Dean & Dan talk about how reframing questions can help to overcome procrastination and the thoughts behind Proctastination Scorecard mindset 6: Weakness into Strength.
Transcript: The Joy of Procrastination Ep013
Dan: Mr. Jackson.
Dean: Mr. Sullivan.
Dan: I think it's the first time I got it in first.
Dean: Wow, look at you.
Dan: Yeah. I've been busy. Since I talked to you last I've been busy turning my weaknesses into strengths.
Dean: I'm so happy to hear that.
Dan: You're catching me at a very energetic moment.
Dean: I'm feeling the same thing. I have to tell you that this right now, just the fact that we're here right now, and we gave no further though, preparation or any anxiety about, when are we doing the next one? I knew that we're right here.
Dean: That is really something.
Dan: This is the way it's going to be for the rest of your life.
Dean: I'm like a kid, Dan, with a new toy. I've been experimenting, as I said, with this idea of, I'd like to wake up every day and ask, what would I like to do tomorrow? That's been an empowering question. I mean I've never really been like that plan that far ahead kind of thing. I've actually been resistant to filling my schedule or having a ... I would look at things, like a time commitment, as a blight on my schedule. Now I'm just like, I think that the real interesting thing is that as I learn and embrace the things that I really love to do, it's a delight to wake up and see the things that I've arranged in advance for me to do today. My day is already filled with things that I want and love to do. It's, as we would say, a game changer.
Dan: Yeah. That's very, very interesting. Just a quick thought at the Genius Network, big conference last October. I really enjoyed the interview that Joe did with Dean Graziosi. It was just reference to a chore of taking the garbage out. Dean can afford to have a full time person whose job is just to take the garbage out, but Dean was taking the garbage out to make sure that they got it out there for the pickup. He said, It makes all the difference in the world is you say to yourself, "I have to do this or I get to do this." I get to do this. I just want to bring that back to ... I think what you don't like and what I don't like, I don't like having my schedule filled with things that I've got to do.
Dan: I do love having my schedule filled with things that I get to do. I get to do this. This is the way I get to spend my life. I'm going to ask you a question here, what has been added? I mean you're, I don't know how you've pulled it off all these years. Because you're successful, you're really successful. You've got a huge following. You seem to be able to afford everything that you fundamentally want in life. What do you think it was that made you successful without having this forward planning? Because I think a lot of people would be interested, because I believe there's real skill there that you have some exceptional skills that have allowed you to be successful in the way that most people say, "Well Dean really has it handled." What do you suspect it was, now that you see the contrast between this additional dimension that you've added to lining things up.
Dean: Yeah I agree. Part of it is for sure catching on very early to the idea of recurring revenue. That has been the big thing. To set things up that continue to generate revenue without me having to continue to do more work, which has afforded me the ability to not have to make decisions in the short term, kind of thing. That whole idea, Dan, of my, I know I'm being successful when, list. Where I was so kind of, that's been literally a framework for me for a lot of years. I did that in 1999, so that's 18 years. It's been very successful as a guidepost for me. My number two thing was I know I'm being successful when my passive revenue exceeds my lifestyle needs. That's been, I look at that, and I've always said that the thing, if you think about it metaphorically, the life metaphor that fits for me is basically, I want to live my life like an artist with a $50,000 a month trust fund. What you make above and beyond that is great, but that that's kind of the baseline level that you set.
I look at it, and I've had lots of friends that have built bigger businesses than me, have built more revenue than me, have built more wealth than me, if you look at it over this 18 years. I don't know anybody who's had as consistently relaxed and leisurely lifestyle as me, for that 18 years. It's a trade off. It's definitely a trade off.
Dan: Let me as you a question. Is there going to be a kick up in productivity because of just having another ...
Dean: Yeah, it's already happened. There's just another level that I can have both. I think that if I'm completely, I mean everything that we talk about here is really about telling the truth. If I'm being completely truthful, that a lot of the things that are limitations, like the differences in building a million dollar business and a $10 million business, is there are some, I think, limiting beliefs that have been in my world. That's one of those things. I think that as powerful and as freeing those, I know I'm being successful when, framework has been, it's also been, to some degree, a limiter for me as well. It's created this wonderful life and lifestyle, but it's also created some limitations on the things that I'm able to achieve.
