“Accept everything about yourself—I mean everything. You are you and that is the beginning and the end—no apologies, no regrets.” Henry A. Kissinger
The only way to get to where you want to go is to ruthlessly evaluate where you are now. The key here is that your biggest obstacle in life is always yourself—not external factors.
Define where you are and what you have, without prejudice, and you will be ready to fulfill your purpose in life, and seeing your current position clearly is the first step to moving forward and making your life better.
The only way to define your current reality is to completely erase the past and disregard the pull of emotions from your mind.
Every decision that you make during the day is colored by your past experiences and your emotions. Usually, this is a good thing, because it keeps you from repeating the same mistakes. However, in order to define where you are right now, in this exact moment, you must forget the past and treat your emotions as a disease. Any feelings—especially those of fear, anger, sadness, or guilt—will prevent you from objectively measuring your current station in life.
Once your mind is totally clear and in the present, imagine you were dropped from the sky into your current life as it stands right now. See your life from the viewpoint of an astronaut returning to the Earth after hundreds of years in outer space. How would a complete stranger describe your life right now, with no knowledge of past successes and failures, and no knowledge of your emotions and desires? Carefully measure your assets and liabilities, your strengths and your limitations, as well as those of your connections.
Complete this exercise from both a personal and a professional perspective. For example, if you are an award-winning chef, make a note of the cooking skills you have, as well as those you lack. However, ignore your past awards because they are of no use to you in the present.
Where is there opportunity for personal and professional growth in your life right now, in this moment, with no regard to your past?
Keep your emotions turned off but let your past come into play. What have you accomplished? What have you failed to accomplish? Ignore excuses or rationalizations that come into your head. Ignore your emotions and any attempts that your mind makes to justify what you are in the process of accomplishing. Refuse to evade reality by pretending things are one way when they are really another. Only then will you be able to see where you stand and how far you are from achieving your goal. Take careful notice of your victories and your defeats. Are there any patterns? What have you been particularly successful at? Do your failures have anything in common?
Now that you know where you stand, embrace it. Realize that only you are responsible for both the good and bad in your life. It is your own bad strategies—not God, the universe, or the unfair opponent—that are to blame for your failures. This mindset will free you from excuses and open your mind to the numerous possibilities existing in your life. Instead of getting defensive about past mistakes and failures, learn from them and search out new opportunities to face and similar challenges to surmount. Once you do this, you will start creating your own second chances.
Black Hole Focus: How Intelligent People Can Create a Powerful Purpose for Their Lives
Big ideas are the product of many small, intersecting moments and realizations that move us toward a breakthrough.
Listening intensely is a far more valuable skill than speaking immensely. People think big ideas suddenly appear on their own, but they’re actually the product of many small, intersecting moments and realizations that move us toward a breakthrough.
Sometimes you know something in your head, and other times you know it in your heart. The mind delivers logic and reason, but the heart is where faith resides. In moments of uncertainty, when you must choose between two paths, allowing yourself to be overcome by either the fear of failure or the dimly lit light of possibility, immerse yourself in the life you would be most proud to live.
In any confrontation, most people focus on the perpetrator and the victim. There is an inherent expectation that had one of these two acted differently, the outcomes of a conflict may have been averted. But the greatest opportunity actually exists within the role of the bystander, the person who neither benefits nor gains from the event itself. When a bystander steps up on behalf of a potential victim, just as that tuk-tuk driver did for me that day on the streets of Kathmandu, he or she becomes the very definition of a hero. We are more often bystanders to conflict than we are victims or perpetrators, and with that comes the recognition that we have a moral obligation to defend others, even when the crosshairs of injustice aren’t pointed at us personally.
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The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change
Emotional resiliency means that you can bounce back quickly from a setback. It is a skill that can be trained.
Emotional resiliency means that you can bounce back quickly from a setback. It is a skill that can be trained, just like mental toughness. The process is simply stated but takes time and patience to develop:
Witness the negative emotional reaction, and then interdict it to observe the root emotion beneath it. Lean into the root emotion to experience it fully, ensuring that you are avoiding denial or transference. Transmute the negative emotion to its positive sister; for example, fear becomes courage, anger becomes commitment, jealousy becomes appreciation, shame becomes pride, and despair becomes surrender. Engage the new emotion with imagery and self-talk that supports it and blocks the old emotion. Then get moving again by taking action or taking your eyes off yourself and putting them on a teammate. The positive momentum will take you to a new, more positive, emotional place.
