Kevin Hogan

International Speaker

Latest Articles:  Stopping the Black Swan Can You Become a New Person?

Here’s one of life’s best kept secrets FROM marketers and salespeople.

Every parent gets it immediately but the entrepreneur pays no attention.

Until today.

The child, says, “I want that toy Mom.” (The toy the other child in the room is playing with.)

As you can see the tyke in the yellow shirt has gotten a bigger toy and has begun what he will enjoy today and not want to do tomorrow.

This is human nature. You see something someone has that who knows, you just might want it too! Imagine Emma posts the perfect photo of herself on the balcony of a nice hotel on Instagram. Big smile, beautiful everything, and then when Rhianna tries to replicate the experience? Nothing.

Emma had a great experience and looked great on the balcony. But when you do it there is nothing special.

It’s normal human behavior that begins when you are an infant. You sense that you want that thing, but when you get it, you discover it brings you no pleasure. It’s so normal that it’s overlooked in relationships, business, and in just about every context outside of parenting toddlers.

Remember when someone said, “What do you want to be when you grow up?

You had no clue UNLESS one of your parents either…

a) forced you to practice piano, play football, or do some activity pretty much every day, or

b) one of your parents had a career that you were somehow involved in. This is why many people in show business have children that become actors. It’s why many people that are entrepreneurs know no other life and go on to do the same.

Otherwise, the answer to “what do you want to be…” is, “I have no idea!”

80% of people don’t follow in their parents footsteps, mostly because they never see their parents producing anything or doing something interesting. So the child grows up to wonder what they will do when they “grow up.”

Imagine that you decided you wanted a pet shortly after you saw the neighbor walking their dog. Your neighbor seemed very happy. That triggered your desire for some furry companionship. But that desire wore off quickly after getting a new puppy.  This doesn’t always occur of course, but it happens often enough that collectively the wants any single person experiences when fulfilled don’t bring the life satisfaction they predicted, wanted, or desired.


The Formula to Hate Your Life, While Envying Those Around You

The Big Challenge: You see someone experience an emotion YOU would like to have and attach their activity to the emotion.

FULL STOP: GET THIS.  IF you can understand this it will change how you approach EVERYTHING in life, making you understand what only confused you last month, last year, the last decade.

  1. You are in a moment where you are bored, or sleepy or depressed, or content or thoughtful, or working hard, exhausted. Pick any from the list.

2. You notice that someone else near you is deeply involved in something fascinating, fun, cool, exciting, interesting, and you actually observe not just the feeling they are experiencing but the activity they are DOING.

3. Your brain makes a mental representation of YOU being the DOER and all that’s MISSING is the FEELING.

4. This open loop creates the desire to feel what that person is feeling, and preferably while doing almost exactly what they are doing.

5. You then DO what they are doing, or something very similar and then you do NOT FEEL THE GREAT FEELING the other person appeared to be feeling.

Perhaps you see someone and your guess is that they are happy, or something similar. That triggers off clusters of neurons in your mind that translate into thought like, “dogs = happy.” “THAT Toy = Fun.”

You MUST solve this.

I’m going to suggest you never watch someone do something and determine whether they are having fun or not at it. Instead experiment.

I recently went to a place where you paint (the canvas type) at night. Have a glass of wine and then paint. I was so far out of my comfort zone that there was no way I would “enjoy” it but it was mentally interesting so I could see myself doing it again and even though I was terrible at the task, I could see myself get better if I did it over and over for a few thousand hours. And this is the sense you want to have. COULD something become interesting. Could it become exciting? Could it become fun? Could it generate positive feelings?

Now let’s look at bigger things. No dogs, no toys, no hobbies. Let’s look at the big stuff of life.

Here’s how YOU can get pretty much anything you really do want.

Begin by stopping a problem before you get to the fun.

First put time between your impulses and spending money or traveling to a far off destination.

You got the idea today, but wait to shop at Amazon a week from tomorrow. See if your fresh desire from LAST WEEK was triggered by today’s visit to Amazon. In other words, did you see “someone playing with something” in your stream on Facebook. If so, write it down and place a question mark after it before you go to amazon next week.

