What’s On Your Stop Doing List?

Stop Doing List

One of the things that most people tend to do at this time of the year, is create a list for what they will do in the New Year. My wife Renuka and I do something similar in November or December. We plan the entire year as well. But we do it slightly differently.

We start with a stop doing list

This doesn’t have to be a business list, it can be a personal list as well. For instance, there is a tendency to wake up and check email or Facebook. This is because we now have iPads and iPhones right next to our bed. It’s quite easy to switch it on and get connected. But Renuka read about how it was important to “wake up slowly”. Switching on an electronic device and getting connected right away is probably the worst way to wake up.

This has caused me to switch off all the devices before I go to bed. This means I physically turn them off, so I have to physically turn them on. It’s like getting on a flight and turning your phone off, and it takes a bit of time before it switches on. That time delay is enough for me to think about whether I really need it on or off. And usually the answer is I don’t need it on at the moment I wake up.

This is the power of a stop doing list

Instead of listing all the things that you have to do, you list the things that you have to stop doing. It’s incredibly important thing to do for your own sanity.

Another component of the stop doing list, is to stop working endlessly. One of the main factors of our planning is to work out our vacations.

You may think that you don’t have the luxury to take a vacation, but you often don’t have to take a long vacation.

The body and mind needs a break after about three months work. If you take even a couple of days off, it refreshes both the body and the mind as if you’ve been away for a week. So the first thing that we do is organise the mini breaks. These are little breaks after a month and a half. Then we organise the big breaks.

The big breaks are where we take a month long vacation somewhere in the world. However, the mini breaks are more important than the long breaks. The mini breaks are just after a month and a half, and they help us relax considerably.

For a mini break there are certain components that are important

1 – You must leave your home. You cannot have any kind of break sitting at home, no matter how hard you try.

2 – Switch off your phone and your computer. You are not that important. Set a message saying that you will be unavailable for two days.

3 – You may not be able to take a break every month and a half, but it should be a goal to do this at least every three months or so. In a world that is going crazier by the minute, you need to slow down and let your brain and body come down to a natural rhythm. And the way to get started, is to have a stop doing list.

Your stop doing list doesn’t have to be complicated.

1 – Write down the things you are going to stop doing

2 – Plan your breaks in advance — yes at the start of the year. Then keep to it.

People often smile when I say that I’m taking a break

But my philosophy is simple. I have a choice: I can spend a few days sick in bed, or a few days at the beach/countryside.

I choose the latter.


Next Step: Links you should visit

1) Are you interested in taking your online business to the next level? Then you must have a look at 5000bc.

2)  Do you feel like banging your head against the wall when writing content for the important pages on your website?
Introducing: How to write compelling content for your key web pages. 


Top Selling Products Under $50

Testimonial Secrets: Powerful Techniques to Get Better Clients-And Sales
Story Telling Series: How to suck your audience right in, in a matter of seconds

Sales Pages: How To Write Benefits and Bullets That Speed Up Sales
Article Writing: How To Speed Up Article Writing With Simple Outlines

Visual Basics: How Visuals Help Increase Sales Conversion On Your Website
Design Clarity: How to put sanity into your design with some really simple tweaks
Chaos Planning: How ‘Irregular’ Folks Get Things Done

New! Critical Website Components: How to write compelling content for your key web pages
Free! Excerpt of The Brain Audit: Why Clients Buy And Why They Don’t 



Black Belt Presentation Series: How to completely control the room-without turning anyone off?

Online Membership Website: How To Build A Powerful, Community-Driven Membership Website


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3 Ways To Deal With Overwhelm

Deal With Overwhelm

Overwhelm is like doing the dishes.

If you don’t do the dishes today, you have twice as many tomorrow.

And then on the third day of gorging and not cleaning, let’s not talk about it, shall we?

People who don’t keep up with stuff feel the most overwhelmed

You know those people, don’t you? They’re the ones who were around when computers came along. Who needs computers, they said. Then suddenly they were helpless. They couldn’t start up, let alone run a computer. They couldn’t find things on the Internet, and they’re also the ones standing in the queue at the post office to pay their bills (instead of doing it on the Internet).

The point is “overwhelm” is like the weather, it’s here to stay

So instead of acting like it doesn’t exist, let’s instead find simple ways to join in.

I use three systems:

1) Use dead time

2) Do 15 minute segments

3) Write down what’s in my head—and create a timeline

Using dead time

You can’t ever get ahead, but that doesn’t mean you need to fall behind. And dead time exists everywhere and every single day of the year. When I go to pick up my niece from school, I have dead time on the way to school and while waiting for her. I take a book and listen to audio on the way to the school.

Even if I don’t remember it all (and I barely remember 10%) I listen to it like radio. I learn a bit, everyday (yes, those 10% bits really add up). There’s time at the post office, dentist, even watering the lawn.

Of course, I don’t make use of 100% dead time. Sometimes it’s fine to just water the lawns, but most of the time I’m prepared for dead time. Most people aren’t. And that leads to overwhelm because in a day, you have at least 30-60 minutes of pure dead time. In a week, that’s about 5 hours; a month 25 hours; a year 250 hours. But that’s just dead time. There’s also learning time.

And I do my learning in 15 minute segments

At this point in time my day looks like this:

-  Learning Portuguese

-  Advanced functions of my Nikon D7000

-  Studying software such as Photoshop, Lightroom and InDesign

-  Writing a book, audio book, bonus for the book

-  Writing an article every day for 100 days (back to back).

-  Mentoring my niece for 5 hours (six days a week)

-  Managing the membership forum at 5000bc.com

-  Re-writing pages for Psychotactics

-  Drawing and painting a daily diary cartoon

-  Cooking new types of meals

-  Doing my photo book on Africa

-  Compiling a video about my nieces

-  Conducting three live courses (copywriting, cartooning, watercolors)

-  Strategic alliances

-  Email, yes that onslaught of email.

-  And ten million other things, of course!

In short, there’s not a lot of time. So I take 15 minute segments

I will plan for at least 2 x 15 minutes. Maybe one in the morning and one in the evening. And in those 15 minutes I may learn something about a program that will save me a ton of time. Or I may read something that forms the basis of my article and I don’t have to keep wondering what to write.

I believe in the concept that input leads to output. Without input there can be little or no output and if I can’t find 15 minutes, twice a day, well, that’s a poor day for me. And wonderful as these two systems are, nothing works better for me than just writing it down.

Writing things down and creating a time line

The moment I write things down, they aren’t in my head any more. To me that’s a lot of free space considering how much I want to do. So I write it down. But writing it down is the first stage. Then I do a simple time line. And that time line ensures one thing: It ensures that I actually think through how much time I have to do just about anything.

