Pick Your Script

My most common theme is the process of building your “Ideal Self”.

I present it in different ways in attempt to reinforce rather than rehash.

So today, Pick Your Script.

Your life is a movie and the moment you were born, it was put into production.

There are MANY factors that go into making a good movie. Consider the main character, the cast, the scenes, and the script.

The scenes of the past have already been captured, but that is just the beginning.

How does the movie start off?

Is it boring? Well, you better do something to make it interesting soon or you’ll lose the audience. Don’t live the remainder of your life on autopilot or the crowd will walk out of the theater.

What is the main character like?

Someone you strive to be? No? Well luckily, since your’e reading this, the reel is still rolling. He can work on his weaknesses. Become a better person. Become a more interesting role. Your character still has enough screen time to impress you.

Does the protagonist suffer?

Be sure to allow these hardships to develop rather than destroy your character. Take it as an advantage. Great stories have great character development. It helps build a relationship with the viewer. We all love a good underdog story, hence why were okay with having 7 Rocky movies (Hell, I’d love to see 7 more).

 

Who’s the cast?

Are you surrounding yourself and working with an interesting cast? Do they support or constrict, you the protagonist? How likely is someone to get an award for best supporting role? Maybe you need to consider recasting.

What are the scenes?

Are you excited from scene to scene? Is there a lot of action or mainly dialogue (are you all talk and no go?). In this movie your the director so you can decide what’s next. So be open to steering yourself into situations that create a good scene. Few good films consist of risk averse homebodies.

What is the script?

The best part of it all… you decide.

Consider all variables of your movie. You are not the only member of the audience… be sure to remember that.

 

-gunn

01/17/2018

Extreme Accountability With The Marathon Mentality

Nobody really cares until its extreme.

What do I mean by that?

You walk into WaWa and see someone from high school. You haven’t seen them in years. They look good. Judging from the Facebook posts you see, they are doing seemingly well. You’re doing well yourself, at least you think?

Them: “Whats new!? How have you been? You look great!”

You: “Good! I started running actually, in fact, 3 times a week!”

Them: “That’s nice, I run sometimes too.”

Conversation drifts from there. Not bad. But rather anti-climatic.

Do you know what would have been even better?

Them: “Whats new!? How have you been? You look great!”

You: “Great, well I’m actually training for a marathon!”

Them: “No way! That’s awesome! What made you want to do that? That’s so cool”

See the difference?

Be extreme. Being extreme forces extreme accountability. Marathon runners have a marathon mentality. They are on top of their training. People who run a few times a week don’t mind missing a day, but marathon runners know they cannot miss a day.

In a way, being extreme is easier. You know you cannot afford any mishaps. The marathon mentality can be used for many things.

For example, dieting. People who do a Keto diet simply know they cannot eat carbs. They cut all forms of carbs from their diet(minus green veggies etc). They are less tempted to cheat because most tempting foods are carb based. Eliminating an entire macro-nutriment is extreme but easy to follow once accepted. It works the same for plant-based/vegans. If the food is not vegan they do not eat it. Easy.

Another example is in addiction. Most people who suffer with addiction are most successful when going completely sober. Not just eliminating one vice/drug, but all of them. Its extreme but easier than picking and choosing.

What are you currently working on? What would happen if you made it extreme? Would you burn out? Well, maybe its not worth doing then… most things worth doing are worth overdoing.

Join that race. Enter that contest. Challenge the best. Be extreme.

-gunn

01/16/2018

Captain Ego

Ego.

Put aside the immediate negative thoughts you relate to the word ego and take this in for a quick second.

Going with Freud, there’s 3 main layers to our personalities. Id, ego and superego. Lets focus on the first 2.

The “Id” is the impulsive aspect of ourselves. It responds directly and instinctively. Its the most primitive part of our personality.

The “ego” is where our reason comes in. Reasoning with the “Id” and our environment. Balancing our irrational urges with intelligent action.

Cool, Psych-class over.

So now lets look at it like this…

The interactions and stimuli in daily life is the great ocean. Waves rocking side to side. Winds blowing in different directions.

The Id, that’s the ship. Floating along the ocean of life. Impulsively following the wind and bouncing with the waves. The “ship” responds instinctively to the conditions, much like we do to our environment.

And finally, meet Captain Ego. The captain of the ship.

So what is Captain Ego’s role?

Captain Ego must first accept one thing. The only thing Captain Ego can do is control his reactions. He’s a navigator. He can adjust the sails and steer the ship towards the destination. He knows the destination because he has a compass (moral compass).

But much like the winds and waves of life, not everything in our environment is in our control. He must acknowledge what he can and cannot change. Pleading to the winds to blow him faster does not work. Yelling at the waves to stop rocking his boat does nothing.

Sometimes the ship drifts off course, conditions are always changing so he must adjust accordingly.  He can always readjust the ship (Id) in the right direction but must remember he is not completely in control and that’s okay.

