“You’re a lot closer to changing your life than you think. You’re one more meeting, one more relationship, one more decision, one more action, or one more thought from leading the life you deserve.” – Ed Mylett
Find the strength to take one more swing at a change you’re trying to make by adopting three “one more” ways of thinking.
“One more” degree
Your life is governed by your standards.
Your standards are like a setpoint on an identity thermostat in your mind. Just as the thermostat in your house maintains a set temperature by turning on the furnace when the temperature drops below the setpoint, you maintain an identity setpoint by getting your butt in gear when your results dip below your standards.
- If your fitness thermostat is set at 75 degrees, you have low fitness standards and will wait until you are 20 pounds overweight or get winded while walking up a flight of stairs before you get a gym membership and make your fitness a priority.
- If your professional thermostat is set at 100 degrees, you have high professional standards. Therefore, you triple check important emails before hitting send and read business books to discover new work strategies and get better business results.
Mylett says (paraphrased), “Can you tolerate the business results you’re currently getting and the money you currently make? If you can, that’s what you’re going to continue getting. It’s only when you decide that you can no longer tolerate the results you’re getting that you start to change them.”
Raise your identity setpoint one degree each day and no longer tolerate mediocrity in all areas of your life by focusing on what Mylett calls the “trilogy of identity change:” faith, intention, and association. Renew your faith in your capacity to do great things, repeat an intention of the great things you want to do, and associate with people who are doing great things each day, and you will increase your identity thermostat setpoint one more degree.
The more your identity thermostat setpoint increases, the more you will push yourself to live the life you deserve. But if you don’t have the self-confidence to support your identity setpoint, you won’t maintain a high identity setpoint. That is why you must commit to doing “one more” than you promise.
“One more” than you promise
“Self-confident people share one habit in common, and that is the ability to keep the promises they make to themselves.” – Ed Mylett
What if you keep your promises to yourself…and do one more?
- When you go to the gym, you not only complete the three sets you planned…you do one more set.
- When you sit down to meditate, you not only complete your 20-minute meditation…you do one more minute.
- When it’s time to do your deep work for the day, you not only push your focus for 50 minutes…you push yourself one more time before quitting.
Doing one more than you promised may not seem like a big deal, but over time it leads to unstoppable self-confidence because you know that few other people keep their promises and even fewer do more than they promise.
“One more” day today
Several years ago, Ed Mylett decided that his day would no longer start when he woke and end when he went to bed. Instead, his “first day” would start at 6 a.m. and end at noon. His “second day” would start at noon and end at 6 p.m. And his “third day” would start at 6 p.m. and end at midnight. Mylett says, “I’m living more than 1,000 days in the same timeframe as others who think of themselves as living in a 365-day year. Who do you think has the advantage?”
By compressing his day to a six-hour block, Mylett moved up the finish line and made each day a sprint. He now lives with a greater sense of urgency and does not have time to procrastinate, because he needs to get done in 6 hours what other people get done in 18 hours. Not only does he bring more intensity to work, but he also brings more passion to every aspect of his life – he’s more loving and present with the people in his life and far more focused at the gym.
When you commit to 6-hour days, you squeeze the air out of the wasted parts of your day and are left with just enough time to do what is important and live a balanced life. Start seeing the finish line of your day at 12 p.m. and sprint to finish everything you would typically get done in day before 12 p.m. Then, when you hit the 12 p.m. finish line, push yourself to complete one more days’ worth of activities before going to sleep. By fitting “one more” day inside each day you will have more opportunity to take “one more” swing at the change you want to make and get the life you deserve.
About the author
ED MYLETT is an accomplished entrepreneur with a sincere desire to help others by sharing what he has learned as a businessman, husband, father, and philanthropist. In a few short years, he has amassed millions of followers online, launched a popular podcast, written the bestselling book #MAXOUT Your Life: Strategies for Becoming an Elite Performer, and spoken to vast numbers of people globally through his keynote speeches.
Ed remains humble about his success, attributing his good fortune to his faith in God, his mentors, and the lessons his father taught him throughout life.
Business Culture, Motivational Management and Leadership, Small Business, Business Mentoring and Coaching
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 One More Identity
Chapter 2 One More and Living in Your Matrix
Chapter 3 One More Try
Chapter 4 One More and the Five Principles of Time Management
Chapter 5 One More Emotion
Chapter 6 One More Association
Chapter 7 One More Dream
Chapter 8 One More Question to Ask Ourselves
Chapter 9 One More Goal
Chapter 10 One More Higher Standard
Chapter 11 One More Impossibility Thinkers and Possibility Achievers
Chapter 12 One More Habit
Chapter 13 One More Multiplier
Chapter 14 One More Inconvenience
Chapter 15 One More and Defining Leadership
Chapter 16 One More and My 11 Leadership Principles
Chapter 17 One More Degree of Equanimity
Chapter 18 One More Prayer
Chapter 19 One Last One More
About the Author
You’re one more intentional thought and action away from discovering your best life
In The Power of One More, renowned keynote speaker and performance expert Ed Mylett draws on 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur and coach to top athletes, entertainers, and business executives to reveal powerful strategies to help you live an extraordinary “one more” life.
In The Power of One More, you’ll:
- Learn why you’re closer to your dreams and goals than you think and why using The Power of One More strategies will help you cross the finish line in whatever race you’re running
- Understand the psychology and science of how to use The Power of One More in every part of your life to help you solve problems and achieve levels of success you never thought possible
- Discover time-tested and unique solutions to challenges that will remove the mental roadblocks you’ve been battling for years
Perfect for anyone who wants more bliss, wealth, or better relationships, The Power of One More is an indispensable roadmap to realizing and exceeding your personal and professional goals by tapping into the superpowers and gifts you already have inside you.
Video and Podcast
From the Inside Flap
The Power of One More is the result of more than 30 years of accumulated knowledge that Ed Mylett has used to become a highly successful entrepreneur, performance coach, bestselling author, podcaster, and one of the world’s most inspirational public speakers.
This groundbreaking book is the first of its kind, revealing how you can combine thoughts and actions to unlock dynamic and impactful changes.
The premise of The Power of One More is simple: you are closer to living your best life than you may think.
In 19 turbo-charged chapters, Ed lays out dozens of practical strategies that show how you’re only one more thought and action away from transforming your life from average to extraordinary. You’ll learn the power of developing one more habit, fighting through one more inconvenience, creating one more identity, building one more relationship, and many others.
The Power of One More also introduces you to several of Ed’s breakthrough ideas in detail for the first time, including:
- Your Reticular Activating System and how to live in your Matrix
- Why you should become an Impossibility Thinker and a Possibility Achiever
- The dynamics of team chemistry and becoming a One More Multiplier
- A meaningful discussion of Faith, Energy, and Quantum Science
Ed also takes you on a highly personal journey detailing the relationship between him and his father and how his father taught Ed one of life’s most priceless lessons: the power of “One Last One More.”
The strategies in The Power of One More are universal. You can incorporate them into your life whether you’re a CEO, a world-class athlete, active in your community, or if you want to build better relationships with your family and friends.
The Power of One More is a must-read for anyone seeking a happier and more successful life.
From the Back Cover
REVOLUTIONARY STRATEGIES THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER
The premise of The Power of One More is simple. You’re much closer to the life you dream of than you think you are. You’re often only one more meeting, one more relationship, one more decision, one more action, or one more thought away from leading the life you deserve.
In this groundbreaking book, Ed Mylett introduces you to dozens of strategies he has used for 30 years to become a highly prosperous entrepreneur, performance coach, and globally sought-after inspirational speaker.
The Power of One More teaches you how to combine intentional thoughts and actions to produce huge changes in your life. In addition to fresh insights on important topics like leadership, time management, habits, and goal setting, Ed also introduces you to new and unique concepts on Impossibility Thinking, Living in Your Matrix, Equanimity, Faith and Prayers, and why you must embrace inconvenience in your life.
Perfect for anyone seeking more happiness and success, The Power of One More is your indispensable roadmap to a better life.
Read an Excerpt/PDF Preview
THE POWER OF ONE MORE IS THE CULMINATION OF A PHILOSOPHY I’ve been developing for more than 30 years.
At its core, The Power of One More is about your willingness to do one more rep, make one more phone call, get up one hour earlier, build one more relationship, or do one more thing for whatever your situation calls for.
You can find your best life by doing “one more” than the world expects from you.
I wrote The Power of One More to transform your life by adopting strategies I’ve successfully used time and time again. By living a One More life, you can completely change your relationships, finances, emotions, the way you do business, your outlook on life, and more.
You were not born to be average or ordinary. You were born to do something great with your life.
I know this about you.
The Power of One More is a dynamic contract between us. It’s an important exchange of ideas and knowledge. Depending on who you are, what I’m about to teach you will impact each one of you differently. By changing how you think and act, you’ll find answers in those areas of life that matter most to you.
The beauty of all this is that, most times, the answers are relatively simple.
But for whatever reasons, you may not have been able to see them or resolve them on your own. Figuring out where to begin can feel daunting. Most people are under the impression there are a thousand different things they must do to change their lives. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I’ve learned, and you will too, that one more thing is often all it takes. And frequently, it’s only one more step away from where you are now.
Begin with ONE MORE.
You’re a lot closer to changing your life than you think. You’re one more meeting, one more relationship, one more decision, one more action, or one more thought from leading the life you deserve. The Power of One More challenges you to become hyper‐focused and addicted to searching for the “one mores” in your life. The more you begin to see them and then execute the actions to realize them, the more your life will change.
The individual thoughts and actions you take don’t need to be profound. However, when you compound these small thoughts and actions and stack them up on top of each other, the resulting changes over time are profound.
I’ll teach you to keep promises to yourself, creating an internal belief system that you are destined for a better life than what you have now. When you implement One More strategies, you live by a set of principles above and beyond those of most other people.
This is not just a “how to succeed in business” or a “how to succeed in your relationships” book, although, for some, it will be. For most of you, this book will have several applications. That’s why you should think of this as a “how to succeed in your life” book. Your challenge is to take these strategies and apply them to the areas of your life that matter to you.
