Dr. Matt Is Going To Pull It Out For You
Once in a while, someone will come into my apartment / office who I immediately know is going to be interesting. I mean, someone who just really catches my attention for some undefinable reason. I had a new client this week who I’ll call Jared Leto. Hmm… I guess maybe I shouldn’t give him the name of a celebrity, so let’s give him a common name like Jor-El Leto.
Jor-El had a lot going for him, and not just his dashing good looks. “Dr. Matt, I hear you solve just about every problem,” he said.
“That’s right,” I said, listening to this interesting man who obviously worked out regularly.
“I’ve been an artist since I was a boy,” he said, “but ever since I left higher education, it seems like I’ve been doing everything but produce art. I want that to change, and I think I can build a successful business around what I love, but I don’t want to drastically reduce my income by leaving my full-time job. But by working long hours full-time, it feels like I haven’t been able to build momentum to change anything. How do I make this happen?”
I rubbed my mustache for a moment. “Well, first things first,” I said. “Let’s see your portfolio and your business plan.”
Jor-El’s confusion shone through his bright blue eyes. “I don’t have either of those with me,” he said.
“Okay,” I said, “let’s start with the basics. What’s your company name?” I asked him.
“I haven’t decided yet,” he said.
“Well, my friend,” I said, “You’re in a real pickle. You want my help to make something happen, but you don’t actually know what it is that you want to make happen.”
“That’s not true,” said Jor-El, putting one leg up on the couch. “I have lots of ideas.”
“Exactly,” I said. “You have only ideas. But think about your full-time job. When you wake up in the morning, you probably know close to the minute when you are going to go to work. You probably know what you’re going to be working on. You probably have a sense of what the eventual outcome of that work is going to be, and you know how you’re going to be compensated for it. And because you know all of this, then all of it happens.”
Jor-El frowned with his bold, dark eyebrows. “Well, that doesn’t make sense. I know how it’s going to happen because it all happened like that the day before.”
“That’s also true,” I said. “The problem with your brain right now is that it’s of no help to you. It’s completely worthless, and you should probably start ignoring it.”
“What do you mean?” said Jor-El, cocking his head to the side, which spilled his long hair onto his shoulder.
I responded: “Your brain is great at carving a path for whatever you do more than twice. It’ll turn anything into a habit so that you don’t have to spend so much time thinking about it. That means that whenever you start to alter your path, your brain is going to try to kick you back into those ruts. It assumes that you want it to help you remember to get up at a certain time, get to work on schedule, give all the same information in sales meetings, and hit on the same girl behind the counter at Starbucks. That is, if you’re into that sort of thing.”
Jor-El ran his hand through his hair, and with the bulge in his bicep I knew this time he worked out for sure. I figured I should watch his movements carefully to see if his body language conveyed that he understood what I was saying as I continued talking. “So, first, you gotta tell your brain to step aside and keep it from kicking you into your old path. But the only way that’s going to work is if you have a solid guide for the new path to take effect. That means that it has to be as solidly defined as the old path. Now, it might not be as deeply understood, because those paths take time to carve. But you at least have to survey the land and know exactly where to lay your brick. And I imagine laying brick is something that you probably want to do.”
“I think I understand…” said Jor-El. “But, if I’m kicking my brain aside, then what’s taking over?”
“Well, why don’t you just drop your inhibitions and see what rises to the challenge,” I said. “After all, laying brick would probably require you to be shirtless. What, with that summer heat and all.”
“I didn’t quite follow that, Dr. Matt,” said Jor-El, running his hand through that long hair again.
I told him to do his best not to think about it, and we could talk about it next week. I’m pretty confident that he’ll be able to figure it out. I don’t know what it is about Jor-El Leto, but he’s got something great in him, and I’m going to do my best to pull it out.
Just My Thoughts,