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How to Stop Drifting Through Life and Start Thinking 10-Steps Ahead Like the Ultra-Successful in Order to Live the Life That You Desire
Did you know you won the ultimate lottery when you were born? The odds of you being born as a human being is 1 in 400 trillion!
You could have been an ant, a plant, a leaf, a pig, even a bacteria…
You were given the most incredible gift of all.
The power to think.
97% Of People Choose To Drift Through Life Without Ever Thinking For Themselves.
If you and I were to walk through Central Park and survey 100 people and ask them, “Where will you be 5 years from today?”
Only 3 out of those 100 people would be able to give you a clear answer.
97 out of those 100 people would have no answer for you.
97% of people, who I call Conformers, let life “happen” to them, being reactive to every circumstance, having no control over their own future, playing VICTIM to everything that happens and relying on someone else for their retirement because they were sold on the idea of ‘security’ and fear risk.
Only 3% of people have a clear image in their heads of exactly where they are going; a plan and a deep burning desire to control their lives, creating a long-lasting legacy for themselves and future generations.
Where do you stand?
In the 1930s, the late Nobel prize winner and renowned philosopher, Albert Schweitzer, was asked during an interview “What’s wrong with men today?”
He took a few seconds… and answered:
”People Simply Don’t Think”
The only difference between humans and pigs is our ability to Stop and Think for ourselves, yet, just like pigs, we follow everyone around in order to pass on the burden and liability of making decisions.
97% of people drift through life leaving their most valuable asset collecting dust only to realize when they come face to face with death… They regret never having done anything.
Over the past decade, I’ve had the honor of helping over 34,000 people achieve new levels of success that they never thought possible, being stuck in the box of old beliefs they grew up in.
NOTE: You can get more information on how to change your beliefs positively in the article I’ve written ”5 Steps to Create Empowering Beliefs”.
Every time I do a talk about the power of the mind, your ability to think, the limiting beliefs that hold us back and the 7 different levels of perceptions that allow you to create better habits and take immediate action…
I always have dozens of people wanting to share their ‘excuses’ and the stories they tell themselves for not being successful.
And I will always interrupt them and share with them incredible stories of people that have surmounted obstacles that rarely even exist today, in order to demonstrate that all the stories and ‘excuses’ they sell themselves are simply that…
Regardless of Your ‘Misfortunes’ – No One Can Take Away
Your Ability to Stop and Think
Whether you’re born and raised in a third world country, homeless in western society, raised unprivileged, abused, orphaned, disfigured, born with a disability, going through health challenges or mourning a death…
IT ALL DOES NOT MATTER!
You could have lost everything, been stolen from, taken advantage of, lied to, mislead, gone through a nasty divorce…
IT ALL DOES NOT MATTER!
You could have had cancer at 16 while everyone else was going through their teens, created a multi-million dollar business at 21 and suffered a heart attack at 23 forcing you into bankruptcy. You could have created a new business, generated over $47million and controlled over $1billion worth of real estate then lost $47million in one day, have your wife leave you with your three kids, have the government accuse you of fraud, publicly forcing you to close shop and sue you from 4 different government agencies simply to shut you down, lose all your credibility, start drinking, gain 70 pounds and begin questioning everything you’ve been fighting for your whole life…
IT ALL DOES NOT MATTER!
We all have the ability and power to Stop and Think for ourselves and decide what we will let ‘affect and handicap’ us, OR we can choose to learn and grow from our experiences and even help others to avoid misery and achieve ultra-successful status.
NOTE: Yeah, for those who know me, that was me. And yet now I have worldwide businesses, books and I’m on the path to be a billionaire real soon. Stay tuned
You Have the Power to Stop Being a Victim and Think about the Way You Want Your Life to Rollout.
Do you think you have it bad? Do you think you’re over your prime and it’s too late? Do you feel alone? Do you suffer from chronic worry, stress or anxiety? Do you think it’s the end?
I know I did. You can see my darkest times here, and how I now fight and cure others’ constant doubt, worry, fear, stress, anxiety, panic attacks, and depressions.
Here are just a few other inspirational stories…
Zhou Qunfei, raised in the poorest slums of communist China as a woman. Had to drop out of high school to support her family and work at a factory. She managed to save $3,000 to start her own factory and today, she’s in your pocket and you’re watching me through her products. She builds all the glass for Apple and Samsung products and is worth $10.1billion.
