When not being the best is better

I was recently at my daughters drama class and the teacher was talking us through how they put a play together in a the 1 hour lesson that she has every week, she (the teacher) was a very animated character and dare I say exactly what I would have pictured a drama teacher to be, very pronounced without shouting and very keen on the detail of instruction she was giving, her opening line when we all arrived was that she wanted to show the parents of the attendees what it was that they do there and how they form a lesson and the goals they are trying to achieve when they do, one of the things that she said during this speech got me thinking and I wanted to share my thoughts in case anybody wished to share their view.

“It is not about being perfect or even getting the words right all the time it is about doing and learning as they go, there is so much talk about being the best version of yourself these days and always striving to be perfect that people especially children must be exhausted”

I have extolled the virtues of striving for perfection on many an occasion and it is only now that I started to think that pushing for perfection is not only futile in occasions where the result is forced to be a product of collaboration but sometimes so tiring that it becomes a very draining ethos, which could potentially be destructive, and ultimately subverting our goals as we struggle to achieve them through the brain fog of exhaustion.

Now, anybody who has read anything I have done will be familiar with the fact that I like to have proof of something before I will adopt or attempt to pass it on as information to others, and this is no exception, I watched in wonder as this teacher, without raising her voice to a shout moved 15 children aged between 6 and 12 through this play that they had seen for the first time that night, and after just 45 minutes, we had a 10 minute play where I would say 85% of timings were correct and dialogue was remembered, the children had started to add complimentary movement to their parts and had started to extend their lines all within context, it was astounding to see all these different personalities working together and learning through enjoyment.

I am not saying that there is not a place for perfection and striving to be the best, merely that we need to recognise that moment of fatigue in all of us and act on it, lighten up a bit and realise that forced progress is sometimes slower and always a lot harder than relaxed progress, Bruce Lee was famous for the 1 inch punch and always taught pupils to relax the muscles of the hand and arm while punching as a tight clenched fist cannot travel as fast as a relaxed one, he was right and this was proved in many demonstrations the same can be said for the mind, a stressed “tight” mind will never learn as quickly as a relaxed one that is open and has time to spare.

I guess what I saw was not really the play about the Russian Cave that was being performed but rather that changing from the intense method of corrective education i.e. “that was wrong” or “do it again you weren’t on time” to a more lead form where the word wrong was never used, not even once despite some initial lines being quoted wrong and a couple of missed cue’s, was that when we are all relaxed we learn quicker, we retain more information and with a greater accuracy, so I guess what I am saying is if you are struggling with a subject or a method, be it academic or entrepreneurial then instead of beating yourself up and getting stressed, essentially blocking your own progress you should stop, take a deep breath (or two depending on how stressed you are) and look at what you are doing for what it is, try and find the enjoyment in your activity, and do not berate yourself for making mistakes, every fortune and large company was built on a foundation of error, that is how we learn, approach new concepts or technical challenges as an opportunity to a burden and you will see that as cortisol levels drop your whole mental state will become less toxic and you will move along at a faster pace than you ever thought possible.

Nootropics – Bigger, Leaner, Faster You !

Just a quick note to point out the new article I have written on Alpha-GPC, we are all trying to get that advantage over the competition and nootropics may just be the answer, I have been using Alpha-gpc for 3 weeks now (at time of writing) and have had some very positive results from it (and a few negative), I would like to share them with you and hopefully help you find that edge we all need to succeed.

The article is here and I hope you enjoy reading it, please leave any comments or suggestions.

Determination – Your Power, Your Journey

All to often we allow the power of self fulfilling prophecy to work against us, for a job interview we will continually think we are going to be late and end actually making ourselves late, or we convince ourselves that the guy or girl that we like would never like us so we don’t make an effort for fear of failure and guess what ? they never notice us!

Internal dialogues and self talk happen all day, every day, if we are aware of it or not, decisions are made on a subconscious level that determine the directions our lives take, with the exception of the very urgent “fight or flight” decisions these are all made with Reason and after an internal dialogue where we weigh up the chances of success versus failure and then act accordingly.

The problem with these conversations is that for most us they are biased against us this is most likely due to self preservation, and is not something that we all feel to equal measure.

Believe in Yourself!

