Challenge failed

Recently I participated in the Live your Legend blogging challenge and made myself accountable to post at least one article per week for the next two months.

challenge_accepted

How hard could that be?

Unfortunately I failed. I was able to last for only a couple of weeks until I gave up. I thought it would be a piece of cake since I had a lot of content floating around in my head waiting to be published. However having content is not enough, I need to learn the skill of organizing my thoughts and ideas so that it has some semblance of logical flow in it that others can understand and not just the geek inside of me.

Challenge failed
Challenge failed

Well I don’t really consider it as a failure because in reality, the only failure we have is when we don’t try. Sometimes failure to achieve a goal is even better than succeeding because you learn a lot more lessons from it. What is important is to accept defeat, learn from it and stop making excuses. If you treat life as one big experiment on finding the things that works and those that do not, it takes away most of the ego induced pain attached to failure.

LESSONS LEARNED

  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew
  • Before making any commitments, figure out if it is aligned with the bigger picture
  • Focus and eliminate distractions
  • I usually over estimate what I could do in a given period of time
  • Participating in challenges and bets with deadlines and becoming accountable (like asking a friend to bug you about it) will force you to either achieve that goal or prioritize something else more important. You will figure out what really matters to you and make you choose between sacrificing one goal in order to achieve another.

Getting back to the drawing board

The first quarter of the year is over. This is the year when most people forget all about their goals for the year and wait until the next January to start a never ending cycle of failed New year’s resolution.

Looking at my own list, I am thankful for the things I’ve accomplished but there are a lot of things that I failed to do as well in the last three months

Time to look into it, review and extract any valuable lessons and nuggets of gold I could get and treat it not as failure but part of the learning process.

If you are reading this, what is your progress in your 2015 goals? 10%? 15% What are the things that didn’t go as planned and what are the things that you succeeded at? Share it in the comments!

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Red Pill and blue pill dilemma part two

So you have taken the red pill and woke up to a new reality, a world of new possibilities. The story doesn’t end there. In fact it’s just the beginning. Sometimes you will wish you took the blue pill instead.

Regular or peanuts?
Regular or peanuts?

I know I did.

Son Goku and one-arm push ups

As a kid watching DBZ,  I watched Goku do handstand push ups and one arm push ups. I was really amazed and thought how awesome it would be if I could do that too but I told myself :

“that can only happen in an anime series”.

Adjust up to 100x gravity when needed
Adjust up to 100x gravity when needed

It wasn’t even part of my reality. Until I saw someone doing it in real life. (actually a youtube video). That was the metaphorical red pill for me. I was living in a dream that handstand push ups were impossible and I had this look:

when I watched youtube videos of people doing what I previously thought was impossible.

True Story

During one of my recent climb with a group of friends at Mt. Ampucao, the highest peak in Sagada, we originally planned to hike just halfway in to the summit.

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We previously thought that the true summit was out of reach for climbers because it was private property, hikers are not allowed and it seemed too far and impossible to get there in just half a day.  We reached the mini summit where there view is nice and everything was awesome…. until we saw other hikers coming back from the true summit.

We asked them how much time did it take them to reach the summit? – “Two hours of torture on an assault trail”. One of them answered and still panting.

In my mind I was yelling amateurs! I’ll get there in half the time!  But there was also a part of me that wished we never saw the other climbers coming back from  the summit because then we have a perfect convenient excuse not to climb it.  We were tired anyway and we could just happily stayed there and take groufies ignorant to the fact that there was a higher summit to conquer.

In both instances a  part of me wanted a blue pill.

“Only Goku is capable of 1 arm push ups.”

“Only elite athletes could do that!”

“that guy on youtube  must have been on steroids!”

“His power level is over 9000 that’s imposssiible!!!!!!”

It took me a few months of dedication and hard work to finally do a solid one arm push ups. And it took us half the time to reach the summit of Mt. Ampucao.

I’m glad we took the red pill, embraced reality and worked hard towards achieving our goal however small or big it is.

Red pill awakening and the competence model. Going from unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence.