Jack Ma of the Alibaba Group. Also from China, raised extremely poor and was denied work at KFC! Started working out of his apartment with a few employees, knowing nothing about programming, and is worth $40billion today.
All born and raised ultra-poor, all faced homelessness at some point in their lives. Did they let that stop them?
It’s not only about money either.
Look at Jesse Owens. The grandson of a slave, and son of a sharecropper. He went on to achieve 4 gold medals at the 1936 Olympic games in Germany as a black man during Hitler’s reign while Hitler was trying to prove the Aryans race was ‘superior’.
Viktor Frankl was a holocaust survivor kept in concentration camps for 3 years. He went on to write one of my favorite books: “Man’s Search for Meaning”. He made his life’s mission to help millions going through trauma by teaching them that, “you have the power to think in your own mind.”
Only You Can Choose To Be Miserable And Let Others Steal Your Happiness.
As you can see, your background, your experiences, your resources, the people you claim that hold you back…
IT ALL DOES NOT MATTER!
You can choose to create excuse after excuse, play the victim with all your friends who will support that and wait until you’re 90 to regret that decision… OR you can use your amazing ability and power to Stop and Think for yourself and plan your future.
In 2013, computer scientists were able to build a supercomputer capable of mimicking the human mind.
Now, before freaking out about artificial intelligence that may take over the world, listen to this:
It took 40 minutes for 82,944 of the world’s most powerful computer processors to mimic one second of a human mind’s processing capability.
Let me repeat that.
It took 82,944 supercomputers 40 minutes to mimic what your mind can do in one second.
Yet computers control our world. They are capable of running our entire financial systems, they run our national security, they control the lives of hundreds of people in the sky flying above our heads every day, they save our lives in healthcare and are capable of floating all the way out of our galaxy and communicating with Earth.
Or, just like our minds, a computer can collect dust and drift through life if we don’t use it properly.
Our minds can be compared to a flower pot with soil. If I were to come to your house and give you a flower pot with soil and no seeds, you would have the option to choose to do as you wish with that flower pot.
First option, you can do absolutely nothing.
You take the flower pot, leave it outside and let it be a victim of its circumstances. If you neglect it and leave it unattended, the wind or a bug may bring a seed. No matter what, weeds will start growing uncontrollably and the pot with have no purpose. It will simply die full of weeds.
Option number two.
You can decide to plant a tulip seed that will look amazing (once it actually comes to life) for two weeks or so, then disappear for a year until the next season. It will provide instant gratification, then disappear not serving any purpose. The outside-in concept.
Lastly, you could choose to think long-term about your legacy and think of the purpose.
You can choose to seed your favorite herb that will grow and stay with you forever as long as you nurture and care for it. More importantly, it will serve a continuous purpose for your well being and you could even pass it down to a family member in the future.
Of course, it’s more work and will take a few moments a day of care. But as long as you care for it, it will provide the results you desire through the nurturing you provide it, for a very long time.
Your Mind, Like a Flower Pot, Will Grow Weeds When Not Nurtured With Your Thoughts
What’s important to understand is how your mind works the same way. Far more powerful than a pot of soil, let alone the equivalent of over 3.3 Million of the most powerful computer processors of our time capable of processing 20 to 39 Thousand Trillion pieces of data PER SECOND…
97% of people choose to do nothing, follow and conform in order to ‘fit in’ and be ‘normal’.
You MUST take a look at this video here: WARNING – It made me cry with happiness for my 4 children AND anger at the way the system encourages conformity.
Your mind is bored, and waiting for instructions.
Just sitting there, waiting for instructions, is your mind. If you give it no instructions, it will follow the conformers and let you drift through life, literally waiting for… death.
View your mind like a GPS. Your mind is programmed, by design, to take the shortest or fastest route regardless of future consequences. If there’s a toll or a ferry that costs money, it will not tell you unless you program it to Stop and Think long term to identify potential extra costs.
Let’s look at what Stop and Think truly means.
I’m not talking about trying to think of every…single…step of your life; every movement you make, and every thought that goes through your head.
I’m talking about being self-aware of why you do things a certain way, or don’t do things for specific reasons, and research the Ultra-Successful to see if there’s another, better way outside of everything you think you know and believe.
