Too

 

 

Too much. Too many. You too?

 

Too many women to choose from. Too many men to complement them. How do you choose?

Too many career options. Too many jobs that match your experience. Too many business ideas. How do you choose?

Too many things to do today. Too many things to eat. Too many places to go. How do you choose?

Too many great shows to watch. Too many documentaries to keep you informed. Too many movies you haven’t seen. How do you choose?

Too many books to read. Too many courses to take. Too many lectures to listen to. Too many conferences to attend. How do you choose?

Too many apps. Too many websites. Too many companies doing the same sh*t. Too much value extraction. Too much money thrown at companies that don’t earn a profit. Not trying to choose.

Too many Facebook friends. Too many Twitter followers. Too much width. How do I choose depth?

Too many gods. Too many religions. Too many sects. Too many believers (atheists too) who know the way. Too much blind belief. Doomed no matter what I choose.

Too much violence. Too much hate. Too much blame. Too much rape. Too much killing. Way too much. Can I choose to end it?

Too much good. Too much beauty. Too much optimism. Too much love for the little things. Too much heart to KO fear. Too much clarity. Too much talent. Way too much potential. Too much appreciation for you. You bring too much to the planet.

You can’t have it all. Time is short. Choose wisely. I believe in you. Yup, you too.


What changes?

[cs_content][cs_section parallax="false" style="margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;"][cs_row inner_container="true" marginless_columns="false" style="margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;"][cs_column fade="false" fade_animation="in" fade_animation_offset="45px" fade_duration="750" type="1/1" style="padding: 0px;"][cs_text]Nothing changes. Don't be fooled. Nothing changes. I'm speaking to information junkies. I'm speaking to people always searching for the latest information in their field. I'm speaking to you, from human to human.

Sure, technology changes, and continues to evolve. It might be good to stay up on that because it affects us all, but what about people? People don't change. Not really.

Selling

Selling hasn't changed. If you're looking for the latest tactics, the latest research, etc. you're wasting your time. Sales is about:

  • relationship building
  • trust
  • relevance
  • need
  • and maybe price

If you're going to sell something to somebody, then you're going work with those principles. No real need or problem? No sale. Not a relevant solution to their need? Bye bye birdie. No trust? Doubt they buy, but if they did, they're not coming back.

And a business is built on relationships, on returning again and again. If somebody doesn't return, do you have a real relationship? Do you have a business? Maybe, but it won't last.

Marketing

Marketing hasn't changed either. I don't care what name you call it by: growth, consultative selling, inbound marketing, etc. It's still marketing.

First, create a great product. Everything starts and stops there.

Then educate your audience. Don't expect people to know the benefits. Break it down for them.

Then demonstrate how valuable it is. Give people a chance to use it if you can. Let them see a demo.

And you get the word out through as many channels (cheaply) as you can. Ads, word of mouth or reviews (best), social media, email, billboards (ugh), or whatever.

Have those principles changed after 100 years of modern advertising? Nope.

People

Have people fundamentally changed in the past 2500 years? Don't think so.

Ever since consciousness miraculously appeared 60,000 years ago, we have been making up our reality as we go.

Does it surprise you when five people witness the same event that there's five unique accounts of said event? It shouldn't.

Does it surprise you when there's one religion, say Christianity or Islam, and there's 1000's of sects or different views on said religion? It shouldn't.

Does it surprise you when entire groups of people think a certain way and a different group thinks a different way? It shouldn't.

Does it surprise you when people want to hurt or kill other people who don't see the world the same way they do? It shouldn't.

Does it surprise you when people look to leaders to save them from all the threats in the immediate environment? This has been happening for thousands of years.

And does it surprise you when those so-called leaders exploit those so-called followers for their own benefit? It really shouldn't.

Death

Death hasn't changed. Physical death comes closer to all of us each and every day. For some, it comes faster than others.

Because of environment, some are born in extreme poverty or in the middle of war. No choice when it comes to parents.

Because of what people do to their bodies, pouring the worst chemicals into their bodies posing as food and drink.

Because of what people don't do with their bodies. They don't move around. They don't explore their limits.

But there's another kind of death. The death of potential. The death of love. The death of beauty. The death of innocence. The death of purpose.

These deaths are more profound. They turn optimism into cynicism. They turn gratitude into greed. They turn a child's mindfulness into automation. These deaths are the worst because, ironically, they still live amongst us.

It's not good or bad. It's just the way things are. Some things change, yes. But most things, especially human nature, not so much.

There's tremendous opportunity here. To grow as a species, to change against our very nature, and to really live life.

Let's accept that responsibility. Let's go.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]


30 days to a new life

You may have noticed that I've been writing a lot more. Like, every day.

Well, I was challenged by a very good friend to write a blog post for 30 days straight. She challenged me to produce more work and get more ideas out there, because there's no good reason for me NOT to. She also believed that blogging more often would improve my writing, and teach me a few things in the process.

How could I say no?

So here I am, 16 days into this challenge and so far, she's right. I'm just over half way to 30 days, and I can feel the creative channels opening up.

30 days

Many times, we know what's best for us, but we don't challenge ourselves enough. I knew that writing every day would benefit me in so many ways, but I still didn't act.

A friend of mine just recently started a "no-grains" challenge. 30 days, no grains, no bread, period. He's aware of the benefits, but 2 days in and he's experiencing withdrawals. It's called a 'challenge' for a reason.

And that leads me to YOU. I'm sure you know of some behavior or activity that would improve your life over the course of 30 days. Is it around health, money, relationships, work, or planning and organization?

Take a look at the 8 Life Pillars:

8 Life Pillars

Which pillar would you like to strengthen? Use this framework to brainstorm some ideas and do a quick assessment of yourself. Then ask yourself....

What ONE activity or behavior that, if you were to do it for 30 days consistently, would have a powerful and immediate impact on your life?

Maybe it's eating less. Maybe it's exercising more frequently, or for longer periods of time. Like, instead of exercising for 30 minutes, you exercise for 60. Maybe you want to exercise for 10 minutes a day, every day, just to start.

Maybe you work too much, and need more recreation time each day. What ONE activity could you do every day to unwind or relax? What ONE activity will reenergize you?

Maybe you want to make to-do lists everyday? Maybe it's meditation? Maybe it's saying "thank you" in a unique way to someone new, each and every day.

I once was challenged by Joel Runyon to do cold showers for 30 days straight. Can you imagine how shocking that was to me the first time I did it? Doesn't matter, I did it, and was invigorated every day.

What can you do consistently for 30 days straight? What strengths do you already possess that you can bolster?

I challenge you

Let's face it. You're not challenged enough in life. You can BE and DO so much more. Potential is practically impossible to realize, so we all have room to grow.

So, I'm challenging you to do something for 30 days straight. You decide what it is. You decide when you start, BUT start this week. Find a behavior or build a habit that will have a ripple effect on all areas of your life.

Cold showers? Writing? Exercise? Meditation? Applying for new jobs? Validating a new business?

If you need more ideas, check this out.

Just pick something and stick with it. Daily practice and performing consistently are foundations for greatness.

If you need a way to track your progress, then use Jerry Seinfeld's secret to being a great comedian, and don't break the chain.

Let me know in the comments or use the contact form on this site if you want to be held accountable. There's nothing like making a public declaration to keep your feet to the fire (where does that saying come from anyway?).

Good luck.

Paul


How to rewrite the story of your life

My friend Lisa wrote a book titled, "Wired For Story". She wrote it to help aspiring writers, fiction or non-fiction, to write how people already think and interpret the world around them: through story.

wiredforstory

Lisa believes that all people, from all cultures and backgrounds, see the world as a narrative. It could be a boring narrative, an engrossing drama, or an adventure, but a story nonetheless. In her book, she says that writers can produce "better" stories by appealing to how people are naturally wired. Lisa's done her research, and there's a ton of science backing up her ideas.

It's an awesome book for writers, and I highly recommend it, but I believe a wider audience could also benefit from the book's thesis.

Think about it. If humans really view the world through a story lens, and if we're interpreting every interaction and experience as some form of narrative, then what does that mean?

A meaningless universe

I need to make a point before we continue.

The events in our lives are just events. The stuff that happens to us is just stuff, and none of it has meaning. None of it.

It takes a human, animal, or alien to create meaning from events that take place in the world. Conscious entities from all worlds make their world mean something, because inherently, the universe is meaningless.

Information enters the 5 senses, and almost immediately the mind is asking, what does this mean to me?

The creation of meaning is the formation of story. We spend our entire lives making up things about the world we live in, or we spend our lives consuming the creations of somebody else.

Are you even aware that this is what you're doing? Are you aware of this process as it's happening? Just becoming aware of your meaning making ability can influence how 'entertaining' your story ultimately becomes. Let me explain.

We are story

You ARE story. I am story, and life is the unfolding story of us all.

In life, there are many chapters with twists, turns, and challenges to overcome. Everybody gets their share of awesome climactic moments, and an abundance of fall-flat-on-your-face experiences.

The potential for an epic life, or a forgettable one, lies with every decision we make, but make no mistake - long after you're dead and buried, you will be remembered in story form by the people who are still around. If you're remembered at all.

This is profound. It's profound because we can observe what makes an awesome story from a writer's perspective, and anybody can apply the same principles in their lives.

The story's setting, plot, themes, conflict, and oh sh*t moments provide a character with opportunities to demonstrate their best self, or show their ugly side - just like LIFE.

The only difference is that a book, movie or theater piece has consolidated all the highlights (and lowlights), then presents it in a very entertaining way. You get to skip the day to day mundane aspects of a person's life.

Stephen Covey wrote in 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (a personal development bestseller), begin with the end in mind. His point is that everyone needs a destination or vision first, then they can begin to work towards that vision. This is similar to advice I've seen authors give other writers: figure out a memorable ending FIRST, because that will help guide the writer's hand.

Profound entertainment

Entertainment is:

entertainment |ˌentərˈtānmənt|

noun

the action of providing or being provided with amusement or enjoyment: everyone just sits in front of the TV for entertainment.


You can provide entertainment or have it provided for you, simple enough, right? But I'd like to coin a new term and a different style of entertainment: profound entertainment.

Profound Entertainment is simply you're ability to become aware of your own life story as it unfolds, and then to shape and advance it in the direction you choose. Self-awareness is essential.

PE makes your life story more dimensional, and gives you a chance to live your life in HD.

PE takes you out of consumer mode, where entertainment is merely provided for you, and into producer mode, where you're creating value for yourself & others, and really living life.

In order to live Profound Entertainment, you must do what all stories require you to do: face and embrace conflict.

That's the cost of living AWESOMELY. The cost is facing your fear, overcoming inertia and stagnation, and overcoming doubt, despair and depression. It takes heroic effort, the determination of that guy from the English Patient, and the courage of Rocky.

It's easy to read about (or watch) fictional characters transform their lives by dealing with their inner and outer challenges.

It's quite another to overcome your own inner demons and external barriers to become your best self ever. Yes, it's difficult, but profoundly entertaining.

malcolm x quote

PE Ratio

Your PE ratio is your Profound Entertainment ratio. PE is how much you create/produce versus how much you consume on a daily basis? Essentially, are you a creator/producer or a consumer?

You may be an avid reader, but what have you written?

You may love to watch sports, but how much do you play?

You may love travel stories, but how much have you traveled?

You may love music, but how much do you play?

You may love to learn, but what have you taught others?

If you're on the consuming side of the ratio, perhaps your pie looks like this:

pe ratio12% creator, 88% consumer. How would this ratio affect your body, mind, and spirit over time?

How do you feel after a productive day? After you've built something that you WANTED to build? How do you feel when you're with people you want to be with? How do you feel after having new experiences, seeing an idea of yours take off, playing a game that you excel at, or performing in front of others?

The spectator always gets the short end of the stick. The consumer vicariously feels through the characters/players he watches, but the power of those emotions are muted compared to the real thing.

It's why spectators turn into haters so fast. It's hard to appreciate something if you don't understand it, and how can you understand something if you haven't personally experienced it or have completely forgotten what the experience was like?

