Join Dean and Dan as they talk about the challenges and benefits of perpetual procrastination.
Transcript: The Joy of Procrastination Ep040
Dan: Mr. Sullivan.
Dean: Mr. Jackson.
Dan: We're back. We're back, and you are such a priority in my life that I would never procrastinate phoning you.
Dean: Isn't nice to know that we're right here. Like, we didn't even have to confirm it, I just knew that you'd be here.
Dan: Yep. Well, we're both firmly in the mainland, but we're using Cloudlandia tools to actually facilitate, which is as it should be.
Dean: As it should be, we should be using them to our advantage.
Dan: That's right, to enhance our mainland success and satisfaction, you could say. I've been thinking about that a lot because I think it's a vital distinction, and everyone that I've brought it up with, quoting you of course, I find people are very, very interested in saying, "Well, it seems to me that being successful in life, personally and organizationally, know where the boundary is between the mainland and Cloudlandia."
Dean: Yes, that's true. You really realize it. I think so much we often get caught up, as entrepreneurs, in our social circle kind of thing, that so many things are moving into Cloudlandia. This is where it's all happening, but I had an interesting conversation with David Burke at Game Changer and he pointed out something that was really, kind of ... he didn't have this awareness of it ... but some crazy amount of number. The majority of workers in the United States make less than fifteen dollars an hour. It was some really serious number, well over fifty percent of the workforce, and you realize that those are all mainland jobs basically, right?
Dan: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-
Dean: I mean, those are where that's all happening.
It's just kind of wow, you know? When you really think about it like that, so many things are ... I'm trying to articulate this thought that the big gap is not going to be so much the income disparity between the top and the bottom, but I think it's going to come from the result of how much people embrace Cloudlandia, in a way, and that intersection of both the migration and the actual living there that society mi-
Dan: I think that-
Dean: ... migrates to.
Dan: Yeah, I think the mainland has to move towards Cloudlandia, but it seems to me that Cloudlandia has to move towards the mainland too.
I'll give you an example of that. I was just reflecting that we like new things, generally people like new things, but we also like things we can depend upon. We like dependability, and we especially like dependable humans that we can count on. I was reflecting that, when we opened our Toronto office it was Labor Day, it was the day after Labor Day in 1991, so we've been in that same premises since 1991, it'll be going on 27 years this coming Labor Day.
The day we started we signed up with UPS, and the UPS person picked up our packages for that day. And on Friday he was there again, 27 years later, to pick up our packages. We've had the same UPS guy for 27 years, and he's kind of like one of the team, you know?
Dan: Everybody chats with him and we give him gifts on the holidays.
The same story's true in Chicago. We opened our office there in 1998, and 20 years later we still have the same UPS pick up guy. UPS has really, really gone more and more high tech over the years to support their drivers. So it seems to me that there's a nice thing happening there in our relationship with UPS, that there's a human contact that's absolutely dependable to us, and we all appreciate it, but on the other hand UPS has continually done a lot more with technology to make the drivers lives a little bit easier and work out various strategies, because city traffic has certainly got more complicated since then.
It's a really interesting thing that, in today's world, where people say, "Well, turnover's great, and, you know, people don't stay with the same job." Here's a system where they actually do, and they have stock ownership, you know?
Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Dan: Those guys have stock ownership, so they're, it's their lifetime job, and they have a stake in the company they're working for.
So, my feeling is, this is the direction that things are going to go in, and this whole talk about robots and everything else is talking people, but not doing people. In other words-
Dean: I think you're absolutely right.
Dan: ... a world of talking people, who talk about this and talk about that, and their only achievement is talking. But people are actually doing things, are actually working out the arrangements where we can combine the mainland with Cloudlandia.
Dean: I agree. I had an interesting ... on my More Cheese, Less Whiskers spot about that ... I had a couple of recent conversations about this last hundred feet idea. You know, everybody talks about, I think what it's been, the shift of the last sort of phase of it has been the, what they're saying, the last mile of getting something to your door. Well, basically, we've solved all of the last mile programs. We can get anything that you want, you can arrange it in Cloudlandia, to bring it to your door, now, right. Like Amazon-
Dan: Which is here in the main-
Dean: Yeah, which is in the mainland actually.