If I just write goals willy-nilly, I don’t get very far. If I put a timeline, I can see where I’m going to get stuck. No timeline is ever going to be perfect, but it’s a great start and most of the time it does pretty darned well.

Deal With Overwhelm

My timeline for the year. Notice I put in the breaks as well.

And here’s my day today…

In 30 minutes I’m going to create a timeline for today and the month to come (I’ve already done one for the year). I’m not going to be at my computer but at a cafe. It’s more productive. I also have a dentist appointment. He’s almost always 10 minutes late. I’m prepared and not going to read some lousy magazines.

And yes, because I’m prepared, the drive to and from the dentist, and at the dentist will make up for at least 15 minutes, maybe 30 minutes or more of learning.

I could put it off of course, but it’s like the dishes

Do the dishes. It’s your best chance against the rising tide of overwhelm.


Next Step: Links you should visit

1) Are you serious about getting your business to the next level in 2014? Have a look at 5000bc.

2) NEW! The Brain Audit: Why Clients Buy And Why They Don’t (Available in Different Formats)

 


Products: Under $50



1) You already know that 80% of a sales letter depends on your headline.

So what’s the remaining 20% that causes customers to buy? Find out more

2) Do You Often Hit A Wall Called ‘Writers Block’?
Learn how the core elements of outlining can save you from the misery of writing your next article.

3) Chaos Planning
Year after year you sit down and create a list of things you want to achieve. Then suddenly it’s January 2014, and you’ve not really moved ahead!
Learn Why Most Planning Fails: And The Critical Importance of Chaos in Planning.

4) Nothing bugs you more than a painful client. A client who hassles you at every step of the way.
Learn how to use the power of the ‘six critical questions’ to get incredible testimonials—and attract clients that make every day an absolute joy.

5) Do you feel like banging your head against the wall when writing content for the important pages on your website?
Introducing: How to write compelling content for your key web pages. A series of three books on how to create your “Home Page”, “About Us” and “Get Customers To Sign Up” to your website/blog. 

6) Do you know that visuals immediately improve your sales conversion?
Learn how to create drama and curiosity and help improve your web page conversion with visuals.

7) Do your websites, brochures, presentations, etc… confuse your clients? 
Put some sanity into your design, even though you are not a designer?


Black Belt Presentations: How do you create presentations that enthrall, hold and move an audience to action?

 

 


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How To Stop Your Left Brain From Thinking

How To Stop Your Left Brain From Thinking

Do you know how you freeze when you see the tool bar on a program like Photoshop?

Do you know how you’d feel if you were thrown into a cockpit and asked to fly a plane?

Yes, you did know how you felt, the first time you were asked to drive a car.

It’s your left brain at work

The left brain is the bully brain. It doesn’t just complicate things with its logic, it goes one step further. It drowns out the free-thinking nature of the right brain. But first let’s deal with logic.

The left brain is mathematical and logical

So like all maths problems it likes to be correct every time. Which is fine when you’re dealing with maths and 7 + 3=10 (and can never be 11). Every thing has to be black and white.

It’s different when you’re drawing, or playing music or writing an article. You can have your black and whites and a range of rainbow colours. This of course drives your bully brain totally crazy. It’s trying desperately to pigeon-hole what you do into black and white. And of course, it fails. This sends you into a bit of a spiral as you consider the options to rationally solve the problem.

Instead you should reach out for the right brain—the crazy brain— instead

The right/crazy brain doesn’t give a hoot about being black or white. So if you wanted to teach someone Photoshop, the right brain will accept that you don’t own a computer. It will also accept that you don’t have Photoshop in front of you, or the fact that you’re sitting in a cafe instead. And yes, you can teach someone Photoshop a lot quicker when the bully brain has been shut down.

This “crazy brain” activity applies to article writing, as well

Let’s say you’re writing outlines. And you logically want to think through the outlines. Well, that’s going to take you about 15-20 minutes per outline and your bully brain ping pongs between black and white. But instead do something quite radical.

Cause the bully brain to shut down

The way to do this is to give yourself a fixed time. So you have to cover the entire outline in fewer than say, 5 minutes. Immediately your bully brain will snarl. Surely you can’t have speed and quality, it hisses. But ignore it. Just go with your crazy brain. And at first, you’ll get resistance, but eventually the bully, like all bullies, will just get fed up and leave.

I found this when I was teaching shorthand back in 1990

My dad used to own a secretarial college. And I’d just learned shorthand (which is a way of taking dictation really quickly, just using a bunch of squiggles). And I’d been deputed to dictate to a new batch of students. Well, I started the dictation slowly, but as the days passed, ramped it up to a rather quick speed.

My mother (who also taught at the college) was not impressed

She told me to slow down. She told me that the students would make mistakes. And yet, we found that the mistake rate had actually gone down when the students didn’t have time to think. Their accuracy was up and their speed was better too.

But does that mean you should always go with the crazy brain?

No, of course not. Both brains have their value. But you have to recognise that the bully brain doesn’t do very well when dealing with fuzzy stuff that doesn’t end up with 7+3=10. So you have to bypass it. Sometimes speed works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Sometimes change of method, location, technology—there are different things that work. And your job is to find out how to stop your bully brain from taking centre stage and prancing around like a spoiled two-year old.

Is the bully brain taking over?

If you freeze; take too much time; if what you do is driving you crazy, you need to stop the bully brain. Find a way to access your crazy brain instead to tackle the same job in a totally different way. You get your work done and most importantly that bully brain shuts up.

Phew!

P.S. The brain loves a break.
So no matter what you’re doing, take a break, if only a small one. A few minutes makes a big difference. Don’t head to Facebook. Just take a genuine break. Step outside for a few minutes. Or just lie on the floor and relax your back. And the brain functions a lot better.

Try it.


About The Brain Audit
There are two very specific extra “weapons” that The Brain Audit gave me. Weapons that I never got from the many copy writing courses out there (and if you’re like me, you’ve got them all, too).

The Brain Audit

The Brain Audit not only explains HOW the brain works, but also WHY it works. This is master-level applied psychology, necessary for any self-respecting marketer.

Gabor Wolf
Marketing Consultant— Budapest, Hungary 
Judge for yourselfThe Brain Audit Kit is a complete system that enables you to understand what’s going on inside the brain of your customer.
(P.S. The Brain Audit has received over 800 testimonials)


Top Selling Products Under $50


1) Story Telling Series: How to suck your audience right in, in a matter of seconds
2) Client Attractors: How To Write Benefits and Bullets That Speed Up Sales
3) Outlining: How To Speed Up Article Writing With Simple Outlines
4) Visual Basics: How Visuals Help Increase Sales Conversion On Your Website
5) Design Clarity: How to put sanity into your design with some really simple tweaks
6) Chaos Planning: How ‘Irregular’ Folks Get Things Done
7) Critical Website Components: How to write compelling content for your key web pages


1) Black Belt Presentation Series: How to completely control the room—without turning anyone off?
2) New! Be Kind, Be Helpful or Begone: How To Build A Powerful, Community-Driven Membership Website



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The Core Difference Between Winners and Losers

The Core Difference Between Winners and Losers

There are two kinds of people on the planet.

