3 Ways To Use Feedback Loops In Your Life

Do you struggle with comparing yourself to...yourself? I know it’s easy to compare ourselves to what everyone else is doing, but what about when the competition is YOU?

Someone at a recent workshop we taught wrote me about this issue recently.


My biggest competitor is myself. I consistently feel like I could be doing better in all aspects of life.


If you have a hustler’s spirit, which I know you do because you’re reading this, you feel like you’re constantly in the trenches. It can be really hard to take a step back and acknowledge your performance and accomplishments.

Hell, I’ve been deep in the Idea Lemon trenches for awhile now. I haven’t taken a day off since December 27th--that’s 81 straight days! And for real, when you’re deeply focused on something it’s so easy to get caught up in what you’re doing that you feel like you haven’t done anything. But if an outsider looked at you, they’d be like, “Damn that kid is nonstop!”

The problem is when you’re hustling, you always feel like you haven’t done enough. There’s always more to work on, more to chase, more to grind.

I call it the Hamilton Drive.


The Hamilton Drive

If you’ve had a conversation with me in the last 5 months then you know I’m OBSESSED  with the broadway musical Hamilton, about the life of Alexander Hamilton. I even wrote a blog post about it a few months ago.

Throughout the musical, Hamilton’s drive is front and center. He’s always hungry, always wanting more. When he wanted to get public approval of the U.S. Constitution, he published FIFTY ONE ESSAYS in SIX MONTHS!

Das dat Hamilton Drive.

He was so nonstop, during one song in the musical, his wife asks him, “Look around, isn’t this enough?”


So what do you do when YOU are the one who feels nonstop? When YOU don’t feel like enough? When YOU have the Hamilton Drive?

Feedback Loops

Here’s what I do to make sure I feel good about what I’m doing, while still staying hungry for more.

I implement feedback loops. That is, I intentionally create scenarios and environments that enable feedback.

Here's the most basic diagram I found online of a feedback loop

Miiiind blowing

For example, last week we taught our Art of Awesome workshop, and, quite honestly, I felt like Martin and I weren’t  at our best. More like, I thought we sucked it up hard. There we were, presenting to a room  of about 40 people, and I’m thinking, “Welp, we’re bombing this.”

I could have been left with only my own thoughts to ruminate. But this is a feedback loop, remember.

After the presentation, half the room came up to us to say how much our presentation moved them, made them think differently, and gave them inspiration to take action in their careers. I listen to that feedback closely so I know what’s working best.

This feedback loop let’s me know that, even on what I feel is my worst day, I’m still able to help others, and the specific areas where I’m strongest. The things that don’t get mentioned I know I need to improve. It gets me out of my head, makes me feel good, but pushes me to keep going. Like, for real, I can't tell you how much my day improves after teaching a workshop.

Or look at our online Discover Your Inner Awesome Master Class. There are days when I’m just like ‘fuuuuuuuck we aren’t doing enough for our students.’ But because we’ve designed the class so there is constant interaction, that thought goes away when a student sends me this:

so many feelz

It’s another feedback loop. It allows me to take a step back and say, ‘Yes--what I'm doing is working!’. I can score that against other feedback to know, again, what is most valuable, and what needs improvement.

And even the emails to the Idea Lemon Tribe (are you subscribed by the way? If you're reading this, you should be). That's its own feedback loop. Our tribe members might decide to write me back and tell me their opinions, and how my email impacted them.

And in the instances where I hear crickets, I know that email didn’t really hit like I thought it would, which makes me crave the feedback loop even more, and pushes me to keep going so I can get it the next time.

Nearly everything I do where I’m aiming to improve, I have some sort of feedback loop in place.

The great thing about feedback loops is they are just that, a loop. It’s not a feedback line, meaning you don’t start and then just stop. You make it continuous. You don’t struggle with competing against yourself all the time, but you still retain your Hamilton Drive in order to generate more feedback loops.

How can you implement feedback loops into YOUR life?

3 ways YOU can implement feedback loops

On the smallest scale, do this...

Tomorrow--yes, tomorrow--ask a coworker/classmate who you work closely with what they think you do best. If you don’t know what to say, say this

“Hey I’m doing a professional development exercise I read about, and would love to get your input. What do you think I do best here?”

After they tell you, offer up your opinion of what they do best.

Then, ask if they want to make it a weekly practice.

“The exercise I read about mentioned that creating consistent feedback loops can help us go HAM on our strengths, and work on our weaknesses. Would you want to do a weekly check-in where we give feedback on what we see each other doing best?”

Boom. Feedback loop created.

On a slightly larger but still pretty small scale, do this...

Write a blog post. If you don’t have a blog then publish an article on Linkedin or Medium. Then send it to 3 specific people who you think would want to read it, and ask what they liked best. If you don’t know what to say, say this


I just published this article on my blog/Linkedin/Medium, and I think you’d enjoy it. Would you mind reading it and replying back with what you found most helpful? It’ll help me for the next time I publish an article.


The next time you write an article, send it to 3 new people and ask the same question. And so forth.

Boom. Feedback loop created.


On a larger scale that can actually be large and seems scary but really isn’t, do this...