It is much easier to be resilient when the Four Attitudes of Emotional Resiliency are burned into your character. The first attitude is to have self-esteem. Self-esteem is the emotional state of feeling worthy and respected by others. Low self-esteem can come from childhood abandonment, volatile environments where your voice is not heard, or outright abuse. If these attributes exist in your consciousness, then it is imperative that you get some therapeutic help and go deep into the silence practices to taste the underlying goodness inside of you.
Second, resiliency is assured if you have the attitude of being oriented toward others versus just yourself, as our second discipline of service seeks to develop. In other words, if you are service oriented, then you tend to be more emotionally resilient. This character trait shows up at the fifth plateau of consciousness development (see the afterword), associated with a world-centric, service-oriented view. Victor Frankl describes this attitude in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, which chronicles his experiences in a Jewish concentration camp. Victor survived by finding meaning through tending to others’ needs over his own…and then teaching the power of this simple truth.
The third attitude is holding a positive mind-set and optimistic outlook, which we have already discussed at length. It should be no surprise that a positive, optimistic attitude impacts one’s emotional resiliency.
Finally, resiliency is ensured when you have an attitude of self-control informed by a deep certainty of your “why.” When climber Aaron Roth found himself alone in the desert, literally stuck between a rock and a hard place, he finally cut his own arm off to save his life. He did it because his “why” was to survive so he could be there for his unborn daughter, showing his orientation toward others.
Unbeatable Mind: Forge Resiliency and Mental Toughness to Succeed at an Elite Level
The process is about finishing. Finishing the smallest task you have right in front of you and finishing it well.
Excellence is a matter of steps.
Excelling at this one, then that one, and then the one after that. Saban’s process is exclusively this—existing in the present, taking it one step at a time, not getting distracted by anything else.
The process is about finishing. Finishing games. Finishing workouts. Finishing film sessions. Finishing drives. Finishing reps. Finishing plays. Finishing blocks. Finishing the smallest task you have right in front of you and finishing it well. Whether it’s pursuing the pinnacle of success in your field or simply surviving some awful or trying ordeal, the same approach works. Don’t think about the end—think about surviving. Making it from meal to meal, break to break, checkpoint to checkpoint, paycheck to paycheck, one day at a time. And when you really get it right, even the hardest things become manageable. Because the process is relaxing. Under its influence, we needn’t panic. Even mammoth tasks become just a series of component parts.
I know that seems almost too simple. But envision, for a second, a master practicing an exceedingly difficult craft and making it look effortless. There’s no strain, no struggling. So relaxed. No exertion or worry. Just one clean movement after another. That’s a result of the process.
Do that now, for whatever obstacles you come across. We can take a breath, do the immediate, composite part in front of us—and follow its thread into the next action.
Everything in order, everything connected.
The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph
The 10X Rule is about pure domination mentality. You never do what others do. You must be willing to do what they won't do—and even take actions that you might deem “unreasonable.”
Any goal you set is going to be difficult to achieve, and you will inevitably be disappointed at some points along the way. So why not set these goals much higher than you deem worthy from the beginning? If they are going to require work, effort, energy, and persistence, then why not exert 10 times as much of each? What if you are underestimating your capabilities?
Remember: A person who limits his or her potential success will limit what he or she will do to create it and keep it. As long as you are alive, you will either live to accomplish your own goals and dreams or be used as a resource to accomplish someone else's.
When you have underestimated the time, energy, and effort necessary to do something, you will have “quit” in your mind, voice, posture, face, and presentation. You won't develop the persistence necessary to get your mission accomplished. However, when you correctly estimate the effort necessary, you will assume the appropriate posture. The marketplace will sense by your actions that you are a force to be reckoned with and are not going away—and it will begin to respond accordingly.
Never reduce a target. Instead, increase actions. When you start rethinking your targets, making up excuses, and letting yourself off the hook, you are giving up on your dreams!
The 10X Rule assumes the target is never the problem. Any target attacked with the right actions in the right amounts with persistence is attainable.
I know you've probably heard this before, but success does not merely “happen.” It is the result of relentless, proper actions taken over time. Only those who operate with the appropriate view and corresponding actions will have success. Luck clearly has something to do with it, but anyone who is “getting lucky” will tell you that their “luck” is directly proportional to what they've done. The more actions you take, the better your chances are of getting “lucky.”
The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure
Increasing Your Income There are many ways to increase your income. I cover the three that worked best for us.
1. Selling things.
You probably have a lot of stuff you didn’t even realize you had. I admitted that I had more stuff than I thought and when I actually let go I decided to get rid of things. We sold everything we could, from furniture that wasn’t necessary, to old computer monitors, to our kayak. When you can start to let go of the excess stuff you own, you can start to feel better. You feel more organized, and you feel like you are in control of things. As you downsize, it’s important to show appreciation for what you do have. There are so many people with much less, even if you are living paycheck to paycheck. Taking old things and donating them to Goodwill or friends in need may not help your budget, but it will help your mind. Giving during a time of scarcity is a great experience.
2. Increase your wage at your current job.
I know the economy isn’t great, but if you are providing a lot of value to your employer, it doesn’t hurt to ask for a raise. I remember I was only three months into working at my company, and even though I was making more money than I ever imagined possible before, I asked for a raise. I even asked for a big raise. I’m not usually someone who enjoys risk, so it seemed a bit out of character for me. However, when I looked at the risk logically, I realized the worst they could do was say no. They had loved me as an employee so far. In fact, they hired one of my friends from college based on my recommendation. If they said no, then they would at least see my eagerness to improve. Although I was very nervous when the words came out of my mouth, just a few short days later, they said yes.
If you want to ask for a raise, here are a few tips: Make sure you are going above and beyond your current job description already. Employers love to see eager workers and know that they have people they can count on. They don’t want to lose people who are willing to go above and beyond. Make sure there is no ultimatum implied. When asking for a raise, it may sound like you aren’t happy with your current salary or that you are unhappy with your job. To keep things peaceful, make sure you validate that you appreciate your current situation, too. You can alienate your boss or company if they think you dislike the work and just want more money to justify it. Go in prepared and use numbers. Make sure you go in knowing what you are asking for. Don’t just say, “I want a raise.” Your employer needs to know how much you are looking for. Use numbers to show how much value you are delivering. If your job has any direct relation to creating gross revenue, make sure you explain how much you are bringing in. If you have had a direct impact and have created happier customers or fewer problems with software, and so on, make sure you back up your claim with numbers. You want to make it a no-brainer for your employer to give you a raise, even if they don’t have the funds to pay you now. This will give you a good chance to show how valuable you are. If you don’t feel like you have anything to show them to justify a raise, then go create more impact in your company before you ask for one. If you can’t show your value to an employer, then don’t ask for a raise. If your company is holding you back so you can’t show your value, then ask them for more responsibilities!
3. Starting a business.
If your goal is to start a business, start it now as a side hustle. The next few chapters go over finding a solid idea and how millionaires started their businesses. Ahead, you’ll also find help with goal setting and creating a three-month action plan. You want the side hustle to start now so you can start to learn a lot about business while you have the security of your job. It also allows for more income so you can pay off your debt faster. That way you can set yourself up financially to quit your day job.
The Eventual Millionaire: How Anyone Can Be an Entrepreneur and Successfully Grow Their Startup
When you focus single-mindedly on what you want, you’ll begin to notice new resources appearing in your life.
Understand that you can only take action in the present moment, and you can only enjoy your results in the present as well. You can’t accomplish or experience anything in the past or future because you’re never there. When people learn about goal setting, they often set goals in violation of this fact. It’s difficult to achieve something that’s based on an inaccurate model of reality—such a goal will surely be an uphill struggle. The purpose of goal setting isn’t to control the future.
The point of goal setting is to improve the quality of your present-moment reality. Setting goals can give you greater clarity and focus right now.
When you set a goal that improves your present reality, what does it matter how long it takes to achieve the final outcome? Whether it takes one week or five years is irrelevant. The whole path is fun and enjoyable.
Whenever you set goals, you can envision a path of sacrifice and suffering by focusing on the illusion of the future, or you can allow the goal to inject your present reality with excitement, enthusiasm, and motivation. Even though it seems like you’re setting goals for the future, you’re really doing so for the present. The better you understand this, the more easily you’ll achieve what you set out to do. If you adopt this mind-set, you’ll soon learn to set different kinds of goals.
If your goals look great on paper but don’t fill you with desire and motivation when you focus on them, they’re worthless. Don’t settle for wimpy goals you aren’t passionate about.
Effort If you want to turn your desires into reality, at some point you must take action. When you set goals that truly inspire you, you’ll feel naturally motivated to take action. You’ll work hard, but it won’t seem like hard work because you’ll be so inspired. For the most part, you’ll just be doing what you love to do.
When you focus single-mindedly on what you want, you’ll begin to notice new resources appearing in your life. If you don’t take action, however, those resources will dry up, and you’ll be no closer to your goals.
Self-Discipline Self-discipline is another one of those dirty words. We’re told to take it easy. Go with the flow. Don’t sweat it. The myth of fast and easy pervades modern society. This may convince you to buy a lot of junk you don’t need, but it isn’t an effective way to run your life if fulfillment and success matter to you.
Self-discipline is the willingness to do what it takes to achieve the results you want regardless of your mood.
Motivation starts the race, but self-discipline ultimately crosses the finish line.
Personal Development for Smart People: The Conscious Pursuit of Personal Growth
To interrupt this cycle, some organizational leaders urge their employees to “assume positive intent,” that is, to imagine that the behavior or words of your colleagues are motivated by good intentions, even when their actions seem objectionable at first glance. This “filter” can be extremely powerful. Indra Nooyi, the chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, cited it to Fortune as the best advice she ever received. (She learned it from her father.)
She said, “When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed.… You don’t get defensive. You don’t scream. You are trying to understand and listen because at your basic core you are saying, ‘Maybe they are saying something to me that I’m not hearing.
This simple technique of considering the opposite has been shown, across multiple studies, to reduce many otherwise thorny cognitive biases.
That’s why we are advocating so strongly in this book for the use of a process, something that becomes habitual.
Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work
Focus means changing only one habit at a time.
I’ve found it best to spend at least one month exclusively on one habit before moving to the next. For example, let’s say you want to wake up earlier, exercise more often, and introduce a new organizational system at work. You recognize that your current habits for sleep, health, and work are slowing you down, and you want to make some positive changes.
If you’re like most people, you’ll start by tackling all three at once. This might even work, for a short time. But after a week or two, something will cause you to slip with one of these new activities. In the beginning you’re relying entirely on willpower, so when a behavior slips, it goes back to the default behavior you had been using before.
A smarter strategy is to implement each new habit successively, focusing on just one new habit a month. The first month you focus on waking up earlier. The second month on regular exercise. The third month on a new system for your work. Although thirty days may not be enough time to form a new default habit (one study suggests sixty-six days as a median time for habituation6), it will at least mean the habit requires less effort to pick back up in case of a setback.
The next insight for changing habits is called classical conditioning. This is a basic psychological principle first discovered by Ivan Pavlov through his famous experiment with dogs. Pavlov would ring a bell and then bring his dogs food. Soon enough, the dogs would salivate after hearing the bell, anticipating food. This salivation would continue even if the food never arrived, showing that the dogs automatically associated the sound of the bell with a meal.
Consistency means that you try to do a habit the same way each time. Imagine you wanted to set up a deliberate practice routine, where you work on a tough skill you’re trying to master for your career. Let’s say you want to commit to working on it for around three hours per week. One way you could do this is to do one hour, three days per week, when you have time. Some days you might do it before work, other days after; sometimes on weekdays and sometimes on weekends. This may work, but it’s hardly consistent. As a result, the habit will take a lot longer to become automatic. Instead, imagine that you spent thirty-five minutes each day immediately after work on that skill. Now the behavior is very consistent. It takes place on the same days, in the same conditions, in exactly the same fashion. It won’t be long before doing your practice routine after work becomes an automatic part of your day.
Maximize Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build an Incredible Career (The 99U Book Series) by Jocelyn K. Glei, 99U
You get the respect you give, but you need to give yourself the same treatment, if you respect yourself, others will respect you.
In my career, I have always made decisions and learned the skills I have, based on thinking of myself as a corporation.
That means anytime I work with a company, I view it as if Daryl Burnett Inc is doing business with Company X Inc.
I often see companies treat other companies as equals, or with respect, but companies treat individuals more as chess pieces or as replaceable cogs, and to me that is not the smart play on either side.
By being and acting as a company, I am making better and smarter moves for both sides of the equation, and these ideas are more based on long term thinking than I would do personally. Acting as a company also makes me expect and require respect from those businesses I work with, and I treat the company I work with as a partner.
You get the respect you give, but you need to give yourself the same treatment, if you respect yourself, others will respect you.
In today's market, the concept of you as a company isn't a theory, it is how the world works today. In your life you will have several careers, you will learn many different skills, because the market place is now fluid. You need to remember that you are a business, and that you need to make those moves that give your company the best possible chances in the future, and gives you the most profit.
Profit being defined as not just money, it is often more than money, it can be time, location, and skills.
“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
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Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”