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Hack Your Thanksgiving: A 3-Course Gratitude Meal for Profound Happiness

If you’re in the US today, you’re probably celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday.  I’m not going to get into the often-controversial history lessons here because we know that the past doesn’t determine the future – we can make this day whatever we want right now.

No matter your beliefs or situation in life, today is an opportunity to pause, reflect, and give thanks for your life and all that you’ve experienced.

Thanksgiving is a day we can manifest gratitude on a large scale – not just in ourselves, or at the dinner table, but nationally.  Maybe even globally.

Here’s my 3-course approach to “hacking” your thanksgiving – getting the most out of this opportunity:

The Appetizer: Taking Gratitude Seriously

Did you do the thing where you spent all your time trying to get the turkey just right, but grabbed some sort of frozen, processed appetizer that you stick in the microwave when all your guests start talking about how hungry they are?

That’s okay, it happens to all of us.

But listen, taking the time to set up expectations with a personal and exciting dish can do a lot for how you and your guests enjoy the rest of the evening.

And the same is true for gratitude.

When we take the time to not just announce things we are thankful for, but to really sink into the feeling of gratitude, we’ll start to notice some pretty amazing shifts right away.

  • Your interactions with those around you will be far more warm and rewarding without you even noticing what changed.
  • Your food will taste better and be more satisfying.
  • You’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the moment without worrying about clean up, or all the emails waiting for you at work, or all the Black Friday deals you’re going to ‘miss’ by spending the evening with your loved ones.

So take your time with this.  If you need to be alone, take a few minutes to yourself before everyone shows up.  Take gratitude seriously today, and be fully present to the possibility of a radical shift in how you experience life.

The Main Course: Manifesting Gratitude

Okay, you’re in a good spot physically and mentally. You’re ready to do this thanksgiving thing right.  

We want to keep this simple, quick, and light (unlike your main course at dinner tonight).  

You know how I just said to take gratitude seriously?  Well, take the effect that gratitude has on your life seriously…but don’t be serious when you do it! Have fun with it, be joyous, let yourself feel everything fully.

I’ve found that a very simple process – which I call 3G3 – is enough to get all the benefits of a gratitude practice without taking up a ton of time or getting bogged down in advanced techniques.

The simple version is this:

  1. Take 3 deep, fully conscious breaths and get centered in your body.  One breath is a complete inhale and exhale.  This moves you from “thinking” to “feeling” and is crucial for the next part.
  2. Think of 3 things you are grateful for.  Big or small, important or ridiculous, it doesn’t matter.  It could be the sunrise, or a stranger who held the door for you, or even how amazing your parents were when you were growing up.  Take some time to really feel what it’s like to be grateful for each of those three things.  Enjoy the mental, emotional, and physical state of thanksgiving.
  3. Now that you’ve manifested these feelings of deep gratitude, take another 3 fully conscious breaths.  This time, breathe into those feelings you’ve just brought up.  Embrace them and savor them.  Welcome the full appreciation of gratitude into this moment.

That’s it.  That’s the whole thing!

Just do your best and have fun with it.

If you do want to get more advanced, I go way more in depth on the 3G3 practice in my free gratitude tutorial, so jump over there if you want to know more.

But the simple version will be everything you need if you’re just getting started.  Just 3 minutes of doing the 3G3 practice will open up to you a deep and profound happiness that you can carry all through the day.

Gratitude goes further than just one day, though.  Right?  I did promise you a radical shift in how you experience life, not just a holiday…

The Dessert: Your Daily Gratitude Practice

Alright, we made it…

Come on, let’s be honest.  You’ve just been waiting for dessert this whole time, right?  The artichoke dip, cranberry sauce, even the turkey leg you fought for were just formalities.

It’s time for the best part of our gratitude meal – seeing where a practice of being thankful will take us in the year to come.

Before I get into that, I want to just acknowledge one thing: there are so few opportunities where we, as a society, are encouraged to be grateful.  

