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This episode we’re going to look back at the past 100 episodes of the Author of Your Own Story Daily Growth Hacks. Our team handpicks their favorite selections along with the ones that you voted for. Today, we’re going to share a mashup with you. It’s great to look back and I hope you enjoy.

Jim uses the acronym FAST how to learn anything and how to learn it faster. F stands for forgetting what you already know and really focusing on the task at hand. The A stand for being active. Now, you have to be an active participant in your learning. The S stands for your state. What emotional state are you in? Now, of course, we can always control our state. The thing that’s really important to remember is information combined with emotion helps you retain longterm learning, and T is for teach. T, teaching. When you teach something, you’re not only learning it once but you’re learning it twice.

First of all, the five-second rule is a simple technique to interrupt patterns. It’s a pattern interrupter and the reason it works is that it causes us to focus. When we focus, we activate our prefrontal cortex which actually allows us to make decisions. The way it works is simply counting backward, five, four, three, two, one. What you want to do is catch yourself in a pattern.

How do you do this? Well, the five-second rule is a really easy and simple way to do so. Simply what you do is your alarm goes off and you count backward, five, four, three, two, one. Make your decision. Launch. You get out of bed. As soon as you get downstairs and you decide you’re going to the gym and if, all of a sudden, you say, “Oh, geez. I don’t know if I really want to.” Five, four, three, two, one. All right. Cool. Decision process. What this does is allows you to be in the driver seat of your choices, the driver seat of your decisions.

I was thinking about how do you become superhuman? Why do some people seem to excel and others don’t? Then as soon as I thought that, I turned my head and I noticed a bent nail, a nail, thick nail that was bent by David Whitley when I was in a conversation with him. I’m talking to David Whitley. He pulls out this nail and bends it with his bare hands. What does it take? He told me. He’s like, “Doug, it’s mostly mental. It’s a mental game.” There’s a million strong man out there but very few can do what David does.

Inside a courtroom, there was a really intense battle between the defendant and the plaintiff. Now, the plaintiff told their story to the judge. At the end, the judge said, “Wow, that’s right.” Then the defendant went up and the defendant told their heartwarming story as well. The judge said, “Wow, that’s right.” Then, all of a sudden, the clerk looked at the judge and said, “Your Honor, they both can’t be right.” The Honor looked at the clerk and said, “Well, that’s right.” The point of the story is whatever you’re focused on, whatever you’re focused on in the moment is right.

I actually had the opportunity this particular weekend. As I’m recording it, it’s Friday night. This weekend I have a guys’ trip, an awesome guys’ trip I was really looking forward to up in Vancouver Island. I’m really excited about it but getting sick obviously a setback. They happened to shut the roads down in the mountains because of the snow. I thought, “Well, I’m getting sick. I’m not sure what I want to do here.” With a little bit of push from my wife, I actually checked in to the nicest hotel in the area that we live in. I’m really here to rest, recover but also focus. What I’ve chosen to do instead of lamenting on, oh, I wish I could have or going out and maybe even doing something like I was planning on doing.

One of the things that reminded me up because I’ve got an email this morning and the email said to me what my purpose was, why was I here, what was I to focus on in my life over these next years coming up for my family but also for my personal self so I can continue to be on the path of growth. What happened was and the hack that I’m going to give you is I wrote that email to myself. Each time that email comes in my inbox, because probably like you, I spend a lot of time on email, I get that message, open it up and I read it to myself each time.

Now, I was actually down in Colombia earlier this year and in Colombia, we were in the jungle with a shaman and we were drinking a drink called yage. During this whole ceremonial process, we’re coming out of it. One of the other people that were there, he came up to me. His name happened to be Tony. Tony came up to me and said, “What do Doug’s do?” What Tony said is he said, “No, what I want to know is what do Doug’s do?” He said, “Here’s what Tony’s do. What Tony’s do is they like to write. They write down deep thoughts and interesting ideas so they can share it with the world. That is really my passion. That’s Tony’s passion. When Tony’s are confronted with conflict, Tony’s get angry and they almost want to erupt but through the act of writing allows them to calm down and get re-centered.”

Who are you? If I were to ask you, “Who are you?”, you’d probably give me a standard response, what you do for a living, where you live, maybe a couple of your interests. Really at the core, who are you and have you taken time to actually write that down? What comes to your mind and what comes through to your heart? Who are you as a person? What are your values? What are your interests? What are those things that move you and gravitate you to a higher level?

