In this show, Dean & Dan talk about the Procrastination Priority Scorecard. The latest tool in the procrastinations toolkit.
Transcript: The Joy of Procrastination Ep007
Dean: Mr. Sullivan.
Dan: Good morning.
Dean: Good morning.
Dan: You escaped from Toronto at the right time. It's gotten suddenly cold after you left. I wonder if there's any connection.
Dean: I just saw that, that I brought the sunshine, I brought the warmth with me. Then as soon as I leave, all clear. All I need is another bubble in March when I come back. Then it could be all clear for the summer. There we go.
Dan: There you go. Anyway, I've been busy. I don't know if you saw. I sent you the complete mindset score card.
Dean: You did. I'm looking at it right now. I can't wait to get the, is this the world premiere?
Dan: This is the world premiere. It was finished at eight o'clock last night and you're the first to see it.
Dean: I love it.
Dan: Yeah, well it's really interesting, the different things that you can hit on as you go across the score card. For those who are listening, they don't really understand it. One of the breakthroughs that we've had in the strategic coach, going back about a year now, is that a lot of people, when they think about improvement, they think about actions and decisions and what they're going to do with other people. We find that those things will either turn out well, or they won't turn out well, depending on your clarity about what mindset that you're starting with, and also the mindset that you're looking for in other people. This has everything to do with cooperation. It has everything to do with creativity. It has everything to do with communication.
We've been at this for three months, three, four months now, since we had our very famous table ten first lunch on procrastination. I've gotten enough feedback in my workshops, and of course we've explored deeply in these podcasts. I've got kind of a feel of the entire spectrum of different mindsets of those people who would be kind of just totally resistant to the idea of even admitting that they're procrastinators and it's a shameful secret that they keep to themselves. They make all sorts of comparisons with themselves, oftentimes thinking, why is it that they're a procrastinator and other people aren't procrastinators. It's kind of like a personality. It's a character flaw. It's a moral failure and everything else.
That would be the worst. Then if you go way to the other end of the spectrum of the score card, then you have people who say, "Gee, this is just like a hidden resource. This is just a secret advantage I have, that if I just tell the truth about my procrastination on an ongoing basis, I can use my think through of each procrastination as actually a way of focusing on what I should be doing right now.
It was a pleasure doing this, because I had so much conversational material over the last four months, because it's been a real hit. It's like I've hit the mother lode as far as entrepreneurial insight and entrepreneurial understanding on this one. That's where we are.
Dean: This is great. Can we walk through the score card?
Dan: Yeah, absolutely. The number one mindset, just those of you who did not have that. Dean, do we have any way of attaching this as a PDF?
Dean: Of course. Everybody listening right now.
Dan: Because I put it in PDF form so people can just put it.
Dean: I'll have it right on the show notes, so if you want to press pause and go to joyofprocrastination.com, and I'll have it right here on the episode for us. That will be available for you to download and follow along. Let's assume that they've got this in front of them. Then we can walk right through it, and we can go through it real time and people can do their score card as we're going here.
Dan: Yeah. They put their name. I've got a date. I've got, for a date there. Then they give themselves two scores. They take each mindset, there's eight of them, but there's four considerations and there's numbers attached as you go from left to right. It starts with one and ends up at 12, but the blocks are one to three, four to six, seven to nine and 10 to 12. Then you read through and you give yourself a first score. Then you say, "This is where I am right now, but let's say three months from now, where do I want to be?" You put a second score down.
That gives you the growth that you would want, and if you followed this for each quarter, you're going to notice that your awareness of how useful procrastination can be, if you tell the truth about it, and that it will immediately translate into, first of all you'll break through whatever the situation is that you're procrastinating on. YOu'll gain insight on why you did it. The second thing is, then you'll be able to take action immediately and you can just use this almost like fuel that you're putting into your engine. You're the engine, but you need fuel, and my feeling is that this is very high octane fuel.
Dan: What I'd like to do Dean, is just start with the first one, which I think is key, and that is that everybody procrastinates. The people who are bad at this, I mean bad at coming to grips with themselves that everybody procrastinates. I use you statements, so I'm talking to you. You always find outside factors for problems that are actually caused by your procrastination. In other words, you're procrastinating, but because you won't tell the truth about that, then your mind has to shift. What's causing my not going forward? Then you find external factors. The timing's not right. I don't have what I need. Other people are getting in my way. You immediately shift into blame mode, which just puts you deeper into your procrastination.
Dean: External blame shifting, yeah.
