This is a sub-post to The Focus Experiment.

If I turn pro, if I focus on working hard and making money for the next six months, shelving the importance of love and travel and adventure…

Worst Case

  • I could fall into a depression because I have been ignoring the exciting things in life in favor of making money
    • I could ensure that I do approach a few women a week, just to say “Hi”
    • I could follow a healthy morning routine that prepares me for a good day & keeps me fit & healthy.
    • I could go couchsurfing in Montreal, so that I am always in a new surrounding, with new people, and having new experiences
    • I could reserve the weekends as time off. Time to hang out with friends, go on dates, meet women, see things I’ve been wanting to see, try new experiences.
  • I could lose my childish abandon and enjoyment of life, and become old, boring, and cautious
    • I could make sure that, no matter what the result at the end of these 6 months, I go do something reckless and exciting and new and dangerous for a few months. Fly to a new country with someone I admire and no plans.
    • I could ensure that I spend a certain amount of the money that I make on rewarding myself with something that I simply desire.
    • I could recognize that this is the retarded idea of work life balance, and promise myself that, after July 1st 2012, I will never again do something I don’t wholly enjoy for the money. I will give myself two months to totally eliminate, automate, and liberate all of the things I don’t enjoy in my life at the end of the experiment, and vow never again to place money over enjoyment.
  • I could gain a lot of weight, become unhealthy, afraid of women, anxious in social situations, and unable to focus on the moment and not on working.
    • I could ensure that I do approach a few women a week, just to say “Hi”
    • I could follow a healthy morning routine that prepares me for a good day & keep me fit & healthy.
    • I could go couchsurfing in Montreal, so that I am always in a new surrounding, with new people, and having new experiences
    • I could reserve the weekends as time off. Time to hang out with friends, go on dates, meet women, see thing I’ve been wanting to see, try new experiences.
  • I could waste six months of my life doing something I don’t particularly love in pursuit of something I desperately want but do not get, and so find myself having failed at my desperate attempt to figure money out. Now I am depressed, confused as to what I want and how I get it, bitter at those who have succeeded, and on a path to become a normal, boring, walking dead person.
    • I can view this as an experiment I think is likely to work, based on my belief that focus will result in a more direct route to a goal, and that locking in and really working on something is the only way to make something great happen quickly.
    • If I fail, but give it all I’ve got, I can simply view it as an experiment that has been completed and taught me something about life: that focus alone does not bring success.
  • My dreams of travel & women & adventure & exploration & gleeful stupidity could fade and be replaced the the practicalities of staying in one place & being with a stable woman & living a great story & risking all because I know the value of everything is gone the moment it becomes a deterrent and living by enjoyment and not fear.
    • I can promise myself that, at the end of these six months, I will go on a gleefully stupid adventure into new things and new places, and meet new people and love new women. No matter what, at the end of these 6 months of focus, I will disengage and remember the purpose of being alive: to enjoy it.
    • I can remember that I am doing this because I think it will bring me the most joy on a 5-year scale, not on a 1 week scale. And that, if I am successful in my goal & never have to worry about basic money ever again, it will be worth it.

Best Case Scenario

  • I could succeed beyond my wildest dreams, be making $10K+ per month, and never have to worry about how to make money again.
  • I could be connected with a bunch of cool people and mentors through having worked with them, and work with them to build successful passion businesses.
  • I could be proud of myself for succeeding as an entrepreneur.
  • I could make use of my new pride & my knowledge of human psychology & making friends to start travelling with awesome people, meeting and making love to beautiful women, and exploring my subconscious and the boundaries of my mind and understanding of the world and what I can do in it and to it.

What Can I Do To Fend Off & Repair The Worst Case?

