Ep017: Procrastination Guilt

Dean and Dan continue to the conversation and look at the good and bad aspects of procrastination guilt.


Transcript: The Joy of Procrastination Ep017


Dean: Mr. Sullivan.

Dan: Ah, it's a wonderful sound when I hear your voice.

Dean: This week went fast, didn't it?

Dan: Yeah. Yeah. Very, very fast. It was a workshop week for me, so workshop weeks always go fast.

Dean: Oh wow, there you go.

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: Yeah, I mean, is this the first version of the new workshop then? This is the first week of that?

Dan: Yeah, yeah. We did two and then usually what happens I've got some adjustments to do right after the first one, especially ... I had a couple brand new things where I didn't have the Mobi media, so what I did is I used those smart boards just to do rough drawings. Monday and Tuesday were the workshop, so first crack at it on Monday, then on Tuesday better. I had more things, and then Wednesday and Thursday I sat down with our artist that does the multimedia. Tomorrow, I have a workshop tomorrow, and I have two more Thursday and Friday in Chicago. It usually takes me about three or four workshops to get everything the way I want it, but you know.

There's a difference between not having it the way you want it and what the entrepreneur see. For them it's all 100%, I'm the only one who doesn't think it's 100%, because I've got a notion of what it looks like when it's finished, but it doesn't matter because I'm doing something.

Dean: Yeah. Yeah, that was interesting, I think we'd mentioned before, because I'm sort of easily aware of the first week I think that is-

Dan: Yes you are, but now you're going to see me almost at my perfection stage.

Dean: See, that's great. Now we get to see it at the peak, that's right.

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: That's so funny.

Dan: You don't get to see me in my coming into form stage, because this quarter you get to see me, and everything's polished and shiny.

Dean: I love that I got this week not one but two copies of the new procrastination priority book.

Dan: That's because I had to make up for my one day procrastination.

Dean: Exactly! I got a message that said you'll get not one but two, because it's one day past when you said it would be. I loved that.

Dan: Yeah. Let me ask you the question. I had Anna say that I'm sending the two books, and it was supposed to be yesterday but Dan was procrastinating, so that Anna didn't get the message until Tuesday. What's it feel like to receive a message that someone's excuse for not doing it when he said he was going to do it is that he was procrastinating?

Dean: It feels great. It was great. It was so ... I laughed, you know, because it was funny, because it doesn't make any difference to me. I'm happy to get it ahead of time, but I remember that you did say Monday you're going to send it out, and that I would have it on Tuesday. I ended up getting the message on Tuesday and the books on Wednesday. It was, I laughed, it was funny.

Dan: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, it's usually people, I'll tell you what's happened because I'm doing this more and more that people say, "I had said I was going to do something and then was late with it." I said, "Well, the reason I was late is because I was procrastinating."

Dean: That's the trump card, yeah.

Dan: Yeah, and it's a kind of a neat thing to say because then when people tell me that they're late with something and they give me a story, I'm wondering is the story true or were they just procrastinating?

Dean: Right, and I love that, because that's really the trump card. Where do you go from there? Procrastinating, that's, well okay. Touche. Good for you.

Dan: Yeah. You can't get anyone with deeper knowledge than that.

Dean: Right. No explanation required. I mean, that's really it. No explanation required.

Dan: Yeah, nobody, the New York Times isn't going to find a leaker that says I wasn't procrastinating, I was doing something else.

Dean: Exactly. That's like the guy that goes to the crowded restaurant and says, "I was supposed to have a reservation, but I forgot to make it. Can you fit me in? I was supposed to but I forgot."

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: Oh man.

Dan: Yeah. No, I mean, it's interesting because we finished off the scorecard, one complete pass through our scorecard, and again anybody who wants to get this scorecard can download it when they get to the end of the podcast. They can download the scorecard for this, but I'm taking a look at the top of it, and I'm reading through the four different mindsets. The first mindset, going back to the top, number one is everybody procrastinates, and I'm more and more convinced of this now then when we started going through the scorecard, which was a couple months after we started the podcast.

I think it was September when we started through the scorecard, and I'm more and more convinced of the things that are written here then I was in September, because I've had experiences of them. Yeah, I've been very, very alert, and I'm certainly much more conscious of the procrastination in myself than I was back then.

You're getting ready for a trip to Europe I think, are you not?

Dean: I am, that's exactly right.

Dan: After you do your workshop, which will be Thursday of a week and a half from now or so, and then you're right off. I guess you're right off.

Dean: Yeah, I'm actually starting this week. I'm going to New Jersey and doing a one day breakthrough blueprint event in New Jersey, and then I'm flying to Toronto and I'm doing a breakthrough blueprint the week of our workshop, on that Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Then I'm flying to London and doing one there, and then to Amsterdam, and then I'll be back in Toronto for a month after that. I've just booked 37 nights at the Hazelton. We're going to spend the majority of the summer there, which will be great.


Dan: Right. Right. This is a little bit different quarter that we're having. One thing, I was just looking at the very first statement here in the scorecard, you always blame outside factors for problems that are actually caused by your procrastinations. There's something that's emerging in my mind right here, and it is that since procrastination for most people is something to be kept secret, but at the same time they don't want to look like a failure to other people. Then they have to find reasons for their failure other than the fact that they're procrastinating, because they can't talk about their procrastinations.

I'm conscious of that when I am procrastinating that my mind starts to zero in on outside factors. I said, "Wait a minute, wait a minute. It's nothing on the outside."

Dean: Looking for the cover up.

Dan: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, this is all me, and I noticed over the last eight months or so that I'm very, very conscious of this tendency in the state of procrastination to attribute problems and attribute complexities to outside factors, when in fact it's my own doing.

Dean: Yeah. Part of that I think when you really get to the bottom of it is that we're so conditions to bring that sort of guilt and shame element to procrastinating. That we're looking for a cover up. We're looking for a cover up, for the scapegoat, or somebody to blame it on.

Dan: It's funny, I noticed some language that's the trigger, the gateway word to external blame shifting. When you ask somebody about something, then if the first word is well, that's the beginning of the story of what's going to be the external blame shifting that's coming behind it. You can sometimes catch yourself with that well as the external blame shifting phrase that starts the external blame shifting pattern there.

Yeah, it's kind of interesting. Well is sort of a place holder word. It gives you another second to think of what the fictional story is going to be. "Well-"

Dean: Right.

Dan: Well is a nice word because you can make it last for two or three seconds. It's like, well ...

Dean: Well ... this is what happened.

Dan: Yeah, yeah.

Dean: I was gonna reply. Was gonna. I was gonna.

Dan: Yeah, it's almost like the terminator saying, "Well," then you can see it scan, it's scrolling down on what, you know. When Arnold Schwarzenegger, you can see scanning down, he's scanning down on the proper phase. I'll be back.

Dean: I'll be back. That is funny.

Dan: Yeah, yeah. It's really, really interesting. I just started a new book. You got the book that was the new book for June, but we're starting actually the writing of the book that's going to be December. The book for September, September and October, is already written and I'm in the cartooning stage right now. There's the gap-

Dean: Wow. I was going to say, is this a change here? It seems like you're a quarter ahead now. That seems even that you've shifted a little bit, right?

Dan: Yeah, it happened because my cartoonist had his bicycle accident, and he-

Dean: Okay, so you used that and shifted everything.

Dan: ... broke his wrist. Yeah, but we didn't stop writing because he broke his wrist. In other words we got a whole order ahead of him, which has turned out to be fantastic. Yeah, in terms of our timing because we're now doing the cartoons all finish copy, which is a big advantage.

Then we get through the, my part of the writing very fast, it happens in about a two week period because all I have to do is actually be interviewed on an outline. Then the writers and the editors move ahead with the copy. We just started, but it has to do with the ABC model, which is a very simple way of coming to grips with how you're spending your time.

Whether you're three circles, it's actually one big circle with a sort of a medium sized circle and a small circle. Just for those who are listening to the podcast, just draw a circle and then inside that circle draw a circle that takes up about half the space, and then take up another circle that takes up about a quarter of the space of the middle circle. Two circles inside of a big circle.

I label these from left to right, I label them A, B, and C. A stands for irritating activities, B stands for okay activities, and C stands for fascinating activities. One of the things that I suggested in the introduction of this book was that being involved with technology, which goes back probably 150 years, those people who got involved early with industrial technology. Then the technology over the last century and a half has become more intricate, more sophisticated, and more expansive.

I think what has gotten into our way of looking at ourselves as working is that we're supposed to be kind of machine like, in other words, I think. That in fact large corporations, large organizations put an onus on people to be kind of machine like. You should always be filling your time with activity. I said, that doesn't really bring out the best human skills that I've seen, is being machine like. It goes back to your what would I really like to do today? Now tomorrow goes back to my three important things a day.

Each of us in our own way has adopted an approach to activity that is machine like.

Dean: Right. Yeah, there's something to that.

Dan: I wonder if the guilt, I'm just bringing this up as a topic for discussion in our session today, that part of the guilt about procrastination is that we can't account for being busy every single moment while we're working, and therefore we're not fitting in with the general game plan.

Dean: It's funny because I was thinking about the other day how things are changing. I mean, when you look at the things that we're talking about in abundance, with all the future things that Peter Diamandis brings to us, with all the, when you paint an idea of what the future's going to be with robotics and with artificial intelligence and machine learning and all the things, that you come to a point where there's going to be a lot of productivity stuff is really going to be out of our hands. Not necessary to, like you can set something up, a machine to be able to do what you normally need to count on you to do.

I was wondering kind of half laughing about it, how will we procrastinate in the future? When we get the opportunity to set something up that will continue to work without procrastinating. The machines never procrastinate.

Dan: Yeah, well, here's the thing, because we're doing a switcheroo here, you and I are for approaching a year now. We're doing a switcheroo, because we're taking an area that has previously been seen as a profound human weakness, and we're saying, "No, this is a pretty good thing." I was just thinking this through regarding the future of robots and artificial intelligence, and how they're going to surpass human intelligence. My question halfway through the week was, "Yeah, but will they be able to procrastinate?"

Dean: Right! Exactly! Yes, but will they be able to procrastinate? That's funny.

Dan: I know, I know.

Dean: I had that thought, you know, yeah.

Dan: Yeah, I know they won't be able to tell a joke.

Dean: Right, right.

Dan: They won't be able to tell a joke. Probably their stories, their storytelling-

Dean: Well, actually I saw a chart that they will be able to tell jokes. There was some chart that showed that artificial intelligence and robots will be able to do pretty much, I think it was 50% of everything better than humans within 45 years. That it'll be able to write a New York Times best selling book for instance, to be able to tell a story, to be able to do that kind of thing.

Dan: I'd like to see that chart, if you could send it to me. Yeah.

Dean: You know where I saw it? I don't know if you put this in your daily routine, but Eben Pagan has started a website called FutureScope.com, and it's a daily reader.

Dan: I think he's doing that with Peter, isn't he?

Dean: I think he's working in combination now, at some level with that.

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: Because he had started doing that, and then I think his, I'm looking forward to catching up with Eben in a couple of weeks here in London and Amsterdam, so I'll get the whole story. The website is fantastic. They're focused primarily on the news, it's like a drudge report sort of just an aggregator, but it's curated.

It's basically keeping an eye on all of the things that would fit with abundance, with a focus on the near term future, the actionable future of the next five to seven years kind of thing. How it's actually now making it's way into the mainstream, and so they'll have all the bulletins and updates. I think there's 10 or 12 articles a day that they curate and post up there. It's really well done. I put it, it's a part of my daily routine here.

That was where I saw the chart, but I'll send you a link to the specific article.

Dan: Yeah, that's great. The thing about, well, you know, when there's procrastinating artificial intelligence then I'll believe it.

Dean: Then we'll know we've made it, yeah.

Dan: I think there's some very sophisticated skills here that unless the programmer of the artificial intelligence appreciated procrastination, they wouldn't see any value to it. What we're doing is that we're actually saying that, I'm suggesting that if I had to characterize what we're discovering over the last eight, that there's almost an infinite number of really, really interesting insights about our behavior that are only available by relieving yourself of the guilt. The normal, sort of general narrative guilt about procrastination, but saying, "No, it's really, really a cool place if you go there."

All of a sudden you get tremendous insights into why we do all sorts of other things in our life, and how we handle time generally because we're time compelled creatures.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: We operate within a timeframe. The programmer of the artificial intelligence didn't really, really grasp this, how would it show up in the performance of the artificial intelligence? I'm not sure exactly how they're thinking that these things get programmed, whether they program themselves, but it seems to me that efficiency seems to be a very, very strong standard for the development of robots and artificial intelligence. In other words, more efficient than humans.

Dean: Well, I think there's something to that. Part of that efficiency, the thing that the computers have and artificial intelligence has that we don't have is truly the ability to multi process. That's where it really comes down to. What we end up, and I've thought a lot about this too, especially this last week. I took the time as we finished up the scorecard to kind of reflect on what we've been talking about.

To realize that the procrastination, I think, is really an element of the reality. It's like, our minds have the ability to experience or process or feel that guilt or shame or pressure or whatever it is that we can process or hold multiple thoughts in our mind, that are all competing for the reality of our limited focus. The reality is that our minds can time shift and imagine something, and see what needs to be done, and run processes, and imagine what actually needs to be done; but our actual processing of it is limited to one thing at a time.

That's the reality of it, that we're stuck in a linear frame here, that we can only experience this moment. I think that part of the, when we take this approach, your approach of the three things is really more compatible with reality. I think that that gets you to a relaxed point of view. No matter how much you want to or need to be able to do ten things today, the reality is that that's not going to be the right thing. When we accept that and come to terms with it, that limiting to the three feels more relaxing and therefore you're able to focus on and get those three things done as opposed to having this big list of 10 or 20 things, and frustratingly-

Dan: Never get them done.

Dean: ... looping. Yeah, frustratingly looping through the guilt and shame of, "I need to do this," but, "Yeah, but what about this? Yeah, but what about this?" You end up getting into this loop of not doing any of them because you feel the overwhelming sense of, "Well, I really should be doing that one."

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: I think when you make that sort of hard decision, and we start to see, it's those constraints, right? That was where, when I look at that, when I do that mind, when I do the list of all of the things that I'm procrastinating, and get them all out on paper. Then kind of granularly shift my time focus on them to see which one of these has the most imminently pressing consequences or the things that absolutely have to be done today, or that there's an absolute hard, real reason by this needs to be the priority.

That sort of gives you a sense that there's not a lot of things that the world's going to fall apart if you don't do this one today. There's still lots of opportunity on them. I think that the more that you keep those things in that radar and present, that you're at least acknowledging them and looking at them, that you get a chance to kind of put it in perspective.

That's really where I think your, this is what I wanted to ask you actually, is your approach to the looking at the month now, and I'm curious to see how your first week of the new month model is working out. Have you expanded your idea of the three things further in advance, and saying, "I know I need to do this and I'm going to work on this on that day"? How you're adapting to the new month.

Dan: Yeah, I sat down about 20 minutes before our appointed start time for the podcast this morning. It was like noon, about 10 minutes after 12:00 eastern time. I sat down, and so I had the month, and I'm just looking over June again. It's really amazing because this is, we're about a third through the month, but I've looked at the month every single day. I'm looking at it, and first of all just right off the bat I've been having the feeling of being incredibly well prepared for everything on my schedule.

Dean: Right.

Dan: I'm just feeling very, very relaxed about my sense of preparation for everything has been really good. That's one thing that I can report early for this experiment. The month is very comfortable for me, I'm not feeling any kind of anxiety about the month. There's a lot to do, I've got 7-8 workshop days, I've got the complete kickoff of the writing of a new book, the creation of all the cartoons for another book, I've got podcasts. I mean, there's a lot of activities.

I haven't gone through and counted up all the things that are on the schedule, and then there was the other things. I don't have 90 things for the 30 days on this schedule. Might be half that number. I might have 45 things for the 90 days. Then there's things like doing impact filter, these are my tools where I'm just getting my thinking ready for something. I was going back to your previous conversation, that you said that it seemed to me that my, Dan's, my approach of just holding myself accountable for just three things a day seemed to be more realistic.

The one thing, and I didn't realize it until afterwards, because so often you'll get a feel for something, you'll go for it, and then afterwards you start getting some of the benefits of what you did, but you couldn't have seen that beforehand. One of the things both with the three things a day and the 25 year framework where you get 100 quarters, the huge payoff for that is that you live in a constant state of feeling that you have more than enough time for everything.

Dean: Yeah. There is a sense of that peace, yeah.

Dan: Whereas most of the entrepreneurs I know, certainly when they come into strategic coach, live in a perpetual state of not having enough time for anything. Not having enough time for anything, so there's this perpetual psychological state. Their basic habit structure is to feel, I don't have enough time. There's not enough hours in the day, there's not enough days in the week, there's not enough months in the year to get everything done that they want to.

I've switched out of that. I've been free of that now for four or five years. I always have the feeling that I have more than enough time for the really important stuff.

Dean: This is where I'm starting to see when I think about the next 25 years, often. Really, that was an impact for me, the 25 year framework really makes a big difference. I remember, there's occasional things that you introduce or that we have in conversation I really get them on a deep level, and there's some big shift because of it, and that 25 year framework is certainly one of them. One of the most significant ones.

