The Flawless Execution Checklist (… and how to win back the love of your life)
The Flawless Execution Checklist is designed for any project requiring more than one action to complete that may take several minutes or several years to finish. The seven checks in this checklist have been prioritized with German precision; I recommend that you follow them in the order they have been presented.
When using the checklist with familiar projects, avoid using your experience as an excuse to skimp on any checks! Completing each one will ensure you discover new methods and better means of completing your project, which will benefit you now and far into the future.
The Flawless Execution Checklist serves two purposes:
(1) It focuses your time and resources on the actions that generate the greatest results for your project; and
(2) Minimizes the chance of setbacks, causing you fewer headaches, and saves you time for Netflix and chill.
1. Do you know with CLARITY what your PURPOSE and OUTCOME is BEFORE beginning your project?
Always, always START with WHY.
- What is the purpose behind your project?
- What specific result and outcome are you seeking?
Project: LAX Love Affair
If you need to get to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) because it’s your last chance to convince the love of your life, Allie, to stay with you. You have a pretty damn good why. I forgot to mention, she’s flying away to Paris to live with her current partner Pierre, a Frenchman that takes skinny jeans to the extreme. (… I hope your motivation is on fire now.)
A strong purpose and reason behind any project makes it very easy for us to follow through to the end. On the other hand, if you heard Charlie Sheen was landing into LAX from Colombia this coming Saturday. You might not be all that interested in going. (Of course this highly depends on whether you’d want to suck Charlie Sheen’s dick or not – metaphorically speaking, or literally if you roll that way.)
It’s CRUCIAL to have a solid reason and purpose behind any project that you do otherwise you’re likely to drop it at the first prickle you encounter. When determining what your purpose and why is, focus on ALL of the BENEFITS you’ll get from doing the project. Consider how you’d feel after completing the project and everything that you would gain.
Knowing what your why is, writing it out, and referring to it whenever you feel like quitting will help you prevail. You don’t ALWAYS need a strong reason or purpose; however I recommend that you have one whenever possible, particularly for longer term projects because they’re as easy as a walk in the jungle.
LAX Love Affair: The Outcome
(Save Allie from eating frog legs the rest of her life…)
Is there a strong purpose?
Yes, we don’t want to lose the love of our life forever. Forever? For ever, ever!!
Okay, so what specific result or outcome are we after here?
We want to win back the love of our life..
And we want to do it in style…
As we crush Pierre’s testicles in our steel cap boots.
Most projects have hundreds of possible outcomes, so you want to be as specific as you can otherwise you just might not get what you’re truly after. The outcome above is an okay start but it’s too vague in its current form.
What does “win back the love of your life” mean?
Do you want her to be your fiancé, girlfriend, slave, wife, mother to your child? Or do you want her back just for Netflix and chill?
What the fuck does do it in style mean?
Do you want to do it in style to feel ‘badass’ or do you mean this in a romantic gesture?
Stomping out the Frenchies balls…
Are you showing who the alpha male is, destroying his chances of reproduction (if his jeans haven’t done the deed yet), or just attempting to inflict major pain?
You MUST consider what, who, where, and when for your outcomes. The greater the detail, the greater your chances of success and the easier your project becomes.
So, what is your outcome?
Are you studying to pass your exams or to better your opportunities in the future?
Are you showing up to work for the paycheck or are you going the extra mile?
Are you going to the gym for the sake of going or are you pushing your body and mind to greater heights each time?
There’s a major difference between “getting more money” and “earning $1000 extra per month by 30 June from my highest paying clients by offering a new deep throat service”.
Look, if all you want is more money it’s easy.
Just ask your family, friends, or even a stranger for some money. If you’re not an absolute shit cunt you should be able to get a dollar and you now have more money! 🙂
Your outcome MUST have crystal clear sparkling clarity!
You got it? Good!
2. Have you prepared for when shit hits the fan?! (Everyone and Resource lists.)
You should have five lists that include people, places, and things for your ease of reference as you work through your project. They can be written on a piece of toilet paper, in a word document, as notes on your phone – anywhere – so that you can refer to them easily.
