Join Dean & Dan as they talk about taking energy from procrastination.
Transcript: The Joy of Procrastination Ep027
Dean: Mr. Sullivan.
Dan: Yes, Mr. Jackson it's good to hear your voice again.
Dean: Here we are at Procrastination Headquarters.
Dan: Where you can only participate if you didn't procrastinate.
Dean: That is exactly right. So I'm going to be seeing you next week.
Dan: Yeah, we'll be, actually sooner than that. We'll actually, probably on Thursday.
Dean: Oh nice. Yeah, I'm going to be there on Tuesday. Get there a couple of days ahead of time.
Dan: Yeah. For those of you who are listening, we are going to Genius Network where we'll be with our great friend Joe Polish.
Dean: That is exactly right. So what has been going on in the world of the joy of procrastination, Toronto Division, this week?
Dan: Yeah well, I actually reported the meeting I'd had in Chicago that week before where we had 15 of our team members in the Chicago office and they loved the procrastination priority. But this past Tuesday, which will be news to you, we started a brand new Ten Times Workshop with 63 new people.
Dean: Oh boy.
Dan: And we introduced the Procrastination Priority mid-afternoon as a setup for doing their first 90 day planning and it was terrific. Everybody got right into it and we didn't have a lot of time for conversation but with this new group, we also do a follow up workshop on a Wednesday, as it turned out to be, and a lot of them came up to me and said, "It's a very, very, very new thought to think about procrastination as some sort of research as some sort of source of energy."
So I had a discussion and it's almost like I was thinking of oil and gas, that through most of human history, this was just considered a nuisance if you had oil coming out of the ground or you had-
Dean: Makes your feet all sticky, yeah.
Dan: Yeah, it gets in everything else and then it became the powerful energy source in the world. I was just thinking along those lines, that something that was considered useless in human thinking, not only useless but shameful, in a matter of about 15 months, we've been able to turn this into a energy source for people.
Dean: Yeah, well I was just at an event here in Orlando, a marketing event, and there were a few hundred people there, but there were several people that came up to me and made a point of commenting about how much they're loving our Joy of Procrastination, how much it's making a difference for them. So that's kind of, it's great. It's getting out there. I did-
Dean: I did something fun this week, Dan. I did a live on Facebook 50-minute focus finder and-
Dan: Oh yes.
Dean: Just to demonstrate what it actually looks like. All I did, 'cause when I do it, I have my purpose for what I'm going to work on in that 50-minute focus finder and I have my comfortable club chairs and I have my timer and I have the music all cued up ready to go. So I turned on the camera, the Facebook Live broadcast and just really said to people, "Hey, we're going to do a live 50-minute focus finder, this is what it looks like and here's the music and the timer and here we go" and just let the camera run for 50 minutes as I was sitting there hatching evil schemes. And it was just the most, it was funny. We had about 750 people watch this live stream of just sitting with nothing but music in the background and me sitting there concentrating for 50 minutes.
Dan: I was just thinking of your grade school teacher watching you.
Dan: He's even worse than he was before.
Dean: That's right. That ain't working.
Dan: That's right, yeah.
Dean: Oh my goodness.
Dan: And there's 750 people watching.
Dean: It was something, I mean, that's kind of a funny thing.
Dan: Dean Jackson wasting his abilities.
Dean: Yes, exactly. Imagine if I applied myself.
Dan: It's a new world we're living in with social media. Yeah really. I was just reading an article and actually I had an interesting breakfast on Friday and I was introduced to the man who in the Canadian parliament is the finance critic. So he's in the opposition party and so he, when the finance minister who is in the government makes any kind of announcement or there's any brought up, then he's the critic. In Parliamentary governments, you have an official opposition and they're kind of at you every day.
So he was in the government before and then they lost two years ago. But very bright. Youngish, he's 38 and really very, very sharp. But I was telling him, if he had any political ambition just beyond where he is right now. He was elected when he was 25 years old so he's been in elected office since 2004. I just told him about this article I'd read that 70% of Americans are now getting their news through social media. They're no longer watching mainstream media. They're no longer reading mainstream media. They're getting their news through social media.
I think that's a profound change in the relatively short period of time.
Dean: Yes, and there's an interesting conversation that I had last night that would match up with that and kind of somebody showed on Twitter how they, all the people who were sort of like the far right and then the far left, that they were all connected to each other but not to the opposite.
