Tag Archives: motivation

CTRL ALT DEL your brain

Random access memory (RAM) is computer jargon.  It layman terms, it means desk space.  The more RAM you have, the more desk space you have.  More room for files, notes and programs.

Put too much stuff on your proverbial desk, your computer craps out.  Freezes.  Blue-screens.  Or just becomes devastatingly slow.

The human brain works the same way: Limited desk space for files, notes and programs.  The difference is that you can’t go to Best Buy and buy more RAM.

Just gotta close some programs.

Lets push forward

Humiliation is a big motivator.

An airplane pilot makes the wrong decision. All to avoid being humiliated by his co-pilot.

The pro athlete who keeps cheating. All to avoid being humiliated by his fans.

The world leader who carries out a threat. All to avoid being humiliated by other world leaders.

When is it not better to just admit you were wrong?

It’s just so hard.

You get what you pay for. Usually.

If you hire developer for 50 cents on the dollar, she is going to do a half-ass job.  Usually.

If you pay your consultants like a pimp, in decent pay, love and drugs (alcohol), they will be hard-working, loyal soldiers.  Usually.

But, if you take money out of the equation completely, what do you get?  Nothing in return? Nope.

You get their best. Always.

10 ways to enjoy low-hanging fruit

It’s the easy stuff.  The stuff within reach.  The stuff that takes minimal effort, but gets you started.  More than what you got, picking the low-hanging fruit gets you momentum.

Picking the low-hanging fruit gets you first 25%.  Then, the next lowest hanging fruit gets you half way there.  The next 25% is easy since you’ve already done twice that much.  Finally the last 25% takes some strategy, but is why you started.

There are so many opportunities to use the low-hanging fruit principle.  Start with the easy stuff and ride the momentum.  Here are some real-life examples.

10 ways to enjoy low-hanging fruit:

  • At the gym: 4 sets seems daunting.  Doing just one does not.
  • Around the house: Cleaning the house is a huge chore.  Starting with the dishes is not.
  • At high school: 20 page papers are scary.  Creating an outline is not.
  • At grad school: Dissertations are intense.  Fact gathering with note cards is not.
  • In competition: Overcoming a 30 point deficit may seem impossible.  Getting one basket is just one basket.
  • In the kitchen: Having an awe-inspiring kitchen is a dream.  Starting with a Vitamix 7500 is realistic.
  • In policy: Making high fructose corn syrup illegal may take a lifetime.  Raising awareness takes a couple minutes.
  • In education: Learning to read can be frustrating.  Learning a couple words is delightful.
  • In dating: Finding your soul mate might be the goal.  But, going on one date is step one.
  • In your career: Quitting your job and working for yourself is not realistic.  That is, unless you’ve begun to build your email list.

Go one tree at a time

Grabbing the low-hanging fruit will get you started.  And it will get you the momentum you need.  Soon, all that’s left will be the fruit at the top.

But, just because picking the low-hanging fruit is good, doesn’t mean it’s all you should do.  Because if you go from tree to tree without finishing, you’ll be left with a bunch of trees with a little fruit on top.  And that’s not why you started.

Read more about getting the low-hanging fruit by reading “Switch”, one of my favorite resources.

Getting the fruit from the top

Tons of fruit to pick.  It was a massive undertaking.   But, by getting momentum with the low-hanging fruit and then next lowest we were 50% done.  Then, we brought the project to life by getting to 75% complete.  Finally, the top of the tree was all that remained.  And it needs to be picked.

The student’s paper is nothing without diction, voice and tone.  The traveler’s suitcase is worthless without her toiletries.   The weight-loss seeker’s Vitamix is just an expensive decoration if it sits idle.

It’s easy to forget the reason you started.  And it’s easy to be satisfied with simply having started.  Or being almost done.  That’s sort of reverse-low hanging fruit.  And now your brain is really messing with you.

Remember, it often takes the most strategy to finish the job.

And, the fruit at the top is high.  You really have to push.  But getting it all is the reason you started.

The fruit that brings the project to life

When the low-hanging fruit is gone, what’s left?  You’re 50% done, so doing another 25% should seem easy.  It’s only half of what you’ve already done.  And, it will get you to 75% complete.

The student fills in the outline with sentences.  The traveler chooses outfits.  The weight loss-seeker goes to the grocery store.

When the low-hanging fruit is gone, and the relatively low-hanging fruit is gone, the next step is bring the project to life.  It’s sometimes the toughest step.  But, knowing that afterwards you’ll be 75% finished makes it easier.  And seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (or in this case, the fruit on top of the tree) makes it worth it.

Another cool thing about low-hanging fruit

So you picked the low-hanging fruit.  What’s next?  Get some more.

The student can hand-write an outline for their paper.  Travelers can pull shirts they may want to wear.  Weight loss seekers can print a smoothie recipe.

You might have to reach a little higher.  But it’s still low-hanging fruit.  The lowest, anyway.  And once you’ve picked it, you’re 50% done with the tree.

Low-hanging fruit and momentum

Everyone loves to pick low-hanging fruit.  The student who begin the page setup.  The traveler who begins with packing socks.  The weight loss seeker who begins by buying a Vitamix.

Fortunately, picking the low hanging fruit is valuable.  It gets you one step closer to writing that paper, packing that suitcase, or feeling more fit.

All the fruit needs to be picked at some point.  Might as well start with the easy stuff.

What are you really buying?

What are you buying when you spend mega bucks?  When you buy an ipad, you’re not buying functionality.  Or retina display.  You’re buying the experience of facetime with friends and family.

When you buy a $600 ticket to see the Rolling Stones, you’re not buying tunes or great sound.  You’re buying living legends leading you and 60,000 other people in song.

When you shop Vitamix, you’re not shopping for smoothies.  Or fresh green juice.  You’re shopping for motivation delivered in a big box.

For large emotional purchases like these, you never buy the features.  Just the feelings.

My Fitness Pal

More like My Fitness A-hole.

What kind of pal makes you count your calories?  Or tells you you’re not allowed to have that banana.  Or makes you feel cranky cause you’re always hungry.

My fitness pals make me happy.  My girl, my dog and my Vitamix.  Together, we eat a lot, eat often and eat well.

Moral of the story: Find some pals to help you with your goals.  I know that a pal is a pal and will make you 10x more likely to succeed. But, you might find the best ones aren’t a-holes.

Good things,


P.S. If you’re currently using the My Fitness Pal app, you’re personally invited to be my pal.  Instead of putting you through the PAIN of entering your meals to count calories, I take a different approach.  Snap a pic of your food and email it to me. You’ll get motivation and lots of positive reinforcement from me.  Like a good pal. (Read more details…)