[dropcap type=”2″]W[/dropcap]eek 3 is in the books. This week, a book recommendation, some progress on my latest project, and a visualization secret. But first, SCOREBOARD:

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Total Earnings

Driving: $635.56

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Bank Account

$338.53

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Bank Statement 8-22-2012
Bank Statement 8-22-2012

First, An Awesome Book

Before I recommend this beautiful, wonderful, life-changing book, I have a confession to make.

I’ve only read nine (9) pages of this book, and did only ONE exercise out of it. I read the first exercise I was to do, and began doing it.

Even today, I have no clue what the rest of the book contains. None. It’s sitting on my bookshelf right now, practically brand new.

So why am I recommending this to you?

Because that one exercise CHANGED MY FREAKIN’ LIFE, MAN!

Ok, enough already. The book is called The Artist’s Way, but I own a variation of this book, called The Artist’s Way At Work.

The Artist's Way At WorkThe transformational exercise I did, over and over and over and OVER again, is called Morning Pages (click on link to learn more). You basically write three full pages of whatever comes to your mind, non-stop until it’s done.

The results are simply astonishing. I filled up a journal that is four-hundred pages long in just over a year, and I didn’t even write everyday. Out of all this writing came some deep clarity, my book, concepts for more books, and articles and future blog posts.

And I wasn’t even doing it for all that. Of course, I broke a few rules, such as reading what I wrote, and not writing consistently, every single day. Eventually, I stopped doing the stream of consciousness thingy since ideas started coming out of nowhere, and I just had to write them down as fast as they came.

Now four-hundred pages is nothing to sneeze at, and I admit, a lot of what I wrote was repetitious. But I found that repeating myself was just part of the whole process of getting the garbage out of my mind.

I’ve already ordered two refills of the 400 page journal paper, since it is a refillable leather-bound jacket (hand-made in Tuscany, Italia, but I got it at Barnes & Noble in case you were wondering).

Here’s a couple of images from the actual journal:

journal entry example 1
Journal entry example 1

And a more recent one:

Journal entry example 2
Journal entry example 2

So start your Morning Pages. It will clear out those cobwebs, you’ll get ideas (even if some of them are weird), and gain so much inspiration from within. Let’s face it, if you’re not incorporating some form of artistry in your work, in some capacity, then you’re just like someone else out there. Boring. Ok, off my soapbox…

Value Detectives Update

The website is coming along, although I get hung up over the design and how to phrase certain things, such as my offer. I admit I’m not satisfied, but I am making progress.

I redesigned my logo and tagline, so that it fits the concept I want to convey. Take a look:

Value Detectives Logo

My current offer is a free website analysis of the home page of that site. I’m still playing with other ideas that will lead to conversions.

I may also have a two new potential clients. One works for a non-profit who will be ready to meet with me in September. I’ve known him for awhile and did some website work for him in the past.

I am in contact with another prospect in the financial services arena. I met someone that works at this company during a local business meetup. I gave an impromptu website analysis for four people at this lunch meeting, which led to this contact. I have already provided a more formalized analysis of their homepage to them, and will set a meeting date next week after he returns from a weekend trip.

I won’t post their names, but if I do complete their projects, I will post the results here and on the Value Detectives website, with their permission, of course.

In the meantime, I will work on my offer so it’s a great deal and everybody feels good about what they’re getting. Setting up the right offer is really is tricky to do, but I have to start somewhere. I’m getting some good ideas from The $100 Startup, too.

As for Value Detectives, I will keep tweaking it, adding more pages, probably set-up a blog, and add some sort of video presentation.

Speaking Of Video

I met with a friend yesterday, and he asked me why I’m not doing more video, specifically of me speaking. Didn’t have an answer for him, and all I could say was, “I know. I’ve been writing about this in my journal, and I know I need to do it.”

Perhaps it’s clarity I’m missing. Or knowing what to say when that camera is staring me in the face. Or maybe it’s just taking the time to practice this new skill, so I can feel more confident and deliver something good.

Whatever it is, I know I need to do it. And I will probably release my first live video on Wake Up Smiling, or possibly on this blog, if it’s appropriate.

I’ve already started outlining some ideas, and that led me to a pretty cool revelation…

A Visualization Epiphany

We’ve all heard, many times, how important visualization is to creating our future, and bringing new experiences into our lives.

But I’ve noticed something really peculiar about this process, and thinking back on all the times I’ve consciously used visualization, I found this to be true.

First, visualization is hard. I mean, visualizing new stuff. It’s easy for me to play around with my past experiences and mess around with all my memories. I think we’re all great at that.

But seeing the new, envisioning something before it happens is quite another task. If it was so easy, I believe many people could change their bad habits with less struggle and get to truly beneficial thought patterns much faster.

So here’s my visualization epiphany: as you take ACTION, as you actually move towards a goal, and I mean PHYSICALLY moving towards it in some way (not just thinking about it), the little bit of visualization you’ve done prior to the action becomes stronger and much more detailed. Your imagination actually becomes CLEARER and more powerful through action.

Not sure that makes sense or not, but what I’m trying to say is, as you act on something, your imagination kicks in to assist you. Details that were fuzzy become clearer, ideas that were vague become more precise, and paths that were hidden become revealed.

This reminds me of that scene from Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade:

I bring this up because this has been happening a lot to me lately. Recently, instead of over-preparing, I’ve had to act more and more because of the situation I’ve gotten myself into. And through every action, my mind becomes clearer in what’s important and what needs to be done next. And incredibly, what I vaguely imagined prior to action goes from some fleeting idea to something much more tangible in my mind. I can’t believe I didn’t notice this phenomenon before.

The BIG DEAL about this whole “A Ha!” moment is the FEELING OF CERTAINTY that comes from this. Having a general idea of something you want doesn’t give you a strong enough drive to fulfill it. The clearer you are, the more certain you are, the more detailed your imaginings, the more powerful feeling you’ll have.

And the more powerful the FEELING, the more likely things will get done and stuff will happen. That feeling is a beautiful, precious thing, even in small bursts.

The takeaway? Go ahead and imagine something you want, even if it’s a nebulous notion. Then write it down, to give it some form. Then take some form of physical action, after the writing, that gets you closer to what you want to create in your life. We’ll call this an act of faith on your behalf, as demonstrated in the clip above. And as you ‘JUST DO IT’, you’ll probably discover (as I have) that details will start to fill in naturally, each subtlety will become more distinct, and the FEELING you’ll get will bring more confidence, more certainty, and the courage to ACT SOME MORE.

Next Steps

I don’t want to overwhelm myself this next week, but here’s what I believe I can accomplish by the following dates:

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  • Complete Value Detectives website by September 1, 2012
  • Outline script ideas for video(s) by August 28, 2012
  • Put Butt-Naked Abundance on Amazon’s Kindle by August 28, 2012
  • Place a Paypal button on Butt-Naked Abundance website by August 28, 2012
  • Add one blog post on Wake Up Smiling by August 28, 2012
  • Complete reading The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau by September 5, 2012

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Hope you have a great week.

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