Thursday, January 05, 2012

Your Inspirational 2012 To-Do List--Monroe Mann Style!

NOTE: I am speaking and playing music Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at AFTRA in Manhattan, from 6 - 8pm.  I will be playing three songs from my new album, and also talking for 90 minutes on "The Ten Simple Steps to Producing Your Own Projects".  Yes, it is a 'union-only' event, but if you want to come, and are not a member of AFTRA, let me know, and I can put you on the VIP list.  It's free, and guaranteed to put a spring in your step!

What's up !

Are you ready to get more done in 2012 than ever before, and actually see more of your dreams come true than ever before?  Well then... come to the edge of your seat... and read on!


1) REMEMBER YOUR NEW 2012 MOTTO: Again I declare that your new motto for the year should be "Happy as elves in 2012!"  How happy is an elf?  VERY happy, I assure you, because they get LOTS done. ;)  How do I know?  I JUST KNOW, OKAY! ;) 

2) POST THIS ON YOUR WALL: I read this horoscope three weeks ago.  I had to share it with you because it brightens my day every time I read it: "The only thing standing between you and a certain very desirable reality is the occasional mental interruption of the false though that you were not meant to have what you really want out of life."


I read a great quotation today in the Wall Street Journal, by Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame.  He writes, "So far, my strategy of being more adventurous [in 2011] was producing mixed results.   My life seemed richer and more interesting--but it also involved a lot more groaning, clutching my sides, and intermittently praying for death."

I laughed when I read that because it sounds exactly like my life.  On one hand, I get lots of things done, and every year, I see my dreams coming true before my very eyes.  On the other hand, it is NOT easy, and it is often times NOT pleasant.  Many nights I am groaning with stress, clutching my sides, banging my head against the wall, and sometimes wishing I were dead.  But on the flip side, I look back on my year and realize... "Huh... maybe all the heartache was worth it.  Look at all I accomplished!"

So, you need to really ask yourself, "Which is more important to me?  Success, or completely stressfree living?  Success, or security?  Success, or painless living?  Are you starting to see my point?  It is very hard to reach 'success' without also enduring pain, sacrifice, some misery, some crying, some headbanging, and the list goes on. 

I hope you take some time to internalize this and realize that it's true: no pain, NO GAIN!


Adams ended his article with the following words, "You won't enjoy every new adventure, but I promise that you will enjoy being the person who said yes." In other words, say YES to new adventures this year.  Don't shy away from things you fear.  Don't stay inside.  Don't do things the same old way.

For me, the direction you and I need to take is clear: the one that, yes, will cause you and me incredible pain, suffering, and misery--but that in the end will allow us to look back on 2012 and say, "wow, I did all that!  HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!" 

See, too many people look forward to their imagined great future, but only see the pain it will take to get there.  Me?  I don't see the pain that it is going to take to get me there.  Instead, I see the feeling of accomplishment and vindication that I will experience once I do what I set out to do!  Read this paragraph again please right now.

See the difference?   Don't focus on the pain of accomplishment; focus on the pleasure of vindication.  What a HUGE difference it will make in your life this year.   For example, no one 'likes to go to the gym'--what you have to remember is how great it feels after you leave the gym, with your blood rushing, and your muscles toned, and your heart pumping.  Ahh, feels great, right?  Well THAT is what will get you into the gym.  Remember that and apply it to everything you do this year.


Many people look at me and see my successes.  They don't realize that it took five times as many failures to reach those successes.  If you read my 2011 update email (coming shortly), you'll see that I accomplished quite a bit.  But what I didn't mention is how many failures I had in 2011.  Want to hear some of them?  I failed the California bar exam.  I was dumped by the 'girl of my dreams'.  I almost got fired from my lifeguarding job for nearly getting into a fist fight with a patron.  I got into numerous verbal fights with members of the cast and crew of my feature film.  My music album did not sell as well as I had initially hoped.  I nearly died while SCUBA diving when the air ran out of my tank.  And this list goes on and on.  2011 was not in any way a 'perfect' year for me--in many ways, it has been terrible.  But, it's because of these types of failures--the RISK TAKING that I participate in every day--that I have also had so many successes.  So, go out and be willing to take chances, and embrace whatever failure you encounter--because for every few failures, life always tends to throw in a success here and there as well.  But ONLY if you first embrace failure.  That is key.

6) NOW, ESTABLISH YOUR TEN-YEAR PLAN.  This is the most important thing you need to do.  I'll say it again: you need to establish--i.e. WRITE DOWN--your ten-year plan.  Too many people make plans for THIS year, without considering whether it is helping them get to where they need to be NEXT year, or more importantly, TEN years from now. 

As I write in my book, Time Zen, "if you want to become a master of your time, you need to first ensure that every second of time you spend on anything is time well spent." 

