What Instagram Filters Can Teach Us About Becoming Successful

I Spy With My Little Eye…Red Things

Let me just change your perspective real quick with one little exercise and then go on to explain everything I have learned. Here is what I want you to do:

  1. Scan around the room looking at everything and trying to find things that are red.
  2. Memorize them as if your life depends on it (all in the name of self-improvement).
  3. Try to get them all if possible..take your time.
  4. Now..tell me all the brown things you saw.
  5. Read step 4 again and realize that I did not make an error but am instead about to explain a mind blowing thing I have learned.
  6. Grab popcorn (optional but always recommended).                                                                                                                               So the point of all that was to explain to you one simple thing. Your life can either be a positive or negative experience depending on what you focus on. When you told your eyes and brain to focus on the red things you ignored all the other colors including the brown. Everything red set off a flag..a red flag if you will..while everything else you just glazed over like it was nothing. Now, to drill in the point, replace red with “negative” and brown with “positive” and read the whole steps 1 – 6 again…and maybe this time do grab popcorn before reading on as this article will be a bit long.

Crema, Ludwig, Toaster, or Willow?

Those are some Instagram filters that sound like they were named by some random name generator online. But they all make your picture look and feel different. Willow, for example, makes everything black and white and rather dull. Perfect for taking pictures of lawn chairs and placing an irrelevant quote from someone historically famous, so you sound wise. Then, there is Toaster which makes your picture..well..toasty. Perfect for taking a picture of airplanes and talking about your dream of traveling to Paris and opening a bakery even though you haven’t baked in your life and failed French in high school. The point wasn’t to make fun of Instagram people..well not the main point anyway..the point is that your mindsets and beliefs are like filters. They can either make things look good or bad which dictate your thoughts which dictate your feelings, which in turn dictate your actions and in turn dictate your life. So if you are not where you want to be in life know that it is not only your circumstances that are stopping you. It is also your thoughts. I am not making up this concept out of thin air. T. Harv. Eker said this in his book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: (which by the way I highly highly highly highly X1000 times recommend you read. It is on Amazon.) He says: “Your programming leads to your thoughts; your thoughts lead to your feelings; your feelings lead to your actions; your actions lead to your results. Therefore, just as is done with a personal computer, by changing your programming, you take the first essential step to changing your results.”

So How Do I Change Filters?

Unfortunately, it is not as easy as a swipe of a finger. To truly change your beliefs is a constant thing that will take lots of awareness. You see, your brain is like the city of New York. It has thousands of thoughts that want to live in your consciousness (AKA Manhattan) and to stop a nuclear meltdown your brain filters out thoughts and sends you those that are most relevant to your beliefs. To make this even harder, we as humans evolved to think negatively..which technically did save our species but made it very hard for you to ignore that “your friend didn’t ask you how you were. Therefore, he must hate you” thought. But if you don’t stop these negative thoughts, they will only get worse. Your brain rewires neurons to remember that which you think most about and “deletes” things you don’t often think about. So if you only think negatively, you will tend only to remember negative things which in turn fuels the negative thinking leading into a downward spiral of doom and gloom. So to change your beliefs, you must change your thoughts.

The good news is, you are the ultimate ruler of your thoughts. You create your thoughts and that in turn controls your feelings and actions which combat your beliefs. Don’t believe me? Try feeling sad or angry without thinking anything. Just feel it. You can’t because feelings are created by thoughts. So when you feel sad for “no reason” it’s not that there is no reason it’s just your thoughts that you have not been truly aware of doing their damage. Another thing about thoughts is that they are just perceptions and not facts. People tend to take thoughts as entirely true and as much as I hate to break it to you..you can be wrong…a lot. You must learn to disassociate yourself from your thoughts and be more of a witness rather than an accomplice. The more you dispute, disprove, and challenge the negative thoughts, the easier it will be to change your filter into a more positive one.

