Focus and Flow

I’ve had one of those nights where I write and rewrite and rewrite and it all still sounds like whining and I toss everything.


The 2011 Primer is great, buy it. No really, it’s fabulous, just buy it. Will change your life.

But I had this idea where I was going to edit and revise the Primer annually. So far I’ve made three attempts at doing that for a 2012 edition. Each time I’ve ground to a halt for one reason or another. In no small part because I have loathed feeling like I was being “held back a year” and repeating a grade. Everything was a little better and more polished as I wrote, but in the end it all felt like I was simply moving stuff around inside the book.

Basically I didn’t really have a compelling reason to write the 2012 edition… which means there would be no compelling reason to buy it.

The whole of 2012 has felt like a energy-less dead zone for me. Which is ironic in that book sales went up, blog readership is up, the forum was started and is huge. Everything looks really good, but I’d not been enjoying much anymore. So I gave up thinking about the Primer revision.

Did the Army thing, played a lot of Warcraft and generally did nothing in particular for months. I’ve also had two potentially big opportunities that I’ve declined recently as well. The first was fairly easy to discard, interesting, but not that appealing. The second I really wanted to work and would have made some potentially quite decent money… but felt not quite right. I mean seriously, on paper, potentially lots of exposure and cash and fame and helping people. Nice people to work with too. Not a scam or anything objectively wrong about it. So I spent a long time thinking about it.

What stopped me was watching this video of Aryton Senna less than an hour before his death. The look on his face was how I felt inside and gave me the heebie-jeebies.

I don’t think I would have died. I just know something really bad was going to happen. So I declined. Since that moment, I’ve felt better and more energized. Probably not co-incidentally it synced with Jennifer and I getting back into really exercising again. We’ve felt more connected too I think.

Anyway, shortly after declining… I had an idea. One of those blinding “how did I not see that?” ideas where you just sit back and go… “ahhhhhhh” and realize you’ve been wrong about something really important even though you’ve had all the pieces the whole time. Right now it’s just a single sheet of paper with a total of eighteen words on it. There’s a grid and some arrows as well.

Anyway, no idea when it’s finished, but it’s done when it’s done. I have to start from scratch in many ways, and then throw a little fire engine red in there.

Jennifer: He stole my pen and scribbled that page out in front of me. It’s really good.



  1. I had that bad feeling too and it meant we avoided doing business with really bad criminal types – at face value however, they looked like really nice people but shortly afterward they were picked up by the police for really big time bad stuff. Trust the intuition ….

  2. No never thought was a bad group to be involved with, just felt off for me to advance.

    More importantly… I got an idea/understanding that is significantly better than the Primer.

  3. You big teases!

  4. Sometimes you have to follow your gut on things, sometimes the lizard knows what’s best ;~) I wished I’d listen more to mine this last couple of years, when something looks too good to be true ….it often is.

  5. I love hearing about mental breakthroughs like this, Athol. it’s very encouraging!

  6. Can’t wait to hear what the new project is! Exciting!

    It’s Primer revision related.

  7. Conceptual breakthroughs can take time to fully crystallize, though. Patience.

  8. I’m not sure how you could significantly improve the primer. But, seriously, how can you play WoW and not think “expansion pack”? You could easily do some deep dive material on the different MAP phases, fitness testing in a more detailed “coaching” type approach. Use case studies from the forums, with feedback.

    Consider that in shorter, mini-ebook formats on Kindle and Nook (you get much higher royalties that way). Promote it here. Probably many would volunteer to edit/provide feedback, etc. Something while the other idea incubates. And it would help people like me, especially in the early phases, when I have a 3-day delay: “Hey, that was a shit test!” and think of the right response too late.

    Good luck .

  9. One other suggestion – a companion to the primer for women looking for their man to alpha up.

    I remember hearing a popular christian author discussing his marriage book (pretty bad blue pill stuff, btw), and the host asked if he was going to write one for men. He smiled and said men don’t buy relationship books. Too true! A book like that would likely outsell MMSLP2011 by a large margin.

  10. The sign of a good decision is how you feel afterwards. It’s hard to believe something will be better than the Primer, and I’m excited to see what you end up with. For what it is worth, I found your blog in 2012, read every single post back to the beginning, and it completely transformed my life. Not a wasted year from my perspective.

  11. I had one of those heebie-jeebie moments during a job interview a few years back, strong enough to take a pass on their offer and keep searching. A few weeks later, watched the lead interviewer (and several other executives) led out of the building in handcuffs by the Marshall Service and SEC suits.

  12. Exciting!

    fingers crossed for a whole lotta flow going your way

  13. “The second I really wanted to work and would have made some potentially quite decent money… but felt not quite right. I mean seriously, on paper, potentially lots of exposure and cash and fame and helping people. Nice people to work with too. Not a scam or anything objectively wrong about it. So I spent a long time thinking about it.”

    is it what you mentioned to me?

    Can’t remember what I said to you exactly. Possibly. Not the Army.

  14. Exciting to have an “aha” moment like that. I think that one is floating around in my brain, but it won’t come to the surface. Just have to be patient, I guess.

  15. I hope it has something to do with a boxing match like you and Dr. Phil?

  16. Katherine Kelly says:

    Living in the Flow is where true inspiration comes from because Flow only comes from being and living fully in the moment where there is no room for fear.

    Flow lives on the otherside of wants when what we want does not result in or come from fear.

    Fear belongs to our animal but Flow belongs to the spiritual in us.

    In this state you open yourself to the greater consciousness that your own consciousness is a part of and this is where creativity comes from.

    Remember the Matrix, we live within a hologram.

    Flow is the “living expression” of FRAME as I understand it.

  17. Athol:
    I just became aware of the existence of your site and MMSL in the last month. So, while you are hitting the three year drudge wall, I am at the very beginning of the race course, looking at an immense mountain of blog and forum posts that are hard to take in all at once. I am also looking at what I believe is my last hope of breaking out of “endless misery” and making my marriage work. I am disheartened to think that I have arrived so late to the party (a day late and a dollar short?) that you are thinking of taking the website commercial.

    My copy of The Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011 arrived yesterday. I’ve read a third of it. It is a remarkable work. I’m not the smartest guy in the world (not even close), but I would like to say the single biggest mistake you made (with regard to MMSL) was putting a date in the title of your book. You just plain set the expectation of releasing a new book every year. That’s ridiculous. Nobody does that unless they are writing an almanac, a travel guide or some other book where the information becomes obsolete. Your book will never be obsolete. My recommendation; drop the date from the title, correct all the typos and grammatical errors (sorry, but they are there), make all the fine tuning, tweaking and refinements you want to make, and issue a revised edition. Then either sit back and enjoy, or better yet spend your time marketing your book as the monumental change in conscious awareness and thinking that it represents. (Think; talk shows, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, etc,) M. Scott Peck wrote The Road Less Traveled (along with several other similar titled, and not very good books) and sold well over 5 million copies. Your book and your message is just as enlightening as his. I wish I had known this stuff in high school.

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