Radical Honesty – Rescue Or Pathway To Hell?

I am a big fan of simplicity and nothing seems more basic than this.

Speak your mind. Say what you think and feel.

Don’t worry about saying the right thing, just let it out.

Try being honest for more than a day, and you’ll see that it’s hard.

Freakin’ hard.

Telling white lies is the easy way out, the hassle-free approach most people take. If there were better alternatives, we wouldn’t bullshit so much. Lying has become second nature, we don’t notice it anymore. Over the years, however, this leads to unhappiness and mental disorders.

Dr. Blanton is a rather unpleasant bloke and his book’s title “Radical Honesty” suggest that you’re in for a harsh wake-up call.

The ideas are radical and so are the results. Sleeping with 700 women isn’t a small feat for any psychotherapist.

Granted, I was eager to learn about his methods.

Summer 2011, Barcelona – I was heavily into reading pickup and seduction material, at a time where most methods either included deception, lying or manipulation. I felt like an idiot trying to trick women into bed, yet worse, it seemed like a lot of work.

Blanton’s approach was different and of the simplest nature.

Be honest, be direct. Whether it’s women, or life – there’s no difference.

Clearly, this is something for personal relationships, not a way of talking to your boss or colleagues.

Honesty doesn’t come easy, it’s a skill that requires strength and the willingness to be vulnerable, to let your guard down. It’s always weird, painful and sometimes even awkward.

The idea of hurting a loved one makes you cringe, so you fabricate a story.

At the same time, you take the worst action possible and continue the cycle of bullshit. Instead, tell the truth and risk hurting the other. While this sounds insane, it helps create deeper and stronger relationships over the long term. Over time, any hurt will subside. This is a natural process that won’t let you down.

Radical Honest doesn’t come in a gift back and lacks short-term benefits. In fact, at the beginning, you can expect a truckload of negative emotions coming right at you. Don’t lose faith, push through it and experience a new level of freedom in your life. Speaking your mind will transform everything, especially how you interact with friends and family.

This method – being direct – isn’t about getting others to like you, or even achieving a certain outcome. It’s a purely egoistic approach, a painful, yet straight-forward way to come clean with yourself. Building a healthy connection with yourself and others is the priceless reward.

Radical Honesty by Dr. Brad Blanton presents simple ideas to transform your life. Unfortunately, explaining these ideas doesn’t take long, and the remainder of this book consists of boring stories, irrelevant content and a series of promotions for expensive seminars.

You know, the ones where you get filmed naked.

I am not kidding you, go read the book.

Beyond Limits – 5 Factors That Determine Results

Getting things done is easy, straight-forward – at least the recipe for it. You simply just do it.

The referred to solution you’ll find in just about every resource related to productivity. What they’re mostly missing is a detailed look at the contributing factors of time-wasting, the not so obvious obstacles hindering productivity – most of which are self inflicted.

Working 9-5, ideas like these never crossed my mind, and it wasn’t something I had expose myself to. Things changed right after starting my own business, where sometimes I had to be employee, project manager and boss at the same time, all whilst facing a variety of challenges.

The new experiences internalized, it’s now time to convert freshly-made distinctions to change.

There’s not many things effecting productivity – here’s what’s relevant to know, in order of decreasing importance.

1. Mental & Physical Power

Body and mind are intertwined and while the mind can always override physical urges, it’s best to keep both at peak conditions. Health is at the basis of long-term productivity and can easily be maintained by sticking to a regular sleep pattern, organic and mostly Vegan diet, enough protein and supplementing with additional products such as Vitamin D3, Vitamin K, Fish Oil and Creatine.

This is nothing new, something I’ve covered more detailed here.

Physical fitness is nice, but worth nothing without it’s psychological counterpart. Keeping mental power at desirable levels is done through daily meditation, monitoring negative thought patterns, beliefs and more importantly challenging ourselves in a variety of ways – brain exercises, pushing through discomfort.

