DON'T WASTE 2023! - After This, You'll Change How You Do EVERYTHING | Tom Bilyeu | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "DON'T WASTE 2023! - After This, You'll Change How You Do EVERYTHING | Tom Bilyeu".
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One thing that people do not understand is that you can literally change the way that you think. You can rewire your brain and develop a mindset that can lead you to achieving whatever it is that you set your mind to and are willing to pay the price to actually achieve. But the question is how? If you want to know how to develop a growth mindset and achieve your dreams, definitely pay attention to this episode. If you want to be successful, mindset is everything.
Keys To Successful Mindset
Why Is Mindset Everything (00:29)
The reason that mindset is so important is at the end of the day, only execution matters. So if you have big dreams, if you have goals, something that you're trying to accomplish in your life, you're going to have to execute against that. So why do I say that mindset is so important in that scenario? The reason is that ultimately to achieve the things that you want to achieve, I can promise you when you start out you're not good enough yet to achieve that and/or you don't have the right plan. And so the way to refine the plan to actually do the thing that you want to accomplish, you're going to have to run through what I call the physics of progress. The physics of progress are very simple. They require you to have a hypothesis, which is simply your best guess. This is what I think I have to do to achieve my goals. Then you're going to turn that into something you can do. You're going to do that thing. It's going to fail to some degree, that's just the way it works, but failure is the most information rich data stream on planet Earth. But to accurately assess the data and figure out what it's telling you about why you failed to some extent or why it was more inefficient than it needs to be, you have to be willing to stare nakedly at your own inadequacies, take responsibility for the outcome, not make it somebody else's fault or the economy's fault or whatever, any external force, if you're making it an external problem, you're never going to be able to learn the lesson you need to learn in order to improve your behavior so that you can then execute better and make more progress. That really is it. That's the physics of progress. Hypothesis. Turn it into something actionable. Run that action. Learn from the partial failure. Get a little bit smarter. Come up with a new hypothesis that is more informed. Turn it into something actionable. Run that. It will fail again to some degree. Figure out why by lowering your defenses, having a growth mindset, making sure that you are able to take on the responsibility. Now, why is that a mindset question? Why can't you just run that equation if it really is that simple? The answer is you have in your brain something called the psychological immune system. This is something given to you by millions of years of evolution. We should all be extremely grateful for it. And the psychological immune system's job is to make sure that you don't commit suicide. It is designed to make you feel better about things. It's the reason why you can mess up, make a mistake, and you can soothe yourself. Now, the problem is that the goal of the psychological immune system is not for you to achieve your goals. It's simply to make sure that you feel good enough about yourself that you can keep moving through life. Now, the reason that that becomes wildly problematic and is one of the most important things that you have to address in your mindset if you're going to be successful is because the number one tool that your psychological immune system works to soothe your ego is to make everything somebody else's fault.
What's the Right Mindset toward Success (03:31)
It is the fault of the government. It is the fault of rich people. It is the fault of not being born the right color, not being born the right sex, so on and so forth. It is making something the external problem. Now, here's the really bad news. Your psychological immune system is going to grab for a very valid excuse. Those things that I listed may all be true. They may really all be holding you back. The problem is you want to know what the right mindset for success is. And if you want to be successful, you are going to have to overcome a endless parade of problems. And to overcome the endless parade of problems, you have to have a way to take responsibility for what you can do differently to overcome those problems. Instead of being annoyed, instead of shutting down, instead of just pointing the finger, you want to adapt your behavior. It sucks that the second law of thermodynamics is that all things move towards chaos. It sucks that humans are so complicated and so weird that we don't just lift each other and love each other, which we do and is amazing. We tear each other down. We kill each other. Man, read history books. It will terrify you about how brutal humans can be. It is crazy how many different times and places throughout history we have just slaughtered people in mass numbers in the most horrifying way that you can possibly imagine. So if humans can slide all the way to that level of depraved madness and we know that everything moves towards chaos, how do we bring the massive amount of order that we have to bring to the world so that we can march ever long towards success and actually achieve it? The only way to overcome chaos, the only way to overcome entropy, which is the fancy name for chaos, is to pour energy into the system. So you have to constantly pour energy into your own life to make sure that you're making progress to your goals if you're going to eventually achieve success. And the only way that you're going to be able to do that is to have a growth mindset. Now, really simply, a growth mindset is that you believe that your talent and intelligence are not fixed traits, that you can get better at something as you put time and energy into getting better at that thing. It's what I call the only belief that matters. The only belief that matters is that by applying time and energy into something, you will actually get better at it. Now, once you believe that, everything in your life downstream of that gets better because now you know, "Oh, I messed up at this thing. I suck at that thing. The world is trying to stop me from doing that thing. The world is effective at stopping me from doing that thing." Oh, word, all I need to do is go and get better and I can outperform people. As Kobe Bryant said, and this has become my favorite quote, "In the world, booze don't block dunks." Now, what did he mean by that? He meant that no matter what, you can get so good that people can't stop you. People were paid millions of dollars to stop Kobe Bryant from scoring points and yet he scored 81 points in a single game just by getting better than other people. Getting better than other people requires you to have a growth mindset. That's the growth part. You're going to get better so that when you fail and you will fail over and over and over and over, and over and over and over and over and over and over again, and it's going to be embarrassing and it's going to hurt and all that, but when you fail, if you believe, "Oh, failing means that I'm a failure because my talent and intelligence are fixed traits. There's nothing I can do to get better. You will stop. Why wouldn't you? It's the only thing that makes sense." But if, on the other hand, you believe that, "Oh, I can get better at this. I'm not good enough yet, but I can get good enough by applying time and energy into getting better." So now you'll apply that time and energy because you believe that it will yield the outcome that you want. And that is why it is so critical to get your mind right so that you can run that loop of the physics of progress, because watch how it breaks down if you don't have a growth mindset. I have a hypothesis, "Hey, this is what I need to do. I'm going to try this thing. I tried it. Oh, my God. I failed. It's embarrassing. I'm hurt. Emotionally, people are making fun of me. My parents are telling me, "I told you so. Oh, my God. Like, I don't want to keep going." And by the way, this is making me really feel badly about myself. So now I'm going to stew over it. I'm going to think about this all the time. Why did I fail, man? I'm cool. I didn't do anything wrong. Oh, I failed because the world sucks. The world's against me. All the reasons that people make up, not even make up, all the very valid reasons that you were stopped. If you have a fixed mindset, you're going to tell yourself that. You're going to take those excuses because they make you feel better about yourself. And in that moment of emotional crisis that happens every time we fail, you're going to reach for whatever makes you feel better. If, on the other hand, you have a growth mindset, when you hit that moment, you're going to be like, "Okay, cool. I need to get better at this. I'm going to have to transform my potential into usable skill set and then execute against that." Then you can reformulate your hypothesis, come up with a better action to do, run that, and even though it will fail again, to some extent, you'll have made more progress. And when you iterate on that loop enough, just relentlessly getting better, trying new things, making incremental improvement, then you win. And that is the only path to success. Once you decide that you're going to really pursue success, you have to start asking yourself a fundamental question around the growth mindset. If getting a growth mindset is difficult, what is the opposite of that? The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset. Now, if a growth mindset is defined as, "I believe that my talent and intelligence are malleable traits, meaning that I can actually get better at something," a fixed mindset is the opposite, that your delta-hand cards genetically, and it just is what it is. And so your life is really about doing the best you can with the hand that you've been dealt, but there's nothing that you can do to improve. I want to aggressively debunk that myth.