These lists include the:
(1) Everyone List
This list comprises corporations, governments, communities, people, animals or whatever else that has attempted or completed a similar project to what it is that you want to do.
No need to go overboard here; simply list the people and things that come to mind, which have accomplished something that closely resembles your project. This list generally includes friends, acquaintances, family, colleagues, celebrities, or strangers (in person and online).
Your Resource Lists are broken down into four separate lists of (1) People, (2) Sources, (3) Assets, and (4) Places. They are resources that you can use and tap into as required.
(2) People List
For this list write down anyone you had in your Everyone List that you’re able to reach out to, contact, or see. Also write down anyone that can help in any manner or capacity for your project. These are people that can introduce you to others, save you time, organize your notes, or perform research for you. This list is generally family, friends, colleagues, personal assistants (virtual or otherwise), librarians etc.
(3) Sources List
Your Sources list includes any books, videos, TV shows, search engines, forums, blogs, libraries and so on. Write down anything you can use as a potential source for information.
(4) Asset List
The Asset List deals with whatever is you have that could help you with your project. It might be physical materials, goodwill, or external services. Think of a toolbox, the internet, a friend that owes you a favor, your phone, gym equipment, or a calculator.
(5) Places List
The places list consists of any physical locations where you’re able to find anything or anyone that falls into the first 3 resource lists. It might be a school, library, gym, shop, store, or the meetup spot of the local basket weaving club.
For each list write down at least three points AND spend NO MORE than 3 minutes on a list. The sweet spot to aim for with each list is to write down everything that comes to mind until you can’t think of anything else or start writing useless answers. That’s when it’s time to move on. (It generally takes a minute or less to get to the sweet spot.)
What’s the point Hugh?
The “Everyone List” shows you that what you want to achieve is possible
because others have done it. (If no one else has, then you can be the first.) If these people can do it, then why the fuck can’t you do it? For real, just drop all the bullshit excuses and reasons for once, there is no difference between you, them, or me.
“We’re all equals motherfucker.” – Hakuna Matatami Gandhi
Aside from this, your Everyone list will prove its worth over time. Whenever you get stuck or need help, you can refer back to it to reach out to people or find new leads that will help you get out of your hurdle. If you don’t personally know anyone, it’s not that hard to find people’s contact details in today’s age. Reach out to others and don’t be scared homie.
The “Resource Lists” proves that you have whatever you need to accomplish your project, and if you don’t have everything, you have the resources to help you attain them.
If this holds true, then the only reason why the project hasn’t been completed yet is because you haven’t done it. There are no other valid excuses or reasons that can be logically fathomed. As with the Everyone list, if you get stuck, refer back to your lists to figure out where you can get help.
LAX Love Affair: The Chump’s Lists
- Eminem with Kim
Lil Dicky and Molly
- Kobe Bryant and his wife
- Ryan Gosling in The Notebook
· Anna (Allie’s Mum who fortunately likes me)
· Giorgio (Allie’s Gay Best Friend that makes me uncomfortable when he stares)
· Pete (owes me a massive favor)
· Ryan Gosling in The Notebook (NB: rewatch the movie for pointers)
· Google (“how to win back the love of your life”)
· Latest issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine (desperate much?)
· Past experiences and adventures with Allie (including her love letters)
· Smartphone to contact people for help, advice, and for the internet
· Items and personal belongings of Allie that Anna may allow me to borrow
· LAX Airport (familiar with the airport)
· Anna’s House (pick up Allie’s belongings if required?)
· My room to watch The Notebook
3. Do you have a roadmap?
You need a rough roadmap from where you are now to where you want to go. This applies to all projects to ensure that any critical steps are not missed, forgotten, or overlooked along the way.
Your Everyone and Resource lists come into play here. If you’re able to sit down with others that have done what you want to do and question them on their experiences, do it! If this isn’t possible because your lists only include A-list celebrities or otherwise, you can still get your hands on anything that these people have shared in past interviews, books, writings, videos etc. Doing this research helps you piece together the steps you need to take from where you are now to where you want to go.