Stop for a slight moment before you take an action or make a decision before your brain automates ‘the task’ and simply start by being aware of what’s happening with your mind. And Think about the process and the answer you give.
The trick is to first identify that you have the capability to think, question, not believe everything you hear, fact check, and think a few steps ahead for potential consequences…
There are 5 different levels of thinking:
- Thoughtless Drifting
- Mindless Worrying Thoughts
- Empowering Conscious Thought
- Empowering Subconscious Thoughts
- Empowering Unconscious Thoughts
Thoughtless drifting and mindless worrying thoughts are two, very poisonous states that you must focus on and STOP immediately.
Thoughtless drifting is the act of doing nothing with your mind, following everyone around and automating everything without thinking. Thinking of WHY you’re doing something, or FOLLOWING without asking any questions because you’re told to. You just do it unconsciously like a thoughtless robot as that’s how you’ve always done it and been told to do it, without ever taking a moment to Stop and Think.
Example: Why do you watch the news? What fulfillment do you get? Most will tell me “they want to stay in the now”. Deep down, I know that most that grew up as baby boomers, Generation X, and some Millennials are taught that “not knowing makes you look stupid”. Yet, 98% of adults keep up with the news every single day knowing it’s Consistently Negative News (CNN) and serves nothing more than to feed fear to the obedient servants of society…
“When I get ready to talk to people, I spend two-thirds of the time thinking what they want to hear and one-third thinking about what I want to say.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
One of the first things I teach people that truly want to change their lives around is to Stop the negative news and start to Think and live a positive life. For those terrified of looking stupid, I have news for you: People love talking, and the golden rule for a great conversation is 90% them, 10% you as Dale Carnegie taught in the worldwide bestseller, selling over 100 Million copies “How to Win Friends and Influence People”.
Instead of poisoning your mind with negative news set up by the government for its puppets to listen to, focus on learning how to ask the right questions, and you’ll come up looking like the smartest person ever. I promise.
“Hey Steve, did you hear what Donald Trump did yesterday?” says a coworker.
“No, I didn’t, I really got tired of all the negative stuff on the news, what did he do this time?”
The First Step to Changing Your Life Around and Becoming Ultra-Successful is to STOP Thoughtless Drifting and Start THINKING for Yourself.
Mindless Worrying Thoughts
Mindless worrying thoughts are the negative voices in your head that continuously focus on mindless, nonexistent worries that naturally escalate to the worst case scenario of anything and everything causing stress and anxiety.
Example: You’re waiting at the bus stop for your child and you look at the time only to notice the bus is 10 minutes late. What does your mind do? Most minds will instinctively jump to negative, worst case scenario thoughts.
Oh no, did something happen? Did the bus get into an accident? Is my daughter/son ok? Maybe I should call the school to see… maybe I should take out my phone and see if there’s anything on the news… and on and on and on… even imagining calling your spouse in tears because your daughter suffered a fatal accident. Yes, the mind is that crazy if you allow it to be.
In Order To Start Thinking, You Must First Learn To STOP Mindless Worrying Thoughts The Moment They Enter Your Mind And THINK Of Positive Things.
NOTE: It’s scientifically proven that 92% of mindless worries are prefabricated by our natural human instinct to be negatively biased. Find out why here.
Stopping thoughtless drifting and mindless worrying is key to taking over control of your life. Then, we can start planning and thinking constructively.
Now let’s look at the first steps to thinking constructively.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t just happen overnight. There are three different stages of thoughts.
Conscious Thoughts – the awareness of your capability of thinking. Being aware of thoughtless drifting (automating and following) and mindless worrying thoughts, and STOPPING them dead in their tracks the moment you notice them, and starting to constructively think for yourself.
At this stage, you understand the importance of thinking but have to continuously remind yourself of your capability and to STOP disempowering thoughts and THINK for yourself.
Subconscious Thoughts – mastering the ability to be aware of your every thought and continuously stop the negative, disempowering ones immediately as they show up, and start thinking long-term before every action, decision and/or response.
At this stage, you are no longer following to ‘fit in’ or automating important tasks. You are now thinking long-term rather than short-term gain for every action, decision and/or response.
Unconscious thoughts are the polar opposite of thoughtless drifting. You instinctively ignore all negatives, have very little automation and no mindless worrying thoughts. You are in full control and automatically think 9 steps ahead for every action, decision or response you make.
