Day 16: Breaking Through in Order to Dive Deep

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In this 30-days to Mastering Your Fears Series, The Skool of Life and The Fear Project are collaborating to blow the doors off our most primal emotion. Today my substitute teacher is Sandi Amorim

Remember the fearless days of childhood, feeling that you could do anything? ‎

We forget that as adults, and let fear stop us.

It stops us from things like:

  • Expressing ourselves
  • Going after what we want
  • Talking to that hottie across the room
  • And everyone’s favourite, public speaking

Those things however, are not what your brain was designed to fear.

Somewhere along the way everything became about survival and belonging, for to be cast out of the tribe was certain death.

Human beings have learned their lessons well:

  • We play it safe.
  • We avoid things that might be dangerous.
  • And we do things (or not do them) to belong to the tribe.

We become, as Jamail Yogis writes in The Fear Project, dominated by our fears.

That’s how this being human thing works, and that’s how it’s worked forever. This made sense back in the day of Neanderthal man and sabre toothed tigers, but now?

Not so much.

How Fear Takes Over

Something happens.

My family used to go to the lake a lot in the summer, and I remember the joy of it. My cousins and I were fearless; swimming and having a great time diving off the dock.

Until one time I slipped, lost my footing, and tumbled head first into the water. I don’t actually remember much after that, but if I close my eyes and go back in time I can feel the tightness in my chest and my head starts to ache. It doesn’t take much and I’m back there in the panic of the moment.The first few days while taking the deep dive into the trading platform will seem to be very volatile and once you finish a fortnight of trading, the true value, and the overall view about your personal experience, as a trader with the can be determined.

The fear takes hold.

Not being able to breathe became the fear that lingered, and it showed up in how and where I swam and even in how I breathe. Sounds bizarre I know, but I often find myself holding my breath or breathing shallow.

That childhood incident opened the door to fear, and while not completely paralyzing, it held me back in many ways over the years.

Fast forward to present day.

The Breakthrough

Weird thing is, even with that near drowning in my past I’ve always loved the ocean, and scuba diving has long been one of those things I’d love to do someday, especially after my first trip to Maui last year.

But here’s the thing – someday is a dream killer.

And so whenever I had the thought that I might like to try it, my lizard brain would freak out…

WTF, me learn how to scuba dive? That’s crazy talk! I only like swimming in pools and even then I keep one eye on the sides.

Yet there I was dreaming of scuba diving; secretly of course, as I couldn’t admit this desire to anyone.

But life has a way of poking our fears, sometimes in the perfect way.

“We have been raised to fear the yes within ourselves, our deepest cravings.” ― Audre Lorde

My good friend Jason Sugar became a coach and PADI dive instructor, and one day I got an email announcing a new program he’d created (for scaredy cats like me!) and he asked if I wanted to take part in the first run.

I held my breath…

One count. Two counts.

Three…I exhaled and said yes.

Three weeks later I was in the pool ready to take my first breath underwater in full scuba gear.

I could hardly focus that day as I thought of the equipment, the lessons we’d had and a new, even greater fear that I might not go through with it.

“You are in integrity when the life you are living on the outside matches who you are on the inside.” – Alan Cohen

My desire to one day dive in tropical blue waters was greater than my fear and somehow, I made it to the pool in time for Jason to greet me (and calm me down.)

My insides (the long-held dream of scuba diving) were about to line up with my outsides (actually learning how to do it!) and my heart raced.

Fear is just excitement without the breath, and I was about to take my first breath under water.

Diving Deep

The first time under I panicked for a moment as I flashed back to the lake, drowning, gasping for air. But after a couple of seconds I calmed down, and remembered what Jason had taught me.

The rest of the night was magical.

The plan now is for me to do the full tropical training with him in Bali later this year. I’m pretty sure the fear will return (my heart speeds up just thinking about it), but I’ll be ready for it.

Jaimal writes, “Fear is freezing, love moves us.”

I say it was love that released me from that childhood fear.

My love of the ocean and Jason’s love of helping others breakthrough their fear was an unbeatable combination.

I know it’s not Mavericks Jaimal, but for me it’s just as big a win.

Sandi Amorim is an instigator, a coach and writer on a mission to wake you up from your ‘someday thinking. She can be found sharing her slightly mad twist on personal development at

The Most Effective Goal Setting Method I’ve Ever Discovered

Goal Setting
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Several months back I was reading one of the books that was published as a part of  Seth Godin’s  Domino Project.  In all of the books you’ll learn about the other books that are part of the project. One of the books I came across was a title called Pick Four (Seth’s adaptation of Zig Ziglar’s goal setting program). I’d been listening to quite a bit of Zig Ziglar so I decided to throw down 20 bucks and get my hands on a copy. 

