015: Imagine the Details

"Envision success," they say at Tony Robbins events.

Middle aged men and women, standing on theater chairs, shouting "I believe in myself! I love myself!" then crying on their neighbors shoulder and eating a slice of pizza (yes, that's the exact itinerary).

Visualizing success is a superpower.

It's no coincidence that, in the last century, the most impactful song was called Imagine and the most impactful speech was called I Have a Dream.

It's about specifics. Giving details. Being able to see it.

It's easy to loudly claim "that's not the way! Our leader is a fool!"

What's harder is to imagine the details. You might get called a fool.

"Visualize success because you'll reach it" is the most common argument here.

But just as powerful: visualize success because you might not want it.

I spent my early college years trying (unsuccessfully) to make money online—it felt like some holy grail if I could get there.

And then I did. My junior year, I was making $100/day selling stick-on phone wallets on Amazon.

It was intoxicating. If I reached $100/day from 0, maybe I could reach $10,000/day from $100.

But I slowly realized: I don't want that.

From the bottom of the phone wallet mountain, success was all I wanted. But being halfway up, I had a better view of the top—and it didn't look fun.

Starting over is scary.

"Winning" feels good, and at square one, nobody even notices you.

But what kind of scam is "success" if it instills the fear of trying new things?

So I stopped working on CardBuddy. I moved to LA, came within 3 weeks of running out of money, then started making money writing about technology. There's no such thing as "arriving" but I feel closer than I was. And I'm happy I made the change.

Imagine all your dreams coming true. See how it makes you feel.

That feeling is a compass.


Improv Testimonial


For a few years, I've been taking improv classes and I love it. It's a rare experience when adults are "supposed" to act like kids and goof around. There's no right answer, and the only mistake is to think for too long. Every time I move to a new city I need to retake the local theater's level 1 course (which I did in Austin recently).

One of my classmates from level 1, Adrian, posted a powerful testimonial in our Facebook group. Below is his post (shared with permission):

Taking improv has been such a growth experience for me, and if you feel called to take a class (once the world has un-melted down), I'd be pumped for you to try it.


Quote I'm Pondering

"That kindness is invincible, provided it’s sincere—not ironic or an act. What can even the most vicious person do if you keep treating him with kindness and gently set him straight—if you get the chance—correcting him cheerfully at the exact moment that he’s trying to do you harm. "No, no, my friend. That isn’t what we’re here for. It isn’t me who’s harmed by that. It’s you." And show him, gently and without pointing fingers, that it’s so."

– Marcus Aurelius (in Meditations, a collection of his notes)



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