I want you to take an hour and write down where you hope to be in ten years--where you hope to be living, in a house or apartment, where, with whom, what is your yearly salary, how many bank accounts, how much money in those bank accounts, etc.  Then... when you make your plans for this year, just make sure they are leading you on your ten-year plan journey.  Make sure that every task on your to-do list for TODAY, leads you to where you want to be IN TEN YEARS.  This is a tough exercise, but the benefits far outweigh the pain it takes putting it together. :)

If you want specifics on this, read my book Time Zen, or call for a free time management consultation to discuss your life and how I might be of assistance.

7) BECOME MORE EFFICIENT: People seem to think that I have more time in my day than they do.  Or, they ask, "Do you sleep?"---as if the only way I could possibly do all I do is because I somehow don't have to sleep.  Actually, I sleep more than you do, I bet.  My secret is this: I do not waste the time I have WHEN I AM AWAKE.  While others are spending 4 hours watching tv, I am writing a book.  While others are spending 4 hours at the gym, I spend only 1 hour at the gym, do not socialize while I am there, and spend the other 3 hours working on a PhD.  Does this make sense?  I hope so, because if it doesn't, you will NEVER accomplish what you want in life.  Unless you are willing to focus on the tasks that are going to get you where you are going, you are going to be scratching your head this day in 2013 and wonder, "Why didn't I get more done?"  DO NOT WASTE ANOTHER DAY!  Cause honestly, today could be your last.

8) REMEMBER YOUR WHY: the reason why most people are lazy and don't get things done is because they do not have a strong enough 'why'.  Isn't it interesting that you suddenly start going to the gym three times a week right before a big date, or a summer trip to Florida, etc?  Isn't it interesting that you don't do research for your homework assignment until a week prior, and then suddenly you're working like a madman to catch up?  This is all a result of an intensified 'why'.  Same thing applies to anything--even your dreams.  You will NEVER do anything to lead you towards your dreams unless the 'why' is strong enough within your soul to get you off your couch and into action.  So, take some time to figure out what YOUR why is.  If it's not strong enough to get you up and out of bed and into action every day--and doing the HARD stuff that you really don't want to do--then FIGURE IT OUT YOU LAZY BUM!!!  Figure it out... or your dreams may never come true.  (I write more about this in my book "Time Zen")

9) KEEP THE PROMISE THAT YOU KEPT: That is the name of the first song on my album, "Get Off Your Ass".  I wrote it to remind you (and me) that we have dreams within our souls that we promised years ago that we would never give up.  Well, in the song, and today, I urge you to 'keep the promise that you kept within you'.  That promise is still there.  Deep down.  And you owe it to yourself to remember all of your childish dreams, and bring that back to the forefront.  Remember when you wanted to become a fireman?  It's not too late--become a volunteer!  Go interview a fireman!  Go write a screenplay about a fireman and play the lead role!  the possibilities are endless.  But whatever you do, don't give up your dreams, thinking, "Oh, what's the point?"  I think that way sometimes.  I do.  But then I remember that SOMEONE has to succeed!  SOMEONE has to be on the cover of the next People magazine--OKAY, THIS IS SUPER IRONIC, GIVEN WHAT I WAS JUST WRITING: I just got a phone call from one of the top three talent agencies in the world.  Why?  They want to see the trailer for my movie!  For "You Can't Kill Stephen King"!  HOW EXCITING IS THAT!


Look, I really need you to understand something.  It's so important that I am including for you below the entire introduction to my book, "Time Zen". 


The truth of the matter is that most major success in this right-brain, internet-connected, uber-competitive world no longer comes from doing things consecutively.  If you do things consecutively, you lose.  That is a fact.  Slow and steady may have won the race in the past, but today, in order to even get into the race, you have to be the one organizing it too, and doing everything all at the same time. 

In other words, in today's world, it's the multitasker who wins the race—because often you can't get into the race unless you put the thing together too.  Sure, forty years ago, you could focus on one trade and get a job that would support you for the rest of your life.  These days, though, you're fortunate if you have the same job in the same industry for a few years.  The time to become a little bit more diverse in your pursuits has returned.  Da Vinci would be proud.

And in this new day and age, if you can't keep up with those of us who know 'how to juggle' multiple projects, then tough luck, you're gonna be left in the dust.  Yes, we have entered the age of the time masters, and you would choose well to join us.  While time itself moves forward on a single timeline, that doesn't mean your projects have to move forward on that single timeline.  Instead, the idea is to propel many projects forward on a whole bunch of timelines. 

In other words (and here's the basic time philosophy of the book):

Doing one thing at a time is a recipe for a life that won't keep up with your dreams.

You see, while each of us does only have 24 hours in a day, that's the wrong way to look at time management.  The key to successfully doing more, in less time, and with better results, is to stop thinking linearly, and start thinking spacially and synergistically.

Think about it conceptually: we may only have 24 hours in a day, but if we can each learn to juggle three or four balls during every hour (instead of just one), we essentially end up with 96 hours of effectiveness per day.  Quite a jump in productivity.