Dan: When you made your rules, and I think it would be very, very useful for the listeners to get a PDF or something of your rules, because they're a great set of rules. That can be downloaded and everybody will know. I think it would be useful to actually go through your rules and line them up with the procrastination priority, as we go through this. Was the passive income handling, more than handling your lifestyle, when you made that rule, was that something that already was true? Was it something that you had to construct, that you had to build in the future?
Dean: No, it was true. That was to maintain that. That was, as I said, kind of like the thing, when I really got onto that I realized that is a success. This is a good thing.
Dan: Yeah, well first of all I think it's incredibly sensible, from a peace of mind standpoint, that Stefan Wissenbach, who's another creative partner in the program, because we've worked on the engagement multiplier platform for entrepreneurs and their teams. His background was as a wealth manager. Stefan will tell the story that he was born in the British, was born and grew up in the British version of the projects, like public housing. He had a great mother. His father disappeared, but he had a great mother who really got him focused on abundance and being successful. He went up through the ranks. He's very smart. He's very skillful. Tremendously persuasive, and great sense of humor.
He started advising on wealth management, people whose wealth was in the tens and hundreds of millions. These are pounds, but a pound in Britain is a dollar in the United States. It's dollar to pound. He noticed that people who were actually earning and had passive income that was way, way beyond their lifestyle needs, felt they didn't have enough money. Because they had started, and everybody does start, at a process where your current situation is sometime in the future. The capabilities that you have now, that was something that you aspired to at a date long ago. They got there and they got used to this constant striving because they didn't have enough money, and that became the dominant thought for them. They didn't have enough money.
He created a calculation. It was like an algorithm that they would go through and they'd punch in their information. He would show them that they had more than enough money, and therefore they could adjust their work schedule accordingly. They didn't have to be at this all the time. He noticed that if they hadn't seen that, they would keep striving to the end of their days, because they didn't have enough money. We can get into certain ways of thinking about things, which are appropriate maybe 25 or 30 years ago, but they're not appropriate today because life has changed. Your capabilities have changed.
The thing, but this has served you incredibly well for 18 years. I'm just going back to your thing.
Dan: This was an adjustment that you felt would be very beneficial, just changing one of the rules or expanding the rule.
Dan: Yeah, experimenting. You're testing.
Dean: Yeah. That's exactly right, because that's what, when you're exposed to new ideas ... One of the greatest things about being an entrepreneur and being completely in control of the way you organize your days and your efforts and your resources, is to be able to make the rules and be able to experiment and play around with that. I think what fits, fits. So far, it's almost like a new thing. It's amazing how just one little shift of a change can make that big of a difference. It's really almost like, I find it peaceful and relaxing to be working today on setting up something that's going to happen tomorrow, or in the future. By tomorrow I mean not today, but in the future. There's just something peaceful about knowing. It's a delight to see a telephone appointment with you on my schedule. It's never that, "Oh man, I've got to talk to Dan again. Let's see if we can move this."
Dan: Damn, got to talk to Dan.
Dean: Yeah, you know. It's never that, so I think that, especially for the things that ... Because I may wake up, our fundamental approach to things is very different. That I may wake up and say, "What would I like to do? You know what I'd really love? I'd love to talk to Dan today." It's very difficult to make that happen, because of the way that you set up your world. I don't get to do some of the things that I would like to do, if I could do what I would like to do today. This way, you're maximizing the things. It's a complete adjustment for me. I look at it that, I just turned 50 recently, and this is like, I think there's something about those kind of benchmark numbers in that it's like, you know what? I made it to 50 years and I really, you could almost say, haven't worked a day in my life almost. If you think about it like that, that I've gotten away with it.
Dan: Well you haven't worked a day in your life like other people think working a day.
Dean: That's what I mean. People they really would think I got away with something here, for 50 years. I still, I basically live my life like a college kid, in a way. That kind of like loosely structured, go to class occasionally and gear up for some finals.
Dan: Yeah. You have to make the finals, yeah. Here's the thing about this. This was, your approach to this, from the grade cards you got when you were in grade school, and that indicates that your attitude was factory installed.
