While I’ll be talking about phones for the next few sentences, my larger point is to contrast the mindset of ‘Upgraders” with the mindset of most everyone else.
Okay, before delving into it, let me put the question to you…
Who do you think is most likely to upgrade to an iPhone 5?
A. iPhone 4 owners?
(phones that are less than 1 year old)
B. iPhone 2 and 3 owners?
(phones that are between 2 and 4 years old)
The correct answer is A. People who own the practically new iPhone 4 are more likely to upgrade, and by a significant margin.
At first, I found this to be counter-intuitive. After all, one could reasonably expect that people with older phones would be more ready to upgrade than those with a practically new phone, right?
However, the more I interpreted though the lens of Upgraders (instead of merely cell phone consumers), this finding makes perfect sense.
I know Upgraders well for a couple reasons…
First, I am one. Second, Upgraders are the people who keep me in business.
Upgraders are clients, my club members, and the good people who invest their dollars in my books and products. (You are appreciated.)
Inspired by the iPhone article, I have come up with a baker's dozen of distinctions between Upgraders and everyone else, aka “The Herd.”
(While I believe that there is no right way to live, I am an unabashed fan of living as an Upgrader. I freely admit that I have trouble relating to people who lack the desire to live the best life they can.)
By sharing these, I hope to get you thinking about whether you make the cut as an Upgrader.
1. Upgraders consistently move toward something better, quickly.
The Herd moves slowly and toward no clear destination.
2. Upgraders love to learn new things. Especially about themselves and how to get out of their own way.
The Herd allows their sense of curiosity to dull.
3. Upgraders invest in getting better.
The Herd does not understand the concept of investing in themselves; they see only expenses.
4. Upgraders show up.
The Herd has good intentions and excuses for why they couldn’t be there.
5. Upgraders seek out and surround themselves with other Upgraders.
The Herd hangs out with those in close proximity.
6. Upgraders decide.
The Herd waits for decisions to be made around them.
7. Upgraders choose their destiny and believe that they can get what they really want.
The Herd takes what they think they can get.
8. Upgraders are consistently creating something new.
The Herd creates more of the same.
9. Upgraders want to thrive.
The Herd wants to survive.
10. Upgraders practice optimism.
The Herd thinks of themselves as optimists but let the same old fears dictate their outcomes.
11. Upgraders are not willing to settle or suffer.
The Herd is not aware there’s an option.
12. Upgraders change, evolve, and improve their results.
The Herd continues to deal with the same issues (money, relationships, health, happiness, etc.) year after year after year.
13. Upgraders are considered abnormal, in the very best way.
The Herd is just like everyone else.
I share this perspective as a coach, sure. I naturally want the best for people. But the deeper truth is that the profession of coaching attracted me because I have been living as an Upgrader for as long as I can remember.
If you know me personally, it's no big secret that it drives me crazy to see people settling in their lives. I have little tolerance for people who are not interested in getting better. (I have even less tolerance for those who are interested, but do nothing!)
I have a gift (a gift I've cultivated), for being able to guide people to an easier way of getting what they most want. The thing is, the adjustments most people have to make are really no big deal… a tweak here, some clarity there, a new habit or two… and voila! An exponentially better life! Lots of cool new things happening with a lot less effort.
That said, I understand that most people are not interested in working with a coach (see Distinction #3). Some people get it (like every elite performer or athlete you can think of); most other people do not. And that's cool. I'm long past trying to convince or persuade anyone who's not interested in what I bring to the table. (Not only do these attempts inevitably fail, it's waaay too much work.)
A significant number of people on my mailing list will not bother to click the link and read this post. (Hey, you made it!)
Of course, I'm not writing to those people…
And I'm not writing to the people who read this and go "oh, that was kind of interesting…" and move on with their day.
No, as these distinctions poured out of me, I realized I was writing them for the person who's been asking for something even better than their already-very-cool-life and are inspired to UPGRADE.
If that's indeed you, act.
Decide to become one of the "abnormal ones" and surround yourself with other Upgraders.
* * *
How do you immerse yourself in the Upgrader mentality?
I suggest you begin by investing in my stuff…
Read my book.
Join my very cool, private coaching club… (a sweet deal)
If you're really ready to go, this is the last call for my live retreat in Burlington, Vermont this weekend Sept 30-Oct 1.
You know the old saying about clouds and silver linings…
(Of course, the saying can be especially annoying when it's offered to you while you're not feeling up to snuff.)
But there is always a silver lining… though it has nothing to do with forcing yourself to pick out some "good thing" hidden within a lousy situation.
In fact, when something feels shitty to you, I want you to allow it to feel shitty.
No need to try to soften how you feel, to backpedal from your emotions, or to pretend that you feel better than you do. I want you to be OK with how you feel in the moment.
If you do not allow yourself to feel bad when you feel bad, you will completely miss the silver lining that exists within any situation.
