How to overcome a scarcity mindset

How To Overcome A Scarcity Mentality And Develop A Winning Abundance Mentality Easily

I caught myself doing it again today.

When I was wrapping up my day at the gym, my scarcity mentality took over again and I found myself frozen still.

Seeing someone else triggered other moments during the week where I felt a similar way. How did that guy have such a ripped body at such a young age? How does she not have to worry about money? How could I ever meet a girl as pretty as that? After I broke free from paralysis, I smiled and got back to work.

It’s tough and natural to feel a bit jealous and like you do not have a lot of options, whether in your personal, financial, or dating life. What attitude we respond with matters. It affects our behavior and our future results.

While you may not see results on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis, your actions can compound into achievements you cannot even imagine ten years from now.

Today, I want to share how I eliminate the false, limiting belief of “scarcity” and the feeling of envy as soon as I spot it. Remembering that there is more than enough to go around can free you up to the money and life you desire.

Your belief and attitude can cripple you or give you the calm to succeed when you have been kicked down. Adopting an abundance mentality can really come back to you many times over. By being a go-giver, every moment you help out someone else comes back to you ten times over. But sometimes, it can take years for it to occur.

Once you have watched the video, I want to hear from you. Do you have any moments where the scarcity mentality kicks in? 

Tell me about them in the comments below. I cannot be the only one with this problem.

Remember to share as much detail as possible because it just might be the insight someone else reading this needs to make a breakthrough in our community here.

P.S. money and goal-setting are common themes in what I talk about. If you are interested in learning more, check out this article on goal-setting:

How To Achieve Any Goal – 10 Timeless Strategies

Thank you for reading, watching, and sharing.

Keep up the winner’s mentality,


Views – 10

luck vs hard work debate

The Luck Vs. Hard Work Debate: What Matters Most In Life Success

What matters in life in order to succeed? The standard debate focuses on: What is important in life: luck or hard work? But what if I told you that there’s so much more to success than these two factors?

In today’s podcast episode, I cover the following useful topics:

  • Does luck play an important role in life success?
  • How luck plays a role in someone’s success (I reference case studies like billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates).
  • What matters more: luck, hard work and effort, or other factors (I’ll explain what these other factors are).
  • Why life is not all about luck.
  • Keys to motivating yourself and having a strong work ethic.

Listen to the audio podcast below (while you’re in the car, working out, waiting in line, wherever you want):

For further study, check out Matt Mullenweg’s answer to the question, “What has contributed to your success other than luck and hard work?” Matt is the CEO of Automattic, a multi-billion dollar start-up. Essentially, he says that there is usually tons of unnoticed failures behind every person’s success. Also, you should have a greater motivator than just money to succeed.

Now, I have a question for you: What was your favorite lesson from this episode? Leave a comment below letting me know.

Views – 15

How To stop being a perfectionist

How To Stop Being A Perfectionist

Most overachievers have at some point struggled with how to stop being a perfectionist. Does this sound familiar to you?

You are ambitious and love going above and beyond. You know that this will lead to greater success. But, you’re a perfectionist.

Lately, you have learned that being a perfectionist isn’t always a good thing.

It leads to analysis paralysis. This is a situation where you spend too much time perfecting trivial things.

It leads to situation where you unable to move forward.

Analysis paralysis happens in many different fields.

You could be too focused on perfecting the theory to even attempt to approach someone you like. You could delay the publication date of a book for years because it’s “not good enough.” You could fail to release product for your first business because it’s “not perfect.”

Here are some steps that might help you defeat this process. For me, it’s been pretty easy to tackle.

I can’t guarantee this will cure it. But it might help:

1. Use The 100-People Technique

This is my miracle cure to perfectionism.

Being in the personal development world, I am often overwhelmed by many tempting goals and skills I can improve. Just to give you a small taste, I can improve my willpower, emotional intelligence, decision making, leadership skills, focus, story telling, fashion, financial independence, or fitness.

How do I stop myself from beating myself up when I am not even close to where I want to be with all of these?

I use the 100-people Technique. It’s a technique I stumbled upon by my own trial and error:

Go out in public and observe 100 people who pass you by on the street. Pay attention to how they look. You will notice that that 95% of them are far from physically fit and know nothing about health, fashion, or grooming. Many dress like they are broke.

It’s a great reminder that most people never get a single area of their life sorted out. They do not get rich. They do not get fit. They do not get happy.

It really shocks me out of my system because I stop comparing myself to some imaginary ideal and compare myself to real, average people instead.

You can use variations of this technique for your specific needs. For instance, let’s say are getting down on yourself for not having a ripped body or great relationships even though you are rich. Spend some time with at least 10 rich friends and pay more attention to their bodies and what they say about their relationships.

You will be surprised to find that many have yet to sort out those areas of their life. In fact, a great majority of the rich people I study have far from perfect bodies. Most are average (or even below average).

Or you are beating yourself up because you only make $1 million a year and everyone of your mastermind friends make $10 million a  year (an actual, common problem from entrepreneurs). Spend some time in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.

2. Understand Why It’s Not Good For You

The first step to defeating this is to understand the logic behind why you shouldn’t waste time with it.

Look at the examples I just showed you.

Getting better requires you to fail with an imperfect release. Critical learning can only be obtained if you release your project and learn through feedback.

Many things in life require you to learn through action rather than theory.

Can you become a tennis pro from just studying hundreds of books of tennis theory without ever swinging a racket?

Could Michael Jordan have been as great as he did if he was too paralyzed to step on the court? He practiced as much as he could, knowing he wasn’t perfect.

He was okay with his failures.

Most successful people I have met have failed much more than the average person. And through this failure, they have learned how to become better.

Elon Musk said in his commencement speech that, for start-up businesses, it’s important to get your product out to the market.

He said that your theories on why a product is going to be great is completely different from what people will actually pay for.

Paypal and Instagram are great examples of companies just getting things out there. Their first versions were COMPLETELY different from they are now.

They listened to their market and found the small piece that the users primarily used. They were smart enough to tear down everything else and make that the whole thing.

Instagram started as Burbn and the photo-sharing component was a small component. Paypal started as a complicated bank system and the electronic money transfer part was a small, simple part.

Perfectionism can be a good thing because you are willing to work harder than the average, lazy person to make things better. But it’s bad for you when you strive for it to a point of hurting yourself or your own success.

Perfect is a concept invented by humans. There can be no true perfection in the world.

Women who get too obsessed with a “perfect body” create distorted versions of themselves. Funny enough, they can’t be perfect by nature because they use fake parts to do so through plastic surgery and make-up.

Then they go on to fight the inevitable nature of old age to prevent their “fake perfect” from fading.

Let’s walk through some big, concrete examples of why perfectionism isn’t the best path.

Consider 2 people. Both of them have a goal of making a lot of money one day to live a good life.

Person A is such a perfectionist that she fails to ever release a book or product after years of blueprints. Because they aren’t perfect.

Person B releases books and products every year. They aren’t perfect but he learns from his audience. He learns things he never would have considered himself. He gets better and better and achieves his goal.

Person A has overfocused on her short-term goal and failed her long-term goal of financial prosperity. She has gotten stuck in her beliefs about what is “perfect” in a book that might not even be true.

Here’s another example:

Person A wants to be a Youtube star. She wants to shine on social media. She sees how awesome the videos are on there. She fails to ever release a video publicly because she is too paralyzed.

Person B wants the same thing. She is also a bit of a perfectionist but is willing to take action. She spends an entire week making her video but does release it. She gets feedback and advice she never would have considered from her comments.

Person C is super lazy. He wants the same goal. He loves taking action but is the opposite of a perfectionist. He shotguns out a video every day. These are horrible videos and he never bothers to learn from them.

In this example, I had 3 people to illustrate when perfectionism can be good. Compared to the average person, perfectionism has its place for excellence.

Because you care more about your project, you improve the quality. The average person doesn’t put much effort into it. And he doesn’t learn from his mistakes.

Person B was the best one because she used the strengths of perfectionism without letting it ruin her.

The final example:

Person A is a young intern. He wants to learn a lot of writing skills from his mentor and become wealthy one day. His mentor is a wealthy writer. However, he’s such a perfectionist that he won’t ever publicly release an essay he wrote to his mentor. His mentor warns him many times but he keeps doing it until he gets fired.

Person B is in the same situation. He succeeds by releasing things on time even though he knows it’s far from perfect. He tries his best and gets valuable advice and feedback. This allows him to grow.

This is an extreme example but it shows you how perfectionism works and why it’s not good.

I hope you understand the logic now.

Perfectionism has its place. Take a deep breath and let it go.

Even if it’s not perfect, it’s the most practical thing to do for your success.

3. Find The Real, Hidden Reason You’re A Perfectionist

Now, let’s get to the emotional side. If it logically makes sense, but you still can’t remove perfectionism.

It could be an emotional thing.

And it could just be a habit that takes time to slowly change. If it’s a habit, you just very slowly start to be less of a perfectionist over time.

