“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Your “normal” life reflects the level of your subconscious mind.
Your subconscious determines 95% percent of your behavior. Those behaviors happen, primarily, without you having to think much about it.
Your normal life is what is happening right now, as you read these words.
It’s what feels predictable.
It’s what feels comfortable.
It’s what feels “normal.”
Your environment supports your “normal” life
Your external environment is the ultimate feedback loop. It is telling you, very clearly, what is “normal” to you.
You want to know what your subconscious mind is up to, and where it is at?
What is “normal” to you? What is around and outside of you? That’s your subconscious reality.
Ideally, when you examine your environment, you should experience gratitude, confidence, and a little bit of angst.
- Gratitude for everything in your life, knowing that everything is ultimately a gift and that life is increasingly abundant.
- Confidence in everything around you, because your current environment is EVIDENCE that you are making tangible progress. Your current normal is far superior to your prior normal.
- Angst about how things could change and improve. Despite being incredibly grateful and present to your current reality, you also have big things to do and places to go. You refuse to get stuck at any conscious level. You’re always advancing forward.
What is “normal” for you right now?
What does your current normal life look and feel like?
How much money are you currently making?
How healthy is your current body?
How powerful are your current relationships?
Who is your current peer group?
You are the product of your peer group. Your peer group is reflecting back to you the level of your subconscious evolution.
How advanced are the people around you?
What do their daily behaviors reflect about you, and your standards?
How interesting are the conversations you have?
How challenging are the projects you’re working on?
How big is the future you’re striving for?
How to upgrade your “normal” every 90 days
Dan Sullivan, the founder of Strategic Coach, has four very simple and powerful questions to ask yourself every 90 days.
Start by answering these 4 questions:
- “Winning Achievements? Looking back over the past quarter, what are the things that make you the proudest about what you have achieved?”
- “What’s Hot? When you look at everything that’s going on today, which areas of focus and progress are making you the most confident?”
- “Bigger and Better? Now, looking ahead at the next quarter, what new things are giving you the greatest sense of excitement?”
- “What are the five new ‘jumps’ you can now achieve that will make your next 90 days a great quarter regardless of what else happens?”
Start by answering those questions.
Why are these questions so important?
To start, your confidence as a person — which reflects your ability to take on big new challenges and grow as a person — is determined by your recent prior behavior.
In other words, you may have had some big wins a few years ago, but if you’re not making big progress RECENTLY, then you won’t have confidence.
If you haven’t made big progress recently, then you’re likely living in your past. You probably reference your past regularly in attempts of validating that you are a successful or smart person.
But truthfully, you cannot have confidence if you haven’t done something significant in the past 90 days.
However, if you have been making progress in the past 90 days, then your CURRENT REALITY will provide evidence of that. Your environment will be different, reflecting a new normal.
How does this work?
Start engaging in “subconscious enhancing behaviors” daily
Every decision you make signals back to yourself the type of person you are. Your identity is extremely fluid and malleable. It’s constantly updating itself based on your experiences and choices.
When you eliminate negative choices and increasingly make better and more goal-directed ones, your identity updates itself. Put simply, there are three types of behaviors:
- Subconscious supporting behaviors: these are behaviors that reflect your current “normal.” These are the behaviors that 1) don’t involve much risk, 2) don’t create much emotion, and 3) are supported by your current environment. This is your status-quo.
- Subconscious defeating behaviors: these are behaviors that are below your current “normal,” which actually devolve you as a person. For example, you may have a certain level of physical fitness that requires a specific amount of nutrition and exercise. If you eat food beneath your current level of health, that is a subconscious defeating behavior — unless it is done extremely intentionally, in which case it could be a subconscious enhancing behavior.
- Subconscious enhancing behaviors: these are behaviors that shatter your current sense of “normal.” In other words, these are behaviors that are not reflective of your prior behavior and your current environment. These are behaviors up a level or two from how you normally operate.
How many subconscious enhancing behaviors do you perform on a daily basis?
When was the last time you did a workout that totally shocked your system, in a good way?
When was the last time you said “No” to the junk food you didn’t really want in the first place?
When was the last time you got up early and immediately began working on your #1 priority?
When was the last time you pursued your lover like they weren’t already yours?
When was the last time you acted FROM your ideal future, as opposed to operating from your current reality?
What could you do, today, that would reflect the future you intend to inhabit?
Delete everything from your current reality that isn’t a “HELL YES”
“You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.” — John C. Maxwell
There are two very simple tests (which I’ll share with you in a second) that you can perform to determine where you’re wasting your time.
It’s important to realize that at least 80% of the things you’re currently doing are keeping you where you currently are.
There are only a handful of things you’re currently doing that will move you forward.
What do I mean by this?
The behaviors that got you here are not the behaviors that will get you where you want to go.
A “normal” day for you right now may reflect an absolutely mind-blowing day 2–3 years ago.
As a fun example, my wife, Lauren, is about to have twins in less than 4 weeks. My “normal” is about to radically adjust. And to me, that’s quite exciting.
However, it’s very important to note that, even though my current “normal” behaviors are far upgraded to my “normal” behaviors 2–3 years ago, that I can’t continue to engage in my current “normal” behaviors if I intend on 10X’ing my life again and again.
Which brings me to the 2 exercises.
- 80/20 your life: You need to take a hard look at your life right now. What are the few things that are currently pulling you forward? Who are the few people that remind you more of your future than your past or current reality? Are you willing to take the big step forward and delete the behaviors and activities and relationships that reflect a “normal” reality that is no longer interesting compared to where you plan on going?
