Here is what I learned this year.
Pure selflessness and self sacrifice makes me depressed, unhappy, and resentful. Choosing to lose win when I can win lose is not sustainable for me. Take the win lose, then be gracious as the winner. Don’t take the lose win, and then beg as the loser.
1. win win
lose win win lose
win lose lose win
4. lose lose
Trust yourself more than anyone else. Work on yourself so that you are worthy of that trust.
- Only you know your specific circumstances
- Only you know all the context and details
- Only you know what you want
- Only you know what makes you happy
- Only you know what you need right now
- Only you will suffer the consequences of the action and decision
- Only you will live with the outcome
Other people can and will help, but remember that they can only work with what you give them. You must communicate comprehensive honest details if you want others to be able to understand and help you.
If you communicate with bias, you will get biased help. If you use a happy tone for one option and a unpleasant tone for another, you signal to the other person what you want and will get a biased answer. If you do not use the same dimensions to describe your options, you will get a biased answer. If you talk a lot about one option, and very little about another option, you will get a biased answer.
Everyone is biased. Remember the background of the people you talk to and ask for help from: They are biased to recommend their own choices.
Do not mistake good intent for good advice. They can mean well and still not know what is right for you. You must be the final decision maker. You must retain your control over the circumstances by exercising your decision making power.
Do not give into emotional people. They have lost their self control, don’t follow in their footsteps. Only you can protect yourself at the end of the day.
Be honest with yourself. Video record yourself talking. Look in the mirror. Your body language will reveal to yourself what you really want.
Example: Everyone told me to pick Option A. I secretly wanted Option B and I was not honest with myself because I was afraid to go against everyone else. I video recorded myself talking about why I would choose Option A and why I would not choose Option B. The flat tone, disinterested body language, made it clear I was not honest with myself. I recorded a video of myself explaining why I was going to pick Option B over Option A, why I would go against all my advisors. I was smiling energetic passionate certain relaxed and honest and true to myself.
Use videos of yourself to find the honesty you’re too afraid to share with yourself.
(The following is personal to me:) I have completely freed myself from all external forces that have held me back in the past. I am a free man today. At this point, if I’m not happy now, it is due to the accumulation of my own choices. I have earned this opportunity now to build the future that I want. Do the following:
- Move around Physically and Often
- Have Fun
Focus on the present moment, do not focus your spending. When you do something, be focused on what you’re doing. When the time is up, move on to the next different thing. Don’t spend 24/7 on the same thing. Spend 8 hours on sleep, 8 hours on work, etc. Live a balanced life. Express your focus in the moment, not by giving up everything else.
Find good work, not good reward. You want a job where, if you get a reward, you want to go back to your job the next day. You don’t want a job where you can’t wait until you get your reward so you can stop working that job. Do the work you want more of, not the work you can’t wait to get rid of.
(Personal Anecdote: When I was at my peak and winning awards nearly every week, I barely had time to attend the awards ceremony. In fact, when my math team won 1st place for the first time in 4 years, I was on a car to my next competition and my co-captain had to accept it for me. That’s how dedicated I was to the work–I didn’t even care or think about the ‘loss of reward opportunity.’ I didn’t care at all. I had work to do, and I was focused and excited about moving on to the next thing to work on. )
- As a leader, you can’t expect everyone else to be leaders too, that’s a paradox. If you want to be a real leader, you have to expect many followers to be afraid and emotional, inexperienced and unknowledgeable, and unable to understand your level of strategy and execution. So you need to build trust and sell them the idea that you are the one to make decisions and lead them through difficult times.
- When you do something different, you make other people insecure so you need to get good at managing their insecurity. They are afraid that they made the wrong choices if you turn out to be right, so they will fight your success to convince themselves they are right. They feel inadequate and will fight you not to feel that way.
- If someone lashes out at you, it’s more about them than about you.
- (Personal anecdote: I used to believe if someone lashes out at you, it’s more about you than about them: You did something to trigger them and therefore you are responsible. Now I think you did something to trigger them, but you are not responsible for the trigger being a part of who they are, and if you want to show care to them, you can help them recover from being triggered.)
- Learn to manage other people’s insecurities by learning to manage your own. Have trust faith and confidence in your abilities.
Looking back for opportunity is living a mindset of regret and negativity. I look back because I’m afraid of losing an opportunity when instead I should understand I already lost it because it is in the past. I look back because I think I won’t find anything better when instead I should trust that the best is yet to come, so look forward for the better. Looking for a better life in the past is living a life of regret: I don’t want to have a tone of regret hovering over my whole life attitude. It’s also not possible to go back in time so looking back is a fundamental flawed and failure approach to life.