Everyday you’re asking yourself what to do next? How can you be successful? What do you need?
There are some things that you have to know if you want to be successful.
Here are some of them:
- It’s never as good as you think it will be.
“One of the enemies of happiness is adaptation”. Actually, savoring the anticipation or idea of a desired outcome is generally more satisfying than the outcome itself. Once we get what we want—whether that’s wealth, health or excellent relationships—we adapt and the excitement fades. Often the experiences we’re seeking end up being underwhelming and even disappointing.
- It’s never as bad as you think it will be.
Just as we deceive ourselves into believing something will make us happier than it will, we also deceive ourselves into believing something will be harder than it will. The longer you procrastinate or avoid doing something, the more painful (in your head) it becomes. But once you take action, the discomfort is far less severe than you imagined. Humans adapt to the most extremely difficult things.
- There is no way to happiness.
“There is no way to happiness; happiness is the way.” —Thich Nhat Hanh
Most people believe they must: first have something, before they can do what they want to do, which will ultimately allow them to be something, paradoxically, this have-do-be paradigm must actually be reversed to experience happiness, success or anything else you desire, first you be whatever it is you want to be, then you start doing things from this space of being, almost immediately, what you are doing will bring about the things you want to have.
The process of writing this 15 times a day buried the positive idea deep into his subconscious—putting Adams’ conscious mind on a treasure hunt for what he sought. The more he wrote, the more he could see opportunities that were previously invisible to him. And shortly thereafter, he was a highly famous syndicated cartoonist. It couldn’t not happen.
- You already have enough.
In an interview at the annual Genius Network event in 2013, Tim Ferriss was asked, “With all of your various roles, do you ever get stressed out? Do you ever feel like you’ve taken on too much?”
Ferriss responded, “Of course I get stressed out. If anyone says they don’t get stressed out, they’re lying. But one thing that mitigates that is taking time each morning to declare and focus on the fact that I have enough. I have enough. I don’t need to worry about responding to every email each day. If they get mad, that’s their problem.”
If you appreciate what you already have, than more will be a good thing in your life. If you feel the need to have more to compensate for something missing in your life, you’ll always be left wanting—no matter how much you acquire or achieve.
- You have every advantage to succeed.
It’s easy to talk about how hard our lives are. It’s easy to talk about how unfair life is—that we got the short end of the stick. Does this kind of talking really help anyone?
When we judge our situation as worse than someone else’s, we are ignorantly and incorrectly saying, “You’ve got it easy. You’re not like me. Success should come easy to you because you haven’t had to deal with what I’ve gone through.” This paradigm has formally become known as the victim mentality, and it generally leads to feelings of entitlement.
- Every aspect of your life affects every aspect of your life.
Human beings are holistic: When you change a part of any system, you simultaneously change the whole. You can’t change a part without fundamentally changing everything.
Every pebble of thought—no matter how inconsequential—creates endless ripples of consequence. This idea, coined the butterfly effect by Edward Lorenz came from the metaphorical example of a hurricane being influenced by minor signals—such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly—several weeks earlier. Little things become big things.
So I invite you to ask yourself,
“Am I part of the cure? Or am I part of the disease?” —Coldplay
- Competition is the enemy.
“All failed companies are the same: they failed to escape competition.” —Peter Thiel
Competition is extremely costly to maximum product reach and wealth creation. It becomes a battle of who can slightly outdo the other for cheaper and cheaper. It’s a race to the bottom for all parties involved.
Instead of trying to compete with other people or businesses, it’s better to do something completely novel or focus on a tightly defined niche. Once you’ve established yourself as an authority over something, you can set your own terms rather than reactively responding to the competition. Monopolize the space in which you create value.
- You can’t have it all.
Every decision has opportunity cost. When you choose one thing, you simultaneously don’t choose several others. When someone says you can have it all, they’re lying. They are almost certainly not practicing what they preach and are trying to sell you on something.
The truth is you don’t want it all. And even if you did, reality simply doesn’t work that way. For example, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I want my family to be the center of my life. Spending time with my wife and three foster kids is my top priority. As a result, I can’t spend 12 or 15 hours a day working like some people. And that’s OK. I’ve made my choice.
- Never forget where you came from.
It’s easy when you achieve any level of success to believe you are solely responsible for that success. It’s easy to forget where you came from.
It’s easy to forget all the sacrifices other people have made to get you where you are. It’s easy to see yourself as superior to other people. Burn all of your bridges and you’ll have no human connection left. In that internal cave of isolation, you’ll lose your mind and identity, becoming a person you never intended to be.
- If you need permission to do something, you probably shouldn’t do it.
My father-in-law is a highly successful real estate investor. Throughout his career, he’s had hundreds of people ask him if they should “go into real estate.” He tells every one of them the same thing: that they shouldn’t do it. In fact, he actually tries talking most of them out of it. And in most cases, he succeeds. Why would he do that?
“When you change the way you see things, the things you see change.” —Wayne Dyer
You are enough. You can do whatever you decide to do. Make the decision and forget what everyone else says or thinks about it.
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