So you want to live the perfect life? There is actually a formula to it. In this episode, learn how to eliminate the biggest obstacles to success as well as the proven steps on how to achieve the life you’ve always wanted.
In this episode:
00:58 – Designing your own life
02:05 – Check out The Success Creation Institute
02:22 – The 3 biggest obstacles to sculpting a perfect life
03:37 – What’s the Either-Or Principle?
04:29 – This happens when you take the leap of faith
05:13 – When someone says you can’t do it
08:02 – How do you get to the next level?
08:55 – Do you have control of your thoughts?
09:38 – How to stop being a perfectionist
10:37 – Planning vs. implementing
11:58 – Know “why,” and the “how” will take care of itself
13:50 – Facing up to procrastination
19:04 – Small steps to avoid procrastination
19:27 – What to do when you’re constantly distracted?
24:12 – How to eliminate distractions
24:39 – Do 3 big things everyday
27:41 – The key points
28:19 – Today’s action steps
Are you procrastinating? [Click To Tweet].
If not now, when? [Click To Tweet].
Know “why” and the “how” will follow. [Click To Tweet].
Are you constantly distracted? [Click To Tweet].
Do your 3 big rocks a day. [Click To Tweet].
James: James Schramko here, welcome to SuperFastBusiness.com. Today, we’re going into the realm of mindset, so I’ve invited a special guest, Paul Hoffman, to come along and talk about that. Hey, Paul.
Paul: Hey, James. How are you doing, buddy?
James: Good. We’ve had the opportunity to catch up many times. We’ve been hanging out in Santa Monica, and in other countries, among other places. And you’re somewhat an expert in designing your own life, which you have a phrase, I think you call it “sculpting.”
Paul: I do. That’s very good, you remembered.
Uncovering Your David
James: Well, I really think it borrows heavily from the statue of David metaphor…
James: …where the statue’s buried somewhere in that block of marble, and with a few little bit of sculpting, a bit of chisel work and some craftsmanship you can find that perfect statue of David inside the block of marble.
And we’ve been fortunate enough to discuss ideas around this back and forth, and it parallels in many ways some of the things that happened when I went from having a job to becoming an independent business owner.
It’s just deciding that I want to go for that statue and to make it. Now, in the process of doing that, I think a lot goes on mindset-wise, and I think it’d be great if we could cover a few of the main obstacles that hold people back from creating their own statue, from being the perfect sculptor, so to speak. Is that cool if we cover some of this stuff?
Paul: Absolutely, man.
The Three Biggest Obstacles To Success
James: Now, I know you have a website called the SuccessCreationInstitute.com, where our listeners could check out more information, but what I’d like to do is cherry-pick a couple of ideas.
I know you’ve got so much stuff, but let’s just go for three. I’m going to ask you… I’m going to put you on the spot here, what do you think are the three biggest obstacles are for people sculpting their perfect life?
Paul: Procrastination, waiting for the right time to do something, which is different from procrastination, and the third one is getting bogged down in distractions.
James: The second one sounds like a perfectionist.
Paul: It’s absolutely perfectionists. We all have brilliant, genius ideas, we all have this big vision that we want to do. We all have that sweet spot in our life. You know, the one thing that we want to do, whether or not we’re doing it at the present moment doesn’t really matter.
The truth of the matter is that we have that vision, and it’s kind of like the whole sculpting your life thing that we talked about which we can get into in a little bit, but what happens is that most people won’t take an action until they feel, I’m just going to say it, that they’re “ready for it.”
And “ready” might mean: Do I have enough money? Do I know the right people? I need to learn a little bit more. Whatever the excuse is for the excuse. And so what I teach people in the work that I do is the first thing that you need to do is you just need to jump into it.
Paul: There’s a principle that I have, and you and I have talked about this before, it’s called the “Either-Or Principle”. And it’s basically either you’re going to do it or you’re not. It’s not rocket science. And so, rather than wait for the perfect time for something to be so that you can do it, the truth of the matter is you’ve just got to go in and do it.
Because most of the time you’re going to make a mistake anyway, and you’re going to learn by the mistake, and the greatest inventions in the world were made by mistakes. I mean, I remember the story I read about the guy that invented velcro, which you know, turned out to be a pretty big product for the 3M company, if you will.
And he basically was walking his dog, in some kind of a heavily-forested area, and noticed that there were burrs on his dog when he got home. And he picked them off, and he realized, wait a minute, this is a great concept for something else.
And so, if you would just kind of get out of your own way and give yourself permission to just take the leap of faith and do things, then you’ll find one of two things will happen, James. Either it’s going to be the right thing for you, or it’s not. And again, it’s that either-or kind of thing.