There are no wasted words on these pages, but some parts of this book will connect with you more than others. Certain principles will challenge your ways of thinking, beliefs, and values. And several will land on you like a ton of bricks and change your life forever. I’ve purposely designed these strategies to be universal as well. You’re going to read about principles that apply to all people in every area of life.
You can take lessons from each chapter whether you’re a world‐class athlete, a CEO, a rapidly rising star in the business world, a parent, or still in college. Some of you will use this book to transform your life completely. Others will focus on insights to enhance specific parts of your life that are lacking or troublesome.
I’m confident The Power of One More will resonate with you because, in many ways, I’m just like you. I’m not the person now that I was when I first started on my own transformational journey. Like you, I struggled at times. I get what it’s like to worry about money, relationships, and my purpose in life. I know what it’s like to lack confidence, fall into a slump, and wonder if I’ll ever feel happy. I’ve been beyond poor, to the point I couldn’t even pay the water bill in an apartment where my wife and I once lived.
I’ve faced health problems.
I’ve lost people close to me.
And over the years, I’ve battled doubt, frustration, fear, and anxiety.
I’ve lived with not having the answers. Even worse, I’ve also been in places where I didn’t know what paths to take to find the answers I so desperately sought.
For those of you who have lived in a stressful or dysfunctional family, I also know what that’s like. Later in this book, I’m going to tell you about the personal challenges I faced being raised by an alcoholic father who was also my hero, and how that impacted my self‐esteem.
In fact, one of the reasons I’ve become so proficient at learning how to grow is because I had such a far place from which to come. The truth is, I needed to learn how to grow so I could simply function to reach a baseline.
The good coming from all of this is that it reinforced my belief people can dramatically change their lives. I saw it firsthand from watching how much my father changed over the years.
I also wrote The Power of One More because after years and years of struggling, and trial and error, I learned what it takes to succeed in life. I’ve paid a price, but I now know what many of the answers are and what it takes to win.
Along the way, I’ve also watched good friends and business associates chase what they think is fun at the expense of winning. Sadly, they become distracted and lose sight of just how good winning feels. Then they spend a lot more time and energy trying to get to a place they could have been already.
When I first started out, I often set fun aside in favor of winning. The ironic thing is, it didn’t take long before I figured out that winning is fun. In fact, one of the quotes I’m best known for is, “Winning is more fun than fun is fun.” When you’re finished reading this book, hopefully you’ll think so, too.
I’ve been living by these principles for 30 years, applying what I’ve learned to design my best life. My goal for The Power of One More is to help you identify your talents, gifts, and abilities, then maximize them for your own greater good and for the people around you.
Many self‐improvement and performance books I read say the same thing over and over. I don’t know about you, but I lose interest after a couple of chapters. I purposely set out to make The Power of One More different in that respect. The strategies and philosophies I’m going to share with you are unique unto themselves.
The Power of One More teaches you to combine your gifts with directed, intentional thoughts and focused actions. That gives you the resources you need to produce the standards, goals, and outcomes you deserve. Every one of the principles I share in these pages has worked for me beyond my wildest dreams. I’m also humbled and aware that I’ve been gifted with a certain amount of luck and God’s blessings.
You have your own version of these same gifts as well. But, like me, you also need to put in the work and keep an open mind when it comes to making changes in your life. In many cases, those changes won’t be easy at first. In fact, the more worthy a goal and the more changes you go through to reach it, the more resistance you’ll encounter. Expect that—plan for it. When you put yourself in the right frame of mind and you’re mentally tough, you’ll succeed more often than you otherwise would.
The Power of One More is the product of years upon years of how I have lived, grown, and changed my life to produce wealth, happiness, and meaningful relationships with people I care about deeply. I want to share the lessons I’ve learned with you so that you can lead your best life, too.
Approach The Power of One More like a key that will unlock your mind, and you may be surprised how one more thought and one more action will change your life forever.
Remember, we’re a lot alike, you and me.
If I can do it, you can too.
1 One More Identity
They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. —Andy Warhol
IN MANY WAYS, RESHAPING YOUR IDENTITY IS THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPT of what it means to be a One More thinker and doer.
Your identity is a powerful and influential driver that governs outcomes in all parts of your life. Identity defines the limits of your success, finances, and achievements. It controls the quality of your emotions, relationships, and self‐worth.
What exactly is identity? I define it as the thoughts, concepts, and beliefs we hold as the most genuine parts of our inner being. You can put on a face or act a certain way for the rest of the world, but you can’t lie to yourself when it comes to these things. Deep inside, you know what’s true about you.
Put another way, identity is this: What we perceive about ourselves is what we believe about ourselves.
Here’s the paradox about identity. Many people know they could improve their lives significantly if they changed their identity. However, many people aren’t willing to take the necessary steps, even when it’s in their own best interests.
Are you willing to sacrifice who you are for who you could be? The answer should be a resounding “Yes!” That’s a logical conclusion and sounds obvious, so it’s a mystery why lots of people struggle with this fundamental question. You weren’t put on this Earth to be a bump on a log, or a lump of coal in the ground. Your mission is to keep growing, expanding, and learning to lead a full and happy life. When you do these things, your identity will change.
Identity is so important because it unlocks so many other amazing things in your life. When you create a One More identity, you give yourself the gift of taking control by dictating internal messages instead of being governed by external forces that have been undermining your happiness, possibly since the day you were born.
Your Identity Is Shaped Early in Childhood
As a child, you were a blank canvas. You were impressionable, happy, and accepting.
You had no reason to believe the external world was out to hurt you in any way. Gradually, you learned to function in the world based on what you were taught by your parents, family members, friends, teachers, and others with whom you came in contact.
Of course, many people were well intentioned. However, that doesn’t mean what they taught you was always right. The fact is, nobody is ever always right. As a child, you accepted much of what you were told, right or wrong. Your identity became the good and the bad parts of how other people influenced you. The unfortunate thing is that you were defenseless. Your critical thinking skills did not exist to give you the tools you needed to survive in the world.
As you grew older, you began to confirm your identity. If someone said you weren’t a good student or a lousy athlete, that became a part of your identity. You still didn’t have the capacity to disavow what you were being told. You grew into adulthood, and you carried with you these beliefs about yourself. Your identity had taken root. Your limitations became a part of you, and because they were so ingrained, you weren’t even sure where they came from.
That’s a lot of baggage to lug around, isn’t it?
By the time you were old enough and able to question your identity, you were living with the identity you had adopted at a time when you didn’t have a choice. Of course, this assumes you’re even aware of how your identity impacts you. Many people simply go through life, screwed up and unsuccessful, and never quite knowing why.
However, as a One More thinker, you are now aware, and you can change your identity once you become intentional about it. Here’s how.
Adjusting Your Identity Thermostat
I’ve touched briefly on your identity thermostat in the past, but now I want to give you more details on how this concept can work on your behalf. Your identity is the force that governs your life and regulates your results. Think of it like a thermostat. Your internal thermostat sets the conditions of your life.
You walk into a room, and if it’s too hot or too cold, you look for a thermostat to adjust the temperature to what you like. It doesn’t matter what the external conditions are. The temperature can be 100 degrees outside, but if the thermostat is set for 75 degrees, it kicks on, and the air conditioning cools down the temperature and regulates the environment. The same applies when it’s 30 degrees outside. The thermostat kicks in and warms your surroundings to 75 degrees.
Your life works exactly the same way. If you’re a 75‐degree person, you turn on the air conditioners of your life and cool it back down to what you think you’re worth. This is what happens every time your results begin to exceed your identity. You unconsciously turn on the air conditioners of your life and cool it back down to what you believe you deserve.
Much like a thermostat, your identity regulates your internal self‐ worth. It regulates your actions and results. Many people are under the false assumption that external factors are what regulates your thermostat. They believe that getting a promotion, getting married to the love of your life, or getting an advanced degree from college determines their identity. If you don’t raise your identity, then eventually you will turn the air conditioning of your life on sooner or later, and that temperature will drop back down to 75 degrees, or some other setting you don’t want, simply because you didn’t take charge and decide what identity you wanted. However, if your thermostat is set the right way, it will transcend conditions and you will find success no matter what the external conditions are.
The truth is that you can acquire all the talents, skills, and abilities you want, but until they align with your identity, you’ll fall short of the goals you’ve set. That applies across the board.
For example, think about your fitness identity. Let’s suppose you lost 20 pounds at one time in your life. Despite being armed with the best weight‐ loss recipes or workout regimens, a year later, you added all that weight back on and you’re right where you started. That’s because, when your fitness identity thermostat is set at 75 degrees, it means you’re comfortable carrying 20 extra pounds, and try as you might, you’ll always drift back to that 75‐degree setting.
You can take all the right actions with diet and exercise, but if your internal thermostat is not set for success and remains at 75 degrees, eventually you’ll drift back to your old thermostat setting by eating the wrong food or falling out of a solid workout regimen. You’ll use external circumstances to find ways to cool you back down to what your internal circumstances believe you’re worth.
Here’s another example. Maybe you’re doing well financially, but you can’t seem to get to that next level of wealth you think you deserve. You may want $10 million in the bank. However, until you turn up your thermostat to believe your identity is worth $10 million, even if you make that much money, your thermostat will eventually cool you off to what your identity believes you are worth. It may take a few years, but eventually, unless you change that internal thermostat, you’ll start to experience financial setbacks. Chances are these types of situations and many others are something you’ve experienced.
There’s no shortage of information, coaching, or paths to success in any part of your life. So it follows, the barriers to success are found inside of you. That is why you can do all the right things and still not get the results you wanted.
Remember this key point! Unconsciously, we always find a way to get back to where our thermostat is set based on what we think we’re worth.
Simply put, you can’t achieve 100 degrees of fitness or wealth with a thermostat set for 75 degrees of fitness or wealth. Your thermostat boxes you in until you can create a new identity that triggers growth and change. This isn’t to say that you can’t achieve success, because you will in many cases. However, unless you adjust your identity, down the road, your thermostat will bring you back to where your identity is set.
