A Serious Question and How to Discover Your Higher Purpose

Let’s start this off with a little thought experiment.

I want to ask you a question…

But be forewarned, the answer will elucidate exactly how clear your thoughts and actions are towards EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE.

I have one question to ask, and the answer will easily identify the true motives behind what you do, how connected you are to your life goals, and how stress free your day to day life is.

It will shine a light on your level of “spiritual consciousness,” the way you perceive reality, how you view your friends, work, and family, and how much emphasis you put on each.

EVERYTHING you do in life is defined by how you respond to this question, and the resulting thought experiment offers you a new way of living, filled with excitement and happiness.

Are you ready? Ask yourself…

Why are you reading this article?

What brought you to click on that link in your browser? Look at your environment, where are you? What decisions did you make to bring you into that room, into that city or country?  Viewing on your computer or phone, what factors led to your exact life situation right now?

Life can be so engrossing at times, so overwhelming. Too many tasks, following orders, helping others, worries, fears, ambitions, dreams, goals, relationships, it’s easy to disconnect from WHY you actually do anything.

Back to the first question, why are you reading this right now? What are you trying to accomplish?

It might be purely for entertainment, as a parenthesis from the day to day grind of work.

Maybe you’re reading this because of a nebulous thought in the back of your mind. You don’t know what that doubt is, but you feel a lack, and your journey involves searching, hoping that somewhere out there, someone will tell you how to make sense of it all.

Or maybe you know what that doubt is. You want more out of life, have specific goals, and are looking for someone to lead you there. But what drives that focus, that intent? Where did these goals come from? What creates the doubt? What direction is your life heading? How is what you are doing right now, reading this article, leading you in the right direction?

A Higher Purpose

Analyze your day to day thoughts and actions. Drill down, dig deep into your belief structures and values, and try to connect with what really motivates you. What are your true intentions? By perceiving your actions through these deeper levels of meaning, you get closer to the truth, and it allows you to create a more fulfilling life.

As an example, I’ll shine the mirror on myself.

Why am I writing this?

Superficially, I’m writing this because I’m obligated to write a new article once a week to keep visitors coming back to my website.

But if my only motivation in writing this article is from a task oriented paradigm, where is the inspiration?

Let’s dig deeper. I’m writing this to build my brand, to build my business, hoping that somewhere down the line I’ll have a large enough audience to create a successful product.

Now as I sit here nit picking and editing this post, it’s not as monotonous and boring as if I was looking at it purely as a CHORE that needs to be done. Once you zoom out, it gives you perspective and motivation to do all the mundane tasks. There is a larger meaning.

But let’s take another step back. Why do I even care about creating a successful product?

Well, I have a certain lifestyle that I want to live, and financial freedom is part of that. I picture myself writing on the beaches of Thailand or South Africa with a beautiful girl and a stress free lifestyle.

So now, as I write, I know that every hour spent editing this piece into something beautiful, creating a word of mouth buzz, results in more followers and a successful business, which moves me one step closer towards that kick ass lifestyle.

I also just enjoy having a large audience to hear what I have to say. Of course it’s validating to have lots of people comment, Tweet, Facebook like, or share my articles as a sign they enjoyed it. (*ahem*)

I would be lying if I denied ego validation as a motivator. I know the more polished the article, the more likely it is to spread virally, have more people read it, and the more praise that will come my way.

But let’s go one step further. Why do I want to be on the beach writing? What inside of me drives me towards a specific lifestyle? Why do I want a large audience and readership base?

Ultimately it’s because I want to be HUGE, larger than life. I want to create the type of leverage where I can offer as much value to the world as possible. To create change in others through advice, writing, speaking, and LIVING by example.

This one is big. Now it opens the doors to my entire life, and EVERYTHING I do.

So now, as I sit here looking at the room around me, and the tasks I have at hand, how can I move towards becoming that paragon role model?

I open the door to my refrigerator. To the left is some old pizza, to the right, fresh fruit and some grass fed venison sausage. When I’m connected to this higher purpose, the choice is easy. Eating healthy and staying in shape will not only serve as creating a lifestyle where I can lead by example, it will also keep me mentally focused and more productive.

I’m at the mall looking at purchasing a new shirt. Could this money be better spent on marketing for my brand? Does the shirt look professional, could I wear it onstage? Or could I buy a plane ticket to Las Vegas, create some amazing stories and teach what I learned from the experience?

If I’m on Facebook, I’m looking at competitors to see how they are marketing to their customer base. If I’m on an internet marketing forum, I’m trying to sniff out new ways to increase traffic to my sites and better optimize conversions.

I want it all…

There doesn’t need to be conflict between your priorities to excel in EVERY area of life. It’s all synergistic. Your career moves you towards your dating life, which moves you towards your physical health, which moves you towards your emotional health, and back and forth and cross connecting to move you towards becoming the ultimate man.

Ask Yourself…

Why are you here?

You might be at work, feeling underutilized and just randomly checking websites to pass the time. You might be living in a shitty apartment with roommates you hate, and this is your break from reality.

Or you might be living a great life, and trying to take it one step further. You might be completely happy, or a good friend, and read this just to enjoy seeing me do what I do.

Whatever the reason, don’t stop there, peel away the layers of meaning and view things from a broader perspective.

Connect with your higher purpose, steer the rudder of life towards your destination, and start living through THAT filter as opposed to a disjointed myopic view of the world.

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
-Henry David Thoreau

That desperation comes from a disconnect between a higher purpose and your actions.

In everything you do, live life to the fullest.

You’ll notice that your actions and thoughts will take on new meaning.  You’ll live life with more passion and motivation.  You’ll be magnetic to the people around you, and the value you offer others will give you wealth beyond financial success, but true happiness.

CORE Confidence: What it is, and How to Get it

It’s been a while since you’ve been to your friend’s house, and you can’t remember the room number. You wrack your brain to recollect the correct floor, jump in the elevator, and head to the room you suspect is his.

