Benjamin Hardy: 10x Is Easier Than 2x, How Dreaming Bigger Will Transform You and Your Business | E260

Benjamin Hardy: 10x Is Easier Than 2x, How Dreaming Bigger Will Transform You and Your Business | E260

Benjamin Hardy: 10x Is Easier Than 2x, How Dreaming Bigger Will Transform You and Your Business | E260

During the Holocaust, Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl was sent to a concentration camp. He survived by focusing on his one goal: to return home to his family. Frankl saw that once people lost hope for their future, they ultimately lost their life. Dr. Benjamin Hardy has applied Frankl’s research to his own life as an organizational psychologist. In this episode, Ben returns to YAP to discuss his latest book and how elite entrepreneurs can achieve more by doing less.


Dr. Benjamin Hardy is an organizational psychologist and the world’s leading expert on the psychology of entrepreneurial leadership and exponential growth. He was once the most popular blogger on the platform and his blogs have been read by over 100 million people.


In this episode, Hala and Benjamin will discuss:

– Letting go of the narratives of the past

– How to go from a 2x mindset to a 10x one

– Getting beyond the 10,000-hour rule

– Why deliberate practice is better than habit

– How to 10x your life and career

– The importance of psychological flexibility

– Why 80% of what you do is yielding almost nothing

– Four ways that entrepreneurs waste too much time

– How to achieve more by doing less

– The value of creating impossible goals

– And other topics…


Dr. Benjamin Hardy is an organizational psychologist and is the world’s leading expert on the psychology of entrepreneurial leadership and exponential growth. His PhD research focused on entrepreneurial courage and transformational leadership. Before completing his PhD, his blogs were read by over 100 million people. Benjamin published his first major book Willpower Doesn’t Work while running a 7-figure online training business. Dr. Hardy has published additional books, including three co-authored with the legendary entrepreneurial coach, Dan Sullivan. His books have sold hundreds of thousands of copies and he is a sought-after teacher and speaker at corporate and entrepreneurial events as well as Fortune 500 companies. His newest book, with Dan Sullivan, is 10x Is Easier Than 2x: How World-Class Entrepreneurs Achieve More by Doing Less.


Resources Mentioned:

Benjamin’s Website:

Benjamin’s Future Self Cheat Sheet:

Benjamin’s latest book, with Dan Sullivan, 10x Is Easier Than 2x: How World-Class Entrepreneurs Achieve More by Doing Less:


LinkedIn Secrets Masterclass, Have Job Security For Life:

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[00:00:00] Hala Taha: Young and Profiters, welcome back to the show. And I'm super excited for today's episode because it's with one of my all time favorite guests. We've got Dr. Benjamin Hardy on the show. This is the third time he'll be appearing on the podcast. Ben is an organizational psychologist.

He's the world's leading expert on the psychology of entrepreneurial leadership and exponential growth.

And he was once the most popular blogger on medium. com. He also has many books under his belt, including most recently, 10X is easier than 2X, how world class entrepreneurs achieve more by doing less.

In this episode, Ben and I will do a deep dive into some of his latest and greatest insights, including how to 10x your life and business. Ben, welcome back to Young and Profiting Podcast.

[00:01:57] Benjamin Hardy: Really happy to be with you. 

[00:01:59] Hala Taha: Okay, Ben, so last time we were on the show, we spoke about the gap and the gain, including how we can get better at connecting with our future selves. 

 and I can't even tell you how many people have reached out to me. Months and almost a year later of that episode airing saying that it's changed their lives.

So if you haven't heard it yet, I highly recommend that you go check out episode number 206. That was my second interview with Ben Hardy. And then our first interview, we went over your come up story and that was really inspirational. That was episode number seven. Yeah, I said that right. Episode number seven.

Ben has been supporting me since I was a baby podcaster, since before I was the podcast princess. So Ben, thanks again for coming on the show and for being such a big support of this podcast. Okay, so here's where I want to start before we get into all your new great content. I did want you to summarize the gap and the gain because like I mentioned, that was so impactful for me to learn.

And so many listeners reached out to me about how that impacted their life positively. And so for everybody who did not listen to episode number 206 yet, can you summarize for us the gap and the gain concept? 

[00:03:03] Benjamin Hardy: Yeah. So, One of the key ideas in psychology is, is that usually we take the past and we let the past determine who we are.

You know, like, I might have had something bad happen in my life, or even I didn't accomplish my goals, whatever it may be, and we let the past determine how we feel in the present. One of the, like, most important ideas in psychology is, is that it's not the past that determines the present, it's actually who you are in the present that determines the meaning of your past.

And so that's like a huge idea that we get to determine the value of our past, how we frame it, how we feel about it. And so the gap and the gain is a really important idea for high achievers. And obviously your audience is extremely high achievers. And so what high achievers typically do because they're always striving for the future is, is that they then, because they're never at that future, no matter how much we're trying to accomplish, we tend to devalue our past.

Even if our past was really successful, even if we Honestly, our life right now is where our dreams were in the past. We tend to devalue that because we're not at our past. And so the gap and the gain is all about get out of the gap, stop measuring yourself against where you want to be in the future, and actually start measuring yourself against where you were before.

Measure yourself backwards against your past self, and always do it and recognize that you're so much farther than you were before. So that's the gain. And it really takes you out of so much head trash. It takes you out of never feeling successful. Instead, your success is based on where you were before and the fact that you're always past where you were.

So There's just so much good in it, and I will just tell you, it always creates amazing momentum. And why I brought up the psychology part is that it's always in the present that you determine your meaning of the past, and so I'm always making progress because I'm always seeing that I'm not my past self, even a week ago.

Maybe a lot of stuff didn't go to plan, but I can still see massive gains, and I actually decide what those mean. So it's just really powerful to always compare yourself only with your past self. 

[00:04:50] Hala Taha: I love that. And like I said, I kept thinking about that conversation over and over again, and it's super relevant for high achievers.

And the one thing that I kept sticking on was this idea of you are not your past self, you're only who you are in the present, and you can only just work on your future self, and that also helped me with. Resentment I was holding on to from other people because then you realize that nobody is their past self, right?

Even if it was yesterday or ten years ago, the person you feel resentment towards is literally not that same person anymore. They've gone through new experiences. They don't think the same and they're literally not the same person. Any thoughts around that piece? 

[00:05:27] Benjamin Hardy: I think it's really important because, as an example, I think we often hold on to the narratives of our past way past due.

 Like I really love the 80 20 principle, and like obviously like the 80 20 principle is the idea that 80 percent of how you're doing things usually isn't that effective, 80 percent of it creates only very little of the results, where it's the 20 percent that really matters. Well, I look at the past the same way.

I think that usually at least 80 percent of your narrative no longer serves you, 80 percent of how you see. an episode of history, even a situation you're going through right now. You might be going through something really challenging right now, but chances are 80 percent of how you're looking at it or framing it isn't really useful to you.

And so like, as an example, even me, like, and there's actually a really good book. It's not The Gap and The Gain, but um, the good book is, there's a lot of great books on this topic, but one of them is called Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart. Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart. And it's written by a grief psychiatrist whose sons both died, and he was a grief psychiatrist for 30 years.

His name was Gordon Livingston. He's now passed. But he talks about how your narrative of the past or the narratives you have about anything are not fixed. They're always under constant revision. And that's actually how memory is as well. Like your memory is not an objective, like filing cabinet where you retrieve things.

Your memory is always something that's living in you now. And so your past is always something you're carrying with you. But even, even the people in your past, whether you frame them as villains or whether you frame them as heroes. is really just your own view of it. I mean, even me for a long time, my dad was a drug addict when I was growing up.

And I realized something even recently, I realized that that story of my dad being a drug addict is no longer useful. It's now in the 80%. Even though that story served me for a long time, and even though I acknowledge he's no longer a drug addict, Even the story of him being a drug addict doesn't really serve me anymore.

So the, the true story is that my dad is a hero and he really is. He overcame all of his addictions. He's now honestly like the best grandpa in the world to my kids. And so my dad is a hero. He's a hero to me, to my kids, to his grandkids. And him being a drug addict 15, 20 years ago is honestly irrelevant at this point.

So smart. 

[00:07:38] Hala Taha: It's so true. You're making my wheel spin so much. And this new book is really a continuation, I'd say, of the gap in the game. That's at least how I thought of it when I was reading it. And it's co authored by the great Dan Sullivan. Can you walk us through how The Gap and the Gain is connected to your new book, which is called 10x is Easier than 2x?