James: Still kind of like my expression of “if not now, when?”
James: And we kind of know the answer, like, it’s never going to happen.
Paul: Right. If you keep saying, “Well if not now, when?” or “I’ll just wait,” it’ll never happen, because what will happen is, and this brings mindset into it, what’ll happen is, you’ll begin to make up things as to why either you don’t deserve to do it, or you shouldn’t do it, or who do you think you are, or even, some people in your environment, and of course I would encourage people to get rid of these people, will tell you, who do you think you are to even try to do it. You know what I mean?
James: Well, what if someone’s going to do something like they’re going to go on a talent show as a singer and they can’t sing, and someone says, “Hey, you know, listen, Paul, you can’t sing. Maybe you should reconsider that application.” Like, aren’t some people trying to save us from a terrible mistake?
Paul: That might be one way to look at it. But the truth of the matter is, who is it a mistake to? It’s their perception, right?
Don’t Give Up Your Power
Paul: So then, what that means to me is, again, one of the things you should never do is give your power up to somebody else. I mean, it’s a great example that you brought that up, because you know, that whole singing example happened in my life.
Now I’ve been very fortunate to be… I’m a songwriter. I mean, I’m a self-taught songwriter. I didn’t know how to play the piano, I didn’t know any of that stuff until I was in my late 20s.
I was in the jingle business, and I wrote a very famous jingle, which is, (sings: Have you driven a Ford lately?), which is in the advertising hall of fame. I taught myself how to play, and at one time, after I wrote that jingle, I wanted to sing it. I wanted to sing it.
And everybody said, “Hey, you can’t sing it.” So we hired this other, this amazing singer to sing it. And she sang it great, don’t get me wrong, but one day we were doing a commercial for the… they had a car back then called the Escort.
And I said, “You know what? I’m going to sing the solo on this commercial.” And I stopped listening to everybody telling me I couldn’t do it. And I didn’t get caught up in the fact that there might be some wrong notes, or it might be a little edgy or whatever it might be, but I just went for it.
And the truth of the matter is, it was a huge success. And some of our greatest singers in the world, you know, they can’t really sing.
James: I think that Britain’s You’ve Got Talent, that Paul guy, he didn’t have a good run with Pavarotti at some point, but he came back.
Paul: Exactly. So again, the whole thing is, is like, you know, James, listen, you were very successful in the business world. And then one day you decided to go into the superfast thing that you’re doing now, and I bet, and I could be wrong, but I bet that when you made that decision, you had some fear about that.
James: Well, it’s like you were saying before. There were people around me, concerned for me, they were saying, listen, you’re spending a lot of time on that computer, and not making any money. Like, you’re sure you know what you’re doing there? And then I remember at one point, someone pretty close to me said, “If you keep working this hard, you’ll probably kill yourself.”
Paul: “You’ll probably kill yourself?” Yeah. They were trying to feed all this negative information into your consciousness, based on their perception of what they thought you should be doing. And I’m not saying that’s right or wrong, because I’m not here to judge.
But the truth of the matter is, the only way anybody’s going to get to the next level is, listen, I was in the jingle business for many, many years. Highly successful, writing songs for advertising. And then one day I met a gentleman in the personal development world, his name was T. Harv Eker.
And he was the catalyst for me to start going out and speaking about how you can change your mindset and create whatever it is that you want in my life. I didn’t speak. I mean, I was never a speaker, and I didn’t even know what personal development was.
But I took a leap of faith, and you know what? I fell on my face a few times, but the truth of the matter is, I was passionate about it. I believed in myself.
And to begin with, if you don’t believe in your ability to create whatever it is that you want in your life, you’re never going to do it, because your mind is always going to follow the thoughts that you think about either yourself, or what you want to do in your life, or whatever it might be.
And the truth of the matter is, you have the ability to control your thinking. And unless you know how to do that, or unless you believe that you can do that, then what’s going to happen is you’re going to be doing the same thing over and over again, and I think that’s the definition of insanity, right?
James: Right. So a lot of people don’t think that they actually have control over their own thoughts.
Paul: Well, because you know, they’re so caught up in “Do I look right?” “Is this the right way to do it?” I mean, they’re so caught up in wanting to look good. Look good. And again, I’m not trying to fault you, but human nature is to want to look good. Or they’re trying to impress somebody.
James: So basically, you’re saying that, don’t give the power to other people to do your thinking for you. You can have your independent thought and decide what’s best for you.
Just Take Action
James: Beautiful. So that’s how you handle the waiting for the perfect action and stop being a perfectionist. You just take an imperfect action and get going and accept that some things aren’t going to work out just right, but you can modify them as you go. Something like that?