This step is a life saver for longer term projects where there’s a far greater potential for fuck ups. I rarely find myself saying “Shit, I should have done less research”, it’s more often that I find myself thinking “Damnit, I really should have thought this thing through.”
Establishing a roadmap provides a good overview of your project and allows you to complete the project in a logical and sequential manner. As you make progress, each action will transition smoothly into the next as if it’s been slathered with KY jelly.
Conflicting Conundrums and Sources of Frustration…
If you’ve ever built a personal computer (PC) you would know that there are many parts involved: the power supply unit, motherboard, CPU, graphics card, RAM, computer case and so on. All of these individual parts need to come together and work as a whole for the PC to function. Much like people however, certain individual parts aren’t compatible with other ones so if they’re matched up, the PC will fall apart.
CPU and motherboard incompatible?
The PC won’t turn on.
Power supply unit (PSU) too weak for the graphics card(s)?
The PC will crash.
Graphics card won’t fit in the computer case?
The PC will be left out in the cold.
Having a roadmap and overview of your project minimizes the chances of such conflicts and obstacles occurring. If you know that you want a specific graphics card, then you can find out what the required minimum power supply required is and get a compatible PSU.
The real key to making this step easy is having a clear and specific outcome to know exactly where it is that you want to go. (Refer to Check #1.)
At this step, it’s time to do some research (especially if you’re not familiar with your intended project).
You must figure out:
· Everything you need to consider that you haven’t considered yet; and
· The rough actions and steps you need to take to get to where you want to go.
I suggest you limit your research to THREE resources.
Three resources is the sweet spot where you can take action confidently and also simultaneously prevents you from getting caught with your scalp down, jacking off your brain. Mental masturbation is one hell of a drug. Avoid paralysis by analysis at all costs. You must place greater value on execution above all else once a thorough roadmap has been established.
You only need to know enough to get moving. You just don’t want to move too early and get stuck in mud when you could have spent an hour researching beforehand, and avoided the shitty route that just cost you four hours.
How to Do Your Research
When you’re researching, take notes and fully exhaust your resource – read every relevant piece and ask as many helpful questions as possible. A resource in this context is a book, website, person, or blog. Any single entry in your lists can be considered a resource.
Exhausting a resource does not mean reading the whole book or every article ever posted on a blog. Cover only what is directly relevant to your project. As you perform your research keep the outcome of your project at the forefront of your mind and decide what your research outcome is prior to engaging any resources.
Your overall outcome is to establish a step by step roadmap from where you are now to where you want to go. But your resources outcome may cover different aspects of the roadmap, one outcome could be to cover the common traps and obstacles beginners should avoid and the other may cover all the materials and resources that you'll require before starting. Understand what each of your resources can provide and then decide on an appropriate research outcome for them based on this knowledge.
LAX Love Affair: The Chump’s Roadmap
Anna for advice, help, and access to any personal belongings I could use (previous love letters or gifts I’ve given Allie in the past)
Giorgio for consultation and a second opinion.
The Notebook (Allie’s favorite movie that I can use to get ideas to win her back)
Find out Allie’s flight details (Anna or Giorgio).
Brainstorm all ideas and plans to win Allie back at LAX. (include watching The Notebook for inspiration)
Compile the best ideas and get outside feedback from those I trust to determine the best plan and then flesh it out. (Giorgio and Anna)
Prepare everything required to execute on my best plan. (Pete owes me – he can help me out here)
Determine how I will get myself and everything I need to LAX (Take into account method of transport, potential traffic, and how to get to the right terminal)
Decide on the best outfit to wear (steelcap boots definitely)
Have a backup plan in case anything goes wrong
Execute my plan on the day
4. Do you know what the next three immediate physical actions are to make progress on your project?
Most people procrastinate because they have not clearly defined what their next actions are. Your actions should be defined so that when you think of them, you can see yourself physically doing the action. Avoid vague ‘actions’ such as “Figure out how much the dwarf midget costs”. You want actions with instructions embedded in them: “Call John and get the contact details of the dwarf midget for a quote”.