If it’s an emotional thing, there could be a deeper reason that’s harder to root out.

Here are some big reasons:

Maybe your real issue is that you fear feedback so you use perfectionism as a crutch. In that case, you should look towards tackling that fear.

There is a logical and emotional solution to that as well. Realize that the worst that can happen isn’t that bad. You’re still alive and healthy. You’re still happy.

Maybe your real issue is that you’re avoiding something. You’re avoiding moving to the next step because part of you is lazy. You know the next part is the tough part that will require work you don’t want to do.

In that case, you have to tackle that obstacle. What works best is finding a drive that will motivate you to do the tough things. If your dream is so big that you’ll do anything, it will wash away the obstacles.

Finally, maybe the real issue is that you believe that doing things near perfect the first time is the way to go.

One solution to this is to do it a few times and realize it isn’t.

I was naive enough to believe that you had to read textbooks from beginning to end to do well in school. This was because I never did before and thought that was why my grades suffered.

After many months of painfully going through every page of assigned reading, I learned. I found that for some classes, it was helpful. For most classes, the information I read was excessive, needless, repetitive, and unhelpful.

I was reading a time management book by Brian Tracy, a famed business and salesman turned motivational speaker.

He mentioned an interesting study.

They separated managers into 2 groups: one who were mediocre managers and the other who were incredibly successful managers. They had them tested on decision-making scenarios.

Surprisingly, both groups scored just as well. However, they found that the difference was that in real life, the mediocre group was afraid to take responsibility for decisions, too fearful to make a decision that might be wrong, or unwilling to take responsibility if it was the wrong decision.

The test had failed to consider a few variables that exist in the real world.

More importantly, this is a great lesson in management and leadership. You have to be able to take responsibility when things go wrong, assume the risk, and do things despite uncertainty.

In the real world, you will never have complete knowledge of 100% of the variables. You will never be able to get all the information. You have to make decisions based on incomplete data sometimes.

A great leader must fully take responsibility and be willing to if he or his followers make a mistake.

Realize that you get rapidly diminishing levels of increased benefit for the extra time you spend delaying. Being fearful of not knowing all the information could be the reason behind your perfectionism. Realize that this is OK and it’s the better thing to do.

4. Realize There Is No Perfect In The Real World

The actors Will Smith and Benicio Del Toro got together to talk about acting for Variety. Benicio revealed that he used to beat himself up for not doing his character perfectly. But he has finally come to terms with realizing that there is no perfect.

In the real world, there is subjectivity and opinion. What is perfect art to one person may be an 8 out of 10 or 2 out of 10 for another. There is no perfect life to live.

Billionaires like Warren Buffett and Richard Branson admit that they made mistakes and failures. And it was those failures that allowed them to learn and get better. Buffett calls his life’s work his “canvas.” He says he’s made a lot of mistakes on the canvas but it’s still his work.

5. Measure Yourself Against Your Past, Not Against New, Bigger Goals

A lot of successful entrepreneurs struggle with feeling successful and happy even though they have achieved all forms of external success. They have the money, friends, and possessions they want, but it’s not enough for some reason.

The entrepreneur and strategist coach Dan Sullivan has coached over 17,000 entrepreneurs. I learned in his podcast how Dan helps people through this common problem:

Dan says that these people measure themselves against higher and higher goals. Because they keep comparing themselves to these ideals, it never feels like they are improving even though they are. Instead, he recommends you look back and compare yourself to where you have come.

I have a document called the Jar of Awesome where I add my past achievements and read them back to celebrate the positive achievements I forget about.

Perfectionism Isn’t Always Bad

A study Peter Bieling found that there may be different types of perfectionism, one that is bad for you and one that is good. Other studies have supported this idea. Another study showed that athletes had a positive form of perfectionism while those with eating disorders had a negative form.

There is a healthy medium between good and bad perfectionism. To an extreme level, perfectionism can cripple and paralyze you. But a small dose of “perfectionism” (what’s really just ambition to achieve more than an average person) is what pushes you to succeed beyond a normal, lazy individual.


Hopefully this helped you with perfectionism.

As you can see, life is not a checklist of directions. If it was, it’d be too easy to just follow the instructions to succeed. Some things are more internal, psychological, and complicated.

What’s the #1 thing you learned and will use immediately?

Any tips I didn’t include?

Views – 202

How to keep a conversation going

What To Say To Keep A Conversation Going: 42 Actionable Tips

Have you ever found yourself at a complete loss for words? Whether it’s talking to a girls, at a networking event, or trying to make new friends – being smooth with words does not come naturally for most of us (even though we know people find it attractive).

Sure, we all want to have an endless flow of things to say. But how?

Today, I am thrilled to bring you 42 tips on how to not run out of things to say.

In this video, learn:

  • how to keep the conversation flowing infinitely.
  • how to come up with topics from the other person.
  • how to learn what the other person is interested in and expand on that.
  • how to engage someone who is being cold and giving one-word answers.
  • specific, actionable strategies and acronyms to keep as your secret weapon.

As I mention in this video, I am just as bad (if not worse) at keeping a conversation going and if I can become a great conversationalist, you can too. Watch below:

Once you have had a chance to watch, I would love to hear from you. In the comments below, let me know:

What’s the most useful lesson you are taking away from the video and what’s a specific action you can take now to put it into action?

Remember, share as much detail as possible. Tons of positive, ambitious people come here every day for inspiration and help. Your story might be just what someone needed.

Thanks for watching, sharing, and reminding everyone why Thursday’s rock.

Keep up the dreams,


Views – 20

best books to read to get smarter

5 Best Books To Read To Get Smarter

Do you ever feel overwhelmed or confused with so many books out there?

It can feel confusing deciding which book will actually help you. You don’t want to waste your time. Yet you really feel like excited and ambitious because you want to improve yourself.

In today’s podcast episode, I want to share with you the best books to read to get smarter. You will also learn what are healthy and unhealthy motivators to get smarter, and why obscure, historical, niche books like The Prince are not good books to read to demonstrate your intelligence.

Once you’ve had a chance to listen, I’d love to hear from you:

  1. Which book did you like best and why?
  2. Why do you want to be smarter?

Leave a comment below and let me know.

Remember, give as much detail as possible. Many ambitious people come here every day for knowledge and improvement and your input could be just what they need to change their lives.

Thanks so much for your positive vibes. I am thankful for your presence.

Oh, and if you’re a helpful person with a friend who would find this useful, share this. It could help them change their lives and reach the potential they want.

Stay ambitious,


Views – 23

important factors in decision making

The Evidence-Based Guide to Important Factors To Consider in Decision Making

Van Halen was once the most famous bands in the world. They released hit after hit. But rumors spread that the members were divas.

They would demand ridiculous services like a bowl of M&M’s with no brown ones in it prepared on a table before a show. If they found one brown M&M, they would flip out and trash the entire room.

But the truth about Van Halen is that they were not spoiled. They project management geniuses.

The lead singer, David Lee Roth, was one of the best show organizers in the world. The M&M demand was a small test to see if the production staff was up to par. If they did not read every detail in the contract and directions, it was guaranteed that technical errors would occur during the show that would ruin the whole thing.

In fact, I don’t blame them for flipping out. The line about M&M’s in the contract actually clearly states that they would forfeit the entire show with full compensation if there were brown M&M’s.

Setting up these systems like Van Halen can really impact your decision-making process. And we all know how important good decisions are towards your success in life.

So how do you effectively make the right decision? I learned this incredible Van Halen story and other amazing decision-making tips from the book Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work and my own research. I want to share what I learned with you today:

We make horrible decisions, look at these stats…

Did you know that most CEO’s suck at decision making?

A KPM study of hundreds of mergers and acquisitions found that over 83% never created any additional shareholder value. Next time, you’re considering buying a company and all the data points add up, don’t. You are most likely wrong.

Investing and acquiring businesses are a different skill from building and growing a business. Richard Branson admitted this in his book Business Stripped Bare, when he found that a lot of his investing ventures did not pan out.

Avoid the 4 Horsemen of The Bad-Decision Apocalypse

The book says there are 4 big factors that influence you into making bad decisions:

1. Beware of Overconfidence In Your Predictions of the Future

Be careful of being overconfident in your predictions of the future.

We often overestimate what we are capable of, especially in the short-term.

How to counteract this:

a) Add Extra Time To Your Estimate

Add extra time in your estimates. Top engineers often add 30% to their estimated completion time and even more for tougher tasks to counterbalance their overconfidence.

b) Distance Yourself From the Problem. Clarity Comes From Distance.

Ever hear someone ask for dating advice when the answer was so obvious?

“I have a overweight loser boyfriend who beats me. What do I do?” I don’t know.. Maybe leave him!?

Sometimes, the right decision is not clear because you are involved. Try distancing yourself from the problem to see it clearer. Ask yourself what advice you would give a friend, predecessor, relative with the same problem. 

When students were asked between choosing a job they didn’t like that paid well versus a job that paid modestly that fulfilled their passions and let them grow, they were split 50/50 on the decision. But when they were told a friend asked them the say thing, 83% said to take the second choice.