  • I can focus on creating a morning ritual of yoga & exercise & planning & relaxation, that keeps me healthy & starts my days off well. (planned)
  • I can approach a minimum amount of attractive women every week, with just the intention of saying “Hi” and keeping myself from becoming fearful & reclusive around women. (planned)
  • I can go couchsurfing around Montreal while I work, so that my base is a social place, my possessions are minimal, and my desire for travel is satisfied if not satiated. (planned)
  • I could ensure that, no matter what, I take my weekends of to simply relax & go on dates & see new things & be with people I like. (planned)
  • I can create a plan of gleefully stupid and risky adventure for at least 2 months after my 6 month focus experiment. (planned)
  • I can create a list of rewards I want, and ensure that I spend a portion of the money I make every week on cool things & experiences. (planned)
  • I can make a promise to myself that, after this experiment & at the end of June 1st, I will never again do something huge that I don’t thoroughly enjoy. No matter what. Enjoyment comes first, this is just an experiment to see if I can increase long term enjoyment at the sacrifice of short term enjoyment. (planned)
  • I can see this as an experiment I am doing, not as who I am. As long as I give it all I’ve got, and take my best shot, the results will be what they be. I can view this as an experiment I think is likely to work, based on my belief that focus will result in a more direct route to a goal, and that locking in and really working on something is the only way to make something great happen quickly. Should I fail, I will know that my hypothesis has been proven wrong, and that I have to combine focus with something else to reach success. (planned)
  • I can remember that I am doing this because I think it will bring me the most joy on a 5-year scale, not on a 1 week scale. And that, if I am successful in my goal & never have to worry about basic money ever again, it will be worth it. (planned)

Actions

Every day, I will ask myself:

Have I said “Hi” to a sexually interesting girl today, with the intention of simply talking with her and keeping myself from becoming fearful & reclusive around women? How many women have I said “Hi” to this week?

/5

I will spend 15% of my profits every month on wish list things & fun experiences.

After June 1st, I will have two months to eliminate, automate, and liberate myself from all the work I don’t enjoy in my life. While at the same time planning an adventure.

The ideal adventure will be going to a new country with Colin Wright for four months, and just adventuring around and finding love and having fun.

The minimum adventure will be putting everything I own into my backpack, and backpacking across Canada towards BC for the summer.

I promise, here and now, that I will never again do anything that I don’t enjoy, and will find a way to remove things I don’t enjoy from my life as soon as I realize that I’m not enjoying them, no matter what.

After this experiment, after July 1st, enjoyment will be priority #1 no matter what.

I can make an actual, trackable experiment on my blog, to be updated monthly, for tracking The Focus Experiment. A reason, a hypothesis, the goals, the rules, the monthly tracking, and the final statement.

December 20th, 1300.

Adderall Experiment

The Hypothesis:

Getting high on adderal will result in an intense focus session for my writing. I will get tons done, then go home and to bed without any problems.

The Plan:

Take a 10mg adderal pill, then read blogs until 1400 while the buzz wears off. From 1400-2100, just do writing.

The Targets:

Write copywriting from 1400-2100 (done)

First, handwrite the copywriting of a great for 1 hour (done)

Then, email potential copy partners for 1 hour (done)

Then write copy for GGW or bugs or Scott for the rest of the hours (done)

Extra: publish CH articles (done)

Extra: Write Ch articles (done)

Extra: Write RadNomad articles

Experiment Log

1305

I just finished writing out the boundaries of the experiment. I’m about to take an Adderall, and then start reading blogs while I wait for it to kick in.

1320

Took the Adderall (only took 4 tries, yay for eliminating the gag reflex). Already feeling quite focused, but that might just be placebo.

Here we go.

1335

Oddly enough, I’m feeling a bit unfocused. A bit foggy brained.

But then again, I’m supposed to be just relaxing and getting inspired at the moment, so that’s alright. We’ll see what happens when I start working.

1410

About to start writing. Feeling…empty headed. Like the constant chatter in my head has quieted down.

However, I’m also having trouble bringing thought into my head. We’ll see how this goes while I write.

Into the work.

1502

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve been this focused. I was handwriting verbatim a famous direct mail letter from Gary Halbert (the coat of arms letter if you’re interested).

While writing it, I thought of nothing else. Not totally unusual, but still worth noting.

It’s when I stopped that I noticed my focus was high. Instead of searching around for a thing to do next (knowing that I should review my writing to learn from it, but not wanting to because it can get tedious), I simply started re-reading it to review it.

That’s an effect I heard others report, and one I’m finding too: I feel no resistance to doing things I know I should do, and know I will enjoy while I do it, but have resistance to the inertia overcome that I will need to do to start it.

Instead of searching for an out, I just did what I knew I should do.

Now for a 10 minute break of listening to music, and back to work.

1516

Faster decision making. I do less debating in my head about what to do with my time right now, and just trust in my mind to analyze faster than I can and make the right choice.