At this stage, you are aware of your every thought and 100% in control of your mind.
NOTE: Stop and Think is only Step 1 of 7 to Creating a New Ultra-Successful You. To Enable you to Think and Act like an Ultra-Successful person I created an awesome 7 video series Here for details on all the steps.
Life’s Battles Don’t Always Go To The Strongest Or Fastest [person]. Sooner Or Later The [person] Who Wins Is The One Who THINKS he can. ~ Vince Lombardi
Now it’s time to take a look at How to Think Unconsciously and How to Think 9-Steps Ahead in Order to Always Get What You Want.
In 1937, Napoleon Hill wrote the world’s most popular business book of all time, “Think & Grow Rich” which has sold over 100 million copies. This book has created more millionaires than any other book in the world.
In his book, he breaks down the 13 principles of success as he saw them 80 years ago after interviewing over 500 of the industrial age’s richest people. He also speaks of a secret “hidden message” buried within the pages of his book.
“The secret to which I refer has been mentioned no fewer than a hundred times throughout this book. It has not been directly named, for it seems to work more successfully when it is merely uncovered and left in sight, where those who are ready and searching for it, may pick it up.” ~ excerpt from Napoleon Hill’s Think & Grow Rich Preface.
Now, do not confuse this with Rhonda Byrne’s, “The Secret”. Think & Grow Rich was written 69 years prior and was NOT teaching the law of attraction, where one could sit down on a couch and wish for a Ferrari while watching TV, hoping it will happen one day…
On the contrary, Napoleon states “Anybody can wish for riches, and most people do, but only a few know that a definite plan, plus a burning desire for wealth, are the only dependable means of accumulating wealth.”
The moment we heighten our levels of awareness, the secret ‘hidden message’ that Hill refers to actually jumps into our face like a ton of bricks.
WARNING: Spoiler Alert.
The secret is actually in the darn title.
Think & Grow Rich
Every single Ultra-Successful person over the last 2,600 years would attest to the fact that the power of thought is the most powerful of all human capabilities.
Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates all promoted Conscious Thinking and questioning everything rather than following conformity.
The bible also has many references such as “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Holy Bible New International Version (NIV) Romans 12:2
Yet, who teaches the proper way to Stop and Think for yourself in order to change your results and control your life and future in today’s world?
There are definitely lots of academic papers written by philosophers and psychologists, but there’s nothing that breaks down a simple, step by step process for anyone to start thinking for themselves.
When I share my knowledge on free thought to crowds, on the radio or TV, the biggest concern I get is “How much work is it to Think of everything?”
My first answer is always “Does it really matter?” Even if it took 5 years of ‘work’ to master your thoughts, you’ll then have a lifetime of freedom and control!
Now, the softer answer is to understand that when learning to harness the power of your mind:
Learning to Stop and Think is a Process, Not an Event
I’ve actually created a step by step system to fully using your mind and enabling it to think 10-Steps ahead.
I’ve broken it down into 3 sections, beginner, intermediate and expert.
Stop and Think Beginner Level
- You first have to know that you have the capability to stop and think for yourself, regardless of what you grew up believing.
- Then you simply have to be aware when you have the opportunity to constructively think. It can be before you make a decision or act, or even after you made a decision – you can reflect on the fact that you had the opportunity to think. The trick here is to observe what you were going to say, Stop and realize it’s mostly all short-term, emotional and reactive.
Once you are fully aware when you have the ability to think, stop and think constructively before you act or make a decision. This part will take a little more time to master and will slow you down a little.
- In a short amount of time, it will become natural to Stop and Think long term before you open up your mouth or act because you will believe, feel more confident and it will become second nature in your subconscious mind.
Your Mind is Programmed to Take the Simplest, Fastest Route Possible Without Taking a Split Second to Stop and Think About Long-Term Consequences
Stop and Think Intermediate Level
- Learn the 4 different behavioral traits that every human being possesses in order to determine how anyone you’re talking to will react. I will not go into huge depth here as I conduct a full day on the DISC test during my PROsuasion Seminars; it’s such an integral part of understanding people through relationships, sales, and business.In short, in 1928 a lawyer and psychologist, Dr. William Moulton Marston, invented the DISC Personality Test after inventing the Polygraph test. Marston also authored self-help books and created the Wonder Woman Comic.After conducting extensive research on human emotions, Marston explained that people illustrate their emotions using four behavior types: Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Conscientiousness (C)
Understanding and learning to identify the 4 different behavioral traits will help you in the next steps.