The Basic Idea Behind Pick Four

Pick Four is simple but extremely effective. You could theoretically do it on your own, but having that book sitting on your desk serves as a constant reminder. Here’s how it works. having that book sitting on your desk serves as a constant reminder. Here’s how it works.
As an intraday trader on Qprofit System, you should understand that the market can be highly volatile. You should thus only invest the money that you are ready to lose.
Intraday trading needs lots of research and the technical indicators assist you in this research. The intraday or day trading indicators work wonders to spot high probability buy and sell zones.
 You pick four major goals (hence the name) and you work on each of them every single day for 12 weeks. At the end each of day you record what you’ve done to accomplish each goal.  Let’s look at a concrete example.

  • Goal:  Complete the Extraordinary Achiever’s Manifesto
  • What Did I Do Today to Accomplish this?  Sent the first draft to my friend Jodi for feedback

On the days you don’t do anything, you write NOTHING in the journal. When you write NOTHING too many days in a  row, one of two things will happen. You’ll either take action towards your goal or realize it’s not that important to you.

What I’ve accomplished as a Result of Pick Four:

  • Landed a new sponsor for BlogcastFM
  • Generated over $300.00 in Affiliate commissions in  2 days
  • Hit over 152 5-Star Reviews in iTunes
  • Written over 10,000 words on the Extraordinary Achiever’s Manifesto

Pick Four is Not a Magic Bullet

In case you didn’t get the memo, there’s no such thing as a magic bullet. Like every self help program what you put into this is what you’ll get out of it. If you order the books and stare at them every single day then the only thing you’ll have accomplished is ordering something from Amazon. But if you actually  make it a point to do the work, you’ll be amazed what happens over the course of 12 weeks. Every person I have recommended this program to has been amazed by what’s happen.

One thing I’d really like to do is have people who start this program come back and share their results with other school of life readers 12 weeks from now. New Year’s resolutions suck, so let’s get the ball rolling.

5 Ways to Give Yourself an Education That Kicks the Crap Out of the One You Got in School


One of the biggest reasons that people are denied the privilege of education is because they can’t afford it. However, today we live in a world where knowledge and information are at our finger tips like never before.  Technology has leveled the playing field so that anybody with an interest and an internet connection can receive a world class education. Bloggers, podcasters, search engines and digital content creators of all types of have made it possible  for us to learn virtually anything we want to even if we don’t have the money. If you want to learn anything chances are there is somebody creating content about the subject and sharing it with the world at no cost.

And that is precisely how I got into trading. With no commerce background or a mentor to groom me, I knew I would be at a loss to understand the technical nitty-gritty but the internet more than made it up for me. I realize today that the generation that is can be so well equipped with everything that they have to only wish and be motivated; the know-how is already there. Going here to check out trading online is best on

Self Motivation is Not Optional

Taking this kind of approach to educating yourself requires an extremely high degree of self motivation. You’re not going to have any teachers or professors holding you accountable. You won’t be measured by grades.  Therefore in order to receive this world class education you’ll have to be extremely disciplined in terms of how you go about it. You’ll have to do everything from figuring out what you want to study, to determining what the course materials are going to be. In order to make sure your efforts to self educate don’t get scattered, I recommend limiting your “course load” and focusing on 2-3 areas for at least 6 months.

Resources to Get You Started


1. Free College Curriculums

There are a handful of  traditional education institutions that have started to embrace this trend. Fortunately one of the very first to do so was MIT, a world class institution where tuition would run you a hefty chunk of change. However, through open courseware an MIT education is suddenly available to anybody who wants one.  Courses are available in engineering, management, science, architecture and a number of other areas. If other institutions start to follow suit, people who have been denied the privilege of education for financial reasons will finally have an opportunity if they want it.

2. The Blogosphere

In a recent feature, the CBS Sunday morning show said that there were approximately 50 million active blogs online. There are blogs on nearly every subject you can possibly imagine.

  • Want to learn how to get in shape? Steve Kamb’s Nerd Fitness will help you get there.
  • Want to Learn a Foreign Language: Benny Lewis will get you Fluent in 3 Months
  • Want to get an MBA without spending 100 Grand? Josh Kauffman’s Personal MBA will give you everything you need.
  • Want a Harvard Business School Quality Education? The Harvard Business Review has a blog that’s updated daily with advice from absolutely stellar business professionals.
  • Want to learn how to take amazing photos? Enroll yourself in Darren Rowse’s Digital Photography School?

What’s interesting about the blogosphere is that it has created a trend of unconventional education and the opportunity to study any subject you have an interest in. You’re no longer limited to the confines of assigned reading, class lectures, and your major. You have an opportunity to be a much more well rounded individual than ever before.

