Act Like You’re Famous. Feel Like You’re Rich.

Having fame and fortune doesn’t mean anything by itself. You think you want it, but rarely think about why you want it. What will you be able to act like when you’re famous? What will you feel like when you are rich? If you focus more on these actions and feelings, perhaps you can benefit now instead of deferring your happiness waiting for an uncertain future. Here are some ideas to get you warmed up.

Act Like You’re Famous
How would a famous person approach socializing, commuting, chores, etc?

  1. When you go out in frumpy clothes you can pretend you are hiding from the paparazzi.
  2. Expect good service. If you were famous, you’d expect it naturally. But everyone should expect it.
  3. Wear dark glasses when you leave the house and don’t take them off. Ever.
  4. Pretend your maid or nanny is sick and you are just ‘slumming it’ with the kids/pets.
  5. Act like your friends are really your ‘assistants’. Try asking them to carry things, take notes, or cut your food.
  6. Be important. Not an ass, but important. Talk to everybody politely. Talk to everyone like they work for you.
  7. Find things to be ‘quirky’ about— for instance maybe on Wednesdays you only eat food that is blue.
  8. Blurt out catch phrases like, “That’s so wizard” and give people knowing looks as if to say, “I started that meme.”
  9. Hide your face behind your hand, newspapers, etc whenever mobs of people go by. Especially young, good-looking people.
  10. Name drop in casual conversation. Say things like, “Jordan doesn’t like this kind of fish.” When people ask who Jordan is, say, “You know. Jordan.”

Feel Like You’re Rich
How would an independently wealthy person approach career, hobbies, relationships, and relaxation?

  1. Spend more time doing what you love to do. Is that so difficult?
  2. Stop worrying about your job. Pretend you do it because you love it, not because you are obligated.
  3. Don’t spend time worrying about your possessions. Pretend you can replace anything. Besides, you can’t take it with you.
  4. Say rich things like, “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you things that make you happy.”
  5. Say rich things like, “If you have to look at the price, you can’t afford it.”
  6. Wear a cheap suit because it’s ‘ironic’.
  7. Write a will where you leave $50,000,000 to your cat.
  8. Instead of being envious of people with luxury items like expensive cars or watches, practice feeling pity. Pretend you have exclusive, custom made, hand-crafted items that cannot be bought, and won’t exist for others until they go to auction after your death.
  9. Tell people that they are looking at the world’s first future trillionaire. Tell them that your accountant needs an accountant. Tell them that it costs you thirty-thousand, nine-hundred ninty-nine dollars and ninty-nine cents just to stoop down and pick up a penny.
  10. Buy stock— even if it’s just one stock. Then you can say you ‘own’ microsoft or apple or ibm. And it’ll be true!

If you take on some of these characteristics in your day-to-day life it does a few things: it injects some humour, it causes you to relax a bit, and it reminds you that so much of what we experience is a matter of perpective. Regardless of what materials you possess or who people percieve you to be, you can alter how you look at your own life. I’m not condoning delusion, but I am giving you permission to use your imagination again. When we were kids we pretended to be all the things we wanted to be. Why did we stop?

LifeFocus System Day 7

LifeFocus System Day 7

I survived a week on my own LifeFocus System. Now it’s time to take a look at the last 7 days and review the things that are working and the things that aren’t. Here’s the data, run through a spreadsheet, where 1.00 is the equivalent of a perfect score. If I had drank 8×7 (56) glasses of water, I would have achieved 1.00 in the first row. If I had slept 8hrs a day (on average) I would have scored a perfect 1.00.

LFS Week 1

Working on my own brand, and exercising got top marks! This surprised me, although the exercises are so easy right now that I laugh every time I do them. I was also surprised at how close to 8 hours of sleep I get per night. I thought it would be much less for some reason. Obviously I need more energy. But the water and exercise should start to help that. The vitamins and fruit should help too. I was fairly successful in creating a routine for popping the multi-vitamins having only missed one day.