How many times have you heard this, just believe in yourself and all will be well, it is more difficult however than it sounds as this requires the changing of your whole inner dialogue, you must reverse a subconscious level of thinking (not easily done) and you must find a way to remove the limits that you have set without knowing it, I personally am a firm believer in the power of the human spirit, years of observation have seen me notice that on some level my inner dialogue, my narrative that exists only in the deepest parts of my mind, influence and shape the world around me, and very rarely for the better I can tell you.

Break the cycle

Human behaviour is learned through pattern and repetition, for both motor skills and thought process, we ultimately become a product of our upbringing because this is the behaviour we see everyday, and so it becomes ingrained into our thought processes and our personalities, but we can change it, we can make a shift from one cycle to another, there is no shortage of research on making and breaking habits and one in particular found that it took nearly 12 weeks to form a habit and some people took nearly 254 days so don’t be too concerned if you have been telling yourself in the mirror that you are great for three days and you don’t feel any different.

Make Your Gestures Big

I used to be a nightclub doorman (bear with me) and I feel that tackling this situation is a lot like that, by the end of the night people were largely inebriated and their thought processes were impaired, conscious thought was cloudy and they were mostly running on sub-conscious activity to find their way home, my job, among others was to clear out the bar / club at the end of the night and I found after working this job for some twenty years that there was a very effective and distinct way to deal with this situation, you see shouting and hollering was not the answer, because hostility is just returned and talking quietly and not really making your presence felt was also pointless because you weren’t enough of an annoyance to cause an effect,

The most effective way to deal with this was to stand just that bit closer than you would normally, so you are not threatening but you are completely unavoidable and speak loudly and calmly repeatedly requesting that they leave as the night is over, and if you kept your cool and were patient the message got through within about 5 minutes for the lest drunk and the ones that could hardly stand got the idea within about 20 minutes.

My point is that I was dealing with people in the same mindset as we are when addressing our sub-conscious and trying to change what it wants to do, we are comfortable where we are and we feel safe because we are familiar with our surroundings, conscious thought that can reason that change is a positive is not in play and so we do not want to move, getting angry with ourselves is futile because we just become angry back and break all communication and trying to change a habit by gently whispering to ourselves each day just won’t cut it, we won’t hear the whispers,

The only way is speak clearly and unmistakably every time you get the chance, challenging all the things that you are convinced you are no good at, and don’t stop, don’t give up on yourself.

Determination is measured by the progress you make through adversity.

Me

Technique

Effectiveness is often mirrored by simplicity, I wouldn’t go downt he route of tying string round your finger or setting alarms to sit and concentrate on bigging yourself up, rather you need to start to listen, listen to your inner dialogues and start to recognise where they are working against you, and simply change the dialogue, as I have said previously change “I can’t” to “I can’t at the minute”, change “I am not good enough” to “I am not ready yet”, leave everything open ended, without the ability for your inner dialogue to close the door on a discussion you can modify the direction and message until you naturally follow the more positive path, take time to meditate, even if it sounds a little hokey and you feel silly doing it, by removing the outside noise of everyday life, even for 5 minutes, you can concentrate on what you are thinking and feeling and challenge all these beliefs you have about yourself,

Spirituality is not just banging gongs and Joss sticks (sorry if I offended anybody, seriously if you want to bang a gong then crack on!) it is about harnessing your own spirit and gaining from it, the foundation of success is much deeper than a bank account, but that account is much more achievable from a basis of inner strength.

Photo by Mike from Pexels

Emotional intelligence – thought before action.

Hiring criteria changes about as often as the poles, but even employers are recognising that the ability to think slow and reasoned even when under pressure makes for a better employee, and if you can master it will help you in your own financial and health journey too, never beat yourself up over things, always listen to constructive criticism and help others where you can.

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/7-reasons-why-emotional-intelligence-is-one-of-the-fastest-growing-job-skills?utm_source=pocket-newtab

Nature has an answer for everything – Fenugreek

If you have spent anytime pursuing any kind of sport you will have definitely been exposed to the myriad of pills and potions to help enhance physical performance, from sports drinks laced with sugar for running all the way through to steroids and growth hormone for bodybuilding, the supplement industry is a multi billion dollar industry and it is not difficult to see the motivation behind the glossy advertising campaigns and influencer posts.