3. Books

In the movie Good Will Hunting Matt Damon’s famous quote was “You just spent 150 grand on an education you could have gotten for $1.50 in late fees at the public library.”  While it was a bit facetious, anybody who has received a college education probably had a bit of a chuckle because there was a kernel of truth to what was said.  One of the biggest expenses for any college student is textbooks.  But, the beauty of a public library is that it makes books accessible to everybody and it’s completely free. When I spent 9 months unemployed, the local library in my town became one of my stomping grounds. Unlike a book store, if I wanted to take something home and read it, I didn’t have to fork out $15.00. It might be tempting to dismiss the library as an obsolete resource, but today libraries have their whole book selection available online  and even have audio books that can be downloaded directly from some of their web sites.  To add to that many published authors today have their own blogs where you can read their content as well.

4. Podcasts

Do a quick search through the iTunes directory and you’ll find podcasts on a wide variety of subjects ranging from learning a language to online marketing. The other thing that makes a podcast a fantastic option for increasing your knowledge is the fact that you can listen it while you’re working out, stuck in traffic or cleaning your house. Podcasts can turn our most mundane day to day experiences into time well spent.

5. Online Video

  • TED: One of the most inspirational educational resources at everybody’s disposal is the TED web site. World class authors, entrepreneurs and scientists share their very best ideas with the world. I’d recommend watching at least one TED talk every single day. Most TED talks are an average of about 15 minutes and will inspire, entertain, and inform you.
  • Youtube can also be a great educational resource. These days just do a search for the words “How to”, fill in the blank and you’ll have numerous options at your finger tips.
  • Instructables:  If there’s ones site that really provides an opportunity to type in the words  “how to” followed by whatever you want to learn how to do, it’s Instructables. This user generated community has over x videos specifically designed to teach you how to do something.

Education as we know it is changing rapidly. The classroom is  no longer the only option to receive a world class education. With nothing more than internet connection and a computer you have the potential to develop knowledge and skills that will far outweigh the things you would learn just by attending school.  The great thing about the school of life is that there are no grades, no tests, or requirements. It’s purely about the joy of learning.

Why the 8 Hour Workday Doesn’t Make Sense

The 8 hour workday is one of those things that seems be something in place largely because it’s just the way we have done things for so long. I know there are exceptions to the idea that the 8 hour workday doesn’t make any sense. There are certain industries and certain jobs that are required to operate in the structure of an 8 hour day in order to function. I recognize and respect that. But as we move from industrial age to an age of information, it’s time to realize that the system is kind of an efficiency clusterfucj3$. Let’s look at the flaws of an 8 hour work day.

For a bit, I tried staying back home and attempting to work online. I even traded online on some of the best site but eventually, I thought that the profits from the trading sites were good as a supplement to the main day job. It is not enough for day to day sustenance but it is something that I love to get back to relax and rejuvenate. Check out

  • Commuting: Making people commute to work has to be one of the worst things we do. Traffic for the most part stresses people out. As much as I’ve found ways to pass time sitting in traffic such as audiobooks, I still think that it can’t possibly good for our performance at work to spend an hour in traffic each day.  Call me crazy, but spending an hour each day in conditions that irritate the hell out of you doesn’t seem like it’s going lead to the most productive day at work. But thousands, if not millions of people commute to work every single day.
  • Inefficiency: I’ve said before that most people suck at managing time. You don’t need to blame yourself for that. You should blame the system that forced you to work within the structure of the 8 hour work day. The inefficiencies of the 8 hour work day are vast. A while back I talked about productivity, flow states and how I write 5 blog posts 2 hours. At the root of all this inefficiency is the fact that nobody is productive for 8 hours a day. In fact, I’m willing to bet that most people aren’t doing anything for 40% of the working week.  Because we’ve given people 8 hours to work with they’ll find ways to fill that time and call it work.   It’s not a lack of time that’s the problem, it’s too much time.
  • Unhappiness: It seems that the typical 9to5er is living for the weekends. Radio stations say things like   “it’s hump day, you’re almost there.” Almost where?  Why are we constantly trying to get a destination other than where we’re at? How much anxiety is that really causing? Why do companies not even ask questions like this?  Within  the confines of the 8 hour workday people eagerly anticipate the weekend because they will finally be free, even if is for just for 48 hours.  You really have to wonder how much of a person’s full potential is being reached when they are viewing their working environment like this. If every week you go to work anticipating the opportunity for your once a week escape, then it’s clear that the 8 hour work day is flawed. I had a boss a few years back who seemed insistent on measuring face time. If I left the office at 4:30 on a Friday, I would receive a phone call at 5 asking why I left early. Let’s just say if it was socially acceptable I would probably kick this guy in the balls and punch him in the face if I saw him again. Mark Lawrence at Lifestyle Ignition even wrote about the amount of fake work that seems to be pervading the corporate world. Escaping the 9 to 5 is a mission that more and more people seem to be on these days.
  • Stifling Creativity: At the root of all 8 hour workday issues is this. The 8 hour work day is a creativity killer.  Today, human creativity is at an all time high because less and less people are working in offices. People are finding ways to make a sustainable living by tapping into their own creative potential. This is the beginning of what I think will be a creativity revolution. The technology platforms in place today have removed the barriers of technical knowledge and opened up possibilities to everybody.  The 8 hour workday is the kiss of death to these possibilities.  Unfortunately, office environments are not particularly inspiring, with rare exception (Google, Facebook, etc). It’s interesting to note that an inspiring office environment seems to be common to some of the greatest corporate success stories of our time. What’s amazing is that if we started to rethink the 8 hour workday in terms of a person’s creative capacity, instead of the number of hours they work, we may possibly tap into the best work that every individual has inside of them. It’s even possible that they would work more than 8 hours because you’ve allowed them to define the structure of what works best for them and given them the freedom to operate.

