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5 No-BS Ways to Become Awesome in 5 Minutes

You’re at college and working two jobs. You have a date in 15 minutes. You’re a single parent with a long commute and 5 hours of sleep per day. Or maybe you’re just not ready to make a huge time commitment.

Whatever your situation, tools that can turbo-charge your life fast are handy.


The bad news is, long-term change requires time and effort. It’s not what a commitment-phobic, time-starved generation wants to hear but it’s true.

The good news is, self-improvement techniques and exercises can be very time-efficient. In fact, 5 of my favorites will have you kicking ass and taking names in just 5 short minutes.

1. Double Your Chances with Goal-Setting

In a recent study, subjects who wrote down their goals were 42% more likely to achieve them than the ones who didn’t. Keeping a friend updated on specific commitments and progress increased the figure to 78%.


That’s right: a pen, a piece of paper and a few minutes are all you need to near-double your chance of success. Take advantage of this: write down some SMART goals and share progress with a support network. It doesn’t get any simpler – or more powerful – than this.

2. Stay Positive with a Journal Of Awesomeness

Your innermost thoughts are a self-fulfilling prophecy; believing in yourself is crucial to success. Unfortunately, other people, circumstances and your own mistakes can get you down and perpetuate negative thinking.

Here’s how you can stay positive day in, day out.

Get a notebook and write down 3 awesome things you did in the past 24 hours every evening. “Went for a jog instead of watching TV”; “finally talked to that cute barista”; “made a really good presentation.”

You’ll be amazed at how much better focusing on your positive achievements makes you feel! And once you start reinforcing good choices by writing them down, your subconscious will encourage you to make them more often.

3. Build Rapport Immediately with The Cocoon

Rapport is the feeling of connecting or “being on the same wavelength” with another person. This tool will help you create that level of understanding instantly and without any complicated techniques.

All you need to do is visualize a “cocoon” around yourself and the person you’re talking to. Literally imagine a wall or barrier is blocking the two of you from the outside world.

This works on a variety of levels: it “reduces” background chatter, helps you focus on the conversation and promotes a feeling of comfort. If you want to create a deep feeling of connection or comfort, use the cocoon.

4. Prepare For Success with Mental Practice

Successful athletes have been using visualization to hone their skills for a long time. In recent years, the effectiveness of mental practice has become more widely recognized and accepted. Great news for us!

Just close your eyes and imagine yourself performing a task successfully. If you have a presentation coming up in 30 minutes, visualize getting up on that stage and acing that thing. If you’re a dancer, execute every move perfectly in your mind.

This is more than just rehearsing in your mind; mental practice builds up your confidence with images of positive outcomes. Confidence and excellence come naturally when you’ve already practiced being succesful.

5. Samurai Swords of Confidence

A classic technique for managing stage fright is to imagine the audience naked. It works for two main reasons: it’s a funny distraction and it makes you feel less threatened. After all, what’s a room full of naked people gonna do to you?

This is similar. If you ever feel threatened or need a boost of confidence, visualize a weapon in your hand (I use a katana because, well, they’re awesome, but you can use something else).

To practice, close your grip and imagine you’re holding a rockin’ samurai sword in your hand. Really visualize yourself holding the weapon; give it a weight, a color, focus on how it feels in your hand. Release your grip to make the sword disappear, then repeat the exercise until you can feel the contrast between holding and not holding your “sword of confidence.”

Next time you need to feel confident, close your hand around the hilt of your weapon. Trust me – talking to your boss or taking the subway at night is a lot less scary when you’ve got a samurai sword in your hand!

So there you have it: 5 ways to become awesome in 5 minutes! If you try any of these exercises, please leave a comment and let me know how everything went.

George P.H. helps people figure out relationships, live without limitations and feel awesome over at The Man-Up Blog.
  • Tamzinlw

    Good advice!

  • Brandon Figueroa

    Epic Post! 

    In point number 5, the nerd came out in me and I immediately thought of holding a light saber instead of a samurai sword. LOL 

    These are extremely helpful tips! I never really thought of imagining a “cocoon” before. But that really makes sense when you think about it. To build rapport with someone requires  you to be really present with that person and you have made a very nice analogy of that. 

