The what-if exercise and why plans don’t generally work.

  • What if tomorrow I would wake up at 05:00 and run for 3 miles?
  • What if just after that (and a shower) I would invest two hours of focused efforts into my most important project?
  • What if I would suspend all my emotional needs and focus 100% on what I need to do, knowing that once I’ve achieved this, I could enjoy those results tenfold?
  • What if I would stop smoking right now (speaking of which, I’m smoking in this exact smoking) knowing that I will win from all points of view?
  • What if I would consistently go to the gym and this would compound into an amazing psychological state?
  • What if I could leave the past behind and not take decisions influenced by it, instead, looking at the future?

Everything would be better. Everything would move faster and easier. Yet, I won’t do that. I will wake up at 10:00 or so. I will start work and then get distracted. I will sabotage myself in the pursuit of my goal. Why? Because I’m human and no matter how well organized my to-do list is, it won’t actually reflect the territory (the to-do list being the map, the old NLP saying – the map is not the territory).

Yet, I succeed. How? Through brute force. Doing more than anyone else in the right direction. In an not so efficient way, yet I do it.

And the main idea of this article is that it is not about how good your plan is. Good plans can always be created. It is simply. It is simply your ability to execute. You are limited not by your plan but by yourself, a concept that only successful people understand.

It is like trying to race a car at 300 km/h when that car only goes at 100. If you try to push it to 150, it will break. This is called burnout in psychology.

The sweet spot is doing exactly how much you can. Without burning yourself out. Preserving your energy. And the best way to do this is to aim to do as little things as possible but the right things.

If you have 24 hours in a day, it is better to have 3 productive hours, three hours advancing towards what you need to do and do nothing in the rest. It is better to be a goal oriented person for 3 hours and a hermit for the rest of 21.

Yet, you also need to create the PC (production capabilities) for those three hours. To work, you need to eat. To have a clear mind, you need to exercise. So it all comes down to a pyramid. In the top, it is your top goal, your top activities that lead you towards that goal. Yet every level down are the required functions, required conditions for you to execute those activities.

So in theory, you need to balance your life in order to provide you with the resources to EXECUTE your MVPs (your most vital priorities). In theory. In practice, we’ll discuss it another time.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

 

My first goal on this year – FAILED.

People fail. I’ve failed too.

And I’ve learned some lessons from this. This goal was not a NY resolution. It was a measurable one. It had the deadline of 1st of February 2015.

While I must keep my goals private, I can say what I’ve learned from it and what I’m going to do different.

Reasons why I’ve failed:
1. Lack of focus. I’ve had some really good periods but eventually, I’ve burnt out and I’ve lost my focus.
2. Ignoring PC (production capability). You can be single minded on a goal only for so long. Eventually, you’ll burn out because you’ve ignored everything that gave you that energy.
3. Distractions. Due to emotional needs not being met (read that as insecurity) I’ve made compromises that slowed down my progress. None proved fruitful.
4. Lack of a well defined procedure. Using brute force in pursuit of my goal and abandoning what worked.
5. Ignoring physical dimension – not exercising, not having enough energy, going borderline depression due to single focus.

Tweaks:
1. I’ve decided to do the goal again. I have about twice the time to achieve it and the goal is about 50% bigger than the first time.

Improvements I’m making:
1. Checklist approach. Checklist for morning routine, for appearance and for evening routine.
2. Process metric approach – I know that I must do X in order to achieve Y. I’ve quantified X. In other words, I’m not focusing only on the result but on the process that leads to that result too. A good analogy would be not focusing on muscle growth but on how many reps you make.
3. Physical routine – Aiming again to walk 10.000 steps. Should keep me out of the house for a few hours. Going to the gym, while may be a good idea, is very time consuming at this moment.
4. Eliminating all major decisions for this month. To make this simple, I’m eliminating as many moving pieces as possible.
5. Ignoring all non goal related opportunities. Everything that falls into the category of “but this may make me feel better and therefore be more productive” is BS. Ignored.

So, here we go again. Lucky number two.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

On production and production capabilities (PPC).

Five years or so, I’ve read “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.

One important concept from there was PPC. No, not pay per click like Adwords from Google but Production & Production Capabilities.

Do you remember the old “golden goose fable”?

