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These Hard Pills to Swallow Will Get Your Life Back on Track

by | Apr 11, 2022 | Life

Too many people avoid hard.

They want things to be easy. They don’t say it. But they bloody well think it. As a kid, one of the first Nintendo games I played was called Pilotwings 64.

It was harder than any other game. You had to fly various vehicles over islands, do maneuvers, and then land your aircraft. Hundreds of attempts were required to have any chance of getting to the next level in the game.

Most quit too soon and went to play Mario64. They preferred a fake plumber character with a bad Italian accent that had to collect coins and occasionally stomp on a piranha.

I chose hard.

Strangely, choosing hard was a tough pill to swallow. Later, I learned that hard is the way. If you want the good life you have to choose hard more than easy. Society mostly chooses easy. Then they wonder why life sucks.

Behind mountains are more mountains — Haitian proverb

Here are some more hard pills to swallow.

Rejection means your pitch sucked

No response is a response.

When rejection happens it’s easy to blame the source. It’s easy to call it discrimination or to believe it’s foul play. You think you’re ready or it’s your time or you deserve it.

Maybe. Maybe not.

A different way of thinking

Most rejection happens because ‘the ask’ sucks.

Learn to ask better questions. Build up a portfolio of work that acts as proof of work. Don’t take rejections seriously.

The first answer will almost always be a no, or zero response. It’s the third, fourth, and tenth ‘asks’ that hold all the power.

Rejection is redirection. Rejection means ask differently, too.

Dreams are useless

Vision boards need to be lit on fire.

They encourage us to dream rather than execute. Most dreams never happen because daily action isn’t common. Anyone can have a fantasy. Anyone can get the juices in their loins overflowing.

What’s hard is to live the dream.

A different way of thinking

Create 15-minute habits that are so small you won’t forget them. Build on the 15 minutes as you get back-to-back winning streaks.

Habits turn fantasies into reality.

Hurt people, hurt people

If you do anything more than going to a job and collecting an entry-level paycheck, you’ll face resistance.

Strangers, colleagues, and family you love will try to hurt you. It won’t make any sense. It’ll keep you awake at night.

Lots of people are deeply hurt. They refuse to face their pain. So they walk around hurt, looking for more people to hurt.

Hurting you distracts them from their nightmare. They feel less alone when they blame, complain, and attack innocents.

A different way of thinking

See hurt people for what they are. Don’t let their hurt become your hurt. You can simply try to get them help or walk away if they’re too hard to fix.

It’s never the right time to do anything

Goals are nice.

I know plenty of people online who have the goal to write for a living. They’ve thought about it for years. The act of sitting down to write looks enormous in their head.

The idea of what it’ll take to write is so big they wait for a period in their life when they’ll have more time to deal with it.

A common time is the holidays. With no job to go to, they foolishly tell themselves this is it. Then procrastination sets in. They take another course or read another book, waiting to get ready for their big moment.

The holidays are over. They lie to themselves and think they have made progress.

“Bit by bit” they say.

They wait for the next holidays. This pattern repeats for years. They never manage to write for a living.

A different way of thinking

There’s no good time to work on what you love.

You make time.

You force tasks into your calendar, hell or high water. You guard certain parts of your calendar with your life.

If it’s non-negotiable, it’s a priority. If it’s flexible, it’s a waste of your life.

You won’t get rich quick

The common thoughts about money are delusional. It’s what I call “lottery thinking” — the idea a random event will flush your bank account with all the riches one could want. Silly.

Wealthy people make a lot of money, slowly.

If a lot of money can be made fast, chances are it’s a con. Don’t be a sucker. See the risks in every financial decision. Use research to get a financial advantage.

Don’t trust some dumb influencer, or a Youtuber using fearbait to get views and monetize your attention.

A different way of thinking

Take it slow with investing money. Slow is fast.

Failure is future success

College teaches us to get good grades and avoid failure. My wife is from an Asian country with a red flag and yellow stars.

They’re taught to get all the answers right. Perfection is what they strive for. Not having an answer to a problem is seen as weak, especially if in public or put on the spot at work.

When a culture built on this lie faces guaranteed failure in life, they buckle under pressure. They can’t handle it.

“What’s wrong with me?” they say.

A different way of thinking

I got taught by various mentors to lean into failure.

Failure means you’re making progress.

You’re putting yourself on the line and standing on the battlefield of life. You’re not sitting on the sidelines, playing it small, hoping for everything to always work in your favor.

Life doesn’t work that way.

Doesn’t mean you fail on purpose like a dumbass. But when you’ve done your best and failed, it’s highly likely it’ll lead to future success.

College teaches us failure lessons from others that we think we can avoid. So we don’t properly learn them. Failure we experience teaches us lessons we learn — and will never forget.

Doing the right thing is the hardest thing

Many of the people you idolize broke the rules.

They cheated the system. They had an unknown advantage. They mistold the real story. Look at Hollywood. Dumpster fire.

Take success stories lightly.

The hard part is to do the right thing every day.

  • To not break the rules
  • To be honest with everyone
  • To be kind
  • To get less upside than the other person in a deal
  • To take the slow path

We know doing the right thing is always the right thing. Yet we easily forget it when there’s a chance to leap ahead in the game of life.

A different way of thinking

Choose the honest way even if it costs you a lot.

Don’t be tempted to do the wrong thing, because you’re only stealing from your future self. Those who cheat can’t cheat forever. One day their streak of good luck runs out and then none of it is worth it.

Doing the right thing builds your karma bank account. Good karma can pay all the bills for the rest of your life if you’ll only let it.

Maybe you’re deeply wrong

Too many people won’t admit it when they discover they’re wrong. To be wrong is seen as a sign of weakness.

Not admitting you’re wrong makes you part of your own cult.

A different way of thinking

Being wrong means you learned a lesson. It’s a form of humility few people have. Question your assumptions and let it positively build on your beliefs.

No one cares if you aren’t “equal”

WTF is equal anyway?

The quest to make things fair is a disaster. Life will never be fair. There will always be haves and have-nots.

True equality is a fantasy, and I’m not proud to say it.

A different way of thinking

The truth is no one cares if you’re equal or you got your fair share. Nope. They just care about getting theirs.

Politicians, both government and corporate, tell you what you want to hear. They’re not in the business of fairness. They’re in the business of getting elected to the position of status/power again for as long as possible.

Things will never be equal. Even the score by doing what is hard.

Nobody is coming to save you

No piece of legislation will save you from ruin.

No new job will suddenly come from LinkedIn and make your career amazing. No former boss or friendly colleague will gift you a great career either.

No life coach will magically enter your life and cast a spell on you that transforms your existence. These are lies. Harsh but true.

A different way of thinking

We save ourselves. Read that again.

Conversations are taken for granted

An amazing man named Ted Rheingold died of cancer a few years ago. He was lost too soon. Many of you reading this knew him.

Ted said, “If you think a conversation with someone may be the last, you explore it with a force that redefines what a normal trivial conversation means.”

Every day you’re talking to people. You never know if any one of those conversations will be the last with that person.

Pretend it is.

Conversations will start to look different. You’ll communicate with a level of emotion and vulnerability that’ll make you appear superhuman to those trapped in their own Matrix.

Too many of you act like you live twice. Anthony Pompliano says you start living the day you understand you’re going to die. It could be at any moment.

Now that’s a hard pill to swallow that’ll change your life.

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