“The most creative act you will ever undertake is the act of creating yourself.” – Deepak Chopra
I’m writing this post in a cold time without slippers to keep my feet warm, in a time without a warm cup o’ tea besides my laptop. It feels wrong, really wrong... It deprives my of the comfortable writing experiences I’ve had for the last couple of months. But maybe doing something different sometimes isn’t a bad choice? Maybe it can even turn out for the better!
Allright let’s go.
I’ve had a nice life so far but change is approaching pretty fast… (as school is pretty much lagging behind and I’m very close to being thrown into “the real world” (whatever that means) The time where I need to find some sort of job so I can pay of the debt of a house I might buy in the future or support a family I might start soon.
Yeah… not a big fan of all that. People don’t really have the nicest things to say about “the real world” so I tend to avoid it.
I’ve lived my life on my own terms for the last couple of years (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself) But I didn’t really “fit in”. I was the kid in school that didn’t listen, the one who would stand when he was told to sit and the kid that would sit when he was supposed to stand. To make a long story short my parents have had quite some trouble with me in the past. I questioned everything and therefore hit my head against several walls… several times.
Recently, I’ve had a period of total immersion in self-improvement Basically, I’ve been reading many great books, watched countless inspiring movies and had a load of novel new experiences that changed the way I look at life in general. In this article I want to share the ones that have impacted my life the most (the most important life lessons I’ve learned so far) so you might learn something from my experiences (and failures.) (EDIT: Found my slippers and made myself some tea! Schweet! Let’s do this thing)
#1) Own yourself
I’ve struggled with disempowering beliefs about myself for a great deal in my life. I was always finding new ways in which I could bring myself down. I was unconfident, shy beyond measure and pretty pathetic with women to be completely honest. This lasted for quite some time in my teenage years which left a deep mark on my social skills. (still recovering haha)
I let my identity be decided by my surroundings as I didn’t have any clue of who I was at that time. If someone would tell me I’m “gay”, “a loser” or “a nerd” I would simply believe them!
“If others see me that way than I guess that’s what I am” I thought at that time.
Anyway, I’ve came to a point where I was just sick of all the bullshit I was telling myself and started to shape new beliefs about myself that could lift me up instead of smashing me into the ground.
The way I did this is by simply looking for new references in my life. Beliefs are basically supported by the reference experiences we’ve had in our life. When we don’t think we’re confident we’ve probably had some experiences in the past that back that up.
“I was shy at time X and place Y when doing a presentation so I must be unconfident” At least that’s the story we tell our self.
We can (easily) create new experiences (read: references) to back up the belief that we ARE confident. Don’t get tied down with the disempowering labels you or others oppose on to you.
You’re only unconfident, shy, bad, weak-willed, jealous, grumpy, impatient, foolish, pessimistic, greedy and so-forth if you believe you are and therefore start to identify with that. Own yourself by deciding who you want to be! Tell yourself the story you want to hear.
This will give you a stable base on which you can build your life. It will provide a feeling of self-worth and pride by knowing who you are. The labels of other people will matter no-more and you’ll even laugh at their attempts to bring your down. Insults are almost comical.
When someone tells you you’re an asshole it will basically be the same as someone calling you a sandwich. You just know you’re not a sandwich. (Unless you are a sandwich)
It’s abstract, I know but oh-so-important (importante-mucho sisi)
So own yourself by creating your own identity (the perception and expression of who your are to others and to yourself) and destroy your lack of confidence! You shape those beliefs! You want to be confident? Start believing you’re confident! Want to be more social? Start believing you’re the most social man alive! You don’t think you’re a good man? Start by believing you are and your actions will confirm this.
#2) Without Goals You’re Going Nowhere
What? Seriously ? You think you’re going to get anywhere in life if you don’t even know what you want out of it? Set some damn goals son! Make a decent plan for your life!
So many people just “go with the flow” and don’t really care at all where they end up in life. How can you not care? I see many people my age resorting to alcohol, drugs, video games (guilty) and other forms of escaping their life. They are just wasting time in which they could have achieved something far more impressive than anything a temporary pleasure could ever give them.
See it as a menu of life where you order exactly what you want.
Written goals have been proven time and time again that they can make a huge impact on your life altogether! A study about goal setting at Harvard University in the book “What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School” by Mark McCormack discovered the following truth;
“Only three percent of the graduates had written goals and plans; 13 percent had goals, but they were not in writing; and a whopping 84 percent had no specific goals at all.
