This happened on my morning run…

This happened on my morning run…

It was about 9:30 on a Monday morning in mid-October. Not exactly the optimum time to be jogging through Midtown Manhattan. Not that any time is exactly optimum. But it was the only chance I had to get a run in before heading to the airport for my flight back home. I’d spent the previous three days in Vermont, learning from, and networking with, some of the most influential leaders in the real estate industry and was anxious to get back to my team and implement what I had absorbed. But at the moment, I was focused on sticking to my fitness plan and getting a solid workout in, weaving my way through the mass of humanity in front of me.

The runner’s high (I don’t know if it’s really a runner’s high, it’s just this state where I feel slightly less like I’m going to cry) was beginning to abate, bringing a rush of fatigue to the forefront when a lanky gentleman whizzed past me like a really clever analogy that I wish I could think of right now. He was wearing neon shoes and a shirt that read “Berlin Marathon 2018”. Working off the assumption that his fly-by was a personal attack on my credibility as man, and probably lover, I picked up my pace. Darting between pillars of scaffolding, ignoring the pleas of the crosswalk signals, I was in a dead sprint, desperate to reclaim my place among the titans of 9th Avenue morning cardio.

But, crossing 49th Street, the inevitable reared its stupid fucking face as the Slender Man was now just a southward bounding hat, still widening the margin while my lungs went into revolt. I came to rest in a slump against the exterior of a Pret A Manger, wondering just how severe the backlash would be in the running community. After all, I was just passed by a stranger on the street and barely had the capacity to keep him in view long enough to memorize his physical description so I could have accurate nightmares, surely I would be exiled, never to run again.

Then something happened. Something almost poetic. Hunched against the wall, pretending to stretch my calves outside that oddly named French sandwich place, I thought back to a quote I’d heard earlier in the week. “Don’t compare your Chapter One to someone else’s Chapter Twenty.”

 

I have no idea who said it, no one does. It’s like a Mother Goose rhyme, it just exists, probably. But it’s a profound concept and I’ve been rattling it off ever since. Who cares if a human salamander is faster than me. He won the Berlin Marathon for heaven’s sake! I’m a better runner than most, but I’m still at the beginning of my journey. Working hard towards Ironman Lake Placid next year and making improvements every day.

I don’t need the approval of some windperson to keep myself motivated and moving forward. And neither do you. Your journey, your battle, your story, it’s yours alone. And, if you’re honest with yourself, your probably don’t enjoy stories that don’t involve adversity. Can you imagine picking up a book about a guy who always had it all and things just get exceedingly better for him? Sounds terrible.

So, embrace it. Embrace the fact that you’re still early on in the book. You have the whole story to write. Stop trying to skip to the end and put in the time and effort to make it a best seller.

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Stop running from your failures…

It’s a weird dynamic, this relationship we have with failure. We love stories about it. No one likes a movie where the main character succeeds unchecked. We like the struggle, the adversity. It inspires us, reminds us of what’s possible. But that’s when someone else is the subject. That’s when someone else is going through it. When it comes to our lives, every failure makes us question how much we really value the outcome. How much do we really want to succeed?

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If you know you can do it, you won’t.

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Here’s why you never have enough time…

It’s fundamentally difficult, with so much distraction and opportunity, to find the time to get it all in every day. To truly be productive and not just busy. So, what’s the solution? How do we get back to a place where we’re not constantly being pulled in a million different directions? Where the day doesn’t waste away behind the steady flow of new and completely irrelevant stimulants being thrown at us non-stop? The answer is simple addition by subtraction.

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Why You’re Not As Productive As You Should Be (And How To Change That)

It’s understandable, in a world increasingly full of distraction, that it takes a near herculean effort to put our best foot forward in that department, but that doesn’t make the threat of wasted time any less real.

And while the battle for time efficiency may never cease entirely, there are plenty of safeguards we can implement to systematize our efforts.

Here are a few simple, practical ways to up your productivity and stave off waste.

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Stop running from your failures…

Stop running from your failures…

I like to fancy myself one of the better failures within my network. If that doesn’t sound like a humble brag, then this post is for you. My ability and willingness to fail has been a true blessing in my life and a characteristic I consider to be integral to my success. Failure is to be celebrated. It’s the only tangible, measurable proof of growth there is. And yet, most of us shy away from it, avoiding the pain of failure at all costs.

It’s a weird dynamic, this relationship we have with failure. We love stories about it. No one likes a movie where the main character succeeds unchecked. We like the struggle, the adversity. It inspires us, reminds us of what’s possible. But that’s when someone else is the subject. That’s when someone else is going through it. When it comes to our lives, every failure makes us question how much we really value the outcome. How much do we really want to succeed?

Tony Robbins laid it out pretty clearly in his first book, Unlimited Power. Everything we do, we do in an effort to either seek pleasure or avoid pain. And we’ll always do more to avoid pain. So, it stands to reason that if we’re not willing to go through the setbacks, the failure, that we’re not really as committed to our goals as we think. But it’s more complicated than that. What really makes the difference in our tolerance for struggle is our relationship with it.

It’s easy to give up when the failure is painful. And it’s perfectly logical. The feeling of defeat, or worse, the feeling that you’re working hard with no progress to show for it, can make you rethink everything that you consider important. But what if the failure didn’t hurt. What if you didn’t consider failure painful, or better yet, what if it gave you pleasure? Would you view your struggles differently if they didn’t bring you pain?