Born with all or all the thing you need? (10:09)
So the human animal, every species has to choose to either be born with all of the things you're going to need to do to go be that thing. So a cat is born with all the things that needs to be a cat, a horse is born with all the things that needs to be a horse, so on and so forth. And so that's why 20 minutes after being born, a horse can do all of the things that that horse is going to do. It's up, it's walking around, can run, all of that. Imagine humans getting up and running around 20 minutes after being born. We would lose our minds. We would freak out what is going on. That is a child, unlike any other child in all of human history, because we have the ability to adapt. And so we chose a very different strategy. So all animals bifurcate between those two things, the vast majority come with almost all or all of things pre-programmed. They just do it instinctively. You don't have to be taught. Now, of course, there are going to be things that the margins, how to better hunt and what stream to go to and all that. So there's some amount of that that is going to be learned in the wild, but they're going to be able to do most of the things, like the vast majority, 90 plus percent of the things right after being born. Humans on the other hand can't even hold their own head up. They can't even hold their own head up for months. So we have taken a totally different path, which is the path of adaptation. Now, by choosing that path, we have become the most dominant predator the world has ever seen. So the question becomes, what is it about that setup that means that we need to leverage a growth mindset and completely debunk this idea of a fixed mindset? We know that humans, the average human, is designed to grow and get better. That's what we do. That's the evolutionary strategy that we've chosen. So if we know that the average human is designed to grow and get better, it becomes a question of, are you creating a frame of reference about how you view the world that gets you to take advantage of that? The reason that so many people peak in their teenage years and they don't continue to get better is they have a fixed mindset. So what ends up happening is they go and they try out for basketball. To use my own example, since this was something I struggled with. And I was so unbelievably bad at basketball. It never occurred to me that if I actually worked at practice, that I would get better. So since I was so embarrassed by my lack of talent in basketball, I was always trying to hide on the bench. I didn't want people to pass me the ball. If they pass me the ball, I would panic. I was never thinking about, "Oh, how do I get better?" Like, "Go home, practice dribbling, practice shooting." It didn't even occur to me. I was just like, "I'm bad at this thing. I'm never going to get good at this thing." And so I just didn't try. And it was all about hiding. If I had realized, "Wait a second. The average human is actually designed to get better." Now, it is very important to note that we are not blank slates. So if LeBron James and I had grown up together and done all the same things, I dribbled the ball just as many times as he did. I had the same coaches as he did. I shot as many free throws, practiced. Step for step in the way that he did. Odds are, I'm never going to get as good as he's going to get. He's much taller than I am. He is far more explosive and athletic. He may have a mind that is way better suited to tracking the different things you have to do on the court, from reading the court, understanding the other players, moving his body, all of it. I don't know because I never push myself, but I'm going to guess that he's pretty elite from the part of us that is hardwired. Now, science seems to indicate that we are roughly 50% hardwired and 50% malleable. So, the odds of me becoming the next LeBron James at basketball is vanishingly slim. Though, admittedly, I never tried at the peak of my physical prowess, so I can't rule it out. But I am going to say that that doesn't strike me as the right use of my time and energy. But once you realize that a growth mindset is real, you realize that you can get, let's just call it, a hundred times better at anything. Now, if you start at a way worse position because you don't have the mental or physical gifts that somebody else has and the 50% that's hardwired, the end point of you're a hundred times better may be radically different than that person. Fair enough. But once you realize, "Wait a second. Anything in my life I can get a hundred times better?" That becomes the central question of your life. Once you have a growth mindset and you begin applying that growth mindset, now it's a question of how far can you go if you have a growth mindset? Because you can take yourself extraordinarily far in an area where you've got some positive momentum from the 50% of you that is hardwired. So, finding that thing that you both love and have a natural inclination to, and then slather on top of that an obscene amount of work. And if you look at somebody like Kobe Bryant who inspires the life out of me, that guy worked so hard to get good and put that on top of his already immeasurable gifts. But I would like to point out that not only was he one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he won an Academy Award. He won an Academy Award for a film that he made. So, not only was he able to dominate in a sport that you could say arguably he had some really natural talents, I doubt that he also had an equal amount of talent on the filmmaking side and that hearing him talk about it, he went out and found the greatest minds in filmmaking and learned from them, worked with them to create something that really was a breathtaking masterpiece. And so, understanding that, that if you 100x your abilities in an area, it will be such a meaningful transformation in your life, that your life in that area will be unrecognizable on the other side of that energy and effort. And that ultimately is the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset, because a person with a fixed mindset may have had not only the same 50% as somebody who goes on to be very successful, the hardwired 50%, they might be ahead. And this is why when you have people that outwork somebody that has more natural talent than them, they end up going farther. Now, of course, the person that has both the natural talent and the insane work ethic is going to go farther than the person without the natural talent and only the insane work ethic. But since, let me spoil our alert on the human existence, most people quit, most people give up. They just, life is going to batter you about. There's going to be so much difficulty in your life, there's going to be failure, pain, suffering, emotional, trauma, embarrassment, all of that. It chips away at the average person because they aren't relentlessly focused on a growth mindset and they're building their self-esteem around being right, better, faster, stronger. If, on the other hand, they would focus on the growth mindset, they would realize that they can get better and they put all of their energy and effort into creating that frame of reference so that they're viewing the world in a way that is optimistic and encouraging them to go in and put that energy and effort into something now, because they're seeing that incremental improvement, when the world is knocking them about, they realize, "Oh, I can get better at this. I can outperform more people." And so they're going to be more resilient and they're not going to be as easy to shut down. They're not going to be as easy to break. And so the people that I have found that are the most resilient in life, they have the most intensely developed growth mindset. And that's part of the key. You really do have to develop a growth mindset. While some people pretty early on realize, like, "Oh, when I encounter something difficult, I don't have to back down or give in. I can actually push myself, grow and get better." There's limits to that for most people. And so it really is something that even if you have the beginnings of a growth mindset, you want to make sure that you're sharpening that, sharpening that, sharpening that, and really proving to yourself just how much is possible. While it's outside the scope of this answer, I will say this is why I think that transforming your physique is one of the most potent things you can do to transform your mind because it will show you very visually and viscerally that you can go in not being able to lift a weight.
Why working out is so important in building your brain and body (18:11)
You can work your way up to something and that over time you literally transform your body, your strength, and are capable of doing things you weren't capable of doing before. If you could see what's happening to your brain, I think far more people would push themselves into that zone because they would realize, like, "I'm really able to get more out of myself now than I was a year ago, three years ago, five years ago." And getting people into that zone where they see the kind of gains that they're making, that's really critical to getting them to continue to crystallize their belief in the growth mindset, which going back to what I said earlier, gives them the only belief that matters, which is that if I put energy and effort into getting better, I will actually get better, which means that they will continue to pour themselves into getting better at something, and that's the path forward. But you have to be willing to sharpen your growth mindset. If you don't do that, then you're going to be very easy to knock off course because life is going to prove to you that you really aren't good enough to achieve grand goals. And so that's what ends up breaking somebody with a fixed mindset because they are constantly confronted with their inadequacies that feels like a life sentence. They don't think that they're ever going to be able to improve. And so the negative way that they feel about themselves when they're beaten by somebody else, because for better or worse, we are a comparative creature. We compare ourselves to other people all the time. So in that moment of comparison, somebody with a fixed mindset is like, they're better than me. They will always be better than me. I will never achieve what they've achieved. I will never have what they have. And then where does that lead? This is all unfair. Where does that lead? The psychological immune system kicks in. What does the psychological immune system do? It presents you the external reasons why things are the way that they are. Assures you that none of this is your fault, which means that you don't retain your power. You don't look at what you could be doing to make a change to get a better result. And remember, the psychological immune system is pointing out real things. It's pointing out valid excuses. But if you take those excuses and sit in that fixed mindset, you're not going to get where you want to go. And this is the thing I'm obsessed with in my life. Read a lot of internet comments. And I see over and over and over people looking at other people that are more successful than they are. And they meet it with vitriol. They are so angry. The system is broken. Not saying it's not. But that's what they're focused on. The system is broken. This person has scammed the world. Let's say that they have. Let's say that the system is broken and that person has scammed the world.
Nelson Mandella (21:02)
How does that help you? How does that push you towards your goals? How does giving up and saying it's all so corrupt? We're never going to get anywhere. Think about the greatest people in history, the people that have just done insane things. My go-to is always Nelson Mandela. I cannot imagine other than outright slavery, I cannot imagine a system more stacked against somebody than what happened to Nelson Mandela. He was put in prison and literally treated like a slave for 27 years. And yet came out of that and helped unite a country and move people forward. And so he had every excuse at his disposal as to why he couldn't make something of his life. And he becomes one of the most important people in modern history. Guys, don't grab excuses. Not because they're not real. Not because they're not valid. Don't grab excuses because it will stop you from achieving what you want to achieve in your life. The greatest walking among us are all the people that realize, "Yeah, these are valid. These are very real reasons why it's harder for me than somebody else. And this sucks and I wish it wasn't so." But they deal with the world the way that it is, not the way they wish it were. And the way that the world is, is you can get better at anything if you have a growth mindset. You can 100x your abilities. And if you stay focused, you don't break, you don't give in, there's virtually no limit to what you can accomplish. The truth is hitting your career goals is not easy. You have to be willing to go the extra mile to stand out and do hard things better than anybody else. But there are 10 steps I want to take you through that will 100x your efficiency so you can crush your goals and get back more time into your day. You'll not only get control of your time, you'll learn how to use that momentum to take on your next big goal. To help you do this, I've created a list of the 10 most impactful things that any high achiever needs to dominate. And you can download it for free by clicking the link in today's description. Alright my friend, back to today's episode.
