Our brains seek to understand this new thing (matching). Our brains fire around and too look for associations of things that we have in our memory (trying to be a bit careful with language, our memory is made up of all sorts of things. Memory is tricky.
Our brains seek to find contradictions or logical flaws that can discredit the new conclusions (mismatching)
Looking back on life, I have found myself in a pickles from time to time.
Not the juicy, tangy variety that we have in our fridge, but metaphorical pickles.
I suppose a common understanding of what I mean by “pickle” is a good place to start. The way I mean it, a pickle is a situation we can find ourselves in that we don’t immediately know a way to remedy. Why should we want to remedy it? Well, pickles also tend to be unpleasant, either for us or for people we care about. The other angle on what I mean by pickle is that in some way, we are responsible either for creating the pickle, but most certainly we are responsible for getting out of it. A pickle is a situation that we must dissolve, or fix through our thoughts, understanding and actions.
There’s definitely a common thread behind these situations. Not just between the pickles, but also between those of us who have found ourselves in pickles from time to time. We generally could have done something different, ahead of time, and the pickle wouldn’t have ever come to be. That element, the element of a mistake, mis-step or a lack of understanding will be talked about as well.
My intent in sharing these 21 articles in the next month, is that we can come to understand that most of the pickles in our lives are under our influence. A lack of framework or understanding is at the nexus of the problems we create in our own lives. I don’t have all the answers and certainly don’t know everything. There are, however, certain things that are knowable and certain strategies in life that are correct and that work reliably.
Most of these pickles illustrate a lack of successfully implementing a good life strategy. They pop up because something was done without a full understanding of the implications of those actions (or lack of actions).
As I am now a Dad, and a Husband, and my primary offer in the this world includes understanding, communicating and teaching, this series is aimed at helping people relate. Relate to their own life and experiences. Helping people relate to me and these situations and frameworks. Ultimately, I’d love people to be able to relate to others as well, in a in a more positive way, armed with better frameworks and less errors cooked in to their heuristics, or ways of operating.
I hope you enjoy as much as I grimaced!
An Erstwhile Reckoning
It can be quite uncomfortable to open journals you wrote in 7 years ago.
“What the hell was I thinking?”
“That conclusion doesn’t even make sense.”
“How long did I spend even writing this sentence about this insignificant thing?”
I’ve recently cleaned up a lot of my junk. Old paperwork. Random tools. Strange website domains I bought. Odds and ends I hung on to thinking they may someday be just the thing I needed to make some “final” push to somewhere, maybe Valhalla.
It’s just so hard to read that crap I wrote and thought about! But it is important. I thought about it once, and I may very well be just as screwed up now as I was then.
I have to be able to scrutinize my choices today and evaluate whether I am still just as screwed up as I was then, because…. I thought I was right when I wrote and thought those things, and I was quite wrong. That was a big lightbulb or me. How certain I felt about being correct had nothing to do with actually having correct knowledge. That meant my process for feeling confident was screwed up or based on the wrong conditions. There was a problem with my thinking process.
I mean beyond the writing, just the way I thought. The importance I placed on things. How I arrived at conclusions. What I was trying to create and achieve in the first place. Reading it and knowing I thought it and wrote it is so embarrassingly painful that I had to create this piece.
And here’s the thing… I kinda know that what I’m creating now will be just as hard to look at in a few years as what I just dug up from 7 years ago.
I’ll know more things. I’ll have crossed off a lot more dead ends. I’ll understand what is good, true and important to a much greater degree than I do now. That is the point of me sharing this. It’s about progress and perspective of building a process. Not so much how much you know, but making damned sure that you have a reliable process for understanding what is true.
-Figuring out how to know what is true
-using that method regularly is the only “secret” of success
-growing and avoiding the dead ends and contradictions
It’s not always about building a better mousetrap. Sometimes it is about understanding that you don’t really want to catch the mouse in the first place. Meaning that catching the mouse isn’t really going to make your life much better. I know I’ve spent countless hours on things that led nowhere. This helped me realize I didn’t really have a good process for understanding what is important.
Getting screwed up in what you are pursuing is a major problem I’ve encountered and created in life. I wound up achievment and quite bad at figuring out what to achieve. In a very head-scratching circumstance, it turned out I was pretty good at creating situations I set my mind to… It seems a lot of us are good at accomplishing goals.