Dan: Yeah, and we can stop anywhere we want, if you have one that's really. That would be, if that was true about you, then you would grade yourself somewhere between one and three. If you're really deep into your procrastination and you refuse to actually tell the truth about it, you're hopeless. You're never going to get out of it and it doesn't have anything to do with what's going on around, it's just your own mindset about this. The next jump up is you admire people who seem to be free of procrastination, but it frustrates that you don't know their secret. In other words that we look at people. We had this sort of mutual discovery. You've talked about procrastination before, but I had never admitted to you that I'm a procrastinator.
Dean: Yeah. I think that's really ...
Dan: Yeah, you were kind of putting me on a pedestal. "Dan Sullivan, you know."
Dean: I would say that I would put you on a list of people who seem to be free of procrastination, that I admired, but it would frustrate me that I didn't know your secret. I think I would have been a four, five, six, somewhere in there.
Dan: Yeah, because you wanted to be free of, you wanted it like that. I've had people in my life, especially when I was younger and they were older and I would look at them and I says, "Geez, I wish I could get my act together." You know, because they just don't seem to let anything stop them. Then later on, you find out that behind the scenes they were not the way that they were appearing. All of us, if we're going to be successful entrepreneurs, or successful in whatever line of work you're going to be in in life, you have to have a good front stage, because we're judged a lot on externals and we've got to understand the externals that we're being judged on.
If you go to a function that requires proper dress, make sure you dress properly, or you're going to be judged negatively. It does matter how good a person you are or interesting ideas, right off the bat that you're not dressed properly, it's going to be held against you. You're not even going to be given an opportunity to actually communicate who you actually are and the value that you can bring to the situation, just because. I'll use proper dress as a metaphor here, that looking like you don't procrastinate is actually kind of a form of appearance that we have to communicate if we're going to be successful.
Dean: Yes. I got it. I would say that's the, I think a lot of people are going to find themselves in that one.
Dan: Yeah. The logic of the score card is, that's a great place to start. The first column, the one to three, that's a terrible place to start, because you're not starting.
Dean: Yeah, exactly. You're still entrenched in that.
Dan: You're committed to not getting better.
Dean: I've noticed that there's a word that, when questioned about something where somebody has been procrastinating, the external blame shifting word starts with well, "Well, if they had just gotten me everything I needed at the time." Or, "Well if you had told me this." Always that, "Well" is the trigger for the next set of words that are going to firmly shift the blame for their procrastination onto somebody else.
Dan: Yeah. It's almost like, "Well, what you say may be true, but let me explain why this is happening. This is not anything to do with me." Yeah, have I ever done that? Yes I have.
Dean: That's great. I love it.
Dan: Yeah. Usually, I'm very politically interested, so usually I'm blaming it at whoever happens to be in charge right now. We do do that. Then the number three is a very interesting one, because these are peoplewho have, I think, totally bought into a life of externals. You know where I see this a lot? Where I see this a lot is in sort of static kind of fields of work. By status I mean there's not a great deal of innovation in a particular area, and there's long periods of education and training that you have to go through to, first of all just get into the marketplace with this skill. I think specifically of the professions like lawyers, accountants, doctors, and everything else where they have a long period of time and there are rules for what you have to look like and how you have to perform, and how you have to succeed.
It's almost like climbing a ladder, this is going to take you 30 years from the time you start till you get to the top of the ladder, but once you're up the ladder you're really at the top. It's very deceptive, because these people really, really show up as successful. As a matter of fact, lots of stories are written on these people and how they have, they're just really on top. What you notice is that all the emphasis is mostly on externals. It's not anything, there's no creative movement going on inside. They've put themselves in a position where they followed all the rules of what it takes to look good in this industry and they have a checklist and they check, check, check. It's mostly about externals. You design your life so that everything is on autopilot with the result that there is nothing new to procrastinate.
Dean: Yup. I could see myself in a lot of that, in some instances. That's my MO, is to move things into a way that I don't have to, that it's procrastination proof for me.
Dan: Well this is really interesting because I have a lot of stuff on autopilot, but that was to free me up to do bigger and better things, which do require feeling uncertain, feeling a certain amount of risk. I don't know a certain deficiency. The thing I'm talking about is to put it on autopilot so that you don't have to grow anymore at all.
Dean: Oh I see what you're saying. Now I get it. It's like, in a way, a lot of the things that I have set up that I put them on autopilot, but that allows me, that doesn't solve the thing, that allows me to continually be in a state of procrastination on the bigger, better things.
Dan: On much bigger and better, see there's the distinct fork in the road there. Some people go, I'll say they turn left, and their whole objective is to have an autopilot kind of way of making money and maintaining their status in society. Which in fact, does not require them to work anymore, that's got massive amounts of passive income. They have automatic systems and everything else. Their objective is to get to the point where they really don't have to grow anymore. They don't have to learn anything new. They don't have to change themselves and everything like that. That's the left hand turn.