Ten years later, the members of the class were interviewed again, and the findings, while somewhat predictable, were nonetheless astonishing. The 13 percent of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all. And what about the three percent who had clear, written goals? They were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together.”
I’m not overstating the value of clearly written goals. I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again (not to be a complete a-hole but because it’s that important); Without goals you’re not going anywhere.
Find out what it is that you want and give your all
I didn’t get the physique I wanted by wishing, I didn’t get stronger by thinking about it, I didn’t get this blog by hoping somebody would throw it into my lap, I didn’t take awesome trips with my friends by talking about it.
I have clearly defined where I want to go with my life in all areas and I suggest you do the same.
Know where you want to go
#3) Without A Motive, Goals Are Useless
Yeah having goals just isn’t enough! Who cares about reaching goals? Nobody really…
But do you know who should care? You should!
Without a strong enough why behind your goals, you’re not going to get very far, now are you? There has to be a solid reason(s) why you want to reach a certain goal. Without motives goals are just wishes.
“I want to lose 5kg the next three months”
“I want to succeed for my exams”
“I want to create my own business”
“I want to get a new girlfriend”
“I want that new sports-car”
If you don’t have either the emotional pain of your current situation to fuel your desire for better things (push-factor) or a intensely gratifying outcome in your projected situation (pull-factor), change ain’t happening. This is called the pain-pleasure principle.
Anthony Robbins on The Pain-Pleasure Principle
Whenever the cons of changing weigh more than the pro’s you’re not going to be taking action because frankly you just don’t care enough.
I’ve had a serious video game addiction for at least six years. You know the reason I quit? I couldn’t look myself in the mirror anymore caused by the fact that I didn’t have control over my life. It was devastating and painfully clear. No girlfriend, barely any friends, no experiences, depression and the only person I could blame was myself. I was broken on the inside and desperately wanted to get out.
Find ways to stay motivated every single day to strive towards what you want in life. There’s no worse feeling than losing the fire you have in your eyes. A purpose, a reason we exist is what gives life direction. It’s what gives us the drive we need to get out of our bed every day and it’s the same force that keeps us awake at night wondering about what the next day will bring.
Greg Plitt on Keeping the fire alive
#4) Taking Action Is The Most Important Key To Success
There is no such thing as the “perfect action plan”. You’ll always learn from your own experiences (and therefore all your failures). But how do you know what’s right for you if you want to reach a certain point?
Just saying that you’ll never know what truly works untill you’ve gotten some experiences (and no that doesn’t mean reading books, it means actually doing shit).
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” – Steve Jobs
(you should share this ;))
It’s ok if you’re not exactly sure what you want. Just go with what you want most at the moment (follow your intuition, the things that excite you right now) and put all your effort into that one thing. There’s got to be something that excites you and if you work hard enough somebody will eventually notice.
Dead-end? No problem! The worst decision you can make is not making one at all and just staying in the same place day after day.
Inaction < Action < Failure –> Success
- I’m not sure about the regimen I’m using for my training all the time. Am I doing the right things? I don’t know.
- I’m not sure if this blogging thing is going to go anywhere. I have no clue.
- I’m unclear if school is the best way for me to reach what I want in life. I have my doubts
But as long as I’m feeling motivated and am excited by the things I do. Then I’ll know that I’m going in the right direction. If you know where you’re going and have a strong enough drive to reach it then you’ll figure out the “how” part whilst you go along.
“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn
Since we’re doing something different today (although I’ve had my tea and slippers) I guess I’ll share some more stories about my life.
I’ve had times in my life where I failed caused by inaction. I still vividly remember the day I went out to a nightclub with one of my closest friends. We had a great night out and had a load of fun. Untill we reached the end of the night where we were both flirting with the exact same girl. She was pretty much into both of us. But I was just to ff-in scared to close the deal!
You want to know what happened?
My friend kissed her that night. I could’ve easily done the exact same thing as he did. But no, I was afraid that I might get rejected! So what! (my thoughts afterwards) In the worst case you’ll get a learning opportunity and in the best case you might end up with a hot new girlfriend.
It was painfully clear that night that inaction would only lead to more pain, frustration and not-so fun feelings (I literally had to force myself to smile the remainder of the night & I had no-one to blame but myself)
Shut up and do the things you’re supposed to do.
