I recently took Shaan Puri’s writing course Power Writing.
It was good. We learned about writing cold emails, internal memos, landing pages, etc. I learned some good tricks and frameworks to make my copy stronger and punchier.
Funnily enough, the best part about the course had nothing to do with writing.
I learned just as much (maybe more) about the importance of having infectious energy and a positive mindset. About taking yourself less seriously and dropping the formality — not just in writing but in life in general.
Shaan says he built his career around ‘doing the uncommon to get uncommon results.’
Training yourself to show up daily with a high-energy mindset (regardless of the circumstances) is uncommon.
Here are 5 philosophies and frameworks I learned from Shaan to do just that.
Be a 5-Star Student for a 5-Star Experience
If you want a 5-star-experience, you need to show up with a 5-star attitude.
Be energetic, speak up, show some personality, and engage with people.
Sit up straight. Smile. Put in the work.
That applies to the context of an online course and pretty much every other situation in life.
I’ve walked away from many meetings moaning, “ugh, that was so boring, and no one said anything!”
Did I say anything? Did I try to keep the energy high?
Or when I complained about how unfriendly the service was someplace.
Did I show up as a 5-star customer in a 5-star mood? Probably not.
You can’t expect great experiences and positive attitudes from people if you don’t bring that yourself.
Show Up With a “Honey — I’m Hooooome!” Mentality
Most people look at others to set the tone or energy level in a room (or Zoom call).
But what if you were the one ingesting high energy, just by how you show up and say hello?
There’s a big difference between coming in with a “I’m home” or “Honey… I’m hoooome!!” mentality.
Try it — say it aloud and feel the difference in your energy. When I do it, I notice I’m straightening my back, pulling back my shoulders, chin up.
Practice showing up with that little burst of extra energy.
And it's not necessarily your responsibility to maintain that energy. You just have to initiate it. People feed off each other’s energy and it will spread.
Of course, it’s not about being fake or over the top, and it obviously depends on the context. You need to be able to read the room and know when it’s appropriate — but here's the thing:
It’s appropriate more often than you’d imagine.
So, let’s stop being so timid and squeamish. Drop the formality and politeness, and see what happens.
This philosophy made me think of David Perell from Write of Passage, an online writing course. He would show up to each live session, jumping in his seat with excitement. Wide smile. He’s screaming and shrieking, clearly not concerned about looking ‘cool’. He leans into his weirdness and enthusiasm, which is incredibly infectious. I can’t imagine he feels that energetic every day of a live session, but regardless, that’s what he brings and how he sets the tone.
Put Your Personality on Full Blast
When you do that, you will attract the right people.
Sure, it won’t be for everyone.
I can imagine Shaan puts many people off (just listen to one of his My First Million podcast episodes; I’m sure you’ll quickly know which camp you fall into).
But that’s not the point. You don’t need to, nor should you want to, appeal to everyone.
Have the courage to be different and to stand out. Be more brazen, more direct. Inject your writing and your style with energy.
Don’t give in to the pressure to self-edit too much.
That’s why I love Shaan’s style of writing — the humour, the quirkiness, the cultural references. Even though I am not interested in crypto or finance, he’s become one of my favourite online writers. I often laugh out loud while reading his stuff and feel a level of ‘connection’ I don’t feel with other writers, no matter how good the content is.
And that's also what I want my writing to be like: valuable content only I could’ve written because it’s oozing with my energy and personality.
Show Someone What They’re Capable Of
Imagine this scenario:
You just delivered a presentation, and you don’t feel like it went very well.
You’re talking to a colleague afterwards about how you felt like you were speaking too fast, and how the videos weren’t working properly. You’re nitpicking on the things that did not go perfectly.
Low energy all around.
But this colleague meets every complaint with a positive response.
“But you kept your cool, and you looked so confident!”
“I couldn’t tell you were nervous!”
“You killed it in the Q&A — your responses were bulletproof!”
You won’t be able to help but change your attitude and start seeing yourself as the confident and persuasive version your colleague is describing.