Vicarious feelings or the real deal? Which do you prefer? And which of those would benefit you the most?

Rebalance your PE ratio

Life is ultimately about PE. Somehow, this disparity between consuming and producing must shift. Feeling alive comes from playing, not so much in spectating.

Don't get me wrong. Passively consuming entertainment plays an important role in the evolution of our culture. We get exposed to new ideas, new perspectives, new language, and new methods of being and doing. It serves a vital function in community development. Stories must be told, shared, and passed on so that we can be better human beings.

But the time has come for new stories, new lessons, from new players. There's an old saying: there's nothing new under the sun. Perhaps that's the cosmic perspective, but it's just not true for humanity. We get a chance to experience new things in our lives every day. We have the opportunity to grow and be something we've never been. A choice is available to us in every moment.

What will you do with your moment?

Will you create something fresh? Or repeat or consume the known again?

Personal Stories

You'll survive

I moved to Seattle with $160 in my pocket, a car full of clothes, a mind full of ignorance, and a heart full of courage. I had no plan, no clue, and nowhere to go. The question that arises when all-or-nothing risks like this are taken is, will I survive? I survived.

And this would have never happened if I didn't make the trek:

Article PC - August 17, 2003This happened because I took some risks, challenged assumptions, and stuck to my guns when I was really shaking inside. There are many stories that led up to this, but the lesson remains the same:

Follow your heart.


Zjump!

I was in France, and my friend Mark asked me if I wanted to go canyoning. Say what? What's canyoning??

I was sick as a dog, but I would be leaving back home in the next couple of days. I chose to go, even though I had no idea what I'd be doing.

Next thing you know, I'm in the canyons in the mountains of France, not too far from Switzerland, listening to our french guide give me options: "Zjump? Or rappel?"

I chose to zjump. See my feet??

zhump!

zjump!

I leapt into pools of water I couldn't see, rappelled down steep cliffs, slid down natural rock slides, and froze my behind off. I was sick before going, and was revitalized after.

Sometimes you have to leap before you look, open a book despite its ugly cover, and say yes to the french guy because he thinks it's ok to jump. You think a better story would've had me say 'no' to canyoning so I could fly home safe and sound? No way.


I'm not going back

3 weeks into my trip to Peru, and we're finally on the Incan Trail for a four day hike up to Machu Piccu. It felt like an exciting adventure, until I hurt my knee on day 1. I'm clearly hobbling now, and our guide Wilbur is obviously concerned. After some discussions with another guide, he came over to me and said:

"You're going to have to go back."

Wilbur was an experienced guide, and he knew this was a problem and could possibly turn into something serious.

"I'm not going back."

He saw the determination on my face. I've been wanting to do this for over 5 years now, and here I was, injured heading into day 2 which would test my will, endurance, and patience. The highest peak on day 2 would be around 14,000 feet.

After some more discussion, everyone knew what my final decision was. A fellow traveler offered her walking stick after I made my decision, my friend Edgar said he would stick with me, and I hiked up that beast one step at a time. Here I am with two bamboo poles on day 2:

day 2 of incan trail

I had a choice. Turn back around, and say I gave it my best effort, OR walk through the pain, and have a better story to tell. I chose the better ending. I took this picture when I finally reached the lost city:

Machu Picchu


Startup Weekend

The first time I went to Startup Weekend in Seattle, our team came in 5th place. If you're unfamiliar with the event, the goal is to recruit a team of people whom you never met before, work on a business idea, develop it as much as humanly possible in 54 hours, demo the product to some judges, and walk away with a potential business, maybe even some funding for it.

It's an intimidating experience. I was surrounded by awesome talent: a ruby developer, Microsoft product guy, Amazon PR dude, and the founder of one of the most popular blogs in the country with an average of 10,000 readers a day. I'm glad I chose to play with them. I'm better for it. This was 2011.

I pitched an idea of my own in November of 2013 at Startup Weekend Davis. It was difficult watching my team crumble and walk away in the middle of the project because the vision was unclear and they just weren't feeling it anymore. We went from 9 people to 4, and none of us were developers.

On the day of judging, the facilitator asked me when we wanted to present, and I said, "We're not presenting."