What do you see in your mind’s eye when you think of “Figure out how much the dwarf midget costs”?
Perhaps you see nothing, perhaps you even get a sinking or confused feeling because you don’t know what it is that you need to do. There could be a thousand possible ways to “figure out how much the midget costs”.
Contrast this action with “Call John and get the contact details of the dwarf midget for a quote”. It’s not that difficult to see yourself picking up a phone, making a call, talking to John over the phone, and then asking him for the midget’s contact details.
Now, write down the next 3 immediate physical actions you cane take to make progress on your project.
LAX Love Affair: The Chump’s Actions
Call Anna for details on Allie’s flight including the time, terminal, date etc. and ask her if she would be willing to help me win her back
Write and brainstorm on the white board all possible ideas and plans for winning Allie back. (At least 30 minutes)
Narrow down the ideas to the three best ones then Call Giorgio and meet up with him to discuss my three ideas and for further planning.
5. Have you executed, grinded, and hustled your ass off?
Execute, Execute, Execute, Grind, Grind, Grind, Hustle, Hustle, Hustle
IT’S TIME TO MAKE IT HAPPEN!!! https://i.imgur.com/7drHiqrh.jpg
This is where the ordinary becomes extraordinary. It doesn’t fucking matter how much you’ve prepared or researched for your project – that doesn’t get your project to the finish line. Putting in the work and showing up, day in and day out, is what gets you to the finish line.
The one thing you need to do..
You must take action IMMEDIATELY on the first of your three actions. When you kick things off right, it makes it much easier to take action consistently. When you take action consistently, momentum soon rolls up in a Chevy and gives you a ride along the rest of the way.
Whenever you plan something or set a new goal, you MUST take action immediately and begin making progress towards it. Do not leave its sight without doing something that gets you one step closer (no matter how small it seems) as that is a sure fire way to NOT follow through.
But Hugh, my vagina hurts… I can’t possibly take action right now..
Then you must schedule WHEN, WHERE, and HOW you are going to take action.
When includes the day and time. Where includes the physical location(s) where shit is going to go down. And How is the means in which you will do it; in person, with joy, on your laptop etc.
Set reminders for the date and time that you specify: set alarms on your phone, book it in into your calendar, tell your Mum, do whatever it takes to make sure that you take action!
For longer term projects, it’s best to schedule set days and times each week to work on your project as it will soon develop into a habit and this ensures consistent action will be taken over time.
LAX Love Affair: The Chump’s Actions
· Visited Ann and got her support to win Allie back. (Found out Allie’s flight details, when she’ll be at the airport, what time the flight is departing etc.)
· Watched The Notebook, shed manly tears, and took scrupulous amounts of notes.
· Brainstormed ideas and hashed them down to the three best ideas.
· Discussed the ideas with Giorgio and developed the best plan to go with.
· Worked out the kinks in the chosen plan and considered the possible contingencies and what should be done if they happen (what if Pierre gets violent? What if airport security thinks I’m a terrorist?)
· Spent a whole day preparing everything required with the help of Paul and planned out the logistics of getting to LAX on time
· Chose the best outfit to wear
6. Have you reflected on your actions and gained feedback?
After you’ve taken massive action, you’ll generally require a period of rest and recovery. During this downtime you should reflect on your actions and notice the feedback and consequences from your actions.
Are you making progress on your project or do you feel stuck?
Are your actions getting you closer to your outcome, or further away?
What did you learn that could be used to help you get to the finish line faster and easier?
At this stage, you’re likely to come across obstacles such as bad habits, limiting beliefs, or uncertainty. You’ll need to find solutions to these issues and take action on remedying them until they are resolved or mitigated. It’s also likely that you will discover new skills, habits, and knowledge that can further your project if acted upon.
“He that can have patience can have what he will.” – Benjamin Franklin
Patience is required during this phase of the project, you will need to trust in the process and wait for your actions to bear fruit. At times you may feel little progress is being made but if you are following a tried and true process, your actions will be rewarded in due time.
