Many people giving advice to us have not achieved the same outcome that we want. Meaning, someone’s business advice to you is likely garbage if they’ve never started a business.
Beware of taking advice from anyone that isn’t where you want to be.
This works in all fields – you don’t take advice from the doctor in terrible health, or the fat dude at the gym telling you how to get ripped abs. Now it doesn’t mean that they can’t give good advice, or even advice you on what NOT to do (which is probably worth listening to from them). But advice from these people is a like panning for gold – you might get a nugget for free but it’s easier and faster to go to a jewelry store.
This is where I’ve talked about having envy for someone is powerful, since it lets you know that what you want is actually possible. However, it also allows you to find people like that to take advice from.
Since people are the average of the mentally (meaning being in the proximity is not the same as being good friends) closest 5 people around them, you want to be able to find the person doing the things you want to get advice from. Even if they’re not available themselves, if you can find the people they’re close to it gives an idea about whom to target.
If you can’t ask for advice from someone that’s achieved what you want already, then you need to expand your network such that you do.
If you want to learn what it takes to be a self sufficient artist, and none of your friends are painters, then your first task is not to become a self sufficient painter. If you want to be a painter:
- See who has done something similar to what you want (to make sure it’s even possible)
- Network with them (or some of their closest friends)
- With your improved network, then you can ask for advice
- Begin executing advice
There’s very few situations where people emerged from the darkness and into what they wanted without being around others doing similar things.
Notice how many successful people tend to be around each other especially at their real emergence into the life they wanted. Conan O’brien mentions that Lisa Kudrow was in his same acting class when they were starting. Judd Apatow guided Seth Rogan into getting more into film. And countless stories like this.
Don’t be confused – this isn’t to say you need a mentor to guide you through everything. It’s simply pointing the value of being around people that are in the same boat or preferably just a few steps ahead.
You’re only 6 degrees of separation away from most everyone. But it’s unknown on how many degrees of separation you are from someone’s 5 closest friends, and those 5 people’s closest friends, and so on. That’s what matters.
What 5 people would it be great to connect with that are just slightly (or majorly) ahead of you, and what part of yourself can you work on such that they would also enjoy being networked with you?
“Feel the fear and do it anyway!” – Random Guru.
It’s garbage advice…but only because it’s incomplete.
Fear is what keeps you from making stupid decisions. It creates loads of loser gamblers and a few winners. Self improvement coaches are seeking testimonials though, and this advice creates great testimonials since with higher risk usually comes higher reward.
If I wanted to give workshops on beating the lotto, I would tell people to “feel the fear of losing their life savings and do it anyway!” Some of my students would win, they’d say they followed my advice to the letter, and look…they’re all millionaires!
I’m such an amazing (typical) guru!
The correct advice is:
Assess the risk carefully, make sure you’re not afraid of something that isn’t a big deal, and THEN do it. – Truth Cake
Consider someone afraid of starting a college degree in robotics when they’re a successful 40 year dentist. They may have invalid fears like “what would people think of me? what if I couldn’t get a job quite as high paying?” These are typical fears we all have, and you have to move through that nonsense.
But many times, the fears are valid, “What if I put my live savings on Tesla? If it doubles, I could finally live the life I want for my family! I’ll just feel the fear and do it anyway!” Now you’re just an idiot (and likely to be broke soon).
Fear keeps you from making stupid reckless decisions.
Also, instead of ignoring the feel and plowing through like gurus want, you need to assess why you have that fear.
If you’re trying to find motivation for something and can’t find the motivation to do it, it may be because you’re afraid of something. Fear of unknown is just another way of saying fear of failure, which is just fear of dying (I’ll go broke, starve, and die) or fear of being alone (I’ll lose my spouse and my friend will think I’m an idiot). See what the real fear is precisely, see if it’s valid or not, and see if you can mitigate the risks and/or move forward, or avoid it.
Which things do you fear doing and what exactly are those fears and why do you have them?
There’s an obsession about relentless success. But you only need to be successful for a very short period to make it big.
People look at the amount of businesses that close after 1 year, 5 years, and then 10 years. Very few make it to 10 years…so that must be mean you shouldn’t do it since failure is so likely.
Who gives a crap about closing down after 5 years…when people got RICH in the first 3 years?!
RadioShack closed down in the past several years. Was the CEO a loser? Is he broke? No. Even businesses that fail often leave owners very well off financially.
People foolishly equate “failure” with “ending” and it’s screwing up your ability to assess risk horrifically.