Despite all of this, people will still work 9 to 5 and even search for 9 to 5 jobs. The corporate world has done such a good job conditioning us  into to this that people fear the idea of operating outside of the 9 to 5. I’m going to go out on a huge limb and say that at some point the the 8 hour work day is going to be the demise of corporate America and the very system that has kept things running like clockwork for years is going to be what causes it to fall apart. The digital nomads, the netsetters, and all of us who are taking part in this creativity revolution are just the beginning  of a movement where an entire generation is going to give corporate america and the social matrix the finger.

8 failures that Have Lead me to Where I’m at Today

Last week sometime I was having lunch with an old friend from business school who I hadn’t seen in the last 6 months. She asked me about what I’d been up to so I started to share some of my recent stories with her and she reminded me of the fact there had been a few things that I thought were the end of the world when they happened. It made me to start to think about all of the “failures” that have brought me to the place I am today.

Rejected By Northwestern School of Music: Some of you who are new to my blog may or may not know that I was almost a music major in college. I played the tuba for almost 15 years and I’ve included a video below of me playing a concerto in case you fancy loud sustained booming sounds. In high school, one of my dreams was to attend Northwestern University. I still remember the day of the audition. I was in Evanston in the middle of February and my audition was at 3pm. The weather sucked and I wandered around Evanston only to realize that a high school kid with no friends in this town couldn’t spend much more than 3 hours there. So, I went to the music building around noon after I was completely frozen and spent a few hours practicing. My audition was not a complete disaster, but I more or less knew I was not going to be attending Northwestern in the fall. In retrospect, considering I can’t stand the cold, it was a blessing in disguise. I also can’t imagine spending my life as a professional tuba player. Basically you have to wait for somebody to die for a spot to open up in an orchestra.

Graduated Berkeley with a 2.97 and Not a Single Girlfriend
:I don’t know if I’m alone here, but I wasn’t very happy when I was in college. After the first year, the optimism I had entered school with started to fade. My dream of being a top student and getting straight A’s was more or less shot when I got a C in an economics class and finished the school year with a less than stellar GPA. The next 3 years were a battle of ups and downs. My sophomore year my roommate drank an entire bottle of scotch in one sitting and ended up hospitalized for depression and his depression rubbed off on me. Every attempt at a new major or new subject area resulted in less than stellar grades. By the time I was a junior I declared a major that I had no interest in as a means to an end. I was an environmental economics and policy major. I don’t know a damn thing about any of that today. My social life more or less centered around the Indian community at Berkeley and my senior year I was an officer for the Indian student club at Berkeley, an organization with over 1000 members. So that definitely shined a light on my social life. But, the idea that I was going to graduate college without ever meeting anybody absolutely terrified me.  Then at the end of my senior year, my roommate of two years, some of my closest friends and I had a huge falling out. To add to all this I had taken on such a heavy course load, attempted to take 5 finals 4 days and got a D in a class, the sunk my GPA below 3.0. That ruled out almost any job that reputable companies recruited for. After 4.5 years, shitty grades, and no girlfriend I was more than happy to be done with Berkeley. Oddly, after all this I still love going back to Berkeley because there were alot of good times too, and I’m more fond of Berkeley  now than I was when I was in school. It took this experience to make me realize I was completely dependent on other people for my happiness and that’s a really dangerous place to be. It was really the start of many of my life lessons from my 20’s.

Fired from my Very First Job Out of College: My very first job out of college was for a software startup. For 9 months I slaved away for 13 hours a day, generated sales for no commissions and got fired 5 days before Christmas. This lead to 5 more years of IBS, ADHD, and uphill career battles. I was pretty demoralized by the experience but like many things it turned out to be a huge blessing in disguise.