The other surprises were what fell below the 50% threshold: Ocean Front House and my Cardbots game. On reflection, this shouldn’t surprise me at all. There is very little direction, or break-down, on what to do with the House situation. It is too open and vague. I need to spend a bit of time focusing this LifeFocus item. Eventually I will get into the various steps to handle a huge life-goal. The Cardbots game might be an idea infatuation, something I fell in love with the idea of, but in reality is too much work at the moment. Might be love, might not be love. I’ll keep it on the card for at least 21 days (them’s the rules), and then allow myself to change it if it continues to bottom out in the scores.

Time to print, cut, and fold Week 2 for tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day.

LifeFocus System Day 6

LifeFocus System Day 6

A brief explanation of the LifeFocus items on my LFS card:

Drink {8C} Water
People argue about the amount and types of liquid we need in our bodies, but I know I don’t drink enough water. I figure 8 Cups, or approximately 2 Litres should do the trick. Basically I want to train myself to drink liquids throughout the day that are not diuretics (which pull water out of your body). Tea, water, juice all count.

This type of LifeFocus item is quantitative, meaning the goal is a certain amount. I place the number in curly brackets.

Eat Vitamins or {1} Fruit
As bad as I am with water, I’m even worse when it comes to fruit. If I can’t get a fruit into me, then I’ll at least swallow a few vitamins to make sure I don’t develop scurvy. I hear the crusted teeth don’t look too good in head shots.

This type of LifeFocus item is binary, meaning it is a yes or no answer. When I’m compiling the aggregate data, I use 1’s for YES and 0’s for NO.

Do {+1} Sit-ups
I need to do something to strengthen my back and abdomen after the car accident. Plus it will help me avoid becoming a skinny guy with a gut. I started with 1 sit-up on the first day, and am simply adding another one every day for a year.

This type of LifeFocus item is accumulative, meaning it adds up over time. I like the idea of starting out with the easy task of doing one sit-up on the first day, and ending with a slow build-up to 366 by years end. I know I can do it! My abs will be ripped by Christmas.
Own Ocean-Front Home
One of my dreams is to own ocean-front property. I want a big modern house with a deck to sit in and watch the water as I write. I know I’m not going to wake up one morning and find out that my dream has come true. I need to focus on taking incremental steps. The LFS, once it becomes a full-fledged book/course, will detail how to break down your goals and spend at least 10 minutes a day moving forward toward them. Right now I want to find the right architect, so that I can have a mental picture of what this house will look like.

Experience Abundant Joy
I used to call this Happinessness™ in the early cards. It was meant to gauge my mood and how much I enjoyed an individual day. Now it is a goal of mine to take time out every day to appreciate everything I have. Then I imagine myself happy, healthy, surrounded by my family and friends. I imagine myself successful, and doing the things that I love. It’s harder than it seems, but it makes me feel good, gives me energy, adds momentum. This is a routine I do not want to give up on.

Save $100,000,000.00
You laugh! Well, I figure you have to start somewhere. I went to a conference where they talked about ‘intension’ and ‘willing money’ into your life. I think it’s worth a try, and whenever I imagine money, it seems to come to me (on a slight delay of course). So I thought, if this is a fantasy, why pick a small number? Not only do I imagine this amount in my portfolio, but I imagine how to make it a reality: royalties, workshops, investments, real-estate. Who knows, perhaps one day I’ll be able to cash a check with 8 zeros. Until then, I’ll just keep dreaming.

Develop LifeFocus System (LFS)
Doing it right now. And will continue to do this every chance I get. I like the LFS. It’s simple. It’s not about to-dos, it’s about routinization. Over the year, with the help of some good friends, I will be blowing this whole thing out. I’m always looking for feedback and testers, so if it interests you, send me an email.

I was running a very successful blog called 1%, which involved writing about and linking to inspirational and strange things found online by myself and some colleagues. I decided to attempt a transplant of the site, which is risky because 2 years of link equity is lost. But it’s coming along. I want to see if it’s possible to monetize it, so every day I tinker with affiliates, adwords, etc. But mostly I try to build an audience through interesting content.

Create Cardbots Game
This has been in my head for so long it’s starting to hurt. I need to get it out, or at least kill the infatuation. Either way, I try to spend a bit of time each day working on a collectible card game. Once I have the rules and a template completed, I’ll solicit some artists to make this very cool… more on this later.