Typically, most people blame external forces when this happens. Do these examples sound familiar?
I tweaked my back and couldn’t work out for eight weeks, and then I lost interest in getting fit.
The economy turned, and I lost a ton of money in the stock market, so I gave up on my dream of being worth $10 million.
If your thermostat isn’t set high enough, you’ll see these as coincidences, karma, or bad luck that conspired against you. But that’s not what they are. If your thermostat is set high enough, these are little more than temporary setbacks.
However, the difference between you as a One More person and everyone else is that you will view these as speedbumps on the road to your goals. You won’t use temporary setbacks as an excuse to create permanent failures. You’ll have the grit it takes to gravitate to where your thermostat is set, and eventually, you’ll rise to that temperature.
Remember, as a One More person, change comes from thinking and acting. This book is not about doing one thing or the other. You must do them in unison. When you think and act in congruency, you don’t cool your thermostat back down. Instead, you’re best positioned to turn your thermostat up to achieve the results you deserve.
The Trilogy of Changing Your Identity
Once you buy into the concept that changing your identity is the key to changing your life, the question then becomes, “How do I readjust my thermostat to create my new identity?” That process is anchored in a Trilogy of core principles: faith, intentions, and associations.
According to Matthew 17:20–21, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Nothing moves mountains quite like faith. The same applies to moving your thermostat so that you can move your identity to a new place, too. If you’re a person of faith, whether you practice Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, or any other faith‐based teachings, fundamentally, you believe that your God loves you.
As part of my faith, I believe that I come from the most extraordinary DNA in the world: God’s DNA. As an extension of this, I also believe that God did not make me in His image to live with a thermostat set at 75 degrees. My God, and your spiritual deity, too, created us to live a full faith‐based life with a thermostat set at 100 degrees.
Many people say they lead faith‐based lives, but how many of us say they have God and faith in all parts of their lives? Several people I know read the Bible, go to church, and are kind‐hearted and loving people. But do these same people extend their faith into their beliefs about personal fitness, finance, relationships, and business? In many cases, the answer is “No.” One of the keys to changing your identity is to let faith move mountains in all parts of your life.
When our actions are based on good intentions, our soul has no regrets. —Anthony Douglas Williams
I meet many people who constantly beat themselves up for where they are in life instead of giving themselves credit for their intentions to move to a new identity. If this sounds like you, all you’re doing is reinforcing your current identity—your 75‐degree life.
Do these moans sound familiar?
I’d give myself more credit if I had gotten that promotion.
My life is a complete mess since I got divorced three years ago.
I’m a failure since I had to claim bankruptcy during the pandemic.
You’re not letting yourself up off the mat when you do this. It’s a dead‐bang loser of an approach to life. You’re not being fair to the person who matters most—you!
Thinking this way creates a downward spiral, and the farther down you spin, the harder it is to climb out of it and create a new identity. You’ll accept frustration. You won’t want to be around people. And, quite frankly, most people won’t want to be around you.
Instead of souring on life, flip your script. Tell yourself you intend to do good and to serve. That you intend to create a thriving business and have money in the bank. You intend to treat the people around you with care and are worthy of a loving and caring relationship. Apply good intentions to all parts of your life, and then watch what happens.
Your intentions will set your mind to work creating your new identity. Your brain works on what it is told. When you tell your brain what you want to attract, it will design internal messages that will feed the good parts of who you are and manifest themselves in a new identity over time. Intentions are the currency that lets you make deposits in your “identity bank” instead of you creating a run on that bank that will eventually drive you into identity bankruptcy.
Consider the words of T. F. Hodge, “What surrounds us is what is within us.”
You can’t possibly stay at 75 degrees if you hang out with people operating at 100 degrees.
Through proximity, you absorb the traits, actions, and beliefs of the people you associate with. Consciously and unconsciously, their knowledge and ideas become a part of who you are.
This is why you should seek out quality associations that can either directly or indirectly help you grow to be the 100‐degree person you’re meant to be.
The other side of this is that if you want to raise your thermostat and change your identity, you may need to say goodbye to many of the 50‐degree people in your life.
Yes, I know that can be a hard thing to do. Until you clear out space in your life for the right associations, you’ll be mired in relationships that have outlived their purpose and now hold you back. I’m not saying this part is easy, but at times, it is necessary.
The other way to approach this is to reject 50‐degree behavior and raise other people’s thermostats instead. This is an especially viable approach when you’re dealing with family members or lifelong friends where saying goodbye could be difficult.
The bottom line is that you’re a reflection of the people you associate with. If you associate with people who elevate you and make your thermostat rise, then you’re on the right path to creating a new identity. Once you’re armed with awareness of the Trilogy, you can only move forward if you adjust the level of self‐confidence you have to change your identity.
Self‐Confidence Is the Unifying Factor
I go into greater detail in Chapter 12 on habits, but self‐confidence and how it relates to identity are crucial concepts worth repeating.
The first thing to know is that identity is different than self‐confidence. Identity is what you believe you’re worth. Your internal thermostat. Self‐ confidence is the means to deliver on it.
Self‐confident people share one habit in common, and that is the ability to keep the promises they make to themselves. When you’re in the habit of keeping promises you make with yourself, you’re on the pathway to self‐ confidence.
Self‐confidence is also a form of self‐trust, and if you can’t trust yourself, you need to do some hard thinking about your life.
It also follows that if you’re timid, you won’t act. If you have doubts, you’ll paralyze yourself with fear. Doubts are the products of external factors in your life. They are incubators for negative thoughts. When these negative thoughts grow, they take over all your thoughts, and your mind descends into unproductive and damaging places.
That’s why you must guard your thoughts. Pull out the mental weeds that threaten to take over the good parts of your psyche. You may not get them all, and that’s okay. Self‐confidence is not about doing away with fear or timidity. It’s about moving forward anyway because of the agreements you made with yourself.
The other critical thing is that self‐confidence is generated from within. And because it’s an internal emotion, you can stack the deck in your favor. Ralph Waldo Emerson put it this way: “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”
Let this sink in. You are the only one who gets a say in how much self‐ confidence you want. When you break internal agreements, you’re only fighting with yourself. If this sounds a bit crazy, that’s because it is.
Wouldn’t you rather save your energy for the other battles you’re fighting? Like most things in life, when keeping a promise to yourself, the first step is always the hardest. I guarantee that once your train of thought pulls out of that station in your head, you’ll find the momentum you need to act.
You’ll see results as you develop a new identity. Those results will be the fuel that keeps that train moving on down the tracks.
The opposite of self‐confidence is self‐sabotage. It’s like a computer virus that lurks inside many people and is only triggered when you try to move forward with an important part of your life. Self‐sabotage triggers discouragement and doubt, the mortal enemies of self‐confidence.
Farnham Street Media founder Shane Parrish perfectly described how these things could damage you when he said, “Optimism might not make you successful, but pessimism will ensure you don’t succeed.” When you self‐ sabotage, you dial down your thermostat and deny yourself the bliss that was headed into your life.
Maybe this is you. Perhaps it’s somebody you know. Some people just have a knack for being given a gift and then finding a way to undermine the outcome. The worst part is that the same people seem to repeat this type of thing over and over. They’re labeled the “hot‐mess” or somebody who hasn’t gotten their life together yet. In reality, they’ve just dialed their thermostat to what they believe they’re worthy of receiving.
How often have you seen somebody you know meet the woman or the man of their dreams, only to cheat on them, be gross and inappropriate, or downright rude? Do you know people who have made a pile of money but then go on a self‐destructive spree using drugs and alcohol, recklessly spending, or gambling their wealth away? Most of us have also heard cautionary tales of pro athletes who don’t train or eat well or who overindulge in vices, and in some cases, it costs them their lives. They’re all guilty of self‐sabotage because their lack of discipline is a lack of self‐confidence that does not match up and support their identity. Their internal thermostat doesn’t match the initial success they’ve enjoyed. Eventually, that thermostat resets itself, and the person crashes back down to where their thermostat says they should be.
It’s sad when this happens because it doesn’t need to be this way. Here’s an exercise I use to destroy self‐sabotage, discouragement, and doubt. I pay attention when I have a self‐sabotaging thought. I mentally record that thought. Then, I visualize and see myself scratching it out. The first time I record the thought and strike it out, I’ll still see it. So I do this repeatedly, as many times as it takes, until I can no longer see the thought because it is so marked over and blacked out. When I get to the point where I can’t see it, the thought has been stricken from my mind. My mind no longer lives with the thought, and that thought loses its limiting power on me.
To successfully align with your One More Identity, you must keep the right promises with yourself. You must eliminate negatives and create an environment where self‐confidence becomes an asset instead of one more thing you fear.
Now that you know more about how self‐confidence and identity work together, it’s time to look at misconceptions that can skew proper thinking.
Misconceptions About Self‐Confidence and Identity Recognize and reject these misconceptions, and you’ll fortify your quest for a new identity:
I am what I possess. Lots of people link self‐confidence and identity to their possessions. They make the flawed assumption that the more possessions they acquire, the higher their self‐confidence will be, and the more perfect their new identity will be.
That’s not the case. It’s a hollow approach to self‐confidence and identity.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with acquiring material things. I would be disingenuous if I told you that. What I don’t do is link my possessions and material wealth with my self‐confidence and my identity. I consciously keep them separate, and so should you.
I am my accomplishments. This is a horrible trap to fall into because all your life, to feel good about your self‐confidence and your identity, you’re going to have an insatiable need to keep accomplishing things.
Keep it simple. You are you. You were put on this Earth to do great things but feeding your ego is an insidious trap. By all means, attempt great things. Accomplish great things. Just don’t get so caught up in patting yourself on the back that you lose the humility you should have. Remember, it can all be taken away in an instant. And if you use your accomplishments as a crutch for your self‐worth, that fall will be hard, I guarantee you.