She said, "Oh yes you are. Let me ask you this. How often are you going to get the opportunity to present to high caliber entrepreneurs and investors? This doesn't happen everyday, and at the worst, you will have gotten some good feedback and learned from it. So, what order do you want to do your presentation in?"

"I want to go last, if we can", I said in resignation. How else could I respond?

I prepared the slides, pitched the idea and our team came in 3rd place. It was the only time when coming in 3rd place felt like coming in 1st. I thought we had no business being up there, and almost walked away from the project myself.

But the lesson is clear: embrace conflict and learn, OR shun it and stunt your own growth.

All that experience would pay off in June of this year. We entered Startup Weekend East Bay, recruited a massive team, the largest I've ever seen at one of these events, and impressed Google staff who acted as the event's mentors.

We would come in 1st place for our category:

startup weekend east bay number app

The story doesn't end there. The next challenge is to actually build something, not just a demo or prototype, and build a REAL business from it.

Yup, PE is tough, challenging, and difficult. Ready or not, the show (story) must go on.

Takeaways

How can I say this without being redundant? Never mind. Redundancy is necessary.

  • Wake up the creator in you. The culture we have collectively built, and what's been passed down to this generation is not the best we can do. Let's improve. We can craft a more memorable story.
  • We've slumbered along consuming what other creators have made for us, and it's not healthy anymore. It's not healthy for your mind, body, or spirit. We can do better.
  • It's perfectly healthy to consume story, games, food, and other people's creations, just check your PE ratio from time to time. Watch for a disproportionate bias towards consumption.
  • In order for story to advance, conflict must be confronted and dealt with. Conflict is fear, doubt, hurt, pain, trauma, oppression, limitation, etc. Confront your fears, demonstrate courage, have faith, and transcend your pain and limitation. Nothing is stopping you, but you (unless you're physically restrained or caged).
  • An epic life = someone overcame epic problems. Are you facing the RIGHT problems in your life that will forge the best version of you possible? If not, then it's time to initiate a more appropriate form of conflict so you can FEEL ALIVE again.
  • If you want your life story to look and feel different, get out of the role of protagonist and back into the role of author again:
    • what's the setting of your story? (where do you want this phase of your life to take place?)
    • what's the plot? (what events would you like to take place in your life?)
    • who's the supporting cast? (what relationships are important to develop? who do you want in your life? mentors, romantic, friends, partners, etc.)
    • What themes or lessons are recurring for your protagonist? (what themes keep recurring in your life? what themes keep returning around relationships? themes around work? what feelings or emotional states seem to have a cyclical nature? what continues to happen in your life that you wish would change? what's the meaning behind them and how will you go beyond them?)
    • What types of 'conflict' will your character encounter? (what big goals do you want to accomplish? what activities make you feel alive? what challenges must you overcome to be your best self ever?)
    • What's the end of the story look like? How does each chapter end? (What's the ultimate accomplishment you want for your life? How does each year end, for the next 10 years? In each year, what have you accomplished for each and every month? What must you accomplish at the end of each day to move towards those outcomes?)
  • Finally, in key decision moments of your life, ask yourself, which choice leads to a better life? What decision will give me a better story to tell? Many times, it will be the more challenging choice. Take the road least traveled, and there will be reward in that alone.

Here's to your next chapter.

Paul

the-next-chapter


Worldwide Transformation - A Manifesto

[dropcap sid="dropcap-1376862865" type="2"]I[/dropcap]'ve just written a manifesto for transforming the world, one person at a time. Right-click and save or click on the image below to download. Feel free to share:

[download id="8" format="2"]

Love to you all.

Paul


We > I

[dropcap type="2"]W[/dropcap]eek 9 and 10 are over, 42 more to go. As you can tell, I missed a week, and that doesn't mean that this will be a long update. SCOREBOARD: [box type="blank" class="bg-blue rounded-10"] [columns width="1/2"]

Total Earnings

Driving: $158

[/columns] [columns width="1/2" last="true"]

Bank Account

$221.40

[/columns] [/box]

Bank Statement 10-10-12
Bank Statement 10-10-12

Update

It's been an eventful couple of weeks for me. I went on Craigslist applied to contract with a couple of places that I feel would fit my skill set AND still do something that I would enjoy. We'll see what comes up.