When you go to open the door, you hear the rumblings of a huge party. There must be at least 30 people inside. The door is slightly ajar. You glance in, and realize none of the faces appear familiar.

Is this the right place?

You call him, text him, but no response.

After what feels like 20 minutes, waiting is no longer an option. As you take a step inside, everyone turns to stare. Your eyes dart about the room, looking for some sort of familiarity.

At least you’re in the right place, and you find your friend in the corner. He’s hosting an impromptu party. Organized by another friend, and neither of you know more than a handful of people.

Let’s jump in and have some fun!

Would you feel confident in this situation?

Let’s talk about how we can develop a level of confidence where you feel completely comfortable in ANY environment.

But first, as an addendum to my last article, I realized why I was in that funk last week. The day after I wrote it, I fell deathly ill. Sore, tired, sick, with a sore throat and cough, it was the sickest I’ve been in a long time, with the bacterial firestorm brewing inside me manifesting as some weird lonesome malaise.

It’s funny how much your physiology can pull you down into lower levels of conscious thought. I couldn’t force myself out of the funk. The problem was that it wasn’t a mental issue, but my body was literally burnt out from non stop traveling, partying, and working for 3 months straight.

So I’m consciously disengaging and forcing myself to chill out, read a bit, and relax more without forcing any productivity.

The result is an evolution back towards the self development arena. I had been so focused on my business research the last 4-5 months that anything else took the back seat. But with most of my ventures in motion, I’ve freed up a lot of mental energy. Moving forward it’s less about research, and mostly just a matter of scaling.

If anyone is interested in my current personal development materials, I’ll be watching Tony Robbins’ Fortune Management, rereading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, and brushing up on the vocab with Charles Harrington Elser’s Verbal Advantage.

Feel free to join in, should be a nice mix of new concepts leading towards me being even more awesome. ;)

Today, I’d like to answer a letter I recently received from a former client regarding the old situational vs. core confidence dilemma.

Whatsup Brad!

My behaviours and values are sometimes changing depending on my environment, or mostly the people im with. When im in a bar with loud music on the weekend Im always fun and charismatic and do really well with what you taught me. I feel and believe im high value and dont need anything from anyone, everyone wants to be involved. In contrast, I was at chilled after partys a couple of times the past month and I just dont feel that way. I feel like im in spectator mode. Sometimes even in normal day to day situations its like this. I even know that this is ridiculous and theres nothing stopping me being awesome all the time, but im finding it difficult to believe im high value day to day. I know It’ll come eventually as I keep going out but I’d be interested to hear what you think.

Thanks,
Rick-

This is a classic instance of situational confidence. Because the student has been going out a lot, and taken a bootcamp focusing mostly on that same environment, his confidence in one situation is much stronger than in others.

This leads to a lot of situational confidence in this environment. But in new situations, because he isn’t used to meeting people at parties or during the day, there is a dearth of confidence.

First I’ll explain how to get more confidence in specific new environments, and then how to move towards an overall CORE confidence in everything you do.

How to Work a Party

One of the big drives I have to continually go out to clubs is that there is always a level of variability every night out. No matter how many times I’ve been to the same venue, there is a high probability that I will encounter a new scenario that I haven’t experienced before.

This is less likely to happen on the initial approach though. That first five minutes of meeting a girl in a night club becomes fairly consistent over time. Go in hard, be loud, have a good tone of voice, and eye contact per usual.

How is an afterparty different?

The biggest difference actually makes this environment EASIER to meet new people. Because the party is at someone’s house, there is an assumed level of value just because you are there, and you don’t need to approach as hard as you would in the club.

This can be challenging at times. It’s funny how when you start off meeting new people, the hardest part is learning how to quickly convey value. But then, once you get the skill of cold approaching down, how to tackle the “warm approach” becomes hazy.

When it’s a warm approach you don’t need to convey as much value at the start. Also, there are instant commonalities to talk about.

Who do you know there? How did you meet them? These types of questions are easy to fall back on, and great conversation starters. From there, vibe like normal and let the conversation flow.

The other factor that makes this environment different than a night club is that internally you might feel that there is a larger chance of embarrassment in the party environment. You can’t burn a few sets as warm ups like you can in the club, but just like during the day, warm up sets aren’t necessary because you don’t need to be as ON when talking in this situation.

Again, the value is already assumed, you have inherent social proof just by being at the party. Just go up with a smile, say hi, and ask whom they know there, then transition into whatever comes out of that.

This is getting towards the crux of my teaching philosophy. Most guys that attend my program aren’t socially uncalibrated weirds, they are usually very well put together guys that do great in certain social situations, but are looking for a more effective way to meet women.

So through teaching a few tweaks to how to approach, (outer game) you can smoothly meet ANYONE, and then through getting more reference experiences, you develop even MORE confidence, (inner game) those outer game techniques become internalized, and you feel comfortable in that environment.

But truth be told, there are countless places were you can meet women: after parties, on the street, at a concert, dinner parties, coffee shops…

Remember that for ANY environment, before anyone even acknowledges you, you need the other person to realize that you have value to them.

In a nightclub this is done through approaching STRONG. But in other situations, when you already have the value, the way you start the conversation is less important.

So first think about the stimulus in the environment compared to how much value you have, and use the two to determine how to approach.

Once that aspect is handled, the conversation is IDENTICAL to any other. With the value conveyed, it’s just a matter of flowing, yet still keeping a pressure towards moving things forward, leading, having fun, self amusing, and all the other things we constantly talk about at RSD.

How to Develop Core Confidence

Well, because of the manifold situations that could happen in your day to day life, you can never truly get enough experience to cover every situation where you might meet a girl.

I remember when Tyler, Mike, and I were in Miami. Tyler says to me, “Alright dude. Mike grab the camera, let’s go hit up South Beach and get some footage!”

