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How to Think Bigger - 10X Journaling

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

The 10X Journaling exercise is super simple. And no, it’s not a call to action to work crazy hours in the style of Grant Cardone. A part of the Radical Humans Series


The power of it comes from this one simple reality: getting a 10 times bigger result does not require 10 times as much of the same work. You simply can’t work 400 hours a week. It requires a paradigm shift in what you’re doing.


My favorite example of this is the small business owner versus the startup founder. Let’s imagine a coffee shop owner versus a business that sells software to help coffee shops manage their inventory. Both business owners are typically going to work a lot at the beginning. Both will face challenges, both have a high probability of failure. But if the coffee shop owner succeeds, their potential upside is fairly small (we’ll ignore the case of expanding to multiple locations and becoming a chain because that’s a whole new endeavor). If the software company succeeds, their upside is much larger. At least an order of magnitude, probably more. One isn’t working harder than the other, nor is one more important or valuable as a human being. It’s simply that they’re solving different problems and working differently, and therefore they have different opportunity windows. This is what we’re seeking to leverage in the 10X journal practice. The different, not more philosophy.


The practice itself is simple. Clarify the goal you’re seeking, then multiply it by 10. Figure out what someone else has already done to reach this new goal. And finally, ask yourself the critical question - is there anything really stopping me from doing that?


  1. What’s my goal? Multiply it by 10

  2. If someone else in the same position as me had already achieved this goal, what would they have had to do?

  3. Is there anything really stopping me from doing that? / What’s actually standing in my way?


For financial goals, the “multiply it by 10” step is literal. Just 10X your financial goal. For other goals, you’ll need to ask yourself, what would a 10X better result look like? For example if your current goal is to lose 20 pounds, your new goal is not to lose 200. Your 10X goal might be to hit your target weight, feel amazing in your body, feel confident doing the activities you love, and hike a 14er.


If your original goal is to get a raise at work, your new goal might be to find a fully remote job that pays better for less hours, has more flexible PTO, and will pay for your masters degree.


Now, the point here isn’t to set a lofty goal and then just expect it to happen. The point is to clarify where the real leverage is in the situation. To get a raise, you might need to take on more responsibility or get 10% better at doing a certain task. To get a wildly better job you will likely need to reframe your story about who you are as an employee and get way clearer on what work truly lights you up and is in your zone of genius. You'll probably also need to do significant inner work. Doing the inner work pays larger dividends than getting 10% faster at your job.


The answer to the third question “is there really anything stopping me?” is usually “no.” Sometimes, the answer will be “no, but…” In the paradigm I live in, there aren’t any real limits, only imagined ones. The “but” is what I can help with. The stories, fears, anxieties, and beliefs that show up when you imagine or start to take action in the direction of your greatest potential are the only real impediments to implementing a plan for amazing results. I specialize in quickly and permanently neutralizing those blocks. Once the “but’ is out of the way, there really is nothing stopping you from creating an amazing reality for yourself. You’ll still need to take action, but with those fears neutralized, it can be fun and enjoyable action, not sweaty, shaky, anxious action.


See you on the other side,

Max


(This post is a part of the Radical Humans Poster series. You can see all of the posts from the series here, or view the visual here)

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