Adding Gratitude Daily Planner Use.

Adding Gratitude Daily Planner Use.

*This link contains affiliate ads which are selling products on Amazon which My Life Experiment earns a commission for. I only promote products that are relevant to this websites purpose of personal growth. These sales make it possible for My Life Experiment to continue running with increasing success.

Hey Everybody! Welcome back to My Life Experiment!

So, about a month ago I began maintaining a Daily Planner. I have loaded that planner up well, more than I have in a couple of years!

One thing I am realizing though is that between maintaining my recovery, my job, my family, and this Website, my mental and emotional resources are feeling Stretched.

I need a new plan with my planner, because even though I am filling it up, I am still having a difficult time of reminding myself of what I wrote down! In the last couple of weeks, I missed two work appointments, they were not job threatening misses, but I still didn’t feel like the reliable guy I am when I spaced them out.

I realize that my memory is not what it once was. It might be from the hell I put my brain through while trying to keep myself numb for all those years. And it may be from the weight of responsibility I am feeling from all the new beautiful experiences I have been attracting!

I am only 36 years old, so I don’t think I can play the age card quite yet. Heck it may be that I simply am not paying close enough attention to my life!

I remember in my Learning and Memory Psychology class that they brought up the importance of actively paying attention in being able to remember something. Go figure that the more I pay attention to my life, the more I am likely to remember what is coming next.

So why am I having a difficult time paying attention to my life? I suppose there could be a lot of answers to this question. But I have a feeling it is because, I am trying to sort out what matters to me more and what matters to me less. And as I fill my life with new responsibilities, I have to develop a new relationship with all the others!

I feel there are certain areas I am paying less attention to because I am growing in other areas. There are certain roles in my recovery community that I have had to temporarily pull back on because I need that extra energy to prepare for our baby girl. I have also ended up giving work a less attention because I am growing a blogging business that will turn into writing books!

Both of these endeavors have taken a great deal of my attention away from other important places I once focused more attention on. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? It could go either way!

The problem is if I take too much focus off my recovery community (going to meetings, mentoring, being of service) it could be easier to forget about it altogether. Same goes for work! If I spend too much time focusing on all of these other areas, my distractedness at my job may mess with my ability to work. And that could lead to not having my job anymore, which has a Health Insurance package and 401/k matching!

I suppose what I am looking for is balance! A way to allow more beautiful experiences into my life, without having to disregard all the other areas that have helped me up to this point.

In essence this is a time issue to me. I only have so many hours in a day, and I need to use it wisely. This is also why I use a planner! Though I have shown myself that writing in it isn’t enough.

I need to keep myself well-informed of what I have written. I need to give more attention to what I have coming up next! I have found in the past that finding things to be grateful has helped me be more awake for my life. I believe I have come to a solution for being more awake for areas I am losing interest in!

A new plan for using my Daily Planner!

1. Daily Planner Usage- I need to use the planner on a daily basis. Simple enough!

2. Write down more events I currently do- I will make sure I write down more than just the things that seem “significant.” Not every detail of life, just some more.

3. Give some thought to the event- As I am writing the event down I will be giving thought to a best possible outcome from the event. This isn’t meant for future tripping, so if I begin to do that I will shut it down!

4. Giving gratitude for the event- More than just giving thought to a positive result for the event, I will also give some gratitude for the positive result! Meaning I will try to invoke the feeling I would have, as if I already received the result I am looking to have.

5. Review in the morning- Every morning when I wake up I will check out my planner, and repeat steps 3 and 4 for all of the events I have written down for the day. Nothing too extensive, but just enough to get some positive vibes going for what is coming up next.

*The new routine I came to was inspired through a combination of my commitment to using a daily planner. As well as my commitment to work the a book called “The Magic.” This book is a guide to invoking a great deal of gratitude in a one month period, to turn us into magnets for amazing new experiences. “The Magic” is available for purchase through this link

Thankful for Today

With this new way of engaging my Daily Planner, I already anticipate the benefit potential! By giving gratitude for upcoming events, I will develop more interest for showing up for them. This is only an educated guess of course, but I will be sure to let you know how my progress is going!

Thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment! Once again, I need to tell you that knowing that I will be sharing my experiences with you, has made my life much more entertaining! So, thank you for stopping in and if you like what you have read here, please share it on your social media!

Also, if you are interested in purchasing the planner I use, here is a link to snatch it up and begin taking better care of your time. Thanks again for supporting My Life Experiment!

Hustle Harder or Lose the Mind.

Hustle Harder or Lose the Mind.

Hey Folks! Travis here from My Life Experiment. Thank you so much for stopping in and giving some love to this page!

I got something into my head while I was being a gerbil on my elliptical. I began thinking about how much I end up thinking about something before I do it.

I wonder how much of my life I have wasted chattering back in forth with the voices in my head. There is no way to know but it is even painful to think about!

I don’t believe there is anything wrong with thinking, thinking is very helpful as I prepare for what is coming next. Though I wonder if all I really need thinking for is to find the entry point for the next endeavor to set off to do! And the rest of it is useless.

If that is the case, then I have wasted a disgusting amount of time in my life. Now you may be thinking that I am being a little too hard on myself, though this is for enlightenment, not punishment!

Developing My Life Experiment has been like hooking jumper cables up to my heart and giving myself a long-term jolt toward positive change. Don’t get me wrong, I have an incredible amount of gratitude for my life and my relationships. But just because I am grateful for my life, doesn’t mean I get to just sit back and suck on the teat of life in comfort till the day I die.

As I have said in other posts I have written. My mental and emotional states go nuts when I don’t take productive action! When I am not busting out of my own skin to push the envelope with new opportunities for growth, I get bored and get depressed. Honestly, sometimes it is aggravating that I need to keep growing so much. Sometimes I just want to sit back, relax, and not be so prone to depression.

I am an Addict in recovery. Not many people in society have a damn clue what this means. Most people think Addiction is about a drug problem, behavior problem, alcohol problem, sex problem. I don’t have any of these problems!

Though I and other addicts, certainly have a problem with diseased thinking.

As my thinking gets more out of touch with reality, then so does my decision making. My decision making guides my actions. So when in the depths of the diseased thinking, people are left wondering what in the world is this guy doing!

Most people don’t know what it is like to go insane. I have been insane. When I am not busting my ass to grow, my mind is already backtracking into insanity.

My life is set up so that I can keep my mind in reality! I don’t attend recovery meetings every week, use gratitude, meditate, talk to trusted supports, and journal, because I am such a spiritual guy. I do these things because there is no way in hell I am allowing myself to find my way back into the insanity I have the potential to return to!

I don’t stay in touch with my emotions because I am SOO in touch with my sensitive side. I don’t want to go crazy. I refuse to allow my energy to drag me into a crappy life anymore!

I realize that not everyone reading this post is prone to going insane. Even if you aren’t, I still KNOW that if the things I talk about on My Life Experiment have helped keep me in reality, then I know they are practical methods for any person that is looking for some mental and emotional stability.

If you are dealing with Addiction, Mental Illness, or you are suffering in any form, please get yourself some help. Don’t suffer alone.

Now I am not a Buddhist, but I do love the 1st Noble Truth. The 1st Noble Truth the Buddha found was that “There is Suffering.” One thing we can agree upon is that suffering is real, even though it doesn’t have to drive us to insanity.
Everybody suffers, and not everybody suffers the same.

So up above I put it out there that I am prone to some heavy stuff if I quit taking care of myself, and that I am an addict. That doesn’t mean I believe that the suffering of an addict is superior to those that are not addicts, or not dealing with Mental Illness.

Alright I went on a rant there. Though for some reason it was a necessary rant. I began the post with the realization of the time I have wasted while thinking. Well… It is in my thoughts that my insanity grows, where my suffering grows. My insanity and suffering grow with the energy I need to be putting into growing my world!

That’s it right there! So if there was a bit of advice I can give to anybody right now. It is think less and do more!

