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Focus Is A Superpower (How To Succeed In The Information Age)

That’s what we are here to discuss today.

It is a simple framework for creating a better life for yourself.

But first, we need to understand its importance.

Why is focused work a superpower?

Happiness is a skill and it’s easier than ever to practice unhappiness.

How?

We don’t live in the same world as our ancestors.

The physical world has changed of course.

There are more buildings.

Our routines are different.

The environment changed to reflect human progress and could be detrimental to our long-term health unless we revert back, or we create a sustainable solution.

But the mental world? Completely different story.

As we continue to build the physical world, our mind has to adapt and evolve to discover and implement new information.

We call this creativity, our divine gift.

The physical world was here before human consciousness.

When the plane of mind emerged, it transcended and included both the physical and biological.

Meaning, the physical is a part of the larger biological, and the biological is a part of the larger mental.

Think of the old world as an acorn.

Think of the new world as a 100-year-old oak tree (that can live to 600-1000 years old).

There is a thick core, it splits off in 3-6 major areas and continues to split into branches that may live or fall off, and thousands of leaves. Each leaf has an ecosystem within itself.

And of course, you may have to prune a branch to encourage growth in the right direction.

We can think of this oak tree as a watered-down description of reality.

There are infinite branches and leaves to explore, but most are conditioned into the one they learned during childhood. They limit their potential to one of infinite branches through mental programming.

If you want, you can think of that one branch as “The Matrix.”

This oak tree is explored with the mind.

Each branch represents a pathway of information that can be explored with energy, attention, and will.

The major problem:

It is too easy for modern man to get sucked into a mindless trap of mediocrity, degeneracy, and roboticism.

When people break away from the default path, they get scared of the unknown.

There is too much information to explore.

Too many opportunities cause overwhelm.

Too many opinions lead to anxiety.

To find clarity, you have to battle through the chaos.

You can’t just shy away at the first site of struggle.

For every good thought, there are 100 bad.

Your version of success is empowering, but in comes the thought of failure, how long it will take, which skills to learn, and different career and business paths to get there.

Then, those bad thoughts can splinter into 100 more.

That is unless you learn how to order your mind.

To create clarity from chaos.

Program Or Be Programmed

The Age Of Information is overwhelming.

The most important thing you can do in these times is curate your digital, mental, and physical environment.

Digital – Immerse yourself in the information that will program you for success.

Unfollow accounts that don’t serve your future.

Buy books that increase your awareness of your potential.

Subscribe to podcasts, newsletters, and blogs that teach you what the schools won’t.

Everywhere you turn, curate a digital environment that makes success inevitable.

Program your mind.

Mental – Treat your mind as a garden. Your thoughts can be well-kept and beautiful, or they can grow like weeds and cause a chaotic downward spiral.

As the Arabs say, “The nature of rain is the same, but it makes thorns grow in the marshes and flowers in the gardens.

Physical – People that settle for comfort form settlements. They justify each other’s mediocre lives and are programmed to believe it is normal. The unknown is where your potential lies.

The single most important decision you make is where you live. It drives your business opportunities, relationships, food and water supply, politics, activities, and day-to-day quality of life.” – Naval

You are a product of your environment.

Your thoughts, emotions, and actions (in that order) are influenced by the people and information within it.

Thought processes become habitual.

Programmed into your mind with time.

Most people wake up after 40 years of robotic living wondering where the time went.

Don’t be one of them.

Human behavior is goal oriented.

Everything we do is in alignment with a goal.

Everything.

Every decision we make is pushing us toward a conscious or unconscious goal.

Goals are baked into your identity.

Your identity influences your perspective of situations.

Your perspective influences how you perceive problems within that situation.

Situations can only be viewed by the level of development you are at.

This is why so many are bitter, offended, and angry.

They stop learning and growing after childhood.

You miss out on the depth of life when you choose an early death.

For most people, all they know is “go to school, get a job, retire at 65.”

This is why I am so big on people spreading awareness of new opportunities through the creator economy.

The mind is a pattern recognition machine.

And as the default life trajectory is conditioned into your mind as a kid through your upbringing, schooling, and what your average friends are doing – you will do the same.

If you don’t program your mind for success, it will be programmed for mediocrity.

Focus = Quality Of Life

Imagine having a spreadsheet that displayed how much attention you’ve invested in any given area of your life. Mind, body, spirit, and business that impact your relationship with the world and those around you. The spreadsheet would be a direct indicator of your quality of life. – The Art of Focus

Focus is the habit of habits.

Conscious focus on your long-to-short-term goals are how you program your mind for success and daily quality of life.

