I’ve been talking about both these things, and wanted to pause and make it more explicit. I’m just a guy who wanted a particular kind of life. I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to create a life of meaning, and knew that if I couldn’t do that, my life would implode in fear and bitterness. I remember the day a bully chased me out into the middle of the street–the only place I was safe, even though there were cars and trucks whizzing past on both sides. HERE, IN THE MIDDLE OF DANGER, I WAS SAFE.
OMG. The realization that I could risk my body–my ego–or risk my heart–my dreams–was stunning, and one of the strongest images of my entire life. I chose my dreams. Decided that I would rather die here, now, than be a ghost in my own life.
I hallucinate that you are the same, or you wouldn’t be reading these words.
I never wanted to be a teacher. What happened is that, over time, people kept asking me how I was doing the things I did. And I couldn’t keep it to myself. I’d traveled across the country, driven a thousand miles to spend ten minutes with someone who could give me an answer, and finally compiled, from countless teachers, a path that actually seemed valid. Two expressions of this are “The Morning Ritual” and “The Machine.”
“The Machine” is the path ahead. It might take years, months, at the least about 100 days. With writing it is “100 stories”. With the body it might be “100 weeks of dietary and exercise discipline”. With martial arts it might be “1000 classes”. With your spirit it might be “100 days of meditation”. With your heart, seeking your soulmate, it might be “100 different dates.” The point is that you set a number that is HIGHER than what you will probably need to reach your goal. Most writers start selling about 30-40 stories in. Most long-term marriages happen after the people have dated fewer than twenty people. Most physical training programs will give you addictive results within about thirty classes. You design your “machine” so that it is so powerful that all you have to do is operate it, and you’ll get there. It makes logical sense to you, modeling the very best information from people who have actually achieved your goals.
Here is “The Machine” for writers. It takes only a little imagination to create one for ANY goal you might have:
- Write at least one sentence every day
- Write 1-4 stories a month
- Finish What you write
- Put them in the mail, keep them in the mail until they sell.
- Don’t re-write except to editorial request
- Read 10X what you write
- Repeat for 100 Stories.
Get it? Have any doubt that if you DID this, you’d be at a different level of your dreams? See how to adjust it to other goals?
But…HOW DO YOU KEEP ON TRACK? The “Hero’s Journey” says a terrifying thing: you WILL hit the “Dark Night of the Soul” and slide into the pit of despair. You literally CANNOT move from one level of your life to another without killing your self image a bit. I mean–if you could already do it, you’d have already DONE it! Your ego thinks it is you, and doesn’t want to die. So it will generate fear, convince you that the inevitable rejections, aches and pains, failures or doubts are dream-killing demons that will eat you alive if you continue.
IT WILL HAPPEN. 100% guarantee.
So what do you do? You inoculate yourself against it by creating micro-cycles. You make EVERY day a miniature version of your entire life, setting small challenges that are a push, but not big enough to break you. Then, all you have to do is keep track of what you did TODAY. And if you are off track, you get another chance tomorrow. But if you kick butt, you celebrate!
The “Morning Ritual” is a Sigil, a magical symbol, a compression of countless different principles into a form so compact that just this single action, performed for 100 days (there’s the “Machine”, get it?) will change your life. And so powerful that you can feel the results within ten days.
THE MORNING RITUAL IS THE WAY YOU GENERATE THE FUEL TO FEED THE MACHINE. It is also the way you create and read a “map” to be sure you are on the road to what YOU want. YOU desire. One day at a time, you are creating the life of your dreams, walking the “thousand mile road” to your destiny. Here are the steps again:
- MOVE YOUR BODY for 10-20 minutes, moving with power, authority, and positivity. Walk, run, yoga, tai chi, joint mobility, dance.
- WHILE YOU ARE MOVING “flood” yourself with gratitude. Think of all the things in life to be grateful for, all your blessings. Are you lying to yourself and saying you have none? Try this: you have the economic, cultural, and physiological resources to be reading these words on the internet. Would you miss your computer, your internet, your eyesight, your ability to read if they disappeared? Then what the HELL is wrong with you? Do you only appreciate things when they are gone? That is no way to live–but it is a GREAT recipe for misery.
- Do Gratitude for 2-5 minutes. Really connect with that feeling. Then spend 2-5 minutes focusing on victories of the past. SPEAK IT OUT LOUD. Again, are you lying to yourself that you never had any? I’m gonna bop you. Once upon a time you couldn’t walk, or talk, or read, or ride a bicycle. I PROMISE that when you learned to do these things, you were OVERJOYED. All you have to do is reconnect with that emotion, those memories, and you are filling your tank with emotional gas.
- Now…THINK OF YOUR LONG TERM GOALS. SPEAK THEM OUT LOUD. What do you want to be doing in 3-5 years? Set a goal in your physical, emotional, business, and financial arenas. BE SPECIFIC. And here is where a bit of magic comes in: take your PAST positive emotions and flood them into your FUTURE PLANS. Feel it. Experience is. And remember–you are MOVING while you do all of this. 2-5 minutes
- Now…what do you need to do TODAY to make these long term goals happen (your “Machine!) speak OUT LOUD what you will do TODAY to take just one more step toward your goal.
- If you need to re-make yourself, be sure you give yourself at least a year to do it. A common mistake is to set such a short time frame that you have no prayer of doing it. Then you can say “I tried!” and your ego grins like a thief in the night, slinking back into its cave, content that it has, once again, convinced you that it is the limit of your capacity.
That’s the basic pattern. I could take any piece of it and make a month-long workshop out of it, but wanted to give you the overview. If you are serious, define your “Machine” clearly ON PAPER. Design your “Morning Ritual” ON PAPER. The goals. The path. The affirmations you will speak aloud with passion. Then perform your Morning Ritual EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
That’s what I committed to doing. Part of MY morning ritual? Talking to you. Every day. Because I see you as me, at an earlier phase of my life. Not that I’m better–you have things to teach me, too, if we ever meet, and I hope we do. But I know THIS stuff. And I’m paying back my teachers by teaching you.
That’s how it works.
This pattern, along with other wisdoms, is what makes the LIFEWRITING PREMIUM program so powerful for writers. Most programs supply tactical tools of structure and characterization. We stand that on its head, saying that YOU are the hero in “the adventure of your lifetime” and invite you to create your career, your life, as if you were writing a story about an intrepid explorer. And we’ll cheer you on, help lift you up, tell you the truth about the journey ahead, as well as open our rolodex and introduce you to our friends and allies, so that they can tell you from THEIR perspective what it takes to succeed.
Help you build your “Machine”. All YOU have to do is perform your Morning Ritual, and take your daily actions…and you will have a better chance of reaching your dreams than you’ve ever had.
Join us! The first month is only ONE DOLLAR!
Be the hero in the adventure of your lifetime!