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**This thread will change the way you think.**

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Antifragile

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Here are notes on things that aren't obvious but will change the way you think about life. An eclectic collection.​


  • Your habits are what drives your mood, and mood is a filter through which you experience life. Happiness is not some fantom state of joy, it is how your mood filters experiences of life.
  • The past is not some unchangeable reality, like a video recording. Your perception of the past changes as you change, and so do your memories. The past you recall is not the same as how you will perceive those same events in the future.
  • You don't even know what will make you happy. We act and make plans (like buying a Lambo) but those are a mere reflection of the best version of the past or now. We have no idea what other available outcomes are in the future. We can't picture things that do not yet exist. And since we can't predict the future outcome of our actions, we can only focus on now. Don't settle on the best version of the past, the future can be even better.
  • Is fear a sign you are on the wrong path? No, quite the opposite. This hits close to home for all entrepreneurs. Fear tells you that you are on the right path because you are moving towards something you want and like. The sign for being on a bad path is indifference. Next time you are fearful, remember you are moving towards something you like.
  • Your thoughts may actually not be your own. Social conditioning can make us believe things that weren't our thoughts or beliefs in the first place. Examine your beliefs and reflect on their origin, then decide.
  • No emotion is permanent, your anger, happiness, joy - all of it. I hope you've developed enough awareness just by being alive to know that even worst things that happened, will pass. Remember this quote: "this too shall pass".


What can you add to this thread? What surprising mind twist did you learn?
 
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Antifragile

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Emotional Intelligence - rules for life:​

  • Do not speak in definitive terms about people, politics or ideas. The idea may be wrong to you, but it exists because it is right to someone else.
  • Focus on communicating something, not just saying things to elicit validation or approval. Speak calmly, simply and mindfully.
  • Listen to hear, not to respond.
  • The world does not revolve around you. Disassociate words you hear from judgement against you. Listen to someone without worrying that what is being said is a slight against you. Try to understand the other person's perspective.
  • If you genuinely dislike something, you'd disengage from it. Your interest in a topic means you are not indifferent.
  • Don't post anything online that you wouldn't want to show your parent or explain to your child.


Can someone add some Jordan Peterson wisdom? He had two books on rule for life!
 
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Antifragile

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"Knowing - doing gap"​


Continuing with notes on things that will change the way you think...

Concepts borrowed from Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton. The experience of knowing the best thing to do, but doing something else anyway is a "knowing-doing gap". Buddhists call it "resistance".

One reason for this self sabotage is seeking comfort. Humans are hard wired to seek comfort for survival. But to move past this resistance, we have to alter our mindset on discomfort. You are probably thinking I am asking you to learn "being comfortable with discomfort", bullshit. No. That's a weird statement that doesn't work. As soon as you are comfortable "with discomfort" it's no longer discomfort by definition. So that's not it. What it is then? Focus instead on what you are giving up in the future. What kind of discomfort will you experience in the future if you don't do the work now?

If you had to live today on repeat, for the rest of your life - where would it get you? What kind of life would you live? Would you be happy with the outcome? Would you love your life?

(Side note: @MTF has a discomfort club newsletter, look it up in his signature. It's worth the read).

This knowing-doing gap widens when you wait to be ready. The longer you wait before you get started, the bigger the gap. And your anxiety builds up in your most idle hours. Fear and resistance creep in when you avoid doing the work.

Remember: it's easier to act your way into feelings than feel your way into action.

Now that you are done reading this post... Go do the work, one little thing that'll get the ball rolling, let that momentum build!
 

Antifragile

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**Let go of these expectations as early in life as you can**​


The sooner you let go of these expectations, the better.

  1. You have plenty of time. Even if you are young, people die early at all ages, you are not guaranteed to live a long life. What would you do if you knew your time was short?
  2. You can be whatever you want. Nonsense, wanting something doesn't qualify you to have it. But maybe you can find a cross between your ability and interests.
  3. You can control what other people think of you. Nope. You can control how you react to people, you can even set rules on how people treat you but you cannot control how they think. Let it go. People will judge, love, hate, envy, admire you - all of that and none of that is in your control. You can only control what you do.
  4. Hard work guarantees success. Nope again. The point of hard work is to recognize the person it makes you, not what it gets you. You cannot control the future outcome, just stack the odds in your favour.
  5. Anxiety is an irritant to just learn to thwart. Pain, physical or mental is just a message that you should pay close attention to. Anxiety is what keeps us alive, if we pay attention to the message. Struggling with crippling anxiety means you are not listening to it. There is probably a major issue in your life that that you refuse to act on. But you should. It's the only way.