[00:07:58] Benjamin Hardy: Yeah, 10x is Easier than 2x is just an epic entrepreneurial book, which I was really excited to write. When I started writing books with Dan, we wrote Who Not How, and so I would say that 10x is easier than 2x, kind of, is like the steroids version of the first two books, Who Not How and then The Gap and The Gain.

When I first came to him and said, I'm ultimately the one who chose the books that we wrote, because I'm the one who wrote them, and they were written in my own voice from my own perspective, but I knew I wanted to write Who Not How, and then I dug deeper and deeper into Dan's work, and I was like, oh, he's got this really beautiful model called The Gap and The Gain, which I feel like has a lot of relevance to all the research in positive psychology, which is what I study.

And then as I dug deeper and deeper, uh, you know, I saw his ideas on 10x and it's very different from like the 10x conversations that are kind of typical out there on the internet. And so I was like, I really love this. And so I said, Dan, I mean, this is why I was writing who not how honestly, the first book I said, Dan, I really want to write three books.

I want to write 10x is easier than 2x. I also want to write the gap in the game. And he was very suggestive. He's like, well, if we're going to write all three of these, or if you're going to write all three of these, write the gap in the game first. He's like, because. If people are going to go 10x, like if they're really going to keep transforming their lives, and obviously you're someone who's very successful, you've done this many times and we'll show that the listeners have done it as well, but it really stops being an attractive approach to life.

If you're always again in the gap, because now the future just keeps getting bigger and bigger. And if you're always measuring yourself against a continuously. massive and an impossible future, then you're really going to like be in the gap. Then you're really going to feel like a loser and you're going to keep devaluing all the successes you have in the past.

And so mastering the gap and the gain really makes going for seemingly impossible futures. It makes it really fun because no matter how much progress you make, you're the one in the present who frames your past and it's always good. it's very beautiful because as you continually frame your past in a gain mindset, one of the big ideas in psychology is is that you get what you're looking for.

We call it selective attention, and often people are looking for the negative in their past. When you train yourself to frame only the positive, and only the ways in which you're past your past self. When you start seeing that, then you'll start creating more of it in your future. And so being in the game, not only, I would say, makes going for 10x enjoyable, it also makes it far more possible because you're actually utilizing your past more, which makes it a lot easier to create a bigger future.


[00:10:16] Hala Taha: makes a lot of sense. And just to get some level setting on some of the terms 10x, It's something that everyone's, like you mentioned, flinging around in the entrepreneurial world thanks to Grant Cardone and people like that. So let's talk about the difference between a 10X and a 2X 

[00:10:30] Benjamin Hardy: mindset. 

So one of the things we've already laid the groundwork on already from a psychology standpoint, and I'm just going to give you the base psychology and then we will go into like the deep mechanics of 2X versus 10X. 

 The common narrative is, is that the past determines the present. What I'm saying is, from a psychological standpoint, it's the present that determines the past. Far more powerful, far more agency, far more creative. In the present, I always determine my past. It does not determine me. That's super key.

The same is also true in the future, though. So what, what the traditional approach is, is what we call a linear approach to time, which is not how time works. But the linear approach to time is that the past determines the present, and then the present determines the future. And so A 2x mindset says is that who I am now, where I'm at right now, I'm just going to do more of that in the future.

I'll just double it. And so that is a very non creative approach to life. It's also a very non transformative approach. But it is very common because even when you dig into the research on future self, and I know that we've talked about this in the past, but most people, they take their present self and then they use that to imagine their future self.

And so then their future self looks very similar to their present self. And so that's very similar to what happens with the 2x mindset. The 2x mindset says, I'm here right now, let's just do more of it. I'm just going to do double of that. So the 10x mindset is the opposite. The 10x mindset takes the future first.

Albert Einstein said imagination is more important than knowledge. Rather than basing the future on the present, you literally base the future on imagination. You base the future on what you want. Even if that looks insanely different from what your present life is now, rather than using the present as the basis for the future, you actually literally use your imagined future as the basis for the choices you make in the present.

And so that is a far more powerful approach. So just to kind of lay it out, the future actually should be the basis for the present. The future should be the determining factor, or what I would call the filter, for the choices you make in the present. So it's the future that determines the present, not the present that determines the future.

It's the present that determines the past, not the past that determines the present. I know I'm like throwing out all this stuff on you. But when you actually do this, it's a lot more powerful. So now just to kind of really simply explain from like a mechanical standpoint, the difference between 2x and 10x.

Again, we use the 80 20 principle. So if you're going to go for 2x growth, what that means is that only have to change 20 percent of your life. Like if you want to double the amount of money you make or, or the amount of podcast episodes you've, you know, like your downloads or whatnot, if I want to double the amount of book sales that I have.

If I'm going for double, again I'm using the present to create the future, I really don't have to change that much. I can actually keep 80 percent of who I am. I think the main idea is you can keep the 80%. You don't have to change that much, you don't have to change much of your habits, your identity, your beliefs, you just have to change 20%.

Maybe it's work 20 percent harder, maybe it's do 20 percent more episodes, maybe it's X, Y, Z, it's not that much. Whereas 10x, because it is so massive, because it's so big, honestly, and you actually want it to be impossible. And the research, there's a lot of research on this, which if we want to, we can dig into it, but because it is so big, almost everything you're doing right now won't get you there.

Almost everything you're doing right now is a waste of time compared to that massive future. And so it being such a big future and a huge filter. You have to get rid of So that's the opposite. Whereas with two X, you can keep 80 percent of your life with 10 X. You have to get rid of 80 percent of your life.

And 80 percent means that it got you here, but it won't get you there. Only the best 20 percent can stay. And that's where you're going to go deep, where you're going to like, really like develop extreme levels of mastery and skill and whatever is relevant to the 10X you're going for. So it's really an emphasis on quality, not quantity.

Whereas 2X is just, let's just do more. 

[00:14:09] Hala Taha: And we're going to dig really deep on the 80 20 later on in this interview. Can you talk to us about 2X and how that's exhausting at times and self defeating? 

[00:14:19] Benjamin Hardy: Yeah, it's hugely exhausting because the truth is, is that you're already exhausted. Here's how I've heard it.

And I actually really love it. It's just that. Most of us are already maxed out. There's a really good quote actually that I love, which is that the system is designed to defend the system. So all of us already are hyper busy and we have a million things coming at us. And so to go for 2x is a really hard concept because, because it's so linear, meaning it's basically just doing more of what you're doing, the only Logical approach is just to keep doing more of what you're now doing.

Like maybe you let go of some things and emphasize others. But for the most part, it's just forcing you to do more. It's very brute force. It's very non creative. And also 2X is not big enough to help you discern what actually matters. It's not a big enough future to force you to really analyze, call it the 80 or the 20.

You just kind of keep doing more of what you're doing. And it's not going to inspire your team. It's not going to force creativity. It's not going to require enough change. You know, back to the idea, like you're going to keep 80%. So it's not going to require enough change for you to really start doing things differently.

You're honestly just forced to just do more, which in the end exhausts your team. It exhausts you. You're already exhausted. You can't work twice as hard. And so it's just not a powerful enough idea or a powerful enough future to start transforming you to start getting you to going in different directions.

That's why 10x honestly is better for your brain. It's better for your decision making. It's better for your strategy. It's just honestly a fundamentally different approach. 

[00:15:48] Hala Taha: It really is. I've had 500 interviews on the podcast and have never really heard this idea before. So you talk about this idea of quality over quantity and I know that you're really against the idea of Malcolm Gladwell's 10 hours to become an expert, right?

Can you talk to us about why you don't think that's the right 

[00:16:06] Benjamin Hardy: approach? Well, firstly, because it's not actually what the research shows on deliberate practice. Yeah, so I mean, I'm not like any, I actually love Gladwell's writing. And this is just something that's true of, of me in general, is like, it's very rare that I'm going to fully agree with, with what one person says.

That doesn't mean I can't get extreme value of it. I don't even agree with everything I'm saying, because like in the future, I know that I'm going to see things differently. I do agree with what I'm saying, but I also know. That in the future, I'm going to see things a lot better. And that's part of having a growth mindset is knowing that you don't have the perfect answer like you're always a work in progress.

But yeah, in terms of Gladwell and really in terms of deliberate practice, deliberate practice is a crucial idea in psychology. In fact, if you really even study James Clear's book, Atomic Habits, he talks very openly about the fact that he probably would have written the book On deliberate practice, because deliberate practice is actually how you get 1 percent better every day.

