The reason it’s often easier to achieve goals that seem bigger than anything you’ve done before has an unusual insight, which I’d like to present to you.
Although this builds on the idea shared on yesterday’s review call, I don’t think you need to have heard that part in order to understand this.
In the call, I mentioned an idea I got from a common piece of advice for new fiction writers: delete Chapter 1 and start your book from Chapter 2. For the simple reason that a typical Chapter 1 will have far too much background information and exposition, skipping ahead to the meat of your story is often preferable. When it comes to setting goals, I used this analogy to show that people should avoid focusing on the mental or numerical aspects of their goals and instead focus on the meaning, ripples, and emotional journey of their goals in Chapter 2 and beyond.
Recognizing Your Previous Narrative
In the scarcity phase of my life, I was extremely price-sensitive. Because I was strapped for cash, I regarded anything that was provided free of charge as superior. Something that cost $5 would be a world away from something that was given away for free. Even the difference between free and $1 was significant. Even though I adore avocado, I wouldn’t add it to a Subway veggie sandwich because it costs an extra $1. It’s just $1, but does it really matter? It was as if it had significance.
In the past, I’ve conditioned my mind to think in this way, and it’s still there today. Because that was my training data at the time, it’s also a relatively low-cost investment because of that.
As my income grew, I began to associate more expensive items with different feelings. For example, when I think about the difference between a $500 and $1000 expense, I don’t have any major negative associations with those kinds of expenses, so I don’t have to run additional assessment cycles to see if there’s a better option. Therefore, $500 expenses feel less expensive than $5 ones because I have less reluctance to spend an additional $500 than to spend $5.
Taxes are the same way. Paying a $50,000 tax bill appears to be a simple matter. One thousand dollars’ worth of taxes to pay? Different training sets and different stages of my life are linked to each of those two tax bills.
A $5 expense still makes me question whether it’s worth it in the present day, but $500 is a no-brainer.
This is true on both the expense and revenue sides. It’s a challenge to earn an additional $100. But making an extra $20K or $50K is simple, and making an extra $100K just feels like fun and easy. And I believe that’s because I’m not hindered by my past associations when it comes to those numbers.
Moving into a new world in Chapter 2 has some interesting side effects. A new story for your character can emerge as a result of breaking free of your character’s past associations.
Increasing the Range of Your Intentions
Combating or overcoming the pre-trained tendencies of my character is keeping me in Chapter 1. It’s a blank page waiting for me to write something new in Chapter 2 of my imagination, if I’m brave enough to venture into new territory.
This is one of the reasons why it’s so important and beneficial to extend your focus. Expand your thoughts and goals beyond the confines of your past and into the voids of the future. It’s often more efficient to work this way.
This is a challenge that requires you to be willing to go outside of your comfort zone. Is it possible for you to see yourself in a new light? Having the ability to expand your character’s horizons and begin a new story in a new location will help you overcome the limitations of your previous story.
When you move to a new place, it’s almost like moving to a new school. You can tell a new story with more freedom if no one in the new territory recognizes you from your previous life. Every time I moved or switched schools, I felt like a completely new person. It’s the same when it comes to making new friends.
Connecting with people who allow you to grow and who don’t equate you with your Chapter 1 self is essential. Let go of any attachments that might impede your efforts to tell a new story about your character. CGC, I believe, does a good job of fostering a culture that encourages experimentation and growth rather than forcing people to remain stuck in their old ways. Members here aren’t likely to discourage you from writing a new chapter in your life story, but I’ve heard from members who have difficulty adjusting to new social situations.
It’s important to keep in mind that when you start writing your Chapter 2 story, you inspire others to do the same. Even if they initially resist what you’re doing. Chapter 1 isn’t doing anyone any favors by clinging on to it.
Power of an Untold Narrative.
I’ve noticed a common pattern among people who achieve great breakthroughs: They stop focusing on the areas of resistance and instead move into new territory. Their new story begins where the previous one left off.
Chapter 1 tells the tale of the past. In that area, you’ll find all the difficulties and difficulties. The temptation is to say, “I need to clear this out before I can begin writing Chapter 2,” which will draw your attention to the task at hand. However, this will almost always keep you in Chapter 1, which will only generate more of the same problems to keep you there. As a result, you’ll probably never get to Chapter 2. This approach is rarely rewarded in the real world either. You’ll be on your own for most of the time, so you’ll have to deal with everything on your own, which can be exhausting after a while. This is not something I would recommend.