When you distance yourself from the problem by imagining it being done for someone else (your sibling or your predecessor), your choice could be a lot clearer.

Imagining what your predecessor would do after you left has been a great way for CEO’s to distance themselves and make better long-term business decisions.

2. Beware of Believing You Have Less Options Than You Do

Humans often falsely assume we only two options:

  • I can get this job I hate or stay poor.
  • I can get rich or I can be happy.
  • I can be fit or I can be happy.
  • I can say no and piss him off or say yes and piss myself off.

The list goes on. This unnecessarily limits the options we have to choose from.

Instead, use the “And instead of Or” technique. It’s self-explanatory. See if you can get both things rather than just one.

Here is an example of this technique at play:

Instead of assuming you have to take a job you hate for the rest of your life, see if you can take it for the time being and work on growing a side business or side job you like on the side.

Phil Nut studied high impact decisions in everything from hospitals to businesses for 30 years. He found that only 29% considered at least one other decision. He found that those who did failed 32% of the time while those who didn’t failed 52% of the time.

You are often put in a business environment where you are too focused on convincing an exec to say Yes rather than considering other options. Change the environment and monitor situations to avoid this “Whether or Not” decision situation.

How to combat this: 

  • Realize that there’s a whole spectrum of options that you aren’t choosing from. Think creatively on what else you can do.
  • Set up reminders that trigger when you make a decision without considering all other choices. Studies show that just getting people to way other opportunities significantly improves chances of making the right decision.
  • Be aware of “Whether or Not” decisions. If you are deciding “yes/no” or “either/or”, you probably aren’t considering all your options. Consider if you can have “both” or do something else. 
  • Use the “Vanishing Options” test: If you couldn’t choose any of the choices offered, what other option could you come up with?

3. Beware of Confirmation Bias

Studies show that when humans are given equal amounts of data that confirm and disprove their theory, they are much more likely to only bring up the data that confirms their theory to others.

This is confirmation bias at play: the tendency to search, favor, and recall only confirming evidence disproportionately.

The billionaire Charlie Munger attempts to negate this by only asserting a point if he can also argue to disprove that point better than anyone in the world.

Confirmation bias is a huge problem in business. I’ll give you an analogy to explain why.

Pretend there is a criminal case going on in court. The judge only hears one side of the arguments and story. Then, he decides on his decision. This is exactly what occurs in business:

There’s usually only one team that has spent all their time to prepare a presentation arguing one side of a decision. The judge is usually the CEO or another top executive. He never spends much time considering the other side to an issue and therefore ends up promptly agreeing based on one that on side.

Gatorade was one of a successful acquisition of a beverage company. It was very profitable. The CEO of Quaker who made that decision went on to acquire Snapple. It turned out the be the worst mistake of his life. It made him resign.

It turns out that the tea and juice industry are completely different from other beverage industries in manufacturing, production, and other parts. Snapple was later sold off for a 1/6th of the price bought.

The issue with most companies is that the top executive isn’t facing a Yes/No decision. They’re facing a Yes/Yes decision. They’re only surrounded with Yes Men who give one side of the case. There is no team that is there to argue the “No” side to the decision.

4. Beware of Short-Term Emotions

Humans aren’t cautious with their decisions. Oftentimes, they’re incredibly overconfident in the wrong decision.

An example would be the executives of Intel. They were so confident that getting rid of their flagship product would destroy their R&D department and salesforce’s success. It ended up making Intel so much money that a $1 invested in its stock would have grown to over $30,000 (as compared to only $7000 from the S&P 500).

In addition to these 4 factors in decision making, the book gives a lot of other useful tips to make better life decisions:

Avoid Favoritism

One of many biases that affect our decisions is favoritism. We might choose to make the wrong move because we really like one of our employees. What they’re telling us might be wrong, but we still agree with them because they have gained our favor over the years.

Don’t have too many choices

A study by Sheena Lyengar reveals that too many choices stops people from making a decision.

They set out a stand with 6 sample jam choices and tested that against 24 choices. The latter was more popular, but resulted in fewer actual purchases.

Specifically, 30 percent bought compared to 3 percent.

See videos below for more detail:

The book Paradox of Choice goes into more detail on this. Having more choices can make you feel worse about your decision afterwards.

But as a quick note: based on studies, your decision-making generally gets declines around 6 to 20 choices.

Also, a 2010 study found that it may be more complicated. It could be related to information overload rather than too many choices.

People are just as likely to buy and prefer more choices if they know the product well. An example would be Starbucks coffee.

Avoid Ego

Ego, arrogance, and hubris all mean when you think you are more capable than you actually are.

What’s the danger of this?

It could potentially mean losing hundreds of millions of dollars for a business. A study was done that showed a correlation between the amount of times the CEO was mentioned in media and how much extra he paid for a company acquisition.

Historical studies have shown that up to 90% of acquisitions fail. It’s like a finding a needle in a hay stack;it’s not worth the risk. But CEO’s get overconfident in their ability, let their team of Yes-men butter them up further, and make a foolish decision.

A study was done comparing processes for giving feedback. Designers were given constructive feedback on the ads they designed.

The difference was in how they were given feedback. One group was given feedback on multiple ads simultaneously while the other group was given feedback one ad at a time.

The simultaneous group’s ads performed a lot better; they got higher CTR and better response from ad experts. Why?

Because when you are given feedback one ad at a time, you attach your ego to your work. When you are critiqued on many different ads, you don’t attach your own self-worth and ego to the ad. Therefore, you are more able to take criticism.

How to prevent this:

  • Set up an environment where it’s clear that critiques on you aren’t an attack on your personal worth.
  • Studies show it is almost impossible to remove ego or arrogance yourself. Instead, have people around you who will disagree and argue the other side. Have a designated devil’s advocate team or partner.

Assess the Choices as an objective team to avoid arguments and allegiances

Another issue you may run into is splitting your team into sides when an argument comes up around which decision to make.

In the book, they gave the example of a big copper company that had this exact issue when they had to decide between some last resorts to try and stay alive or shut down and put tens of thousands out of work.

The board split into different sides because they sided with different decisions. The issue was resolved when the question was turned around to look at each decision one by one and ask “What would have to be true for this to be the best decision?” It stopped the fighting and merged everyone back to the same collaborative team to tackle each issue.

If you are struggling with fights between your team, ask them if we can all look at one decision one at a time and ask “What are all the factors that have to be true for this to be the best decision?”

Look for common themes in your successful decisions

Are there any overlooked common themes in your successful decisions that you can add into your decision-making routine? The book calls these “Bright Spots.”

For example, you might find that you always work out after you eat lunch. You could set your schedule to add a gym routine right after lunch to make it a habit.

Kaiser Permanente is a successful 10,000+ employee health care company. They saved thousands of lives every year by identifying a disease that was causing as much death as cancer but was a bit easier to detect and prevent with systems.

Realize What State You Are in Before You Make A Decision

There are two states the book says you should avoid: the “prevention state” and the “promotion state.” These states are often brought on by your life experiences before.

So if you had a really bad day because of people you treating you badly and horrible traffic, you might be in the prevention state. And you’re less likely to say Yes to decisions from your employees.

I read one of Donald Trump’s books and he had this happen to him. He had a superstar employee he would have given a raise to in a heartbeat… except this employee chose to ask for a raise at the worst time possible. 

Donald was just getting out of a very frustrating call with someone that pissed him off. Of course, he did not get the raise.

I feel like this prevention state is deeply related to willpower. Studies have shown that judges say “yes” and decide someone is innocent less and less as the day progresses because their willpower is drained. They also found that men are more likely to cheat on their girlfriend or wife at the end of the day for the same reason.

Now, the promotion state is the opposite. You are more likely to say  Yes when you are in this state. An example of an environment that would spur this state would be a company culture of over-optimism despite a ton of contrary evidence (if they would look for it).

Consider Short Term, Mid Term, and Long Term Consequences (The 10-10-10 Rule)

We often overemphasize the short-term and under emphasize the long term. Therefore, many people underestimate their 10 year accomplishments and over-predict what they can do in the next week, month, and year. Also, they often chase short-term pleasures (drugs, alcohol, partying, etc.) at the cost of long-term financial and career success.

The book suggests you use the 10-10-10 Rule. It basically asks you what the positive and negative consequences and potential of your decision will be in the next 10 days, 10 months, and 10 years. This forces you to consider more factors than you would have, including the long-term.

An example would be whether to ask a girl out. Most people over-emphasize the short-term. But when you consider what you’d think 10 years later, you’d realize that you could have missed out on your dream wife and you would have forgot about the rejection by then. All of a sudden, it doesn’t seem as bad.

Don’t Do Something Just Because Everyone Else Is (Peer Pressure and Social Proof)

Are you falling into the classic trap of “The Emperor Has No Clothes”? If you’re not familiar with the children’s story, here’s what happened:

Two tricksters came into a kingdom and convinced the emperor to buy “magic clothes that only those who were smart could see.” In reality, there was nothing there. Just air. Everyone including the emperor pretended that they saw the clothes so they didn’t want to be seen as dumb.

