Mirroring Others

Mirror

Think about what you want most in life. It could be a certain lifestyle, a career, a relationship, wealth…think about it. Now think: who has this already? Who do I know or know of that has exactly what I want in life?

I’ve always said that the difference between the rich and the poor is not the amount of money they have, it is their mindset. Similarly, the difference between an PhD student and an uneducated person is not degrees and knowledge, but in their mindset. Your mindset is what makes you what you are. This is a good thing, because if you want to change, you only have change the way you think about things, and it IS possible.

Like Tony Robbins says, “success leaves clues.” This means that someone who is successful, or someone who has done what you want to do has left a trail of clues for you or anyone else to follow. It spells out, this is what I did and when I did it, these were the mile-markers I passed and when I passed them. This is the recipe for my success. This is where the mirroring comes in.

It’s similar to finding a mentor. You’re looking for someone who has done more than you have who can teach you how to get to their level. If you’re struggling to find a mentor to meet with in person, then find one in a book or in YouTube videos. I guaranty there is someone out there who has done what you want to do. They know how to get where they are, and you don’t…so the logical step would be to mirror them. Figure out the “recipe” for their success that they used, and follow it.

Of course, you shouldn’t mirror them forever. There will come a time when you have reached their level of success in an area or surpassed it. You can always take your own direction as well, but people who have already done what you want to do are a great source of information and inspiration.

This post will also be featured on TheBulbCulture.wordpress.com. Be sure to head over there to see more great stuff, and contact Jacob to submit articles! He’s building a community of positive people to motivate each other and others.

Money, Time, and Energy

Time and Money

I read an article by Chuck Blakeman about the time, money, and energy conundrum. Essentially he says (I’m not entirely sure this was his original idea, but I haven’t seen a source elsewhere) that when you’re young, you have time and energy, but no money. So you use that time and energy to accumulate money. Then when you’re older, you have time and money, but you lack the energy to enjoy the money you’ve accumulated.

Jacob from The Bulb Culture mentioned in a post yesterday that people are like lions in a cage, the cage being society, or at least society’s rules and preconceptions. They stay in that cage because it’s comfortable and safe. That’s fine for some people. Probably the majority of people. But for those who don’t want that…you can have all three: time, money, and energy.

What this takes is the willingness to break out of that cage, to think about the things around you in a way that is orthogonal to the normal way of thinking, to consume knowledge and learn about other people’s experience, and then to apply those new ways of thinking and the knowledge you’ve acquired.

So who are you? Are you one of those people who accepts the idea that you need to use up all of your energy earning money that you won’t be able to enjoy fully? Or do you understand that there’s a status quo acting in your life, and that you are the only one who can decide to go against that and make a change?

The way I see it, there are three kinds of people in the world:

1) People who don’t realize they want improvement (ignorance)

2) People who want a change and say they’ll make one but never do (complacency)

3) People who understand they are the only ones responsible for their lives, and DO make that change (success)

It does raise an interesting question though…that first category, can you consider them successful? Maybe they’re just happy with what they have…I guess it depends on how you define success. What do you think?

Reading For Success

I’ve had a few people ask me for book recommendations, and I have a short list here of books I highly recommend. These are the best of the best in my opinion, and I would say each one of these is a must-read. You should watch this video to hear why I think devoting all this time to reading is worth the time and effort, and why it’s one of the best investments you can make. Reading only one book, as long as it’s the right one for you, can make a drastic change in your life, and the more you read the more likely you are to find an idea that will make that change. So here goes…my top five book recommendations:

5) Civilization and its Discontents – Sigmund Freud

Civilization and its Discontents

If you see Freud’s name and think, “no way, that guy’s crazy,” take a second to reconsider. His theories might be a little against the normative when it comes to psychoanalysis, but this book largely discusses man’s connection to the world and a possible purpose, especially in relation to the way we go about finding happiness. This is philosophy, not psychology, and a lot of the ideas here will be pivotal to your search for happiness and success.

Buy this book on Amazon  (Here is a different copy that is half the price, but independently published)

You can get this for FREE with this free trial of Audible from Amazon

I’m currently working on notes for this book

4) Blue Ocean Strategy – W. Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne

Blue Ocean Strategy

This is really a book that is geared more towards the entrepreneur, but I think the ideas in here could be applied to several different areas of life. If you are starting or running your own business, working toward growing a following online, or doing anything that involves competition in business, it is imperative that you read this book. The idea are so simple and will seem obvious to you after reading them, but they’re ideas and practices that most people never put into action. It’s not about eliminating competition, it’s about rendering them unimportant.

Buy this book on Amazon          You can get this for FREE with this free trial of Audible from Amazon

3) Managing Oneself – Peter Drucker

Managing Oneself

This was actually an article that appeared in Harvard Business Review, so it’s a very quick read…but it’s worth every penny you spend on getting it into your hands. I wish I had been handed this book when I graduated high school, or even undergrad. Drucker talks in depth about learning how you learn as an individual, and applying that to your life. He also discusses how you need to learn how you work most efficiently and happily, and using those methods throughout your life as well.

Buy this book on Amazon          Buy my notes on this book

You can get this for FREE with this free trial of Audible from Amazon

2) Grinding It Out – Ray Kroc

Grinding It Out

This one is a.game changer. Ray Kroc, the man who built McDonalds into the empire it is today, the man who pioneered the fast-food industry, tells all about how he did it. Aside from being a really interesting narrative, this book is full of a wealth of knowledge and ideas that you can and should apply to your life, success, and happiness. You’ll see that perseverance and determination trump all else…you’ll be inspired, definitely, but more importantly, you’ll have a better idea of how you can get where you want to go.

