I’d always felt like a perpetual loser.
So, when I read those words in a novel about system’s theory, it grabbed my attention.
The line described a factory. The head of the factory got 90 days to turn a perpetual loser into a winner, or they’d close it down, and he’d be transferred.
My dad worked in a factory. Union man. Lost a few fingers along the way.
I grew up in Buffalo, Ohio. Down near West Virginia. Watched as globalism shifted manufacturing. Saw jobs disappear and take hope with them. Left in 1994. California. Beaches and bars.
Never imagined I’d be back there again. And in 2013, after a 3 year stint, I broke wide open. Felt the weight of the world crush me.
37 year old bartender. Never been in a healthy relationship. Broken. Ashamed…. perpetual loser.
That’s where the Pause. Get Stoked. Flow. originally came from… 2013, when I stopped trying to escape my shitty life, quit waiting for someday, when I’d be fulfilled, and just decided to do whatever the hell I wanted to do.
More on that later…
Turns out, one of the best business books I’ve read is a Novel.
It introduced me to The Theory of Constraints.
I loved the book for countless reasons.
The top three are..
One — I’ve worked in factories. Grew up in a Union household.
I felt connected to the story on several levels. But, the fact that anyone could write a novel about a factory and make it interesting makes it one of the first books I recommend to anyone.
Two— High level concepts wiggled into my brain with very little resistance. Stories are good for that. I took 3 full pages of notes in a sketch journal. (and I write pretty small). So, that’s a LOT of high level concepts wrapped into a story about figuring out the profitability of a factory while trying to save a marriage.
Three — the third reason didn’t even hit me until I was processing my notes.
I’m an obsessive note taker.
I don’t just read books.
Make notes in the margins.
Star and box out good quotes and insights.
After I’m finished reading, I pull those out of the book into my journal.
Then process all of those notes into a One Pager. That way if I needed to teach the concept I could very simply. I may or may not ever look at the one pager again.
This is my One Pager for the Book “The Goal” by Eliyahu M. Goldratt.
The premise of that book is simple.
Make Sure You Know
What the Goal Actually IS!
Without a clear idea of the actual goal, you have no idea what to optimize.
Throw out all your assumptions.
Focus on one principle that you know is true.
Reason out from there.
Elon Musk talks about first principle thinking. As well as a few other concepts I’ll share with you along the way. Pay attention.
We’re starting with Systems Theory because the universe is a system, of systems, inside of systems.
You are a system.
And in all systems a process of “Self-Organization” happens.
Put a pin in that concept — “Self” organization. We’ll circle back around to it, and show why there is so much resistance, confusion, and impotent outrage in the world today.
On a more personal note, it’ll explain why you think you just need to get out of your own way.
I believe this will help you free yourself from your own constraints.
And later, I would love to show you how to create things that matter.
As humans, we have competing goals.
Different brain centers have different desires, needs, and fears. All of it creates dissonance. A sense of threat. A fight for survival.
The resistance is real. Part of the human experience. An evolutionary design, that can work to your advantage once you cultivate a sense of inner resonance.
In other words…
Find out what your goal really is. Why it’s the goal. And what you think you’ll feel when you get that goal to manifest in your life. Then, cultivate that feeling and follow it with inspired actions, without investing your moods on the outcomes.
Read that again.
That’s all there is to it.
It’s simple. But, we make it complex. I want to walk you through it. Reduce the complexity, and help you be free.
It’ll make more sense as we go.
Or, you can decide I’m full of shit and bounce now.
No harm no foul.
If you’re still here..
Take a moment to define your goal.
What is the real reason you’re reading this?
It might change along the way. That’s okay. But, at this moment, there is a is a reason you found these pages, and why you’ve read up to this point.
What is the change you’re struggling to make?
Are you trying to “escape your shitty life”?
Ready to burn it all down, walk away, and start from scratch?
Do you have a big goal, and have just hit some sort of bottleneck in your progress?
Let’s open up that goal to the real goal. The need you’re trying to fill. The feeling you wish you felt. Most people want the same things. The video below might help you get a little clarity.