Dan: Our friend Richard Rossi and Lisa, his partner, stayed with us for the last four days and they were saying, in Washington now, Amazon now has access to their front door and it's all videoed. In other words, they can take the package and put it inside your door so that it's not stolen. You know, first of all, you're getting. Yeah, go ahead.
Dean: I get that. That's really where it's going. That this next shift is going to be the last hundred feet. That's where the mainland opportunities are going to be is that, literally, we can get anything right to the door. We can get any physical goods delivered, we can get food delivered, you can get a car delivered to pick you up and take you anywhere you want to go.
You can do all of that, but it was an interesting thing with those specific incidents that we were talking about. Somebody does Vegan nutrition and we were talking about this idea of preparing meals for people, you know? Like, getting right into it, that it's the actual preparation, to the consumption of it, that makes it work.
We were talking about services like Plated or Blue Apron, or these meal delivery services that will pre-portion all of the ingredients and everything, and deliver it to you. I see that there's an even bigger opportunity for somebody to bolt onto a service like that, but then actually come in and prepare the meals for you, as opposed to you getting the ingredients and then having to still have to go through the cooking and preparing of it.
That there's another-
Dan: And I think it goes into other areas too.
Ari Meisel, who has the company Less Doing ... for the listeners who don't know who Ari is. So, Ari, anything that you need in the way of someone whose got a skill or a specialty who can do something for you, you give Ari a call and he'll find a person for you, and he'll set up the process by which the person can actually do your thing. Ari's company will manage the whole thing, they'll just allow you get the finished result that you're looking for.
But I was talking to him about thinking processes. We have a lot of thinking processes in Strategic Coach and these are, they're a little on paper or digital, because we have them digitized, is that if you just follow this thinking process, you'll get a good thinking result, you know?
Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-
Dan: You'll be clear and plain, but a lot of entrepreneurs aren't that type of person who can actually look at a form and actually follow it right through.
I said, "You know, one of the nuts that we have to unloosen and really make work in Strategic Coach is an instantaneous pick up the phone and somebody will guide you through a thinking process, and then we'll deliver a finished, written version of whatever-
Dean: Yeah, I remember we had that conversation about the impact crossover.
Dan: Well, we're meeting on Friday in New York to launch it. So, we're actually-
Dean: Oh my goodness.
Dan: ... actually going ahead to do that, yeah. And we're going to start off with the impact filter, just as the tool, because I consider it to be the most crucial action tool in Strategic Coach. So there'll be a growing army of Impact Filter facilitators that will be available to our clients who just pick up a phone and dial a number, and they have the form in front of you. They ask you the questions and talk you through step by step, and you can see it on your screen as it develops, and when it's finished you get the impact filter.
Dean: This is awesome. Are these going to be ... these will be people in your office that are-
Dan: No, no. His office.
Dean: All right, exactly.
Dan: We're a workshop coaching program. We're not ... It was like the discussion we had in the Game Changer, I know where my money's made. "Here Ari, you create the service, the money's yours. I mean, the product's ours. You know, the IP is, but you can make as much money as you want off his thinking process if you'll support our entrepreneurs to think clearly through their projects."
So this is Cloudlandia, you could only do this if Cloudlandia was available, but all the projects that we're talking about are mainland projects.
Dean: I love it. That's so great. Congratulations. I can't wait to see that unfold here.
Dan: Here's another example, because this podcast that we're doing right now will be heard before the service is actually available, so I suspect that our phones are going to be ringing off the hook saying, "Oh, when's that service available?" So this is actually my first commercial, and it's only possible because of Cloudlandia.
Dean: Yes, exactly.
Dan: I'm just baiting the hook here. I'm pre-selling. I'm doing a form of marketing here with this explanation, but everybody's excited about it, and Ari's excited about it, you know. But it's an example of a Game Changer collaboration. We have a thing, he has a thing, but I don't want to develop this service inside my company.