I've also decided to go all in on my next book, and plan to release it December 25, 2012. Merry Christmas. I've just released a teaser video for the book:

And as for the book title, it could still change, but I like the direction it's taking:

WTF Book Cover Design

I've also did a final redesign of the 8 Life Pillars. Soon I will be brainstorming courses, workshops, and app ideas around this concept. It's gone from butt-ugly to its current iteration. Check out the progression from 2005 until today:

Made these first two in MS Word. The only difference between the two was the changing the language of Career to Service and Education to Learning. Service is all encompassing, more inclusive. And Learning sounds like a more active process than education. Thanks to my friend Mark for that contribution.

Here's where I wanted to make it more graphical. Of course, I was just beginning to play with design apps, but this was my first effort. Of course, the Base of this particular iteration only had the mind as our primary source of everything. Of course, after thinking about it, I changed it.

The second is not so much different from the first. The changes to the Base were made to reflect my understanding of what's at our deepest core.

And now I'm just getting fancier using some shading effects and shadows. Don't know why I chose yellow, but I was just creating.

That last version had too much going on in the actual pillars. Now I'm sliding my design to a more minimal look. Just the icon, and the pillar name at the bottom. I liked where it was going, but I wan't even remotely satisfied.

Then I thought, why not use actual pillars? Of course, going off the last few iterations I decided to keep using color to differentiate each pillar. If you haven't guessed, I was using the chakra color scheme that I associated with each particular pillar.Then I got tired of the colors, and wanted to make the entire design more uniform. Let the icons speak for themselves. Still kept the pillars, but it just wasn't satisfying.

Then I just got sick of thinking about it, and outsourced a design from someone experienced in these matters. I saw his portfolio and thought he would do an excellent job. Too bad he didn't...

Finally, I got rid of using graphical looking pillars. It was so unnecessary. I did use a stone type image to maintain the feel of the pillars. I felt really good about this one.

Then I figured, why the big ol' fat pillars? Why not minimize the design completely, and place the emphasis on the key areas? Done.

And now the final conclusion. I changed the Organization and Learning icons to something I felt was more representative of each pillar.

8LP - Final VersionMoving on...

The Cost Of Independence

In order to reach my goal, as I've stated, I'm going to have to multiply myself and my work. That means books, ebooks, courses, workshops, etc.

So that means an inordinate amount of time developing, creating, refining, editing, testing, researching, practicing and rehearsing. I realize the level of effort and commitment it takes to make this all work.

Writing a book is no easy chore. It requires a lot of thought, organization, and consideration for the reader. Developing a course or teaching anything that promises results requires the same amount of attention and effort.

And this must all be done to a very high level in order to reach who I want to reach, and do the things I want to do.

But I also realize that I can't do it all myself. Brainstorming with friends, talking it over with colleagues who are working on similar projects, and bringing in outside expertise to help refine the message are ideas I MUST be receptive to.

If you don't know me, I am very independent, and rely mostly on myself. And this has hurt me. It has cost me so much. This will NOT get me to where I want to go, and I will never, ever be able to accomplish anything of great significance as long as this software is running my system.

So this means I've got to ask for more help. I've got to reach out to others. I've got to network with a purpose. When I think of networking, it means giving. Lots of giving.

I've never had a problem with giving. I'd give everything I have to others, and never ask for anything in return. And I'm sure I'll continue to do that. But at some point I have to monetize my value whether it's asking for favors or getting a key introduction.

I've got 42 weeks left, and time is flying.

Independence is an important step to take in everybody's life. But it's still not the highest level. Interdependence, working with others, building and co-creating with a team (even if it's three people), is how we reach our highest potential. It is the ONLY way.

Dependence ---> Independence ---> Interdependence

I hope we're all moving in that direction, but as for me, it's time to take that step.

What's Next

More writing, more reading and research, more designing, more hustle, and more video.

Video is my next step, and until I get comfortable in front of a camera, my reach will be limited. And that means my growth will be stunted. There's nothing else I need to do to prepare for it. I just have to practice and do it everyday.