The truth is, failure is only painful because we allow it to be, and it’s our egos that make it so. We don’t avoid failure because it’s painful in a vacuum. It’s painful because we care about being judged. We care about how we’re perceived by others. We’re even likely uncomfortable with our ability to look objectively at ourselves without judgement. After all, we’re our own biggest critics. That’s where the pain comes from. Failure is painful because we’re conditioned throughout life to see it as bad, as something to avoid rather than learn from.

This idea is inherently counterproductive. And the reality is that it’s what keeps the majority of people from ever realizing the vision they have for their lives. We’re taught from an early age, all the way through school that failure, risk taking, doing things any other way that the system encourages is bad. Then we grow up to become working bees, afraid of ever challenging the status quo because we fear what the other worker bees, who grew up learning the same lessons, will think of our attempt to break the mold. It’s the definition of insanity.

That ego, that reluctance we have to do anything that has a chance of exposing us as being anything but completely together, is poison to our efforts to live our best lives. The fact of the matter is that we are nothing more than space dust, hurtling through the universe at probably like a trillion miles an hour. No amount of failure or judgement or discomfort will change that. There is nothing to be lost in failure, only gained, through growth, maturation and experience. Learn to embrace it as a method of advancement and your journey will become exponentially more fruitful.

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More articles from Brian:

Advice
Brian Force

Stop running from your failures…

It’s a weird dynamic, this relationship we have with failure. We love stories about it. No one likes a movie where the main character succeeds unchecked. We like the struggle, the adversity. It inspires us, reminds us of what’s possible. But that’s when someone else is the subject. That’s when someone else is going through it. When it comes to our lives, every failure makes us question how much we really value the outcome. How much do we really want to succeed?

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The fact is, just about everyone desires to be in better shape, to be healthier in some way, and knows, with at least some certainty, the steps they need to take to accomplish their goals. Lack of education isn’t why we fail. But it’s also not because we set our sights too high. Most of us just want to look good in the mirror, that’s a completely realistic goal. If anything, we give up because we know we can do it.

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Here’s why you never have enough time…

It’s fundamentally difficult, with so much distraction and opportunity, to find the time to get it all in every day. To truly be productive and not just busy. So, what’s the solution? How do we get back to a place where we’re not constantly being pulled in a million different directions? Where the day doesn’t waste away behind the steady flow of new and completely irrelevant stimulants being thrown at us non-stop? The answer is simple addition by subtraction.

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And while the battle for time efficiency may never cease entirely, there are plenty of safeguards we can implement to systematize our efforts.

Here are a few simple, practical ways to up your productivity and stave off waste.

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If you know you can do it, you won’t.

If you know you can do it, you won’t.

The sound of dripping rain whispers through the darkness, sending a pinging combination of self-deprecation and relief to your foggy conscience. You already know it, you’re just trying to reason it, as you roll over towards the window to confirm the severity of the precipitation outside, you’re not working out today. The morning jog you had planned is off, so is the 30 minutes of weights after. It was all written down, fastened to the fridge with the magnetic letters ‘N’ and ‘T’, part of the message ‘Never Quit’ you had spelled out for yourself the night before when you were certain that this was the turning point for you. This was the time you showed up, stayed disciplined, and made a real change in your life. But it’s raining, and no one likes to run in the rain. Maybe it will clear up and you can run later. At least that’s what you tell yourself as you pull the covers back over and dive headfirst into another REM cycle.

Wasn’t that easy? To just give in? To knowingly sacrifice your intended outcome for temporary comfort? Of course it was, it’s what we do. We’re animals, after all. Instinctively wired to pursue the path of least resistance. To avoid pain with far greater ferocity than we seek pleasure. It’s only natural. And it’s why, often times, we become our own worst enemy.

This is the story so many of us are living. The fact is, just about everyone desires to be in better shape, to be healthier in some way, and knows, with at least some certainty, the steps they need to take to accomplish their goals. Lack of education isn’t why we fail. But it’s also not because we set our sights too high. Most of us just want to look good in the mirror, that’s a completely realistic goal. If anything, we give up because we know we can do it.

All of us have an ego we’re constantly trying to protect. Some larger than others, but it lives within each and every one of us. And it can get us in a lot of trouble. Ego makes us act illogically, gives us tunnel vision and can repel others whose relationships would bring value into our world. Super awesome thinker and writer Ryan Holiday wrote an entire book dedicated to how we burden ourselves with ego. But it can also work in our favor.

If there’s one thing our brains universally don’t handle well it’s the feeling of inadequacy. We absolutely hate feeling like we can’t do something we wish we were able to. Of course, that emotional connection is key. We’re not going to get up for something that we couldn’t care less about. But it’s in these challenges, the ones that we know we can only overcome by fundamentally changing who we are, that we find the will to succeed.

I’ve been an athlete my entire life. At least that’s what I tell myself when I think about my identity as it applies to physical fitness. The truth is that I haven’t been a competitive athlete in years. And in the time since I’ve left the arena of high-level sport, I’ve faced the same challenges we all do when it comes to our physical regimen. I didn’t have the will, the same drive, to maintain my body with anywhere near the same level of commitment as before. I’ve gained and lost forty pounds on multiple occasions. I’ve built and lost muscle, developed endurance only to let it fade. I just didn’t see the point in being disciplined if I had no use for it.