If you don’t, I’ll write here a quick synopsis. A poor man discovers that one of his gooses laid golden eggs. One per day. This improves his circumstances dramatically, almost overnight. In a very short period, he becomes one of the richest people in the kingdom.

Yet, he becomes greedy. He wants more than one egg per day. Therefore, he kills the goose in order to take all the eggs from the inside. He finds none. He killed the “golden goose”.

The real life analogy is that people sacrifice their production capabilities in order to increase on a temporary basis production. This never works. When you cut the tree, the tree won’t be capable of producing any more apples. It is as simple as that.

Production is always based on production capabilities. A product is not created by itself, it is created by a factory. Without that factory, the product can not exist. I know, it sounds logical and you may wonder by now, where’s my point.

It is simple. PPC works in life too. Production capabilities are the parts of our life that allows us to execute. Our health, fitness, focus, knowledge, social capital, etc. Production are those things that consume these resources in order to get something of a different value – like money.

In the last two weeks, I’ve tried an experiment. I’ve suspended PC (production capabilities) maintenance in order to focus all my energy on P (production). And it worked, up to a point. The point where my PC were depleted. I’ve consumed more resources than I’ve replaced. And this lead to emotional, mental burnout and a pesky cold.

This was because I wanted to focus all my resources on a single goal. I’ve accomplished part of my goal but as I’ve said, I’ve depleted my resources. So based on this experiment, I’ve drawn the following conclusions:

  • The desire to do something is not enough. You need the resources to back it up, from willpower to energy to focus and many others. Those limited are limited. They may last one day or six months but they are limited.
  • You can’t consume more than you produce. Keep this in mind. If you have energy for ten hours, you’ll get ten hours. You can’t get 12 no matter how much you want it. If you try, you’ll pay a big price for this through burnout. Yes, your body can be pushed to the absolute limit but unless it is a critical situation, there isn’t any reason to actually do this.
  • If you want to keep your production consistent (which is required, especially for long term goals), you need to renew your resources. In other words, you need to plant the garden, take care of it and eat from it too. If you create the resources but you’re not using them, you’re under achieving. If you are creating less resources than you are using, then you will eventually burnout and crash. If you are consuming about the same as you are creating, you will be in the optimum zone – where you are moving steadily towards your goal.

So it is time to change my approach. My one goal at a time focus remains. However, I am investing an equal amount of time in PC too. 50% in production, 50% in production capabilities.

Theoretically, this will balance things and will prevent burnout in the near future. In practice, we will see. All life is an experiment.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

Hustling 101

“Get Rich Or Dye Trying” – 50 Cent

When you start an article with a quote from 50 Cent, you don’t expect much. You expect that some “nigga” wrote it because his entire business education comes from music and movies.

When you think about business, success, you think about people in black or navy suits, with firm handshakes and which will inject the words “synergy, projection and win-win” every three sentences.

Yet, 50 Cent knows more about business than most C-Level execs out there. How do I know that?

I’ve read his biography and I’ve studied his life (a kind of biography, it was “The 50th law by Robert Greene and 50 Cent”.

And Fifty is best known for hustling. But what does that even mean?

Well, based on Webster (yes, hustle is found in Webster), hustle or hustling means:

: to quickly move or push (someone) often in a rough way

: to move or work in a quick and energetic way

: to play a sport with a lot of energy and effort

Or to put it simply, in a more suitable context, to move with force, energy, focus, towards a given goal. To get what you need and in a manner that compares you with a train.

Not slow and steady but as your life depends on it. Because in many ways, it does. It is not a life or death decision but if you treat it as nothing else matters, you’ll usually find the focus and the energy to succeed.

That’s being said, here are my ten rules for hustling.