When you awaken to a reality that you previously didn’t know existed, you are in a stage called conscious incompetence. That is stage two of the competence model.

pssp_4_2

You can apply the competence model in any skill you want to learn or goal you want to achieve like driving a car:

Stage 1: Unconscious incompetence:

-you are a caveman and didn’t even know that car existed let alone how to drive it

Stage 2: Conscious incompetence:

-you learned that cars existed and you decided you want to learn how to drive

Stage 3: Conscious competence

-you are learning how to drive a car but it takes all of your effort, will, focus and concentration to figure out how the stick shift works, how to find which is the brake and gas pedal and at the same time pay attention to the road, traffic rules. You also try not to hit the old gandma crossing the street.

Step 4 Unconscious competence

-you drive with a bottle of beer on your right hand and you text on your left hand and somehow you manage to arrive at your destination alive and well.

In fitness and fat loss there is a similar model.

Stage 1 Unconscious incompetence

I’m big boned

A guy’s variation of the “I’m big boned”

Stage 2 Conscious incompetence

I’m not big boned

Stage 3 Conscious competence

This is the part where you start working on losing fat, or gaining some muscle or both. You have some success but obstacles and challenges are thrown in your way.

The process of moving from stage 2 to stage 3 and leveling up to stage 4 is summarized in the 4-step super Saiyan transformation framework.

How to transform yourself into a Super Saiyan
How to transform yourself into a Super Saiyan

Stage 4 Unconscious competence Fat loss becomes effortless,

This is the stage where you reach your ultimate goal. In my case, I was able to  achieve super Saiyan level in one of my fitness goals which is  to reach less than 10 percent body fat while still eating the food that I love, even go on an occasional eat-all you can rampage and maintain it effortlessly by having “super Saiyan” metabolism that makes me impervious to calories. IMHO a life where you are anal about what you eat is no fun. There has to be a balance of self-restraint and self-indulgence.

This is a tricky skill to master when it comes to eating and it takes years of practice to achieve Unconscious competence super Saiyan levels.

When Goku first transformed into a super saiyan he was charging and yelling for a whole episode and all the time he was making an effort to maintain his super Saiyan state.

Lots of effort with angry veins in the forehead
Lots of effort with  a constipated look and angry veins in the forehead

Eventually he reached a level where he could relax and even go fishing with Gohan in his super Saiyan form.

effortless super Saiyan
effortless super Saiyan

 

There are other fitness goals as well as in other areas of my life that I’m working on right now. What’s yours?

Take the red pill in all areas of your life.

Think of  areas in your life were you woke to up to a new possibility ?

Six pack abs

Your first 1 million.

You know it won’t be easy but it will be well worth it.

You can take the red pill and accept that reality or you can take the blue pill anytime and stay where you are right now and no one will blame you for it. You will be  taken back to a dream where you have no control over your goals and it’s not your fault if you fail or stay mediocre for the rest of your life. Because in that world you are the victim and the world is conspiring against you.

Choose now.

Swallow the Red Pill

The Red Pill and Blue Pill dilemma

In the matrix movie, Morpheus asked Neo if he wanted to take the blue pill or the red pill. He could have just taken the blue pill and forget ever meeting Morpheus, live in a blissful state of ignorance and leave the burden of saving human kind for someone else but Neo took the red pill and woke up from the false dream created by the machines to control the humans.

From then on, Neo would live in a reality wherein the responsibility of leading a rebellion against the enemy and saving mankind would rest on his shoulders, and not to mention the power to bend reality and some awesome Kung-fu skills when his in the matrix dream.

Ok so ther
Not the actual blue and red pills. Just M&M candies

In the Matrix there exist two worlds.

The Matrix dream, a fabricated reality created by the sentient machines to keep the humans docile and in control while they consume the heat produced by the human body as a source of power and the real world, where people unplugged from the matrix dream woke up to and live in “the truth of reality”

I use the two worlds of the matrix dream and the real world as a symbol for the mindsets and beliefs that people have that affects their perception of reality.

The Scarcity mindset and the Abundance mindset.

On the one hand, the matrix dream created by the computers is a metaphor for the scarcity mindset that many people have. This is also synonymous with the victim mentality and a close cousin of having external locus of control orientation.

When you live in this false dream created by the evil machines, you believe that the government, your classmate, your friend, your cat, the social media and everyone is to blame except you for all the wrong things that happen in your life because you’re the poor victim and it’s not your fault because it’s out of your control. You believe that your too old or too young or too to do this and that. You believe that you are big boned that’s why your fat.