Self Talk (22:55)
When it comes to self-talk, there's something that's really important to remember. You become what you repeat. So people that are high achievers, they do not allow themselves to repeat anything that diminishes their sense of self, that diminishes their will to push forward, that diminishes their sense of, I can improve at this thing over time. So high achievers are putting themselves in an optimistic state. The reason they need to be in an optimistic state is because going back to the first answer, mindset is everything. If you believe that by putting energy and effort into trying to achieve your goals, you can actually achieve your goals, you will keep pushing forward. If you believe that no matter what you do, you are going to fail, why would you keep trying? You wouldn't. And this is why so many people throw their hands up and they give up because they don't believe that by going after their goals, that they're actually going to make it. So a high achiever is somebody that no matter what they encounter, no matter how many difficulties they run into, they're going to say things like, there is a solution to this problem. They're going to say things like, I can get better at this. They're going to say things like, I may not be good enough yet, but I can get good enough. They say things like, with enough time and energy, I can 100x my abilities in anything. They say things like one of my favorite phrases. On a long enough timeline, I can beat anyone at anything. Now secretly, that one isn't 100% true, but it's the kind of phrase that even though I know at the edges that it isn't true, so many people give up along the way that if I just keep going and keep stacking skills and keep getting better, I know that I can beat the vast majority of humanity at virtually anything, which is exactly how I've been able to have the success that I've had. I am not smarter than the average person, but man, I am way harder to break than the average person. I am way more consistent than the average person. I am constantly reminding myself, I can get better, but it takes a massive amount of time and energy. That's another thing I remind myself. Everything is moving towards chaos at all times. People are trying to stop me actively. The world is unintentionally trying to stop me. The world is complex. Humans are difficult. Humans are complex. Life is confusing. Life is chaotic. And it takes a tremendous amount of energy. But another thing that high achievers tell themselves, if I focus on what I could do differently, if I hold on to the fact that my life is an exact reflection of my choices, but that one's sinking, my life is an exact reflection of my choices. If when I was born, I look like my parents. When I die, I look like my choices. I cannot remember who I first heard say that, but man, that one gives me the chills. When we're born, we look like our parents. When we die, we look like our choices. Woo, that one's sexy. I'm not going to lie. So if you stay focused on that, as high achievers do, then you begin going, okay, there is something that I could do here to level up my skill set that would allow me to do something different, that would allow me to get a different outcome. And that's the goal. If you retain control, if you don't say, oh, this is society's problem, this is that person that tried to stop me's problem, what could I do differently? This is my problem to solve. What could I do differently to get a different outcome? If you stay focused on that, you will for sure be able to achieve more than somebody who doesn't. Now, the key is that you become what you repeat. So be very thoughtful not only to tell yourself all of those things, but you want to make sure that you pattern interrupt if you're telling yourself something negative. So so many people that get stuck, again, the psychological immune system will come to your aid. So if you're repeating yourself, I'm dumb, I'm stupid, I'm not good enough at that. I don't have enough talent. I don't come from the right background, all of that. Then your psychological immune system is going to want to soothe your ego around that. And so you're going to find a way to make those things somebody else's fault. And you're going to start moving yourself into the zone of not trying, giving up, coasting, going easy, doing what I used to do, which is put myself in smaller and smaller rooms with people that were at my level of intellect or lower rather than people that really pushed me to get better. So if you're saying negative things like that, if you're developing a negative worldview like that, you need to pattern interrupt that. There's an amazing book called Feeling Great by David D. Burns. Read that book. It talks about cognitive behavioral therapy and the way that you can use pattern interrupts to stop yourself from repeating things that are self-destructive and to get yourself out of cognitive illusions. So you want to be very careful and to help you get out of cognitive distortions. You want to make sure that you're not looking at the world through a distorted lens of your own creation. Okay, that is how you leverage the things that you repeat to get ahead and stop yourself from repeating things that are going to hold you back.
Developing A Growth Mindset (28:06)
My journey to developing a growth mindset was a very long journey. I had a fixed mindset for my entire life until I was about 25. Now look, there were shades in there where I was beginning to grasp that something was going on. But my journey went like this. As a kid, I believed that my talent and intelligence were fixed traits. I did not believe that I could improve them. And so I thought, okay, like I'm average-ish and I knew that I was more verbal than most people. And so I certainly tried to leverage that to my benefit. But as I got older, I started encountering people that were better, faster, stronger, smarter than me. And it really began to damage my sense of self. Now, when I was 15 around there, I was introduced to the Doudishing. And thankfully, before that, I had seen the movie, "The Empire Strikes Back", which introduced me to Yoda. And I thought Yoda was amazing. I loved the way that he talked. And later in life, I would realize just how real his advice was. And the Doudishing sounded so much like Yoda that I was immediately drawn to it. "Oh my God, this is so incredible." And I realized now looking back that the Doudishing was really what planted the idea of a growth mindset. Because it talks about the cognitive distortions that we get into, the mental illusions that we all live under, and what I now call frame of reference, that we're all looking at the world through a really warped mirror. And by looking at the world through a warped mirror, we see a warped version of reality and that can either hold us back or it can propel us forward. Now, I had a frame of reference that was holding me back. Because I had a fixed mindset, I did not recognize that the human animal as a species shows adaptation as our primary strategy of advancement. So, we're born helpless, but over time, we're able to drink very deeply from culture, knowledge stacks. And so, now somebody born today doesn't have to relearn the printing press. And so, you take all of human knowledge and we're able to live on the top of that and just keep building things moving forward. It's incredibly extraordinary what the human animal has been able to accomplish by choosing the strategy of adaptation so that we can learn from people. We don't come pre-hardwired with everything.
The Strategy Of Adaptation (30:30)
We learn as we go. And that means that we can take advantage of all the things that have come before us. So, it's really, really exceptional, but I did not have that frame of reference. And therefore, I did not realize that, oh, just because I suck at these things doesn't mean that I can't go and get good at them. And so, what I was doing, despite that I had these early seeds planted in my mind around these cognitive illusions and distortions, I was really afraid that I was not going to be able to get good enough at the things I needed to be good at in order to make my dreams come true. So, I've always been very ambitious, but I was also terrified that I wasn't going to be able to achieve the things I wanted to achieve. And so, that was really devastating for me. And so, as I got older and life slapped me around and I met people that were better than me at things that I really wanted to be great at, it really started to make me feel badly about myself. And so, to avoid feeling badly about myself, I started putting myself in smaller and smaller rooms. By putting myself in smaller and smaller rooms, I was reducing the likelihood of me achieving the goals that I wanted to achieve. One, I wasn't around the kind of people that would be able to help me. Two, I wasn't around people that were pushing me to get better, right? Because I didn't think that I could get better, so that didn't seem worthwhile. And then three, because I wasn't around people that were pushing me and I wasn't in an environment that was helping me grow, I wasn't growing and therefore wasn't able to actually make progress towards my goals. And so, I was doing things that made me feel better about myself and it actually did work. That's the sinister part about all of this. By putting myself in rooms with people that were less ambitious than me, people that were, if I'm the average person, people that weren't as smart as me, that made me feel awesome. And so, the reality is, I was feeling good as I was moving farther and farther away from my goals. So, thankfully, my ambition continued to propel me to rethink what I was doing. So, imagine me now, I'm sort of 21, 22, and I'm starting to think I've graduated from college. I'm not at all moving towards my goals. I'm not quite sure what to make of this. And I was like, how do I really go and get what I want out of life? And I realized I'm profoundly lazy. I'm not even trying to take the steps that I would need. So, hey, let me start putting myself out there. Because I was highly verbal, I put myself into situations where my verbal ability would shine. That began to open doors for me. Then I started getting in rooms of entrepreneurial rooms. It's probably the right way to think about it. Just as an employee, but in an entrepreneurial environment. And I realized that being in that environment was really making me feel badly about myself. Because the people around me were so much smarter than me, meaning that they were able to process raw data faster than me. And all these years later, now that I don't struggle with that sense of inferiority, I still recognize that some people can just process data faster than others. So, I know that's one of the things that I have to work around. I need to optimize for that. Know thyself, right? I still have a growth mindset. I know I can 100x myself in any area. But understanding where you are, what things are harder for you, easier for you is useful. So, at the time though, I was looking at the world through this distorted mirror of not yet fully realizing how much better I could get. But having Yoda's words in my head, having the Dao Dijin's words and echoing in my head, realizing maybe I can get better if I push myself, but I'm in this environment. I'm really not feeling good about who I am. And so, I had this moment of crisis. And what ended up happening was, I knew that that entrepreneurial environment was the thing that was going to move me towards my goal of getting wealthy. But I finally could articulate in words that I had actually been optimizing my life for feeling smart. And so, the moment of crisis became very acute when I was arguing for an idea in the entrepreneurial environment, I was arguing for an idea because it was mine, even though I knew it was bad for the business. And because I was aware of both of the fact that, "Whoa, this idea that I'm really arguing for is terrible for the business and that I really wanted to win." And I really wanted them to implement this idea. And I was like, "Why am I doing that?" I'm like, "Okay, because it's my idea. Why do I care about it being my idea? Because I want to feel smart. Why would winning this make me feel smart? Because they would have done the thing that I presented. I would have convinced them to do my thing. And if I could convince them of that, that means that I'm smarter than they are, or at least that they are giving me the accolade by following my idea that gives me the feedback loop that I'm smarter than they are, that they think I'm smarter. And so, I'm sitting there going, "None of this really makes sense." And so, I'm like, "What do I actually want?" And so, for the first time in my life, and this ended up being a line in the sand, it's the only thing in my life that I can say is a line in the sand. That before this realization, my life was one way, and after this realization, I had a growth mindset, and my life was a different way. And the realization was that I was building my self-esteem around being right, and that if I continued to build my self-esteem around being right, I was going to have to leave that company and go somewhere else where I was around people that weren't as smart as me so I could feel good about myself. And then I would be right more often. And I thought, "Wow, it's weird."