    Thanks for posting George! 

  • Jack Foley

    Excellent information. You are so right about the goals. They drastically improve your chances of success

  • George P.H.

    @a2859a163f340dabb93a7a04db866c4f:disqus Thanks for the very thoughtful feedback, Brandon! “Do or do not, there is no try” is one of my favorite quotes :).

    @80e5a5a858b29c23269b499aa92572ae:disqus Totally agree with you. You write about commitment on your own blog and I think having goals automatically helps with that.

    @c4a331b6acb8bcb037d4929243a6a7d0:disqus Thank you!

  • Wiktor Kostrzewski

    About point 5: I got a slide remote / laser pointer for Christmas. Looks just like a mini-lightsabre. So yeah, no need to visualise much :)

  • Lisa Newton

    I love the idea of still writing stuff down with a good old pen and paper.  It really does work!!

  • Chaithanyakizhakkevila

    thanks a lot………

  • Steve Martile

    Awesome advice George… specifically the examples you have with visualization… 

    Love the journal of awesomeness… I’ve got mine right here… never fails to put me in a great mood and line me up with more great vibes and opportunities.  Very nice ;)

  • The Vizier

    Hi George,

    Indeed, tools that can turbo-charge our lives fast are handy.  I couldn’t agree with you more especially since there is so much to stress us out and get us down.  No doubt lasting change is something we all need to work at.  But it helps to have some techniques to recharge us when we need it most.  Of the 5 ways you listed, I like the following best.

    1.  Double Your Chances with Goal-Setting

    If I don’t know where I am going or what I want, chances are I won’t get anything or end up anywhere.  Goals help me to cut out everything that is irrelevant in my life and focus.  When my energy is harnessed in such a manner, feeling awesome is natural.

    5. Samurai Swords of Confidence

    This is an interesting technique.  Visualizing a samurai sword in your hand to gain confidence.  I personally prefer to view myself as a general with millions of lives depending on my choices and actions.  Some times, you just gotta do what you gotta do.  

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article!  

    Irving the Vizier

  • Joykokkonen

    Thank you, that has improved my state of mind.  I had just recently been a little concerned about future bills and the budget.  I wrote it all down hoping that to see it in writing would ease my worry, and it did!  I will try some of the other ideas also.  I am a 55 year old unemployed woman with no real work skill.  My husband can support us both but I still feel a little “guilty” for not being able to find a job that would work for us.  Time wise and auto wise.  I am fortunate I know.  Thanks again.

    • ZackB

      Joy: Although you may not have “thing” skills like operating some machine or software program, those are the kinds of things that can be learned on the job and quickly. I’d be willing to bet you’ve got some kind of “people” skills, which are much harder to learn and are infinitely valuable. I’ve found, and always preach, “Hire for attitude, train for skill.” You’ll find the right fit for you to feel productive in the workplace and in your home life. Lead with your attitude and enthusiasm, and don’t discount the contributions you already make in managing your household. Believe me, it may not formally “pay” to be a homemaker, but without someone producing a healthy, happy home through skilled execution, all the financial “support” in the world isn’t gonna help.

  • David

    Good visualization strategies, refreshing to come across something real like this once in a while. No BS indeed.

  • Justin

    Great points in your post George. Something that I have implemented in my life was journaling. Journaling has helped me to get all of those thoughts that run around in my head and get them onto paper so I can figure out what to do with them.

  • Sequence04

    Really enjoyed tip #5! Took me a minute to decide on what weapon to use,  but then it came to me all of the sudden like, ‘oh yaaa…how could I forget??!”  A chakram! Back in my  Xena : Warrior Princess watching days as a kid I remember thinking how badass she looked while using the chakram. So the chakram it is! :) Can’t wait to keep practicing this one more… thanks for the awesome tip!

  • George P.H.