Tony Robbins On the 6 Human Needs
- Certainty: We want to be sure we will avoid pain and gain pleasure
- Uncertainty/Variety: Part of us loves the unknown, new — shiny things — craves change.
- Significance: We all want to feel important. Needed. Recognized for our uniqueness.
- Connection/Love: Union with someone (or something) — to feel a strong sense of closeness.
- Growth: We want to expand our capacity, upgrade our capabilities, or increase understanding.
- Contribution: To be of service, focus on helping others, to give, and to support others.
But, here’s the thing…
For some of us, it’s like an invisible force field is in the way of fulfilling those needs. And it suuuuuucks.
Good news is, the resistance is natural.
Steven Pressfield Named it the “Resistance” — a dark force of nature in the universe that manifests in all of us and stands in the way of our dreams.
Most of the self-help falls short because there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all”
13 steps to a better you.
No simple magic trick to manifest the life of your dreams.
If all the stuff you tried before didn’t work, there’s nothing wrong with you.
Might just be that the step one they taught Step is 10 steps from where you are.
Or it could be you have to build your capacities for holding attention and tension.
The correct answer to the
wrong question will always produce crappy results..
Jumping in cold shower every morning or walking on fire might, shock your system, but, I’ve not seen proof that it’ll rewire your brain.
I haven’t been able to eliminate all limiting beliefs, or get money to magically appear.
I’m not suggesting that anyone is selling you that stuff sells snake oil, or trying to rip you off.
I give them the benefit of doubt, and believe they actually believe what they’re selling, just like I believe what I’m suggesting.
Instead of rallying against all the Hyperbole and B.S. that fills the Self-Improvement and Business Development space, let me shift gears.
I want to share with you my version of the Transformational Process.
You choose if this is a good fit for you.
If none of that other stuff worked for you, I believe this course might help you get to the reason why it hasn’t.
Once you see it, you might be able to go back and apply those other processes.
They’ll work differently, once you understand yourself at a deeper level, and have a different perspective.
Here’s what this is about.
I believe that inside of each of us has potential, and no one has ever reached it.
And there are two versions of “self” fighting for control of our attention. (remember self – organization)
Well, I believe that the small self (ego) does most of the energetic, mental, and physical organizing of how you show up to the world…
… and in turn what shows up for you.
Not only that, but…
There is a war for your attention.
That’s the whole game here — attention is everything.
The inner battle…
You have your adaptive self.
Most of which formed from before you were 7 years old.
But, you’re not actually who you think you are.
The Identity is fighting an epic battle against….
“Essential Self” —
The Universal Innate Intelligence…
a whispering voice of reason that guides you always.
Michael Gervais introduced me to the idea that you have a ‘signal’ (the essential self) and you have some ‘noise’ (the identity) that it gets filtered through.
That noise extends outside of you.
It’s loud and distracting.
I want to show how to tune out of the noise and into your signal.
The third reason I loved that book — it helped conceptualize my own process for transformation that began by happenstance in the summer of 2013.
Back then, I felt like a perpetual loser… Single, working a dead end job, living in a town I hated, with a head full of self-help, and a heart full of frustration. I pressed pause.
Threw out my goals and stop trying to escape my shitty life.
In the process fell in love with life as it was.
A few months later I chose to give up the assumption that I suck at relationship.
Created a “no matter what” vision of my life.
And lived it out to the degree I could allow. Found my wife. Bounced from Virginia, to California, to Vegas and settled here in Texas (of all places).
It wasn’t until recently, I discovered why it only worked up to a point.
We’ll get into that later.
Here’s how I drew it out…
The Tao of Tim
Pause. Get Stoked. Flow.
Attention — Energy — Results
Look at the drawing.
You get to define what’s meaningful to you. And you get to create it. But, you have to understand why you get stuck in feedback loop hell, and how to shift your attention and energy to get out.
I define the “throughput” in three areas:
I optimize for happy….
Happy clients. Happy Life. Happy Wife.
Happy life being the bridge between the two.
This helps me identify bottlenecks and make adjustments to my flow.
I suggest you do the same.
