How You Got Here&Where You’ll Go Next

Your here&now, this current you and the situation you’re in, is the result of choices.

You might be tempted to blame yourself for not having done better or decided differently, but what’s the point?

You can’t un-make a decision, so why beat yourself up for decisions that at the time you made them, were the best you could make for the person you were back then?

Oh I know: it’s easy to dismiss notions like that as pseudo-spiritual feelgood babble, but there’s a psychological truth in it.

Which is the fact that you can only affect the future, and you do so every single moment of your life.

What you think, what you choose to feel (yep, you get to choose feelings, how cool is that?), and what you decide, that’s what determines what life will look like in the future.

Not happy with your current station in life, business, or relationships?

Then ignore the future, forget about the past, and look at the right here, right now.

What are you thinking? Doing? Feeling?

What do you want tomorrow to look like?

What do you want to have done by the end of today – check off tasks, or take that long walk in nature instead?

Right here, right now, is where you get to make a decision on what ‘next’ will look like.

You get to decide, every moment of every day.

So ask yourself: are you making the decisions that benefit you and make you thrive?

Think…

Decide…

Implement.

In that order.

Which is, incidentally, the working modus of the Calibrate Reality framework (free intro webinar on October 25th).

What will you decide today?

Cheers,

Martin

Here, Use My Flashlight

Interesting conversation with my coach yesterday, when I asked him why people sometimes cling to completely illogical or even nonsensical views and beliefs.

His reply: “So have you noticed your bias towards logic & reason? I’d almost be tempted to say you were a head type. :)”

Ah, but there he’s mistaken.

I’m not a head-guy, but an awareness guy.

I know the limitations of thought – after all, the conscious mind is a pretty small box to live in, if you compare it to the subconscious, which is an area that includes emotions, instinct and intuition.

But for better or worse, thinking is something we can’t avoid doing, it’s the human condition.

And that ongoing thought process we live with each day, that’s simply our mind explaining our world to us.

But if you let that run unchecked, you might well be telling yourself all kinds of falsehoods about your world.

That one is a jerk, the other a loser, the economy is screwed, politicians are liars all of them, you’re a failure, your kid is a nuisance, your spouse is selfish…

One opinion, one solitary interpretation, one potentially incorrect view after another.

Can’t be stopped, not even if you’re a monk living in reclusion (I tried).

The mind churns on, that’s what it’s for.

And I’ll be the last to claim that the process of thinking is wrong, or unnecessary, or more important than emotions.

But what I do claim is this:

99% of your thinking is done unawares, but programs you for future interpretation of the world nonetheless.

And the more you become aware of that thinking, and learn how to get better at it as your awareness increases, the happier you become and the better your results get to be (that too, I tried).

When you find life difficult, or business unsatisfying, or relationship troublesome, the place to start is shining a light on your unconscious thought patterns.

And I’ll be happy to lend you my flashlight, if you want some help.

Cheers,

Martin

If It Don’t Fit, Don’t Force It

Trying to squeeze yourself into a model that doesn’t fit you makes no sense and wears you out.

But it’s easy to fall into the trap, simply because some teacher or guru told us that it’s the only or the best way.

Or because you see a competitor do things a certain way, and then you tell yourself you should also do it that way.

My saying email marketing works doesn’t mean it will work for you, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to commit to sending daily or weekly without fail.

Using social media for lead generation might work for your competitor, but if you loathe being on social media (which is how I feel about spending time on Facebook, and why you don’t see me there), it makes zero sense to try it anyway.

Another example: It’s all well and good, when productivity gurus preach slow&steady progress, but for someone like me, that just doesn’t work.

Took me decades to figure it out, but I’m a sprinter, not a pacer.

Put me on a bicycle, and I’ll be up the hill before others have even taken off.

I’ll be completely spent when I get to the top of course, but I’ll be enjoying the view while others are still struggling at a slow pace.

What can I say – I like to sprint. I get behind a task, crank that sucker like crazy for a short while, and then I unwind.

That’s what comes natural to me, so I’ll spend 4 days putting in 12 hours or more, and then I completely disconnect for a few days. Works for me.

But for the longest time, I kept trying to get stuff done 7 days a week – with the result that I got almost nothing done and was stalled most of the time.

Trying to force yourself into a model that doesn’t come naturally to you is super costly.

It wears you out, erodes your self-confidence, and drains your funds (financially and energetically).

The trick to making things easier is in finding your mode of optimal performance, and getting better at it.

At heart, you know what’s your best mode of operation.

Question is: do you allow yourself to thrive by doing more of what you do best, the way you best do it?