Have a great week and stay tuned.

Paul "No -I- in TEAM" Campillo


8 Life Pillars: A Powerful Framework

[dropcap type="2"]E[/dropcap]ven at a young age, I gravitated towards the unusual. My imagination was fed constantly with books, games, and movies. I found myself wanting to learn about the impossible, infinite, and unusual.

I wanted to learn how to move things with my mind, wondered how I could fly, and visualized myself doing incredible things with my body. Typical kid's stuff, right?

Those thoughts really inspired me to develop myself, and to acquire knowledge and develop skills in many areas of my life.

I mean, how else am I going to learn how to fly or make tons of money??

I wanted to be smart and athletic, be well traveled and rich, live extravagantly and show people how to do the same in their lives. A renaissance dude.

But most of all, I didn't want to leave people out. If I was going to do this for myself, I'd do my best to help others along the way.

From an early age, I cheered for the underdog in life, because I think I saw myself that way. I remember when Rocky II first came on HBO, and I swear I must've watched it thirty times.

Some of us have help, some of us don't. And for all the people who would enter my life with little to no support, I would always do my best to leave them something, anything, that was life changing.

The Elevator Pitch

In marketing, they have what's called an 'elevator pitch'. This is the pitch you give someone during a short ride in an elevator.

Your goal is to effectively market your product or service in a short period of time, say 45 seconds or less.

Can you condense the benefits of what you do if you only have 45 seconds or less to speak, and still leave a powerful impact?

I found that's what I HAD to do if I was going to be successful in social work, in teaching others, and in affecting people's lives on a regular, everyday basis.

If I was working with a teenager who had problems reading and writing, couldn't really think in the abstract because their brains haven't fully developed yet, AND were using drugs and alcohol on top of all that, then I had to develop my impact skills. Call it teaching skills, influencing skills, whatever.

And I got good at it. I found that leaving a powerful impression could be done in a short period of time, and that's a valuable SKILL to have.

Because I would only have one, maybe two hours with that person, for that WEEK, and their 'normal' environment gets them for the rest of the week, I had to constantly upgrade my skills.

How many hours of conditioning would I be working against during a typical week anyway? Challenging.

Picture is worth a thousand...

Words, right? Well, yeah. Pictures became a strategy I used. Specifically diagrams. They were easier to remember than a bunch of words you only hear once a week. Much easier.

And I discovered something very interesting from passing out the diagrams to other people: they made them their own.

Regardless of how I explained how a particular diagram worked, I loved hearing their explanation and ideas even more.

I actually found myself learning and growing from this shared interaction. Immensely. I started to change my presentations to include new ideas I picked up from the people I helped, and over time I became even more effective because of their insights.

"To teach is to learn twice." ~ Clement Watt

As a side note:

I am totally convinced that the school system would change overnight if they had their students TEACH what they learn, rather than taking tests requiring nothing more than memory and basic skills.

But to teach something... wow, what a difference. If you want to deepen learning in the young or old, then have them teach it.

If you are teaching a class or conducting a seminar, tell them, "I hope you're paying attention 'cause you're gonna have to teach this to the class (or group) when I'm done..."

I digress. Back to pictures. I mean diagrams. These diagrams became so useful, that I was surprised everyone wasn't using them when dealing with ANYBODY.

Doesn't matter if you're in social work, business, education, government, or whatever. Diagrams and pictures deliver.

The lessons diagrams can convey can be very deep and complex, explaining abstract thoughts elegantly. Or, the very same diagram can be sooo simple and provide a sense of order and clarity to a confused mind.

My challenge was big picture stuff. How can I convey the whole of life in one single picture, or diagram, so that someone can see where they are, and then determine where they want to go.

Well, I haven't done that... yet. But I have come close. This has been in development for the past 9 years and has gotten results.

The 8 Life Pillars

I realized that clients had to see the whole picture, so they could decide where they were weak, where they were strong, and what to do next.

The solution had to be flexible, universal, and very simple to get. Flexible because everyone is different and unique. Universal because it had to be relevant to people from all cultures, nations, mindsets, etc. And simple, well, because, simple is simple.