  1. Know what you want. It is rather hard to pursuit a goal if you don’t know where you are heading. Set a goal, formally or less formally and make it your center of existence.
  2. Understand that with every opportunity, comes a dozen obstacles. Accept them as a fact of life, take them one at a time and crush them. Nobody said that it is going to be easy.
  3. Nothing can replace hard work. Yes, there are people making $5.000.000 in a single deal but before they’ve got there, they’ve invested thousands or tens of thousands of hours. The more you are in, the higher the rewards but hard work is a must and it is a constant. Usually millionaires work harder than poor people.
  4. Want security? Forget about it. Life is about managing risk, not eliminating it. Some ways to manage it are common sense (don’t drive drunk). Yet, you can’t eliminate all risk in life. You can act knowing that there is a slim chance of everything going to hell.
  5. Have a back-up plan. Some people say that it is not a good idea to have plan B because it distracts you from plan A. Yet, plan A may fail and you need to fall back on something.
  6. Opportunities exist everywhere. They may not fit your initial plan because that was formed on your prior assumptions but they exist. When a door opens, integrate it into your goal.
  7. Few if none people will support you in your pursuit. Get used to it. Your goals and your execution are personal matters. If you want to be sabotaged, share them with other people. They’ll find very creative ways of making you take more time in accomplishing what you want.
  8. Goals rarely get accomplished in a linear manner. It is not like you have 10 days and every single day you’ll get 10% done. Instead, you’ll get 20% done in the first 8 days and 80% in the last two. It takes time for your effort to reach a critical point.
  9. You may fail. So what? Get back to the drawing board and start again. Chances are that if you do this, the second time it will be far easier. You’ll have insight on what works and what doesn’t and you’ll have almost all the progress from your last goal.
  10. Never, ever give up. If a goal is worthy, move earth and heaven to accomplish it. Go through hell if required. Faith, even if I don’t believe in such a concept has the habit of rewarding only those who hustle, hard.

That’s being said, I would like to leave you with a part from the poem Ulysses by Lord Tennyson.

We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

 

Every single little thing matters.

Mission accomplished.

These are the two most beautiful words you can say when it comes to a goal. To reach the end. To reach your metric.

Yet, in your pursuit, you’ll encounter obstacles. In other words, things, circumstances, people, that will make you feel like accomplishing your goal is impossible.

For example, I’m at such a stage right now. With days to goal until the hard deadline on my goal, I am only about 40% in. Things are not looking good. There are many approaches to accomplish this goal but most do not seem very effective right now.

It is stressful, I admit it.

But you know what else I admit? That every step taken towards the right destination, even writing this blog post, will improve the odds. Not by much but it will improve it.

Consider your goal a numbers game. If you do nothing, you have 0% chance of accomplishing. But with every single task you take towards the completion of your goal, that chance increases. It will never be 100% but you can get it to 30% … 50% … 70% … or even 90%. You can get it as close as possible to certainty.

Not even there you are not 100% sure that you can do it, that you can say “mission accomplished” but 90% chances of success are far better than 25%.

Nothing gives you full certainty that you’re going to win. No matter how much you train, work, try, nothing is 100% safe. However, it is usually enough to tip the balance.

There is also a theory that by not focusing on balance in other areas of your life, you will get stuck in others. This may be true but I don’t see a real causal relationship between these two. I’ve won while ignoring important areas of my life in the process. I can’t say that it was a smart decision but I don’t really see how fixing something unrelated will help me advance this goal.

Maybe I will discover eventually.

That being said, the lesson today is – do anything that gets you closer to your goal. Any productive action will tip the scale in your balance. It is not about the big event, the big process, at least not always. Sometimes it is about a small thing that proves actually huge leverage.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

 

Start it. Work on it. Complete it.

Yesterday, when I’ve checked GoodReads, I’ve had nine books started.

Almost all of them were 30 – 40% in but I haven’t completed any. I’ve lost my interest with most of them at some point, which is natural.

So I’ve eliminated all the books from the “currently reading” tab and left only one. And this made me realize something.

The one goal approach works. The one focus, one project, one task approach works too, even if it needs to be more flexible.

Instead of focusing on getting 100 things done every single day, focus on starting one and getting it to completion. One project completed is better than ten projects which you’ve took to 10% completion.

I’m not saying that you can live a practical life by focusing 100% on only one thing. Life doesn’t work in this way. You have to juggle some things from time to time. Actually, you have to juggle every single day.

But here’s the thing – it is far better to focus on getting things done than to progress on several things at once. When you progress, the return is marginal. When you complete something, you are getting a far higher ROI by taking that thing to completion.

This approach to life and to your day is not easy. But it works. It works to focus not on starting but on completing. Yes, something things get boring. Yes, there will always be a shiny toy to attract and capture your attention. Yet, movement is not always equal to productivity. You may move on a road but this doesn’t mean you are getting closer to your desired goals.

