“All of men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.” ~Pascal
In this A.D.D., loud and crazy world it's often tough just to hear yourself think!
The understanding and intentional application of SILENCE may be the most understated principle when it comes to wellness and creativity. Join Martin and I as we review some of the key ideas about how to use silence as a path to reflection, creativity, concentration and wellness.
“Silence is a source of great strength”
By letting energy settle, silence creates a space that allows for the concentration of energy as well as the contemplation of unlimited possibilities.
One of the best ways to intentionally create silence in your life is to simply wake up earlier and allow yourself time to reflect and think. So, that's your challenge... should you chose to accept it, wake up at least a half hour earlier one or two days this week and notice the peace and insight the experience brings.
[Tweet "“Everything emanates from silence. Everything returns to silence. We are infinite.” "]
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Sometimes it seems as though simply having a goal in mind can help you to get to where you want to be. Believe it or not, everyone has the ability to program themselves and create their own instinct-like behaviors. Join Martin and I as we explore the Automatic Success Mechanism (or ASM) and share how you can access it and reap its hidden benefits.
Derived from Dr. Maxwell Maltz’ Psycho-cybernetics, the ASM is founded on the idea that each and every one of us has a built-in computer and all we have to do is understand how it works and then program it. Give yourself clear targets, forge the habits that support the goal and then trust that the many unknowns will find a way to work themselves out.
[Tweet "“Success is 90% clarity.” "]
By taping into the collective consciousness and applying your ASM, even when you can't see the full staircase, you can trust that just taking the first step the next step will come into view.
Knowing how to use and trust the ASM frees you from the "paralysis by over-analysis" syndrome so many suffer from.
Check it out.... Enjoy! ; )
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Many of the greatest thinkers and philosophers throughout history believed that ideas are "alive" and readily available in some sort of universal space which is often referred to as "infinite intelligence" or the Super-Conscious.
Whatever you want to call it, chances are it exists! Emerson once noted, "There is a power above and behind us and we are the channel of its communication."
There is a power above and behind us and we are the channel of its communication. —EMERSON
The best part is this "resource" isn't relegated to the super genius or the super-creative... it's available to everyone...all you have to do is connect to it!
Perhaps you've wondered how Leonardo da Vinci could draw a helicopter centuries before one existed or how Edison had the insight for the lightbulb or Ford the carburetor or... and, on and on it goes.
Even Albert Einstein once noted, "There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, the solution comes to you and you don't know how or why."
"A LEAP IN CONSCIOUSNESS"... Fascinating.
To draw upon this innate creative intelligence that we all have Martin and I review a "system" that he credited helped to reveal many of the insights in The Habit Factor and now his upcoming book, The Pressure Paradox. The process is just an ordered formula or recipe he calls the "Ments".
Start by defining the end state.. the problem and the ideal solution. Try to get crystal clear on the underlying problem and this will help to provide some associations and connections you may have not otherwise made.
Once defined... RESEARCH! Feed your conscious and subconscious mind with the problem and all available information you can find about it and possible solutions. What's been written and thought about it already. With the search engines of today, research has never been easier!
3. Marinate or (accelerate if you must)
The next step is to allow the problem and all the related information you have come across in your research to really sink in. Think about the idea often and just let the idea marinate for while. You can accelerate the process through a brainstorming session with others. Sometimes, depending on the urgency of the matter, a person might marinate on a subject for years.
As you marinate, set the problem free.... go for a jog, surf, take a walk hit the gym. Just get away from the problem that you are trying to solve. This allows you subconscious mind to take over the process and make the connections and associations--the leap as Einstein called it that you can not make consciously.
After releasing your problem, the insights will start to arrive. Now is the time to corral them, and pair them up and ORGANIZE all the new ideas with the research and the original problem statement and see how your new solution fits.
This super conscious connectivity may seem mysterious at first, but when you start following this process you will see better and faster results on a consistent basis. Much like any exercise and like a muscle continued use will strengthen the skill. Start to identify opportunities in your life where you need an innovative solutions. Make super conscious connectivity a habit you practice.
The art of tracking one's behaviors (habits) dates back hundreds of years ago and wasn't necessarily born with the iPhone or even The Habit Factor. In fact, one of the world's greatest minds, Benjamin Franklin famously wrote about the art of tracking his "virtues" in his own autobiography to refine his character.
In this episode, Martin and I review the roots and similarities of tracking behaviors to help achieve personal goals and refine one's character... all through habit tracking.
A renowned inventor, politician, scientist, author, and one of our nation’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin built quite the legacy. In spite of all of these remarkable achievements, can you guess the one thing he wanted to ensure he shared with the future generations?