Case in point: a friend walked in who I’ve been wanting to get to know, and I was on my break, so I put down my music and went up to start chatting. Talked about Adderall & his knowledge of it. Ignored my alarm calling me back to work because I knew I would be back in a few minutes, and then finished up and am writing this.

Also, it feels like my mind is in a box. This could be confused with mental clarity, but it’s really quite opposite to it. My mind simply cannot drift off, and so I am focused totally on one thing at a time.

It is not as clean a focus as the one that comes from motivation and self-trust and enjoying what you’re doing, but it is till focus, and enjoyable none the less.

Onto contacting copy partners.

1522

Just occurred to me, time has been flying.

1533

Blindsided by some CH shipping complaints in my inbox. Was able to forget everything and focus on assuaging the clients & getting Stepan to look into the problem.

Defaulted to facebook after I was done, but then immediately closed it without even scrolling.

I’m enjoying this. I feel the desire to be productive.

1636

God I feel so productive. I don’t even wanna take a break. I’m just switching from task to task, using my breaks to do things like send important emails & organize my copy partner notes.

This is fun!

1706

Was getting a bit bored, but still productive. Needed a break.

Then some guys behind me start blasting this music, testing the speaker system.

Turns out, they made a documentary! It had already been on TV, shown in a few film festivals, and is headed to SXSW.

Anyway, back on the topic at hand: the moment I lost focus due to the music, my brain was blank again. So I went and chatted with them (who wouldn’t? They made a movie!).

While chatting, my mind once again focused 100%, and I got very little of the nervous energy that often accompanies me talking to anybody I see as above me. I was able to feel it, remember that there is no reason to be nervous & that I’m not going to be rejected, and just relax. We ended up having a great conversation.

My brain kinda hurts, but I’m not sure if that’s from the Adderall or from the volume of the speakers behind me.

Still on break for a few minutes, I think I’ll read some blogs till the bell goes off. Then I’ll dive into the bugsforbugs fly ad and make a first & second draft. In between drafts I’ll read Advertising Secrets of the Written Word (highly recommended to anyone who wants to be an awesome writer, especially in sales).

1736

Having trouble getting on task. Doing some note organization which is good but not as high leverage as the writing I’m supposed to be doing.

Problem found w/ Adderall: If you get off topic, you’ll get focused on that off topic task and will spend a lot of time in it.

1812

A bit of willpower got me back into the flow, and I naturally felt like taking a break at the 50 minute mark (the bodies natural focus rhythm).

Cool.

1912

Was reading and taking great notes. Brain boom. Then got distracted by facebook. Fucking facebook…

2135

Wow. Read a bunch, got some great ideas. Then finished the chapter and wrote verbatim for three and a half pages by hand! Hand hurts.

Then the movie started, I got comfy in my seat and was able to focus quite well on an awesome film about the Montreal music scene.

I feel a bit worn out, but that’s no surprise after all the brain work I’ve been doing. Yet I’m still good to go.

2235

Brain feels tired. Like a muscle that I’ve been working out all day. Like how your legs feel after a day out hiking.

But not done. Still wanna do some Chill Hookahs stuff.

2300

Got a second wind, and now I wanna do tons of work. But my day schedule is over, and it is time to learn french, head home, and wind down.

This was an amazingly productive day. I’ll see just how productive in the daily review.

2332

Tried to stop working half an hour ago. Couldn’t. Need to go home.

Next day

Brain feels a bit tired, but that’s all the after effects I’ve noticed.

Definitely noticing significantly less focus when writing verbatim. I’m making spelling mistakes, my writing is not as neat. I’m not as focused.

Ended up getting distracted by facebook for two hours. Can’t help but think that this wouldn’t have happened if I was on Adderall.

The Result:

Adderall is quite amazing for focusing and being productive. I didn’t notice a significant impact on my creativity, and I had no trouble with focus.

I scored 19 productivity points that day. Usually, I’m proud when I reach 12.

I was able to do tasks that have a high interial resistance to start with, without feeling any resistance at all.

I was able to make decisions fast by trusting my mind to know what the best thing to do is without my guidance.

There were periods where I would find that I had been focusing on something random for the last little while. If you don’t pay attention, you can really get lost in it.

It also lowered my social anxiety when meeting new and cool people, and helped me zone in on the conversation.

