Tyler Jorgenson

One Entrepreneur's Journey To Find Greatness


The Rocking Chair Test – 31 DoBA – Day 10

There’s an important principle I want to share with you, some call it the rocking chair test.  I had forgotten where it was I first heard this but luckily the internet has a much better memory than me.  I’ve learned it both as ‘Future Pacing’ in NLP and ‘The Rocking Chair Test‘ in Anthony Robbins’ NAC.  Robbins has a knack for taking stuff that is a bit science-y and making it easier to understand an apply in real life.

The test is used whenever you are at a cross roads in your life.  It could be any sort of decision from taking a vacation, venturing into a new business, quitting your job or making a new connection.  This is what you do:

Close your eyes.  Imagine yourself, 80 years old and retired, sitting on a rocking chair on the front porch of your home.  In this future state reflect back on your life.  Now imagine if you did NOT take the step you are considering.  Experience the pain you feel, if any?  Now imagine that you DID make the decision you’re considering and were successful.  Experience the pleasure you feel in having made the decision and having been successful.

If you felt pain when you thought back on not moving forward with a decision then it may be something you should do.  If you did not feel pain then you should not worry about the decision too much and you may be better served focusing your time and energy on other things.

Why this matters?  Too many times we stress and worry about decisions when they usually crucial.  If they don’t pass the rocking chair test they don’t deserve your stress.  If they DO pass the rocking chair test that does not give you an excuse to worry.  Instead you now know you should focus on and you don’t have to think about the ‘should I’ part of the equation any longer.

Doing this test is one of the reasons I’m at USC right now and helped in my decision to transition out of real estate.


What Motivates You?

Pain or Pleasure?

A friend of mine has a great post about motivation. His friend is building a mansion in Santa Barbara as a speculative investment and is considering moving in rather than selling, even though the market is hot enough to sell, so that the mansion will motivate him to achieve greater goals. Deyl asked: Do you think there is anything wrong with a material thing like a house being a motivator to work hard and smart? He has received some great responses so far.

What I find interesting about choice is that all of our choices in life come down to our desire to gain pleasure and our need to avoid pain. Think about it. From the very simple decisions in our lives to the most complex those two factors are at the root of our the choice we make.


Ask a woman why she spends hour(s) every morning applying makeup and doing her hair. The answers are likely to be either because doing so makes her feel pretty (pleasure) or because not doing so may garnish some ridicule (pain).

You can go through any choice and break it down to these two factors. When the light turns red you stop to avoid pain. Even if you are certain no cars are coming you don’t want the pain of having to pay for a ticket and the serious agony of sitting in traffic school. If you give to charity, what is your motivating factor? Is it because you want the pleasure of helping somebody? Do you not want the pain of higher taxes and want the pleasure of a nice write off?

Understanding these two principals is helping me understand what drives me and what influence the decisions I make. I am currently in the middle of a few real estate deals that are generating a bit of stress, but the idea of the payout and the pleasure it will bring motivates me to make the deals work.

Just because we are driven by pleasure and pain doesn’t make us bad people. If the things that we associate pleasure to are being able to contribute back to society then that’s a good thing. If you get pleasure from knowing that you are providing for your family, creating employment, promoting commerce, etc then building a nice house for you and your (6) kids is a great thing. Especially if it’s going to motivate you to take on more ventures that are likely to continue the cycle even more. So, Deyls’ friend, build on and love your home. Enjoy the pleasure that comes from the sense of accomplishment and knowing that you are living in something that you envisioned from a bare lot and a bunch of sticks.

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Ben Affleck and Matt Damon – Hypnosis

I am a big fan of eliminating vices out of our lives. It was great to see articles pop up about Ben Affleck telling Oprah that he had finally quit smoking. An interesting part of all of this is that both he and Matt Damon used hypnosis to help them quit. Affleck mentions that the “guy just sat there and told me nicotine is poison.” Hypnosis allows us to change our neuro associations more rapidly, and so under hypnosis Ben was able to make the changes to his mental perspectives on smoking. What vice in your life could you cut out simply by thinking of it as a painful and negative experience and associating greater pleasure to abstaining? If you’d like more information on how to make changes rapidly, let me know and I’ll post more on the topics of NLP and Hypnosis.

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