Those who make excuses.

And those who don’t.

The ones who make excuses don’t start that way

No one is ‘born talented’ at making excuses. But over the years they learn to get out of things. They learn how to blame the weather, their parents, their teachers, the system, the chewing gum—yeah, pretty much anything that can deflect the blame. And give them the excuse they need.

And then there are those who don’t

Or rather won’t.

We all have our difficulties and some days we feel like making excuses. And we start mumbling, but stop before the mumble pushes itself into a rumble. And we get the job done.

Amazingly all of us have similar capabilities. Similar capabilities to get stuff done

Or completely screw up our lives with excuses.

When you wake up in the morning you get to choose which route to take. As one wise person said: The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that smart people hate doing the same things that unsuccessful people hate doing—but successful people do it any way.

As you go on this journey, you get the chance to back out

To make excuses.

To blame the chewing gum.

Or not.

You have the choice.

You decide.


“Business owners are often too scared to ask for testimonials”

How to get client testimonials

I’ve been using Testimonials as a marketing tool for years and I didn’t think there was much left for me to learn about testimonial techniques. Especially so after reading those powerful six questions in the Brain Audit.

What I found really useful is how Sean de-constructs various testimonials, showing you the parts where they fail, and thereby enabling you to create testimonials that work a whole lot better.
Cornelia Luethi, FX Marketing
Auckland, New Zealand
Judge for yourself: Testimonial Secrets


The Brain Audit: Why Clients Buy And Why They Don’t (Available in Different Formats)


Top Selling Products Under $50


1) Testimonial Secrets: Powerful Techniques to Get Better Clients-And Sales
2) Story Telling Series: How to suck your audience right in, in a matter of seconds

3) Sales Pages: How To Write Benefits and Bullets That Speed Up Sales
4) Article Writing: How To Speed Up Article Writing With Simple Outlines

5) Visual Basics: How Visuals Help Increase Sales Conversion On Your Website
6) Design Clarity: How to put sanity into your design with some really simple tweaks
7) Chaos Planning: How ‘Irregular’ Folks Get Things Done


1) Black Belt Presentation Series: How to completely control the room—without turning anyone off?
2) Online Membership Sites: A crucial insights into what makes a successful membership site



Why A Timer Is Your Best Friend (When Writing Articles)

Why A Timer Is Your Best Friend (When Writing Articles)

Imagine you have to go away for a week on vacation

Suddenly something intensely interesting happens with your planning. You have no time to waste. Facebook, Twitter and all other idiotic distractions never show up on your screen. TV watching becomes a luxury. Every moment of your day is focused on clearing your schedule so that your vacation is truly restful.

Incredibly, having less time causes us all to be truly productive.

And to be truly productive with article writing, we need a timer

But that’s crazy, you say. Surely a timer isn’t going to help. If a timer were the solution to the problem, every writer on the planet would simply buy that magic timer and voile, the article would get written.

But let’s put that objection away for a second and examine why a timer works.

A timer works on three separate fronts:

- Editing

- Topics

- Outlining

Let’s start with editing…

Most of us detest putting out an article that’s less than perfect. Of course, this is the opening chorus for chaos, as you can see. We write, cancel, edit, edit, write, delete, edit, edit the story is familiar to you, no doubt. But if you’ve got no time to edit, you do a cursory edit after you’re done, because hey, you have no time.

And that’s just the first reason. The second reason is simply the choice of topics.

Topics can be a menace 

Usually, if you’ve done even a bit of preparation, you’ll have about twenty topics to write about. But even if you have just two or three topics, you’ll soon start a merry dance. You’ll start writing one topic, decide that’s too hard, go to the second, and then bounce away to the third.

This chomps into your time on any given day and leaves you frustrated. But if you have a timer, the message is clear, you have no time. This is your topic, now get down to work. This gives you a clear sense of focus, and what’s more forces you to resort to the third point, namely, outlining.

Outlining becomes critical when a timer is involved

Without a timer, it’s easy to just sashay into an article, get lost and start all over again. But when time is short, you need a checklist. And your outline is your checklist.

You are forced to spend the critical five-seven minutes creating an outline (if you haven’t already done so earlier). And it forces you to make sure you don’t dawdle over the outline either. It’s all go, go, go. No time to waste.

Ok, so a timer may well help, but how do you set the timer? 

Should you set it for an hour? Two hours? Three hours? When I first began my writing career, I used to spend two days writing an article.

Obviously I had not a clue about outlines or timers. And you won’t fancy a two-day timer anyway. So here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Set a timer for the topic.

Step 2: Set a timer for the outline.

Step 3: Set a timer for the article writing.

Step 4: Set a timer for the editing.

Step 5: Ditto for the formatting.

The topics and outlines should ideally be done the day, or night before. If you’re doing it all at one go, you’re not allowing your brain to rehearse the article in advance. But let’s say you don’t do it in advance, set about 5 minutes for the topic/sub-topic generation, and pick one topic. Then outline the topic in no more than 5-7 minutes. Any longer and you’re doing something wrong.

Writing should go on for about 60-90 minutes at best. Then you stop.

You edit for 10 minutes and format for another ten. Add it all up and you get about 130 minutes. That’s a little over two hours for an article with a timer.

But isn’t two hours a lot of time?

Yes it is. And that’s the kind of time you need to put in to turn out an article. In fact, some writers may take as many as three hours per article it really depends how much command you have over the structure.

But that’s just at the start. As you get more control over the structure of article writing, the same task can be achieved easily in under an hour.

Yes, I used to take two days to write an article. Today it takes me fewer than 45 minutes. And this means I can write 4-5 articles in a day if I choose to do so. Of course you can see how this helps when writing a course or a book.

You can now plough through about 4000-5000 words in a morning, without too much strain.

But newbie writers make the mistake of working without a timer 

And the clock ticks away relentlessly, getting the writer more tired by the minute. You see, it’s not just time that’s being drained away, but also energy. The more time you spend, the more tired you get.

The more tired you get, the more cruddy the result. By the time you get to the editing and formatting stage, you’re so exhausted that article writing seems like a chore to avoid. And eventually you decide it’s too much of a misery and avoid article writing altogether.

This painful experience can be minimised if you get that tick, tick, timer going.

A timer forces efficiency. And it forces you to stop. It gets your editing mania under control, your topics and outlining in order. And when the buzzer goes off, it’s time to finish the article.