Now, being from Wisconsin, I didn’t have ANY experience meeting women on the beach. It didn’t help that I’m being filmed during the day with a hidden camera next to girls wearing bikinis, AND with my boss watching me do all this. There was definitely a low level anxiety.

I go up to the first girl on the beach. She’s real cute, and laying out by herself. I sit down, and she pretends to not speak English.

Gross.

Then I go up to 2 girls lying on a blanket reading books. I sit down, and all of a sudden…

I remember how cool I am.

It hooks. They’re totally fun, and I grab their number to meet up later on that night.

Too bad the camera’s sound didn’t work, heh…

But the bigger learning lesson was the fact that once I got over the initial hurdle of approaching, MILLIONS of reference points kicked in. It’s just that first approach threshold that is different in different scenarios.

Can you ever reach a point where you are comfortable in EVERY situation?!

I’m envious of guys that are just naturally like this. The approach machines that have such a high sex drive that they will literally approach ANYTHING even if the chance of it working out is slim to none.

I’ve never been like this, although every year that goes by, I get better at it.

What has helped?

I would say a few things.

The technique I’ve taken since the beginning is to get as much experience in whatever environment is most conducive to my lifestyle, and slowly the experience and confidence spills over into all areas.

I’ve literally had so much success in night time situations, and the level of abundance that I walk around with due to the constant texts, facebook messages is a constant reminder that there are already a lot of great women in my life.

No matter how random and unorthodox the situation is for me to meet a new girl, in the back of my head, there is always the assumption that this girl would be winning if I went up to talk to her.

Another big part of this is that I have been all over the world, met a wide variety of girls in a vast number of very different places. And through seeing consistent patterns, it allows me to feel more comfortable when it’s not a normal situation. I know on a deep level that as long as you maintain that high value frame, and keep it fun, it’s highly likely to go well.

Action Plan

So how can you move towards this core confidence? How to feel comfortable being social in any environment?

Just like my examples, the big take away is to just get out there and HAVE more experiences. Keep going out at night, build the abundance.

But also push yourself to approach in situations where you aren’t as comfortable, so you can start seeing the higher level consistencies, as well as gain valuable reference points in new situations.

The way to analyze the situation is to look at your value, look at the other stimulus (external value) in the environment, and crank up the amount of value and fun you need to trump the situation.

And again, after the interaction starts, converse as usual like any other time.

Alright time to get back to the vocab training, today’s word:

gran·dil·o·quent/granˈdiləkwənt/-
Adjective: Pompous or extravagant in language, style, or manner, esp. in a way that is intended to impress.

Haha, nice. Enjoy your weekend!

The Slippery Slope of Self Development and Actualization

I’ve been addicted to the second season of Mad Men for the last few days.

I never watch TV, but a friend borrowed my iPad and threw on a bunch of TV shows to help me pass the time when I’m flying between cities.

Love the show, Don Draper has a lot of masculine characteristics that I try to embody.  But this post isn’t to talk about the show, more the weird funk it has put me in today.

Mad Men is somewhat of a dark slow drama, I’ve been watching it all day.  Somehow between the weird darkness, and me feeling like I haven’t accomplished anything because I’ve been watching TV shows, (even though I’ve already written about 4000 words and bought a few new domains) I’ve fallen into a weird introspection.

Call me a workaholic I guess.

So while taking a shower, meditating on my current thoughts…  I figured I’d use this post as catharsis.

The Slippery Slope of Self Actualization

In McKenna’s Spiritual enlightenment the Damnedest Thing, there is one analogy he uses to explain the path towards enlightenment that stands out.

It’s funny how self development junkies think.  Myself being a member of that club, as I’m sure many of you are as well.

Most people don’t like their reality to be fucked with.  They don’t like questions.

Religions were created for this reason.  No need to think for yourself, just do what God says and you will go to heaven.

Not gonna get into that topic, but what’s funny about people that get into self development is that they LIKE fucking with their own reality.

Epiphany!  Yay!!!

Anytime a self help junkie realizes something about the way they think is not actually true, it’s a sign that they are developing.  They’re happy, yet it’s a slippery slope.

What McKenna talks about in Spiritual Enlightenment, is that as you start moving towards the higher end of the consciousness spectrum, (although I’m sure he’d hate that I used that term) it’s like the floor drops out from under you and you start sliding down a mudslide.

All your thoughts, beliefs, and values come into question.

You look at the way you thought yesterday, and you think about how naïve you were.

Then tomorrow comes around, and you feel the same way about the day before.

You keep sliding down the slippery slope, until you come to a point…

Where the sliding just becomes reality.

You just jump into the abyss of nothingness and take a very objective viewpoint of it all.

Of what?

Life, I guess.

Travel is my Grindstone

I went through the whole spiritual introspection, existential, lost feeling a few years ago, but I think my travel schedule had an even bigger impact on my current thought patterns and perspective of reality.

Literally not having a home, living out of a suitcase, the endless use of public bathrooms, (sweet!) not having any consistency on the most basic levels.

You get sick.  You don’t have a doctor, you need to search around and find one.

Not knowing where to stay, where to take clients out, where to eat, trusting strangers, finding transportation, wearing the same shirt for 3 days…

It’s literally a constant low level anxiety everyday.

Now, anxiety is kind of a loaded word with many negative connotations, it’s not so much the traditional anxiety, just a constant taxing on your mental faculties, never a dull moment.

In no way am I complaining about this, (can’t complain, hah) I’m just trying to explain the thoughts that go through my head INSTEAD of daily gossip, or sports stats, or even what other people think of me.

I’m too busy trying to “survive.”

It’s funny as I write this, because I’ve literally done it for so long now,  most of it is internalized.

Just as the slippery slope of destroying your reality BECOMES your reality, living life from city to city just BECOMES your home.

I’m at home everywhere I go, and it creates a VERY strong sense of being comfortable in my own skin.