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People in the matrix dream (scarcity mindset) also believe that we are living in a world of injustice, inequality, and anytime now the earth could be hit by an asteroid and everything that ever existed will vanish. Those who live in the false dream and has not woken up yet is not entirely to blame.

It’s not their fault because we are wired to do that… as a survival mechanism during the cavemen days, it makes sense to pay attention to every possible negative scenario that might occur in our environment, being pessimistic was useful because during that time, the paranoid survives and a lot of the chill caveman were killed because they didn’t pay attention to the saber tooth tiger.

This pessimistic paranoid scarcity mindset might also be useful in a zombie apocalypse situation so you can’t blame Rick for the way he acts in recent episodes of the walking dead.

this is what scarcity mindset and pessimism will do to your beard
this is what scarcity mindset and pessimism will do to your beard

On the other hand, the world where Neo woke up to is somewhat a bittersweet reality. The red pill would lead to his escape from the Matrix and open his eyes to “truth of reality”. He could lead the war against the machine, achieve ultimate freedom and save humanity but he knows it would not come easy.

For me the world where Neo woke up to is a metaphor for the abundance mindset. People who live in this reality believe that we live in an abundant world of possibilities and endless opportunities and today is the greatest time in history to be alive ever. Of course in this world, “nothing worth it comes easy, and things that come easy go away quickly”

But you think of about it, people even in the lowest class of society have access to the internet, almost everyone has smart phones, and even the lowest end of the smartphones today have better capabilities than the mobile phone the most powerful leader in the world 25 years ago. If Bill Clinton had video recording capabilities on his phone then, the Monica Lewenski scandal would have been more interesting.

You have a choice

The point is you could live in the Matrix dream of scarcity mindset or live in the real world abundance mindset. Some people will forever stay in a state of unconscious incompetence dreaming in Matrix world but some are given a choice to take the red pill or the blue pill.

But now that you’re reading this you now have that choice to make.

“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more”
WARNING: “This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more”

Like Neo, we can wake up to a world of abundance where we have the potential to be anything that we want to be and achieve any goals that we set to achieve, just like the humankind’s war against the machines your personal battles will be a struggle, victory won’t come easy and the possibility of failure will always be there

By taking the red pill you accept the fact that you can also prematurely die, fat, lonely and broke and your debts the only legacy you will leave to your children and with the last 10 years of your life bed-ridden, living in an institution with no one to take care for you other than professional caregivers and social workers or you can also can retire a millionaire, get that six pack abs even when you reach your senior years like this guy here:

or run a marathon at 90 years old like Olga here:

It’s all possible now that we have access to all the knowledge using the power of Google right at our finger tips, the tricky part is how to apply and execute that knowledge and how to drop the limiting beliefs installed in our minds. And whatever the scenario you end up with is entirely up to you and you have no one else to blame for yourself.

“But what if I worked my ass off, invest all my money and the economy collapses because of some global black swan or terrorist attack?”

“What if I dedicate 10,000 hours in the gym and still end up with a pot belly without getting any results?”

The question is what if it doesn’t? This uncertainty that comes with the red pill is what makes it such a bitter pill to swallow and why some people would rather  take the blue pill and continue to live in a state of blissful ignorance, live a shitty life justified by your limiting beliefs, self-deception and no one will blame you for it because it’s the government’s fault, or your in-laws, or your pet or (insert your favorite excuse). Swallow the blue pill and forever remain in a state of unconscious incompetence. Take the red pill and you wake up in a state of conscious incompetence. Still incompetent but it makes you want to move to a stage of conscious competence and level up to unconscious incompetence.

More on that in the next post “What you need to do after you swallow the red pill.”

“It’s not Spoon that bends it is only yourself”

Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth.  Neo: What truth?  Spoon boy: There is no spoon.  Neo: There is no spoon?  Spoon boy: Then you'll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.
Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Spoon boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Spoon boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

If you’re reading this, I’m curious to know what are the times in your life where you swallowed the red pill and bent spoons with your mind? Write in the comments! And share the times you were able to do something you previously thought was impossible or achieved something you previously thought was unattainable by shattering the limiting beliefs you had and adopting a new mindset?