Dean: Which is pretty wild when you think about it, right? So it becomes, especially on Facebook, you think about in the newsfeed that all the one world view news is being filtered and echoed and amplified within all the people who agree with that because, oh, like, like, like, like, like. Let's show them more of this and then all of the people on the other side are getting the thing so it's not a clear representation of what's actually going on in the news.
The young man I had this conversation with last night, lives in South Korea and I asked him, "What's that like right now?" Going on, you know? He said, "It's no different right now than it's been for 30 or 40 years." It's like it's just here in the US, the news is dominated by this and sensationalized by what North Korea, the news. His take was that they've done crazy things like this all the way through history but they also know that there's a line to not go beyond.
Dean: I don't know how to describe it but I guess in South Korea, they just look at it as, well that's just normal. They're not sitting on pins and needles any more, worried that things are getting worse than they've ever been. It's kind of an interesting thing how that-
Dan: I did my military duty in South Korea so I was there in the 1960's. I was there 50 years ago and there were always incidents that were happening at what's called the DMZ, at the border between North and South Korea. There'd be shootings and there'd be ambushes. I think while I was there, there were about 12 American troops killed in ambushes and probably an equal number of the enemy was ... But it was always, we were put on high alert about three or four times in a two year period. But everybody went about their life, I mean nobody really, really battened down and stocked up on food or anything.
It's just one of those places. First of all, they're separated by centuries. The quality of life in South Korea is now, it's equal to Europe. I mean, the way the South Koreans live now, they're on a quality of life scale the same as maybe not France but one of the European countries, let's say Estonia or Latvia or maybe-
Dan: The North, they're several centuries behind. I mean, in terms of the economy and the quality of their life, education and everything else. When East and West Germany were put together, it was like a 40 or 50 year separation. But if those two countries, North and South Korea ever got put together, it would be like making up a couple of centuries.
It's very interesting. Yeah, the closer you are to danger, the more normal it seems. I've been to Israel and they live with this. I mean, they're in some cases, a dozen miles away from possible outbreak of violence and they get up in the morning and they go about their business. They check. They'll make phone calls and say, "Anything we should avoid or anything like that?"
But it's really, really interesting how people normalize unusual conditions and just make it a normal part of life.
Dean: Yes. Joe Polish and I had Arthur Breyer on our-
Dan: Oh, yeah.
Dean: Marketing podcast and that was a conversation that we had that Offer seems to think that that gives Israelis a sense of urgency in a way in terms of the entrepreneurial part of it-
Dean: Or getting things out. It's kind of an interesting thing. But not a sense of doom or anything-
Dan: No, no, no.
Dean: Not in a negative way that they're constantly worried, it's just that there's this sense of, we've got to get this done.
Dan: Yeah they don't make real long-range plans.
Dan: As individuals. They're always about something and they're doing it but it's fairly short when you ... I spent two evenings with Arthur. I was in Tel Aviv and we went out two evenings in a row and I was asking about that specific thing. He says, "Well, don't plan too much more than a quarter ahead or a half a year ahead", he says, "because you don't know how conditions are going to change during that time, so you don't want to go too far out." But it's really, really interesting how they kind of normalize what, for most people, would be just almost unlivable conditions.
So just to go back to your point about the man from Korea that you were talking about, actually the closer you are to trouble, the more you're calm with it. The further away you are and your ... First of all, there's a huge emotionalism in the way that news is presented these days. I mean, if you didn't watch the news, you wouldn't think there were any crises in the world.
Dan: I think "crises"-
Dean: Well not-
Dan: "Crises" is a word that's actually been coined by the media to get your attention, but it's not describing something real, it's just that they're in high competition to get you to pay attention to them-
Dan: And "crises" as a word that they actually use to get your attention but in fact, it's an invented reality that they're talking about. The people there aren't actually experiencing the crises. The crises is a vehicle for communicating something that they want you to watch them and not some other news media.
Dean: Wow, very interesting. I don't know whether I had this conversation with you but talking about, we just saw it happen with the hurricane. Hurricane Irma, that came through Florida, that the news is dominated by this daunting, red fireball working its way across the ocean, making its way to Florida and this impending doom that's coming. It's got me thinking like a hundred years ago, we would have had no idea that a hurricane was even coming.
