This post is different from other’s out there because I take the information I’ve read and show you how I’ve applied it. Afterwards, I summarize the results so you can model them. These micro-experiments is my way of finding out what works and what doesn’t work so you don’t have to! Enjoy! 
 

Hacking Your Education- Dale J. Stephens

The book that I read was Hacking Your Education by Dale J. Stephens. A must-read for those of you looking to blaze your own trail through life and steer your own education. Here are 4 micro-experiments I tried from Hack Your Education- Dale J. Stephens.

1)Building Your Network Daily 

 The section “Finding Mentors and Teachers” kick-started me into building my network each day. It made me contemplate “How many of us daily go out there and attempt to reach out to new contacts?” The minority of people go out an actively build their network, yet when you put numbers to it becomes a no-brainer.  If you reach out to 5 new people a day via email or phone by the end of the first month you’ll have the possibility of reaching out to 150 new people.

Just one of those people will completely change your life.

Note: As I’ve been reaching out to people I’ve noticed that it has really been testing my follow up systems. I’ll let you know the system I’ve been working so far.

2)Hacking You Network in Conjunction with Never Eat Alone

When you offer value through your network and share generously with the right people it is amazing what you will get in return. Keith Ferrazzai talks about the principle of generosity in his book Never Eat Alone which relates perfectly to “Hacking your Network.” When you have a “Brain party” and share valuable advice or information with members of the group, they will want to share opportunities with you.

I am speaking from personal experience. My personal brain party at college has turned into a club, based on exchanging value to each other. We offer each other new opportunities, support each other in our personal endeavors, and foster a deep sense of camaraderie. All these actions foster a lasting sense of brotherhood. A sense of brotherhood which will naturally create opportunities in the future.

3) Creating a Virtual CV / Resume

I had been writing this blog for a while but after reading the section regarding starting “your own personal website”, that everything clicked. A blog is meant to showcase your skills and abilities in order to hack the “job market” . For example, my interview with Jay Niblick will provide value to others and show that I have the ability to write, interview, and learn new things from others. This becomes a great way to create your own credentials.

4) Conference Hacking

I got a chance to try this out and “Wow” the results were huge. In one event I was able to befriend a TEDX speaker (who was also a author and was featured on Forbes Women) and a Professional Public speaker who is now helping me move forward with my public speaking skills and reaching out further. Now I actively look for leadership conferences in order to branch out at reach out to people I might not have otherwise met.

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The Success Principles-Jack Canfield

20% of the books out on the market have 80% of the knowledge. The Success Principles by Jack Canfield is that 20%. This book is a comprehensive book of principles that work in order to create mega success in ones life! Jack Canfield is known as America’s success coach and his principles have created success for millions of people across the globe. Canfield spent over three decades finding and applying the “timeless principles used by successful men and women throughout history,” and then he distilled them into one book.
If you are looking for one book to kick start your life, your career, or any other area of your life. This is the book to read!

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The Millionaire Fastlane- MJ DeMarco

Living a rich life has multiple components to it. Have you ever dreamed about driving a Lamborghini at the age of 25? What if you don’t want to retire old and trade the best years of your life away? What if instead you want to live “the life” while you are young and have hair?

Perfect, MJ DeMarco’s  book will show you the psychological how-to.
MJ DeMarco’s book is a practical psychological guide to show you how to live a rich and extravagant life while you are young and most importantly to be able to sustain your wealth. The basic premise of The Millionaire Fastlane is waiting until “your golden years” to create wealth is stupid.
Instead of waiting for your golden years,  DeMarco clearly depicts to the reader an alternative to living in “The Slow Lane” or “the Sidewalk” called “The Fastlane”. In order to live in the “Fastlane” people must stop exchanging life for life (E.g. Trading away your 20′s in order to live comfortably in your 60′s) and instead, leverage their time and control.
MJ DeMarco talks about focusing in on the three F’s: 1) Family 2) Fitness 3) Freedom
The most important of the F’s being Freedom. By no longer trading your life away for more life, you create massive amounts of freedom for yourself and success!
I highly recommend this book because it completely flipped my psychological script about wealth and reaffirmed my ideas about being a “producer” versus being a “consumer”. For example, this blog post is a good example of being a “producer”.