You don't actually get better through habits. And if you actually study the research on deliberate practice, deliberate practice is the opposite of habits. Doing something habitually means you're not, you're on autopilot. Like, you're actually not getting better. Whereas, deliberate practice means that you are going through a training process towards a very specific goal.

And then you're getting coaching and guidance and support on that and developing mastery. Honestly, it's about developing mastery. But the key point here is that it's the goal that determines the process. So, if you're going for, say, a 2x goal, that's going to require a different type of practice. Mostly, you're just going to keep doing what you're doing now.

Whereas, if you're going to go for a 10x goal, if you're going to go for a seemingly impossible goal, then it's going to force a very different path. It's going to force you down a different level of mastery. That's the whole idea of the 20%. That you're going to have to go really deep, developing very new skills.

And, you're going to have to get better. This is to what you were mentioning before, quality over quantity. The basis of going 10X, the idea of going 10X, is that it's a qualitative change. It's about changing the quality of what you're doing, and by changing the quality of what you're doing, the quantity will take care of itself.

Most people when they're talking about 10X are just like, just do 10 times more, or make 10 times more money. And the real essence of it is actually innovation, it's a transformation. So like, for me as an example, like I really look at 10X as an evolution. So it's like, as an example, a child going from crawling to walking.

That's a 10X. Whereas 2x would be a child trying to crawl two times faster. If a child's going for two times, it's not going to transform to the next level, which is walking. It's just going to freaking try to crawl two times faster. Whereas walking, once you've now gone from crawling to walking, you don't go back.

Like, you don't go back to being a crawler. I can say this, by the way, because I had twins. And twin girls, um, now they're like almost five, but one of them started walking four months before the other one. And so, like, one of them was running around, running upstairs, and the other one was crawling behind.

It's super funny. But that's kind of the evolution. So, like, I'll give another example. Going from a horse and a buggy to a car. That's a qualitative change. Yes, we're still in transportation, but cars change the game compared to, like, still, like, being in horses. And I use the example of music, like back in the 90s, it was CDs.

You had to go to the store, buy a CD, and you only wanted to listen to one song. Whereas Steve Jobs, he stripped out the 80 percent of music. He stripped out, you don't have to go to the store. You don't have to, you don't even have to like have a physical item. You can actually just buy the song digitally and have 99, you know, 999 of your favorite songs all in one place.

And so that was an innovation. That was the 10 X. That was the quality change was going from CDs to iPods. Now that he did that, now he can go a million X when it comes to the quantitative side, that's really what we want. That's why we want to get you to have a really high goal and go into deliberate practice, go into mastery is because getting 10 times better is really how you can go 10 X.

This makes a 

[00:19:58] Hala Taha: lot of sense and is really interesting. And a couple more foundational questions. The next one is really about being non competitive, because when I hear about 10X, I usually think about, like, beating the other guy, right? That's sort of the feeling that 10X gives right now when you hear that word, but you say it's actually non competitive.

What do you mean by that? 

[00:20:17] Benjamin Hardy: I would argue that 2X is more of a competitive approach. And I actually used a quote in that, in the section on this, if you're going to go for being the best, like, in the world, you're no longer really competing with anyone, but you're not even really trying to be better than anyone else, like, this goes into the idea of mastery and what Dan Sullivan would call unique ability.

Being a master is very different from being an expert. Being an expert means you're freaking good at something. Being a master means you are so good at something, like Picasso said, become so great at something that you can break the rules. The Beatles were not just great musicians. They were masters.

They were innovators. They were doing things that no one else could do. And so this hits to the idea of mastery is very different from expertise. Mastery means you are doing something that is purely your essence. One of the core analogies of the entire book, 10X is Easier Than 2X, we used the artist Michelangelo.

And the reason we used that story was because obviously he's someone who went 10X again and again and again, in terms of the quality of what he did. Like he was so amazing. If you've ever been to Italy, like you would know. It's shocking to see, and we're still talking about him 500 years later. But, the main analogy comes from him talking to the Pope, and the Pope asking how the heck did you create the David?

It's shocking how good it is. And he just said, I just kept taking away everything that was not the David. And so that's the idea of, one of the beauties of a 10x future, there's a few beauties. One is, is that the key is, is that it's not something you need. No one needs to go 10x. It is what you absolutely want, and you're being really honest with yourself about what you most deeply want.

And what you want will change. What your future self wants is going to be different from what you want. What you want now is different than what you wanted five years ago. But as you go through the process of peeling away all of the expectations of other people, or even competing with other people, and you're actually getting to the soul of who you are.

Which is all honesty, you know, all progress starts by telling the truth. Which is a key idea in addiction. But that's also true about what you want. That's what intrinsic motivation is. And so, as you start stripping that away, you start to actually do what you feel most inspired to do. That's what Dan calls freedom of purpose.

Where you're actually doing something because you want to, not because it has to do with anyone else. And you're actually doing it from a mastery perspective in a way that no one else could do it. As an example, no one else actually would have written this book. I'm the only one who would have, even though, like, Dan's idea was somewhat the basis.

He couldn't have written this book. I'm the only one that could have written it. And this is something that you learn when you're actually doing a deep creative work. And I have to face it every time. Every time I'm writing a book, I'm always actually looking for the right answer. And that's actually what school trains you to do.

They're like, at a certain point in the writing process, I finally hit the point where I'm like, there is no right answer. I have to actually make this up. And that's part of why it's so fun. Like imagination and, and just doing it your own way. And when, and when you really do that, and when you really go deep into what you most want to do and develop mastery, which is going really, really deep in the few things that matter, what we're calling the 20%, then there is no competition because most people are caught up in the 80%.

They're busy. And honestly, even if you think about products, there's actually a really, really cool book called It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be. And in that book, he honestly just talks about how the world actually, the world expects mediocrity. If you're buying a meal, like most meals that you buy aren't going to be world class, right?

Like most clothes you buy aren't phenomenal. Like most social media posts aren't that great. Like we're actually okay with mediocrity. And so if you're actually committed to doing something amazing, of course there's no competition. 

[00:23:53] Hala Taha: I love that. So much of what you say is so smart.So my last foundational question on 2x and 10x is that you say it can become a filter for everything that we do, that we can look at things and think, okay, this is 2x, this is 10x, and it can help us make better decisions. Can you talk to us about 

[00:24:16] Benjamin Hardy: that? Yeah, so this is just the idea that 10x is so big.

that it actually is impossible. I'm telling you, and I'm talking to like you right now, my friend that we're talking to one on one, but the listener as well, you getting to where you're at right now in your podcast and your show, from where you were at a certain point in the past, you getting here was impossible.

The odds of you being here were impossible. The odds of me being here and having written books that have sold over a million copies, if you had talked to the version of me back in high school playing World of Warcraft 15 hours a day with a terrible situation, it was impossible. And you achieve the impossible again and again.

And there's a lot of research on this. I actually go into it. One of my favorite researchers, his name is Alan Bernard. He studied impossible goals and constraint theory and stuff like that. Constraint theory being a decision making theory in business. But one of the reasons why you want to make your goal impossible, it's very healthy mentally.

It's very healthy and also really powerful strategically as well to go for something that is what you believe to be impossible. And what that ultimately means is that you honestly have no idea how to do it. Like you actually, you want it and you're like, well, I can conceive that it could happen, but I have no clue how to do it.

Why that is so beautiful is that now no longer are you going to be operating from your past knowledge and experience. Now no longer are you going to be operating from your past system. Instead, you're going to be forced back to the idea of filter to start looking for new ways, new pathways. I call it non linear because it's not the same as what you've been doing.

It's totally different and it's coming from the future, not from the present. And so it's going to look really different and it's going to force you to start making different decisions. And so yeah, I think everything can be either 10x or 2x. If it's 10x, that means that it's really exciting, it has huge upside, and it's very relevant to the goal that you want.

If it's 2x, it's usually just being done out of security. This is actually one of the, one of the emotional reasons. There's a massive emotional difference between the 80 percent and the 20%. The 80 percent is something you're doing out of habit. And a lot of people, the 80 percent will be a job. And by the way, things that are in the 80% possibly used to be in the 20.

I give myself as an example, like when I was a grad student, going to class was in my 20%. It would be terrible for me to go to class now. But also I was during that period of time as a grad student, like very committed to becoming a professional author. And so for me, I did a lot of blogging back then and that blogging and getting 10 times better at that, you know, to the idea of 10 times better proceeds 10 times bigger.