In any relationship you have, especially intimate relationships, those that are closest to you, seem to trigger us. They seem to bring out certain times of anxiety or despair or anger or upset.

Hey, you know what happens when bad times come around is mean people get meaner, happy people get happier, joyful people get more joyful, sad people get sadder. You really go back to that set point that you have and it just amplifies it. When you get money if you’re already a jerk, then you just become a bigger jerk with money. If you’re a really nice person, you just become an even nicer person, probably giving more to others. Money amplifies the person that you really are but so do hard times. Hard times actually bring you back to that set point and amplify what that is.

Now, see, there’s a difference between positivity and lying to yourself or being deceitful to yourself to protect yourself. Relationships, this is one we often lie to ourselves about. My marriage is great. We tell everybody else that. How are you doing? I’m doing fantastic. Really there are all kinds of things going on in the background. We’re lying to ourselves and to each other. In your relationships, where are you honestly?

I want to talk to you about what is your first impression or what is the first impression your business gets or what I call your home base which is your website? Now, why is this important? Well, every time we do a search on the internet, now when somebody does a search, it’s a search of intent. It’s a search where you’re actually trying to solve a problem. You’re looking for a solution. Doing this as a business owner, your first impression or your home base is going to be your website. It’s even more important I would say that your storefront.

Often time what happens is a business owner is building the business as a solopreneur and they surround themselves with key people. Yet, they haven’t been able to take themselves out of the business. In fact, even a worst-case scenario, they branded their business around their skillsets and about their name. Now, their business is synonymous with them. They didn’t build their business for success or an exit strategy. This is something that I recommend all business owners consider. Build your business so you can sell it. Now, maybe you don’t want to sell it and that’s fine. But by building your business so you could sell it, so you’re building it as if you’re going to sell it, this gives you a whole variety of opportunities. One of those key opportunities is pulling yourself out of the business so you stop being the bottleneck of that business and you can go out and you can travel. You can be the author of your own story.

A skateboarder might be skating and trying a really complicated trick and they might cut their head, they might cut their hand, they might cut their leg, but they try and try and try again. But the point is despite the pain, despite the setbacks, despite the failures, they are trying and trying again. They are determined. They’re passionate and they’re dedicated to what they’re trying to accomplish. The same could be said for the entrepreneur. I’ve never met an entrepreneur where every day or everything they’ve done has just been easy. It’s not at all. It’s the day-to-day grind. It’s the day-to-day in the business, the focus, attempts at making things work because they’re failing more often than not, failing all the time, but failing forward, consciously failing forward and making sure they’re following a path that works for them.

How many times you actually wasting time during your day? Now, when I have this conversation, of course, it’s usually over somebody’s goals. What I’m talking about is how much time do you actually spend on social media, on Facebook just catching up on what people are doing or on YouTube watching videos that you don’t even care about, in fact, videos that leave you less inspired when you walk away? These could be music videos or how to videos or something else or TV. How often do you sit down to watch the news for an hour or watch your favorite show for two, three, four, five hours over the time? Or how many times you’re just not being efficient kind of like twiddling your thumbs and finding yourself just walking around your house aimlessly?

Let’s just say just for this example you’re doing four hours. Now, four hours every day for a workweek, that’s 20 hours in a workweek. Let’s say that you’re making $20 an hour. Now, I know most of you are high achievers and you’re people that are becoming the author of your own story or maybe you’re already an author of your own story and you listen to this just to keep yourself on track. Well, let’s just say for argument’s sake you’re making $20 an hour and we’re not going to count in opportunity cost. We’re not going to count on how if you’re younger and you make this money, you invest it, it’s going to be more than 20. Again, I know most of you are making a lot more than $20 an hour. Even that $20 an hour over 20 hours per week, you’re pretty much giving up $50,000 a year.

What do the billionaire and the beggar have in common? What do the young and the old have in common? What do you and I have in common? We all have 24 hours in a day and the difference is what we choose to do with each of those 24 hours. If you take ownership of your day if you take ownership of each hour in your day, what would it show you? Where would you be? How could you achieve more?

Have a great day and remember always go out and inspire someone by being the author of your own story.

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