David Mills, a mentor of mine used a great illustration of this in one of his trainings. I think most of us are familiar with with the “Three Wishes” scenario, where you find a lamp, rub it and a djinii pops out and grants you three wishes. I remember playing this when I was younger with friends as a way to day dream about things I wanted in life.
Wish 1: “I want a million dollars.”
Wish 2: “I want a castle.”
Wish 3: “I want…. MORE WISHES!”
This is where you’d have to adjust the rules somewhat, or it wouldn’t work as a game any more. “You can’t wish for more wishes”. At this point, looking at this game now, I realize it is critical to understand what is important. You’ve got limited resources and you’d better get things right about what to spend your wishes on…
In David’s example he pointed out a fundamental problem that we all have, which is over-confidence in our ability to think properly. He posed a interesting wish that I have never heard anyone say when playing this game as his number 1 wish. “Why not wish to get the other 2 wishes “right”, meaning wishing for the correct things to make your life ultimately good and happy?”. Further, why not wish for a perfect method of thinking to always be able to get the correct answer? I mean if you have a reliable method for always getting the right answer, then your only issue is asking the right question! And… you can ask the question, “what is the right question to be working on?”. If you had a way to get those answers, your life is just pretty much completely set at that point. Abundance, peace, calm, growth. Anything you came up with as important. This scenario pretty much sums up most people’s lives of struggle, complacency, redirection, ups and downs. We don’t know what our three wishes should be, even though we’ve all been playing this game our whole lives.
Now back to more examples of how screwed up my thinking used to be, but how powerful the mind is in getting what we want… I’ve taken actions based on a goal to be righteously justified in some argument, I wound up exactly where a righteously justified person would wind up; alone.
Most of the world seems focused on helping you get what you want. The marketing world at least. Manifesting some vision. Achieving some goal. Living some dream. The really huge Problem is, at least for me, I wasn’t all that good at choosing what to want!
I started noticing that I wanted things I’d seen in a commercial. I started thinking of myself as some character in a book or movie. I started trying to fit myself into a model that story tellers, advertisers, writers and preachers have created. I wanted to be like Han Solo, like the Terminator, Like Harrison Bergeron or like the biblical character Joshua.
We don’t have a very good in-borne method for figuring out what we should be trying to create. We aren’t all that inherently good at figuring out what is important. I came to realize that primary to having a life that was good, I needed to understand good-ness. I also figured out that instead of memorizing more and more facts and building random frameworks, I needed a method and process for knowing what is true, and I needed to let go of thinking that I already had mastered that method.
Another huge problem, nobody is even talking about this either… there are all these messages everywhere about how to get the results you want in 90 days… Whatever results you may want.
The implicit idea cooked into this is that we know what we want. Whether it’s based on your environment growing up. What television shows you watch. What your best friend’s household was like… Not about figuring out the “one thing” that would completely change your life if you get it right…. Sorting out “Importance”, is very important, and leads to very different pursuits. Our brains notice something, a question gets assumed which is “if I noticed this, it is important” and then the brain works on trying to achieve that mini-goal to get the results in the advertisement.
It kinda turned out that I was better at creating things, than I was at deciding what I should create. A lot of the people I have come to know and gotten close to, fit into that same description. It was a fundamental shift and awakening in my life when I realized this. At first I noticed a contradiction, which I’ve talked about here. This experience was really un-nerving and dis-concerting. “Oh wait… I can create nearly anything I want… so the real question I have is what should I want in the first place….?” I don’t have a good method of figuring that out reliably, but at the same time I am spending all the time in my life on other things than figuring this out.” I certainly didn’t have a way of sorting that out that isn’t heavily influence by what pump-me-up movie or book I had just read.
I found myself wanting to take action and then asking myself, “is this really going to make things better?” Charging in to battle, fully capable of conquest, and asking myself, “is this even the right battle to fight?; that’s where I found myself.
Like the paraphrased scene in Swingers with Mikey and Trent. “You’ve got these big claws baby, you can just take what you want…” Yeah, but do I really want this….?
Knowing I could win, but not knowing what fight I should fight…. That was a question worth figuring out.
You may be able to see the problems cooked into this. A heckuva lot of folks I talk to aren’t overly concerned with their ability when it comes down to it. Think about that in your life. Are you really worried about your ability to do something? It seems a lot more like what we are all concerned with is figuring out how to get committed to something that is going to be worth it. Let that sink in…
If you are considering the validity of this concept, then you are confident in your ability to discern. Consider where that confidence can lead.
