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I’m a lazy guy. I need to hack my way through life in order to get the most basic things accomplished. I find it hard to establish new habits, just like almost every human being. And that’s why time travel is so useful to me.
But I don’t go back in time, I work forward. So I don’t even need a complicated time machine to mess with the order of the universe. It isn’t necessary to channel 1.21 Gigawatts of electricity while traveling at 88 MPH or anything like that. I didn’t spend countless hours working at a blackboard with esoteric formulas to come up with my system.
Want to find out how you can use time travel to get things done in your life? Want to reach forward and make time (and your future self) your pawn in the game of life? With a little bit of forethought, you can do just that.
One of the basic problems we humans have is a lack of motivation at the moment. Sure, it sounds like getting up early tomorrow and writing is a good idea- today. But tomorrow morning, that alarm will go off and you won’t be on board with that nonsense. The bed is so warm and comfy. Getting up would take effort and almost hurt. Just hit snooze, about 6 times. Oops, it’s too late. Might as well forget it, not enough time now!
Same thing for an exercise routine. You might be all stoked to get the benefits of working out every day, and ready to start tomorrow. You pick out some exercises you are going to do, and plan on 7:00 AM to get at it. Then, tomorrow gets here. It doesn’t sound like much fun, and even starting is a pain. Maybe tomorrow.
Maybe you are the kind of person that has an easy time starting a new routine but a hard time keeping it going for more than a week or so. Once the shiny new wrapper is off and you settle in, showing up gets to be a chore. The habit hasn’t yet formed, and the glow is gone. The activity just falls by the wayside.
Back at square none.
This has happened to me so many times that I am really hesitant to try new things. Unless I implement the Evil Mastermind plan. With this formula, I know my odds are so much higher.
It’s simple, really. Your current self, in this moment, can decide what your future self will do without paying the price in the moment. Deciding today that you will get up early tomorrow costs you nothing right now. It only hurts your future victim, tomorrow you. And that tomorrow you needs to be conned into it so fully that they won’t back out. Using your evil genius mind, you can devise traps for the future so they are forced into becoming the hero in this story. By setting up events so they can’t fail, or at least so it’s less likely, you can manipulate the future.
Evil Genius At Work — Example From My Life
I practice yoga nearly every morning, and this is a daily habit for the last few years. But it wasn’t so easy for me to get to this point. I really struggled to get up early enough and fit in yoga before going to work. I wanted to do it for months but just couldn’t seem to get any traction on myself. I didn’t do what I decided I should do, because it seemed like too much work.
I knew the physical benefits would be amazing if I could just get on that mat every day. So I had to get creative.
I printed off a plain old wall calendar from a free template online and hung it up, and put a pen right there. Every time I finished a yoga session, I would cross off that day. It was really easy for my current evil genius self to plan out how I would document future victim self’s work and suffering.
Then, every night before bed, I set every single thing up that I could to make everything so easy a brain-dead morning zombie could pull it off in his sleep.
I queued up a YouTube video of the next morning’s yoga session and saved it so all I had to do was push play. Wasting time looking for it in the morning while trying to wake up would be a major distraction and use willpower that my future self couldn’t spare.
I rolled out the yoga mat the night before. And I put it on the path to the bathroom, so even if I was walking around with the lights still off I would step on it. A big reminder that I planned all of this the night before.
I picked a new alarm tone that I never used before and made the effort to plug my phone in a few feet away from the bed. That way I needed to actually move a little to get to it. I set a second alarm, also a new tone, for 5 minutes later. This one was just a backup.
I made myself a one-page sign, where I wrote “YOGA!” in big black letters. I put this sheet beside the phone, knowing that even in low light I would see it.
All of my preparations made, I settled back in my evil overlord layer (my bed) and waited for future me to spring the trap. It turns out that due to unconsciousness while sleeping, I didn’t have long to wait.
It wasn’t a fun week. I hated the new routine, which required me to get up at least 45 minutes early. That second alarm came into play almost every day. I cursed my evil past self for signing me up for this bullshit. And then I got out of bed each morning and did the thing.
Image by Keifit from Pixabay
There were a couple of mornings in the next month where I missed the mark. Both times the problem was that I didn’t set myself up for success the night before. I didn’t set the alarms and put out the mat. I just shrugged and did a better job of being an evil past self, and remembered to prep for the next morning.
And now, more than two years later, I’m like a trained dog. I just get up when the bell rings and I do the yoga. My body is in amazing shape and my peace of mind is through the roof from all the mindfulness practice the yoga gives me. It was so worth the effort of getting to this future self who does yoga daily.
I started using these tricks on other things I wanted to start doing more consistently and was amazed to see that it worked for most of them, too. And now here I am, the proud owner of several life-affirming habits.