I did that. Tons, and grew a huge email list, hundreds of thousands of people, and got book deals. And so blogging was in my 20%. Those are the things that had huge upside that I wanted to get really, really good at, that if I got 10 times better at, boom, and I did it. But then, my next 10x, right, which was writing deep books that you and I could talk about, required me to let go of blogging.

So that became something that was in my 80%, and I could have continued it because I was good at it, but it would have held me back from the next level of mastery, the next level of deep work on learning about myself, right, peeling away the layers of the David. And so, I think it's just really important for people to understand 80 percent of your life right now you're holding on to because emotionally it's secure.

It could be a relationship, it could be friends. Letting go of certain friends, you keep hanging out with them because it's emotionally secure. Scrolling social media, whatever it is, whatever your habits are, even your job. You keep it because it's secure. And security and freedom can fundamentally be opposites.

And to commit to a massive future that then filters 80 percent of your life out says almost everything you're doing right now Is what got you here, but it's not going to get you to that next level. So then you have to ask the question, am I willing to let this go? Am I willing to let go of my security blankets to commit to the next level?

And I would argue, even if you, if you look at your own life, you've done this many, many times, you know, at a certain stage, you got really committed and excited about a future. And over time, you had to let go of a lot of aspects of your then life to go all in on the next journey. And so we've all done it, you know, if we're, if we've made massive leaps in our lives, and I guarantee everyone who's listening.

You have done this. 

[00:28:15] Hala Taha: Yeah, totally. So I want to stick on this Michelangelo example that you gave us, because I think there's a lot of learning lessons in what he did. So tell us the story of Michelangelo. You alluded to it a bit, but tell us the story about how he decided to create this statue and what was so unique about that story.

[00:28:36] Benjamin Hardy: Michelangelo. Yeah, his story is crazy. And I was really excited, honestly, to like deep dive it in this book. So, Michelangelo went through so many evolutions, and that's really, again, how I look at a, at a 10x. I look at it as an evolution, going from one level to the next, as a human, as a person, and then you're at a totally different level of potential, of freedom, of, of opportunity.

And so, I think there's a few really important points with Michelangelo to kind of highlight this idea. One was, first off, he had massive ambition. Like, the idea of 10x means you have, you have huge dreams, you have huge goals, and then you're willing to let those goals determine the choices you make here and now.

And then they force you to doing the important, not the urgent. The important is those 20 percent of things. And so for him, He wanted to be an artist and he worked in what was called the Medici Palace. And so he was, he was learning how to sculpt from like the masters and this was during the renaissance time and he was lucky enough to be in a situation where he could learn from someone, Medici was his name, who was, I think it was Lorenzo, I'm in a mix of the name, but Lorenzo de Medici, essentially.

People who know the history, you can slap me. But 

[00:29:47] Hala Taha: anyways, Some smart guy taught him how to sculpt basically. Well, 

[00:29:50] Benjamin Hardy: this smart guy was one of the most influential people in terms of making art really popular at that time, which was what was creating the Renaissance. And anyways, Michelangelo is a young teenager living in the Medici palace, learning how to sculpt little, like honestly, like little things.

And then Lorenzo dies. And so, Michelangelo is forced to go back to his home, and he is really inspired that he now wants to do something huge. This is his impossible goal. He wants to make a nine foot statue, full, like if we, you know, a full 3D statue of Hercules. And he wants to do this to commemorate his old mentor, and he's never done anything at that level.

 And so... He uses all of his life savings. He gets some amazing deal, gets some big block of marble and his dad doesn't want him to do it. His dad wants him to go get a job. And so he ultimately lies about it and says like that he got paid to do this. And that the person paid for the statue. I mean, he was taking some pretty intense risks, but ultimately he made this statue.

It took him like eight, like seven, eight months. And like, he made this Hercules. Like it was really good. And ultimately someone bought it for a good amount of money. But this right here is what I call his first 10 X because. Now he's done this big project. He's done this big project and he sold it. And so therefore, now he knows he can do something massive and that he can get paid for his work.

And before that, he didn't know that that was possible. Now he's got this new confidence, this new skill. He's got this new identity, and now he starts doing other projects. Ultimately, He goes from one level to the next, you know, he ends up getting invited to Rome to live with a guy. And that's where he ends up getting the opportunity to make what's called the Pieta.

The Pieta is one of his most famous statues. He spent two years on it. And the Pieta is essentially, it's in St. Peter's Basilica right now. Like you can, anyone can go see it. It's in the Vatican. It's like a huge thing of the beautiful Mother Mary holding Christ and Christ is dead. And what's amazing about it, honestly, is if you see it.

It looks real, but it's made out of marble. It's crazy. But the point is, is that he made that Pieta statue like four years after his Hercules. And if you compared the Pieta statue with his Hercules, they're non comparable. Like you wouldn't even think it was the same artist that did them because that's how much better he got over those four years.

That's the whole idea of quantity over quality. Like he went into an extreme level of commitment and extreme level of mastery. He made something that was so good. It could not be ignored. And if you look at it and like anything that's just like really game changing, it's because someone went really deep to do a good job, but because he did such a good job on that, ultimately that led him and he still had to be bold, but that led him to other great projects.

You know, when you start getting really good at what you do, you start getting bigger and better opportunities. to do important work, which will then stretch you to the next level. Ultimately, then that led him to doing the David. Then the David, which he took three or four years on, was the next deep stretch.

The cool part about him, honestly, is that he is always trying something. That's so far past his skill level that like, he probably won't succeed. And I think that that's a really good example of someone going 10x is like, you're trying something that's so far above anything you've ever done that you probably will fail.

And that's okay. Because you're in the game, right? You're measuring your progress backwards. But that's when you're really stretching. That's when you're really doing deliberate practice. That's when quote unquote, you're actually getting 1 percent better every single day, because you're stretching towards something that's so big, but also you're having to let go of most of the things that 80%.

And even 80 percent of your old ideas, 80 percent of your old techniques, they just don't work anymore. You have to keep getting really, really good at your craft and then going to the next level. And so he just did that over and over and over. And people, people think that someone like him was just born with it, but if you really study it, it's like, no, he stretched the crap out of himself every time and continued to keep pushing his own boundaries and it was never easy for him.


[00:33:48] Hala Taha: story is so fascinating and I know that a lot of the lessons that we can garner from this is really about flexibility, focus, and also that innovation is really simplicity, right? Can you talk to us about 

[00:34:00] Benjamin Hardy: those things? Absolutely. I argue flexibility, psychological flexibility is not talked about very much, but it's in my mind, like the super skill of psychology, it takes a massive amount of flexibility to commit to an impossible future or even to any future, a big future, and then to let that future determine who you are today, which is really what the purpose of the future is like having goals, having standards, the reason we have those is to alter our course here and now to get us moving.

That's what Viktor Frankl talked a lot about in Man's Search for Meaning. You know, they were obviously in a really painful situation. They were in like the rough concentration camp, right? And for him, it was, if you don't have a future to live for, then you can't handle this. Like, this life becomes miserable.

But if you've got a future that excites you and gives you hope, then not only can this be beautiful, but like, you can figure out ways to get there. And so, psychological flexibility is a few things. But fundamentally, it actually comes down to commitment. And what's really interesting about this is that from a psychology standpoint, identity is actually two things.

Your identity is the story you have about yourself. That's the narrative and that's what I'm calling the frame, right? That's the frame you have for your past and your future. That's, that's the way you see things, but it's also your commitment. Your identity is what you're most committed to. And so I see that as that's your standard.

So it's your story and your standard. And once you commit to something really big, you have to be flexible. So interestingly, commitment is the basis of flexibility because now. Because you're coming to something new and big, you now have to be flexible in figuring out new ways and new people, right? Those are the new ways and new people to get to that next level, but you also have to let go of the old stuff.

The old security blankets, the 80%. Like, it takes a lot of flexibility to not just revert to old habits. Like, to actually, like, say, no, that doesn't fit my future self. Like, I'm not going to do that. Even though emotionally you want to because you've done it a thousand times and because that's where you feel safe.

And so it takes huge flexibility. By the way, I just love this and I think your people will love this, but Dan has like a model of four C's. Maybe we even talked about it on our other conversation, but you always start with commitment. Nothing happens until after the commitment. Commitment then leads to courage.