But what if the article is unfinished?

Have you missed all your vacation flights? No you haven’t, have you?

You finished your tasks, turned off the lights, locked the door and somehow made it to the airport. In a similar manner, you’ll do the same with your articles. As you reach that deadline, you’ll get the job completed, formatted and ready to go.

Try it.

It might even end up being the key to your future vacations.

bat_smile


NEW! The Brain Audit is now available in many formats

Brain Audit Epub and Kindle
1) You can get a physical book
2) You can get the ePub/Kindle/PDF version for $9.99
3) You can get an audio version
4) Or you can get the the more interesting (or should we say “most interesting”) option The Brain Audit Kit.
Find out more Brain Audit Options


Top Selling Products Under $50


NEW! Critical Website Components: A Simple Step-by-Step System to Creating your Key Website Pages

1) Testimonial Secrets: Powerful Techniques to Get Better Clients-And Sales
2) Story Telling Series: How to suck your audience right in, in a matter of seconds
3) Sales Pages: How To Write Benefits and Bullets That Speed Up Sales
4) Article Writing: How To Speed Up Article Writing With Simple Outlines
5) Visual Basics: How Visuals Help Increase Sales Conversion On Your Website
6) Design Clarity: How to put sanity into your design with some really simple tweaks
7) Chaos Planning: How ‘Irregular’ Folks Get Things Done


1) Black Belt Presentation Series: How to completely control the room—without turning anyone off?
2) Online Membership Sites: How To Build A Powerful, Community-Driven Membership Website


 

 


The Curse of Super Momentum: Why We Feel Stuck

The Curse of Super Momentum: Why We Feel  Stuck

Have you ever driven a car really fast? At some point it seems like the car is standing still. You’re doing 100mph, but it sure feels like you’re not really moving. You get this feeling on a plane as well. You’re hurtling at 500mph and you feel like it’s a terribly long flight and you’re bored, frustrated and there seems to be no destination in sight.

This is the curse of super-momentum

I’ll have participants on a course like cartooning for instance. Some participants do just one or two cartoons a day. Some do sixteen a day. So who feels the most stuck?

Yup, it’s odd, but the ones who are doing sixteen feel like they’re not making progress as quickly as they should. They feel like they’re standing still. And it’s true, you do feel like you’re standing still.

Several years ago it would take me a day or two to write an article

Now I can turn out three or more articles in a day. But I often feel like I’m doing nothing. I’ll get up, write two or three articles. Read through about 50 posts, go for a walk and I feel I’ve done NOTHING! I feel the same with my watercolours. In 2010, you couldn’t talk to me when I was doing a wash of watercolour. Now I can do three washes while having breakfast. And I think I’ve done nothing.

Super-momentum is the reverse of lack of momentum

Lack of momentum makes you feel like you’re doing nothing. And you usually are.

But super-momentum reeks of the same lack of progress. It’s time to recognise that your brain is playing tricks on you. That indeed you’re in a plane hurtling ahead at 500mph.

That you are moving ahead incredibly quickly.

Even if you can’t feel it.


NEW! The Brain Audit is now available in many formats

Brain Audit Epub and Kindle
1) You can get a physical book (directly from Amazon)
2) You can get the ePub/Kindle/PDF version
3) You can get an audio version
4) Or you can get the the more interesting (or should we say “most interesting”) option The Brain Audit Kit.
Find out more Brain Audit Options


Top Selling Products Under $50


NEW! Critical Website Components: A Simple Step-by-Step System to Creating your Key Website Pages

1) Testimonial Secrets: Powerful Techniques to Get Better Clients-And Sales
2) Story Telling Series: How to suck your audience right in, in a matter of seconds
3) Sales Pages: How To Write Benefits and Bullets That Speed Up Sales
4) Article Writing: How To Speed Up Article Writing With Simple Outlines
5) Visual Basics: How Visuals Help Increase Sales Conversion On Your Website
6) Design Clarity: How to put sanity into your design with some really simple tweaks
7) Chaos Planning: How ‘Irregular’ Folks Get Things Done


1) Black Belt Presentation Series: How to completely control the room—without turning anyone off?
2) Online Membership Sites: How To Build A Powerful, Community-Driven Membership Website


 

 


The Best Way To Fail, Is To Stop

The Best Way To Fail, Is To Stop

How do you fail at something?

You simply stop.

I’ve seen people who could be exceedingly good writers, artists etc.

And yet they stop.

Then they lose momentum.

And they possibly never regain that pace and momentum again.

The interesting part is that they don’t intend to stop forever

They just stop for a day, which turns into two, which snowballs into weeks and months. And then it’s just too hard to recover. I know this because I’ve done it often enough. I’ve drawn cartoons for a little over 30 years. You could say I’m pretty good at it.

But all I have to do is stop

Suddenly I lose the ability to draw. I look at the paper. I look at the pencil. The paints are tucked away somewhere in the deep recesses of my desk. And the days and weeks slide into oblivion until it takes enormous effort just to get started again. And this is with something I love and am very capable at doing.

Imagine the frustration when you’re learning something, and you stop 

It’s a lot worse. And what bugs you even more is the mindless excuses you make. You think your excuses seem logical. No they don’t. An excuse is an excuse. Everyone has time to do what they want to do. All of us take the time to bathe, brush and clothe ourselves, even on the busiest of days.

But surely everyone needs a break…

Yes they do, and go right ahead and take that break. But be aware that the longer the break, the more you’ll have to battle resistance to get back to where you once were.

So keep the break short. If Mt. Everest falls on your head and you need an unexpected break, well take it, but make sure you have someone bugging you to get back.

Someone? Yes, anyone. It could be a friend, a neighbour, your spouse, lover, even a nine-year old who lives down the street. They’ll nudge you, bug you, remind you. And then you’ll decide to start again. It’s much too easy to fall off the bandwagon and not get back on, if you’re working alone. So get yourself a co-pilot that will make sure you don’t stop.

Because the best way to fail is to stop.

Stop reading.

Stop writing.

Stop drawing.

Stop walking.

Stop.

It’s a sure recipe for failure.

————————-

NEW! The Brain Audit is now available in many formats

Brain Audit Epub and Kindle
1) You can get a physical book (directly from Amazon)
2) You can get the ePub/Kindle/PDF version
3) You can get an audio version
4) Or you can get the the more interesting (or should we say “most interesting”) option The Brain Audit Kit.
Find out more Brain Audit Options.


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NEW!  Critical Website Components
A series of three books on how to create your “Home Page”, “About Us” and “Get Customers To Sign Up”.