The tricksters took their money and ran. And eventually a child pointed out the obvious: “He’s naked!” and everyone realized how foolish they were.

The point is: don’t do things just because everyone else is doing and don’t do something that seems wrong just because you don’t want to embarrass yourself. 

Another example is beer. A lot of people hate the taste of beer. So why does everyone drink it? The book argues that one reason is because they think everyone else loves the taste. 

Therefore, at a party or social event, they don’t want to be left out. So everyone ends up drinking thinking he or she is the only one who hates beer when everyone does.

The point is that if you can learn how everyone else truly thinks about something, you may avoid being peer pressured into a decision by social proof.

Do Small Tests Before Jumping In Head First (“Ooching”)

Remember you were at a pool? Did you jump in head first or dip your toe in the water first?

The book calls the toe-dip “ooching.” Ooching is doing a small test first to prove a theory. This prevents you from large, bad consequences because the test is so small. It also lets you return to the normal way of doing things if it doesn’t work.

Ooching is important because you sometimes don’t know what’s the right decision. Studies have shown that most “experts” from many jobs (psychologists, economists, political predictors, etc.) are wrong in their predictions. Therefore, you can’t always trust their advice.

Also, this is what successful entrepreneurs do so it’s important to make sure to you do it as well. Successful CEO’s go out, test, learn, change their test, and keep improving. They don’t spend too long planning or analyzing before they make their decision.

Sometimes when you test, you find results that were completely unexpected that move you forward. All the predicting beforehand could be made useless.

The High Calling wrote about using ooching to test out different ways of dealing with social media haters. By testing, they found that addressing one hater every week worked better than ignoring them all.

Ooching works great for finding your passion, parenting, or dating.

  • You can try out different jobs by interning.
  • You can try out your child’s way of doing things rather than always dismissing it.
  • different people you want to marry with a small date.

The power of small tests is that it sometimes disproves what you assumed is fact.

For example, a parent could always assume his way of doing things is best. You could assume that your child should always be fully dressed before eating breakfast. But when you test out letting your child eat in PJ’s and getting dressed later, you could be surprised to find that it’s more efficient.

You may think it’s common sense but it’s not. 

Every year, thousands of people go to medical or law school without ever trying out the profession before hand. They could spend years learning about a job that they realize they don’t want.

Ooching doesn’t work well for decisions that require commitment.

  • You can’t ooch when you have already married someone.
  • You can’t ooch as an emotional crutch just to keep procrastinating from getting a real job.

To Learn How To Get To A Future Goal, Walk Backwards From It As If It Already Happened

Instead of guessing or wondering what is needed to get to a future goal, imagine if the goal already happened and ask yourself, “What needs to have taken place for this to have already been achieved?”

This makes things more concrete and firm since you are imagining it already happened.

An example would be, “It is the year 2025 and we have our first Asian American president. Therefore, here is what has had to happen for this to occur…”

These can be applied to your personal goals like losing weight or making more money too.

Be Careful of Reference Points and Percentages

I couldn’t help to resist by adding my own advice for making better decisions.

Compare to situations and tell me in which you would actually buy:

You see a grill on sale at a store. Original price: $400, Current price: $300.


You see a grill on sale at a store: Original price: $500, Current price: $350.

Leave a comment before continuing.

Well, it turns out that studies show that most people wouldn’t buy the first one, but most people would buy the second one even though the store is selling the exact same grill. 

People end up paying more for a grill ($350 versus $300) in search of a good bargain. Why?

Percentages. This is why you’ll see clothing stores that always have a sale (semi-annual sale, Winter sale, Summer sale, etc.). Because it works.

People compare the purchase with the original in percentages and see that they product has been marked down a lot more.

Or look at these scenarios:

Buy a television for $3,000 or drive 20 miles to a different store where you can save $10 on the same television.


Buy a phone case for $30 or drive 20 miles where you can save $10 on the same case.

Studies show most people will only do it for the second scenario even though you’re driving 20 miles to save $10 each time. This is ridiculous! Why does this happen?

Because people compare it to reference price of the original product: “$10 is peanuts compared to $3,000. I won’t bother.”

Infomercials and car salesman do this all the time.

  • Infomercials will float a bunch of high prices before giving you the real price of a product to set a high reference price: “You won’t pay $500.  And you won’t pay $200. Only $19.99!”
  • Would you pay for a car accessory that costs $500 or $50 after a purchase if  a car salesman straight up asked you for it? No. But you’re more likely to after you just bought a $100,000 car because it doesn’t seem like a big deal in comparison.

Note: the point is not that these are great tactics to use for business. The point is to be aware of how they can affect your decisions.

Conclusion and Book Review

This book Decisive goes into some good detail on some of the devils of decision making, but not all of them.

I still think it’s well worth the read because most people don’t even know about a single one of these cognitive biases. Once you’ve accounted for all of these, I suggest reading Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion for a deeper level of understanding to the psychology that affects us to protect yourself.

If you want to cover all the bases to bad decision making, this book alone will not do it. There are dozens of psychological biases that also affect us that are not mentioned in this book.

Having said that, it touches some of the big pillars of bad decision making in-depth:

  1. Overconfidence in predicting the future.
  2. Narrow Framework of options.
  3. Confirmation Bias.
  4. Short-term emotions.

If you want to make better decisions, I highly recommend this book. I was shocked at the mistakes made by huge CEO’s of well-known companies out of ego and confirmation bias. The book goes into a lot more detail into the stories, scientific research, and stats then I have covered here.

Plus, the cover of the print book comes with a cool holographic image.

Click here to buy the book or learn more details about the book. I will get a small commission if you go through that link.

Now, I want to hear from you.

Were there decisions in the past that you wish you had applied these steps to before? What will you do in the future to protect yourself from bad decisions? 

Views – 21

What is emotional intelligence quiz and why its important

What Is Your Emotional Intelligence? Quiz

If you have been in the personal development or business space online for a decent while, you have probably heard the phrase “emotional intelligence” thrown out there.

As a refresher, I did a video on what is emotional intelligence (EQ) and why it’s important. You can watch it below:

I also made an EQ quiz. How well do you understand and emphasize with others? Take this quick quiz to find your Emotional IQ.


Views – 32

How to obtain happiness in life

How To Obtain Happiness in Life: 13 Science-Backed Steps

Are you sick of people’s opinions on what brings happiness?

I talked to everyone from relatives to religious men and consumed everything I could find online.

But I just wasn’t sure if it was the truth. And it wasn’t really helping. I wanted rigorous tested research that I could trust. And I finally found it…

This is the complete, definitive guide on how to obtain happiness in life based on scientific research.

And when I say happy, I mean long-lasting, sustainable happiness rather than short-term fleeting happiness.

This topic is really dear to my heart.

For many years, I struggled with happiness. Like most people, I was told a lot of theories and beliefs on what brings happiness.

These included: getting rich makes you happy, having a girlfriend makes you happier, happiness comes from God, happiness comes from within, happiness comes from action, and just be happy!

For thousands of years, humans had to just go on guesses and try things out until something worked for them. Some of them found it through religion while others found it in their own way.

After a lot of confusion and struggle, I turned to science. I wanted the cold, hard facts.

Surely, there must have been studies down on a good sample size of thousands of people.

There must be good information out there.

It turns out I was right.

After a lot of sorting through crappy videos and books, I found some saints who had done the heavy lifting for me. There is a lot of scientific data on this, and more to come in the future.

Here’s what I found:

Why should you be happy?

This is actually a great philosophical question. Why be happy at all? Why should we care to have a pleasant feeling inside that happiness brings?

Why do anything to be happier in the first place if you don’t care about that fuzzy feeling?

Great question. It’s great that you’re thinking.

According to the books The Happiness Advantage and The How of Happiness, studies have shown that being happier helps you live longer, make more money, do better at work, seem more attractive, do better in dating, be a better parent, be more likeable, be better with social skills, and a number of other things.

Increased happiness ripples through to greater levels of success in almost every other area of your life. 

1. Realize Up to 60% of happiness is Genetic… But That’s A Good Thing!

Yes. Up to 60% of happiness is unchangeable and genetic. Some people are just naturally happier by their nature. This is your happiness set point.

Whether you win the lottery or get your legs chopped off in some accident, you might eventually come back to around a ballpark area of happiness. Dan Gilbert illustrates this in a TED Talk, citing many studies:

The key phrase is on average. Some people are happier (or unhappier) because of these events.

And that still leaves a healthy chunk of at least 40% you can control!

I’ve seen it myself. I’m a naturally negative person but I’ve been able to control the 40% I do have to be happier on a regular basis. I’ve seen other successful people do this even better than me.

Use this as encouragement. Even if something really bad happens to you, you can still jump back to your normal level of happiness before that.

2. Realize Materialistic Things Don’t Bring Much Extra Happiness After Basic Needs Are Met

This is the most important message I want to share with you. It’s one of my main missions because modern society has brainwashed us to think otherwise.