The right hand turn is that you sense that you want to get to a bigger game, which actually requires more capability on your part, higher level of confidence, and that you're constantly consolidating the level of experience that you have, and everything required to you at the level that you've already achieved, you then go into delegation and automation mode. In other words, you put it in the hands of other people, or you can use technology. Usually the two go together. It's delegation with automation. The whole point of it is to free yourself up for a bigger game, where you're going to be even more active. You're going to be just doing the higher level.
Dean: I would say that, as I've been figuring this out, and my ability to now embrace procrastination, and my ability to have that throughput system to use the four C's to understand how to turn that procrastination into productivity. I think that for a lot of years, that level of setting things on autopilot and passive revenue, was really my coping mechanism to mask the slowness at which I was able to innovate and create new things.
Dan: Yeah. I mean I would have to tell the same story, looking back now, because I didn't realize that's what I was doing at the time. Looking back, I see it. For example, you just came to your workshop about a week ago, and we pulled the Ten Times Mind Expander, which is a very powerful thinking process and coach. For the first time in, what is this? 28th year of strategic coach, I actually told what our revenue numbers were at Coach. I had never revealed to any of the coaching.
The reason is because the exercise is to take what you did over the last 12 months, and there was a number, $32 million our company did, and multiply it by ten. That's $320 million. Then there's the 25 year framework that's also provided to you in this exercise. You say, "But you have 25 years to pull this off. If I gave you 25 years, do you think you could go ten times?" The answer is yes, because if you take what you're doing now and divide by ten, you went from one tenth somewhere in the past, to where you are right now, in less than 25 years.
Dean: That's true.
Dan: Yeah. Every entrepreneur I've ever met, if I take their present, and this is company income, if you take it and divide it by ten, I say, "Now go back in history, your entrepreneurial history, when were you one-tenth?" It's less than 25 years. I said, "Well we know you can do it in 20."
Dean: Some people have done that twice, probably ten times twice.
Dan: Oh yeah. I just started a brand new group in September, of the Ten Times Program. This is where people come directly into Coach. They don't go through the signature program. They don't come up from a lower level in Coach, they come right in. This man, and he showed us the numbers. He showed us the 12 months before September. In other words, September to September. Going back from what he learned in the first workshop, on October 31st he had done things that matched his previous 12 months.
Dean: Wow. That's pretty impressive.
Dan: Yeah. He said, "And I'm going to do it again before I come back in March."
Dean: That's great.
Dan: Yeah. I said, "What was the key?" He said, "Well there was three big things I was procrastinating on, and I just realized that all I needed was courage."
Dean: That's great.
Dan: Because I hit him with some, it was so good for you and me I said, "When I start this new group I'm going to hit them right off the bat." Some people have been in strategic coach for 26 years and they're just getting it for the first time. This person's getting it right off the bat, when they come in for the very first workshop. He just adapted, and it wasn't just three big things. He said, " I just adapted the philosophy that every night I'm going to think about what I'm procrastinating on and those are the first three things that I'm going to do when I go to work in the morning. It's pretty exciting.
Dean: That's so great. I love that.
Dan: Well it is, and it was available. My big statement on the board, when everybody walked in for this quarter's workshop says, "Play to win with the hand you have, not the one you wish you had." I think a lot of people who procrastinate spend a lot of their time in wishing. They actually have all sorts of resources, but they, and what we're putting out is one of your resources is that you can really transform into great, fast thinking, decision making, communication and action, is what you're procrastinating on right now.
The fourth column, everybody procrastinates is the fourth. The one autopilot that we were just talking about, was the third column, seven, eight, nine. Then 10, 11, 12, you happily recognize that you're a procrastinator. You happily recognize that you're a procrastinator, so is everyone else on earth. It's just a mindset that any time you meet a new person, you're meeting a procrastinator.
Dean: Yeah. I love it. We're finding that out every time we talk, every time we bring this up, we're finding that out.
Dan: Yeah. If you're flying on a plane with 250 other people, including the flight crew and the pilots, you're flying with 260 procrastinators, which is kind of scary when it comes to the pilots.
Dean: I would say in the last quarter, because when you think about it we had our Table Ten first discussion about this was literally one quarter ago, because it was right after our workshop in September. Between then, having that conversation, and now, it's just been one quarter and a week or so. I can happily say that I'm solidly entrenched in the fourth column. That I happily recognize that I'm a procrastinator, because so is everyone else on earth. That's a progress. I like that. If that's something, so just for everybody playing along at home. They would find the statement that they most resonate with right now, and then also pick the statement that they want to aspire to, or move towards. Then we can move through the other mindsets, but just to review that first mindset of everybody procrastinates.