 

Sometimes he will sail into stormy conditions but he must remember he is the Captain of his own ship.

-gunn

01/15/2018

 

 

 

 

Improve with Plus Minus and Equals

The simple formula to get better at anything.

The simple formula to get BETTER at anything.

The idea of “Plus, Minus, Equals” comes from Frank Shamrock’s approach to training. He uses it for his personal training as well as coaching others.

The idea is to train using 3 dimensions.

In simple terms, someone who is more skillful than you (Plus), someone who is less skilled than you (Minus), and someone who is equally skillful as you (Equal).

Frank Shamrock was an MMA pioneer and UFC champion. So clearly this formula yielded results for fighting. But it absolutely can be utilized for MUCH more.

Pick something. Anything you want to get better at. Apply this formula.

To help illustrate a maybe more relatable subject than fighting, replace it with whatever you currently want to become the best at.

PLUS

So we want to be the best BLANK we can be right? Well, first we need a mentor. Your mentor will be your plus. You will learn from your plus because they already experienced all the steps that you are about to embark on. They failed MANY times and wasted plenty of time. They are there so you do not have to make the same mistakes. Avoiding these mistakes may even allow you to surpass your mentor!

Find many pluses. You don’t need just one mentor you can have five. Five people to learn from from five different perspectives and paths of mistakes that ultimately made them who they are today.

Always pay respect to your pluses and thank them, because without them… you’d be aimlessly wandering the path that they themselves wasted valuable time on.

(Side note- When I first started my insurance business I walked into many local insurance offices and simply asked questions. Many owners were very helpful and gave great insight. Some were assholes. Three particularly I still stay in contact with and ask questions on a weekly basis, they are my mentors whether they know it or not. )

MINUS

Many times, the best way to improve to is teach. It forces you to revisit basics and reinforce them. We learn this from having a minus. You are forced to put yourself in the stage of a blank slate, thinking how would I prefer to have learned if I was a complete beginner.

Any particular “world” relies on beginners in order to keep that “world” alive. Yoga would have essentially went extent in India if it wasn’t for the willingness of the creators to share the practice and teach the beginners. help reduce these barriers of entry by teaching those who are a minus to yourself. It grows the community and opens up new perspectives. From the origins of yoga we now have hot yoga, aerial yoga, and even goat yoga (seriously).

Plus, its a great feeling to give back.

EQUAL

This is your main training partner. He or she has slight advantages in some ways and you in others. Sometimes your ahead but many times your equal is. Things that work for them may not work for yourself, so don’t trip.

This is the perfect environment for growth.

Throughout your entire career you will have many equals, figure out how to utilize your competition and not fear them. Learn from them.

How you react to your equals ultimately forges who you become. The “equal” dimension could be the best learning tool or the worst. It’s completely up to you.


And if your reading this and thinking to yourself well I don’t want to go through all of that then maybe you don’t really want to be the best you can at that particular skill, move on to the next one and apply the formula.

-gunn

01/05/2018

 

 

Accepting The New Guy

Acceptance. Its one of the first and BIGGEST barriers to entry when trying something new.

Whether its joining the local cross-fit gym, karate studio, or softball team. We want to feel like we belong to the community and can be welcomed warmly.

We all want to be accepted.

Its easy for us to shun the new guy. For whatever reason we feel protective, “whose this guy think he is walking in here trying to become one of us”.

I get it, sometimes you gotta pay your dues and show your worth before being accepted. But this frat mentality can be toxic and ultimately… its just not that serious. You have to remember that YOU were once that new guy or girl when you first started.

Not only does the new guy want to be apart of the community, they probably want to be like you.

For example. John watches MMA every weekend. He knows all the stats of his favorite fighters. He respects the hard work and guts that fighters posses, he wants to be like that more than anything. He even roots for the local fighters and buys their merchandise. He finally works up the guts to join the local MMA gym. He goes to his first class and guess what? He gets ignored and even worse, made fun of. John never went back.

Maybe John had the ability to become a great fighter. Maybe not. Regardless, he never had the chance because he wasn’t accepted.

New people bring new perspective. Maybe the new guy has a way of doing something that requires such a limited understanding that you, the expert, didn’t even consider. Simply being open and accepting can provide a new path of growth.

Around this time, early January, people are pursuing their newly set goals and trying out new things.

Commonly, going to the gym. Its the go to joke and complaint of steady gym rats. “These dang resolution-ers are in the way and crowding my gym”. Well guess what? Its not your gym and its not your place to be the deciding force of acceptance. Most likely these people quit after a couple weeks because they are self conscious and the gym rats make them feel uncomfortable. So every year they try again and repeat this resolution cycle. Do you really want to be that guy that causes that?

Flip side, I know there’s something to be said for being battle proven. Rising through the abuse and toughening up.