Most people spend so much on retail therapy that they won’t ever have the money for a memorable experience that really means something.

You can easily put together a list of “wants” or “cravings” and see if it still has the same impact on you a week, a month or a year later. Do this and you’ll see a few things eventually that you consistently want.  And this is part of success and fulfillment in life. You CAN have what you want.

My most common advice to people is pick two or three things you want in life, plan for them and then make them happen. Then delay the rest of those cravings until you have the energy, time AND money before pursuing them.

Little Known Psychological Fact: Spontaneity and Impulsiveness do not bring as much happiness as planning and then acquiring what you planned for.

And this is a big part of the reason that one can have things, people, places, experiences in their life and still feel empty inside. They craved something, went and got it, and then realized it wasn’t what they thought it was.

Whether fulfilling or ignoring those cravings, they do need to be considered. They need to be important enough to record, to log, to think about. And then after much balanced consideration, decisions can be made. Because those cravings represent at least a significant part of you…who you are.

Craving French Silk Chocolate Pie daily? You probably need to look at that and put FSCP on the calendar once per month or perhaps once per quarter. You probably can’t pull that off everyday and that is just fine.

But what if you feel like you really want something, constantly ignore the desire and never get it?

That too might be OK. In fact, it might be the only wise option for life. If you only want kids half the time, obviously you’re best off not bringing them to your life in the first place.

Self Discipline is what gets you what you want. And you can only discipline yourself to get what you want after you consider it carefully.

Key Point: You must be accurate in IDENTIFYING your “passions,” your obsessions…and then IF it makes ecological sense to do so, you must focus your efforts on moving toward each specific driving desire over and over again.

[Ecological is defined as doing/getting something that is good for the entire system, not just one person.]

“But wait a minute! I heard that at a seminar…”

No, you didn’t. You heard, “…what are your dreams and goals?”

Here’s the deal: Remember, people have been in the same hamster wheel for so long they have no idea and have long forgotten dreams of what they want to be they “grow up.”

Your “forgotten dreams” could be rekindled or they could be left for another person to have, especially when you realize that in many cases, they weren’t necessary or desirable. However that doesn’t mean to bury all that you dreamed. Why? If you really wanted to do something when you were younger that mental movie could still be waiting to be played!

The vast majority of people have never left the centuries old belief that “when you grow up, I am going to be “an X.”

The world in 2018 is very different than any previous time in our history.

People live twice as long as they did in the not too distant past.

It’s also a different world.

Your parents took computer programming in college and mastered Cobol or Fortran, right?

Ouch…that was good for a decade…and then the guy had to figure out, “now what?” Do YOU even know what Cobol and Fortran are?

Another guy manufactured audio cassette tapes…and then they were gone.

Obviously, there are a few different lives you are going to live in the new world. Things change quickly…very quickly. The person who is presuming, expecting and anticipating, regular change…is the person who will get what they want in life.

The vast majority of people obviously can’t possibly know what they want. They certainly don’t have the ability to describe how they feel about their future…except perhaps “uncertain.”

Most humans have had such a limited range of experiences that they have no idea whether they would love one thing or another.

People have no idea what they are interested in because they have no interests! They took the first job where someone would hire them and then held on for dear life!

I bought Rock Band for my son (well you know, mostly for my son) and I KNEW I would be terrible the first 50 hours I would play. Then one day it “just happened.” Kevin discovers that elusive thing called rhythm. I felt like it was “one small step for man, one giant…”

Fear not, your job as a drummer is safe…but I had to feel like an absolute idiot for a couple of weeks learning what you might think would come naturally in a human. I guess not…

There is also a different reason people don’t get what they want.

It’s because they are “idea people.” (Idea people are nice people who are broke, and terrified that you will take their idea and make millions with it.)

Here’s the deal. Idea people are good people who like everyone else have lots of ideas because ideas pop into your head all day long. Unfortunately they never synthesize ideas into creative thinking and then go make a new widget or cool gizmo.