I am what other people say I am. Wrong. The essence of self‐ confidence and internalizing your search for a new identity flies in the face of this belief. Forget the ego strokes. Don’t base your worth on social media hearts and likes. Don’t beg for compliments. It’s a cheap and needy way to live your life. When you do, you’re doing the opposite of improving your self‐confidence and designing your new identity.
What I look like means everything. So many people fall into the trap of what they think beauty should be. This is especially true for women who are bombarded with television programs, blogs, podcasts, social media, and magazines, all of which place an extreme focus on external beauty.
Here’s the real deal. True beauty comes from within. Your beauty comes from your soul, intentions, your capacity to give, how you treat people, your beliefs, and your kind heart. It’s not bad to work on your health, lose weight, dress in nice clothes, and pay attention to your grooming. The trick is to do it for you and nobody else. Remember, you are defined by the content of your character and not by the reflection in your bathroom mirror.
As a One More thinker, your identity is foundational to who you are. Use the Trilogy and apply self‐confidence to find the right temperature on your identity thermostat. When you do, you’re well on your way not only to creating your best identity but also to leading your best life.
2 One More and Living in Your Matrix
This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit‐hole goes. —Morpheus, The Matrix
I’M A HUGE FAN OF THE MATRIX. Not only was it a groundbreaking movie when it was released in 1999, but the film is also stacked with One More lessons. If you haven’t seen The Matrix yet, stay with me. It’s all going to make sense in a moment. Also, be advised, spoilers are ahead.
The Matrix tells the story of Keanu Reeves’s character, a computer programmer, Thomas A. Anderson, who leads a double life as the hacker Neo. He joins forces with legendary hacker Morpheus in a quest to destroy artificial intelligence that is running human life, known as the Matrix. As they battle the Agents that protect the Matrix, Neo begins to display super‐ human gifts—including the ability to slow down time—that indicate he could be The One, or the chosen person to bring down the Matrix.
Speaking of The One, I want you to realize something. When you see a happy or financially successful family, understand that at some point in their history, they weren’t happy or successful. That is, until The One showed up, and The One in that family changed the family tree forever.
The One can change the emotions, finances, level of happiness, and the way the family thinks, among many other things.
In my family, I am The One. Not because I wanted it or I liked it, but because I was ready to fight for it, and because I learned the strategies it takes to be The One.
My prayer for you is for you to become The One in your family. The reason I love the story of Neo being The One is because I believe it’s a metaphor for what exists in every family.
It bears repeating. When you see a family that is happy, successful, or living out their dreams, understand that they did not start out that way. And then, The One in that family stepped up and changed that family legacy forever. I’m teaching you about the Matrix so that you can be The One who steps up in your family, too.
Here’s something that may surprise you.
What if I told you that you’re already living in your Matrix? What if I told you there are already forces at work deep inside you that are slowing down parts of your life, interpreting and reinforcing what you’ve already programmed into your consciousness? You’re not even aware this is happening.
But it is.
Your Matrix is a more colloquial name for your reticular activating system, RAS for short. Your RAS is the filter that gives weight to the important things in your life and filters out the things that are not.
The RAS is a concept I’ve talked about in the past. Much like creating a One More identity, I haven’t explored it as much as we’re going to do in this chapter. And just like a One More identity, learning about your RAS is vital to linking with many of the other chapters in this book.
However, while understanding the science behind your RAS is important, because people are sometimes intimidated or turned off by heavy duty scientific concepts, I’ve translated our discussion into a more accessible and digestible strategy using the Matrix as an example.
Whether you identify it as your RAS or your Matrix, remember this. Think of the RAS as the filter that reveals to you what’s most important to you in your life.
Here’s an example that illustrates how the RAS works. Let’s say you want to buy a blue van. Immediately, you start seeing blue vans everywhere. It could three lanes over on a freeway, when you’re out running errands, or dropping your kids off at school.
Guess what? Those blue vans were always there, you just never noticed them before. But now you see them because they’ve become a part of your RAS. They have been filtered into your consciousness since they have become important to you.
This extends out to other parts of your life. For example, the clients, your level of fitness, the relationships, or the emotions you want become your blue vans. They were always there; you just never saw them because they weren’t programmed into your RAS. You just filtered them out because they weren’t important enough to you at the time.
How do they become important? Through repeated visualization and thought. These things teach your RAS what it should be hearing, looking for, and feeling because your mind moves toward what it is most familiar with.
This is what I mean by slowing down. When you repeatedly visualize and obsessively think about something, you tell your RAS to pay attention to that thought, and that’s when the world slows down.
That’s how the RAS works.
You already do this exceptionally well, but chances are you don’t do it with enough direction, intention, or awareness. However, if you can direct your RAS to focus better on the blue vans in your life, then your life begins to change.
One More thinkers learn to work in concert with their Matrix. In turn, this repeatedly creates opportunities and outcomes that will fast‐forward your life in countless ways.
Living a Deeper Life by Slowing Down Your Matrix
The concept of slowing down time can be traced back to ancient civilizations. The fifth‐century BC philosopher Zeno posed the question, “If a flying arrow appears to be at rest in any particular instant in flight, doesn’t that actually make it motionless?” It was one of many paradoxes he posed in his time.
We’ve come a long way since then. But the concept of our relationship with time still fascinates us. Just like in The Matrix, if you want to live a deeper, more meaningful life, you must learn to slow down your internal pace. From a technical standpoint, The Matrix used cinematic special effects to create what has become known as bullet time. Bullet time was created by placing 120 cameras in a 360‐degree circle around the action, taking thousands of shots, and then stitching those shots together. The results make viewers feel like they’re moving around a slow‐motion scene that plays out in a matter of seconds, which is what you ultimately see in the movie.
As directors, the Wachowskis weren’t the first to use the technique, but they were the first to take it mainstream. It’s used several times in The Matrix and subsequent sequels, but the best known and remembered use is when Neo dodges bullet after bullet on a rooftop—hence, bullet time.
Bullet time can work for you, too. It’s the equivalent of an extreme version of “stopping to smell the roses.” But it’s a lot more than that. When you strategically slow down your physical and mental being, you create a space that allows your senses and brain to reset. You see things differently, and you start to realize One Mores have been there all along.
You just needed to change the variables in your life to see them. The key is to be aware of your circumstances and your environment. Bullet time allows you to go looking for one more business deal, concentrate on one more way to improve your tennis game, or one more way to make your marriage better.
I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it. —Morpheus
It takes time and focus to engage in your present life. Much like The Matrix, you’ll be more invested in what happens to you when you put forth this effort.
Just as important, you must consciously decide which path you want to choose. This brings us to the famous blue pill versus red pill choice Neo must make. When Morpheus asks Neo to choose between the pills, he essentially asks Neo to choose between fate and free will.
In The Matrix, taking the blue pill represents choosing fate. All choices are already decided, and actions are predetermined. The concept of choice is only an illusion. Neo instead opts for the red pill and places himself in a place of free will where he can change his fate based on his decisions. He joins Morpheus and Trinity, another key freedom fighter, who also place a higher value on free will, no matter how unpleasant that world is.
Everyone has this same ability to choose their reality. One More thinkers are simply more intentional about it. They choose free will and action because they know what they want and combine thinking and action to move them closer to their standards and goals. They raise their awareness levels. In doing so, they slow down their world. And their world changes to better align with what they want in life.
Neo, sooner or later you’re going to realize, just as I did, there’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path. —Morpheus
Because of the pace of our lives, we often choose to look at only certain things. To travel along pre‐established paths. For many, it’s a matter of expediency. But it also eliminates several colors in the big, beautiful rainbow of life.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if this sounds like you. From the time we’re born, we’re taught to obey others, follow the rules, and memorize facts. As the world goes faster and faster, it’s more of a struggle to keep up in a light‐ speed technologically driven era. To survive, we constantly accept that others decide what’s best for us and that we should follow without question.
What if you challenged that assumption? Not all the time, but in the areas of your life that are important to you. What if you gave yourself a mental time‐ out and thought long and hard about the choices you face? What if you explored your options more deeply when it mattered?
One More thinkers should be more deeply engaged in their own lives when possible. Your Matrix and your choice between the red pill and the blue pill are waiting for you.
How Your Matrix Works
It’s cool to attach a movie label to one of your core functions. But to fully appreciate how your Matrix works, you need to understand the science behind your Matrix as well.
I mentioned the reticular activating system (RAS) earlier. It’s the mental muscle that allows you to recalibrate your Matrix. Your RAS filters things into your awareness that are important to you and filters out the things that are not.
In neurological terms, reticular means “net or web‐like.” The RAS is a network web formation of nerve cells and their connections located deep in your brainstem, between your spinal cord, traversing up through your thalamus in the center of your brain. These cells extend outward to your cerebral cortex, which is the thin layer of neural tissue on the surface of your brain.
The RAS does not interpret the quality or the type of sensory input you provide it. The RAS activates your entire cerebral cortex, putting it on high alert. This increased arousal creates an enhanced ability to interpret incoming information and preps the brain for appropriate action.
Appropriate action means that the RAS alters your brain’s electrical activity, regulating the electrical voltage of brain waves and the speed at which nerve cells engage. It also releases chemicals that regulate sleep, pain, motor function, emotions, and memories. These chemicals include acetylcholine that regulates movement, and dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin that are associated with consciousness and feelings. The RAS has been linked to psychological disorders, too. Abnormalities in the RAS result in schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, and post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among others.
When you’re awake, your brain produces low‐voltage brain waves that are incredibly fast so that you can organize information quickly and attentively. The same thing occurs during the rapid eye movement (REM) cycle of sleep, which produces intense dreaming, body movements, and faster breathing and pulse rates.
How the RAS configures these signals also makes you more or less alert, more or less cognizant, and will determine how your brain interprets various messages you receive. In this way, the RAS is your brain’s natural filtering system. It filters out everything that’s not important to you or unnecessary noise that interferes with your decision‐making process, including processing messages when you sleep.
