“Find your weakness and work on it!” – Random Guru
If people followed that bad advice, a lot of success would have never happened.
I’m not saying “turn those weaknesses into strengths,” I’m pointing out that that:
Persisting weakness in one area actually creates strength in another – Truth Cake
Arnold Schwarzenegger has a weakness of his accent, but that ended up being a great thing for his movies. He also had a terrible self image and thought he was ugly and flabby even as a bodybuilder, and it pushed him to be better and better.
Externally, we were impressed, but internally Arnold was a painful mess.
Michael Jackson had a weakness of trying to be a perfectionist, and was never happy with his performances, often slinging him into dark depressions. But it’s what made him practice relentlessly.
Omar Ellatar, the popular YouTube success podcaster, was motivated by jealousy and anger towards other people that he envied. He never gave up because his hatred towards so many other people was so intense. Jordan Belfort was motivated to succeed because he was a sex addict. Edison’s competitive spirit that resulted in so many inventions also resulted in torture by electrocution of animals to prove that A/C was more dangerous than his D/C electricity.
It’s the dark side of many successful people that no one talks about.
What weaknesses do you have that will actually propel you forward?
When Tony Robbin’s talking about his passion being “to serve the greater good” and other lofty ideals that make him leap out of bed in the morning, the rest of us think about being passionate about sitting around and doing nothing.
Dan Kennedy once talked about how the idea of doing what you love doing is terrible advice. He talked about how he loves lounging around in hammocks, reading the paper, and other random “lazy” sounding things.
He’s lying to himself.
If Dan really just enjoyed those things, he could have stopped “working” decades ago. Lounging around costs nothing and entertainment is the cheapest it’s ever been for humanity.
Even Brad Gosse, the massively successful internet marketer, said he wanted to build a business so he could sit around and smoke weed all day. He knew what he wanted, knew the business type that could take him there, and then did it. Of course, that wasn’t what he TRULY wanted, else he wouldn’t be still working.
Being passionate about being lazy is (unfortunately) only true for very few people.
So if you’re passionate about doing nothing and lounging around, one of two things is happening, 1) You can do nothing and lounge around for very little money, and is very easy to achieve, so go do it, or 2) You’re lying to yourself.
One of the only ways to figure what you want is to start unraveling the web of lies you’ve told yourself for years.
Dan isn’t passionate about sitting around. He likes to work, likes the feeling of making money, and likes the status that comes with it. The type of work and way he’s making money is just the conduit to get to what he wants – seeing his bank account get fatter and doing work he’s decided to care about.
It’s some sort of profound paradoxical question: If I did nothing, what would I do?
What do you really enjoy doing and how can you engineer a life that reflects that?
It’s been said by people like Jordan Belfort, Meet Kevin, and a slew of others that Grant Cardone just “got lucky” in real estate because basically everyone is making a killing in commercial real estate in 2019. But when the real estate market crashes, Cardone and everyone like him are going down because they’re not “true” masters of real estate.
“You need to be successful in all environments, and all market conditions! Rely on your skill and not luck!” – Typical guru.
It’s nonsense. And it’s a game losers like to tell themselves so they feel like they’re surrounded by losers like themselves (because those other winners are actually losers, but just got “lucky”). And winners like to tell themselves this nonsense because it makes them feel like their success is even better and unique, than all the other “lucky” winners that surround them.
The reality is hard to swallow: Everything is luck.
You’re lucky to be alive. Lucky to be reading this. At what point do you decide someone’s success isn’t valid due to luck? Gates is only successful because he was lucky to be born right around the time the computer was getting big. That stock trader that made $5 mil back in 1999 is
“a garbage trader, he only got lucky because of the dot coms!”
Well, their luck made them rich enough.
It’s a myth that you have to be successful in some unrelenting, never ending fashion. It only takes 1 attempt that gets lucky for you to “make it.” Whether it be picking a life partner, picking an investment, or a career path, it doesn’t matter.
Start thinking about getting lucky just once – it’s often all you really need.
Skill helps the odds for your luck, and persevering just increases your number of lotto tickets in life. Skill and persevering doesn’t guarantee anything though – you still have to have luck.
You can’t win without luck.
We feel comfortable with being told it’s all about skill and your attitude, because it gives the illusion we’re in control. But we’re only in control of our odds (skill), and the amount of chances to take (work), but we don’t actually control the outcome. If you still disagree, you’re lucky you didn’t get struck by lightning just now, or lucky you were born with eyes to read this and be upset, and so on.
In what ways have you ignored the fact that you’re incredibly lucky?
“Stay positive, and focus on solutions and not the problems!” – Random Guru.
It’s garbage advice.
It’s often bad advice since we’re often solving the wrong problem. Sometimes the better way to look at it is to consider why something is a problem to begin with.
If your business has a turnover problem, reducing turnover might not be the best answer. A better problem is, “Why is turnover a problem?” Which the answer is, “Because new people make mistakes.” If you can solve the problem with why new hires still makes mistakes, you can fix the bad training. Now, it’s fine to have turnover, because your new hires all perform like seasoned reps.
Problems are always layered. If you can only see one problem, your solution is likely a mistake.