Create There is No Box Brand
Brand building is supposed to be my expertise, but it’s more difficult when the beam is directed inward. It’s hard to find the time, the calm, the focus to know what to do next. So I make it a priority to think forward and review what I am trying to be. There is No Box is about creative thinking, applied in new ways. This can be monetized through workshops, consulting, lectures, books, websites, greeting cards, etc.

That’s it for now. I want to try to get 8 hours of sleep in for tomorrow’s card.

LifeFocus System Day 5

LifeFocus System 005

I neglected to look at my card much today, and the consequences are obvious. I missed my multi-vitamins. And I had to squeeze in my sit-ups in bed at the end of the day because I forgot about them too. NOTE TO SELF: view cards more often. Perhaps slip them around the credit card!

I need to examine the Modernist style more, and find an architect that can blend this with a Japanese/Zen aesthetic. Of course then I need a few million to pay the architect and build the house and buy the oceanfront property, and get rid of all my crap so there isn’t clutter everywhere… but… baby steps. Baby steps.

More LifeFocus is Working

I just spent a few days ‘up north’ at my wife’s grandparents’ cottage. The kids love it up there, as do I. But there is no internet. I know this is not important to normal folk, but when you’re in the midst of posting about your LifeFocus cards it can be a bit rough. Here is Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and a wee bit of commentary.

LifeFocus System Card 002LifeFocus System Card 003LifeFocus System Card 004

There something extra motivating about posting the results of these cards. I am happy with my vitamin intake, even this early on in the process. It has taken me years and years trying to make sure I get proper nutrition in the morning, but taking vitamins never seemed to stick. Since I’ve been on medication for my sore back (from the car accident in Dec), it has turned into more of a routine. Cutting back on pain-killers and keeping on with multi-vitamins works fine for me. I just need to eat more fruit.

I also like the short diary-like sentences that remind me of the day. It’s like a Twitter journal. The accordion style in my wallet worked well for keeping track of how many glasses of water I drank, but I enjoyed creating a digital version at the end of the day much more.

This week I will explain some of my 10 choices, and hopefully create an editable PDF version for people to test along with me.

Chinese New Year, New LifeFocus System 6.3beta

Well, it’s finally the Year of the Rat. I’ve been waiting 12 years for this. I want to take full advantage of the momentum and launch myself into the best year ever. Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

I have a brand new LifeFocus card made up, batch 6.3beta, and am going to test it here on this blog. Eventually I will get up and running with the help of my friends Dré Labre and Jeff Cressman. We are going to create something bigger than all of us, we hope.


So this is my new card. I’m going to see how long I can push this one, and routinize 10 things I want to get out of my life. You can see that there is a balance of health, long term, short term, monetary, and creative goals.

The purpose of any LifeFocus System is to train yourself to remember to do the things you want to do. It is NOT a to do list. It does not cover your grocery list, or tell you who to call. It simply reminds you of the things you have identified as important. And it makes you accountable to record and track your progress. Since each card is the size of a business card (3.5″x2″), I like to print 7 together, fold them into an accordion, and carry a week at a time in my wallet.

Card Components:

I called my card Year of the Rat because that’s what I wanted to call it. I was born in 1972 and every 12 years my birth is celebrated by billions of people! It’s a great ego boost. Beside the title is a little space for an avatar, a small picture that represents you. I use a little chair that I drew in design school. To me this chair represents reflection, taking a break, listening, and balance.

This is a brand-new feature for the cards, and will mean more when the online version is brought to life. They are key words that reflect the types of LifeFocus items I am attempting to routinize.

This is how many cards I have gone through. Today is day one, so it is the first card.

This is the current date. Beside it are the days of the week (or more correctly, the first letter of the days of the week) to circle for your convenience.

I like to track my sleep patterns. Other people might want to track when or how long they do certain things (like practice the violin, write, jog, etc). The timeline starts at zero (midnight) and runs a full 24 hours to midnight the next day. Today I slept from 2am to 9am. So I put a small horizontal stroke through the 2nd dot, and another stroke through the 9th dot. Then I drew a longer vertical line to connect them. Beside the timeline I write “7hrs” so I wouldn’t have to add it up later.

