On Slipping Up

Anyone who has tried to change has experienced a slip up.

We set big dreams and layout the vision we want to live for new bodies, businesses, relationships. And then it doesn’t go according to plan.

The easy choice is dangled in front of our face, and, sometimes, we take it.

It’s an off day.

The real questions becomes…

What do you do when you slip up? What do you do when you have an off day?

Because what you do after it doesn’t go according to plan is probably more important than anything else.

Here’s what has worked for me…

  1. Recognize the slip-up. You didn’t fulfill your potential in this instance. That’s okay. The first step toward getting better is recognizing it – not hiding from it. You can only attempt to fix the mistake after you’ve recognized it.
  2. Ask why. If you don’t replay the day, you’ll never figure out how to avoid the same situation tomorrow. Think about what got you off track? Why didn’t you fulfill your potential? Was there something you could have done better?
  3. Forgive yourself for it. Holding onto negative thoughts about your performance from yesterday will hurt your journey tomorrow. Let it go. As hard as that may sound, ask yourself: what can you control right now? You can set yourself up to be in the best position to dominate tomorrow.
  4. Get back on the horse tomorrow. Everyone has an off day here and there – even the best. One is a slip-up. But two in a row is a choice.

What’s Your End Goal?

I’m scheduling this post from a cabin in the woods. It’ll be short and sweet.

I’ve been asked more than a handful of times over the past few months…

What’s your end goal?

People usually expect some sort of elaborate plan.

But it’s much simpler than that…

My end goal is to spread love, joy, happiness to all those who cross my path (and look momma, I’m doing it!).

So, I’d like you to take some time today to think about the question…

“What’s your end goal?”

Can you achieve your end goal today? Can you make your end goal a game that you can play forever?

Because, if you can, I can almost guarantee your life will be better than if you are constantly chasing the next carrot along the path.

If you need any help figuring out your own end goal, or just want to chat about it, feel free to shoot me an email – my name at this domain. I’ll do my best to respond to every email.

🙂

What I Learned Writing 1,000 Words For 100 Straight Days

I wrote more than 100,000 words in a few months.

That’s about the size of an average book.

I’ve been writing since I could speak, but I have never formed a consistent writing habit. I always wanted to “be” a writer, but I never wrote.

Well, I realized in order to be a writer… I had to start writing.

I found joy in the activity itself, but soon enough, I found I didn’t want to write 1,000 words. Some days, it was painstakingly difficult to pull the words from my mind. Of course, other days the words flowed effortlessly from brain to computer. Either way, I persisted.

These were the lessons I learned:

5 Ways To Find Flow

So many days I got lost while typing. I often forgot what time it was or if there was anything outside the screen. I wasn’t doing this for anyone else. I was (am) writing for me. And that was incredibly liberating. I had the discipline to sit down so I was granted the freedom of flow.

1. Freedom.to

When I first started, I had an awful habit of typing “tw” (for twitter.com) and “gm” (for gmail.com) Today? I still have the same habit. But I do it less.

Freedom.to is an app that blocks any website you want. I’m not quite sure where I would be without it. An essential tool for anybody who is trying to do distraction-free work. And it has been extremely important in turning my computer into a single-function device.

2. Noise-cancelling headphones

A worthy investment to block out the world and get lost in the screen. A single interruption can completely take you out of a thought.

3. Music choice matters

I like to go with music that has no words. I tend to get lost in classical music, lofi beats, and video game soundtracks.

Also if the music does have lyrics… putting the same song on repeat can be helpful.

4. Full screen mode

A computer is used for so many different functions. For example, you can text someone, go on social media, check email, write, play music… all from one single device. By using full screen mode, you focus your brain on single focus.

5. Write first, edit later

When I first started this mission, I commonly edited my work while I was in the middle of a draft. This is a waste of time (for me). I’d rather throw up all over the page then have to clean it up later. The writer’s version of: don’t ask for permission, ask for forgiveness.

Other Realizations Along The Path

Man, I have so much to learn

You go into any journey with wide-eyed ambition. The novice is confident because he believes he knows the most. And this is good. Because if you thought you sucked, you probably wouldn’t hit the Sweet Spot.

That’s why you went into it – because you thought it was going to be fun and exciting. You are going to dominate. You are absolutely sure of it.

But if it was easy… everyone would do it. And although I didn’t think I had it all figured out with writing… I realized how little I knew. Which is exciting. Because it means I have so much to learn.

Write when it’s top of mind (aka 10 minutes after a cup of coffee)

If you have a thought that you are passionate about or you think would make good writing, you need to write it down immediately. You run the risk of “losing it” if you don’t.

Usually, my ideas begin to overflow approximately 10 minutes after my first and only coffee of the day.

Build a routine

Even though you should write when you’re passionate, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write when you’re not passionate.

To quote the English playwright Somerset Maugham: “I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.”

Have a goal

Whether it’s one post a week or writing a certain number of words, it’s helpful to have a goal you are responsible to hit. It can help keep you on the path.

Make it public

Tell others about your goal. This single act may be able to keep you on the path.

Private reps count too

You don’t have to publish everything you write. My goal was to write 1,000 words every day. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to publish every single word. Most of it will be bad. But that’s okay!

Quantity > Quality

From the book Art & Fear:

The teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. 