- “HELL YES” or “No”: This is a simple test developed by Derek Sivers which you need to engage in every 90 days. As you continue to become more successful in your life, there will be increasing noise and confusion that attracts itself to you. You’ll need to become better and better at only pursuing those things which completely align with the future you want to create. You must say NO to almost everything and advance deeply in those things which will create a 10X or 100X impact in the near and long-term future.
What may have been in the 20% that was rocking your world may now be in the 80%, keeping you stuck. What got you here won’t get you there.
Choose the results economy:
“Crave the result so intensely that the work is irrelevant.” — Tim Grover
According to Dan Sullivan, you are either operating in one of two economies:
- The results economy
- The time and effort economy
In the results economy, you are willing to do whatever it takes to get the result you want. To quote Jim Rohn, “The bigger the ‘why’ the easier the ‘how.’”
When your WHY is hot and clear and compelling, you’re fine engaging in behaviors and activities that, in the moment, are not necessarily fun and enjoyable. You’re fine doing the grueling work of getting better, or failing, or asking for help.
You’re fine facing the emotional shock of trying something new and bold and innovative. You’re not attached to the outcomes of your performance. You’re completely fluid and adaptive and flexible. Come what may and love it.
You’re completely committed to a specific result and purpose — but you have no pride or attachment to the outcomes and emotional experiences you have along the way.
When you attempt big and bold strategies to move toward your goals — you don’t suppress your emotions. You connect to them, you appreciate them, and you acknowledge them. But you don’t let them stop you. Instead, you allow those emotions to remain a part of the current situation as you proactively move toward the goal of your desire.
You don’t avoid hard emotional experiences.
You don’t ignore and suppress you emotions.
You live with them.
You experience them.
But you don’t allow them to stop you.
You move the direction of your biggest goals and values, knowing that eventually your body and mind will adapt, and that the intense emotional experience you’re having will subside — adjusting itself to a new “normal.”
Your subconscious is upgrading itself.
Your standards for yourself are elevating.
Your daily behavior and results are improving.
Your environment has changed — the ultimate feedback loop.
You no longer tolerate low-level, lame, and uninteresting conversations or projects.
Yet, you know how quickly you’ll adjust to this new normal — no matter how great it is compared to your past. And you are committed to never stopping.
While most people care more about their status, you care more about your growth. You’re committed to growing and disrupting what is normal. You’re always innovating and improving and changing.
Indeed, Albert Einstein said it best: “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”
Invest in yourself:
Your current sense of “normal” is what you presently believe you deserve.
You level of your subconscious mind is your current standard of your own self-worth.
What do you deserve?
What level of happiness?
What level of connection to your higher power?
What level of income?
What level of learning?
What level of connection and contribution?
What level of depth?
The fastest way to shatter your subconscious sense of what you “deserve” is to invest in yourself. When you spend money on your goals and dreams — you are signaling to yourself that you deserve more than you presently have.
You are no longer satisfied with what you have. You are committed to something bigger.
People will spend money on entertainment and junk food and distractions all day, but they won’t invest in subconscious enhancing experiences.
What would happen if you hired a personal trainer?
Would you see that as a cost or an investment?
What would happen if you hired a mentor or a private coach or joined a mastermind?
Would you see that as a cost or an investment?
If you see things as a cost, then you have a victim mentality. You want other people to do the work for you.
When you see things as an investment, then you realize that you have the power to create you own experience. You know that by investing in yourself and experiencing the growth, that you’re upgrading your sense of “normal” life.
Do you deserve a personal trainer? Or is that frivolous?
Do you deserve to have a private coach? Or is that something maybe for a few years down the road?
Do you deserve to be making 10X the money you currently are?
Well how do you think you’ll get to that level, when you continue to operate daily with behaviors that reflect your current reality?
The only way to scale your subconscious mind upward is by INVESTING big in your future now.
Nothing is a cost.
Everything is an investment to those who are growth-oriented.
Every relationship is an investment.
Every decision is an investment.
Every moment is an investment, because all of these things are pulling you forward with compound interest toward the future you’ve already committed to.
You cannot be committed without investment. That is a law of human nature. Your degree of commitment is reflected in your depth of personal and financial investment.
How invested are you in your goals?
What would happen to your subconscious system and the feedback loop of your environment if you began making micro-investments?
What would happen to your peer group if you began investing in a better one?
What would happen to your relationships if you began serving and helping the people you aspire to collaborate with?
The price of upgrading your subconscious mind is facing a new future.
When you face a new future, you will experience uncertainty and other confusion. But you can work through that confusion with the help of the right people, and with a commitment to your goals.
Most people will not face the fog of confusion and uncertainty. Instead, they will remain where things feel safe and “normal.”
They won’t upgrade their normal and transform their lives every 90 days.
They won’t live in the results economy — where they get what they want because they will have nothing less.
They will endure and tolerate stuff and people in their lives that are unsatisfying and unexciting, because they don’t believe they deserve better.
They won’t invest in themselves.
They won’t turn heroes into mentors and mentors into collaborators.
But will you?
Where will your life be in 90 days?
What will your environment say about you in 90 days?
What level of confidence will you have based on the evidence all around you?
Ready to upgrade?
I’ve created a cheat sheet for putting yourself into a PEAK-STATE, immediately. You follow this daily, your life will change very quickly.
This article first appeared on Medium.