The Work of My Life: July 2021 Report
“Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.” – Tony Robbins
This probably won’t come as much of a surprise to you, but I’m not a big fan of fake gurus. Fake gurus are an especially devious subset of fraudsters who prey on the most vulnerable among us. Highly motivational and deeply charismatic, they essentially promise the realization of your dreams (spiritual salvation, untold riches, all-you-can-eat poultry feed, etc.) in exchange for some money. The offer goes like this: buy my book/coaching service/online course and/or donate to my “prosperity church” and I’ll solve all your problems.
The religious fake guru is particularly offensive, at least to me. I’m going to go ahead and assume that the overlap in the Venn diagram of Doomberg readers and Joel Osteen cult members, err, fans, is minimal. On the odd chance that you are reading this and thinking don’t go there, chicken – I’m not sure what to say. I’m going there.
This is Joel Osteen’s house:
I went there.
If there’s one character that embodies the modern incarnation of the fake guru persona, it has to be Tony Robbins. Now, I must be careful what I say about Mr. Robbins lest I find myself being sued for libel in some obscure court in Ireland like he did Buzzfeed. I’ll leave it to the reader to Google the rest of those unseemly details.
Robbins burst onto the guru scene in the mid-1980s with his wildly popular book Unlimited Power. The book was an immediate best-seller, vaulting him to the front of our cultural zeitgeist. All good marketers need a gimmick, and his gimmick was the promise of making you a firewalker. If you bought his book and then eventually paid up for one of his seminars, Mr. Robbins would impart upon you so much mental power that you could literally walk on fire. Who doesn’t want to walk on fire? What are you, some kind of wimp or something?
As a street-smart youngster who was forced by circumstance to become an adult long before the calendar would have deemed it appropriate, I had Robbins pegged as a huckster almost immediately. But I also deduced that there must be something useful and powerful in his book – he must be giving away just enough real value to sucker people into his marketing funnel. Having more ambition than money and a strong desire to improve my life’s circumstances, I set about the task of discovering the secrets of Unlimited Power free of charge.
Before proceeding, I feel the need to bring all Doomberg readers up to speed. There used to be these places called libraries. Libraries were buildings – usually paid for by local governments and made free for all citizens to use – that housed these things called printed books. This is difficult to describe, but imagine if your Kindle app allowed you to print paper copies of the things you would normally read on your iPad, and then you collated those printouts into a fixed and durable object. That would be a close approximation for a printed book, and local libraries housed thousands of them.
Still with me? Good.
I distinctly remember riding my bike to my local library on a Saturday afternoon, cracking open one of their copies of Unlimited Power, and reading the few useful chapters that would ultimately change my life. There was some good stuff in the book – the bait – and I had found it. The chapters on the power of belief and controlling your own mental state – which I’m sure he basically lifted from the work of others – were powerful. They certainly impacted my approach to success.
Let me save you a trip to the library and summarize them here in three simple sentences:
Your mental state controls your performance.
You can learn to control your mental state.
Ergo, you can learn to control your performance and can thus program success.
Learn the simple tricks to control your mindset and you stack the deck of life in your favor. It is a compelling and unfalsifiable logic flow that has stuck with me for decades. It was my ticket out of poverty and it cost me nothing.
We all have days where everything goes our way. We are in the flow. I call them green light days, because every traffic light seems to turn green as you approach. We tend to get a lot of useful work done on such days. All too often, we have the opposite experience in life. Nothing works, everything frustrates, and all lights are red. Not much gets done on red light days. The key difference between those two experiences is usually an artifact of your pre-existing mental state. If you attack each day with positivity, hope, and good cheer, you usually end up with positive, hopeful and cheery experiences. If you slump out of bed annoyed, grumpy, and jaded, the world will give you a dark experience in return.
While Robbins describes several techniques to assert control over your mental state in his book, the tactics that have worked best for me over the decades are twofold. I already mentioned in last month’s The Work of My Life how I start each day. This morning, I reminded myself that today is Monday, August 2, 2021, that there will only ever be one of these, and that I intend to live it to the fullest.
The second technique that has worked miracles for me is this: every couple of hours, or as needed, I ask myself two simple questions. What is my current mental state and what factors are influencing me to feel this way? The very act of starting that internal dialogue immediately empowers you to feel like your mental state is something that can be measured and controlled. Answers like “I’m feeling anxious because of the meeting I have scheduled later today,” or “I’m annoyed by an email I received from my friend,” serve to identify why your mental state is sub-optimal and point to a rectification path. Prepare a little more for the meeting, write a high-road response email to your friend, and so on. Once the internal dialogue starts and the feeling of control flushes over you, current problems become future solutions.
When I started Doomberg, I developed a complete mental image that it was going be a success. I garnered the courage to jump into the pool knowing nothing was going to stop me from swimming to the other side. I refuse to accept any other outcome. Before sitting down to write each piece, I work myself into a joyous state by convincing myself this article will be the best one yet. It will be the funniest or the most insightful or the most impactful. I literally make myself giddy. I’ve not yet suffered from writer’s block – how could I?
Three months in, here are the stats as of July 31, 2021:
Articles published: 30
Total views: 264,855
Email subscribers: 4,303
Twitter followers: 6,140
On average, each Doomberg article gets read by 9,000 people! Considering that the Doomberg brand had no social media footprint at launch, the response so far has been truly amazing.
I need your help to keep the momentum growing. If you are reading this piece and you have not yet signed up on Substack to receive Doomberg in your inbox, please take a moment and do so now! That way, you’ll never miss an article. If you are not yet following me on Twitter, head on over to @DoombergT and click follow! In the coming weeks, I intend to become more active on Twitter. Plus, you can watch me make fun of the crypto trolls! Finally, if you enjoy a particular Doomberg piece, please consider sending it to a few hundred of your closest friends. These things are free to you and mean the world to me.
Who knows? If I can get to 10,000 email subscribers, maybe I’ll sign up for one of Robbins’ seminars and blog the experience for the Doomberg audience. Wouldn’t that be fun? Let’s make it happen people!
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