They are nice people, broke and never get what they wanted in life.  There is a huge difference between having an idea vs. building out the idea to something NEW, the point of implementation, continuance, overcoming and completion.

If you *ever* think your idea is “worth a fortune…,” email when you see the fortune part.

For one moment the individual is excited over a particular thing or endeavor. The next thing you know they completely abandon their “great idea;” either because they lose their interest or because they give up when they encounter the first problem inside of themselves or with their grand idea.

Here’s the problem.

Humans see that “fun experience,” decide they want it, and put six months into and then determine they aren’t having fun with their new career, business, project or child. And then they LEAVE.  They quit.

Those who consistently “change their minds” without having dedicated a full out action plan…those who give up easily when the going gets tough can never get anywhere.

You will get what you want in life when you realize what it means to evolve or you get lost in the shuffle.

Kevin Hogan on AchievementAnd here’s the deal….maybe…the “they” is “you.” …and maybe a little direction would be appreciated?

Maybe right now you’re a bit confused. You don’t seem to know what you really want in life. Shoot, you might not even HAVE a great idea.

You might want to consider these feelings in the process of moving forward in life:

  1. What makes your heart beat with excitement?
  2. What makes you happy?
  3. What are you consistently thinking of day & night?
  4. What do you want to do for the rest of my life?
  5. What do you enjoy doing?
  6. What are your obsessions?
  7. What things make you jump with joy?

Now STOP and don’t race past this. Take a MINUTE and DO THIS with me. This is not a great idea, it’s a formula.

To help you out, just follow these quick steps.

1. Grab an old fashioned piece of paper. Write on this piece of paper all your possible answers for the seven questions above. Write anything, even seemingly unimportant ones. Quit when your brain says, “um…i don’t know.” That way you won’t feel like you failed at knowing your Self.

2. Circle 5 to 7 or even 10 of the answers that appeal to you the most.

3. Evaluate and choose with your feelings first, the best one or two (but no more) things that are worthy to spend all your time & resources with. The chosen one should really be something that brings out the best in you.

Why emotion? Feelings?

Because early on in the “Getting What You Want in Life” sequence it’s best to do something for which there will be little or no internal self-sabotage. You can ALWAYS change later or dream NEW dreams. I’d like to see you get the first one down…

Other than the exercise above, you could also ask your close friends and relatives about their thoughts of how they see you and what you might be happy doing in the very near future. Other people often have a view of you and me that is far more accurate and prophetic than what we might see in ourselves!

How You Feel Matters

Other people may disagree with you, but you should allow yourself to “be firm” with what you really want. Others may give comments or advice, but the final decision is always yours to make. Ultimately, you should concentrate on what you want, not on what others want for you.

Don’t go sleeping tonight without making some “decisions” on WHAT YOU REALLY WANT IN LIFE MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE!

…because if you do, then your dreams end when you wake up….

How to Become the Person of Your Aspirations

“What would you like to be when you grow up?” I bet you heard this question asked many times when you were growing up. But have you given this question any thought lately?

Just because you and I are grown is no reason for us to stop aspiring TO BE.

Different people have different aspirations.

So what’s your aspiration? Do you want to become a doctor?

(This is a great aspiration if you dig chemistry, biology, statistics, mathematics and anatomy)…now do you want to be a doctor? Does it still “feel good?”

How about a lawyer, pilot, or entertainer?

Or would you want to be like Tom Cruise or Bill Gates?

If you are 20, a budding Scientologist, damn good looking and have an in on the remake of Risky Business, you can be like Tom Cruise. If not…then maybe Bill Gates. If you are the world’s great implementer and a person of amazing focus and team building, you could run this course.

By fitting your desires with your skills/future skills and aspirations, you can become pretty much anything you want to become.

But listen, you don’t have to be a Bill Gates and shake the world. In fact it’s a damn hard thing to be in the spotlight as Bill Gates is. People like Bill Gates work harder, longer and with more sacrifice, than you could ever imagine. But people like Gates love their work! It is their pride and joy!

There’s a lot of people who have an aspiration of raising a beautiful healthy family and never remotely want to be a billionaire or famous.