Meanwhile for the vast majority of us the availability of the base ingredients of these hyped products never crosses our radar, sitting anonymously on a shelf in a health food store waiting for the inquisitive and informed person to notice just how much cheaper they are compared to the big company names pushed on us from any chosen publication as we pursue our sport.

One of the things I and men all over the world have to deal with is the decline of testosterone from the age of 30 and all the negative symptoms this brings, lack of energy, lack of sex drive, lack of intensity, and as a consequence lack of activity can increase bodyfat and without testosterone to keep the levels down estrogen will rise and cause more weight gain, this is a cycle that many men find themselves in and are looking for a way to increase testosterone without going down the slightly risky route of testosterone replacement therapy or even worse trusting the local dealer to sell good quality steriods.

So while researching testosterone boosting supplements I noticed Fenugreek came up over and over again and so I looked into it further, there is a plethora of information out there and lots of scientific studies proving the effectiveness of this herb (1) and the thing that caught my eye again was the dosage levels, this particular study cites 500mg of Fenugreek as an optimal dosage, most of the supplements I had seen were around 350mg, so far below, it is also widely accepted and shown in this study (2) that the combination of Fenugreek and protodioscin (Tribulus Terrestris) had a significant effect on testosterone, libido, strength and mental alertness.

So rather than purchase the sports manufacturer product that contained only one of the ingredients required and at a lower dosage level than is effective, I set out to buy them separately and see if I could get the results that the study showed.

I began with 600mg of Fenugreek and 300mg of Tribulus as these were the strengths that the tablets came in, and I have been doing this for nearly a week now, I can report with some confidence that my strength has increased and my focus at work has very much improved, one of the effects of higher testosterone is the reduction of bodyfat in general and I think I am seeing some changes but in fairness it is too early to really tell and as far as timelines is concerned I have only just started, I did go up to 600mg of Tribulus but I am not sure if i will continue this as I did start to feel a little odd but this could be just the body getting used to the new substance.

I will monitor my progress for 12 weeks and report my findings as I go, but it is looking really positive so far…

Nature truly does provide for nearly all our requirements, sure it takes more looking and the results are rarely instantaneous, this doesn’t sit well in our on demand society and so natural products often get overlooked in favour of synthetic drugs that hit the system like a steam hammer, but you should always balance the benefit you are looking to achieve, as there is nearly always a detriment to drugs and very rarely to normal dosages of natural products.

As always I will provide links to the products I am writing about, if you are interested and would like to buy through my link please do so, but if not simply google Fenugreek or Tribulus and you will find a whole load of places where these are available.

When Motivation is Not Enough

Summary

You have been shouted at by a stranger on YouTube and you have started a million and one get rich quick schemes and some get rich slow schemes, nothing is coming in and you are just spending more and more time online trying every different avenue you can to make something, anything work.

You are not alone, the online world from our prospective is split into two camps, the this is what you should do to make money and the this is how you should feel and act to make money, there is no this is how I do it camp, there is nobody who gives any prospective on how long these things should take or indeed how you actually start to make some, any cash at all, and before you start listing the hundreds of millionaires that have YouTube channels and that have catchy titles like “this is how I make $10000 a day from typing” or “watch me build a million dollar sales funnel” let me say this, I am talking about real substance on how you execute these promoted Frameworks, I put together a business idea in a post that can be found [here] where I outlined an online property business that could easily be global and you could do it from that fabled beach in the Bahamas that seems to be the very first trip these people make after making all their money, but here is the rub, the entire thing was useless, not worth a single penny because it has no Method of execution there is no information on how you complete the steps just simply the steps themselves and without that it is like having a Bentley with no tyres on the rims, it looks good but can’t go anywhere.

And it is at this point people fail, when you are sat there after you exhausted all your ideas and you have nothing left to give, it is 2 in the morning and you have to be up for work in 4 hours, but hang on isn’t this what you paid them for? isn’t this the advice that you are supposed to be receiving, well yes it is, so you have a cup of coffee and you remember Elon Musk saying that he worked 100 hours a week and all the influencers on Instagram with the positive little memes all the way up to the ones that simply stand there and tell you that you don’t work hard enough, and you trudge on just getting older, more skint and more and more disillusioned as you scroll through social media watching videos on how well everybody else is doing.

