This article first appeared in Alpha Efficiency Magazine: Issue 7: Creating Your Source Code, subscribe and buy here
I first considered the concept of the Source Code for this issue, it was interesting to understand not only what Bojan and Darren meant by it, but also how it applied to me. I expect you will have a similar experience; Once you understand what the Source Code is and what it can do then you will find it useful, interesting and powerful.
One of the challenges in writing an explanation of Source code is the very nature of it. It is intimate and unique, but also in some way delicate and malleable. The power that Source Code brings to your life is massive; It will make you stronger, better able to reach new heights – but only if you take care of it.
The first time I talked to Bojan about his own Source Code, he explained the concept to me and showed me his own. I immediately realized that I also already had my own kind of Source Code. In my mind, Bojan has his Source Code and I had Mauris auctor meam, which simply means “My Source Code”. Although we were using different translations – talking a different language in some senses – the concepts were both rooted in common ground. Somehow things began to make sense.
I never expected the idea to hit so close to home, nor that I would already have something similar to this idea of a Source Code that he was sharing with me, but somehow I have been using my own kind for some time now.
The power that Source Code brings to your life is massive; It will make you stronger, better, able to reach new heights – but only if you take care of it.
Strength From Weakness
I lack willpower and discipline, but I have learned to compensate for these deficiencies in order to succeed, grow and accomplish my goals. Many years ago I began to create a small set of rules that I followed closely. In issue 5 of this magazine I mentioned three of those rulesets: the Do Not Do List, the Do Not Need List and the Non-negotiable List. When I wrote that article, I had not yet had the conversation with Bojan that made me think in more detail about my own system and how those lists form the basis of something more profound: My Source Code.
Before I get in to the detail of some of the elements of my Source Code let me explain how I understand the concept and the importance that it plays in my life. My lack of willpower and discipline got me into trouble many times, but I knew that if I wanted to succeed I needed to find a way to make my shortcomings work in my favor and not against me. I needed a way to evolve and grow without relying on the use of these two elements. That’s when I discovered that I could use Rules. I learned that if I reviewed them often enough, they would compensate for my lack of willpower and self-discipline. Over the years I have added many things to my rules and so it is of critical importance that I review them often; Daily is ideal for me. It is this long set of rules, list and reminders that for me are part of Mauris auctor meam.
My Source code is not a static documents (or series of lists), but rather an evolving set of guidelines that, when used properly, help me to combat successfully my lack of willpower and discipline.
Putting it Into Practice
I type my lists on my iPhone and at the end of each note I add: GPS (short for Goal Productive System). That way I can search all of them at once by searching for “GPS”. Sometimes the elements are lists, other times they are quotes. Additionally I write some of them on index cards and have them around my working area; It’s the only way for me to make sure I review them often enough.
It takes around 10-12 minutes to read all the index cards, so I try to ensure that’s the first thing I do in the morning with coffee. I am not looking to accomplish anything those first minutes other than to remind myself of the rules of the game. For me it is really important; it it this quick review that allows me to keep myself walking in a certain direction and – most of the time – it is enough to keep me moving forward.
You may be wondering: why do you need a set of notes, lists, rules, annotations or images to guide you? I am weak and disorganized; I lack willpower and discipline. It is the regimented nature of my Source code that allows me to be on top of my game, to act on my better self (most of the time). Your source code will be personal to you; It is by its nature unique. You will need to find those components that speak to you on a personal level, that make you strong and give you courage.
It is the regimented nature of my Source Code that allows me to be on top of my game, to act on my better self.
I review my Source code daily, not because I have nothing better to do but because I need to be reminded of the rules, guidelines and beliefs that I have and that I want to be guided by. I need to remind myself why I do what I do, the way I do it.
Do you recall that earlier I said that the Source Code was delicate and malleable? You may wonder why I am expecting you to create something when I am telling you how fragile it is, so let me elaborate.
Everything that is in my Source Code is designed to make me stronger: to make better decisions, be more effective, reach my goals, have a magical life. I have designed it that way. If, instead of content designed to do that, I started adding information that wasn’t related to my highest goals and interests, it would not only lose its power but it would instead begin to act like an anchor, dragging me back, instead of a rocket propelling me forward.
If I started adding information that wasn’t related to my highest goals and interests, it would begin to act like an anchor, dragging me back, instead of a rocket propelling me forward.
Your Source Code is only as powerful as the time and information you put into it. Do it poorly, in a sloppy fashion or without your heart and passion and you can guess the result. Make it powerful and strong, find content that inspires you to push your boundaries and you will move yourself closer to your true potential every day.
There are many parts of my own Source Code that could be relevant to you; Others would be a waste of your time. The important part is that you spend some time understanding why you need one, considering what will make you stronger, finding those elements that will create the necessary fire in you to grow, to be better; To reach new heights.
In the early stages of your Source code you’ll make changes to it often, just as my lists changed. It’s not important to “get it right first time” but to lay down the ground work for something that will grow and change with you. Remember to find what makes you weak and channel those things into your own code to make you strong; Make sure you are moving and acting based on your own instincts, not those that suit others. Remember that your Source Code can be fragile; You need to care for it and feed it. If you create the best Source Code ever but never visit it, it will wither; If you visit your Source Code often it will give you the power to move forward and reach the impossible.