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Sick of trying to manage your finances? Are you trying to cut back on lattes and small expenditure to save money? What if instead you could buy those lattes and still save money? Better yet, you can buy those lattes and save money without evening think about it. Sound too good to be true? Well it is not.
Ramit Sethi’s book I Will Teach You To Be Rich  is focused on systematizing and automating your finances so you can become rich. His no bullshit approach gives you a six-week program designed to produced real and measurable results. The program is designed with sound behavioral psychology to make sure you start and follow through with things “you know you should be doing.”
He busts the narrow-sighted advice of most financial gurus (e.g. Cutback on the Starbucks lattes, and eat ramen err day) and focuses instead on “big wins.” By simply leveraging “Big wins” you can save thousands of dollars a year, all in one simple phone call.
Personally, I followed one simple piece of Ramit’s advice and opened a Roth IRA with Charles Schwab, the day after I bought the book. Within the first month, my money had made enough money to pay for the price of the book. Plus the real kicker is I continue to make money using his system While I sleep! Ramit provides actionable steps to create a solid financial base. I Highly recommend this book.

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The Four Hour Workweek-By Tim Ferriss

 

 

What can I say, besides this book is a rabbit hole. After the first time I read it, I sprinted down the rabbit hole further and further. This book was answers some of the deepest questions of my life How can I travel more? How can escape being funneled into the 9-5 grind? How can I live my life now instead of living “the deferred lifestyle plan”? 
 
Tim Ferriss addresses all of these questions and then some in his New York Times #1 Bestseller The Four Hour Workweek.” The Four Hour workweek is a how-to guide to take the unconventional path and redesign your life around your interests while achieving extraordinary results. The major principle of this book Pareto principle also known as the 80/20 Principle, which states 20% of the things you do give you 80% of your results.
After Tim finds himself caught in his own beast of burden, a sport supplement company where he was working 80 hours per week, he decides to do a complete 80/20 analysis of his life. The dramatic change that his life undergoes is unbeliveable! He went from making 30K to 60K in 4 weeks and cut his working time down from 80 hours to 15 hours! He goes on to outsource much of his life after, to ensure that he can make money while he travels from his “muse” and then gives his readers a step-by-step process to do the same.
If you are looking for a revolutionary new approach on your life, or simply want to escape the 9-5 grind This book has it.  All you need to do is set aside your skepticism and test his ideas.

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The Gifts of Imperfection- Brene Brown

 

Ever find yourself trying to “fit in” or “people please”? Do you have a hard time setting boundaries and let people walk all over you making you look like a pushover?

Dr. Brene Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection provides “guideposts” to conquer these challenges and live authentically.
The Gifts Of Imperfection is a kick-to-the-face how-to guide for authentic and “wholehearted” living. Dr. Brown structures the book around ten “guideposts” which she had gone through after her spiritual breakdown in 2007. During which point she learned to “own her own story”, to stop trading in her authenticity for approval, and to receive love as much as she gives.
Although this is sounds like a touchy-feelie subject, this is NOT a soft book. The first sentence of the book stopped me cold in my tracks because I knew I wasn’t living like this. Within the first three pages, I found myself putting down the book because of how stunningly accurate Dr. Brown’s observations were.
This book is a must to master yourself and become a radiant human being.

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Vagabonding-Rolf Potts

Have you wanted to travel for more than two weeks at a time? What if you could fund months of travel on a few weeks worth of work?
Rolf Potts has the answers through all his own experiences.
Vagabonding by Rolf Potts is a field-tested, practical guide to extended long term travel. Rolf Potts writes down his knowledge and experiences of world travel into a succinct guide so you can go off and “invest in yourself.” He simply defines “vagabonding” as “ taking an extended time-out from your normal life—six weeks, four months, two years—to travel the world on your own terms.” 
 
Emphasizing to others to value time over material possession, Rolf flips the number one misconception about long term world travel on it’s head: The idea the world travel is a distant far off dream. Instead Rolf asserts that travel occurs in the here and now, and does a damn good job of being convincing!
I’ve personally used his mental model of viewing travel “in the here and now” instead of in a far off distance to examine and deconstruct other areas in my life with great success. This book is a game changer
Simply a must read for those with wanderlust.

