One More Identity
In many ways, reshaping your identity is the most fundamental concept of what it means to be a One More thinker and doer.
What exactly is identity? Ed defines it as the thoughts, concepts, and beliefs we hold as the most genuine parts of our inner being. You can put on a face or act a certain way for the rest of the world, but you can’t lie to yourself when it comes to these things. Deep inside, you know what’s true about you. Put another way, identity is this: What we perceive about ourselves is what we believe about ourselves.
Here’s the paradox about identity. Many people know they could improve their lives significantly if they changed their identity. However, many people aren’t willing to take the necessary steps, even when it’s in their own best interests.
Are you willing to sacrifice who you are for who you could be? The answer should be a resounding “Yes!”. Identity is so important because it unlocks so many other amazing things in your life. When you create a One More identity, you give yourself the gift of taking control by dictating internal messages instead of being governed by external forces that have been undermining your happiness, possibly since the day you were born.
One More and Living in Your Matrix
The Matrix tells the story of Keanu Reeves’s character, a computer programmer, Thomas A. Anderson, who leads a double life as the hacker Neo. He joins forces with legendary hacker Morpheus in a quest to destroy artificial intelligence that is running human life, known as the Matrix. As they battle the Agents that protect the Matrix, Neo begins to display super‐human gifts—including the ability to slow down time—that indicate he could be The One, or the chosen person to bring down the Matrix.
Speaking of The One, Ed wants you to realize something. When you see a happy or financially successful family, understand that at some point in their history, they weren’t happy or successful. That is, until The One showed up, and The One in that family changed the family tree forever.
What if you’re already living in your Matrix? What if there are already forces at work deep inside you that are slowing down parts of your life, interpreting and reinforcing what you’ve already programmed into your consciousness? You’re not even aware this is happening. But it is.
Your Matrix is a more colloquial name for your reticular activating system, RAS for short. Your RAS is the filter that gives weight to the important things in your life and filters out the things that are not. Think of the RAS as the filter that reveals to you what’s most important to you in your life.
Here’s an example that illustrates how the RAS works. Let’s say you want to buy a blue van. Immediately, you start seeing blue vans everywhere. It could three lanes over on a freeway, when you’re out running errands, or dropping your kids off at school.
Guess what? Those blue vans were always there, you just never noticed them before. But now you see them because they’ve become a part of your RAS. They have been filtered into your consciousness since they have become important to you. When you repeatedly visualize and obsessively think about something, you tell your RAS to pay attention to that thought, and that’s when the world slows down.
You already do this exceptionally well, but chances are you don’t do it with enough direction, intention, or awareness. However, if you can direct your RAS to focus better on the blue vans in your life, then your life begins to change.
One More Try
Until you understand and embrace the fundamental, life‐changing power of One More Try, you won’t fully understand why it’s essential to try and make one more call, do one more set in the gym, meet one more person at a convention, or learn one more skill to put you head and shoulders above everyone else.
When you act and do the same things as everyone else, you’ll get the same results as everyone else. When you implement a One More Try mentality, that’s where you’ll find your greatest successes and your most significant personal growth.
Doing so also will give you more confidence than your competitors. It’s a secret weapon of sorts. Although they may not see it, you’ll know you’re willing to do more than them. You’re eager to make One More Try than they are. That’s a tremendous advantage in your favor.
This isn’t exactly a new idea. Confucius understood the battles that go on in a person’s mind when he wrote, “The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right.”
Confucius knew that an individual executes to the level of what he or she believes in themselves. Confidence fuels your belief that you’re worthy of making One More Try.
One More Emotion
It’s not the caliber of people’s homes, cars, or other material possessions that determines the quality of their lives. It’s the quality of their emotions. You have an emotional home that you live in. How you fill this home with the emotions you choose is the reality of your life, more than anything else.
All of us experience five or six consistent emotions in this home every day. And no matter what your life conditions are, you will find a way to get those emotions. Every one of us is conditioned to return to our emotional homes, even if those emotions don’t serve us well.
Have you ever noticed that no matter what’s going on in your life, you always seem to find these same half‐dozen emotions? For example, you may seek out worry, insecurity, fear, and anxiety, not necessarily because you want to. You do it because these emotions are familiar to you. Your mind always seeks out what is familiar because there is a level of comfort, even when the familiar works against you. The synapses in your brain are wired to seek and find those emotions.
You live in that emotional home. And the truth is, if you’re going to change your life, you’re going to have to clean house and change that emotional home.
One More thinkers get intentional daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly with putting their emotional homes in order and deciding which emotions they most want to experience. As a One More thinker, ask yourself, “What are the five or six emotions I most want to experience?”