All of the above 100% applies here.

How many people do you know that had children and you saw the results and wondered what they were thinking?

Aspiration meets skill meets joy meets dedication meets long-term (20 years and change in the child rearing case) meets reinvention at the cycle’s end. Make sense?

OBVIOUSLY, there are a few limitations. The elderly should stay out of the space program and the wheelchair bound should avoid trying out for pro basketball. Let’s never be stupid and waste life on a pipe dream.

BUT most stuff is wide open out there. If someone else can do it, just about anyone can do it.

You must have the desire and passion to know everything you can about your next and ideally better life ahead..

If you can have a real person to emulate or look up to, the better.

For example, you may see yourself as Lebron James (for basketball), Katie Perry (for singing), or Heidi Klum (for modeling), your Mom (for being a great Mom…if she was!) One of those things you can do when no one else is around is “role playing.”

Feel, talk, and act as if you’re that person you’re emulating. You’ll quickly acquire the behavior and qualities of that person. If it seems cool, you have a base to start from. It SHOULD feel uncomfortable. This sequence works….sometimes too well.

Take motivated action and start making your aspirations real. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect. That will never happen. There will always be bumps and obstacles ahead. The important thing is to start right now and adjust along the way.

Persist until the very end. Never let failures distract you.

Failure does NOT MATTER.

Just keep moving yourself toward what YOU want. If you ever think that a task seems impossible to accomplish, (like getting to the Expert setting on RockBand!) banish that thought immediately.

It’s just a useless feeling. Dump it.

Your mind has the capacity to help you bring into reality virtually anything you desire.

As long as you stay focused and patient on your objective despite any setbacks or discouragements, you will get what you want much sooner than you may think.

Powerful Ways To Fire Up The Obsession

It’s often difficult to go on when everything seems to fail. I’ve been there and so have you.

Are there times in your life when you really want to call it “quits” because you just can’t see any positive results from all the hard work you’ve done?

Stop and breathe. That’s NORMAL

Never ever think of giving up. The battle is never lost until you’ve abandoned your aspiration.

But what if you’re really exhausted physically, mentally and most of all, emotionally?

Welcome to the real world. You were exhausted Pre-Aspiration!

You are currently doing what you don’t want to do and don’t feel like you have the energy to do what you DO want to do.

Again, normal. BUT you MUST train yourself to overcome this inertia. It’s a LIFE eraser!

Making it Happen

Kevin Hogan on Achievement1) The Overwhelming Feeling of Attaining your Desired End

The Reward System — very IMPORTANT

What gets rewarded gets repeated.

That’s Psychology 101. (Really that IS Psychology 101)

Bailout the bank, the company, and well…you get replication.

How would you feel if you had entered a contest, but there were no prizes for the winners?

The same principles apply to your aspirations. Reward yourself after accomplishment. Set a particular incentive for every major objective.

It’s all very simple. Reward yourself. Set yourself up as your own student. How would you reward students? What carrots…and while we’re at carrots, also consider, what sticks?

Got the idea?

Just set something gratifying to indulge in after completing a certain undertaking. Ideally, reward yourself with something that will help you bridge the gap from where you are to where you are going.

Kevin Hogan on Achievement2) The Powerful Force of Humanity

If you really want…to get…what you want, surround yourself with the right kind of people who will support and encourage you all the way.

Be with people who have similar beliefs and aspirations as yours. Results are generated by this fusion of collective energy from people of “like minds.”

That’s why we have The Inner CircleRead the details about Kevin Hogan’s Inner Circle.

Otherwise, being with people who oppose your ways of thinking may trigger a negative, yet very powerful, kind of driver. Don’t misunderstand. There IS a time for people who strongly disagree with you. It is ALWAYS good to have a naysayer around, but only in the planning and early implementation stage. Once the dress rehearsals have begun, the naysayer must leave until AFTER the event.

Get the timing right! Has anyone ever said to you that, “You’ll never get anywhere”, or, “You’re wasting your time with what you’re doing?”

Didn’t it make you furious and determined enough to prove to them how wrong they were? This is what I’m talking about.