Our main problems seem to involve CHOOSING the right problems to work on more than how to resolve those problems. But even in that, it means we don’t have a good method in figuring stuff out, but… we tend to be damned confident in our ability to make it work if we can sink our teeth into it. A lot of us have many of the things we think we want, but our lives still stink in tons of ways. We somehow aren’t very good at knowing what things we should want.
In that question, I really want to try to draw attention to how much we achieve and how much we hold on to, fully based on a belief about who we are. Not an ideal life, but how we turned out. Our identity. About how the “deck was stacked” to create “us”. About “how we are” versus how we really think we want things to be. That difference in your day to day and what things should or could be.
We all have some silly concept of potential. That’s all potential really is. Realizing that we didn’t get our priorities right in where we spend our efforts and what that error might actually mean. Your car, your lifestyle, your income and job, your happiness; your “in the mirror naked” look.
Those are the kind of things I’m talking about. We tend to be good at getting what we see clearly. Our brains are so wicked powerful in achieving the visions we place before them without contradiction. The successful people we see in media who won’t even consider that they are wrong, who won’t consider they poured effort and focus and years into something potentially conflicted. Those folks guide people to not resolve conflicts. To follow blindly. To not think or know how to think. They have built frameworks of success that are so cooked into our society that elements of them are taken for granted.
It’s based on certain people like this doing well, and apparently succeeding, so we follow along assuming they know what they are talking about. To believe we should just put our head down and act instead of understanding. Maybe you were born in the right time, at the right place with the right personality and connections to just let it ride… Maybe not though, and… I’d sure rather guarantee that I’m not screwing up huge by driving even faster off the huge cliff just around the corner. Doubling down on your current whim isn’t the secret to success, no matter how good that meme sounds in the moment.
It’s likely you can connect visions you have of your life with what you actually experience on a daily basis. I thought I’d be a husband and a parent. I thought I’d have a good relationship with my folks and family. I thought I’d do something important someday. The problem is that our visions aren’t created by us and those visions aren’t created by people who have our best interests in mind. We don’t have a great method of filtering visions out that are dangerous. We accept them as ideologic based on popularity and a whole host of triangulation our brains do to make sense of the world.
The problem is, we hold visions in our mind that aren’t good, true and important. The problem is that we have contradiction in our beliefs that aren’t resolved and we have no method to even tell us we need to start looking. We pour effort and intention into connecting with out vision and we don’t dissolve the things holding us back or understand the things that are pointing us in the wrong direction. Getting that vision right is so critical. Getting rid of blocks is equally important. It’s time to sort out both of those blocks.
Yeah, so I’ve actually been asked now a couple of times about what things I’ve done to utilize the proper method of knowing and understanding, right, with LOI. The, along the way, right, I first was exposed to certain things from LOI back in 2013 and [00:00:30] probably 2014 early in the year I had the experience where I said you know kinda my mind “broke” so to speak. And it broke due to realizing that someone I trusted offered a way to know what is true and [00:01:00] that did not immediately change my behavior to act in a way that that was important. There was a certain way my mind understood it was important but it got kind of classified as okay, that’s one more thing I can learn to add to what I already know, how I already operate, how I already [00:01:30] know to make money or make friends or enjoy my life or whatever it might be. It was something that I treated that way. But that was not the thing that kinda broke my mind so to speak, or that was the way I phrased it when I talked to David Mike. The thing that broke my mind was that I realized [00:02:00] I did not have a good way of knowing what was true because I had evidence, personal experience evidence, that I did not understand what was important, because I had a year worth of, or whatever, [00:02:30] 9 months’ worth of behavior that did not, that there was a contradiction in.
Now what wound up happening, and I talked about this in another recording that I’ve done that you may find here on my channel or my website so to speak, the, what happened after that break also again was not, [00:03:00] okay now let me go in here and try to replace whatever it is I do to think about what’s important or good or true, right. What wound up happening was that as time moved on more and more behaviors or systems of behavior in my life began, I don’t know that they [00:03:30] necessarily broke down more, but I noticed more and more of the problems with them. More and more problems, I became aware, I noticed more of the problems I had in communication with my wife or my family, my kids, you know, my parents, with business partners. And I believe, though I don’t know for sure, that one of the reasons [00:04:00] that I began to notice that was there was that seed of doubt, but also of knowing that I for whatever reason needed even more evidence to override the current system I had or work with the current system I had before I would say, okay I need to go do something completely different, [00:04:30] I need to develop a method of knowing what’s true. Not just develop it, understand it, use it, practice it, and utilize it to build what I know about myself and the world and things.