Materialistic things won’t bring you as much extra happiness as you expect. In fact, you’ll very quickly take it for granted. It’s called the hedonic treadmill.

Most middle-income families are a great example. Hundreds of thousands of these people live better than the richest billionaire did 100 years ago. They have better possessions and access in every way: entertainment, transportation, housing, choice of food, choice of clothing, choice of goods, and so on.

Yet I bet you many of them aren’t much happier.

Every year, I see celebrities come forth to share how they finally achieved their dreams of wealth and fame to realize it didn’t make them any happier.

A few months after I discovered this, the most followed people on Instagram and Twitter, Lady Gaga and Cara Delevigne, both did speeches about this exact topic that I watched.

I like Cara’s a lot because she’s very clear about it. 

We’ve been taught by commercials, ads, society, and the influencers who buy into this that making millions of dollars, buying expensive things, and having a great reputation is what makes us happy.

That’s just not the case.

Science has shown that there’s a marginal correlation between money and wealth. In simple terms, that means that once you hit a moderately above average first world country income, the amount of extra happiness you get for the more money you make is on average very little. 

Having money definitely helps. But only for the right reasons. It’s awesome when you don’t have to worry about food, how to pay for your retirement, or how to finance an unexpected medical bill.

Some people can’t believe this. But you don’t have to look far to see that this is true. There are many millionaires I have found who were bitter and unhappy.

My favorite story about this is from the billionaire Ted Leonsis’s book The Business of Happiness. He was “living the life” with millions in the bank when he found himself in a crashing airplane.

Right before he thought he’d die, he realized he was never happy.

He survived and spent the second half of his life finding out why he wasn’t happy and doing everything on his “bucket list.”

And you simply need to go to a third world country or poor area in your town and you’ll find at least one happy but poor individual.

Not everyone has mastered happiness. Some have stumbled across it naturally. They have become constantly happy despite having very little money.

Soon, you will begin mastering it as well.

3. Do Gratitude Exercises

One constant theme you’ll find with all these exercises is that they don’t require much money.

In the book The How of Happiness, they found that gratitude is the one of the key traits to maintaining long-lasting happiness.

I aim to do gratitude exercises daily specifically for this reason.

There’s many ways of expressing gratitude. Here are a few awesome suggestions:

  • Write in your journal 5 things you’re grateful for. Then 5 people.
  • Call or meet with a long-time friend or family member you haven’t in a while. Express your thanks for something they did.
  • Thank someone you should’ve thanked years ago you didn’t.
  • Go somewhere you can marvel or savor. Marvel and be grateful. Scenic locations work great.

4. Help People Out by Giving Your Time or Money (Even A Small Amount and Even To Strangers)

According to the book Social by Matt Lieberman, we get a lot of well-being and happiness from social interactions and relationships with a community.


According to studies mentioned in the TED Talk by Michael Norton below, spending even a small amount of money on others creates a long-lasting boost in happiness, while spending the same amount on yourself creates a small amount of delight that fades quickly.

If you do not have a lot to give, that’s fine. Giving a small amount to someone, even a stranger, who really needs it can do the trick. A cup of coffee for yourself creates a “happiness” that fades quickly, for example, but a meal for someone else who is starving creates something you can hold with you for weeks. Try to buy something for someone rather than just give them money if you can.

If you don’t have money, give your time. Volunteer somewhere or fund-raise for charity.

5. Stay in the moment. Find work that puts you in a state of flow.

Matt Killingsworth designed an app that tracked people’s happiness. Through a lot of data, he found that no matter the task, people were more happy when they were focused on the task rather than drifting off or day dreaming.

After studying thousands of the world’s most successful people, I found that most of them perfected their craft in a state of flow. Time flew by because they were so engrossed in their work.

A great book on finding and developing that flow is called Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. 

Meditation is a great way of working on being more present and focusing on being in the moment. I recommend mindfulness meditation. It’s the type taught to Google employees. 

6. Savor the present moment

Neuropsychologist and author of Hardwiring Happiness, Rick Hanson found that you can be happier by prolonging small moments in your life that made you happy.

You simply have to spend several more seconds enjoying and appreciating an awesome moment that occurred. It can be something that always happens everyday that you usually pass over quickly, like a girl smiling at you, you making her laugh, or enjoying an ice cream. Instead, savor it. Prolong it. Stay with it.

Also, you can find things that you enjoy doing and spend more time enjoying them in that moment. These can be very simple things that are easily accessible.

For example, I really love food and nature. I take my time to chew slower. I take my time to marvel at the leaves on a tree or the colors of a setting sun.

Rick Hanson goes into great detail in his book on ways over prolonging and properly savoring a positive moment. One of my favorite suggestions is looking at a common experience in a different or new way. 

Let’s say you really appreciate the detail of a flower. How about appreciating it in a new way? Appreciate how it is a core component to the ecosystem and the geometric or biological structure. Or just how the colors work together.

I recommend the book Hardwiring Happiness if you want more detail on different exercises.

Mindfulness meditation is a great way of improving your ability to stay present. It can take over a year to see the effects of consistent meditation, but it’s worth it. Just 5 minutes a day can get you going.

7. Develop Great Social Relationships and Keep In Touch At Least Once A Week

Develop great friendships with your local community.

In Matt Lieberman’s book Social, studies showed that meeting with a good friend at least once a week, staying healthy, and volunteering at least once lead to increases in well-being equivalent to significant increases in salary. 

How to be happy

8. Make Sure You Exercise

A 1999 study was done on groups of people who suffered from depression. There were three groups who were studied: one group that exercised, a group that took anti-depressants, a group that exercised and took anti-depressants, and a control group (that did nothing).

The group that exercised took longer for the people to get out of depression than the other groups. But when they checked back on the groups 6 months and a year later, the group that exercised had the lowest amount of people relapse into depression.

This is not to say that anti-depressants are not useful. It simply says that exercise can also be quite useful.

The Harvard lecturer Tal Ben-Shahar said in a lecture that exercise is not just a substitute for an anti-depressant. It’s the lack of exercises that depresses us. We are genetically wired to be active and moving in the fields like our ancestors, but many of us do not get a chance to do that in modern society.

There are many studies and books, like The Happiness Advantage, that show that exercise also improves many other areas of your life that improve your success, such as your energy levels, focus, concentration, and creativity. Treat it as an investment in time rather than an expense. 

9. Avoid Social Comparison, Dwelling, and Negative Influences or Environments

According to studies in the book The How of Happiness, the two worst things you can do for your happiness are:

  1. Social comparison.
  2. Dwelling on negative feelings or events.

Psychology 101 teaches us that one negative comment towards you takes at least 7 positive comments to counteract.  This is called the negativity bias.

The reason for this wiring dates back to prehistoric times. For our survival, we evolved the tendency to overemphasize negative events because overlooking them could cause us death.

A jealous rival’s comment could mean he was going to attempt to kill you in the tribe soon. A patch of grass that had the shape of a dangerous animal could spell death if not emphasized.

In modern society however, it’s toxic to overemphasize the negative because the thoughts are more potent than the actual potential consequences. A negative comment from a random stranger online has very little real possible result.

In the book Hardwiring Happiness, neuropsychologist Rick Hanson states that you should do your best to avoid exposure to negative news, comments, and influences from media, the internet, Youtube, TV, and other people.

We are wired to dramatically overemphasize these because we had to in order to survive in our prehistoric past. It can take 3 to 10 positive influences to match the weight of a single negative influence.

Turn off your phone from time to time. Take some time off of social media (especially Instagram and Facebook). These platforms are filled with people showing off how they’re better than you, which really screws with your happiness.

Only make friends with positive, happy people.

Avoiding or hiding from negative things is only a temporary fix. The most successful people I’ve met do shield themselves partially. But they’re really good at being able to stay happy and positive no matter what negative events or influences occur.

I’ve observed that they do this by developing inner self-esteem and a joy that isn’t dependent on others.

10. Realize Happiness Takes Time To Improve.

These exercises aren’t easy. It takes time and effort to maintain them. But if you do, the rewards will be greater than ever.

Neuropsychologist and author of Hardwiring Happiness, Rick Hanson, says that you can literally change the physiology and structure of your brain through consistent practice.

The brain is a very malleable and plastic thing. It’s amazing. When I read Hardwiring Happiness, I found that taxi drivers that memorized different routes and meditation practitioners increased the density and size of different areas of their brain.

Rick says that neurons that fire together wire together. In simple terms, this means that if some trigger event makes you depressed, you can restructure that to make you happy by substituting different events when that trigger goes off.

Just like when a dog that salivates when a bell is rung because he knows it’s time for food, you are wired to feel things when certain triggers ring, such as a song that reminds you of an ex-girlfriend.

Here’s exactly how Rick suggests you get over negative experiences: Think of a positive experience like someone who loves you. Have his or her love in your mind. Close your eyes. Enrich and prolong that experience for at least 20 seconds so that it moves from short-term to long-term memory. Absorb the love. Then, Link it. Associate it with a negative memory or event you’re struggling with. These will wire these two events together if you do it enough. The good will wash over the bad.