Start something and get it to completion. That’s the main point when you want to be an achiever. I don’t know when this common sense concept was lost.

Everyone today puts the focus on work. I’m hard working. I’m putting in the hours and the effort. Praise me for that. But that’s hardly relevant. There is a link between work and ROI but in the end, the only thing that matters is getting the end goal done – to get the end result.

For example, right now, I have six tasks on my to-do list on www.any.do (which is a brilliant to-do manager and no, I’m not an affiliate). I’ve started a Pomodoro timer and I’m working on them until I get the list done. Could I do other things that are productive?

Yes, of course. I could sit back and read a book or I could network or I could do 50 more interesting things than what today brings to me. But if I do that, I’ll never get anything done.

So it is far more important for me to focus on the hard to do or at least boring to do tasks, get them done and benefit from it. Nobody said that work needs to be interesting and glamorous. It it a good thing to find some degree of interest and passion in your work, but work must be done, no matter if it is exciting or not.

The lesson? Do the work, start something, take it to completion, no matter if you are pumped up by what you are doing or not. You are doing it for the results, not for the process itself.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

Ten rules for living a goal focused life …

You know what is the fastest way to annoy an average or sub-average person?

Tell him that you have a goal in your life. That you are heading somewhere. That every single day you wake up with one question.

“What can I do today to get closer to the accomplishment of my goal?”

That when you shower you create your to-do list in your mind and that all or almost all day you focus on accomplishing it.

That on your birthday you’ve worked towards accomplishing your goal, on Christmas, on the NYE day. That you don’t have time to go out to drink a beer or to chat or to watch a movie. You are busy. You are hustling getting closer to what you want.

Trust me, it will piss him off. This is because you create a cognitive dissonance in him (hmm, I should focus on a goal too) and because you are making him feel guilty for wasting time.

But this post is not about pissing people off (even if this is funny sometimes). This post is a partial status report on my goals and a set of random thoughts about goal setting and goal accomplishing.

Let’s back a bit though – what is a goal? A goal is a destination. It is something you want to be or to have or to reach. Reaching a BFI (body fat index) or 11% is a goal just as owning a big plasma TV is another goal. Well, some are better than others but by definition, a goal is something specific you want to accomplish that is defined by at least three factors:

  • What you want to accomplish.
  • Why you want to accomplish it.
  • By when you want to accomplish it.

And why is a goal focused life better than simply going with the flow? Well, I’m not saying it is better. It is a choice. There are some people who make every single day a blank canvas and paint it with experiences, emotions and memories. Good for them. I appreciate them for what they are doing.

But for me life is not so much about living in the moment as in building castles, building support structures that have only one purpose – to create new favorable circumstances for me.

In other words, I’m more interested in creating the playing field before playing in it. This is a personal bias, it works for me and it is not right for everyone. I consider that when I look back into my life, I see the goals I’ve accomplished, not so much the beautiful moments. The things that shaped me and my life most were, as you may have guessed, accomplished goals.

That being said, here’s the thing – if this way of life works for you, embrace it. If not, don’t. Being always in a race, always towards a finish line, is not for everyone. It is not the fastest way towards happiness. I consider that it is worth it but it is not an absolute truth. So embrace it or not, but make sure it fits your own paradigm of life.

Here are ten rules that you need to keep in mind about goals.