And that's where you really have to start being flexible. Courage to actually start pursuing the new goal. You know, which you likely will. Like the child learning how to walk, you're gonna fall a thousand times trying to find those new ways, new people, new skills. But also it takes huge courage to let go of the 80 percent huge courage to maybe let go of your day job or huge courage to let go of whatever it may be that's holding you back.

And so that's the flexibility piece is just the letting go of the old self and the being the new self and the trial and error and all the emotions involved in that process. That's the flexibility. Let's talk about 

[00:36:41] Hala Taha: attention and focus because that's super important. You say attention is our most valuable asset.

A lot of people think it's time, but it's really attention. Talk to us about that. 

[00:36:50] Benjamin Hardy: Yeah. So the quality of your time is based on the depth and quality of your attention. To the idea of the 80%, right? If your attention is on the 80%, that means it's probably on a thousand different things, which means that your attention is surface level, not deep.

And the book that I really reference in my own book, in the 10X book on this is called Catching the Big Fish. It's all about meditation and consciousness. In that book, The author. he's like a famous filmmaker. But he talks about how your consciousness is like the ocean, and if you're shifting from a thousand different tasks, you're up at the surface.

It's like a computer with a thousand tabs open. And so you got to remove those tabs, remove the 80 percent so that it's literally not on your mind. In psychology, we call it cognitive load. We also call it decision fatigue, meaning if there's a thousand things you're doing, You're burning yourself out, you're burning your willpower down, and so the key is to remove all that.

Pass it off to someone else, who not how, right? Like, literally let someone else do it. Or get rid of it, because it honestly has no upside anymore. It's no longer relevant to your next future. And so what you really want to do is go deep. And this actually... It changes how you look at time, it changes how you look at your schedule, and it also changes how you look at flow.

So like, often people are trying to do way too many things. That's to the idea of their, their attention is at the surface. They don't even know what it means to go so deep that you actually transform. And so rather than trying to do ten things a day, like on your to do list, you probably want to do one or two, right?

One or two, but really, really well. Really, really deep. Because those one or two things... And the 20 percent have huge leverage, huge upside, like they're going to change the game for you rather than you just being busy on the hamster wheel. And so I think a lot of people, they look at flow, like I'm going to get into a flow state for 90 minutes.

But this view of flow is more like, actually, it's all about really, really going deep, deep on a few things getting so good. And honestly, just not having that much you're doing because you also have a team around you that's supporting. That's a big part of 10X versus 2X is with 10X, you're going to have to get a team, but you're just going deep on a few things, becoming amazing at it.

And one of the things I just have to say here, because it's something I've learned recently, anytime you want to go 10X, and this is true of businesses too. And I, I've actually literally been training companies that are doing hundreds of millions of dollars on these frameworks going for billions and even, even companies doing billions.

Even at companies at that level, companies doing hundreds of millions of dollars revenue a year and looking to go billions, whether it's someone who's just starting out going for 100, 000, or someone who's over 100 million going for a billion, it always, always comes down to almost only one who. Seriously?

Seriously. This is what we call the 20 percent who's. If you're going deep, and if you're wanting to go for an impossible goal, this is to the idea of filter as well, and by the way, your attention is your filter. You see whatever it is you're looking for. Dan Sullivan says your eyes can only see, your ears can only see, hear what your brain is looking for.

So your attention is a filter. And when you start going for those 10x or impossible goals, you will start to find. When the student is ready, right, the teacher appears, but it'll be a very different teacher, or it'll be a very different partner if you're going for 10x versus 2x. That's the idea of deliberate practice.

Just, your goal shapes your process, your goal shapes whatever you filter for. But, if you want to go 10x, If you want to achieve an impossible goal, it's going to come down to one who. If there is one who, that will change the game for you. That one who will bring a lot of other who's with them. But there is one who, even for a company doing 100 million, that will get them to a billion.

And if they're willing to find and filter for that, and if the CEO is willing to put their ego in check, they can find that who, and that who will take them to the next level. And so even for you, whatever your goal is, there is one who that will get you there. If you're willing to find that person, And partner with them and be abundant, not scarce.

You will go 10X.

 This is so 

[00:40:38] Hala Taha: awesome. So many great ideas. If we start to peel back the 80 20 rule a bit, talk to us about how we can decide what is the 80 percent that we should stop doing? How can we look at everything that we're doing as entrepreneurs? Or people who have regular jobs, whatever it is and decide, okay, this is the 80 percent that I'm going to stop doing so that I can focus on the 20 percent and achieve my 10X goal.

[00:41:02] Benjamin Hardy: So it's always the goal. It's always the goal that determines the 20 from the 80, right? Because the 20 percent are the few things with huge upside towards the goal. This is why you have to determine what the 10X is that you're going for. And that phrase is actually called fitness function. Fitness function is what is it you're optimizing for?

What is it? For example, my 10 X might be that I want to spend 10 times more time with my kids. And so in that case, my 20 percent is going to probably be deeply involved with my kids, right? So the goal is going to shape the process. And so you really want to get clear on what's the 10x that you want to do or what's the impossible goal that really matters and then that goal is going to create a filter.

And that filter is what are the few things that really matter in your life right now that you got to go deep on. Those are the 20 percent of things that have huge upside. This is actually something that Alan Bernard, and the 80 percent by the way, and I'll go into something by Bernard because it's really, really good, but the 80 percent is anything that doesn't get you massively towards the huge goal.

It may be something good. It might even be something that pays the bills, right? But it doesn't have the huge upside. It doesn't have huge leverage. Also, a lot of the 80 percent are stuff that's literally now holding you back. It's taking you the opposite direction of your goals. Like, toxic people, or it could be like an extreme addiction.

There's a lot of things that are in your 80 percent that are your past self, but they're not your future self. And there's no Anger towards your past self. Like your past self was a different person than you, what they needed in that time of their life. Now you're being asked to let it go. If you're really serious about your new future.

And so the 80 percent is just really anything you're holding onto out of security that doesn't have huge upside towards the goal. And the 20 percent is going to be stuff that's a lot more intrinsically motivating. It's a lot more exciting. I would argue it's either a strategy and activity or a relationship.

So there are 20 percent who's right? Those are the ones I was just talking about. The 20 percent who's are. And this is something that entrepreneurs usually learn way too late, is that usually they're trying to hire people in the 80%. They're trying to hire people to take over tasks that they don't like doing, and so usually they will hire people cheaply to just do a task, and those people aren't going to be the people who are going to grow your business very well.

That's a good start. Because now, again, your attention can focus on the high impact things, but you're not getting the kind of who's that are really gonna like, be amazing. And so you want to get 20 percent who's that are really, really good. So yeah, the 80 percent is just anything you're holding onto out of security that is clearly not dramatically moving you towards the goal.

And you 

[00:43:27] Hala Taha: said you wanted to bring up something by Alan, uh, Bernard. Yeah. Alan Bernard. Tell 

[00:43:31] Benjamin Hardy: us about that. It fits with the 80, 20. He says that there are four crucial ways that people waste time. And he's the one who's done a lot of the research on impossible goals. I reference his work decently in 10 X is easier than two X.

So he says the first way that people or businesses waste their time.the first one is, is, is that they're doing the wrong things, the wrong things as he defines it. Is anything that doesn't have huge upside towards the goal. So this goes to the 80 20 principle that 80 percent of the things you're doing, honestly are creating almost zero results.

A few things you're doing are creating almost all your results. A few of the people in your life are creating almost all your potential success. So the first way that people waste time is, is that they're continuing to do spend their time, invest their time, energy resources on the wrong things. And if you look back on your last seven days, just ask yourself, how much of my time was spent in the 80 percent of things that really didn't move the needle?

Whereas there's a few things I know that if I really invest the time, energy, and effort and get really good at it, maybe get support on it, that's the stuff that's going to change my life, right? So if part one. We waste our time because we're doing the things that are not moving the needle. That's the wrong thing, that's 80%.

The second way that people waste their time is that they're not doing the right things. Now, this may sound like I'm saying the same thing, but it's not. Because the goal shapes the process. So doing the right things is those few things that may help you achieve the goal. And if you're going for something that's impossible, what we've talked about, most of what you're doing right now won't get you there.

And so back to the idea of filter, if you're going for something that's impossible, you're Probably not doing what's required to get you there. That's why you want to start looking for those ways, looking for the opportunities, looking for the relationships, looking for the people. And so you want to start spending more and more of your time, figuring out the ways that would get you to your huge goal.