The RAS also filters in all the things that are important to you into your consciousness. By doing so, you can create your own reality. But you have to be intentional and work at it. For One More thinkers, your RAS is your Matrix. Understanding the science behind how your Matrix works makes it easier to understand how and why you should find ways to put it to work in your favor.
Here’s a quick illustration. If you’re looking for things to be offended by, your RAS will activate, and that’s what you’ll find all day long. On the other hand, if you’re looking for things to be grateful for, that’s what you’ll find instead.
When you intentionally activate your Matrix to focus on certain things, you’ll see One Mores everywhere.
Without consciously knowing it, your Matrix sifts through a mountain of data and presents only the pieces that are important to you. Your Matrix programs itself to work in your favor. You’ve heard of the saying, “garbage in, garbage out”? I’ll bet you didn’t know there was a whole branch of science connected to it. It’s all about you and your Matrix.
Your Matrix also seeks information that validates your beliefs. It filters the world through the parameters you give it. Your beliefs shape those parameters in a self‐fulfilling prophecy of sorts. If you think you’re bad at hitting a golf ball, or painting as a hobby, or giving a speech, then you probably will be horrendous at those activities. Conversely, if you think you can hit a 90‐m.p.h. fastball, learn a new language in three months, or master ballroom dancing in a year, you have a much better chance of doing so. Your Matrix helps you see what you want to see, and then it goes to work to influence your actions.
Your RAS also helps explain the Law of Attraction. This is the concept that you attract what you tend to think about. It’s often touted in some kind of New Age, cosmic way, but the Law of Attraction is a lot less magical and mystical once you understand how your Matrix works.
Here’s a One More thinker key takeaway. When you can train your Matrix to take your subconscious thoughts and marry them to your consciousness, you become intentional. I talk a lot about being intentional, and now you know how and why the process works.
It requires focus and patience. However, if you can master this skill, your Matrix will align with you to reveal information, people, and opportunities to help you achieve your standards and goals.
Training Your Matrix to Get What You Want
The next and most obvious question then becomes, “How do I train my Matrix to get what I want?” There are simple and concrete ways to do this. You start by planting a seed in your Matrix. Think about a situation you want to influence. For example, “I want to lose weight.” Next, give more directed thought to the specific outcome you want. In this case, “I want to lose 20 pounds over the next six months.” Finally, start creating visualizations of how you ideally want that goal to play out. Let your imagination hear the conversations, actions, exercise, foods, and other details you’ll need to reach that goal. To lock in your Matrix, you’ll need to replay these things over and over with intention.
When you do this, you’re unleashing your Matrix to go to work for you. One More thinkers must also put actions to these thoughts. It’s not enough to mentally convince yourself. You can’t wish your way to success. Let’s say you want a dog. You love huskies, but you never noticed how many of them you see during your day until you set your mind to work, deciding that’s the kind of dog you want. Suddenly, you see huskies everywhere.
How about your dream car? Maybe all your life, you’ve dreamed of owning a Porsche. It’s one of those “someday” dreams with no actual timetable in place. Then, your career takes off. You get a big raise and your “someday” Porsche dream starts to become real. You see online ads, TV commercials, and billboards for Porsches. Every time one passes you on the freeway, your brain fires off. You have a chance meeting with a guy who already drives a Porsche, and your Matrix elevates your dream to an even higher state.
When these things happen, your Matrix has taken the first steps in moving you closer to what you want out of life.
Your Matrix and Confirmation Bias
Confirmation bias is the tendency to interpret new evidence as the confirmation of your existing beliefs or theories. Your Matrix and confirmation bias are joined at the hip. When your Matrix generates specific beliefs or outcomes, confirmation bias kicks in and reinforces those beliefs, further strengthening the effect. As this happens, any evidence or theories that undermine or could disprove what your Matrix believes are undervalued.
Confirmation bias is an extension of selective recall. When you choose to remember things in a certain way that confirms what you’re thinking, you’ll be biased to the outcome you want to achieve. The stronger your beliefs, or the more emotionally charged an issue is to you, the stronger your confirmation bias and selective recall will be.
These embedded beliefs become stronger over time. Subconsciously, through repetition, your obsessions eventually become your possessions. When combined with intentional actions, confirmation bias, and selective recall, your Matrix drives you unrelentingly toward your goals. The key is to make sure the right seeds are planted in your Matrix. If you plant the wrong things, you’ll harvest the wrong results.
Biased interpretations and memories can be powerful tools when you harness them the right way. In our respective worlds, we’re inundated with confirmations daily. Social media is a prime example of an echo chamber that reinforces our beliefs. We gravitate toward what aligns with our thoughts and beliefs. And we often repel points of view that differ from our own.
In recent years, the media has become an obvious example of confirmation bias. Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and others routinely express points of view that either confirm or enrage viewers, based on their political leanings. Confirmation bias also minimizes a mental conflict known as cognitive dissonance. That occurs when a person is exposed to two contradictory beliefs, resulting in psychological stress or uneasiness. Confirmation bias helps avoid incongruent points of view and strengthens information‐ reinforcing views that align with what we want to believe.
Your Matrix Is Unique to You
Every person’s Matrix is unique. Just as no two brains are alike, the same holds true for your Matrix as well. You are the one‐of‐a‐kind total of your memories, experiences, thoughts, relationships, fears, ambitions, and more.
That’s why learning how to control your Matrix is a solo journey. You can’t delegate this responsibility. It’s up to you, and only you. And keep in mind, confirmation bias heavily influences how your Matrix behaves. Consider this. A Wall Street stockbroker has configured their Matrix to find money in the vast array of financial markets. By slowing down and letting their Matrix see opportunities, they see deals that someone who is not intentionally wired does not.
Likewise, ponder the plight of a homeless drug addict on Skid Row. Even though they have no place to sleep and wonder where their next meal is coming from, they always find a way to get their next high. They’ve trained their Matrix to find drugs. And they become very good at doing it.
Both are living their realities. They have trained their Matrix to elevate specific thoughts and opportunities consistent with their goals, and everything they run across tends to confirm that they’re moving toward those goals. In each case, their obsessions become their possessions.
Society may judge them differently. But is either right or wrong, or are they the result of how their Matrix impacted their lives?
The point I make is that your Matrix is yours, and yours alone. You control it, whether you’re looking for your next big sleeper stock or a dime bag of heroin. And the longer your Matrix sees things a certain way, the more ingrained and intense your beliefs become.
Here’s another example. If you’re a quarterback, does it make more sense in a game to avoid receivers who are covered or look for receivers who are open? When you train your mind to look for an open receiver, that’s what your brain looks for instead of focusing on covered receivers.
Rookie quarterbacks often struggle because they don’t have the depth of experience planted in their Matrix. But seasoned Hall of Fame quarterbacks like Joe Montana or Peyton Manning literally picked apart defenses. They were more deeply invested and embedded into believing they could control the action on the field because their world had slowed down and put them into their in‐game Matrix.
It’s also how an experienced color analyst in the booth like Tony Romo or Troy Aikman can spot a blitz, know what routes receivers are going to run, and what the coverage will be even before the snap of the ball. Years of experience on the field now translates into interpreting, in advance, what’s going to happen on the field for millions of viewers at a time.
If you’re a golfer, you filter out sand traps, water hazards, and out‐of‐ bounds markers on every swing. You know exactly where you want to place the ball on every shot, and that’s all your Matrix allows you to see.
Using your Matrix also extends to your relationships. When you activate your Matrix, you begin to see the qualities in people you want to have a relationship with instead of missing those people who were there all along.
What if, instead of huskies, Porsches, and pass routes, you focused on creating more business prospects? You would begin to hear opportunities at work or on a sales call that you wouldn’t otherwise because your brain is now actively looking for these kinds of possibilities. You begin to see money‐making opportunities that were always there but weren’t filtered into your Matrix before.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you already train your brain to look for opportunities, not roadblocks. You seek ways to connect two disparate services, products, or relationships in a way that will make you money. To some degree, your Matrix filters out all the people who are not good candidates for you to work with and instead focuses on the ones you are most compatible with.
Think about what could happen if you became even more focused on this. Would the quality and quantity of your deals rise? Would you put more money in your pocket at the end of the year? Based on my experience, yes, you would.
I’m a big believer that everything you need is already in and around you right now if you can just put in the work to see it.
Optimizing Your Matrix
Your Matrix is already hard at work. But is it working the right way on your behalf? Do you think about the things that will enhance your life, or are you thinking about avoiding bad things that will detract from your life? There is a difference.
Shifting your Matrix mindset to a more positive framework removes fear and anxiety and replaces those thoughts with confidence and forward momentum. To do this, two things are essential. First, you must intentionally elevate the quality of your thoughts. Frame them in the positive. Set your goals so that when you achieve them, you’ll be excited about the outcome instead of breathing a sigh of relief that you avoided a crisis.
Second, repeat, repeat, repeat!
You must continuously and consciously fill your Matrix with the thoughts you want. Let your beliefs become so embedded that you’re not even aware they exist. However, your Matrix won’t lose sight of them. In its way, your Matrix will become your biggest ally and turn your thoughts into results. Program your Matrix through intentional repetitious feelings, words, and visualizations. Be doggedly persistent if you want success.
Breaking it down further, activation also comes from preparation, gathering knowledge, courage, permitting yourself to fail, giving yourself permission to chart your path, gratitude, and more. Also, remove procrastination from your life. As Victor Kiam, an entrepreneur and former owner of the New England Patriots, said, “Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.” Conversely, change is the instigator of opportunity.
When it’s time to dance with a pretty girl, you can’t sit on the sidelines, otherwise, another guy will be two‐steppin’ with her in no time. And you’ll just be left at the bar, grumpy and drunk.
Few things are more expensive than opportunities you miss. You pay for them with regret, doubt, and a lingering, haunting feeling of what could have been.
English philosopher Francis Bacon once said, “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.”
In the same way, One More thinkers are intentional about opportunities. They set their Matrix in motion and hone this powerful tool through repetition.
