by Nick Notas
Everywhere around there will be someone who tells you that it can’t be done. They’ll argue that you don’t have what it takes. That you’re foolish. That you’re following “childish dreams.” Any person who’s gone after something they want or believe in has had to swash through a sea of doubt.
It’s easiest for naysayers to sit back and tell others what they can and can’t do. To spread negativity while staying safely in their comfort zone. It makes them feel good to tear others down when they aren’t the ones putting their neck on the line. In reality, they have their own goals that have dwindled into “pipe dreams” that will never get done. They haven’t accomplished theirs, so why would they encourage you to accomplish yours?
This phenomenon is so real it even has it’s own name — crab mentality. It’s much easier to try and pull someone down than to lift yourself up and join them. That takes courage.
Sometimes the loudest voice of doubt is in your own head. It’s the most powerful. It knows you. How could your own mind be wrong when it’s been with you all your life?
That would be true if the mind was infallible, but it’s not. It, too, is susceptible to mistakes, fears, and self-defeating thoughts. It wants you to do well but at the same time protects you from being hurt if you don’t reach your objective. You have to fight through that defense mechanism — success is born out of risks and failures.
The pursuit of happiness is as old as modern civilization. Books, elixers, religions, and philosophies are all devoted to it. Happiness is a quest, an obsession, and a universal aspiration.
But what does it take to be unhappy?
In some ways, it’s easier than happiness itself. New research and much life experience offers a simple recipe for genuine discontent.
Buy things you can’t afford or don’t want. Either choice is a sure fit for unhappiness. When you buy things you can’t afford, you go into debt, which limits the other choices available to you. When you buy things you don’t want, you lie to yourself about the real source of your unhappiness.
Compare yourself to others. The love of comparison is the root of much misery. Therefore, judge your success or worth based on other people, especially those with a different background from you. Do this on a continual basis, always looking for a new idol or competitor in which your ideal unhappiness lies.
Take no joy in the journey. Focus only on the destination without appreciating the ride. Fail to celebrate small successes, and neglect to pause for reflection on how far you’ve come.
Respond instead of initiate. Take no responsibility for your schedule or preferences. Let other people set the agenda for your life. Take the lead for your schedule from your Inbox, voicemail, or someone else’s demands.
Allow other people to determine your values and priorities. Set no compass point for your life. Drift in the wind. For best results, allow your values and priorities to shift as you waver between bosses or role models.
Refuse to challenge yourself. Take it easy and settle into routine. Choose to believe that all stress is bad and seek to live as relaxed a life as possible.
Whine and complain to anyone who will listen. Explain how the world isn’t fair and how you would do things differently if you were in charge. Bonus: this practice also allows you to contribute to other people’s unhappiness.
Focus only on yourself. Refuse to forgive. Hold on to grudges. See the worst in people. Do not give out free lunch.
Settle. Accept things as they are no matter how unsettling they might seem. It could always be worse, right? Live in the complacency of your situation and refuse to fight for something better.
1. My life is likely to last ten to fifteen years. Any separation from you will be painful for me. Remember that before you acquire me.
2. Give me time to understand what you want from me.
3. Place your trust in me. Remember that before you acquire me.
4. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, and your entertainment. I only have you.
5. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice when it is speaking to me. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget.
6. Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that can easily crush the bones in your hand, but I choose not to bite you.
7. Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I don’t understand what you ask of me or perhaps I am not feeling well, not getting the right food, been out in the sun too long, or my heart is getting old and weak.
8. Take care of me when I get old, you too will grow old.
9. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say " I can’t bear to watch," or "let it happen in my absence." Everything is easier if you are there.
10. Remember, no matter what, that I love you. Unconditionally.
I am an early retiree. I have been living that life for some time. Many years ago (before it became popular) my wife and I chose to live significantly below our means so we could achieved financial independence. I am now living what you are planning, so I think I can provide more of a sense of the big picture.
Here’s the piece you (and a few others in this thread) seem to be missing… Living below your means isn’t about postponing gratification. In other words, it’s not about giving up products and experiences when you’re young so you can have them when you’re old. That’s not it at all.