Focus is the root of your entire being.

It’s how you channel your awareness, consciousness, and attention toward value or distraction.

Both lead to increased levels of dopamine in the brain.

Dopamine, obviously, makes you feel good.

Distractions lead to “cheap” dopamine.

Value leads to “expensive” dopamine.

We want to increase the ratio of expensive to cheap dopamine-raising sources in our life.

We want to increase the signal to noise, significance to insignificance, and meaningful to meaningless ratios.

We start by creating a hierarchy of self-generated goals.

If you don’t have conscious, meaningful goals, you won’t be able to place your focus on those things.

It doesn’t matter if “you don’t know” what those goals should be yet.

Pick something that sounds meaningful.

Only then can you realize what you don’t want.

And by realizing what you don’t want, you can then focus on something that is closer to what you want.

With time, you achieve goals that weren’t assigned to you and forge your own path.

If you are interested in high-value skill acquisition or turning yourself into a business, check out 2 Hour Writer or Digital Economics.

Here’s what you do:

1) Zoom Out To Gain Perspective

Think about your ideal future.

Have you ever done that?

If so, when was the last time?

Pull out a notebook and describe it in detail.

Spend 30 minutes writing out what you think you want.

Mind, body, spirit, business, and how those things will impact every area of your life in a beneficial manner.

Contrast that life with the one you have now.

This is your vision for the future.

A big, meta-goal that houses the rest of your goals.

This gives you a lens – or frame – to view daily situations from.

You are currently viewing situations from a lens of unconscious goals. Your attention is drawn toward things that will help with those goals. Like a job opportunity, person you want to have superficial sex with, or other low-consciousness problem you want to solve in your life.

Note: you may have to solve these problems to break through to the next level. Superficial pursuits aren’t bad. They can act as a vessel that exposes you to depth. Many start going to the gym for a nice body, but stay for the therapy.

Think of your frame as a field that filters distractions.

Most people’s field is projected on them and that’s why they don’t do anything great with their lives.

2) Deconstruct To Bridge The Clarity Gap

In the notebook you pulled out, break each area of your life down into manageable sub-goals.

Write out:

  • A 10-year goal
  • A 1-year goal
  • This month’s goal
  • This week’s goal
  • What you can do today

Don’t attach to these goals.

This is a practice to generate clarity.

Your goals will evolve with time, and that’s okay.

They may change tomorrow.

If you don’t do this, the likelihood of you acting on the goals assigned to you by society is much higher.

Keep this notebook handy.

Make a mess, organize it, and act.

3) Zoom In To Act With Purpose

Hold your frame in the back of your mind.

Remember, this is a habit you are forming.

You are trying to decrease the amount of distraction in your life by bringing your focus back to what you deem important.

Every other action, and eventually habit, that you form should be directed toward your vision.

This is how you live in alignment.

You can feel it.

The question is, what do we zoom our focus in on?

How do we know we are making progress every day?

One Project, One Hour, One Day At A Time

The modern world is an infinite web of information.

Ideas, opportunities, business models, relationship advice, productivity doctrine, conspiracy theories, news, and drama that you can get lost in if you do not train your focus.

At your current level in life, 99% of the information you are exposed to is a distraction.

We must narrow our minds on the few things that will lead us to a better life.

This is unique to the individual.

One Meaningful Project

From what you wrote down in your notebook, turn your goals into projects.

You are the meta-project.

You are your life’s work.

You, as a project, are composed of the interconnected planes of existence that make life enjoyable.

Mind, body, spirit, and money (yes, money is necessary. It is the bridge of commerce. The lifeblood of society. It is how you bring the future you want to build to life).

In business, these are the eternal markets, where burning, profitable problems exist. Because they are real problems in real people’s lives.

When you create a solution to your own problems within these domains:

  • You unlock the ability to begin a more meaningful (and profitable) project or move to the next phase of life.
  • You can share your solution with others like you that want to be helped – this is the reasoning behind you as the most profitable niche.
  • You make tangible progress in reality. You don’t get trapped in a cycle of mental masturbation and tutorial hell.

So, we must break down our lives as a project into subsequent projects to climb the ladder of personal success.

You can view projects as quests in a video game.

This is why video games are enjoyable.

They narrow your mind on a hierarchy of goals.

You begin to control your attention.

You move with purpose through the world.

People notice it in how you hold yourself.

You walk down the road with confidence because there aren’t any thoughts that cloud over your authentic state of being.

One Hour Of Focused Work

You don’t need 12 hours a day to actualize your dreams.

If that were the case, nobody would see any form of success.