Today’s generation is very much a now and instant gratification generation. We want things to happen immediately, however this isn’t the timeline on which good things operate. You can’t expect outstanding results from an hour or a week of work – depending on the scale of your project.
How do you know when you’ve hit a plateau?
If no progress has been made after several hours, weeks, or months, then it’s time to seek external feedback. Refer to your lists and consult your resources and people on the lack of your progress.
It’s possible you’ve fallen into a stumbling block that others can easily guide you out of. Otherwise a common error occurs when a crucial step is missed during the research phase. Review your notes, gain external feedback, perform further research and then decide whether a new approach is required.
LAX Love Affair: The Final Chapter
His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy, and luckily for the Chump he’s had none of Mom’s spaghetti. He’s nervous, but Paul’s at his side and everything’s gone smooth already.
They parked themselves in the far corner of the departure lounge fifteen yards away from where Allie and Pierre are seated. Anna has confirmed with the Chump via text that she’s given Allie the letters and instructed her to read them only once she’s reached the departure lounge.
Pierre gets up from his seat and gestures to Allie that he needs to go to the toilet to adjust his skinny jeans. Before the Chump can nod for the go ahead, he feels a bump at his side as he sees Paul already trailing behind Pierre.
Allie has been waiting for this moment; she takes out the letter her Mom nervously passed her. The Chump fixates his eyes on Allie through his shades and waits to see how she will react.
Her face expressed confusion at first after reading the note stating that her Mom had hidden these letters from her for her own good. As she started reading, she realized her Mom had not penned the letter. Her eyes began to well with tears when she was halfway through reading it. When she finally put the letter down, her expressions were uncannily similar to the first time that she saw 2 Girls 1 Cup.
There was utter confusion, followed by disgust, then anger… And then it was there…A faint smile.
It was the cue he waited for, he knew he had a fighting chance now. He took off his sunnies, placed them in his fedora and put them both under his seat before he got up.
“I see you got my letters finally, so what are you gonna do Allie?”
“I don’t know Noah! Why the hell did you have to do this now? Just as I’m about to leave for Paris, you know I’ve always wanted to go to Paris you bastard!”
“You always said you wanted to go, but you never once said you wanted to live there. Every word that I wrote in that letter is true and they came from the bottom of my heart. I’m willing to change Allie, I’m willing to make things work. All I ask for is a second chance.”
Allie gazed down at her feet, “Pierre has been so good to me… and… and… I don’t know if I even love you anymore Noah.”
“Oh, that’s bullshit and you know it! Look, I know I done goofed hard but you can’t deny what we had. That shit was real, and you know it. You really gonna throw that all away for Pierre? Seriously?! He’s nothing but a slack jawed faggot.”
“Ay, who are yew calling a slack jawed faggit.”
Noah turned around just as Pierre pointed to Paul, “You must be the one who tell diz guy to follow me in da toilet and ask me all le stoopid questions.”
“Yeah that WAS me and I’m calling YOU a slack jawed faggot, what the fuck are you gonna do about it?” Noah was filled with adrenaline, he’d never said anything that badass ever in his life.
Pierre stepped up to Noah, “Call me that le one more time and I will show you what I will do about eet.”
“SLACK… JAWED… FAGGOT… Come at me bro”, Pierre swung at Noah with a wild windmill slap that landed flush on his cheeks. Noah countered with a right hook, followed by a cross that landed clean on Pierre’s nose causing him to stagger back.
“Stop!!!” Allie screamed. Everyone in the lounge lifted their heads from their smartphones and started watching the commotion; some even started recording the fight.
Noah had to execute Plan B now. He’d practiced the move with Paul countless times; it was time to see if it worked. He advanced towards Pierre as he ducked under another wild windmill slap, after bracing Pierre’s shoulder and hip he threw his balance off, and swept his feet from underneath him. Pierre got laid out flat on his ass as Noah stood over him. Paul, a 240 pound judo black belt was impressed by Noah’s performance. As Noah lifted his right foot ready to do his best hard style dance imitation over Pierre’s balls, there was a tug on his shoulder.
“Please stop Noah, this isn’t you! Stop fighting!!!”