Dean: Right. Very smart. That's awesome. Well, we should talk a little bit about Game Changer. Have we even spoken since Chicago? Which was fantastic.
Dan: Yeah, I don't really know if you even liked it?
Dean: Wait a second now. Holy cow-
Dan: No, you said wonderful things. You said wonderful things. I'm just pulling your leg here.
Dean: I know it, and it really was wonderful. I mean, the whole ... I liked that model of doing the Ten Times workshop and then doing the Game Changer. We had a couple of really nice dinners the night before both of them, and that was one of the highlights I think, really getting those conversations. It's very different, the conversations that you have among, I always find that, among the entrepreneurs that are part of Strategic Coach, than the general conversations that you have with people, and at dinner.
Dan: First of all, I'd like to know how you're seeing that. What are you seeing as the big difference?
Dean: First of all, having a common language, right? Like, we were able, at the dinner Sunday night, I was surprised and delighted that it was a small dinner. I thought it was the dinner that happened on the Monday night with everybody, but the fact that it was sort of a-
Dan: I actually thought Babs and me, and five, you know, five people-
Dean: Yeah, it was really like a salon type of thing, right?
Dean: Like more of a curated conversation evening, and to just be able to have a common language that we could start a conversation with doing a positive focus, and that you could say those words to somebody and everybody knows what that means. And that's not at all awkward and everybody's excited to talk about the positive focus, and what a great jumping off point for conversations.
It is really refreshing that way. I think it really amplifies your ambition, in a way. To know that you can have big conversations and be around people who are having big, or bigger, conversations, you know?
Dan: Yeah. I was just thinking about my life generally and yours, I suspect, would be exactly the same, is that I lived in a, almost like, at the epicenter of a social environment where virtually everybody has a future way bigger than their past. It's just a totally different way of experiencing life, where everybody's achieved. There's opportunity, "I've made this progress. I'm experiencing breakthroughs here. I'm looking towards this new capability." And it's just a marvelous way to go through one's life.
Dean: Yes, it really. That was a really great part of it, but the whole Game Changer workshop itself ... we had our very first kick off workshop, and it was an interesting environment because we've, the people who are in the program, I think I knew most of the people there because we've all been around for a long time. Yeah, exactly, and we've all run into each other at Ten Times workshops or different things. But to sense the level of the way we're, kind of, looking our relationship, is coming into a place where we're really looking at the resources of all of our unique abilities instantly on tap to collaborate, to help all of us go to whatever the hundred times level of what we're talking about right now.
Dan: Yeah, I think it's interesting because all of us, and you have, we take jumps every once in a while. We'll go along really maximizing the potential of what we already know how to do, and then we'll get to a point where we feel we want another big expansion on our capability, and we create and offer something new to the world. I've really done it a lot because I've been at the coaching since 1974, so I'm pushing, I'm getting up near half a Century in coach, but certainly over 40 years. I can remember about 20 jumps I've made, going from personal coaching to workshop coaching, and then having other coaches. Being in one city, and now being in eight cities and three countries.
I've always, previously to the Game Changer, I've always experienced this as nervous time. I was really nervous and there were some worries, and some fears about, "Is this going to work? Is this not going to work?" I had none of this with the Game Changer. I was the most relaxed I've ever been going into something, and everybody was asking me about this because they were kind of worried that I wasn't worried.
Because over the years my team have noticed my pattern that, "If Dan's getting really nervous, his adrenaline's starting to flow." But I had no concerns about it, and I said, "It's going to be binary. I don't know if it's going to be a hundred percent success or it's going to be a flat out wipe out, you know? It's going to be-
Dan: ... but there's not going to be in between these two results."
I didn't have any sense of a halfway result. I think the reason was because it's utterly simple. Everybody in the room is coach to everybody else in the room, and-
Dean: And I think there's some element of it too that, I'll call it the investment of being in the room, I think, brings with it some elevation as well.
