“Focus on the work…consider your time…don’t be afraid to grind it out…obsess about the process. Work smart, not hard.” – Random gurus.
This is some of the most confusing and misleading advice gurus have spewed.
The problem with any of these ideas is that they’re only roadblocks in regards to your goal.
Poor people value their time more than anything. Which means they value effort and time more than results.
If something was “too easy” they don’t value the result of whatever they got. We see this especially when rich kids that inherit money don’t value it because they didn’t work for it.
In other words, poor people look at something’s value based solely upon the amount of effort that went into it.
The secret to understanding can be found in diamonds (we’re not talking about the typical De Beers monopoly that limits supply).
Why are diamonds so valuable? Isn’t there a huge supply of them and the market is artificially manipulated by De Beers? Yes. Poor people scream that they think diamonds should be cheaper because they’re plentiful and easy to mine. So, why are they valuable? Because it still takes a ton of time / expertise to cut those diamonds.
Diamonds are valuable not because they’re scarce (which they’re not), but because of the expertise required to cut and polish them.
Pretend a master car mechanic looks at your broken down car and no other mechanic could figure out what the problem was. He fixes it in 5 minutes with a $0.50 part, and demands $500.
If that scenario feels like an outrage, you’re poor.
A poor person doesn’t value expertise, and more importantly, they don’t value RESULTS.
They foolishly value the process, the time, the grind, the effort. And a savvy master mechanic that could fix a car in 5 minutes should instead insist that they keep it for a day to do a “full evaluation,” say they spent “10 long hard hours” and FINALLY figured out the problem, and state that even after all extensive labor and finding the parts, the price is ONLY $500.
That sounds much more reasonable to a poor person, despite them losing their car for an entire day and inconveniencing themselves. But they can’t understand that it took 20 years of expertise to be able to identify a problem in 5 minutes.
Sometimes you can tell the net worth of your boss when you get a job done super fast / easily (that usually takes a full days work to achieve), and they become upset if you lounge around the rest of the day while on the clock. “If you ain’t workin’, you ain’t gettin’ paid!” They’re either a poor minded fool or greedy as hell – either way, you don’t want a boss like that.
Poor idiots idolize WORK. Rich geniuses idolize RESULTS. – TruthCake
When you don’t value results higher than everything else, you make bad decisions, and when you make bad decisions, you end up poor.
Poor people think there’s more value in the 30 DVD course (that never gets to the point) than the 15 minute video that would actually get you the results.
This poor mindset is the reason books are so large people can’t get through them as opposed to the book getting to the point (and the result you want). No one will pay for a 12 page book in the book store, but they will happily pay for a 450 page compendium where 438 pages is stuff they already knew or fluff.
What things do you notice all around you that are the way they are because of the poor mindset that many people have? What have you personally valued incorrectly because of the bias to value time and quantity over results?
“Set your goals and write them down!” – Tony Robbins and every other guru.
But what if you don’t have any goals? What if you’re content as is?
Even content Zen monks still set the goal of achieving Nirvana – even the monks want a little more than where they are currently.
If you don’t have solid goals yet, it’s a guru’s first job to get you to set them. But implicitly, setting goals means you’re not ok with where you are since you need to achieve something you don’t have. They create a place of “want” – I want this and I want that.
The problem with it is that it creates a void in your current place in life, which, of course, you can only solve with some guru’s amazing advice to help get you moving towards your goal!
Then it’s a dark vicious circle where you achieve the goal and that doesn’t make you happy – the guru says you need more goals, perhaps if only you didn’t pick the wrong the first time!
Goals create an endless cycle of addiction, keeping you filling up seminar rooms finding the next strategy to “take it to the next level!”
There’s always a next level because goals can be viciously infinite.
You can’t convince someone to buy tons of seminars on “achieving your dream goals” if everyone is content as is! So, gurus start with making you feel like your current position in life is inherently not where you want to be as soon as you write a goal.
Goals have the tendency to create both depression and addiction to self improvement – Truth Cake
But you need progression in your life to feel better.
The moment that you can realize that you’re happy and complete where you are right now, and also realize that happiness is about progressing in some fashion (eg. meditating for a longer period of time, getting more money, having a better relationship, etc) then you achieve the next level:
Goal Transcendence – where you give up the addiction and need for the object behind the goal.
The point where you realize that moving forward is the goal and not what’s behind the goal post is when you can let go of the addictions of goals and become happy in the process.
This is precisely why only in Tony Robbins’ upper level stuff does he talk about “success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure,” because
a) people at a very low level mindset will insist that X dollars will make them happy, despite all the evidence from others to the contrary, so you have to let them create goals, achieve them, and realize they’re not much happier for it long term and,
b) he’s got to release people from the depression and relentless addiction of chasing the goals (which he created at the onset) and instead be happy with chasing the progress, which is where fulfillment truly lies.
It’s the dark side of goals – make people feel awful about their life by insisting they need goals, then give them endless goals to chase and achieve which creates addiction, and then finally reveal the truth. Use this formula and now you can be a guru too!
What goal setting level are you at?
1) The blah state of not really having goals set at all.
2) The depressed and addicted state of setting and achieving goals.
3) The happy state of Goal Transcendence where realizing the progress towards the goals is fulfilling in itself.
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?
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!