I realize saying something like “think less and do more” might sound dangerous, but of course I mean taking actions in a positive direction!

If you don’t know how to take any kind of positive action right now. Talk to a healthy person and allow them to help you!

Thank you for stopping into My Life Experiment. And thank you for the support! I know that writing these words for you today will add immense value to my life today. I hope reading these words today give you value as well!

If you have people in your life that might benefit from this post today, please share it to your social media. And If you have any questions or insights, please leave them in the comments section below. Take care everybody!

Much Love,
Travis Hagen

Dealing With Disappointment.

Dealing With Disappointment.

In this article we are going to discuss disappointment. This of course is a subject that all of us should be able to relate to, in some way or another.

What is Disappointment?

Oxford dictionary has disappointment defined as, “sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations.”

Let’s face it, for all but probably a small percentage of the human population, the feeling of disappointment sucks. I think it would be difficult to learn to enjoy the feeling of the definition above.

The thing is, that the only way for me to experience success with is to take healthy risks. Taking risks always means the possibility of the risk not working out, and so possible disappointment.

When I think about the amount of disappointment I feel after a risk not working out, it is easy to see the relationship between disappointment and expectation.

Disappointment and Excitement for Outcomes.

The relationship between disappointment and expectation is like an equation to me. The amount of disappointment felt depends on the amount of expectation placed on a certain outcome. So, if I am really excited for a certain outcome, you better believe there will be a decent amount of disappointment if it doesn’t work out.

Of course, the inverse of this equation is also true. If I am not placing a lot of expectation on an outcome, I am likely to not be all that disappointed by it not coming together.

So here we have the solution to disappointment. All we have to do is not get too excited for having things go our way and we will never be too disappointed. Wait…. That sounds like a horrible way to go through life!

Disappointment and the Importance of Taking Risks.

When I first entered recovery, I was certainly not an excited guy, I was broken, and a nervous wreck. Many years of bottling up my potential had me needing to be on depression and anxiety medications. Before I got clean lived in a small world, killing myself with chemicals in an attempt to avoid the pain of not knowing how to live my life. Not taking healthy risks had a horrendous impact on my mental, physical and emotional health.

Disappointment RiskThe fact of the matter is that for me, if I am taking healthy risks I am going to feel stress. Also, if I am not taking sufficient healthy risks, I am going to build up stress anyway. As the stress builds in the background of my awareness consequences may come later as my brain seeks quick fixes for stress relief. And I probably won’t like the results of these quick fixes, that’s the reason I used so heavily.

So not taking risks as a way to avoid stress, ultimately ends up biting me in the butt. We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Taking a risk and using all this energy on my terms sounds like the best way to go. Life is much better when I am seeking new ways of growing, taking risks, and putting myself out there to be disappointed from time to time.

Since disappointment is unavoidable for the kind of life I desire. I need ways to help navigate disappointment to make sure it does not eat me alive or deter me from taking sufficient healthy risks.

Methods for Successfully Managing Disappointment:

1. Feel the Pain.

Where there is disappointment, there is pain. The pain might tell me I am a failure, stupid for taking the risk, or that someone else had it out for me. It is immensely important to get in touch with these painful emotions so they don’t keep me from taking risks in the future.

2. Social Support.

Having people I trust is very important for dealing with disappointment. They can help me see any kind of silver linings that I may not be able to see. These trusted people may also be able to affirm any positive traits in myself that I may be overlooking. Without solid social support we are truly missing out.

3. Gratitude.

I work on focusing on what I have to be grateful for. This could be done by either writing a gratitude list or just taking some time out to run through a list in my head. If the disappoint stings really bad, I don’t count on one gratitude session doing the trick. By taking a risk, I obviously wanted something more in my life. So, taking some time to remind myself that there are plenty of things to appreciate about my current life, can be highly therapeutic.

4. Having Patience.

I need to remind myself that heavy disappointment will not be worked through overnight. If I really had my heart set on an outcome and I didn’t get it, it is going to hurt. But keeping myself informed that I will feel better about it over time, helps a lot.