I Have No Friends

The intense travel schedule has other byproducts as well, and this topic I’ve had less time to wrap my head around and go through the whole mental reframing process in my own brain.

Everywhere I go, I know someone.   Whether friend, volunteer, assistant, or former client, I’m very lucky in that almost any city I go to these days, I have a friend I can meet up with.

But, I find myself looking back at college or high school, and the large social circle I had back then.

That ever present longing for the good ole’ days classic thought process.

Yet I know that 5 years from now.  I’ll be thinking the same thing about my CURRENT life situation.

It’s moments like these where your mental awareness and fortitude really get honed.

Embrace life.  Embrace the process.  Enjoy RIGHT NOW.

It’s like old school Eckhart Tolle, but really happiness IS in the moment.

That aspect handled, I’m wondering how loneliness fits into my current perceptions and ego ramblings as well.

They say that humans need human interaction, need comfort and social connections, and sure, on a very glib level I have these DAILY.

But I don’t have many deep relationships.  And all of my closest friends either travel as much as I do, or are living all over the world where I only visit irregularly.

I don’t really feel negative emotions towards this, more I see how my current actions are working towards creating a lifestyle where I DO have these types of people in my life more regularly.

Which is why I think it’s important to have a better understanding of what drives me to take those actions.

Are bad or unconscious emotions dictating the actions I take?

I’ve yet to find out, and also don’t even know if the vague goal I’m striving for is a possibility.

Looking at priorities, travel is STILL the most important thing in my life.

I want to live in Costa Rica and learn Spanish, party in Berlin and start learning some German, spend at least 6 months in Manhattan to truly experience one of my favorite cities…

Where do friendships, girlfriends, and even children come in to play here?

I have yet to find an example of someone living the life I plan to live, both the travel and the friends and family aspect.  There are many unknowns to how it will all come together.

They say it’s lonely at the top.

The further down the rabbit hole you go, the less you have in common with less and less people.

Living a truly objective life, how important are friends, family, and relationships?

I know I wouldn’t be where I’m at today if I didn’t have the drive to better my social situation, both to network with and find new friends.

But I don’t have a clue how everything will fall into place, and how my priorities will shift at different periods of my life.

Everything Happens for a Reason

Someone recently asked me what my plans are for the next few years.  Where do I see myself, what about my girlfriend/family/career situation, where do I want to live?

The whole shebang.

And my response was that I don’t worry about it.  I have no concerns.

I have no doubts.

As I said it, it sounded a bit weird and arrogant, but it’s true.

I’ve set my life down a certain course, chosen my goals based on concrete life values, and as long as I’m living in alignment with those values, I don’t think.

It’s supremely relieving.  I don’t have any questions.  It’s just a matter of keeping on, keeping on.

Everyday, every experience, is just putting another coin in the bank account of life.  It’s all building…

Towards what, who knows?

Ultimately, it’s the process of filling the bank account to enjoy, not the end goal.

Let life unfold, stop stressing, and enjoy the ride.

Just Call Me Tony Robbins Jr. – My 5 Year Plan

I just landed in Dublin, my last city before heading to Las Vegas!

As I entered the country, sliding my old ragged torn up passport across the counter towards the customs officer, he gave me a weird glance.

Then once he opened it and realized it was completely full, I got another weird look.

Going into this Euro tour I kind of got busy with work and forgot to get a new passport. Woops!

I was pretty nervous that I would run out of space for new visa stamps, but it looks like I JUST made it, as long as I don’t get any shit coming back into the USA.

There’s one for the bucket list, first passport FULL.

The first 6 months of 2011 have been good to me, looking at the remainder of my yearly schedule, things just don’t seem to stop.

I decided at the beginning of this year to go full nomad, I literally don’t even pay rent, don’t have an apartment, it’s been a full year of just me and my suitcase, and it’s interesting the effects it’s had on my psyche.

I feel at home everywhere. I have little anxiety towards any situation, whether I’m getting lost in a new city, not knowing where I’m sleeping next week, or how to find a good night club, I know it will sort itself out.

-with Stuart’s help of course (concierge to the stars) ;P haha

As I realize it’s about half way through 2011, I figured I’d fine-tune my goals for the remainder of the year, give you a peak into my life, and what I plan to do in the future.

 

Lifestyle Development

Tying back into the Tim Ferris 4 Hour Work Week mindset, my perspective is that lifestyle is the first priority, with everything else a means towards a specific lifestyle.

My ultimate dream is to some day be on stage in front of THOUSANDS of people, like full Anthony Robbins style running around pumping people up.

That’s probably 5-10 years away, yet everything I do now is to help me reach those goals.

Teaching bootcamps will always be a part of that, but the goal is Lifestyle Development.

One of the main pillars of lifestyle development is a surfeit of travel, which is obviously a big part of my life already.

But I’ve yet to go to crazy places like Thailand, or climb Mt. Kilamanjaro (which is on my short list) or start BASE jumping into caves.

And I don’t think I’ll be conducting bootcamps near the Chilean cave mines any time soon, which is why my recent motives have shifted away from just girls, girls, girls, and onto how I can have a voice and life outside of the bootcamp medium.

This blog is a big step towards that, building the Brad Branson Brand.

But my goal is to create not only a brand, but an idea.

The idea of creating an amazing lifestyle in all areas, have financial freedom, live healthy, travel the world, increase consciousness, and win at LIFE!

 

Get Paid

I also think that to be a credible holistic lifestyle development mentor/guru/coach, being financially successful is a necessity.

Yeah, I live a pretty amazing lifestyle already being an RSD executive coach, but I think there will be a huge boost in my credibility if I don’t teach because I HAVE to for a living, but because it is my craft.

Also if entering more of a holistic self development arena, the biggest charlatans are the ones who make money by teaching you how to make money.

I don’t see how I could congruently be on stage, teaching people how to be successful without first succeeding on my own.

So I’ve been working on a variety of side ventures, everything from taking on more responsibilities inside of Real Social Dynamics, to SEO campaigns, to offline business consulting and investments.

