If you’re not winning right now, you should be failing in some small way.
If you’re not on a winning project, or don’t know what to do, start something that won’t work.
If you’re a writer and can’t seem to get started writing great stuff, start writing crap.
If you’re an entrepreneur and want to start a business but don’t know what will be successful, start a bad business.
Stephen King says his goals are to just write a page or two a day, regardless of it’s quality, and then manages to start cranking out much more than that many times.
Johnny Knoxville says if you’re failing, you’re not pushing your limits.
The point is to start moving forward just to crank out the quantity and get in the motion of production. “Quantity breeds quality” was the adage popularized in the book Your Creative Power that says that groups of people create better products / ideas when they’re pushed for a quantity of results more so than the group that focuses on one high quality result.
You can easily watch a bad movie and can point out what could have been done better, or read a book and talk about how the characters were badly formed, or how you would have made one character do something different, and so on. The ease of being a critic proves that people find it much easier to “improve” more so than “create.”
If it’s easy to create garbage, and it’s easy to be a critic, and it’s easy to point out what’s wrong to fix it, then the easiest path is actually the best path.
Are you on a hard path that can actually be made easier?
I think in order to have any business work, you have to know the following:
- Why do you want to solve this problem?
- Who precisely do you want to serve / provide value for?
- What is one highly specific problem you want to solve?
- How could you be compensated for it (flat-fee, on-going, results/commission based)?
- What precisely would you do to solve the problem?
Despite that sounding obvious, most people can’t answer this that haven’t made any money with their business yet. They’ve drowned themselves in corporate nonsensical jargon believing that they’re going to “increase efficiency via utilization of a continual process improving optimization stratagem for IT solutions.”
Corporate jargon is turning people’s minds to sludge.
The result is they’re not sure what they offer, what they’d charge, or even what problem they’re really solving. They instead think the problem is figuring how to hire good sales reps. If you know what your ultimate goals for achievement are, the game becomes easier to play.
They don’t know why they’re wanting to solve this problem, but usually it’s to “get rich,” which aside from that being a terrible place to feel motivated from in business, still lacks clarity. Digging deeper into their motivations…
They want to be rich to get an awesome car.
So they can get attention from girls.
Because they’re lonely.
Because they don’t have a girlfriend.
There’s a lot easier ways to get a girlfriend than starting a soulless company motivated only by profits.
Tony Robbins talks about setting wild goals and being specific.
He secretly doesn’t care if they’re truly wild goals, but he does care if they’re specific. You won’t get far fast without clarity, however, he wants wild goals because people lie to themselves about what’s possible, or what they really want, or that it has to be “realistic.”
The problem is many people’s unrealistic goals are actually quite realistic, but their internal world is so jacked up they can’t believe it. Remember their “realistic” goals are still likely bullshit like when a guy says he wants $10 million. That’s a wild goal! A wildly unclear goal. Why does he want $10 million? So he can afford a huge house. Why? To impress his father. Why? Because he craves his father’s pride.
Once you see the real goal, “to gain my father’s pride”, you can deal with:
a) if you really need/want that or
b) methods to get it, or feel ok without getting it (Maybe stop living in the basement and just get a job? Have a discussion to see if he finds you a disgrace to begin with? Realize you can’t change other people and accept yourself as is).
That’s a clear goal that is a true goal, that is also potentially achievable. Instead of spending 20 years to make $10M, you simply get a job, chat with your father, read book on self-acceptance, and now you’ve achieved the same (or likely better) feeling of making $10M and you did it in a few days as opposed to decades.
Tony Robbins doesn’t want a wild goal, he wants your REAL goal, which you just think is wild.
The problem is then when people give their “crazy” goals, they’re not what they truly want (eg. $10M vs respect).
The “realistic” goal (eg. Make $50k a year at their job) isn’t what they want either. So the result is they’re not real clear on why they want them (b/c they don’t), and without clarity they flounder quickly. It’s simply easier to uncover your TRUE realistic goal if you start by having a wild goal.
Getting what you want is easy, confessing to yourself what you truly want is the hard part.
We love answers.
We love “getting it.”
We love breakthroughs.
We love having the answers.
But don’t we also say “ignorance is bliss,” and notice that intelligent people are more likely* to be depressed?
