When it comes to living a life free of unnecessary stress and anxiety that hold you back, you can’t dwell on what you can’t change. If you don’t have the ability to change something, then worrying about it will only make you more sad and limit your potential.
For example, if a man can’t change his height but can improve his work ethic, feeling sad about his height and dwelling about that all the time as the reason you can’t get girls will only make you enjoy life less and make you suffer more.
However, he can focus on learning how to work harder, which can improve his wealth, fashion, appearance, physique, social intelligence, and empathy — all areas that improve his attraction to get him girls.
But what can we change and what can we not change? Nowadays, there are a lot of different opinions on where to draw the line from gurus on social media and blogs.
Let’s turn to the most credible sources in science. Martin Seligman is one of the most famous and respected scientists in the self help movement for pioneering the field of positive psychology. His short book, What You Can and Cannot Change, exposes the truth behind the myths out there.
I learned some incredible stuff about what you can and cannot change, as well as some credible truth about basic psychology from the book:
The blog, Wait But Why, has a popular article on why procrastinators procrastinate. The summary of it is that people procrastinate because the long-term thinking part of your brain gets overtaken by the “Instant gratification monkey.”
This monkey plays in the “Dark playground” of unproductive activities, like watching pranks on YouTube, until you’re up against a deadline. Then, the “Panic Monster” arrives, which forces you to get back on track.
I loved the fun characters used to illustrate this, but I think it misses the mark on the core of why we procrastinate. The playful story may even be diverting your attention from the main cause of procrastination.
In the online self help and entrepreneurship communities, meditation and mindfulness have started to be worshiped as magic pills for success with wealth, happiness, focus, health, and more.
One of the drivers of this idea are podcast interview shows, like The Tim Ferriss Show and Eventual Millionaire. These shows interview tons of successful people and claim most interviewees practice some form of meditation practice.
But is it true? Can it solve every problem under the sun, from anxiety to procrastination? Or it is confirmation and fallacy of correlation proving causation? Maybe only 5% of them actually meditate, but they over-inflated how frequently it showed up based on their estimates.
One of the most respected scientists of our time, Daniel Goleman, author of books like Emotional Intelligence, stepped up to find out the truth by writing a whole book proving and debunking meditation myths based on hard, empirical research. The book is called Altered Traits. Here’s what he found.
“There are no perfect relationships. There are no perfect partners. Relationships by their very nature are chaotic, eventful, and challenging.” ― Robert A. Glover, No More Mr. Nice Guy
One of the books that has had the most profound impact on my life is Dr. Robert Glover’s No More Mr. Nice Guy.
The book uncovers:
the truth about the stereotypical Nice Guy
why modern society has created so many of them
why they fail to get the relationships and career success they crave
how to take back your life in an honest, non-manipulative way without becoming a jerk
It also goes into detailed stories of many of his Nice Guy clients and specific steps on how to break free from this behavior.
Dr. Glover understands Nice Guys deeply, having coached thousands of them as a licensed psychotherapist. He adeptly addresses specific common questions like, “Why is it a bad thing to be nice?” and “How do I talk to a girl without making it seem like I’m hitting on her?”
The Fung Brothers are a Chinese-American duo consisting of comedians and rappers, Andrew Fung and David Fung. They have a successful Hip Hop foodie and streetwear YouTube channel, with almost 2 million subscribers.
Here’s my interview with them. We talk Asian American obstacles, overcoming excuses, social media growth tips, dating & wealth advice, and more.
Kevin Kreider is an Asian American male model, life coach, speaker, fitness trainer, social media influencer, and bodybuilding competitor.
As a child, he was bullied for his skinny figure and race, while struggling with Tourette’s Syndrome. Kevin has won several natural bodybuilding competitions and spoke at TEDx. Now, he helps other Asian American men cultivate their Asian American masculinity through life coaching.
Do you ever feel overwhelmed or confused which book to read?
With thousands of books, it’s frustrating to determine which books will actually make you smarter. You don’t want to waste your time. Yet you feel ambitious because you want to improve yourself. The sad truth is that most “Top 10 Books to Get Smarter” articles are written by content factories with authors who don’t actually read. They don’t like reading and they pull random books out of their butt to get traffic for their site.
From someone who has read hundreds of books, I want to provide you a solid list of actual books you can read to get smarter.
A suit signifies that you show respect and shows that you take your job interview, career, and life seriously, which brings respect.
But how do you buy a suit without breaking the bank? What if this is your first job interview and you don’t have thousands of dollars to spend?
This video will break down:
how to gauge the quality of a suit
how to get the best bargain price for a suit
how there is a time and place to buy expensive suits
why people judge others by appearance and how this is okay
why you shouldn’t spend too much on the first suit (hint: $500 is over kill)
how to leverage the power of diminishing returns (hint: this has to do with how and why billionaires get away with wearing secondhand suits)
why context, industry, and frequency matter in your decision and how to use this to get the best price point
why fashion social media influencers are incentivized to promote $1,000+ suits
why physical presentation is part of the meritocracy game (for you frustrated introverts who think it’s what on the inside that counts)
how to buy a suit and make sure it fits without getting overwhelmed by all the dozens of factors involved that other people say you should care about (hint: I cover a handful of the most important and explain why you should just focus on these)
the best time of year to buy the suit and how (and why) the articles that rank on Google are wrong with the time of year they suggest
a story of my experience with a Men’s Wearhouse salesman and how to avoid getting tricked liked a sucker by someone who wants to make a quick buck
Brené Brown is a University of Houston research professor who has spent decades studying shame and vulnerability.