When aggravated, you will do anything to make those who are against you swallow their words.

This has OFTEN been the best driver of all for me.

And by the way, sometimes the naysayer is RIGHT and you need to make sure they are wrong before you move forward. There is nothing wrong and everything right about having someone tell you something is not a good idea, whether you decide to act on the idea or not.

Wiping Out Obstacles to Getting What You Want

Kevin Hogan on AchievementLife is an obstacle course. It is normal to encounter obstacles in the pursuit of your aspirations. Obstacles are anticipated and expected to pop up once in a while, causing delays or revisions to your plans. You can’t know them all in advance, but you might as well just write down what they are going to be…or are likely to be.

Life is… what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

What happens when the obstacles get too big?

Here are some helpful, tested pointers to keep your attention focused in achieving a goal:

1. Key Point“Think POWER.” This means: “Do not quit.” Especially when you are midway in working toward an important end. There should be no room for quitting. To quit is tantamount to going back to the starting line and starting over and over again. That is time, energy, money, and a whole lot of things wasted and lost. It is more costly to quit than to find a solution to the problem, not to mention the frustration one feels.

2. Think Clearly, ready to receive new approaches, ideas. Focus and concentrate. Be creative and innovative. Be open to options (even unconventional ones) to eliminate the obstacle.

3. Persist and persevere. Exhaust every possibility even to the point of trial and error (if doubtful), just to test a solution to correct the problem.

I hate it when people quit.

They’ve given up on themselves, their lives, their families.

Don’t be one of them.

4. Simulate. Try to picture in the mind a possible solution to solve the obstacle.

5. Get help from other people who may be more knowledgeable on the work being done. They may be able to help. Their suggestions might not necessarily be the right or exact ones, but they may trigger new ideas in finding the right solution.

Consider this scenario: Let’s say you thought of a new product and you are confident this product will rock once it hits the market.

You tell a friend about it, but your friend says it will be a flop. Your friend tells you why it will be a flop and his/her reason is: “if the product will be such a success, how come nobody’s doing it?” So you decide to forget about your new product because of your friend’s comment. This scene is repeated many times all over the world.

By the way, that IS a good question and you DO need to answer that, and when you DO, MOVE ON.

But if you have figured it out, and your “friend” continues to tell you that you will fail…put them on the calendar to be seen again, next year….

The lesson: Be firm in your belief. Follow your aspirations.

5 Great Techniques to Make it Happen

Long-term “goals” are generally impotent.

Goals that are TOO BIG are generally useless. The same is goals that are too small. You want to find the “just the right size variety.”

1. Start with short-term outcomes that will lead you to medium-term ones.

After realizing a short-term outcome, you see that you are in fact, looking forward to a longer one.

2. Make sure you really want what you say want.

By this, you have to ask yourself:

“Do I really want this? Will this give me a better life?”

Answering these questions will give you more certainty to achieve your aspiration.

3. Tell People. By this, it means you shouldn’t keep your goals to yourself only. Telling people what you are going to accomplish could help you get the support you may need from others. If nothing else, it will put some pressure on your to keep your word to your Self!

Some people are too shy to tell others what they are doing in life for reasons like they are afraid they cannot achieve the ends, or they lack the courage to speak up their minds.

It’s time to fix this.

Sharing the fruits of your goals is uplifting to the mind and spirit.

AND…if you do get the idiot who tells you that you CAN’T do it, and you’ve “done the math,” then count your lucky stars because those people can propel you faster to achievement than you ever imagined.

4. Write down your outcomes. Post-it note them to your computer.

5. Stay on track and don’t give up.

6. Remember that EVERY new successful, wonderful result brings with it challenges, problems, and experiences that are painful that you are NOT expecting. Try and figure out what they are in advance so you don’t have be peeling off the wall when the fan gets hit by the sh….

7. Finally, life is about adjustment along the way. There’s never anything wrong and there is everything right about that. It’s coming whether you want it or not, so be prepared to adjust and alter your course, probably a few times.

Make your life….YOUR LIFE…go and GET what YOU WANT.

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