5. Giving credit for taking a risk.

It can be easy to become disheartened by a “failed risk,” maybe thinking it was stupid to waste time and resources. Reminding myself that putting myself out there to take a healthy risk is a commendable thing, is very important!

6. Focus on what can be learned.

Having taken the risk (even if it didn’t work out) I still gained some extra skills from the experience. The experience can also show me what didn’t work with the risk I took. If I examine what went wrong, I can possibly formulate another plan of action for the next risky attempt!

7. Get back to the basics.

While I am dealing with disappointment, the emotions can get in the way of being present in the relationships I currently am a part of. I find that when I make the effort to pump some of that energy that had me taking the risk into giving more to my marriage, my work, my family, that the disappointment doesn’t do as much damage to my mind.


Disappointment OkayTaking healthy risks is an important part of my life. I do not see anything wrong with the strong desire to expand life and learn new things. I find that if I neglect to allow my energy to create in the world by taking healthy risks, this energy IS going to come out sideways in negative ways. This will make life much more difficult for myself and those around me!

As for all of you, I cannot say what risks you should be taking. Though I can say that if you are anything like me, you better be taking some. Life can be a beautiful thing, full of opportunity to expand, love, and learn. So on that note, GO GET SOME. It’s all going to be okay.



Thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment today. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us!

  1. Please like and leave a comment below.
  2. Share this article on your social media.
  3. Join our email list, which will get you a copy of our Therapeutic Writing Guide, and have our new articles sent directly to your email.
  4. Follow our Facebook page!

Much love,

Travis Hagen


*Note that the advice given in this article is not meant to replace the role of Mental Health Professionals.

Confusion? 5 Methods for Easing Through Painful Learning.

Confusion? 5 Methods for Easing Through Painful Learning.

Today I’m going to touch on the topic of Confusion. I am seeking to answer a couple of questions here from my own perspective.

1. What is confusion?
2. Why can confusion be so painful?
3. How can I release the confusion?
4. What are the good aspects of confusion

My Life Experiment is All about gathering information to learn new concepts and new tasks. This means a lot of confusion to deal with. So, what is confusion for me?

What is Confusion for me?

Let me work this out with an example from when I was attending College. I had to take an Intermediate Algebra class. Now with the life I lived experimenting in very unhealthy ways, I bypassed basically all forms of Algebra. This made my learning very difficult once I couldn’t avoid it anymore.

Sometimes I would sit and rack my damn brain trying to figure out the way to solve the equations. There were times when I was ready to throw my computer out the window and literally beat my head against a wall! But thankfully I never did either of those.

After a 45-minute session, sometimes I would have my brain thoroughly twisted into a knot. Of course brains do not twist in knots. Though there are a ton of times where the gaps between what I know and what needs to be known, have seem painfully very far apart. Like to an irreconcilable degree!

I don’t know the exact science of what is going on inside my brain when I am confused. Though I do imagine a whole bunch of neurons working hard to connect with one another. And the faster I “need” them to connect, the harder it can be on my mental health.

Why the Pain of Confusion?

Just being confused alone doesn’t seem to be enough to cause me pain. The pain of confusion comes when pressure is applied.

The kind of pressure I am talking about is when a purpose is at play, and something to be accomplished. What really amps up pressure to learn is when a deadline is applied! When the learning process is pushed to speed up, that is when confusion seems to become painful.

My Algebra class had deadlines that I needed to meet. In my mind I had expectations that I needed to meet. I wanted the best grades and I wanted them bad. In order to meet these expectations of mine and the teacher’s, the information had to be learned and learned well. Well enough that I could show that I learned it! And I came into the class with zero Algebraic ability. This created ample pressure!

When I am in the pain part of confusion I can become ultra-sensitive, someone that even talks around me may get a dirty look! I may even be on the verge of telling these unsuspecting offenders some unnecessary pieces of my mind!

I take it that I have a massive amount of electrical activity going on in my brain, and it hurts. The pain also starts talking, and it will likely not be very nice to myself or to others!

head stress.jpg

Now this depth of confusion is thankfully not that often of an occurrence for me. But when there is pressure to meet a deadline that I don’t exactly know how to meet, it is likely that I will not be able to avoid getting painfully confused.

To live the kind of life I want to live, I will not be able to avoid these feelings. So the best I can do is find some ways to help out the process so the confusion doesn’t need to get to such a drastic stage. Here are some methods I use to keep myself from having to experience painful confusion, while still challenging myself to grow!

5 Methods for Easing Through Painful Learning.

1. Begin Projects early

Going to College taught me that if I leave things to the last minute, I am setting myself up for a great deal of stress. Spacing out my learning over a longer period of time, makes it more likely that I will not be as homicidally confused the night before something is due.

2. Breathe

When I am getting sensitive and angry while confused, concentrating on my breathing is imperative. The breathes I take helps create a space where I can settle down and relax my brain so that it isn’t so tense anymore.

3. Take breaks

I’ve found that if I work on a challenging problem for too long, I am bound to become pissed. When I start realizing that the stress is building to an uncomfortable level, I let myself know it is time to put the work away for a little bit.

4. Stretch

Even taking a couple of minutes to do a little stretching can relieve a lot of that stress that is building in my extremities. This can help my brain relax since it ends up getting fewer messages of tenseness from my body. This gives my brain more freedom to be creative on my project.

5. Sleep on it

Sleep can be kind of like a long break. It has a way of untangling the mess that is in my brain. I can go to sleep completely confused then wake up and work on the project in the morning, in a sense, recharged. That sleep recharge has helped me bring important new ideas to the project many times. If I would have just kept working on it through the night, I can only imagine I would turn the project into a jumbled mess.

It is clear to me that being in a state of confusion is an unavoidable part of my brains problem solving repertoire. My brain is constantly trying to figure out new ways of doing things and I simply cannot skip past the confusion stage of learning. No matter how nice skipping that part of the process would be!

The Good aspects of Confusion.

Where there is confusion, there is learning. To me, that is the good news! I, would even venture an assumption that the stronger the confusion, the more I am learning.

That I am confused, lets me know that I am giving myself sufficient challenges to learn. If I don’t give My Life Experiment enough challenges, I am bound to get bored.

Learning new things and risking confusion may be uncomfortable at times, but I would rather be learning than bored out of my mind. Because I know all too well that boredom brings it’s own stress, but stress that is much less productive!

For me, I will even say the greater the confusion equals the greater sense of satisfaction once the thing is learned and the project is complete. I love figuring out something that has been giving me a good challenge. Knowing that many of my neurons got educated well and got to make new connections actually gives me hope for more having more success in the future. Being able to surprise myself with successful results feels amazing!

A few last words.

The last couple things I have to say to you all about confusion is, welcome it. Challenge yourself, make yourself think! Learning more and challenging our abilities, actually can help ward off Alzheimer’s Disease!

Now I cannot say what is a healthy amount of challenge for everybody. I can only figure that out for myself. Everybody will have a different level of confusion that they can handle. But I do believe that if I listen to my instincts close enough, they will let me know what is a challenge I should take and one that is better left for later.

Thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment today. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us!

  1. Please Like and leave a comment below.
  2. Share this article on your social media.
  3. Join our email list, which will get you a copy of our Therapeutic Writing Guide, and have our new articles sent directly to your email.
  4. Follow our Facebook Page!

Much Love, Travis Hagen

My Life Experiment

Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer's and owner's of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

Developing “Magic” in My Life

Developing “Magic” in My Life

* This article contains affiliate links which are for selling products on Amazon which I earn a commission for. I only promote products that are relevant to this websites purpose of personal growth. These sales make it possible for My Life Experiment to run as successfully as possible.

Using “The Magic” for my Gratitude Experiment.

Hey everybody, today I am going to fill you in on an amazing book called “The Magic” that changed my life several years ago and up to the present.