What can you add to the list from your own experiences? Especially if you are a bit older and could look back on life.
 

Antifragile

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**Forms of happiness **​

There are three primary forms for happiness per Eric Greitens*:
- the happiness of pleasure
- the happiness of grace, and
- the happiness of excellence.

Pleasure is largely sensory. It's a god meal when you are hungry, it's the proverbial "buying a lambo" on this forum. It's waking up warm and cozy in your bed.

The happiness of grace is gratitude. It's waking up next to the love of your life. It's being grateful for the things you do have in your life.

Then there is the happiness of excellence, it only comes from a pursuit of something great. That's a premise of @Kak Kyle Keegan Radio Show. Happiness is not only the moment when you sell your company, it's enjoying the journey of building something great. It's falling in love with the process. It is the purpose that builds character and channels our energy to something far greater than a daily pursuit of our own desires.

The happiness of excellence is about emotional resilience. You will not get a high from the first few days of training to run a marathon. You will not feel accomplished when you start your "progress thread" of a new business.
  • During marathon training your legs, lungs and everything else will hurt and you will want to puke.
  • During business start up you may sleep like a baby - wake up every 3 hours and cry.

    Yet, once you get a sense of the path you are on and imagine what's possible... what you can accomplish, you start to fall in love with the process.
Discipline leads to freedom and happiness. That's because happiness is not only how we can excite our senses, but also the peace of mind that comes from knowing we are becoming who we want and need to be.


*Reference: Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life
by Eric Greitens Navy SEAL
 

Antifragile

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# Taking Responsibility​


Continuing with my eclectic notes on things that will change the way you think.
  • Everything in life is here to help you. You don't believe me? It's how you choose to interpret your own situation. Pain can mean suffering. Or it can mean an opportunity to grow, which suddenly deflates the impact of same pain.
  • If you care more about comfort than change, no real changes will happen in your life.
  • Still don't believe me? You haven't taken responsibility for your life. You are still waiting for something to come and change how you feel. Some posters suffer loudly because they think that this "cry for help to the forum" will have someone else come and fix or change them. It won't happen.
**So, how do you get "unstuck"? How do you make your habits go on autopilot? **

If you are reading this post it hopefully means you read the thread. If you did, you already know that **success is more a product of your habit than skill**. But our minds have a limit on self-control, we can only fight our impulses for a period of time each day. And yet you need self-control to develop habits. Many people write well but few write well and consistently.

There are three stages to getting new skills:
  1. Cognitive. It's when you first think of a task. It's hard work to figure it out. Even something as simple as running (let alone starting your business!) is complex mental task at this stage. You don't know what clothes, shoes, nutrition, route to take, track progress etc. Yet it's where it all begins.
  2. Associative. Now you've done it a few times, stress over it comes down a touch, but not enough to be "easy" and mistakes are made. A lot of mistakes are made. In your mind you should be so much better. This is where most people quit. You got into the game and just before you truly succeed, you get this "creative gap". You can't visualize the next stage, you just start to think you aren't as good as you should be. You are grinding but its not meeting your own standards for results. Most people never bridge this gap and quit.
  3. Auto or "flow". You are no longer thinking consciously about the work, you are performing. Sticking to my simple running example, it's not a chore anymore. You look outside, you throw some clothes on, you are on autopilot out and you are going. You aren't thinking about your form, stride, shoes. You are in a state of flow observing your environment. If it's raining you feel it on your face and enjoying the cooling effect. If it's cloudy you wonder about cloud shapes, and if it's sunny you can't help but squint and smile a little. You know what specific workout you are doing today and it'll be hard. Yet it's not a mentally difficult decision. It's now part of your habits.

What is the difference between people who see their work rise to unprecedented levels and those who throw in the towel?
It is a matter of having the (perhaps often uncomfortable) **commitment to keep going**.
 

Antifragile

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How many times have you heard someone say "I don't know what I am doing with my life"? Probably a lot.​


And you know what?

The notion that we must have everything figured out by a certain age is an illusion that has been projected on us since childhood. We're told that we need to find our purpose in life, as if there is only one specific thing we're meant to do. But the truth is, no one really knows what they'll be doing in 5 years, let alone their entire life. The future is unknown, and that's okay.

Thinking that you "know what you are doing with your life" quells your hunger. It soothes your thoughts with the illusion that your path is now known. That you no longer are making these hard decisions daily. That you are not responsible for becoming a person you are meant to be. And it's holding you back.

