Let me be clear about something. My goal isn’t to create another system for “getting what you want.” I’ve read numerous books from many of the “greats” and by far the simplest and most effective system I found is right in this video and explained in less than two minutes:
In one of his books Brian Tracy mentions “supercharging” this system by doing that process everyday. I believe it works (and have binders to prove it). There’s one inherent problem with this and all goal setting systems like it. It takes you out of the present and leaves you in the future. Always wanting a little more, looking for that better job, trying to get that nicer house, keeping an eye out for the Mr./Ms. right instead of being in the present. Even worse you might end up choosing a goal that isn’t really your goal, rather it’s a goal or set of goals that you’ve been socially programmed into believing you want.
Pwning life could simply be translated into mastering life. It’s not “How to Pwn Life” or “Pwn Life” it’s “Pwning Life.” The way it is worded was important to me at the time I came up with it and rings even more true after having read the book “Mastery.” Pwning Life isn’t about getting to any particular point. It’s not about being a millionaire, getting your black belt, having the high score in Geometry Wars 2 or being in the best shape of your life. It’s a state of mind. It’s a process. One you live everyday. It would be with you while you’re competing at the highest levels of your art (be it ballet, brazilian jujitsu, music or painting) as much as it’s with you while washing the dishes or walking your dog.
One could say the ultimate goal of pwning life is akin to a gamers versions of states of mind the Taoists call wuwei and Buddhists call nirvana. I would argue that this is a state of mind many gamers feel while deeply engrossed in in their favorite game. The trick is how to manifest that same “feeling” in everyday life.
Thus, success for the person pwning life isn’t measured by things like landing the job, getting the medal or breaking six figures a year. It’s measured by how well one walks the path of mindful mastery. Once you’re committed to walking the path, you are a success. The ups and downs you will most definitely face are all a part of the process.
I learned, quite young, the getting what you wanted was easy. I can break it down into 2 steps:
- Decide what you want.
- Go get it.
Most people think they have trouble with 2, but the real trouble lies in 1. Figuring out what you TRULY want. Discussing that is beyond the scope of this page and will be covered in blog posts to come. Lets assume you know what you want...
Go get it! Most people don’t even have trouble with figuring out how to get what they want. The trouble usually lies in what they might have to give up (or give) to get it. Comfort, a relationship, time, pain, money, etc.
Whatever system you decide to use, it really boils down to those two steps. I like keeping things stupid easy, so I started there. Here’s the system I’ve cobbled together from all the books, websites, trials and tribulations.
The Real System
OK. Now it’s time to get serious. Here is the actual system I’ve come up with for “Pwning Life.” Like pwning life, it’s a constant work in process and totally hackable. Take what works for you, leave the rest.
Getting to that coveted mental state of pwning life 99.9% of the time is a process that requires working within the constructs you were raised in. That’s why this system will work for some and not for others. If you have questions/problems with any step of the system, don’t hesitate to contact me. I want to hear from you and help.
Step 1 - Figuring out what you REALLY want
I’m not going to list exercises here. I’m just going to say that this isn’t something most people can figure out over the weekend. It might take you months... perhaps years to get down to the ROOTS of what you TRULY “want.” I put want in quotes because I believe this goes beyond wants or even passions. I believe, in each of us, there is something we’re coded to do (by God or science, you decide). That’s the thing you want to find.
That said, like I said above we have to work within the constructs we were raised in, so go ahead and get crazy with your wants and desires. Paint a picture of the future that excites you. That’s what’s important. Having that “burning desire” that’s described in “Think and Grow Rich.” Who cares if it’s manufactured with wants for a black belt, a beautiful women or a new car. It just needs to be there and real.
Step 2 - Clear Short Term Goals
In step one you should be creating a vision of a future that might be 5, 10 or 15 years away. Now we want to zoom in a little closer. What we’re going to do here is essentially what Brian Tracy instructed you to do in the video at the top of the page, with a few changes.
First, you’re going to want to spend about a week writing 10 goals you’d like to complete in 12 months everyday. Each day you write, don’t look at what you wrote the day before. What you’ll find is that your goals will fluctuate tremendous day to day based on who you spoke to, what you saw on TV, etc. After about 2 weeks or so you should have a “normalized” list of goals you’d like to accomplish within 12 months.
Now you can pick that one goal that would have the greatest positive impact, brainstorm and get to work getting at least one thing done each day.
Couple of things to note:
- Write them in the first person present. Instead of “I want to make $5,000/month,” write “I make $5,000/month.” I’m not exactly sure why, but it’s what Brian said to do so I did it that way.
- Don’t get too crazy about getting things done. Slow and steady wins the race. Get one thing done a day. You can obviously do more, just be cautious about going “too hard.” The true essence of pwning life is the process, not the material gains.
- While brainstorming for your goal one thing should be finding books, people and resources that would be able to help you learn how to attain it. This is a system that helps you find the system
Step 3 - “Samurai Mode”
Call it what you want to, but this is what I call it. Samurai mode. You can achieve much material “success” (if it can even be called that) without samurai mode. What is samurai mode? For me it’s getting closer and closer to the bare essentials. It’s a life of balance with work, your art (if you’re lucky it is your work) and your relationships. It’s making your bed, putting on your coat and tying your shoes with the same state of mind you’d have in competition. It’s never misplacing your keys or forgetting your cellphone. It’s never having an overflowing inbox, a massive to-do list or even a thought of the future.
It creating a routine set of “daily goals” that naturally take you to your grander vision.
Step 4 - Flow
Goals? What goals? :) The ultimate expression of pwning life would be achieving the mindset, being in an environment and having the resources to stay fully immersed in ones “arts.” The ultimate expression of success is not only in achieving a state of mind that flows with the natural currents of life. It’s also creating a life which flows with the universal state of mind. Merging this and that into the ONE.
"An autotelic person needs few material possessions and little entertainment, comfort, power, or fame because so much of what he or she does is already rewarding. Because such persons experience flow in work, in family life, when interacting with people, when eating, even when alone with nothing to do, they are less dependent on the external rewards that keep others motivated to go on with a life composed of routines. They are more autonomous and independent because they cannot be as easily manipulated with threats or rewards from the outside. At the same time, they are more involved with everything around them because they are fully immersed in the current of life." - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi