Here’s a detailed update about the upcoming Conscious Life Workshop, which kicks off in two weeks in Las Vegas. I’ve also sprinkled in some cool personal growth ideas to share, so this is actually a combination of promoting the workshop and a new article.
We now have
104 people 115 people (updated 8/12) signed up for CLW, which is absolutely terrific. That makes it the biggest 3-day workshop I’ve ever done. This will bring an amazing amount of transformational energy into the room.
The main purpose of this workshop is to help you bring into balance 3 core parts of your life:
- Fulfilling Work – Do work you deeply enjoy and find very satisfying and rewarding.
- Abundant Income – Create income streams that give you a sense of abundance, knowing you can easily afford what you desire. At CLW we’ll focus on strategies you can use to earn $10,000 per month or more.
- Happy Lifestyle – Create an overall lifestyle that you love, with time and resources to explore your hobbies and interests, such as travel, music, art, etc.
What’s unique about this workshop is that we’re focusing on all three of these goals simultaneously and holistically.
The Big Picture
In this workshop we go for the total package — fulfilling work + abundant income + happy lifestyle. All three.
I know that a lot of attendees have one or two of these elements working well for them (some have zero), and they really want to progress beyond that. A lot of people get stuck in these local maxima, where it seems like getting the total package will require a step backwards. The truth is that it very well may. At CLW we’ll help you get a clearer sense of what your total package looks like and whether you can realistically achieve it by continuing along your current path or by doing a minor pivot… or if it will require a more ground-up transformation of your entire situation.
Personally I’ve done both, depending on my situation. In 2004 I did a ground-up reconstruction of my career path. After running a computer game publishing company for 10 years, I was ready for something new. I generally liked the work, but I wanted more fulfillment. The technical and creative challenges were fun, but I wanted to contribute more to people’s lives than entertainment software. This gradually showed up as I moved away from arcade/action games and into more cerebral puzzle games, so I could challenge players’ brains in ways that might actually benefit them. But I knew a bigger change was needed.
I made good money from my games business. It took me six years to start making a profit from it, but I eventually figured it out. I was able to create multiple streams of mostly passive income from a variety of game releases, publishing about two dozen titles, including many licensed from other developers.
As a game developer, I also wanted a better lifestyle. Working in a mobile fashion wasn’t as common back then. I was usually tied to a desk or a small outside office that I rented. I liked some aspects of the lifestyle, but other parts were repetitive and dull. Today I think this would be less of an issue. I could easily run a modern games business from a laptop. Back then it wasn’t as easy with slow and bulky laptops, no WiFi, and a much smaller, slower Internet.
I also didn’t like spending so much time working alone. Yes, I liked solo work, but I want to keep it in balance with people-centered work too. I used to love going to the Game Developers’ Conference and hosting an indie developer roundtable there — it was so much fun to interact with other developers.
Eventually I kicked off a transition to a whole new field — from game development to personal development. This involved writing articles instead of programming games, getting into public speaking, interacting with personal development enthusiasts instead of game enthusiasts, and creating new income streams from scratch. I believe it took me around 18-20 months to pass $10,000 per month with the new business, a target I hit in 2006. That was a lot better than the roughly 8 years it took me to get there with my games business. I was able to avoid the mistakes I’d made in the past and re-apply the valuable lessons from my first business to the second. I have some really cool lessons to share along those lines at CLW.
This type of career and lifestyle transformation can be motivating, exciting, and inspiring… or frustrating, stressful, and risky, depending on how you approach and manage it. There are simple principles and strategies that can significantly increase your chances of success. There are also a number of transformational accelerators that you can apply within minutes. Read the priming article for some examples of fast and simple ways to improve your performance. I’ll be sharing even more depth and some truly amazing priming strategies at CLW. We’ll also be applying them right there in the room, to pre-prime your brain for success.
Priming is one of the core strategies we’ll be using at CLW, although certainly not the only one. The benefit of priming is that it pre-programs your subconscious mind to help you achieve your goals. Think of it as the neuroscience equivalent of using the Law of Attraction.
I’ve been experimenting with the priming effect extensively this year, and I’m impressed with the results thus far. As a simple example, several weeks ago, before I announced this new workshop, I used priming to make myself believe we’d have 100+ attendees. I didn’t consciously believe it though.