Dean: To Winterhaven or coming through, because all the way up to it's beautiful, sunny weather. Calm, nice. It's like what a nice day this is and then all the sudden over a total of a twelve hour period with a probably four hour peak period, the weather would completely change overnight and they'd wake up in the morning and say, "Wow, it was really windy and rainy last night, wasn't it?" And then go on with their beautiful day again, rather than all this crisis for the week leading up to it as it's inching its way through on its way to Florida.
Dean: That was funny because it made me think about energy, right? And how our energy levels, if we think about in the old procrastination world, when people were procrastinating as a bad thing and waiting for this impending deadline as the only thing that gets people into action, that the energy level goes up and people actually, miraculously are able to get things done.
Dean: And it's interesting how, if we can manage that level of energy production on the front end, it becomes so much more empowering.
Dan: Yeah, well I've been thinking about the habits that you have and the day of and I have the habit the night before, of-
Dan: Kind of allowing a certain kind of pressure to come from certain projects and say, "Okay, tomorrow we've got to get busy on this. We've got to get something started on it." Or for you, "Today, I'm going to work on that."
Dan: And it just struck me how much in the year and some months that we've been doing the podcast, is that I just accept this as kind of like the tide coming in. I mean, every day the tide comes in with new activities for me to do tomorrow and-
Dan: It presents me with a whole series of possibilities and I just kind of look at them and I say, "Well, three of them. This one, this one, this one." And I'll get that structured in the morning so that, for the most part, I'll have three of them done by noon or put in someone else's hands. We move forward on them. And I've just accepted it as a daily cycle and I don't try to anticipate what I'm going to feel tonight. So if I'm sitting here, it's just a little past noon in Toronto and I say, "Gee, I wonder what the three things are going to be for tomorrow?" But my mind sort of resists it. "Well, tonight you'll know. Don't be thinking about it right now."
Dean: Tonight, you'll know. Yeah, yeah.
Dan: And that's a difference. That's a different thing. That's a totally different approach than I was experiencing a year and a half ago.
Dean: This idea of not worrying that we're going to blank at any time. Have you ever in the year and a half been thought and asked that question that night, "What have you got for me for tomorrow" and come up without an answer?
Dan: No. No, as a matter of fact, there's a shuffling and sort of competition among a whole bunch of issues that want to get to the front of the line and be chosen.
Dan: For tomorrow. So, my feeling is that there's just an endless lot of them. But one, I'd never get to all of them and I don't even have to know behind number three, who is number four in the line. That's not important for me to know what the fourth one is, just important for me to know what the first three is.
Dan: Because if I get those done, say I take the first three and I get them structured in my mind and I set up my tomorrow morning to get these in place and I use delegation tools for the most part. I'll do my part but my part is usually to say what needs to get done and then get the directions in the hands of people who actually do things. Then, when I get to tomorrow night, well, things have changed because three new activities have been launched that day. So I can't say that what I didn't get to tonight will still be important tomorrow night because the whole landscape kind of changed as a result of me just focusing on three things.
So therefore, I don't even really have to think about them because I don't know how things are going to change in a 24-hour period.
Dean: Yeah, that's true. It really is. I've been experimenting in the evolution of this with that process that I'm using now is on an index card in ten minutes, one unit of this thinking and putting the things in the categories of people or projects that these are the people that are the procrastination is telling me are the ones to jump to the top here and these are the projects or things that are the candidates for what would I like to do today. Then I pick the top three out of that, so I end up with my three from considering maybe ten options to see what the three are. Sometimes I get into the bonus territory, as you call it, which I like. Yeah, and that's kind of a ... I think that in itself has really been a fantastic thing.
The other element, I may have mentioned this one other time but I've been kind of amplifying it now, is spending time each day thinking 'cause I've always got a hold of this, "What would I like to do today?" But thinking about what would I like to do tomorrow? Tomorrow meaning both literally tomorrow and figuratively the broader tomorrow, because some of the things that what Stephen Covey would call the "quadrant two" things, I guess which are the important and not urgent things, may never come up on procrastination roll call. There's no need for it to be so, in a way, that almost is creating a procrastination in itself that wouldn't show up otherwise, right? Because there's no urgency to thinking about the something, a possibility in the future.
