About steveacho

Business Geek, Musician, Lover, Fighter, Writer, Delusional Optimist

Optimize for how you feel

To manifest the ideal relationship, first list all the qualities that you desire in a person.  Next, burn that list and make a new list of how you want to feel in that relationship.

The cash value of all human connections lies in how both parties feel.  Your actual experience (not someone else’s attributes) dictates the positive mental states that you care about.  You want to FEEL loved, safe, sexy, beautiful, significant, supported, understood, trusted…

The moral? Don’t ask yourself what you want.  Ask how you want to feel when you get it.

Where true motivation comes from

Sparks of inspiration don’t empower us for long.  The meme that inspired you to believe in yourself…that encouraging quote…those won’t affect long-term motivation.  You are motivated by what you believe is possible.

The master variable is Progress.  “Learn to speak Chinese” is a life-long project.  “Learn to introduce myself in Chinese” is a quick win with unmistakable progress that empowers and motivates you to persist.

[FYI: This blog post is the 3×5 card summary of my 1-hour keynote presentation that shows you the science of achievement.]

Control freak?

The road we travel is imperfect.  The terrain is tough, the path is uphill, working against us and making it difficult to move forward.  It’s wise to do all you can – to use influence, hard work, and help from others to find your path.

Too often, people who do this are labeled “control freak”.

What’s smarter: complaining that the entire planet isn’t carpeted or putting on a pair of shoes?  There’s enough outside our control.  It makes sense to control whatever we can, and ignore the “control freak” label.

Throwing away time and money

Imagine having $1,440 and someone stealing $1 from you.  Would you then throw away the other $1,439 in an act of vengeance?

This is exactly what we do when we respond to a one minute insult or upsetting event by letting it affect the rest of the minutes in the day.  Simple math should reveal something obvious…

We shouldn’t waste 99.9% of our time and attention because of the .01% that perturbed us.

Three things you control

1) Your breath
2) Your attitude
3) Your framing – the story you have about the kind of person you are, and why your current circumstances are what they are

No need to wait for permission.  No reason to wait for anything to happen.  Any of these things can be changed in a moment’s notice – by you.  Take back control.

Achieving without praise

We sometimes confuse our motivation to pursue goals or new adventures with our desire for praise.  These questions help decide whether you truly want to run a marathon, travel the world, go on a meditation retreat or (insert activity here):

1) Am I more excited about the achievement/activity or about announcing it?
2) Would I still want to do it if I couldn’t tell anyone about it?

I’m not criticizing broadcasting accomplishments.  Please do!  Many of us are cheering for you. The questions are merely tools to help clarify your true aspirations.

To be or to have

Too often we believe that life will improve once we “have” (obtain) something.  We can, however, flip this and focus on “being” before having.

If you want to have an outstanding partner, work on being someone worthy of an outstanding partner.  If you want to have a better job, take steps to be someone with the skills and work ethic consistent with better employment.

Don’t wait to acquire something.  Don’t wait to be picked by someone else.  You can work on you before anything happens.