And while the floor space of our lives—like the floor space of our offices—may be limited, if we conceptually understand the idea of 'juggling', it should be clear that by juggling your various projects and dreams up off the two dimensional timeline, and into the three dimensional space above and around you, you are going to be able to take on and handle a heck of a lot more projects than you normally could. 
Remember the key premise of this book: doing one thing at a time is a recipe for a life that won't keep up with your dreams.  I know we've all heard that it's better to do one thing at a time, and put all of our energy into that one thing until completion, and then move onto the next thing… but that just won't work if you have great ambition and want to live a greater than average life.  Think of all those people who have done amazing things with their lives.  For example, Da Vinci, Edison, Thatcher, and even in our own time, Spielberg or Stefani.  Do you really think that they've done so much with their lives by focusing on just one thing, and then moving to the next in a linear manner?  Da Vinci was working on scientific musings at the same time he was drawing, inventing, and theoreticizing.  Spielberg was writing screenplays while he was directing them, producing them, and casting them.  Edison was failing for the thousandth time on the light bulb while he was working on hundreds of other inventions at the same time.  Stefani was recording while designing clothes.  And I am writing this book while I am also writing three others, while in law school, while shooting two films, while running my businesses, and while rehearsing my songs to perform at Pete's Candy Store in Brooklyn.  Focusing on only one niche is a foolish gamble.  Do you really want to be one of those boring people who only has the ability to speak to one select group of people at a social gathering—seriously, folks, that is so boring.

I know that some studies have concluded that multitasking actually reduces the amount of brain power we are using, citing examples that today's youth know all about multitasking and processing, but little about focusing and analysis.  There may be a lot of truth to that analysis but it leaves out an important point: multitasking and processing by itself may be of little use, but when you combine those qualities with focus and analysis, it's quite amazing what one can accomplish.  And that is what this book is all about.

My point is simply this: you can come up with as many excuses as you like to rationalize what I call 'your laziness', but in the end, if you want to make things happen in this life, you have to learn to multitask.  And that requires the mastery of your time. 

You have to learn to squeeze every valuable second out of every valuable minute in such a way that it encourages the time efficiency you are seeking.  In other words, in order to juggle projects, you need to have control over your time; you cannot let time control you. 

And not surprisingly, the more efficient you are with time, the more organized your space will become too—they are absolutely related.  And the more organized your space, the more quickly you will get things done because everything is well organized.  Make sense?  Good, because now this is where things may get confusing. 

When I say 'time', I don't just mean 60 minutes in every hour.  I mean that the more efficient you become, you'll actually learn how to get 180 minutes out of every hour—through efficiency, delegation, productivity, etc.  Said another way, your space is where you are able to apply the time you have.  If you are the most amazing time zen master ever… but your life as a whole is a mess, then you're not going to get very far. Conversely, if your life's space is clearly organized, but you are not able to manage time very well… again, you're not going to get very far.  In other words, you cannot be good at time management if you are disorganized, and you cannot be organized if you don't know how to properly manage your time—for what is time management but clearly organized use of your time.  That's what this book is going to show you how to do. 

People sometimes call me a 'jack of all trades'.  That is inaccurate.  I am not a jack of all trades—I am a master of many trades.  I do many things, and I do many things exceedingly well.  I encourage you to become the same; I encourage you to become a master of many disciplines.  Not only is it possible—it is downright essential.  Ladies and gentlemen, your very economic survival depends on it.


In other words... GET OFF YOUR ASS PEOPLE!!  Stop being lazy.  Stop coming up with excuses.  Stop wondering why last year wasn't your 'best year', and instead, jump off the couch and make you own big breaks already and make THIS YEAR your best yeaer!  DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM SAYING? 

I sure hope so, because my fingers are tired from typing :)

Meet you at the top!

P.S. - Want a free consultation?  Let me know!

ASK ME A QUESTION -- Go ahead.  Ask any question, and I will be happy to answer it.  Or, just visit

CAREER COACHING--FREE CONSULTATION: I am still the best career and life coach you can find.  Cocky?  No.  Confident.  If you need a life coach, a career coach, a time management coach, a financial coach, whatever--I am eminently qualified to assist you.  How so?  Well, I've done a heck of a lot with my life for starters.  Plus, I have an MBA in Finance, a Masters of Entrepreneurship, a law degree, a certificate in financial planning from BU, and I'm a certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach.  And I have officially started my PhD in Psychology.  Call me to set up a free consultation--I would love to give you some tough love and get you on the road to accomplishment.

THE FAME BLOG (& THE SCIENCE OF STARDOM) -- So, my law firm's new blog is live--called, and it's got some great content that I would love for you to check out.  AND... if you want to get the blog updates as soon as I post them, FOLLOW MY BLOG!

In still other news:

a) FREE MONROE MANN SONG!  Congrats!  Just click here and you get a FREE complimentary copy of my song, "The Sun Is Always Shining Somewhere" for you to download, put on your iPod/MP3 player, burn to CD, whatever:

13 The Sun is Always Shining Somewhe.mp3

b) NBC INTERVIEW WITH MONROE MANN: If you didn't see it in the last email, check out this interview with Monroe Mann about  his feature film, "You Can't Kill Stephen King", an interview that aired on NBC in Maine this past summer:    (You can also watch a larger version of the raw footage on my youtube channel.

Romp on!


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