The Wall

Coal Akida:

When I was 15, I wanted a job at McDonald’s.

My dad said to me, “If you want a job so bad, I will pay you $6 an hour,” which was a lot of money 25 years ago. He wanted to pay me to stand and stare directly at the wall. He said, “I will pay you $6 an hour every hour you stand looking at the wall.”

I was so excited my dreams of buying a motorcycle came to the edges of my mouth, and I asked him “for real?”

Then, being young, I asked “Is there a limit to how many hours I can stand?”

“No” he said, “every day, all day.”

My younger brother was jealous and said, “What about me?” My dad said, “You too!” So we both faced the wall in the dining room and he only had two rules: we must pay attention to the wall and not lean on it.

My younger 12-year-old brother lasted less than a half hour and I lasted two and half hours; standing was okay, but focusing on the wall was near torture.

Having no goals […] not trying to exceed your own abilities in any way is simply choosing a way of life that leads to the wall, which then leads to drugs and alcohol to cope.

I can always spot someone who ended up choosing the wall. They have this dead look in their eyes, smeared with a wet glaze as if a hundred tears have built up inside them and yet not a single tear can fall. Be careful of the wall that my father taught us about, for it can lead to some very very bad places.

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Tenacity

Tom Bilyeu:

I’ve always told myself that on a long enough timeline, I can beat anyone at anything.

It’s all about skill acquisition, and I know most people don’t have my level of tenacity.

Most people give up after a while.

People can go hard for a month, maybe even a year. The hardcore motherfuckers out there can go for a decade.

But what you see above is the fact that I’ve been practicing my public speaking for 30 years now.

If you want to get truly great at something, all you have to do is go at it, balls out, day after day for decades.

Hold yourself accountable. Push yourself. Make insane demands of yourself.

Always have fun, but never be satisfied. Fight through boredom. Relentlessly self-assess. Risk embarrassment. Try and fail. Try some more. And never, ever, ever fucking quit.

Do that, and you can accomplish just about anything you set your mind to.

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The World of Social Flow

Steve Pavlina:

One of the greatest areas of stuckness among my readers stems from trying to work on personal goals that would work so much better when framed as social goals. When you do that, you have to self-power everything.

It’s like hosting a party all by yourself and trying to make it fun and interesting all alone, with no one to help you, and with no guests participating. Then you may tell yourself that once you have a really good party going alone, then you’ll finally invite some people. What you don’t see is that people are the party.

In business and life, people are the success. People are the money. People are the fun.

The best part is that you don’t have to figure out all of the party details by yourself. You can co-create an awesome party together. It all starts with your intention. A party based on your personal goals isn’t likely land well. So step back and create a more aligned intention. Start telling people you want to host a fun party, and ask them if they’ll help steer you in the right direction. Ask them what would make them happy to attend? Listen. Involve them. Even if you only talk to one person about this, that can build momentum.

And:

If you want more money and success flowing through your life, don’t focus so much on trying to acquire and achieve. Think instead about throwing parties and inviting people with fun, interesting, and stimulating offers. Direct your ambition towards creating nice social flow.

Think about the people and businesses that you love to patronize. Think about the best companies or fields you’d love to work in. Can you see how their perceived invitations and offers are more interesting than just, Come help us achieve our goals? We wants moolah!

And:

You want more abundance flowing to you? It flows from other people. And if they don’t care much about helping you, you’ll find it 10X more difficult to get that flow going, maybe 100X. Everything you try to achieve will be self-powered, and self power is weak.

And:

What I’d really love for you to grasp is the mindset of moving beyond framing your goals as strictly personal and opening yourself up to the world of social flow. Most of the good stuff you want in life will come from this social flow, so it’s wise to stop trying to achieve your goals by acting like you’re on an island bouncing ideas off a shredded volleyball. If you honor this social flow and learn to appreciate it, you’ll achieve your goals more easily, and you’ll have a lot more fun in life as well.

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Breaking Through Your Limits

From Darren Hardy’s The Compound Effect:

Embrace obstacles to accelerate your path to success.

As you progress, you’re bound to hit some personal limits. The question is, will you stop pushing, or will you break through the wall?

The wall of your discipline and routines represents the gap between your old self and your improved, stronger self. You’ll find your new habits will compound and you’ll change into a more successful person.

So when you come to the limit of what you think you can achieve, push through that limit to get quicker results and multiply your success.

Pushing through your personal limits will only make you stronger.

If you want to put yourself ahead of others and your old self, you need to break through your limits.

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The Power of Reading

Ari Yeganeh:

It’s insane to think that a person has poured years of their experience and imagination into a book and through the magical invention of words this person can beam their creation straight into our heads. Yet most people don’t read.

Imagine being inside Bill Gates’ head for a couple of hours. Do you think you might learn something new? Or what about a day in the life of Pelé, one of the greatest football players that ever lived. This is the power of reading. It is the closest thing we have to telepathy; yet the average person reads just 4 books a year, the average CEO 50 a year.

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Matchers vs Mismatchers

Steve Pavlina:

When I do creative projects today, I start with matcher mode. I work through the purpose and vision. I get enthusiastic about the results that will be generated. I think about the positive ripples. I get aligned with doing the project. If I share the idea, I prefer to share it with matchers, so they can help me better understand the idea’s potential.

When the idea is a bit more developed, I turn to the practical side. I identify the risks and list them out one by one. I look at the potential downsides. I consider problems that may arise and how to address them.

Matcher mode is faster. Mismatcher mode is slower. When I want to speed up and go faster, I shift into matcher mode. When I feel uncertain about the risks, I downshift into mismatcher mode and work through more details in advance.

And:

What problems don’t really matter much even if they happen? What problems could you fix later if they happened? What problems would be relatively easy to pre-solve or prevent if you just think them through?

Also think about the opportunity side: What opportunities are you delaying or at risk of missing because you’re fussing over potential problems? How will you feel if someone else beats you to the punch because you moved too slowly? Are you really being cautious… or merely sluggish?

And:

It’s common to see people pointing to problems as roadblocks. How many times have we heard people mention these or similar problems as reasons they can’t move forward in some area?

  • I can’t afford it.
  • I don’t have the time.
  • My family won’t let me.
  • I live with my parents.
  • I don’t have the skills.

If you lean too heavily on mismatcher mode, problems tend to become excuses for inaction. The existence of a problem is all you need to put the brakes on.

If you can lean towards matcher mode though, then problems can be seen as hidden opportunities, including all of the problems listed above. True matchers are advancing in all of these situations.

And:

Remember these final rules of thumb:

  • Shift into matcher mode when you want to go faster (or if you sense that progress has been too slow or nonexistent).
  • Shift into mismatcher mode when you want to be more cautious (or if you sense that progress has been too chaotic, unstable, or stressful).

The key is to apply these modes of thinking at different times, so they don’t interfere with each other.

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Mapping Out Your Life

Chris Sacca:

Generally, what all of this comes down to is whether you are on offense or defense. I think that as you survey the challenges in your lives, it’s just: Which of those did you assign yourself, and which of those are you doing to please someone else? Your inbox is a to-do list to which anyone in the world can add an action item. I needed to get out of my inbox and back to my own to-do list.

Tim Ferriss:

Most of our waking hours, we feel as though we’re in a trench on the front lines with bullets whizzing past our heads. Through 20 minutes of consistent meditation, I can become the commander, looking out at the battlefield from a hilltop. I’m able to look at a map of the territory and make high-level decisions. “These guys shouldn’t even be fighting over here. What the hell is Regiment B doing over there? Call them out. We need more troops around the ridge. For objectives, we should be going after A, B, and C in that order. Ignore all the other so-called emergencies until those are handled. Great. Now, deep breath, and … execute.”

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Lay Down the Synaptic Pathways

Kamal Ravikant:

If we are made of atoms and molecules, and they in turn from smaller particles which are empty space and energy, then what are we?

Are we our thoughts?

Ever catch your mind in a mental loop, replaying some old story, an old hurt, the same pattern? Who are you? The thought or the observer of the thought?

If you’re the observer, then what is the thought?

Or are you a thought observing another thought?

Perhaps we’re just biochemical storms within synaptic connections in a brain that evolved over millions of years. Or maybe there is an observer, a deeper self. No proof either way.

I’m fine with not knowing. I enjoy thinking about it, but mainly to remind myself that ultimately, everything is theory. I care about what works. What creates magic in my life.

This I know: the mind, left to itself, repeats the same stories, the same loops. Mostly ones that don’t serve us. So what’s practical, what’s transformative, is to consciously choose a thought. Then practice it again and again. With emotion, with feeling, with acceptance.

Lay down the synaptic pathways until the mind starts playing it automatically. Do this with enough intensity over time and the mind will have no choice. That’s how it operates. Where do you think your original loops came from?

The goal, if there is one, is to practice until the thought you chose becomes the primary loop. Until it becomes the filter through which you view life. Then practice some more.

Sounds like work. Perhaps. But the nature of mind is thought. Choose one that transforms you, makes your life zing. The one I found, “I love myself,” is the most powerful one I know. You might discover another. Regardless, please do it.

It is worth it.

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The Advantage of Commitment

Steve Pavlina:

If you think it’s difficult to commit to something for so many years, you’re right. It is difficult. That’s why average and below average results are more common than exceptional results. Most people aren’t going to commit. But therein lies your greatest advantage. If you simply stick it out longer than most people, your odds of success increase.

Your field may look crowded, but that’s most likely because it’s flooded with dabblers. They’ll be gone within a year or less, replaced by new dabblers. These people don’t represent any serious competition. In fact, they’re most likely helping you. They’ll introduce new people to your field before they give up. Think of these dabblers as your volunteer marketing team. They help to expand the market for the products and services that you’ll eventually deliver.

And:

Commitment doesn’t mean trapping or limiting yourself. It’s not about putting yourself in a box or a cage. It’s about choosing a certain line of development and running with it, which isn’t that difficult to do when you discover something you really love. Then your commitment is a commitment to enjoy your life and to express what feels good to you. It’s still going to involve a lot of work, but that work is mostly a labor of love. The question is whether or not you’re willing to put in the time.

Commitment and action bias are teammates. If you have a strong action bias but your actions are random and haphazard, you’ll pile up a lot of feedback, but it will be tough to make sense of it. On the other hand if you make a commitment to pursue a certain direction, and you cultivate a strong action bias too, then you’re going to acquire feedback that you can use to go further and further down that path. This is a terrific way to experience a fulfilling life that makes you happy and contributes to others.

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The Power of Compound

Ari Yeganeh:

And this is exactly why 80% of gym memberships are canceled within the first few months. People sign up excited about losing weight normally at the start of the year but after a few weeks they give up because they don’t see any results. Just like the magic wand, they don’t see the invisible 0.1% improvements to their health from each visit to the gym.

But in reality it is exactly these 0.1% baby steps over time that make all the difference. If you kept going just a bit longer, a year of 0.1% improvements everyday will result in a 44% total betterment of any field of your choosing. Two years, 107% improvement. And in 5 years, a massive 520% improvement.

This is the compound power of habits. Tiny actions over time can lead to massive results. This lesson alone made all the difference for me.

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