There were a lot of logical reasons for me to believe that achieving 100+ attendees was unrealistic. Here are some of the bigger ones:
- Reaching 100 attendees was a stretch. My last 4 workshops each had between 28 and 57 attendees, so hitting 100 was a stretch goal — a 75% increase over the best of the last 4. Out of 9 previous 3-day workshops I’ve done, we’ve only surpassed 100 attendees once, and that was for the very first Conscious Growth Workshop in October 2009. For that workshop there was a lot of pent-up demand, and it was based on my book, which was released a year earlier and was just coming out in paperback at the time.
- CLW isn’t based on a book. It’s all new material, much of which I’ve never written about before except in a general way. There’s no associated book helping to attract attendees, like I had for my first 5 Conscious Growth Workshops, which were typically the best-attended ones.
- I had less time to promote CLW than for any prior workshop. I normally announce new workshops at least 3 months in advance, and I’ve starting promoting as much as 7 months in advance. The minimum I’ve ever done was about 2.5 months. For CLW, I didn’t announce it until June 25, which gave me less than 2 months to promote it since it starts on August 22. I’ve never given myself so little time to promote a 3-day workshop before. That’s more than enough time to prepare and plan the workshop itself, but I felt uncertain giving myself less time to promote it. My intuition said to go for it though, and I’ve learned to place a high degree of trust in those feelings.
- I’ve never done a workshop in August before. My favorite months for workshops are October and January. After doing a workshop in July 2010 and getting lower attendance for that one, I stopped doing summer workshops. I surveyed some people on social media to ask if they’d be up for an August workshop. Some said they’d go no matter what, but many said it wasn’t the best month for them. Yet I still booked it anyway!
- On July 6 I deleted my social media accounts. This included my accounts with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and YouTube (as explained here). I also removed all the social media recommendation buttons from my website. I trusted my intuition that told me it was the right time to do this. Consequently, I was only able to use social media to promote the workshop for the first 12 days. After that, those services were no longer available to me.
With the priming effect, intuition and subconscious action can become powerful allies. Throughout the process of promoting this workshop, I’ve noticed myself doing things differently than I have in the past. It feels like I’m putting less effort into it, and making some unusual choices, but with better than expected results.
I’ve also been feeling super optimistic, motivated, and excited to do this workshop. My positive feelings towards this one have been a bit over-the-top. In terms of planning the material, activities, and exercises, I’m way ahead of schedule. I keep getting inspired ideas that I feel compelled to act on right away, earlier than I need.
For the past two years, I’ve taken a strong interest in learning more about how the brain works. I’ve done a lot of reading and a lot of experimenting. Most of that hasn’t made it into my blog yet. There’s just way too much to blog about, and at this point I’ve been so much more inspired to explore it than to try to explain it piece by piece. I do want to share it though, but plain text isn’t the right medium. It’s better to share these ideas experientially and in person.
Within any field, like personal development, there’s a tendency for group-think to take effect, where everyone settles into patterns of re-sharing the same ideas in different forms. The Law of Attraction is a good example. How many Law of Attraction coaches came online after the movie The Secret? I must have encountered hundreds!
I wanted to branch out into a related but significantly different field and go looking for gems. I figured that if I understood more about the structure of the human brain, how it processes and stores information, how it thinks, and more, I could surely find some ideas that could be transplanted to the field of personal growth to help people get practical results — and of course to create new breakthroughs for myself as well. I especially wanted to look for ideas that are not so common already in this field but which are known and proven to be very powerful, as studied in other fields.
Initially I read through a lot of very interesting but sometimes dry and highly technical material. It took a while to find something that could be useful. Over time I began getting a much better high-level picture of what modern neuroscience tells us about how our brains work. Thanks to modern technology, we know so much more about this now than we did 20 years ago.
Perhaps the most basic rule of neuroscience is this: Neurons that fire together, wire together.
That’s such a simple concept, and the more I understand it, the more I enjoy devising new ways to test it. I probably have several year’s worth of new experiments to try, just based around that one idea.