What I start to think about is looking back 25 years, that brings us to 1992, right? If you think about where we are right now.

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: In 1992, the things that are happening right now, we're still within this 25 year framework of that we're three years, four years if you count when it really started going on, of the internet being a viable thing. If you say 1996-'97 is really the beginning of the internet, the modern internet as we know it.

You start to think that within this last 25 years, most of the things that we're doing, most of the things that are impacting us the most are things that did not exist 25 years ago. I always look at that, and I think about that with enough sort of sense of awe of not even knowing what we don't know. Of what's coming in the next 25 years that we don't even know is going to be coming?

The good news is that I would say that 25 years ago I was not as future tuned in, or future aware as we are now. I think that where we're at in being in this abundance community of being on that front line is that we're seeing ... because I take it for granted that everybody knows the things that we know when we start to see these things. I think there's going to be a lot of people that are surprised with how quickly self driving cars take over, and how quickly artificial intelligence really moves, and 3-D printing, and all of those things.

Where I really started to think about our real opportunity is when I said that the advantage that the artificial intelligence has is the ability to multi process, like to do multiple things because you've got expandable channels of focuses. Just the processing power, we're limited to the one channel of processing power. Our real, true attention can only be on one thing, but with the artificial intelligence our ability, I think, to really set things in motion and to get more things done is really gonna expand in kind of an ever increasing flywheel effect.

That not only do, we've tapped into it, and you especially with unique teamwork. When you look at your ability to create a book every quarter, that's not just, Dan, if you take 25 years ago, that's Dan in the writing shed with a typewriter sweating out every word of the thing, but we're at a point right now in this reality with technology and teamwork that you're able to have that flywheel effect of getting the idea, which is coming from you, into the package of a book with unique teamwork. I think that that's going to be amplified even more on many different levels with our embracing these future technologies that are coming.

Dan: Here's a thought about that, because Babs and I are just going through an experience over the last three days. Babs picked up her Tesla.

Dean: Oh nice, yeah.

Dan: We got an X version, the SUV. Essentially it's got the cargo space, the SUV. We had a BMW X-5. We still have it, we kept it as a second car. This morning, Babs picked it up on Friday and she used it yesterday, and so we went to breakfast this morning. It's about maybe a 15 minute drive, and I was noticing it's got a tremendous number of neat features to it. It just feels different as a car. Babs is just getting used to the fact that you don't need the brake as much, you just take your foot off the accelerator to stop it. She's just getting used to her foot work with it. It's interesting.

This is a discussion I have a lot with Peter Diamandis about it, because we actually have never experienced the future. You and I have never actually experienced the future, nor have we experienced the past. We have memories which we're experiencing in the present of the past, and we have imaginations of the future, but we're actually experiencing them in the present. Nobody has ever, my belief is that no human should ever actually experience the future or the past. We're confined strictly to the present.

A lot of people don't believe that. They believe that they can actually experience the future, and they do it at the price of not really being able to concentrate in the present, because their mind is continually throw into this imaginary world of theirs.

Dean: Right.

Dan: My experience is that, you said something a few minutes ago and I wanted to talk about that. I said, "People will be surprised how fast artificial intelligence comes down." My contention is that it will come in, in what today seems like a surprisingly quick way, when people actually don't think anything about it at all. It's just a normal thing that's happening today. I don't know, I'm not sure if you see what I'm saying.

Dean: No, I guess it's like smartphones right now are ubiquitous and a normal part of everything.

Dan: Nobody gives much thought of the amazing.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: I think one of the things I do is I really appreciate the difference between life when I was six years old in 1950. People have sort of nostalgic feelings about their past, and maybe 40-50 years ago if they're that old right now, and I can remember the 1950's. People will say, there are some people, I'm just saying this as a way of talking about things, people will say, "Boy, I can remember when things were really, really different. You had a sense of meaning about things, you didn't all have this rapid change."

I said, "You know, I was back there and, um ..." There was this notion that people sat around dinner tables and had meaningful conversations.

Dean: Right.

Dan: 50 years ago, and I said, "No. I was back there, and I can't recall one ever happening."

Dean: Yeah, right.

Dan: "I can't remember a single meaningful conversation around the dinner table growing up for 18 years in my family." They were just talking, and people were just talking about more or less the same sort of stuff as they're talking about today, and more or less the same sort of way. I think what we do is that we take lots of highlights from the past that are very meaningful, and we put them all together in a soup, and we call it meaningful soup.

