If you ask most people what are their goals in life, they’ll enthusiastically tell you about their desire to achieve success, change the world, enjoy great social relationships or live life to the fullest.
But none of these is really their primary goal. At least not judging by their actions. Judging by their actions, their primary goal is to avoid discomfort.
Those things they mention so keenly, those are just secondary goals. If they can reach them while avoiding discomfort, they will take the required steps to do so. If not, they won’t.
Unfortunately, achieving any of the aforementioned goals, or anything noteworthy in life for that matter, entails putting yourself repeatedly in situations that will make you feel uncomfortable. Rewards come when you take risks. And when you don’t take risks, you don’t get to enjoy the rewards.
So you may wanna take a good look at what you deem to be your goals in life, then take a good look at your actions, and comparing the two, ask yourself: are these really my main goals?
If the answer is a resolute “Yes”, then more power to you. But if it’s not and you realize the desire for comfort is your main guide in life, perhaps it’s a good idea for you to start embracing discomfort more and stop running from it.
There is no such thing as your “true self”. That’s just self-help pseudo-scientific jargon. So don’t even bother trying to find your true self or get in touch with it. It’s pretty much a waste of time.
What we know from real sciences such as psychology is that human personality is complex, multilayered and multifaceted.
A person may be shy on one level and socially confident on another one. Creative in some areas and non-creative in other areas. All these traits are components of your true self. It’s not like some of them are really you, and some aren’t.
What you truly wanna do is think about the layers and facets of your personality that benefit you the most and consciously seek to develop them. So it’s about building a part of your self further, not about finding your self.
And the fact is that your personality does change in time. Its layers realign and its facets expand or contract. What you get to do is choose whether you’re gonna consciously direct this change, or you’re gonna let it be directed by external circumstances.
Read an interesting experiment today done by French psychologist Nicolas Gueguen. He sent a young guy on the street to approach 300 young women, talk to them a bit and ask them for their phone number.
He did this in 3 distinct conditions. In some of the situations he carried a guitar case with him, in some he carried a sports bag, and in some he didn’t carry anything.
The results? When the guy didn’t carry anything with him, 14% of women gave him their phone number. When he carried a sports bag, only 9% of women gave him their phone number. And when he carried a guitar case, a whopping 31% of women gave him their number.
So gentlemen, it’s time to cultivate your taste for musical instruments. Or at least get a guitar case and carry it around with you :)
There are many people who don’t believe someone can change at all past adulthood, so they don’t even try to change what they don’t like about themselves. Which, I think is a sad and false perspective.
On the other hand, there are also people at the opposite pole, who believe they have total control over their behavior, thinking and emotions, and they can become a completely different person overnight, simply because they want to and they are determined. Many self-help fans are in this group.
But this is a flawed perspective as well. We can all change, but it’s key to not overestimate how easy this is. Like it or not, your power to change is limited. Over 95% of your behavior today will be the same as the day before.
This means that when it comes to transforming yourself, you want to pick your battles and allocate your finite resources carefully. Effective change takes place gradually and strategically. Prioritize, focus, and take it one day at a time.
And don’t ever let the fact you’re not exactly the way you want to be right now (and in some instances you may never be) prevent you from accepting yourself. Life is too short to spend entire years of it feeling bad about yourself.
During the summer, even though it’s hot, I still prefer to wear dress shirts instead of T-shirts. But I typically roll up my sleeves in order to adapt to the weather.
This way I still get the classy-look effect of a quality dress shirt, but with a causal undertone and without sweating like I’m in front of an execution squad.
So this is a good time to learn or remember how to properly roll your shirt sleeves. Just watch this video by Antonio.
If you go to a restaurant and you don’t like the service, do you still tip the waiter? If you do, it could be a sign that you’re a people pleaser Or, in more scientific jargon, a non-assertive person.
Here’s another one: if you’re at a cinema and a couple of people sitting behind you are making a lot of noise and it’s bothering you, do you tell them to quiet down? If the answer is no, it’s another possible sign that you need to learn to stand up for yourself more.
I believe that most parents are well intended when they offer their children life and career advice. The problem is that many of them care more about not seeing their children failing or struggling than they do about seeing them achieving something remarkable and being highly fulfilled.
And so a lot of their advice will revolve around playing it safe and following the conventional path in life.
For instance, many experiences and discussions with young adults have confirmed me that most parents will discourage their children from starting their own business and they will advise them to simply get a job.
Because they know how risky working for yourself is. And to a large extent they are right. It is riskier than working for someone else. But it’s typically also much, much more rewarding if you make it.
This is why it’s often a very good idea to appreciate your parents’ positive intention to protect you, and then respectfully disregard their advice. If it were them, maybe they would have taken the risks you wanna take at your age. They just don’t want you to do it.
If it seems like most people you deal with are toxic, chances are you’re actually the toxic person. It’s your behavior that makes social interactions difficult and polutes your relationships. So if you’re looking for a solution, forget about trying to change others and look no further than changing yourself. Just sayin.