You can use this to heal old pain, neglect, or new struggles. 

11. Let Go Of Past Pains. Forgive

Often, what holds us back from happiness is memories of a bad past, such as childhood neglect, lack of validation, or abuse. You can and should get past it. Forgive those who have wronged you or else you can not move forward. They will chain you down.

The past has happened and cannot be changed. Therefore, there is no use dwelling on it. One of the only uses for the past is to learn from it to make better decisions in the present. Otherwise, move on.

12. Try Religion (Optional)

Studies have shown a positive correlation between long-term happiness and religion. One possible reason why this exists is because a lot of religions naturally have a lot of gratitude-practicing exercises in it.

If you are not religious or you don’t want to, that’s O.K. As you’ll see in the next point, you don’t need to do use every happiness-boosting factor listed to achieve optimal levels of happiness…

13. Realize People Are Different. Do What Suits You Best

There are a dozen foundational principles that can increase your long-term, sustainable happiness. Having said that, you don’t need to do them all to achieve peak happiness.

Religion is a great example. Some people are not religious and choose not to be. Therefore, it would not be a fit to use that to increase happiness if they do want to.

By combining as many of these as you can (that fit your lifestyle and interests) into a consistent habit, you can dramatically boost your happiness forever.


Happiness can be changed. No more theories. No more opinions from random people.

If you want further reading on this, I suggest the book The How of Happiness which walks through all the things I say in a more comprehensive, but easy-to-read manner.

It is the best book I have read on the topic. And I went through a lot of bad books on happiness to get to it. It’s one of the few books that doesn’t just use random cherry-picked studies to support random ideas about happiness.

Views – 288


How To Improve Your Self-Esteem, Self-Worth & Self-Love

Have you heard of Mindvalley? It’s a $100+ Million dollar business around meditation and spiritual education.

The founder of the company, Vishen Lakhiani, wrote a book on success.

It’s called The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life & Succeed On Your Own Terms.

Having been in the self-help space for a while, it’s tough for me to learn something new in a book. Many things are re-hashed.

However, I found some interesting things I had never heard before based on the way they were presented.

I want to share with you what I learned in a chapter of the book on not caring what other’s think about you.

This is actually a huge issue that many people struggle with. I see a lot of videos being made on the topic that people resonate with online.

Here are the top videos on the topic I have come across.

How To Stop Caring What People Think of You by (a self-help Youtube channel)

5 Reasons Not To Give a Shit by Pewdipie (the most subscribed Youtuber of all time. 45 million followers and growing. He’s naturally never had a problem with this so he’s giving advice from a natural’s perspective.)

How To Be Unfuckwithable

Let’s begin with the term “unfuckwithable.”

Vishen uses it throughout the book to address the ability to not be affected by your environment. Here’s the definition:

Unfuckwithable: when you’re at peace and in touch with yourself to the point where nothing anyone says or does can bother you. Nothing done to you can bother you. Negativity can’t touch you.

While I don’t struggle with this as much as others, I definitely have been in situations where it can be tough.

I remember always wincing before I could control myself when I sneeze and no one says, “Bless you.” I caught myself seeking validation because I observed everyone else who sneeze get the “Bless you” response and I wanted to belong.

I have had difficulty controlling road rage when people cut me off or did stupid things on the highway. They were clearly late and should have just woken up earlier.

One thing I found that helped was this saying:

“People have the unique ability to decide how to response after stimuli.”

No other animals can really do that. If someone pisses off an animal, they react in a rage. As humans, we can control ourselves.

The best example of this is the photo of the burning monk. It’s a real photo of a monk who is calmly sitting as he burns alive. It’s really graphic so I warn you to be cautious before you look at it.

It was done in protest to the oppression of monks in that era.

This monk could have responded to the natural scream of his body to run around in pain. Instead, he sat there calmly in peace.

1. Make Your Love and Fulfillment Come From Within

The first thing Vishen suggests is to let your love and fulfillment come from yourself rather than others or goals.

When you bind your happiness to something you can’t control, like people, you are at the whim of others.

In the epic sci-fi film series Star Wars, Anakin Skywalker lets his fear of losing his wife and mother consume him.

His master Yoda warned that this fear would lead to destruction. But he resistaned and let it control his actions until he became increasingly more sinister.

Have Goals You Can Control

The book clearly explains why  you need goals you can control.

By setting goals outside of your influence, you are depending on things outside of yourself for fulfillment.

For example, goals like these are based on the whims of others:

  • To be in love with Beckie.
  • To always be around my girlfriend.
  • To be happy because my boyfriend is always around.
  • To be in a loving relationship with my spouse.
  • To always be close with my children.

If the person your goal is linked to decides to do something differently, you fail in your goal because you can’t control it. With that, you can feel unfulfilled or unhappy.

Your child could choose to distance himself from you. Your spouse can choose to hate you.

Instead of the goals I just mentioned, set a goal that you can fully control like:

  • To surround myself with loving, smart people.
  • To be the best parent I can.
  • To be the best partner possible.

By doing this, you free yourself from the neediness and dependence of others. You are attached to them to fulfill their side of the goal to reach fulfillment. This allows you to do better at achieving your goals.

Don’t Follow Trends. Set Direct Goals.

Don’t do things just because others are doing them.

It may be trendy or “cool” to do things, but is it truly what you want? For instance, you may not truly want to travel the world or go sky-diving. You could be pursuing it only because others find it fun. Maybe your real goal is to have incredible, new, scenic experiences.

By identifying what your direct goal is, you get there a lot more efficiently.

Make sure your goals are your own rather than what your parents or friends expect of you. I see this a lot when kids want to become a doctor only because their parents want them to.

2. Realize you’re enough

Most people carry insecurities or psychological issues from childhood. You don’t have to go through something extremely traumatic for this to happen to you.

In rare cases, these childhood issues can be somewhat of a good thing. They can push you to succeed in business or making money. Vishen admitted that he was in this camp.

However, the bad parts of these issues are always worse. And must be removed. They cripple you.

Here are just a couple of the main ways this can manifest:

  • Even with financial or outward success, you can still feed hollow inside.
  • You are constantly seeking an external validation. Your fulfillment is dependent on others. If someone doesn’t validate you, you’re left feeling horrible.
  • Your emotions and life are servants to others.

Because of this dependence, it can cause you to react violently or negatively when you don’t get what you’re looking for.

You could lash out in anger (“What a jerk! How dare they!”) or feel an uncomfortable, undying need to keep seeking it out.

Signs and symptoms of validation-seeking

Here are some common signs that you are seeking validation. It happens when you are looking for:

  • Praise
  • Notice
  • Respect
  • Recognition
  • Appreciation
  • More interaction
  • Being remembered

causes of validation-seeking

The most common cause has to do with parents. Perhaps, a parent member never recognized or appreciated you enough no matter how much you achieved. Maybe you kept that with you throughout your entire life.

Note: I am not a psychologist. Seek professional advice from books or people on this.

The Solution

Here’s the author’s solution to developing a self-esteem to know that you are enough no matter what the world has to say about you:

  1. Lose your validation-seeking ways.
  2. Don’t judge others.
  3. Make yourself immune to praise and criticism by not reacting to either. Giving someone the power to build you up with praise also allows them to tear you down with criticism.

I recommend the hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons’s book Success Through Stillness. He practices this whether he’s at a million-dollar party with celebrities or experienced a horrible setback in life.

Acknowledge praise and criticism simply as someone’s behavior. It is neither good nor bad. It has nothing to do with who you are. 

Here’s a great video on the topic from Elliot Hulse:

You were born good enough. You are enough the moment you were born. 

You are a blessing and beauty to this world.

3. Use Exercises To Cultivate Self-Esteem

A huge issue in the self-help space is confidence. People lack confidence.

Well, confidence is nothing more than the belief that you can firmly trust and rely on someone or something.

This implies that there must be a firm foundation.

You don’t want to learn how to be as confident as Michael Jordan at basketball if you’ve barely played the sport. What I mean is that you should only be slightly more confident than you deserve to be or you become arrogant and a fool.

Only a fool is confident at something he completely sucks at. That’s called overconfidence. A woman who can’t sing shouldn’t brag about how she can.

For many people seeking confidence, they rightfully deserve to. These are the people I want to serve.

The model example would be a man who is kind, honest, ethical, has a great job, dresses well, but is much less confident than he should be around women.

He’s a great guy in many ways but he can’t rightfully show that with women. This is where you deserve to be confident but you have to push up your confidence to where it should be.

This is one of my favorite parts of the book because it lists actionable exercises you can use to get natural confidence and self-esteem.

Exercise 1: “I love you” mirror exercise

This exercise is as simple as it sounds. It is used to improve self-love. The full effects only come after you have turned this into a daily habit for a while.

Look at yourself directly in the eyes in a mirror. Say out loud, “I love you.”