This is different than people having stupid conditions to success, “Well, yea, he made a million trading dot com stocks, but how did he do in the last several years?” Who cares. He’s rich from trading dot coms and didn’t lose it all after things went bust.
This is a situation where the odds are stacked against you, like opening up a hedge fund trading dot coms in 2001 after the bust and then the hedge fund closing down in 5 years.
Idiots will say, “Course he closed down, what a loser he was to be trading dot coms in 2001!” But it’s wiser to wonder how much money was made in the years that fund was open.
This isn’t some motivational stuff to say “Find the silver lining! Your losses are just lessons as long as you don’t give up!” While that’s true, I’m saying that even the full outside failures and bankruptcies have piles of profits before it’s over.
The failures are blinding to people, because they don’t see the success that happened before the end.
Aside from money, even if you have a marriage that “fails” every 5 years because it ends, if you had the most passionate love-filled fun relationship in those 5 years before it ended, is it really a failure? If you think so, then you’re obsessed with the end. If you don’t think it’s a failure, you realize many good things can come through things that eventually fail.
Movie stars that can’t get roles acting anymore because of all their recent movie failures are still obscenely rich from their early success.
Nearly all businesses, empires, countries, and people fail on a long enough time line. And it’s time to realize that it doesn’t matter. Success is woven in the lines before failure.
Failure is real of course. But it’s probably not as common as you think. What businesses have you presumed were failures because they closed down but you didn’t realize the CEOs are all still rich? If they’re rich, most people wouldn’t regard them as a failure. People incorrectly presume businesses that go out of business have broke owners, and it’s not always the case.
How many divorcees / CEOs have you judged that actually had far better relationships / business than you prior to their divorce / bankruptcy?
You need to sit down and really dig and find your passion! – Random Guru
There are ways to find and/or choose your passion, which I’ve discussed.
But what if you have no passion?
Being told you need to have a passion is what makes someone miserable. It’s like being a gay male and asked which girl you like best? You can explore all the girls, go on lots of dates, and sit down and meditate on whether you like blondes or brunettes.
It’s all stupid advice and it makes those people with no passion miserable.
You don’t need passion to be happy. Just like some people are OCD, obsessed with certain things, and prone to being highly emotional more so than others. Some people simply aren’t deeply passionate about something.
You are in 1 of 4 States of Passion:
1) Passion Denying. Example: You know you’re passionate about construction, but your family doesn’t think it’s prestigious enough, so you deny yourself pursuing that passion.
2) Passion Seeking. Example: You want to try a lot of different things still like swimming, painting, programming, etc and don’t know which one of those things you will naturally like. Exploring things you may be naturally good at. This process is based on unconscious stories too, since Mother Teresa may not consciously realize she was passionate about helping hobos in reality because her parents said they’d love her more if she helped people.
3) Passion Choosing. Example: Rockefeller wasn’t passionate about a black gooey liquid (oil). He chose to see that he was passionate about making the choice (and belief) that oil would help the world. Passionate about making money. Passionate about destroying his competition to feel better about himself. All of these things are choices, and passion via choice is rooted in a belief. And beliefs are just stories we’ve CHOSEN to believe. This process is based in both conscious and unconscious aspects.
4) Passion Absent. Example: You’ve tried lots of stuff and nothing grabs your attention. Depression can be a chemical imbalance, which often results in people not being interested in any activity really. Sometimes, not having a passion about something is just not in your wiring. When you hear that, you will have 1 of 3 reactions:
1) You’re liberated from not having to have this “burning desire that gets you jumping out of bed every day.” You’re happy to be you, and move every day through life enjoying the small things that other people miss. You’re easily pleased and content to not be obsessed about stuff. Congrats – you’re probably some Zen guru if you’re truly like this.
2) You’re depressed at the idea that there’s nothing out there that you’ll be passionate about. If you’re not content with not having this crazy passion everyone is talking about, then you may be actually depressed overall. You can’t find passion in anything if you’re sad about a meaningless life.
3) You’re actually still in one of other 3 states of passion (eg. Denying, Seeking, Choosing) and need more time to explore those.
Most passion absent people are probably in a low level combination of all 3 of the reactions to realizing they’re passionless. They’re a little melancholy, a little interested in something, and have made a choice about their passion but it’s not a very compelling choice. But just like being crazy in love with someone, some people just don’t ever feel like that. It doesn’t mean their relationship they have currently is bad because it doesn’t match up to this avalanche of emotions that other people are raving about. So latch onto the following words:
It’s ok to be passionless. As long as you’re happy. But if you’re not happy and passionless – you may be in passion denial, or haven’t sought passion out enough, or haven’t realized that passion is a choice we make via a story we decide to believe. And finally, you may be depressed, which is a separate discussion than finding your passion.