Adults have responsibilities.

Families, jobs, and bills to pay require their focus until those problems are solved.

For your first meaningful project, pick one that solves the most prevalent problem in your life.

This is your purpose.

Sit with it, contemplate, and create a plan of attack.

Are you overweight?

Are you broke?

Are you stressed all the time?

Do you hate your job?

Do you lack energy?

What is it?

What are you sweeping under the rug so you don’t have to face the pain that comes with growth?

If solved, what problem would unlock the next level of life enjoyment for you?

From there, you must deconstruct that goal into actions that you can incorporate into your lifestyle.

Your life must change on a fundamental level.

You will have to sacrifice what you are currently doing – because if you want growth, you shouldn’t be doing what you are doing in the first place.

If you don’t do it every day, it’s not a habit.

If it’s not a habit, the results are temporary.

Habit formation requires you to change a part of who you are.

If you need money, dedicate the first hour of your day to education and action around money.

If you want to lose weight, dedicate the first hour of your day to education and action around fitness.

If you want to decrease stress, dedicate the first hour of your day to education and action around mental health.

One Day At A Time

Focus is a currency.

When you invest it in your own education, work, rest, and success the results won’t be immediate.

Consistency is a requirement.

Actually, scratch that, consistency is overrated.

Persistence and iteration are the requirements.

You must show up every day with the intention to build a project that lives into the future.

This is how you become a confident and interesting person.

When you are hellbent on creating your vision, people notice.

As a leader, you attract followers.

They give you the resources to build faster.

People adopt your perspective and their lives improve.

Of course, there will be people trying to pull you down, but they are few and far between. You will learn to manage and ignore them.

How do you make persistent action seamless?

By scheduling lever moving tasks into a high energy time block in your day.

1) Lever Moving Tasks

As to methods, there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble. – Harrington Emerson

The key to persistency is momentum.

You need to stack small wins.

Like a video game.

Why would you keep playing the game if you never made any progress? It wouldn’t be fun.

This is where other traps come into play.

Too many people start working without direction or education.

They latch onto methods rather than habituating the principles.

Start with what you know.

Prioritize big-picture understanding.

Learn the technical details when you encounter a specific problem.

If you want to lose weight, it is foolish to start reading a book on hypothyroidism before learning the principles of training and nutrition.

If you want to start a business, it is foolish to buy a course on client acquisition with Facebook ads before learning the principles of traffic and offers.

If you want to go on a date, it is foolish to learn “game” before understanding the principles of social, intimate, or business relationships.

You will notice that principles overlap across multiple domains of life. Meaning, you will make holistic progress much faster.

Like how you can bulk and cut in business.

Or how you need a valuable offer in front of targeted traffic in dating.

Start your meaningful project.

Buy books that are focused on the whole of the subject.

Understand the lever-moving tasks you must complete daily.

2) High Energy Time Blocks

For most, it makes sense to block out your focused work first thing in the morning.

Especially if you have a job or family.

Your energy may not seem like it is the “highest,” but you have a limited amount of energy each day.

Are you going to build your dreams after work?

I’ve tried it, it’s difficult to be consistent.

Are you going to build your dreams when you have family obligations clogging your mental space?

Probably not.

Make it easy on yourself.

Wake up early for a week.

Push through the discomfort.

Make it habit. It won’t be difficult for long.

You will grow to enjoy it.

If you are young and have few responsibilities, the same applies.

You can work whenever you want, but realize the distractions in your life.

Distractions are subjective.

I’m not saying your friends and video games are bad.

But in relation to your dreams, they will prevent your progress.

Work in the morning.

Knock out your priority tasks.

Enjoy the rest of your day at ease because you have already done what you need to do.

That’s it for this letter.

Have a great weekend.

– Dan Koe

Who Is Dan Koe?

I am a writer & brand advisor for 7-8 figure creators, influencers, and social media brands. I am obsessed with dissecting human potential, lifestyle design, and one-person businesses.

When You’re Ready, Here’s How I Can Help You:

The FOCI Planner

Goals are important. If you want help reverse engineering your vision into bite-size goals and tasks — order The FOCI Planner.

The Art Of Focus Book

Find meaning, reinvent yourself, and create your ideal future. Now available on Amazon.

The 2 Hour Writer

Implement Our 2 Hour Content Ecosystem To Learn High Impact Digital Writing, Boost Your Online Authority, & Systemize Content Creation For Rapid Growth

Mental Monetization

Monetize your creative work with a digital product that sells while you sleep. Turn your knowledge, skills, and interests into a meaningful income.