- Knowing that 97% of people simply drift through life mimicking all they see in order to ‘fit in’, and automate over 99% of what they do, how they act and make decisions without ever thinking for themselves… you now need to start observing other people. You’ll quickly witness that people don’t Stop and Think constructively. People react emotionally and most of their actions/responses are automatic.
- Start living a proactive life and Thinking long-term, 4 steps ahead.
How to Stop and Think 4-Steps Ahead:
- Stop any automatic short-term thinking that only provides short-term gratification and Think of your desired long-term outcome.
- Be aware of your old, short-term instant gratification actions.
- Stop and Think Constructively about the action you should take that follows the path of the long-term desired outcome.
- Act accordingly.
It seems pretty darn simple and straightforward, yet…
“5% of the people think; 10% of the people think they think; and the other 85% would rather die than think” – Thomas Edison
Stop and Think Example #1:
Let’s say you want to grab a coffee before going to work and you see a Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts or for my fellow Canadians, Tim Hortons. Let’s say the drive-thru is closed for this example.
It’s the holidays and the parking lot is extremely busy. Out of the blue, you see an open parking spot right in front of the door. Our instincts are to put on our flashers and take the parking spot. It’s conveniently right in front of the door. No thought required.
On the other hand, an Ultra-Successful person would take a millisecond to Stop and Think of the desired long-term result, scan the immediate environment (our peripheral vision and mind can see everything within a blink of an eye) and notice that when they have to back up, it will be in the middle of a stop sign in a busy plaza. By thinking long-term and balancing out time vs convenience, the Ultra-Successful person would obviously opt to park a little further down for maximum convenience.
Stop and Think Example #2:
Let’s say you’re planning on making a quick spaghetti dinner for the family. You’re okay with store-bought spaghetti sauce but you’d like to put in ground beef, chopped onions, garlic and mushrooms like I do.
Unfortunately, conformers will do one step at a time, maybe thinking another step ahead, maximum. They’ll cook the ground beef and onions, then heat up the sauce in a separate pan, then they’ll start boiling the water when the sauce is ready, only to remember they’re cooking garlic bread and have to wait for the oven to heat to 350F and then wait for all three to be ready to eat.
While a ‘Thinker’ will take 10 seconds to plan in her/his head all the main elements that need to be done.
- Cook meat and veggies
- Heat store-bought sauce
- Boil water for noodles
- Oven for garlic bread.
Armed with this ridiculously simple, available for everyone knowledge, logic would dictate to:
- Heat up 1 (or 2 pans) on medium heat while you
- Cut up veggies (onions, mushrooms, peppers…)
- Throw meat in heated pan, then
- Heat a pot big enough for sauce and all the meat and veggies, then
- Set stove at 350F
- Boil water
- Throw in veggies to soften them up
- Dump meat and veggies in with sauce
- Put spaghetti noodles in already boiling water
- Prepare garlic bread and set in pan
- In 7-8 minutes, check if the noodles are al dente
- Put the bread in the oven while you rinse the noodles and prep the plates
- Take out the bread, cut and serve all.
Learning to Think Can Be As Simple As Picking the Right Parking Spot or Cooking a Spaghetti Sauce.
It may sound ridiculous to break down such a simple meal… but I’m sharing this because most will NOT take that simple 10 seconds to plan it in their minds.
I want to demonstrate that you’re probably already planning in your head for certain things and you don’t even realize it. Now, it’s simply time to stop the automation and be aware of when you’re thinking, and be aware when you could have thought, but didn’t.
WARNING: The next step does not go well with everyone as most think short-term with their emotions, hence immediately thinking ‘it’s evil’.
NOTE: The way you interpret this will depend on your level of awareness that allows you to perceive and interpret every circumstance and experience you go through. I have an amazing article on this you can find here.
There is a reason only 3% of people succeed and this is one of them. They know that 97% of people are drifters and can be predicted to a 90% accuracy once learning the power of the mind.
Stop and Think Advanced Level
- With your new ability to easily predict people based on the above steps and knowledge, your ability to understand and use the DISC behavioral test and your ability to Stop and Think constructively, it’s now time for you to start thinking 10-Steps ahead for your every action, decision, conversation…NOTE: This can be extremely useful in every single scenario. I have put some examples below for you to follow. I suggest you go through the steps below, read the examples then come back to the steps. It’s a lot harder to write about it than when I explain it during my events. Here goes…
We are face to face with someone who asks us a question…
- Be aware of what YOUR ‘usual’ emotional short-term thinking, action, response, decision making would be and immediately Stop and Think before opening your mouth.
- Determine your desired outcome to the specific event/conversation/moment/circumstance (whatever it is) that’s currently going on.
- Ensure your desired outcome is in line with your Long-Term Legacy Plan.NOTE: Your long-term legacy plan is your purpose in life. What you are contributing to this world when you pass on, how you are remembered for each and every one of your rolls (Parent, business owner, community, sibling…)
- Visualize yourself saying what you or the 97% of people would usually say, and anticipate the other person’s response knowing how they’ll react with 90% accuracy, based on the fact that they will respond with automated emotional reactions, and having an idea of their DISC profile simply by observing them.
NOTE: This is assuming you’re planning 10-Steps ahead during a conversation, sales scenario, responding to an angry customer email, defending yourself in a lawsuit etc. It can also work for planning the growth of your business, writing an article, email…Also, remember what I said; don’t worry if you’re confused. Keep reading, go through the examples below and come back.
- Being ready for their anticipated response/actions and knowing your desired outcome, you can now proactively think constructively of THREE different approaches you could take that will throw their usual automated responses off guard and most likely force them to think logically (avoiding emotional arguments), create an instant bond as they’ll think you are just like them and/or thinking of them and, more importantly, allow you to have 100% control of the scenario, slowly leading the person towards your desired outcome.
It’s important to note that a win/win outcome is crucial when thinking 10-Steps ahead. Yes, you’ll get everything you want, but if it’s not win/win it will be short-lived and bite you in the ass in the future.
Always Think Long-Term ~ Fool Me Once, Shame On You. Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me…
- Evaluate the Pros & Cons of the three potential scenarios in your head in order to keep control and avoid being blindsided.NOTE: It’s crucial to think like a chess player here. In order to get someone towards your desired outcome, you may need to sacrifice a pawn in order to lead them to where you want them, and win in the bigger picture.
- Go through idea 1’s pros and cons (mostly anticipating response and balancing with desired outcome and long-term legacy plan)
- Go through idea 2’s pros and cons (mostly anticipating response and balancing with desired outcome and long-term legacy plan)
- Go through idea 3’s pros and cons (mostly anticipating response and balancing with desired outcome and long-term legacy plan)NOTE: It’s important to have 3 different (yet similar) ideas as they will be your backup plans if ever you start losing control.
- Select the best approach based on the results of the Pros & Cons and now anticipate their response/reaction based on this approach.
NOTE: It’s important to note, you haven’t yet opened your mouth while this is all happening in your mind. People are always concerned when I first share this with them, and I’m sure you’re thinking it too… I promise you will not be looking at someone with a blank stare when this is going through your mind.
Remember, our minds are 30 times faster than the world’s fastest supercomputers. Our thoughts happen when neurons are fired up, capable of connecting to tens of thousands of other neurons. We have over 86 billion neurons capable of creating 100 trillion connections. Conclusion: every step I have just outlined took less than 1 second of your time. But this can only happen when you believe you can do it. Sounds weird? Check out my research on beliefs here. It’s priceless.
- Knowing what you’ll actually say or how you’ll act, and you know now their anticipated response/action, it’s time to Think and plan your follow-up response.
NOTE: Remember, you’re in full control of the scenario. Your first comment is leading them towards your desired outcome which enables you to predict their response or reaction.
- Based on your follow-up answer, you can anticipate their response, once again with a 70% accuracy and prepare your final response.
- It’s time to finish with a bang and take down the King.
NOTE: This obviously depends on the scenario. When this is a selling scenario where there’s a negotiation going on, this would be where we release our power and go for the close, thinking of a win/win long-term outcome and over delivering.
NOTE: In step 5 we thought of 3 different options. If for any reason our counterpart did not respond/act as we anticipated, we have an arsenal of different options, or we can start a whole new thinking 10-Steps ahead ‘branch’ with the blink of an eye.
Now let’s look at some examples.