Dan: Yeah, I mean it's almost like here's a thought and I've just been playing with it because-
Dan: I'm constantly in communication with Peter Diamandis about the technological world. There's an aspect of technology which I find quite negative and that is that there's an endless number of possibilities that you can think about. So we could do this and we could do this and we're going to do this. But it's got the added quality that it's using technology at the core, using microchip technology which has an exponential quality.
So there's an endless number of possibilities that are being multiplied exponentially and I see it a bit crazy-making. There's kind of a crazy-making quality about this. It's the same thing that what I'm noticing is along the lines of the social media that we were talking about, that the individuals who lived in that world only talk to who are involved in this endlessly exponential type thinking. They hype each other up. There's this hyping that goes on in the technological world and it's all making up stuff. It's making ... I'm not talking about things that actually exist. I'm not talking about present capabilities that they can use better in the next 90 days. I'm talking about mining on the moon and mining on Mars-
Dean: Right. Yeah, yeah.
Dan: And digging hyperloop tunnels from San Francisco to Los Angeles and without giving any thought that you're passing under people's properties and some of them may get their lawyer to stop it for six months or a year. And everything and it just seems to me that this is a form of hallucination, actually. When you get isolated where you're only hearing your own thoughts, there's a tendency to hallucinate.
Now I'm just noticing that one of the things we're seeing more and more in the news media is hallucinatory warnings and hallucinatory promises and excitement and everything else. I think it goes directly back to what you talked about at the beginning of the podcast is that within this communication bubble that people find themselves of, it keeps getting louder and louder but it's the same thing being repeated over and over again.
Dan: Everybody is talking about it.
Dean: Yeah, to the people who are in agreement with it. Right.
Dan: Yeah. And I think why we've broken through this with our procrastination priority thing is that we're kind of hallucinating when we're procrastinating because we're entertaining a lot of things in our brain that are competing. But they don't really have any reality to them because we haven't gotten to them yet. It's not like we've made decisions about these things. It's not like we've put deadlines to them. We haven't put measurable results to them and I think what we're doing, being you and I, in this exercise is that we're un-hallucinating ourselves. And that's really what happens when you use procrastination to identify actual real things that you're going to do and it's not in the future, it's between now and tomorrow at this time. We're going to do three things and move forward on these three. And I think we're un-hallucinating ourselves.
Dean: That makes sense. I mean, that's ... I think that the ... Well, when you look at this idea of this things getting louder and louder, there's the danger that that's happening within our own internal dialogue-
Dean: The things that we're continually faced with, right? The things that we constantly procrastinate. And it's been ... I look back now, I was reflecting this morning actually, on the things that have actually made the impact for me of over the last 15 months or whatever it is that we've been doing this, and one of those things is setting in place the things that are ... I have a lot more things in the recurring column that have come from asking myself this question, "What would I like to do tomorrow?" Or kind of looking to create a systemic solution to the recurring things that come up. So the idea with my "more cheese, less whiskers" podcast of having this flow of every week that is going out and from that I get two emails that also go out. So three emails a week, one podcast a week and it's all driven from the system of putting two, the recording times, on my calendar and setting up Lillian in charge of just filling those slots. So that all I do around that is I dial up the phone and I talk and I'm done, just like the way we do this podcast.
Dean: But that system came from, I had to spend some units of time thinking about how to set up that system so that it becomes a recurring thing where there's no ... My days now almost have a balance of the things that I've set up for myself to do. Like when you look at your calendar, or when you wake up or have your conversation at night, saying, "What would I like to do tomorrow? What have you got for me tomorrow?" A lot of things you already know exactly what's happening because you have a workshop day that was scheduled in as a result of a system that you said you started a new group with 63 people this week. But that took a lot of units of a lot of people's time, ahead of time, to make that happens. That becomes procrastination-proof, really.
Dan: Yeah, I mean there's almost, I'm seeing as you're talking, I'm seeing here that there's a measurement of success. How successful are you in life and it's the amount of recurring productive achievement that you're going to have tomorrow that was already set up.
Dan: In other words, it was already ... And it actually, the types of things that go on my procrastination thing at night, that I'm going to do tomorrow are new things. They're not the recurring things that are already in the schedule.