"I hope, therefore, that my descendants will follow
this example and reap the benefits"
Benjamin Franklin was referring to the long standing practice (which itself became a habit) of tracking his thirteen virtues over the course of the year. He would rotate from week to week tracking each day one of his thirteen virtues (habits).
Because of this practice (behavior tracking) we believe he ought to be considered one of the great, great grandfathers of personal development!
By deciding WHO BF wanted to BEcome... and what he wanted to BEcome, Ben simply reverse engineered the character traits he wanted then identified the behaviors (habits) he believed that would help to get him there... then he just tracked them daily!
Fast forward a couple hundred years and we find a Hindu spiritualist, Dandapandi, (a former monk), who goes to great lengths at his speaking / teaching and workshop engagements to share the importance of building a "consistent practice" (in other words, a "habit"). And, in order to do this he urges that we follow the same process that his own monastery used, which was to track their behavior daily!
Paradoxically, of course this would suggest that the art of mindfulness requires the development of its corresponding habit. So, the goal is to be as mindful as possible without having to think about it. Then, in order to do this, the monks would track their behavior each day about how mindful they were and in the process they would develop the "consistent practice" of mindfulness. The mindfulness habit.
So, whether you are a spiritualist from India or Benjamin Franklin, YOU can rest assured that there is ONE way to get the results you are looking for and that is to TRACK your behavior or more specifically, use P.A.R.R. (see video ; )
Until next time.
Trying to create new, effective habits is often associated with first trying to kill-off any existing bad habits that are holding us back. In this quick, high-value episode, Martin and I identify the three most important “MENTS” when it comes to busting those bad habits!
“Birds of a feather flock together."
Why would our environment influence our habits? Well, as our energy wanes throughout the day (along with our willpower), it is essential that your environment is tailored to support your new habits and goals. For example, if you're trying to lose weight, throwing out all of the potato chips in the pantry is a great start. The environMENT applies to all things--not just a new diet. When you surround yourself with like-minded people it provides a great support system to help you craft new habits.
“A nail is driven out by another nail. Habit is overcome by habit." ~Desiderius Erasmus
Quitting any habit cold turkey is often difficult and ineffective because it leaves a void. When it comes to removing a bad habit it's important to remember that nature abhors a vacuum. Instead, try replacing any bad habit with a new, positive one. When Martin wanted to cut back on his coffee habit, rather than stop drinking coffee, he replaced his morning cup of joe with green tea.
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you do, the better.”
This podcast, writing The Habit Factor, and even his new book, The Pressure Paradox as well as The Habit Factor app have all been, in some form or fashion, an experiments. It takes trial and error (action to create information) in order to find out what will work best for you. In many ways, this idea brings us back to #2 (replacement) since you will need to try things, make some mistakes before you find what will actually stick!
[Tweet "“Good habits happen when planned, bad habits on their own.” @TheHabitFactor"]
When trying to craft any new habit or BREAK ANY BAD HABIT, take a quick run through this checklist to ensure that you are setting yourself up for success. With these three "MENTS", you'll be certain to break bad habits and craft new powerful habits that will help you take charge of your life.
While many do not consider the importance of habit development when it comes to goal achievement, those that do unfortunately are subject to the many great myths which surround the topic. In this episode, Martin and I review and dispel four monster myths about positive habit formation.
1. It takes 21 days to develop a habit.
This originated decades ago with, Psycho Cybernetics a terrific book by Dr. Maxwell Maltz. While it does not take 21 days to develop a habit it is safe to say you can START to develop a habit in 21 days. According to a study from the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes, on average, 66 days. Research tells us though that it depends upon all sorts of criteria including; desire, skill and knowledge related to any particular habit.
2. Cue- Routine-Reward
Cue, routine, reward and the related, "habit-loop" were largely popularized by The Power of Habit. The habit loop helps to illustrate what triggers and environments have been supporting past behaviors (habits) but the habit loop fails to provide any guidance about how to actually form good habits intentionally. Cue, routine, reward may address half the battle but leaves out the significance of TRACKING and REASSESSING as well as using Target Days, Minimum Success Criteria and Tracking Periods, all which help greatly when developing good habits and constitute P.A.R.R.
3. Consecutive Days
Positive habit development is NOT an all or nothing proposition. In fact, the study referrenced above supports something that The Habit Factor introduced over five years ago, that you can and should use Target Days to develop habits and that habit development depends far more upon consistency over time than consecutive days.