This concept has been around a lot time. You may have heard of NLP, which is supposed to be based on this idea of changing your neuro-associations. In scientific circles, however, NLP has been largely debunked. Some people still swear by its efficacy, but modern neuroscience seems to be leaving them behind. My research tells me that the basic idea behind NLP is generally sound, but the practical implementation side is terribly flawed. That said, I’d still expect some NLP techniques to have a subtle effect, but in practice that effect is normally drowned out and overwritten by stronger forms of pre-existing social conditioning in the person’s environment.
Here’s another basic rule: All experience is neural programming.
Imagine you’re using a word processor on your laptop to write a book. And imagine that as you used this word processor, it figures out that you’re writing a book and adapts its programming to the task. So it modifies the user interface to better suit this particular task. And it self-optimizes its code to be more efficient at book writing and editing.
Now suppose this word processor even modifies the laptop hardware itself. It changes the laptop’s internals for more optimal book editing, such as by giving you one that’s twice as energy efficient, so you can work longer without needing a recharge. Perhaps it spawns a pair of headphones and a compartment to contain them, so you can listen to relaxing music while you work. Maybe it changes the screen to be taller than it is wide, for better viewing of your book pages. It gives you a super-high res interface with clear, sharp text. It adds extra buttons for shortcuts to your table of contents, chapter markers, etc.
This is essentially how your brain works. As your brain adapts to experience, it changes the firing patterns of existing neurons, but it often grows new neurons too and alters the physical structure of your brain. You may have heard of the concept of neuroplasticity, which basically means that your brain physically modifies itself based on the experiences that you’re taking in. And it does this all the time without your being aware of it.
This is where NLP falls short. If all experience is programming, then doing a few minutes of NLP exercises or positive affirmations each day is largely useless. This rule points to a saturation approach as likely to be much more effective. In other words, instead of changing only 5 minutes of your daily input, change many hours of it — or even all of it. Overload your brain with a massive amount of input in a new direction. What’s the best way to do this? Through your eyes.
Presently I’ve been doing lots of experimentation with using videos. I consciously design the associations I want my brain to have, and I create a simple video in Final Cut Pro to link those associations in time. You could just as easily use iMovie or any other video editing software.
The video is extremely fast, around 2 minutes total in duration but filled with hundreds of associations during that time. It flashes many concepts every second it plays. Most segments of the video are only a fraction of a section in duration.
It’s a little like playing a word-association game, where someone says a word like travel, and you say the first word that pops into your head… like fun, adventure, suitcase, packing, airport, etc. But instead of reading your associations, you’re writing them — the way you want them to be.
Usually I watch this video passively and subconsciously. I simply place it within my field of view, off to the side on my iPad or some other screen, and leave it playing continuously while I work or do other tasks. It’s usually not distracting. Even though I’m not consciously aware of it most of the time, I know that the 546 million neurons in my visual cortex are taking in this input and processing it continuously. I also know that my visual cortex is significantly faster than my conscious mind and that it should have no trouble processing every detail of the video, especially as it loops, and my brain can continue to train on it and predict what will play next.
Sometimes I consciously watch the video and put my attention on it. Even though it flashes by too quickly to consciously keep pace with it, I’ll catch flashes of words and ideas that I know are in the video. Often I’ll find myself daydreaming during this time, pondering ideas that bubble up into my conscious mind, or simply relaxing and zoning out into a nice alpha state.
This approach encourages neuron clusters with different patterns to fire together, and therefore to wire together.
What happens next is truly fascinating. Usually within a few days, I observe myself making automatic changes in my behavior, without really trying.
For instance, by associating concepts like Workshops and Ahead of Schedule, my brain creates a subconscious link between the concepts. To make the linkages stronger, I include related associations like events, planning, well-prepared, creative, motivated, fun, exciting, etc.
Then I notice that even though I’m not pushing myself to work at all, I keep doing extra work anyway. I’m way ahead of schedule with where I need to be with the workshop. I’ve been working longer hours than usual lately but barely noticing the time passing — I get totally immersed in the work, and the time flies by.
I credit the priming effect with helping me quit social media. Even though I wasn’t priming that idea directly, it aligned behaviorally with concepts I have been training with, like increased productivity.