 

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The Medici Effect- Frans Johansson

Are you sick of hearing the word “specialization”? Do you have multiple interests in different fields? Have you been tricked into the trap of picking just one interest instead of combining your interests?
The Medici Effect answers all these questions and then some.
The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson is a multidisciplinary book which captures the essence of innovation (and then it teaches you how to be innovative).  The wide breadth of examples, ranging from how termite hills helped design the most energy efficient building in Zimbabwe to culinary innovation engages the reader in an adventure. An adventure which leads to the deepest recesses of “intersectionality.”
Intersectionality originates from the intersection. Johansson defines “the intersection” as “ a place where different domains, cultures, and disciplines stream together toward a single point.” He argues “the intersection” is the best place to find new and extraordinary ideas, as well as creating a new combination of ideas.
Personally, this revolutionary book changed my life. The paradigm shift it gave me regarding creativity and the world around me was amazing. The Medici effect was something I had inherently picked up on about the world but the book extrapolated it one step further. By reaffirming the notions that I already knew, I’ve taken a leap into the intersection!
If you want to be innovative and reach new breakthroughs, this is your book!
P.S. Here is the TEDx talk by Frans Johansson on The Medici Effect

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The Magical Experiment: 28 days later

The Magical Experiment

            The pseudo-archaic cover intrigued me. I was in my local bookstore examining the sequel to The SecretThe Magic. An international bestseller and I’d heard rave reviews, so I went out and bought it. The main claim of the author is being grateful will truly change your life, In a magical way far beyond your wildest dreams. To put gratitude to the test I wanted the three major areas of my life to magically improve: health, wealth, and relationships.
After 28 days the challenge truly surprised me and here are my findings!
First I am going to point out the common problems when attempting to be grateful, second I will give you a stage-by-stage account of my progression through gratitude, and third, I will talk about the aftermath of the gratitude experiment.
Let’s start with gratitude problems 101.
 

Common Gratitude Problems 101 

 

Here are the three most common problems I ran into during my 28 day challenge with gratitude:

1. What does gratitude feel like?

      I found myself on more than one occasion asking myself “What does gratitude truly feel like?” I caught glimpses of gratitude working in different areas of my life before. However focusing on gratitude was definitely tough.
My solution to deeply feel gratitude was to pick one exceptional moment in my life for which I am grateful for and write down the sensations I have.

2. The so-called “grateful” friends and family

            Along your gratitude challenge you will encounter people who say, “I am a truly grateful and I am super-appreciative all the time!”  To that I say…BULLSHIT! I want to throw stacks of The Magic at them and watch them squirm as I hit them with some knowledge.
            IMHO, 80% of people are ungrateful pricks! Then to make matters worse they convince themselves they are grateful. Instead skip the pitfall of surrounding your self with these people, Focus on your gratitude challenge!

3. Following through with the gratitude

     I have picked The Magic before however failed to complete the challenge the first time around. It was frustrating trying to hold myself accountable.The pivotal factor that helped me succeed this time was a tracking table. To help those of you having trouble holding yourself accountable to the challenge, here is a PDF of a blank tracking table 7-10-13 The Magic Tracking Table
 Later on in the post, I’ll talk about how tracking helped me to move through disbelief to complete the challenge.
Now that we have just gone through the 3 common problems with gratitude, it is time to present my stage-by-stage progression through gratitude.
My Grateful Progression
            Welcome to my grateful progression! The most valuable part of my journey was the progression. Yet I am always surprised how many self-help books fail to mention the stages of progression. Having a clear picture of success is nearly impossible without a systematic breakdown of stages of progress.Lack of clarity is why 80% of people fail to move forward. To make sure you aren’t a part of the 80%, I detailed my progression below.

Stage 1-SKEPTICISM

                        The lesson here: It’s okay to be skeptical, but you must take action anyway!
     I started of the challenge with the empowering idea,“There is no fucking way, that is gratitude is going to work. It is just wishful thinking!” Mindset of a champion!
     I knew that I was skeptical, but it didn’t matter. I was doing this challenge to see if gratitude in your life actually works. The strange thing is, I started seeing results in the first seven days. The results had me totally conflicted! It lead me into an internal struggle and stage two of gratitude.

THE INTERNAL STRUGGLE (AND HOW I GOT THROUGH IT) 

     My old beliefs were clashing with my new beliefs! I couldn’t believe that the magical check from Day 17 worked. The results I wrote down said “$500 extra dollars in bank account” but I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I still thought that gratitude was all wishful thinking! Except I proved myself wrong with the empirical results in front of me. FUCK!
I proceeded to ask myself “What is going to help me get through this?”
After a 5 minutes of pondering I came up with three solutions:
 
1.    Heuristic (don’t worry I’ll explain further)
2.    Success Stories
Interestingly enough, my first solution related well to my progress with Japanese jiu-jitsu.