In column one, you always blame outside factors for problems that are actually cause by your procrastination. Column two, you admire people who seem to be free of procrastination, but it frustrates you that you don't know their secret. Column three, you design your life so that everything is on autopilot with the result that there's nothing new to procrastinate about. Column four, you happily recognize that you're a procrastinator, because so is everyone else on earth. If you're following along with your score card, put two scores down there at the end of row one.
Dan: Yeah. Again, this is downloadable now. As soon as this call, well we're in real time.
Dean: We're in real time. We're setting up future Dan and Dean here.
Dan: Yeah. We're talking, right now we're talking to people in the future, who live in the future.
Dean: That's right.
Dan: You and I are the only two people in the universe that are present time now, and everybody else is in the future. The thing that you brought up about timeless, that we imagine our improvements in the future time. We can see ourselves operating in a better mode or in better circumstances in the future, but that thing that we're really being inspired by actually is in a timeless zone, because the clock hasn't, we're not on the clock yet. We're just enjoying. It just bring up an interesting insight that I just got by saying that. Basically I think a lot of people spend their life in dreamland because it's not in real time, or they don't experience it in real time. The moment they come back, then the clock starts because, what are you going to do about it?
It really reminds me of something that they discovered about the astronauts. I think that there were like, I don't know how many in the Apollo missions actually walked on the moon. I know John Glenn, who just died just a couple days ago, was the first American astronaut who circled the planet. The Russians were the first, Yuri Gagarin was the first human in space, but the first astronaut, or cosmonaut, to actually go around the earth once was John Glenn. He was also the very last astronaut to step from the moon back into the spaceship and nobody's been there since.
Dean: He was the last man on the moon, yeah.
Dan: Yeah. One of the things that they discovered, well they discovered two things about the astronauts that are certain to emerge. One of them, all of them had something akin to a nervous breakdown over the years since they walked on the moon, which I'm going to talk about. The other one is that they noticed that they had growing very, very unique health problems as they got older. That their time in space, either gravity free or very low gravity, and being totally exposed to cosmic rays, cosmic radiation, seems to have really presented them with physical challenges. Very interesting. That's going to be something that has to be resolved before, they're talking about communities on the moon or communities on Mars.
Going back to the first one, the nervous breakdown. I was just relating that event, that achievement, to other achievements I've seen happen with entrepreneurs and with athletes and entertainers, who imagine they're going to win the Olympic gold medal, or they're going to win an Oscar, or they're going to hit pay dirt with an entrepreneurial breakthrough, they're going to achieve it. Depending on how they set those events up in their mind, I noticed it either helps them or it actually undermines them, how they set that up. This is what I'm talking about Dean.
They have a notion that an event is going to transform them into a different kind of person. In other words, when I walk on the moon, when I get back to earth I'm going to be a totally different person because I've walked on the moon. That was, you know if you had that expectation then it must have been a real hit on you when you got back and, it was probably magical for the first few days. You got to meet the president. They gave you a ticker tape parade down Madison Avenue in New York and all sorts of appearances. About a week later, you're leaving the house and your wife says, "Well now that you're around, can you help me out with the housework and I'd like you to pick up some hamburger on the way home."
Dean: Right. I've heard, you've used examples of that, of people winning Olympic gold medals. Imagine any aspirational thing where it's just so focused on one thing. That everything's going to change when I get that Olympic gold, or when I become a millionaire, or when I get this car, or whatever.
Dan: Yeah, but they're thinking an event is going to do it. It isn't anything that they're doing to themselves. In other words, it's not about the fact that they're improving themselves. Another way of approaching it is saying, "Everything that I'm learning." Let's take an astronaut. Everything I'm learning, because they have to learn a really unusual number of things. First of all they have to be really quite extraordinary individuals to begin to even be chosen. That represents a real achievement to even be chosen, that's just the start. That's just stage one.
Stage two is where they really have to go through very arduous training. They have to acquire all sorts of new knowledge, all sorts of new skills. Then they're in an environment where human beings have never been before. They're pioneers. If they approached it that, it isn't the event itself that is the big thing here, it's who I'm going to be in going through all that to actually arrive at the event? That's what I'm going to bring back when I come back from a planet, just an incredibly higher level of capability and awareness and everything else. I'm going to take that and move it into another area when I get back, so once I go to the moon, I don't want to go back again.
I want to create another kind of future event like that. My feeling is, people who did that, and I don't think any of them really did it, because they were too much, the stakes were too high for them to have that amount of self-introspection. Besides, somebody who had that might not be competitive enough, might not be whatever. I don't think they'd had a nervous breakdown, I think that they would have had a creative breakthrough instead of a nervous breakdown as a result of doing that.
Dean: Yes. That's an interesting reframe, isn't it? Knowing, I see what you're saying. Now it just sets the stage for continuing to move forward.
