Week of July 17th 2023 (On Self-worth)

Isn’t it kind of funny how we give away our “Self”-worth to other people, how we allow other people or external events that are both completely out of our control to dictate the way that we feel about ourselves. The word literally translates to one’s own worth… the value that someone places on their own identity, so why do so many people allow other people to determine what it is their worth. Can you imagine if someone came up to you and asked if they could purchase you for $15, honestly, take a second to imagine that… how would you react? I don’t know about you but their face would be well acquainted with the inside of my palm in a matter of seconds, the audacity of someone to think that they can literally put a price tag on your existence. Why is it then that so many other people allow their self-worth to be determined by what other people think or say about them, if this is you this has got to be something that you stop letting others do to you.

The main reason that people have a low sense of self-worth is because they don’t actually have any respect for themselves, they don’t do anything that they respect themselves for doing. If you just eat junk food, sit inside playing videos games or binging tv shows, not put any effort into doing your work/schoolwork, you don’t have any hobbies or go to any social events, if you literally do NOTHING that is challenging or difficult why would you ever respect yourself. Think about it, you respect the kinds of people that do these things, think about a James Bond or a Batman or some other role model that you may look up to, why do you respect them, it’s not because they have a bunch of money but because of their character. They do things on a daily basis that make them healthy, sociable, noble and kind, the money is just a plus it doesn’t actually make you respect someone. You don’t really respect somebody because they HAVE a ton of money, you have respect for them because they were able to GET a lot of money, they were smart enough or creative enough or disciplined enough to achieve the wealth that they have, all things that we spoke about earlier when it comes to giving yourself reasons to respect yourself. Let’s say you have two different people, one of this is a multi-billionaire who literally makes 10x your income every second (unless your income is 0 of course haha), however he achieved his wealth through destructive means. Maybe he uses child labor, he’s destroying the environment to get the resources he needs, he thinks that everyone that works for him is inferior to him and not worth talking to, he treats people like disposable trash and only thinks about himself. Now let’s say the other is a firefighter, he makes 65k a year but he spends his day saving lives, he volunteers in his local community growing trees and giving back to the kids, he trains everyday and is physically active, he is an incredible socializer and people love speaking to him. Now which of these two are you going to respect, probably the second guy, not because of the money, but because he has all the character traits that earn him respect, he does things that are difficult.

You can change this and become like the firefighter too if you really want to, don’t allow your limiting beliefs to imprison you and make you think that you can’t become the kind of person you want to become and have a higher feeling of self-worth in yourself. If you are the kind of person that is afraid to speak to other people because you put them up on a pedestal, if you are the kind of person that is afraid to applying to your dream job or joining a club you’ve always been interested in because you think you don’t deserve it, if you’re the kind of person that thinks you’re a victim and life just dealt you a bad deck of cards you need to start doing things that will make you respect yourself and you need to do it NOW. If you literally want to change the way you carry yourself everyday, if you want to get out of your comfort zone and begin doing the things you’ve always dreamed of doing and being the person you’ve always dreamt of becoming, then you need to do things on a daily basis that will make you respect yourself. It’s not about yelling at yourself in the mirror that you’re such a great person, it’s about giving yourself an undeniable stack of evidence that you are who you say you are, and hopefully you’re saying that you are someone of value… because we all are, if we really want to be.

Week of July 10th 2023 (On Friction)

The reason why you don’t wake up at 6am when you promised yourself the night before that you would, the reason you don’t exercise when you put on a couple of extra pounds, the reason you go on TikTok to scroll for hours instead of doing the homework you told yourself you’d do, the same reason why you go to sleep instead of working on that passion that you’ve wanted to get started on… it’s all because of friction. Friction is that stoping force that prevents you from doing the things that you promised yourself you’d do, it’s that heavy feeling that weighs you down from doing the thing that you know you are supposed to do. It’s not easy to wake up early, or do your best job at work, or go out to exercise, all of that stuff is incredibly difficult to actually get up and do, you need to learn to implement strategies that allow you to make that friction as small as possible so that you actually get yourself to do the things you so badly know you need to do. Here are a couple of the different steps I’ve taken to personally help myself reduce that friction.