So, which goal do I care more about? Do I care about getting wealthy, or do I care about feeling smart? And I realized that I cared more about achieving my goals. Let's say that, because I don't chase money anymore. So, I cared more about my goals. Okay, if I care more about my goals, and I know that I'm not good enough yet to get where I want to go, then I'm going to have to really embrace, unfortunately, Carol Dweck had not written her book, and I'm going to have that mindset that defined a growth mindset, so I didn't have that word, but a path of self-improvement. I'm going to go down this path of self-improvement aggressively. Now, to do that, I need to feel good about myself. I realized pretty quickly that I couldn't just go, "Okay, I'm going to be fine coming in here and feeling like a moron every day." I knew that wasn't going to work, because I built myself a steam around being smart. So, I was like, "Okay, well, if I am going to come in and do things that aren't as good as they're going to need to be, and I'm going to embarrass myself, and not only look stupid, but actually be stupid, meaning uneducated, in an area that I need to become educated, and that since being willing to make those mistakes and looking stupid is a necessary part of expedient growth, what can I do with my self-esteem that will allow me to really propel myself forward?" And the answer was, I could begin building my self-esteem, not around being right, but around identifying the right answer. I could build myself a steam around being the learner, and by building myself a steam around being the learner, now I could fail. Now, I could embarrass myself. Now, I could stare nakedly at my inadequacies, and I would actually feel better about myself, because I was building my ego, my self-esteem, my sense of self, around being willing to admit when I was wrong, being willing to admit that I had made a mistake, being willing to admit that I wasn't good enough yet, but that I could get better, but I had to lower my defenses. I had to stop using the psychological immune system to make it somebody else's fault. I had to take responsibility for my choices. I had to take responsibility for my skill set. I had to take responsibility for my energy and effort, and I had to get better. And by doing that and taking a longer view of my life and saying, "Okay, this is going to take time. I'm going to have to embarrass myself a lot, but I really am going to get better." I started to have success. So, it was a very emotionally volatile journey that I went on that required that moment of absolute crisis of having the two conflicting values in my life, being brought to bear in one moment where I realized that I was in one way moving away from my goal of being successful, and in another way moving towards my goal of feeling smart. And I was like, "Whoa, wow, that's really dumb. That doesn't make any sense." And by not judging myself in that moment, and I was just like, I was so devastated emotionally, that I was like, emotional rock bottom. So, I said, "No judgment. Whatever the answer is, the answer is. Just be honest with yourself. Do you want to be successful or do you want to be right?" And I realized that I would rather be successful. And that forced me to pursue a path of self-development. And so, from that moment forward, I've never looked back, and it's just been all growth mindset all the time. The most harmful self-talk that anyone can ever use, and it will hold them back forever, is this isn't my fault. If I could say the most controversial thing I've ever said, the thing that has generated more anger towards me, and I was so shocked by this, everything is your fault. Yes, I know that is a word that triggers people. I say that so that if you can face yourself and say, "Everything is my fault," then I know that you're not going to stop partway to taking responsibility for the choices in your life. And look, of course, I know that not everything is your fault. And if you were hit by a drunk driver, that's not your fault. But I would tell myself that that is my fault. The reason is, I want to remind myself that I can keep my power, that I could have made a different choice. I didn't have to get in the car, right? Of course, I don't control that they drink. And I am not in any way, shape, or form interested in somebody who has been the victim of anything in their life to feel badly about having been victimized. I'm just saying, don't let yourself take on the identity of the victim even when you are victimized because it puts you in a defensive posture. I want to be on the offensive. I want to go after things in my life. I don't ever want somebody or something to hold me back.
The Victim Mentality (40:39)
And the easiest way to let someone or something hold you back is to take on the identity of the victim. So please don't get lost in that idea. I get it. Somebody's had horrible things happen to them. I don't want them to feel badly either. I don't want anyone to feel badly about things that have happened to them. I want them to maintain their emotional sovereignty, to not let a terrible thing define them. To instead remember, at any time you can metaphorically take up arms. You can grab your sword. You can go fight. You can get better at things. You can elevate yourself. People cannot stop you if you get good enough. But if you are constantly like, I'm in this position because of something that happened to me, because of things outside of my control. Your life won't become what you and I want your life to become. I don't say this for my own sake. This is something I've already realized in my life. If I take responsibility for everything, there's virtually nothing I can't accomplish. I already know that. My success is evidence in my life of the reality of that fact. But I worry about a lot of other people that unfortunately have ended up with a frame of reference that makes them feel like things are out of their control. And even though, yes, I know there are things that are out of your control. There's nothing I can do to stop the sun from rising tomorrow. But I would never allow myself to feel helpless. So the example that I always give people is imagine that we discover tomorrow that an asteroid is streaking towards Earth. Collision course guaranteed. This is a extinction level event. In that moment, I'm not going to say, oh, this isn't my fault. I'm going to say this is my fault. Now, how do I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's my fault? Because there is a group right now that tracks what are called near-Earth objects. I know they exist, but I've never given them a dime of my money. I've never sent them an email with encouraging words or ideas on ways that they could do that better or that they could be more prepared if something were coming towards us. And I could do that. And even though I'm telling you this story right now, I'm still not going to do that because I don't think that's the highest use of my time. But I wouldn't fool myself into thinking that there was nothing that I could have done differently. That might have had an impact. Now, the reason that I live my life that way, even though that you and I both know, that if an asteroid is coming, especially at the last minute, like, am I really the person that's going to be contributing to that? Probably not. But I'm glad that there are people in the world that look at astronomically large problems and don't say, oh, there's nothing I can do. They start going, no bullshit. What would it take? What would we have to do in order to have a positive outcome here? It is very easy in life to throw up your hands and say, man, this is just out of my control. And there are so many things that are so overwhelming that I get why people say, okay, that's not going to be the thing that I'm going to put my energy into. I'm going to put my energy over here. But the key difference is when you do that, please don't trick yourself into thinking there's nothing that you could do. It may not be where you want to spend your time.
Do Distracting Thoughts Always Drain Your Willpower (43:40)
And it may be a drop in the ocean of what actually needs to be done. But if you feel like there's really no way that I could contribute, that becomes the frame of reference to which you view your life. And even though it's probably a little bit like screaming into the void to think that I can stop an asteroid from smashing into the earth, look at all the things that we've done as a species. And at some point, the moon landing, it's become so cliche, but really think about that. How hard would that be? To leave the earth? It's crazy to land on the moon and then come back safely. It's insane. And that required somebody to go, no, we can figure that out. And that is all that separates. People that go on to be very successful from people that get stuck. Is when people that go on to be successful hit what seems like an insurmountable obstacle. They say to themselves, there's a solution here. There is a solution here. I may not know it yet. I may not be the person that is capable of solving that problem yet, but there is a solution. And when you stay in a solution oriented mindset, now you really have a chance of doing something because you have that frame of reference that is like the only belief that matters, which is that, oh, this problem is solvable. That means that if I put in the time and energy to solve this problem, I may actually make progress. And that is exactly what you need in order to get momentum going in your life. So please, I'm begging you, even though I get it and I don't ever want somebody to feel badly about themselves because something bad happened to them. I also don't want people to give up their power. Remember, you can always do something different to get a different outcome. You can always get better at something. And there really is always a solution. What is up, my friend, Tom Bill, you here. And I have a big question to ask you. How does it generate your level of personal discipline on a scale of one to ten, if your answer is anything less than a ten? I've got something cool for you. And let me tell you right now, discipline, by its very nature, means compelling yourself to do difficult things that are stressful, boring, which is what kills most people, or possibly scary or even painful. Now, here is the thing, achieving huge goals and stretching to reach your potential requires you to do those challenging, stressful things and to stick with them even when it gets boring and it will get boring. Building your level of personal discipline is not easy, but let me tell you, it pays off.
“How To Build Ironclad Discipline.” (46:08)
In fact, I will tell you, you're never going to achieve anything meaningful unless you develop discipline. I've just released a class from Impact Theory University called How to Build Ironclad Discipline that teaches you the process of building yourself up in this area so that you can push yourself to do the hard things that greatness is going to require of you. Right, click the link on the screen, register for this class right now, and let's get to work. I will see you inside this workshop from Impact Theory University, until then my friends, be legendary.