Dan: I mean, I was looking at ... I was driving home with Babs on Friday night and I said, "I just had an incredibly productive week." I didn't, from Friday morning of the previous week until this just two days ago. So it was a complete week. I said, "I've done nine podcast calls with four different people. I've done seven videos of varying lengths. I've worked with a cartoonist to create four pages of cartoons. I've done two all-day workshops." Yeah, that's it. But I did that. But all those things were set up. In other words, all I had to do was show up.
Dan: I didn't have to any new stuff for any of that activity. All I had to do was show up and be 100% present with the activity for an hour. In the case of workshops, it's for eight hours. But I already knew what I was going to do during those eight hours. I mean-
Dan: And so if you compare that week with the week I had five years ago, it would be ten times more productive than a week I had five years ago-
Dan: And it's all because of the structuring of more and more recurring achievement.
Dean: That, it fits so well when you go a little bit deeper into the thought that got you to free days, focused days and buffer days, which was athletes and entertainers.
Dean: A model that athletes and entertainers at the highest levels, the most successful athletes and entertainers already know for most of their time what's actually going to happen because there're all the things that were set up ahead of time to make this happen. It's not a lot of wondering and trying to make things up from scratch on a daily basis.
Dean: They know. The top entertainers who maybe are on tour, it's already set up that they know where they're going, where their concert is and everybody around them that as much as possible, it gets as close to all they're doing is the performing and talking about the performing, right? To doing media events or anything leading up to it. So it's really you're modeling that in a lot of ways and the more that I follow in that path and modeling that, by setting up those things to be recurring. Setting up the team that makes those things happen.
Dan: Yeah. I mean, it's really interesting if you just take my workshop day, the new one where I have the 63 new participants in the ten times level. The income from that day, but let's say the four days in the year because of my workshops is four days, where I'm required, the income from that is greater than our first three years in business. If I go back to 1989 to 1992, the income from this one workshop group, four days of my time.
And the other thing is that what I coached on that day required no new innovation on my part. It was just structured in. I spent maybe a half hour with Cathy Davis who is my, really structures things and then she gets to make sure that all the materials are there, the multimedia is right, the binder is right and everything else. So I spent about a half hour a month previously to get that right. The getting of the 63 people into the workshop required none of my time whatsoever. That was all done by our sales team. So I had no sales time involved with it. What we do with the ten times program, because I have the little books, the quarterly books so this time this workshop was sold out three months previously so during the final ten weeks before each of the people came to Tuesday's workshop, they received one of the books per week so they had ten books. I had nothing to do with that. Those were all sent out. Letters were sent out with them and everything like that.
So it's really the entertainment model that you were talking about.
Dan: Literally, my only involvement was to get a good night's sleep and to show up. I just basically showed up for eight hours and did what I know how to do but with full attentions 'cause I wasn't thinking about anything else during that day. So that's really, I'm seeing the power of that, just based on your pointing it out. But what each of us is constantly using our nightly or first thing in the morning procrastination alert to, if we're really successful with them, each of these is going to go into something that is recurring achievement later on.
Dean: Yes, that's exactly right. I would be curious to hear what the days were like in 1989. When you're saying here we are and you have one workshop that made more money than the first three years of-
Dean: Strategic Coach. What were the activities that you were involved in then if you contrast it? Do you say that you were working harder then?
Dan: Oh yeah. Yeah. Yeah, it's working a lot harder and I was very involved in the sales process-
Dan: So I had to be talking to people, I had to be phoning people. In comparison with the materials, the known solutions that I can call upon 28 years later, we had very few. We had basically this strategy circle in 1989 and the whole workshop was structured on a single form called the Strategy Circle, which is still a terrific exercise. We still used it very, very early in being but I don't coach it, somebody else coaches it.
You were very small. You were worried about next month. You were worried about this month's cashflow. You just began and you didn't have a lot of money in the bank and you were concerned. We didn't have the credibility that we have back then. We didn't have the referral network that would just ... We can almost, by the number of referrals ... For every five referrals that I get from a Ten Times client, I get one signup to the program during the next 12 months after I've received the referral.
Dan: We just have the numbers worked out, the number of referrals we get. Well, this year I'll get about 700 referral from the Ten Times workshop, divide by five, that's 140.
Dan: So that basically fills my two new workshops going forward.
Dan: Yeah, well that's one of the recurring achievements you have, the known credibility in the market.
Dean: It's a cumulative effect. Right.