Dan: Yeah, and I would say that for probably about half the room, just the qualification that you have to have an outside collaboration in place that you bring into the room, was almost as big a jump as some people in other parts of Strategic Coach that they will achieve after they've been in coach for a while. But here they had to have the achievement just to qualify, just to be in the room. I think that made a huge difference. There was this sense of admiration and respect that was immediate simply because everybody knew what everybody else had to do to qualify to get there.
Dean: Yes, agreed. And it was great to hear and see all the different big visions that people have in there. That often, sometimes, the collaboration of their app, their big moving forward picture, is different even than their primary business. Which is kind of a cool thing too. There's a lot of-
Dan: Yeah. The one that most struck me along those lines was Tony DiSanto's. Tony's been in the program for 25 years. He sells the drugs that are compounded for pharmacies, in other words the basic drugs, in three countries. He had this very, very interesting project. He noticed that pharmacists can't compound a certain type of product, and that's a product where the pharmaceuticals are in a lotion. It requires a level of technology that most pharmacists don't have, and so they have, probably, less profit on it because they can't actually create the pharmaceutical, or they can't immediately respond to consumer needs.
The solution was with an industry, precious metals, who have developed the ability to create a hundred percent consistent precious metals, gold, silver, platinum, and everything. And his Game Changer is by doing collaboration with a company that knows how to do this with precious metals, but then they created a process for doing it with pharmaceutical lotions. It just struck me as a marvelous use of his imagination, and going far afield to achieve a solution that he doesn't really need. In other words, he's got a really highly profitable business that continually grows, but he wanted the solution and that became his Game Changer.
Already it's transforming his business because of the high profitability of it. He's going to have a worldwide monopoly on this for as long as he wants because he's got it all patented. I mean, he'll license it but it's still ... It's very, very interesting to see that ingenuity.
Dean: Yeah. Amazing.
Dan: And yours with the franchise, the huge franchise network-
Dean: What was really freeing for me is realizing that the ... I look at my capabilities, both personally and organizationally, and that was an interesting distinction that we did in the workshop too, in the preparation materials. Thinking, what are my personal and organizational assets that I have to come into this with? And realizing that what, as I'm listening to people describe what they're doing, I realized how many of them ... that I could be a dream come true for them in many ways. In being a path through.
They have companies that are fully able to execute, to provide, a transformational result for people, and they really would be amplified by marketing. Or they've been trying to figure out the marketing of that, and for me to be able to come in and overlay on top of what they're doing. To provide that to them would be right into our unique ability zone for both of us, allowing them to stay in their unique ability, allowing me to stay in my unique ability, without having to figure out the execution of their business, or something like it.
Dan: The interesting thing that I've gleaned from what you're just describing right now, is the wearisomeness of the way most people envision expansion into the future of their entrepreneurial lives.
Either I really, really have to now go through a period where I have to spend an enormous amount of money staffing up and bringing people in to go to the next level before we'll have any kind of return. In other words, it's going to be an enormous expenditure of money and time, and activities I find very wearisome.
Dean: And disciplined-
Dan: ... and disciplined to the next level without, really, any guarantee that it's all going to pay off. Or I'm going to buy somebody else, I'm going to buy their company and we're going to get their acquisition with all the weariness of that. Or somebody's going to buy me, with all the weariness of that. And it just seems like no more free time, no more just kinda enjoying things, and I said, "Why don't you just find somebody who just has the capability and do a deal?"
It's like my thing with Ari Meisel. It doesn't change my company, it doesn't change his company. He doesn't have to learn anything new, this is what he does. I don't have to learn anything new, this is what I do. Let's just combine them and set a goal.
Dean: I like that idea that used that term venture collaborist. You have to look at it like that, as really that's a new model that's really eye-opening for me. I look at that-
Dan: It was interesting because I'd been experimenting with that with my Game Changers. You know, the examples that I gave.
I've got it, "What if I want to just keep building at first, and I don't really care about the money?" Which is a very unusual mindset in the entrepreneurial world, but I had to do it that way because I had to get a feeling of what the reward is of just getting a new capability, in other words. So I tested that out, and I think this is why I was so relaxed, because I knew it worked.