It’s more difficult than it seems because it’s difficult to look someone in the eyes deeply and emotionally. It’s tough to say it out loud.

Start believing it slowly. Introduce this idea that it might be true if you’re unsure. Say it louder and prouder over time.

Focus on one eye instead of two. It’s much easier to appear focused when you focus on one eye.

Exercise 2: “What I love About Myself” Journal

Write a daily list in your journal of all the things you love about yourself. They must be about you, not nature or the environment.

Even if you’re broke, there are plenty of things you can be proud of like your sense of humor, ambition, work ethic, or happiness.

Cultivate a sense of feeling proud and happy with your accomplishments and yourself.

An example list might be:

Here’s what I love about myself:

  • I love that I seek to be better in every way everyday. Most people don’t.
  • I love that I have gone through tougher times than most people ever have and made it through.
  • I love that I care about others more than the average person.
  • I love that I truly care about being successful and have the fire to prove it. That’s a rarity.
  • I love that I seek to constantly do everything I can to better my dating and financial life. Even in dark times when the results aren’t showing, I do it anyways.
  • I love that I have a sense of humor in tough times.
  • I love that I treat people well whether they’re poor or rich.
  • I love how ambitious and hard working I can be.
  • I love that I strive to work harder for a better future when I could be wasting time and partying like others.

Exercise 3: Be Present

Most worries or anxieties come from the future or the past.

Vishen had a great story to illustrate this in the book. He had gone on a 2-week vacation and felt overwhelmed with stress on his final day. He looked to the future and saw all the emails, deadlines, and tasks on his plate.

It made him incredibly anxious.

He chose to focus on the present and only the present. He observed the leaves on the trees. He appreciated the sunlight beating down. Things got easier.

Fear, anxiety, or anger usually comes from the past or future. When you look a the present and you feel that everything is alright, you know that things will be fine.

I have spent some time studying some of the world’s longest living people. One characteristic many of them have is their easy-going, resilient attitude to life.

They lived in tough, economic times, yet always had chill attitudes even during these times.

They knew that things were going to be fine no matter what. I have a theory that this lack of anxiety and stress helped them prolong their life.

I also suggest understanding the logic behind why we shouldn’t stress. We’re all going to die. What does it matter? Why stress over the minutiae? Do small things like a date not texting back, rising gas prices, politics at work, rivalries, bullying, finger-pointing, or drama really matter that much?

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.

Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs, founder of Apple

A great way of getting better at being present is to practice daily meditation. For more advanced people, I suggest reading books by Eckhart Tole.

Exercise 4: Self-Acceptance Meditation

I got this exercise from a lecture by on the science of happiness by Tal Ben-Shahar. Meditate and while you are meditating, imagine as if others are accepting you as you are unconditionally.

If you are new to meditation, the basic idea is that you focus on your breathe, acknowledge thoughts if they come in but re-focus on your breathe, and repeat. Tacking that on with the loving self-acceptance really helps boost your esteem over time.

It can take over a year to see the full effects but there is a lot of scientific research proving the benefits of meditation to your brain and body.

Give To Others

The billionaire John Paul DeJoria didn’t have a high school degree and lived homeless with a child at one point.

He gave some great advice on removing insecurity at the Joe Polish 2015 Genius Network event. He said that if you give to others less fortunate, you will feel better about your situation.

When John was a kid, his teacher singled him and his crush out. His teacher caught him writing a note to her. She made them both stand up and humiliated them.

She told them that they would never amount to anything or be successful. John decided to not believe that. Years later, he’s a billionaire and his crush, Michelle, became part of a very famous band, The Mamas and Papas.

Traveling to 3rd world countries really can help you. It might shock your system too. You’ll meet people who have the most horrible life situations, like birth deformities, no money, and horrible living conditions.

Don’t Believe What Others Say

John never believed the discouragement from others.

His philosophy was, “What do they know?”

Don’t let people get you down. 

He was told that he would never succeed in the hair industry because there was too much competition and he had no money.

He didn’t believe them.

He was told that no one would buy premium tequila for $37 or more when they could get normal tequila for $4. He didn’t believe them and he was right.

Go with your gut feeling.

If I’m good enough, why do big things?

Vishen observed this question asked of a presenter at a speech.

“If I’m enough, what drives us to do big things?”

This is the answer the speaker gave, which I disagree with:

If you’re not enough, you’ll sit on the couch and do nothing. It is the people who believe they are enough that do big things like ask for a raise or ask for their dream job. If they fail, they’re ok too because they’re already enough.

Here’s why I disagree:

Some people who believe they are not enough do big things as well. They do it to prove that they’re enough because of unfulfilled validation. Some people who believe they are enough do not do anything. The Dalai Lama or any other monk is an example. They sit there and meditate. They aren’t doing the “big things” the question implies.

The question implies that people only do things because they are enough or they aren’t enough.

That’s not true.

There’s a ton of reasons why people are motivated to do things. Here are some top examples:

  • We help others out of empathy
  • We do crazy, fun things like Richard Branson out of adventure (and sometimes masculine genetics)
  • We enjoy life through big projects for the fun of it
  • We make a difference or right an injustice for fulfillment or justice
  • Some people do things for personal achievement that isn’t external. Michael Jordan pushed himself because he wanted to see how far he could go.

Not everyone does things because they’re seeking validation.


I wanted to teach you some main things from reading this:

  • Exercises for improving your confidence and self-esteem (if you deserve it). These can be done immediately.
  • Mindsets, logical arguments, and stories to help you know that you are enough.
  • Why you should consider yourself enough no matter the highs and low’s of life.
  • How to set better goals that will increase your well-being, independence, happiness, confidence, and self-esteem.
  • Mindset shifts that will remove neediness, validation, anxiety, fear, anger, or any unwanted feelings. They will also allow you to achieve goals better.
  • How to not give a shit or care what other people think. How to maintain a steady foundation no matter what life has to throw at you.

Please come back and reference this article whenever you want to realign yourself. I want to thank Vishen’s book The Code of the Extraordinary Mind for these great ideas.

If you want further reading on this, I recommend reading Dale Carnegie’s book How To Stop Worrying And Start Living.

Views – 181

Life-changing books

10 Books For Young Men That Can Change Your Life

A common question ambitious men in their early 20’s ask me is, “What life changing books should I read?”

For me, asking any question about books, especially life-changing books, is a tough one to answer.

That’s because I read a lot more books than the average person and have a lot more to draw from. Therefore, it can be like asking a musician what their favorite song is. But here are my top ten suggestions for now:

1.Top 5 Regrets of the Dying

Life is more than about just making money. In fact, I have found a lot of rich people are still unhappy or unfulfilled. Therefore, this book does a great job addressing other life concerns.

The author saw hundreds of people pass because she worked in a retirement home.

I have definitely changed how I live my life and what I want to do because of the book. My priorities have shifted.

Biggest takeaways: Do more things that you wouldn’t do out of fear of failure. Our biggest regrets are often out of fear or trying to please others. Don’t live someone’s dream life or job if it’s not your own. You can be happy in the most mundane or simple times.

The author of the book has some great stories that taught me about life as well.

She was quite happy despite living a modest life. She was thankful for every moment because she survived cancer. She counseled many elderly men and women, some rich, some poor, some bitter at the world, some angry, and some depressed. One of my favorite stories was one where a rich but bitter woman was angry and confused as to how she could be so happy all the time.

One of my favorite stories was one where a rich but bitter woman was angry and confused as to how she could be so happy all the time.

2. The Millionaire Next Door

Want to get the surprise of your life? This book unveils some common trends of millionaires after studying thousands that go against the stereotype. For example, the most common car they own is a pick-up truck and they usually live modest lives.

I still remember this book after many years! I listened to it on audiobook while playing Batman Arkham City and Battlefield.

Nonetheless, it left a deep impression on me about personal finance and wealth creation. It lead me down a whirlwind path of improving my finances and understanding how wealth is made.

Biggest takeaway: you can get rich slowly over time even with a modest salary if you budget, save, and invest. Most millionaires live very modestly and have modest cars/houses/items. They spend on what they enjoy on and got there through being frugal and smart. They’re not like stereotypical millionaires you would image with fancy mansions.

Having said that, there’re tons of takeaways and I will be reading this again.

3. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

The biggest lesson from this one was that IQ and natural genetic intelligence definitely don’t guarantee success. And if you’re good enough, what matters a lot is how much more time you put into practicing compared to the next guy, not how much more naturally gifted you are.

In the book, there was a reference to a study that tracked thousands of the nation’s highest IQ children over their lifetime. As adults, they were shockingly no more successful than a randomly selected control group. Some were garbage men!

How did this occur? Clearly, there’s more to success than just IQ. Social and emotional intelligence are big players in a world that where you have to deal with politics, social interaction, managing people, leading people, and other obstacles.

Another huge take-away was that I should always pay respect and be thankful for the luck I have. Every successful person has some element of luck at play even if you do all the right things. Even if you don’t think you have any luck, you do. I thought I didn’t have much, but I was lucky enough to be born in the U.S. out of all the countries in the world.