Because if you don’t, and you keep trying to push a boulder up a hill by trying to force what doesn’t fit, know that you’re using a subtle way to procrastinate on getting the results you want.

Make the model fit you, not the other way around – and if you want help figuring out what exactly is your best mode of operation (i.e. the model you ought to be using), then let’s talk.

Cheers,

Martin

The Folly of “I’m Right Because I Say I’m Right”

A few weeks ago I saw an interview with Seth Godin, where his answer to “what do you do?” was:

“I notice things for a living, and I try to point them out to people”.

Made me think: what is it that I do?

Sure, I write articles, create trainings, I coach entrepreneurs – but what do I *do*, at the heart of it all?

Well, I think I’ve figured it out:

I notice how people use their minds, and then I try to give insight on how to use the mind differently.

Because as a tool, the mind is fantastic, but almost nobody uses it the right way (myself included, but I’m working on it).

We use the mind as a hard drive, to remember things, instead of recording those things externally, and using the mind for creative thinking instead.

Or we single out a view or opinion, and then we tell ourselves that ‘what I see, is what it is’ – which is folly, because you can’t see anything without filtering it mentally first.

You don’t see reality, you only see your perception of it.

And one of the most limiting, debilitating things we use our mind for?

Rationalisation.

Justifying our view by arguing, explaining away irrationality, circum-rationalising logical inconsistencies in our thinking… a whole mess of telling ourselves “I’m right because I just created a an argumentation that says I’m right” (in case you’re wondering: yes, I’m not free of it, but at least I’m aware and I’m working on that too).

To me, rationalisation is a sign of an under-evolved mind.

Rationalisation is a handy way to get by in the world, but the more you advance as a human being, the more open you become to adopting different views and gaining insights.

And it’s when your viewpoint changes and you create of find different insights, that’s when you’ll start to see your life (and your business, and your reality) change.

And yeah, that can be scary at times. To let go of a cherished belief… then what?

Then you’re free to adopt a different view, one that will help you instead of hold you back.

Because a belief is, in the end, a crutch.

Not that you can live without beliefs, that’s impossible – but you can be selective and deliberate about what you believe to be true.

And helping people get skilled at working with the mind and the different kinds of beliefs, that’s what I do.

So any time you’re ready for some of that, just let me know.

Cheers,

Martin

Out the Window

It took me years to figure out how to make life easier, business bigger, and results better.

Books, courses, trips to foreign cities to sell my handmade suits, complicated mental frameworks and business growth strategies, people and places and all kinds of efforts to try and add something in that would then make the difference and make everything better.

Whilst, of course, completely ignoring the advice that my abbot had given me over my 12 years in a monastery.

In the end though, I finally got the memo:

Things get better not when you add stuff in, but when you eliminate.

And somehow, that seems the hardest thing to do.

Just like an attic fills up by itself until its full, our lives fill up with *stuff*, until we’re full up, overwhelmed, confused, stuck, lost.

And then we go out to find yet another book, training, or manual, thinking that the problem is we’ve got the wrong information, or we’re lacking something.

But nope, it’s all much simpler:

We’ve got too much information.

In our heads, on our bookshelves, on our hard drives.

Too many conversations, on Messenger and Whatsapp and Instagram.

Too many social media profiles, too many lists we’re subscribed to, too many forums we participate in… too. much. stuff!

And as they say: the solution to ‘too much’ is never ‘more’.

So take it from a recovering monk: if you want things to get better, get rid of the stuff that doesn’t actually, demonstrably make things better, whilst – and this is important – not taking time, space, or attention away from other things.

Because it’s easy to justify having a second or third instagram account – it might make things better.

But if that’s at the cost of spending more time on something that has a bigger impact (email marketing, anyone?), then you’re better served writing dailies, instead of tending to your second and third IG accounts.

Whether the ‘thing’ slipped into your life unnoticed or it was a decision: if ever you feel like there’s just too much stuff and too little time, ask yourself if this thing or that thing actually should be in your life.

Every thing in life (including relationship and habits and so on) has a certain cost, and if you want more calm, focus, clarity and results, you’ll want to ask yourself if thing A or B or Z is worth the cost.

If not?

Out the window.

Yes it’s a bit radical. And yes, it gets you radical change in your life and your business.

Don’t add in – eliminate.

Create space for what really matter and what really works.

Cheers,

Martin

 

How to Not Add Bends to the Long and Windy Road

Yesterday was an interesting day: I figured that my little rant against the spiritual supermarket would decimate my readership, but nope: only a few people left.

Looks like you all are pretty smart and sensible.

I did receive a question though, from a reader who asked ‘who’s to say that looking at an astrology chart won’t help someone turn inward?’