Consider that in the moment of feeling disappointed (or whatever unwanted feeling is there), you are never more clear on WHAT YOU DO WANT.
By knowing powerfully what you don't want, you know powerfully what you do want.
This is the silver lining in any situation.
Yet, most people never take hold of it.
The most common response to feeling disappointed is to go deeper down the rabbit hole, beat on oneself without mercy, and dwell on all that did not go the way you intended.
Here's the rub with this approach: This response does nothing but ensure that you will attract more of the same unwanted feeling down the line.
And so here's the UPGRADE…
In the moments of disappointment (or just plain not feeling good about something), allow yourself to feel through what you don't like.
And then, use this as the bouncing off place to paint the picture of exactly what you DO want.
Write down exactly what you really want. Talk about it to someone. Whatever… Just make sure you create the picture, because this is the lion's share of what you need to do to get exactly what you want.
Most people never take this bounce, this silver lining. They never take the time to identify what they DO WANT and so they stay stuck in a place they do not wish to be.
But you know better…
“Create and Preserve the Image of your Choice.”
I came across this Gandhi quote while reading an article on former Beatle, George Harrison. Apparently this was one of George’s favorite quotes and it’s easy to see why.
Everything you need to know about consciously creating the world around you to reflect your deepest desires can be found within these eight words.
Let’s break it down, shall we?
Word #1: CREATE
Gandhi begins his message with this verb, to remind you that you are CREATING your life, every moment of every day. It’s never “happening to you.”
Are you taking hold of this power, clear in your intentions and acting in harmony with what you desire?
Creation is not a passive process.
If you do not like what is currently in front of you, you are the only one with the power to change things.
To create, you must get up, must walk across the room, pick up the brush, and start painting on the canvas.
Are you actively creating and directing your life?
Or are you letting what’s showing up (and that you DO NOT like) to just continue showing up?
Word #3: PRESERVE
Gandhi could have used many different words here, yet to further emphasize that the creation of your desires is an active process, Gandhi uses another verb, preserve.
The most common definitions for preserve are “to keep free from harm,” and “to keep alive.”
Let’s think about this for a minute…
Step one is to create the image of what you want to come into your life. Usually, with enough awareness and a bit of effort, turning your focus on what you want to create is simple enough.
However, doubt poisons dreams.
Sure you can dream… but can you hold that dream? Can you keep it safe from the non-believers and negative-vibe merchants; those who would tear into your dreams because they’ve lost the ability to remember their own?
More important, can you protect your creation from the vultures circling around your mind that want to pick pick pick at your dream? Can you keep your dream safe from the self-doubts and negativity that gnaw from within?
Are you willing to learn how to keep your dream alive or do you choose to yield and let another dream die?
Remember, preserve is a verb.
If you want it, you need to show up for it. (Most people intend to show up, but never do.)
WORD #5: IMAGE
What’s an image? A picture that you hold in your mind.
Where do these images come from? Your imagination.
So then, imagine.
It’s the most powerful creation tool, and it is always at your disposal.
Now consider this: When is the last time you sat down for 15 uninterrupted minutes and imagined some aspect of your life as you want it to be?
(Seriously. Answer this for yourself. Because if this is not a habit of yours, there is no mystery to why the things you most desire are not showing up. If you are not in the habit of imagining, you are choosing to live your life by default. And I know you can do better than this.)
WORD #6: YOUR
Create and Preserve the Image of YOUR Choice.
Not your parents’ image.
Not your spouse’s.
Not your child’s.
Not your friends’.
Creating what you want means being clear in what YOU want, and standing for what YOU want.
Your vision of a Very Cool Life is yours alone.
It’s what YOU came here to live.
Hold to it.
(Because no one else has the power or the desire to hold to it for you.)
Word #8: CHOICE
The word choice stands out because of what it implies.
A choice implies that you have free will to create anything you desire. There are no current circumstances that cannot be transcended and molded to match your desires.
A choice also implies that you must choose. You must decide. (Notice that Gandhi reminds us for a third time that the thoughtful creation of your life is an active process.)
So, what are you choosing that’s different from what you have been choosing?
What new decisions have you made for yourself?
What have you chosen to create next? (If you’re not choosin’, yer losin’.)
Do yourself a favor and tell yourself the truth. See if you have good answers to those questions.
Create and Preserve the Image of Your Choice.
If you want to see an upgrade in some aspect of your life (… and I know you do because everybody walking the planet wants their lives to expand and get better), the good news is that you have all the wisdom you need in those 8 words.
Here’s the only relevant question: Right now, are you doing what it takes to create and preserve the images of your choosing?
(And if not now, when?)
* * *
Here are three options for you to create more of what you desire, starting now.
And yes, all 3 have something to do with investing in yourself (and me).