Rejected by Every Business School I applied to: After all these year’s of working, I finally decided it was time to apply to business school. I hired a business school admissions consultant who decided to help me write an essay about what he described as “this crucible called a career.” I had far too many jobs for somebody that was under 30. How that was going to make a convincing case to a business school admissions officer that I knew what I wanted was going to be a challenge. I took the GMAT 3 times and finally topped out at 640. By the time April rolled around I had been rejected by all the business schools I applied to,  so I submitted an application to Pepperdine 2 weeks before their deadline and got accepted. It was my last resort and I was not too pleased with that.

Turned down for a summer internship by Harrahs: I entered business school in the Fall of 2007 with the intention of working in the entertainment industry and “getting as far away from this internet bullshi3$# as possible(ironic huh).” I quickly learned that I had no desire to work in the entertainment industry and instead became convinced that my calling was to go and work in the gaming industry. After all I had mastered getting free drinks and getting treated like a VIP everywhere you go. So, it seemed this would be a natural fit. Harrah’s didn’t recruit at Pepperdine so I got on Linkedin in September and started building a network of contacts by conducting informational interviews. By the time February had rolled around I had built a small army of contacts in Harrahs. I went to their annual MBA poker tournament and by the end of it  I was on everybody’s radar. 3 weeks went by and I didn’t hear a thing and finally I got an email saying that I had been selected for an interview. I was ecstatic and i aced the first two interviews  and was invited to one of their properties for an on-site interview. When I got to the interview I had to take a standardized test similar to the GMAT that the company used to evaluate all MBA candidates. I aced the interview but bombed the test. That was the end of my shot at Harrahs.

Not Receiving  a Job Offer After my Summer Internship at Intuit:With Harrahs no longer an option, I was blessed with the opportunity to be a social media strategy intern at Intuit. I figured if I couldn’t’ do Harrah’s at least I would make good money and have a great name on my resume. In the 3 months that I was at Intuit I took a deep dive into everything social media, started about 3 failed blogs and did a few other things. But at the end of my summer internship my boss informed me that they would not be making an offer because I didn’t demonstrate the leadership qualities they had hoped for and I was somewhat selfish. To his credit, he told me that he was doing me a favor and that I was an idea guy that needed to do things that enabled me to have more ownership of things.  I guess he was right and I’m pretty grateful that he didn’t make me an offer. Personally taxes don’t excite me that much and if it didn’t involve jail time I would be glad not to pay them.

Not finding a job after business school
: This is one that I think was the ultimate blessing in disguise more than any of my other failures. Last night I was at a networking event and ended up running into a few people who had interviewed me around this time last year, but did not make me job offers. When I look back at that, I realize it all happen for a reason. It all happened exactly the way it was supposed to.

So, what the hell is the point to all this? Is it that I want to share my sob story with you? No, not at all. In fact if anything I hope that you will see one lesson that I finally understand. Often, the path to success is paved with massive amounts of failure.While we regularly consider falling flat the apocalypse, it’s really a rerouting. Though it’s difficult to accept, however, you need to comprehend that each time something doesn’t function, something much better than expected is en route. We ought to simply buckle down, remain patient, and have trust in the procedure taken and click here for more. Today I’m on a completely different trajectory. I’m happier than I’ve ever been and everything that I have been through has been a character building experience. Fail sooner, fail more, and you’ll succeed sooner and succeed more.

Brilliant Marketing Tactics: Podcasts and Interviews

It’s no secret to any of you who read my blog that I’m a massive supporter of podcasting. For those of you who have been following the brilliant marketing tactics series, welcome to The Skool of  Life. Below you’ll find the previous articles in the series from some very talented bloggers:

  • Check out the introduction on heartmade and follow along with the other posts.
  • E-B00kology: The formula for a Killer E-Book
  • Why Relationships Matter More than Any Other Marketing Tactic

The truth is I wouldn’t even be participating in this series if it wasn’t for a podcast that I recorded with April Bowles Olin(@blacksburgbelle). Thanks to a chat with her my network expanded beyond my niche and I got on the radar of a group of bloggers who I might otherwise have never known.

To succeed in business today there needs to be a lot of brand promotion, advertisement and a huge push in social media, podcasts, and tweet about the new product your brand has launched. The customers will only then click to investigate on the link and understand the intrinsic value.

In the past I’ve hit on some key things that I think are really important about podcasting and the things that make it awesome.