Well, think of it like this:

If you want to go somewhere, and you get in your car, and you look in your rearview mirror, you will not arrive at your destination. Guaranteed or your money back.

Similarly, looking outside of yourself for the cause or the solution of things, isn’t going to help you turn inside to look for answers.

If you’re lucky, you’ll someday end up realising that your attention is better put inward than outward, and then you’ll actually get the insights and clarity and results you want.

But meanwhile, you might spend years in confusion, or getting unwanted outcomes.

So to me, astrology or any of the other ‘spiritual’ things people try to sell us (or sell us on), that’s just a way to postpone actual insight.

It’s a diversion, a detour.

Can be fun, might feel good, but won’t speed you up.

And why would you waste time?

If life is a path to travel, it comes with plenty of curves built in by default. Why would you add in extra curves, and slow yourself down?

To bring back yesterday’s topic: spirituality (and life, and business) get easier and more real the more things you eliminate.

And I think we would all like to ‘keep it real’.

There is no straight line to get to wellbeing or wealth or awesome relationships.

But you can straighten the path to your outcomes, and the more you eliminate – especially beliefs – the less curvy the path.

This is exactly why Calibrate Reality Dojo is built on two tenets:

1: Inside = outside. Perception equals reality

2: Question everything, especially your beliefs.

So with that said, final call to get on the guest list… just let me know.

Cheers,

Martin

100% Astrology-free! (The Problem With Disempowerment)

Fun fact: in my 25 years of studying and practicing spirituality, I’ve NEVER seen any of the great spiritual teachers talk about astrology, reiki, psychic readings, LOA, healing crystals, tarot, runes, or any of the other things that you can buy on the shelves of the ‘spiritual’ supermarket these days.

Wow, hey – did you hear that? That was the sound of half of my readers clicking the unsubscribe button.

Pity for them, because if you don’t read this email, you miss out on a super-empowering psychological insight that will serve you for the rest of your life.

I use the word ‘supermarket’ on purpose, because – the most vocal supporters of the things listed above also sell them.

Which isn’t necessarily bad, but if they sell it telling you that it’s a very spiritual thing, you’re being lied to.

Obviously, the fact that I’ve not come across spiritual teachers and sages talking about it doesn’t mean they don’t, but if you spend 25 years reading everything from the Bhagavad Ghita to Basho the Zen-monk to Thich Nhat Hanh to Eckhart Tolle to Alan Watts (listen to that guy if you have any interest in actual, proper spirituality) to Carl Jung to Taoism and Zen and so on, and you find that none of them are into the modern-day supposedly spiritual things, it makes you think.

Too long, didn’t read: spirituality is something inner, and it’s about reducing.

Spirituality is not about adding stuff.

Simply strip away everything that isn’t IT, whatever IT may be, (“The Tao that can be spoken is not TAO”), and you end up with nice, simple yet deep, spiritual insight.

But you can only get there by eliminating, not by buying into yet another fad that Facebook’s algorithms throw at you, or that clever marketers promote as ‘the solution’.

Now, for the super-empowering insight:

The problem with the products on the shelves of the spiritual supermarket is that they disempower you.

When you believe that the planets are the cause of things, you are not the responsible party. When tarot cards tell you what something is or means, you’re not finding the answers in yourself.

When a crystal is supposed to heal you, you’re not relying on your own biological ability to get better.

See the problem?

All those products place responsibility outside yourself, when really everything is in your mind.

You choose your beliefs, whether you know it or not.

And if you believe that the truth or the betterment is out there and comes for out there, then what are you doing with the in-here?

If you blame a planet for your internet failing, or former lives for the problems or failings of your current life, where does that leave your own responsibility?

Sounds pretty disempowering to me.

What I’m saying is that when you adopt the belief that once you take full ownership, and you reduce and remove everything that does not stem from, activates, and works with your own inner world, you’ll gradually discover an enormous, scary big, amount of power in yourself.

Or believe in gods and angels, it’s really not my problem. But it might be yours…

My recipe for happiness and a fulfilled successful life?

Any belief you choose to adopt, make sure it’s one that empowers you, and is based on ownership and you being responsible.

Me, I’m 100% astrology-free.

Are you?

Cheers,

Martin

If You Open Your Mind Too Much

… Your brain might fall out.

It’s good to have an open mind, and be willing to accept (or try out) viewpoints that differ from what you consider to be true.

In fact, openness is one of the ‘big five’ personality traits in psychology (Along with general intelligence, they are: openness, concsientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and stability).

People who score high on the openness scale tend to have more options in life, which enables you to make choice that cause radical change in your life or your business.

But the flipside of openness, is believing things without having any logical, reasonable grounds for the belief.