Strategies For Mind Discipline
Peace out. One of the most hotly debated things when I was growing up was, is brain plasticity really real? Can you actually rewire your brain, or said the way that it was said, when I was growing up, can you teach an old dog new tricks? Now, here's the great news. This answer has been put to bed. It is 100% true. You can actually see video footage of it happening. You can rewire your brain at any age, so you're 98, and you're on your deathbed. You can still rewire your brain. Now, of course, you can rewire your brain a lot easier when you're a kid, and kids are hyper-maluble, and it definitely gets harder as we get older, but it does not ever get impossible. So, please remember, no matter what, if you put time, energy, and repetition into something, your brain is going to rewire. Now, you rewire based on repetition because your brain is always trying to be efficient. It represents something like 2% or 3% of your body mass, and yet takes up 25% of the energy requirements of your body. Your brain is a caloric hog, and since evolutionarily speaking, calories were hard to come by, your brain is constantly trying to do things to optimize itself. Think about a computer that's running hot, it's trying to lower the resource requirements, and if you get what they call memory leaks in a computer, the computer crashes. The same is true with the brain, so evolution has made sure that we don't have these memory leaks, that we close those apps that are running in the background of the mind so that you don't need to use as many resources. One of the ways that it does it is a process called myelination. Myelination is what people mean when they talk about rewiring your brain. It's actually two parts, it's where the end of the neurons find each other, and they connect and they wrap around each other. That's the first part of rewiring, and they will actually, if you stop using them, they will disconnect and they will search for something new. Again, you can see footage of this, go on YouTube, nobody's guessing at this, we know this is what happens. Now, when they find each other and you repeat, then what they're going to do is they get myelinated, which is a fatty tissue that is wrapped around those connection points so that the electrical impulses can travel faster, more efficiently. Now, the catch is, when you do that, now what you've introduced to your brain is an easier way of doing something, and because your brain is constantly looking for efficiencies, it is going to do the thing which is easier, which is simply the thing that you repeat. As they say, neurons that fire together, wire together, and they fire together because you're doing it, they wire together because you're doing it a lot, that's repetition. So, if you repeat dumb things, negative things, self-destructive things, that's going to become the easiest thing to think. So, I guarantee you this is part of depression and anxiety. You're getting in a loop, it's not the only part, but it is part of that. You are getting in a loop because that's the easiest emotion to feel, it's the easiest thought to think, is the thing that you think and feel all the time. So, learning to pattern interrupt that can become incredibly important. Repeating things that make you better at something, something you want to get good at, do it a lot. You're going to get more efficient at that. It's incredibly, incredibly important to recognize the biological truth of how that works. But if you're wondering, if you can teach an old dog new tricks, the answer is an aggressive "yes". So, get out there and make use of it. There is one bit of self-talk that I've had, basically, my entire life that I wish I could have eliminated much faster. And that is the belief that I'm not smart enough to achieve my goals. Now, the reality is that we are all 50% hardwired and 50% malleable. So, there is a reality to be faced that if intelligence is the ability to process raw data quickly, which is probably a little bit more complex than that, but that gets us close enough, I fall somewhere on that spectrum, and I can just tell you in terms of speed of processing, I'm somewhere in the average range. Maybe a little above, maybe a little below. But I'm somewhere in the average range. But I have been so haunted by the fact that there are other people that are way smarter than me, that things are easier for them than they are for me. That really held me back for a long time. And there is a movie called Amadeus, and it's about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and in that movie is a character named Solieri. He's a real guy from history, whether what I'm about to quote from the movie, whether he actually said it or not, I don't know. But this really defined my teenage years into my early 20s. And in the movie, Solieri laments to God, "Why did you make me just good enough at music because he was a fellow composer to Mozart?" "Why did you make me just good enough at music that I can tell that I'll never be as good as Mozart? Why couldn't you have made me as good or better than him?" Or so much worse that I would never even think to compare myself. And I thought, "Oh my God, that defines my level of intellect. I'm just smart enough to realize that I'll never be as smart as some of the super smart people." And that really messed with me for more than a decade, and it wasn't until I realized, "Oh wait, it doesn't matter where I start. I can get 100 times better at anything." So now it just becomes a question of, "What do I want to get better at?" And that I need to change my frame of reference. I can lament to God all day, every day about the fact that I'm not the smartest human that ever existed or because that doesn't sound like a good use of time, or I can focus on getting 100 times better in an area that really matters to me and contributing meaningfully to people. And that change has rewarded me so tremendously with the only thing that matters, which is fulfillment.
So 100%, I wish that I could have gotten over that much, much sooner. Self-talk is really important. You need to be very thoughtful about what you repeat, but if you want to be a high achiever, the thing that you have to practice far more than a growth mindset is the physics of progress. You just need to be running that process because ultimately there's this weird relationship. It's not even weird. There is an intrinsic relationship between your mindset and your execution. Now at the end of the day, only execution matters, meaning you could have the worst mindset in the world, but if you do the right things to be successful, you will be successful. And conversely, if you have the best mindset in the world, but you never take action, then you're never going to be successful. So you need to be running the physics of progress. But to run the physics of progress, you need that growth mindset because remember, the physics of progress go like this. You have a hypothesis on what you would need to do to achieve your goals. You're going to turn that hypothesis into the thing that you're actually going to do. Then you're going to go do that thing. You're going to fail to some degree at that thing, and then you're going to need to assess why you failed. Now in reading the data in that moment and trying to tease apart what it is that you did that didn't work, you're going to need to take full responsibilities to your inadequacies so that you know what to do differently next time. But what high achievers understand that people with a fixed mindset don't is that you cannot allow yourself to tell a story about how it's something extrinsic to you outside of yourself that created that failure. You have to take full and complete responsibility. But by taking full and complete responsibility, you're now able to see what the data is trying to tell you. Failure is the most information rich data stream on planet Earth in the failure is the information that is going to be done. That is going to help you actually get better. Now the cool thing about a hypothesis is that it makes a prediction. That's the whole thing that this is contingent on. And yes, I know that this is recontextualizing the scientific method for success. But your hypothesis makes a prediction about what you need to do in order to accomplish something. When you fail, you realize that your base assumptions were slightly wrong and that you're going to have to improve upon your base assumptions in order to refine your hypothesis in order to refine the thing that you do in order to make a little bit more progress. And so that is what high achievers are absolutely obsessed with is making sure that they are staring nakedly at their inadequacies, looking at the data, figuring out how they can adjust their base assumption to make a new prediction to give them a better way of executing. And doing that over and over and over, running that physics of progress is how high achievers actually get to their goals. It's not that they were born a super genius. It's not that they were born with all of the answers. It's that they don't lie to themselves at that critical moment of failure, make it somebody else's problem. They go, "Ah, there's something that I did wrong. My hypothesis isn't accurate. I must refine my hypothesis in order to make more progress." Making it somebody else's problem, soothing yourself with platitudes or anger, that's something I see a lot. If you want to see what a poor frame of reference looks like in the real world, go read the Twitter comments of people that are very successful. They are met with so much anger. I'm not even talking about myself, so please don't think this is a self-congratulatory thing. I'm saying go look at the highest achievers on the planet. It is crazy how much vitriol there is in the comment section, especially if you're looking at people that have grown businesses. It is crazy. It's because people don't have a growth mindset, and so they're trying to protect themselves, which I actually get. It's a natural response that I spend a long time doing.
Narrow Framing (56:46)
My hands are covered in blood on this one. I spend so much time doing that. This is simply me recognizing my own past behavior. But I needed it to be somebody else's problem. I needed it to be my parents' problem for not giving me good enough genetics. I needed it to be the world's problem for me being raised in a lower middle-class household. I needed it to be the world's problem that it was a system stacked against me. I needed all of that to be able to feel good about myself, which is critically important. But people that go on to be successful, that's not their frame of reference. That's not what they're thinking about. And so they're not just patting themselves on the back. They're not just saying, "I'm good. I'm smart. I can pull this off." They're saying, "What did I do wrong?" Focusing obsessively on how they get better, refining their attempt, and then moving forward, and just making incremental progress relentlessly over time. That's the path forward. Let's put an action plan together that you can run over the next 30 days that are going to help you rewire your brain for growth and success. It looks like this. Number one, you become what you repeat. So you're going to start repeating things that move you towards your goals. The first thing that you're going to repeat is, "I only do and believe that which moves me towards my goals." Number two, you're going to focus obsessively on the physics of progress. The physics of progress are, you're going to come up with a hypothesis and what you need to do to achieve your goals. You're then going to turn that hypothesis into something you can actually do. You're going to do that thing. It is going to fail to some extent. You're going to assess why it failed. That will give you clues on what was wrong with your hypothesis. You're going to reformulate your hypothesis in a more educated way. And then you're going to turn that into something that you can do. You're going to do that thing. It's going to fail to some degree. You're going to assess why it failed. You're going to adjust your base assumptions around your hypothesis and you're going to repeat that over and over and over. The next thing that you're going to do is make a list of the most important things that you could be doing in order to be successful. So you need to have clarity on your goal that is hugely important, massive amounts of clarity on your goal. Then you're going to turn that into a list of things that you can do. You know you have enough clarity when you can write down a goal or a thing to do, excuse me, that would tell you what to do with the next 15 minutes of your life.