Dan: Yeah. Our first one, and this is really interesting, but let's see if we can get through one more mindset on the score card here. Give everybody a flavor of why they would want to download this right away. The first mindset is everybody procrastinates. The second one is, always for good reasons. This is the thing that people are least likely to say about themselves. "Yeah, I'm procrastinating, and I'm doing it for a good reason."
Dean: Yes. I think there's, yeah to justify. I want to hear the statements here, to see where I fit. Let me read column one here. You always feel increasingly guilty about procrastinating, so it's you being stupid, lazy and incompetent. That's powerful right there.
Dan: Yeah, and I know people do that. They utterly, I mean somebody who feels that way about themselves doesn't need external enemies. You're living with one.
Dean: Yeah right.
Dan: What I notice is that a lot of people rally haven't unified themselves as a person. I see this a lot among entrepreneurs, that there's a second them, and I think that develops very early in childhood, who is their worst critic, their toughest. There's part of them that's really talented and very creative, but there's another separate them, and they carry these two thems, two selves around at the same time. One of them is a critic, and this critic doesn't really like them. This critic always tells them what they're doing wrong. This critic never tells them that they're doing anything right. When they procrastinate the critic comes out in full force.
Dean: Wow. That is really, I mean I have been in that situation a lot, where that's, a lot of labels.
Dan: Dean seems to be able to do ...
Dean: Dean is able to achieve excellent results with what seems like little effort. Imagine if he applied himself. That's been the thing that I always feel and have felt. I'm just not able to apply myself. That's the labeling with ADD and that's external blame shift in itself. Well I'm ADD, of course I procrastinate, that's just my ... I wish I was like you, and don't have ADD.
Dan: Yeah. You know in the Kolbe Profile, in which I find remarkably accurate on how people take action to get results, you and I are both ten quick starts. Therefore we take action without preparation. We take action without research, and the reason is, how we do our preparation and research is by actually already being in motion. We're told that that's not the right way to do it, and the reason is because the school system, and a lot of different situations in life, but the school system is now, according to Cathy Kolbe, who designed this system, is almost 100% fact finder follow throughs, who judge you on the amount of factual research you've done before you take action, the amount of preparation, putting things in place, before you take action. Therefore, no matter the fact that you get really good results, you're doing it the wrong way.
Dean: Yes. That's true. Wrong, there's all that. I overlay that. I overlay that Kolbe with, and I've found it very useful, the Myers Briggs overlaid on top of that. I'm an INTP in Myers Briggs. Introverted, intuitive thinking perceiver. Intuition and perception are things that are strong quick start sort of things. I think there's a great correlation there. Sensing judgers are what teachers, that is built around that, is around the details and judgement of those, right and wrong. That there's a right way and a wrong way to do things.
Dan: The big thing is that we're born, you and I and many that we know, but it doesn't really matter, everybody's got their own cards to play with. I'm just talking about a set of cards that we happen to have in common. I've got very creative, results oriented people who have the opposite of my profile. The thing we have in common is that we play with the cards that we have, we don't wish we had other cards.
Dean: Yeah, I'm not sure I realized that you were an INTP either, but it makes total sense. Of course you are.
Dan: Yeah, and one of the things, one of the best ways of understanding an introvert versus an extrovert. If it's significant, is that if no one's around you for three days, what do you do? Well like for example, Babs and I spend most of our time together, but periodically she'll have friends or she'll have family. For example, she'll take them to our cottage, which is about three hours north. It's family talk, and I don't do this to Babs. I don't take her into a setting where she's not going to know at all what's being talked about. Everybody else has got the inside scoop, like class reunions. I don't expect her to come with me. The reason is she's going to be clueless. It's just an inappropriate thing. If I have three days on my own, it wouldn't occur to me to phone someone or to talk to somebody else. I would read. I would do thinking.
Dean: Yeah. I get joy out of that.
Dan: Yeah. It wouldn't even occur to me that during those three days I should be contacting someone so I have company.
Dean: Right. I get it. It's very interesting.
Dan: That's the difference between, and extrovert will automatically, if I've got three days, I wonder how much events with other people.
Dean: Who can I call?
Dan: How many different events can I pack into the next three days? People I haven't phoned, let's phone them, and everything like that. Where I saw this really show up was in the last six weeks of the recent presidential campaign. The thing is that the winner, Donald Trump, is just a pure extrovert. I bet he is nothing but human contact from the moment he wakes up in the morning till he goes to bed. Either that day or in the early hours of the next day.
Hillary is just, Hillary Clinton is just an introvert. It pains her to be in a public situation. Whatever qualities she's got inside, you can't see it because you just see the way she tried to protect herself when she's in public, because she finds it draining, and therefore she can't do it very much. If you're going to run for president of the United States, you better start with extreme extrovert cards, because it's going to be non-stop contact and action for the next four years.