And by the way things are looking, I should be able to heavily diversify my income sources by the new year, mostly passive style. (mmm…. That’s the best style…)

It’s an interesting shift in my priorities. On one hand, the more I go out, the better my understanding of the game gets, yet I know that if I stay in the house for one night, I can get a shit ton of work done.

My to do list is pretty much limitless, between all the new responsibilities that I’ve taken on with RSD, and my side ventures, AND the girls, and the beer… heh.

I’m running on all cylinders and trying to lead by example.

As always, this site and my brand are on a constant path of growth, and there are big things coming in the near future.

So stick around, enjoy the site (which has almost 200 articles now, and close to 3000 comments).

Enjoy the ride!!!

I’m wondering if you guys are interested in how I’m optimizing bradbranson.com and my other SEO sites.

Comment below if it interests you…

One Quick Tip on How to Positively Reframe Your Life Situation

Last week was kind of crazy, and a bit annoying.

One aspect of self actualization is that you spend less and less time in a “peeved” state, and when it does rarely happen, it’s frustrating.

It’s like you are conscious enough to know that you shouldn’t be pissed off at whatever life situation, yet you still are, and it only confounds the problem.

A few random things, like my computer, girls, and other drama got me into somewhat of a weird vibe for about 3 days. I think mostly due to the fact that the week prior was probably the best week of my life.

Everything was rocking, life was great, and I was prepping for even more glory in Europe.

So then all of a sudden, a few things to kick me back to reality, and that is where the frustration kicked in.

My method for pushing through the bullshit is, as always, the positive reframe.

What is good about this situation?

What can I learn from this situation?

How will this make my life better for the long term?

But after talking with a few friends, I found an even more powerful technique for putting things into perspective, and creating some space around your current life situation.

 

How Will This Situation Affect Me in 30 Years?!

Not specifically 30 years, but the technique is to extend it out in short increments until the pain/frustration/worry/anger dissipates.

So my computer crashes, and I’m pissed because I haven’t been able to do anything productive for 3 days, and my livelihood is dependent on having a working computer, not to mention the fear of losing all the data on it.

As I write this, it already seems like a distant experience, and I can’t even believe that it affected me. It was mostly because there were other situations going on as well.

But it seems, the only time these things sneak up on you, are when they come in packs of 2 or 3. One thing you can deal with, but a few at the same time are harder to control your perspective.

Anyway, for the sake of simplicity, we’ll use the computer example.

Start small…

How will my computer frying affect me in one week?

That already creates some space. It won’t really change much.

But extend it further.

How will my computer frying really affect me ONE YEAR from now?

Will I even remember it?!

Well, what if its something more serious, like your girlfriend breaking up with you?

How will this affect me FIVE YEARS from now?

Will I really care?

Or will I have found someone else, someone BETTER because of what I learned from the situation.

Get Specific

I think, on some level, I was doing this naturally when I would reframe things, but this technique made it even clearer, and helped me out a lot.

And I’ve come out of it stronger, learned a lot, and loving life more than before the incident.

Back to work, finding new niches…

How’s your day going?

Here’s a video for some inspiration:

Book Review: Michael Jordan – Driven From Within

So you’ve heard of the High Fidelity Lifestyle, but how does one attain it?

What are the best action steps that lead to a higher level of consciousness and a more rewarding day to day existence?

What are the MINDSETS you need to cultivate the state of mind excellence?

I had a lot of guys comment and email me after the last article, asking about my own motivations and daily routine towards a high fidelity life.

It reminded me of a book I read a few years ago, which has had a huge impact on how I view my goals, and how I live my life.

What does Michael Jordan have to do with success with personal development?

What in a book about an NBA athlete can bring you towards the state of mind excellence?

Well, I think this book might be one of THE BEST examples on detailing the career of someone living the high fidelity lifestyle.

Be The Best In Everything You Do

Driven from Within by Michael Jordan gives you an inside perspective on how MJ lives his life.

Most people know about the 6 national championships, Gatorade commericals, and Nike shoes.  That’s all covered.

But what is even more amazing is the work ethic.  The mindset Jordan uses.  Not only on the court, but in business, and everything he does.

Most experts and lay alike would consider him the best to ever play the game, but beyond basketball, Michael Jordan also played a pivotal role in reinventing the way sports-stars were marketed, and completely revolutionized the sporting apparel and basketball shoe industry through Brand Jordan and Nike.

Living to his fullest potential, whether it be competing in a ping pong game, to the way he dresses, to how he trains for every single game on the court.

Leading by example, being the first one in the gym, and the last one home.

Heading to the practice court the day after winning ANOTHER championship, hoping to repeat again.

 

Thoughts of a Conscious Man

Another reason I think this is a great book is it brings you to Jordan’s level of consciousness, raising you to a higher standard as you read through the development of his career both on and off the court.

Michael is one of those rare breeds that somehow naturally evolved into a highly conscious dude.

Although self/personal development is never brought up explicitly,  but Jordan’s work ethic, motivations, and view of the world are a great example of the outward manifestations of being self actualized.

Control over your emotions, control over how you perceive the world and the actions others take.

This is most salient near the end of the book when Jordan is talking about his father’s murder, and how he is the only one in his family that has truly moved on.

He explains how he doesn’t worry about things that are outside of his control, work on what you can control, and strive to be the best in those things.

Again, not to impress, not to compare yourself to others, but because what else would you do with your time?!

Why not do something different, do something incredible?

When asked about what drove him to succeed:

“When we won one championship, then I wanted to win two in a row.  When we won two, then I wanted to win three in a row because Larry and Magic never won three straight.”

It’s a great example of what Jordan considers “tricking” yourself into creating goals.

Always something small and attainable.

You shouldn’t expect to go into the NBA and exclaim, “I am going to win 3 championships in a row!”

