The Shortest Path: How to Make Decisions that Guarantee Success

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In any given moment, a human being always has 2 things happening. One is that they have a goal, and two is that they are moving. How healthy that goal is, and how effectively they move toward it, will decide their quality of life. To move toward the healthiest goal possible with most accurate movement possible is the very definition of SUCCESS. In this podcast episode, I dive deep into a new concept that I’m calling The Shortest Path, as derived from the fantasy books The Prince of Nothing and The Aspect Emperor by R Scott Baker. I will show you a new way to look at decision making and behaviour to ensure that you are as successful as you possibly can be – striving towards integrity and confidence with the best moves available.



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Full transcript

All right, so I’m going to do something a little different this time, and share an idea that’s not actually fully developed. The idea is called the shortest path. And it’s an idea in development, about how to be as successful as you possibly can be, whilst maintaining your integrity. And that success leading to the highest quality of enjoyable life available to you. Now, this idea is almost stolen from a fantasy trilogy, series of books. There’s my little brother put me on to call The Prince of Nothing by R. Scott Baker, excellent, excellent author who’s got a deep grounding in  philosophy and psychology that he brings into his fiction writing, as followed by another quadrilogy 4-set of books called The Aspect Emperor. Anyway, so there’s this character, reall y the main character if anything of the book called Khellus. And I won’t go into the long story of it, but he comes from a nation that has been isolated for 1000s of years. And what they did is train a kind of eugenics program of breeding the most intelligent, most manipulative, most emotionally controlled people that they could, until over time they kind of end up with this pure psychopathy, these godlike people who, in the book, they talk about men being like children to them, they’re so easy to control. Now, of course, that all sounds quite evil. But the fascinating story arc of the book, the plot, is that while this prince of nothing, this Khellus guy, who’s pure psychopath, totally manipulative, can read what people are thinking before they even know they’re thinking it and use that against them, he does this thing called taking the shortest path. It’s always about being as efficient as possible, no ego, no vanity, no attachments, nothing – just get the goal achieved. Anyway, the irony is that while he’s completely 100% selfish in a way that no human could actually be – that purity of selfishness, everything is about him achieving his goal and nothing else, he has no consideration for others – the irony is that in order to achieve that goal, he actually has to do what’s best for everybody, in this kind of fucked up way.  So he ends up taking these actions that actually are for the benefit of the entire human species of the book, at least the entire community within the book, in order just to achieve his single minded purpose of taking the shortest path to his goal, which I think is total domination. And what it made me think of is that pure psychopathy, psychopathy being something I’ve studied for much of my life, would absolutely be efficient.  So we often think of psychopaths as being these harmful people that do all these disastrous things. But psychopaths are often quite disordered as well. So a serial killer isn’t actually living the most efficient life possible, right? He makes life very difficult for himself by being a serial killer. And a banker who scams people out of their money, a Bernie Madoff type psychopath, well he just ends up in prison. That’s not the best life either, right?  So often, when we think of psychopaths, we think of the time for people and we kind of forget sometimes that they end up getting theirs. At the very least, studies show that psychopaths have a an enjoyable later period in life. They’re unsatisfied with their relationships and everything in the long run because they just cause too much carnage to even enjoy.  But if you had to take away all their disorder and make them completely ordered, they would be completely efficient. They would live the best possible available life and never make any mistakes in that regard. They would always make the best move ever like a robot that plays chess, you know, artificial intelligence and never makes an error and never does a mistake never does like a move that’s not that good. It always does the exact best, most excellent move ever. Right? And that’s what a pure psychopath would be like every conversation, every word out of their mouth would be the absolute best word they could say, the absolute best movement of their body that they could do, for whatever their long term goal is.  