It's like our podcast series, between lunch on one day and lunch the next day we had, first of all, invented the project, named the project, already had the capability for the project, and the next day did the project. The only agreement was, "Hey, let's do it."
Dan: That launched something that's been extraordinarily enjoyable for both of us. It's been actually breakthrough, intellectually breakthrough, just to ... You can see the impact of the Who, Not How model, what impact it's had on Strategic Coach.
Dean: Yes. You're absolutely right, this is the perfect example of that. Neither one of us are looking at this as, "How are we going to monetize this?"
That's not the thing. The real value is just what you said. It's the capability, expanding our thinking. That's been the biggest reward for me. Even the conversations, and we're letting other people come along for that ride.
Dan: I had a client, I should tell you, on Thursday, and he said it's his great pleasure, when he's not actually doing actual work, is listening to our podcasts. He said, "I just love these. I listen to them two or three times," and he said, "It's just one of my greatest pleasures to listen to Dean and Dan, to actually start a conversation and not be worried about where the conversation is going, but absolutely not knowing where the conversation is going."
Dean: It always goes somewhere fun and productive.
I was curious, you said you weren't at all stressed or anything coming into the Game Changer, but we didn't really get a lot of chance to talk about it leading up to Game Changer. But, on the back side of it now, what was the procrastination experience of that? There were a lot of different looks, and a lot of different ways in packaging the tools and things. There was lot of innovation that happened in providing this program. But was there any? How did that go procrastination wise?
Dan: Not very much, because my way of starting something is to announce opening night, and start selling tickets. Usually then, I start getting antsy because what am I going to ... people know when it starts, they know how much it's going to cost, they've given me part of the money upfront, and all of it before they arrive. Were you worried about that? But I had actually started this about five years ago, and I had done a couple of one-off days where I had started exploring the idea of Game Changer.
Then I had also done these collaborations with Peter Diamandis and Stefan Wissenbach and a number of other people, where I'm actually contributing my time and my effort to projects which the other person essentially owns, and they make the money on it, because I wanted to see what it looks like if ... What I wanted to establish is, is there enough reward in collaborating with another person even if you don't own it, and you don't make the money on it, but you get enormous capability back. I wanted to test that out, and I was totally satisfied with it, that there was enough reward in the area of capabilities and credibility and connections that I could do it without the money side. So I had to satisfy myself that that was a viable proposition.
Then the other aspect about it is that I had a staff person who was managing us for two or three years, Eleanor Mancini, and she's a terrific project manager. She was doing all the backstage on this, and we were doing a lot of Zoom calls ... you were on one of them where we would take people who I knew were going to be in the first workshop, and we just did hour long Zoom calls about how they were thinking about Game Changers.
So I did a lot of little tests before the big production. Then Cathy Davis took over the entire production of materials, and actually she surprised me with the spiral rather than binder packaging of the materials. She came in one day and showed me the complete mock up. She says, "We've just been doing something behind the scenes." And she wants to do it for the whole program, but she used this as her test model to-
Dean: Yeah, that makes sense, right?
Dan: ... that wasn't even on my mind, and she just came in about six weeks before and she said, "What do you think of this?" I said, "Gee, that's terrific," and she said, "Well, you know ... But you have to have all the materials in three weeks before, because this was the first time we're doing it."
That was the other reason, I wasn't doing last minute creativity. A few weeks before I had all the material in. For a number of reasons, it wasn't the usual last minute jitters.
Dean: But there was still that ... You had that last three weeks though, you must have still had some-
Dan: No. No, I didn't. I didn't. Because I could see the confidence that if people had the collaboration that they felt very ... Oh, the other thing that I did. I did, at the Abundance 360 Venture, this is my, Peter's big show in January, a lot of our people were there, but there were nine of the people who were in the room when you attended the Game Changer, who had been at the Abundance conference. The last day I said, "Why don't we have lunch together, and tell everybody about our Game Changers?" And the lunch was so electric, of people just going around, nine of them, just talking about their Game Changers, so I said, "I know what it's going to be like."