  1. The more goals you have, the less likely you are to accomplish any one of them. Here’s something you should know about goals – they require huge effort and energy to get to completion. In other words, a goal is something that you can’t really do by default, you need to focus your energy. It is like a marathon. And if you set many goals, you will simply divide your energy. The most goals I suggest you do at any given time are three. I personally do one at a time and it works for me. Yes, I could do two at a minimum but I want to give myself the best odds for accomplishing at least one.
  2. Goals need to have a deadline. Without a deadline, a goal is simply a wish. And wishes do sometimes come true but most of the time, they do not. I’ve wished for a date with Monica Belluci since I saw her in a movie in 1999. I still haven’t got it. When you set a deadline, you realize that you need to make choices. Should you do this or that? Should you go out or stay home and work in order to meet your deadline? A deadline gives you real urgency and the most likely you are to reinforce your deadlines, the more disciplined you’ll become.
  3.  Goals should not take more than a month. My wishes kind of changed in time. What I wanted four years ago is not true now anymore, at least in some nuances. So if I’ve kept my goal list from then, 80% would have not been relevant anymore. That’s why you need to keep your goals in the near future, otherwise you risk making them obsolete. There are very few things that can become obsolete in one month but there are enough that can become in one year. If your goal is bigger than a month, break it down in smaller, 31 days goals.
  4. Goals should mean something to you. Don’t focus on goals that don’t drive you. You’ll burnout and you’ll never find the energy required to accomplish them again. In order to work hard, in order to work exhausted, in order to think about every possible way to accomplish your goal, try it, fail at it and try again you need to get closer to something you care about. Something that moves you emotionally.
  5. Focusing on a goal does not mean that you’ll become a hermit or doing nothing else. Your goal should take priority over everything else in your life but not replace it. This means that if you have a goal of writing a book, this doesn’t mean you’ll quit your job and family and focus on writing that book for the next three months. It just means that every single day you’ll ask yourself “what are the top six things I can do today to get closer to my goal” and get to work on them while doing everything else is required.
  6. Every single time you accomplish a major goal (since goals by definition should take at least seven days and at most 31 all goals are major goals), celebrate. You’ll once celebrate by getting the outcome offered by the goal, the reward and second, pop a bottle of champagne, bring your best crystal glass and drink in your honor. Don’t do this with someone else unless that person is close to you as focusing, working and accomplishing goals is a very personal thing and nobody else will understand why you are happy. They don’t know that there are many more reasons to celebrate life apart your birthday and NYE.
  7. Goals have the nasty habit of throwing you in the dirt as often as possible. This means that 90% of the goal you’ll be off track. You’ll be under performing or you’ll have made little progress at all and then, all your effort, all your hard work will pay off and you’ll accomplish 80% of your goal in a day. Of course, it depends on what your goal is this happens rather often. Remember the old saying “It is not over until the fat lady sings”. You may be 25% or 50% into your goal and you’ve made far less progress than you’ve planned. That’s alright. You’ve got 50% more. Keep working on it. Change your approach. Find a way to make it work. When you put in the work and the focus, rational miracles happen.
  8. If you are not feeling scared in the pursuit of your goal, you are doing something wrong. Anxiety, stress, fear are all normal things when you try to accomplish something worthwhile. This is because your goal is outside of your comfort zone and these are the things you feel when you try to get out there. So if you feel like throwing up or if you can’t sleep at night anxious about your goal, you are on the right path. It will get easier with time. Eventually, all of these things will go away. But use this as a motivational memento, since it shows you that your goal is worthy enough to be scary.
  9. When life gets in the way, aim to compartmentalize and focus back on your goal. Look, bad things happen. Disruptive ones. I understand that. But this doesn’t mean you should give up on your goal. Unless what happened makes the goal 100% obsolete and not necessary anymore, then see how you can limit damage from that event and get back to work on your goal. Take it in a logical manner. If your life is at -1, accomplishing your goal will bring it at 0. If you give up on your goal, you’ll not only remain at -1 but also go further down since you’ll also lose any ROI.
  10. Goals exists to prove us what is possible. Do you sometimes wonder if you could accomplish X or Y? Yes, you can. As long as something is humanly possible, it is within your reach. But it may take new ways of looking at things. A new way of thinking. Of acting. Of using your time. It may take building a new way. It may take 3 days or 3 years to get there. But yes, you can accomplish it. It is not that complicated. It is hard to execute, as it requires discipline and focus so you can move towards the right goal every single day but it is rather simple to get there.

Now it’s time to get back and focus on accomplishing my own goal. The same goal that I could live without it, as it is not a life or death choice yet, it keeps me awake at night. That every single day I wonder and try a lot of different things to accomplish. Why?

To see that I can do it. To prove to myself that I am the creator of my life and that I don’t need anything or anyone but my own focused efforts and hard work to get where I want.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

What actually determines a successful life?

It is 01:36 AM and I can’t sleep because I can’t answer a simple question …

“What the fuck determines success?”

I’m confused. In theory, consistent action towards a goal determines success. In practice though, I’m not that sure anymore.

The reason why I’m saying this is because if I look back at some points in my life, my biggest wins were based on almost random events. Yet, these events were not random. They were consequences of my mindset and my action yet random in the same time.