4.Made In America by Sam Walton

One of my first cases of deeply peering into the thought process and lifestyle of one of the richest men in the entire world.

I was quite shocked: He lived very modestly. Talked and treated others as equals. He was always a charismatic, people’s man. He cared more about his company than spending that money all the way until he died.

Sam taught me the power of humbleness and eagerness to learn.

Let me paint the story: this man had built one store into a billion dollar empire. He was the richest man in the U.S. Was he sailing around on yachts? No. He decided to spend an entire day driving with his truck drivers to see how their lives were like to remove inefficiencies. It wasn’t beneath him.

Another time, he and one of his top executives went into a smaller competitor’s store. The whole store was a mess and horrible in almost every way: messy aisles, disorganized products, bad product positioning and so on. The executive came out of the store talking about how bad the store was in every way. What Sam said next stopped him in his tracks and taught him a lesson he would remember for the rest of his life.

Sam simply mentioned the one tiny detail he found in the store that they were doing better than Walmart’s store. And he asked for his executive to immediately work on it.

This man was always looking to improve and never too humble to learn from others. There’s plenty of other stories like this in the book. Some involving him crawling on all fours measuring aisle lengths in his competitors stores.

He taught me some great lessons on social skills, respect, leading a team, learning from others, and transparency.

It was a great book with many business and life lessons.

5. Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins

The biggest lesson in Anthony Robbin’s classic, best-known book is his introductory chapter. He tells the story of how he flies over a building in his personal helicopter and realizes it was the building he used to work in as a janitor.

He was flying to a place to speak (he’s a well-known motivational speaker) and so many people had signed up to attend that traffic had blocked up all the streets leading up to the area. Now, Tony Robbins is worth over 500 million and runs a multi-billion dollar set of companies.

Why did this story emotionally evoke me so much? Because I had big dreams to and was doubtful as to how I could possibly get there.

For Tony Robbins to have little education as a janitor and get to where he is in 10 years really inspired me.

6. Act Like A Success, Think Like A Success by Steve Harvey

Steve’s story really spoke to me in a similar way that Tony Robbins did.

He came from a place much worse than me and rose to a place much better. What spoke to me even more than that was how he began his journey.

He dropped out of school and worked at a factory while his friend Arsenio Hall went to chase his dream of being a comedian (a dream Steve wanted himself). Steve and his friends laughed at Arsenio for being impractical.

6 years later, Steve was hating his job at the factory. He saw Arsenio on TV, having achieved his dream, and called all his friends in shock. Later he broke down crying because Arsenio achieved his dream.

Steve realized Arsenio exercised some laws of success and created what he wanted. He did the same thing and achieved multi-million dollar success himself.

Steve goes into detail about his journey in his book. There’s a lot of great lessons about how you can’t let other people’s belief become your own and how you focus on being the best rather than on making more money.

His story was not an overnight success one. I didn’t even know for the longest time! For years, I thought he was just another overnight success comedian I always saw on TV until I found out about his book. Steve struggled for a long time against many doubters including many of his previous bosses. He even was homeless.

One of my favorite lessons of his is to always be thankful for what you have. You can be rich but ungrateful and everything you get doesn’t affect you. You don’t want to live like that.

Other similar stories that spoke to me in tough times where I thought there was little hope were from billionaire John Paul DeJoria and Chris Gardner, both of who went through homelessness as well.

This is an economy that allows for great upside potential no matter your past or present situation. 

I would say the biggest emotionally driven movie scene that also spoke to me in this way was from Rocky Balboa when he talked to his son. I thought he was speaking straight to me when he screamed:

“But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good. And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame, like a big shadow.

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!

The way Sylvester Stallone acted out this scene was so emotionally evoking for me that I almost started crying and I almost never ever cry at all. When he talked about blaming others, I related to that. When he said, “You’re better than that!”, I felt like he was speaking right to me through the screen.

The message is clear: stop making excuses or blaming someone else. It’s not about how tough life gets, it’s about how you keep moving forward. Cowards blame others and that isn’t you. 

7. Success Through Stillness by Russell Simmons

I accidentally found this book and read it on a whim. It really added incredible insights.

This man was a hard-drug addict, hip-hop mogul, and multi-millionaire. He dramatically increased his success, saved his own life, and changed it for the better through meditation.

In the book, he goes into great detail about:

  • how meditation isn’t a religion
  • how it’s the key to his success and 10xing his success
  • how it allowed him to become present in the moment and save his life from the brain damage from crack and other hard drugs.

He tells it in a very easy-to-understand way since he’s a hip hop guy. Even to this day, he has very deep connections with some of the best in the modern hip hop scene. You’ll see him in a lot of Paparazzi photos with some of the world’s most connected actors and musicians.

It was also interesting reading one quick story about how his friend spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get with a Victoria Secret model and still failed. It’s a lesson that attests to the fact that just because you’re rich doesn’t mean you’re good with girls.

8. The How of Happiness

Most of what we do is to be happier. So it would make sense to learn what makes us happy and what doesn’t. In fact, a lot of successful entrepreneurs chase what they “think” will bring them happiness, only to find out that it doesn’t.

I really struggled with happiness and was confused with all the advice I got from people. These were opinions and who knew if they were true. Even if the advice on happiness came from established people from church or wealthy millionaires, I wasn’t sure if the advice was the real truth. I didn’t want opinions anymore; I wanted the science of happiness.

I wanted the complete A to Z on happiness based on extensive scientific testing.

After going through many bad books on happiness that claimed to have science but did it in a messy manner, I found this book, which was almost everything I asked for. It was also not too long or boring to read.

It did a great job of covering all the bases and since using its principles, I am in a much happier place that sustainable.

I walk through life having a much clearer understanding of happiness than 99% of the world based on decades of experimental testing and research.

One of my big missions on my blog is to share with the world that more money, fame, wealth, cars, mansions, clothing, women, or materialistic possessions will not increase your happiness. You will get used to it very quickly. Studies have been well documented that track and prove this.

What actually increases our happiness are things like savoring the moment, relationships, social circles, gratefulness, and a variety of other activities mentioned in the book. Becoming happier is partially genetic and partially a difficult but worthy habit to obtain.

It’s a huge mission of mine to spread this message because I am well plugged into social media and see thousands of kids chase these things and get depressed through social comparison. Because I watch a lot of speeches and interviews of successful people in my free time, I also observe a lot of successful, wealthy people who finally get there and realize it didn’t make them happier.

Because I watch a lot of speeches and interviews of successful people in my free time, I also observe a lot of successful, wealthy people who finally get there and realize it didn’t make them happier. Almost every year, there are new stories like this.

Most recently, we’ve had celebrities like Cara DeLevigne, Lady Gaga, Russell Brand, and Jay-Z come out and talk about this.

9. Tap Dancing To Work

This one is a profile on Warren Buffett.

I say this because although the book was great, it was really all the things I learned because of the book that I’m thankful for. It really was one of the gateway books that really spurred me into learning as much as I can about Warren Buffett the billionaire.

Because of this, I learned so many life lessons.

The money manager Mohnish Pabrai said it best: “The most amazing things about Warren Buffett have nothing to do with business or money.”

Although I went in to learn about how he made his money, I learned a lot of incredible life lessons:

  • live modestly
  • happiness isn’t tied to money
  • family time is often more important than time at work
  • you should love what you do for a living
  • always be ethical or it’ll come back to bite you
  • you should never be envious or jealous of other people who lucked out

These seem like simple concepts but I see so many people every day who don’t follow them. Also, Buffett illustrates these in very unique ways with how he lives his own life and the mistakes he’s made.

By becoming consistently one of the richest people in the world over the last few decades, he has continued to live in a modest house, driven a modest car, eaten at McDonald’s, given many examples of how being unethical screwed over other companies, and he’s proved how he being patient beat being jealous.

10. The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

This book is constantly spoken about in the business and self-help niche.

At first, I was annoyed about it and thought it was overhyped. But then, I realized what a feat that was. Tim literally wrote this book only several years ago and went from being a nobody to a legend in the space. It’s admirable.

There’s a lot of good tips and hacks about business, productivity, and travel in here.

These are the biggest takeaways and warnings I have for you:

  • My only warning: Don’t be fooled by the title. It was split-tested and works the best. However, I don’t even think Tim recommends the 4 hour work week. You still need to work hard for what you want in life.
  • Productivity hack: Only check emails twice a day maximum and only towards the end of the day. They are often not as high priority as other things you can do and it sucks up your time.
  • Travel hacking: Tim opened me up to the world of travel hacking, which I spent a lot more time researching through books and websites. He made me realize that I could travel the world even if I’m not super rich because the cost of living is so much lower in other countries that money goes a longer way and because you can cut unnecessary costs by getting cheaper hotels, use travel credit cards, and cheaper forms of transportation.

If you have a life-changing book I didn’t mention, let me know in the comments and I will take a look when I have time. Thank you for reading this!

P.S. Listen to my podcast episode for even more bonus recommendations:

Views – 177