Dean: Right. Amen.
Dan: Even, they don't let you be alone for the next, you're just not allowed to be left alone and you got to take energy.
Dean: I don't think I could be president, because it's just too, I do know what you're talking about. It is draining on your energy. It's very interesting the way that you talk about handling that with Babs though too, that you both have that awareness that you want her to have a good time with her family and with her friends or whatever, but leave me out of it, in a way. That's fantastic.
Dan: Yeah. You know and if Babs, I means Babs is just slightly across the line into extrovert, so she's not extreme. Three days, if she's alone for three days, she's not alone for three days. She'll have breakfast. She'll be on Facebook. She'll be twittering, tweeting. She'll be phoning people. She'll go shopping with people and everything else. I see the difference, and it's just that she gets a lot of energy from that and I wouldn't. You have to pick where your energy. The big thing is, this all started because of the people who have two people inside of themselves instead of a unified one person. I think what this procrastination thing does, is it returns people back to just a unified single person because there's nothing to be ashamed of.
Dean: Yes. I like that.
Dan: You get rid of the internal critic. One of the big things I've just noticed myself sort of just being out there and just doing what I do, and not second guessing myself over the, since we had our conversation to launch this whole thing. "Just go for it Dan. You know how to do this. Just go for it." I fired the critic.
Dean: Yes. That's great. Okay, now so column two is, you continually make excuses and blame other people and other things to cover up every area where you are procrastinating. Always for good reasons. There's always a reason, similar to that external blame shifting that we talked about. That it's always something else. It's always some external factor that masks the fact that it was really me.
Dan: Yeah. This person isn't killing themselves with their own, there's a difference between the first column and the second. The first person is just beating themselves up. You know what it does? You know our buddy Joe Polish, he has really gone deep into the cause of various kinds of addictions. I said, "If you are always beating yourself up because you're procrastinating, you've got to get some relief somewhere. Since it's not going to be through achievements, you're not going to get any relief from your achievement, you have to find a chemical means to do that, or something to do that."
I was just sitting there as Joe was launching his Artists for Addicts program, which I think is going to be world changing, because Joe has such, and he's such a great communicator and he has such ability to connect with people, I think it's going to be a major thing. I was thinking, I just wonder if the conditions for people developing addictions of any kind, which usually by the way, happens in teenagers. Very few addictions happen after 20 years old. I wonder if the conditions that lead to easily sliding into any kind of addiction, like alcohol or drugs or sex or anything, is actually personal procrastination where you're continually beating yourself up, and it's kind of pain relief.
Dean: It's all connected, isn't it? Everything is so, and I think that's kind of, it goes the other way too. I think when we start really like embracing procrastination, looking at this, as raw material. I think just the layer effect of all the things that that's going to improve downstream too, are amazing. I see it already happening for me.
Dan: Yeah. Well one of the things I've noticed, because I'm really focused on right now, at 72, I'm really focused on health and fitness. The one thing, and I'm really good with food and exercise and sleep and everything else, but the one thing that is always kind of a risky behavior is wine. I drink a lot of wine. The thing is that I can go weeks without it and it doesn't bother me, so I don't think it's an addiction, but I think it's a stress reliever. What I've noticed since we hit upon this everybody procrastinates and always for a good reason. The amount of wine that I've been drinking since our famous lunch time conversation, I bet is down by two thirds.
Dean: Wow. That's interesting, do you think that's because you're so engaged in the important things now?
Dan: I think the reason is that I don't need pain relief, I just need to tell myself what the reason is for procrastinating, and that gives me the same kind of boost of energy that I was hoping that the wine was going to give me. In other words I was going to feel good, but I notice that the moment I identify and tell the truth about a procrastination and then do, what's the commitment here? What kind of courage am I going to have to go through? What's the new capability that's going to come out of this and how's my confidence? That gives me the same high, or the same energy boost that the drinking did.
Dean: I wonder, that's an interesting thing. Imagine procrastination and all of the negative things of it can create that cortisol, or the stress kind of hormones, and courage and going through that sort of, the confidence that comes from when you take that, when you embrace that courage, that creates dopamine. That creates probably the good kind of hormone. I wonder if there's something to that.
Dan: Yeah. I've got a couple guys who are really deep into brain research sort of thing, and I've got to bounce this off of them. One guy just started in September. With this new group that we had, we've added a second five hour day to their workshop, which is called the boot camp, because they don't get the signature program and we noticed that, first of all they were very curious about concepts and tools that we talk about in strategic coach. They noticed that other people know these but they don't know them, and so we built this second thing. We just launched it on Monday.