What's important is that we have hunger in our lives. That we are constantly striving for more, even when we feel like we've reached a level of success. Complete fulfilment is the fast track to complacency. People don't thrive when they are fulfilled. They stagnate.

So if you're feeling lost and uncertain about your life, know that you're not alone. And know that it's okay to not have everything figured out. Embrace the unknown, and keep moving forward. Hunger is what will keep you alive.

Ask yourself:
- What one thing that if I started doing daily would change my life for the better?
- What do I want?

And keep adjusting, keep grinding.
 

Antifragile

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**On Creativity. **​


Being creative isn't some luxury that's only available when you've hit your "exit $ number" and can now afford to do it. It's just as natural for humans as walking, eating or thinking. It's what made our species survive!

A typical new member starts a thread on this forum along the lines of "I've read the book, want to quit my job, have a few months of savings. What should I do next 30 days to generate $X because I don't want to be slow lane anymore." Typical, boring and "me, me, me" type of post. Irony here is an entrepreneur is an inventor, a problem solver - a creative human being.

To live like the 1% you can't behave like 99%.

How to become more creative?
  • Learn to do things without judgment, similar to how in mediation you observe your thoughts and feelings.
  • Stop trying to navigate the forest in pitch black night. Your desire to make changes to your life comes when you are most consumed by emotion, but that's the worst time to do so. Do not make decisions when you are upset or riding a high. Let yourself come back down to neutral first. Then think. Think on a piece of paper.
  • Ask yourself better questions. Are you wanting to have better things before becoming a better you? Maybe it's time to change your objectives.

Add to the list folks! What makes you more creative?
 
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biophase

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Just reading the Happiness Hypothesis and here are some key points from that book.

Two different kinds of enjoyment, pleasures and gratifications. Pleasure is like eating food, sex, buying something, etc... It gives you an instant high level of happiness but they don't last. People don't remember what their meal from last week was as even if it was great.

The other is gratification, gratifications are activities that engage you fully, draw on your strengths, and allow you to lose self-consciousness. Choose your own gratifying activities, do them regularly (but not to the point of tedium), and raise your overall level of happiness.

Conspicuous and inconspicuous consumption follow different psychological rules. Conspicuous consumption is a zero-sum game. Conspicuous consumption are things that other people can see. Inconspicuous consumption is just for you, but not really quantifiable. For example, one would get paid more on to spend it on nicer car because others can see it vs. get paid less and have more vacation days.

Activities connect us to others; objects often separate us.

 

Antifragile

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# Questions that change how you think.

If the quality of your life is correlated to the quality of questions you ask yourself, then what should you ask?


Kicking off what can be a very long list, here are my 10 questions:
  1. What and who is worth suffering for?
  2. What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
  3. Based on your daily habits, where will you be in 5-10-20 years?
  4. What one thing, that if you started to do today would have the greatest impact on your life in 6 months?
  5. What one thing that if you stopped doing today would have the greatest impact on your life in a week?
  6. If you did not have to work to make a living anymore (business owners included), what would you do every day?
  7. Who do you admire (past or present)?
  8. What unreasonable and unrealistic dream do you have about your life? (Wouldn't it be nice if... )
  9. If you were to touch every item you own with your hand, how many give you joy when you do? And why do you keep the rest?
  10. What are your greatest accomplishments so far?


Add to the list. What quality questions do you have that can improve our thinking and lives?
 

Andy Black

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what did you expect to be one way, but it turns out it was not that way at all?
Hmm. I’ll think about it. Nothing springs to mind.

If anything, things have been more than I expected. Losing loved ones is more pain than I could ever have imagined. Becoming a parent is more amazing than I could ever have imagined.

I suppose business and life is simpler than I expected. Help people. Reward people with attention. Lead with positivity.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Now that you are a bit older, have gotten used to your level of wealth and the fact that you can afford luxury. How have you changed in your behaviour? I know @MJ DeMarco got rid of his Lamborghini and is now driving a Ford Raptor (still luxury but more useful, pragmatic vehicle). And how has your level of happiness been affected by these changes?

Culture has changed. Owning an exotic used to garner some respect and admiration, now they attract more disrespect, hatred, jealousy, and envy. I also associate them with scammy gurus and people who generally can't afford them. At the tail end of my Lambo ownership I rarely drove it except when I knew it was a low-drama time frame, like Sunday morning, or Monday night to a softball game. Cruise on Friday night? Hell no. Clubbing on Saturday? Ill pass.