  • How to record, edit, publish and promote your first podcast
  • How to Conduct a Kick AS#$ Interview with Another blogger
  • How to Grow Your Blog With Interviews


  • Relationships: One of the greatest things that has resulted from my podcasting efforts is  a series of relationships.  The analogy I like to use is this. Twitter is kind of like flirting. Reading, subscribing and commenting is kind of like dating.  Talking on skype is like having sex :) . For the most part, we all tend to really like the people we’re having sex with. In all seriousness, when you get on the wire with somebody and chat on skype for the first time it adds a level of authenticity to your relationship that you can’t get from twitter or written form. It’s about as close as you can get to meeting somebody in real life. Not only have they opened up the world to me in terms of relationships withe people I interview, they’ve done the same with people who listen to my voice. I get to hear crazy things like “I listen to you on my way to work every morning” from my buddy David Crandall. I feel  like a not so-cool computer nerd of version of Howard Stern when I hear things like that.
  • Differentiation: If you are a BlogcastFM listener you may have heard me say this before. When you are competing with written content you have millions of people that you have to stand out amongst. That number drops significantly when you get to audio, and it drops even more dramatically when you get to people who do video on a consistent basis. If you have a camera presence and look good, as they say “if you got it, flaunt it.”  Let’s not forget our buddy Gary Vaynerchuk has done alright by using video as his medium.  I know that many of you participating in this series are from the handmade community. Given the visual nature of the work you do, I think video should be an integral part of what you do.
  • Education: This is my favorite thing about interviews and podcasts. People always ask me how I come up with so many ideas  and I guess it would be appropriate to say  “I don’t. These are just combinations of hundreds of people’s ideas that I’m putting together.”  I learn something from every single person I interview whether they are big, small, have 100 subscribers or 1000. Somebody asked me the other day how I choose BlogcastFM guests and I told them I look for people with interesting stories who I can learn something from and who I think can teach my audience something.

You might have some fears about podcasting or talking to some complete stranger from the internet for the first time. But let me assure you, most people you want to interview will be happy to hear from you about connecting more, especially if they have been reading your blog everyday and talking to you on twitter.

Guest Post: Successful blogging, The Hockey Stick and Exponential Growth


This guest post was written by Sid Savara, author of Analysis Driven Personal Development. Stay tuned for the podcast featuring Sid Savara coming up tomorrow.

It’s not that I’m so smart , it’s just that I stay with problems longer
-Albert Einstein

Question: What is the number one factor is in determining mastery in a particular field?

Answer: Hours invested. †Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers has estimated it takes approximately 10,000 hours. Raw talent and a burst of motivation will carry you at the early stages towards any goal, but in order to be successful you’ve got to put in the hours in the long run.

This may discourage some people, but it gives me hope.

I know that if I can stick with something long enough, past the point where everyone else has lost hope or failed,I will eventually reach my goals.

I know that moving forward there will always be less competition.

I know that the longer I stick with it, the better my odds of success are – they improve every day.

Sticking With It In Personal Goals – Blogging

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”
– Woody Allen

One example where it really pays to just stick with it is blogging.

All bloggers start out equal with one reader – their mom. In time some go on to attain enormous success, and when we read their stories we imagine that they were successful right from the start. We might assume that someone who takes a year to attain 50,000 readers had linear growth and attained 25,000 in six months, and 4,000 in the first month. That’s usually not the case however. What actually happens is they struggle for their first 10, 20, 100 and 1,000 readers just like everyone else does . It might take them 6 months to earn the first 1,000 of those 50,000 readers – but at some point, something clicks. Blogging feels easier for them. The links, visitors and subscribers come with less effort – and their growth starts to rapidly increase.

And this rapid growth isn’t just theory – we’ve seen it in blogs, websites, startups, business – and I believe in personal goals as well. Why does this happen? Why isn’t growth strictly linear? I recently had a discussion with Srinivas about this exact issue and the reason this happens: hockey stick growth.

Hockey Stick Growth

For those unfamiliar with the term, hockey stick growth refers to the phenomenon where for a long period of time a company’s growth, or website traffic, remains linear and rises steadily. At some point however, a tipping pointoccurs – and growth skyrockets exponentially, resulting in a graph that looks like a hockey stick. Sometimes this happens because a company releases a killer features. Sometimes it is all about timing. Sometimes a writer will release a certain blog post, and strike a chord with a number of people. Whatever it is, it happens suddenly, and often without warning. What was once difficult seems easy, and what once appeared impossible and unlikely now seems probably.

I believe this metaphor applies in many areas of our life. In attempting any goal, I have a burst of motivation, and may in the beginning actually make fairly rapid progress. Over time, my progress slows until it is fairly predictable and linear – and this is where we see if I have what it takes. If I am truly committed, I’ll stay with my goals even when times are tough – and even when I feel like my progress is too slow. In time, as we improve our skills, better understand the domain we are competing in, and perhaps clarify our goals and motivation, our progress rapidly increases. Just as a blog experiences hockey stick growth in subscribers, we experience internal hockey stick growth as we notice ourselves improving faster and with less effort over time.