And so if you're not looking for and finding and investing more and more of your time in the few things that are going to get you there, you're wasting your time. The third way that people waste their time is, is that they actually are doing the right things, but they're doing them in the wrong way. And what that means is, is that.

They may, you know, me, if part of my 20 percent is writing this next book, that's going to be way better than any of my others and that this book is going to like, take me to the next journey that I'm looking to go on. Let's just say I am spending five to 10 hours a week on that right thing, but I'm doing it in the wrong way.

I put it at the end of my day when I'm tired, right? It's one of four things I'm doing. I'm multitasking. I'm like surfing social media. I'm not actually in a flow state. I'm not doing it right. I'm not getting the right coaching. I'm not getting the right support. And so, people maybe are doing the right thing every once in a while, but they're not doing it phenomenally.

They're not actually getting help. They're not getting better. You gotta get ten times better, and you gotta prioritize it. Design it in your life so that it's the only thing you do for most of your day, and you're really focusing on it. You're getting deep. You're getting better at it. Right? And then the fourth one, which is really, really interesting, the fourth way that people waste time.

Is it that they do not learn from their experience? And so they actually repeat errors one, two, and three over and over and over. Week after week after week, they continue to invest their time in activities, people, situations that aren't moving the needle at all. They're also not finding the few amazing right pathways, strategies, people that are going to change their life.

And then the third one is just, yeah, maybe every once in a while, they're doing the right activity, but they're just not getting any better at it. They're not doing it well. They're not prioritizing it. They're not putting it first. And so just That's a recipe for living week after week after week and not making a huge amount of progress.

Lessons are repeated until they're learned. As you're 

[00:46:48] Hala Taha: talking, I keep thinking about, okay, I need to go in my calendar and look at all the things I have scheduled and then decide if they're 2x or 10x. Every time I put down my to do list, I need to go through the actions and say, is this 2x or 10x? That's what I keep 

[00:47:01] Benjamin Hardy: thinking.

Can I tell you something? Yeah. This is a massive compliment. To you, because you, you are truly, you have an amazing standard. I love, I love your work. Me and my team did something pretty interesting like three weeks ago. I actually believe in the idea of pursuing impossible goals every 90 days.

So every 90 days we pursue impossible goals, call it no more than three. By the way, one of the most impossible things that people can do is let go of some component of their 80%. Because by nature, the 80 percent of things is things that we're dependent on, whether it's emotionally dependent, chemically dependent, or if it's dependent because it's our job, right?

And so one of the things that feels impossible is there's certain things that would feel genuinely feel impossible to let go of because your life is dependent on it. That's the idea that the system is designed to defend the system. There's certain things that just feel impossible to let go of because you kind of rely on it.

You need it. But anyways. We have some really big goals between now and the end of the year, and most of them honestly we won't hit. Um, not that we have a lot. I have no more than three goals at a time, but I'll be lucky if I hit any of them. But because we're going for the goal, and because the goal is such an intense filter, it forces us to make really intense decisions in the present.

And one of my massive goals is to Pretty much finish the book that I'm writing right now and talk about doing the wrong thing or not doing the right thing in the right way. It's gonna take a miracle for me to do this. And there's a few others, but we looked at my schedule. Like, this is the point, and I have an assistant who understands these principles, and so she was like, Ben, there's no frickin way.

If that's your true goal, let's look at your schedule. There's no way that you're gonna do it. I actually had probably 25 really great podcasts scheduled. And other, other things. And we just said, literally, we can't do, we can only do like three or four of them. You are one of the three or four. No, thanks.

Just because your podcast is epic. Honestly, we love it. But like, a lot of those other podcasts are amazing, and I really want to do them. But they didn't meet the filter of the impossible goal that I had. And so I did have to strip away almost I had to strip away at least 80 percent of the commitments that I had in my schedule.

I'll hopefully do a lot of those next year when I'm getting ready to launch that next book. But if I can't, that's, that's okay. Like my impossible goal forced me to filter so much harder. There was a lot of other, you know, a few other things that I had to let go of, but it's, I'll just tell you, it's really powerful.

Cause this goes back to identity. The filter is the same thing as the standard. Your standard, your commitment. Is what filters what you say yes and no to and when you, and that's why it takes flexibility because it can kind of be scary to let go of some of that stuff. But if you really start filtering from the impossible goals, you have to let go of a lot of things that you're doing because most of those things aren't going to get you that impossible goal and then it forces you to find those few right things or to go really deep on what you're trying to accomplish.

And so yeah, you're dead right, you're going to have to look at your calendar for the rest of the year if you're going to go for something massive. And probably at least half of it's going to have to get stripped out because that filter is so high. And then it's an invitation to you to go deep on the few things that have the biggest upside before the end of the year.

And I just say, I challenge everyone who's listening to this to set an impossible goal in the next 60 days, 60, 90 days, just because it acts as a beautiful filter. That's really what the purpose of the future is. The future is a tool for filtering and acting powerfully in the present. Basically a reflection of the future you're most committed to.

[00:50:19] Hala Taha: Yep. And then remember, you can free up that time, but if you don't have the right attention in that time, then it doesn't do you any good, right? So let's talk about letting go of that 80 percent because I think this is going to be the hardest thing for everyone. You talk about something called loss aversion and you give four common scenarios that people get into when they're trying to actually let go of something.

So I'm going to rattle them off, quick fire style. So let's talk about sunk cost bias. What is it and how we can 

[00:50:45] Benjamin Hardy: combat it? This is amazing. So sunk cost bias. All of these, by the way, are what are considered cognitive biases in psychology. They're things that lead us to making bad decisions. So sunk cost bias is essentially the idea that we hold onto things because we've invested so much into them.

And we do this in dumb ways, right? So like, as an example, maybe I'm 10 minutes into a movie that I don't like. I might keep watching it just because I'm already invested 10 minutes in. And so I'll keep doing something that I already know isn't moving me forward just simply because I've already invested in it.

We often stay in relationships, right? Or we keep someone on our team because we're semi invested in it. And so sunk cost bias is just the idea of the way they describe it as continuing to throw money at bad. It's just the idea that we continue to do something simply because we've done it so much in the past, and we feel invested in it, that we keep reinvesting more into it, even though we already know at this point that the juice is no longer worth the squeeze.

Maybe in the past it got us some progress, but now we know it's no longer a good investment of our time, energy, effort, resources, but we keep doing it because we are already priorly invested. And so that's one way that people keep the 80%. It's just, they're already so invested in this thing that I guess we might as well just keep doing more of it.

It's like, no, it's like, maybe that no longer works. One of the best things you could do is actually just like, let go of that thing because now it's, it's clearly no longer moving you forward. So let it go. 

[00:52:07] Hala Taha: Yeah. The next one is really interesting. The endowment 

[00:52:10] Benjamin Hardy: effect. Yeah. So the endowment effect is pretty much just the idea that we actually overvalue things that are ours.

Right? So this shirt as an example, because it's mine, I think it's more valuable than if I saw it on the shelf. In the store and we overvalue even our own ideas, right? We overvalue our own story, and so we may overvalue what we're doing because it's ours, even a certain relationship. It's just the idea that if it was someone else, this is one of the reasons why it's actually easier to give other people advice than to give ourselves advice because we overinflate the value of our situation.

Like it would be easy for me to tell some person who hates their job, right? Like just leave. But then it's like, well, what about your job, Ben? Like you've said, you've wanted to leave for a long time. I'm like, well, well, I can't do that. You know, like we just overvalue things that are ours. And so we're not objective with our own stuff.

And it's really powerful to just strip that away and realize I'm overvaluing this. This isn't actually what I really want. Yeah, 

[00:53:08] Hala Taha: I totally understand that perspective. Cause even like when it comes to like upgrading your iPhone or something, some people are walking around with super old phones just because.

They feel like it's such a big deal to get rid of their old phone. Okay. Consistency 

[00:53:21] Benjamin Hardy: principle. Yeah. So this one's really interesting. This can get people in a lot of trouble. So this is something that marketers like there's a really famous classic book by Dr. Robert Cialdini called influence. That book's really written for marketers and salespeople.

And he talks about this idea of consistency principle a lot because he says if you can get people to take certain actions, they're more likely to continue taking those actions because as people, we want our words and our actions and our identity to be aligned. And so you can get yourself in trouble acting a certain way or even being influenced a certain way.

