reach that can instantly, dramatically, raise your level of well-being or even happiness.

See, there are things you do that you’re enormously good at.

Things that are in your zone of genius, your unique abilities, things where you just absolutely rock it when you do it.

These are what researchers call your ‘signature strengths’.

And you all know what happens when you get down & dirty, and you go full on into exercising those strengths:

It feels awesome!

Endorphins racing through your system, joy and flow, self-confidence and a sense of joy, a definite notion of being powerful…

How could you ever forget life can feel this good?

So here’s my invitation for you, to bring more well-being and happiness into your life:

Make a habit out of exercising your signature strengths, every day even if it’s only 20 minutes.

And yes, you can find 20 minutes a day for it, especially if you consider how much more focused, balanced, and productive it makes you during the rest of the day.

No matter how much there is on your todo list, no matter how much you tell yourself you just don’t have the time, you have 20 minutes a day.

How do I know?

I know because every one of us procrastinates by doing mindless or pointless things.

If you want the 20 minutes, just steal them back from Instagram, Facebook, or Netflix, or whatever your preferred way of procrastinating might be.

Go on, make yourself happier. You deserve it.



P.s: for attendees of the CRD webinar yesterday: I’m putting together a PDF with some of the journaling questions we discussed. Should be with you today or tomorrow.

Winey Neutered Goats Fly

Yeah, I thought that would get your attention – and no, I haven’t gone crazy.

Thing is, I’m all about making things fun, easy, effortless – and the best way to do that, is by turning everything in life and business into some form of play.

That’s why the core attitude I live by and teach clients, is Judo, Ballet, and Chess.

Choose one of those attitudes depending on the situation, and you’ll basically become unbeatable.

As for ‘whiney neutered goats fly’: that’s an acronym I learned in Eric Barker’s excellent book ‘Barking up the wrong tree’. Highly recommended.
WNGF stands for Winnable, Novel challenges, Goals, and Feedback.

These four elements are what make games fun, and you can turn every job, situation, challenge or task, into a form of play, by setting it up as WNGF.

It’s a simple and powerful creative way to very quickly give you a sense of control over your life (and business).

When something is winnable, it’s easy to stay motivated on trying again, so turn your challenges into smaller, ultra-achievable chunks.

When something is novel, it triggers curiosity – and if you’ve ever seen the way a child can completely lose all sense of time and self, you know how powerful curiosity is for reaching states of flow and sticking with the game.

Then, as you get better at winning the ultra-achievable chunks, gradually up the stakes: that way the challenge stays novel, and you’ll be creating goals – which give you something to aspire to and which helps you try harder and longer.

And when you reach the goals, when you do get the little wins, you get feedback: a neurological trigger that releases specific beneficial hormones, making you feel good about your win, wanting you to have another go.

This simple attitude can make a world of difference in how you perceive life and the challenges of being in business. It helps you create more effortless mastery, and will increase your ubeatability.

But there’s one thing you need to add to gamifying stuff, otherwise it won’t work:

Elimination. Like I said the other day: there’s way too much stuff in our lives, and the more we eliminate, the better things get.

And how to eliminate, and what to eliminate, and how to make the right decisions on eliminating, that’s exactly what you’ll learn in today’s Calibrate Reality Webinar.

Live training with Q&A, today at 7PM Europe, 1PM Eastern.

Here’s where you can register:

See you there!



Ain’t no Cost (Re: Calibrate Reality Webinar)

A reader yesterday told me she wouldn’t attend tomorrow’s CRD webinar, and that at some point in the future she might want to hire me.

Looks like I didn’t make it sufficiently clear: this webinar is free, there’s no cost to it.

In case that’s what has held you back from registering.

And no, it’s not going to be one of those cheesy things where you get 5 minutes of content, and the rest of it is a sales pitch.

You read my emails, you know that that’s not my style.

What you’ll get is this: Stellar-in-a-tin.

Meaning, the webinar, in case you missed it, is the result of my 25 years of learning psychology, optimising self and performance and thinking, and over a decade of being in business.

I’ve taken the core of my coaching methodology, and created a simple, applicable, results-oriented framework out of it.

You watch the webinar, you get an upgrade to the mind.

Or in the words of Paula Mould:

“CRD is mind bending. Reality changing.

I highly recommend the Calibrate Reality Dojo if you’re ready to see clearly and take massive action.”

Now where it says ‘massive action’, that points at a kind of cost, in that: I’ll be offering you some homework tasks in the webinar.

And if you do it, you’ll dramatically increase the impact that the webinar and my CRD framework will have on you.

So: want to learn what has enabled me to live my life and run my business with effortless mastery?

And, learn the framework that gives me a sense of control, less stress, and flow in my life and business?

Then register ye here:

See you tomorrow!



Think More So You Get to Think Less

There’s two kinds of thinking:

One is the automatic ‘stuck in your head’ kind, where your mind continuously tells you a story that explains your world and your experience to you.

The other is where you deliberately, thoughtfully, logically apply sense.

And while it’s a popular notion that thinking is overrated, that’s not correct.

Mindlessly rehashing stuff, yes: that’s overrated. We all do much too much of it.

But applying logic and common sense? That’s highly underrated.

Like the saying goes: common sense isn’t all that common.

The fun starts when you make it a habit to actually think things through consciously and deliberately, because that’s when you find that you’re ‘stuck in your head’ much less, throughout your days.

You’ll stop overthinking, because actual thinking creates clarity. Your mind won’t need to keep bringing back up the unfinished thoughts, because they’ll be finished, dealt with, and you’ll have clarity and decision.

And how to do that logical thinking, that’s precisely what the Calibrate Reality webinar will show you.

And if you then do the homework as well, you’ll end up with a different approach to your life and biz, and you’ll ‘magically’ find yourself making far better decisions.

With the ultimate result that your decisions will bring you better outcomes, which is kinda the point of decisions in the first place.

The webinar goes live this Thursday, 7PM Europe, 1PM Eastern.

(And if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere: Not to worry. I’ll run the webinar again, at a time more suitable for you).

Meanwhile, my longtime friend and client Paula interviewed me about what the CRD Framework is and does.

Have a listen here: CRD Interview (note: F-bomb at the start, in case you have kids around).

After that, have a signup here:

See you on Thursday?



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