LifeFocus Items:
There is enough space on the card for 10 different LifeFocus items, which are marked with a light-grey chevron (<) and the number to the far right of the text field. You do not need to fill every space, but it is not advised to exceed 10. Each LifeFocus item has a few sub-components.

Multi-box: This little grey box can be used to track the following:

  1. Quantity – keep track of numbers. At the end of the day, hoe many glasses of water did you drink?
  2. Yes/No – Use an “X” or a check-mark to indicate a task was completed or accomplished.
  3. Percentages – Colour in half the box to indicate 50%, or a quarter of the box to indicate 25%

Notes (+):
This is a small space underneath the LifeFocus item to make a few notes. These will help to clarify things, give you some perspective, or just keep a (very) brief catalogue or diary of your progress.

LifeFocus Line Item:
This is the LifeFocus item itself. It is advised to write it in an ‘actionable’ fashion, in the great tradition of David Allen’s Getting Things Done. Make sure that the item begins with a verb so that you know what action to take. Follow that by an (optional) qualifier or adjective. Then a noun, or the object/goal itself. Try to be as specific as possible given the small amount of space.

Tomorrow I’ll go into a bit more detail on my LifeFocus choices, and where/how you can download your OWN set of LifeFocus System cards (6.3beta) to test along with me. I will also be moving this little LFS party to the blog, and just posting short highlights here.

Passion Kills Mediocrity

I just listened to a song by grandaddy called Beautiful Ground. Someone made a video for this song using an old Apple ][+. There was something so emotionally raw about the song, and so nostalgic about the black screen and green letters, and the basic code. I love it when another creation sideswipes you with unexpected emotion, and you let it take over. I don’t worry about looking stupid anymore, it’s very freeing. When I hear or see something that affects me, I let it affect me. I WANT to experience my own emotions. I WANT to be open to a range of feelings as opposed to a narrow publicly acceptable swath. It’s actually quite freeing.

I always say this, but having 2 kids is the single most liberating thing that has ever happened to me. I don’t feel like I have to impress anyone– other than my kids of course. And the best way to impress them is to be myself. And the less I try to be someone I’m not, the more me I become. Makes sense doesn’t it!

I’ve actually found myself sitting in traffic with tears streaming down my face, listening to the right song at the right time and feeling like all I have to do is live. Be alive. Enjoy everything. Stop taking things for granted. Start taking risks. Start making real choices. Start creating a future now. Start caring more about other people. Start making time for my family. Start laughing when things are funny. Start speaking my mind. Start hugging my kids more. On and on. It’s funny, but this shit can cascade right out of control if you don’t watch it. The next thing you know I’m going to be exercising and getting up early, and writing books, and making things happen.

Second chances, third chances, fourth chances… we all get them. Every day is another chance to take your life to the next level. You only get to be yourself once, but for the rest of your life. Ha, I wish I had an expensive life-changing product to plug here…

GET PASSIONATE. What would you do if you knew you were going to die in a week? Would you sit around and watch the Apprentice: Martha Stewart edition? (I still might, I’m just asking.) Last night I was at an industry party celebrating (arguably) the best of digital marketing in Canada. I asked a few people if they had their lottery tickets because the draw on Wednesday was for over $40 million. A woman i’d just met from Yahoo! asked me if i would quit my job if i won. I actually paused to ponder. Work is an opportunity to be with other people, and to see what a group is capable of achieving together. If passion and morale can be injected into that space, it can become something great, something that can fulfill value. But I’d also like to try my own thing, something focused entirely on my own interests and bring great people on board to help me achieve my own personal passions. It’s a tough one, but luckily I don’t have to make that decision today because some oil refinery workers in Alberta took the pot. Phew!

Learn. Create. Relax.

Here’s a sample of a business card i’ve been working on for a while. I’m going to print a few copies soon, so if anyone wants a stack, let me know. This is the BACK of the card, where you can keep track of a few practical aspects of your life. Try to keep things in focus. I’m one to talk. This post is a mess, and it’s approaching 1am again, so it’s time for me to sneak upstairs, kiss the future, and drift off.
Mundane LifeFocus™ Cards