The truth, of course, is that there is a use. A physically fit body is a mentally fit body and I need all the mental fitness I can get. I just wasn’t making the emotional connection because I didn’t have a challenging goal that spoke directly to my motivation. I needed my ego to work with me. To take on a challenge that I knew I couldn’t accomplish without becoming someone who can.

It’s being 31 days since I’ve committed to completing my first Ironman race. Ironman is the most grueling triathlon on Earth and I’m positive I can’t complete it right now. So, I’ve been committed to becoming someone who can. My ego doesn’t like the idea of not being able to do something athletic.  After all, I’m an athlete, remember? It’s been a decade since I went a month without missing a workout. I haven’t had a compelling reason to be committed at a high level. Now I do. And I haven’t even though about missing a day. My ego simply won’t let me. To do what I’m committed to doing I have to become the man I’m committed to being.

Ask yourself, are your goals big enough to tap your dark side? The ego in you that snaps you into action when threaten with the fear of not being enough? Challenge yourself to become more. Your future self is counting on  you.

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More articles from Brian:

Advice
Brian Force

Stop running from your failures…

It’s a weird dynamic, this relationship we have with failure. We love stories about it. No one likes a movie where the main character succeeds unchecked. We like the struggle, the adversity. It inspires us, reminds us of what’s possible. But that’s when someone else is the subject. That’s when someone else is going through it. When it comes to our lives, every failure makes us question how much we really value the outcome. How much do we really want to succeed?

Read More »
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If you know you can do it, you won’t.

The fact is, just about everyone desires to be in better shape, to be healthier in some way, and knows, with at least some certainty, the steps they need to take to accomplish their goals. Lack of education isn’t why we fail. But it’s also not because we set our sights too high. Most of us just want to look good in the mirror, that’s a completely realistic goal. If anything, we give up because we know we can do it.

Read More »
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Brian Force

Here’s why you never have enough time…

It’s fundamentally difficult, with so much distraction and opportunity, to find the time to get it all in every day. To truly be productive and not just busy. So, what’s the solution? How do we get back to a place where we’re not constantly being pulled in a million different directions? Where the day doesn’t waste away behind the steady flow of new and completely irrelevant stimulants being thrown at us non-stop? The answer is simple addition by subtraction.

Read More »
Advice
Brian Force

Why You’re Not As Productive As You Should Be (And How To Change That)

It’s understandable, in a world increasingly full of distraction, that it takes a near herculean effort to put our best foot forward in that department, but that doesn’t make the threat of wasted time any less real.

And while the battle for time efficiency may never cease entirely, there are plenty of safeguards we can implement to systematize our efforts.

Here are a few simple, practical ways to up your productivity and stave off waste.

Read More »

Here’s why you never have enough time…

Here’s why you never have enough time…

The chief export of modern society is distraction. We’re enveloped by it all day, every day. White noise has become the soundtrack of an era marked by a focus on constantly striving to find the newest, shiniest, most enjoyable ways to escape or alter reality to fit the needs of our increasingly disconnected minds. This really isn’t as bleak as all this fancy articulation makes it sound, along with distraction comes incredible technological advances that allow us to do things we didn’t have the capacity to envision even a decade ago. Unfortunately, however, even with all this super cool stuff at our fingertips, we still need to get things done. And it’s becoming increasingly difficult.

It’s undeniable that, while we’ve never had more tools with which to fuel our success, we’ve also never been more equipped to spend our conscious energy on entirely useless endeavors that exist only to fill the void we’ve created for ourselves. It’s fundamentally difficult, with so much distraction and opportunity, to find the time to get it all in every day. To truly be productive and not just busy. So, what’s the solution? How do we get back to a place where we’re not constantly being pulled in a million different directions? Where the day doesn’t waste away behind the steady flow of new and completely irrelevant stimulants being thrown at us non-stop? The answer is simple addition by subtraction.

The reality is, we do have enough time. We have plenty in fact. We simply choose to use it poorly. We stop down in the middle of a task to check our phones and get the latest updates about whatever nonsense happens to pop into our heads. We try jumping from idea to idea as they come, because we have the tools to do so, and never truly focus on mastery of any.

Structure is the answer. It’s not about committing to completing everything on your to-do list. It’s not even about time blocking what you should be doing. Because that allows for distractions to become excuses to deviate from your schedule. What you should be doing is blocking out time where everything else but the task at hand is completely off limits.

In our real estate business, we have three hours set aside where we work solely on generating new relationships each day. That time is set aside specifically for that task. But the policies around it are very simple. Everything else during that time is off limits. No distractions, no white noise. If the partners on our team do not want to build relationships, they can sit quietly in their office and twiddle their thumbs. But nothing else, no stop downs, no other focus. Simply the task at hand. 

This backwards way of perceiving the scenario has proved incredibly effective and it will for you too. If you’re struggling to find the time, to cut through the distraction and get things done, stop thinking about what you should be doing, and commit to refraining from things you know  you shouldn’t. Slowly but surely your conscience will get the best of you, and your habits will follow suit.

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More articles from Brian:

Advice
Brian Force

Stop running from your failures…

It’s a weird dynamic, this relationship we have with failure. We love stories about it. No one likes a movie where the main character succeeds unchecked. We like the struggle, the adversity. It inspires us, reminds us of what’s possible. But that’s when someone else is the subject. That’s when someone else is going through it. When it comes to our lives, every failure makes us question how much we really value the outcome. How much do we really want to succeed?