Just as you can’t expect to get 3 playboy playmates your first month in the game.

Baby steps goes both ways.

You keep your goals short term so they are attainable, this leads to more successes, and makes life more enjoyable.

But you also create short term small goals to keep moving forward, even if there is no real reason to do it.

You might as well choose to do something with your life, and you might as well do it as best as you possibly can.

Check the book out! Highly recommended!

—-

I’m writing this from a random PC computer, my macbook fried last week and I’ve been HIGHLY frustrated by how long it is taking to fix, as it has not only slowed down my article writing here, but also stunting my other internet related endeavors.

But, a nice by-product is that I’ve been reading a lot of books, so expect a few more book reviews, and probably another business related post in the next few days…

Have a good week!

Live the High Fidelity Life: Mind Excellence

Hyper calibration…

Nonono…

Actually let’s go with UBER-calibration…

Nonono…

Life calibration…

Walking through the world with ease.

Excellence in everything you do.

I call it living the HIGH FIDELITY LIFE.

Hyper Calibration

There is nothing I enjoy more than a nice hot shower.

I jump out, enter the living room to find Tyler, Hunter, and J-Life chatting about who-knows-what.

They look over, and I bat the hair out of my face.

Tyler just laughs.

“DUDE!  Everything you do is like HYPER-calibrated!”

It’s all unconscious.

Everything from the way I comb my hair with my hand, to how I walk, to my facial mannerisms…

I say it’s unconscious, yet, I think a better explanation would be “semi-conscious auto pilot.”

Everything is thought out, planned out.

Smooooth.

Not in a hyper-calculated, all thought engrossing way.  But more like a Zen, mindful, full presence.

I’ve always prided myself on this aspect of self actualization…

 

Mind-Excellence

It’s not the Zen fluffy mindfulness.

It’s mind-excellence.

Be great.

AT EVERY SINGLE THING YOU DO.

Some of my aspirations:

Be the best at Mariokart.
Have the most Twitter followers.
Grow my blog faster and make it more popular than any in the industry.
Have better mentors than anyone else.
Have a better fashion sense than anyone else.
Have better hair than anyone else.
Dance better than anyone else.
Have a better laugh than anyone else.
Lift weights with better form than anyone else.
Have a better taste in music than anyone else.

I’ll stop before I sound like a complete arrogant asshole, but:

Be the best in everything you do!!!!!!

 

WAIT!!!

 

If you are an avid reader of the blog, you might remember this article:

Is Your Goal to Become the Best?  Try again!

This isn’t a change in theory.

This is not about how you stack up to the next guy.  Becoming the best is a BY-PRODUCT of a certain state of mind.

This is about pushing yourself to the limit.

YOUR personal best.

LIVING LIFE FULL STOP!

At the edge of your abilities.

Further than you ever thought possible.

Beyond your friends, beyond your family, beyond your mentors.

Striving for excellence.

Not just in big goals, financial, relationship, or health related.

I’m talking everything from the way you make eye contact with people, to how you fold your napkin.

But first, let’s deal with the bigger issues…

 

Why Most People FAIL at Life

To excel in any area of your life requires a great deal of passion, fully immersing yourself in the learning process.

But passion requires stepping up.

Stepping up requires taking a risk.

Taking a risk leads to mistakes and looking like a douche.

But mistakes are a necessary part of the trial and error process that leads to mastery and excellence.

There is an obvious reason winners keep winning,

Why the top 20% control the 80% majority of anything in life.

Winning begets winning.

Losers never start.

But why do winners keep winning?

 

Winners Have Won Before and Know the Process of Mastering Specific Skills

My first exposure to learning a specific skill, and the long road to mastery, happened at a pretty early age.

For whatever reason, when I was in 3rd grade, I decided on my own volition to play the piano.

I think it was because I thought it would get me girls.  :)

Anyway, I was also good at math, and the logicality of the piano integrated well with my analytical nerdiness, and I excelled.

I have played for over 15 years now, mostly jazz cocktail style, but some classical, and even taking a semester off of university to travel around Colorado touring with a blues band.

I spent countless hours in practice rooms doing repetitive scales, never ending band rehearsals, and actively listening to the best musicians, immersing myself in the music, developing both a high level of dexterity and understanding of music theory.

Through this process, I subconsciously learned how important PASSION and IMMERSION are on the journey towards mastery.

Masters don’t dabble.

The same way you build a successful business is the same method of successful entrepreneurs.

It was only recently that I realized I have applied this same long term learning process over and over again.

Whether it be in as mundane a skill as efficiently packing my suitcase, or something more complex like creating a successful business, each time I used a similar process.

And with each new success, came a higher level of confidence.

I slowly started to feel that I could master ANYTHING.

This blanket confidence has become ubiquitous in EVERY ACTION I TAKE IN LIFE.

What are the qualities that lead to this mastery and excellence?

 

Taking Responsibility

People are quick to pass blame.

You must take responsibility.

It takes a higher level of consciousness to stop living your life in reaction to the environment, and start taking control of the reigns.

If something goes wrong, take a step back and objectively try to see what you could have done differently to change the outcome.

Don’t pass blame on others.

Don’t pass blame on the environment.

Don’t pass off the responsibility and blame it on being sick, or that you were tired.

Objectively look at your situation or experience, and determine how you could change the result for the better next time.

Win-Learn.

Not win-lose.

But even more so of true mastery, even if you win, take a step back and see how you could improve.

 

Trust in the Process

What creates the ability to not develop emotional frustration and passing off the responsibility onto your environment as you drudge through the long road towards mastery?

Its knowing that if you just stick at it, be patient, and keep moving forward, success is inevitable.

This is why the winners keep winning.

They have specific reference points of winning in their past, and know the long process it takes to get there.

They know that road blocks arise along the way, and those exact hurdles are what create excellence, create mastery.

It’s the ability to push through the bullshit.