His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an “A”. Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. 

It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

Writing 1,000 words a day is my version of producing objective quantity instead of subjective quality.

Find a community

You are more likely to do something when you’re a part of a group. Joining Compound Writing has been essential to helpful to keep me on the writing path.

Write about what you think about in the shower

Writing isn’t fun when you write about things you have no interest in writing about. That’s why writing for school is boring. But writing doesn’t have to be this way. You can actually write about what you’re interested in, or the things you think about in the shower. This makes for the best writing – and what I’ve tried to do on this website.

So What Should You Do?

If your goal is to write, be a writer. Or if it’s to be something else, do it. You’ll figure out the weird little tips and tactics and extra stuff after you’ve started.

Some of these tips will apply to whatever venture you’re trying to do, so I hope they were useful to you in some small way.

Thank you for reading.

🙂

A Letter To My Brother On His 22nd Birthday

Dear Max,

Happy birthday!

I want to take some time to discuss the past few months…

You have inspired me, we have grown closer, and I’m incredibly grateful for your presence. To watch you develop has been an honor and a privilege. I will always cherish this summer.

Let’s take some time to recap…

It all started with your comedy show. You typically put it on at school, but COVID-19 had other plans. To be able to help you in some small way gave me a firsthand look at your work ethic, your wit, and your willingness to work to get a result. Your commitment to ensuring the tiniest details were correct was inspiring and will stick with me forever.

After that, you were looking for your next challenge.

Of course, I had my own suggestion…

Do 75 HARD.

But instead of saying “yes” right away… You considered it, brought in consultants (mainly Mom), and tried to figure out how you would be able to make it work. A less thoughtful individual would have jumped right into the program without thinking twice about it. But you planned it out.

Also, along the same lines, you have shown me what it means to be a student.

You have dived into reading and learning. Your workouts have been difficult and your questions thought-provoking. You have taken up meditation, yoga, a morning routine.

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing though…  

On Day 23, you forgot to take your progress photo. But instead of wasting time feeling sorry for yourself, you got right back on the horse.

This was amazing.

How many people would have quit?

Next time you face a setback, think of this situation and how you handled yourself. Your resilience is certainly something I will think of often.

Throughout it all, you have also shown me what it means to be a leader. Obviously, you have led yourself by focusing on your own growth (highlighted above). But you have also led Carline to incredible heights – new demo calls, clients, interns seemingly every day.

These past few months have been some of the most fulfilling over my entire life because I got the chance to work with you to improve yourself.

I won’t always be by your side though.

So, if you ever need a quick pick-me-up, think about what you have achieved already…

From frail to jacked. From Facebook addict to consistent reader. From Rookie to CEO (okay, maybe COO).

Let your own growth serve as the inspiration for the road ahead.

To your success,

Danny

P.S. I’m sure you’ll find some edits to this letter like you do for Tuesday Treasure every week. 🙂

For People Who Worry A Lot

The following is a transcript from the opening monologue of a video called For People Who Worry a Lot by Joe Delaney.


So I keep having this thought, right?

That one day, when I’m a proper grownup, I’m going to have a kid. And I think about what I want for that kid. And the thought that keeps popping up in my head is…

I hope my kid doesn’t worry a lot.

Like, I hope he’s not a worrier.

Because above all else, I think is the single, biggest internal factor that determines your happiness the most. And I understand that’s quite a statement but just let me explain.

When you’re young, you think that happiness is a consequence of ticking boxes. 

You think it comes after you achieve or obtain things.

When you find the girl, or get the career, or achieve the status. When you become successful enough to feel worthy of respect. When you get the fast car or the big house, have the family, or finally have the free time to spend on what you love most. And these are all great things but they’re really all just milestones. They’re just markers along a much longer path consisting of all the work and the progress and steps that went toward finally getting there.

And the truth is, most of your life is not the thrill of finally getting there. Most of it is just being somewhere along the way. Most of your life is not the day that you lose your virginity or graduate or your wedding day or the day your firstborn arrives or the day you retire or buy a fucking yacht or win a Nobel Prize or get a million subscribers on YouTube.

Most of your life is just proper normal shit. Most of your life is basically a Tuesday afternoon. It’s doing a bit of work, going to the shop for milk and bread, deciding which film to watch on Netflix, having a coffee in the morning, being stuck in traffic, waiting for your dinner to be ready, filling out forms, standing in queues, brushing your teeth. Even for the person with the most exciting life, still, the majority of it is a string of very normal moments.

And so the real question becomes…

What’s your normal?

What are you thinking about when your mind drifts? Can you feel present? Can you appreciate the little things? How comfortable do you feel when there is no distraction? And how do you think about the future?

The one thing that will fuck up every single normal moment you have is worrying.

Worrying makes any uncertainty something to be scared of rather than something to be excited about.

It’ll keep you occupied thinking about the bad stuff that might happen rather than enjoying the good stuff that actually does happen. It makes the worst case scenario seem way more likely than it actually ever is. It hinders your ability to concentrate and to be creative. It makes you overly risk-averse and it will dull all the best parts of your everyday, normal life that deserve to be appreciated. 

Because you know what tastes better than peanut butter and banana on a bagel? It’s peanut butter and banana on a bagel when you’re not worrying about shit.