I can help you with this stuff. Been doin' it for years. Got a very cool life to show for it…
Here they are, in order of investment level…
1) Buy my book.
Today, the soft cover is on sale for just 12 bucks and the e-versions (Kindle Nook are almost free!)
2) Become a member of CLUB VCL.
Works best if you've read (and resonated) with the book. Comes with a free, private coaching session with Drew.
Just $77 to join.
3) Come to my Very Cool Life retreat at the end of this month in Burlington, Vermont.
Have the best weekend of your year learning more about all this stuff that you ever thought possible.
Basic seats just $100. Upgrade for $497.
I dreamed of writing a book for many years. When I really let myself dream, I allowed myself to envision my book hitting #1 on a bestseller list.
I woke up on Friday, April 1st with a fuzzy brain. Saying yes to that extra glass of wine the night before was doing me no early morning favors. I had nothing on my schedule (Fridays are always free), but I felt the desire to create something.
Scanning through my e-mails, I read Seth Godin’s post about how invisible ads were going to be the new thing in marketing. It took my slow brain a couple reads before I caught on to the joke.
Oh yeah, today’s April 1st… Good one, Seth. You had me going for a minute…
And then a spark of inspiration ignited within me.
Ah, it’s April 1st! I’ll create something FUN today…
I let that thought be and in the meantime decided to do some housekeeping and organize the files on my computer. Doing so, I stumbled over an old graphic I’d created years earlier as a joke where I’d replaced my wife’s head with Oprah’s.
Upon seeing the photo, the spark of inspiration took flame. Instantly, the idea downloaded into my brain. My fingers danced on the keyboard and within 25 minutes, the story was written and posted. (I’ve written few things as easily as this post.)
Clicking the “send” button and sharing my thoughts with thousands of people always makes me feel alive. However, on this day, I noticed that my feelings of anticipation were sky-high and I realized something interesting unfolded during the writing process.
Even though the events and details were made up (I have no friend named Maggie, I never share champagne with Oprah, hell, I’ve never even used Skype), by envisioning all those details, I started to believe my own story.
What I mean is that I could feel the reality of what I was envisioning. In that moment whether I would physically be sharing a stage with Ms. Winfrey in a few months was irrelevant.
I was already there. I could imagine it. I could feel it. And I liked how it felt. I liked it so much, I gave little thought to how my message would be received.
I suppose I expected to fool some people for a moment or two, just as Seth Godin had me going earlier in the morning. I figured there were enough clues (e.g., the doctored photo, the show date being months after Oprah’s highly publicized retirement, the fact that it was April1!) to make it all quite obvious.
Less than two minutes after clicking send, my phone began to ring. And ring. And ring. Hundreds of the most wonderful, positive messages of support (“I knew you would do it!”) I’ve ever received flooded my inbox.
Congratulatory e-mails outnumbered the “good April Fools joke” messges by about 20-1. Family members called me wondering why I hadn’t mentioned the big news earlier. My college roommate sent a message of congratulations, even though if Maggie existed, he most certainly would have known her.
While the rush of positive attention felt wonderful, I felt like I had created a monster, a Frankenstein no longer in my control.
What do I do now? I wondered. Should I write another message and say, “Ha Ha, I got you! April Fool!”?
To decide, I sat and asked myself the question I always ask…
Right now, what feels better to me?
And what felt better (not great, mind you, better) was to do nothing… to write people back and thank them for their warm words, (this felt very good) and to just surf the wave until it finally reached the shore.
I’m writing this now because as my “air date” approaches lots of good people have been contacting me for details. As I began thinking back on these events, the coolest part of the experience dawned on me.
Looking back, the act of writing out my story in a fun way (and believing it myself) had some powerful effects.
No, Oprah’s people have yet to call (but they really should if they want that OWN network to fly), but in the original post I announced my book’s release on the Kindle. Amid the flurry of messages, lots of people told me that they had just bought my book and were really enjoying it.
I remember checking my sales on Amazon in the Happiness genre, and The Very Cool Life Code was #23. Seeing that sent a wave of energy cascading down my spine. Wow! That’s pretty cool.
For the next day or so, as buzz continued to crest, I kept refreshing the page, watching my name climb past some well-known names. Wayne Dyer. Richard Bach. The Dalai Lama.
#16. #9. #5.
And there is was. My book hit #1…
While this was a cool moment for me, I didn’t fully allow it at the time. I did not appreciate that this was in fact the manifestation of exactly what I’d asked for many years earlier. Mostly I let feelings of guilt (“it’s not nice to fool people”) rule the day instead of basking in the wildly unexpected manner in which everything unfolded. (I am allowing myself to bask in it now, however.)
So that’s my story of how my intention came into being.
I planned nothing and followed where my inspiration took me.
And I believe that to be a winning formula.
P.S. Don’t forget to set your DVRs for tomorrow night! Me. Oprah. 8PM!