Jeffy uses the analogy of a master airline pilot…

The rookie pilot hits some turbulence, freaks out, and starts grabbing dials and pulling gears.

But when the seasoned veteran encounters turbulence, he calmly dials in an altitude change, radios air traffic control, and smoothly stabilizes the plane, all while explaining the situation in a cool-relaxed manner to the passengers in back.

If you haven’t experienced the ups and downs of mastering a long term skill, the second things go awry the mind starts chattering about how you are wasting your time, how XYZ is impossible, how you’ll never be successful.

Doubts.

Success barriers.

They reside here.

Dwelling on these thoughts give them power.

There is no place for self doubt in mind-excellence.

 

Success With Women

I’ve been hitting the social media front hard and interacting with a lot of gurus in the “success with girls” industry.

I heard something funny in a speech recently, the “Guru” said something to the effect of:

“Guys try all these techniques and shit, all you have to do is realize that YOU DESERVE THE GIRL!”

Although I do agree with this, after the speech some guy in the audience sheepishly raised his hand and asked:

“But what if you don’t feel like you deserve the girl?”

Aaaaahhh… there it is!

Sitting outside the positive feedback loop.

If you are talking to a girl that’s more attractive than you are used to, doubts are an ever present part of your day to day existence.

“Is this going to work?”

“Am I ever going to get good at this?”

“What do I say?”

“Does she like me?”

“Am I weird?”

“Is now the right time to approach her?”

“Am I dressed right?”

“Is this the right way to stand?”

Realize that these DOUBTS are the only thing that actually hold you back.

The glass wall.

Think back to high school, the difference between the cool guys in school and the guys that try to be cool, is that when you stop trying, that is when you become cool.

In spiritual circles they call it the gateless gate.

When you stop striving for enlightenment, that’s when you become enlightened.

You work so hard to become “enlightened,” or more accurately, a higher level of consciousness, that once you cross through, you turn back and realize that there never was a gate to begin with.

It was all delusional thoughts and ego attachments that you artificially put in front of yourself.

So…

If you don’t have the confidence yet, let’s give some actionable steps to start the process…

 

Whenever You Have SELF DOUBT
STOP
And Replace it With SELF LOVE

That’s it really.

As you get more success in life, one of the biggest changes is how quickly you cut out negative thought patterns.

They don’t even become patterns, before the thought fully arises, you’ve already shunted it, and turned it on it’s head.

No more “what’s wrong with …?”

It becomes…

Why am I awesome?

Why is this moment awesome?

You see how this takes the situation back under your control?

There is no blame on the outside environment, no emotions getting in the way.

It’s an action based, conscious decision you make to stop dwelling on the bullshit, and strive towards excellence.

Remove the doubts, remove the fear, live passionately, and EXCEL.

 

Back to Mind-Excellence

I like that term.  Mind excellence.  Mmm…

It’s excellence in everything you do.

It’s mindfulness down to the finest detail.

What you order for dinner.

HOW you order it, and talk to the staff.

Word choice.

Diction.

How you fold your napkin, how you WALK TO THE BATHROOM.

How you develop your business.

How you step to that girl with 100% conviction.

Having the confidence that you know EVERYTHING YOU DO IS AWESOME.

Why?

Why not?!

Doubt = weakness

 

Caveats

I’ll end here with a few caveats…

Remember excellence is not an end goal.

It’s a work in progress.

Removing self doubt, being mindful of your actions, and doing them with 100% conviction is not an excuse to stubbornly ignore your environment.

It’s the exact opposite.

It is paying hyper attention to your surroundings, finding what works, what doesn’t, and doing it BETTER than anyone else.

How do you know what better is?

EXPERIENCE.

Trial and error, watch how people respond.

How does it feel to you?

Congruent?

Incongruent?

Weigh all the factors, and slowly move towards full confidence in what you do.

I call the process “petrified wood.”

As you move through life and gain more experience, nothing really changes.  But the trust in your actions and mannerisms grows stronger and more confident.

 

High Fidelity is not Fake

As I read this, people who have not met me in person might think that every action I take would appear contrived, like I’m acting, or fake.

It’s not that at all.

It’s using the cumulative data of arduous introspection, advice from mentors, books, tests, experiments, and life experience…

TO STRIVE TO DO EVERYTHING IN LIFE AS BEST AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE.

How about one last example…

You’re reading it.

Case Study: BradBranson.com Stats and Trends

(RSS Subscribers All Time)

I’ve been getting lots of questions about the blog, how I’ve amassed a following so quickly, and how other people can replicate the process.

So for those of you out there in the internet marketing (IM) arena, or those looking to start their own site/blog, I thought I’d give a few examples of lessons I have learned through developing this site.

I’ve learned a lot as this blog has taken off over the past few months, and I figured I’d explicate a few lessons that I couldn’t find anywhere else.

Before I get started, a couple of good resources to check out if you want to learn the fundamentals on blogging would be, problogger.net (I have a guest post next week on that site), and my friend Glen’s site over at www.viperchill.com.

Also, my early blog was heavily influenced by Tim Ferris’ site, along with what Tyler used to write on the old RSD blog.

Here follows some of the key insights I learned along the way.

 

1.  A Single Call to Action and the Importance of RSS Subscribers

At the inception of BradBranson.com, I had no clue what RSS was, much less it’s importance.

The original layout had an RSS feed in the top right hand corner of the header, it was a super small icon, along with an email opt in box where the GIANT RSS icon is now.

For the first few months I had about 30 subscribers to RSS, and even less on the now defunct email list.

The problem was that I had too many calls to action, email, facebook, rss, and didn’t even know that you could subscribe to RSS via email.

Then I went to South Africa and met Alex and Glen, who helped me to realize the importance of RSS in the blogging world.

A blog is different compared to a static website because you get recurring traffic, whereas with a static site, people usually only show up once.

This is why email opt in’s are important for static websites, whereas for blogs, because people keep coming back, it is more about creating a long term relationship, and offering as much value as possible.