So, in some way, having a day set aside to be grateful is pretty awesome.

But in another way, it’s kind of like New Year’s Resolutions – why would you only focus on your goals or the things you’re most grateful for in your life one day a year?

What would your life look like if you kept this gratitude practice going for a whole week? Or month? Or straight through until next Thanksgiving?

Enjoy Greater Happiness Without Any Life Changes

Psychologists and researchers have finally started to pay attention to how our minds view the world and the very real effects that has on us.

Professor Robert Emmans of UC Davis is one of the leaders of this type of research.  He conducted several experiments to see what effect gratitude journaling – literally just writing down a few things you are grateful for once a week – had on study participants.  

He also had groups that either journaled without direction or journaled negative things in their lives to compare the results to.

So you can already guess that the people who did gratitude journaling for several weeks were happier – they self-reported as 25% happier than the other groups in less than a month.  

25% happier without any forced changes in their lives besides journaling once a week.

Now, I know some of you are saying “I don’t need to be 25% happier…I need to deal with all this crap in my life first!”

Well, keep reading…

Can Gratitude Make You Immune to Pain?

Another attempt at this study had participants keep the journals going for 10 weeks.  

What Emmans found was that the people who focused on just 5 things they were grateful for everyday got better sleep, increased their exercise by 90 minutes per week(!), were way more optimistic about the coming week, felt more connected to people in their lives, and were more likely to help others deal with personal problems.

But here’s the big one – the people who practiced gratitude weekly reported experiencing less pain than the negative group and the control group.

Emmans even tried this on people who suffered from debilitating muscular pain and found that within 21 days, the participants who practiced gratitude journaling reported not only less pain, but less interference in their lives by the pain they did experience.

Now Is The Time to be Thankful

So what are you waiting for?  A few minutes a day or even once a week can bring so much happiness to your life and to the lives of everyone you interact with.  

Gratitude will even make your goals more attainable.

If there’s something stopping you from being able to fully embrace your feelings of gratitude, I’d love to know about it.  It does happen to some people because of issues in their past, and I’m happy to help you work through it.

But otherwise, the time is now.  

Look, if I said I could teach you how spending 5 more minutes at work everyday would increase you income by 25%, you’d be begging me to tell you.

I’m challenging you, right now, to begin a 21-day gratitude practice.  And I want to know how things come out on the other side for you.

So what are you waiting for?

Extra Dessert

Come on, it’s Thanksgiving.  You’re going back for an extra slice of pie, right?  Here’s your extra slice of gratitude!

How Enlightenment is Exactly Like Laser Hair Removal

I’ve been on a few dates in my day.  Sometimes after a really nice time out, my date and I would start kissing, and maybe even taking things a little further.

Then I’d reach down and run my hand across her leg, and without fail she’d say something like…

“Hey!  Wait…  I have some stubble on my legs.”

Ladies, believe me when I say, no man really cares if you have a little stubble.  But my point is this: It seems to be a fairly universal concern for women in that situation.  Women (who shave) would like silky smooth legs.

Not to state the obvious, but shaving is a great solution for this problem.

But it’s a very short lived solution.  Shaving removes the immediate issue perfectly, but the problem isn’t really gone.  It’s still right there, under the surface, waiting to come back.

The next level of solution is waxing.  

Yes, that will work better.  Because waxing removes the entire problem.  The whole hair is removed.  Kind of painful, but a fantastic solution to the problem.

If my date had waxed before we went out, we could have easily gone to dinner…  And a show…  And I could have even slept over…  If I checked those legs in the morning, and all would still be silky smooth.

This is a deeper solution.  But sadly still not permanent.  Three days later, the problem is back.

Even though the entire hair was removed, the hair follicle still works.

Like a little “problem factory,” it begins making a new hair which will need to be dealt with down the line.