As an example, maybe there's some flashy thing that you're scrolling and like you get hooked by some ad or something like that and you click yes, and then yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Because as people, we, we, we move with momentum. And so one of the things with the whole idea of the consistency principle is, is, is that as people, we've, for some reason or another, we really want to be viewed as consistent.

We want to be viewed by the outside world as consistent, and so that leads us to continuing to do things that are consistent with our past. Just because that's who we've been in the past. This can actually lead people to being stuck in old identity. Like, continuing to just be a certain way because they're worried about what old friends.

Oh, well, there's no way that Ben can now start doing that, like... That's not who he's been. And so, when you have a massive future, and you let that be the filter for who you are in the present, by nature you will be inconsistent with who you've been in the past. Because that future is massively different, even from your present.

And so you have to become comfortable being inconsistent, or viewed as inconsistent by other people. But psychologically, they call it the principle of consistency for a reason, as people we just want to be viewed consistently by outside people. That'll keep you in the 80%. Let's just say that. That'll deeply keep you in the 80 percent unless you, my argument is be consistent with your future self, not your past self.

But that's going to require you to be very inconsistent with your past self. Which is, again, psychological flexibility. You gotta be really comfortable with, with the emotions, with being flexible, with letting things go and to the point of competition or even being in the gap, no longer worrying about what the outside world thinks.

This is between you and you. How you measure your own progress, i. e. your past, is up to you. It's the present that shapes the meaning of the past. You're the one who's competing with your past self. You're, you're making beautiful progress, but also your future. is intrinsic. You're the one who chooses your future self.

Um, no one else really can. And so you gotta like let all of that stuff go. The consistency principle is pretty much just you trying to look good socially and not wanting to deal with answering some awkward questions. Why are you doing this now? It's not that big a deal. Most people don't really care. So you 

[00:55:58] Hala Taha: gave us some great, great advice in terms of how to get rid of that 80%, even though it's going to be really difficult.

The last thing I want to talk to you about, because I know we're running out of time, is this idea of abundance, why abundance is important to think about with all of this, and then also our unique abilities. 

[00:56:14] Benjamin Hardy: Yeah. One thing I'll just finally say about the 80 percent is, is that letting it go, Even letting go of bits of it.

You don't let it go all at once. The more connected you get to your future self and start operating as your future self. One analogy they say is you go from, you know, like be, be, do have you be who you want to be, you be your future self and you do what your future self would do, and eventually you'll have what your future self would have.

And there's really three levels. The first one is imagination. You start with imagination, having an impossible goal, and this will fit with abundance. Albert Einstein said imagination is more important than knowledge. And even Dr. Daniel Gilbert, Dr. Daniel Gilbert is a Harvard psychologist who studied this idea of future self for years.

He says that most people, they under predict who their future self will be. Because most people, they think that their present self will be their future self and so they just don't think that they're going to change much. Your future self can be ten times different than who you are today in beautifully inspired and desired ways.

You know, it's not like you're gonna just, like, have no control over what that difference is. But, like, I could be a far more thoughtful, caring, loving father. Deeply. I can also be way more creative. I could be way better with my money, right? Like, you get to choose those 10Xs, you know, whatever that looks like, going from one to one.

But you go from thinking, thinking about it, imagination, seeing it. And if, to the idea of abundance, creating it. Abundance comes from creation. Whereas, scarcity comes from competition. Scarcity is really about competing for scarce resources. That's a focus on money. Yes, money is a scarce resource. But creation is about wealth.

Wealth is something you create. This podcast, you creating this podcast, takes nothing away from anyone else. You created this. This is wealth. Me writing this book, this takes nothing away from anyone else. This is wealth. Wealth is value. And value can be created. And so that is an abundant world. That's a non competitive world.

And so, if I can imagine my future, and you go from seeing to feeling to knowing, what happens is, when you go from seeing to feeling to knowing, now you're connected to your future self, now you're committed, and then you start getting pulled. In psychology, we talk a lot about how there's either push motivation or pull motivation.

Push is 2x. Push is when you're pushing forward towards something, and it's hard. It takes a lot of willpower. When you start getting pulled by your future, then it becomes a lot easier to let go of your 80 percent because now you're so connected to your future self. And now you're getting to the point of knowing and you're being pulled that letting go of the 80 percent becomes easier and easier because it's no longer in alignment with who you are.

That's the beautiful place to be. Do you care if I say one other thing on abundance or wherever you want me to go on abundance? 

[00:58:43] Hala Taha: No, go for it. Go for it. Whatever you feel like. 

[00:58:46] Benjamin Hardy: So there's a really cool article that I recommend everyone Google and read, or you can put it in the show notes, whatever you want.

It's by Paul Graham, and this was really influential. It's called How to Build Wealth. And he literally talks about the difference between money and wealth. As I was just talking about, wealth is not money, but money follows wealth. And wealth is really the value you create. And this is why you want to get 10 times better at what you do.

Because If I can invest in myself, if I can organize my time and stop being so busy in the 80 percent and if I can carve out that time, maybe remove a lot of that stuff off my schedule or delegate it out, and I can then go deep, really building value, really learning something new or developing a new technology or developing something or providing value to someone else, that value, the value you can create can literally go up by 10 times, 100 times, 1, 000 times what you can do.

I'm just speaking genuinely. Like, The value I can create, I mean, I'm just saying this, like, I can get hired by a company doing hundreds of millions and I can help them go to billions because I've learned those skills. And that's so valuable to them. That's worth hundreds of millions of dollars to them.

Even the three books I wrote for Dan, those books are worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Dan and, and that business. And the only reason I'm saying this is, is that anyone, if they're willing to invest in themselves and develop skills, abilities, unique ability, right, then the amount of wealth that you can create for the world, the amount of value is.

Infinite. That's why it's an infinite game. It's not competitive. That's why it's abundant is because there's no end to the amount of value you can create and the amount of skill. If you think about Michelangelo, he was playing an infinite game. He was not playing a competitive game and he was creating things that literally are priceless and that's why it's unique ability is because when you really go deep in your own self and deep in who you are, the types of things that you can create, no one else could.

If you're being really true to yourself and developing that inner self and stripping away everything that's not the David, then the things you will create are so unique, the value you create is so unique that there is no competition. And it's such unique value for certain types of people that there is no price tag.

Like you can honestly charge whatever you want and it will be a bargain for them. I could charge millions of dollars to write a book for someone and it would be worth 10x or 100x that for them in value. And so it's incredible when you really stop playing the scarce. Compete for money game and you really go deep into value for specific people.

Now it's an infant game. Yeah, I keep 

[01:01:15] Hala Taha: thinking back to when you said, I'm the only person that can write this book. And for me, I think I'm building this podcast network that's blowing up right now. I just signed Jenna Kutcher and Amy Porterfield and John Lee Dumas. And it's growing so fast and I, I just thought about it.

I'm literally the only one who could create a podcast network like that because nobody else has my unique skills or a social agency or was a podcaster and so on. Yeah. 

[01:01:39] Benjamin Hardy: Or no one has your vision of your future self. True. Like you've got a future self that inspires you to do this. Yes, you have amazing unique skills, abilities, and desires to do this.

And no one else has those. So not only do you have the unique ability and skills to do it, but you have the unique future that's inviting you to do it. No one else had that future. Your future that you created and imagined and got excited about is shaping this 20 percent incredibly unique strategy that you're developing.

But that's coming from your incredibly exciting future that no one else could have come up with because it's your future, not anyone else's. 

[01:02:16] Hala Taha: I love this. This is such an inspiring conversation. So let's talk about your next big 10x goal. You're writing a book. Tell us about it. 

[01:02:23] Benjamin Hardy: I can't tell you the title, but it will come out in 2024, probably in August ish. And here's what I will say about it. So I'm no longer writing books with Dan Sullivan. I loved it. You know, we wrote three books together, Who, Not How, The Gap, and The Gain, 10x is Easier Than 2x. Those books are approaching a million copies sold, the three of those.

And they're amazing, and those books changed my life, but again, to the idea of the future is the filter. It was one of those things where, like, my next 10x future just invited me to say, like, unless our relationship changed and our deal changed again, I guess, I actually wanted to continue, but we couldn't come to an agreement.

And so the future shaped the present, we're all in the game. But after all this learning, and even since then, and even now, I'm like I said, I said training really big teams and stuff like that. What I have done ever since, uh, I grew up, because I went through a lot of, like, extreme challenge, trauma, and stuff like that, and then went through huge, massive transformations, serving a church mission, and then since then, I just love, that's really what I've been studying, honestly, for the past 15 years in psychology, is just human change, human growth, human development, letting go of the past, operating from your future, psychological flexibility, all this stuff, is just 15 years of learning.