In other words: gullibility.

See, the fact that someone says thing A is true, doesn’t make it so.

The fact that you see all your friends agree on Facebook about something, doesn’t give it validity, beyond social consensus, which is fickle and SO easy to manipulate.

A manufacturer printing a brain on a bottle of beverage will only have one possible effect on your cognitive abilities: bring it down, if you believe that a drink makes you smarter.

Oh but we know this, right? We’re sane, rational, logical people, yes?

Sorry, no.

The human species is profoundly irrational, and magnificently gullible.

And if you don’t believe me, just look at the way marketers exploit gullibility in the way they present product messaging.

An asterisk referring to a footnote that says little more than ‘as proven in clinical trials’, and hoopla: sales go up*.

*As proven in numerous marketing campaigns.

So what are we to do?

You can’t close off your mind and be ultra-conservative, nor can you just believe everything people say.

If you do, you might end up like this person I know, who insists that eating is an addiction, and that a human being can live off of light as an energy source.

Because hey, they read it in a book, and there’s a fanclub on facebook saying so too!

Well, I’ve seen someone get pretty close to dying, with that belief. So no, don’t fall for that one.

But what’s the middle road?

How do you balance openness with common sense?

It’s not that hard.

Step one: think.

Use reason, and ask yourself if this thing or that thing actually makes sense.

Like, could science confirm this?

Next, tap into your feelings.

Because very often – and especially in the West where we have glorified emotions at the expense of reason – our emotions overrule simple, logical common-sense insights.

So when your gut (which is about as smart, if not smarter, as your brain) tells you there’s something that doesn’t add up, but your emotions shout louder just because the idea or choice or belief *feels* so good, know that you’re on thin ice.

You just might be able to decide something (take an action, make a purchase, adopt a belief) that makes no sense, and you’ll end up paying the price.

This, the fact that our gullibility can be so easily exploited by marketers, the church or politicians, is why I created the Calibrate Reality Dojo.

And yes, I’ve been going on about the free webinar without giving you a launch date – but this weekend I received the finished slide deck from my designer, and so:

Calibrate Reality Dojo officially launches on Thursday, 25th of October.

Mark your calendars…

Cheers,

Martin

Signals

They say ‘marketing is everything, and everything is marketing’ – which is true in a sense, but it’s an impoverished abstraction of human psychology.

On a much deeper level, *everything you do is a signal*.

Proper listening signals: you and your story matter to me.

The husband hiding behind his newspaper (or being glued to his phone screen) signals: you’re not a priority.

Sending daily emails (hello! have you started yours yet?) signals: I’m not just in it for the money, I intend to serve as well.

Lashing out at someone signals: my upset state is more important than harmony,  collaboration and understanding.

Everything that you do in your life sends some sort of signal to others.

The problem is that in 99% of the cases, we’re unaware of what signal we’re sending.

We go about our business, act as best as can, but we don’t stop to think what message, or signal, we’re broadcasting.

And then it gets worse, when we don’t stop to notice how our signal is being perceived.

This is the cause for a huge number of problems in relationships (business or personal) and in society as well.

But it’s so easy to see!

People literally tell us how our signals are being perceived – whether by how they respond, or body language, or action or inaction – your world gives you direct feedback on how well your signals are working for you.

The trick to getting better results with people, is to step out of your silo, and to open up to the signals that are being returned to you.

Those tell you what you actually said.

Because what you think you said, or intended to say, is nowhere near as important as the message that got heard.

Your good intentions only matter inasmuch as the other perceives them.

It’s never the other’s job to figure out what it is you meant.

Instead, it’s your job to figure out the best way to get your message and your signal get perceived the way you intended.

You live in a perfectly tuned feedback system called ‘the world’, that tells you your efficacy in signaling, 24/7.

Make sure you pay attention to what it tells you, and you’ll see very interesting and positive changes in your relationships.

What signals are you (not what you think you are) sending?

Cheers,

Martin

Have You Squared Any Circles Lately?

Those who climb the highest peaks, the explorers, the crazy ones, and the people who invent the next revolution in human achievement don’t care that what they’re about to do is considered impossible.

You can’t run a four-minute mile, or so we thought until Roger Bannister did it.

You can’t fly, until the Wright brothers did it.

Space travel was a fantasy long after Jules Verne.

It’s how 99.999% of the world lives:

“It’s impossible – no point trying”.

The remaining 0.001% says: I don’t care, I’ll do it anyway.

Impossible is not an obstacle for them.

These are the people who create change.

They are the ones who square the circle.

They do the impossible.

Like, for example… Oh I don’t know.

They learn how to calibrate reality?

Exactly.

Cheers,

Martin

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