GRATITUDE MEET JAPANESE JIU-JITSU

     Japanese jiu-jitsu is an ancient martial art that is a precursor to Judo, Aikido, and arguably Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I am a history nerd so I had to go to the class. Thinking I would watch the first class, I was wearing a dress shirt and black jeans. Sensei comes over a politely scolds me “You don’t watch the first class, you just do.” Here I am dressed to the nines, taking side falls in an INC dress shirt. Definitely a memorable experience. A. Because of a the ridiculousness of the scenario B. Because I learned the value of falling that day.
      I was taught how to properly fall onto my side that day. Volunteering to fall on to your side, is against human nature. The body nature revolts saying “Ground bad!” Yet I knew at that moment, that side falls were a pain period I must go through in order to advance. So I buckled down cufflinks and all, and continued to fall on my side like a manatee having a seizure. 
The question is “why did I buckle down a take more side falls?”
The answer is All because I focused on the progression to the black belt.
     I then generalized this story of going through the pain period with side falls to my first few days of The Magic Challenge. In the beginning it was a pain to wake up every morning and write down 10 things I would be grateful for. Thinking “What if I run out of things to be grateful for?” (which I later learned if you run out of things to be grateful for, you just aren’t looking hard enough) or “Why do I have to do this?” But at the end each day I was excited to write my ten items down plus I found myself writing down more things to be grateful for along the way.
     This process of generalizing, I later researched, is called a heuristic. A heuristic is basically a mental shortcut. (If you want to learn more about it pick up Daniel Khanman’s Book Thinking Fast and Slow)
Now why did it I apply a heuristic? 
Because I knew “If I could succeed at breaking through the pain period once, I knew I could do it again!”  The heuristic I used focused me on the challenge at hand instead of the annoying parts of the gratitude challenge.
GRATUITOUS SUCCESS 
The second solution I used was Success Stories. If I had doubts about gratitude I would just go to thesecret.tv/stories and use the millions of success stories as a boost up. Because if they could do it, so could I !
Here are links to 2 of my favorite “secret stories”
I knew “If others can do it, so can I
 
Yes, this might seem simple, It is! It was also extremely effective! 
 

TRACKING

The Third solution I used was by far the most effective. Tracking my progress each day in a simple table allowed me to see my actions being rewarded. (Inspired by the story, Start your own today download the Magic PDF I created)
Evidence, I would track down increased my awareness to gratitude; Plus built my belief system to further believe in gratitude. I would also simply track if I had done the activity by placing a Y/N in the “activity completed column” Placing a No in the column was truly painful and when I didn’t want to do the exercises it forced me to move forward! Use it to follow through on your challenge!

 photo ScreenShot2013-07-10at61432PM_zps277d2d36.pngHere is My Actual Tracking Chart

Below are Two Benefits I observed via tracking:
 

BENEFITS OBSERVED

1. Increased risk taking

An observation I made was I was taking more risks than usual. As I changed my images in my head by focusing on gratitude, I felt as if all my decisions and actions would be rewarded. Yes, insert all cliches about risk taking here (e.g. No risk, no rewards…)

2. Increased Drive

As a result of taking more action and risks, more rewards started pouring into my life. The positive reinforcement drove me to take more action. An interesting side benefit of the increased drive was reaching  a cycle of accelerated returns. A term coined by Robert Greene in his book Mastery, a cycle of accelerated returns occurs while mastering a skill where “practice becomes easier and more interesting leading to the ability to practice for longer hours, which increases your skill level, which in turn makes practice even more interesting.”(Greene,60)  The cycle of accelerated returns actually pushed me forward to my next stage.
 
 

Stage 2: DISPROVED SKEPTICISM 

                        I‘ve seen the results in my life as a result of gratitude. My relationship is amazing. I am enjoying the gratitude I have for my amazing friends and family. The magic check I wrote on Day 17 manifested in less than 2 weeks.
Yet I am skeptical thinking it didn’t work. Rationalizing to myself by saying “well the money was probably just their before hand,” And “It’s too hard and challenging to say thank you everyday and Take time to say thank.” (But I totally know that’s bullshit! Since the gratitude makes me feel a lot better and its going to help magically change my life) This was a pivotal stage for me. Where the hardwiring of my brain is changing since their is conflict. The conflict exists between: Old unconscious incompetence beliefs and New Conscious competence beliefs. The fact of the matter is, results don’t lie. And my results definitely were telling me the truth.

Stage 3: Believing in Magic (No, not in a young girl’s heart) 

 
     My experiment gave me results that I was looking for. Yet, I had to takes some time to digest the new information. During the digestions and new neural hardwiring process I continued to practice gratitude. Reason was to keep the momentum going. As each new piece of evidence fell into place the more I believed in gratitude.  Here are the results below that made me believe!
 