A lot of “solutions” in life are like that…  

They help for a little while, but the problem comes back.

As an example, take chiropractors.  I’ve experienced two kinds of chiropractors:

  • One kind is genuinely interested in fixing your pain permanently
  • One kind that seems to just get you on some kind of maintenance plan

Doesn’t it seem most of the time, they are happy to give you a solution that works for a little bit, but requires you to come back, in a day, a week, a month?  “We’re going to have to keep adjusting you so that we can keep you aligned…”

Our pharmaceutical industry does this too.  It is way more profitable for them to sell you a pill that will suppress the problem but be needed again tomorrow, versus a vaccine that fixes everything forever.

Almost everything is like this… 

Having a drink after a long stressful day works perfectly, just like shaving.  It alters your state, and in the moment “fixes” the problems of stress for the day, but it’s not permanent.  You wake up tomorrow, have a stress filled day, and need another drink.

We feel bored or sad, or anxious, and we flip on the TV, grab some ice cream, and we feel better in the moment…  Until the sugar passes, and the show ends, and we’re left right where we were.  Actually worse now, because we’ve added some guilt for our behavior.

So much of our society is built around these short term TEMPORARY FIXES.

Little things that feel better now, but don’t change the core issue at all.

Many of us have real problems: anxiety, depression, etc.  So how do we fix it?  We use TV, or cheese doodles, or chocolate, or drinks…  We use anti-depressants, therapists, and masseuses.

Our entire economy is built on the perpetuation of the problem.  In fact, our economy needs the hair to grow back.

But what about laser hair removal?  

Laser hair removal doesn’t remove just the part of the problem like shaving does.  And it doesn’t just pluck out the hair like waxing does.

It goes in and alters the hair follicle itself so it can no longer create hair.

The hair creation machine itself is altered forever.  It literally goes in and changes the ability of the problem making machine itself.

Enlightenment changes you at the core.

In a sentence, enlightenment is this:  It permanently alters your relationship to problems.

And it does this at the core of your being, permanently.

It doesn’t give you “better tools” to deal with problems.  Instead, it changes your ability to create problems and suffering at the core.

It is the “laser hair removal” of spirituality.

Like laser hair removal, you are no longer able to create the problem.  In short, It alters the problem creating machine itself.

Enlightenment is not magic.  It’s also not a place that human beings need to train and prepare to get to. You don’t need to sit under a tree for 10 years to find it.  It’s right here, right now, under your nose.  Literally all the time.

Enlightenment is much more real,  much more tangible, and much more instant than we’ve been told.

The biggest question is HOW? 

How can I experience the lasting permanent change?

My strategy for success consists of 3 parts. If you get these 3 things, you’ll achieve incredible happiness in your life:

  1. Finding a mentor that is interested in PERMANENT CHANGE. (If I had not found my mentor at an early age, I would most likely not be where I am today.)
  2. Having the RIGHT SYSTEM to follow that creates the necessary shifts you’ll need to make the shift.
  3. The ability to ALTER YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS mind directly so that change is safe and permanent.  (We need an “Identity Shift”.)

I suffered for many years from abuse, addiction, homelessness, death of loved ones, and even cancer. My path to an enlightened life was actually quite difficult, but yours doesn’t have to be.  I learned the hard way, and took a few bumps and bruises before I woke up enlightened.

But, my journey has led to the creation of a system that I call “The Identity Shifting MasterClass.”

I’ve developed the system and made it accessible for anyone really ready for change. It’s a step by step guide to permanent enlightenment. Take a look here to learn more about it. This is an amazing opportunity to really wake up and get the change you’ve always wanted.

If you’re tired of shaving, check out the “The Identity Shifting MasterClass” here.

The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

David Allen’s TEDx talk about stress-free productivity as a martial art.

This guy is GOOD!

What would you do if you were on his boat in that storm?

Enjoy.

 

 

This is It

“Always we hope
someone else has the answer.
Some other place will be better,
some other time
it will all turn out.

This is it.

No one else has the answer.
No other place will be better,
and it has already turned out.

At the center of your being you have the answer;
you know who you are and you know what you want.

There is no need
to run outside
for better seeing.

Nor to peer from a window.

Rather abide at
the center of your being;
for the more you leave it
the less you learn,

Search your heart
and see
the way to do
is to be.”

-Lao Tzu

The One Word That Simplifies Everything

I want to explain the hard part of simplifying, and why most of us are so bad at it.

Simplifying, at it’s core, is about saying “NO.”

We need to start saying no to over committing, no to new ideas, no to friends and family requests.  We need to say no to that new gadget that we won’t really use, and maybe that extra scoop of ice cream as well.

We should say no to most “opportunities” because the cost almost always outweighs the reward.  And we definitely need to say no to the requests of others that forward their agenda instead of ours.

We say no so that we can cut away the clutter, and REALLY do the things we say yes to.

How different would your life be if you really did all the things you promised yourself and others you would do?

This can be really hard when we’re overly worried about what others think of us.

”What will happen to Jenny if I don’t do this report?”

”What will Tom think if I say no to golf this week?”

This kind of thinking keeps us trapped.

We need to realize that simplification is about cutting things out. But we’re not cutting things out to have or do less, but rather to bring quality and attention to WHAT REALLY MATTERS in our lives.

Imagine knowing the top three most important things in your life, and focusing in on them with full attention and the time necessary to really do them.

As soon as this makes sense, it becomes easier to start saying no to the things that aren’t as important. When we can say no to the unimportant, life becomes much more manageable, and much more simple.

What are you doing in your life that isn’t aligned with your highest vision for yourself? Go ahead and let me know in the comments.

 

States vs. Stages

I want to talk quickly about how one core mistake we make leads to tons of sorrow for so many of us.  I’m also going to suggest a super simple focus in life that immediately fixes the mistake and leads to sanity, joy, and deep fulfillment.

To understand the mistake we humans make, we need to understand the difference between “states” and “stages” in life.  To explain them, I’m going to walk you through a process that I learned from a guy named Genpo Roshi (his American name is Dennis Merzel).  The process is called the “Big Mind Process.”

Let’s try my (way oversimplified) version of the “Big Mind Process” really quickly:

  1. While sitting in your chair I’d like you to lean over onto your right cheek. Hold this position, and think about a time in your life when you were a victim. In that position, go ahead and step into “victim.”  Really think about a time that you were hurt, that you’ve been held down. Everyone in the world can recall at least one moment when they were a victim.
  2. Now, move your position and take on another identity.  Turn your head a bit, shift over to your left cheek and think about a time you were heroic. You don’t have to be Superman, just think of a time you did something good or helped someone out in a major way.  Be “hero” for just a second.
  3. Now, sit comfortably in your seat on both cheeks. Just relax here and feel “joy.”  Connect with gratitude for something in your life and for a moment be joyful.
  4. Now, lean back a little deeper in your chair.  Put it all down.  Don’t be a victim, don’t be a hero, be nothing…  Literally sit in the moment and just breathe.

When Genpo Roshi leads you in his practice, he literally takes you to a place of full non-duality.  It’s profound, and I highly recommend doing his practice, but that’s not my focus here.  Here I just want to explain the difference between states and stages.

You see states are our states of “being.”  They are our feelings in the moment.  They are our emotional states, our dream states, even our drug induced states.  They come in no particular order, and in fact can often feel a little chaotic.  They are not time based.  You are what you are, and you can be something different in an instant.

Can you see in Genpo Roshi’s process how, with a little bit of your own agreement, you can transfer instantly into those different states of being? Just about every person in the world is familiar with these identities, because they are universal states of being alive: happy, sad, victim, hero, etc.