Stop and Think 10-Steps Ahead Example 1:
Time to Get Frisky
Let’s say it’s 8:15 pm, our 4 kids are in bed and the house is quiet. I’ve had a long and productive day writing this article which used all my energy and I’m really tired. I’m doing the dishes with my wife, we’re dancing to the music of our Google Home and having fun. I can see though, that she clearly has a plan in her mind (if you get my drift) that is definitely NOT in line with my plan to relax and watch the newest Tom Cruise Action Movie (I’m just throwing something out there).
By now I’m sure you know that most will not think at all. They’ll respond and act through emotions, completely ignoring long-term consequences.
So, the average spouse – only focusing on their short-term, immediate gratification – would ignore their partner and go watch the movie without ever communicating their thoughts and desires whatsoever, and be reactive to their spouse’s anger when confronted. “I don’t know what your problem is… I just wanted to watch a movie”
On the other hand, a thinker, will Stop and Think and plan 10-Steps ahead to create a win/win scenario.
- I become aware that my usual answer would be “oh honey, I can feel what’s on your mind and I’m so tired, it’s not happening tonight! I just want to relax”.
- I determine my desired outcome. I want to relax after a long day and watch my machine gun action packed movie and take advantage of the fact that the kids are in bed.
- I balance this desired outcome with my long-term legacy plan as a spouse, which is to have a great relationship with my wife.
NOTE: Obviously, ignoring her, being a jerk and doing what I want without acknowledging her needs and desires won’t work.
4. I visualize myself telling her “oh honey, I can feel what’s on your mind and I’m so tired, it’s not happening tonight! I just want to relax.” I see it could either open a can of arguments I don’t want such as “well when you’re in the mood I have to drop everything…” or …
- I constructively think and plan a few win/win scenarios in my head so that my desired outcome happens without damaging my long-term legacy goal.
Idea 1. Explain to her how tired I am right now, tell her it’s not her, she’s so attractive, I’m just really tired and promise her tomorrow.
Idea 2. Explain to her how tired I am right now, tell her it’s not her, I’m just really tired. Offer to compromise and watch something she wants and we can cuddle under a blanket.Idea 3. Tell her it’s not her, she’s very attractive, and as much as I’d love to be intimate, I’m just very tired. Offer to give her a massage while we talk about her day, then we can watch my movie and cuddle together.
Important to Note: I have a few potential ideas that fit well with my wife as I know her and her personality type.
- I create my list of Pros and Cons and select the best approach.
Idea 1. Explain to her how tired I am right now, tell her it’s not her, she’s very attractive, and as much as I’d love to be intimate, I’m just very tired. I promise her tomorrow.
Pro: I get my desired outcome
Con: I don’t know how tomorrow will roll out.
Con: I’m risking opening up a can of all the promises I made that I forgot which could start an argument
Idea 2. Explain to her how tired I am right now, tell her it’s not her, she’s very attractive, and as much as I’d love to be intimate, I’m just very tired. Offer to compromise and watch something she wants and we can cuddle under a blanket.
Pro: I partially get my desired outcome
Pro: She likes cuddling and gets a compromise
Pro: Risk of argument is low
Con: I sacrifice a pawn (not watching what I want)
Con: I don’t get to watch my testosterone filled movie and will have to watch The Crown (ok. Throwing something out there again)
Idea 3. Explain to her how tired I am right now, tell her it’s not her, she’s very attractive, and as much as I’d love to be intimate, I’m just very tired. Offer to give her a massage while we talk about her day, then we can watch my movie and cuddle together.Pros: I get my desired outcome
Pros: Risk of argument is low
Cons: I don’t get to watch my testosterone filled movie and will have to watch The Crown (ok. Throwing something out there again)
- Having weighed the list of pros and cons, I can see myself approaching her with something like this:Conclusion, I approach her and say something along the lines of: “Hey babe, I’m sensing you have something on your mind that’s very exciting. I’ll be honest with you though, as exciting as it is just thinking about it and seeing you (censored part here), I really feel that I wouldn’t be fully engaged with you which you would deserve. I’d just be thinking about how tired I am and would ruin my overall 5-star rating (good to throw in a joke here to break the tension). But I have an idea. I’d love for us to finish the dishes, go into the living room and chat a bit about our days while I give you a back rub. The catch? We get to watch my testosterone filled movie after. Is that a deal?