About a month ago I set off on the “Gratitude Intention,” experiment, to get help with my mental and emotional health. In that experiment I laid out the method I would use to write the gratitude lists that were a big part of the experiment. 

I said that I would be writing 10 things to be grateful for and why I am grateful for them. This method has been incredibly helpful over the years, but it is not a method that I invented. It came from “The Magic.”

It was a great experience that I received great benefits from! But what the experiment also reminded me of was where my roots with the routine began.

About 7 years ago I was going through a breakup with my ex-fiancé. Though the breakup didn’t just have to be with my ex, it also had to be from her little boy. I went through a period where things were very sticky with my mind. Basically becauseI was having a terribly difficult time staying in reality and out of my obsessive mind.

In this time I latched on much closer to my recovery community, but I also found “The Magic.” And you better believe that am immensely grateful that I did!

What is the “The Magic”?

“The Magic” is the third book stemming from “The Secret.” You may know that “The Secret” is a book on learning how to use the “Law of Attraction” for creating abundance in our lives. If you didn’t know that then now you do!

You may be thinking, “oh great this fruitcake is going to tell me that if I think about a new car enough it is going to magically show up.” Well I am not writing this to promote “The Secret,” although it has some decent concepts in it! What I am interested in discussing is “The Magic,” and what it has to offer. And sorry but I don’t think new cars are going to instantly appear by applying this book either..

I would describe “The Magic” as giving a practical 28 day long guide to experiment with amplifying the level of gratitude in our lives. It is a 28 day long program to help develop a  long term habit out of expressing gratitude. “The Magic” fills in a lot of the details about attracting abundance that “The Secret” failed at doing, and wasn’t really designed to do.

I remember when I picked up the book, I started reading it and immediately wanted to speed read through because the content felt so inspiring. Speed reading wasn’t really allowed though because the book asked me to slow down and work on daily tasks. The different daily tasks gave me methods for pumping more love and gratitude into my life and any other relationships!

Two Routines that Changed my World.

Day one of the Gratitude Course is the 10 things I am grateful for and why, gratitude list. The next day is finding a nice rock to use as a gratitude invoking rock.

These two gratitude building methods stayed in my life for quite a long time after first completing the book. I wrote gratitude lists everyday for around 4 years, I also carried the rock for around 3 years. I still use in my life less frequently today, though they still have a powerful impact on me.

The daily tasks build on each other over the course of following the process. Though soon I was using several methods to build gratitude that really had me feeling on top of the world. This feeling did require work though, and adherence to practicing the steps that are provided. It also takes some letting go of judgment of the process!

This book fits My Life Experiment though and may not fit everyone’s experiment process. It fits My Life Experiment because I believe that there is a genius inside every human being, that will find a way to bring about whatever they desire if given the right tools. I have no doubt that intention, gratitude and hustling harder are the right tools. And this book has a process for developing more gratitude than any other book I have read before!

How my Past Experience with “The Magic” Turned out.

Remember how I was telling you about how “The Magic” came into my life. Yes the break up…

There was a month there where the grief of the break up had me moderately depressed, and extremely confused. I really wasn’t sure what to do with myself.

One very important thing that practicing “The Magic” and its rigorous form of gratitude building did was keep me out of my own head. It kept me focused on the beauty in my life and allowed me to remind myself that hope existed for amazing relationships and wealth to come into my world.

What it did for me was help keep me from sinking into the depths of depression, which is something that has happened many times throughout my life.

I am grateful for this book, I give it credit for helping me save my own sanity.

I have bought this book for several people over the years and will buy it for more as time goes on. If you are interested in purchasing “The Magic” there is a link set up for you below. Using this link to purchase “The Magic” as well as any other purchase you make through the Amazon Affiliate Link will benefit the purpose of My Life Experiment Blog.

Thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment today. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us!

  1. Please Like and leave a comment below.
  2. Share this article on your social media.
  3. Join our email list, which will get you a copy of our Therapeutic Writing Guide, and have our new articles sent directly to your email.
  4. Follow the conversation on our Facebook Page!


%d bloggers like this: