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Having an Effective Attitude is about approaching challenges and making decisions in such a way as to guarantee the best possible long-term quality of life. In this podcast, Dan shares the principles of an Effective Attitude, including how to choose the best available option, why optimism is more helpful than pessimism, choosing which hill to die on, and much more!
Dan’s Top Resources
Dan has 3 bestselling non-fiction books available in both written and audio form:
- The Naked Truth, his latest release, shows you how radical honesty builds self-confidence and relationships
- Nothing to Lose explores how to build confidence from the inside by correcting the programming in your brain
- The Legendary Life is a very practical, action-focused guide on how to plan and execute a life plan that brings you your ideal lifestyle
Dan continues to put out high quality online self-paced courses through the Udemy platform
- Nice Guy Recovery: how to transform from a people pleaser into a confident beast.
- Shamelessness: how to relieve yourself of the “not good enough” story
- Powerful Honesty: takes you through step-by-step development of your communication skills to be more charismatic and powerful in your honesty
- The 3X Confidence and Authenticity Masterclass program: use the famous 3X Model to build confidence in all areas of life
- Financial Freedom for Beginners: includes everything from budgeting, to getting a raise, to investing in the stock market, to starting a side-business and more
- Overcoming Your Fear of Rejection… Permanently!: covers the psychology of “rejection” and what actions to take to make yourself immune to the fear of it
Full transcript (unedited)
Welcome back to brojo online. Today I want to introduce a brand new concept that I’ve been playing with a lot. It’s still somewhat in draft form, but I’m kind of too excited about it to keep it in much longer. And it’s called having an effective attitude.
Basically, having an effective attitude is about giving yourself the best possible chance for high quality of life. It is what it sounds like. It’s an attitude, a mental approach to life and to specific situations that is best suited for your long term quality of life. When I say quality of life, I mean, both the inside and the outside the inside quality of life means self confidence, you love being you, you’re proud of you, you want to be used for more. And externally, the outcomes you get the life situation you have is the most enjoyable possibly available. And not everyone can have the heights of enjoyment compared to the neighbors. But in terms of what’s available to them, there’s a range from miserable to best. And having an effective attitude is about trying to get the best for yourself both internally and externally for comparison, and ineffective attitude would be the approach that chooses the worst long term outcomes in order to gain short term benefits. It’s about being unhealthy and unhelpful in your approach. Whereas having an effective attitude is always about being healthy and helpful. It’s always about putting yourself in the best possible position to make the most of whatever fate serves you. So today, I want to talk about the principles, I’m going to give you some basic principles of having an effective attitude, I’m not sure that I have all the principles mapped out yet, but this is what I’m gonna have for you so far. And I’m gonna include some examples of what to say to apply these principles. Now, a lot of the stuff will seem like common sense. But my work has shown me that most people do not apply this stuff very often, if at all. And the reason that most people’s lives are full of secret internal suffering and external mediocrity is because they do not have an effective attitude, they have an ineffective attitude, and it hurts them. So I’m going to present these principles as questions that you can ask yourself, and what I’d recommend is, after you’ve heard all of them, you might choose two or three that you felt were best suited to or felt that addressed the biggest sort of weaknesses or depravations in your life. And just challenge yourself to ask yourself these questions a few times per day, even once per day can make a huge difference. But if you just choose 123 of these questions, ask yourself them on some sort of regular frequency, you’re bound to start catching yourself living in an ineffective way and be able to turn it around. Question number one, what is the best move available? Now I got this idea from playing chess when you play chess and analyze your games or get a computer to analyze your games that will tell you what the best move available was. And it will let you know when you did not do that. Or you did something sort of okay, but not as good. It allows you to learn chess by saying that there’s always a base move in your jaw. And T is to win the game is to try and figure out what the move is. Now you can always figure out what it is. But there’s always a big difference between moves down that end of the spectrum and moves down the other in the worst possible moves. For example, when I’m playing chess, I know that sacrificing my queen for no reason can’t possibly be the best move. Whereas putting something in a position where it attacks and defends at the same time is probably somewhere in the good realm of moves to make. Now you can apply this principle to your life, you can always ask yourself, given the range of choices currently available to me the different ways I could respond to the situation I’m in which of them do I think is probably the best for my long term quality of life? Which one is not necessarily going to win this game, but win the battle? Which one is going to contribute to me in the long term being the best person I can think of being? And usually when you pose yourself that question, when you stop and ask, there is one answer that stands out amongst the others, or at least it helps you eliminate a few. There are terrible options and you’ll see them for what they are and go okay at least just don’t do that. And then you’ll be left with a range like when any of these might be good and they might not be but they seem better. And then you can pick one of those with relative security that you’re trying your best to make the best move. Now some situations will be easiest situations where you’re well experienced and familiar. You will know the best move you’ve walked this path before you know what the mistakes are, you know what the successful moves on so this can be relatively quick process. And other newer unfamiliar situations, you might have to guess, based on basic principles for this concept. For example, I might be trying a brand new workout, I’ve never done it before. But I’ve got some general principles of exercise. So I know that however I do this workout, I shouldn’t do bad form, if I can avoid it, I should stop. If I’m starting to get sore, I should warm up beforehand, there’s some basic principles I could follow, that puts me in a pretty good chance of making the best move, and negates the possibility of me making the worst move, just a bit of forethought, what’s the best way to approach this? You could even approach it with the idea of like, what’s the best way I have learned things in the past? So I’m trying this new workout? How did I approach school in a way that helped me? How did I approach you know, learning how to socialize in a way that helps me how can I apply those principles here to kind of guarantee I’ll make the best move. Now put this principle first, because it’s my favorite one, it’s the one I use the most often in times of do wrist. See, when I’m feeling good, I generally make good moves. But when I’m feeling stressed, or frustrated, or confused, or tired and exhausted, I tend to start slipping away from best moves and start to make make moves there to roquet for short term pleasure and comfort sometimes, but usually cost me in the long run. And I kind of know that if I could just stop and think I knew that I was kind of making a dud move there.
So I like this one and give you an example of applying it say recently is I was very tired, I had a lot of work on or at least I told myself that I was getting stressed. And then my wife and my child were struggling when my daughter was getting put down to sleep. Now there’s a range, not a big range. But there’s a range of options, and one was to storm in the air all frustrated and just take over. And when I stopped and asked myself, what’s the best move available, I immediately saw that that tempting fix it option. Almost certainly wasn’t doing nothing would be better than doing that. So I had a look at the other options, I could gently approach and see if they needed some help. Or I could do nothing at all, there wasn’t many options available. And I ended up going well, the best move is probably chicken first with Lucy, see if she needs my help. And if I don’t get a response from her, or she says no, then back off and do nothing, which is what ended up happening, I ended up just doing nothing. And while that might have been a bit, kind of stressful in the moment, because I wanted to fix things for my own comfort. In the long run. It’s better for Lucy’s kind of training as a parent, it’s better for our relationship. I’m not trying to fix things. And it’s better for me if I focus on what I can control rather than getting distracted by what I can’t. And that’s a great example of how I just stopped and asked myself what’s the best move, and in doing so was able to identify what seemed to be a really good move, and also clearly identify what was a terrible idea that I should stay away from. Next principle. Am I being nuanced in moderate in my views, I’ve generally found that it’s more effective to have a nuanced complex view of how things are, rather than trying to get to an extremist hardline conservative view of things. The wisest and most intelligent people are very rarely extreme in their views, they very rarely fit in well to a particular group, or a particular school of thought on the idea, they tend to be a lone wolf, because they’re seeing all sorts of different sides to the situation, and they have an overall kind of bird’s eye view of it. And in doing so, it’s very hard to get to hardline or extreme because you’ll see all the different variables and realize it’s just not that simple. In any given time, you’re going to see a spectrum of views available on any particular topic in an effective attitude is starting with the assumption that the truth lies somewhere in the middle, that all these extremist views when they’re boiled down, and all the bullshit stuff has taken away, there’s going to be some crossover, some agreement, and somewhere in there is probably the truth, what you’re hoping to do if you gotta be wiser to take the strengths from all the different perspectives and all the different angles, and put them together, while filtering out all the weaknesses and all the kind of lies and deceptions. Because everybody’s got some truth in what they say. And everyone’s got some deception and what they say and you want to try filter it all out so that you’re left with the most truthful synergy of all the different ideas, rather than just getting on the bandwagon of what are your friends doing or the movement you’re a part of or the group you most identify with. rather seek to be a lone wolf who has the most accurate view rather than
just joining the crew. A great example of this recently would be the war in the Ukraine that generally people are getting quite extremist on this Most are getting onto the side of like we stand for Ukraine, which means Russia is bad, Putin is bad, Everything’s bad about this, Ukraine are these angels that have never done anything wrong, and they deserve full support from everybody. And this is a terrible war crime that’s taking place is that view. And then there’s the other view that says, you guys don’t know what you’re talking about, you’re full of shit. This is NATO’s fault, blah, blah, blah. And there’s that view as well. And what you’ll find, if you dig into the research on this, a few look at what the experts say on all the geopolitical factors involved in the situation, from the Culture of Russia, Russian politics, and how it creates somebody like Putin through to the backstory of the Ukraine and the truth about their president, and what’s going on there. And what NATO is and how it is and isn’t involved in this conflict, and so on and so forth. What you end up with is simply a view of it’s not that simple. As view of this is a very complicated political situation. It’s a mixture of human ego with resource management, misunderstanding, propaganda. And there’s a whole lot of I don’t know what was going on, there’s a whole lot of having to realize it, because you can’t see inside somebody’s mind, like you can’t see inside Vladimir Putin’s mind, you don’t know exactly what’s happening. And so anyone saying they know exactly what’s happening is automatically an extremist point of view, the only accurate point of view on such a complex situation to say I don’t know, what’s really going on here. So that would be applying a nuanced and moderate view of like, there are a lot of factors at play here. There’s this there’s that there’s ethicist, there’s all these millions of human beings and involved. And then there’s the reporting on all those millions of human beings. And that’s like a step removed from them. So we don’t know if that’s accurate, and so on. And you’re left with Look, I don’t really know what’s going on there. So it’s best to not get too extreme in my involvement until I know more. Next principle is this based on evidence and examples. Now, a lot of times you’re going to feel like something’s the right move. But if you were put into a court and had to testify and prove that that was a good idea, you’d struggle to back it up. There won’t be strong evidence and examples from past experiences to say why that’s a good move. For example, I have a friend who chooses their partners based almost solely on how good they look how physically attractive they are. Now, that person feels that that’s a really good idea. But that person’s past history of relationships, where they’ve always chosen people using this very strict criteria is a disaster. I’ve had nothing but disastrous relationships. So there’s at least no evidence to say that this is a good approach. It’s not as a as necessarily a bad approach, but there’s no evidence to back it up as being a good approach. When you go about doing what you’re going to do. Taking the approach you’re going to take, you have to ask yourself, why do I think this is successful? Why do I think this is a good way of doing things? Where’s the proof? Are there? No, I’ve seen recently an example that comes up a lot of parenting or somebody say, like, I was spanked as a kid, and it didn’t do me any harm. Where’s your proof of that? Where’s the examples that you are a more successful, healthy, more confident human being than most others? Where’s the proof that you’re getting spanked actually helpful is the correlation between you getting physically abused and a child and you being extremely successful now? Because if you can’t prove that, then you shouldn’t say something like that. And you shouldn’t act according to it. You shouldn’t spank your kids. With that kind of poor scarcity of evidence, feelings and urges must be put aside, we’re never going to make a decision. And facts must be brought up a rationale. I don’t mean, backwards rationalizing, like trying to cherry pick facts to back up a decision you’ve already made. I mean, to go look, if I was only going to act according to the facts, what would I do even if it feels wrong? Even if I really don’t want to do it? What would I do if I was basing this solely on evidence of what works? For example, I see this in business all the time. A lot of people faffing around with social media, promoting themselves and doing all these lovely things that probably feel really great and rewarding and validating to do but if I was to dig into the books, I would find that very little revenue comes from this behavior. And that the real revenue comes from reaching out to people one to one, serving them, risking rejection, finding clients outweigh the stuff they don’t feel like doing.
You’ve got to put aside what you feel like doing and look at what actually works. If you’re running a business go Where do my clients come from? Where does my money actually come from? What’s the behavior I do that leads to money is no matter how uncomfortable their behavior is? The facts don’t lie, yet Do their behavior and still the one you feel like the next principle? What does it mean to be optimistic without false positivity? Now, optimism is showing both in my work with my clients and in scientific studies, to be conducive to success. The more optimistic people are, the more likely they are to succeed, to succeed in enjoy their lives. But optimism is often conflated with false positivity, or the positivity movement that came out in the 80s. And 90s. Optimism is not about hoping for a good result in the future, then is not optimism. There is not optimism to say that, if I wish it, it will be true and to look in the mirror and go, you’re an awesome person, even though you don’t believe it. That’s not optimism, that is false positivity, that’s pretending to be positive about something or convincing yourself that something positive is going to happen, even though you don’t control the future. Optimism is based on the present and the past in terms of results. It’s based on real life facts. For example, looking at a situation and going it’s very likely, that aren’t going to successfully get through the situation because I’m alive today, which means I’ve gone through every situation that’s ever happened to me before. That’s optimism. It’s recognizing I have a strength of endurance here, that nothing’s broken me yet. So it’s unlikely that this next thing is going to break me. It’s false positivity, for example, to say, you know, I think the weather is going to be really good tomorrow, it’s optimistic to say, look, no matter what the weather is, we’ll make the most verbal, make sure we’re notes and prepared. Right? So we’re understanding, sometimes the weather’s gonna be bad, and you can’t control that. But you can control your reaction to it, you can play to your strengths, you can make the most out of any situation, if you wish, that optimism based all on controlling you. False positivity is based on controlling the outside universe or wasting your time. Next principle, will this be generally helpful to me, even if it doesn’t achieve my specific goals. And what this means is you’re looking to always take an action that you gain something from, even if you don’t achieve the goal that you’re attempting to achieve, that overall, the way you behave is still good for you. In fact, you can level this up, you should make sure that every behavior you do gains for you in multiple areas of your life, that if I’m going to do something that’s health, wealth, relationships, psychology, my mission, at least two or three of these areas of gaining from just my attempt, if nothing else, for example, it’s as if I go to the gym and try to do pull ups not only in my work in my physical health, but maybe doing them in front of people is me building courage as well. So make sure that even if I can’t do one pull up, the fact that I’m facing possible embarrassment is developing my courage. So I get something out of this, no matter how it goes. This is such a better approach than putting it all in on one non transferable game. Like, if I can’t do push ups, I don’t get anything out of it. There’s no physical gain. You know, if there’s no physical gain, then there’s no other gains either. You can always do so much better than that with your teams. For example, again, if I want to develop my social life, there’s no point in me just going up to people going, do you want to be my friend? Do you want to be my friend? Because if they all say no, then I really gain nothing out of it. But if I try to build my social life by doing activities that I love, by getting involved in new hobbies, and filling up my calendar with meaningful actions, then even if no one likes me, I’ll still improve my life. So you want to make sure before you endeavor to make some improvement and to achieve some goal, ask yourself, What’s the way of doing it where I definitely win somehow, even if I lose on the goal that I’m trying to achieve? I went somewhere else, and so significantly, that the loss doesn’t even matter. Next principle, am I investing in the compound interest of good decisions? Now, the first principle was trying to make the best move, isn’t it but you can’t always do that you
don’t always know what it is. Or you don’t always have the courage and the stamina to behave that well that consistently that often. But that’s not so important. What’s more important is a consistency of good moves over time, especially a heavy skewed distribution towards good moves. You don’t need to make the best move every time you do something. But if you make a lot of good moves, especially if you make a lot more good moves and you make bad moves, then there’s a compound interest you will develop a momentum and gain upon gain as you do this over time. Let’s say for example, 70% of my decisions are good. Compare that to a life where only 50% of them are good. That 20% difference doesn’t mean I’ll have a 20% Better life later on. My life later on will be many 100 times better than the 5050 approach. Because the extra 20% compounds that creates new opportunities, and adds to things that undoes the bad things, so there’s no less opportunity cost. So I’m not just making 20%, better decisions, I’m escalating the momentum of good results in my life by many 1000s of times. If you get take two people, and one of them’s behaving, just 1% better than the other, in 10 years, that first person is doing exponentially better than the second person, not just a little bit. So how this applies in practical life is just a constant push to give yourself try make a good decision as often as you possibly can, it doesn’t always have to be the best decision, but certainly try to avoid making the worst decisions. You know, if there’s three options of what you can eat for lunch, two of them are healthy and one’s unhealthy, you might not always choose the healthiest but least choose the other healthy one. Right. And when your parent or pisses you off, just take a moment not to lash out at them and try to talk through with them rationally and try to be compassionate as many times as you can, as often as you can, you know, just resist the urge to do that shitty one knew at least something slightly better, because in the long round, because in the long run, you’re gonna get compound interest on that kind of consistency of approach. A great example of this is actually my content. You know, I’ve constantly tried to pump out good content, some of that content has been excellent. Some of it’s been kind of mediocre. But I’ve always attempted to do something good, something valuable for some person. And I’ve pumped out many hundreds of videos and podcasts and blog posts, and now the books and everything. None of them have ever been a particularly great hit, maybe I’ve never really made the best move or gone to the perfectionism route with creating this content. But this momentum has developed a business for me that is now effortless, people come to me for coaching, there’s enough of my content out there on the internet to kind of bring in good coaching clients for me to work with. So that consistency in that momentum, they’re inversely showing up week after week, like I used to Brodo to show up week after week to run these sessions. Sometimes one person turns up sometimes 15, sometimes three, and even knew what it was going to be. But I just kept showing up. And that’s what builds the community. And that’s what built my coaching business to next principle, how do I take the slow but steady,
effective person never rushes, or there’s never an impulsivity to their behavior. It’s very rare that you’re in a situation that genuinely requires you to rush or there’ll be disastrous outcomes. And then the few times when you are in those situations, it’s probably because of prior bad decision making where you’ve backed yourself into a corner, where if you’ve been making slow, steady considered decisions, you’d never end up in this position anyway. So now’s a good time to start. It’s an illusion that you don’t have at least a few seconds or even a few minutes to think through what you’re about to do. Especially when you’re in situations where you feel rushed and pushed and pressured all day, you can take a moment to think things through before you make a decision. And that will actually be better for you in the long run. A great example I see of this as in the program, Master Chef, where they have these elimination rounds. And they always have to make a very complex recipe with a very short time constraint. And what you’ll see without exception, almost as the people who rush and hurry and panic, and urgently push themselves as hard as they can to get to the end, inevitably make a huge mistake that costs them so much time that they end up getting it done slower than the person who’s just taking their time steadily through the whole thing. So the person who looks like they’re behind and looks like they’re taking it to relax and to casual, always ends up overtaking that rushing person because rushing leads to mistakes and mistakes are far more time costly, then being slow and steady is you know, it’s like the tortoise and the hare, that old fable. That’s what this is about. It’s also about quality of life. When you rush you diminish your quality of life because you’re saying Being here is not good enough. And being now is not good enough. I need to be somewhere else in a different time. Which means you’re not really alive right now. How are you expecting to have good quality of life if you treat the current moment like a bad one? We think that’s going to stop later on. You’re just going to keep doing that and then you’re going to create a whole life that sucks. Treat every situation you’re in and every decision you’re going to make is the the place to be this is it you run the thick of the action. I don’t care if you’re picking up the kids from school, or doing the dishes or making a big business deal or heading to the gym. This is your life. So take your time think it through try to do it right. Don’t overthink it. Don’t be a perfectionist don’t overcorrect and go into analysis paralysis, but be considered and thoughtful while always moving forward. There’s no need to rush there’s nowhere else to fucking be you are in your life already destination achieved,
there’s nowhere else to be. So behave accordingly get it right. Next principle, is this healthy? A lot of people get into a dilemma of is this right? Or is this wrong? And it’s a hard question to answer, but it’s quite moral. When you start asking yourself, Is this healthy, it becomes a lot easier to figure out what the right answer is. Because healthy isn’t so subjective is always moralistic is right versus wrong, healthy can be measured healthy is scientific. If something’s healthy, and other things unhealthy, you can measure their difference without much argument. It’s definitely better to eat a salad than it is to shoot heroin into your penis. Right like an extreme examples, we can see there’s no argument here. And health isn’t just about your physical body, it’s about your mind, it’s about the state of your relationships, it’s about how well your business is doing. There are clear, definitive measurements for health in all of these areas, quantitative measurements, you know, a business is healthy, if it’s financially profitable, right? In our relationship is healthy. If you both speak to each other, well treat each other well. And everything is almost an open, you know, your body is healthy as if you rarely get sick, and you’re in the right body range. And your injuries are either absent or being treated well, and you can move in your foot and you’re strong. You know, your mind is healthy if you’re very rarely depressed. And if you can make decisions well, and if you’re taking good care of yourself, and if you’re living by your core values, these objective ways to measure. So when you’re going to make a decision, you can actually ask yourself, Is this the healthy move? Because it makes it very easy to choose what to eat makes it very easy to choose how much exercise to do. So you can say should I exercise? And the answer will always be yes. But the healthy amount of exercise is actually a limit, where you can just do push ups all day long, you injure yourself. So when you go to say is this healthy, you might have actually done enough exercise for today and asking is this healthy will determine that when you gotta yell at your partner, because they left the dishes are getting our servers, it is a healthy way to talk straightaway and should acuity Well, I don’t know maybe what the best thing to say is, but I’m sure shouting at your partner isn’t the healthiest approach. You don’t need to know much about relationships to know there. So ask yourself, Is it healthy? And if the answer is no, do something else. Next principle. How can I resist victimhood? Perhaps the greatest temptation you’ll be facing on your journey to be effective is the temptation to be a victim. I like to call it the victim hero. We’d like to identify as somebody who’s had hard luck, isn’t it? Have you noticed how people like to compete with how busy they are as if that’s a good thing to win a competition for? When people try to beat your story when you’re when you’re telling a story about how much something hurts you they try to tell you how something hurt them. Even more. People actually take pride in being victims, they take pride in suffering. I’m not sure why this is exactly I think it’s just a cop out. So you don’t actually have to face the responsibility of dealing with your own shit. Doesn’t matter point is victimhood is the opposite of being effective. Effective is always responsible to take ownership of your own shit. victimhood is that irrational desire to blame, to run away to escape, go to avoid to hide, to complain, these are all very tempting and they’re going to come up all the time to play the role of the victim to play the person who’s been hard done by
to resist this, you have to first say, Wait, I got myself into this situation. Everything that’s happening right now is a direct result of all my decisions up until this moment. And what happens next will be a direct result of the decision I’m about to make, I might not be able to control the outcomes, not even enough to get a good outcome. But there’s a range of bad outcomes perhaps available, and I’m gonna have the worst one or the least worst one. Depending on how I react. You have to understand there’s a bizarre human compulsion to be unsuccessful. Really, I don’t know why it’s there. But the evidence is compelling. People self sabotage far more than they’re hurt by the outside world. The most dangerous person to you is you. There’s no one else who’s more likely to cause you harm. So it’s best to be aware and accepting of this urge. You’re going to have to ruin your quality of life to avoid success to try to hurt yourself in some way. is a form of self harm to sabotage your success and internally and externally. And having an effective attitude is simply doing whatever the opposite of that urges most of the time. So resist the narrative that life is unfair, and that you’re captive to some disadvantaged fate. Instead, go, what’s the best move I can make given the circumstances. Next principle, is this the hill you wish to die on, you’re going to have a difficulty where your observation of things is going to immediately come with a level of importance attached to it, like simply because you notice something, your brain will assume that that thing is also important. And you’re gonna have lots of aggravations and irritations that capture your attention, especially in the modern age of social media, and so on. But very few of the things that capture your attention are actually worth any of it. And yet, you’re going to find yourself pulled and distracted by these things. So before you even go out into the day, you need to become very clear on what your cause is what you’re here to fight for, it should be very few things, preferably just one. And you got to be asking yourself a given time throughout the day, is this it? Is this my fight? This is what I’m here to deal with. This is the problem I wish to solve. There’s only one problem I can solve in the world. Is this it? And if the answer is no, you must walk away from that thing. Whatever it is, no matter how aggravating or irritating or tempting it is, you must walk away. To be an effective person, you have to give your all to something that’s meaningful and worthwhile. And something that you’re going to be good at dealing with. Anything else needs to be left alone. I saw a great example of this just the other day I was in a shopping mall. And there was a man complaining to the information desk about some of the COVID security restrictions that they had at the food court. He was making a big scene about how arbitrary and stupid it was to rope off this food court and make people show their vaccine passes and so on. And all I could think of as really, that’s the hill you want to die on. You’re expending 1015 minutes of your precious minutes during this day and wasting 10 to 15 minutes of the information girls precious day to complain about this issue. Really. That’s that’s the fight. You know, not child sex trafficking, not global warming, not corporate greed, not war and famine and disease. No, no, it’s a roped off food court that’s really got you
buzzing? Really. You can do better than this. Before you sit on the day go, what is my fight? What do I care most about what really matters to me, it could be just something as simple as being a good parent. Or it could be something grand like solving sex trafficking crisis, in which case, most of what it costs you during the day, most of what tempts you during the day is not going to be relevant, you need to keep walking. Next principle, who else should I involve in this is an old African proverb. Those who want to go fast go alone, those who want to go far go together, it’s very rare that you’re going to be in a situation we just you on your own making the decision is the most effective way forward. There are situations where that is true. And there are many situations where you’re forced to do that, because there’s no one available to be your continuity in the situation. But keep in mind at all times that it’s far wiser to include other experts in your decision making, if you want to go really far and have a long term quality of life. And there’ll be key moments throughout the day and throughout the week where this is really relevant to do this. Now, if you’re choosing what to eat for lunch, you might as well do that on your own. But it would be even better if your personal trainer was there helping you decide, you see what I mean. And you could decide how you’re going to respond to that nasty email from your mother. But it would be even better if your loving wife was there to help talk you through it understanding both sides of the story and making sure that you didn’t do something you regret because they know you so well. Do you see what I mean? There are certain people you can involve in your decision making that will improve their decision making. We are a communal species, the idea that you’re supposed to do everything on your own is ludicrous. And if nothing else, it’s ineffective. If you want to have a good quality of life, you need to be resourceful and being resourceful means including the right people at the right time with the right decisions now doesn’t mean that you should defer all your decision making to anybody who’s hanging out nearby, which