Starting Chapter 2 before you’ve finished Chapter 1 may seem like a sham, but is it really? Would writing about the old reality inspire and motivate you the most if you were penning a novel or a screenplay? If George Lucas was inspired to write Star Wars by the idea of a farm boy and his droids, what do you think his answer would be? No, he didn’t think about the rest of the book until he was done with Chapter 1. Who in their right mind would draw inspiration for a great story from Chapter 1? Writing begins there, but the inspiration for the story comes from a long way away.
It is rare for people to make significant progress toward their Chapter 1 goals if they focus solely on the objective nature of the goals (often based on numbers), the lack of intrinsic motivation and the absence of any significant changes in the characters’ or identities’ identities. As a result, they frequently question the purpose. There is no doubt in my mind that they are correct. In the grand scheme of things, there’s no point in pursuing them. It’s like being in the presence of Luke Skywalker as he sets quarterly objectives for the farm.
Luke is on the screen and your mind is wondering when the real story will begin because you know that the pre-transformation backstory is being shown for a few minutes.
Oddly, Luke has an easier time becoming a Jedi than he does optimizing the farm. While on Tatooine, he is able to write new material. In spite of the fact that his new reality may seem more daunting, it is also 100X more motivating, and that is all that matters.
It’s not entirely free of his past, though, as he’s bringing his (newest) farm droids with him. It doesn’t matter, though, because he’s writing such a different story that the droids have no chance of providing meaningful resistance. They, too, are drawn into his new tale and end up becoming valuable allies. We can laugh at C3PO’s whining, but he has no power to stop Luke’s new story from unfolding.
That’s what I’ve found to be true in the real world. However, when I’m writing a new piece of fiction, I’m no longer tethered to the past. The old story elements are given a new meaning by the new story. Isn’t it better to appreciate the abundance in your life rather than take it for granted by fretting over a $5 bill? It’s also easier for me to empathize with people who are having financial difficulties because I’m still in the same mindset. Although I penned additional script after that portion of my story, scarcity thinking remains a central theme in my narrative. As a result of this shift, the scarcity mindset now serves as an anchor for gratitude and compassion instead of resistance and frustration. When it comes to R2D2, I think of it in the same cutesy way.
Identifying Your Ideal Source of Inspiration
Getting through Chapter 1 isn’t motivated by Chapter 1. That fuel comes from tying your body, mind, heart, and spirit to the next chapter and the next chapter and the next. Chapter 1 will take on a new meaning for you once your intentions are firmly rooted in your new reality and new identity. In order to get through Chapter 1 faster, you’ll either need to find shortcuts or realize some of the old problems aren’t worth solving or dealing with any longer.
No, Luke never returned to Tatooine to finish his farm business. Did he receive the property as an inheritance from his uncle and aunt? Was it seized by the Empire because the owner had not paid his or her taxes? Did he turn it into a rebellious burner commune while there? It doesn’t matter.
Even if the transition from Chapter 1 to Chapter 2 is messy and inelegant, it’s hard to find people who regret getting into their Chapter 2 story (which it usually is). For many people, the most common regret is that they didn’t start sooner. A lot of people regret spending so much time working on their Chapter 1 story and trying to improve it. It’s only in retrospect that the characters wonder why it took them so long to get to the best parts of their narrative arc. Often they waited until they were forced out of Chapter 1 by life’s circumstances, and only then did they finally get to enter Chapter 2, but it wasn’t the Chapter 2 experience they’d chosen if they’d done it more intentionally and consciously.
Is the motivation, inspiration and story progression that you’ve gained since the beginning of Chapter 2 still with you, or are you just still trying to optimize the farm? You can tinker on the farm, but life isn’t likely to open the floodgates of support and synchronous aid until you come up with a better story pitch.
Trying to pitch a Chapter 1 story to your own body isn’t going to go well either. Motivation and idea flow won’t be as strong until you give it a compelling reason to amplify the flow of energy. In Chapter 1, you won’t find that compelling reason.