Yes, I know. Mind-blowing. That’s why I can’t sleep.

The only conclusion I’ve reached so far is that success is like a pyramid. I would open an graphic editing product right now to draw a pyramid, however, since it is very late, be patient with me.

The base of the pyramid represents 80% of your life. These are the processes that you do every single day. Rituals, habits, etc. For example, reading almost daily or focusing on six main tasks every days is represented by this 80%. Going to the gym, eating, smoking, drinking or not drinking water, represents that pyramid. For the sake of our example, I’m not going to use terms like right or wrong but rather stable or unstable.

I’ll explain more soon.

And the last 20% are paradigm and life changing events. For example, when I land a big deal, that deal is almost completely random. I could say that I’ve worked hard towards it but the truth is that it usually appears from the ether, from a person that I’ve never knew and which had no previous connection with me.

But here’s the thing. Without the stable 80%, that 20% is worthless. It is worthless because I can not take advantage of it. And even that 20% always existed there, opportunities always existed, you need that 80% to open the door. In other words, it is a door but you need the key. And the key is in your control. But when that door appears beats me.

Looking back at my life, some of the biggest driving factors appeared almost random. Yes, it is true, without being what I am, I could have never took complete or even partial advantage of them. But they were random.

The people that mattered most in my life and shaped me in what I am today – mentors, teachers, collaborators, partners, girlfriends, soul-mates, were random people. People I’ve meet mostly by chance.

For example, in one of my most intense experience in my life in the romance sector, I’ve meet that person because a nightclub was boring and I’ve decided to go somewhere else. Serendipity? Yes, I guess so.

The same can be said about my professional life. I’ve met those people almost by chance. They were there. They were always there. So are the people that will shape my life from now on. But it wasn’t a long process. It was a pure random encounter. And the thing is that I had the 80% that allowed me, in some cases, not all of them, to take advantage of the 20% opportunities.

An analogy that I’m not sure if it makes sense is this. If you sharpen the axe, the trees that you need to cut will appear. How? Beats me. They simply appear. They appear because you have a sharpened axe and sharpened axe have the purpose of cutting trees.

I don’t understand the causal relationship between being ready for something and that opportunity appearing but it seems to work. When you are ready to do something, you’ll get the opportunity to do it. Even if the opportunity was there all the time, now you understand it, you get it in tangible terms, you understand the ways to make it work.

But why does this keeps me awake right now?

Because I feel fooled by randomness. A long time ago I’ve read this book, with the same name, by Taleb. And it dealt with the same thing. The randomness factor in our life. How we like to think that we are in complete control of our lives but we are not.

And this leads me to an interesting conclusion.

You see, one year ago, I had no idea that I will be here. In this place, in these circumstances. Yes, I knew that I will work hard. Yes, I knew that I will invest in myself. Yes, I knew what road I’m going to follow.

But if you told me my current circumstances which are not bad at all (but not brilliant either) one year in the past, I would have laughed. It would have made no logical sense. Why would I get here? What would be the point? Why here, why now?

And this leads to a flaw in our thinking – our thought, our belief that logic is omnipotent and logic is without flaw. But logic is based on the basic assumption that what happened yesterday will happen today. It is based on patterns. It is based on predictability.

Yet, predictability doesn’t work all the time unless it is in a perfect closed system. Life throws you different stuff. And this surprises me in so many different manners.

In other words, reality is so complex that it is impossible to predict based only on past outcomes what will happen in the past. We are biased towards believing that there is a sequential order to things. Yet, there isn’t. Things are more random that than.

This leads a bit to nihilism since there is no real purpose to life but that’s OK.

And what’s the conclusion, the practical conclusion to this late night rant?

Well … invest in what you can and let other things happen. In the self-improvement circle there is a cliche. This is “some people make their life happen, they are creators and some people instead have things happen to them – victim of circumstances”.

But it is not a black or white situation. Instead I tend to believe that we are 80% creators of our lives, in the best possible circumstances, that being the outer limit and 20% will always happen to us. Good or bad. Or better said, that will advance our goals or not.

And that’s the conclusion.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

Eight Reasons Why Taking Action Works …

Britney Spears got it right … If you want X … then work bitch. 