By setting yourself up to succeed you will have already done 50% of the work needed to actually complete the thing that you want to accomplish. Let me give you an example, if you really tell yourself that you want to start going out for a run as soon as you wake up in the morning you can take certain steps that will make it easier for you to do so (a.k.a reduce the friction). You can put your running shoes right next to your bed so that as soon as you wake up you are reminded of the fact that you’re supposed to go out for a run, you can also go to sleep in your running clothes so that as soon as you get up you’re already dressed to go out for the run. Not only can you not give yourself the excuse that you forgot, you literally have all the gear you need to run on your body in the first 10 seconds of you waking up, but you also make it easier to actually go on the run. You might wake up and think to yourself, “Man, I have to go to the garage to get my running shoes, it’s also so cold right now I don’t want to change out of my comfortable pajamas to wear those shorts and t-shirt, I’d much rather stay in these clothes”. You take all of that sabotaging self-talk out of your brain by literally not giving it a choice to even rear it’s ugly head. Let’s say you’ve really wanted to do a better job of going out to socialize with people but the friction of actually going out somewhere is just too much to get yourself to go outside. You can reduce that friction by getting rid of all the pineapple that you love to eat everyday, now you have to actually go to the store and buy more… leading you to be around more people and therefore giving you more opportunities to speak to people. Take whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish and reduce that friction by making it easier for yourself to actually complete the task.

MOMENTUM is your best friend when it comes to reducing friction to make it 100x easier for yourself to complete the things you need to complete. The more you can use the step above to keep stacking wins and achieving all of your goals the more momentum you start to build, once you start rolling a large boulder down a mountain it’s only going to get faster and faster, that’s because it’s building momentum, it’s building speed. You need to do the same with all of the tasks that you’re trying to accomplish, it’s much easier to get up in the morning and go to the gym once you’ve done it everyday for the past 5 years, it’s much harder to do that when you only go for 3 days in a row but then fall off the wagon. When you’re really getting good at implementing a new habit, putting your foot down on the gas pedal, the second you take your foot off it makes it so much harder to get back into the habit, how many of you have started a new habit but you always complain about how hard it is to stay consistent with it. Whenever you break that momentum you literally start from level 0 all over again, and think about how hard it was for you to do that the first time around. The best thing you can do for yourself is to stay consistent and build that momentum, once you’ve been doing it for long enough you actually DON’T want to let yourself fall off the habit because you know how hard you worked to get to that position. A good rule of thumb is to try to stick to a new habit for at least 21 days, once you can do that you’ve gained enough momentum to pull you forward through the moments when it gets tough, stick to this and you will reduce the friction that comes up when you try to do the things you need to do.

Week of July 2nd 2023 (On Happiness)

This week I want us to talk about the concept of happiness, that thing that all of us are chasing after. How many people do you hear say, “If I make this amount I’d be so happy”, or “If I looked like him/her I’m sure I’d be so much happier”, or even “If I was born into this family my life would be so much happier”. Do you notice what we’re doing when we say these kinds of statements, we place our happiness in some external desire or time in the future. We are convincing ourselves that we cannot be happy unless we achieve X or unless we have X in our lives, but by doing this we are literally giving our happiness away.

I started thinking about this a bit more deeply the other day when I was thinking about my own career. I’m currently working very long hours in order to achieve financial success in my life… the thing is I’ve never been all that attracted to materialistic commodities or artifacts, for me the financial accomplishments are a means to first provide for my family and then to be able to start traveling the world (as cheaply as possible ironically enough). So in order to do this I’ve gone completely monk mode for awhile not, over the past year I’ve worked my hand at several different endeavors that I thought would help me achieve this financial freedom but of course these big financial advancements don’t happen in as little as one year… so along this path I continue to go. But as of late the loneliness and burnout that come packaged along this path have really been wearing on me, and then I heard something that changed the way I viewed this road. 

I realized that my happiness is not going to be found in the money that I’m going to make, that happiness is literally already inside of me. When I really stopped to reflect on it, I realized that this journey that I’m on, the early mornings, the hours of learning and doing, the strict diet, every little goal that I hit along the way, these things are what bring me happiness, it’s not that light at the end of the road. I’ve been placing the carrot (happiness) on a 6-inch yard stick tied to my back that is constantly moving forward as I continue to do the same, when I can simply take the yard stick off my back, grab the carrot and enjoy it along the way. Okay so what do I mean by all of this… if you simply choose to enjoy the carrot as you walk down this journey of life you will always be happy, it’s a choice that you choose to make. Sure, for some of us our carrot is tied to a much longer yard stick than perhaps mine was, you have incredibly tragic circumstances in your life, but if a prisoner in a concentration camp by the name of Victor Frankl was able to find happiness and meaning amidst all the horrors and injustices of the Jewish concentration camps, I’m sure you can find it wherever you are as well.

(One last point) We’re all playing a game, whether it’s the school game, the money game, the fitness game, the status game, the religion game, we are all playing a game. Every once in a while something takes you out of that game and you realize there are more important things in life than whatever game we are playing… if you always remember that you are simply in the middle of a game it makes choosing happiness over whatever else your chasing a lot easier of a choice to make.