by Brian Schwartz

In last chapter, I wrote of the analogy of a farmer and how viewing yourself as one can help you stay focused in your publishing endeavors.

This month, I want to ask you to put on a different hat; the hat of a hunter.

We know from our school days of the reference to our ancestors as hunters & gatherers. Hunters and gathers stem from the most primitive part of our brain. We see animals doing it all day long. But as humans, we are fortunate indeed to have three brains. One; the instinctive brain (hunter/gatherer, fight/flight). Two: the emotional (limbic) brain (pain/pleasure). Three: And two separate left/right sides of the thinking (neocortex) brain. The thinking brain consists of two parts: left and right. The left brain asks 'why?', while the right brain asks 'what?'. More on this later, but I want to plant the seed of why vs. what now. The left brain is deeply rooted in our past experiences, and the right brain is the creative, imagery aspect of our brain. When you think in terms of at the past (was), your left brain is engaged. When you plan for the future, your right brain is in charge (what if).

Being in control of our actions involves developing a better understanding of how our brain works. Why do we often fail at acting consistently with what we know we ought to be doing? Because our 3 brains aren't aligned. While your thinking brain has determined the best next step (what you ought to do), your emotional brain might sabotage the good intention because it's perceiving some level of pain in the result. Your decision to act or not comes down to those tasks where all three brains are on the same page.

Can't one of my three brains just make an overriding decision? I believe it's the instinctive part of our brain, the one we were born with, the one that exists to keep the rest of us alive and intact. But I'm smart enough to know the one in charge (the instinctive brain) isn't exactly the smartest of the apple on the tree. So I'm going to have to do a little manipulation to get it to act the way I want. I also have to play politics in my own mind?

Back to the hunter instinct as you go about your day ahead. Take another tip in your mind and look at how it might play out...

You know in your gut that there's something vitally important to get resolved, and it's something you need to put 100% of your focus into right now, so try this on this imagery with me:

You are leaving the cave. The more time you spend outside the cave, the more dangerous it becomes. Minimize your exposure and get back as quickly as you can. But before you head out, it's important you've adequately prepped for the safest journey possible. Be sure to take all your tools with you, but travel light so you can be nimble when necessary. Decide to make fewer decisions today.

You are out of the cave and fully exposed now. There's no rehearsal and it's time to get to work and complete the task you've been called to do. If you need others to help you, be sure to call on them early and be sure they are fully equipped for the journey ahead. The fight begins. Your instincts will call on all your experience and knowledge to win the fight (or in this case, finish the task). You are a hunter. While your goal is to bring back the reward (the result), the best you can do is focus on the task at hand and not be distracted by the result. Expect to get bruised along the way - but what's a warrior without a few wounds? Wear them with pride. And please, for your own safety, don't ask WHY - as your left brain is not the problem solver. Instead, ask WHAT - you need all the creativity and optimism of your right brain right now. After you've determined WHAT, shift into fight mode by stating I WILL.

Asking: Why am I here or Why am I doing this? = no progress
Asking: What am I doing here or What needs to be done? = progress

The word 'What' calls on the hunter inside you to step up and solve the problem. The word 'Why' instead looks at the past and all the flaws of spent time that's gone.

I've got the essential weapons (my system) to slay the dragons ahead and bring back the prize at the end of the day. The sooner I get back to my cave, the happier those who depend on my will be. The why is a booby prize. The what is the real deal.

The source of self-confidence

The most successful hunters are armed with high levels of self-confidence. And that self-confidence comes from belief. And belief comes from seeing the evidence. The evidence is built from the action. So to build more self-confidence, take more action. Action begins with two words: I will. Don't leave the cave without your most important tool - self-confidence.

As hunters, the field many of us step out into every day is the every expanding internet. I'll expand how an awareness of 'the field' will aid us in our journey in the next chapter.

Never ask why, instead ask what. State I will and action will follow. State I can't and you'll stop yourself before you start. The truth is, you don't know what you are capable of until you try. What follows action is a experience. What follows experience is self-confidence. Self-confidence answers the why so you can get on to the next what.

So the only question left to ask is: When will you?