4. All habits will last forever once established.
People often view habits as static and unchanging. Habits do need to be maintained, but it's important to constantly reevaluate your life and your goals to make sure that your habits remain aligned with your goals. As your life progresses your goals will change and its likely you'll want to reassess what habits you will need to help you achieve those goals. This is why habit tracking and the PARR methodology are so important!
This episode has us turning the tables... in the coming weeks we'll begin to weave-in interviews of domain industry experts so we figured we might as well start with Nick Palkowski, podcast guru, expert in online marketing strategy and all-around-great guy!
Things weren't always sunshine and rainbows for Nick. The first business he started in college, while a great learning experience, ultimately left him with $2 in his bank account and a jar of peanut butter. A jar of peanut butter. Those important lessons (from failure) taught Nick what not to do and what he needed to do differently. They proved invaluable and led him to launch his booming, full-time business Your Podcast Guru.
"The best way to grow your business is to consistently add value to your audience." @NickPalkowski
One of the most important factors for Nick was understanding that success is a habit, meaning he recognized the importance of becoming a consistent and disciplined professional. Nick even shared his top three character traits and supportive habits on the show... (23:45):
We discuss an important principle, "The Principle of Maximum Error" and how Nick's story is a great, real-life example. So, if you're interested in podcasting and self-improvement (with some inspiration) listen now and check out his custom page for THF listeners: www.yourpodcastguru.com/thf.
Are you pushing yourself hard enough? Most people would respond with a resounding yes. While the idea of a second wind is fairly common, Martin and I explore the possibilities of having a third, fourth, fifth (even an eighth!) wind in this episode of The Habit Factor.
“If you're going to doubt something, doubt your own limits.”
Ever notice during exercise that even when you're tired, you can always dig a little deeper and find energy reserves to get you through to the finish line? By changing your state of mind you can radically change and increase your energy levels and persevere to the end of any project!
Challenge your assumptions, your biases, and challenge the perceived limits that you have set for yourself. If you feel that you've been lulled in to a comfort zone of limitations, set increasingly extreme challenge for yourself and discover your eighth wind. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.
“Life doesn't get easier. We just get stronger.”
No matter how close you live to big, green spaces, many of your struggles can be traced to how aligned you are with nature. Sparked by a conversation with his teenage daughter Martin and I delve review some clues that can very well make our life easier.
“Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”
Anytime there is frustration and friction in your life it's important to check and compare how aligned your affairs and thoughts are with the natural world. In this episode, Martin shares some of his observations about nature and just how we might adapt them to our own situation. (12:00):
This week, we challenge you to take one of these observations and apply it to your life. Track it and see for yourself how effective you can be when you align yourself and your efforts with nature!
“Never does wisdom say one thing and nature another.”
For more on the link between productivity and nature, check out the episode on the Physics of Productivity at TheHabitFactor.com/013
“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells us it is going to be a butterfly.”
The word “philosophy” comes from Ancient Greek and means “love of wisdom”.
Unfortunately, the modern translation appears to have become slightly twisted to the point where the word might only connote some impractical college major.
Yet, philosophy ought to be embraced by all who seek to live in a more "favorable" world for it is our own mental constructs (our own philosophy) that dictates how we think, feel and act. So, philosophy isn't just about talking or even thinking, its true meaning lies in the execution of the ideas and ideals.
Today, Nick and I revisit the essence of philosophy and review some of the framework behind The Habit Factor franchise.
“All men’s natures are alike, it's their habits that carry them far apart.”
In this episode, Martin shares a handful of his favorite quotes and a few books that helped him to form a foundation for thought and action (a mixed philosophy that spans; Thoreau and Socrates to Kurt Vonnegut.
“Give me a long enough lever and a place to stand and I can move the world.”
In the battle to get ahead, often the first step is finding a better way to leverage the only limiting resource everyone shares, TIME.
Understanding how to properly leverage your time and ideas is a game changer and it's sure to boost your productivity. In this episode, Martin and I review some strategies to optimize your personal power (your ability to act on ideas) to help get the results you want!
Touching on Dr. Stephen Covey’s "Quadrants of Effectiveness", Martin shares a few tips for deciding when and how to outsource (contract labor) to allow yourself more time to focus on the things most important to you.
Or, if you're not quite ready to source other experts, there are simply more effective ways to plan and use your days.
When you leverage your time more wisely, you simply take longer, more efficient steps toward your goal which accelerates your achievement and of course will have a life time effect on your achievements.
“Good things happen when planned, bad things happen on their own.” ~Quality is Free Tweet This
The path to leading a more efficient life is simply to harness the power of positive habits and rituals.
Chances are very good you already have a set number of habits and rituals (particularly in the morning or evening). The question is, have they developed by choice or by chance? Are they by design or by default?