Because when you get to pure psychopathy, there’s no ego. You don’t care what your identity is. You don’t care how other people see you. You don’t care about even winning, in a sense, other than achieving the goal. You’re fine if everyone thinks you’re a loser, if that’s what’s best for you to move forward, then you’ll take that. In the book, one of the Dunyain, one of the you know, conditioned psychopaths, he realizes at some point in time that forming a relationship with another man is the best move forward, so he just instantly turns himself gay. Now he isn’t actually gay or straight, he’s completely flexible sexually to whatever is needed. That’s what I mean by pure. Pure efficiency, no ego, no attachment to anything. No vanity, no need to like impress other people, unless that’s the best way forward, no need to convince yourself that you’re better or worse than others. That’s already been decided. You’re already the best, you know. No deviation, no sunk cost fallacy, no staying attached to something that doesn’t work. You could be working on something for decades. And as soon as you realize it doesn’t work, boom, you drop it and move on. Without any hesitation. You walk away from it. Can you imagine how efficient somebody who thought like that would be? Think about how many things you stuck with way past the point where you knew they weren’t really working, and tried to make them work rather than moving on, which would have been a better move.  Now like I said, it’s ironic that this psychopath character actually does what’s best for everybody. And you think about it like, you think of all the leaders in the world, you think of how corrupt they are and everything, do you ever stop to realize like, we’ve never had a leader that really does what’s best for everyone. Because if we did, that guy would rule forever. We’ve never actually had that. We’ve always had these lesser versions, these kind of corrupt, petty, self serving things as politicians and leaders. But whereas someone who was really pure about serving everyone, that person would dominate. They’d get the most votes, obviously. Right.  So we’ve never actually seen someone do the most efficient political move. Even if they’re a pure psychopath, it’s still the most efficient thing to do. They’re always tainted by their petty desires and temptations and need for instant gratification. We’ve never seen proper purity.  And what I have seen in my life is thing called pro social psychopath. So these are psychopaths that don’t harm other people. They still have no conscience, they don’t care about other people and such, they don’t have an emotional attachment to other people. But they are ordered enough and high functioning emotionally enough to realize that being harmful to other people is not the best way to live. Just it’s not moral, this decision, it’s efficiency. If you’re harmful to other people, your life gets worse in the long run, eventually. Whereas if everyone around you believes that you’re highly valuable, if everyone around you feels that you bring value to their life always, then you actually do very, very well.  And so pro social psychopaths behave more like this. They’re usually high performing, they get a lot done, they actually appear to be conscientious because they do a lot for other people. Now, it’s actually always in their best interest. If anything, they’re just honest about who this is really for. All of us are really doing everything for ourselves to some extent, but psychopaths really don’t feel anything for other people, it’s all just moves on the chessboard. But they realize the best move is actually what’s good for the pieces on the board.  You get a similar thing actually coming through in the philosophy of Stoicism. Cosmopolitanism, which is this idea that what’s best for the community is what’s best for the individual. So if an individual wants to rule, they’ll do what’s best for the community, because that’s what will be best for them. They’ll be living in the best community and living in a great community is what’s best for a person to do. If doing what’s best for you is going to create a worst community, you’re actually harming yourself. It’s like poisoning your own well, you know, you got to drink the water too. So the best thing you can do for yourself is to give to your community, right?  That’s just accuracy. That’s not morality. That’s not best because it’s a good thing to do and people will like you. It’s just efficient for a high quality of life. So I read those books, still reading the series, and the shortest path thing just keeps standing out to me. And I kept thinking of like examples of times where I’ve done it, and then times, of course, where I haven’t. You know, examples where I said the least amount to get a confrontation over and done with as quickly as possible, and how good that was, how healthy that was for everybody involved, even though I was uncomfortable in the moment, versus times where I avoided saying something and took the easy way out and just ended up with disaster later on that I had to clean up, a huge mess. And how inefficient that was. How long that was. How long around that was. I think of people in relationships, marriages even, who have spent so long pretending to be something that they weren’t, that when they finally got to know each other, they have the horrifying realization that they don’t actually like each other. As opposed to times where I’ve been on a date, showing exactly who I was, and within 10 minutes we know we’re not right for each other. No time wasted. Quickly eliminate that option, move on to another one.  The shortest path thing just kept occurring to me as this idea of: this must be the best way to live. Whatever this thing is, the shortest path, it must be the best way to live, because, by definition, the shortest path is the best way to live. If I go from A to B – if B is my favorite life, and who I want to be, and A is where I am – the shortest distance between those two points is a straight line. I have to go directly there. Anything else is longer, and more likely to be wrong.  