Dan: This isn't something you picked up. You seem to have been, this is in the DNA. I would say that that's true for my, I take more of mine as non-interference from the outside. In other words, as I go forward, I keep fine tuning this system. My system, the one I have with Babs, the strategic coach, so that we become immune from interference from the outside. In other words, that we have a flexibility in the company that no matter what happens, it's like a gyroscope, we always come up. We always maintain our balance and we can more or less ... Nothing's ever completely predictable but we have, over the years, built in an enormous amount of high probability. I won't call it predictability, but high probability that we will be able to grow regardless of global circumstances.
What I'm looking at all the time are things that are potential termites to the system. You know, there's always critters that you have to watch out for that could undermine the robustness of our model. First of all I find this, being on the outlook and combating of things that could undermine the system, I actually find that as an intriguing and enjoyable activity. It's very dynamic. It actually keeps my mind at high alert and I enjoy the activity. I said, "Gee I didn't see that one coming. Oh, how would we think about that?" How would I transform that weakness into a strength? This is the topic on the scorecard.
Dean: Oh very nicely done.
Dan: Yes. A beautifully, masterfully segue here. The first mindset here in the scorecard. This is the sixth mindset, which is weakness into strengths. You continually make excuses and blame other people and other things to cover up every area where you are procrastinating. There's two things there in that line. First of all, you make excuses and blame other people. I consider it not a good way of thinking, of holding other people responsible for something that happens to me. I'm at my best when I'm not doing that, and I find that I'm kind of at my worst when I slip into that. That's just like, I will know I'm a really successful person when, if something negative happens, I don't blame and find excuses, blaming other people.
The big thing about that is that, and what the procrastination priority has really given me. I've had two instances of this, even since I talked to you last week, where I'm a little late on something that I promised to someone. I'll send them a note saying, "Hi, just to let you know I've been procrastinating for the last three days and that's the reason why I haven't followed through, but I will follow through tomorrow."
Dean: That's great.
Dan: Instead of making up some excuse, you know like, "Really busy with workshops." Everything like that. First of all, it's a lie. I had time to do it. I had hours to do something that took an hour. I had more than enough time, but I was procrastinating. I find that it actually strengthens me to say that.
Dean: That's, I like that a lot actually. I think there's a couple of things that I often do that same thing, find myself in a situation like that. Just to say that, "Yeah, I was procrastinating. I'll get it done tomorrow."
Dan: Yeah. First of all, because I'm obviously breaking out of the procrastination because I'm zeroing in on a commitment. I'm more or less making a promise that, okay I've been not doing what I said I was going to do, and I recognize that. Now I'm going to do it.
Dean: That's the first of the four C's there. When you say to somebody, "I'm going to do it." You've made a commitment.
Dan: With a deadline.
Dean: With a deadline.
Dan: Right, and we already know what it is, so there's already a measurement on the activity. There's something, and this is what I spotted very, very early about the procrastination thing. This was the thing that I was pondering when we had our famous launch, where we launched this project. Where I felt that the unwillingness to tell the truth, which was our previous mindset, about the fact that you're procrastinating. First of all, encourages you to lie to yourself about something that you're not moving forward on. It's very easy, after you've lied to yourself, to lie to somebody else about it. I think lying, of any kind, fundamentally weakens us. We've created an unreality in the world. Truth, if you tell the truth, even if it's an embarrassing truth or momentarily uncomfortable truth, I think truth always strengthens.
Dean: I like that. I was just reading ahead on the scorecard here, anticipating that we were going to talk about this one today. Column two of that, you've unconsciously avoided playing big because you've always procrastinated most when you're striving for scary movements. That was like, that literally punched me in the face when I was reading it. It's exactly what I've described to you about, really in my self-assessment of it, that my staying in the, I know I'm being successful when, comfort zone has also unconsciously caused me to avoid playing big.
Dean: Yeah, because it would feel like I would have to give up a lot of my freedom to really grow something a lot bigger. I wouldn't be able to wake up and say, "What would I like to do today?" I'd have to have these weekly, and probably daily, commitments. I'd have to have all of those, it's really interesting, but it's true. It's kind of an interesting thing that this vehicle is providing for me. This vehicle of our exploration of procrastination here, is become a very just facing myself and facing the truth.