We had everybody over for a party at our house on the Monday night because 80% of them were coming back the next day. We missed 20% because they had already had plans for that day, now they do it. This guy who, really he's a doctor, but he's a neurologist and he's a brain person. He says, "You know your stuff really makes the nervous system feel good. I have to tell you why people get really excited. All these little exercises you do, they're like little dopamine triggers."
Dean: He said those words. That's great because I was just thinking about that as you go, that this guilt and all the things, it's almost like we could have a cortisol on one end and dopamine on the other end, that as you move from column one to four, your whole chemical makeup changes.
Dan: That is huge. That's really huge. Column one is just, your cortisol levels are going right through the roof if you do that. Here's the worst cortisol, probably situation that people can get into in their life, and that is that you've got all this talent. You've got all this intelligence. You've got all this opportunity, and no matter how you organize this to do achievements, that people outside of you think is amazing, there's a part of you that's always going to be condemning you why you didn't do more. This is going to be for the rest of your life. I think that would put a person into a very high cortisol level.
Dean: Dan I wonder, we should maybe get a guest on here to talk about this with us. That might be an interesting conversation to have.
Dan: People who are looking, in a planet of 7.4 billion, I bet there's a whole bunch of people who are zeroing in on this.
Dean: I think you're absolutely right. That's something. Okay let's go to column ...
Dan: Yeah, we'll finish up. Column three.
Dean: Finish up this mindset, but boy there's just so much depth here. Column three is, you have created a success formula over your entire life that allows you to look completely on top of everything.
Dan: Yeah. You're like the guy out, for your whole life you're like the guy out of the Mexican beer commercial.
Dean: That's right. That's so funny.
Dan: I mean, Yachts, Rolls Royce, you know, talk about $5000 suits, everyone knows you're wearing $20,000 suits. I mean you're a chick magnet. You got them holding on to your feet and everything else, because you just look like you're on top of everything.
Dean: Yes. That is something. These are just so powerful. It's kind of an interesting thing that, again, and they probably feel like, in this column, like you've figured it out, like you're winning.
Dan: Well the other thing is, in a certain way you are, but the price is that you can never look like you're losing.
Dean: Right. Conventional.
Dan: That's the conventional success. It's the other difference. You're a big movie fan, I'm a big movie fan. What I notice is the neat thing about movies is that we have them from 60, 70 years ago. There were movies made in the 1930s and 1940s. I'll give you one as just Casablanca, with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. That's like the number two movie of all time, and I think it was produced in four weeks. Ronald Reagan was supposed to be Humphrey. They couldn't get Ronald Reagan, so they got Humphrey Bogart. Susan Mallow was supposed to and they got Ingrid Bergman. It's hard to imagine right now. It's probably the number two on at least the North American, what North American people consider as the number two movie of all. I've seen it ten times because it's so beautifully written and they look really great.
That's early 19, I think it was 1942, 1943. You come up and we just saw the movie Dr. Strange, and you're a great observer and analyzer of movies and why they work and why they don't. You post on this. The actors, they're incredibly more paid, but they don't have the class, they don't have the specialness today that stars had. These were black and white films, they weren't even color. I think the reason is that the studio system prevented us knowing anything about the performers except what the front stage was.
Now, if you're an actor, everybody knows everything about you. Mostly, yeah you look like you've got it together for the film, but everybody knows you're a drug addict, you've been divorced three or four times and you've got weird problems. The other thing is that you're talking about your political views, which no matter how much of a genius you are as a performer, always makes you look like an idiot. Everything like that. I think the stars must be neurotic, because they used to be protected from anyone knowing what was going on backstage. That's conventional success.
Dean: That's kind of a, you see that a lot. I can totally relate to that. Very interesting. This is like therapy, these conversations we're having here.
Dan: Well I feel better.
Dean: I do too, absolutely.
Dan: I think my cortisol levels are down and my dopamine levels are up as a result of our conversation over the last hour.
Dean: I do too. Absolutely.
Dan: Finally, the column number four. You go ahead, because we switched off on that.
Dean: You accept that there's always a perfectly intelligent reason why you're procrastinating.
Dan: You just have to find the reason.
Dean: Yeah. When we go all the way back to the very first episode, the first conversation that we had about this, one of the things that we've uncovered is that, in a lot of ways, it's clarity. There's a perfectly good reason, just we're thinking about it as too big a thing, and we haven't done enough to know what the next verb is. We talked about that idea of maybe starting with a verb that you can manage right now. Brainstorming. That gets you the clarity. Once you know why, once you understand why you're procrastinating, that then allows you to kick in with the four C's to identify the courage, the commitment that you need to make. Then activate the courage to do it. That's really, I mean this is really powerful stuff here.