You’ll have to figure out the steps to take on your own.
Your next best step and mine are completely different.
No one lives in your skin.
Trust yourself to make your choices.
I’m here to help you do two things.
Find Your Inner GURU
And to Be the Hero of Your Own Story.
To accomplish that I will introduce you to some mental frameworks, core principles & ideas, and hopefully guide you to develop a different way of thinking about yourself, your life, and the choices you make on a moment by moment basis.
Let’s start by unpacking three ideas.
- Why believing in yourself might not be required
- What it means to be in the GAP, why it triggers anxiety, and how can you actually enjoy it
- The Story of You, how to make it better
At the end of the training I’ll give you THE MAP of transformation, and show you different ways to use it, and invite you into a deeper study of this.
Okay first idea…
You don’t actually have to believe in yourself
On May 7, 2011, HBO aired “Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour at Madison Square Garden.”
If you don’t know, selling out Madison Square Garden is a pretty big deal.
To attract, grab and hold that much attention is no small feat.
You really have to be able to reach down and touch something that truly resonates.
And in others.
Gaga does that very well for some people.
Maybe not for you, but to her fans, she hits a nerve.
Take a moment to watch this
“I just sometimes feel like a
loser still kid in high school.”
Like she reached in and ripped thoughts out of my head!
She has to tell herself she’s a superstar EVERY MORNING!
Gaga deals with the same shit we do, the crushing weight of…
Am I worthy?
Am I good enough?
And she has the added pressure of being in the spotlight and under a microscope.
People will gladly line up to help “put you in your place” any time you try to shine, think outside the box, and/or express something they don’t understand or would rather ignore.
It doesn’t matter if you’re famous, just trying to finally get your shit together, or somewhere in between. The struggle to feel worthy is a very common human experience. And the Self-Help Industry inadvertently makes things worse. (more on that later).
Everything about the scene in that video
follows the arch of a great story.
Gaga verbalizes the struggle between Identity and Essence.
3:56 seconds takes you through the entire Transformational Journey.
Notice her prayer…
The Essence of her can only live for other people.
(this is a very important concept)
It’s about being of service to something greater than you.
That moment isn’t about one woman. It’s bigger than her. Even bigger than the “Lady Gaga” persona she created.
Gaga lives for her fans in-spite of the naysayers (outside and in).
She stands for something greater than herself.
And speaks to a real, and shared pain.
Gaga serves a message to people who’ve felt that pain.
Great art does that.
Touches a nerve.
Not everyone feels it, but those who get it…
If you grew up with a window unit A/C to cool a room, you understand the feeling you get when it turns off.
Ahhhh… a sense of relief.
That’s what watching that clip did for me the first time.
What if I throw out my assumption that I need to believe in my own worth to actually be worthy?
Testing that idea against reality was pretty easy.
My wife digs me.
My clients love working with me and how their experience of life transforms.
Neighbors were sad when we moved.
And I don’t feel worthy of any of it.
Hell, I barely even like myself most of the time.
A few years ago, I stopped arguing with myself about my worth.
Stopped trying to convince myself either way.
Accepted that my brain processes is hardwired to see flaws, crave more, and not feel like I’ve done enough… or am enough.
Once I accepted that, I learned how to work with it.
No affirmations required.
No cold showers to shock me into a powerful state.
And I never rewired my limiting beliefs.
They’re still there.
I suspect they always will be.
Let’s unpack the three Pillars of the Tao of Tim a little bit here…
Attention is the most valuable resource in the Universe.
Pay Attention. Your mind is a pattern recognition machine that will make up its own version of reality. What you think is not always real — belief, confidence, and self esteem are not always required.
You can modify the patterns in your life, ease the tension, and reduce the resistance of being whatever the moment requires of you.
That’s what I want to show you.
Pay Attention to your Energy. This isn’t about being or feeling good all the time. It’s about objective observation of reality. Without judgement. Notice how you show up to what shows up in your life.
Carve out the time and the space to think about your life on a daily basis.
Find Your Signal.
Let it Guide you.
Release the need to control.
Get very clear what truly matters to you.