Bond V. Negativity

Thoughts are like spies. They seem harmless when they happen, but later on, in the day you start to feel like crap. Why? Because the thoughts sabotaged you. They made you feel certain things which in return made you do certain unhelpful things… I’m looking at you now-empty carton of ice cream. Which by the way only made your belief that you will never lose weight stronger. So you must become your own James Bond style spy where you detect and obliterate negative thoughts..in style. How do you do that? Well, one of the methods I talked about in an earlier post called: “Emotions are habits you can break by singing happy birthday.” It’s called an eye scramble. It’s more useful for dealing with emotional dependence rather than beliefs but will help, just not as effectively as the 3-second rule.

It’s Not Easy As 1, 2, 3. But It Works

From asking a girl, I liked on a date to talking to my first client to starting boxing this method seriously changed my life. But fair warning this is not easy and will take a massive leap of faith. The best way to get into the habit of this is to start small and build trust in yourself. You must be honest with yourself 100% of the time and build integrity. IF you say, you will do something…Do it. Simple as that. So here is how the 3-second rule works. And no this isn’t the same 3-second rule 8-year-old kids use as an excuse to eat pizza off the ground because germs wait 3 seconds to invade your food (how polite of them). Whenever you have a negative thought or feeling that you can’t do something, you need to challenge that thought. How? By thinking of the positive equivalent of that thought, seeing yourself successfully achieving the opposite of that thought and then proceeding to do something no matter how small that will defy the negative thought. The only thing is when you decide on what that something is..you have 3 seconds to do it, or the opportunity is lost. So for example:

Let’s make up someone.Bob. Bob here is 23 years old and has never really had friends. His mind always tells him he is unloveable and everyone hates him..even those who don’t know him. Now, Bob reads this article and decides to give this method a shot. He also subscribed to the email list because he knows he will get awesome content starting soon..shameless plug I know. So Bob decides to go for a walk outside just to see people. He wants to do something about his beliefs but is not sure what. As he is walking, he sees a bunch of guys his age sitting on the bench and playing Pokemon Go. His initial thoughts are something like: “Oh man, I love Pokemon Go, and I wanna talk to them about it, but they will just laugh. Maybe this whole thing is stupid, who am I kidding? I wasn’t meant to have friends. I am not good enough.” Bob here has two possible paths. One being the easy way where he just walks away and lives in this painful yet comfortable and safe mindset. Or he can just try what the article said. He decides to give it a shot.

He thinks to himself “People want to hear what I have to say. I know so much about Pokemon, and I am sure they will be happy to see a fellow player..even if I am Team Mystic.” (Team Valor is best sorry not sorry)
Then he imagines himself meeting up with these guys at a park to catch Pokemon and owning all the gyms. Having a good time.
It’s action time. Bob decides to start with something small. He decides to casually ask them if they have seen any good Pokemon nearby. Bob feels the anxiety but knows he has 3 seconds to act or his chance is gone. He starts counting.. 1 Mississippi..2 Mississippi. Oh, what the heck. “Hey have you guys seen any good Pokemon nearby?”
“Oh yea, there was a Charizard down the road from here like 4 minutes ago. (Lucky!) You should hurry and get it…also what team are you?”

” I am Team Mystic and you guys?”

“That’s whats up! We are Team Mystic too! (booo) High five!”

*High fives all around*

” Thanks, I guess I better go catch that Charizard. l will see you guys around.”

” Yea man good luck! Smell ya later!” (Only the old Pokemon TV show fans will understand that one)

So that was a cheesy scenario where Bob won a major victory in his mind by challenging his beliefs that everyone hates him. Now when he wants to do something like this again, it will be considerably easier. Agreed it could have gone the other way and the guys could have been rude to him, but that is why you need to build trust in yourself to follow through regardless of the consequences.Integrity is key here. It won’t always end well unfortunately but know that what matters is…is that you tried. Move on and keep fighting those thoughts of yours. So to end this nearly 2,000-word monstrosity, I will leave you guys with one of my favorite videos that sum this article up pretty well. But first the 3-second rule steps summarized.

Think the positive equivalent of the negative thought
See yourself achieving the positive thought
Decide on a small or large action that you will take right now to defy that negative thought.
You have 3 seconds to do this..so..JUST…DO…IT..



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