Dan: Yeah, and it's all cumulative. It's a cumulative effect and there's kind of exponential growth. But you can't be ... I've got this marked down on blackboards and we're constantly looking at the numbers so-
Dan: So it's not like you can go to sleep on this. I mean, you've got to be alert to it-
Dan: Because you can do a slice or-
Dean: That's something that I've noticed about your ... That it's not hidden off on secret blackboards in darkened rooms, it's out in the middle of the café.
Dan: Café. Yeah.
Dean: For everybody to use.
Dan: Yeah, when I'm in the café, I bet I look at those blackboards probably a dozen times during the day and I'm just-
Dan: Looking at the numbers and I'm thinking about something and everything else. But I'm really big about having all the crucial numbers in view for everybody who's involved with them. First of all, they know the numbers are being looked at all the time-
Dan: And that's part of the message to keep them alert. Yeah, and I like that they're on blackboards. It's not on a computer screen because a person has to come in every day and actually change the numbers.
Dean: Update them. Yeah.
Dan: And I like that. It's an analog experience.
Dan: I feel good about that experience. But this is a very interesting thing. What I'm getting out of this is that we're starting to put some, what I say, importance about the things that come up as our procrastinations and one of the questions you got to ask is, "If I take action on this, will this become a recurring achievement?" In other words, if I go through the effort to actually put it in place, will it become, not an achievement just once but it'll be a recurring achievement.
Dean: Yeah. And that's what I was thinking about the impact of asking the right kind of "What would I like to do tomorrow" question.
Dean: Because if what you'd like to do tomorrow is set up things that have a naturally recurring system to keep you in the joy zone, the things that you actually really in your unique ability, there's something really relaxing about that. I find, and I've had this conversation with my teens, that I just feel so relaxed about I did something this year that under your guidance and from our conversations of mapping out the entire year-
Dean: Of my breakthrough blueprint events and mapping out that I know going into January was when I made the decision that I'm going to have the three emails going out a week. One "More Cheese, Less Whiskers" podcast. Here's when we're doing the event. Here's the dates I'm doing my email mastery programs. So I find these things that I've set up as recurring elements in my calendar-
Dan: Achievements, yeah.
Dean: Achievements are things that I don't have to think about them anymore. It's almost like you're creating self-generating kind of loop.
Dan: Yeah, well that's the basis for the next level above the self-managing company is the self-multiplying company.
Dan: In other words, that it's not just you're not going backwards. In other words, things are being managed so you're not going backwards-
Dan: But it's actually that you are going to forward in an increasing way, but it's not requiring your effort to do that.
Dean: Yeah. All exciting times. I mean, it's so-
Dan: Yeah, I was thinking about this. I mean, this is ... I hope this doesn't take us too far off-track, but we just passed Columbus Day in the States and there's a lot of controversy about Columbus now. People that we grew up thinking were heroes, now we're realizing there's a lot of controversy about them. And one of them is essentially the eradication of Native people in North America. I was thinking about that because you say, well you're living on land that here in Toronto, this was a big Indian village at one time and now it's not.
I was thinking that it was a collision if you think about, it was mostly white people from England. The vast majority of the early settlers came from England or Ireland or Scotland, the British Isles. And I said, "Why was that an unequal fight when they arrived there?" Part of the reason is that by the time that these settlers got there, they had some incredibly well-developed systems and I'll use our term here of "recurring achievement" and just think of all the recurring achievement systems that they had.
First of all, they really, really understood farming. They came over and they had recurring farming skills in a way that the Natives really didn't have. They had recurring financial systems. They could think about financial systems. Five years, ten years into the future. I'm talking about the 16, 1700's here. You go right down the line and they probably came equipped with systems for recurring achievement that the Indians just didn't have.
One of them is the storage of food. The whole notion of salting and of preserving food, canning food and everything else, the rudiments were already known then. One simple thing why the white fighters won and the Indian fighters, the Indians didn't have an ability to fight during the winter because they would be using up all their food if they had to fight during the winter. But the Europeans from the British Isles, they knew how to stockpile food and have food that then put the community in danger but they could have the food available for fighting. In England, they fought all year-round and they were used to fighting all year-round. Good weather, bad weather. Didn't matter. Snow, rain, sleet, it didn't matter what the temperature was. They could fight all year-round. Well, if you have one system that can only fight for six months of the year and the other one can fight twelve months a year, there's a real inequality of capability.