You don’t have to justify it.
And you don’t need permission to create it.
Let go of the need for control.
Pay Attention to your Energy and Get Out of Your Own Way.
Dr. Daniel J. Siegel, MD says human consciousness rises up from a “plane of potential” and filters through a matrix of subconscious impulses, memories, ideas and mental frameworks.
His “wheel of awareness” is profound. You should check it out.
Through daily experimentation, with an understanding the Transformational Journey, you can shift patterns, change environments, and experience different results.
You might not have to
manufacture belief in yourself.
In the video, Gaga says she tells herself she’s a superstar every morning. I find that to be a semi-dangerous practice. And, I used to be really big on affirmations.
All the gurus told me I had to rewrite my beliefs, affirm it, or “fake it til you make it.” And since I was obviously a complete loser, I blindly followed along.
Some of it worked a little.
Like Gaga, it helped pump me up, but when two beliefs collided in reality it felt like what you saw her go through… the weight of the world will crush your spirit every chance it gets.
During the COVID shutdowns, I got into some writing courses.
In 2018, just before Dad died, I promised to write another book. Upgrading my writing skills seemed like a good idea. That pursuit led me “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield.
He talks about the Resistance. It shows up at very predictable turning points in an Artist’s Journey, over and over, and the only way to beat it is to show up and Do the Work.
A few classes later, I’m studying the structure of blockbuster movies.
I’d known about the one George Lucas used to rewrite StarWars for a long time. Huge fan of Joseph Campbell’s work. One class blew my mind. Connected the dots…
There is an actual MAP that’ll help you bridge the GAP between where you are and where you wish you could be.
It’s so common to the human condition, almost every great story ever told follows the same narrative arch, has similar characters, and situations.
The MAP can help you accurately predict key turning points in any transformational journey.
Before we unpack the MAP…
We need to discuss the GAP.
You need to understand why the GAP between where you are and what you want to create triggers anxiety, and so you can actually enjoy being in it.
What in means to be in the GAP?
Ever have this happen?
Middle of a conversation… Other person says a word. Song lyrics fill your mind.
Speaking of songs, ever have one “Take you back”?
Part of the reason for the “Un-Lived Life” trapped inside of you is because of the way your brain processes information. It’s constantly scanning your environments and making associations. Trying to make sure you’re safe and you fit in. The identity gets lost in the noise.
Its only mission is to stay safe.
Can’t think long term.
Doesn’t embrace change.
Needs approval and validation on a regular basis.
The GAP is the difference between current reality and what you wish were real:
Bigger the GAP, Greater the Resistance.
In other words…
The mind is a time traveler — a prediction & response machine.
You Are the Center of Infinity
The creative power you possess is awe inspiring.
I encourage you to slow down.
Take control of the most valuable resource in the universe.
Plant yourself firmly in the center of an evolutionary process where past and future meet.
This isn’t something that just happens.
Train your mind and body to focus attention.
And direct your attention with intent all day long.
Your brain will do what it does —
jump back and forth in time.
Fill up with noise.
Send cascades of chemicals through the body as a reaction to its interaction with the universe.
Your job is to tune into that process and take control.
Why the GAP triggers anxiety and depression
Sharing that quote in no way suggests that all anxiety or depression can be solved by “Being Present”.
Mindfulness is not a miracle cure.
But, when you practice noticing the cause and effect of your daily life, and intentionally modify your patterns, you will alleviate a good deal of stress.
Medication and therapy might help as well.
Whatever it takes.
The point is…
A GAP exists between who your current experience and your desired experience — and when you attempt to bridge that GAP tension rises, tension builds. That’s where things fall apart.
Tension is not a bad thing.
Neither is Pressure.
But, the brain still sees both as threat to safety.
Throughout your life, you’ve adopted counterproductive soothing processes to help you handle pressure and tension.
We mistake excitement for anxiety.
And the brain seeks resolution to the tension it feels.
Retraining is damn hard.
But, it’s actually pretty simple.
Definitely worth it.
Most self-help stuff misses this point.
Makes it seem like a cakewalk.