When you do this, the reticular activating system in your brain will go to work on finding the circumstances that will create those emotions for you. Once activated, harmful emotions will be decommissioned and replaced with positive emotions that will fully activate the best version of you.
One More Dream
The happiest people in life operate out of their imaginations and dreams, and not their histories.
Stop! Read that sentence again. This is one of the single most powerful takeaways for a One More thinker. To be happy, successful, and productive, operate out of your imagination, your dreams, and your vision.
Reframing your entire mindset is not a subtle action. It requires concentrated effort for an extended period to break pre‐existing ingrained thought habits. There is no way you will experience your best life if you try to operate out of your history or memories of your past. It can’t be done. Pause for a moment and let that sink in a bit more.
The first step of moving from your past to your future is acceptance. Deepak Chopra teaches us, “I use memories, but I will not allow memories to use me.” You know what gets swept aside when you hold on to your past? Your entire future.
Embrace your future. Fill your glass with your vision and personal possibilities instead of drowning in stale thoughts that no longer serve you well. Do whatever it takes to set aside the past and set your sights on the future.
Another path to acceptance is acknowledging that the total of all you are today is the result of your past. Your pain, flaws, and barriers are counterbalanced by the strength, wisdom, and knowledge you’ve gained over the years. Embracing the total of all you already are gives you the tools to use as a springboard to your future.
One More Habit
With habits, your brain already knows what you need to do, and it switches to an autopilot mode, much like setting a car on cruise control to create maximum fuel efficiency.
Some people drink two cups of coffee by 8 a.m. without fail. Other people eat lunch at precisely the same time every day. Golfers have an exacting routine when they swing a club, and people who go to the gym often do so on the same days of the week and do the same workouts every time.
Countless types of activities are habits. You don’t think about them. You just do them. And many times, those habits work out just fine for you.
But not always. Sometimes you develop bad habits, and they don’t end up serving you well. When that happens, if you want to change your life for the better, pay close attention to your habits and make changes that align with what you want out of life.
Perhaps you want more peace in your life, but you don’t cultivate the habit of praying, meditating, or going to church. How will you calm your mind if you don’t do the things you need to put you in a state of grace?
Or, if you want to be a great leader but don’t actively apply critical principles of leadership in your work or personal life, you’ll fail in those areas as well. Getting fired up about living your life well each day is important but nowhere near as important as having good habits.
Contrary to what you believe and what you may have been told, the biggest separator in life is not motivation or inspiration. It is the habits you create to get you through those days when you don’t really feel like doing the things you need to do to be successful.
One More Inconvenience
Convenience and greatness cannot co‐exist. They are diametrically opposed forces. If you can accept that many of the great things you want in life will be inconvenient from start to finish, you’re well on your way to becoming a One More thinker.
Inconveniences are the challenges you must overcome to have a shot at accomplishing anything significant. These inconveniences can be anything from getting up at 5 a.m. to make a 7 a.m. meeting with your professor when you’re working on your Masters’ degree, or running 75 miles a week to prep for your first marathon, even though your feet are on fire because they’re covered with blisters.
Paying the price of inconvenience is no guarantee you’ll succeed. But if you don’t inconvenience yourself and confront the difficult things in front of you, you’ll have no chance at ending up where you want to be in life.
What if you started attacking your day by doing the most difficult and inconvenient things? Not “first things first” or “feared things first.” Start by doing difficult and inconvenient things first. Doing hard things builds character. It separates you from the pack. When you do hard, challenging, and inconvenient things, you’ll soon realize your biggest, best, and most amazing dreams are on the other side of the tallest hills you must climb.
Best‐selling author Haruki Murakami put it best when he said, “Your work should be an act of love, not a marriage of convenience.” If you’re only interested in reaching a level of convenience, you’ll achieve a lot less than doing whatever it takes when you’re committed to a higher level of greatness.
One Last One More
Difficult, challenging, and tragic things happen to everyone, which means there will come a time in your life when these things happen to you. Like it or not, the clock will run out, and no amount of praying, wishing, or begging will deny this inevitability.
Your world changes when you realize your days on Earth are finite. Many people come to this realization earlier than others, and some are acutely aware of it but can’t break free from those heavy chains they’ve forged.
At some point, we’re all bound together by One Last One Mores. We can’t run from them. So, we must learn to face them the best possible way. Learn to live your life the best way you know how before those days come. It’s how you can live life with fewer burdens, regrets, anger, and sadness.
And, yes, it’s not easy. Change rarely is.
Our last year on Earth. Our last month, last week, and our last day. Our last hour. And all too soon, our final breath.
You can’t control the end, but you can control the story in between.