Read More »
Advice
Brian Force

If you know you can do it, you won’t.

The fact is, just about everyone desires to be in better shape, to be healthier in some way, and knows, with at least some certainty, the steps they need to take to accomplish their goals. Lack of education isn’t why we fail. But it’s also not because we set our sights too high. Most of us just want to look good in the mirror, that’s a completely realistic goal. If anything, we give up because we know we can do it.

Read More »
Advice
Brian Force

Here’s why you never have enough time…

It’s fundamentally difficult, with so much distraction and opportunity, to find the time to get it all in every day. To truly be productive and not just busy. So, what’s the solution? How do we get back to a place where we’re not constantly being pulled in a million different directions? Where the day doesn’t waste away behind the steady flow of new and completely irrelevant stimulants being thrown at us non-stop? The answer is simple addition by subtraction.

Read More »
Advice
Brian Force

Why You’re Not As Productive As You Should Be (And How To Change That)

It’s understandable, in a world increasingly full of distraction, that it takes a near herculean effort to put our best foot forward in that department, but that doesn’t make the threat of wasted time any less real.

And while the battle for time efficiency may never cease entirely, there are plenty of safeguards we can implement to systematize our efforts.

Here are a few simple, practical ways to up your productivity and stave off waste.

Read More »

Why You’re Not As Productive As You Should Be (And How To Change That)

Why You’re Not As Productive As You Should Be (And How To Change That)

My favorite fun fact to remind people of is that Elon Musk has six kids. I don’t do it randomly, that would be super weird. Rather, I use it as a friendly reminder that we all have the same 24 hours in a day. And if a single man can revolutionize the way we exchange currency for stuff on eBay, usher in the silent car era and still find time to blow up a few rockets on his way to Mars, all while raising a family, then you probably don’t have a time problem. You have a productivity problem. Our ability to use our waking hours in the most productive manner is the greatest hindrance to realizing our goals. Not lack of resources, not a dearth of education.

It’s understandable, in a world increasingly full of distraction, that it takes a near herculean effort to put our best foot forward in that department, but that doesn’t make the threat of wasted time any less real. And while the battle for time efficiency may never cease entirely, there are plenty of safeguards we can implement to systematize our efforts. Here are a few simple, practical ways to up your productivity and stave off waste.

Minimize Your Priorities

In his book 18 Minutes, Peter Bregman gives phenomenal insight on how to efficiently prioritize and focus on the things that matter to you most. Start with five major prioritizes for the year, two that deal your business, two with your relationships, and one just for you. When preparing for each day, divide your tasks among these categories and keep track of them as you knock them out. Anything that stays on your list for more than three days must be completed immediately or reconsidered as a true priority.

Keeping a visual inventory of your important tasks will reinforce their meaning and challenge you to face the most difficult ones head on.

Capture Your Creativity

With white noise blaring at us all day it can be difficult to harness our creativity when it strikes. Whether it’s a hard notepad, your phone or whatever instrument fits your needs, record your thoughts as they come and catalogue them away for when they’re needed. Our best ideas tend to hit us without warning. Don’t count on them being there when you need them with, be intentional and preserve them.

Block Out Distractions

Erase the apps you don’t need, close the browser tab with your email and just get to work. The number one killer of productivity is completely avoidable distraction that we bring on ourselves. Remember what you’re working towards and don’t get sidetracked with things that don’t speak to your ultimate vision.

Keep Your Time Top of Mind

Try setting a timer to go off each hour. When it does, take a moment to reflect on the past sixty minutes. Ask yourself how you would rate your productivity, how your actions have spoken to your ultimate goals. Reminding yourself of the fleeting nature of time will keep you committed to maximizing it.

The modern world is practically tailor-made to suck up as many of your productive hours as it possibly can with and endless stream of allurement. Making the conscious admittance that your willpower alone is not enough to combat the white noise is the first step in turning the tides against it. Stop letting time slip away and start implementing.

 

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More articles from Brian:

Advice
Brian Force

Stop running from your failures…

It’s a weird dynamic, this relationship we have with failure. We love stories about it. No one likes a movie where the main character succeeds unchecked. We like the struggle, the adversity. It inspires us, reminds us of what’s possible. But that’s when someone else is the subject. That’s when someone else is going through it. When it comes to our lives, every failure makes us question how much we really value the outcome. How much do we really want to succeed?

Read More »
Advice
Brian Force

If you know you can do it, you won’t.

The fact is, just about everyone desires to be in better shape, to be healthier in some way, and knows, with at least some certainty, the steps they need to take to accomplish their goals. Lack of education isn’t why we fail. But it’s also not because we set our sights too high. Most of us just want to look good in the mirror, that’s a completely realistic goal. If anything, we give up because we know we can do it.

Read More »
Advice
Brian Force

Here’s why you never have enough time…

It’s fundamentally difficult, with so much distraction and opportunity, to find the time to get it all in every day. To truly be productive and not just busy. So, what’s the solution? How do we get back to a place where we’re not constantly being pulled in a million different directions? Where the day doesn’t waste away behind the steady flow of new and completely irrelevant stimulants being thrown at us non-stop? The answer is simple addition by subtraction.

Read More »
Advice
Brian Force

Why You’re Not As Productive As You Should Be (And How To Change That)

It’s understandable, in a world increasingly full of distraction, that it takes a near herculean effort to put our best foot forward in that department, but that doesn’t make the threat of wasted time any less real.

