I found a post on Reddit (r/Entrepreneur ) that someone posted about some top-level lessons they learned throughout their life. I’ve been feeling very conflicted lately because I’m about to make a very pivotal life decision soon, so seeing pieces of advice from those ahead of me is my form of “speaking to mentors.” I agree with a lot of what the poster mentions, and I think these are life lessons that anyone can use and apply in their life:
I have had quite an interesting journey so far, changing careers from engineering to entrepreneurship and finally blogging.
In this journey, I learned many lessons; lessons that I wouldn’t have learned if I had decided to choose only one path. All those changes made me who I am and helped me experience things I couldn’t even dream of.
These lessons, I want to share with you today, with the hope that they will inspire you in your own journey:
1 – WHAT YOU STUDY IS NOT NECESSARILY WHAT YOU WILL END UP DOING
I studied electrical engineering.
Steve Jobs was a college dropout.
Scott Adams (he is the creator of Dilbert and his blog is my latest obsession.) studied law and economics.
Many successful people didn’t really stick to a singular theme in order to cultivate a success mindset.
However, everybody needs to start somewhere until they really understand their life’s purpose.
What you should focus on is whether your study can employ you with some of the necessary skills required to survive easier in today’s highly competitive environment.
I didn’t really use electrical engineering as an education source to deepen my knowledge in computers and programming. Instead, I used it as a tool to cultivate analytical and critical thinking. It also helped me understand the importance of a well-structured study system in order to achieve my goals.
Takeaway: Whatever you study, even if you don’t see yourself working in this field, make sure to take advantage of it in any way possible.
2 – BE A LIFE OPTIMIZER
I borrowed this expression from a friend of mine who was a successful hedge fund manager. In one of our discussions, he told me:
“I think that because I am kind of open to new challenges and possibilities, the best way to describe myself would be as a life optimizer.”
This is probably the essence of an enjoyable and fulfilling life.
The reason we struggle, the reason we feel depressed, the reason we fail to succeed are all results of our lack of optimization in our lives.
Instead of nurturing the right mindsets that can help us enjoy a lasting feeling of abundance, we are constantly in the search for quick fixes and temporary pleasures.
This is far from what optimization looks like.
Optimization is habits. Optimization is processes. Optimization is feedback. Optimization is mindset. Optimization is experimenting.
Optimization is failing over and over until you eventually find the right ingredients to create a life worth living for.
When I started working on my blog, I was overwhelmed. I started writing in a language that wasn’t native to me and I had no idea how to find my first readers. The amount of work was unbearable. Instead of losing hope I created a well-structured plan that could help me overcome those obstacles.
My main goal was to focus on the three most important activities that could help me improve my blogging skills. That was, reading, writing and marketing. I decided to divide my time equally on those three areas and after some months, the blog took off.
Takeaway: Stop wasting time doing things that don’t convert. Focus on processes that allow you to actualize your full potential and create a well-structured plan around them.
3 – FOCUS ON HOLISTIC THINKING
The power of holistic thinking is unquestionable.
Before I started my blog I was thinking of writing mainly about dating. Over time, as I started increasing my value as a man, I realized that I could write about how to get girls, but this is useless. Instead I could write about how to increase your value as a man and show that by doing that, girls will automatically come to you.
Most people fail to grasp a concept concretely because they are not capable of understanding all the parameters that affect it.
When you see people struggle with girls it is not because they are incompetent. It is because they have a shitty mindset. They don’t invest in themselves at all and expect that girls will like them just because they used some pickup lines.
The same for instance applies to blogging. You don’t become a great blogger just by writing. You become a great blogger by having a business mindset and understanding all the parameters that affect a business.
If you want to become successful, you need to cultivate a holistic thinking mentality. Make sure to be in the know and try to expand your knowledge in many fields.
Learn about marketing, business, investing, finance, quantum physics, AI.
Takeaway: You don’t need to dive deep into each subject you are interested in, but try and gain knowledge in topics that can help you become a well-rounded individual who can understand how the world works and evolves.