Dan: Yeah. The thing is that you're doing that, I think the reason is because, I think what's triggered that is, first of all, over the last two to three years. I don't how long it is now, since you started the Breakthrough Blueprint. Going around the world with the Breakthrough Blueprint. It's been two or three years since you created the 90 minute book. Now you've created the podcast, the ease of creating the podcast for other people. There have been three things created over just the last three years, thar are fundamentally new, better and different conditions than when you originally created your original set of rules for yourself.
Dan: These have possibilities. All three of them have expansion possibilities.
Dean: Yes, you're absolutely right. Part of it is that this will be, this June actually, Dan, is five years. Five years ago, I would guess that probably five years ago, not too far off from you and I were talking today, I would guess that it was beginning of May when we had that conversation. Where that first one was birthed, because the first event was in June and I literally threw my hat over the fence and said, "I'm going to do this." The big change of this, this year especially, is that I've kind of done these events always kind of just scheduling the next one out in advance. The loose framework of, I'm in London and Sydney and last year I added Amsterdam. This year I've set all of them out on the calendar. I know when they all are.
We've had, and that makes it so much, it's been a new sort of freedom, in a way. It's not like I'm trying to just figure out when I'm going to have it. We have a entire process around it now. A whole cooperation where it literally requires none of my input to make it all happen. Aside from setting the dates. We look at now, it's like I've got Orlando coming up, and Toronto and London and Amsterdam and Sydney. We've already got people committed to all of those events already ahead, way in advance. Amsterdam in fact is completely full, with a waiting list right now.
That embracing that level of consistency. I'm building new evidence, Dan, as I go. I'm building new evidence that there is more freedom in structure than there is freedom in avoidance of structure.
Dan: Oh yeah. I mean, you know my five historical role models. Shakespeare, one of the things about Shakespeare is that all of Shakespeare, some of the most famous, overwhelmingly famous and influential literature in the world, which was actually written in a relatively short period of time. His entire output was about 15 years.
Dean: Is that right? Wow.
Dan: Yeah. He was knocking out world famous plays. In one year I know he knocked out three of them. You begin to realize that it's not this genius with genius ability who's operating probably in an environment where there's a lot of geniuses who are working on the same activity, but he's quicker than the rest of them to package and get in front of people and get his name out. That's often one of the, there are the geniuses we know and then there's the many geniuses that we don't know. The geniuses we do know were better at packaging. They were better at marketing and they were better at timeliness. They knew when to present an idea to the right people at the right time to get the right result.
All of Shakespeare is written in a literary form called iambic pentameter. What it is, it's ten syllables and it sounds like this, da da, da da, da, da, da da. Every single line in Shakespeare. He's restricted to just one form, and yet some of the most glorious language in all of anything that's been written in any language.
Dean: Hark, what light through yonder window breaks.
Dan: Yes. Ten syllables. The actors, the Shakespearean actors are so skillful that you're not aware of the form at all. If you get the really top notch Shakespearean actors who are doing this, you don't have any sense that it's all within this structure. You don't have any sense of the structure whatsoever. One of the things that it, I think absolutely demanded, was that the words be single syllable or double. He has very, very few words that have more than two syllables. The reason because he would lose his flexibility if he was using big words. There's a sharpness and a compactness. Using four or five syllable Greek, Latin words, you don't see a lot of the words, like transformation, in Shakespeare. He has to find very, very precise, small words to do it.
Therefore there was a, I mean obviously there was a restriction. Obviously there was a restrictive structure. On the other hand, it made him the master of this language because he didn't have to wonder what form his productivity and his creativity was going to take. That was built in right from the beginning. Then I think that one of the things that's going to happen, if I use my own experience as an example, is the workshop year. I have a thing called a workshop year. Everybody in the program signs up for a year and during this year there are going to be four quarterly workshops. I have 12 groups, so that's 48 workshop days. I can see that a year in advance. It's already scheduled. People are already signed up for it.
Not only that, before they ever attend their workshops, we have all their money, and so I can see things now in terms of workshop years. It covers, at this point it's between 500 and 600 entrepreneurs who are writing us really big checks. If I go back 28 years, I couldn't see anything. I couldn't see anything I had. Let's have a workshop. Okay, let's have a workshop. How do we do this? You know, it's like a young child just coming to grips with the alphabet. Now you're dealing in a whole book. I mean you've gone from just learning.
