How to Consistently Accomplish 100x More Results With 1/10th Your Usual Effort
In the first 4.5 years of my writing, I accomplished practically nothing. After 54 months, I had 180 subscribers, I averaged 50ish views/day, with no income, no influence, and, frankly, no hope.
At the time, I was writing frantically and sporadically, posting several times a week for months on end. I was pitching guest posts to every single blog I could think of. I was reaching out to other bloggers, podcasters, authors (I once sent an actual letter to a best-selling author asking to connect — he sent an email saying thanks, but he was too busy).
I thought more action was the answer. So I doubled down on action, again and again — I was always doing “more.” But after 54 grueling months, “more” hadn’t helped.
But around year 5, I changed my beliefs. I began carrying myself as an elite writer. For the first time, I began to genuinely believe I had what it took. I shifted my focus from action to “mindset.”
The results? To name a few:
- 20,000+ new email subscribers in 6 months
- 200,000+ views/month average
- I was offered my first traditionally-published book deal
- I began making $1000’s of dollars in writing income from 2 new online courses
- I made friends with several other top-tier writers
Basically, I began seeing 10x, 100x, even 1000x growth in my endeavors; I literally started getting 100x more views. I saw a 1000% increase subscriber rate. I started making $1000’s of dollars/month where I had made…$40 in 4 years!
I realized action doesn’t matter if your beliefs are wrong. That’s like trying to sail a boat that’s still anchored to the harbor; you can thrash around all you want, but you’re not going anywhere.
This what Abraham Lincoln meant when he said:
“If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I would spend 6 of those hours sharpening my axe.”
If you want to succeed in your endeavors, you need to shift your frame of mind first.
If you want to achieve enormous, 100x, even 1000x times results (while only spending a tenth of the usual energy), here’s what you do.
What You Truly Believe About Yourself Determines What You Become
“As a man thinketh, so he is. As he continues to think, so he remains.” -James Allen, As a Man Thinketh
Most people miss this simple truth: what you believe determines what you become. You see what you look for; you attract what you are.
Most people don’t realize their beliefs determine the success or failure of the rest of their life. Your beliefs today have an enormous effect on the results of tomorrow.
If you believe you can can, odds are you probably will. You reap what you sow.
But the opposite is also true — if you know you can’t, you’re probably right. If you sow disbelief in yourself, no amount of action or effort will change your end result.
Bruce Lee put it this way: “One will never get any more than he thinks he can get.” What you truly, deeply believe is true about yourself and your future is most likely what will happen.
What do you believe?
As Michael Jordan once said:
“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”
What you truly believe about yourself — your ability, income, relationships, self-worth, potential — is what you become. If you’re not seeing the results you want, the problem almost always lies in your beliefs about yourself.
Fortunately, 100x and even 1000x results don’t require 100x or 1000x effort. Small changes can lead to big results. You don’t need to get a PhD, run an Ironman, or change your entire diet to significantly upgrade your life. The answer is in the small things. Done consistently, small things become big.
Therefore, start upgrading your belief systems and neural pathways (more on that in a minute) by focusing on doing small things well.
“Small, seemingly inconsistent steps completed consistently over time will create a radical difference.” -Darren Hardy, former editor of SUCCESS Magazine
If You Don’t Change Your Beliefs First, More Action Won’t Help.
More action in the wrong frame of mind won’t help.
Action can help — I’m not saying it doesn’t. But action executed from a fundamentally flawed mindset can only reveal what you need to fix. You can’t have sustainable success with the wrong mindset; you’ll never have enough of what you’re seeking.
If you don’t change your limiting beliefs first, “more action” is like trying to paddle a boat with a kitchen spoon; you’re spending enormous getting virtually nowhere. Outward accomplishment is always preceded by mental creation; you must envision your future first before you can secure it.
Your frame of mind before you start an endeavor is vastly more important than the endeavor itself. This is the difference between an amateur and a professional; the beginner begins his or her task without much thought, but the elite professional first gets him or herself in the right frame of mind, then acts.
If, deep down, you don’t really have the belief of yourself, you’re practically guaranteed to fail. Mental creation always precedes physical accomplishment.
Internal belief precedes external achievement.
In college, I was a hopeless, heart-sick romantic. You could always find me pining over the next cute girl, getting swept in the intoxicating whirlwind of maybe-she’s-the-one without ever really working on myself. In the end, nothing worked; I hoped to find a long-term serious relationship, but only ended up heartbroken from toxic flings.