2. Clarify, Clarify More

Mental and physical engines up and running, it’s time to channel energy the right way, for else it will just diffuse and not do much good. Setting goals is my favorite activity, followed by journaling both of which are prime way to getting clear on what you want and structuring thoughts.

Tons of willpower is be lost whenever we struggle and don’t understand something. Having a step-by-step plan in place has been an essential ingredient in achieving my outcomes. That leads to yet another important step – defining outcomes, not just yearly goals.

Ideally, I set up a list of weekly outcomes (based on monthly goals) and then write down possible action steps next to it. The action doesn’t matter, it’s the outcome that needs to be achieved. The method of getting there can change along the way.

3. Utilizing Routines & Rituals

Chasing goals without proper routines in place is very much like baking a cake with no cake-pan. It’s a lot more effort and never ends up looking nice.

This is also where many people screw up.

Following other people’s plans is NOT how you master yourself, it’s by noticing what works for you and making appropriate adjustments. I for one have a hard time getting creative work done at any time other than in the morning, especially after having watched YouTube videos.

I’ve created my own routines for writing blog post, unleashing creativity and staying productive.

It’s only by noticing how and when you’re at your best that you can now bypass circumstances that limit your potential. This applies to the external world as well as dealing with your emotions and feelings.

From going to the gym early morning to the bed time – it all has an impact on productivity, at worst a negative one.

4. Eliminating Distraction

Before looking at ways to cutting out distractions, it’s important to understand the underlying reasons for the behavior in the first place. Trying to stop one thing will lead to wasting time somewhere else because what has really been addressed was only the outlet for distraction, not its cause.

Nobody watches TV, porn or uses other ways of escaping the present moment without being driven by an underlying issue to do so. There is always a cause of procrastination, which often equals distraction.

Maybe it’s that tasks seem too big and overwhelming and that leads to never getting started. In such a case, avoiding surfing the web will result in going to the water cooler 20x per day. Nothing changes except the form of distraction.

You get the idea.

Once that is taken care of, it’s time to fight the war on distraction. That’s what’s happening today, a fight for people’s attention, especially on the Internet.

Smartphone, OFF. Facebook, EXIT. It’s not rocket science.

5. Expanding Limits

Talking about safe ways to do that though, which only include proven and sustainable options. Supplements – so-called “Nootropics” – such as caffeine pills and l-theanine have been tested extensively – both of which should help maximize what I’m capable of when that extra boost is needed.

Obviously, there’s more options such as modafinil, but really, currently I’m not willing to take the risk.

 6. Seeking Balance

Knowing when I’m close to my limits is important so that required off-time, recharging the batteries can be scheduled. Whether that’s small scale, such as taking a nap or break, or long-term in the form of a vacation, renewal is the key to making all of this sustainable. Continuously going full-bore will otherwise result in a burnout eventually.

Renewal comes in different forms, depending on personality type and preferences: from reading a book, to meeting friends, socializing, or taking a walk in nature.

How To Be Creative – Open The Floodgate

In previous articles, I’ve covered specific processes I use for being productive and fully fleshing out creative content. Today, the last piece of writing an article is uncovered – coming up with ideas.

Ideas were at the basis of anything ever created, and despite struggling at times, I’ve been able to consistently create new articles in a relatively short period of time. Pressure is at the root of writer’s block and force alone rarely leads to desired results.

Without practice, writing isn’t so easy. It only becomes effortless through repetition and by discovering your own, personal workflow. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s not a challenge at times. It certainly is – more often that I’d like.

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Questions are the cornerstone of creativity and by asking specific questions, a particular kind of thinking can be stimulated. This is crucially important because if I focus on what I HAVE to write, I never get anywhere and every single sentence becomes a never-ending task.

Words don’t flow and in case efforts result in an article, I usually can’t relate to it.

Asking the right questions, on the other hand, it’s easier to have ideas, or a starting point. That, and ideas I enjoy writing about.