If your problem is you’re single, getting on another dating app isn’t the solution. Your problem may be that you’re not desirable to begin with.
If your problem is that it’s cold, the solution is not likely moving to another state, but instead putting on a jacket.
Always be asking about the problem, and why is that problem a problem.
Stuck in traffic? The solution is to drive aggressively. But why is the original problem a problem? Because you’re late to work and the boss will be pissed. Maybe you need a remote job (a job problem), maybe leave earlier (a time management problem), maybe use the subway (a germ phobia problem).
Focusing on the problems in this way will help you progress much better than the stereotypical advice.
What problem are you trying to solve, but more importantly, why is it a problem?
“You need to grind 80 hours a week on your business!” – Random guru
Almost no one is going to be able to take this advice. Gurus want to give impossible advice, so when nothing they say works, they can blame you for not following instructions.
Something as harmless as watching a movie might actually be having monumental effects in your life.
If you have infinite amounts of time, you can do just about anything. Become a virtuoso, bodybuilder, millionaire, etc. The question is never about how to do something, it’s actually about how to do something fast.
Imagine if building a business to launch initially takes 1000 hours total, and pretend you need to learn sales, marketing, web design, video marketing, etc and to get to the point that you’re making enough money to quit your job requires 1000 hours.
“Take a break! It’s just an hour or two, let’s go have some fun,” says the fun loving friend.
The way people look at it is to think there’s 168 hours in the week, if they spend 14 hours (only 8%!) of the total week on taking a break, it’s not that bad.
Spending only 8% of work week wasting time is devastating.
After you deal with your job and life maintenance, most people only have 0-2 hours of free time a day. If you take an hour and 45 minutes as a “much needed” break, you’re left with 15 minutes to devote to your business. Meaning it will take 4000 days to achieve anything meaningful in that business. However, if you spend those 2 hours on the business, you’re there in less than 2 years (500 days * 2 hours = 1000 hours) instead of over a decade.
While that break only was 8% of your week, we don’t have 24 hours in a day to do what we want, it’s more like 2. Therefore, 75% of your free time (90 minutes out of a total 2 hours of free time) is gone, not 8%.
What little “harmless” things are you doing that are actually having massive repercussions for your results?
“Yesterday is behind you, just forget it and focus on the day!” – Random Guru.
Where you are in regards to your goals barely matters for your happiness.
And whether you want to forget yesterday, having an awful past that you’d like to forget about is the thing that’s going to get you to launch into a better place.
No matter where you are, you can be miserable no matter how many goals you’ve achieved. If someone has $10,000,000 in their bank this morning, they might be miserable as hell. Impossible? Consider if that person was worth $50,000,000 the day before.
The secret to knowing whether someone is happy or not is NOT seeing where they are today, but seeing where they were yesterday relative to today.
Yep – Truthcake just explained half the celebrity suicides in 1 sentence.
The trick is looking at where you were yesterday, and comparing it to today. Knowing what to compare to is the other trick. The unit of comparison may be simply more money, or perhaps the amount of people you’ve helped, a more satisfying work, or maybe the amount of hours it takes to achieve that money.
Growth comes in other forms besides your bank account.
If you’re not growing you’re dying. Stop trying to forget your past. It’s the only key to your present. And your present can be changed to control your future.
“There’s no reason to have a Plan B because it distracts from Plan A.” – Will Smith
Will Smith is successful, so we should listen to him, right? Not quite. What if someone had a dream that aliens told her to play the lotto. If she won the lotto, and began to claim that aliens were real, would you believe in aliens?
Point is, successful people have false positives, which is why it’s good to check fundamentally common aspects of all successful people (that strategy also doesn’t fully work on its own).
Here’s the reality –
Having a backup plan will hinder tremendous success but not having one will hinder mediocre success. – TruthCake
Restated, a backup plan will create a huge likelihood of mediocrity. No backup plan will create a huge likelihood of massive failure OR success.
Tony Robbins wants you to burn the bridges such that failure isn’t an option. This works out really well for him because it creates massive achievements, which he can use as testimonials.
However, the reality is that not having a backup plan will ruin you on a long enough time line.
If you’re looking to have a secure, safe, and moderately successful future, then you need to have a backup plan. You’ll never be amazing at anything, because as soon as things get hard (and they always do before you become amazing), you’ll bail and go to your backup plan. And you’ll probably be ok at doing that thing in your backup plan, until things get real hard, and you’ll bail again and again.
If you’re in the safety net, you’re not climbing (but you’re not dying either).
If you like playing it safe, enjoy stability in life, AND don’t care about greatness, then have a backup plan. You’ll be happier for it.
If you like greatness, can handle risk and turmoil, then backup plans will actually hurt you because you’ll never give something your full effort. And you’ll also be distracted from devoting time to that backup plan and that will make the main plan suffer.
You’ll never be the best rocket scientist if you spend 20% of your time learning how to code just in case your scientist job falls through. But you’re unlikely to stay unemployed for long.
You’ll never be the best husband if you spend 20% flirting with another girl at the office. But you’re unlikely to stay single for very long.
Backup plans serve a real and useful purpose for survival.
The real question is, would it REALLY be that bad if you didn’t have a backup plan and failed at what you really wanted?
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!