1) Testimonial Secrets: Powerful Techniques to Get Better Clients-And Sales
2) Story Telling Series: How to suck your audience right in, in a matter of seconds
3) Sales Pages: How To Write Benefits and Bullets That Speed Up Sales
4) Article Writing: How To Speed Up Article Writing With Simple Outlines
5) Visual Basics: How Visuals Help Increase Sales Conversion On Your Website
6) Design Clarity: How to put sanity into your design with some really simple tweaks
7) Chaos Planning: How ‘Irregular’ Folks Get Things Done


1) Black Belt Presentation Series: How to completely control the room—without turning anyone off?
2) Online Membership Sites: How To Build A Powerful, Community-Driven Membership Website


 

 


Why Working With Your Brain Is The Key To Avoiding Writer’s Block

Why Working With Your Brain Is The Key To Avoiding Writer's Block

Olive oil
Aubergines
Onions
Garlic, Cinnamon, Oregano, Minced lamb, Tomato purée, Parsley
And red wine.

Writing an article is like making a yummy dish called moussaka

And making the moussaka takes a bit of work. The first port of call is of course, the ingredients. You have to make that all important trip to the supermarket, the butcher and the veggie store to get the ingredients.

Then there’s the prep work, the cooking and finally, the serving.

In short, four major steps.

Article writing is a lot like making a dish

There’s the outlining, the research, the writing and then finally the editing. And the best way to get frustrated and head right into Writer’s Block is to do all four steps at once.

And when you think about it, it’s crazy. Just doing the outline would get you a bit tired. Then maybe it’s time for a bit of research, but even a little can get you pooped. By the time you get down to writing the article, you’re all wrung out. Who the heck is thinking of editing or formatting right now? All you want to do is get out of your misery.

But this misery is pretty easy to avoid if you understand your brain

If you notice, the brain works just fine in batches. It functions nicely when handling one thing at a time. But try and do all the stages at one go, and you get physically and mentally tired.

Then you start making mistakes and of course the entire article often falls apart. You can’t think, you’re too tired to act, and now you believe that you’re not a writer after all.

Instead all you need is a bit of planning

And yes, I know that you may believe that you don’t have the time to break up a single article into several stages, but that’s the most efficient way to write.

- You outline.

- Then you do your research, if needed.

- Then possibly next morning, you write.

- And finally, let it sit for a while, then edit and tidy it up a bit.

Cooking, writing, dancing—any activity that requires brain power also requires the brain to power up and power down. To have rest periods so that the enthusiasm and energy come flooding back. And the time gap gives you time to think and percolate the ideas, instead of just trying to turn it out in one go.

But can you get it all out in one go?

Yes you can. There are times when you’re all fired up and turn out that dish from start to finish. But in most situations, you want to work with your brain and work in stages.

Stages allow for much better, less frustrating articles.

And yes, yummy moussaka.

Bon appétit.

Or should we say, “kali orexi!”


P.S. The Brain Audit Workshop is coming to Amsterdam this June!
(Only  7  seats remain)

Inline image 1
http://www.psychotactics.com/workshops/brain-audit-workshop-amsterdam


Top Selling Products Under $50


1) Testimonial Secrets: Powerful Techniques to Get Better Clients-And Sales
2) Story Telling Series: How to suck your audience right in, in a matter of seconds
3) Sales Pages: How To Write Benefits and Bullets That Speed Up Sales
4) Article Writing: How To Speed Up Article Writing With Simple Outlines
5) Visual Basics: How Visuals Help Increase Sales Conversion On Your Website
6) Design Clarity: How to put sanity into your design with some really simple tweaks
7) Chaos Planning: How ‘Irregular’ Folks Get Things Done


1) Black Belt Presentation Series: How to completely control the room—without turning anyone off?
2) New! Online Membership Sites: How To Build A Powerful, Community-Driven Membership Website


 

 


The Four Critical Zones Required to Speed Up Your Learning

The Four Critical Zones Required to Speed Up Your Learning

Have you ever seen two pianists play the same music?

It’s the very same score, the very same piano, but one seems to play it better than the other. Not just a little better, but a lot better. So what makes one person’s playing so different from the other?

It’s inborn talent.

That’s what most people will tell you anyway. They’ll jab their fingers at you and tell you: “This is the difference between someone who’s born with the gift vs. someone who was simply playing because he or she had to do so.”

And of course, they would be wrong

What looks like inborn talent, isn’t inborn talent at all. It just looks like that because one person is playing so much better than the other. And to understand why one person does things so much better than the other isn’t easy to nail down. But there are four critical elements that enhance learning. They are:

1) Work

2) Play

3) Downtime

4) Sleep

Zone 1: Work

Let’s start with work. Work is when you’re learning something. You have to carefully follow the instructions, stay in line, and do what is completely outside your comfort zone. This is the part we spend most of our time in, when learning a new skill; a new talent. But of course, we ignore the second zone completely. A zone called play.

Zone 2: So what’s play?

Play is where you don’t stay in line. When you do what’s in your comfort zone. When there are no instructions to follow. Where you do crazy, goofy things that no one can judge you, and not even you can judge yourself. We talk time and time again about how kids learn faster than adults, but you know what’s coming next, don’t you? Yes, adults don’t play.

We put our nose to the grindstone and ignore the play zone completely. And kids play, play, play. All the time, even when learning a new skills, they default quickly to the play zone. And you as an adult, have more fun teaching a kid a skill when playing a game, rather than when making them work. And yes, while work and play is great, it’s not enough. We also have to explore the third zone: downtime.

Zone 3: Downtime

I was recently at a watercolour workshop in Spain. And when the teacher finished showing us how to do a particular painting, he would tell us to pick up our coffee/tea and get started on our own painting right away. See the problem? No, I couldn’t. Because you see, I used to be like that teacher. I thought that if people spent some time getting their coffee/tea, that was enough downtime. But no, that’s not downtime at all.

Downtime is a complete break. A break where the brain decompresses and assimilates the learning. But it’s not trying to assimilate anything. It’s just chilling out, as it were. And in doing so, it lets the brain relax and re-energise itself before implementing the ‘work’ once again. Having downtime is important because the brain gets too tired from learning a new skill. Most of us view downtime as a wasted time.

And it’s not wasted time at all. A tired brain works a lot slower and ineffectively than a rested brain. And yet we ignore downtime. We don’t make it part of the system, any more than we make play part of the system. And yet, it’s vital for the brain. Vital to refresh itself, put the pieces together and take a lot better control of the skill we’re about to learn. Which of course, takes us to the last zone: sleep.

Zone 4: Sleep

Most of us say we get too little sleep. But given a chance, most of us squander opportunities to sleep. At night, for instance, most of us will rather watch some TV, trawl through Facebook or do something that makes us stay awake—than sleep early. And sleep is the play part of downtime. If downtime is when we’re consciously decompressing what we’ve learned, sleep is the chill out version of decompress. It’s when the brain goes into waka-waka mode and has a fiesta processing the learning in a completely different—and playful manner.