Which allows me to anticipate 3 potential response outcomes:
- She mentions she really doesn’t want to watch my testosterone movie (we watched one last weekend…)
- She could throw a wild card and say, it’s ok honey, I’ll read a book beside you with my noise canceling headset, or I’ll call one of my sisters or mom…
- The very worst case is an argument (this will only really happen if you never follow through on your promise of compromising). Follow through, do as you say, and this won’t happen.
- Because I’m anticipating one of these three answers, and I’ve weighed all the options with their pros and cons, I could respond like this to any of the three potential answers I receive.
- If option 1, I’m willing to first offer to find a mutual movie we both want to see as a compromise.
- I say as long as I can still give you a back rub (if not, long-term, she may feel she sees a pattern and one day fall into option c.
- Still, have a rebuttal ready “oh honey, I really didn’t want to insult you… I was trying to find a win/win for us” (again, this only works if you’re not a jerk.)
- Based on the angle of the 3 options, I listen and anticipate one of these three answers, which I’m ready for.
- “Ok Steve, I’ll go with your plan but we must watch (HER MOVIE CHOICE)”
- “Oh, you’re so sweet”
- “But you always do this” or “something else”
- Finish with a bang.
- “Fine, we’ll watch The Crown, but I’m putting a 5-minute timer on (in a joking fashion making her feel like she won)”.
- “Make sure to say hi to your mom”
- If this persists, we create a whole new nine steps in our head. And you should really take a look at Mistake #1 again as there’s definitely something important to self-reflect on.
I do have to warn you, I’m using my wife as an example here. But she and I have an amazing relationship; we share everything, she proofs most of my work and she’s also a grandmaster of thinking… knowing her, she would plan in her head 10-Steps Ahead and lead me towards the massage in order to then offer me one knowing where that could lead…
My point here is the fact that she, or other ‘thinkers’, are also thinking 10-Steps ahead and that’s where it becomes fun.
Robert Miller (Gere) is trying to sell his hedge fund firm as he’s in trouble. The buyer’s due diligence didn’t go so well and Miller sets up a meeting to close the deal once and for all.
It’s a great example of thinking 10-Steps ahead to get his desired outcome that fits within his legacy plan.
NOTE: Robert Miller (Richard Gere) is pulling a HUGE takeaway which is one of my favorite PROsuasion closing techniques. Sales is the most important skill every single human being should have once they’ve mastered the 7 Core Traits of the Ultra-Successful. (PROsuasion Course coming soon)
I’m sure your head is running wild with ideas, concerns, debating if this is even at all possible…
Here are just a few of the FAQs I get about thinking:
Is it evil? Is this manipulative?
Absolutely not. Most will think it is at first glance because they are emotional, being reactive and out of control. But if you take a moment to Stop and Think, you’ll notice this is how great products are invented all the time. How great businesses explode overnight. They are able to solve people’s problems and make a killing at the same time. It’s how advertisers and marketers create hype. How detectives solve crimes, chess players win games, and how politicians manage to win the public’s trust over and over again (well this doesn’t reinforce my point…)
It’s happening all the time. Why do you think the 3% control the world?
Do you need to be smart to think 10-Steps ahead?
Heck no! You should have seen the first version of this article (book by now). I hired a proofreader to go through this. I’m bilingual (French/English) and learned that grammar is not my strength, hence outsourcing. I have no post-secondary education, I decided to read thousands of books and self-teach instead.
It can look like a daunting task but the secret is in chunking it down like a system, step by step. The diagram I shared helps me.
Obviously, most will think this is insanity, to think 10-Steps ahead of everything. In Core Habit # 5 I will share with you how habits work and the more you are aware and proactive, the more it will become instinct.
Let me ask you when you get out of bed in the morning and go through your morning routine… How much of that ‘step by step’ do you have to go through in your mind?
- Slowly open eyes
- Next, Turn head to take a look at what time it is
- Next, Stretch out a little to feel body
- Next, lift blankets off the body.
NO! It’s second nature.
That’s how thinking 10-Steps ahead will become over time as I shared earlier.
How long will thinking 10-Steps ahead take to become natural?
Honestly, this comes down to how obsessed you are. I suggest putting a rubber band around one of your wrists and flicking it every single time you are aware of when you’re capable of thinking, or flick it when you forgot to be aware and now realize you can think.
The flicking becomes an anchor that will soon start becoming habitual which will then turn into automation.
I really hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it for you.