One of the words I kept hearing over and over in 2013 was “mindset”. Mindset is kind of the new hip way to describe what our elders used to call “attitude“.

A mindset can be positive or negative, just like an attitude. A positive mindset is about overcoming limiting thoughts and having an abundance mentality.

When you start to reprogram your mindset to a more abundant mentality, you stop seeing problems and start to see how your limiting beliefs that are getting in the way.

“What stops people are their limiting beliefs about themselves, their self worth, what they don’t actually have. What I’ve found is that people are not actually afraid of failure, they’re very afraid of success,” said Dane Maxwell, founder of The Foundation, an organization that helps people start software businesses by overcoming their limiting beliefs.

Pat Flynn, a leading business leader said, “One of [the common themes that millionaires have] is that they don’t have that fear. They train themselves to be excellent ‘receivers,’ to be open and willing to receive massive amounts of money, which for some reason a lot of people are scared of. I know I kind of went through the same thing. I could feel myself sabotaging myself…not taking it to the next level when I totally knew that I could have. I think the whole mindset thing is so important.”

Dane Maxwell continues, “There are a lot of things that you can logically explain, but for whatever reason you can’t seem to make it happen. You’ve got a limiting belief, you’ve got something you’re stuck with, you’ve got a road block and you’re not going to be successful until you get that thing reversed. And unless you have a kind enough, compassionate enough, gentle enough teacher that without judgment will help you reverse that, you’re not going to move forward.”

You have a finite amount of mental energy so what you choose to spend it on matters. In business you might call this an opportunity cost because thought spent in one direction could prevent you from spending thought in another direction. What you think about is incredibly important because it influences everything else in your life.

There is a war going on in your mind. What are you doing to win? Are you moving towards success or are you self-sabotaging? “The Power of 1%” says that, “Just 1% [improvement] per day…has a dramatic effect and will make us 37x better, not 365% (3.65x) better at the end of the year.”

If you improve 1% a day you will improve 3800% in a year.” –James Altucher

I started writing this post on September 6, 2013. Almost 2 years later I’m just now completing it. What stories have you started that need completing? Let’s complete more stuff, 1 day at a time. A year from now we’ll be 37x to 3800% better. 🙂

How Do I Meet New People as an Adult?

A lot of people (myself included) often wonder how to meet new people as adults. As a child the interactions were facilitated and it seemed easier, but as adults it’s still possible – we just have to do more work to get the same results.

Here are some things you can do to facilitate friendship:

Attend Meetups

One thing I’ve learned about meetups is that to make the lasting friendships there, you can’t just show up and leave. You have to stay until the end, see who’s still around, and then ask them to go get a beer or a coffee afterwards. In that way, you’ll create a much deeper, longer lasting relationship with someone that could become a friendship.

Indianapolis Marketing Meetup

Change Habits

Pick one habit to change such as your drive home. For example, instead of driving straight home, stop at a park and walk around. If you see someone there, talk to them. If you are the first person to leave work, be the last person to leave and engage in a deeper conversation with one new person. If you always take the same streets home, purposefully take a different path and pay attention to what you see. You might find a new place to hang out (and meet new people).

Or, instead of driving to work, see if there is a way to carpool, walk, or ride a bike to work. You could also wake up one hour earlier than normal and be the first person in a local coffee shop in the morning. If you don’t know the name of the barista or checkout person at the gas station, ask them their name and tell them yours. The next time you are there, greet them by name.

By making slight changes to your daily habits, you can cause unknown, unintended, changes (like the butterfly effect) that will lead you down a different path than the one you’re on now. In addition to small changes in your actions, here are some pretty standard things you can do to “meet new people” and “make friends.”

  1. Be thankful for the life you already have.
  2. When someone asks you to do something you wouldn’t normally do, consider doing it this time.
  3. Join a local church.
  4. Find a local meetup on meetup.com.
  5. Start a new habit and do something consistently to see who else is doing that same thing consistently. Talk to that person.
  6. Help someone younger than you or older than you without expecting to get paid.
  7. Look for ways to volunteer.
  8. Join a coworking facility.
  9. Consistently visit a bar or coffee shop at a certain time.
  10. Be the friend you want to have – invite other people to lunch with you, tell other people what you are doing and invite them to join you, throw a party at your house or apartment, rent out a gym and play some dodgeball, join a softball or kickball league, play a pick-up basketball game at the local park.

To do the things you’re not doing now, you’re going to have to do the things you’re not doing now. That means taking a different path through life, doing things a little bit differently, going places you normally don’t go, doing things you normally don’t do – and being consistent about it.

People who don’t have a clue what they want in life usually don’t know themselves very well. We all like to live in our comfort zones. Same life, friends and activities for years. We think that when we are more comfortable that we are more happy. But the key to happiness may be in getting out of your comfort zone.

The key is to throw yourself in situations which are out of your comfort zone. Go on a trip somewhere obscure, preferably alone. Take some odd job, Do crazy stuff. Break your barriers. Don’t just sit and think about what your passions are. Go find them.

When you do things that normally isn’t you, you will discover what truly is you.

It can be very difficult to get out of our comfort zones – they are comfortable after all. But comfort does not equate to happiness. I think we tend to believe that we know who we are, when in reality we have settled for what we are currently because we are afraid to get out of our comfort zones.

The best part about getting outside of your comfort zone is that it gives you one of the greatest feelings that money cannot buy: Appreciation. We are all aware that we don’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone, but that understanding hits a lot harder when we experience it first hand.

Why is it so hard to make friends as an adult?