Also the value and utility received from the driving experience is limited to a few hours per week. The net expense, in terms of time and money, is simply a lot to bear for so little return. On the flip side, spending a lot of money on a great house with every amenity I could possible want, and then some, has great utility. I am here and "use it" 22-24 hours a day. A Lamborghini? Even in Arizona, I drove that a few hours per week, and it came coupled with drama.
 

SteveO

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: @Andy Black @SteveO - curious about what expectations you've let go when you were younger? What expectations were slowing you down until you've changed the way you think?
My expectations were very limited when I was young. All I wanted was to make a few bucks to support the family.

There was not a lot of hope in the younger years. We were poor. The school I went to had a lot of people with money. I always thought I was scum and inferior to others. Sports helped change that though. I was a top runner in the state which gave me confidence. But I could not afford to attend the events that others could get to.

I was in my mid thirty's when I came around to the feeling that I was as good as anyone else.

Now I don't even care about that. I look at a day laborer as an equal.

Nobody is better than anyone else.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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I upgraded this to GOLD a few days ago, but didn't mention it, thanks @Antifragile for sharing your life wisdom.
 

RicardoGrande

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One resource that really helped me (after doing it enough times for it to stick), was tony robbins personal power II which I think a few people here and even Tim Ferris have brought up.

There's quite a few good distinctions, like the power of focus, watching your energy and state, but one that really sunk deep and started to change me was reframing downturns and "failures" in life as challenges and checkpoints.

It's a cliche, but for anything you do, it's something you chose to do, and that thing gave you feedback. If you're smart, if you refuse to get down, you can listen to and observe what you're getting from your actions, and then change what you're doing until you get your desired outcome.

One I'm facing right now is with cold calls.
The first thought that popped to my mind after my 9th catty receptionist was "Damn, am I only going to run into receptionists? I'm NEVER going to be able to make this business work :( "
Before I could even finish the frowny face emote in my mind, I caught myself, and I changed it.
Before I even knew it, that line transformed into:
"Damn, I'm really running into a lot of receptionists, what are some good ways or techniques to win them to my side and get in touch with decision makers, reliably?
If I can do just that, I'll be swimming in sales calls."

It sounds corny, sounded corny to me the first few times I encountered it, but when I had a hard month awhile back and was sick and tired of being sick tired, I decided to just give it a go and the rest is history.
 
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Antifragile

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I want to spread my friendliness and gratitude to as many people as possible

This is very much on topic. Gratitude is a way of thinking, and it gives us lasting joy and happiness.

Here is my Sunday gratitude:
1. To @Kak for his relentless reminder and enthusiasm to “think big, then think BIGGER”. It serves me well in business.
2. @MTF for his discomfort club newsletter. It made me double my workouts when I felt like I should be resting. It’s changing the way I think about fatigue.

To the readers - thanks for your replies! Who are you grateful for today (on the forum)? List two members and tell us why.
 

jdm667

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"Knowing - doing gap"​


Continuing with notes on things that will change the way you think...

Concepts borrowed from Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton. The experience of knowing the best thing to do, but doing something else anyway is a "knowing-doing gap". Buddhists call it "resistance".

One reason for this self sabotage is seeking comfort. Humans are hard wired to seek comfort for survival. But to move past this resistance, we have to alter our mindset on discomfort. You are probably thinking I am asking you to learn "being comfortable with discomfort", bullshit. No. That's a weird statement that doesn't work. As soon as you are comfortable "with discomfort" it's no longer discomfort by definition. So that's not it. What it is then? Focus instead on what you are giving up in the future. What kind of discomfort will you experience in the future if you don't do the work now?

If you had to live today on repeat, for the rest of your life - where would it get you? What kind of life would you live? Would you be happy with the outcome? Would you love your life?

(Side note: @MTF has a discomfort club newsletter, look it up in his signature. It's worth the read).

This knowing-doing gap widens when you wait to be ready. The longer you wait before you get started, the bigger the gap. And your anxiety builds up in your most idle hours. Fear and resistance creep in when you avoid doing the work.

Remember: it's easier to act your way into feelings than feel your way into action.

Now that you are done reading this post... Go do the work, one little thing that'll get the ball rolling, let that momentum build!
If you know you can lift 100 LBs with no discomfort, it is tempting to just do that and avoid the discomfort of heavier weights. It still feels like progress after the workout - after all, you did something!

You might be able to maintain your existing muscle, but you won't grow much without a new challenge. The challenge will grow along with you, unless you stop challenging yourself.
 
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jdm667

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**Let go of these expectations as early in life as you can**​


The sooner you let go of these expectations, the better.

  1. You have plenty of time. Even if you are young, people die early at all ages, you are not guaranteed to live a long life. What would you do if you knew your time was short?
  2. You can be whatever you want. Nonsense, wanting something doesn't qualify you to have it. But maybe you can find a cross between your ability and interests.
  3. You can control what other people think of you. Nope. You can control how you react to people, you can even set rules on how people treat you but you cannot control how they think. Let it go. People will judge, love, hate, envy, admire you - all of that and none of that is in your control. You can only control what you do.
  4. Hard work guarantees success. Nope again. The point of hard work is to recognize the person it makes you, not what it gets you. You cannot control the future outcome, just stack the odds in your favour.
  5. Anxiety is an irritant to just learn to thwart. Pain, physical or mental is just a message that you should pay close attention to. Anxiety is what keeps us alive, if we pay attention to the message. Struggling with crippling anxiety means you are not listening to it. There is probably a major issue in your life that that you refuse to act on. But you should. It's the only way.

What can you add to the list from your own experiences? Especially if you are a bit older and could look back on life.
Just focus on being the best in your field - don't worry about marketing or self promotion.

LOL, I used to believe this (firmly) back in college. It is so wrong!

If you find the cure for cancer, are you really going to keep it to yourself? Obviously you would tell people about it and get the word out (marketing & advertising).

If you graduate at the top of your class, but you interview poorly (i.e. you cannot "sell yourself"), you will not be getting a good job.

If I need a plumber for a broken pipe emergency, I don't care if he is "the best in the business". I just want someone competent enough to fix it, NOW. I am calling the first plumber near me I see on Google.

I'm not saying to be a hack (100% marketing and 0% skill). I am saying that you need to get those customers in the first place. Then, they will see how good you are and spread the word about you!
 

thechosen1

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This is excellent! I still struggle with this. I don't seek out spotlight and am always worried about self promotion turning into "bragging". But marketing is a must for any business (and person).

I'll tag a few more people that I think will have something to share on this topic: @Andy Black @SteveO - curious about what expectations you've let go when you were younger? What expectations were slowing you down until you've changed the way you think? How about @Kak, @thechosen1 and @MitchC ?
I am still learning about this, but it does seem that you must "toot your own horn" if you want to get anywhere in life.

I always believed that results speak for themselves - that's been deeply ingrained into who I am, passed from family values, BUT my experiences have shown me that the people who rise to the top are pretty loud with their accomplishments... And sometimes the best person is not the one who wins (sadly), the best product doesn't win, the best business doesn't grow the most...

The marketing/branding/promotion of your business, or even of YOU does in fact matter quite a lot...

So I am working on that.

"The squeaky wheel gets the grease," as they say.
 

Antifragile

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"But countless studies have shown that a cue and a reward, on their own, aren’t enough for a new habit to last. Only when your brain starts expecting the reward—craving the endorphins or sense of accomplishment—will it become automatic to lace up your jogging shoes each morning." (Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit)

"The first step toward antifragility consists in first decreasing downside, rather than increasing upside; that is, by lowering exposure to negative Black Swans and letting natural antifragility work by itself." (Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile)

"The human mind is like a sailboat on a sea with strong currents and a steady wind. We tend to just follow the currents of our biases and can easily be manipulated and blown about." (Steven Novella, The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe)

"The person who does the most talking and the person who is the most successful are rarely the same person." (David J Schwartz, The Magic of Thinking Big)
 

Zahida A. Khan

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Here are notes on things that aren't obvious but will change the way you think about life. An eclectic collection.​


What can you add to this thread? What surprising mind twist did you learn?
@Antifragile, great list - btw, did you read "AntiFragile?"

Here are a few:
  1. Sleep is uber important - got an OURA Ring a few years ago to track sleep, made some changes to optimize sleep as it's restorative - want to be cognitively alert and restore mind/body, then put this #1 thing above and beyond exercise and diet. Without proper sleep, diet and exercise doesn't have maximum benefit
  2. Exercise daily - movement is the secret of a healthy life
  3. Use Pareto's 80/20 principle in all parts of your life, 80% of profits comes from 20% of your customers ... Wanna get creative, take the fractal of 80/20 and you'll get 64/4, that is 4% of effort will yield 64% results - why not focus on the 4% and get rid of unnecessary trivialities
  4. Eat 80% good whole food to support your gut microbiome and 20% whatever coz you gotta have some fun!!
  5. Drink H2O, everything else has sugar - a silent poison!!
  6. Stay away from the 3 deadly whites, white sugar, white flour, white salt
  7. When you eat a healthy meal, focus on the meal, don't multitask, be grateful, think that the meal will nourish your body, and a grateful mind will put that meal into healthy fuel. Studies show a healthy meal eaten by an angry person, will not get the benefits of the nutrients
  8. Mind over Matter - If you don't mind, it nah matter
  9. If you find your self getting 'angry' or 'jealous' or having 'hateful' thoughts. Check your EGO!! Is your EGO hurt?? Chances are, you have expectations of other/situations and when things don't meet your needs, anger flares. Learn to control your emotional response, live life fluidly without expecting others to be, do as YOU expect and you will find your self living a stress free life
  10. Love unconditionally, don't attach to anything - as the Buddha said, "Attachment causes suffering." So many 'attach' themselves to a job title, a role, a story, a condition and they say, "I AM This" and "I AM Not That" ... when we attach 2 something, we identify with that thing, we become that thing, neural pathways wire together to make sure 'we are that thing' and BOOM ... it becomes very difficult to break away from that thing (eg. I'm depressed .. I'm angry ... I'm an alcoholic, etc...)
  11. Learn something new every day, exercise your brain and allow it to build new neural pathways - challenge yourself
  12. If you are comfortable, you're not growing - get out there and chop some wood, you wanna be 'antifragile'
  13. Try cold showers - I do a cold water dunk my face when I wake up and puffiness gone. Leaves me with a fresh, vibrant face
  14. Walk in the forest - take a nature walk, unplug and enjoy the free things in life
  15. If your cell phone is within arms reach 24/7 ... better sign up 4 dat AA class :D coz you have an addiction or an unhealthy relationship with your phone
  16. If you have a family, INVEST your time with them, LOVE and enjoy your time with them - if there are issues in your relationships, it will follow you wherever you go, in your business, at work, at play, dining out, etc ... take care of your primary relationships
  17. Make sure you love, trust, care, respect you first, then you can love, trust, care, respect others
  18. What you FOCUS on E X P A N D S
  19. To thine own self, be true - don't lie to yourself, as it will spill over to lying to others
  20. When you see a negative trait in someone; look deep within and you will find it's within you ;)
  21. Your view of the world is merely a projection of who you are - see the world as bad, and look within and rid yourself of bad - what we see out there is a mere reflection of what's in here
  22. The mind is powerful, learn how to use it to create the life you want - yup, it can be done and there are many stories of peeps who came from poor backgrounds and became wealthy - many with cancer or other terminally deadly conditions and they have turned their life around by taking control of their mind
I can go on n on n on ... but will stop here ;)

Thanks 4 the discussion, @Antifragile
 

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I've been pondering this. As is typical with people who came from no money into some wealth, I've indulged in conspicuous consumption. You (and many others here) have also done that, with super cars as an example.

Now that you are a bit older, have gotten used to your level of wealth and the fact that you can afford luxury. How have you changed in your behaviour? I know @MJ DeMarco got rid of his Lamborghini and is now driving a Ford Raptor (still luxury but more useful, pragmatic vehicle). And how has your level of happiness been affected by these changes?
With the supercar, it’s not that I don’t want one at all. It’s just that I don’t enjoy driving them anymore. So is it conspicuous consumption if I buy another one? It just feels like a waste to get one and have it sit in a garage. I like to get use out of the things I buy.

Supercars just complicate your life. It’s not just buying the car, it’s the registration , the insurance, the maintenance, the driving around and hoping it doesn’t get dinged. And it’s not the money cost, it’s the time suck.

I also think that as we get older, we aren’t competing or comparing our things to other people or friends. We are existing in our own world rather than someone else’s world view. Honestly, you just have nothing to prove to anyone.
 
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Just reading the Happiness Hypothesis and here are some key points from that book.

Two different kinds of enjoyment, pleasures and gratifications. Pleasure is like eating food, sex, buying something, etc... It gives you an instant high level of happiness but they don't last. People don't remember what their meal from last week was as even if it was great.

The other is gratification, gratifications are activities that engage you fully, draw on your strengths, and allow you to lose self-consciousness. Choose your own gratifying activities, do them regularly (but not to the point of tedium), and raise your overall level of happiness.

I haven't read the book so this is more like an addition to what you said.

We can also break happiness down into pleasure and virtue. The second one isn't always fun and pleasurable but it brings lasting fulfillment. The first one only brings temporary enjoyment/relief.

The above is basically how Stoics lived/live today. From How to Think Like a Roman Emperor (the part in bold mine):

Like the Cynics before them, the Stoics saw the myth of Hercules as an allegory about the virtues of courage and self-discipline. “What do you think Hercules would have amounted to,” Epictetus asks his students, “if there had not been monsters such as the Nemean lion, the Hydra, the stag of Artemis, the Erymanthian boar, and all those unjust and bestial men for him to contend with? Why, if he had sat at home, wrapped up asleep in bedsheets, living in luxury and ease, he would have been no Hercules at all!” Epictetus tells his students that just as Hercules cleansed the earth of monsters—without complaining—they should set about conquering themselves by purging the base desires and emotions from their hearts.
For Stoics, in other words, the tale of Hercules symbolizes the epic challenge of deciding who we really want to be in life, the promise of philosophy, and the temptation of giving in to pleasure and vice. The moral is that it often requires a Herculean effort to keep to the right path. But wasn’t Hercules’s life unpleasant? As we’ll see, from the Stoic perspective Hercules remained cheerful, despite the terrible things he endured. He enjoyed a profound sense of inner satisfaction knowing that he was fulfilling his destiny and expressing his true nature. His life had something far more satisfying than pleasure: it had purpose.
 

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There is no way you can ever know "objective reality".​

Biases, Naive Realism

Ancient Greeks called it "naive realism", the assumption that we see the world as it is. Yet everything that's ever happened to you, was an interpretation of events in your own head. You fabricated your own reality and there is no way for any of us to know "objective reality".

Confused? Let's dive into **biases** that make it so.

1. **Projection**. We project our own preferences, and how we are onto what we see around us. The world we see isn't objective, we see the world the way we are. Think about an "odd" or "typical" person you meet. What is "odd" to you, may be "typical" to the crypto/blockchain community, say the way Vitalik dressed in pyjamas on a stage.
2. **Extrapolation**. We tend to look at our current circumstances and project them onto our entire lives. Think about why tragedies seem so insurmountable. Yet nothing lasts forever, this too shall pass.
3. **Anchoring**. The first piece of information we get has a major influence on us. Car sales people know this. They often shape a "reality" for you by showing you a range of possibilities. Just imagine yourself in this top of the line ____! And thus anchoring you well outside your own initial needs and desires.
4. **Clustering**. We tend to see patterns in everything, even random events. This is why so many are superstitious. We are wired that way. Unfortunately, it is the opposite of the scientific method. Worse yet, we are not wired to think in probabilities (far closer to objective reality and useful in our lives)!
5. **Confirmation**. This may be the most commonly known bias, and for a good reason. Especially in the age of social media, we can sort and read only information that already confirms out beliefs. The more we read, the more convinced we are in our "subjective reality", we self-validate.

These are just some of the reasons why we cannot know an "objective reality", these biases stand in the way.

What can you add to the list?
 

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**On Creativity. **​


Being creative isn't some luxury that's only available when you've hit your "exit $ number" and can now afford to do it. It's just as natural for humans as walking, eating or thinking. It's what made our species survive!

A typical new member starts a thread on this forum along the lines of "I've read the book, want to quit my job, have a few months of savings. What should I do next 30 days to generate $X because I don't want to be slow lane anymore." Typical, boring and "me, me, me" type of post. Irony here is an entrepreneur is an inventor, a problem solver - a creative human being.

To live like the 1% you can't behave like 99%.

How to become more creative?
  • Learn to do things without judgment, similar to how in mediation you observe your thoughts and feelings.
  • Stop trying to navigate the forest in pitch black night. Your desire to make changes to your life comes when you are most consumed by emotion, but that's the worst time to do so. Do not make decisions when you are upset or riding a high. Let yourself come back down to neutral first. Then think. Think on a piece of paper.
  • Ask yourself better questions. Are you wanting to have better things before becoming a better you? Maybe it's time to change your objectives.

Add to the list folks! What makes you more creative?
What makes you more creative?

Novel experiences, both good and bad. Have you ever done X before? Do it! Within reason.

Spontaneous actions, too. Kids will sometimes just burst into strange movements for no reason, or do things that are random. That’s creativity.
 

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I see certain cars as beautiful works of art.

I met tons of my current friends through the car world and the passion we share.

I had no idea how many hp my car had it which options.

This is interesting. For all the new and aspiring entrepreneurs on the forum, take notice. Here are two guys who have made it. They have the net worth. They owned super cars and yet their enjoyment came from totally different places. Let's dive in...
1. @biophase sees the cars as beautiful. He enjoyed his exotics because they gave him joy.
2. @fastlane_dad likes the cars but it's not even about the cars. Its people first - super cars are just a thing in common, a passion. The real joy comes from people and community.

$12,000 mountain bike and was at the lift line.

I am guilty of spending ludicrous amounts on my bikes, so I understand. During one race I came up to Calvin Macdonald (CEO of Lululemon, but I didn't know him at that time time, so he was just a Calvin to me) and complimented him on his taste in bikes. We had the same bike, so he laughed and we connected. We spent the next 2+ hours racing together (endurance events are like that, long!). It was a way to connect, to share our passions the way @fastlane_dad did with cars. The joy from buying one of the most expensive bikes in the world wasn't material.

And here we have @biophase enjoying the bike for what it has to offer, it's riding ability (totally opposite from his joy from the beauty of exotic cars), he's not staring at the bike like a work of art.

See, it doesn't matter your reasons but the common thread is this: both of these guys derived joy from such purchases. That's what it is all about. Not a short term boost of dopamine or an "ego boost". Nothing of the sort, instead a lasting joy from beauty to community. Fascinating, isn't it? I can certainly relate to both.

Thanks for sharing.
 

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# On Discomfort
  • Your brain cannot differentiate "good" from "bad". We only understand "comfortable" and "uncomfortable". This is why we often do things that are bad for us but make us comfortable. Binge watching useless tv series anyone? Discomfort, is typically is what makes us grow and is good for us.
  • What you want is different from what you think you want. You think you want better versions of what you know. But future is *unknown*. Discomfort => Growth => Discovery of new and unknown. Focus on growth instead of outcome, because what you want is 10x better than you can imagine.
  • Discomfort can become comfortable through repetition. That's when you aren't growing anymore. Feel that way at the gym? Try running. Got good at running? Try writing! Familiar discomfort = comfort.
  • Life is transitory and that's why there is no such thing as true security. Things we own can be lost (money, jobs, assets). Our bodies can get ill. Nothing is truly "secure". It is an uncomfortable truth and you should accept it.
  • There is no such thing as true comfort. There is only what feels safe, an idea but nothing more. Best performing people accept this and find happiness in discomfort through growth.
  • Life success is about trying, it is not about being certain. Certainty is an illusion based on your past, and the future has new things in store for you. Instead of seeking certainty, commit to making the best of whatever happens.
  • Most people do not change until discomfort over status quo is bigger than discomfort over change. Problem is, this can take a long time to manifest. Instead, take control and seek out best ways to grow.

Partly inspired by @MTF discomfort club.
 

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I’m a happy person. Some would even call me an optimist.

And I think about death sometimes. It’s especially useful for me when making big life decisions. I ask myself “on my deathbed what will I regret more?” And make a decision. That’s how I decided to start my business.

Similarly, in the moments of extreme stress, when I feel like pressure of life is getting too much and affecting me. I think about end of life and how current bad situation isn’t as bad, after all. And that in the end, few things will really matter enough. I tell myself to let go and just do the best I can with the situation.

I’m not sure about doing it daily, that sounds like too much (for me). But overall I agree that this is one of the most powerful tools to reframe my mind from negative to positive. It’s also the most powerful tool I know to help me make better life (long term) decisions.

Made me remember these quotes from Rickson Gracie's book:

One day I remembered something that my dad always used to say: “Nothing can be a hundred percent positive or a hundred percent negative.” I spent a long time trying to find something positive that I could take away from this tragedy. After much meditation, I realized that I had never really valued time. I thought that I controlled time and could put things off, like talking to my son, until later. After Rockson’s departure, I understood that there is no tomorrow, because life can change forever in the blink of an eye. I needed to do my best every day because it might be my last. I no longer had the luxury of wasted time!

For the first time in many years, I felt a renewed sense of purpose. Now I wanted everything in my life—a conversation with a stranger, a new project, or a Jiu Jitsu seminar—to have meaning. I refused to waste time on things that I did not value, and I left other people’s expectations behind.

The Japanese have an expression, ichi-go ichi-e, which roughly translates to “once in a lifetime.” It could refer to a gathering of friends, a special meal, an epic day of surf, but the idea is to savor that occasion, because it will never come again. I share this view and believe that if you see every moment in life as a unique opportunity, you live with much more intensity and precision because you are using 100 percent of your energy, your voice, and your senses. It is always important to remember that. For example, if I were driving to the airport to fly to Japan and my daughter Kauan called and said, “Dad! I need to talk to you!” the old Rickson would have said, “Honey, I’ll call you once I land in Japan.” Today, I would pull over, park the car, and give her as much time as she needed. What if I miss the plane? F*ck the plane! There is always another flight, but I don’t want to ever regret not taking my daughter’s call.
 

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