You’re scared, but you do it anyway. And in the process you learn that things aren’t as bad as they appear, and that you can handle a lot of stuff, and handle it well. And what you din’t handle that well the first time, you now know how to handle better next time.
So you keep doing what you know you have to do, and you pay no heed to the fear trying to keep you in your place. Because you know fear is a liar. That’s how you build self-reliance, that’s how you build competence, and that’s how you build self-confidence. Or at least, one important way.
When you spend 60+ hours per week doing a job you hate, all you dream of is being able to quit your job and spend all your time on a sunny beach, doing nothing but sipping Pina Coladas.
I’ve had a period in my life when I would spend nearly all day, every day on a sunny beach just sipping Pina Coladas. And you know what I discovered? After a relatively short while, it gets really fucking boring!
I mean, it feels terrific for a few days if you’re burned-out from too much work. And it’s awesome in comparison with the alternative of working like a slave in a soul-sucking job. But it shouldn’t be your ideal.
I believe the ideal is to spend your time doing things that are either:
2. Meaningful, or,
You’re not making the best out of life by doing nothing. You’re making the best out of life by keeping your mind and body stimulated, and by making a difference in this world.
With or without a real job, that time spent on a beach doing nothing still makes the most sense if it’s only an occasional component of your life. Rest and relaxation is not a lifestyle; it’s a part of a lifestyle.
There are people who’ve read dozens of my articles, but they only decide to comment on one when they disagree with an idea in it. There are participants in my training programs who don’t utter a word for hours, until they disagree with me on a point and they decide to express that.
This reflects a broader pattern: in general, people are more likely to speak when they disagree with you or they wanna criticize than when they agree with you or they wanna praise. When they have something negative to say, all of a sudden they become more talkative and engaged.
When you’re not aware of this phenomenon or you lose sight of it, it can create some serious problems for you.
Because you’ll hear all sorts of criticism or opposing opinions when you express an idea, and you’ll be inclined to think that most people dislike your idea and feel bad. When in fact, you’re just dealing with a minority.
Bear in mind that for every person who says something bad to you, there are probably 3 or 4 persons who have something good to say, but they just don’t. And even that person may have even more good things to say than bad, but they’re not as vocal about those.
Take negative feedback into consideration, but keep a perspective on things and don’t let it pull you down.
And when you’re on the other side of this issue, please don’t be one of those people who only talks if they have something negative to say. They’re annoying as hell.
I positively hate it when I’m out with someone, having a conversation, and they check their Facebook or messages or email on their phone every 5 minutes. I feel like taking their phone out of their hands and dunking it in my ice tea.
I consider that these kinds of distractions during a face to face interaction make it less intimate and thus, less emotionally fulfilling. Technology hinders relationships when you’re in one social interaction, and you mind is in another one.
Well, now, besides my personal experience, there is some actual science to back this claim up.
For instance, here is one serious study in which social scientists concluded that during live social interactions, “mobile phones can interfere with human relationships, an effect that is most clear when individuals are discussing personally meaningful topics”. Even by their mere presence, but it’s worse when you check them often.
It makes perfect sense to me. As a conversation ensues, it goes deeper and a feeling of interpersonal bonding builds up. But when a person involved in the conversation gets a notification and checks their phone, this switches both persons’ focus and it kills the feeling of bonding. Then several more minutes are required for it to emerge again, at which point it is killed again, and the cycle repeats itself.
And people wonder why they feel lonely.
I know quite a few very successful people. I make it my business to meet and befriend such people, because I know I have a lot to learn from them.
One fascinating thing I’ve learned about them is that many don’t actually see themselves as successful, even though if you look at their achievements and their life, it’s obvious that they are successful. And the ones who do see themselves as successful, usually they saw themselves that way long before they actually became successful.
Just goes to show you that success is not only an external outcome, but also a mental perception. And the correlation between the two is slim at best.
In fact the correlation between reality and perception is slim about a lot of things. Our minds just aren’t very good at perceiving things the way they are objectively, and this is even more so when it comes to perceiving the way we are as individuals.
So many times it makes sense to just start thinking about yourself in the best way possible. Deliberately. Think of yourself as attractive, successful and awesome. Just because you can.
It may be highly accurate, it may not be. One thing is sure though: thinking about yourself this way is always a hell of a lot more fun than thinking badly about yourself.
Don’t be afraid to be selfish. You were not put on this planet to be concerned with anyone’s needs and happiness above your own.
But when you are selfish, be ready for many people to try and guilt trip you with all they’ve got: “You’re so selfish!”, “You only care about yourself!”, “You’re just like everyone else!” You’ll hear this kind of stuff a lot.
It’s just empty words. Pay no attention to them. You know putting yourself first is not really a bad thing, and you know putting yourself first doesn’t mean you don’t seek to help others as well.
These days, typically when someone accuses me of being selfish or like everyone else or something, all I feel like answering is “Do I look like a give a fuck?” I simply don’t bother with defending myself. I see no point in it.
I spend at least several hundred dollars each year on my personal and professional development.
Most of it is on ebooks, audiobooks and online courses, and occasionally it’s on one-on-one coaching. I research a product carefully before I decide to buy it, but I do buy a lot and I don’t resume myself to consuming free information available online.
And I never regret it. Even if I sometimes I pay 70-80$ for a guide out of which I get just a few really good ideas. Because I know from previous experiences that if I apply those ideas earnestly, my initial investment will come back to me tenfold.
This is why I simply cannot understand people who are unwilling to invest in themselves, who are cheap when it comes to developing their skills and attitudes. Especially when some of the same people spend a few hundred dollars for the latest smartphone in order to be in line with the latest trends.
It’s just too far out of my own reality.