#5) The Only Limits Are The Ones Within Our Own Mind
We fear only two simple irrational things and that is the fear of rejection and the fear of failure.
Fears are basically dis-empowering beliefs that hold us back in life. The constraining chains that block our potential.
- What if she rejects me?
- What if I fail in business?
- What if my boss fires me?
- What if it doesn’t work out?
They take away your freedom to live your life on your own terms. If we can break through this by practicing our courage we’ll feel empowered to take on the world. Just shut up and do the things you’re afraid to do (breaking fears is EASY, it just takes one initial leap of faith)
Start focusing on the positive aspects that breaking these fears will grant you. Start focusing on the emotional pain that not breaking this fear will give you (pain-pleasure principle I’ve talked about before).
Don’t let fear paralyze you but take action on it when you first start to notice it. When you let fear settle and grow you’ll lose yourself in it.
“May you always do what you are afraid to do” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’ve been afraid many times (who the f hasn’t?) I’ve been afraid of being judged by other people many times, fear of rejection, fear of failure and so-on. So I try to get over myself and my own insecurities by facing those dead-on. I’ve done shouting in public, making videos for my friends to see about the stuff I ramble about, doing handstands in public train-stations, lying down in the middle of the market square, lying down in the middle of a busy train station, approaching women and I’m still continually trying to challenge the cage I’ve build for myself.
I used to very insecure about the size of my penis. There I said it… P-E-N-I-S. I see many men taking a shower at my gym whilst wearing their underpants, afraid of the judgments others might place on them. I used to be the same. It’s a damn limitation and I wanted to overcome it.
So from now on I’ve been showering completely naked and have gotten way more confident and secure with myself. I’m proud of who I am and the way I live my life and have no reason to be ashamed. Other people that try to bring you down only reflect their own insecurities at you.
Time to break it.
(Insert sad monkey in a cage)
#6) We Create Our Own Reality
We can decide in what way we look at life by shaping our own beliefs about reality (the same way we “own ourself”)
Basically what social conditioning has provided for us is the glasses trough which we see the world. If we think the world is bad, cruel and unfair we’ll be looking for evidence to back that up (references). But if we start believing the world is good, supportive and joyful we’ll start to search for evidence to back that up.
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” – Anaïs Nin
Unfortunately the vision of many people has been shifted towards a negative perspective primarily caused by the way mass media presents the world to us. They pretty much are able to decide how you look at life for quite a big degree.
Turn your tv off and turn on your own mind, to shape the world you want to live in. Start introducing your mind to more empowering media instead of the trash they broadcast on tv.
I used to think people were mean, incompetent and egotistic. And I had my own set of reference experiences to back that up because I was simply focusing on that. After a while I came to the conclusion that those beliefs about people were really undermining my happiness and I started to find new ways to look at life.
Yeah yeah, think positive! Happy-happy joy-joy! It’s all BS!
It’s much more than just positive thinking! It’s basically changing the way you look at life. Changing the glasses trough which you see the world.
Would you rather live in a positive, empowering reality or a negative, disempowering reality? (trick-question) We have the power to create and destroy. Choose wisely (*Insert dramatic music*)
Anthony Robbins on Shaping Beliefs
Create the world you want to live in
#7) Life Is Damn Short, Grab Opportunities
Pretty cliché right? Especially coming for someone who isn’t even in his twenties. Yet what I’ve seen over the last years is that so many people don’t seem to realize this. I’m continuously questioning if I’m going in the right direction. Some people just don’t seem to care
I’ve recently stumbled upon a great article that really made me realize that life can be over in an instant. We don’t remind ourselves enough of this fact. We need to grab opportunities when we get the chance. It doesn’t matter if you’re scared or if it’s unsure. Just grab it! Opportunities create excitement.
Get out of auto-pilot! If you want to experience what real living is about you need to stop saying no to new adventures!
I’ve missed out on many opportunities when I played all my damn video games in the past. Something I deeply regret at the moment. Most recently I turned down the opportunity to connect with a man who was travelling the world with nothing but a backpack and a infectious positive attitude. Why? Because I’m a retard! I regret so much already and have vowed to myself I wouldn’t let any great opportunity slip by any longer.