But I'm saying all that because it's sort of explains why the Europeans just basically took over the whole continent. They just had these systems of recurring achievement that became more and more automatic and freed up the brightest and the best people so they didn't have to do that type of work. They could think up new systems of recurring achievement. It really tells you why there's enormous inequality on the planet when one set of individuals gets onto this idea, this system of recurring achievement. I think that's really what we're doing in this exercise program. We've taken something which is a real negative, procrastination, which actually was an energy draining, a non-productive factor in both of our lives and we've transformed it into an energy-producing factor. But now we're using the procrastination to identify those achievements that we can do tomorrow which, if we're smart, we can make them into recurring achievements.
So all that's happened in like a 15-month period.
Dean: That is true. Yeah. Where do you think you go from here? What's the thing ... Do you think about where the evolution of this is? I was thinking this morning about the actual, practical things that we have evolved from that. This has been a really great discussion to think that the context of it is to set up these recurring achievements.
Dan: Yeah. Well obviously, the thing I'm focusing in is that, again, it's the idea that you introduced or really put emphasis on two or three podcasts before, is that when you think of something that has to be done, you don't think of how, you think of who. What I'm noticing is that, well, my best attempt to make something recurring is to take the idea of what needs to be done and to put it in a form where somebody else can run with it. Not all of them are going to be of equal power in terms of being recurring achievements, but just by what I select as my three most important activities for tomorrow, then the faster I can get that idea out of my head and into the head of someone else, especially in the hands of someone else, the more power each of these procrastination priority days starts to have.
Dean: Yeah. Yeah, I think I said earlier and I may have said it to someone on a More Cheese, Less Whiskers podcast, but this idea that we're really coming into an era now where because of being so connected to everybody, that execution, the doing of something is actually, in most areas, becoming a commodity. That it's something that we can actually just deploy in infinitely scalable supply.
Dean: And thinking about, we did talk about some of the leverage or how whole ecosystems like that that are set up to allow us to execute something. I think it's a real nice evolution here, having an interface from ideas to the execution of those ideas at a push of a button, using our highest bandwidth. I still think that the highest bandwidth way to convey something from our head to the world is through our mouth.
Dan: Oh yeah.
Dean: It's still the highest bandwidth output.
Dan: Yeah, I'm more and more convinced of that, too. Since we've been talking about it, I'm just watching the difference in power of different conversations at work. I'm with people and I'm just watching the difference in skill of people that use their mouths. It's so funny.
No, but it's really unequal, the ability of using your mouth is really an unequal skill and what I mean is that there're some people who are incredibly skillful at it and some people, not so much. You can see the difference in the results in their lives just because they have this different skill of using their mouths differently.
Dean: Yes. But that all stems from the ability to use their minds differently to organize the information, in a way to output it in a usable format. That's where these thinking skills come in.
Dan: Well, the other thing is, the more that you realize that you're not an isolated individual but that you're in a network-
Dan: Of other skilled individuals, you really strive to get better at having your mind set up your mouth properly so that the word gets out in a way that maximizes the value of those networks.
Dan: I mean, I'm surrounded by great riches of talent if I'm smart enough and I'm skillful enough to actually use them. So I would say, the way I feel right now, I feel incredibly less isolated from other people than I did, say ten years ago. There was a lot of me just working really hard on my own ten years ago. If I'm working alone, something's wrong. We need a congressional investigation here.
Dean: Well, the good thing is you know.
Dan: I mean, that's really great. Just this ability to talk and to get things across really, really powerfully and persuasively is something that I think humans are going to, if they're smart, they're going to get better and better at because the AI, the artificial intelligence is growing. But it's going to take a lot of programming to match a really smart-talking human.
Dean: Yep. That's part of the thing, is that the ... I heard Gary Vaynerchuk said something interesting this week. That was, all the talk about A-players and how everybody's completely focused on finding A-players and his thought was that you really need C-players and B-players to just execute.
Dean: Which is, it's so funny. It's the key. If you're going to scale, B and C-players are the key to scaling. You can't-
Dean: That was his assertion that you can't scale if you're constantly just only looking for A-players.
Dan: Yeah, there's a great story about Ross Perot. Remember Ross Perot who-
Dean: I do, yeah.