is what a lot of people do. That’s very ineffective. Most of the people around you don’t know what the fuck they’re doing anyway. Now you should only be deferring or should I say in cooperating and cooperating with decision making with people who are proven to be successful in the field. People who have your best interests at heart or people who know you very well and know young Tell us and they want you to live by them, and get them to at least give you some feedback on your decision making along the way, you’ll probably be surprised how many am I decisions that you might see is my audience are actually somewhat guided by my wife, I refer to her a lot, especially with sticky issues, especially with my business decisions. Now doesn’t mean that every decision I make requires her permission, I do a lot of things without her as well by necessity if nothing else, but when I’m doing big important things from deciding what to do next with my business, whether or not I should partner with someone so on I run it by her, and I hear what she has to say. Because one is she’s really good with people, she understands people really well. And the other is she knows me very well and she knows what I really want. And she also knows what my weaknesses and blind spots are, and she helps to point them out. I always, always make better decisions when I include a than when I do things on my own. So why wouldn’t I include a next principle? Are you being a hypocrite? It should be obvious that you should avoid advising and guiding and interfering with people’s lives unless you’ve got all your own shit sorted first, unless you’re the most best available expert on the topic. No matter how much somebody else’s behavior aggravates, you first have to deal with your own inadequacies. Personal Development working on yourself is so time consuming and takes up so much bandwidth that it would be surprising if you genuinely had time spare to interfere with other people’s lives. What I see far too often is people complaining about the behavior of others. When they themselves a don’t have half their own shit sorted nearly to a sufficient level, a and b are doing the same behavior themselves anyway, they actual hypocrites. I’ve even seen people complaining about hypocrisy while being hypocrites themselves. If that wasn’t kind of meta enough for you, what you’ll find is if somebody else’s behavior bothers you, first go look all complain about that and deal with that once I’m doing everything perfectly myself. And you’ll find that your aggravation from them drifts away because you then get too busy trying to sort out all your own shit. It’s far more effective to focus on cleaning up your own little corner than trying to clean up other people’s. Because you got to keep in mind, the best way that you can change other people is role modeling. So do it right yourself and let them watch rather than telling them what to do. Next principle, have I scraped the barrel clean before choosing the worst options.
So before succumbing to the temptation to choose options that you know are unhealthy or unhelpful, don’t have a clear path towards success. Double check in that you really haven’t done everything else first. Then all the other options however uncomfortable and long winded they might be the healthier options have all been tried to the limit of your possibility first, and there’s now nothing else left. But these unhealthy options. You know, let’s take a simple example. You’re in the house you think man there’s nothing to eat really nothing. You’ve gone through all the possibilities of what you can make out of what’s in the cupboard and in the fridge and in the freezer. Now you just have to eat the cake. Really, even eating nothing at all. Just fasting for a little while is not available to you, because that’s still better than eating the cake. Do you see what I mean? It’s so often you’ll choose a bad option when all the good options are still available. You’ll yell at your partner before you’ve even tried talking to them. You know before you try online dating apps, have you gone and introduced yourself to every friend of a friend that you could possibly meet? If you’re gonna make sure that your entire social circle and all that six degrees of separation are totally tapped out. Before you resort to swiping based on a profile picture. You got to give yourself the best possible chance before you start resorting to the shittier options. Even in general and unrelated areas of your life. You’ve got to ask yourself am I as healthy as I could be overall before I take this dark path that’s economy? Now before I decided to declare bankruptcy on my business, have I got my physical health sorted out my relationships going well? Do I have a clear mission in life? Am I seeing a therapist about my issues? Make sure all of that is spinning well before you decide to go the dark path. Next principle. Am I exploiting my personal intelligence type and my strengths a lot of self development stuff you’ll hear is talking about fixing your weaknesses but I don’t believe this is the most effective path. I think working on what you’re already naturally talented and good at and doubling down on that is far more likely and far more effective to create a high quality life than trying to fix your weaknesses. Now the reason I specifically mentioned intelligence type is because a lot of people don’t know There are different types of intelligence even though the evidence is abundantly clear. If you look out into the world, you might think because you’ve been through the classic schooling system that only the academics are really intelligence is worth looking at. But there are so many more musical intelligence, for example, physical intelligence, you know, those people just seem to know where their limbs are at all times. I don’t have that one. Some people do social intelligence. Some people did really poorly at school, but they made a lot of friends. Why is that? They have a different type of intelligence. So rather than trying to squeeze yourself into the very narrow band of intelligence available in the common schooling system, or in your family culture, or in your society that you live in, ask yourself, What’s my one? What’s the thing that I do naturally? Well, what’s the thing I love was the thing that where other people feel baffled, it makes complete sense to me. And double down on that, that needs to be your career path that needs to be the way you approach how you meet people, that needs to be your thing, rather than trying to do something that somebody else see it as a good idea. And this applies generally to your strengths. There are certain things that come easily to you certain things that you’ve worked hard at to be good at certain things that you’re passionate about. Follow those green lines, rather than trying to fix a weakness that somebody else identified as a weakness, so that you can reach the average with everybody else. Allow yourself to be crappy at something so that you can be excellent at the areas that matter.