And while the battle for time efficiency may never cease entirely, there are plenty of safeguards we can implement to systematize our efforts.

Here are a few simple, practical ways to up your productivity and stave off waste.

Read More »

Here’s Why You’re Feeling Overwhelmed (and how to control it)

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Here’s Why You’re Feeling Overwhelmed (and how to control it)

It’s 3 A.M. and you’re doing that thing where you look at the clock and think about how many hours of sleep you’ll get if you start right now. It’s the first day of the second quarter and you’re nowhere near the pace you need to be to hit your goals. You think about how much time you have to make up the ground and get back on track to have the year you promised yourself you’d have.

Why are you like this? Why are we, us humans, like this? Why can’t we keep the promises we make to ourselves? Why are we so good at setting goals, painting vivid pictures of the people that we want to be, yet we not only stumble on the most menial of road blocks, we fall face first, and worse, we stay down and work on convincing ourselves that walking upright isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. 

The truth is, we set such massive goals for ourselves that just the thought of figuring out where to start can be panic inducing. Most of us just aren’t wired with the kind of spatial reasoning ability necessary to see our grand visions already pieced together with a working map of each step along the way. To compound matters, the one thing we do know is that a lot of the steps are going to require us to step far outside our comfort zones and begin to become the people we need to be to accomplish what we’ve set out to. So, without the promise of guidance, nor the comfort of self-assuredness, analysis paralysis rears its ugly head and we end up getting next to nothing done while feeling the full, exhaustive weight of putting forth our maximum effort.

If you’re resonating with this, here are some tips to get you out of your own way, to stop succumbing to your overwhelm, and to start making the progress you’re looking for:

Embrace It

A favorite quip of mine during meetings with my team is asking them if they would read a book about themselves. The most compelling stories are ones that involve overcoming adversity.  No one wants to read a book about a know-it-all that had it all and never had to work for it. Embrace the fact that any given day can be the first chapter of your incredible story. It most certainly will be one of overcoming the odds, but would you really have it any other way?

Stop-multitasking/multi-thinking

Whether you’re physically trying to do a million things at once or just constantly thinking about the million things you need to do, you’re doing yourself absolutely no favors. You will never accomplish everything you need to do at once and if you frame everything as one complete task, rather than bite-sized pieces of a larger puzzle, there’s a good chance you’ll give up before building enough momentum to see any success. Hone your focus on one step at a time. Whatever it is that you can do today, do it. That doesn’t mean what you’re doing today will be easy but removing the overwhelm of all the other steps reduces the chances of you making excuses and spinning your wheels.

Free Your Mind

This is going to sound harsh, but I want you to let it wash over you. Nothing you do is important enough to be overwhelmed by. I know that doesn’t sound inspiring, but it should be. On a very primitive level, we’re just a bunch of aliens hurtling through space at like a bajillion miles an hour and we don’t really even know why. I’m not saying nothing you do matters, don’t go start knocking off banks and blaming my blog. But it is valuable, if we can be honest with ourselves, to remember that when we’re dead and gone, one’s going to remember or care about the things that held us back. No one will care about our excuses and honestly, just as little about our success. The people that your success matters to are likely very supportive and encouraging, everyone else is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. So, don’t be held down by the opinions of others. Not only because you owe it to yourself not to be, but also because the universe cares as little about their judgement as it does about every other random piece of space dust floating around in the ether.

You’ll never be a finished product, nor will the vision you have for your life. The important thing is that you stop being your own biggest obstacle and start tackling the mountain one foothold at a time.

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More articles from Brian:

Advice
Brian Force

Stop running from your failures…

It’s a weird dynamic, this relationship we have with failure. We love stories about it. No one likes a movie where the main character succeeds unchecked. We like the struggle, the adversity. It inspires us, reminds us of what’s possible. But that’s when someone else is the subject. That’s when someone else is going through it. When it comes to our lives, every failure makes us question how much we really value the outcome. How much do we really want to succeed?

Read More »
Advice
Brian Force

If you know you can do it, you won’t.

The fact is, just about everyone desires to be in better shape, to be healthier in some way, and knows, with at least some certainty, the steps they need to take to accomplish their goals. Lack of education isn’t why we fail. But it’s also not because we set our sights too high. Most of us just want to look good in the mirror, that’s a completely realistic goal. If anything, we give up because we know we can do it.

Read More »
Advice
Brian Force

Here’s why you never have enough time…

It’s fundamentally difficult, with so much distraction and opportunity, to find the time to get it all in every day. To truly be productive and not just busy. So, what’s the solution? How do we get back to a place where we’re not constantly being pulled in a million different directions? Where the day doesn’t waste away behind the steady flow of new and completely irrelevant stimulants being thrown at us non-stop? The answer is simple addition by subtraction.

Read More »
Advice
Brian Force

Why You’re Not As Productive As You Should Be (And How To Change That)

It’s understandable, in a world increasingly full of distraction, that it takes a near herculean effort to put our best foot forward in that department, but that doesn’t make the threat of wasted time any less real.

And while the battle for time efficiency may never cease entirely, there are plenty of safeguards we can implement to systematize our efforts.

Here are a few simple, practical ways to up your productivity and stave off waste.