This is because anything worthwhile in life is achieved through a combination of two elements. These are how much effort you put in and how well you do it. Execution and skill. 

And in life, nothing happens until you make it happen. Or as Abraham Lincoln said “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”.

Because nothing happens in life until you make it happen. From time to time things happen to you, as a cause set in motion but generally, if you don’t create the circumstances for something to happen, it won’t. It is as simple as that.

Action gives you no guarantee for success but lack of action gives you a guarantee for failure. This is because in life, all you can do is increase your odds of succeeding in any given project or goal. You can’t guarantee anything, you don’t know what will happen with complete certainty but you can increase your odds.

I’ve found myself in situations where between where I were and where I was supposed to be, there was a huge gap. A gap that I had no idea how I could actually cross.

Yet, by taking action and asking myself “what are the things I could do to get from A to B”, I’ve narrowed that gap until I’ve passed it. Always? Yes. Always in time? No. Sometimes it took two days, other times it took two months. You can achieve anything in life as long as you give it enough time, that being the only factor.

If you want certainty and security in life, you’re not going to get it. There isn’t none. Your life, your possessions, your health, nothing is secure. There are circumstances that are safer than others but nothing is 100% proof.

But you can improve your odds. That’s your job on this planet. Improve your odds every single day. Through hard work, through practice, through education, through screwing things up and learning from them.

And you improve your odds by taking action, action being defined as any type of execution that moves you towards a direction. That’s being said, here are eight reasons why taking action actually works.

    1. Progress happens only outside of your comfort zone. Anything that is better than your current circumstances by definition exists in a place where you are not yet. Therefore, if you want to get better circumstances, you need to do things you haven’t done already. This requires action.
    2. If you are not moving forward, you are moving backwards. Life is like being on a treadmill. You can select your speed but if you stop running, you’ll be thrown down from the treadmill. There is a difference between playing to win and playing not to lose. Playing not to lose means doing the minimum required to not make things worse for you. Playing to win means setting goals that are superior to what you have right now and pursuing them.
    3. There is always another level on the playing field. What you need to be and do in circumstance X may be not enough in circumstance Y. Therefore, the more you advance in life, the better you need to be both in what you do. Some people struggle to pay $1000/month rent. Others struggle to buy a $20.000.000 yacht. Different playing fields.
    4. There is build feedback in everything you do. Reality is the best judge, arbiter. It is completely objective. Life carries no moral bias. It is cause and effect. If you do this, you get that. And you can observe that and learn from it. There are many principles after to which to guide your life but all of them are true or false based on a single question “do they work in real life?”.
    5. Taking action is like building a muscle. Whenever you do it, you become a little better at it. You learn new ways to do it, improved means and eventually, how not to screw up things anymore. Therefore, every single time you take action, no matter if you win or lose, you become better at it.
    6. The only thing you magically attract in your life are bills and pizza fliers. I’m tired of the LOA bullshit. I simply consider it stupid. Yes, we attract what we are because through our actions, we create circumstances in which we gain access to similar types of people. It is no secret that a drunk person will spend most of his time in bars and have drunk friends. Or that an athlete will spend most of his time with people who also practice sports. But it is simply cause and effect, not “the law of attraction”. If you want to have something in your life, fight for it. Don’t wait for the universe to send it to you.
    7. It is moral to win. Take it this way. Who are you doing a favor if you lose? Only to those people that will benefit from you losing. Who are you doing a favor if you win? To yourself, to your loved ones, to all the people you help through your actions, to the planet at large. Being weak means a burden on those around you. Being strong means being a producer and offering something of value to those around you. It is not hard to pick what it is better, isn’t it?
    8. Winning is so much better than losing. Some people say that it is not about the outcome but about the game. Good for them but for me it is about winning. I love the following video from the “Devil’s Advocate”. The satisfaction to win after putting all your effort, after sleepless nights, after stress and after having three anxiety attacks a day is priceless. It is better than sex.

Bonus #1: What are you on this Earth for? To watch TV and slowly die? You have only one life. If you have religious beliefs, good for you, but I still consider that this is the only life you get. It is priceless. You’ll live 65 – 70 years. Don’t you want to make the most out of them?