This is the point where motivation just isn’t enough, and this is also where you like others can start to fall into depression, and self -doubt, as somebody who has been there I can honestly say that this is difficult to get out of, almost impossible to live with and will ultimately effect everybody close enough to you to care.

Sounds Grim Right?

Well that’s because it is, I am not going to trawl through the internet to find statistics to dazzle you with the amount of research I did to back up my opinion because I don’t need to, the evidence of the state of society is all around us, it is in our schools, our workplaces and out in the streets, it follows us home and usually sits by the bed all night waiting to grab our attention even if we dare to wake up for a few minutes, I am talking, of course about the age of information technology, a lot of commentators blame Social Media solely for societies ill’s but this simply is not the case, it is the scale of information and demand for attention that is causing the confusion, and yes this encompasses social media, but it also extends to TV, Radio, Cinema, and even the lowly conversation, this is an On-Demand world and anything less just isn’t good enough, and anything other than instant results are also simply not good enough, so when we don’t realise all our dreams of financial success overnight, rather than go looking for the reasons or anecdotal evidence of how long it took the most successful to achieve their goals we look inwards and blame ourselves, we start to scroll looking for the inspiration that will drag us out of our unproductive trench and somehow propel us to the top the way it did so many others.

But this is because when you sit and stare at the screen for hours on end, or watch the latest “make money online video” you are only getting half the conversation, with no context at all, all the people we are taught to look up to have struggled to make their money, Richard Branson had several failed businesses and nearly lost Virgin a couple of times, Mark Zuckerburg wrote several unsuccessful applications including a music program he later gave to Microsoft for nothing, Grant Cardone came from very humble beginnings and if you watch enough videos you will soon realise that Gary Vaynerchuk had a far from ideal childhood, problem is they weren’t famous then, so there is cataloguing of Gary Vee drinking urine from a can because he was being bullied and the Christmas tree business Richard Branson had never made it to the front pages of any newspaper but they happened and created the inspirational characters you see and follow today.

One thing that unites them all now is calm, and I know that sounds odd but bear with me, I know they are not all calm in their approach to life, they scream and shout, book huge auditoriums and have lights, music and pyrotechnics but look at them closely, they are calm, their eyes are calm and no matter the volume of their words they are delivered with a calm certainty that resonates through every syllable, I guarantee they will not have sounded like that when they began, they sound like that now because they know it is a numbers game, it is clear thought and good decisions that make the millionaires of the future a vision and an unerring drive to get there, but it also a marathon and not a sprint, and marathons require planning and they require pacing or you will just be left behind, a sweating crying mass alone by the side of the road, defeated.

Your Recipe for Success

So right back to the beginning at 2am with work at 6am, the best thing you can do is stop what you are doing and protect your job, ask yourself this, when you are changing jobs, do you announce it to your boss that you are looking for alternative employment ? no, or at least I do not because we would fear that it would prejudice our position within the company we currently work for, so why let your venture destroy your security now? get some sleep and come back to it the next day, I guarantee that if you want to succeed it is going to be easier if you are as calm as possible, calm people make rational decisions, they consider the options and often times react very quickly as they have already formulated the course of action and do not need to adjust it once it is in play, “Think Slow, Act Fast”, there are two sides to every goal, the planning and the execution and this is where most of us fall down because we are still planning while we are executing, negating, in some circumstances any progress we might have made to the point of deviation.

Everything Must be in a straight line for efficiency

As crude as it is (and I promise I will work on my graphic skills) what I am trying represent is that if we start with an exponential amount of planning at the start, we can draw a straight reducing line toward the goal as over time we can decrease effort required as experience and skill increases, whereas if we are constantly in the planning stage the line is a lot more bumpy, there will be times where reaction to events is required to keep pushing a project forward and these are best represented by a triangle along the line, as the effort sharply increases in line with the goal but then once the solution is reached it quickly decreases, my point is to succeed you need to react to problems not lack of planning.