What about when you discover that you’re the reason for all your failures as Tom Bilyeu (co-founder of Quest Nutrition) suggests? Or finding out we’re actually living in the Matrix and this is just a simulation? Jim Carry has a philosophy on life that may be accurate, but he’s clearly a sad person. What if the most accurate philosophy in life is actually one that maximizes your despair? Is there a certain point where we should stop looking for “breakthroughs”, to stop looking to understand anymore? While it may seem like there’s correlations between knowing more feeling better, maybe we shouldn’t strive for that.
Is the happiness maximizing outlook on things (eg. “Things are bad now, but there’s heaven for me after I die!”) not actually true?
Maybe I don’t want to know the answer.
*A study showed 26% of high IQ Mensa members had mood disorders (it’s ~10% for the general population). This study has some massive flaws since you could consider that Mensa members are more likely to be introspective enough to get checked out, typically have more money to see a doctor, the ‘general population’ includes the high IQ people meaning if your IQ is average/low it might even be less than 10%, etc. Flawed study or not, the conclusion is more likely true than not.
We all know that people generally feel better when they have a different perspective on things. Here’s some examples:
You know that bully just has personal problems they’re struggling with.
The guy that cut you off in traffic just didn’t see you and would never have done that if they saw you there.
Your boyfriend that’s “ignoring your calls,” actually isn’t getting anyone’s calls because his phone is dead.
The mean comment on YouTube isn’t about you, it’s just a lonely troll desperate for attention.
Most of the time, feeling good means that you get some variation or flavor of “don’t take anything personally.”
“It’s not you, it’s me.”
“It’s nothing personal, but…”
The advice of “don’t take it personally” doesn’t work for a lot of people, because it’s only half right.
If you’re truly invisible, and you likely are, because people often think more of themselves than others, then what about when someone says something nice? Do we believe then that people are self-centered and it’s always about them, or that they only mean positive things about you and never anything negative like in the examples above?
They say, “I love your shirt!” but now you realize they’re just saying that because they felt awkward getting caught staring at what a goofy sweater that you’re wearing.
They say, “I’m really happy for you!” but they really want to hide the fact that they’re raging with jealousy on the inside and need to cover it up.
They say, “I love you just the way you are!” but really they don’t want you to succeed any more and replace him with new (cooler) friends.
Do you really think that only positive comments are true (and personal), but mean comments aren’t about you? At the end of the day, most people’s thoughts are going to be about them.
Therefore, it’s not about you when it’s a bad comment, and therefore it’s not about you when it’s a good comment.
The reality is that some good and bad comments really are about you, but if you’re in a good or bad mood, you’ll almost always guess wrong on whether it was authentic or not about you. Until you’re a master of your moods, it’s probably better to simply believe everything is not about you, since that’s both a) more likely and b) keeps you off an emotional roller coaster where everyone dictates your own state of being.
Hmm…You must be invisible.
Mindmaps, a brainstorming method where you draw out ideas (this is so simplified, it’s not even accurate), maintains that you need to use different colors of ink when you’re writing out the words. The theory is that different colors of ink activate extra parts of your creative mind to help see issues from different perspectives. Does this imply that being colorblind makes being ultra creative in life extra difficult?
The problem you’re trying to solve currently is most likely not your actual problem.
Someone thinks, “Can’t find a decent girl!” and thinks the problem is the girls. The problem is they suck and can’t attract decent girls.
Someone thinks, “I need help with reaching clients!” and thinks the problem is marketing. The problem is that they don’t know who their client is to even market to.
Someone thinks, “I need a new weight training regimen to get bigger muscles!” and thinks the problem is the routine. The problem is that their diet sucks and they’re covered in lard.
The problem is you don’t know what your problem is.
What is this site?
Self improvement for smart people.
I follow business leaders, gurus, and philosophers and note things others missed that I’ve found valuable.
This site is my precious treasure chest of ideas on business, philosophy and life. And hopefully during your pillaging here, you get your mind blown.
My life’s goals are to help summarize the human knowledge base, dispel self improvement myths, and achieve a resultant and unrelenting state of 24/7 euphoria. I’m kidding, but we’ll still try!
Follow along on my journey!