Help Me, Help You, Help Me

Ulysses and the Sirens – John William Waterhouse (1891)

In the realm of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) there is the belief that every motivator has two sides, an “away” motivator and a “towards” motivator. An easy example of this is, you are going to ask for that raise and treat yourself to a weekend out if works out. That’s a little bit of an away motivator and a towards motivator. At first, it may seem like it’s only a towards motivator. After all, there’s a carrot at the end of that stick and that stick isn’t whipping you. True, but the away motivator is not wanting to be alone on the weekend moping about how broke you are because you were too afraid to speak up.

Most people see their goals with towards motivators. Lots of money, an abundant dating life, having people respect you, and so on. When in fact, when you really look at it, what most people are really wanting is to not to be wealthy but to stop being poor. Not being a whore but no longer being lonely. Not having people look up to you but to just being noticed in the first place. These are the real hidden motivators that push people to act on their goals.

And that is why I am writing this here today. I want to get better. At what? Well, a lot of things. But at the top of my dream list right now is to play the piano. I’ve always wanted to learn. I play campfire guitar but even that I did because I thought other people would think it was cool. The piano, with it’s repetitive keys, is made for a nerd like me. That is why I am making a Ulysses Contract.

What is a Ulysses Contract? A Ulysses Contract is where you make a deal with yourself in the future. When Ulysses wanted to hear the Sirens’ songs, he put wax in his crews’ ears as he was tied to his ship. That way, he could hear the Sirens’ songs and not die as he was driven to madness. Obviously, if he didn’t have himself tied to his ship, he would have chased the Sirens to his death. He made a deal with himself, a Ulysses Contract.

Now here comes the part where you can make lots of money while bettering yourself. There’s a great new website called StickK was designed by a couple a really smart Yale guys. They don’t call it a Ulysses Contract but a Commitment Contract that you make with yourself. It’s completely free but you have the option of putting down a financial incentive, or “Stakes” as the the folks at stickK call it. There are also referees and cheerleaders. Those jobs are just like the names entail. So here’s my challenge to myself:

Learn to play Opus 28 by Dustin O’Halloran on piano,

by September 15th, 2014.

And here’s where you, the reader, come in. If I don’t reach my goal, I will give up to five people, $100 each. Yup, you read right. If I don’t learn how to play Opus 28 in a year’s time, I’m out five hundred big ones. Ouch. I can’t afford to be out $100 let alone $500. But that’s the point. It’s supposed to hurt. So if I can’t produce a video of me playing the piece, up to five people get a hundred bucks.

Now before you get all excited about signing up, there are some things I’d like from you.

  • If possible, I want you to also try to reach one of your goals. I’d then be your referee. We can help each other. Not mandatory but I’d like to help others too.
  • If I don’t do it, you have to take my money. I’ve done stuff like this before and when I’ve failed, my friend would be like, “Oh, don’t worry about it. You tried.” Nu uh. I need you to take my money and for the world to know I’ve failed. That is helping me. Giving me a pass would hurt.
  • I have to know you and you need to be an honest person. If I’m able to play like a mini-Mozart in a year’s time I don’t want you to let this pass by so you can steal a $100 from me. A deal’s a deal.

So here’s what you have to do:

  1. Create a account (it’s free).
  2. Add me as a friend there. My username is Hernandez.
  3. Notify me in the comments below if you’d like to be a referee on my piano challenge and thereby making you eligible for the $100.

And that’s it. Again, I’m limiting the possible payout to five people but the rest are more than welcome to follow and support my progress. I’m not sure if I’ll get ten responses or none. We’ll see.

Thanks and wish me luck. As you can see and hear below, I’m gonna need it!

Published by HernandezTony

I'm going to McDonald's. Anyone want anything?

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