What it’s really about is freedom. Most people are, in many ways, slaves. I was a slave. Beginning at age five I was forced to get up in the morning and go somewhere I didn’t really want to go, and do things I didn’t really want to do. Elementary school. Then high school. Then college. Then work. And throughout all those years there was an undertone of fear. Fear that you’ll get in trouble with Mom and Dad if your grades suck. Fear that your performance in college won’t result in a decent job. Fear that you’ll lose your job, and that your family will suffer, if you don’t kiss up to the right people, or meet your quotas, or because some asshole above you decides to eliminate your job… always that nagging worry and fear in the background.
by Henrik Edberg
I am 28 now. I don’t think about the past or regret things much these days.
But sometimes I wish that I had known some of things I have learned over the last few years a bit earlier. That perhaps there had been a self-improvement class in school. And in some ways there probably was.
Because some of these 16 things in this article a teacher probably spoke about in class. But I forgot about them or didn’t pay attention.
Some of it would probably not have stuck in my mind anyway. Or just been too far outside my reality at the time for me to accept and use.
But I still think that taking a few hours from all those German language classes and use them for some personal development classes would have been a good idea. Perhaps for just an hour a week in high school. It would probably be useful for many students and on a larger scale quite helpful for society in general.
So here are 16 things I wish they had taught me in school (or I just would like to have known about earlier).
1. The 80/20 rule.
This is one of the best ways to make better use of your time. The 80/20 rule – also known as The Pareto Principle – basically says that 80 percent of the value you will receive will come from 20 percent of your activities.
So a lot of what you do is probably not as useful or even necessary to do as you may think.
You can just drop – or vastly decrease the time you spend on – a whole bunch of things.
And if you do that you will have more time and energy to spend on those things that really brings your value, happiness, fulfilment and so on.
by George P.H.
“Ego” is a buzzword we hear all the time, especially when talking about men. Still, few people understand what the term means and how it affects their lives.
Believe it or not, most of your negative emotions – fear, loneliness, anger, etc – come from the ego. It’s the source of all mental resistance and pain.
But much like the boogeyman in a child’s closet, the ego disappears when you turn on the lights and take a closer look at it. Let’s begin by doing just that.
What Is The Ego?
In a broad sense, the ego is your self-image; who you view yourself as. It is the voice inside saying “I am this way” and judging, comparing and analyzing everything and everyone in your life.
It is easier to feel the ego than it is to understand it logically. Definitions of the term are deliberately vague in all traditions – Buddhism, Hinduism, modern spirituality – for this reason. The best way to “get it” is through examples and self-observation.
Let’s say a man walks up to you, says you’re a jackass and walks away. You haven’t been physically hurt and your life hasn’t changed. And yet you might feel angry or upset because your self-image – your ego – has been challenged. “How dare he say that to me? I’m not a jackass!” is what you might think inside.
The ego also tells you what “should be” based on who you think you are. Imagine a girl you were planning to bring home suddenly says she’d rather eat dry paint than touch you. You might get upset, even though the only thing being attacked is your expectation of what “should have been” and the image of yourself as a guy who can get this girl.
In both scenarios, nothing really happens – and yet most people would experience great emotional pain. This is because they are deeply invested into their self-image and the expectations that come with it. When reality interferes, resistance – the source of all mental pain – enters their lives.
by Nick Notas
Overthinking can paralyze us. Before we’ve even set out to do something, we’re already imagining countless different scenarios in our head.
This usually plays out with a series of internal “what if” questions…
“What if I fail? What if I look stupid? What if people judge me?”
We envision the worst outcomes possible. We terrify ourselves from taking action.
When you believe an experience is going to be negative, you’re likely to avoid that experience.
You’re setting yourself up to fail. And it’s because you’re asking the wrong questions. How we talk to ourselves has a powerful impact on reality.
Think about this…
Do these “What if” questions make you more anxious or less anxious?
Are you really more prepared by stressing over them in your head?
Have they gotten you the success you wanted?
Instead, what usually happens is…
Ask negative “what if” questions -> Imagine negative outcome -> Inspire inaction -> Don’t gain experience or improve -> Reinforce negative beliefs and insecurities about yourself -> Inspire inaction in the future
We need to break this self-destructive cycle.