The 10 Minute Lie To Change Your Life

June 2018 - James Hill

Most walk around with thousands of incomplete to do lists. I didn’t have thousands. I had encyclopedias.

Everything I wanted to do remained unfulfilled until I learned the central tip of this article. I wanted to get fit. I wanted to be rich. I wanted to learn other languages. I wanted to be anxiety free.

But I never did anything worthwhile.

I Failed At Everything.

I failed high school but still somehow got into university. But failed that too. I then got a crap job. And then more crap jobs. But I turned my life around because I learned a mind trick to defeat my pathetic ways of procrastination.

This Is What I Do Now 

Each day, I write for at least four hours. I study Japanese for at least two, I work out which takes one, have a standard eight hour job and keep my wife happy which takes hours. I also meditate for an hour.

Previously, I struggled just doing one of these things.

My wife would disagree, because she disagrees with everything that I say, but many would now say, I live a productive life.

The 10 Minute Lie That Changed My Life

My life changed when I decided to exercise on a daily basis.

But the trick was, if I lied to myself and told myself I would only exercise for 10 minutes, I was far more likely to get off the couch and actually exercise.

And generally for much longer than 10 minutes.

After a few weeks, I had no resistance to exercise and I soon dropped 20 kg (44 pounds).

I started applying the principle to everything to defeat procrastination.

Learning Japanese 10 Minutes a Day

I hate studying Japanese but I wanted to speak fluently. These two statements are essentially incompatible.

But then I started lying to myself again. 

“Study Japanese for 10 minutes and then quit for the day – that’s enough!”

But once you start studying, it’s relatively easy to continue past the 10 minute mark.

Daily 10 Minute Meditation Sessions

I watched a YouTube video on language learning and meditation.

Allegedly, meditation increases your brain power to learn faster. So I started meditating for 10 minutes a day.


It helped ridiculously. 


My concentration and focus jacked up about 10 notches. And my anxiety and depression were essentially gone. Much like the effects of my friend’s hypnotherapy sessions (Michael Pattinson), meditation had a powerful effect.

After about two weeks of doing these mini meditation sessions, I noticed that I had logged, on average, about three of these sessions a day.

Meditation also seemed to have an effect on my love handles. Even after losing 20 kgs, I still had love handles. I read somewhere that the tyre around my stomach was in fact, caused by high cortisol levels. Meditation reduces cortisol. Meditation helped me drop more weight.

Meditation has also increased motivation and willpower. I find the energy to do crap that I never enjoyed before.

Like exercise, and language learning, there were some days where I only completed 10 minutes of the said activity and quit the task until the following day.

Log The Lies!

One key ingredient is the act of logging. Logging is critical to the success of this strategy. When you’ve logged the task for two weeks, you don’t want to screw up and not do 10 minutes in order to tick that box on the 15th day.

I use a free iPhone app called Strides. It has a paid version as well. It reminds me to complete the 10 minutes tasks throughout the day. It has helped tremendously.

Consistency Is The Key To Productivity and Success

  • Write down your goals.
  • Set 10 minute daily activity tasks that enable progress towards them
  • Spend more time on those tasks only if you feel like it.
  • Log the actions and with the effects compounding. You’ll progress and move towards your objectives –  feeling good in the process.

My next post will be on meditation and how I meditate. I learned the skill from Michael.