Dan: Yeah. Here's another thing Dean, and it goes back to your time thing, which just made so much sense. You said it in 15 seconds and it was like, "Oh, yeah of course this is what it is." We see the vision in a timeless zone, but the moment that we start acting towards it, we're on the clock. The problem is that part of our procrastination is we feel we don't have enough time. Time is running out. We're running out of time, and the reason is because we've already filled at least the immediate future with other things that are, it's not like we're dealing with a clean slate when we're on the clock.
A lot of what we're looking at for the next week, the next quarter, we've already got commitments. We've already got priorities, and we haven't figured out the ranking of what's really important, so we're thrown into a state of confusion because we say, "Oh geez, I just added another big thing which seems bigger and more important than the stuff I already have, but it seems that I'm in conflict with a lot of things that I'm already committed to."
Dean: Yes. I've realized as we've been having these conversations, and as I explore it for myself, that really our present self is a very sneaky, has a sneaky way of making us feel like we're actually making progress on something. It's perfectly in alignment with our present self's desires to seek pleasure, avoid pain and conserve energy, for it to allow and indulge in thinking about future theme. Any thinking, visioning in that timeless zone is perfectly okay with present Dean, because he doesn't actually have to do anything. Your mind can wander. It's almost like they're looking at it like a two year old in a way and saying, "Okay, well he's occupied, that's great. Go ahead."
Dan: Yeah, he's just playing. He's not trying to get a degree here, playpen degree or something.
Dean: Right. This doesn't count. This is not real.
Dan: Doesn't count. He's not working for better grades. It was kind of funny, this is just a little aside. I got in and somebody said that they just really couldn't understand how the presidential election turned out the way it did. I said, "Well here's how you have to picture it. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are in the same senior class at a high school. They're in the same one. It's Saturday night. What is Hillary doing and what is Donald Trump doing? Hillary is at home doing extra credit so that she'll be valedictorian so that she can get into an Ivy league college. He, on the other hand, is throwing absolutely the best parties that anyone's ever been to.
Dan: Everybody's invited to the party. I said, "Americans don't want to be with the person who's trying to be valedictorian, they want to be with the person who's throwing the biggest and best parties. Everything like that. The thing about this is that I have a feeling that Donald Trump doesn't have an internal critic who says, "Oh you shouldn't have said that." I think he's got ...
Dean: He's got very high internal self-esteem, yes.
Dan: I think Hillary has a really, there's Hillary, who's really a nice person and Hillary's really warm and apparently she's really great to be with in private, but I think there's another Hillary that she's created that just beats the crap out of her all the time. I bet what she's going through right now, in the weeks after the election, when she was overwhelmingly predicted to have a landslide and she didn't. I bet there's a lot of heavy drinking going on right now.
Dean: Her and Al Gore.
Dan: Yeah. I saw Al Gore in 2008 at a function in Washington DC. He came out and it was like watching a foreign movie, because he was saying one thing but there were the translation underneath. He was talking about this and talking about that, but what's the translation? I still can't believe that I lost to that idiot. What did I do?
Dean: They got spill truth, spill, spill, spill.
Dan: Yeah, so this internal critic, I think we've made a discovery, just to sum up here because we're at our, we were on the clock for that hour, so we're going off the clock here. The thing that I think I've really discovered is that this internal critic is probably more triggered by this single phenomenon of procrastination than probably anything else.
Dean: Yeah. I think you're right. What a great, this has been an incredible, and we only got through the first two mindsets here. I mean this conversation, I can see probably our next one or two conversations at least will be going through the rest of this score card here.
Dan: Oh yeah. Here's the thing. My feeling about what we've done so far, because we go out now and we take our learning from this and we go out into the world, and we rearrange how we're taking action and how we're achieving things. My feeling is, let's say we do two of the eight over a period of four podcasts, my feeling is by the time you finish number eight, you could go back to number one because we've discovered so much new things about the first two mindsets.
Dean: I think you're absolutely right.
Dan: The other thing is that we're going to have thousands of people who are listening to us. They have the score card and they'll be able to compare what we're talking to to their experience. I think we've got a very unifying sort of discussion here that really joins us with a lot of people that we don't even know, but we do know they're procrastinators.
Dean: That's it. We know that for sure.
Dan: Yeah. We know they're procrastinating for very good reasons.
Dean: And right now.
Dan: Yes. No, not right now.
Dean: They're doing it in real time. In the future.
Dan: They're doing it in real time I mean. We're long past this by the time they get to it. Even if it's only an hour ago.
Dean: That's right.
Dan: Okay. Dean, really great. We have another one for next Sunday.
Dean: Looking forward to it as always.
Dan: We'll do certainly number three and number four when we get together next week.
Dean: Thanks Dan.