What’s the best way to do this?

Get them access to every article you write, as easily as possible.

Unlike an email newsletter, which tries to sell you something every email, getting the RSS feed is different in that it’s very rare that there will be a blog post about selling a product.  It’s just pure VALUE.

Well at least mine is.  ;)

Once I added the giant RSS icon, and started promoting people to subscribe, the subscriber count increased dramatically.

Then when I offered an “ethical bribe,” subscription levels DOUBLED in a single day, and the rate has been pretty steep and consistent ever since.

Check out the graph at the beginning of this article to see how quickly subscribers ramped up once I figured out what I was doing.

 

2.  Optimize Posts, not Pages

Another lesson which I learned recently, was how to better optimize the site for organic search engine traffic.

The problem was that I was getting lots of back links to the front page of the site.

And since I read, “write good content, and google will follow, search engines follow people.”

I was getting lots of traffic, and even a decent amount of google traffic, but 95% of that traffic was coming from keywords like “brad branson,” “brad rsd,” or “bradbranson.com.”

So I wasn’t optimizing for niche specific words at all.

Why?

Because I was only optimizing my front page.  I also rank well for “lifestyle development,” but that’s a phrase I made up, so those people as well are only searching for my material because they are already familiar with my brand.

So I’ve started optimizing for more niche specific key words in posts, and then creating backlinks through article writing, social bookmarks, and other creative sources to rank specific pages for specific keywords.

And due to the traffic on the site, and the amount of comments I receive, I can rank for long tail key words on the 2nd or 3rd page of google THE SAME DAY I release a post.

Then it’s just a matter of increasing back links over the long term to move up to page one, and solidify the spot.

 

3.  Learn it All Yourself

I spent $3000 on the first design of bradbranson.com, and it was worth it.

It got me motivated to keep up with the site because I had invested so much of my personal money, (RSD didn’t pay for it because no other instructor had kept up their blog for more than a few months, and didn’t want to spend money again on another site.)

But if I were to pay for the newest theme to my site, it would have probably cost more like $6-8000 based on the amount of complexity and optimization that has went into it.

Glen helped me in choosing the initial theme, and then I took over, with my CSS newbie book in hand, and developed the entire blog with no prior knowledge of CSS or html.

I’m sure there is some Frankenstein programming in the backend, but you can now see the finished product.

I mean, I didn’t even know how to add a twitter box to my sidebar, or change the size of an icon.

In the past,  a small tweak like that would have taken 3-5 days for the IT team to handle, and probably $80.00.

Now I can do it on my own, and it takes me 10 minutes to do.

I’m all for outsourcing and delegating, but you need to learn the technology yourself first.

Then you know how much to pay, how long it should take, and can take matters into your own hands if shit isn’t getting done quickly enough.

I’m doing the same thing with my affiliate sites at the moment.

I’m in the process of creating 1200 back links to various webpages over the next few days.

Sure I could hire someone, or find a product that would spam out 3000 sketchy backlinks, but through putting the time in on my own, I’ve already gained a better understanding on the variability of how important some links are compared to others, and where to spend my time and money.

 

4.  When Starting Out, Write Everyday

If you want a successful blog, it has to become a part of you.

The only way to fully immerse yourself in it, is to write 5-6 times a week.

This gets people buzzing, coming back to your site often to see what’s new.

It takes a lot of work, but more importantly, you start viewing the world as to how it pertains to your blog.

You hear a song, and you think how it would fit into an article.

You see a picture, and wonder if it would work for your site.

You have an epiphany, and you think about the story you would write and how to explain it to your readers.

This creates solid content.

It’s fresh, it’s new inspiration, and the reader can feel that enthusiasm in your writing.

You also get to see what “hits” with your readers.

As you write everyday, you start to see what days have the most traffic, what times most people come to your site, when you should release new articles, what headlines people click through, and what content works the best.

This is why it is also important to ASK for comments, and respond to EVERY comment.

You would be surprised at how big of a difference it makes for the number of comments you get when you just ask for them, as opposed to just ending an article with no call to action.  (I’m going to ask for your recommendations at the end of this post!)

Something I’ve read countless times on blogging forums, yet failed to execute, was to respond to EVERY comment.

When a new reader comes to your site, the number of comments per post is often THE MOST important indicator about how vibrant and active the site is.

The more commenters, the more alive the site is, and the more perceived fresh value.

The funny thing is, you can DOUBLE the amount of comments you have just by responding to each one.

And this only condones more comments, as people see that their comments are being read by you, and their questions are being answered.

I really enjoy answering comments because also, it gives you an opportunity to diagnose what the hot topics are, what people want to read, and how you should mold your writing and blog to offer the most value to your readership.

 

Moving Forward:

Write now some current stats:

Alexa Ranking: 98,623
Pageviews/hits per month: 100,000+
Uniques per month: 10,000+
Uniques per day: ~450-1000
RSS Subscribers: 1579

Now that I’ve finished redesigning the site, I’m starting to target social media, guest posting on popular blogs, and optimizing articles for specific long tail key phrases.

I’ve ramped up my twitter postings, and am amassing followers real quick.

Also, through this, I’m sending twitter followers to Facebook and the blog, trying to create a nice little triangle of interconnectivity.

I’ve found a few long tail keywords that I’m going to start optimizing heavily for, and am looking to ramp up the organic traffic through that route.

And finally, like I said earlier, I have a guest post on problogger next week, and along with some of the other top blogs out there, I’m hoping to develop a stronger relationship with some of the top bloggers on the web to become part of the blogging pantheon.

I’m also going to be incorporating a free webinar for anyone who wants to sign up.  That is still being worked out with Tyler and Nick at the moment…

That’s what is in the works over the next few weeks.  I hope you gained some insights from the maturation of my own site.

I’d like to see how much you guys like these types of articles.

If you enjoyed it, I can write more on my internet based projects, so comment below what you thought…