For most of human civilization, men have hid behind the mask of masculinity, concealing any signs of shame and vulnerability because they believed that a man should never show weakness.
But it turns out that Brené found that vulnerability is a vital part of mental health, communication, and working relationships through her scientific study. Men are waking up and realizing this — even entrepreneurs like Lewis Howes have wrote books on it.
If you’re not familiar with the vulnerability, shame, and guilt movement, start out by checking our Brené’s TED talk, which has gotten millions of views:
“Vulnerability is not weakness. I define vulnerability as emotional risk, exposure, uncertainty … Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.” -Brené Brown
Are you dealing with shame? How do you identify if you have it and how do you handle it? Listen to my podcast episode to find out:
Subscribe to the podcast:
“Shame is a focus on self. Guilt is a focus on behavior.” -Brené Brown
Here are some key lessons I learned from her book, Daring Greatly:
There is no data that shows there is any benefit to shame.
Shame resiliency is the ability to realize what you did is still worth it regardless of the risks of shame and embarrassment.
Shame resiliency is important and useful and can be improved.
Validating your self-worth based on the external is a recipe for disaster and shame. You must be okay with what you do and who you are regardless of what others think.
Vulnerability is not weakness. It is courage.
Denying vulnerability that exists is weakness because you have a weakness you’re not admitting.
Vulnerability is not revealing your deepest secrets to strangers. Get to know someone and see if you can trust them first.
Trust must be slowly built over time.
Every action that someone you know takes to show their reliability (or lack thereof) is another score on your trust scorecard to determine if you can trust them.
Men get their shame not only from other men, but also from the women they know. Women also get massive shame from other women. Both genders try to live up to a perfect ideal of who they have to be that’s impossible.
Research shows that there is nothing good to perfectionism. It leads to depression, life paralysis, and many other issues. It’s caused through approval-seeking.
The data shows that shame is correlated with depression and suicide, while guilt is inversely correlated. Therefore, you want to train yourself, your children, and others to use guilt rather than shame. Get them to shame stuff like, “I made a stupid decision” rather than “I am a stupid person.”
My Own Shame
Discovering these books and reflecting on my own experiences with shame have been a wake-up call. Since I was young, I would have flash-backs to experiences I had that would seep shame and embarrassment. Usually, this occurred when my mind was free, like in the shower or driving.
After listening to The Mating Grounds podcast, I realized this is fairly common. Rather than push away the thoughts like I used to, I was encouraged to come to terms with them.
This has helped me meet these memories and feelings head-on. I came to realize that some of that shame is illogical.
For example, I would think, “I can’t believe I barged into that conversation and mentioned how I went to visit the same city recently. I must have come off like I was bragging and full of myself.”
But when I assess the situation, I was placing way too much shame and assumption on myself for simply trying to be part of a conversation. I will take these lessons and try to be more compassionate with myself.
Loving-kindness meditation has been helpful.
This whole topic has helped me become more self-aware of how I treat myself. I have realized that I need more self-love and need to stop beating myself up at times for fear of offending people.
A few years ago, I discovered the world of online dating advice. At the time, I felt like I had discovered a super power. Until that point, I thought that your success with women was fixed and there was nothing you could do about it. Finding out there were techniques I could use immediately to improve was like discovering the holy grail.
Unfortunately, these tactics and “blueprints” were horrible. They were inaccurate and produced few results. Dating coaches and pick up artists claimed to have found the “science of attraction” but it was a pseudoscience at best. They really just shot at the dark and taught what worked. It was far from a rigorous scientific process.
Now, that has changed. In the last two decades, tons of new experiments have been done by actual scientists on attraction. There is a lot more data you can trust and the results can be counter-intuitive. This is the men’s dating guide I wish I received years ago. And it’s all here for you for free.
The lessons I learned and will share come from a book called Mate: Become the Man Women Want. The book is based on extensive research on into evolutionary biology and mating. A man who is really good with women (Tucker Max) partnered up with a Ph.D. to go through thousands of shocking studies.
Humans are lucky creatures because there are so many areas (behavioral, social, fitness, mental health, fashion, etc.) we can improve. Other animals are screwed with what they were born with (like how long their antlers are).
For a night of great entertainment, I recommend watching one of the events in the CrossFit Games. I like to watch this for the competition, motivation, ridiculousness , fun, and the fit women in sports bras.
Here’s a video of the “Individual Assault Banger” event, for example. They literally have to smash a 175 pound block with a big red hammer through their legs and across the field.
Other than random CrossFit videos, I like to spend my time improving my earning potential, happiness, relationships, health, and work towards my dream life — and that’s why I purchased Mark Manson’s membership program.
If you’re not familiar with Mark, he’s one of the top personal development bloggers, with a site that attracts millions of readers every month and a new New York Times #1 best-selling book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck, which has already sold over a million copies. He has a blunt style of telling you how to improve your life — and he backs it up with science and case studies of successful people.
I bought his paid membership, which features a few full-length courses, premium articles, and bonuses. Here’s my honest review of it…