It's like movies. Movies are just like real life without all the boring stuff. They leave all the boring stuff out.

Dean: True, it's just the highlights. Yeah, yeah.

Dan: Yeah, it's like novels. You read a novel, and you say, "Gee, that was a great novel. It was like real life." I said, "Yeah, without all the boring stuff."

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: Life is, I mean, unless you give meaning to things. My feeling is life doesn't give us any meaning, we're the ones who give life meaning. We create meaning and we attribute meaning to it, like we're giving meaning to procrastination in a way that's isn't harmful.

Dean: Yeah, right.

Dan: Well, we didn't discover that. That wasn't given to us. We're actually creating that.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: Regard to the future, I just want to come back to this theme, my feeling is that when artificial intelligence arrives, let's say at a power of a thousand times more, a million times more in the future, it'll just seem normal. It won't be a big surprise.

Dean: In that context I think you're right. It will be. I mean, it's being ... I don't know, it seems exciting to have this front row pass to it, you know? To seeing what's happening, because it feels like we can adapt to that, or embrace it as entrepreneurs.

Dan: Yeah. Yeah, and the big thing is that the processes that are emerging around how technology gets created and things, I find that more fascinating than the technology. I mean, people ask me as they find out that we have the Tesla, which is a superior piece, from everything that I can tell about it. Babs went out and tested all the main line SUVs before she settled on the Tesla, but it's so far superior in terms of driving and everything about it.

I'm not big on driving, so any chance I can get I'm a passenger.

Dean: The passenger experience seems pretty much the same.

Dan: Yeah, and people will say, "What's it like?" I say, "Well, you know, it's a really nice car." I've been in a Rolls Royce and you feel, in a Rolls Royce or a Bentley, and they feel like a really good car too, you know? Everything like that.

It's not like it's a flying saucer. I mean, the thing can't fly. No. When Elon Musk can immediately take it 500 feet up and you miss all the congestion, then I'm really impressed at these.

Dean: Now we're onto something.

Dan: For the first three or four trips I'm really impressed, and then by the fifth one it's normal. There's this thing of normalizing. I think that humans are the great normalizers. We can take almost any experience that's really extraordinary and make it normal in a very short, just a few-

Dean: Almost like Louis C. K. talks, it almost makes it an entitlement.

Dan: Yeah, we make it part, we very quickly take things that are in the spotlight and we make them part of the background. We do this. That ability for us to normalize things very, very quickly is very crucial to feeling okay about things.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: To be constantly dazzled with all the new things in our life is probably very distracting. We've got to jump up a point and do that. These are, here it is that we're talking about all these fabulous things from the inside, our developing concept of procrastination. Of what we're allowed, what we're able to talk about because we've gone into the center of a concept or an experience that mostly people make it through their entire life without ever once including someone else in on a conversation about their procrastination.

Dean: They go through their whole life hoping nobody finds out.

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: That their stories are never found out.

Dan: I'm kind of fascinated about what we get, what's the next thing we get to talk about from inside of procrastination. The two of us have got this club, and we've got our little secret clubhouse here called procrastination. We've been exploring it, and it's a big clubhouse, it connects to a lot of things.

Dean, I was going to ask you about the second statement here. You admire people who seem to be free of procrastination, but it frustrates you that you don't know their secret. I do know their secret, they're hiding their procrastination.

Dean: Yes, exactly. That's the thing, because once it comes out that Dan Sullivan procrastinates, then surely-

Dan: How'd you like the cover of the book? I sent the book, and that first one said-

Dean: I love it.

Dan: Hi, my name's Dan.

Dean: I'm a procrastinator, I love it.

Dan: I'm a procrastinator, yeah. That's a beautiful thing. The enormous good out of that, "Hi, my name's Dan and I'm a procrastinator." That's a direct reference to the original Alcoholics Anonymous thing.

Dean: Right.

Dan: The first thing you have to do to start coming to grips with alcoholism is that you have to say that you're an alcoholic, and the other thing is that you're always going to be an alcoholic. It's not something that you're going to get cured of, and I feel the same way about procrastination.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: People say, "Well, now that you've written this and that, do you not procrastinate?" I say, "Oh no, I procrastinate four or five times a day. It's just that my response to myself procrastinating has transformed dramatically."

Dean: Yes. Those were all material. That's been a big shift. That's the greatest thing, is to be able to immediately tap into that. Whenever I look at that, I always know that question, what have you got for me? Is always ready. It's almost like this virtual assistant in your mind that's always there, always ready, I thought you'd never ask. Here's what we're procrastinating. This, this, and this.