Clarity on Goals (59:10)
Most people come up with a plan that's so high level, they still have no idea what to do with the next 15 minutes of their life. Their goal is something that's going to take them five, ten years. And so knowing what to do right now in this minute becomes an example of somebody that doesn't have enough clarity about right now today. Your high level goal has to be translated into a very near term goal that you can achieve that is part of concentric rings for sure, but we want to make sure that we get into the list of things that we could be doing right now. Part of doing that is about habit building and that's exactly what you have to do to rewire your brain. To rewire your brain, you need to repeat things. Okay, those are the things you're going to actively do. Now let's talk about what we're going to stop doing. We have to pattern interrupt because we're repeating negative things that are holding us back.
Pattern Interrupt (01:00:03)
If we don't recognize that our brain wires around that which we repeat, we won't understand how to unwire before we can rewire. So the way that you're going to unwire things is you're going to let them atrophy by pattern interrupting so that you stop reinforcing the wiring. Okay, what people get is these mantras that they have in their head about, I'm not good enough at this and not talented enough. The world is holding me back. The world doesn't want to see people like me succeed. Whatever it is that you're repeating that is stopping you from acquiring new skills that is stopping you from staring nakedly at your inadequacy so you can see what you need to change, what skills you need to adopt so that you can get better and make progress. So we have to stop repeating those things. So we're going to interrupt that by saying the first thing I told you, I only do and believe that which moves me towards my goals. So hey, I don't allow myself to repeat that I'm not good enough. I don't allow myself to repeat that I'm not going to be able to pull this off. I don't allow myself to repeat that the world is stacked against me. I don't allow myself to repeat that this isn't my fault. I don't allow myself to repeat anything that doesn't move me towards my goals. And so what that's going to do is that's going to allow for atrophy to happen in that wiring because neurons that fire together, wire together, so whatever thing that's negative that I've been repeating, that's really reinforced in my brain. And I have to first pattern interrupt so that I'm not repeating those things so that those grips can begin to loosen so that as I'm doing the things that we said we're going to start doing, we're saying those positive things, we're taking action, we're looking at the things that we need to do to actually achieve our goals, we're doing those, we're turning them into a habit. Now I can let atrophy set in on the negative things that have hardwired in my brain and I can start repeating the positive loop that I need to be in around repeating positive things, only doing that which moves me towards my goals, making sure that I have clarity on my goals, making sure that I translate my goal into actionable items and turning that whole process into a habit so that I'm sitting down every day and I'm writing out my important things list, I'm taking the vast majority of my time to actually execute on the physics of progress and I'm just running that in a loop, constantly looking at the data, how is it telling me how to get better? And if you exist in that loop for 30 days, you will really feel that you're starting to make progress and then if you repeat that for the next 30 years, no one will be able to stop you.
Rewiring Your Brain (01:02:42)
Alright everybody, that is the power of developing a growth mindset. I hope that you will use all of the things that we just talked about in order to hardwire a growth mindset in your life because it is the only frame of reference from which you can actually execute on your goals and have the kind of success that you've always wanted. Good after it. If this episode resonated with you, be sure to check out the next clip about the importance of gaining skills. Hey everybody, welcome to another episode of Impact Theory Q&A.
Commanding Respect And Navigating Cultural Expectations
Earning respect over commanding it (01:03:16)
Today I'm going to be covering the topic of commanding respect. This is going to be an interesting one. I take your guys' questions and I give you feedback here in real time. So without further ado, let's learn how to command some respect. Question number one. When dealing with older family members who raised you, how do you go about commanding respect when they have been your parental figure but still don't take you seriously no matter the effort you put into your goals? No matter how much you have achieved, no matter how many times you've proven yourself competent and capable, they still see you as the kid that cannot possibly understand the grown-up world and treat you as an incompetent child no matter your accomplishments. How can you personally move past that and break the older person's identity of you? Is it possible and how? Alright, I love this question because it gets to the heart of commanding respect. I actually think the idea of commanding respect is probably the wrong way to think about it. You're really going to be earning respect. You're going to be getting so good at something that you can't be denied. And this is one of those things that I say without judgment. I'm not saying that you're not talented. I'm not saying that you haven't demonstrated competence. But I am saying that if you can be ignored, the only way out of that is to continue to get better, get to the point, show it so many times that it is just self-evident. Now, I'm going to set aside insecurities for a second because it's entirely possible that what you're dealing with is their insecurity. But I never want to give up my power and say, "Oh, this is just on them." And if you find yourself doing that, I will say hit the brakes right now because first and foremost you always want to look at what you could be doing. So there's two things you could be doing. Up in your game, no matter how good you think you are, you're still being ignored. And so if we talk about getting so good that they can't ignore you, then we know that we haven't achieved that yet. And then the second thing you can do is move on. And while I know that is brutally difficult to hear, if we're dealing with insecurities, then that may be the only solution. So first, I want to focus the most of our attention on this idea that you really can get so good that you can't be ignored. And I think a great example of this is Gary Vaynerchuk. Now, if you guys don't know his story, it's such a cool story of somebody who came up working for their father, their dad, I'm sure, in many ways, thought about it. And so I think it was a great example of Gary Vaynerchuk who was a great example of his father in many ways, thought of them the same way that he was just the kid. And it got to the point where Gary saw an opportunity for him to do something in a completely different part of the business where he could establish himself. So now it was about an area that his father didn't understand, his father didn't have expertise, and Gary could show with results point blank that he was able to do something that his father wasn't. And it was $6 million in revenue to, I think, almost $70 million in revenue. I mean, it was extraordinary in a relatively short period of time, just a few years if I'm not mistaken. So that's the kind of thing. There's no way, no matter how insecure the other person is, no matter how they may have their own problems emotionally soothing or staying centered or getting their ego out of the way, whatever the things are that they're dealing with, there's no way to look at those numbers and not say, "Alright, clearly what he was doing is working." And to me, that is where you have to get. You've got to get to the point where it would just be absurd to anybody looking at that situation to think that you weren't killing it. And what I've always done in my own life is say, "Hey, I might be outperforming somebody, but if I'm not absolutely positively dunking on them, burying them with results, leaving them so far behind, 10x, 20x better than the next person, then I need to keep going. I need to focus on me building my skillset and really burying people with results time and time again, day in and day out weeks, months, years of performance." Now, that begs the question, am I, we're back to part two now, am I investing this insane amount of energy, which is what it is going to require, a level of energy that other people think is crazy, obsession, mental illness, whatever it is that they think about it, you need to make sure that you're applying that level of energy to the place where it makes sense to apply that energy. Now, I don't know your parents. I don't know if this is a family business. I don't know all of the dynamics at work. And it's impossible for me to say with certainty whether this is a "you need to do something" or they need to do something. But if you recognize that this is not the area that you want to be putting your energies into and you have the confidence in your own abilities, then don't be afraid to strike out on your own. And I think that's very important for everybody to have in their back pocket is a memory that in the end, if you really are as good as you think, then you should be able to go and build something new using those same skillset. If you're afraid to do that, that may be a sign that you're not quite as good as you think. And that's the best news ever because it means that you're still in control.