    @twitter-222498082:disqus Hahaha, just be careful about playing with a laser pointer when y ou’re in public!@d3e9b47de2c74fb50c2f424345c90b7f:disqus Thank you! I’m still surprised at how powerful visualization exercises can be. @5f2cfe99a6d4b964060566d471deb537:disqus You’re very welcome.@ba51a93d3223ffc7cebbcb4b238fb656:disqus  It certainly does!
    @a16b4ec764047f338c9a364d7d0390d5:disqus Haha, I love the General visualization. That’s awesome, and you’re right – sometimes a man’s gotta do what he’s gotta do ;).
    @bfacefba0c5c6e0e2309ff0722e54118:disqus @304ea81d6077e7fb07fed554cdb4864f:disqus I strongly agree with what Zack said. Don’t belittle the contribution a housewife makes to her husband’s success. I’m glad my post helped.
    @1090cb8c186cfa702cb6b662647da0e5:disqus Thank you, I’m glad the article came out how I wanted it to. I hate BS advice myself.
    @mazzastick:disqus I need to do that more often. Very helpful technique, and it really calms you down. 
    @56d76c22697f00774c7b6848c796f314:disqus Ah, princess Xena.. I can’t believe it’s been 10+ years since they cancelled that show. 

  • Bojan Djordjevic

    It’s available on Installous.

    • Bojan Djordjevic

      Sorry this comment was meant to be posted on different blog :)

  • Noch Noch | be me. be natural.

    i need to start writing about awesomeness in my journals instead of things i haven’t done or achieved. it brings me done always…
    Noch Noch

    • George P.H.

      The more you focus on something, the more of it you get in your life. I’ve been a pessimist for most of mine, so I should know ;). Try that journal and let me know how it goes. 

  • Amy Swanson

    I love your tip about keeping a journal of awesomness! I kept one during my junior year of college and now reading it a few years later, it brings a smile to my face :-) It serves as a reminder that I can accomplish things, even when I don’t think I can.

    This is a truly awesome post, thanks!

    • George P.H.

      Thinking really is believing. It’s great that you kept a journal before, but now’s as good a time as any to start a new one! Best of luck and thank you. 

  • Carrisa Salyers

    This article is filled with great advice! Thank you for sharing!

    Samurai Swords of Confidence – step number five.
    There are a variety of ways for a person to build self confidence and it’s important for a person to figure out the right way to raise their self confidence. With out any self confidence this article would not be able to help someone to it’s full potential.  is a website that can add to your last point and help a person to have an even greater perspective on building self confidence.

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  • Karan Bulbule

    Awesome post! Just reading it psyched me up. But I disagree to : “After all, what’s a room full of naked people gonna do to you?”  :D

    • George P.H.

      Ahhahaha! In some situations, a room of naked people can definitely be dangerous :). 

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  • Miguel

    If  I do this “Next time you need to feel confident, close your hand around the hilt of your weapon” i would make a fist with my habd and the person around me could feel threaten and maybe hit me?  Not native so dont start with the spelling

  • Suzanne

    The cocoon is a neat idea. It is truly amazing how the power of the mind can influence our perceptions.

  • Oolak20

    Hi, George – really cool post! As for item number 5, Samurai Swords of Confidence, I may have similar visualisation for it although have never named it, but I use in my mind a curved knife, particularly by Sinbad the Sailor. And must say it is really quite effective especially when you want to do some “pinning down” papers for a deadline for example… So I have to agree anything that’s your own personal weapon for “killing” stress, fear, anxiety, insecurity, etc, can give you that boost of confidence! Have a good day :)

  • Gtteach

    Sharing with my students – awesomeness X 157! I wonder what I would have done if someone had shared these with my when I was in school?…never too late, I guess!

    Thank you for this.

  • pradep

    Samurai Sword’s idea was great I’ll try it with gun

  • Karan

    About #2, I found that is remarkably good for keeping a Journal of Awesomeness. But that’s just a first impression, I signed up today.

  • Health Facility

    Traditional ways of writing.  Writing first the ideas with pen and on paper still works for me. Great article. Worth the read.

  • aged care sydney

    Impressive and excellent post. Great ideas you have posted. Thank you for sharing. Very good advice.

  • Mark

    My summary:

    Set the goal of visualizing yourself with a sword in hand in a cocoon with naked people, then write down how awesome it was.

  • Kyle

    Very awesome post! It was exactly what I needed to see!

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