The Life-Changing Power of 100-Item Lists

Get In The Habit Of Making Lists With Solutions!

Let’s face it: we all love reading articles that list the “top 5 ways to accomplish” something, or “the 10 best travel destinations”.

Lists of top favorite things, or top best experiences, or most amazing things, or most exciting (fill in the blanks), peak our curiosity and excitement.
We can’t help but wondering: “What would these 5 most amazing experiences be? What made the list and what didn’t?”

We love reading those kinds of articles.

Lists also make life easier.
As an example: your grocery shopping list saves you time in the store and minimizes “impulse buying”, which also saves you money.

It gets really fun though when lists are both exciting and life-improving.

A couple of years ago, I started making 100 item lists.

I have lists like:

“100 Ways To Get My Downpayment To My House Sooner”
“100 Ways I Can Give Better Service To My Clients”
“100 Things I Can Implement To Earn More Income”
“100 Things I Can Do To Make My Wife Even Happier”
“100 Ways I Can Cut My Spending”

All the lists are in the vain of: “100 ways or things I can think off to resolve or improve this or that issue or area of my life”.

As an example: read following blog which I posted a while ago to help my fellow musicians and guitar students.

Next week I will post the list: “125 Ways To Earn Income Doing Music Only” (This is also going to be an introduction to my soon to be published book for musicians who want to make music their career)

This Technique Will Make You More Successful

First off: why 100? Why not 20-item lists, or 50-item lists?

If you set your goal to come up with 20 solutions to a problem, that is what you will get: 20 ways to resolve something.

However: you will never know how much better you could have solved the situation, or how much more you could have learned from the situation, if you only came up with 20 solutions while you could have come up with 100.

Knowing 100 different ways to do something, gives you an edge over the person who only knows 20 ways.

The number 100 is also a number that conveys a certain air of credibility and accomplishment.
We subconsciously make the association that 100 “stands for something”, while we don’t really feel as strongly about the number 10, or 20.

There is also the persistence factor involved in the process of trying to figure out 100 ways to do something.
Yes, coming up with 100 items, is a challenge.
THAT is exactly the whole point.

The quality of brainstorming involved to accomplish finishing a 100-item list, transports you to a frame of mind where you transcend outside of your habitual, boxed-in way of thinking.

You will get stuck at some point.

By pondering the question “What else could I do to solve or improve this” over and over again with focused attention, you will elevate your mind to a level of thinking that you never would have reached if you had stuck to a shorter list.

You will find that sometimes you will even surpass your initial goal of 100 items.

100 Item Lists Will Expand Your Mind and Improve Your Life Quality

As you get into a habit of making such lists, you will start finding that:

  1. Making such lists is in many ways like meditation. The 100 item list making activity broadens your mind, opens up your perspective, and makes you feel in the moment.
  2. There is a very creative aspect involved in this task that gives a satisfying feeling
  3. You feel REALY confident that you will accomplish a given task after you found 100 ways to succeed.
  4. This activity trains your decision making muscles.
  5. You notice after a while that you get a lot better at thinking outside of the box.
  6. You start seeing solutions to everything everywhere all the time.
  7. You notice an improved ability to accomplish much more in much shorter amount of time and with less energy.
  8. People around you seem to come to you more often than before for solutions.
  9. The process of writing that list, feels liberating. With every idea that comes to you, you feel a little less “stuck”.

More importantly:
Such lists make you feel like you can accomplish ANYTHING!

How To Write These 100-Item Lists

Imagine that ONE goal that is unbelievably important to you, but that you are afraid off starting, that seems daunting to you, that you feel is out of your reach.

Open up an empty Microsoft Word document, click on the bullet and numbering icon to start a numbered list.

Then start writing your list of 100 ways you can accomplish that goal.
Don’t think, just write: like stream of consciousness writing.

Don’t judge your ideas that come to you, don’t minimize your ideas, don’t think anything about the ideas: just keep writing.
No matter how silly or trivial an idea might seem, don’t label or judge it: simply add it to your 100-item list.

All you need is one more idea. And then one more… and then the next one.
All that counts is this moment right now, and whatever that is going to come to you right now this very moment.

If you get completely stuck or drained in inspiration: that is totally fine.
You can either push your mind and focus to come up with more ideas, or you can go for a walk to get more oxygen to the brain.

Now this is important: you can also do… research.

Very often when I get stuck in making such a list, I start reading biographies of people who had similar difficulties to overcome, or read a book about the topic, or do a search on the internet.

Before you know it, even if you got stuck early on in the list making process, suddenly you have an avalanche of more ideas coming to you again.
That’s why I think it is so important to constantly read and learn. Other people’s points of view and thought processes open up your eyes to new solutions.

Every solution or idea you add to your list, is one big step closer to reaching this seemingly insurmountable goal.

This List of 100 Solutions Becomes Your New To Do List

When you reach the point where you indeed came up with 100 items: take a minute to read all your 100 solutions again.
Take it all in.

Now, assess how you feel?

Don’t you feel super excited and energized about your goal?

Well guess what: you didn’t just come up with a list of 100 ways to accomplish something…

You came up with a new, very exciting to do list of 100 tasks.
The reason why you feel so energized and excited now, is that you fully realize, that the goal you kept putting off, is not 1% as impossible to achieve as you always thought it was.

All it takes is 100 little tasks.

Another major advantage to having this list, is that you no longer have to use your brain as a database of facts now.
You can use your brain now to actually be productive and successful, not to have to “retain information”.

Everything you initially had to worry about, is now written down on paper and you have a blue print or roadmap to success.

In closing…

The naysayers might bring up the point: “In the time it takes me to figure out 100 ways to do something, I could already have done it”.

While this is a very good point indeed, I think it’s been clear that we are not trying to figure out “100 Ways to Tie Your Shoes”, or “100 Things You Can Do to Avoid Crashing Your Car”.

While it is true it takes a while to come up with a list of 100 items, it is also a given that you always get better at what you work on.
Your next 100 list is going to take less time to complete than your first one.

The above explained advantages you get out of doing this, far outweigh the amount of time and energy it takes to complete the list.
If it takes me an hour and a half to come up with 100 ways to bring in more business, I gladly spend that hour and a half if it means that I then have less stress and more income for years to come.

Good news:

You can REALLY have a major positive impact on other people and your community.
Share this blog with the share buttons below and copy and past YOUR 100-lists in the comments section below.
Your lists will help many other people with 100 solutions to problems they more than likely are encountering too.

I am really anxious to learn from you how I can solve and improve anything in my life a 100 different ways.
Thank you in advance for being part of the ZOT Zin Music family and sharing your thoughts in the comments below.

Be on the look out for more blogs about everything guitar, music, songwriting and music education.



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