When Will I Hit My Exponential Growth?

“I’m an overnight success. But it took twenty years.”
-Monty Hall

The catch here is we don’t know when that growth is going to happen. We don’t know when we’re going to hit that sweet, magical spot where the pieces finally fall into place and everything turns effortless. Until we get there, it’s going to be a slog. This is why we do our goals a great disservice when we compare ourselves to people who are far more accomplished than we are, and get discouraged because our progress is not as fast. What we may not be taking into account is they’ve hit their stride, and are have paid their dues to reach their exponential growth – but we’re still at the bottom of the hockey stick.

For every moment you see others who have accomplished great things, they have, just like anybody else, struggles through dozens, hundreds, thousands and tens of thousands of hours striving as a relative unknown.

So embrace your journey. Pursue your goals with passion. Pay your days, and one day, with the right mix of luck, timing and hard work you’ll get your hockey stick.

Sid Savara is the author of Analysis Driven Personal Development, a blog where he discusses personal development, lifehacking and personal productivity. For more inspiration, sign up for his newsletter and receive afree copy of The Little Book Of Big Motivational Quotes.

Why you should forget everything you’ve learned about blogging if you want to be a good writer


If you read that title you’ve probably thought “here we go again, Srini has lost his damn mind.” Actually the idea for this post was inspired by a post that Lisis Blackston wrote called Self Worth vs. Networth.  When I read the content, the  message really resonated with me. Many of us, in an effort to build traffic, in an effort to build readership, and ultimately make money as a blogger tailor our writing accordingly.

This essentially neglects the importance of authenticity. When you write for a search engine or for any of the above mentioned reasons then you are not going to produce truly inspired or high quality content. I’ve found that some of the pieces that I write that generate the most buzz are the ones that I think really are not that great because they don’t fit the criteria of a typical post. But for some reason people seem to find them interesting.

A while back I attempted to write a blog post called unleash yourself when you write. Well, I decided to combine the content of that post into this one and share some of my really insane unfiltered thoughts. This is also known as the value area. He said this is the area where almost 70% of the trades in the previous day took place. If the market starts below or above the value area and stays there for sometime then there is a high chance that it will come to fill the gap that it created. Needless to say after you read this you’ll probably think I’m full of some very empowering delusions. As I’ve read many of the articles that Penelope Trunk has written this week, I’ve realized that what sets her apart from alot of people is that she is so unleashed, unfiltered and raw in everything she writes. She will tell you things that most people wouldn’t dare write on their blogs for fear of violating the “Too much information rule.”I don’t ever fear pushing publish because I figure, the worst that will happen is a potential employer will read it and decide not to hire me. In my opinion that person is doing both me and his or her company a favor. I don’t want to be working somewhere that holds me back.  Some of my most random thoughts I want to share with you in the spirit of writing unleashed:

After catching my first wave@Cardiff in San Diego:

“Damn, this is like hooking up with a really ugly girl and finding out what it’s like to be with a hot one.”  The waves at Santa Monica where I surf are not nearly as good and the rides are not nearly as long (no pun intended)

The date on which a girl asked about my stripper pole:

Girl: Is that a stripper pole?
Srini: Yes, I got it on ebay.
Girl: What is it for?
Srini: What do you think it’s for, for girls to dance on?
Girl: I thought you were a nice studious guy?
Srini: I didn’t’ mean to give you the wrong impression

To my friend John when asked about my newly acquired belief that is self serving:

Srini: “I decided the other day that any woman who’s not attracted to me probably escaped from a mental institution?”

Jon: What?

Srini: It’s actually a really healthy delusion. That way I always feel good, and she’s just some crazy bi#$* who’s out of her mind, so I have nothing to feel bad about. See this self improvement shit is awesome.

So, what the hell is the point to all my little snippets here? You should try to steal Kelly Diels writing style. Actually that would be impossible. She’s got me trumped on that one.

Actually, just unleash yourself on the blogosphere. Welcome to my authentic assault on you guys.

The Power of Your S.M.I.L.E


This morning I was going through my daily visualization and practice and one of the instructions in my guided visualization tape was to smile. As I kept the smile on my face I immediately noticed that the way I felt started to change. Then I started to remember something I heard in Personal Power II about the connection between physiology and emotion. Physiology and emotion have to match. It is actually impossible for the two not to match. You can’t possibly feel depressed and smile at the same time.  I then remember something very simple that I used to do that would dramatically change the way I felt.  Just take 10 minutes and put an ear to ear smile on your face. Hold it for 10 minutes and notice what happens.

Simple. What I love about this technique is that it really is simple. You can do it anywhere, you don’t need to practice, you don’t need any tapes,  just your beautiful face.  Just put a smile on your face and notice what happens to the thoughts in your head.