Meditate

One thing to do and an opinion that is shared by some of the most successful people on the planet is meditation, now you may think that mediation is sitting cross legged and humming to yourself in the Lotus Position, but I would rather you think of Meditation as something more personal, we all have different interests and likes/dislikes, we all have things that calm us and things that annoy us, for instance a very successful APP that helps people study is one that simply feeds the background sounds of a coffee shop the listener, thousands of people benefit everyday from the calming effect this app has on them, I however fell agitated by the background noise of a coffee shop, or any public establishment so for me that app would be a one way ticket to failure!, so pick something that Absorbs your thoughts something that takes you away from reality for a time to allow your mind to completely forget anything other than pleasure, it is easy to pick an activity to achieve this state, simply do something that makes you forget time, by which I mean anything that you do that usually you are so occupied by that time seems to slip away without you noticing, if that is sitting in the lotus position then great, if it is riding a dirt bike then also great, you looking to achieve a disconnect from effort, allowing your mind time to slow down and bathe in a huge release of endorphins, always remember though to set some kind of reminder about re-focusing on your goal and work because without that you could spend all day chilling out and that won’t get anything done!

Summary

So in summary, anything worth having takes work and a lot of it, but all the motivational speeches, inspirational stories and success shaming in the world is not going to help if that is not the problem, if the problem is overload and mental fatigue then that is what needs to be addressed, learn to recognise this and switch off YouTube or Instagram or wherever else you go to get your daily dose of persecution from virtual peers that likely are doing no better than you and relax, think slow and act fast, a ten minute rest will lead to a much more productive 30 minutes effort, till next time……..

Main Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

The very best online business – money will come pouring in

Believe it or not this is not actually a joke clickbait headline, I really have worked out the best way to make money online and I will share it with you in due course.

But first we need to talk about the elephant in the room, the thing that is only ever talked about in the fine print of all these courses offered online by any number of slick looking Gurus “results not guaranteed”, I started looking for a way to make money online around the same time as I started this blog, in fact it was part of my mission statement when beginning and introducing myself to the wider world, I shared a belief (that I still hold) that everybody should endeavour to be the best they can be, physically, mentally and financially, and in fact it is really common to see that you do not find one of the trio without at least one of the other two, this isn’t to satisfy Instagram or to be able to put two fingers up at people that teased you at school or a parent who told you you were worthless, no it is because you deserve it, as does everybody else, you deserve to live the best life you can and be as happy and comfortable as you can be, and having at least two of the three points means that life is easier and achieving the third is all that more possible.

That was four months ago, and I am still no closer to receiving penny one of any online earned money, because nothing has ever proved to be worthy of investment, I have attended “live” webinars, I have followed adverts to the very end to receive the free guide to email marketing or whatever and I have always found myself in the same familiar loop of an upsell to another course, usually in the thousands of dollars, it really is no wonder that these people are millionaires, but absolutely nothing that was anything more than selling the course that I was buying.

There are some who say that the Internet has provided more ways for people to become rich than there has ever been before, and I guess in a way that is probably right, but you need an idea, you need something of value and use the Internet to sell that something of value, simply paying for somebody to teach you how to do affiliate marketing is not going to make you an affiliate marketer anymore than shouting fuck a lot and wearing a woolly hat will make you Gary Vee, and frankly some of the ideas that people try and sell are just dangerous, from hijacking peoples buisness adverts to re-directing there business calls and then asking for a percentage, creating cheap knocked up video adverts and getting ranked first for a video search on google then phoning and asking for money based on this achievement.

All these and many more equally stupid ideas are broadcast hourly into our consciousness by YouTube and Instagram and even Blogs, like this one, they are noise, complete and utter noise and worse than that they are scams and costly ones, I did have a moment though where I thought what if? and I watched a video by a guy claiming that you could make $3 to $5 dollars and hour “hands off” watching videos at a website, I tried it, I even added it to a blog post and invited people to go and have a look, you see 3-5 Dollars is not a great amount but if it is per hour and you can earn it without having to spend time doing something then it is not to be turned down, that would be like me calling you and saying I would like to give you $4 an hour (for arguments sake) for doing nothing at all and you saying no, you just wouldn’t, I don’t think anybody would it is money for nothing, however it was not without it’s issues, firstly the 3-5 was more like 6 pence, in fact it was 6 pence, the video makers suggestion that you could open many tabs also fell flat on it’s face as the website detects you are doing this and cuts the video streams, in fact you could only open 10 at most, and the mathematics just does not add up, because 10 times 6 is 60p and that would have to be one hell of a conversion rate to make that work!