Remember, planning to do something is easy and fun. Setting traps for people is also fun, especially if no blood will be involved. Why not engage with your inner evil genius and mastermind your own future? Here are some ways you could use it to change your life.
And if you want to set up a wall with lots of red string and pins and pictures, go for it. Just remember that if the cops raid your lair and find a wall covered with crisscrossing red string, they will draw some conclusions you maybe don’t want them coming to.
1. Plan what you want to do.
Every evil genius worth his salt is a master planner. Planning is pretty easy work. It’s way easier than the actual doing, and that’s why every mastermind gets someone else to actually enact his plans. We can use the same trick by planning now what our future self will be doing.
Just get a pen and paper, or the notes app on your phone. Drill down to an actual goal. Don’t just put “ I want to be a writer” on there. Too vague. Instead, try something like “ Write 500 words a day” or “Write one article every morning.”
If its for exercise, a goal might be “One workout Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday off, workout on Friday and Saturday, Sunday off.” Or maybe “3 runs per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.” Being specific about what each workout is and when it will happen helps a lot.
2. Set up a way to keep track.
Image by forium from Pixabay
I like to use a calendar on the wall. Some people use the reminders app on their phones. The idea is you can get a little mini reward after you complete the activity, a small dopamine hit for crossing off that day, or ticking that box. It shows you that you really are the hero of this story.
This will help with your mastermind preparations, too. As you sit in your lair looking at the calendar and the progress marked on it, you will feel the joy of seeing all your plans coming to fruition. You can rub your hands together and say “Good, good.” Insert Family Guy imagery of large evil mastermind beetle sitting on the sofa here.
3. Smooth the path
Make everything as easy as possible. You want to follow the line of least resistance so that before you know it, you are right there ready to do the new habit. You don’t want your future self to have a whole bunch of distractions and choices needed in order to get down to business. You want to just fall right into it, without any work on dumb little tasks.
If writing is a new habit, then the tools of the trade need to be ready. The laptop should be set up, at the desk or table if possible, cord plugged in, and mouse right there. Pick your topic for your article the night before and have a few writing points on a sticky note, or have the chapter title in your book ready to go. If you listen to music, headphones/earbuds should be there waiting for you. All you need to do is get to that keyboard and start creating.
An exercise habit is no different. You can have your workout clothes ready, all you have to do is put them on. You need to have your music playlist pre-made, loaded, and ready to rock and roll. If you are doing sets of exercises with reps, a list of the day’s activities and weight sizes all written out could be really helpful. If you are using an app for the exercises, have it all ready and set up ahead of time. The only thing you should have to do when you get there is work out.
If you are a runner, plan your route the night before. Have your shoes set out, check the weather so you can pick the right clothes or make any adjustments to your gear. Make it really, really simple. Just put on your gear and get out that door.
4. Set an alarm or reminder and make it hard to ignore
A true evil genius will think creatively about how he will get the hero to unwittingly fall into his traps. Be creative. If you are trying to get up earlier than usual, the old “put the alarm on the other side of the room” trick is plenty effective. Change your ringtone too, so you aren’t used to it. Set multiple annoying alarms.
One tried and true technique for those with a significant other is to ask them to help you get up. When your alarm goes off, all they need to do is put their feet on your body and inexorably push you toward the edge of the bed. This is a no-fail way to get up fast because no one likes what happens when you fall off the edge. Also, your SO will enjoy the heck out of it.
Make a sign and put it on top of your phone that says “WORKOUT!” or whatever you are going to do.
Even if the habit isn’t first thing in the morning, still set an alarm the day before. For example, lets say you want to write at 9:00 AM every day. Set an alarm for 8:50 AM to give yourself a chance to get that cup of coffee and get in there. set a second alarm for the time you want to start.
5. Leave clues and reminders for your victim to encounter
A good evil mastermind is always finding ways to torment his targets. You can do the same thing to your future self and get some results. One of the things I like to do is write myself a message on a sticky note and then leave it in a place I will be sure to find it, like on the bathroom mirror or the toilet seat.
I’ve left myself notes in books on the page I’m about to open to. I put notes on the steering wheel of my vehicle, on my coffee maker, and I leave them in my pockets. I write my goals on these notes, to remind myself what my evil past self has planned for my life. That way I can’t turn my back on my goals so easily.
An Effective Evil Genius Makes Reality Conform To His Will
You can unleash your inner evil genius and change your own destiny. I’ve shown you some of the best tricks I know to get this done. How about in a year we meet up, and you can show me your new evil lair. We can raise a glass and toast to your new self that you engineered from the past.
I’ve tried all of these tactics to great effect. I’m one of the laziest people I know. Yet I’ve written three books, started meditating and doing yoga every day, and I’m working on a running habit. I really hope some of these might be useful for you too. Let me know how it turns out!
Do you have any evil genius tips to help us get through the day? Please let me know about them. I love to find new ways to feed my evil mastermind side.