When you activate your Matrix, you’ll bend reality and find One More opportunities that will reveal themselves to you in ways you would never have seen otherwise.
3 One More Try
It ain’t over ’til it’s over. —Yogi Berra
IF YOU EVER WANT TO ACHIEVE ANYTHING MEANINGFUL IN YOUR LIFE, the strategy you must master is One More Try. Here’s why.
One More Try doesn’t run in an isolated path in your life. It’s an overarching concept that links to many of the other strategies in this book.
One of the core beliefs I hold is the importance of compounding. Compounding takes place when you attempt One More Try, time and time again. When you’re successful in implementing a One More Try mentality, you’ll create and compound more wins for yourself.
Each of those wins creates an incremental advancement toward your goals. You stack them on top of each other to produce significant long‐term changes in your life.
Here’s a simple example that illustrates the point. When you were a child, the first time you tried to ride a bicycle, you didn’t do so well, did you? You probably started with training wheels, going slow, and with your mom or your dad by your side to steady you.
As you climbed on your bike day after day, you got better at learning how to balance, pedal, and go forward. Eventually, those training wheels came off, and slowly but surely you started to ride away on your own. Not long after that, you were whizzing up and down streets and sidewalks without a care in the world. And your life had changed forever.
Until you understand and embrace the fundamental, life‐changing power of One More Try, you won’t fully understand why it’s essential to try and make one more call, do one more set in the gym, meet one more person at a convention, or learn one more skill to put you head and shoulders above everyone else.
When you act and do the same things as everyone else, you’ll get the same results as everyone else. When you implement a One More Try mentality, that’s where you’ll find your greatest successes and your most significant personal growth.
Doing so also will give you more confidence than your competitors. It’s a secret weapon of sorts. Although they may not see it, you’ll know you’re willing to do more than them. You’re eager to make One More Try than they are. That’s a tremendous advantage in your favor.
This isn’t exactly a new idea. Confucius understood the battles that go on in a person’s mind when he wrote, “The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right.”
Confucius knew that an individual executes to the level of what he or she believes in themselves. Confidence fuels your belief that you’re worthy of making One More Try.
Many people like to think of themselves as overachievers. If you call yourself an overachiever, you’re declaring that your standard practice is to go above and beyond what’s necessary for achievement.
To be an overachiever, you must wholly embrace One More Try.
There is another critical component to this. Even though you may be willing to do the things that other people aren’t willing to do, you must be intentional and look for opportunities in everything you do. That mindset must become second nature to you. When you practice this strategy long enough, it becomes a reflex. You don’t think about it. You just do it.
On an even more fundamental level, you must believe that you can create a One More Try life for yourself. This is like confidence, but it’s more about creating a higher level of self‐esteem. Many people don’t buy into themselves enough, and the limitations they live with come from within.
Being your own worst enemy is something I’ve seen a lot.
I don’t buy into this limiting mentality and I don’t want you to either. It doesn’t have to be that way!
I learned a long time ago that we all have the wisdom inside us to create the future we want for ourselves. Most of us simply don’t tap into this rich vein, for whatever reason. We block that part of our identity and accept something less.
Sometimes we accept a lesser life because we weren’t given a good role model to follow, or we’ve suffered through adversity that’s made us mentally fragile. We wither under criticism and refuse to dig deeper to find the mental toughness and grit that even we didn’t know we had.
Here’s something that should excite you. When you do break through, the places where One More Try takes place are a lot less crowded than when you run with the pack. Most people give up. They don’t do the work you’re willing to do. So, they won’t get the results you’ll get.
Rather, when you move to this new place where One More Try is the norm, the law of averages is now working in your favor. Simply stated, more tries equal more successes.
That’s a good place to start if you’re looking for the boost you need to start implementing One More Try.
Busting Open the Piñata
One More Try is so important that I want to give you a few examples to drive home the point that often in life, it feels like we’re making no apparent progress, even though we are.
My favorite of these is what I call “busting open the piñata.” Life is like taking swings at a pin˜ata. It’s also an excellent metaphor for how to understand the impact of One More Try. There’s no external evidence that we’re making progress and that’s why people often quit before getting to the part of their lives where the candy comes out.
The perfect example of this is from a few years ago when I went to a birthday party for a 5‐year‐old. At the party, there was a pin˜ata, and one by one, the kids put on a blindfold. They stepped up, were given a bat, spun around, and then told to swing at the pin˜ata.
The first couple of kids grazed the pin˜ata. They were disoriented and didn’t know which direction to swing. Even with some well‐intentioned help from their fellow partygoers, they did no apparent damage to the pin˜ata. Or so it seemed!
Those kids got a little frustrated when nothing came out. What they didn’t realize is that inside, the pin˜ata was slowly breaking down.
The kids who went up later figured out the game a bit more. They stepped up, bat in hand, and took their swings. Many of them made solid contact and did some damage, whether they knew it or not.
The compounding effect of pounding on that piñata, even if it seemed like the piñata was holding firm, was making a difference. Every time a blow landed, those kids made invisible progress, growing ever closer to the ultimate goal of busting it wide open. All the kids shrieked with anticipation after each thump. After a few more whacks, they sensed the paper‐mache beast was weakening. Still, the piñata would not break.
When all of the children had taken their swings, mom blindfolded the birthday boy and he stepped up for his turn.
That little man reared back, and with the mightiest “One More Try” you’re ever going to see, he busted that piñata wide open.
You know what came next. More than a dozen children scurried to gobble up all the treats and goodies that had fallen from the piñata.
Was it that one shot that busted the pinata wide open? Absolutely not. It was the compounded accumulation of all those hits that contributed to achieving the goal of getting the candy.
Too many people quit their business, their workouts, or their relationships before the candy comes out! Although they’re making progress, it doesn’t always show up externally.
My advice to you is to keep hitting the pin˜atas of your life. Whether you can see it or not, you’re making more progress than you might think.
Is this starting to sound like your life yet? It should. We all swing at a lot of pin˜atas and early on, we don’t generally bust those pin˜atas open.
I told you at the beginning of this book that you were a lot closer to realizing your goals and dreams that you may think, and this is a perfect metaphor of that concept.
Just like the children, you’re making invisible progress in your life. Unfortunately, most people don’t stick around long to realize the outcomes from that progress.
However, when you know that you’re moving forward, even when you can’t directly see you’re moving forward, you’ll stay more focused on your processes and tasks to accomplish your goals.
Invisible progress is more than having faith. It’s knowledge you’ve acquired because your efforts produced results on other things you’ve attempted in the past.
When we do bust open a piñata, we get an undeniable rush.
You’ve experienced it many times. You know exactly what that rush is. In fact, the harder it is to bust open that piñata, the more intense the rush is. As we keep swinging, anticipation builds. Adrenaline kicks in. Confidence grows. You may even get a little angry as you dig deeper and refuse to yield.
In your piñatas, the “candy” that tumbles out can be your bliss. It’s your financial freedom. It’s falling in love with the special someone in your life. It’s landing the dream job you’ve always wanted.
All because you didn’t give up. You gave it One More Try. And over time, those efforts compounded until you got precisely what you wanted.
You must tune out the naysayers and all the negative distractions to focus on busting your piñata wide open. You’ll feel disoriented at times, doubt may creep into your mind, and you may think that your goal is not worth it. Until you learn how to win those battles, you’ll never enjoy what your piñata holds for you.
If you stay with it long enough, you will enjoy the fruits of your labors. And everyone else in your circle who sticks around and supports you will enjoy those things as well.
Take your swings. As many as you need. Get that candy. There are a lot of piñatas waiting for you to bust open and enjoy.
A Father, a Daughter, and the Power of One More Try
I want to tell you what happened on April 26, 1998, and why that date means everything to me.
I was relatively new to the business world, and I was scheduled to give a presentation that night to 40 people on my team. The RSVPs didn’t materialize the way I had wanted, and by the time the presentation rolled around, only eight people showed up.
I was crushed.
I started to doubt whether this was a career for me. I began to think maybe there was something better out there, something else that I was meant to do with my life. I was frustrated and discouraged and didn’t know if I should keep doing this or not.
I sat down and had a talk with myself. It’s as honest as I’ve ever been. Had I done everything I could for as long as I could? Had I done the right things at the right time? I really needed to decide if I had put forth my best effort to make a go of it.
Because I was candid with myself, the answer was “no.” That’s a hard thing for a proud man to admit to himself. Hard but necessary.
Even more important, I had to acknowledge my shortcomings. Until that point, I had followed a pattern of quitting when things got hard or embarrassing. I found it easy to pull the plug. Too easy.
Instead of walking away, I dug my heels in and decided I was going to give this one more try. I was going to empty my tank and do everything that I could to make sure that I had given my very best to my chosen profession. Retreating and giving up were no longer options for me. I set my old limiting identity aside and launched a new version of myself. That “come to Jesus” talk with myself, that refusal to give in, and my decision to go the distance by tapping into One More Try changed my life forever.
From that night forward, my efforts and my mindset turned into a business life that has paid me hundreds of millions of dollars.
There’s one more example I want to share with you.
Fair warning: there’s a proud parent moment ahead. Those of you who are moms and dads will completely understand where I’m coming from.
As I write this, my daughter Bella is 17. Wow, where did that time go? Much to her credit, she recently decided it was time to go out and get a job. Bella applied at a local pizzeria in town and had a great interview. They were ready to offer her the job until one final question tripped her up. They asked if she was 18 yet. Since the pizzeria served beer, it was a minimum age requirement, and she didn’t meet it.
Bella called me right after she left that interview. She was dejected when she shared the news. I was bummed. As a parent, when your child hurts, you do too.
But that’s not the end of the story.
A half‐hour later, Bella called again. The first words out of her mouth were …
“Dad, I got a job!”
Talk about somebody else getting candy from the piñata your daughter busted open. I can’t even begin to tell you how elated I was. And, I was curious.