Your story the journey of learning (01:08:39)
All right. Question two. How do I command respect from people who are higher up the career ladder than I am, who are patronizing, refuse to acknowledge my achievements? I don't take their negativity on board. I certainly don't need their validation and I still sleep at night, but I would love to turn this around. Previous attempts have made me appear everything from pathetic to arrogant, but it's a challenge I want to win and I'm intrigued as to how this would be answered. Okay. This is my life. This is the exact thing that I went through. So in the beginning of my business career, first of all, I knew nothing. So people were right to question me why I was there, what the value I was offering. And I remember in the beginning, this was back at a technology company. When I first started, I was hired as a copywriter by the guys who would later become my partners, but at the time I was just an employee and people were asking, who's the kid in the server room? I was the youngest person in the company. Nobody took me seriously. I was working in an office where everybody had floor to ceiling windows with a view of the Pacific Ocean. It was absolutely stunning, except for me. And I was put in the server room, which is the sort of business equivalent of Harry Potter living under the stairs. I didn't have any windows. I remember being so embarrassed bringing my wife to the office because there were no windows. I didn't even have a proper desk. I just sat in a room full of the servers that were running the technology that we were building. And I thought, okay, nobody takes me seriously. I remember one guy. We ended up letting him go. And he was so pissed that I was in the room during his termination. And so there was a lot of sort of pressure against me. People thought that, rightly so, by the way, in the beginning, that I didn't know what I was doing. And it took so much time and energy to grow and get to the point where I was adding enough value that I couldn't be denied. And that took me years. But I put in that work. I picked the things that I wanted to get good at. I put an inhuman amount of effort. I'm talking, working to the point where my wife finally had to pull me aside and say, "You're now damaging the marriage. You are working so much." So I recognized that what this was was the game of skill set. And if a normal person was going to be convinced of my skills, say, at point C, these guys weren't going to be impressed by my skills until point Q. Fine. I'm aiming for point Z. And I'm going to go that hard. I'm not going to ask permission. I'm going to really try to add value. I'm not going to see this as antagonistic. I'm not going to take anything on. I'm not going to see, like, fuck them. And I'm just trying to beat and crush them. What I wanted to do was get so good that I could deliver so much results, tangible results for the company, that people would want me on their team, and that more and more people would covet to have me help them, that I would reach out to people and try to add value to them, even if it wasn't my job. And just see, what are the things that I can do to help? And by adopting that attitude, knowing that as I was helping people, I was getting better. I was becoming more valuable. I was taking things on myself. I was trying to look beyond my job description. I was just trying to get so freakishly good that one, I could go anywhere if I wanted to. I didn't have to stay in that company. Two, if I'm honest, at that point, what I was trying to do was earn equity in the company. So for five years, I didn't ask for a raise. I just put my head down, and all I wanted to do was become a partner. And I was just learning and learning and learning and learning. And if somebody made fun of me, dunked on me, yelled at me, whatever, I just fucking self-sooth. That was the big thing, was I realized one of my superpowers was I could self-sooth faster than anybody else. I could focus on skill acquisition, and I tied my identity entirely. My entire ego, all of my pride, was around getting better. And by focusing relentlessly on skills, not worrying about other people, in fact trying to help them, take on way more than my job description, put time in nights, weekends to learn a skill set that I knew would be valuable to the company. And I wasn't even asking for anything in exchange. I just wanted to prove that I could get so good that they were better off offering me a piece of the company than losing me to somebody else. And that's that thing that's become so frowned on in this culture to work more than you're being compensated for. And I'm telling you right now, if you really want an extraordinary life, trying to optimize for your dollars in the short term is a losing proposition. You want to over-deliver consistently at a freakish level. And then when you've done that, then you can make real demands, demands that will change your net worth forever. That's commanding respect.
How do you demand respect when your random person returns (01:13:30)
All right, question three. I have practiced many times my body language and the things I want to say as well as the manner I should have. However, when the moma comes and I'm confronted by the person I need to have the conversation with my facade kind of fades and I slip back into my normal self and eventually I completely lose the respect instead of getting it. Are there any tricks or tips for keeping it together specifically when the anticipated moment of demanding respect by a specific person who did you wrong in the past arrives? Oh my God. Okay. This is fire. First of all, thank you for being vulnerable and sharing that. I think that's incredibly powerful. Now, in your question, you're revealing the problem that is haunting you. So respect comes from competence, whether it's your own self respecting yourself, doing something you think is worthy, getting good at something that is valuable. That's how you get somebody else's respect. You don't get respect by saying you should treat me this way and respect cannot be given. It must be earned. And I remember hearing that at the beginning of my career and thinking, "Fuck man." Like, I can't just go to somebody and say, "Hey, don't be a dick. You need to treat me better." And that got me nowhere. It makes you look weak. Like you said, I mean, you literally put in the question where my facade, my facade kind of fades and I slip back into my normal self and eventually I completely lose the respect instead of getting it. Okay. This is a game of confidence. To be confident, you must actually be good at something. I'm sure you've heard the phrase that confidence comes from competence. Okay. The same with respect. If you want to get that respect, you actually have to get good at something. If you want to get that respect, you actually have to respect yourself. You want, "Oh God, there's a great story." So I interviewed Matthew McConaughey. Watch the episode. First of all, it's fire. That dude's amazing. But he, in his book, "Green Lights," he talks about how he came to Hollywood and first he was discovered in Texas. Now, why was he discovered in Texas? Because he had swagger. He had that "it" factor. He didn't give a shit. He didn't want people's approval. He wasn't asking for anything. He wasn't coming to the world with his hand out. This is so critical. This was a turning point in my life. Don't come to the world with your hand out. Don't act like the world owes you anything. The people that are disrespecting you don't owe you shit and you shouldn't want anything from them. You shouldn't be thinking about them. You should be thinking about becoming a beast that cannot be stopped because you have a set of skills that lets you do something other people can't do. My favorite. One of my favorite quotes all time, certainly my favorite Kobe Bryant quote, "Booze, don't block dunks." If you get so good at something that people can't stop you, they can't stop you. Think about being on a basketball court. The other team, they are paying their players millions of dollars to stop somebody from putting a ball into the hoop. But you can actually get so good that they cannot stop you from doing it no matter how hard they try. Life is like that. You actually, okay, remember, skills have utility. So you can actually get so good at something. Your skill set is so superior to other people. Your competitors, the other people in your work environment, whoever. That even though they want to stop you, they can't because you've just gotten that much better than they are. Now, back to Matthew McConaughey goes to Hollywood. They picked him out of obscurity because he had swagger. He goes there and all of a sudden he loses that swagger. And before his agent, I guess, would let him go to his first audition. He said, "No, no, no. I can see that you've got your hand out now, that you want something from this town." So we sent him on a two-month motorcycle journey across Europe or some crazy shit like that. And he said, "When you're ready and you no longer want anything from this town, and you can just walk in, be you totally unapologetically, then we'll start sending you out on auditions." He did it. He comes back. He's got a swagger. He sends him in and obviously the rest is history. Man, that shit is hard. And I know that people want an easier path forward, but the reality is you have to get so good you can dunk on even the people trying to stop you. That's just the truth. And when you do that and you're no longer wanting other people's respect, you don't care about that. All you're doing is investing in skill set. Then it will pay off. All of a sudden people will respect you. And by the way, be kind to people. Extend that respect to those that have earned it, of course. But don't be cold or cruel. Even when people are being that way to you, I just can't tell you how much that will pay off in the end. All right. That's the key. Get that swagger.
What should you do to demand respect (01:18:33)
Question 4. Hello? I would like to know what kind of things one should do in order to command respect. How should one handle situations to receive people's respect? What body language commands respect? Can respect and kindness go together? If so, how to find a good balance? I have noticed that when I'm too nice, I don't receive respect. However, when a mean side comes out, people share respect. Oh my God, I need to shout out Patty. Patty, you pick fire questions. These are amazing. All right. I want to zoom in on a part of this question. So it is absolute bullshit that being nice causes people not to respect you. And that being mean gets you respect. What being mean will do is get you a change in behavior. And you can display dominance by being aggressive or by being mean. And I'm not saying there's not a time to display dominance. There is, that's a whole, we'll do a whole episode on dominance, Patty. But kindness is how you build teams. Connection, wanting other people to win. Celebrating other people. Lifting them up. I can think of few ways to get people's, it's not respect. I can think of few ways to get people to want you on their team that are more effective than helping, celebrating, cheering for them, being kind. This sounds stupid, but I have yet to find a better way to say this. Filling your heart with love. Like you go into a situation and you just want the people around you to win. Now, that doesn't mean that you don't show up every day, like the hardest core motherfucker there is. Playing to win. Being ultra intense. Setting a standard. And expecting people that want to draft on you to play at that same level. But you should be able to have maybe even more kindness for the person that's struggling to do that. The person that is maybe paralyzed or overwhelmed. That even as you're going that hard core that people can see, that you actually care about humans. That it isn't just who's got something that they can do for me. Who's going to be able to lift me up and help my project. But you're looking for ways to help other people. You're going out of your way to be kind to people. That stuff is worth its weight and goal. But you're never going to get people's respect until you're actually good. So now imagine being the best on the team and being kind to the worst player. That's probably not the right way to think about it. I'm going to tease two ideas out. I think you do need to hold the worst player accountable. But John Wooden, one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time. Said that he would judge people when he was scouting a high school player. That there were times where he would intentionally have like the janitor or the water boy or something spill water around a player he was recruiting. Because he wanted to see how they would react. And if they were a jerk to that person, he wouldn't bring them on the team. Because he knew it's not just about finding the best players. It's about finding people that can work together. Finding ways to create harmony. Let's talk about Michael Jordan. Phil Jackson said that until he helped Michael become a leader, they didn't win championships. Because Michael was so antagonistic. And look, Michael was hard on people his whole career. Don't be wrong. But he said he had to help Michael understand that he had to play as a team. That this couldn't be just about Jordan. And now if you look at the things that Jordan talks about, he always credits the team. The team. The team. I was a part of a winning team. And he'll rattle off the players by name. And if you read 11 rings by Phil Jackson, he talks about that transition that Jordan went through. And that to me is extraordinarily telling of greatness. That you get yourself good extraordinary to the point where people can rely on you. You're really pursuing greatness. You're pushing other people to achieve greatness. But you're not doing it at the expense of kindness. And so when I'm being aggressive. And there is no question. I think my team will be the first to tell you that I can be very aggressive. My aggression always comes out in two forms. One, what's our goal and are we actually doing the things that we need to do to achieve it. And then two, we have a culture. And the culture at impact theory is designed to help us achieve our goals. You can't work at impact theory unless you buy into the culture. And I would expect people to hold me accountable to that culture as quickly as I hold them accountable. But let me tell you, I show up every day leading because I'm the right person to lead, not because I'm the CEO. And because I approach it like that, because I'm trying to outwork everybody, because I'm trying to have in my area a deeper skill set than anybody. And then I'm showing kindness, generosity of spirit. It creates camaraderie and it allows you to create momentum. Momentum is definitely a whole other episode unto itself. But that's the thing you want to bring together. I always tell people I'm looking for three things. Grand ambition, the drive to see that ambition through and compassion. Normally you see drive and ambition paired up with competitiveness. But I actually want people that can elevate other people. And I think that's a huge part of this.