As one New York Times article stated, “As external conditions change, it becomes tougher to meet the three conditions that sociologists since the 1950s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other”, which are things school and college are perfect for. The people at work would be the next best thing, but aren’t always the pool of people you’d necessarily want to be friends with (sometimes).

But there are other ways to get these types of interactions – frequenting a coffee shop or bar, church, or meetups that other like-minded people also frequent – all take care of those points. When we are little we make friends where we find them. Do you live next door? You’re my friend. Do you sit next to me at school? You’re my friend. Generally we have similar, but limited interests. But as an adult we filter out the people we don’t agree with politically, socially, or for other reasons. By the time we get to the few people left there’s a very small pool of potential friends via self-selection.

It may not be that it actually gets any harder to make friends as you get older, rather that you get better attuned to what you want in a friend.

As an adult I only hang out with people that I actually like and who I feel a mutual sense of value with: they bring something good to my life, I feel I bring something good to theirs. It takes time to find people like that, but it’s worth the effort.

The 100th Monkey Effect: How Ideas Tip

The Office UK Monkey

Back in 2009 I was listening to a Coast to Coast episode regarding “Mind Viruses & Genetics.” Author and speaker in the field of self-development, Dr. Wayne Dyer, and foremost authority in bridging science and spirit, Dr. Bruce Lipton, discussed how genes and DNA do not control our body, and how MEMES, or mind viruses, are infecting our population.

Whether you believe that thoughts can interact with the universe, God, or control the cells of our own bodies is beyond the scope of this post, but I would simply like to point out some new terms I heard while listening to the episode. The first term is “phase transition,” which is a physics term for when electrons in an atom line up to cause a transition from one phase to another such as from a liquid to a gas. This tipping point happens when a set number of electrons line up, causing all the other electrons to follow, which changes the atom’s phase. The author called that point the “100th monkey.”

According to Wikipedia, the Hundredth Monkey Effect is where, “a learned behavior spreads instantaneously from one group of monkeys to all related monkeys once a critical number is reached. By generalization it means the instantaneous, paranormal spreading of an idea or ability to the remainder of a population once a certain portion of that population has heard of the new idea or learned the new ability.”

You may have heard of the physics term, “quantum entanglement” which is “a possible property of a quantum mechanical state of a system of two or more objects in which the quantum states of the constituting objects are linked together so that one object can no longer be adequately described without full mention of its counterpart — even though the individual objects may be spatially separated. This interconnection leads to non-classical correlations between observable physical properties of remote systems, often referred to as nonlocal correlations.”

Along with doctors who noted that cells taken out of a body respond to stimuli from their original host, you get the gist that there may be undetectable ways that matter communicates at the quantum or atom level, the cellular level, and at the organizational level (as with the 100th monkeys effect). W. Edwards Deming, the engineer whose quality management systems transformed Japanese manufacturing, noted that if you get the first 15 percent of any system right, the other 85 percent flows easily.

At first I thought this was like Pareto’s 80/20 rule, but now realize it is more like the tipping point or the 100th monkey effect. I’ve noticed in working with one of my clients that when we create a new system, such as a tracking sheet, once we get buy-in from a certain number of individuals, the success of that system grows from there. But that could be more of a network effect rather than a ‘100th monkey’ thing.

The reason I wanted to mention all of this is because I have noticed lately the power of the individual. Anything that ever happens can be traced back to one person first having the idea – and then sharing it. Once shared with enough people to get critical mass, it tips, the electrons align, and the phase transitions. The point is, although things happen best within teams of at least two people, ideas begin with one. If you have an idea. Share it. Maybe know one else will ever have the same idea.

If Tesla had kept alternating current to himself, we would all be using Edison’s direct current today. That’s just one example, but there are many. The hyperlinked web you are using right now was invented by one man, Tim Berners Lee. It’s not just inventions, its deciding to love someone. It’s whatever you can imagine. I encourage you all to imagine, to stretch your mind, and cast off feelings of doubt and self-sabotage. Tell yourself you can and you will.

Transitions have that kind of split personality where a lot changes, but very little gets done sometimes. Even static people can do that to themselves when they spend all their time preparing and organizing and never taking action. A friend of mine once announced he’s going to get a divorce and moved out of his house. His productivity level plummeted. I think that sometimes growth comes from stability, other times it comes from an uprooting.

Around the same time I was listening to 50 Prosperity Classics. Like Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup books and others have suggested, we hung a note on our front door that has a dollar goal, a list of things we’d do or buy with the money (pay bills, carry cash in our pockets, be able to help others, go out to eat guilt-free, get a faster computing experience) as well as actual checks made out to us. In addition, I started speaking to myself things like, “I can be rich. I am rich. I can make [X] dollars a year. I do make [X] dollars a year.” and even “I can be a good father. I can love the Lord our God with all my heart, mind, and soul.”

What I began to notice from that practice was that normal inputs like web design requests and computer repairs started hitting my sub-conscious mind differently. When they came in, my “gut” said, “You make [X] a year. You can’t be coding websites anymore. Hire someone to do that so you can multiply yourself and make more money in less time. You build businesses for other people to work in. That is what you do now.” Yeah, I know, my gut is long winded – its kind of like those Chinese translations on TV, satirized by Wayne’s World, only in reverse.

In that radio show I listened to on Coast to Coast AM, one of the guys said that the sub-conscious or “habitual” mind as he called it makes up 95% of our behavior throughout the day and that much of what we do is automatic. Only 5% requires us having to think to make decisions. This means that we have a huge opportunity to manipulate this habitual mind to our liking and to our benefit. The more I read and listen, the more I find that most writers are all saying the same things. “Ask and it
will be given,” and “Tell yourself you can and you will.”