So, I did a lot of testing in a forum of what the big... It was almost like I had rehearsed every part of the play as a separate entity, so I had them all in my mind-
Dean: You workshopped it.
Dan: I had been doing the podcasts with Steve Crine and I knew he was going to be a star. I could get him up there for an hour and he could talk about it, because we had already spent hours talking about how he's been a Game Changer.
Dean: That's awesome, and it was great, he did a great job.
Dan: I had a podcast with him the Friday after the Game Changer, and he said getting up and talking about his model had had a profound impact on him. He said, "People told me it had a great effect on them, but the truth is I jumped way ahead in my model simply because you asked me to share with other Game Changers.
Dean: That's great. It's really interesting, the deadlines thing. I very rarely have them, but I just, on Friday, Yesterday? What day is it today? Sunday? Friday, I spoke at DM Kennedy's Super Conference here in Orlando.
I'd known that was coming up for a while and I was doing a new talk that I've never shared a lot of the stuff there. Of course, I had the slides and everything to go with it, and there was this ... I made a really interesting distinction in the type of time, the sense of the leading up to it. Where it was, when I wake up and say, "Okay procrastination, what have you got for me today? Super Conference, there it is." Big noun, you know, Super Conference, as the thing front and center, which I was able to then just put the word brainstorm in front of that and say, "Brainstorm Super Conference."
So I was able to, with my remarkable tablet, be able to ... I had a whole Super Conference notebook, so that I was able to brainstorm and outline my way all the way through to. Then it just became assembling all the pieces, choosing the order, which was really just all done at the last minute. You do get some sort of clarity from that, I think, but I don't frame it as a negative thing any more. I didn't look at it as a negative type of stress, but more of a focusing kind of stress. I noticed how, the closer it got to the thing, literally the most focused that I got was the Friday morning of my giving the actual talk on Friday evening. But it was-
Dan: That's really-
Dean: ... it wasn't in a negative way, because I'd already had the brainstorming stuff done and-
Dan: It's really interesting that Cathy ... I've worked really closely with Cathy Davis on all my workshops and workshop material ... and I said the day before, the Tuesday, so this was the Monday when we had a workshop, I said to her, "That morning I will have an impact filter on you for the Game Changer, but only the morning of the Game Changer. I'm just going to establish in my mind what the first three hours are, because," I said, "by noon I'll be totally clear what the rest of the day looks like, but it's just getting things started."
So I showed it to her and she said, "That's terrific."
I said, "The biggest thing we have to do, even though it seems a little time-consuming, we have to let everybody in the room know who else is in the room with them. So they can start there, so they can start linking up already to interesting things that they find out about the other people."
There are some people who are really impatient in that room, and they, "Okay, get on with it," and I said, "That's the only thing we have to hold firm on. That unless everybody in the room knows who else is in the room and what their project is, it's not going to work." S
So that was my big thing for the morning, that you had to have this period where everybody stands up, says who they are, what they are, and what they're about. I said, "That is crucial for everybody in the room."
Dean: It took a long time. But it was-
Dan: An hour and-
Dean: It was riveting.
Dan: It was an hour and a half, but you could just feel the experiencing, expanding and deepening of collaboration as people went around. A lot of people, there's a sense of confidence about being in the room, that's from the least amount to the most amount. I would say about a third of the room said, "I'm not even sure I'm qualified to be in this room with these other people." But after that, everybody getting up and saying that, I think everybody felt they deserved to be there.
Dean: Yes. Agreed. I think it was really interesting to see, as you're listening of course, it is a clarifying thing to really get a sense of who are the people that you would best mesh with. That you've got this thing that they really need.
Dan: I have some people have been in the program for a long time and they said, "I'll just write you the check. Any time you create a higher level of the program I'll write a check." And I said, "Well, it's not the check, actually, it's you've got to have a new reality in the marketplace for yourself to be there," and they said, "Well, I'll get that when I come." And I said, "No, that's cheating, because everybody else is qualifying and you can't qualify differently."