After a disappointing setback, most teenagers will tuck their tails between their legs and head home. But as she was leaving the pizzeria, Bella noticed a small café next door. Instead of passing by like 999 out of 1,000 job‐ hunting teenagers might do, she went inside and started talking to the hostess.
One thing led to another, and it turned out the café was looking to hire someone. And, that person didn’t need to be 18! Bella met with the manager and was hired on the spot.
That’s how my beautiful daughter, using One More Try, took a potential defeat and turned it into a victory instead.
I’m hard‐pressed to come up with a more perfect example of how pushing yourself and using One More Try can work in your favor. It would have been so easy to give up, but because Bella made an effort to talk to one more business, she got a job, and it changed her life.
Perhaps the coolest part is that she did it all on her own. Like father, like daughter. It’s one of the best proud parent moments I’ve had in my life.
Three Ways That One More Try Can Turn You into an Overachiever
Your path to becoming an overachiever is linked directly to One More Try. The more you try, the more you achieve.
Here are three overachiever principles to consider.
Extremity Expands Capacity
Your most significant gains don’t come from places you’re already at or where you’ve already been. Your greatest gains and successes happen when you push yourself to new places and new limits. You create an extreme condition compared to what you’re used to, and when you do that, you expand your capacity for success. Your new level of capacity becomes your new norm.
As you become more comfortable pushing yourself to extremes, you become more confident because you know what waits for you on the other side.
If you’re worried about pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion, don’t be. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t get your rest, but I’ve found that most people are tired from too little activity, instead of too much activity.
High degrees of activity produce energy, and you feed off this energy. Much like batteries, if you don’t use your energy, you tend to lose it over time.
But when you use your energy, that produces even more energy. When you produce more energy, you can go to a more extreme place. Once you’ve been to that place, you’re able to see it, feel it, touch it, and understand what that new level of capacity is to you.
Those of you who know me now know why I’ve adopted the motto MAXOUT. For 30 years, I’ve understood that maxing out your life creates a new extreme level. That new extreme level creates a new capacity and the place where you will grow and achieve the most results. In other words, when you MAXOUT, you will also MAXUP.
Winning Is a Numbers Game
If you want to be an overachiever, you must create better numbers for whatever is important to you.
Much of your success will come down to your commitment to executing basic tasks again and again. You must learn to do simple things well. You must be obsessed with perfecting processes repetitively until you create big enough numbers to give you the wins you’re looking for.
Overachievers don’t think in terms of quality or quantity. They think in terms of quality and quantity.
Tiger Woods doesn’t just go through the motions when he practices hitting golf balls from two to four hours a day. He is obsessed with repetitively hitting each ball the right way with the same backswing, same stroke, and same follow‐through each time.
If you watched The Last Dance, a documentary about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, you saw how hard Jordan pushed himself. You either got on board with Michael’s level of practice and play, or you didn’t last very long. Jordan didn’t land in the record books by accident. He understood that you must put in the work and rack up the numbers when you practice, so that you can rack up victories of all kinds when you play.
The highest achievers always condition themselves to incorporate One More Try into their daily routines. As I mentioned, there’s less competition when you rise to that level, and your victories will be bigger and better in all cases.
Perhaps you’ve coasted from time to time in your business. Maybe you haven’t applied One More Try to its fullest advantage. Everybody goes through peaks and valleys, but you shouldn’t wallow in those valleys for very long. You’ll know when you’re not putting forth your maximum effort.
You’ll know when you’re not doing everything you can to make you and your business as successful as possible.
You can hide from yourself sometimes, but you can’t hide from the numbers.
The numbers are a black‐and‐white reflection directly related to your effort. It’s easy to compare month‐to‐month or year‐to‐year sales volume, phone calls, and other metrics. You should have no trouble keeping track of how often you go to the gym, how many sets and repetitions of weights you lift, or how many miles a week you go for a run. You can’t dominate when you don’t crank out better numbers than your competitors or when measured against your past performance levels.
Nothing Creates Everything
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. —Genesis 1:1–3
Some theologians interpret Genesis as God creating the whole universe out of nothing. He just spoke existence into being out of total nothingness. I happen to be one of those people who also believes this, and I go into greater detail about my faith as part of One More Prayer in Chapter 18. This belief is known as creatio ex nihilo and is the answer to how the universe came to exist. Creatio ex nihilo teaches matter is not eternal but had to be created by some divine creative act, frequently attributed to God. Here’s how that applies to your life.
When you push yourself and empty everything you have inside of you to the point of having nothing left, that’s when everything will be created.
When you empty yourself, you create room for new experiences, goals, and efforts. Bruce Lee echoed that sentiment when he said, “Empty your cup, so that it may be filled.”
I’m not talking about driving yourself to physical exhaustion. You should never put yourself in that state. What I am talking about is always doing One More. When you do, you’re emptying yourself out. When you have nothing more to give, you have reached a state of ex nihilo. And you’re ready to fill yourself up in a higher capacity.
Making the Power of One More Try Work for You
Life won’t hand you opportunities. You need to be the type of person who goes out and creates opportunities for yourself. Don’t wait! Be aggressive and understand that One More Try does not have to be perfect. It simply needs to be attempted. When you hide from One More Try, all you’re doing is disguising your insecurities.
Even when you don’t get exactly what you want, when you attempt One More Try, the next time you try again, you’re not starting from scratch. You’re going to be starting from a new level of experience that you can leverage to increase the odds of a better outcome.
As you implement One More Try, you’ll also create new levels of capacity. These levels are where you’ll find your most satisfaction. The more often you attempt One More Try, the more often you’ll win because winning is frequently a numbers game, if you execute well and give your maximum effort. Also, keep in mind that you’ll create new possibilities to fill up your life when you make every possible attempt and empty your tank.
The key to One More Try is to be intentional. You must have the strength and the focus to take steps that will drive you closer to where you want to be in life.
This is not always an easy thing to do. It requires a quiet determination to stay the course. Or, as Mary Anne Radmacher once said, “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’ ”
4 One More and the Five Principles of Time Management
Every day is a new life to a wise man. —Dale Carnegie
EVERYONE ACCEPTS THERE ARE 60 SECONDS IN A MINUTE.
Sixty minutes in an hour. And most of us still think there are 24 hours in a single day.
You’re probably thinking, “Of course, we do. That’s how many hours there are in a day. Right?”
Not if you’re high performer. Not if you’re a One More thinker. Instead, what if I could show you how to bend and manipulate time to your maximum advantage? One More thinkers don’t get 24 hours in one day. I’m going to show you how we get three days in a single 24‐hour block of time. I know it sounds crazy. But it’s not.
As much as anything else, this principle has contributed to my success since I first started using it more than 20 years ago. Along with the other time management principles I employ, I’ve used it to triple the number of days I have, and that has helped me triple my amount of productivity.
One More thinkers perceive time differently. And now, I’m going to teach you how to do the same thing.
Your Relationship with the Perception of Time
Time is a constant. But we treat time as a variable. How often have you heard these expressions?
“Ugh! This day is taking forever”.
“That month flew by”.
And my personal favorite …
“I can’t believe the weekend is over already”.
Through our experiences, age, current circumstances, how much rest we get, and how busy we are, our perception of time is continuously shifting. Scientists call this mind time, and it’s completely different than clock time. Mind time is what the speed of time feels like, and clock time is a constant chronology measured by the ticking hands of a timepiece on the wall.
Time is a fundamental element of our being and how we perceive the world around us. Our sense of who we are is shaped by how our brain connects our memories, present sensations, and our anticipation of the future. Neuroscientists, linguistic, psychological, and cognitive experts have studied the perception of time extensively for hundreds of years. Among other things, researchers know that perceived duration is unique to every individual and does not focus on a singular sensory system. Instead, time perception is a blended distribution system that involves the cerebral cortex, the cerebellum, and the basal ganglia.
Here’s the takeaway. Once you understand that you can alter how you perceive time, you can begin to bend time and use it to your advantage.
Time Is Your Most Valuable Asset
Time is more valuable than money. Money is a replenishable resource. You can always add more dollars to your bank account, but you can’t add more time to your life. Your time is finite. If you’re 40, you can’t turn back the calendar and become 30 again.
Authors, artists, songwriters, and poets have romanticized time throughout the ages.
The two most powerful warriors are patience and time. —Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
The wisest are the most annoyed at the loss of time. —Dante Alighieri
My favorite thought about time may be the simplest and is attributed to Benjamin Franklin who said, “Time is money.”
When your time is over, you get no replays. You can’t reclaim time. However, our most valuable asset is frequently manipulated.
Mind time is perceived time and is directly related to the brain’s interpretation of several variables.
As we get older, the rate that our brain processes mental images and how quickly they are perceived decreases. It’s part of the natural aging process. Our vision and brain plasticity lessen, our neural pathways that transmit information degrade, and these shifts lead us to a sense of time speeding up. Even though an individual act happens in a fraction of a second, it takes longer to get to the same place. We lose that fraction of a second thousands of times a day.
There are several other variables we can’t control as well. When we’re physically tired, our brains can’t transfer and process information as quickly. Our tired brains can’t optimally see and make sense of visual, auditory, or tactile input. Our reaction times slow, and this also makes us feel as if time is speeding up. In reality, it’s just us slowing down in relation to the rest of the world.
That’s why athletes who aren’t well rested will play a bad game. Their ability to process is thrown off. That knocks their sense of timing out of balance. They can’t see or respond to in‐game variables effectively, which is one of the reasons why even the best shooters in the NBA sometimes go 4‐ for‐20 from the field.
Psychological trauma, drug use, intense feelings of fear or shock, ADHD, autism, depression, schizophrenia, and other factors also contribute heavily to altering perceptions of time.
The Five Principles of Time Management
Over the past 20 years, I’ve immersed myself in the concept of maximizing my time to accomplish my goals. What I discovered early on is that you must respect the nature of time. High achievers universally embrace this as a foundation of their success, including me.