4 – BREAK OUT OF HOMEOSTASIS
For those unfamiliar with the term, homeostasis refers to the ability of a system whose variables are regulated so that the system remains stable and relatively constant.
What does this have to do with you? Everything.
When you stay in the same situation for a long time, you eventually get stuck in homeostasis. It is a mechanism for saving energy but at the same time the most self-destructive force for a person.
Most people are unaware of this fact and while they grow older, they eventually find it even harder to break out of this state.
This inevitably leads to lack of willpower, motivation and movement.
Especially in today’s comfort-oriented society, getting stuck in that state is more prevalent than ever.
Takeaway: The most effective way to escape this “suicidal” situation is to make sure you constantly activate your brain and body. Train, read, write, spend time in the nature, socialize and focus on activities that can boost serotonin and testosterone levels.
5 – YOU ARE NOT AFRAID OF CHANGE BUT OF THE PERIOD OF PAIN ASSOCIATED WITH CHANGE
After I finished my MSc in business in London, I joined a consulting firm for 2 years. Then, I decided to quit in order to focus on my startup. Before I quit I was shit scared because I was afraid of change and the unknown.
When it comes to change, however, it is not the change itself that we are afraid of, but the period of pain associated with it.
Let me clarify something in that respect. Your brain is an incredibly powerful instrument. Sometimes it is your worst enemy but also sometimes it is your most powerful ally.
I agree that change sometimes is difficult but don’t underestimate your brain’s capacity to eventually adapt to the new reality.
You most definitely have been through a difficult breakup in your life. Can you try and think of how long it took you to get used to your new reality? It most probably took you about a month. That’s because a new habit is usually formed within 30 to 40 days and your brain requires that much time to rewire its state to a different one.
It’s not rocket science. It’s simple physiology that allowed humans to survive for thousands of years.
Takeaway: Instead of resisting change, help yourself understand the physiology of change, become self-aware and enjoy its benefits.
6 – WHEN YOU GO THROUGH A HARD TIME, REBOOT
In whatever life scenario you find yourself, there will definitely be times where you will feel confused, frustrated and stressed.
In these situations, the best idea is to reboot and start from the basics.
Some months ago, I was going through a tough situation and I realized that if I allow myself to be absorbed by it, I would stay behind.
Instead, I decided to harness the power of habit and focus on some basic healthy habits that I was neglecting but also knew they were absolutely essential for my well-being.
Habits like waking up early, sleeping well, taking cold showers, taking care of my style, being honest and assertive, journaling and meditating to name but a few.
I performed almost 30 of those habits in a form of challenges for 30 days and after that I was reborn.
My worries were gone, my mind adapted to a new reality and I was ready to face my life from a new, more refined perspective.
Takeaway: Whenever you face a tough time and your life feels like a rollercoaster, instead of allowing yourself to be absorbed by negativity, distract yourself by investing in healthy habits.
7 – UNDERSTAND WHY YOU WANT TO MAKE MONEY
People don’t understand. Money is not for a fancy car or home. It’s to be free. To say fuck you, I don’t need this… And mean it.
When I quit my job and started my startup, one of the reasons I did it was because I wanted to respect myself and not stay in a situation where others are in control of my life.
Of course, I also did it for the money but money to me is not about power, or showing off, or hanging out in mansions and high-end clubs.
All that is nice but it is also temporary.
Money is about freedom and control.
It is about waking up on a Tuesday morning and deciding to go on a trip to Cannes with your girlfriend or your friends.
It is about not having a neurotic boss who, because his wife dumped him decided to be an asshole to you.
It is about realizing that you always wanted to open your own bar and now you can do it.
It is about being the master of yourself and your surroundings.
Takeaway:Whatever idea you have, or whatever new endeavor you emabark on, always have in mind the reason you do it Don’t just do it because you want to make money. Do it because you know what that money can bring to your life.