So I developed the 8 Life Pillars.

It's quite simple. The 8 Life Pillars diagram is divided into 3 main sections. The base, the pillars, and the roof.

The base is our foundation. It's what everyone comes into the world with.
[list type="pointerlist2"]

  • Spirit
  • Mind
  • Emotions
  • Body

[/list]
And then the 8 pillars rise up from the base:
[list type="numlist"]

  1. Spirituality

    Concerning, relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul.

  2. Organization

    The structure or arrangement of related or connected things.

  3. Learning

    The acquiring of knowledge and/or skill by study, experience, or being taught.

  4. Health

    The vitality or condition of our body, emotions, mind, and spirit.

  5. Money

    The form of energy we receive for the value we give or service we provide.

  6. Service

    The action of helping or doing work for someone. The value we provide to the world.

  7. Recreation

    Activities that refresh and renew the body, mind, and spirit.

  8. Relationships

    The way in which two or more people, concepts, or objects are connected.

[/list]
And then we have the 'roof' which is your life. The base supports the pillars, the pillars support your life. Strengthen the base, each individual pillar, and your quality of life will automatically improve.

Ta da!

As simple (or complex) as it gets

The 8 Life Pillars can be as simple as taking a look at it, and immediately seeing what area you're devoting too much time to, and the areas you're not paying enough attention to.

So, it's super useful as an awareness tool.

Next, if you decide to go a little deeper, you can start to develop or improve each particular area of your base or life pillars.

For your base, you can work on your mind or body, release limiting emotions or connect to your spirit. There are a staggering number of exercises you can do for each.

For each pillar, you can define goals and projects, add to your knowledge base, develop skills, and build relationships and network with people who are strong in areas you are not.

It's really amazing the amount of things you can accomplish using this as your framework. As the tagline states, "life is in your hands." All of it. And speaking of frameworks...

Framework vs. System

The 8 Life Pillars is a framework, not a system.

What do I mean?

A framework is a skeleton, a building block, and/or an interactive model for people to develop a SYSTEM from.

An example would be Photoshop or some other program you use to edit pictures. Photoshop IS the framework. How you go about editing or touching up your photos is your work flow, or system of doing it.

The more you understand the framework, in this case Photoshop, the more advanced results you can get out of the program. Makes sense?

Now the system is developed from the framework, uses the framework to work in a specific manner towards a certain outcome.

Putting it very simply, a system is a certain way of doing things within a particular framework.

And your way of doing things will often differ from others. Simple as that.

For the 8 Life Pillars, you may find it best to start with a pillar that you're weak in, and start by building that pillar up. You may find a live person to learn from first, whereas someone else may decide to get a book and learn that way.

Conversely, someone else may decide to strengthen the areas they're already proficient in, and be a super specialist in that area, and will find other people to delegate areas of weakness to, instead of building those areas up themselves.

They all have their pros and cons, and it's totally up to you how you decide to use it.

When coming up with the 8 main pillars, my goal was to define the broadest, most universal areas of our lives. And each of those major areas splinter into a dozen or so categories.

Someone may say, well, where's travel? And obviously, it would be under the 'recreation' pillar.

Cleaning up my home? Under organization. Volunteering and running a successful business? Service pillar.

Some activities can fall under multiple pillars. Reading the bible? Spirituality and learning pillars. Meditation? Spirituality and health pillars.

That's why this is a useful framework to develop your self-improvement program from. It's totally flexible, and can be as simple or as complex as your system demands.

Bottom line: it's powerful and very, very practical.

Download it

This is just an intro to the 8 Life Pillars concept. There's a lot more built-in.

Later on, I will be adding my personal manifesto for changing the world, one person at a time using this particular framework. It goes a little deeper and covers other ways to use this very useful tool.

For now, feel free to right-click and save the diagram and have a good look at it. See how you can apply this to your own life, even if you're only using it as a reminder to work on some area.

I am including 2 separate background designs, one with a sun rising and another with a space backdrop. Let me know if you have a special background request and I will see if I can accomodate.

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More to come soon...