How Do You Command Respect (01:24:25)
Alright, question five. How do you command respect from people who have either seen you in low places and do not respect you or people who have been free with their disrespect for you in the past? How can you command respect from them in your current reality? Alright, I want to talk about being low. I think that's a really interesting part of this. So one, I can't rule out that you may be in a toxic environment. So let's just say if you're in a toxic environment, that's a real thing. You want to get out of that toxic environment, you want to move on to something else. Like just trying to change a whole organization if they are toxic is not interesting to me in the slightest. Now toxicity comes from insecurity. So if that helps, it actually does help me to know that when people are mean spirited, when they like to see other people fail, it's all coming from their own insecurities. I find tremendous emotional relief in that. Now I want to talk about being low. In a non-toxic environment, while I don't think anybody races to have others witness them at their worst, we've all been there. We are all deeply flawed emotional creatures and showing vulnerability should never be frowned on. For you, forget how people are reacting. So there's wallowing and that is an interesting, shouldn't be interesting to you in yourself or in others. There is wanting sympathy instead of empathy. So sympathy is feel bad for me. You should never want that. Empathy is understand where I'm at. Being seen is rad. And my wife and I have an agreement. I don't want sympathy from her, no matter how hard my life gets, empathy desperately. And the way that we've always explained it to each other is if I never knock to my knees, I don't want you to get on your knees with me and cry. I want you to extend a hand, tell me how much you love me, pick me back up, brush me off, and remind me of who I can become. That's rad. So I'm not worried if she sees me low. I'm not worried if my team sees me fail. I think all of us, if you're really going for something extraordinary, I think all of us are going to fail at least as much as we succeed, maybe more. And so fearing the low moments is not the right way to think about it. Recontextualize that failure as a learning opportunity. Earn people's respect, not command it. Earn people's respect by getting back up on your feet. Not asking people to feel bad for you. Focusing on the learning opportunity. Show that you have a growth mindset. Get your ego out of the way. Focus entirely on getting better. And if you rebound quickly with energy and enthusiasm, even if some people take the opportunity to kick you while you're down, in the long run, people will gravitate towards you because they see that you're real, you're not posing. They see that you bounce back, that you don't whine, wallow, complain. You get up. You're focused on improvement and moving forward. And look, the reality is getting great requires you to fail over and over and over. There's an amazing quote by Winston Churchill and he says, "Success is the ability to go from failure to failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm." And you just can't worry about what other people are thinking when you're down. You have to go, "Cool, this is a learning experience. I'm going to get back up." And your response to that shouldn't be orchestrated to command respect or in respect to even think about people. It should be, you have a goal. And you know to build your skill set to the point where you're so good that you can't be denied that all the booze in the world can't block your dunk, you have to fail. Because it really is. It isn't a saying. Failure is the most information rich data stream you will ever encounter. In the failure, if you get your ego out of the way and you're not crying about it and you're not worried about what other people are going to think, you're just thinking, "Okay, cool. I failed. And if I can understand why, then I can get better." Now you do that day in and day out. All of a sudden you're going to earn respect as a consequence of your just consistent improvement. And if I were going to sum up everything that we've talked about today, it's that. It's not focusing on earning people's respect or worrying about what they think. It's about the physics of how the world works. And the physics of how the world works pretty straightforward. You have a goal. You have an idea of how to reach that goal, right? There's an impediment between where you are and where you want to be. You've got a theory about how to overcome that impediment. You try it. Many of the things you try will fail or they'll be insufficient. You'll assess why it was insufficient and you'll begin again more intelligently as Henry Ford said. Failure is just the ability to begin again more intelligently. And you do that over and over and over and over and over and it's what I call the physics of progress. You can't boil it down any more simple than that. Alright, so don't be afraid of your low moments. If you're in a toxic environment, get out. Focus every day on getting better and the respect will come as a result of that. Alright, last question. What suggestions do you have to navigate through cultural expectations or negative perceptions about commanding respect? For example, it's not as easy in some cultures to maneuver the commanding of respect from parents, family members, etc.
Suggestions to Navigate through Cultural Expectations (01:30:34)
Without it being perceived as disrespectful, which is much more negative than in the American culture. Hopefully that makes sense. Thank you. Okay, so yes, that absolutely makes sense and it is a very real fact of the world that there's a reason that there are some cultures are more entrepreneurial minded than other cultures and this is part of it, right? The sort of know your place or the tall poppy syndrome as they call it down in Australia. That, you know, it's the tall blade of grass or the tall poppy that gets cut down first. Okay, there's many cultures that have that concept and cultures that are more communally minded tend to have that in the extreme, right? So that people don't want to see you try to rise above your station. They don't want to see you do something as if you can be better than other people. So I just want to acknowledge that is very real and so now the question becomes, what are you going to do about it? So the first thing that I do is I have to divorce myself from what other people think. And once you divorce yourself from what other people think, you realize that they don't have nearly as much power over you as you thought they did. And it's only when you're trying to fit in their system, when you're like, for instance, if you need to live in their house, if you are relying on them for money, if they're your only emotional support, okay? Those are ways that you get trapped. So my parents over my journey and my parents were amazing. They have pushed me to exceed and excel and all of that. But there's no question that as I was growing and living a life that they had never imagined that they couldn't imagine for me. They couldn't imagine for themselves that they vacillated between being worried for me, thinking I was out of my mind, and constantly telling me that I was pursuing the wrong thing. Not out of malice, out of love, which is oftentimes where this comes from. And I just finally had to flip a switch in my mind and say, I'm trying to live a life that is radically different from the life that they have lived. And so what makes me think that the value system through which they're trying to view me is going to leave me to where I want to go. And so if you're chafing under the constraints of a value system that doesn't lead where you want to go as difficult as it is without stopping loving them, you don't have to cut them out of your life. But you have to say, here's what I'm doing. I'm doing it whether you want me to or not. I still love you. But I'm doing it whether you want me to or not. And it's okay if you're scared. It's okay if you don't like it. And then give them the chance to get on board over time. And if they're heckling you too hard, you may need to create that distance. You are going to have to build some boundaries. And it's just sort of the way it goes. If you guys know Nicole LaPara, she would be a great person to research in terms of somebody that has had to deal with family boundaries, building those boundaries so that she could build the life that she wanted. Very powerful advice around that. And ultimately it's that. It's recognizing what value system you're going to need to have success in the way that you want, letting them know that you love them, that you hope that they can give you the space to go on your journey. And that if they can't, you're going to go on it anyway. And some of that means that you have to make yourself financially and emotionally independent. And I think all of us should strive for that anyway. So, you know, you should be in a warm and loving environment because that's where you want to be, not because you need something. So yes, I will leave it at that. Guys, these were amazing questions. Thank you so much for submitting them.
Hopefully you see that this isn't about commanding respect. It's not even about setting out to earn respect. It's about getting so good that you can't be denied for your own reasons because that's where your goals demand. And as a consequence of developing that competence, developing that confidence, being able to show kindness even to people that aren't showing kindness to you and performing at a ridiculously high level. Day after day, getting better year after year, that the respect will be just an echo of that. If you do that, I promise you, even if the people that you're around currently still are hating on you, you will be able to manifest things in the world through your skill set that other people just can't. And that will take you to be around other people, which you should always be seeking out, the people that you want to be the average of, right, the Jim Rohn quote, you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with, leverage that improved skill set to get around improved people if that's what it takes if you're in a toxic environment. All right, everybody, that's respect. I hope that you're able to put that to use in your life. And until next time, my friends, be legendary. Take care. Thank you guys so much for watching. If you liked this video, be sure to smash that like button and let me know. Having the right mindset and skills are only part of improving your life. Be sure to check out this next episode about the importance of implementing principles. What I want to do is walk you through the ultra concrete steps that I went through, the changes that I had to make to truly become unstoppable. So that's what this is all about.