When we fail, convinces us we’re defective — broken.
When we get trapped in the GAP the limbic system fires and shifts into Freeze, Fight, or Flight mode. The body redirects blood flow to muscles, and slows down digestion. The electricity from the Prefrontal Cortex gets rerouted to the Amygdala where it’s most needed. Programs take control move us away from danger. Even though the “danger” is the doorway a better tomorrow.
And here’s the thing…
Flow lives on the other side tension.
Soothing blocks flow.
The real issue isn’t that you’re self-sabotaging, it’s that the wrong part of the brain took control.
Your brain asks the wrong questions. Solves the wrong problems. That’s why the solutions never last. We’ll unpack all this as we go.
How can you actually enjoy being in GAP?
Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks.
She went for a walk in the forest.
You know the rest.
The soup represents pretty much everything.
We’re looking for “Just Right” experience of full engagement.
Not under engaged.
Nor over engaged…
When you’ve been stuck in fight or flight mode for so long, it takes time and intentional practice to build the capacity to hold attention and be comfortable with tension.
That’s why I think 10Xing this and that, going big or going home, and all that hustle your face off stuff is wrong for most people.
You gotta build up capacity first.
Going from stuck to all out is rarely a good longterm strategy.
I don’t care if it’s a 30, 75, or 90 day challenge.
Your limbic system will eventually pull you back to square one.
Cycles of Boom and Bust.
Two steps forward Ten steps back…
All boil down to the limbic system — how we process and recall information, and way we box ourselves in with Labels (identity), rules, and reason why “that’s not for someone like me.”
This is Human Nature.
In its most basic form.
The struggle between our animal impulses and our logic and reasoning is real.
But, we’re taught that emotions are weak, by people who are afraid of feeling vulnerable, and can’t navigate the nuances of their own emotional pallet.
Daniel Kahneman, one of the world’s leading Behavioral Scientists tells us that the brain processes the world in an instant through emotional response, and backfills logic. Some people are hyper-logical. But, emotions and identity still run their lives. Even if they don’t realize it.
Robert Greene wrote two great books — Mastery and The Laws of Human Nature. (If you were to read just one of those, pick the latter.) Learning those laws could upgrade the way you see yourself and the people around you.
We will get deeper into those books, and the Goldilocks Method of breaking out of your comfort zone at some point in another program.
Before we do, I want to show you the MAP of Transformation and several different ways to use it.
The MAP of the GAP is based on two story telling Frameworks.
One that’s been used since we painted on the walls of caves.
And the other that fuels the trillion dollar entertainment industry.
The reason I think this is so important is because when you boil it all down…
It’s all just a story. Your life. The Struggle. The meaning you put on things is coming from you.
It might be a cool story… but it’s just story we tell ourselves. Hell, society is really just a collective agreement of the rules of what is possible handed down to you.
It’s not real.
And you can take control of the narrative as it unfolds.
… there are NO GATEKEEPERS.
No need for validation.
No one in charge of approving your worth.
And you don’t have to follow so many rules.
Tell better stories and your life will transform. Let go of them you see how magical life is.
When Alexander the Great left Macedonia to fight the Persian Empire he had a few secret unconventional weapons at his disposal.
One: his mind. He’d been groomed since birth lead his people into this war. His mentor was some guy named Aristotle. Maybe you’ve heard of him?
Two: His favorite book. Aristotle taught Alexander to read and write by studying Homer’s Iliad. An epic poem that shaped the Philosophies of Aristotle and his mentor Plato. He’s slept with that book.
Homer’s Iliad laid the groundwork for the mental models of the western world. And helped Alexander the Great defeat the most powerful fighting force of their time. In 15 years, he never lost a battle. To this day, Military leaders study this philosopher king.
People are moved by stories.
Look around your life.
Social Media, Movies, TV, News and more…
….all outlets to share stories.
Amazon (dot.com) was built to sell books.
Politicians use Propaganda to shape public opinion, usurp power, and even topple other governments. Stories take us to war. Inspire us individually and collectively.
We either fight for the way things are, or the way things should be.
One reason, I want you to study stories, is because stories can be weaponized.