Intentionally establishing positive routines in the morning and evening will help you to feel refreshed, balanced, connected and even, as a bi-product far more productive.
In this episode, Martin and I review 6 reasons rituals are powerful and various tips for establishing them to help foster your efficiency and peace of mind. (7:10):
This week, Martin and I challenge you to create a ritual and to track your progress--that's it!
By tracking the ritual, you will reinforce its behavior and habit becomes the gateway rituals to foster an environment where you can be your most productive and successful self.
“Goals are just dreams with deadlines.”
A man named C. Northcote Parkinson once claimed that work expands to fill the time for its completion. While its human nature to procrastinate, there aren't enough people using deadlines to their advantage. Join author Martin Grunburg on this episode of Habits to Goals as he shares his strategies for accelerating productivity with deadlines.
When you don't understand how deadlines can help you, sometimes they can hurt you. Avoid thinking in terms of all or nothing and accept that there will be times that you will need an extension. Maintain perspective and persevere with accountability groups and realistic timelines to transform deadlines into a positive force to empower your life.
“There are no unreadable goals, just unreasonable deadlines.”
One of the great inspirations for Grunburg’s The Habit Factor is Dr. Stephen Covey’s classic, bestselling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In this episode, Martin reviews some of the similarities and differences between the two works. (10:20).
If, by chance you haven't read Covey's masterpiece (do so!) and, in the meantime, here is a quick synopsis (12:45):
Martin then explains one of the reason The Habit Factor "had" to be written and how The Habit Factor "bookends" and complements The Seven Habits 11:52.
Later we discuss how the first three habits focus on the "self" and the next three habits focus on fostering inter-dependence and teamwork. Finally, the seventh habit, "Sharpen the saw" is about renewal and allows for never ending growth and the ability to continually cycle and master each habit.
Now, it's your turn! Are you being proactive? Are you beginning with the end in mind? Are you following the seven habits? And, are you tracking the core habits that will help you to achieve your goals?
Consider getting these books, studying and understanding better how habit and the seven habits can help to improve your life!
“Everyone wants to improve the world, very few are willing to improve themselves.” Tweet This
Many people write-off self-help thinking that positive thinking just sets you up for disappointment later.
Zig Ziglar once put it brilliantly, "positive thinking won't allow you do everything, it only allows you to do everything better." For instance, positive thinking may not help you to dunk a basketball. But, it will make your efforts much improved.
The beauty is self-help isn't just about "positive thinking". First and foremost, it's an acknowledgment that the person responsible for their growth and development is themselves.
SELF HELP (at the proverbial end of the day) has been described as the only real help there is.
Self-help is also about accepting one's self as they are and then acknowledging ways they might improve. The pursuit of self-help assures a certain amount of humility.
“True nobility isn't about being better than others, it's about being better than you were before.” ~Wayne Dyer Tweet This
So, really, the beginning of all self improvement is an acknowledgement that you can be better and a belief that it's possible.
In this episode, Martin and I review his personal journey of self improvement (6:00) and then he discusses at least seven reasons why self-help doesn't suck (11:10).
He then reviews some top-of-mind favorite self-help books and authors. (26:00).
“Let everyone sweep in the front of his own door and the world shall be clean.” Tweet This
Who hasn't felt STUCK before?
The good news is, it's common and something everyone is likely to experience at some point. The bad news is, it's an uncomfortable awareness that you've lost momentum and enthusiasm is gone.
That no matter what you try to do, nothing seems to move you or your career forward? Hence, you are STUCK.
And, when you’re stuck, it's important to know that it's not just an emotional but also a physiological state. Sometimes it even makes us feel alone or isolated.
“Motion creates emotion.” ~Tony Robbins Tweet This
To help you form some habits that will ultimately propel you forward, Martin and I review these eight tips to become UNSTUCK (time):
By tracking even your smallest, recurring behaviors (habits) that move your toward your goal, you build immediate momentum! Reaffirming exactly why the Free Habit Building-Tracking template is so popular and why the app works so well for so many people ; ).
Finally, at the end of the episode, Martin extends a gift for anyone who may be feeling stuck. So, check out the show and share a review please. Thank you.
It seems everyone I know is "super-busy" and so many people are stressed-out... the question is, how many of them are making time to RELAX.
“The best time to relax is when you don’t have the time.” Tweet This
The most productive people I know schedule spa days, massages and recreation in the midst of their hectic schedules. That's right, the SCHEDULE relaxation as though it were any other responsibility on their list—and it is. They don't wait for a time when things will slow down... they proactively make the time and slow things down.