Noah put down his foot and Paul placed his on top of Pierre’s sternum as a warning not to move. Allie looked terrified and Noah knew that she was right. He was never a fighter and crushing Pierre’s balls wasn’t going to bring him closer to Allie,
“Your right Al, I’m gonna stop but only because I love you, and because I’m willing to change and make things right with you.”
Allie embraced Noah just as he caught a glimpse of security guards running toward them out of the corner of his eye. He had to act fast. He let go of Allie, took a step back and knelt down,
“Allison Hamilton, I’m never going to give you up, never going to let you down, and I’m never going to run around and desert you. I wish to be your white knight in shining armor for the rest of our lives. Por favor, will you marry me?”
Noah took out the custom made ring that had a miniature version of the house from The Notebook mounted on top of it. Allie was gobsmacked, “Yes Noah, I will! I will because you give me hope for the Hispanic race!”
“Ay big boi, get your foot off of me. What the heck did zhe say!?”
“She said yes Pierre… She said yes!”
Did you notice the various points throughout the narrative where Noah gained feedback from his actions? Or did you get swept along by the Shakespearean story telling?
There were six important points where Noah gained feedback from his actions:
When Allie finished reading the letters and he watched to see her reaction;
When she looked down at her feet saying she didn’t love Noah anymore. (Noah knew Allie’s tendency to look down whenever she didn’t want to admit something);
When Allie first shouted “Stop!!!” after he punched Pierre;
When Noah was tugged on the shoulder by Allie;
When Allie embraced him; and
When he saw the security guards running to them.
The Chump responded well to each point of feedback apart from point #3 as he continued fighting with Pierre and ignored the feedback. (Rightfully so as he had to defend himself.) Because Noah didn’t stop, it escalated to Allie grabbing him by the shoulder, which is when he realized that what he was doing was not conducive towards winning Allie back.
7. After taking action has your purpose or outcome changed?
As you make progress, you will realize things that you didn’t account for before you began your project. Don’t be afraid of changing your outcome due to these unaccounted for aspects. I’m not suggesting that you change your outcome as soon as things get tough, but you should alter it when you’ve taken ample action and found that there’s a better alternative to strive towards.
Take note, when your initial enthusiasm wears off and things start getting tough, this is when you need to refer back to your WHY and purpose behind your project. Remind yourself of it each hour if you have to, and if it’s a strong enough purpose, it will help pull you through to the end.
That’s pretty much it folks! All you have to do is rinse and repeat the whole process from Checklist step #1 to #7 until you finish your project and reach your outcome(s).
There’s just one last thing to note…
This checklist ends on the most important note of all: the skill of enjoying the process and the journey towards your outcome.
Guys, it’s not about achieving to be happy, it’s about happily achieving.
Avoid fixating your eyes on the end outcome so strongly that you forget to enjoy and live in the present moment. You must learn to love, enjoy, and have fun on your journey towards your intended outcome because this is where true fulfillment lies. It’s not just about getting to the end outcome, that’s really only the berry on top of the ice cream.
Why do you think there are so many ‘successful’ people in this world that are miserable despite having and being all the things that they’ve longed to be? Look at Robin Williams, he had everything that people would literally sleep with random strangers for, but at the end of the day he still killed himself.
Do not disregard the Art of Fulfillment in pursuit of the Science of Achievement.
Immerse yourself deeply in each and every single waking moment of your life. Focus everything on what is happening before your eyes because this is the only to live your life to the fullest.
Yes, you must consider the future and what you’re working towards every now and then, BUT when you’re working towards that future within the present moment, do not obsess and get frantic over the outcome. Instead, focus intently on the present moment so that you actually live your life and perform at your best.
When you excel at both the Art of Fulfillment and the Science of Achievement, you will create a magnificent life not only for yourself but for everyone around you!
P.S. If you want a live case study of how I've used the Flawless Execution Checklist previously see: http://revolutionarytribe.com/hughs-live-case-study/
P.S.S. If you’d like a cheat sheet and reference guide to a shortened version of the 7 step checklist: download a copy by clicking here.