Turn your blog/Linkedin/Medium posts into a newsletter, and ask for responses from your readers, just like I do.

Boom. Feedback loop created.

If you have the Hamilton Drive, and feel the pressure of competing against yourself, implement feedback loops to take off the pressure and keep the Hamilton Drive pushing forward.

SPEAKING of responses,

What’s one area of your life where you could use a feedback loop to help you? Comment below.

Take care and be awesome today,


How To Merge Your Interests and Make a Massive Impact

Earlier this week we talked about the idea of being made for more. Here’s what some of you had to say in response.

“...it really spoke to where I’m at right now. Not sure if you’ve caught it, but I started a new poetry project. It’s just the start, hoping to continues to move into something…..more”

-Steve K

“This is really such an incredible story. I've always loved writing, but I had never written anything professionally as it was not in keeping with what was expected of me as an "Information Technology professional". Needless to say I had a similar epiphany, and I have written and self-published three books in a series called "Ku" which is a story about an individual's search for meaning and purpose in life."

While I have yet to sell a single copy of any of the books on Amazon/Kindle I'm so incredibly happy that I have taken this step in my life. Who knows what is next?”

-Geoff N


What’s key in both of these responses is that neither Steve nor Geoff did something that was perfectly in line with their profession. Geoff mentioned he works in IT and wrote a series of books on purpose and meaning.


The concept of MORE is not about staying within predefined lines, it’s about figuring out ways you can go above and beyond.

Let’s talk now about a simple 2-step process you can use to find where you can give/create/do MORE.



I recently came across the story of Lin-Manuel Miranda while watching 60 Minutes on TV.




Lin is a playwright and actor. He loves musicals.

But he also loves hip hop.


Musicals and rap music traditionally haven’t gone together. But he took two interests of his and decided to merge them. He said, 'I want to be the guy who makes rap-sicals.'

This is crucial because it’s so easy to keep your interests, hobbies, and ‘personas’ separate from one another. 'Work me is different from home me, is different from weekend me, is different from intramural softball me.'


Forget all that shit, it’s YOU at the end of the day.

Instead of keeping everything siloed, find two interests of yours and merge them. For another example of merging, check out step 2 of The Burner Method.




Our playwright/actor friend Lin was on vacation when he picked up a biography about Alexander Hamilton (you know, America’s first treasury secretary...the guy on the $10 bill).



He became so enthralled by the life of Hamilton, that he decided he wanted--nay, NEEDED-- to write a musical documenting his life. But remember from Step 1, Lin wasn’t going to just create any old play. He was going to create a hip-hopera.

So he writes a hip hop musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton, called Hamilton.

He knew he wanted to do something different. All he needed was a catalyst. Reading the biography was his catalyst.


"By the end of the second chapter, I was on Google saying 'someone's already made this into a musical.' How can anyone NOT have made this into a musical?"

Lin-Manuel Miranda


When you merge interests, you skyrocket your chances of finding a catalyst because you’ve opened up the playing field to more possibilities. Sure, it was a chance encounter that Lin picked up the Hamilton biography, but your mind naturally gets into a more creative mode when you don’t treat everything in your life as exclusive.


“I drew a direct line between Hamilton writing his way out of his circumstances, and the rappers I’d grown up adoring.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda


And because it’s two of your interests and not just one, you become SO MUCH MORE EXCITED to do it. AND ON TOP OF THAT, you don’t get caught in a ‘yeah I’ll get to it later’, or a ‘everything has to be perfect before I can start’ mode. You just go.



“I think the secret sauce of this show is that I can’t believe this story’s true. It’s such an improbable and amazing story and I learned about it while I was writing it. And I think that enthusiasm is baked into the recipe."

Lin-Manuel Miranda


You increase your ability to do/create/give MORE. 




What happened as a result of Lin merging interests? Well, someone’s ears immediately perk up when they hear there is a hip hop musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton. Check that, everyone’s ears perk up. See, when you merge interests, because it’s so unique, people aren’t going to get it at first. But they will be interested enough to learn more.


"I say hip-hop, Alexander Hamilton, and everyone laughs…and then by the end, they’re not laughing, because they’re in it. Because they get sucked into the story, just like I got sucked in the story.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda


Remember, when it’s two of your interests and not just one, you become so much more excited to do it. And the energy and creativity you feed into that output is INFECTIOUS. People vibe off of your vibes.

What people? The beauty of merging interests is you get the attention of multple audiences. With Hamilton, Miranda attracts people who like hip-hop, people who like musicals/theater, AND people interested in U.S. history.

And for people like me who have an interest in all 3--well people like me are straight poppin' boners over this, becoming ultimate advocates. I love hip-hop, I get down with musicals, and U.S. history fascinates me, in particular the revolutionary war period.

Wood has been sprouted.



Hamilton is shattering the Broadway box office. In its first 3 months, Hamilton has pulled in $57 MILLION DOLLARS IN ADVANCE TICKET SALES! $57 Million!!

And Lin-Manuel Miranda is loving every second performing on a stage he loves, in a style he adores, about a person he admires.


Create your Hamilton. What are 2 interests in your life that you could merge? Leave a comment below.