And sleep is important by night, but it’s also critical by day. A simple 20-minute sleep at your desk doesn’t make you groggy and yet sharpens your ability to focus. And yet, we don’t sleep much. Either by day, or night.

Notice what kids do instead?

They sleep a lot. They have a ton of downtime. They play a lot. They also learn a lot. Kids make the maximum use of all four zones. We don’t. We think we’re adults. We don’t have time. And yet the opposite is true. If we created a strategy for ourselves to have all four zones going, we could learn faster and more efficiently than any child could ever learn. But we don’t give ourselves the chance. All we ever do is work.

Like Ahmet, for instance

Remember that watercolour class? Well, there was this guy called Ahmet. Ahmet worked relentlessly. He took notes endlessly. He practiced long after the rest of us were gulping down sangrias in jar loads. And Ahmet struggled. He’s been practicing for years and struggling for years. He doesn’t sleep much, has no downtime and definitely no play time. It’s all about work, work, work.

To learn a skill efficiently, you need all four zones to kick in

As a teacher, you’ve got to put at least the first two zones into action: work and play. As a student, you’ve got to make sure you have downtime. Time where you’re doing nothing at all. And yes, you should get more sleep.

When one person plays the piano better than the other, it’s often not because of the sheer work. Look closely at the person’s habits and you’ll find something else as well. So when the next person jabs a finger at you and lectures you on inborn talent, ask them if they get enough downtime, sleep and play.

Because work alone, just doesn’t—work.

P.S. In the cartooning course, we have work and play time. Work time is when you do the assignment and play time is when you do the doodles. In the Article Writing Course, we get students to write about their travels, their hobbies—anything but work. And this is play time. Later, we get them to move to work articles.

In the headline course, attendees write tons of headlines. Some of those headlines are about dinosaurs, monkeys and bananas—playtime. Every course, every learning experience can be designed with work and play in mind.

And yes, downtime can be organised too. Organised breaks (e.g. the weekend) or a week in between a course, coffee breaks and games at live events—all downtime. Of course it’s up to the student to get their sleep. But you as the teacher need to put in a word so they know why they need to switch off their iPad and TVs and just doze away, by day or night.

 

P.S. Do you have a question or comment? Write it here and I will respond.


Next Step: Links you should visit

1) How do you make your presentations come alive? Find out more about The Black Belt Presentation Series

2) Are serious about getting your business to the next level in 2013? Have a look at 5000bc.

3) Are you losing tons of potential business because you don’t know how the brain works? Read how The Brain Audit can help you.


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NEW!
You already know that 80% of a sales letter depends on your headline.
So what’s the remaining 20% that causes customers to buy? Find out more

1) Do You Often Hit A Wall Called ‘Writers Block’?
Learn how the core elements of outlining can save you from the misery of writing your next article.

2) Do you know that visuals immediately improve your sales conversion?
Learn how to create drama and curiosity and help improve your web page conversion with visuals.

3) Do your websites, brochures, presentations, etc… confuse your clients?
Put some sanity into your design, even though you are not a designer?

4) Chaos Planning
Year after year you sit down and create a list of things you want to achieve. Then suddenly it’s January 2013, and you’ve not really moved ahead as you’d expected!
Learn Why Most Planning Fails: And The Critical Importance of Chaos in Planning.

5) Nothing bugs you more than a painful client.
A client who hassles you at every step of the way. Learn how to use the power of the ‘six critical questions’ to get incredible testimonials—and attract clients that make every day an absolute joy.


Black Belt Presentations: How do you create presentations that enthrall, hold and move an audience to action?

 


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Multitasking: Is It Worth It When Learning a Skill?

Multitasking: Is It Worth It When Learning a Skill?

When I was in school, I’d often do algebra while listening to music playing in the background. And at that point, I was scoring almost perfect scores on my algebra tests and exams. In effect, I was multitasking. So then, is multitasking good for you?

Well, it depends…

When most of us talk about multitasking, we talk about doing many things proficiently at the same time. And yes, we can do several things quite well at the same time, depending on what we’re doing. So if you want to go out for a walk, and listen to an audio book, you could do that quite well (provided you weren’t making notes).

However if someone asked you to cook a new dish and listen to the audiobook, you’d start to struggle a bit. This is because the brain has to focus. And as it is with all new skills—or new recipes for that matter—when the brain has to focus, it drives all the energy to that particular task. At this point in time, any distraction becomes, well, a distraction.

But once you get reasonably good at something, you’re able to multitask quite effectively

We’ve seen how we drive cars and eat a banana. Or how we can sit in meetings and and doodle away. Or for that matter, do reasonably complex algebra equations while the music is blasting on the stereo.

In fact great teachers understand the power of multitasking in order to detect the quality of the skill

So one of the greatest teachers of our times, the violinist, Shinichi Suzuki, would perform the following task with his students: He would speak to them asking them details about their day, while getting them to play a piece on the violin.

If the student was already adept at playing the piece on the violin, they were able to speak to the teacher without any problem. If on the other hand they were not very good at the piece, they would stop and have to concentrate. They could either speak to him, or play the violin, but not do both.

So then, is multitasking very good after all?

Yes, in a way it’s very good because it gives you time to do one activity while you’re doing something else altogether. But then another question arises: should you multitask all the time? And the answer is categorically, no.

You want to multitask for the following reasons:

 1- To detect your level of skill

If you can do both activities at one go, you’re nice and comfortable with those skills. This tells you what you have control over, and don’t need to think too much about. It’s a solid indicator of your comfort level, and hence shows you that you’re a lot more in the driver’s seat than you used to be.

2- To have a little fun

When your brain is focused on something, it drives all the energy to do that ‘something’. At times, even while learning a new skill, it’s just fun to multitask so that the brain is not so overworked. Ironically multitasking in certain situations like this, gives your brain a bit of a relief, because it knows that you’re just having fun.

Fun is a key element to learning quickly and effectively

I did most of my cartoons while watching TV (when I was younger). If I were just to sit at the desk and draw, I’d be bored. And I wouldn’t have the skills I’ve spent years acquiring.

And the same concept applied to the algebra equations. I struggled a lot when I didn’t have much control over my algebra, and I used to focus almost endlessly without really getting great results. Then, as I got more control over the the equations, I didn’t need to focus so much on what was in front of me. I could listen to the music, do my equations and get them all right pretty consistently.

Of course not all of us can multitask

Some of us may have some health or brain-related problems that may prevent us from effectively multitasking. But for most of us, multitasking is quite normal. And yes, multitasking is a good benchmark, because it gives you a solid understanding of how much you’re in control. The more you can multitask and do the job well, the more you realise how far you’ve come in acquiring a new skill.

