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Disappear And Come Back Unrecognizable (12 Rules To Change Your Life)

I don’t say this to sound arrogant.

But I’ve never had a problem with knowing what I want in the future.

When people say “I don’t know what I want,” what they’re really saying is “I don’t want to do the work it takes to get what I want.”

It’s not that you don’t know what you want. It’s that you know what you don’t want – meaning you know what you want – and are hiding from it it takes to get away from it.

I’ve always known what I wanted because it’s extremely simple to observe society and know what I don’t want:

  • A job I hate
  • Work I hate
  • A body I hate
  • A partner I hate
  • A mind that hates me

From that alone, it’s easy to figure out what I had to do:

  • Become an entrepreneur no matter how many times I fail (it took 7 failures)
  • Gain the power to get rid of work I don’t want to do (writing on social media for leverage)
  • Go to the gym and work on my nutrition
  • Allow those 3 things to open up more opportunities in every domain of life
  • Let that path create a peaceful mind from the progressive overload of responsibility. Weights feel lighter as you get stronger.

Everybody knows that some form of this path is what they are meant to do.

Your psyche craves actualization and transcendence. The depth of your being wants these things, but your ego is distracted by things it thinks it wants.

That’s the problem.

You don’t have a way to focus your mind.

You don’t have a plan for your future that has more gravity than the distractions in your life.

You struggle to maintain a long-term time horizon and get trapped in never-ending short-term stress-inducing tasks.

How would it feel to have one single framework that would determine the entirety of your success? One that you can refer to whenever you feel lost?

That’s what we are going to talk about.

The 12 Rules Of Creation

You need a plan. Because if you don’t have one, society does, and they’ve been planning your life for decades. – The Art of Focus

You’ve been assigned goals by society since the day you were born.

These goals went on to frame how you viewed the world.

You learned skills to achieve those goals. You registered opportunities in alignment with those goals. Everything you experience in life is through the lens of the conscious or unconscious goals guiding the systems being formed in your head.

If we want to build a life of meaning, money, and impact, we must pursue our ideal future, create a story worth telling, and pass down that path to those who are ready to receive it.

After a decade of dancing between creative success and failure, I’ve found a big-picture framework that will bring you success in anything you do.

These patterns can be found in marketing, sales, human behavior, peak performance, psychology, stories, games, the structure of billion-dollar companies, successful product development, and anything involved in the process of creating and distributing value.

You will be using this as a guiding light for your life, but I encourage you to meditate on how it can be applied to your business, relationships, and conversations.


We start our story with an anti-vision.

The bane of your existence.

The first polar end of the worldview you will cultivate.

A positive-fear mechanism that kicks you into action.

Your anti-vision is the future that you do not want to live.

Start a running note of experiences you do not want to repeat.

  • The material you don’t care to learn.
  • The work you don’t care to complete.
  • The arguments you don’t wish to have.

You won’t get rid of them in an instant.

You are meant to identify them as problems to be solved.


If you don’t have a vision, you are lost.

You can’t create outcomes, so you are doomed to the mechanical living of determined outcomes.

Every decision you make in any domain of your life must be filtered through your vision.

That is how you bring meaning to your actions and minimize distractions.

Write down exactly what you want out of life.

Don’t miss a detail, but realize this is an iterative process.

You won’t get it right the first time around, and you probably never will. That’s not the point. Spend 30 minutes generating a minimum viable vision. Come back to it often to add, subtract, and improve as your desires inevitably change with your failures.


Your mission is the most important thing in your life.

It is the bridge between what you do and don’t want.

The path you are forging toward your vision.

Anything that does not align with your mission is to be treated as a distraction.

Your mission evolves with awareness of new beliefs, opportunities, and knowledge.

Your mission requires faith. You can’t see the next step unless you take the first. And once you do, the second may be completely different than anything you imagined.


You aren’t where you want to be because you are okay with where you are.

You don’t submit to your situation, you accept it so you can move forward.

Standards are absorbed from your environment.

  • The friends you hang out with.
  • The books you read.
  • The media you consume.
  • The parents who raise you.
  • The teachers who knew it all.

It may be time to make a change and sit with the ramifications.


Big goals are for direction. Small goals are for clarity.

You don’t need motivation when the task in front of you is so stupidly simple that you can’t help but complete it.

Break down your vision into goals by decade, year, month, week, and day.

They are your guide, not your master.

Be stubborn with vision and loose with details.

Your goals will change as you do, be okay with that.


Learning comes from struggle, not memorization.

You need a series of tangible projects to build that will actualize your vision.

  • Turn your goals into projects.
  • Architect an outline.
  • Determine milestones
  • Set deadlines
  • Map out areas of research.