Final Statement:

This is an amazing productivity drug, especially if you’re feeling burnt out at the end of the week and want to finish strong. I’ll be doing another Adderall experiment on the Friday of my next productive week.

When taking it, make sure you’ve got a good long list to tasks to do. You’ll burn through them, and then some.

The biggest danger here is getting distracted and focusing on that distraction for hours. Make sure youknow what you want to do before hand, and check in every now and then to ensure you’re not doing something low-leverage.

The next day, you’ll feel a bit tired and not as productive. So I suggest taking Adderall on the last day before a break.

For more assisted productivity experiments, check out The Marijuana Productivity Experiment.

” You can ask almost any athlete, and they’ll tell you: we believe we’re invincible.

 

Cause if we go in there with any other thought, there’s no chance of us accomplishing our goal.

 

We have to believe that, no matter what’s wrong with you or what you’re dealing with, it’s not gonna be a factor to what you’re trying to accomplish.

 

We believe, we’re invincible.”

I have been experimenting with weed for the last few weeks. A passion ignited by the results of my little Marijuana Productivity Experiment a few months ago.

My finances finally caught up to my desire to learn more about this, and I can now buy the materials (namely, marijuana).

The practice I have put into place starts with a morning wake and bake (built into a meditation inducing activity by my careful and flawed rolling of the day’s joint).

I relax back in my reading chair, breath in the joint, and just sit.

The results are as follows:

(more…)

Good fortune? The fact is

The more that you practise,

The harder you sweat,

The luckier you get.

 

Ideas? We’ve had ’em

Since Eve deceived Adam,

But take it from me

Execution’s the key.

 

The money? Just pester

A likely investor.

To get what you need

You toady to greed.

 

The talent? Go sign it!

But first, wine and dine it.

It’s tedious work

With a talented jerk.

 

Good timing? To win it

You gotta be in it.

Just never be late

To quit or cut bait.

 

Expansion? It’s vanity!

Profit is sanity.

Overhead begs

To walk on two legs.

 

The first step? Just do it

And bluff your way through it.

Remember to duck!

God speed…

 

and good luck!

The Network Database

I was talking with a mentor when he suggested something cool: keep a database of everyone you meet.

Give each person’s contact info

And give each person a few tags. Tags like what languages they speak, their strengths, their goals, their relevant personality traits, and their location.

Do this, and you’ll always be able to find good writers to run your work by. Or a friend in a new town you’re in. Or a partner on a project. Or someone to talk philosophy with. Or a person you can help this week. Or someone who can help you.

And so that’s what I’m doing. Making a database of my network.

Here goes.

Who is this guy? Why should I be sharing with him?

Wouldn’t I just get more pleasure if I hit the couch and read that advertising book?

All these thoughts ran through my head in an instant, as I looked over my shoulder and across the chair into the eyes of Scott.

 

Less than 10 seconds ago, meeting Scott had been the highlight of my day. A successful, philosophical, self improvement oriented dude who I could really talk to and learn with.

But then our pursuit of knowledge led us to this little experiment, and just like that our friendship evaporated.

Bad Body Language
They’re obviously into me

But let’s take a step back…

I’m procrastinating at the Notman House (read, entrepreneur’s frat house), when in walks a couple new guys. So I play host, telling them the environment of our little entrepreneur haven.

One of the guys, Scott, turns out to be an entrepreneurially curious, philosophical inclined, inventor. My kinda guy.

 

So, after riffing on the more interesting points of life for an hour or two, we wind up the topic of the power of body language. And that’s when the experiment was born. One of us (Scott, I think) proposed we try an experiment to see the effects of negative body language.

So we pushed a chair in between us, crossed our arms & legs, turned side ways to each other, each facing the opposite direction. And then

we tried to connect.

 

Our sentences had devolved into short, clipped, spurts of words.

“Okay, uhm, what’s your favorite fruit.” – That’s me

“…I don’t want to share with you” – scott

 

Gah! In synchronicity, we broke our negative holds, kicked the chair out from between us, and opened up to eachother once more.

Some nervous laughter, and mutual amazement at what had just happened, and our comradery was back.

 

And there it was, a solid truth. Even when we know exactly what our body language is supposed to do to our minds, we can’t stop it from happening.

The mind follows the body. And the body follows the mind.

Body language cannot lie. Not for long anyways.