Dan: Can I ask you a question? Did you have, before we had our famous procrastination opening discussion at the Select Bistro July of 2016, were you fearful that I would discover ... I mean I'm going back ten years here, during that period. Would you have been fearful that Dan would discover that you were a procrastinator?

Dean: Well, I would say I'm pretty masterful at covering up. I would think that I would have been pretty good at masking it, for sure. I'm pretty slippery from putting myself in positions where procrastination can be discovered too.

Dan: Yes. Yes.

Dean: That I think goes into, that's pretty much part of it.

Dan: Yeah, I would say the same.

Dean: Are you saying you suspected me?

Dan: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. No question about it. I mean, there's no question about it. I don't think ... Someone said, "When did you get this idea of procrastination as something entirely different?" I said, "You know, it's very interesting. I just read a book." Which, it was actually the book that we gave out for the last quarter in the 10 times program. The title was How We Got to Now, and it examines six more or less common things about everyday, like the presence of glass, and how much glass there is in our life, and cold. The fact that we can make things cold, and clean.

It takes it back four, five, in some cases 6-700 years about where those things were back then and how they've become our great friends here in the 21st century. They have this concept about how these innovations have happened in our world, and a lot of times it's the result of somebody with what they call a slow hunch.

It's a hunch they have, and they get on this hunch, like Darwin with natural selection, which is the very basis of evolution. He was on a slow hunch for about 25 years before it actually got articulated. He was working on it, and they can go back and see notebooks that he made, that he was kind of feeling around this concept, but it took him 25 years to actually articulate it in a way that changed the world, because a lot of people read what he said about this and said, "Oh my gosh, I never thought about the world that way."

I think I've been working on this procrastination thing for about three years before I got it to the point that I could link it up, that we can actually use it as a priority for taking it. I think I was picking up on what other people were doing, but I had kind of ceased feeling guilty about it myself during those three years. There was a lessening off of it, and I said, "I have a feeling everybody does this," but I wasn't really zeroing in on it. It was just sort of a thought would come to me, and I'd think about it for 15 seconds, then I'd be on to something else.

Then right about the time we got together that week, I really, really, zeroed in on it. You're a great person to talk to things about like this because you can do something with it. We can always, so I think that's why I brought it up. I was approaching it, I was getting really serious about that. A lot of my stuff, I go through a long, it's almost like a marinating period.

Dean: Gestation period.

Dan: Yeah, gestation period before we do it. Anyway, yeah. It's fascinating where we've gone with it. I have a feeling back then, was like this whole thing. Will the artificial intelligence, will they be able to procrastinate? Maybe that's the touring test of the future.

Dean: Yeah, and I wonder though. It's almost like the, I think that it's certainly going to be an amplifier here, when I start to think about what that means. When I think that I'm onto something with this multi channel sort of thing, to be able to get a lot of, to get multiple things going. It's almost like this flywheel effect with a project manager, you look at all the things that you've kind of set into motion in my mind in terms of the project manager making something real, and then another team making something recur. I think the ability to make stuff up is really, that it's time shifting. I can make stuff up a lot faster and more completely.

What struck me was how I don't think it's going to be an either or in a way. That artificial intelligence, when you look at the idea, the big moment for artificial intelligence of course was when it beat the chess champion. That was one thing, but it was like, is it smarter than the greatest chess players? Yes, but, then what trumped that, and Peter's the one who kind of introduced me to that concept, was the highest rated chess masters now are the combination of a human with an artificial intelligence.

That is I think where we've got this opportunity as entrepreneurs, to be entrepreneurial centaurs. I guess that's what they call them in the chess world, half human, half artificial intelligence is, artificial intelligence enabled humans are the winning chess, the highest rated chess combination. I think that we've got that opportunity coming as entrepreneurs, that that's going to be the winning entrepreneurial combination.

Dan: Yeah. That'll be the topic of a whole future podcast, because in my sense that we've already been doing that in smaller degrees.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: We're always enhancing ourselves with tools that we've created. We're enhancing. I mean, here we are, we're 1,200 miles, whatever the distance is between Toronto and Orlando, and we're using smartphones. This is being recorded. The moment we're finished, the podcast will essentially be intact, and your team behind the scenes will package this. In a scheduled point it will be put up so that other people can listen to it, and I'm looking at my Mac here, and I have a beautiful mindset scorecard that's all laid out in a program and everything.