My feeling is that time structures, advanced time structures, which really prove themselves out, automatically it takes your capability to a much higher level, and takes your confidence to a higher level. Because of that increased capability and confidence, it also gives rise to much bigger ambition of what you can do. As we talked about before, I believe that increased ambition actually is one of the big triggers of procrastination.
Dean: Increased ambition is a trigger of procrastination. I think that's true.
Dan: You talked about it.
Dean: I think I would add that word, unconsciously, yes.
Dan: Because you talked about it, and we actually, I jumped off when you said that, that your ambition takes place in a timeless zone. In other words, you look ahead and you can already experience this higher level of performance and result. You immediately take an emotional hit. You're saying, "Wow. I can see myself doing that." That's happening in a timeless zone. The clock isn't ticking when you're seeing that vision, and you're experiencing that. The moment you come back from the vision you're on the clock, because now you're emotionally engaged and the clock is ticking. What's more, the way you're scheduling time right now doesn't leave any room for that new, higher performance and result.
Dean: Yes. I agree. I'm finding that even the things ...
Dan: Your rule, that you would not plan any further than a day ahead, in the set of rules of what makes you happy, that time capability was not sufficient to the bigger ambition that you're now seeing. You had to go back and look at the rule.
Dean: Right. Yes. Absolutely. I think it's going to be a major breakthrough. It already is. The more, and I think that fits into this recurring, it works parallel with the more things that you can have recurring, moving things into that recurring column. What I've realized is that the procrastination, we often get blinded by and triggered into procrastination by the perception that the thing that we're procrastinating is going to take much longer, or actually be more unpleasant or more difficult, than it actually is. When you realize that it's just pushing it this one little way to where now that can completely recur, which is where all the freedom is.
Dan: Yeah. I mean the thing is that there may be a series of higher capabilities that you have to develop to get to the new bigger and better result in the future. The whole point is that you don't have to really think too much further than the one that's immediately available to you tomorrow.
Dean: Right. This is great.
Dan: One of the things, I'm reading a really great book. It's called, Where Good Ideas Come From. The author's name is Steve Johnson. It's just really fascinating. He's got a concept in there which I think relates to your notion of tomorrow, the new adjustment that you've made to your rule. That is he said that if you look at technology and how technology develops, everybody sees it as some flash of brilliance where somebody sees right to the end, the full fledged. You know Steve Jobs is in his garage and he's like 20, 21, 22 years old, and yet he sees Apple. Not even Apple Computer, he sees the Apple and what it looks like 25, 30 years down the road. Not true.
It's not true. He saw, "Hey, I've heard that Xerox is doing this really, really interesting thing, where instead of everybody having to learn in code, you can just, they're just symbols and you just click on them. I know somebody over there and I think they'll let us in to see what they're doing." That was the graphic user interface, which was not a product of Apple, it was a product, it wasn't even a product of Xerox. Somebody else had come up with it, but Xerox had actually implemented it. Wrong company to implement it because all Xerox was interested in was their recurring income that came from Xerox.
Dean: From their copiers, yeah.
Dan: Yeah, they had no use. They didn't have a use for an electronic camera either. They came up with the electronic, or Kodak did, but Xerox had part of the technology there. The thing is, and what this concept that Steve Johnson and his book says. It's called the adjacent present. The way he describes it is really neat. He says, you're in a room and the room has four doors, one on each wall, right in the middle. You sit there and you say, "I'd like to see what's outside this room." But you have to make a choice of which door to go through and you have very, very limited knowledge of why going through one door would be better than the other door. But you need to move forward and so you make a choice and you go into another room, which has also four doors, but you've already come through one, so it's got three new doors.
You're aware of where you came from but now you've added some knowledge. "Oh, this room is really, really interesting, so I'm going to develop this room." Let's say you get, "I'm going to add my capability from this room to the room I came from." The moment that you do that you start cutting off the possibility of you ever going back to the original room and going through any of the three days, because you've made an emotional ... First of all you've made a choice to go into one room and none of the three others. Now you're in the second room, but now your mind is linking together the knowledge of the first room with the second room and something strong is developing here. Something new has been created. Then you're confronted again saying, "Okay, I want to add something more. Now I have three choices." You make a choice and you go through and now you've got three things added together.