Stages are a little different…

Genpo couldn’t say something like, “Now shift in your chair and be… billionaire.”  Or “Move your position, shift in your seat and be… neurosurgeon.”  He couldn’t universally invite us to “be our inner scratch golfer.”

You either are a neurosurgeon, or you’re not.  You either have a billion dollars or you don’t.  You’re either a par level golfer, or you’re not.

Unlike states of being, such as happiness and fear, neurosurgeon and master golfer are stages of development along certain lines (or areas) of life.  And you don’t know that level of that line (the stage) unless you’re really at it.

Plain and simple… you’re not a medical doctor until you complete medical school.

What’s more, stages, unlike states, are in time.  Meaning they take time to achieve. Excellence along any line can take years of focus, if you ever get there at all.  And, it’s important to point out:  stages always unfold in a certain order.

You don’t start out as an expert and progress further down a line to intermediate, finally finishing your career as a beginner. That is not how stages unfold.  They always go the other way.

Do you see it yet?  Do you get the core mistake?

The core mistake is this:  We think that our states depend on our stage.  It’s the belief that I’ll be happier, better, more fulfilled if I get to “that level” over there.

People make a mistake in thinking they will become some magically new person when they reach a better or more advanced stage. They often feel they will deserve more when they “become” a better business person, or develop a different body, or whatever. This becomes a cruel joke after working so hard to develop along a certain line. Because sadly, we bring all our emotional states along with us when we reach a new stage.

You see, it’s really the states we want, not the stages.  But we think it’s in the stages.  But the billionaire that never learned how to love still feels depressed, alone and basically like crap.  The new stage doesn’t guarantee a thing.

You are not your stage.  Stages are an external framework, not your identity. They are a map, a judgement, of where you are on some line.  While useful for seeing how we’re doing along a certain line of development, we need to get the fact that they are not us.

More importantly, we need to be ok being what we are.  It is completely ok to be a beginner.

Whether in business or relationships, sports or studies, we all start out as a beginner. Doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner, an intermediate, an expert…  all are perfect.  Just be what you are.  Our sadness comes from us resisting what we are, wishing we were more.  Happiness comes now, when we love what is.

The whole point is that you are deserving right now, right here.  Fully deserving of all the happiness you want.  Not only deserving, but capable of HAVING anything you want right now.  What we really desire is to feel happy, connected, and loved – those are all states, not stages.  Your worth and your goodness in who you are is not dependent on what stage you’re at.

So here’s the important distinction, and the easy focus:

Don’t disagree with what is.

Don’t be afraid or ashamed to be YOU.  Whatever stage you are at is fine, and as soon as YOU make it ok, wonderful states of being pour in.

Did you get that?  Love where you are and something great happens – you become joyful.  If you fear that this might slow down your development along stages, well, that’s just silly.  We don’t stop growing.  Our desire to “become more” will not be stopped.  We just learn to enjoy the ride.  Within that enjoyment, we learn faster, make better decisions, and ultimately sit in gratitude and happiness NOW, instead of waiting for a fictitious future when we finally get “there.”  (There is no “there.”  We’re always HERE.)

Live by this, and you’ll be deeply happy, successful and probably pretty popular as well.

Do You Want Change?

changeI feel the need to quietly mention that we all “think” we are willing to change. Willing to “sacrifice self for our next version.” But we resist this unconsciously with almost all of our being…

We prefer the familiar. Period.

We naturally defend against the unknown, and so, against change. We prefer that “over there” change instead of us “over here” change.

Change masquerades as difficult, especially when we’re in the illusion that it’s what we want. Paradoxically it’s easier to accomplish, when we admit that we’d really rather not.

From there, change can more easily and authentically begin.

Stay the Course

courageThe world will not always see you. In fact, it will often ask you to give up your new ideas, your next version of you. “They” will ask you to slow down, to please stop changing so much…

Look closely at how that moves you. We are deeply social creatures, so easily influenced away from our own inner truth. Courage and creation have a lot to do with staying the course against your own immediate comfort, and against public opinion.