Paul: Just get out of your own way. Don’t get into the results. Just get into the action. Right?
James: As long as they’re the right actions.
Paul: Of course. And sometimes they won’t be.
James: Well, I see a lot of people say, “Take action. Take action,” but I often think, well, if I’m in the desert, and there’s a watering hole north, and I walk south, I’m taking action but it’s not going to help me at all. It’ll make things worse.
Paul: But sooner or later, you’re going to know, right? That it’s the wrong action, right?
James: Well, basically, if you don’t know whether it’s north or south, I guess you just have to take a bet on it. But if you can find out where the watering hole is, and then take action, that’s good.
So the action would be, first, discover watering hole. I guess we’re talking about planning versus implementing. And maybe some people like have planned it in so much detail, they know where the watering hole is, they know what it’s made out of, they know how deep it is, they know what sort of bucket it has, the type of chain and the winch, they’re still not walking.
And they’ve got way too much information already, they could have just, as soon as they know that it’s north, start walking and then hone in on it.
Paul: Right. And you know, it’s interesting, again, I think you and I have the same take on things. For me, it’s like, even if I’m going in the wrong direction, the whole concept of being able to course correct as you’re going…
Now when you started your business, I’m sure it didn’t take off overnight. Right? I mean, it might have taken a little bit of time, but you had to make some corrections and some choices, and you learned certain things and so forth, right?
James: Business is dynamic, as is everything in the universe, right down to the atom in your desk, it’s vibrating back and forth, so yes.
Paul: Right. So you went through the process, and you learned how to be aware. You learned how to be aware, you were present with everything that was going on, so you knew what you needed to do to get to your desired destination, right?
James: Well, sometimes I didn’t know how I was going to get there, and what I…
Having Your Why
Paul: I didn’t say you needed to know how to get there, but you knew… You know, you’ve heard the expression, “As long as you know why, the how’s going to take care of itself”?
James: Yeah, I think so, and I think Simon Sinek’s made that popular.
Paul: Yeah, exactly.
James: For me, I just knew that I needed to not be in the environment that I was in, so it was a bit of an away from motivation at a certain point, because I really felt like a chicken sitting on a guillotine, waiting for it to come down and slice my neck off, because being paid by one person is very dangerous, in a luxury market where money’s drying up.
I felt that it was a ticking time bomb. So there’s my why. My why was very clear. The how, the what, you know, there was no Internet when I wanted to have my own business in the beginning, like pre-’96.
So I’m not sure how I could have done what I’m doing now if I was born at a different time. I’m very fortunate that things worked out the way they did.
But yeah, eventually things started to come in and now I actually dedicate quite a lot of my time to thinking about where I would like to take the business, what would be the most useful strategy to aim for, and then to fill in all the tactics.
So I’m much, much clearer on the how. And now I in fact help other people do that. So it is a process, but certainly in the beginning, I did put in a lot of energy burned to get a result that wasn’t that great compared to what sort of results I can get now with the same amount of energy.
Paul: Right. And that’s because you’ve grown, you’ve learned, you understand, you’re more aware, you’re more keen, you’re more understanding and you’re more honed in to what your gifts and your talents are in bringing your business to where it needs to go to.
Dealing With Procrastination
James: Exactly. So let’s cover procrastination.
James: What if you just can’t get anything done? I suppose people get overwhelmed, or have too much choice or they’re not sure what they should do. What causes procrastination?
Paul: Right. Well, you know, if you can’t get anything done, with all due respect, obviously you’re doing something wrong. And you can correct that.
The thing about procrastination is… I used to be one of those kind of guys, James, that made a list of 25 things to do each day. Right? And I couldn’t wait to put number 26 on it because that made me feel I was more productive.
Paul: And I would end up doing three things. Right? And for the longest time, I would beat myself up about the other 22. Right? And most of the things on that list were things I shouldn’t do.
Because I was never focused in on what my core strength was. And so what I teach people through the work that I do, and in fact my program called “Day Sculpting” is actually focus in on what your core strength is.
What are the things that you are good at doing? And only do those things. And delegate everything else to somebody else. So I could remember that I would want to learn how to create a website. And that’s not my strength. I don’t even know the first thing about code.
I mean, I remember there was one time when I… A lot of my programs are online coaching stuff, and it involved either hangouts or calls like this or teleseminars, whatever it might be, and at the end of it, you post the recording so people who couldn’t make the call would listen to it.
And I remember my tech guy, I said to him one day, his name was Ted, “Ted, you know, rather than wake you up at midnight…” Because I’m one of those kind of guys, when I do a call, I’ll stay on the call until the last person has a question. Might be an hour, might be three hours.