Buy this book on Amazon          Buy my notes on this book

Hear me talk about one idea in this book          Read a post of mine about another idea in this book

1) The Lessons of History – Will & Ariel Durant

Lessons of History

This is the #1 book I recommend to most people with whom I speak. It’s an incredible look into what it means to be human, into what makes us think and act the way we do, and a commentary on mankind as a whole as opposed to an individualistic approach. The lessons we learn throughout the book are directly applicable to success, happiness, instinct, and, in a lot of ways, learning to connect to who you are as a human being and how you function under that title. This is somewhat similar to “Managing Oneself,” but it offers a more holistic view of human nature, and is deeply philosophical.

Buy this book on Amazon          Buy my notes on this book

You can get this for FREE with this free trial of Audible from Amazon

I have a few videos on this book. You can find them on my YouTube channel.

So that’s it, my top five book recommendations. I really would suggest these to everyone, because they all make you think about life, success, happiness, and human nature. Fascinating books. And four of the five you can get for free with a free trial of Amazon Audible…definitely worth it! I hope you enjoy them.

Success by Day – Knowledge & Mentors (Paradise Lost)

You’ve heard me talk about Paradise Lost before…Milton was a genius, so there are so many ideas and theories to talk about in his work. This is one of the most relevant, probably: the idea of consuming knowledge and experience. That’s what I’m all about! Enjoy 🙂

P.S. Tomorrow I’ll have that list I promised of the top books I recommend for learning and expanding your mind. I’ve gone through a lot of “stinkers” to find the best of the best 🙂

What Stress And Anxiety Really Mean

Pulling Hair

I had an interesting conversation with my girlfriend last night. She’s in school to become a Physical Therapist, and she mentioned the controversy surrounding how to treat an injury immediately after it occurs: heat or ice. Some people maintain that ice is better because it reduces swelling which prevents further injury, while others say that heat is better because it promotes the effects of swelling, which is our body’s natural response to injury.

This last part is what interested me the most. Maybe it’s wise to listen to our bodies…after all, they have millions of years of evolution on their side…they know what heals them the most efficiently.

And it’s about this I wanted to talk to you today. Stress and anxiety seem to be the two worst things getting the most buzz and attention. Why do we stress? Lots of people will say it’s from working too hard and too long…but I don’t buy it. The people who do what they love for a living willingly work 80 hours a week sometimes and don’t feel the negative effects of stress. So what gives?

Well, here’s an idea: stress and anxiety are signals your body sends to you, and they must be sent for a reason. I think that it sends those signals to you to let you know something on the outside needs to change. It’s similar to a fight or flight response. So, what I’m really saying here is, if you’re overwhelmed by stress and anxiety, and maybe even depression, it very well could be your body telling you that you need to make a change.

What kind of change? It could be a myriad of things: diet, physical appearance, your career, your income, your relationships, your spending habits…anything. What are you unhappy about? More importantly, what are you unhappy about and don’t consciously realize you’re unhappy about? Take your stress as a sign that something needs to change, and then take the responsibility to make that change occur.

This post will also be featured on TheBulbCulture.wordpress.com. Be sure to head over there to see more great stuff, and contact Jacob to submit articles! He’s building a community of positive people to motivate each other and others.

Risk Is Happiness

Grinding It Out

I just recently finished reading “Grinding It Out,” the story of the making of McDonalds, by Ray Kroc. I have to start off by saying that YOU HAVE TO READ THIS! I suggest books that I read that I find interesting, but I really think this one should be required reading for everyone. Seriously…it’s worth the $8. Go to Amazon and buy it right now.

Something Ray mentions toward the end of the book is that happiness can only come as a result of overcoming risk. He says we should take risks in our career, because the sense of achievement we get after we overcome risk is what really brings us happiness.

I wondered about this…and maybe this is why people who take “safe,” 9-5 jobs that they don’t have passion for is what makes them largely unhappy, because they took no risk and there is no sense of achievement. It makes sense. When you take a risk, you feel worthy of the outcome. Also, if you put yourself into a position where you have to succeed, you will. If there are no other options, you have to take the only one available. Burn the ships!

What do you think about this? Do you think our ability to overcome risk and to turn it into achievement is ultimately what makes us happy? It makes sense…we are naturally drawn toward progression, and overcoming difficulty and risk is one of the best ways to progress!

I would really like to stress that you need to read this book. I don’t say that about many books (just three actually…I think I might do a post about my top recommended books, so stay tuned!). You can also pick up a copy of my notes on this book right here. Use coupon code “freeplease” to get those for free! A thank you for reading my blog 🙂

Using What You Have

Lightbulb Idea

I was speaking to someone right here on WordPress yesterday, and they were telling me that they wanted a change in their life, but they weren’t in the right place to get that change. It was presented to me as something they couldn’t control…and you know how I feel about that!

Here’s what I said: you’re saying you need to go somewhere else to get what you want, but there’s nothing better out there…you have to take what you have and make it better if you want anything to improve.

Not to pat myself on the back, but I think we all need to take this advice. The only things we will ever have to work with are the things we have. So these are the only things we will ever be able to use in order to bring about some change. What you need to do is take those skills, connections, that knowledge, foresight…whatever you have, take it and figure out how you can use those things to get where you want to go.

Two things to remember: 1) There is always a way to get what you want. It might take days or weeks or months or years to figure it out, but it’s worth the time if the goal means that much to you. 2) This can be done fairly systematically, which surprises some people because success in general seems like such an obscure thing. You can imagine where you are and where you want to be as two points. Then figure out as many ways as possible to move just a little closer to the place you want to be.

Think of what you have, and really give some time and effort to thinking of ways you can use those things to move closer to your goal. All you’ll ever have to work with is what you have, so use what you have to get what you want.