We could probably put together an inventory of about 20 technological aids that we're utilizing right now just so that we can have an enjoyable conversation.

Dean: Such a great idea, yeah.

Dan: Yeah. The big thing is that it'll be useful if we decide it's useful. In other words, there's a human acceptance here. I remember Ray when I first saw him, and he was talking about, not only will individual computers be more intelligent than individual humans, but we'll reach a point of computation with these artificial intelligence that one of them will be smarter than the human race. I was thinking about that, and I said, "Well, smarter, I mean usefully smarter because smart doesn't mean anything unless it's usefully smart." They'll be usefully smart according to our specifications. In other words. We will always be the ones to say whether they're smart or not smart, depending on the usefulness to us.

I just wrote down a law that I've been playing with for about five or six years, and it is that humanity is always infinitely bigger than anything that humanity creates, including artificial intelligence and robots and everything like that. It's a theory, it's not a proven point, but it's testing. I think what we'll discover is that humanity is quite a bit bigger and more expansive than we thought.

As we begin to have areas that we used to think were human experience, they're taken off the table, as certain types of repetitive thinking exercises are taken off the table for us, and now we're freed up more just to spend our time being more human, maybe. Anyway.

Dean: I love it.

Dan: I'm just putting that out there as talk of it, because all the things they're talking about that are replacing us, we're the ones who thought them up. Maybe this thinking thing, maybe thinking things up is what we're really good at.

Dean: I think that's it, and then there's never been a better time to be someone who thinks stuff up.

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: Yeah, that's where I think we're really headed. I take that for granted in a lot of ways, then I realize that most people don't think things up. They wait for other people to think things up for them.

Dan: Yeah.

Dean: That's really, yeah. There's a big distinction there.

Dan: Yeah, yeah. Even in my company, I have the three distinctions of how things go. There's the person who makes it up, there's the person who makes it real, and there's the person who makes it recur. If you're going to make money on something you have to have all three of them.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: Because of the making it recur is where the multiple of earnings really comes in.

Dean: Agreed, yeah.

Dan: You have to have the recurring, but I'm only good at the first one. I'm not good at the second one, I'm not good at the third one at all.

Dean: Right.

Dan: It's a teamwork. My making things up is totally meaningless unless I'm in teamwork with someone who can make it real, and then another person who can make it recur. I consider it that, I've always been good at making things up, but I've never been as well paid as I am today at making things up, because I've added these other dimensions of people who make things real and people who make things recur.

Dean: Yes.

Dan: Yeah. Just to wrap up, what's one real takeaway from our conversation?

Dean: Well, I think this last thing that we've been talking about, this combination here. I'm already in my mind kind of making my list of the tools that we're employing here for the next conversation, because I do see that's really, I think that's going to be a rich conversation.

Dan: Yeah. Yeah, I think the biggest thing that I got out of it, first of all this is a much deeper, more interesting conversation that we're having here 10 months down the road-

Dean: Yeah, agreed.

Dan: ... than the first communications that we had. We're hitting all sorts of dimensions in this conversation. I think there's been a real growth of understanding and skill that is represented in this conversation from the very first one. A lot of people love those.

Dean: Yeah.

Dan: You know, the neat thing about podcasts is that people might get to them three years after they started, but it's all new to them.

Dean: Right. They can condense, they can listen to all of these in a binge kind of way, listen to the whole progression even though it's taken us whatever it is, however long.

Dan: Yeah, also they can speed up the playback time so that they don't have to. We do it in an hour and then get it, I don't know what the speed is, which is optimal, but they can do it in a much shorter period of time. It's kind of funny when we do that with Joe Polishes, the ones I do with Joe, I sound pretty normal but Joe sounds like a chipmunk.

Dean: I was just going to say the same thing. I sound pretty normal at one and a half, because I've listened to my own that same way too. One and a half brings me up to about, because I tend to be a slower, more deliberate talker I guess. You end up at one and a half it sounds like I'm talking like a normal rate. You're right, but then Joe sounds like a chipmunk. You're absolutely right.

Dan: Anyway, really great talking, and we have another one next week.

Dean: I love it.

Dan: That'll be the day after we have a Jacques meal.

Dean: Yes, that's right. I love how you're so in tune with the month.

Dan: Yep, yeah.

Dean: Well, you have a great week, and I will see you on Saturday.

Dan: On Saturday. I'll see you Saturday at Jacques Bistro.