I didn’t “sharpen my axe” first, as Abraham Lincoln would have suggested. So in my senior year, I stopped focusing on girls and started focusing on myself — going to counseling, therapy, and prepared to graduate and enter my career.
That was the year my now-wife Kimi and I started dating. Ironically, I wasn’t looking for it — I was busy working on my beliefs and values. As a result, I achieved what I wanted: a committed relationship with an incredibly beautiful and amazing young woman.
If you don’t change your flawed core beliefs, more action and gritted teeth won’t help. If you’re not seeing the results you want, you probably need to change your frame of mind first.
“You got this far operating under one set of assumptions. Abandoning those assumptions and embracing a new, bigger set may be exactly what you need to to do get to the next level.” -Seth Godin
Not Being You Will Destroy You
“Personal incongruency is what causes so much of our pain.” –Tim Denning
If your actions aren’t aligned with your core beliefs and principles, you won’t get anywhere. If you do, any progress will always include feelings of frustration and emptiness.
Growing up, I constantly struggled with pornography. I was hooked, and it became a crutch for me whenever I felt any discomfort of any kind. I knew it was wrong, and as a Christian it went against my core beliefs. But I couldn’t stop. I didn’t stop.
No matter what results I achieved — win sports championships, nominated for high school “Big Man On Campus,” successfully get cute girls to date me — my actions (compulsive pornography consumption) were completely unaligned with my core beliefs. As a result, no amount of action or results satisfied me.
It wasn’t until my early 20’s that I went to counseling and therapy for the emotional chaos and devastation behind my obsessive addiction. After I started to resolve that, I began seeing results. My relationship with my now-wife upgraded tremendously. My self-confidence increased ten-fold. My writing career (and self-belief in my potential) took off and I was able to earn a full-time income.
Not being you will destroy you. If your actions keep falling outside your core beliefs and values, you’ll always end up frustrated and empty.
Create New Neural Pathways That Lead to an Upgraded Mindset
“The neural pathways you create become mindsets that tend to dictate how you think and what you visualize most easily.” -Kris Valloton, Best-Selling author
Many people have formed numerous well-worn ruts of negative thoughts in their mind that lead to negative, self-defeating conclusions. These are called neural pathways, and they’re strong; one neural scientist compared this process to dropping a hot steel ball bearing into a hunk of cheese.
This is why it’s so hard for people to change — these ruts are deep. Once they’re created, these pathways become familiar to us. And if there’s one thing we like, it’s comfort and familiarity.
This is why so many top-tier athletes, performers, entrepreneurs, actors, and leaders have experienced so much personal evolution and constant mindset upgrades. As the old saying goes, “what got you here won’t get you there.” In the words of Leonardo DeCaprio:
“Every next level of your life will demand a different you.”
What old beliefs have been holding you back?
What mental ruts are you sick of walking in?
What new beliefs do you need to start believing?
I’ve had to create lots of new neural pathways. I’ve made a lot of embarrassing mistakes in the past few years; some people get defensive and deny their mistakes, but my tendency is to begin intense self-hatred and self-loathing. It’s been difficult to create a new, better response.
But I’ve worked hard at it. The other day, I was cycling up a long, steep hill (those are great for thinking), and I just started saying the phrase to myself,
“It’s OK. It’s OK. It’s OK. I made a mistake, and that’s OK. People make mistakes, and that’s OK. I’m OK. it’s OK. I made a mistake, but that’s OK.”
It might sound silly and hokey to you. But I felt way better after. That’s because I was literally teaching myself to have a better response to a mistake than to hate myself. Tony Robbins has told similar stories of repeating truths to himself during physical exertion.
We all need new neural pathways. The truth is, you’re not a piece of shit. You’re not hopeless. You’re not a loser — even if that’s the same refrain you’ve been hearing for years.
Want better results? Then stop operating in mediocre frames of mind and develop new neural pathways that lead you towards truth and growth.
The idea of achieving 100x the results with 1/10th the effort might seem silly to you.
But I’ve seen it myself. I tried to change things for years — my writing, my addictions, my behavior, my relationship — and I mean I really tried. I worked my butt off.
But it wasn’t until I relaxed, took a step back, and reset my frame of mind. You know, it takes more energy to dwell in mediocrity than to start being successful. It’s exhausting to constantly be fighting off discouragement, fear, anxiety, and frustration all the time.
Instead of going virtually nowhere despite exerting massive energy, stop. Reset your frame of mind. Nurture your self-belief. Then go out and do it.
That’s how you get big results with a fraction of the effort.