Unless you see a real loop of disfunction, be bold. Love yourself and stay the fucking course. Anything really worth creating or becoming scared someone at some point. If it’s them that get scared, then you really may be onto something.

And here’s the deal… By doing this you get to love and respect yourself whether they come around or not. Chances are, if you have the strength to stay, to finish, to really grow, then you’ll be someone we all want to love.

How I Beat Back the Demons (Every Time)

>QUICK NOTE: If you want to hear what I sound like yelling at a room full of women, then check this quick little 2min 37sec audio out. Be warned, I curse in it:

[audio:https://s3.amazonaws.com/robscott/BeatBackTheDemons.mp3]

OK, now let’s get into this.  Demons?  Like in horror movies?  As in being possessed?

Not exactly.

But in reality, the effects they have on your life may be much worse.  What I’m talking about is the almost universal “negative voice” that we all have running around in our head.  The voice spouting RIDICULOUS ideas like:

  • “No one likes me.”
  • “I’m weak.”
  • “I don’t deserve that.”
  • “I’m not good enough.”
  • “I’m not funny enough, or smart enough, or rich enough, or whatever enough!”
  • (And on and on it goes…)

This negative voice speaks from deep within, almost always unchallenged.  And since it goes unchecked, it feels like truth. And since it feels like truth…

It HUGELY limits us.

It’s so important for us to recognize this voice, and actually challenge it.  In fact, LAUGH AT IT.  These are the exact thoughts that are keeping us from literally everything we want in life. They keep us from making more money, loving ourselves, loving others, being happy, etc., etc., etc.

So how do we deal with it? Here’s a quick 3 step short cut to dealing with “the voice” (I can’t stress enough how important it is to challenge it).

How to Beat Back the Demons in 3 Simple Steps

  1. Become conscious of these annoying little thoughts
  2. Reframe them in an opposite and positive way
  3. Make sure your subconscious (your identity, your “self”) accepts the idea as true – experience a true “Identity Shift.”

(That last part, getting your subconscious to accept the new idea as true, is where this can get a little hairy. I have a free webinar here if you want to know more about how to use hypnosis and NLP to quickly and permanently change your subconscious identity.)

Think about it.  What if the above thoughts seemed completely ridiculous, and instead you had these thoughts running on autopilot:

  • “I love my friends and family, and they love me.”
  • “I am durable and very strong.”
  • “I deserve love, happiness and abundance.”
  • “I am totally capable.”
  • “I am talented and smart.”
  • “I am good enough, funny enough, wealthy and crazy happy.”

What if those were your “truths?”  What if that’s what was running in the background?

(Answer: It would change everything.)

Reframing your negative thoughts will help you in literally EVERY aspect of your life.

Look, we all have these limiting thoughts.  While it’s not optimal, by the sheer numbers of how many people have them, it’s definitely normal.

The annoying part is that most people can’t see them, and hence unconsciously believe the thoughts.  And THAT leads to massive amounts of pain.

I am NOT okay with that. That’s what leads to me yelling at people (or at least the demons in them).

Again, here’s the audio clip of me in Manhattan, doing exactly that. Yelling at a group of ladies, and beating back the demons. I get a little excited when I have the opportunity to wake people up. Enjoy:

[audio:https://s3.amazonaws.com/robscott/BeatBackTheDemons.mp3]

>IMPORTANT:  Check out the free webinar if you want to know more about how to instantly and automatically end the cycles of negative, limiting self talk.

(No sign up needed.  It’s just free content.)  :)

How to Build Your List – Bryan Franklin Interview

A great interview with Bryan Franklin.

In this short video we cover:

  • How to Build Your List
  • How to Create your “Sequence for Strangers”
  • Exactly when to “Make the Offer”
  • How to close more business
  • And much more…

Check it out when you can…