Say yes to opportunities more often! It’s the things we don’t do regularly that make us feel alive
Excitement = Happiness
Jim Carrey in Yes-Man
#8) There’s No Easy Way
Stop searching for quick shortcuts to get rich quick, get a great physique quickly, master any skill in a day. It’s just impossible. Stop looking for the illusive solution to your problem since it just doesn’t exist.
In our world of instant-gratification all our attention seems to be going towards people who achieve the most remarkable things in a flash of time. But usually we don’t know the underlying stories of these “overnight successes”. Mostly we don’t even want to hear about the years of planning, training, struggling and work that went into the creation of their work. We’d rather live in a bubble where we believe that change/success happens fast.
It doesn’t (More dramatic music). If you’re familiar with my life guide you’ll know that growing requires time. The same way that a little twig doesn’t grow into a monstrous tree overnight so do men don’t rise to the top overnight.
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. – Beverly Sills
This doesn’t mean you can’t try-out things like accelerated learning or finding yourself a mentor (that can really save you quite some time). But still you’ll have to encounter failures and put in the time if you want to be relatively good at anything.
I consider myself to have a fairly decent physique. I’ve been training for over three years now (will reach four in october 2014) and can honestly say that I’m more than happy with the progress I’ve been making. It’s something I’ve been doing consistently for the past couple of years and have seen steady improvements. Working out, keeping my diet in check and making sure that I’m making adequate progress has overtime build up my body.
The results are far from impressive when you consider the time-span but nevertheless I’m immensely proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish. Yeah it’s though, yeah I’ve doubted myself many times and yes it takes some time. But are those really reasons not to do it anyway? The benefits you get from taking the hard way will pay off immensely in the end.
Time will pass anyway, better spend it wisely.
#9) Don’t Worry About The Things You Have No Control Over
People worry all the damn time! And it’s tearing them up from the inside out. We worry about events that happened in the past or possible events that might happen in the future (over which they have no control) . They try to control these the best they can but off-course they fail miserably and get frustrated in the process.
Worry only about the actions you can take towards improving your situation. Step by step. Worries and doubts only create inaction and that’s the most surefire way to get nowhere.
Everybody, literally everyone has doubts. Just letting them go by clearing your mind is the best way to deal with this. Focus on the things you can actually control by positively re-framing your situation. Why focus on the negative aspects of your situation? There’s no damn point in that.
Focus on the things you’ll get when you succeed, believe in it enough and you can create the future you envision. Yeah I know you’ve heard this type of BS in every damn self-help article over the past century. Just think this; If you keep believing you can do something and you take action again, again and again. You keep throwing shit at the wall. And you persist at it. Won’t something stick eventually?
That’s my take on that for now, it might change in the future we’ll see.
#10) Know how to treat people right!
This is going to be your most valuable asset in the world! The person who knows how to treat people right and is likable has a HUGE advantage over the person who doesn’t/can’t read social cues. Read some books like “How To Win Friends And Influence People” by Dale Carnegie or “7 Habits Of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.
Some key take-aways in interacting with others that I’ve found over time;
- Don’t condemn, judge or complain (who likes people who do that?)
- Approach situations from other peoples perspective
- Always give more than you get back (but draw a line)
- Smile (who doesn’t like positive energy in their life?)
- Be a genuinely good man/woman (see 1)
People are pretty much your key to success. Whenever you’re able to help people get what they want in life they’ll be more than happy to return the favor. Helping people is the key to true wealth. It will also give you a feeling of importance, the fact that you matter.
I’ve noticed that the days I’m in a great mood and I’m genuinely good, helpful and cheerful; life just seems like a breeze. I recently got a phone number from a cute girl on the bus by being in a great, vibrant mood, a friend invited me for a pool party at his house (which was amazing!) because I helped him talk to women, my uncle wants to set up a interview with a well-known life coach in my area since I helped him build a shed in his backyard.
Give and you’ll get. The most basic principle in the world.
Be nice to people and they’ll be nice to you. Even when you don’t feel like it!
People want to automatically connect with the guy who radiates positive energy, the guy who is genuine in his heart and has value to offer the world. Be that guy!
Don’t fake it, don’t pretend you’re interested but actually love people. I’m not talking about a quick fix or a mask you need to put on. It’s a whole new way of life. Try it out and you’ll thank me for it later.
“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar
#11) A Man’s Priority Shouldn’t Be His Relationship
I see many guys my age losing themselves in their relationship.They don’t have a certain direction in life and therefore just wander about, doing pretty much nothing. And when they go out and find a new girlfriend they get so sucked in their relationship that they become dependent on her. And when their gf breaks up with them they’ll just crash. It’s horrible to see. And very very familiar.