Bonus #2: The better you get at something, the easier it becomes. This is the most beautiful things with action. The higher you get, the higher your ROI. When you get started, let’s say in a business, an hour of your time may value $15. After ten years, it may value $1500. After ten years, a single hour brings you as much as 100 hours before. That’s beauty. That’s splendor.

So what else are you waiting for? A kick in the rearside? Get to action and make something happen today.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz

Focus on one goal at a time.

Hi there,

What does a word like “obsession” speaks to you?

If you are like most people, not a large range of good things. Obsession means when your interest in something is so intense, so big, so deep that it is actually causing you (or someone else) harm. It is a word used to be used when you want someone NOT to do something.

“Stop spending so much time thinking about X or you’ll become obsessed”.

Yet, is obsession a bad thing?

In most cases, yes. However, there is one circumstance in which it is actually helpful. That’s when it comes to accomplishing goals.

Why most people don’t accomplish their goals?

You see, most people don’t accomplish their goals not because exterior reasons. I’ve tracked my goals so much and I’ve done so much psycho-analysis on myself and my life that I know this. It is because they lose focus. Let me explain how it works on me.

I set a goal. I get started on it. I hit some success or some obstacle. I overcome it. If I hit success, I relax. I forget about the goal. I find a new shiny toy. My goal fails.

The reason why I’ve failed my goals, apart from when the goals were 99% in control of another human being and it was more about luck or circumstances than actions … was that I’ve lost focus. I’ve found something else to do. Or I gave up on my goal. I’ve tried to accomplish a lot of things in the same time and I’ve accomplished none.

That’s when I’ve decided to take a new approach to my life, when it comes to goals, goals setting and productivity. I set only one goal at a time. The time for that goal is blocked on the calendar. And then I ask myself every single day what are the top six things I could do to advance on this goal.

For example, right now, my goal is professional in nature. And yes, I’m missing out a lot on this. I want to exercise. And to buy a new FitBit. And to go on holiday. And to discover a new woman in my life. Yet, if I try to do all of these, I would lose focus on my main goal.

My trusted six questions system.

So I don’t do all of that. I’m just starting the day, in my trusted www.any.do app (you can find it on the app store, both on IOS and Android) and setting my top six tasks for today. Each tasks answer the question directly or almost directly of …

“Will this help me get closer to accomplishing my goal right now?”

None of these tasks guarantee success. And yes, there may be better ways to use my time to accomplish my goal. Yet, every single one of them is a step, small or big, towards the right direction.

And that’s the psychology of focused combined with obsession. Focus being I don’t have 15 goals or 50 or even 2. I have one goal at a time.

Do I have more goals waiting? Of course.

One goal at a time paradigm change

But on the calendar, there is only one goal and what I do on a day to day basis serves that goal. For example, I think that in the near future, my main goal will be to train for a marathon. That means that every single day I will ask myself what are the top six things I can do to train for this marathon.

This may be running, eating right, resting and of course, work. Without money, there are no resources to actually train. I haven’t still got this down to a science but I’ll understand how to do it better when I’m there. The thing is that you can’t in the same time, no matter how focused you want to be, ignore everything else in your life.

You still need to be social, you still need to exercise and to take care of you. But you need to have some priorities and focus on them first. If you get your tasks done by 12 PM, then you can spend the rest of the day doing whatever you want. But those tasks go first, no matter if they take 1 hour or 8.

Why am I’m doing all of this?

My system is not very popular to be honest. After all, I dedicate most of my energy to reach a finish line and not to live every day like it is the last.

But this is my choice. And the choice is rational.

This is because if I look back, I don’t remember the tens of nights outs or people I’ve meet at coffee or movies I saw. I remember my accomplishments. Financial, physical, emotional, social, mental, etc. I remember the seminars I’ve went to, the places I’ve stayed in, the experiences I’ve afforded, the people I’ve let into my life. And each one of them were at some point goals.

Maybe not clearly defined goals, maybe not SMART goals but they were an point in the future towards which I was moving.

My goal ends on the 1st of February right now. Will I accomplish it? Yes, most likely, as I have done this in the past. Will I miss out on a lot of things? Yes.

But I’ll reach my destination. And then my life will be a bit better. Not by a quantum leap but about 5%. Then another 5% and another and another. And soon I’ll have accomplishments in my portfolio, not movies I saw and real power over myself not motivational bla bla.

Best regards,
Razvan Rogoz