Dan: More or less made Bill Clinton President twice in the 1990's, 'cause he took 15 to 20% of the vote away from Republican candidates. But he was invited, I think it was to Yale or Harvard, but one of the business schools. And he got up and he says, "Well, first thing I'd like you to do", he says, "I want to know who all the A-graduates are. The graduates here who achieved an A average", and he said, "Would you please stand up? I just wanted you all to stand up." Of course, there were in the front. And then he said, "Now, I want to have the C-students, all those who just got-". If you were an F student, you weren't there.
Dan: But the C students. So a whole bunch of C students got up and he says, "Now, I want the A students to turn around and look at your future employers."
Dean: Oh, that's great. Look around at your future employers!
Dean: That is so great.
Dan: And it got ... Half the room laughed. Half the congregation laughed because there was a truth to it, is that-
Dan: The people who think that getting top grades is the answer probably are going to be taking orders from somebody who thinks getting really great ideas is the answer and not so much getting the top grades. But I'm going to think about because we have team members at coach, I have one. She's been with us, pretty close to 25 years now and she's responsible for the integrity of our database. So she comes in every day and spends eight hours scrutinizing every number, every name, every piece of information that we have about our database. This would be our client database.
Dan: If there's any changes to that. And day in, day out for 25 years, she's come in. Usually, she's there early and she leaves a little bit late and this is what she does. As a result, we've had a very, very high quality database now for 25 years. My feeling was that she's gotten better at ways that she knows but it wouldn't be obvious to me how she's gotten better. But I need that person. I absolutely need that skill, and she loves it. I mean, the other thing is that-
Dan: She takes enormous pride in it. That sort of person is irreplaceable and therefore you want to make life as good as possible for them, to encourage them to stay with that activity because it supports hundreds of other activities inside of the program. A lot of people would say, "Well she doesn't have any ambition. She hasn't grown. She hasn't moved from her position in 25 years and she doesn't want to move from her position in 25 years." So would you call that a team player? Would you call that an A-player?
Dean: I get it.
Dean: I've written down, I've got three really kind of things I'd love to go into. But one of those is the procrastination organization. Because when you're playing that, that's kind of jumped into that. I was reading Ray Dalio-
Dean: Has a new book out called "Principles". Have you seen it? Or-
Dan: Yeah, I just heard it. Someone passed it on. Actually it was that breakfast I was at with a politician on-
Dan: Friday. Someone brought up the book, so I'm going to have to do that. He's kind of richer than everybody is, isn't he?
Dean: Yeah, exactly. Well, what I found interesting was that he learned the interaction between the team members, their unique value. What he started discovering is about how Meyers-Briggs personality types have a difference, but he didn't mention, I haven't heard him, I've just started that portion of the book now, but whether we talk about Colby as-
Dean: The thing to compare people, but he ended up creating baseball cards for the-
Dan: Oh yeah. Everybody's got their statistics.
Dean: Yes, exactly. That's an interesting, 'cause I know that at Strategic Coach, when you walk around, everybody's got their stats posted up on their door.
Dan: Yeah, they all have their Colby's and their strength finders and then they have their ten most crucial habits. That's a function of going through Julia Waller's day, her workshop day where she takes people deep. Yeah. But I think in the Dalia system, it's actually what their achievement numbers are too, isn't it?
Dean: I don't know. I just started reading about that-
Dean: This morning.
Dan: Yeah, I think that their batting average, for example. I mean-
Dan: Whatever that translates into, their earned run average and everything like that. I mean that which is measured improves, that which is measured and reported improves exponentially.
Dan: That's Pearson's Law. I think it's absolutely true. I'm kind of late in coming to this in lifetime, I have to tell you. I'm much more passionate about reported numbers today than I was ten years ago.
Dan: And we're doing quite a bit better ten years later.
Dean: I love it.
Dan: I think the two are related. Great talk!
Dean: It really was. I really enjoyed this conversation and I'll look forward to seeing you next week.
Dan: Yeah, I'll see you very, very shortly. So one discussion is systems of recurring achievements. That's a nice discussion point. I like that.
Dean: Yeah. I like that. And the team element is another thing.
Dean: Having driving procrastination. Using procrastination as a driver for an organization-
Dean: Is really a pretty interesting-
Dan: The procrastination driven organization.
Dean: Yes, exactly!
Dan: Good, that's great.
Dean: I love it.
Dean: Okay Dan, I'll see you this week.
Dan: Okay, bye.