  • Where is my focus at today, this week, or month?
  • What am I currently pondering about,  what’s bothering or annoying me?
  • What is going through my mind that I could capture in a blog post in order to help structure my thoughts?
  • If I could write about anything – what would I enjoy writing about today?
  • What am I happy or grateful about? Could this potentially be converted in an article?

These are all very general questions, but usually good enough to come across valuable ideas. My brain is super-active, there’s always something I’m processing, or want to resolve. Really, if that’s not the case with you, it probably means you’re dead already.

Going a step further, here’s how I dig deeper. That’s also where many of the in-depth articles originated from.

  • Which problems/issues have I overcome (recently)?
  • What do I want to do in the future and why?
  • What are my friends currently dealing with? What are their problems?
  • Where have I succeeded, what were the specific mechanics?
  • How have I changed over the years? What has changed in life that I haven’t noticed up until now?

No idea is too small, it could be something like having achieved consistency in dieting for a couple of weeks and then looking at HOW that came about, the behavioral changes implemented and lessons learned. The same could be done with a failure – it offers the chance to further analyze the experience.

As soon as I lay hands on an idea, I am ready to rock. Again, the tiniest, most insignificant thing can offer a starting point, something to expand on and explore further.

Additional ideas for writing could include reviews of books read, food consumed, places visited, or services used. Looking at the vast range of options, it seems more difficult NOT to come up with new ideas.

Autoresponder Madness Review

I’ve been going through Autoresponder Madness over the last couple of days. It’s an email marketing course that I’ve read about on one of the blogs I’m following.

The course offered lots of insights, but once I was finished, I felt overwhelmed and the entire process still seemed quite complex. The result was procrastination on my part.

This really is only a short summary of ARM and a way to structure my learning in the simplest way possible.

The entire course it heavily built on the “Strategy Of Preeminence“.

It presumes the attitude that you look at everybody who you want to do business with, … and decide you’re not going to wait for money to change hands before you start contributing, guiding, counselling, advising and protecting them.

It other words, you’re offering real value without any strings attached. On your squeeze page, in your email newsletter and everywhere else. You don’t bribe people with bonuses to opt in to your email list, but rather offer relevant information that actually helps them and offer more value in the actual newsletter. You make them want to sign up.

It’s important to build a highly responsive, targeted list rather than simply a big one. The real value lies in the relationship to the customers, this is what makes them buy products over and over again.

Building a solid relationship is done by being very selective in the process of targeting customers. You decide beforehand which customers you want to take on-board.

Specifically, you…

  1. Select a market/niche you want to target.
  2. Create a customer avatar. (A fictional character that represent the type of customer you are serving.)
    * What does he want to achieve?
    * What are the roadblocks?
    * What can I offer to help him move closer to that end result?
    * What’s his core/biggest fear related to that end result?
  3. Find products, tools or services that help him move toward his end goal.
  4. Write newsletter content – at least a couple of emails that provide real value. Package it in the form of a story that connects one email with the next. A cliffhanger at the end builds anticipation for the next email.
  5. Create a squeeze page to capture leads. Again, offer amazing free value without asking for anything in return.

This is the entire system and it pretty much runs on autopilot.

In between the automated email series, it’s possible to promote a specific product by sending out a couple of broadcasts.  This is called “Product Launch Sequence” and typically consist of 3 emails in which the focus lies on the product’s benefits to the customer and the actual product is only disclosed in the final email.

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  • If I offer a bonus on my squeeze page with nothing else, it’s like a bribe and most people will use a fake email to get the bonus.
  • Opt-In confirmation should be turned off in the AWeber settings.
  • Segmenting subscribers is necessary to make the emails even more targeted. This can be done based on activity. (For example, all customers that purchase product A will automatically be added to a new email list.)
  • Ideally, it would go like this: Traffic -> Customers -> Raving Fans.