It doesn’t take much to convince someone the earth is flat.
Conspiracy Theories, Political Propaganda, and good movies all share common traits.
But, the main reason I want you to learn this, is because too many people go to the grave with an Un-Live Life trapped inside the story of some day.
I saw what it looks like when someday never comes.
It’s not pretty.
Don’t let your life slip away from you.
After you learn Story Telling Framework, your first job will be to Press Pause on your story.
Observe it unfold on a daily basis.
Notice the patterns in your life as it actually is compared to how you wish is were.
Lookout for two things that will keep you trapped for the rest of your life.
OPOs & OPRs.
OPOs (Other People’s Opinions) A mix of mirror neurons in a particular region of the brain help us predict what other people might do. It’s natural. A very useful skill to train. Reading other people properly can make a huge difference to your experience.
Problem is, the Identity hijacks this process, takes OPOs personally.
We sit around thinking about what other people might be thinking about us. In reality, most of them are doing the same, or just thinking about themselves. Studies show that people hardly even notice you, the same way you hardly notice them. But, that doesn’t stop us from craving recognition, acceptance, and outside validation.
At some point, we’ll unpack the spotlight effect, and how to shift it.
We’ll also get into…
Why are we so afraid of what other people think of us?
What prevents us from allowing our Essence the freedom to Shine?
It’s a natural defense mechanism.
Left over from a time when we lived and survived as part of a very small ban of hunter gatherers. Back then, being shunned from our tribe would almost certainly mean death.
The ‘need to fit in’ and ’know your place’ is a hard-wired survival mechanism that you can adjust.
It’s not easy.
We’re not sociopaths.
But, it’s imperative that you train yourself to detach from other people’s opinions, as well as your own opinions of yourself.
Good or bad.
Makes no difference.
Open up a space of freedom within you.
The mental space to make choices as you navigate your daily life.
Every time you get to the edge of your comfort zone, the same stuff comes up. Your job is to have to figure out ways to shift. Get comfortable with tension. Lean into the resistance.
And allow other people have their own opinions.
Practice letting people enjoy their own choices. Practice enjoying yours. Maybe drop some of the labels you’ve collected along the way.
Retrain your brain.
Detach the Identity from events and outcomes.
Set yourself free.
Most of the stuff you experience has nothing to do with who you are, unless you make it so.
OPRs (Other People’s Rules) go hand in hand with OPOs.
“That’s just the way things are” is something people say for one of two reasons… because they either like how things are, or are too lazy to fix it.
Well, maybe a third…. maybe people don’t realize, it could be different. Can’t fathom how powerful they really are. Fail to understand that they actually affect the world around them.
Something in me wants to fight for the way things could be… for a better tomorrow.
I hope that you do too.
I’m on a mission to destroy the assumptions and principles of “the way things are,” and show people none of it true unless we agree it is.
Not everyone wants it to change.
Some people like the current system.
It’s taken me a long time to stop trying to convince and convert.
Well, technically, I’m not quite “there” yet, but I’m working on it.
(don’t look at my twitter account… bwhahhahaa).
We when we don’t challenge the rules in our head…
Don’t realize that our own version of “the way things are” could be absolute bullshit, we put ourselves in a box, and spend most of our lives trying to escape it.
It’s even worse when those rules are part of a collective delusion, cultural codes & social norms, are hard to breakthrough.
Actions that flow through you is filtered
You can re-write your own rules for living your best life, and then hold yourself accountable to those rules.
If you don’t, you’re likely letting Other Peoples Rules control you.
There’s a lot to chew on here. Maybe I’m wrong.
Could be these three things…
Stories, OPOs, and OPRs don’t rule your life.
If so, let me know.
This is just one man’s perspective, with 20 solid years of research, study and experimentation.
You’re on your own journey, with a different perspective.
You get to choose if this resonates.
If it does, click here, and I’ll show you the MAP.
If not, no worries. This isn’t for you. I get it.
Hope this helps.
Talk to you tomorrow.
Love your face!!
Tim “the Great” McAuley
Doesn’t have the same ring….