Let us now begin lesson #1...
ATTENTION! ACT NOW! TIME IS SHORT!
Is your life missing that special something? Have you been looking for the secret ingredient that will fill your life with purpose? More directly, have you been wondering how you can live like ME...filled with all the experiences and emotion I have soaked up these past months?
Have I got a program for you! I call it:
"Living The ST-EA-D-FAST Life!"
Yes, with zero up-front cost or obligation, and priceless rewards to look forward to, you can learn how to excel at achieving these life-changing milestones:
STress fEAr Doubt FAST-forward living
Sound too good to be true?!? Read on!
This important first milestone can be achieved through one introductory exercise:
Focus on what others think you should be good at, not what you are actually good at.
Sound hard? Not at all! It's easy...here's how:
- Write down who you are trying to impress
- List the skills/activities they think you should be focusing on
- Circle the activities you think will really impress them
- Focus on those skills/activities
- Ignore what you are actually really good at
You see kids, what I've learned is that if you find something you love...and you are really good at it...and then ignore it so you can focus on trying to do what others think you should be doing, you will quickly achieve high levels of STress that permeate through other areas of your life.
But wait, that's not all!
This second milestone is really fun. It's like bathing in a bucket of looks-like-spa-quality-mud-but-doesn't-smell-quite-right. fEAr takes that enemy of ST-EA-D-FAST living, 'character' and 'hard work ethic', and drives a paralyzing stake through them. My personal experience is that the stake of fEAr also keeps unwanted pests away like positive attitude, compassion, and the worst pest of all, faith (Tip: I encourage you to increase your STress levels as much as possible, as it will make fEAr that much more achievable..and powerful).
What impresses me about fEAr is that it can increase through completely irrational thoughts:
- I'm not hitting a home run at activity xyz!
- Mr. ImpressMe must think I'm not good at that activity
- That activity surely must reflect my core value to humanity
- I can't simply work harder at activity xyz, the unknowns scare me too much. Better to just work on my e-mail.
- I'm going to lose my job, home, and worst of all...my 'rock star' reputation
For those advanced students, add these quality measurements for more rapid fEAr achievements:
- Put all your self-value into activity xyz, even though xyz doesn't even reflect your true talents
- Don't have any other outlet that feeds your talents
- Focus on the fEArful outcomes, not the tools to dig you out of the rut
Do you feel it? Surprisingly effective, isn't it!!
You are well on your way! Keep striving! This third millstone, er, milestone, is Doubt...with a capital D. (I should really be a children's writer! Think how different the world would be with childhood education focused on ST-EA-D-FAST living!)
Doubt in your abilities is critical to ST-EA-D-FAST living. Without it you will be inclined to keep thinking of ways to change and adjust and reboot.
Nonsense! Changing your pattern is the worst thing for Doubt. What I've found is that Doubt feeds on itself. While it may take some effort to Doubt your life initially, once you do, it becomes easier and easier...and eventually you plan your life-direction knowing that Doubt will most likely succeed.
DO NOT WORRY that your doubt initially focuses on the activities you are not wired for...very soon Doubt will cover all activities...even those that you are actually really good at.
Now that you have a solid bedrock of STress, fEAr, and Doubt, you will find yourself careening headlong into FAST-forward living. Don't confuse this with 'life in the fast lane', or that crazy biblical self-reflection exercise of 'fasting'. FAST-forward living is quite unique.
Now pay attention...and repeat after me:
"Soon this will be done...and I can move on to the next thing"
I know. It sounds orthogonal to milestones 1 through 3. You want to say, "Dr. Rob, this doesn't sound like you. Isn't anticipation and looking forward to the joys in life the opposite of living a ST-EA-D-FAST life!?!"
Yes, dear student, it is. But the beauty of FAST-forward living is in its nuance. Try it once and you will discover: You are not anticipating the joys in life to arrive at all...you are simply avoiding living in the moment by distracting yourself with the next thing...avoiding any sliver joy now...by anticipating the END of the thing you are currently experiencing. Think of it as “Your Life – Powered By Impatience”.
This is truly the secret ingredient to ST-EA-D-FAST living.
With FAST-forward living, you can short-circuit any potential joy and satisfaction with every activity in your life. Let me repeat: EVERY activity in your life!
- The latest work project? "Soon this will be done...and I can move on to the weekend"
- Lazy blue-sky Saturday? "Soon this will be done...and I can focus on that next work project"
- Quality family time? "Soon this will be done...and I can watch that recorded TV show"
- Dream Disney vacation? "Soon this will be done and I can pay off the credit card"
Notice how it avoids immersion into any current activity! I know. Thank me later. Frankly, we all know that if we immersed ourselves into an activity, even a work activity, we might find some joy in it, and most likely come out with a successful result...and that in itself would reduce stress, fear and doubt. And that is simply unacceptable.
Of all milestones, FAST-forward living is by far the most critical to achieve. With it, a self-feeding cycle is achieved that will become the black hole center for your impatience-driven galaxy you call life.
I urge you to join now. What are you waiting for?
While you may just be having a 'Blue Monday' today, you could harness that emerging stress, hint of fear, glint of doubt...and with a little effort...achieve these milestones so that every single day, every lingering week, every fast-forward year can become...
your ST-EA-D-FAST life.
Thus ends lesson one: "Using sarcasm to pull yourself out of a deep rut...and rebooting your work life where some joy can be found so you can focus on the rest of your life...and what is truly important".
Stay tuned next time for lesson two: "Using sacrilege to find a deeper connection to Jesus"