One of the first very, very practical examples or opportunities I had, I guess, or was forced to have, here nearing [00:05:00] the end of 2017, right, about 2-3 years later after a lot of this kind of you know, has been building and you know, I’ve been learning intellectually, so to speak, these things. They were like kinda trying to fit into my old model as opposed to replacing the old model. But David was talking to me about the direction that a business I work in that he built and designed called OMG Machines, [00:05:30] was going to move forward into next year and he, you know, and he, we talked and he came up with you know a task and a direction for me to build, create, training that he very specifically wanted called Building a Quality Site Base for White Hat SCO. And [00:06:00] there was something in you know, having talked to David and knowing David now for several years that I understood was a very specific request, it was not a “hey go do some training about White Hat SEO” or something. There was not any ambiguity about exactly the title he wanted applied to that. And there was something about that specific request made of me from someone [00:06:30] I knew understood how to know and who also knows to some degree that I’m familiar with his training and the method and all that sort of thing, that I applied that method to understanding what each of those terms in that title, that I needed to understand them properly. And at first I wanted to go off to the races, because I knew how to do SEO obviously, [00:07:00] I’ve ranked hundreds or thousands of sites. I’ve been teaching SEO and the people who have learned what I’ve taught have been able to replicate it. I learned it obviously from Greg Morrison, who is the original SEO in the OMG Machines company. So I wanted to just go ahead and say “oh I already know this, let me just get to it” because I know kinda what White Hat is I kinda, you know, [00:07:30] I obviously know how to build because I’ve got some construction, I’ve built websites, so I know building, I know SEO, you know, I know what White Hat is because it’s something different than Black Hat, but that task I slowed down to the point of saying, “okay, do I really, really know for certain [00:08:00] what SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is, which is the term that I felt most comfortable and confident with knowing, right.
And that feeling of certainty I put aside to say okay if I am certain, I should be able to build this understanding up from, properly, using a method [00:08:30] of knowing where, you know, if you get to a question, you take the question apart and see if there are component parts to it and you can start to build pieces of that question that at a certain point you can get to a foundational understanding because you know the opposite of that thing can’t be true, right. David began, so to speak, or got to a point where [00:09:00] epistemology wise he was able to build things from I am conscience of something, because the opposite of that, which is I am not conscience of anything, or I am conscience of nothing, that can’t be true, that’s a non-starter. So I applied that method to understanding SEO, and I’d [00:09:30] already done a lot of this work, but I hadn’t been ruthless with it, I hadn’t taken the time to completely develop exactly what that is. And you know, we work in Google right now, that’s the main company with search engines that we’ve kind of prioritized our training around but in order to do search engine optimization you’ve also got to understand what a search engine [00:10:00] is and, you know, how they’re built, and how they’re made and what they do, and what their purpose is and why people then would use a search engine. And all of these things had to be developed for me to even properly understand what the term that I thought I knew best, which is SEO, actually is. And I actually, in the training, if you’ve been part of the OMG training and you’ve listened to it, [00:10:30] you understand how I actually have realized that even that term winds up kind of blinding people to what we’re actually doing. And so have, you know, developed some alternate terminology, not obviously to be the word police, but conceptually speaking, most people have an idea about what optimization is, that term, what it means kind of, whether [00:11:00] people describe it with the exact same words or not, they have a concept of what optimization would be. And, it actually the truth of what we’re doing and the behavior, the method, of ranking on Google, isn’t limited to that term, optimization, right. It’s even more closely related to building and [00:11:30] anyway, I did that with each of those words, so to speak, in building a quality site base for White Hat SEO and spent probably, not that the hours mean much, but actively working through dialog like this where I would record my thought, get that thought transcribed, [00:12:00] re-listen to my audio while reading the transcription and pull out things that I didn’t fully describe property or were still had, you know, they were ambiguous in some way, they could have meant a couple different things, and spent, you know, the better part of probably 40-60 hours doing that work actively. And then obviously the time [00:12:30] when I wasn’t actively working on it I had the question as the only goal I had right then to understand so my subconscious was cranking on things and coming up with more creativity and the questions that I could ask to dissolve some of the fuzziness. And for me this experience now has been so profoundly different from other things [00:13:00] that I felt certain about that it’s going to be a real building block for me to feel that this method is what needs to be used for me to understand something.