I really held my guns, I really stuck to my guns on that one.
Dean: I can't wait to see what happens, to see it unfold.
Dan: I have to tell you Cathy, and I, are hard at work because you guys gave us a lot of obstacles in the strategies. I'm doing an impact filter on every obstacle and then we're going to come up with breakthrough thinking for a workshop. The second workshop.
Anyway, I felt afterwards, first of all it's really changed my iPad three Ten Times workshops since we did the Game Changer. I was a totally different kind of coach in those three workshops than I've ever been before. The reason is, and I didn't realize it until after the Game Changer, that before the Game Changer I've always felt that I'm at the bottom of a hill pushing people up, upwards, and since the Game Changer I feel that I'm on the top of the hill and I'm just encouraging them to get to the top.
Dean: That's a nice distinction, yes. It's interesting how your thoughts shaped the way that your-
Dan: You know, he's not my favorite person to quote, but Vladimir Lenin, the mass murderer psychopath who started the Soviet Union, said that, "There are certain thoughts that you can't think until you've performed certain types of actions."
Dean: That's an interesting quote. What did he mean by that?
Dan: What he considered to be a useful action is probably not the same ones that you and I consider to be useful actions. I mean, it's kind of like, once you've performed your first mass murder it comes easier to you, thinking about it comes easier to you. But there is a thing about action, and that is that you can only think yourself into progress and growth to a certain point, and then you actually have to go out and do something before your thought will actually jump to the next level, you know?
Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative) that’s true. The thing that started that thought with the lead up to speaking at the Super Conference, of course, was a crystal cling with a real deadline, involving other people, and all of the things that line something up to create that. You stress, that creates the outcome.
I thought about it that if I look back, I've kind of favored not being in situations like that. I prefer to set myself up to where there are not deadlines, and not things like that. But I'm wondering about ... It's a very different feeling on Saturday morning, waking up with virtually nothing pressing. I don't have anything coming up right now that I'm avoiding, that I'm actively procrastinating something right now. But there are always things that I am perpetually procrastinating, I guess.
Dan: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-
Dean: Right? Where there are things that I would love to do but I'm not driven by a deadline on it or anything, and I'm wondering if it almost has to have those things in order to be brought out, you know?
Dean: And would it be better, I look at those things of would it be better if I could rally a way to get myself to do some of those things without the need for a deadline for them?
Dan: Here's the thing, I think you are, and I am, both extremely more skillful in 2018 at identifying procrastination, seeing them in a positive rather than a negative way, and resolving them fairly quickly.
Dan: I certainly feel that. You know, that I-
Dean: I do too.
Dan: I'm much more skillful than I was two years ago, and yet I always seem to have a full slate of new ones.
Dean: Right, right.
Dan: So my feeling is that nature abhors a vacuum, and ignores any vacuum in your mind that doesn't have some sort of procrastination. So, as quickly as you get them transformed into someone else's action, your mind fills up again with some more procrastination.
Dean: I think you're right. You think about your rhythm of quarterly, it dictates a lot of things. Where it's the writing a book every quarter creates a deadline, creates a structured framework. Because that doesn't just happen on its own, right?
Dean: You had to have set that up, and everything else organizes around that.
Dan: Yeah. I'm just doing the book for September right now, we're sending the book for June to the printer next week, so the one next week is Capableism, which is an old prod about 20 years that I've developed into a book. Then the one for September is My Plan For Living To 156, which I think is going to go viral just because-
Dean: I do too, I think that's amazing.
Dan: Maybe we should just print the cover and send it out. But anyway, one of the chapters is, essentially, the mindset is, always leading an incomplete life. In the sense, don't think about really actually completing anything in your life, but instead take something and jump it to the next level. In other words, when it gets to be about 80 percent complete, just jump it to the next level.