In order to be the best you can be in your personal and professional life, you must make the time to RELAX.
“I have just five letters for you: R-E-L-A-X.” ~ Aaron Rodgers Tweet This
Uttered, Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers after the Packers started the 2014 season 1-2. Whether it was because of his statement, imploring PACKER nation to chill or not, the team turned things around and made a great run through the playoffs.
In this episode, Martin and I review the "B.R.A.D." acronym which can serve as reminder about how to minimize stress and return to a cool, calm, collected state (13:00):
Challenge yourself this week by scheduling recreation and performing your daily tasks differently (thinking of BRAD) and cultivate an appreciation for developing these habits of thought.
“The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything!” ~Bill Murray Tweet This
“Every master was once a disaster.” T. Harv Eker Tweet This
Life is similar to sports. What's interesting is sometimes we choose intentionally to PLAY and other times, without knowing, we've allowed ourselves to fall into the shadows and become a spectator.
While it's good to have periods of reflection and rest, too much inactivity or indifference impedes our growth, progress, happiness and success.
You know you're PLAYING to WIN when you have a goal defined — you can describe what the end-zone and even first downs look like.
“Good things happen when planned out. Bad things happen on their own.” Tweet This
To stay motivated and keep your head in the game, be sure to track and keep score! Just try to imagine any professional sport without a target and/or score.
Athletes know how they are doing because there is a score and it's tracked! Are you tracking?
This simple concept alone accounts for much of popularity of The Habit Factor® app (iOS) (Android) and FREE tracking template (spreadsheet). Tracking creates momentum and provides invaluable feedback!
In order to meet the challenge of competition and play our best, Martin and I review the CRITICAL 3 P's. (17:22):
Then, we challenge the listener to identify something they are working on and intentionally practice and track it this week.
Finally, we touch on the big trap that seems to hit so many people after a BIG win.
With a nice, satisfying win behind them, (just like some athletes) they lose focus and attention in the present. They become tentative and perhaps even unsure how or if they might repeat their prior success.
Forgetting of course that, “Greatness is a process.” Tweet This
Are you tracking? Do you know what the short term first-downs are? What does the long-term end-zone looks like?
Let me know how you keep your head in the game?
Enjoy. Subscribe. Share. Thanks.
It's common to hear conflicting messages from personal achievement experts or “gurus”? (5:15).
One authority will insist that you don't have to work hard, you just have to work smart. Another insists that balance is bogus or, you just have to follow your bliss. Yet, another claims life is a marathon not a sprint... and on it goes.
“Take away paradox from the thinker and you have a professor.” ~Kierkegaard
Unfortunately, achieving your goals isn't so black and white. Often, the "real" answer is a mixture of conflicting advice. In a world of a thousand shades of grey, confusion and then paralysis can set in if we remain fixed.
In this episode, Nick and I review an essential "key" when it comes to navigating all of this conflicting information. (14:35).
"Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another." ~Juvenal
It turns out in your pursuit of personal growth and your goals its best to mirror the many visible traits in the natural world (dynamic, flexible, adaptive) for starters.
That mindset, combined with awareness, assures an effective and efficient path to personal growth and goal achievement.
“Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement.” Tweet This
“What is man without energy? Nothing. Nothing at all.”
With all of the gimmicks and advertisements for ways to increase your energy, we are made to forget that both we and our goals are energy. Energy, as defined by the Latin root ergo, is the capacity for doing work. To make the most of your energy and to increase your capacity for doing work, Martin fuses Newton’s Laws of Physics with his strategies for increasing your productivity (5:45):
In the words of a Navy SEAL, “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.” Friction causes tension, so challenge yourself to be more mindful of your responses to negativity and use your energy in a more productive manner. Martin reminds us that we have a limited amount of energy each day and that drama should be avoided at all times, if necessary.
“Always take hold of things by the smooth handle.”
A quick thank you! Our Habits 2 Goals podcast was featured once again by iTunes and has been in the top 10 (Self-Help category) for several weeks... a terrific start for this new show!
Now, on to the business at hand. It seems that everyone I know is "busy, busy, busy". In this show Martin and I cover some of the things you can do to make the most of your time and ensure that your results are meaningful too! No point climbing up the wrong ladder, right?
In this episode we walk through some key tips to help anyone be more productive:
While these ideas will greatly enhance your productivity, it's essential to know mental toughness and persistence remain paramount (see GRIT post). Remember too, these tips will only work when you’re kind, patient, and accepting of yourself!
If you have any questions about this week’s episode, or any prior shows, email them to Martin at mg ( AT ) thehabitfactor.com.