Now one of the things that I’m working on at the moment with this, with that question, is there are times when you can’t [00:13:30] take 80 hours to know what a sentence means, you know, it is just in practical use, you know conversations don’t span years, often. You know, sometimes they do obviously with people you have long-term relationships with, but the neat thing is that so much of the right questions, and even the right answers, have been built, and we have training for it, in [00:14:00] David’s LOI material, that we can kind of shortcut a lot of that stuff. But I would really hazard people against thinking that you’re going to learn this in the way that many people, at least in the west, or people in my groups, think they learn something, which is to fit it into their model of behavior and their framework and paradigm and all those [00:14:30] words that are kind of pop culture and self-improvement. It’s not even changing a paradigm, the entire model of understanding is different. It’s not, you know, thinking there’s going from no scarcity to, you know, abundance, that’s kind of a shift in a paradigm, that’s shifting a single concept. This is a foundationally different dimension. [00:15:00] In the current series David is working on dimensionality of being able to know what’s true and from knowing what’s true being able to understand what’s good and understand what’s important, and thereby prioritize effort and time and attention spent on things that are more important than others and thereby improve your life.
[00:15:30] I’ll continue to build these out, these are probably gonna be among the first recordings that I am going to start building the content I’m putting out on the web with. I’ve got literally hundreds of hours of this sort of thing in my computer, but it’s so, this may seem rough and fractured and disconnected, but it’s a lot less than it used to be. So [00:16:00] there’s quite a bit of sense of improvement that has come, not just from practice, but of being able to shift how it feels to build properly, to build understanding properly, to have that feel like it’s the right way to do things. Now what I would love to be able to get to, and this, and [00:16:30] I say this because me speaking this way, at the moment, may not outwardly appear or seem to someone not familiar with this type of thing, to be the most important thing that they need to dig into and figure out in life, because they may already have a PHD or two, they may already run a multi-million dollar company, [00:17:00] they may already have, you know, a list of people they call friends that are important, you know, and famous or popular, or whatever it might be, and several of those things I’ve done too, but it was not proof that I knew, that I really knew anything. It was just kinda proof that I was doing some things that worked, but they didn’t work every time. So [00:17:30] what I want to try to move toward is a way of getting the attention on understanding that this method is the most important thing that everyone needs to have in their life, which then leads to the question which I know that David, at least, has already been working on, which is how do we make [00:18:00] this look more important than anything else to someone who does not already have this method?
So, that’s my recording for right now, I wanted to kinda capture that. I just had a conversation with my wife about a couple of these things, she’s like, well go record those, because I tend to carry a tape recorder around with me a lot and many times have conversations that I wish that I could [00:18:30] go back and pull out and somehow utilize, but I’m working on that more and more and that’s going to be the basis of a lot of the content that I put out in this kind of realm, which is, again as I say, this is the most important thing to know. It’s also because I understand that, and getting more and more to the point where I feel it [00:19:00] all the time, it’s now, I get to utilize that because I’m also getting you know, building better and better systems so that money is not a limiting factor in my life. It’s not a bottleneck that I have to do things that aren’t, wouldn’t otherwise be a priority, because of. So, yeah, I could just con, these kind of stream of consciousness [00:19:30] things are not necessarily just rambling but they are ways to kind of continue to build the context around how this might work in your life, because it’s how it has worked in mine, and sharing that experience in some way I hope will help people to continue to put, you know, more effort into than might otherwise [00:20:00] seem normal, like if something’s really exciting, and it feels really important it sometimes doesn’t seem like it’s hard to go do. Whereas, you know, it’s like oh man I gotta get up and go do this thing I don’t really wanna do, but I know I need to do it so I kinda trudge off and kinda put that emotional effort into, that emotional effort tends to fade away the more [00:20:30] this, it doesn’t all just make sense but in some way, and this is one of the things I’m working on after a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago now, is what that feeling comes from of, yeah, I know I need to do it and it’s important but it doesn’t feel important, doesn’t feel good or right. And then, also then what those feelings of excitement and importance and [00:21:00] you know that kind of thing come from. So that, you know, I can kind of dissolve some of those wrong ideas or concepts that I have.
Anyway, I will sign off on that. Take care, God bless.