Better yet, come see me live in Burlington while there’s still space. Today 9/9 is the last day to save over $100 per night on accommodations at the Hilton!
So, you want to know what frustrates me most?
(Well, I’m going to tell you anyway… )
Excuses drive me batsh*t.
Because be it a gift or curse (sometimes it’s hard to tell), I cannot help but see the potential in things.
I can’t help but see what things can be, whether it’s a new restaurant that needs some tweaks, or a person who wants their life to feel easier, but does not quite know how to get there.
What really drives me nuts is that I can’t help but see that most people are closer than they think to allowing what they really want to come into their lives.
They just need a slight adjustment. A tweak. An alignment…
But do you know what keeps people from doing anything to get where they really want to be?
And here’s what’s really insidious about excuses…
Most people fall into the habit of making excuses for themselves without really being aware of it.
This makes me want to slap them (usually only in the figurative sense); to knock them awake from sleepwalking through another day, another week, another year…
So I want you to consider this…
If there’s any area of your life that currently feels out of alignment — whether that be your money situation, your relationships, your business, or your career (or all of the above) — then you need to know that the unwanted situation did not just happen to you.
Quite the contrary… it’s happening because YOU ARE ALLOWING IT TO HAPPEN.
Somewhere you’ve convinced yourself that things are okay when in truth, things really do not feel okay to you as they are. Somewhere you started to believe your excuse…
Here’s the kicker about excuses… As long as you allow them, WHAT YOU DON’T WANT WILL CONTINUE TO GET BIGGER OVER TIME.
I listen to so many people who have the burning desire to upgrade some aspect of their lives. They know they want something better. And deep down they know something’s out of whack that requires their attention.
In fact, they talk about it. They spend lots of time worrying about the same things. And usually, they continue to do what they’ve been doing, hoping for some form of divine intervention to take charge of their lives and make things better.
But when it comes to DOING something new?
That’s when the excuses pop up like mushrooms after a rainy night.
Oh, I’d like to, but I can’t because…
(Of course you could if you really wanted to)
I don’t have the money to spend on myself…
(People always find the money for what they really want)
I don’t have the time…
(effing lamest excuse of them all)
I’ve never done anything like this before…
(Guess what? It’s time to be an adult and try something new)
I’m okay with how things are…
(An excuse that means “I’m really afraid.”)
Here’s the bottom line: Living a great life full of freedom, ease, and connection won’t just magically happen for you. You can keep wishing, but that will work about as well as rubbing a lucky rabbit’s foot.
No, you need to decide. You need to show up. You need to stop sitting on your hands on the sideline, and get in the game. (While this is true for most everyone, I’m especially calling out men here… When did so many men become such wussies who fail to take charge of their lives, anyway?)
I’m not saying I can solve your problems. Only you can do that.
But I am saying if you know your life is supposed to be absolutely rocking in every way, and you’re ready to let go of what you DON’T WANT, than I have something to share with you.
At the end of this month, I am hosting a live event where I will sharing everything I know about creating a Very Cool Life. It’s a philosophy that has worked very, very well for me.
Specifically, I will be focusing on upgrading your DESIRE and then HOW TO ALLOW those desires to come into your life.
What’s more, you’ll have the opportunity to get coached by me, in person, on anything you want and finally get that handled.
Upgrading your life requires only two things… 1) That you’re there. 2) That you ask me for what you really want.
It’s going to be a very cool experience in a very cool place.
Finally, here’s what makes this an unprecedented (and likely never to be repeated) opportunity.
Seats for the two-day live event are just $100, less than what I charge for a 30-minute phone session.
I’ve taken away most people’s biggest excuse, though it can easily be replaced with others. I just hope you won’t let that happen any more, starting now.
Okay, as I near the end of this rant, I I know who it’s really written for…
The people who are really deep in the muck and completely wrapped up in their excuses will not be able hear a thing I’ve said here… They’re just too far away from the belief that their lives are supposed to be great. And that’s fine for them…
So, I am really writing this for YOU, if…
- You feel the burning desire to feel like a winner again.
- You know a Very Cool Life is your destiny.
- You know you’re ready. (Or at least you’re ready to show up.)
If that’s you, I encourage you to simply say yes to yourself and join me while the seats and rooms last.
(We’ll be meeting at the Burlington Hilton. The special rate I’ve negotiated will save you more than your admission ticket to the event, but note that this offer expires this Friday, September 9 or when rooms sell out. )
(Hotel details will be sent to you via autoresponder.)
So if you feel like you want to come, decide to come and follow through.
It’s not complicated and you’ll be thrilled you did.
At any rate, whether you join me or not, decide to no longer be part of the crowd that makes excuses. They simply never win.
(Okay, now I feel better!)
Hope to see you in Vermont in a few weeks. It’s going to be a rocking good time!