If you’re an incredible athlete, you don’t need to be good with numbers, you know, succeed at your sport and hire an accountant fucking problem solved. Next principle, is this an engineering problem or not a problem. Before you decide how to solve a problem, you need to identify what type of solution is best, a right brain creative artistic solution, or a left brain logical engineering solution. Because actually, different situations require a different approach and using the wrong one can only exacerbate the problems. If I take an engineering approach to my emotional issues with my wife, I’m only going to make them worse, because that’s not how emotional issues work. But if I take a creative, artistic approach to designing a bridge, that bridge is gonna fall down. I need to apply the right side of the brain or the left side of the brain according to the nature of the problem. Engineers follow rules, structures, disciplines, facts. Quantitative, it’s all about there’s one correct answer, and I need to find what that one correct answer is in there soon situations that are best for there to anything mechanical, anything sort of fixing something in the real world, anything that involves numbers, anything that involves statistics, that’s all engineering problems, right? There’s only really one good way to fix the plumbing and your sink, there’s only really one good way to manage your budget, and so on. Assets. On the other hand, the freestyle they interact with the problem as it goes back and forth, they use a motion to help them make decisions. And there’s certain situations where that’s best suited, for example, creating music or having an argument with somebody. So have a look at the situation ask Is this like a social, creative, artistic language based problem? Or is this a by the numbers put things together engineering problem. And if you have certain strengths and weaknesses, you might need to bring in other people accordingly. Next principle, what’s the most generous assumption I can attribute to this person? Now this is specifically to deal with social issues. But generally, what you’ll find is, it’s a kind of optimism where you’re giving the person the benefit of the doubt when you’re in conflict with someone, you try to assume the best possible intent and motive and motivation for their behavior. Now, this doesn’t mean that you’re going to be the most accurate, but what it does give you as the best possible chance to allow that person to feel respected, and allow you to find the answer the solution to those conflicts you’re having, without getting bogged down in narratives and judgments and false assumptions. Generally, what happens in a conflict is most people jump to the conclusion this person is trying to hurt me, as person has negative intentions for my life. And that is so rarely true. There are some people who have true evil in them. And there are some narcissistic personality disordered people and so on who do like to cause harm. But these are actually very rare. These people, most of the time when you’re in conflict with someone else, they think you’re the bad guy. And even when somebody does have bad intentions, they are trying to harm you. You’re gonna understand this comes from trauma, it’s comes from their wounds, this comes from psychological disorder. It’s not about you. And if you feed into the narrative that the world is against them, you’re only going to make them even worse, you might be able to surprise them.