Try it here. On Qprofit System this includes the price volatility and the daily volume of the stock that you are trading in. There are many other factors to that could impact the trades. A proper risk management plan would state that one should not lose more than two percent of their trade capital on a single trade. This is important for proper risk management.

Magical. I think there is a magic in everybody’s smile. Have you ever noticed the effect that someone smiling has on you, even if it is a complete stranger? It feels pretty good. That is why I make a point to smile at complete strangers, and bask in the warmth of their smile when they smile back.

Incredible. It really is an incredible gift to be able to smile. But what is really incredible is how something so seemingly small can create such a massive change in the way you feel.

Loving. Smiling is a great way of putting loving positive energy out into the world. I had a friend once point out to me that when I was out at bars that I didn’t smile. I was shocked, but I started to understand why sometimes strangers didn’t respond positively to me when I talked to them. You can say and do almost anything if you do it with a smile.

Effective. Give this a try for a few days and you will see how effective simply smiling is. I remember listening somewhere that manic depressives were able to be cured simply through a few hours of smiling.  Besides, what’s the best that could happen? You may end up feeling good for no reason.

The Evolution of Hesitation

Jack Johnson surfing
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Kanaka Menehune via Compfight

We’ve had a week of unusually consistent surf conditions here on the west coast. That’s meant lots of water time and feeding the fuel for my creative fire. My friend Mayi’s husband even went so far as to say that God must be a surfer because the entire pacific coast has apparently been blessed with absolutely perfect waves.  As always, along with those perfect waves come lots of life lessons. Even though I knew some of the waves might be a bit bigger than what I’m comfortable with, I reminded myself that you have to stand on the edge of your comfort zone in order to get past it. So I paddled out, I stood on the edge, I surfed and stepped my game just a bit.


When you see a big wave coming a handful of thoughts run through your mind  (depending on where you’re positioned)…. Damn it I’m going to get pummeled… Hopefully I don’t get caught inside…. I’ll eat shit if I go for this… This could be the ride of my life… The only real worthwhile thought of all of those is the last one. But it doesn’t mean that the other ones won’t run through your head at least a few times in every surf session. Unfortunately the worst of all those thoughts only lead us to one soul sucking, dream crushing mental state: hesitation.

And it’s not just hesitation for such adventures; it is also for major decisions of our life such as making investments. If we shun such hesitations and inhibitions, we would surely exceed by investing our hard earned money in successful ventures like that offered by Take the Wikipedia reference and learn more about this brilliant option in no time for unbelievable profits.

The Evolution of Hesitation

Hesitation is an insidious little animal because it likes to sneak up on us by jumping into bed with other negative emotions.  Steven Pressfield might even call it the resistance.


I’d be lying to you if I that after 1000 days of surfing, I don’t still have to confront fear.  Even though logically I know that it’s just water and you have to just muster up the courage to take off, when I look down a 6 foot drop my heart skips a beat and my head conjures up images of worst case scenarios that never come true.  And hesitation is right there along with it lurking in the background.



When fear asserts its dominance, it likes to invite its friend doubt over to the party going on in your head. And doubt is like the loud obnoxious drunken asshole that everybody at the party wishes would just shut the fuck up. But since fear is the host of the party, the rest of the voices get drowned out.

Eventually fear and doubt jump into bed together, realizing that it would make a perfect threesome if they just had hesitation in the mix.  And now hesitation is the dominant voice in your head.

The problem with hesitation is that it likes to facilitate half assed attempts at everything you want to do…

  • Yeah go for that wave but remember you might eat shit
  • Paint your masterpiece, write your novel, but remember that it might suck

When you’re hesitant and you go for a wave regardless it’s always a risky proposition.  You set yourself up for subpar performance. It’s a bit like painting a masterpiece or writing a novel with your hands tied behind your back. You have it in you to be great, but not when you hesitate.


If you Surf, You’re Going to Wipe Out

I remember the first time I came across a youtube video where some buff, blonde, bronzed guy was saying “If you surf you’re going to wipeout.” I thought  no shit Spiccoli. How  much weed was involved in coming up with that brilliant observation? But it turns out the joke is on me and his observation was quite profound and a great metaphor for pushing the limits of what’s possible in our lives

As I’ve said before anything worth doing requires the courage to fail. Chances are the first time you try to do something that you’ve never done you’ll experience some degree of failure. In fact you’ll fail a little bit throughout your journey. But since there are no grades in the school of life it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you keep showing up.  Be careful that you don’t make permanent decisions based on a temporary circumstances. Even after you’ve achieved mastery at something, you’ll screw up.  You can either your wipeouts define you or shake them off, learn from them and move on.


After it’s all said and done, all it takes is one good wave… And damn that’s worth it.