At CLW I’ll show you how to use this idea — and many others — to help rewire your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behaviors in ways YOU desire. Much of this will be practiced at the workshop itself. And I’ll provide you with tools and techniques to take home with you and keep making progress. Best of all, these tools are easy and fun to use!
Sound good? It sure sounds good to me.
I love this type of exploration because it connects the dots between my past programming experience and my personal growth work. It’s been a lot of fun — and quite wondrous — to keep coming up with new ways to use neuroscience-based ideas to produce personal growth results. The strangest part is that I’m usually not consciously aware that any change has occurred. But then I observe myself behaving quite differently in ways that create positive results. At first that was unsettling, but I like growing quickly, and I’m gradually getting used to the faster directional shifts that this approach creates.
Seriously now… get off your butt and join us! With 100+ people there, this workshop is going to be so much fun!
We’ve already hit the stretch goal of 100 people coming. And we still have two full weeks left. That’s plenty of time to make travel arrangements, even if you’re coming from a different country. I believe we already have 25-30 people coming from outside the USA, including from as far as Australia and South Africa — and many from Canada and Europe — so you’ll have plenty of company there. Traveling is doable. We have airplanes!
When you arrive at CLW on the first morning, you’ll see me there when you pick up your badge. I always like to personally greet — and hug (with their consent) — everyone as they arrive. People generally share lots of hugs with each other too, especially if they’ve been to previous events. This helps people feel more relaxed and connected and creates a fun, lively energy in the room when we first begin.
You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy Las Vegas too. We let you out at 5:30pm on Friday and Saturday, and at 4pm on Sunday, so you’ll have the whole evening to explore and enjoy all the craziness that Las Vegas has to offer. Thanks to a $350 million investment in the Downtown Project, this part of Las Vegas has been undergoing a significant transformation. So you’ll see a lot of new things in the area.
If you’re vegan like me, be assured there’s vegan food within easy walking distance, including a new vegan/raw restaurant that opened up in the nearby Container Park. It’s about 10-minute walk from our hotel, right down Fremont Street (which you’ve surely seen in movies depicting Las Vegas). You might also enjoy Nacho Daddy, which can make you a huge plate of vegan nachos with vegan Daiya cheese. They even have multiple kinds of vegan nachos!
Our new workshop coordinator is also creating a restaurant list for a variety of diets, so we’ll make it as easy as possible for you to find food nearby that you like.
Las Vegas is a very service-oriented city, so you’re likely to notice that the service here is typically faster and friendlier than in many other U.S. cities.
And there’s a Starbucks right below our workshop room! You’ll surely see it right as you get to the conference center since it’s next to the elevators and stairs. So if you love coffee or like going to workshops caffeinated, there’s easy access as you come in. In fact, our hotel has not one but two — yes TWO — Starbucks! The second one has a nice patio where you can hang out with other workshop attendees while people-watching on Fremont Street.
Now I’m craving an espresso… Are you feeling that too? Yes?
This is August in Las Vegas, so expect it to be hot during the day. That’s fine for us since we’ll be in a nice air-conditioned room together. The summer nights in Vegas are gorgeous, pleasantly warm and dry even late at night. We have beautiful sunsets over the mountains. Even when it rains here in the summer, it’s still pleasantly warm… and often accompanied by a dazzling show of lightning bolts.
Workshop registration is only $597, which is an amazingly good price for this type of event. My friends in this field tell me I should charge $1000 to $2500. But I know my audience, and I’d rather help more people. I keep the pricing high enough to make sure people are serious and committed, and low enough to make it widely affordable and accessible.
Last I checked, the hotel still had rooms available — first come, first served. And if you want to save a little money, there’s always AirBnB and couchsurfing.
Sign up and join us! Yes, it takes a little courage. So be courageous and come to Vegas. We’ll take good care of you, even if this is your first personal growth workshop ever. Stretch yourself. Live a little!
In case you need a little priming help to nudge you over the edge, here you go.
Yes! Yes! Yes! I’m now signing up for the Conscious Life Workshop in Las Vegas. Fun! Fun! Fun! Awesome Transformation! Yes! Yes! Yes!
Go here -> Conscious Life Workshop, click “Register Now”, and get yourself booked on a plane to Las Vegas for a very fun and transformational trip.
And free caffeinated hugs!!!