As much as any other variable, your relationship to time can profoundly affect how far you go in life. I’ve tried all sorts of time management strategies. I’ve added and subtracted parts of various philosophies that make sense to me. And, eventually, I developed my own system that I refer to as the Five Principles of Time Management. If you can adapt and master these principles in your own life, you’ll enjoy more success, make more money, be more productive, add layers of bliss, and build the life you were meant to enjoy.
Let’s take a look at those five principles.
1. Add More “Days” to Your Day
One More thinkers should set aside the notion of a 24‐hour day. The 24‐ hour day worked well before we had the internet, smartphones, wireless technology, computerized cars, jets, satellites, and other tools that let us expand our footprint and move at the speed of light.
We can now send an email anywhere in the world in an instant. We can hold a teleconference with dozens or hundreds of people 24/7. Instead of going to the library or digging through an encyclopedia, we can Google anything and get answers in a matter of seconds.
The ability to accomplish tasks has multiplied exponentially. Accessing information, people, and locations takes place with lightning‐speed immediacy. That’s why, if you want to be a high achiever, the 24‐hour day is an antiquated concept. In my world, and for all One More thinkers, it no longer applies.
We’re now able to accomplish more in five minutes, one hour, or one day than we could in an entire week or month 100 years ago. Our ability to compress time is our ability to bend and manipulate time for our best purposes. Guess what that does for your goals? It puts them in your face like never before. And when you’re closer to a goal, you naturally approach it with greater urgency.
Here’s a mindset you can put into practice today. It’s effective. I’ve been doing it for more than 20 years now, so I know it works.
From time to time, you’ll have one of those days where everything is falling in line. You’re able to knock out a ton of stuff and be more productive in four or five hours than you are in one of your normal full days. Or maybe you’ve had a day where you knock out more than you have in an entire month. What if you could replicate that rush every day?
Instead of approaching your day as a single block of time, divide your waking hours into three equal parts, or mini‐days. For me, that means my “first day” runs from 6 a.m. to noon. My “second day” is from noon to 6 p.m. And my “third day” is from 6 p.m. until midnight. While you’re living seven days in one week, I’m living 21 days in one week.
To turbocharge how I spend my time, this is how I do it. By creating shorter days, my mind believes that each minute becomes more valuable. I don’t waste time because my sense of urgency is operating at a higher level. Instead, I’m focused even more on what I need to accomplish “today.” I compress work, relationships, productivity, fitness, and fun into shorter and more intense pieces of time with this strategy. I shrink the finish line so that more of what I do becomes a sprint.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that your life is still in balance. You still make time for all parts of your life. All that you’re doing is squeezing useless air out of the wasted parts of your day. At first, you may be intimidated by attempting to do this. But as you give it a try, you’ll replace old bad habits with effective new ones. You’ll move faster and have greater control of your time.
Here’s the cool part if you implement this mindset. Imagine the compounding effect of working 21 days a week for a month, a year, or a decade. Or for the rest of your life. Now compare that to people you compete against who look at their days as a single 24‐hour block of time. In my mind, I’m living more than 1,000 days in the same timeframe as others who think of themselves as living in a 365‐day year.
Who has the advantage? You already know the answer.
I am a living example of what this strategy can do for you, and my results have been pretty good so far.
2. Approach Time with a Greater Sense of Urgency
The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once said, “The common man is not concerned about the passage of time, the man of talent is driven by it.” Do you want to be common, or do you want to be a person of talent? Urgency is the key. From my experience, there is a direct correlation between how fast you’ll run versus how close you are to the finish line. If you watch distance runners in a race, why does the last lap or leg of the race invariably produce some of the race’s fastest times? In a 26‐mile marathon, you keep a steady pace. As you get closer to the finish line, your adrenaline kicks in, and you find another gear. You push yourself because you’re closer to completing your task and crossing that finish line. That produces a release of endorphins, and you feel that warm and positive rush. Now think about running a 100‐meter race. It’s a flat‐out sprint from start to finish. You approach the race with maximum urgency. A different mindset is required to do your best. Your body and your brain respond to a different set of stimuli.
It’s not that people approach life with a lack of vision that causes them to fail. It’s the type of vision they call on to get them across the finish line. Your depth perception affects your ability to summon that sense of urgency required to perform better. When the goal is further away, you jog toward that goal. When it’s right in front of you, it’s a sprint. Here’s another example. You’re a student who is assigned a major project at the beginning of the semester with a deadline toward the end of the semester. Do you jump on that project immediately? Most put that project on cruise control. They quietly slip it onto the top shelf of their life, knowing that they’ll deal with it later. That is until the deadline starts to creep up.
At some point, panic, fear, dread, thoughts of “I hate college,” and “I think I’ll just become a bartender”, kick in. But if you had attacked that project with a sense of urgency as soon as possible, the looming shadow, the boogieman, the beast you’re facing, would be reduced to almost nothing.
If you apply this thinking to everything you do throughout the day, week, or year, you’ll get more done and enjoy a sense of accomplishment that others only dream about.
3. Learn How to Control Time Instead of Time Controlling You
When you manage your time with a sense of urgency, you become the master instead of the servant. Moving faster puts you in control of your time more often than not. You have a sense of urgency, but you also have a greater say in what you think is important. That lets you spend more time on what’s meaningful and rewarding to you.
Controlling your time is a mindset that should turn on as soon as your brain wakes up in the morning. If your mind is in the right place, controlling your time will start even before your feet hit the floor in the morning. As you’re waking up, your brain is already planning your day. Do you pay attention to what those first thoughts of the day are? The first 30 minutes of your day are critical.
Think about the “timely” words of British statesman Lord Chesterfield: “Take care of the minutes, and the hours will take care of themselves.” How you approach the first 30 minutes of your day will set the tone for the balance of the hours to follow. That means staying away from your phone, computer, television, or any other forms of input that can distract you from what’s important in your life. Instead, use that 30 minutes to plan out your day; review your meetings, phone calls, and projects; create priorities, meditate, pray, stretch, practice equanimity, reaffirm your standards, and update yourself on your goals.
Before your brain becomes cluttered with people, events, and information of the day, it has a chance to focus. Your brain receives the message that you’re in control instead of the world controlling you. You’re better able to start the day filled with confidence and the purposes that you choose. Of course, surprises, changes, and redirection will spring up throughout the day. You react accordingly. But when you’re not dealing with the unexpected, you’re in greater control and working toward your life goals instead of reacting to everyone else.
In other words, dictate the terms of your day, or your day will dictate those terms for you.
4. Measure Your Performance Often
Where performance is measured, performance improves. Close proximity to measurement is critical. Every leading motivational and organization expert from Zig Ziglar to Peter Drucker builds this idea into their foundational strategies for a simple reason.
Measuring performance works.
As you shrink your timeframes and increase your urgency, you also need to shrink the intervals of how often you measure your performance. If you don’t take time to measure, you’ll have a more difficult time course‐ correcting. That leads to inefficiency and wasted time.
Just make sure you’re measuring the right things. Be clear on your goals, priorities, and standards. Understand how they work in concert with each other. Learn to identify not only weaknesses but the potential sources of those weaknesses.
Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden put it into perspective, saying, “If you don’t have the time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it again?” Wooden was a stickler for doing things the right way, right down to how his players tied their shoes. He fine‐tuned every technique and process on his teams for years, accepting only one standard and measuring the interim steps almost daily.
If your goal is to run a five‐minute mile or to bump up your sales by 50 percent or your income by $50,000, how will you know if you’re reaching these goals unless you look at the numbers? Anything less, and you’re just throwing darts and hoping you’ll hit your targets.
Average people assess themselves once or twice a year. But only making New Year’s resolutions is not appropriate for One More thinkers. Top performers measure themselves monthly or weekly.
Do you take stock of your week’s accomplishments on a Friday evening? Do you take stock and set your plans for the coming week on a Sunday evening? The top performers, the One More thinkers, go through this process daily.
There’s even one more level beyond daily measurements. Some people measure themselves hourly. The most elite have an internal mechanism that is triggered with urgency. I have trained myself to do this, and I’m not lying when I tell you, as hard as it sounds, this discipline has served me well. Think for a moment. Who’s going to do better? The person who shrinks their measurement interval or the person who rarely measures where they’re at? You already know this answer, too.
5. Focus on the Future
Too many people are stuck in the past. That kills their ability to be productive in the present. And robs them of making plans for the future. The past is gone forever, but until you let go of it, the past is a thief and steals your ability to dream and imagine. You need to spend time thinking about your future because that’s where you’re heading. You must also stay connected to the present because that’s how you build a better future.
It drives me nuts when I see so many people stuck in a loop of how their lives would be different today, “if only” that one big thing had been different. People getting out of bad relationships or trying to distance themselves from poor family dynamics are particularly vulnerable to past thinking.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t address the trauma of your past. You must find a way to process it and move forward. If you can’t, the only person you’re hurting is you and the people you care about right now.
Conversely, don’t fall into the trap of falling in love with your past if you’ve had great things happen, whether you earned an advanced college degree, got a big job promotion, got married, and so on. Those things are nice, but if you rest on those laurels too much, you’re still not living in the present and building a better future. As Coco Chanel once said, “Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”
One More thinkers have the innate ability to spend time dreaming and imagining about their future while taking decisive actions in the present to shape what lies ahead.
Changing Others’ Perception of You
When you incorporate the Five Principles of Time Management into your life, how others see you is going to change, too. When people see you’re no longer wasting time, they begin to not waste your time. They see you’re also no longer spending too much time taking care of other people’s priorities because you’re too focused on taking care of your own.
At work, you need to be reasonable about this. Find a way to make your employer’s goals your goals and blend the two to create harmony.
Your friends, family, and co‐workers will understand that you’re in an attack mode in your life instead of a react mode. They will respect you, and your relationships with them will be redefined. It’s an added benefit that alters your life because your newfound time management is actually newfound life management.
Also, as you change your approach to time, you’ll be open to meeting new like‐minded people and embark on new projects and adventures you may have thought were just a pipe dream.
Let me leave you with this one final thought about time from Charles Darwin. “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.”
Stop wasting time and start bending time to your advantage to get on with the …