No this was another example of offering something free to simply upsell based on a feeling of established trust with the provider, you see he offers you this for free, it won’t make you rich but if you have no money at all you can do this right now to make some and then try the big money making idea that he has later with all your passively earned income , accept it doesn’t work out you are still skint but everything he said was true, well it was true-ish, I mean you didn’t make the $4 an hour but you did make some, and yeah you can cash out by PayPal but only after you have taken $50 in vouchers or some such rubbish first, but he was honest and he did say he was making a lot of money doing this other thing, you have a look and get out the $599 dollars it costs for that course because he is a good guy.

The pitch is as old as the hills, as is the self deprecating pitch, “don’t believe me? I wouldn’t either after all you don’t know me but…….” is also everywhere reeling desperate people in because they empathise with your natural cynicism, this is what has bothered me the most and prompted me to write this post, hopefully making people think twice before supporting the lifestyles of these most useless of members of society.

It Must Work for Some, Surely?

Yes it does, or more accurately yes it did, you see there is a myth that the Internet is infinite, and as I have discussed before while that is far from true it also doesn’t mean that you cannot still become mega rich from it, so lets take a case of Pewdiepie, he started in 2006 when YouTube had just 65,000 uploaded videos and 10 million users a month, and he now earns 8 million a month, so it can be done right? what if I told you that YouTube now has 300 hours of video uploaded every minute 24 hrs a day 365 days a year, with 5 billion viewed a day between 30 million users, you see no matter how big something is you can fill it, and Mr Kjellberg is not going to step aside to allow you to make a name for yourself, and don’t look to Google to shoot one of their Golden Geese to help a struggling YouTuber, it doesn’t seem quite so attainable now does it ? in fact it is not, despite what people will tell you, why shouldn’t Pewdiepie tell you just to be yourself and you will get the views, what has he got to lose? to be honest 8 million a month if he is right!

Avoid These Like the Plague

  1. Survey schemes – there is no better way to waste your time for no gain at all than taking part in 99 percent of online-surveys, they are useless at best and just information gathering at worst, and there is never any money at the end of it just gift cards or points that can be exchanged when you have a hundreds of them.
  2. Watch videos/ads for money – think about it for a minute advertisers pay like $5 for a thousand views, so how much is the company likely to pay you to watch them ?
  3. Live webinar invites – So far I have not seen a single genuine one, honestly not one, they are all just pre-recorded and sitting on a server making the true definition of “passive income” for the Guru that snares you to watch it, if only one or two out of the hundreds that go on to watch it sign up for the equally pre-recorded course then that is possibly as much as 2 or 3 k every hour and a half of nearly every day, not bad for spending a couple of hours making a video.
  4. Anybody that starts by saying this not a get rich quick scheme – if they don’t have enough respect for their potential audience to think that they already know that, then it is simply a pathetic attempt to make you think they are being genuine.

There are more, people claiming to make millions each week but sitting in their mums basement on a cheap webcam, bundles of cash lying around a crappy office that looks like it is falling down, or when you can just see the edge of the green screen that the Lamborghini is being CGI’d in with.

And for the ones that have got the money, I would love to know if they made their millions before or after they filmed the courses, you see it really isn’t that difficult, and the course content for the most part is simply, find something to sell, create and advert, put it in front of customers and make money, you then wrap a lot of screenshots and lengthy vague explanation around it all tied up with a disclaimer and you are good to go, price it at an outrageous price but offer it for half that and of course there are limited places because of the demand and that they want to retain the integrity of the system.

So the Money Making System ?

Simple, have a think, come up with a plan no matter how insane or unlikely to succeed and document it either with an ebook (easy to sell) or a YouTube channel and charge as much as you want for it, spend a little on advertising and it’s all good.

This may all sound a little bitter but I have spent an inordinate amount of time going down these various rabbit holes and I actually resent it, after all it’s my time, and I am trying to create more of it not piss it away listening to these snake oil salesmen, and to be honest I could have spent it learning skills or creating a business that can actually grow, I will be removing the advert for the video watching because it is worthless and I hope that this blog at least stops somebody from giving time or money to these parasites.

Main Photo by Sebastiaan Stam from Pexels