Read More »

Self-Importance and the Death of Success

Self-Importance and the Death of Success

Every Wednesday I shoot an episode of The Only Real Estate Podcast Worth Listening To with two other leaders in the real estate industry. It’s the highlight of my week and we’ve gained a pretty serious following in the 13 months we’ve been at it. I’m not quite used to other industry professionals associating my name with something like a popular podcast or recognizing me at industry events and wanting to talk about it. It’s a cool feeling knowing that people enjoy what we’re putting out. And I wish I could say it was all part of some grand vision that we had from the outset.

The truth is, we had next to no idea what we were doing when we started. And I’m far from immune to the kind of natural, internal egoism that keeps human beings from attempting any sort of feat they fear may make them look or feel anything less than entirely competent. So, it was tough; it was scary. But then something amazing happened. No one cared. I mean like, not even a little. First episode, second, third, no one was watching, or paying any sort of attention. From the outside looking in, that sounds like a complete and utter failure. But there was something refreshing about it. If no one was watching, that meant no one was judging, no one was laughing. No one was thinking whatever it is we’re afraid they will when we go out on a limb or step outside our comfort zone. But while we didn’t have much of any audience, our comfortability was beginning to build.

It turns out, it’s pretty easy to get used to something you’re not great at when no one is there to tell you you’re bad. You start to have fun with it. You embrace it. And by the time anyone takes notice, you’re past the point of self-consciousness. What started off as three guys talking about real estate in a garage in North Dallas, has slowly morphed into one of the top 50 business podcasts on iTunes.

But what if that hadn’t happened? What if it hadn’t taken off? What if people hated it? Would that have changed anything?

Here’s what I’ve learned about that creeping fear that holds us back from pursuing the things at which we dream of succeeding. That fear is simply vanity disguising itself as legitimate concern. It’s irrational, unfounded and hollow. The only thing we fear is how we’ll be received. How we’ll be viewed in failure. How we’ll be judged when we come up short. The one universal truth to accept about this kind of self-doubt is that you’re simply not important enough to give in to it. That may sound a bit harsh, but it’s a definitive certainty. Unless you’re something comparable to a world leader, no one person’s failures have a resounding effect on others. No one person is that important in their pursuit of achievement.

The people to whom your success actually matters, say, your spouse, kids, etc. are far more likely to be supportive though your growth phase. What we really fear is failing in front of others. It’s sheer, self-indulgent pride that holds us back. Only when we accept that the world at large truly doesn’t care whether or not we achieve greatness are we able to expand our comfort zone with impunity.

It’s counterintuitive to say the least, but I fundamentally believe that the best advice anyone can give on the topic is to remember that humanity does not exist to feed your desire for positive attention. Conversely, it doesn’t exist to deny it, either. That’s something to embrace. Because it means that failure is simply a matter of perception, rather than fact. We can only fail if we accept that as the case.

That means the choice is yours. You can continue to procrastinate, suffering chronically from analysis paralysis, or you can take hold of the idea that your failures are not headline news and allow them to become a mere footnote in your broader story. Let them become the catalyst of your success rather than a detraction from it. Failure is an invented notion that binds perfectly capable people to a life of mediocrity. The ability to rise above its detrimental effects is gained purely from willing choice. That choice is yours alone.

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More articles from Brian:

Advice
Brian Force

Stop running from your failures…

It’s a weird dynamic, this relationship we have with failure. We love stories about it. No one likes a movie where the main character succeeds unchecked. We like the struggle, the adversity. It inspires us, reminds us of what’s possible. But that’s when someone else is the subject. That’s when someone else is going through it. When it comes to our lives, every failure makes us question how much we really value the outcome. How much do we really want to succeed?

Read More »
Advice
Brian Force

If you know you can do it, you won’t.

The fact is, just about everyone desires to be in better shape, to be healthier in some way, and knows, with at least some certainty, the steps they need to take to accomplish their goals. Lack of education isn’t why we fail. But it’s also not because we set our sights too high. Most of us just want to look good in the mirror, that’s a completely realistic goal. If anything, we give up because we know we can do it.

Read More »
Advice
Brian Force

Here’s why you never have enough time…

It’s fundamentally difficult, with so much distraction and opportunity, to find the time to get it all in every day. To truly be productive and not just busy. So, what’s the solution? How do we get back to a place where we’re not constantly being pulled in a million different directions? Where the day doesn’t waste away behind the steady flow of new and completely irrelevant stimulants being thrown at us non-stop? The answer is simple addition by subtraction.

Read More »
Advice
Brian Force

Why You’re Not As Productive As You Should Be (And How To Change That)

It’s understandable, in a world increasingly full of distraction, that it takes a near herculean effort to put our best foot forward in that department, but that doesn’t make the threat of wasted time any less real.

And while the battle for time efficiency may never cease entirely, there are plenty of safeguards we can implement to systematize our efforts.

Here are a few simple, practical ways to up your productivity and stave off waste.

Read More »

Failure Is a Slice of Pizza

Failure is a slice of pizza

Failure Is a Slice of Pizza

Tony Robbins put it best when he mused that all change happens in an instant. It’s true that the kinds of inspiring, life-altering, fundamentally transcendent experiences that lead to transformative growth do, more often than not, stem from a deeply moving experience. This experience, of course, can be positive or negative. Witnessing a true underdog come out on top can inspire one to take action against his own Goliaths. Conversely, a rock bottom moment can be what finally moves an addict towards recovery.  But what about the smaller moments? What about the negative ones? The ones we barely perceive as they’re so fleeting, we miss their importance. Life, after all, is nothing more than a mosaic. A collection of moments combined to create one continuous narrative, each one no more or less important than the last.