If you give someone a generous assumption, you say, look, I feel you you’re a human. There’s probably a very good reason why you’re behaving like this even though I don’t like your behavior even though it hurts me. I bet you have a really good reason for doing this. And I bet that I would understand that reason, if you could explain it to me, you’ll find that a lot of people will jump over to your side of the fence and try to work with you and cooperate with you even narcissistic personalities. I’ve worked with many psychopathic people. And you’ll find that once they feel that you’re trying to understand them, and that you’re not their enemy, they can actually put some effort into trying to be a decent person. So what you’re doing here is you’re assuming innocent until proven guilty. Assume that no matter how much you disagree with the way they’re being, and so on, that in their mind, it’s the best thing they could think of doing that they really think they’re in the right here, or they feel really compelled by forces stronger than them to behave this way. And they’re as much a victim to the behavior as you are, you’re on the same team, it’s you and them versus their behavior, not you versus them. Simply put, just treat a person like they’re trying to do the right thing. Start with that. And move forward accordingly. Doesn’t mean you should be naive, you should always be prepared for betrayal and negative reactions. And of course, if you’re living according to these principles of an effective attitude, no one person is going to really be able to ruin your life anyway. So you don’t need to feel so threatened by them. There’s not much damage they can do, as long as you live in by these principles, most of the rest of the time as well. Great example, I read recently, an auto biographical book, somebody was trying ecstasy in a party and they become one of those neurotic people always asked like, am I being stupid? Am I too high right now. And that was someone who paid to be quite annoying and frustrated with the behavior. So they assumed that that person was like, annoyed and frustrated with them. Later on, they found out that that person felt guilty because they weren’t on the same high as everyone else. And they were worried that they were ruining the mood. Completely different perspective. But this guy never asked until later. He just said like, why do you feel this way? Might have given that person a chance to say, Look, I just I’m not on the same height as everyone else. And that would have made total sense to him. But instead, he took it personally like, oh my god, I’m offending her. The narrative that you come up with somebody else’s behavior, the one thing you can be sure of, is it’s incorrect. Next principle, have I tried everything before complaining. kind of blows my mind how quickly people leap to complaining. Often people start complaining about an issue before they’ve done anything about it, let alone tried every available option. And this is very ineffective. Obviously, it leads you to a life of victimhood and pessimism and misery. Whereas the effective responsible person first goes to the limit of what they can control before they surrender before they give up before they bitch about a situation. They say, Have I done everything I can possibly have done? Let’s say you’ve got a overbearing bully of a boss, have you confronted them? Have you gone to HR? Have you consistently confronted them enough to change their behavior? Have you tried to arrange meetings with yourself theme and upper management? Have you quit the job and found a better one? Have you done all of those things yet? Okay. Because if you haven’t done all of them, especially if you haven’t done any of them, you’ve got no right to complain about his behavior. Why would you? Why would you complain about something that you could do something about but haven’t yet? There’s almost nothing that annoys me more than someone complaining about something that they could solve? Or the solutions, right? There’s
like four available solutions. I’ve done none of them. And they’re just bitching. I find that really weak. And I think it bothers me because it’s so clearly ineffective. How’s this person? How are they supposed to have a good life behaving like this classic example comes to mind as somebody getting an injury or an illness that interferes with their ability to stick to their health plan? Say, really? So let’s say you got a shoulder injury? Have you tried just doing lower body workouts? Why does the shoulder injury mean that you can’t eat healthy anymore? You know, are you able to do like very light some yoga type exercises with it? Can you just avoid that area? And do all other exercises? Have you thought of trying to running perhaps? Have you been to all the specialists that you could possibly visit to fix the injury or at least sort of moderate it? If you don’t need everything before you say, Oh, my shoulder injury is holding me back. And the last principle and probably the last will ever come up with but the last for this particular list? How well can I trust myself with this decision? We need to paradoxically, be both humble and shameless about our decision making and about our abilities and our skills and our knowledge and so on. We have to know what we don’t know and know what we do know and act accordingly. There are times where you should trust your instincts and your impulses with decision making can be very quick, almost automatic and still be very successful and effective. But it’s a very limited scope where this happens. It’s your field of expertise. You’re well trained, well educated many, many years of experiences and a wide range of experiences, your training and your education came from the top experts in the world, you’ve tested and proven yourself to be successful beyond the shadow of a doubt and beyond any good luck or fate, in this particular area. Now, if you’re in that situation, you can trust your instincts. Most of the time, you’re not going to be in that situation unless it kind of describes what you do for a job, or you’re particularly socially gifted in this as in your relationships, and so on. Most of the time, outside of that you’re going to be in situations where you’re not an expert, you don’t have the best possible education and qualifications and training from experts around the world, you don’t have many, many years of successful experience in this field, in which case, you’re naive, which case whatever programming you’re running on is probably dysfunctional, or at least ineffective. So if, for example, you’re in your relationship, and you don’t have a good history, with relationships, and you haven’t had training, or nonviolent communication, or whatever, and you haven’t seen a therapist for very long, you haven’t had coaching and social skills, then you should know when you go into a conflict with someone or you get to ask someone out, I don’t really know what I’m doing. I shouldn’t, you know, just impulsively race forward, I need to be careful here, maybe I should get some more information. And maybe I should get some support as I move forward with this. Now, just because you don’t trust yourself with a decision doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the decision is just make it lightly know that you’re probably going to be wrong, and that this will actually be part of the experience that you’re building, you should always keep moving forward. This isn’t an excuse to not do something just about don’t do something with naivety, for example, I see on social media all the time, people putting forward really extreme views on big ticket situations that they clearly don’t know fuck all about. Right? If you’re out there commenting on vaccines, or the war on the Ukraine or global warming, there’s a really good chance that you are not a well qualified, well experienced expert in any of those fields. So don’t talk about it. And if you are going to talk about stick to your specific niche, or at least admit I don’t know what I’m talking about. This is just the opinionated rant of an ignorant person. So you can still move forward but just be honest with yourself. So those are the principles have come up with so far on having an effective attitude. And what you’ll find is if any area of your life is suffering, go back over these and see which of them you’re not applying and start trying to apply it in that area. And of course, get in touch if you can think of any more than need to be added to the list. firstname.lastname@example.org hope this was helpful. See you all next time.