Finding your passion isn’t a cure for depression. Curing depression will allow you to find your passion.
Can you feel good about not being passionate? Where are you in your state of passion?
At the end of many seminars, they open it up for Q&A. Gary Vee is a big proponent of this allocating nearly half his speaking time for Q&A.
There’s a few valuable lessons woven in the audience’s questions.
Audience members love to give their backstory. Hopefully with you being an outside observer, and listening to Gary’s answers that can can see this:
The backstory is nearly completely useless for giving the answer and often doesn’t change the answer.
Secondly, the answers to questions that only take less than 15 seconds to explain are probably not good questions (eg. “What’s your best advice for someone getting started?!” is a great example of a question that is low value) and the answers that are limited to a very short period is also fairly useless.
Life hack: Skip the audience Q&A in seminars.
It’d be cool to have a list of questions of from the audience, have someone from Gary’s staff read them, find a few good questions and go into that with the audience member deeply on that question.
There’s the secret to having one of the most valuable seminar Q&As ever – hopefully seminar speakers are listening!
What about your back story is bogging down your mind with the ability to see the question in it’s clearest form?
What else are you listening to besides seminar Q&As that you’re wasting your time with?
Follow your passion is common advice. Some gurus preach it, and some gurus say it’s garbage.
Is someone that starts a million dollar sewage treatment plant passionate about sewage?
Of course not. But most people are passionate about a very limited amount of things, and most of them don’t make any money.
The reason why follow your passion is such good advice is this:
People have no discipline, no work ethic, and are exceedingly difficult to motivate.
When you introduce passion for those typical people, they actually will roll out of bed to do that one thing they enjoy. The hope is they get good enough to make money at it, and following your passion is great advice for the masses.
There’s TONS of better strategies besides following your passion.
But it’s the best strategy for the masses, because the masses simply won’t DO any other strategy.
Discipline can save you.
Discipline doesn’t care whether you like something or not. Discipline can see where success is, and go in that direction, pushing past all the laziness of the typical person.
Passion IS a choice, but it’s largely an unconscious choice. Discipline is a conscious choice.
Discipline – you control it.
Passion – it controls you.
Money doesn’t care whether you want to do the work that generates that money. If it did, everyone that hates their job would never make any money. Money only cares about you creating value – not your passion. Discipline allows you to get whatever you consciously want done, if you’re passionate about it too, doing that thing just becomes easier.
Don’t fall into the trap of figuring what your passion is for a career. Passion can be a conscious choice. Also, having discipline allows you to dominate in areas that aren’t stuffed full of competitors that are all wildly passionate about it.
Following your passion about playing video games and making a living from it is possible, but it’s hard as hell.
Paradoxically, if you follow paths that don’t have a ton of passionate people in it, things become MUCH easier.
Create discipline. Chose your passion. And find the ways of producing value that aren’t necessarily sexy (eg. a drywall manufacturing facility, parking lot paving facility, etc).
It’s easy to do what you’re passionate about, but it’s hard to make a living with it sometimes. It’s sometimes easier to just create discipline to do the things no one else wants to do.
Where are you in terms of your passion? Or in terms of your discipline?
Kevin Smith recently talked in an interview with Joe Rogan that he’s “living on borrowed time.” This is because he had a heart attack and could have easily died but now is so grateful to be here for a little longer.
It’s screwed up that people only feel gratitude when things are awful.
The sooner you see this flaw in human psychology the better you can avoid it. But everyone that was captured by terriorists and let free feels so great. Perhaps you hear people talk about how great God is after the news of cancer spread but it seems to have stopped…for now.
People almost need to have these awful things happen to let their life change in a positive direction.
If you’ve already had that terrible event to make your life better, then you got off easy, because gratitude is very easy to have after that. If you haven’t had horrendous things happen, stop subconsciously looking for it to happen so you can give yourself permission to feel “blessed” when you survive that massive car accident.
You can feel gratitude today.
It’s a same concept as looking for a “sign.” You make up the meaning of everything that happens. Signs are just permission slips to feel a way that we want to feel in the form of your subconscious. But your subconscious also wants you narrowly miss a bridge collapsing to feel grateful about being alive – so be careful.
Giving gratitude everyday is magical not only because it changes your mindset positively, but because it is also programming your subconscious mind to not to manifest negative things as well.
What things is your subconscious mind seeking that you need to start to consciously avoid?
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!