3-2-1: On Why Seeking Happiness Makes You Miserable, Being Smart Is A Weakness, and No One Takes Your Advice
Wisdom Wednesday #21
The last 3 weeks have been nonstop busy with my coaching business (expanding marketing and client base), personal life (one month away from the birth of my first child), and trying to keep up with AH content (the Bitcoin article is late however it is coming).
But none of that is any excuse to forget about Wisdom Wednesday!
Here's 3 ideas from me, 2 quotes from others, and 1 question for you to mull over this week.
3 Ideas From Me:
Share your results first. Share your theories second.
We all inherently know that most ideas are wrong, foolish, uninformed, unactionable, or ineffective.
So when you share your theories and opinions, others look first to your results to determine their validity.
If you have achieved something they want, they will wish to know more.
If you haven’t, they won’t.
Thus, if you wish to have influence:
Take all that energy you spend trying to convince people of your theories, and instead spend it applying them.
Only after you’ve achieved results (and then communicated them) will other’s become open to the ideas and beliefs that led to them.
Trying to escape unhappiness is the primary cause of unhappiness.
Life is full of discomfort.
Every day for the rest of your life you’ll have to do stuff you don’t want to do; you'll be pushed out of your comfort zone and in to situations you don’t know how to handle; you’ll be embarrassed, hurt, rejected, laughed at, and disliked; you’ll lose friends, jobs, and relationships; you’ll fail at things, people you love will die, and horrible things will happen in the world.
And no matter how hard you try, you cannot escape this fact.
And if you spend all your time trying to—to change the unchangeable, to control the uncontrollable—you will—like a man hell bent on stopping the waves in the ocean—waste all your energy and be perpetually miserable.
The solution to suffering is not to avoid it but to accept it—to suffer voluntarily even, by taking it head on, replacing “have to” with “want to”, and welcoming the challenges with a strength, power, and courage.
Run toward your suffering. It is the only way to escape it.
Being self conscious is a pre-requisite to outlier levels of success.
If you watch enough interviews of successful people, you will notice that 95% of them think their work sucks and is never good enough.
In retrospect, the motivation for this is obvious: why would you improve if you are satisfied with what you've done? Why, when you have achieved significant success, would you push for more? Because nothing is enough for one’s own inner critic.
Most "confidence" in successful people is either a public facade from knowing that confidence leads to influence, or is a by product of finally realizing that they’ll never be good enough and just have to like themselves anyway.
Your own self consciousness, too, is a gift. It just might need a few tweaks to ensure it’s helping rather than harming you.
2 Quotes From Others:
Dr. Alok Kanojia ("Dr. K"), Instructor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Cofounder of Healthy Gamer, on how intelligence leads to avoidance (and how to fix it):
When you're told at a young age that you're smart, you start to develop an identity that "I'm a smart kid". And then you start to doing things that reinforce that identity, and stay away from things that contrast with it.
So, If “I'm a smart kid”, then I want to do things that other people perceive as smart. But if there's something I'm not very good at, something that I try and it's going to make me look stupid, I'm just not going to do that. So over time that smart kid only does things that make him appear to be smart, which means doing things that are easier and avoiding thing that are hard.
Over time, that avoidance becomes baked in to who they are and how they move around in the world…
The first way you get around this is by reframing “smart” or “stupid” to “experienced” or “inexperienced”… because what the world actually values and rewards is not intelligence, but experience and competence.
The more you think of yourself as inexperienced rather than stupid, the more you realize the solution is to try things. And the more you try things, the more competence you will develop, and the better off you’re going to be.
Note: this was paraphrased and edited for length. Check out the whole quote at the link below.
Source: How Intelligence Leads To Avoidance
Best selling author (and inventor of the 3-2-1 newsletter format), James Clear, on the inertia of life, and how it resists change, good or bad:
Resistance is proportionate to the size and speed of the change, not to whether the change is a favorable or unfavorable one.
The faster you try to change, the more likely you are to backslide. The very pursuit of rapid change dials up a wide range of counteracting forces which are fighting to pull you back into your previous lifestyle. You might be able to beat equilibrium for a little while, but pretty soon your energy fades and the backsliding begins.
This is the great paradox of behavior change. If you try to change your life all at once, you will quickly find yourself pulled back into the same patterns as before. But if you merely focus on changing your normal day, you will find your life changes naturally as a side effect.
Source: James Clear Weekly Newsletter
1 Question For You:
And finally, here’s one question to ponder this week:
What's working and how can I do more of it?
That's all for today!
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Catch you next time,