And so, I've always been very resistant to the notion in life, of bringing your life to completion, of tying up loose ends and everything like that. I think it's a message to death to come and get you, that you're ready to go. Like bucket lists-
Dean: Ah, the bucket list. Have you seen The Bucket List?
Dan: I not only refuse to see the movie, I don't even want to entertain the idea. I think it's a bad idea, I think it's getting ready for death. What I'm noticing is, is that this thing of having procrastinations should be always present with you. That no matter how productive you are, there are things you're procrastinating on and that's important. That you always have the procrastinations, you know?
Dean: That's a valuable thought right there. That makes a lot of sense, because that's your-
Dan: Not only are procrastinations a positive thing, you should welcome them-
Dean: Yes. I know that I'm-
Dan: As long as you have a process for resolving the ones that are really going to lead to breakthrough actions within a certain framework of time, you should welcome them. I hadn't really seen that until I was going to my attitude towards completion. Because I said, "Lead an incomplete life. Don't lead a completion life, lead an incompletion life that you keep upgrading to the next level of life."
Dean: Right. Yes. I think you're right. That's almost like this sense of getting to a point where you have a clean slate, get free of procrastination.
Dan: Okay, I'm finally caught up, and then realizing you've created a vacuum.
Dean: Yeah, you're right, and now the joy is to immediately fill it up with bigger ambitions.
I think that is really what it is. Bigger ambitions, bigger intentions, bigger outcomes that you're looking for, and then get to work procrastinating your way to reaching all of those.
Dan: The thing is, I'm not quite sure how this relates, but my favorite scientific theorem is Gödel. He's Austrian or German, I think he's sort of on the border of Austria and Germany, and Einstein said his theorem was the greatest scientific breakthrough of the 20th Century and Einstein was someone who would know about breakthroughs. And what Gödel said, he said, "You can't be inside of a system and understand the system that you're in."
You know, you can't be inside the jar and know what's written on the label-
Dean: Read the label from inside the jar, right.
Dan: You can't read the label, but what I began to realize is that we can't be outside of our own thinking system. It's not possible for humans to get out, we're inside of particular thinking system and we don't know what it looks like from the outside. So, the whole notion of completing our thinking for a lifetime is a foolish thought, because we wouldn't even have the foggiest idea of what that actually meant. It's like fish imagining what life is like outside of water. It's not possible-
Dean: Well, what's water?
Dan: What's water, they don't even know what water is.
Dean: That was a great little cartoon that I saw one time, was the two fishes. "Did you ever think there's a whole life outside of the water?" The other one goes, "What's water?"
Dan: The closest I ever saw to a creature coming to grips to with their reality, it was a Gary Larson cartoon. It was two vultures and one of them says, "You know, I hate this waiting game. Why don't we just go and kill something?"
Dean: Kill something. That's right.
Dan: Kill something. That vulture is almost on the threshold of evolutionary breakthrough there.
My feeling is, what if procrastination is just the natural process of thinking? Of being a human being? It's a procrastination process, and it's very fundamental about what our existence is really about.
Dean: You know what's never dawned on me is actually to even look up the etymology of the word procrastinate in all the time we've been doing it, you know? Have you thought about that, or known that?
Dan: We should do that. That's an assignment for both of us-
Dan: ... and we can talk about that on our next one. Anyway, I have had, as always, been fantastically enjoyable to explore the various dimensions of procrastination, and what we're doing with it.
Dean: I love it. I'm going to take that, now that I have my decks clear, as they say, I'm going to take this opportunity to fill it up with things I can procrastinate, because I know how to deal with that. I know how to harness it.
Dan: The essence of this is that we both procrastinated on looking up the definition of procrastinate. That would be the Zen of procrastination. That we actually procrastinated on finding out what procrastination actually is.
Dean: I love it. That's a good title for this week. The Zen of Procrastination.
Dan: Yeah. Always a pleasure.
Dean: Always, Dan. I will talk to you ... Are we on for next week? I forget.
Dan: I'm in New York next week, so I have to cancel. The week after.
Dean: The week after.
Dan: The week after. Yeah. Okay.