By choosing you're also essentially fundamentally cutting out ever going through any of the doors that you didn't go through. You won't reverse yourself and come back and do that. What I'm seeing here is that by you setting up tomorrow, you're cutting out some other responsibilities that you might have thought of today. You see what I'm doing there?
Dean: Yes, I do.
Dan: I just wonder if some people, and this thought just occurred to me. The thought is that why some people procrastinate is they don't like the idea of giving up having maximum possibility. You have to, once you make a choice and go in a particular direction, you're effectively eliminating the other possibilities that you might have made. Because you're not going to reverse yourself.
Dean: No that has been another sort of ongoing thing in the makeup. I find that there's so many different things that go into making me who I am and making anyone who they are. One of those, either you look at your Kolbe is certainly, I think, a shaping factor. Another one that I always look at that I think is very instructive, is Myers-Briggs. I'm an IMTP on the Myers-Briggs, and so as a perceiver ... For anybody who wants to kind of dig into this for themselves, you can do the Myers-Briggs test online. Just do a Google search on Myers-Briggs type indicator. There's tests that will come up.
Essentially the thing that I think makes a difference is this, that last one, the P, a perceiver versus judger. Do you know your Myers-Briggs, by the way?
Dan: I'm the same as yours except I have a J on the end and you're a P.
Dean: You're a J. That J makes all the difference, it really does. There's something that is, you get all of the good stuff, being a strong, intuitive, is great. Being a thinker is great. Perceiver, I've found that if we just like summarize it, or kind of simplify it, that my preference is to have things open ended, open possibilities. P for possibility. J is your tendency, your natural inclination is to have things settled so that you don't have to think about that. The dilemma, the thought that we kind of comfort ourselves with as perceivers, and I'm speaking to all of my perceiver friends.
Dan: Fellow perceivers.
Dean: My fellow perceivers, that this myth of keeping your options open is really, in reality, comes down to the longer you're keeping your options open, you're into a reality of constantly diminishing options. The only time you have the most options available is right now. You never have more options available than right now. As time goes by, you end up with less and less options. You end up taking something that is the thing. That's something that I have to say, as a procrastinator, that is, it fuels that.
I end up, that happens in all kinds of things, like even something as simple as booking airline tickets. That's something that I end up, it kind of drives Lillian and Stuart a little crazy, because I'll do things like I'll be making the decisions. I'm just about, right now Dan, I'm leaving on Tuesday to go to Phoenix. I'm going to go 25k on Thursday and Friday. Then from there, Jeff Walker has his event going on in Phoenix, and then I'm flying to Maui to have a dinner with Shep Gordon, the guy from Supermensch, which was arranged by my friend Ilko, from Amsterdam, do I do the Breakthrough Blueprint.
Dan: Yes, I know Ilko.
Dean: Okay great. Ilko set up this dinner at Shep Gordon's house in Maui. I've been, as my plans are unfolding here, I was trying to get everything coordinated in. I've been locking in one flight at a time, one segment at a time. I knew when I was leaving Maui, so I booked the Maui to LA flight. Then I had to piece in the, okay I know when I'm leaving Phoenix to get to Maui. I was booking all these like on segment things. It can be exhausting to have those open loops there. Plus there's a large, you pay a perceiver task, or a procrastination tax.
Dan: Yeah, the perceiver tax.
Dean: Yeah, the perceiver tax of booking things up to the ...
Dan: It's a perceiver freedom tax. You get taxed for your perceiver freedom.
Dean: The PFT. Yeah.
Dan: Yeah. Well you know it's very, very insightful, but that's just a card that you have in your hand, perceiver. It doesn't say how you're going to play the game.
Dean: Right. In a way Dan, that is like, it's interesting because in column three you say you've become very skillful at taking personal credit for success while shifting responsibility for failure to others and other things. Well I'm a perceiver.
Dean: I didn't choose this life. I'm a perceiver, and I see in me some of that external blame shifting. If only I was a J like my friend Dan Sullivan, my life would be completely better.