It’s basically what happened to me when I was in my first real relationship. I couldn’t handle myself and let myself go in sex, video games, endless procrastination and eventually that led to a depression.
A man’s priorities are simple;
- Sharing deepest love with the world (passion/purpose)
- Family and friends
- Everything else
Know where you’re going in life and invite women to come along on your journey if they want to. Stay on your course, mark your own path, whatever you want to call it.
David Deangelo on “Staying Your Own Course”
There’s been many things said on being a man. Many of them confusing and contradicting. But by experience and struggle we’ll eventually learn the true meaning of the word “manhood”.
Get your priorities straight.
#12) Find something you love
Daily stresses can take a heavy toll on your mental health; Stress, problems, worries, doubts and so-forth that are stacking up can really bring you down. An instant cure to this is to find some sort of hobby you can escape into. Something you can do for hours on end without having to look at the clock.
This can be drawing, writing, creating something, working-out, walking. Just something you can use as a reset-button to get away from your daily stresses, an escape.
This doesn’t mean you should use it as a career because honestly doing what you love is horrible career advice. Passion and love for something won’t mean other people see the value in it. And if only you see the value in what you do, there’s no real money to be made there, now is there?
The best career advice I can give you is to ask yourself how you can combine your interests and talents in a way to add value to others peoples life. When you find a way to do that, you’ll never get stuck in a job you hate. But this does require some self-knowledge.
Ask around, you’ll be surprised at how much more people know you than you know yourself at times.
Just make sure you don’t get stuck in something you couldn’t care less about.
Get a passion
#13) Take Great Care Of Yourself
This is going to be the last thing I’m going to leave you guys with, since frankly who reads 5000-word blogs these days, haha? I’m pretty surprised you made it so far! You go man! (or wo-man)
So, you only have one damn life (think I mentioned that already somewhere in this blog – like a thousand times). You only got one body and one mind so it’s best to take great care of yourself
Investing in yourself is the safest investment you can ever make in your life. It’s the one thing you’ll always be sure off you’re going to need. It’s something that everyone should be doing on a regular basis.
Eat the things that support you instead of the things that destroy you, get a pair of good running shoes and go for a run three times a week, get rid of your tv, read some books that challenge your mind and reward yourself with great accomplishments (but don’t tolerate the bullshit you tell yourself either)
Pretty much just live a balanced life, plan activities in all areas of life. Create your own beliefs, stay healthy, expand your mind, interact with people, provide value and leave your mark on this world.
I thought it was extremely important to share these thoughts with anyone that is interested on creating them self. This post could go on for days as there’s are so many important keys we often forget about. Why do we forget these? Because our minds are flawed IMO. We need to be reminded constantly.
People want to succeed in life, people want to be happy, fulfilled and whatnot but often just forget what it feels like to be truly alive. I’m all-in for a change of mind to help out other people. Otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this stuff. A change of mind means a change of life. And I’m making those changes for myself in order to create the person I want to be (and you’re welcome to join)
It’s not an easy journey and by continual experiences and setbacks we’ll learn. Consider this post a worthy attempt at capturing the most important life lessons I’ve learned so far. It’s far from complete but at least it plants a seed, an idea in your mind that will grow to unimaginable heights if you carefully nurture and protect it. Here’s a quick re-cap of my most important life lessons;
- Own yourself
- Without Goals You’re Going Nowhere
- Without A Motive, Goals Are Useless
- Taking Action Is The Most Important Key To Success
- The Only Limits Are The Ones Within Our Own Mind
- We Create Our Own Reality
- Life Is Damn Short, Grab Opportunities
- There’s No Easy Way
- Don’t Worry About The Things You Have No Control Over
- Know How To Treat People Right!
- A Man’s Priority Shouldn’t Be His Relationship
- Find Something You Love
- Take Great Care Of Yourself
If you enjoyed reading my article, please share this article with your friends, bookmark it, print it out or send it to your mom. It helps me out a lot! Also don’t forget to implement the things I’ve said into your life. Nothing changes by just reading an article on the internet. Change happens by action.
As a last note I want to ask you this;
What is the most important life lesson(s) you’ve learned so-far?
Anyway, Thanks for reading!
Take great care,