Build, then learn. Start the project, expose your lack of knowledge and skill, and use that as a reference point for your education.


You aren’t where you want to be because you aren’t as smart as you think you are.

With every project, there is a skill set and mindset required to complete the project.

Daily self-education must become a cornerstone habit in your life. If you stop learning, you stop evolving. Opportunities stop presenting themselves, and you get trapped in your current stage of development.

Education is the fuel for experimentation.


A fool becomes rich at the expense of everything good in life.

A creative becomes rich at the expense of his choice.

Limitations on your goals force creativity.

The question is, what are you not willing to sacrifice to achieve your goals?

The creative challenge appears when you attempt to achieve a goal without betraying your vision.

You can become rich without sacrificing your family.

You can become healthy without sacrificing your work.

You can become valuable without sacrificing what makes life worth living.


Every day, you need priority tasks that move the lever toward your projects, goals, and vision from the ground up.

These are often perceived as boring fundamentals without the cultivation of a sense of mastery.

Do what needs to be done, but grip your vision as the anchor into the unknown. If you aren’t making progress, it’s because you aren’t moving levers, even if you think you are.

Writing is the main lever in my creator business (and almost any other modern business). This is what I teach in 2 Hour Writer, and what we help people that want personalized help and feedback with in Kortex University.


When a novice plays against a master, neither has fun.

The novice becomes anxious while the master becomes bored.

When your skill is the perfect match for the challenge of a situation, the world goes quiet, and you move forward with grace.

Challenge is the source of enjoyment.

Enjoyment is found on the tightrope between boredom and anxiety. At the edge of your abilities.

The path to meaningful living is often found in a simple shift in perspective.


Be willing to steer off course and discover new potential.

It is too easy to lock ourselves in the mechanical routine we were trying to escape.

Be curious.

Dive deep into your interests.

Let few questions go unanswered.

Avoid getting locked into paradigms and beliefs that narrow your mind on one idolized path.

Your vision is like a battery. You must fuel it with experience, education, and misdirection.


If you only do the same thing as everyone else, you are bound to the results of everyone else.

  • Research processes that others teach, the ones they have seen success with.
  • Try multiple techniques to see which ones get you the best results.
  • Create your own process that you can stay consistent with.

In fitness, try different training and nutrition programs. In relationships, try therapy or self-help books. In business, try cold outreach and organic content.

Avoid becoming dogmatic about the single right way. There is no right way, there is only your way, and that isn’t bound to stay the same as different levels of the game require different methods to complete them.

When you are lost, run through this process.

When your relationships are failing, run through this process. When your business won’t get off the ground, run through this process.

Every successful interaction with reality starts and ends with a clear image of the want, clarity on how to achieve it, and creative execution to acquire rare results.

Making Better Decisions

You aren’t where you want to be because:

  • You didn’t make the choices that led to a purposeful career.
  • You didn’t make the choices that led to fulfilling relationships.
  • You didn’t make the choices that led to a healthy and aesthetic body.

You, right now, are the manifestation of your past choices.

So, if you want to take control of who you become, your choices are of utmost importance.

There are 2 things here:

  1. Who you want to become – perspective and zooming out.
  2. The choices that will take you there – perception and zooming in.

The good life is created by constant reminder of your vision and programming the identity that would actualize it through aligned action.

Better decisions come from perspective and perception.

Every day, zoom out and remind yourself of what you don’t want. You don’t need to focus on what you want, because that will make itself apparent through your choices.

Hold that frame at the top of your mind.

Do not allow distractions to penetrate it.

Any time a choice comes up, zoom out and align.

“Will this benefit the future I am trying to create?”

Then, be decisive. Make the decision.

Allow failure into your life so you can correct your behavior the next time around.

Awareness is a cure.

You don’t have to quit all of your bad habits. You just have to view them and their consequences through the lens of your vision for long enough.


Who Is Dan Koe?

I am a writer & brand advisor for 7-8 figure creators, influencers, and social media brands. I am obsessed with dissecting human potential, lifestyle design, and one-person businesses.

When You’re Ready, Here’s How I Can Help You:

The FOCI Planner

Goals are important. If you want help reverse engineering your vision into bite-size goals and tasks — order The FOCI Planner.

The Art Of Focus Book

Find meaning, reinvent yourself, and create your ideal future. Now available for preorder on Amazon.

The 2 Hour Writer

Implement Our 2 Hour Content Ecosystem To Learn High Impact Digital Writing, Boost Your Online Authority, & Systemize Content Creation For Rapid Growth

Mental Monetization

Monetize your creative work with a digital product that sells while you sleep. Turn your knowledge, skills, and interests into a meaningful income.