The idea that all change happens instantaneously is an important concept to understand for anyone looking to grow on a personal level. It’s the idea that no matter what has happened before, how we’ve lived up to any particular point in time, the next moment can be the beginning of a new future. And for those in need of a complete shift in dynamic, it’s the promise that it’s never too late, that we’re never too far away for our vision to become our reality.

How, though, do we get so far away? How do we get to the point where this type of transformative experience is required to get us on the right path? I would argue that, while change may happen in an instant, our perception of the gravity of these individual instants is skewed. That human beings are not inherently cognizant of the cause and effect relationship that binds our everyday decision making to our future circumstances. It’s not until we’re far enough away that change would be considered transformative that we tend to realize we’ve strayed from our intended path at all.

This is the reality of failure. While it’s widely agreed upon that success takes time, resilience, commitment, we assume that failure is simply the absence of success. It’s not. Failure is achieved in the exact same way. Little by little, moment by moment, in resilient, momentum-building fashion that grows with intensity as we pour ourselves into it with ferocious commitment.

I’ll use health and fitness as an example as it’s the most universally relatable. Let’s say I need to lose fifty pounds. The commitment I make to finally taking action, my rock bottom moment, the line I draw in the sand that will become the catalyst for my transformation, that’s the kind of instantaneous change we romanticize. That’s the change we envy when we see it in others. But what about the change that got us there? What about the slow, uninspiring march that ultimately culminates in the type of dissatisfaction with myself that a serious transformation is even necessary? That’s real failure.

I say that because, more often than not, that change never comes. We’re inspired by stories of transformation, of redemption, because they’re so rare. It’s much more likely that I’ll never lose those fifty pounds, and every moment, every instant, every piece of the mosaic along the way, where change becomes progressively more difficult, I have failed.

Failure isn’t a singular event. It’s a series of conscious decisions made over an extended period of time. If my goal is to get in shape, to live a healthier life, then failure is every bite of pizza I take. It’s every day that goes by that I tell myself I’m too busy to exercise. It’s every time I click ‘Next Episode’ instead of heading out for a run. If there’s no such thing as an overnight success, there can be no such thing as an overnight failure.

The reason we don’t see these failures for what they are, is the same reason we often don’t understand what it takes to accomplish our long-term goals.  Calling back the idea of overnight success, we don’t see the maniacal commitment to one’s ultimate vision. Or when we do, it’s considered too intense, or even off-putting, to be relatable. We give very little credit to people who go to great lengths to find success until that success is actually realized. Then, of course, those people are considered inspirations.  Whereas along the way they were likely considered obsessive, unhealthy, consumed.

This same mindset can explain why we don’t realize we’re failing until we’re so far from our goals that success would be nothing short of a miracle. We fail to consider that, day in and day out, we’re making commitments, little by little, that will either fuel or extinguish our ultimate vision.

Success is in the process. You’ve probably heard that before. But so is failure. Both take time, energy and commitment. And the achievement of either is neither accidental nor singular. Rather, they are both the culmination of each and every moment, every decision, made every day to move just slightly closer to, or further from, our ultimate vision.

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More articles from Brian:

Advice
Brian Force

Stop running from your failures…

It’s a weird dynamic, this relationship we have with failure. We love stories about it. No one likes a movie where the main character succeeds unchecked. We like the struggle, the adversity. It inspires us, reminds us of what’s possible. But that’s when someone else is the subject. That’s when someone else is going through it. When it comes to our lives, every failure makes us question how much we really value the outcome. How much do we really want to succeed?

Read More »
Advice
Brian Force

If you know you can do it, you won’t.

The fact is, just about everyone desires to be in better shape, to be healthier in some way, and knows, with at least some certainty, the steps they need to take to accomplish their goals. Lack of education isn’t why we fail. But it’s also not because we set our sights too high. Most of us just want to look good in the mirror, that’s a completely realistic goal. If anything, we give up because we know we can do it.

Read More »
Advice
Brian Force

Here’s why you never have enough time…

It’s fundamentally difficult, with so much distraction and opportunity, to find the time to get it all in every day. To truly be productive and not just busy. So, what’s the solution? How do we get back to a place where we’re not constantly being pulled in a million different directions? Where the day doesn’t waste away behind the steady flow of new and completely irrelevant stimulants being thrown at us non-stop? The answer is simple addition by subtraction.

Read More »
Advice
Brian Force

Why You’re Not As Productive As You Should Be (And How To Change That)

It’s understandable, in a world increasingly full of distraction, that it takes a near herculean effort to put our best foot forward in that department, but that doesn’t make the threat of wasted time any less real.

And while the battle for time efficiency may never cease entirely, there are plenty of safeguards we can implement to systematize our efforts.

Here are a few simple, practical ways to up your productivity and stave off waste.

Read More »

What If You Just Did What You’re Supposed To?

What If You Just Did What You’re Supposed To?

I learned how to change my own oil last year. It was a pretty big moment for a guy that needs an assistant to heat up his lunch properly.