I'm personally really interested in what I would call rapid transformation, quick learning, quick change, quick growth. And so, I think that this book really, like, this one that I'm working on, and I always learn from people who have done things way better than me. Like, that's deliberate practice, is studying at the next level.

I'm humbled. Like, I'm freaking humbled, but excited. I guess that's the beginner's mind, I'm freaking humbled by this book that I've written, that I'm trying to write. Like, it is, to the idea of Michelangelo, it is, it's an impossible book. That's why it's an impossible goal. Yeah, can I put 200 pages down?

Yeah. But not the pages I'm trying to write. Quality over quantity. Like, I am trying to write an impossible book. And I don't know if I can do it. And I've honestly felt that way with every book I've written. Like, I don't know if I can do this. But this one? This one, I honestly think this one could be one of those, like, it changes the game.

I really do. If it doesn't, who cares? But I think it will. I honestly think it will, but it's also, kind of like your, what you just described, like with your new business model. The book itself is going to also create this epic business that I already am now developing those 20 percent who partners, which shocked me that I could be partners with these kinds of people.

Like if you had talked to me like three or four years ago, I'm like, how would that person who's taken a company to 50 million, like they want to work with me. And so the book itself is also going to be a tool for creating epic stuff. That's fun on the business side, on the personal and spiritual side, you know, like I want to, I want to really deepen my faith.

You know, I've got six kids like, My oldest is 16, you know, almost. And so like, I really want to be a much better dad. So I'm, I'm just excited about all these new journeys, but yeah. Chances are you, and I'll hang out for the next book and we'll, we'll, we'll share it with people who knows, but you'll, we'll, yeah, can't wait to hear it.

We'll at least send you a copy. 

[01:05:21] Hala Taha: If you are looking to improve your parenting, you should check out Ben Greenfield and his Boundless Parenting. It's so, so interesting. Yeah, he just came on the show and he's 

[01:05:30] Benjamin Hardy: awesome. I know, Ben, so I'll, I'll check it out. Oh, cool. 

[01:05:33] Hala Taha: Awesome. Okay, so we end our show with two questions that we ask all of our guests, which I think you've.

I've done this a few times, so you're aware. The first one is, what is one profitable thing our young improfiters can do today to become more profitable tomorrow? 

[01:05:48] Benjamin Hardy: Throw away your smart goals, whatever your goals are. They're not smart. Go for an impossible goal. Well, first off, get connected to your future self, right?

Who's your future self? Imagination is more important than knowledge. We've already been talking about abundance. I really liked the quote from Jim Collins. He wrote the book, Good to Great and Good to Great is deeply important. Good is the enemy of great. The 80 percent is good. You're gonna have to let it go.

If you want to be great, you can't be great 50 things. You have to actually commit to that unique ability. But the main point here is, is that your future self, the 10 X version of them have no more than three priorities. Just choose a few areas and priority determined strategy. And so you choose the few areas that you really want to go deep on.

And transform, as I said, for me, faith, family, and then just the quality of my work. Those are my three. So have that future self, but then from there, start pursuing impossible goals that are related to that future self. Actually pursue goals that you think are impossible, but that you really want that fit with your future self and have impossibly high goals, impossibly short timeframes, however you want to go about it.

And then start finding those unique strategies and 20 percent who's. I'm telling you, your brain is a filtering machine. It's also a transformational machine. If you start pursuing impossible goals, you can do it every 90 days. At the end of 90 days, let's just say you don't hit any of them. You can review, be in the game, take all your learning, and then set the next 90 days.

And over time, you will become a master at taking things that you think are impossible and becoming extremely skilled at it. By pursuing impossible goals as a filter, you're gonna let go of things a lot faster and find those really unique strategies, those really unique pathways. And phenomenal partners, pathways and partners.

So that's what I invite you to do. Go for impossible goals. Those are the smartest ones because they're the most powerful filter. A 

[01:07:37] Hala Taha: big takeaway for me, as I'm hearing you say all of this is the who's that you keep mentioning. When I'm doing my project planning or my quarterly planning, I almost never think about who is going to help me accomplish my goal.

So I love that you bring that up. Now, the last question that we ask all of our guests on Young and Profiting Podcast is what is your secret to profiting in life? And this can go beyond financial, beyond business advice. 

[01:08:01] Benjamin Hardy: I think that it really comes down to value. Like just making sure that I'm investing in the right places.

Um, for me, profiting doesn't necessarily have to be money, but I'm fine with it being money, but it's just making sure that I'm focused on the things that I truly value. The important, not the urgent. The 20%, not the 80%. That to me is profiting, just ensuring that my future self keeps getting wealthier and wealthier, and that my present is focused, my attention is focused on the things that I truly value.

Love it, 

[01:08:28] Hala Taha: Ben. Thank you so much for all your contributions on the podcast, as always. Where can everybody learn more about you and everything you do, and where can everybody go find 10x is easier than 2x? 

[01:08:40] Benjamin Hardy: First off, I just, seriously, I'm grateful that we could spend some time. You are gifted and amazing at what you do.

So my website is benjaminhardy. com. Also I have futureself. com. If you wanted to get the free Kindle version, if you're in the United States, I know this is a huge audience and so you might not be, but in the United States if you put in the email on futureself. com you can get the free Kindle. futureself.

com forward slash 10x free is where you could get the free Kindle version of 10x is easier than 2x. Or otherwise you can just go to YouTube. I have a YouTube channel, DrBenjaminHardy. And, yeah, 10x is easier than 2x, you can get anywhere. One thing I will say about the audio version, is if you get the audio, like the audible version or audio, there are three hours of bonus interviews between me and Dan Sullivan himself.

Those are unique interviews on all three of our audiobooks. I interviewed Dan for about three hours. On each of them. And those are only on the audio book version. So a lot of people love those interviews between me and Dan. 

[01:09:36] Hala Taha: Awesome. I'll stick all those links in the show notes. Ben, thank you so much for joining us on young and profiting podcast.

I really enjoyed today's conversation, our conversations before it, and I can't wait to have you back on again.

 You know, I was so happy to have Benjamin Hardy back on the show. Every time he's here, I learned something new and this conversation was no different. I love his approach to time and how we determine our past and our future. And they don't determine us. It's such a transformational approach to work and life, and I'm eager to see what I can do to 10x my own business and life in the weeks ahead using Benjamin's insights as my guide.

So many of us fall prey to the 2x approach, to wearing ourselves out by trying to do more of what we're already doing, rather than looking for creative, strategic ways to do entirely different things that can expand on the 20 percent of what we do that has the utmost And it's that other 80%, according to Benjamin, that's holding most of us back.

So how can we then identify the ways that we might be wasting our own precious time? Firstly, by doing the wrong stuff. By doing things that just don't move the needle at all on our goals, and may even be counterproductive. Secondly, by not doing the right things at all, the handful of things that can truly help you move towards your goals.

Sometimes it takes time to figure out exactly what those right things are, but it's totally worth the effort. Third, we can waste our time by doing the right things in the wrong way. This happens when we multitask and don't make time to do the type of deliberate practice that Benjamin talked about. And finally, we can waste a lot of our own time by not learning from our experiences, by repeating our mistakes over and over and over again.

We may be doing the right things, but we're not very good at them and we don't get better at them. Sometimes, we can fix this through something as simple as paying more attention, giving more focus. Attention is one of our greatest assets if we learn to use it correctly. So go out there and set yourself an impossible goal and start figuring out how you can 10x your own life.

I know you will. But before you 10x your own life, help us 10x this podcast. If you listened, learned, and profited from this conversation with the incredible Benjamin Hardy, then why not share this episode with your friends and family? Believe me, they'll thank you for it. And if you did enjoy this show and you learned something new, then why not drop us a five star review on Apple Podcasts?

Nothing helps us reach more people better than a good review from you. You can also find me on Instagram at Yap with Hala or LinkedIn by searching my name, it's Hala Taha. And if you want to watch your podcast on video, make sure you go subscribe to our YouTube channel. Just search Young Profiting YouTube and it will pop right up.

And as always, I have to spend a little time at the end of my show to thank my production team. I've got an amazing team. I'm the luckiest podcast princess in the world. And without further ado, this is your host, Hala Taha, signing off. 

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