The $1000 challenge and the best gift I can give you...

In 3 steps. Plus, writing and hate reads.

Happy Friday,

First, if you’re reading this, thank you. No one wants to write to crickets, me included

1) The $1000 challenge…

I got an email this morning with a clever offer. He called it the $1000 challenge. If you buy his course, actually complete the course, and share your “success” story, he’ll pay you $1000. That’s the price of his course. Which means if you complete it and succeed (whatever that means) you get the cost refunded. Yay, free.

What a clever manipulation of human nature.

A lot of people will lean on that offer to convince themselves they’ll be the one to get their money back. That’s how they’ll justify the purchase.

Most of them won’t even finish, of course, nevermind succeed. The number of people who complete any “course” is astonishingly low. A single digit number.

Most of us don’t even know why we don’t complete things. We intend to. It just never works out that way. Courses are a lot like New Year resolutions. They don’t stick.

2) And the flogging begins…

We blame ourselves. Beat ourselves up for just not having what it takes or being good enough. Because it’s not “somebody else” doing this to us. It’s us. Right?

Except it’s not. The self growth industry working a lot like the diet industry in that if you succeed, you won’t need to buy their stuff anymore.

Better to create a cycle of failure. You see a little success, so you buy more. And then you relapse, blame yourself, and buy more. And the cycle continues. Self growth works that way, too.

3) Why we fail…

Know what the top resolutions are this time every year?

  • Lose weight. Eat healthier. Exercise more.

  • Quit smoking. Or drinking.

  • Get out of debt. Save more money. Earn more money.

  • Spend more time with family.

  • Grow that side hustle.

  • Be less stressed.

  • Make plans to travel.

Don’t you feel unique now? lol. Me, too. You know why we fail so badly? Because we look at the behavior that needs changing instead of the underlying issue.

It’s like the people who vow to write daily on Medium, but don’t. If you quizzed them, they’d tell you no one is going to like their work. They are never going to succeed. Never be a “top” writer. They are not good enough. Etc.

Most of us don’t just have carry on baggage, if you know what I mean. We have an entire steamer trunk.

Thoughts are like relatives. They all show up eventually and some of them are unkind.

You can’t change a behavior or a habit if you don’t know the names of the monsters driving the bus. Once you see them, they begin to lose their power.

“What’s really going on here?” is the best question we can ask ourselves.

That’s about the best gift I can give you. If you make any resolutions at all, resolve to name one of your monsters. And then watch what changes.

“Problems that remain persistently insoluble
should always be suspected as questions
asked in the wrong way.”
—Alan Watts

As always, if there’s a particular topic you’d like to read about, let me know.

Thanks to Adrienne and Suzanne for the ideas you sent. My email has been an abomination through the holidays —you have NO idea! Now it’s catch up time. I’ll be writing about them soon. Until then, just wanted you to know I appreciate you!

My top 5 posts of 2019

Interesting that 4 are about writing and 1 is a hate-read. None of them beat my top read of all time— and interesting that my top read of all time wasn’t even curated.

My top 4 stories on writing, and one hate-read that made top 5

Happy New Year.