Dan: Yeah. I mean the thing that goes just as we have a little bit more time with, perhaps another podcast, where we can get into the J thing. My first inclination is to get past the decision as fast as possible. The reason is that I find pondering things doesn't give me any more information. In other words, pondering things before I've made the decision doesn't add to my total of insight into what's going to be needed. If I make the decision and get beyond it, now I'm actually in the real time situations. My whole system goes on high alert, my first thought is, did I make the right decision? I can't research a decision before I make it. Some people think, well I want to make sure I make the right decision. I can't do that. My mind doesn't work in a way that I can actually find out, before I make a decision, that it's the right decision.
I can only find out that it's the right decision by making the decision and then having my spidey sense on full alert, is this the right thing? Quite frankly, if there's, what negatives in my life is I made decisions too fast without bringing other people's insight into it. In other words, because I was hoarding all the insight to myself, rather than saying, "Why don't I just bounce this off somebody else." Just put it in paper form. Don't commit, just describe the commitment that you're thinking about making and have other people respond to your thinking.
That's my impact filter thing. I'll get a impact filter out to people and then they'll come back and they say, "Kind of got the idea. I think it's really, really good. First of all you're adding another big project to a list of big projects, and if you add this one you're not going to have time for the others. What's the priority here?" Then I have to make some choices about priority and everything like that. It is what I am.
It's kind of funny, I went through a test one time, in a lab, where they put electrodes on my head. They're just testing stress, what stresses you out. It was actually in conjunction with Cathy Kolbe and Arizona State University. They were showing the correlation between the Kolbe profile and situations you get into. The electrodes on your head would indicate high stress, low stress. Cathy Kolbe has this thing called the guap shop, where she's got a bag of junk. It's little junk and she spreads it in front of you. It's got no meaning. There's 25, 30 different objects in the bag. Doesn't look like there's any sense of organization whatsoever, or any sense of purpose to the bag of junk.
She said, "Now, what I want you to do is to categorize the materials here into to. Create two categories for these two materials." I went through it in about, instantly I went through it in about 90 seconds. I had the whole thing, I don't even think it was 90 seconds. I think it was 60 seconds. I had the whole pile in two categories. When she got finished she says, "What were the two categories?" I said, "I liked that side, I didn't like the other side."
Dean: Just make a framework and make the decision on that. Doesn't matter.
Dan: Yeah. She said, "You've got to create a category." I could tell that that wasn't the answer that was wanted. There was going to be some logical, it was going to create some deep logical thing. I said, "Well I'm just going to find the categories that get me through this really, really quick." The category was, I liked some of the objects I don't like the other objects. The ones I don't like are over here. The ones I don't like are over here. Yeah. To me that was deeply satisfying. I mean it's very interesting what we've ended up here on this line, because in a sense, our ability to turn weaknesses into strengths. Actually we have a lot of similarities with our Kolbe, which are almost identical, but we have other things where, like we diverge on our experience of daily life and how we organize and how we feel good about the way we've organized things. Very, very fascinating.
Dean: Yeah. It's amazing the similarity. There's so many similarities in the INT, that we share, but that one fundamental difference in the J and the P makes a big difference. Yeah, really interesting. That's in Myers-Briggs world, learning to flex my J, as they call it. Turning my weakness into a strength.
Dan: Yeah. Mine is to include other people's J in my own J. In other words, to include other people's judgment. That's been the biggest lesson of my life, is to not fall in love with my ideas before I really find out whether it's actually a lovable idea.
Dean: Yeah. I'll read column four for us here. You love that what you've previously thought was an embarrassing weakness can now be one of your biggest strengths.
Dean: I do love that. I look at it now, as I'm embracing the things in my scheduling. The scheduling of things that I love. Now it's like I'm rolling along and my most important things, that has been the biggest shift for me this year, is in a lot of ways, scheduling things that I love and making the decisions in advance.
Dan: Yeah. One thing, just to go back. I remember after you had been doing the Breakthrough Blueprint for about a year. I remember having a conversation with you where you said, "You know I really, really discovered that just over those ..." Two days or three days? I forget how long it was.
Dean: Yup, three.
Dan: "Three days, just sitting there hour by hour, engaging with the entrepreneurs and their situations, is just one of the most enjoyable activities that I can possibly have."
Dean: It really is.
Dan: Here, I'm just going to add this to what you have revealed that you're discovering for the podcast today. My feeling is that you have total evidence, permanent evidence, that if you were to schedule a day five years down the road, let's say Amsterdam five years down the road, you can know with full confidence that that will be a totally enjoyable three days in Amsterdam in five years.
Dean: That's our intention. I look at that, that London is on that rotation. June is London. August is Australia, Sydney. So much so it's funny that James Schramko and I have an ongoing podcast that we are recording while I'm in Sydney, and we've recorded three of 25. Each year in August we have an annual, a podcast that's one episode per year, for the next 25 years.
Dan: Yeah, and the reason is, the great discovery that I've made out of my multiple podcasts, because I have five series going now, five podcast series. The reason I know that if it doesn't require any preparation, doesn't require any prior knowledge on my part, but I just get to talk, I know I'm going to love it. I know I'm going to do a good job.
Dan: I can schedule that into the future with no sense of trepidation, no sense of unease about it, because I know I just love that activity and I will till I depart.
Dean: That's exactly it. It's all very exciting.
Dan: Yeah, okay. Well we did a lot today. We not only covered one whole line. I'll just finish by going back over the four things we said. You feel that you have so much ... Let me see, no. You continually make excuses and blame other people and other things to cover up every area where you are procrastinating. Well that's going to be very, very negative forever if you are there.
Then there's the one where you're just frustrated because you've unconsciously avoided playing big because you've always procrastinated most when you're striving for scary improvements. You can see the person is. On the one hand, they really want the results of scary improvements, but on the other hand they know they have a huge tendency, they're caught between not playing big yet wanting the results of playing big. Then the third one is that you've become very skillful at shifting, taking credit and shifting responsibility for failure to others. They look successful but they're really kind of jerks.
Number four is that you love what you previously thought was an embarrassing weakness, can now become one of your biggest strengths. I think that's a phenomenal discovery, because it allows you to not only project in the future but it allows you to rearrange your understanding of your past.
Dean: Yes. That is the truth. That is absolutely true.
Dan: Yeah. All right, well I learned a lot from this one.
Dean: I'm excited. I did too. These fly by.
Dan: Yeah. I'm just doing the quarterly book, and we've got the text completely written. We've got the audio completely written and we've got the video completely written for this. Now I'm just finishing the cartoons with Hamish MacDonald. Learning so much about this. I have to tell you, if we were 20 years down the road, Dean, and we were still diving into procrastination, I think it's a topic that will have enough dimensions for us for the rest of our life. Because I think this connects with everything that people do.
Dean: I think it's these adjacent rooms that we're talking about. We go into an adjacent room, and look, there's another three doors to choose from.
Dan: Yeah. The thing is, about the adjacent rooms, is at any given time you're only going to choose the next one. That will be forever true, so there's no possibility of being in the first room and predicting what the third room would look like. You can only predict what the next room, the adjacent room looks like.
Dean: I'm excited with just the improvements of sliding ...
Dan: Which is actually very relaxing.
Dean: Yeah, that's the thing. I'm just excited about the relaxation, exactly. The piece that I'm gaining from sliding into the adjacent reality of, let's schedule the things I really like. Embracing that. That's going to open up whole new possibilities.
Dan: Well the whole thing is your discovery of moving one day ahead. In other words, if I can get up and I totally love what I'm going to do tomorrow, that's an adjacent room, you just moved into an adjacent room.
Dean: So good.
Dan: It's a very powerful concept, because it shows that predictability in innovation doesn't go beyond the adjacent room. You can only go to the adjacent room.
Dean: I like that.
Dan: Yeah, I really like it.
Dean: Dan, always enjoyable.
Dean: Enjoy procrastinating the rest of your day.
Dan: Yes. I'm not exactly sure when our next meeting is, but I know it's schedule.
Dean: That's so great. I love it. I will be there, you can count on that.
Dan: Yes, and I will be there too.
Dean: We won't give it any thought until it shows up. I love it.
Dan: Okay. Have a good trip to Phoenix and to Maui.
Dean: I will. Thanks.