Now, there’s an obvious point to make here . It’s not at all about being false or lying to people.
It’s simply about projecting the energy and the attitude you want from people onto them.
It’s about pulling people up and helping them re-direct their energy.
Show them they’re capable of more than they believe.
We’re all incredibly sensitive to this stuff.
Become a Plateau Master
When you just start out with a project, you are full of energy and motivation.
But then, deeper into the commitment, you will hit a few obstacles. Things get harder and less fun until you hit a low point where you feel stuck.
You’ve hit a Plateau and you don’t know how to move forward.
Shaan says that when he was younger, he used to overreact to these types of situations. He was working in Silicon Valley, surrounded by overachievers and success stories, and felt worthless whenever he’d hit a Plateau.
Over time, he learned there are 3 ways to handle Plateaus:
- Dabbler: Progress stops, motivation drops. You give up and move on to the next thing. You start to believe you’re simply not disciplined or resilient.
- Stresser: You get stressed, anxious and panicked. You grind your way through but don’t enjoy anything in the process.
- Master: You greet the obstacle like an old friend. “Ah, there you are again, I thought I’d be seeing you soon.”
The goal is to become a Master and to break through these plateaus whenever they show up — because show up they will.
Now how do you do this?
Plateaus are an inevitable part of the growth process. Don’t try to fight or resist them, and don’t berate yourself either.
No obstacles = no growth.
#2 Get in the right state of mind
A Master is prepared for the negative force that will hit at some point and has worked out a system to rely on, knowing this will get them into the right state of mind quickly.
Shaan talks about the 3 x M’s:
Music: Put on music that gives you energy. Have a playlist ready to go so you don’t spend time thinking about which songs to play.
Movement: Get up, and move to a different room. Any physical change will do. Do some squats or push-ups. Even better if you go outside for a walk. Movement increases blood flow to your brain, delivering the oxygen and nutrients it needs to operate better.
Meaning: Instead of getting frustrated with yourself, re-frame the moment in a way you can learn from. Tell yourself:
- This is an opportunity to try a different approach.
- This is a chance to get more creative.
- This is a challenge to sharpen up my skills and learn more.
Research has long shown that positive emotions broaden the number of possibilities we process, making us more thoughtful, creative, and open to new ideas.
That’s the kind of high-energy mindset you want to be in when hitting a Plateau.
#3 Start asking your brain questions
Once you’re in the right state of mind, you can approach the situation positively and constructively.
A couple of questions I have found helpful:
- What is an obvious mini-task I can do right now? The aim is to regain control of your emotions by focusing first on small, manageable goals. The best thing to do here is a brain dump, write down all the tasks and thoughts, and define the first thing you can do. Once you’re moving, it’s easier to keep moving.
- What would it look like if this was easy? This is a question inspired by Tim Ferris. Far too often, we convince ourselves that things need to be difficult and if we aren’t in some mental turmoil, we are doing something wrong or not trying hard enough. As a result, we unintentionally make things more complicated than they need to be. So, answer this question seriously: what would make this easier?
- What would X do? Is there someone you look up to? Just imagining what this person would do or say or react can help. How would they react? What would they do to move forward?
#4 Be patient
Keep in mind: everything starts as an uncertain mess, with obstacles and setbacks along the way.
The best thing you can do is to embrace the uncertainty and discomfort. The process will get you there if you trust it.
Be impatient with action, be patient with results.
Ending On a High Note
Some people might walk away from reading this saying “How basic. Of course it‘s good to have a positive mindset. Duh.”
But think about — how many people do you know that consistently show up with high, infectious energy, regardless of where they are or who they are with?
There are exceptions for sure (and they stand out), but from my experience, it’s rare.
And that’s because it’s not easy. It takes time and effort, but it is a skill we can all learn using these techniques and frameworks:
- Be a 5-star student for a 5-star experience
- Show up with a “Honey — I’m hooooome!” mentality
- Put your personality on full blast
- Show someone what they’re capable of
- Become a Plateau Master
The Power Writing course is part of my Year of Creative Experiments.