But at the same time,

Remember that accepting the guy can not only impact and improve yourself, but the community you assign to as well.

So at your Wednesday night yoga class, when the self-conscious new girl walks in looking down at the floor, smile at her and say “HI!”.

Be cool, don’t be a jerk.

Accept the new guy.

-gunn

01/03/2017

My 2018 Assignments

New Year, New Me ammi right?

I wrote down my goals for 2017 around this time last year. I laughed when I re-read them. Most of them were geared towards a career I no longer wish to pursue and the remainder were financial or physically related. Boring.

As we change our goals change with us, so rather than setting goals this year I’m going to have assignments.

I find that I operate best when I make myself “assignments”. I tend to push things off unless I know I MUST complete it, and you must complete assignments.

This years assignments are in the form of daily practices, routines and overall psychology. If I complete my assignments I know I will look back on my year with no regret. Any day that I practice my guidelines and complete my assignments is considered a good day. A great year is simply a span of many good days.

Here are my assignments for 2018.

General Guidelines:

Accept not being in control.
Care less about opinion, Not everyone is going to like you.
Your the average of the 5 people you associate with the most, do so wisely.
Rate every invite 1-10 but you can’t use 7, decline every 6 and below.
Think for yourself while being radically open-minded.
Listen.
Don’t spread negativity in any form: talking ill of people, complaining, jealousy, hating etc.
Make new friends. Maintain old friends. Be a low maintenance friend.
Practice gratitude everyday.
Ideas are easy, Executing them isn’t. Do it.
Help others in any and every way you can (be selfless).
There is no plan.
Don’t get foolishly drunk.
Thank, help, and spend time with your parents.
Cheerfulness in all situations, especially the bad ones.
Try new things.
Think before you speak. Words can be permanent and damaging. (Loose lips sink ships)
Forgive yourself and others quicker.
Avoid compulsively making things worse.
Listen to new music.
Take in more informational media than fun. 3 to 1 ratio or so. Meaning podcasts, TV, books etc.
Make good habits.
Smile.
Laugh.
Love yourself.
It’s not that serious.

Daily Assignments:

At the latest, wake up at 8 am everyday. Working for myself allows me to be lazy, because most of my work/business isn’t done until later in the day. Its easy to get lazy and sleep in. Don’t fall into that bad habit.

Read 45 minutes every day. Set a timer on my phone and don’t put down the book until the timer goes off.

Walk 10 minutes. Around the block, around the office, on the treadmill. Doesn’t matter. Walk an extra 10 minutes every day.

Reflect. Write down the summary of your day. Read the Daily Stoic and Journal.

10 Ideas a day. Anything: 10 book ideas, 10 workout ideas, 10 new car inventions, 10 new apps. Anything just write them down.

Weekly Assignments:

Maintain your training. Lift 3 times a week. BJJ classes twice a week. Yoga twice a week. Don’t neglect any of the three or over do any of the 3.

Blog twice a week. Something with value no junk.

Visit family.

Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Call not text.

Watch a movie.

Monthly Assignments:

Do something for the first time. Learn something. Take a class. Try a new hobby.

A physical challenge in any form. a powerlifting meet, a spartan race, random crosssfit workout, a BJJ tournament, a 5k. Anything.

See a show. It can be a play, concert, comedy show etc.

Go somewhere you never been, even locally.

Yearly Assignments:

Travel to at least two new places (out of state).

Have big goals.

Complete your assignments and WIN the year.

Stay accountable.

Get after it.

-gunn

01/01/2018

Create Your Ideal Self

“They key to a great life is to have a bunch of great days. So you can think about it one day at a time.” Kevin Kelly

Your ideal self. What does it look like? What does he or she do every day? What does their day-to-day entail?

Think its too hard to become that person?

Think again.

Reverse engineer your theoretical self’s life.

How did that person get to that position? What do they do everyday. What are their habits? Figure out their day to day habits and incorporate them into your life. Now.

Your daily habits become your daily life.

Over the course of years, with daily compounded interest, you will become that person.

My ideal self is a polymath. A person whose expertise spans a significant number of various subjects. Its almost simply a fancy word for jack of all trades, but without the negative “master of none”. Because a polymath is an expert in his particular skill set. An example of a great polymath would be Leonardo Da Vinci. He was a master artist, sculptor, inventor and anatomist.

My theoretical-polymath-self, (for now) is a serial entrepreneur, brazilian jiu jitsu expert, writer, and photographer. What does that theoretical person do day to day? I guarantee he reads more than I do now. I’m sure he already owns more businesses than I do. I’m sure he trains harder and more frequently than I do now. He absolutely writes more often as well. He takes photos rather than thinks about doing so. Hes a do-er.

I want to become someone I would love to meet. So everyday I’ll do whatever it takes to slowly and surely become him. Creating daily habits will create my ideal self.

-gunn

12/27/2017