Ok, I have a confession to make.
I have spent almost my whole life– 31 years– caring far too much about offending people, worrying if I’m cool enough for them, or asking myself if they are judging me.
I can’t take it anymore. It’s stupid, and it’s not good for my well being. It has made me a punching bag– a flighty, nervous wuss. But worse than that, it has made me someone who doesn’t take a stand for anything. It has made me someone who stood in the middle, far too often, and not where I cared to stand, for fear of alienating others. No more. Not today.
Today, ladies and gentlemen, is different.
We’re going to talk about the cure. We’re going to talk about what’s necessary. We’re going to talk about the truth.
Do you wonder if someone is talking shit about you? Whether your friends will approve? Have you become conflict-avoidant? Spineless?
Well, it’s time you started not giving a fuck.
FACT NUMBER 1. People are judging you right now.
Yes, it’s really happening right at this moment. Some people don’t like you, and guess what? There’s nothing you can do about it. No amount of coercion, toadying, or pandering to their interests will help. In fact, the opposite is often true; the more you stand for something, the more they respect you, whether it’s grudgingly or not.
What people truly respect is when you draw the line and say “you will go no further.” They may not like this behaviour, but so what? These are people don’t like you anyway, why should you attempt to please people who don’t care for you in the first place?
Right. Then, there’s Internet trolls. That’s a whole other thing.
Regular people are fine– you don’t actually hear it when they’re talking behind your back. But on the web, you do see it, which changes the dynamic drastically. They have an impact because they know you have your vanity searches, etc. But the real problem with Internet haters is that they confirm your paranoid delusion that everyone out there secretly hates you.
Thankfully, that’s not actually true. So the first noble truth is that most people don’t even care that you’re alive. Embrace this, my friends, for it is true freedom. The world is vast and you are small, and therefore you may do as you wish and cast your thoughts of those who dislike it to the side.
Life is like a game of chess. Every move/decision you make can either bring you an advantage or a disadvantage. Even acting upon your wisest/planned decision can bring a negative outcome. Pieces must keep moving though. life keeps on moving. Wins and Losses are a part of life. Sacrifices must be made at some point. Expect the unexpected. When making a decision that wasn’t well thought out and have lost something BECAUSE of it, well it teaches to think twice next time, to be more vigilant. you musn’t ever regret your decisions because every mistake is a lesson. mistakes are part of our fate. In this fate of ours, our life, our game doesn’t end til’ the king is trapped/we die. keep playing. as you lose you ironically get better, once you begin winning and continue to do so, you will keep yourself better. but even when losses come regardless your best position in the game or life, you accept them as the human you are. THAT increases your rating in life in many delightful ways!
You don’t have to settle, it’s simply a choice you make every day. If you feel like you’re running in place there’s a good chance you’re tolerating things you shouldn’t be. It’s time to reclaim your life.
Starting now, stop tolerating…
- People who bring you down. – Relationships should help you, not hurt you. Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.
- A work environment or career field you hate. – Don’t settle on the first or second career field you dabble in. Keep searching. Eventually you will find work you love to do. If you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, don’t stop. You’re on to something big. Because hard work ain’t hard when you concentrate on your passions.
- Your own negativity. – Be aware of your mental self-talk. We all talk silently to ourselves in our heads, but we aren’t always conscious of what we’re saying or how it’s affecting us. Start listening to your thoughts. If you hear negative thoughts, stop and replace them with positive thoughts.
- Unnecessary miscommunication. – Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Speak clearly. Ask questions. Clarify things until you understand them.
- A disorganized living and working space. – Clear the clutter. Get rid of stuff you don’t use. Read David Allen’s book Getting Things Donefor some practical organizational guidance.
- Your own tardiness. – Get up 30 minutes earlier so you don’t have to rush around like a mad man. That 30 minutes will help you avoid speeding tickets, tardiness and other unnecessary headaches.
- Pressure to fit in with the crowd. – Oftentimes, the only reason others want you to fit in is that once you do they can ignore you and go about their business. Don’t conform. Be you, because that’s the only person you can be.
- An unhealthy body. – Your health is your life. Don’t let it go. Eat right, exercise and get an annual physical check-up. The 4-Hour Body is an insightful and entertaining read on this topic.
- Fear of change. – Life is change. Every day is different. Every day is a new beginning and a new ending. Embrace it and make the best of it.
- All work and no play. – Enjoy yourself and have a little fun while you can. If you’re smiling, you’re doing something right.
- People or beauty ads that make you feel inadequate. – Good looks attracts the eyes. Personality attracts the heart. Be proud to be you. You are already beautiful.
- Not getting enough sleep. – A tired mind is rarely productive.
- Doing the same exact thing over and over again. – You are the sum of your life experiences. The more you experience, the more interesting your life story gets.
- Personal greed. – Don’t let greed and deceit get the best of you. Greed will bury even the lucky eventually.
- A mounting pile of debt. – Always live well below your means. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need. Always sleep on big purchases. Create a budget and savings plan and stick to them. Read I Will Teach You To Be Rich.
- Dishonesty. – Living a life of honesty creates peace of mind, and peace of mind is priceless. Period. Don’t be dishonest and don’t put up with people who are.
- Infidelity. – Intimate relationships are a sacred bond – a circle of trust. If both parties aren’t 100% onboard the relationship isn’t worth fighting for.
- An unsafe home. – If you don’t feel safe at home you’ll never feel safe anywhere. Build a loving household in a safe area that you are proud to call ‘home.’
- Being unprepared. – Life is unpredictable. And there’s a big difference between being scared and being prepared. Always be prepared.
- Inaction. – Either you’re going to take action and seize new opportunities or someone else will. You can’t change anything or make any sort of progress by sitting back and thinking about it.
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, “only a little while.”
The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish?
The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.
The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, and stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”
The American scoffed. “I have an MBA from Harvard, and can help you,” he said. “You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, and eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middle-man, you could sell directly to the processor, eventually opening up your own cannery. You could control the product, processing, and distribution,” he said. “Of course, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles, and eventually to New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”
To which the American replied, “Oh, 15 to 20 years or so.”
“But what then?” asked the Mexican.
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time was right, you would announce an IPO, and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions!”
“Millions – then what?”
The American said, “Then you could retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you could sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play guitar with your amigos.”
A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about
Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk. A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work
The one who paid the most attention was a
In the 45 minutes the musician played, only
No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth
Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.
This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?
One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things
are we missing?
1. For the love of your own life, Don’t smoke. If you’re already smoking. Quit. The excuse that work stress made you do it, is not worth it.
2. Get exercise to be part of your daily routine.
3. Focus on quality not quantity
4. Food/Beverages: Learn, experiment, try out, taste all different types of foods. You eat 3 times a day if not more. Everyone on Earth follows the same routine, get to know food and you can break the ice in so many situations. Besides, its very tasty!
5. Cooking. Learn it. Its fun. You will get to enjoy food more and the company that comes with it.
6. Learn about Finances. Even if it might be boring, or not applicable immediately to you, learn about finances. To make money, you need to understand money, unless you luck out (which very few people do).
7. Start saving. Get into the habit of tucking a few Dollars every week. Try to build up savings for a rainy day.
8. Invest in property. As early as you can. Property in the long run, will always give you a profit.
9. Don’t get caught up in self-pity
10. Be Happy in whatever you do. If you’re not, why push yourself through it (be it life, work, personal relationships, hobbies, etc.)
11. Read. Read as much as you can, especially History and People. So many things will make sense to you.
12. Love the Outdoors. The more you are out and away from your desk, the greater the chance of enjoying life and meeting up with people (accidentally and/or by choice).
13. Dress/Attire. Learn to dress well. It pays back in multiples in life.
14. Frugality. Learn it early enough in life. You’ll thank yourself later on in life.
15. Management: Learn and read up as much as you can about being a Manager, Management Techniques, etc. Even if they may not be applicable to you right away.
Emotions are habits formed through repetition. To change the way we feel, we must change our behaviors.
For many of us, our default emotional responses are negative. We are easily annoyed. We always expect the worst. And we have become bitter towards the world and ourselves. Those negative responses create an endless loop which further ingrains our negativity. We get to a point where we forget how to act happy and therefore be happy.
This is why I’m passionate about the positive psychology movement. It’s rooted in science (not fluff), and actually works. By practicing mindfulness and choosing positive habits we can break our negative cycles to lead healthy, happy, and productive lives.
- Be grateful every day. Praise others often and praise yourself even more. What are you proud of? What are you thankful for? Journal something positive about yourself or your day. We are our harshest critic and our constant self-teardown reinforces allow sense of worth. Instead of always asking “What’s wrong with me?”, start asking “What’s right with me?”
- Stop victimizing yourself. Bad stuff happens to everybody — you’re not the only one. I’m not downplaying your problems but it’s a reality you have to accept. Absolving yourself of all responsibility and blaming the world won’t fix anything. You are not entitled to happiness. So…