 

RESULTS AND THE AFTERMATH

The Results: 

Before

I created a baseline the first day of the challenge for the purpose of comparing results.
Baseline
 
Wealth
Paying bills late
Not Enough money to share
Bank of america account amount
 
Health
Out of shape
Relationships
Anger and Rage from mom
Hopelessness from dad
Medium contact with friends

AFTER: 

Here are the improvements from the baseline after The Magic
 
Wealth
Paying bills late——————————————Implemented System of have bills paid on time (including opening a killer AYP rate in an online savings account)
Not Enough money to share————————Extra $500 in the bank after Day 17 Magic Check
 
Health
Out of my ideal shape—————————— Lost Body Fat plus inspired my fathers weight loss
                                                                 * Bonus Benefits: Helping My 2 of my uncles and aunt’s with weight loss
Relationships
Anger and Rage from mom———————- Mom and the entire family is going on vacation
Hopelessness from dad————————— The successful weight loss spurred my father on tackle his finances
Medium contact with friends——————– Spent a week and a half with friends, plus friends scheduling to visit me twice in the next two months
                                                *Bonus Benefits: A. My first boat ride with friends! (Yes, I was on a boat!)
All three areas of my life significantly improved. I had ideas and implemented them which lead to $500 extra in my pocket. This was definitely a worthwhile experiment.
 After completing the 28-day challenge from Rhonda Bryne WHAT AM I GOING TO DO NEXT?
I am going to test my 80/20 observations the next four-weeks and then get back to you about the results
My overall conclusion about the experiment it was a giant leap forward for me. And the same can be said for you and your life.
RESOURCES
 
1. The Magic- The book that started it all. Enough Said 
 
2. 7-10-13 The Magic Tracking Table Download the simple 2-page table to reduce your rate of failure and have a place to write down how gratitude manifests in your life! 
 
3. TheSecret.tv Secret Stories: The Millions of Success Stories on this website allowed me to move forward and breakthrough with gratitude. Highly recommend scrolling through for inspiration
 
4. Thinking Fast and Slow  If you curiosity was piqued by heuristics, here is a breakthrough book on all things cognitive psychology by Nobel Prize Winner Daniel Khanham
 
5. Mastery- Robert Greene: Interested more in “the cycle of accelerated returns,” or in bending reality to your will. Pick up Mastery, it is by far the most in-depth book I’ve read regarding the subject. Will speak about this more in later posts. (For those curious, the cycle of accelerated returns is on pg 60 of Mastery)
 


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Lighting fast attraction! by http://www.flickr.com/photos/david_han/

Lighting fast attraction! by David Han

 

 

The Law of Attraction

Panic ensued. I needed a professional videographer to film my premier seminar, in less than 48 hours! Damn it, Parkinson’s law is working against me. I reassured myself “Okay Moose, you can figure this out. You teach others how to do so.” Yeah, only issue  I signed up for a life changing retreat for the next 48 hours! Great!

“What do I do?”  There is no internet, or phone use at the retreat!.

I could

A) Rain dance 

B) Pray to Zeus

or

C) Reschedule?! (Don’t always go with “C”) 

None of these were viable options so I chose…

E) None of the above.

The subconscious mind is a powerful and mysterious entity! Deep within the recesses of the mind bubbled up an unexpected answer. “Use The Law of Attraction!” At first I was extremely skeptical when the answer came up in my mind. But, what choice did I have? So I thought to myself “Why not make an experiment out of this?”  Below is how experimented with the Law of Attraction and the results below. Check it out! 

THE EXPERIMENT: 48 HOURS DEADLINE

Skepticism followed. I found myself saying “Moose, lets get real here, putting out positive mojo instead of doing work isn’t gonna get the job done!” But with the time constraint, skepticism wasn’t an option. It was time to test the law of attraction! I recalled the tips I read about the law of attraction and applied them. The steps were:

  • First step, I asked for what I needed.
  •  Second step, I visualized myself receiving it.
  • Third step, I forgot about it. (“Just set it and forget it!”) 

THE RESULTS: PROGRESSIVE PERSPECTIVES

DID IT WORK?

Yes, surprisingly it did.  I met the head producer of a television station on my two-day life changing retreat. He recommended me to a videographer for the seminar  and the rest has been smooth sailing. Honestly, it sounds to good to be truth. But it happened ! Want to know how the hell the Law of Attraction worked for me, check out the Pilot episode of my TV talk show: PROGRESSIVE PERSPECTIVES  (BTW, my lost puppy wandering eyes= priceless!) 

Here is the Facebook Fan page 

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