So yes, multitasking is good, but not in isolation

Use both. Focus and lack of focus.

Stay on the task, and at other times, multitask.

And most of all, have fun. Because if you don’t have fun, well, everything is just hard work.

 

P.S. Do you have a question or comment? Write it here and I will respond.

The Brain Audit—Read what Howie Jacobson, author of “Adwords for Dummies”, has to say:


“The Brain Audit turns a century of brain research and market testing into 7 vivid and clear steps that anyone can use to make their own marketing more compelling”

Why? Principally because Sean understands and conveys underlying structure better than anyone else I know. He loves showing people the simple steps that make all the difference, so we can ignore the fluff. The result is always entertaining, frequently hilarious, and to any business that wants to attract and serve more customers and clients, incredibly valuable.

The Brain Audit turns a century of brain research and market testing into 7 vivid and clear steps that anyone can use to make their own marketing more compelling. And the best thing is, none of this is obvious. You never walk away from Sean’s brain with the feeling of, “Oh yeah, I knew that.” His approach and insight bring tired old marketing concepts like “USP” and “positioning” and “differentiators” to life in new forms.

Howie Jacobson
Author, Google AdWords For Dummies

Read more about The Brain Audit


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1) NEW! How To Put That Zing-Kapow In Your Articles (With StoryTelling)
So what are the elements of a well-told story? And why have they been playing hide and seek with us for so long?

2) You already know that 80% of a sales letter depends on your headline.
So what’s the remaining 20% that causes customers to buy? Find out more

3) Do You Often Hit A Wall Called ‘Writers Block’?
Learn how the core elements of outlining can save you from the misery of writing your next article.

4) Do you know that visuals immediately improve your sales conversion?
Learn how to create drama and curiosity and help improve your web page conversion with visuals.

5) Do your websites, brochures, presentations, etc… confuse your clients?
Put some sanity into your design, even though you are not a designer?

6) Chaos Planning
Year after year you sit down and create a list of things you want to achieve. Then suddenly the year is nearly over, and you’ve not really moved ahead as you’d expected.
Learn Why Most Planning Fails: And The Critical Importance of Chaos in Planning.


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Why Daily Learning Beats Gobble-Gobble Learning

Why Daily Learning Beats Gobble-Gobble Learning

There are two ways to eat a cake.
You can eat it in small pieces.
Or gobble the whole thing down.

Most of us would like to gobble, whether it comes to cake or learning

And like cake, learning needs to be tackled in small portions. Small portions not only help you learn, but help you learn a lot faster. Here are three core reasons why:

1) The sleep factor
2) The tiredness factor
3) The mistake factor.

Let’s start with the sleep factor

When you learn something, the brain tries to make sense of it. And then it goes about doing whatever it’s supposed to do. Then you go to bed.  You might get just 6 hours of sleep, but in that time your brain is processing parts of your day. And if you’ve learned a new skill, there’s a good chance it’s doing just that—processing your new skill.

My niece, Marsha is just 8 (at the time of writing this article)

And she comes across to my office to learn to implement a concept called Bal-Vis-X. It’s a combination of skills that make students sharper and smarter than ever before. But here’s what happens during our exercise.

At first, Marsha struggles with a new exercise (there are over 300 exercises in the entire program). And we don’t force the issue. She just goes home and goes to sleep. Then she comes back for the next session. In between those two sessions, nothing has changed. The only difference is the sleep factor. Yet, almost immediately you can see the difference.

And the same applies to your learning

You can learn just about anything. And then it’s time to sleep. The very next day there will be a difference. Whether you will be able to discern the difference or not isn’t relevant, there will be a difference, nonetheless.

Over weeks and months you’ll be able to see a chunky difference. And sleep, believe it or not, plays a massive role. So yes, turning off that stupid TV (yes, stupid) will make you a lot smarter.  But then, can’t bulk learning make you smarter? Surely the brain can absorb a lot more information at one go. Yes it can, but there’s a problem called tiredness that steps right in.

2) The tiredness factor

Bulk learning is plainly ineffective when compared with daily learning—and you don’t need a research scientist to tell you that. If you’re flirting with a new skill, the brain is under tremendous pressure. It’s trying to absorb what’s being written, work out the context and—because it’s a skill—apply it to your job or your life. Think about the amount of glucose that sucks up from your body. Now multiply that learning over 3 hours, or a day, and what you’ll find are drop outs.

It would seem that you’ve heard it all, and yet unless you have a phenomenal ability, there’s a chance you lost little chunks past the first ten minutes of instruction. As the learning advances, you start losing bigger chunks.

Now admittedly this depends on your level of skill. Let’s say you already know a lot about Photoshop, and you’re sitting in a Photoshop seminar, your brain doesn’t strain too much. But the moment some new features come up, your brain has to do a fair bit of work. The more facts you have to remember the more tired it gets and dropouts are inevitable. It’s only when you see the work of others, working on the same exercise, that you realise how many subtleties you’ve missed.

When you do daily learning, you get to re-examine what you’ve learned—and what you’ve missed. And this brings us to the third part: The mistake factor.

3) The mistake factor

If you do something every day, you learn from new mistakes every day. If you bulk your learning the mistakes are all a blur. But daily mistakes get highlighted. And not just your mistakes, but in a group, the mistakes of the entire group. There’s more than a good chance that a group of just 5-7 people will make as many as 5-15 mistakes in a single day. This is because everyone interprets information differently, and executes differently.

So you get to learn—and more importantly, revise what you know. And what you don’t know. Bulk learning is not as efficient, because the mistakes are made en masse, and the teacher may not be overly keen to point out 35 mistakes in one day. Over a week, 35 mistakes are just 5 mistakes a day. Every mistake gets its own spotlight and hence you get the chance to eliminate those mistakes systematically.

And yet most of us believe in bulk learning

And this is because we’re in a hurry. Yet, the best way to learn something, is to slow things down considerably. It takes most people about 2-3 years to become extremely proficient at a skill like writing or drawing. Yet with the right teacher and the right system this can be shortened to just 6-8 months. And that’s because the pace slows down considerably. You detect and fix more errors. And what is talent, but the systematic reduction of errors?

You’ve done the  gobble-gobble learning and you know the results.

Now try the daily learning. Better still, try it in a group.

And prepare to be amazed.

P.S. Do you have a comment? Write it here and I will respond.

Why You Need The Brain Audit


“What do your customers think? What would make them buy?”

The Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy And Why they Don't

In the Brain Audit – Sean teaches 7 steps on how to form killer communication pieces that makes people buy from you.

The Brain Audit is a simple psychological system that everyone can use in their communication to increase their profits.”

Ankesh Kothari – Biztactics, USA
Read more about The Brain Audit
http://www.psychotactics.com/brainaudit


TProducts Under $50


1) NEW! How To Put That Zing-Kapow In Your Articles (With StoryTelling)
So what are the elements of a well-told story? And why have they been playing hide and seek with us for so long?

2) You already know that 80% of a sales letter depends on your headline.
So what’s the remaining 20% that causes customers to buy? Find out more

3) Do You Often Hit A Wall Called ‘Writers Block’?
Learn how the core elements of outlining can save you from the misery of writing your next article.

4) Do you know that visuals immediately improve your sales conversion?
Learn how to create drama and curiosity and help improve your web page conversion with visuals.

5) Do your websites, brochures, presentations, etc… confuse your clients?
Put some sanity into your design, even though you are not a designer?

6) Chaos Planning
Year after year you sit down and create a list of things you want to achieve. Then suddenly the year is nearly over, and you’ve not really moved ahead as you’d expected.
Learn Why Most Planning Fails: And The Critical Importance of Chaos in Planning.


Black Belt Presentations
How to create presentations that enthral, hold and move an audience to action.



Next Step: To get more Psychological Tactics
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How Plateauing Occurs: Pace vs. Potential

How Plateauing Occurs: Pace vs. Potential

Imagine you had thirty-three seconds to pick up a glass of water, take it across the room, and throw the water down the sink.

Could you do it?

Sure.

And you wouldn’t need more than ten seconds to do the task, especially if the sink isn’t very far away. Now give that very same task to a two-year old child and watch what happens.

Yup, kids of that age struggle with everything!

In fact, if that toddler spilt half the contents of the glass on your carpet, you wouldn’t be overly surprised. So why does that toddler struggle so much? The reason for the struggle is because that child’s brain is thinking of everything.

Thinking? What’s bad about thinking?

Well, for one, it takes up a lot of energy

When you picked up the glass, you didn’t think about it, but here’s what you did. You placed your thumb and another finger around the glass. Then the other fingers wrapped themselves mere seconds later.

A millisecond later, your brain was able to calculate the amount of water, the possible weight of the glass and enable you to accurately lift it from the table, without thinking about it.

This non-thinking zone is the plateau

Imagine having to think of everything: how we drive, how we walk, how we talk—how we do almost everything we do every day.

Our brains would quickly get overburdened with all the steps. That’s because your brain needs twice as much energy than most other cells in your body. To have to think of every action, would be like the brain having to turn on every single light in a five-bedroom house all at once.

And all the time too. That’s not only tiring but also a complete waste of energy.

So the brain makes the action as automatic as possible

If it first needed to ‘turn on thirty lights’ to get the job done, it begins to turn ‘fewer and fewer lights’ to get the very same task done. The task of lifting a glass and tipping it over may take ‘thirty lights’ for that two-year old, but your brain needs a lot ‘fewer lights’ to do the same thing. And paradoxically, your learning has reached a plateau.

The very thing that makes our lives easier also makes it miserable

You see this when you’re teaching a course, for instance. On the cartoon course, we start off with a new assignment and there is nothing but groaning and moaning as the participants take on the task of learning.

But about four days later, after some practice, their brain works out the mistakes and makes the task mostly automatic—especially if it’s a a small task. When we learn many such tasks and understand the sequence of these tasks, we plateau.

So for most of us, driving a car isn’t a problem

Most of us could be woken up at 2am in the morning, and still drive. We could be given half a bottle of wine, and yes our driving would be impaired, but we would still be able to drive. We could juggle eating a banana, scream at the kids in the background, speak on the phone—and generally be a super-hazard to ourselves and others—but still drive.

That’s because most of the elements of the driving routine are automatic. No more learning is required unless you run into a new situation. And while this is ‘automation’ is exactly what we need, it’s also a super-curse.

The plateau follows almost immediately

At this point, you feel comfortable, and you stay well within that comfort zone. So for instance someone on the cartooning course, would be easily able to draw several cartoons in a space of 6-9 months of instruction.

A cartoonist that is in the plateau-zone would find it hard to understand the concepts of tones, focal point, spot colour, balance of vertical and horizontal, variation contrast, consistent humour, broken lines, perspective etc. Even those very words would put sheer fear into their brains. They would want to stick to the core of lines, emotions, possibly some perspective.

Sure they can draw, but the process of drawing is being done without thinking. It’s second nature. Automatic.

And that’s the plateau

The only way to get out of that plateau is to keep pushing the boundaries. As your brain slips into auto mode, enjoy the ride for a while, then go back into manual. And that’s when you get smarter. But of course, this requires your brain to switch on all those ‘thirty lights’. It’s a queasy, uncomfortable feeling. So most of us head back to our automatic transmission. And that’s the difference between pace and potential.

If you truly want to soar, you can’t go at pace forever

You have to find your potential. Any two-year old can tell you that.

P.S. All this nonsense about how we ‘can’t remember names, can’t draw, can’t cook, can’t dance, can’t write’ is just that: nonsense! It’s a life that’s being lived at pace, not potential. The plateau is a great place to be for most of the time, but sometimes go up in the mountains. It’s heady up there!

Do you have a question or comment? Write it here and I will respond.


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The Website Masterclass is a comprehensive course containing audio, detailed notes, and an insider information of the exact steps you need to take to make your website a powerhouse!

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Why You Need The Brain Audit


“What do your customers think? What would make them buy?”

The Brain Audit: Why Customers Buy And Why they Don't

In the Brain Audit – Sean teaches 7 steps on how to form killer communication pieces that makes people buy from you.

The Brain Audit is a simple psychological system that everyone can use in their communication to increase their profits.”

Ankesh Kothari – Biztactics, USA
Read more about The Brain Audit
http://www.psychotactics.com/brainaudit


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1) NEW! How To Put That Zing-Kapow In Your Articles (With StoryTelling)
So what are the elements of a well-told story? And why have they been playing hide and seek with us for so long?

2) You already know that 80% of a sales letter depends on your headline.
So what’s the remaining 20% that causes customers to buy? Find out more

3) Do You Often Hit A Wall Called ‘Writers Block’?
Learn how the core elements of outlining can save you from the misery of writing your next article.

4) Do you know that visuals immediately improve your sales conversion?
Learn how to create drama and curiosity and help improve your web page conversion with visuals.

5) Do your websites, brochures, presentations, etc… confuse your clients?
Put some sanity into your design, even though you are not a designer?

6) Chaos Planning
Year after year you sit down and create a list of things you want to achieve. Then suddenly the year is nearly over, and you’ve not really moved ahead as you’d expected.
Learn Why Most Planning Fails: And The Critical Importance of Chaos in Planning.


Black Belt Presentations
How to create presentations that enthral, hold and move an audience to action.



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