But rather than the prototypical father-son bonding exercise most of us would picture when imagining such learning experiences. My education took a different shape. I Youtube’d it. Just watched a video and learned how to do it in like five minutes. Then I watched the related videos and learned how to do a bunch of other stuff. The reason I’m telling you this story isn’t just because I like talking about my Master Mechanic’s education, but also to make a point about the ease by which we’re able to access information and transform that knowledge into action. The speed by which the modern man is capable of implementing new ideas is amazing at least, Matrix-esque at best. Gone are the days when acquiring a new skill was a pre-requisite to actually using it. The current era is all about taking the leap, and building the plane on the way down. 

For entrepreneurs in the beginning phases of a new venture, this can be thrilling news. The ability to innovate, iterate and work efficiently while gathering knowledge and immediately taking action speeds up the feedback loop and has resulted in the most incredible product landscape the world has ever seen. But, as with any advancement, there are side effects to this kind of progress.

The fact is, as the barriers to entry are reduced, so are the favorite excuses we like to make about why we’re not able to accomplish our goals. Because even when we know what we’re doing, it takes a lot of hard work. We’re asked to sacrifice a lot in the name of personal achievement. Time that could be spent on the couch or in bed. So it makes life easier knowing that we don’t possess the necessary resources to realize our vision.

But what happens when we don’t have that excuse? What happens when the only thing we need to be successful in our endeavors is a bit of resourcefulness and the will to take massive action? This is the litmus test facing today’s entrepreneur. The barriers have been removed, the tools are readily available, all he has to do is take action.

Still, for some of us, taking action means staying busy with any and everything but what we need to be doing. We keep ourselves occupied with task-oriented nonsense in order to distract ourselves from the lingering idea that work is just hard and we don’t particularly care for the grind of it. And that’s certainly a relatable outlook, it just won’t get you very far. So instead, ask yourself this…what if you just did what you’re supposed to do?

I mean it. What if you just woke up tomorrow and did exactly what you knew you needed to do that day to move closer to your goal? Is it scheduling a meeting that’s way out of your comfort zone? Trying to raise capital for a project? Or simply getting yourself to the gym for a solid workout? 

What if you did everything on your to-do list? No exceptions. How would that feel? Would it hurt? Would you find yourself riling in pain, regretting the fateful moment when you tried to accomplish something of value? Or would it feel good? Would it satisfy you? Prove that you have nothing to be scared of and leave you hungry for more?

The amount of excuses we’re reasonably allowed to make is in direct proportion to the amount of resources readily available to us. That ratio is quickly becoming distinctly lopsided. There are simply too many resources readily available to us to make excuses for not, at the very least, moving in the right direction each day. It’s a lack of sheer will that holds us back.

So make today the day. The day you take action. The day you leave it all out on the field. The day you throw away the excuses and embrace the fact that the only thing standing in your way, is you. 

Take that massive action. You’re bound to wake up to a more fulfilling tomorrow.

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Subscribe

Get weekly, actionable advice, hacks and best practices for overall awesomeness!

More articles from Brian:

Advice
Brian Force

Stop running from your failures…

It’s a weird dynamic, this relationship we have with failure. We love stories about it. No one likes a movie where the main character succeeds unchecked. We like the struggle, the adversity. It inspires us, reminds us of what’s possible. But that’s when someone else is the subject. That’s when someone else is going through it. When it comes to our lives, every failure makes us question how much we really value the outcome. How much do we really want to succeed?

Read More »
Advice
Brian Force

If you know you can do it, you won’t.

The fact is, just about everyone desires to be in better shape, to be healthier in some way, and knows, with at least some certainty, the steps they need to take to accomplish their goals. Lack of education isn’t why we fail. But it’s also not because we set our sights too high. Most of us just want to look good in the mirror, that’s a completely realistic goal. If anything, we give up because we know we can do it.

Read More »
Advice
Brian Force

Here’s why you never have enough time…

It’s fundamentally difficult, with so much distraction and opportunity, to find the time to get it all in every day. To truly be productive and not just busy. So, what’s the solution? How do we get back to a place where we’re not constantly being pulled in a million different directions? Where the day doesn’t waste away behind the steady flow of new and completely irrelevant stimulants being thrown at us non-stop? The answer is simple addition by subtraction.

Read More »
Advice
Brian Force

Why You’re Not As Productive As You Should Be (And How To Change That)

It’s understandable, in a world increasingly full of distraction, that it takes a near herculean effort to put our best foot forward in that department, but that doesn’t make the threat of wasted time any less real.

And while the battle for time efficiency may never cease entirely, there are plenty of safeguards we can implement to systematize our efforts.

Here are a few simple, practical ways to up your productivity and stave off waste.

Read More »

How Much Are Your Friends Worth?

I never smoked weed growing up. Not that I’m against it in any way, it just wasn’t my thing. I didn’t get into it in middle school, when all my friends did, and by the time we reached high school it felt like I would just be doing it to fit in rather than picking it up organically. So the window in which I wouldn’t have felt like a total poseur just sort of passed me by.

But living in an upper-middle class suburb in the early 2000’s you can imagine I was in the vast minority of kids that traveled the path of non-indulgence. And somehow that was always fine with me. Because no one ever bothered me about it. No one ever asked me why I didn’t smoke, not that I had a serious reason anyway. No one ever pressured me, poked fun at my choices or let them strain our personal relationship. I can comfortably say that, despite never taking a puff, I never experienced a single incidence in which I felt ostracized or looked down upon for my choices. In a peer group that prioritized getting blazed above pretty much everything else, no one ever bothered me about it. And that’s because I have a gift.

(more…)