So while it’s obvious that the shortest path is a straight line between two points, it’s actually kind of mind blowing how few people live by this. It kind of is mind blowing how many people waste time, go the long way around, go off track, deviate, do things that even they know are less efficient. And they get attached to things that don’t work.  You know, when they take the long way to say something when it could be said in a single sentence. When they try to protect people’s feelings, when they really should just be honest, you know, people do this shit all the time. And all they’re doing is making it take longer to have a high quality of life. Right? I’ve been coaching for 10 years, this year it’s going to be my 10th year I’ve been coaching. I was working in probation for seven years before that. I’ve been studying real life human psychology for a very long time now. I know what I’m talking about here. The most pain I see people causing for themselves in the long term is doing things in the short term that are the long way around, taking the path of least resistance, the easy way out, instant gratification, all these things that just make it harder for themselves in the future, as opposed to doing what is best for the future right now. Because the people who do that have the best lives.  So the shortest path is a concept where you figure out the most efficient way, whether it’s in a moment, in a year, in a life, to achieve the life you want. And more importantly, to become the person you want to be, which is really the final destination or the destination want to stay at, being the guy or the girl that you like to be the most. So whether it’s choosing what to eat next, or say next in a conversation, through to what’s good for your long term career, through to committing to a partner. Whether it’s big or small, all of it should be considered as like a binary choice. This is either the shortest path or it’s something else. And if it’s something else, then it is less helpful, less enjoyable, less likely to succeed. Right?  If you think about like anything, like a game of chess, there’s always the best move. And there’s no better moves than that. Sometimes there are multiple best moves that are equally good, right, but there’s always kind of one that’s guaranteed to be the best. Okay. And that means every other move is less good. And that goes on like a spectrum right down to, you know, neutral, and then onwards down to harmful. So if you’re the kind of person who’s always making the best move, then you’re guaranteed to have the best possible life. Right?  If you’re a computer playing chess, and you always make the best move, you’re actually guaranteed to win every game. Every single game. At the worst, you’ll have a draw. Because nobody else can do better than you doing the best move. But the problem with the shortest path, the reason people aren’t living like this, mostly it’s because they don’t think about it, is because it doesn’t always feel quick.  See, really the biggest enemy to the shortest path is the quick fix. Instant gratification. What feels good right now, with my very short term vision, looks like a good idea. That’s really the enemy because the shortest path ironically, is about the long path. Right? It’s about doing what’s right now for the long term vision of being this person that I love being all the time. And that might not look like the quickest thing to do. The shortest path is simultaneously the quickest possible solution for the problem in front of you, but without compromising the long term goal. The grand goal, as I’ll be calling it. If I take a quick win that deviates from my core values, breaches my integrity, sets me up to fail in the future, then that’s not actually a win. That’s just delaying a big loss. So that’s not the shortest path. But the surest path might actually look like a loss now, taking a hit right now.  In the book, for example, at some point this character understands that allowing himself to be tortured almost to death is the best for his survival, and so he allows that to happen. So that’s a horrible experience, in the book he’s tied to the dead body of his wife and left hanging upside down for days. But he’s calculated all this, because he’s this genius. That of all the things he could do, which include running away, protecting himself, so on, all of those paths would have led to actual his actual death. Whereas this one keeps him alive. And so he’s happy to suffer now, almost die of thirst, through this horrible experience (of course, not horrible to him because he has no emotions), but very much painful experience, because he knows of all the things he could do, this is the best idea for the long term.  The shortest path is like a compass, like my destination is north. You know, there might be mountains in the way that I need to go around or up or over. But anytime I take a step, it should be the step that is best to getting me to go north, the shortest possible available path to the North Pole. And if I step in any other direction, at the very least, I’m wasting time. Even if it’s not a particularly harmful step, and I’m straight back on the path after that, I’ve wasted two steps.  You know, what most people I see do, they’re walking south, they’re not even fucking close. They’re following the breadcrumbs of instant gratification that actually lead them so far away from the person they want to be and the life they want to have. That by the time they finally turn around, it’s like, Oh, my God, I’m far away! And that, I guarantee you, that is how most people live.  So even though what I’m saying sounds obvious, like, Of course, I should go the shortest path for a best life, most people, nearly everyone, is not doing that at all. So it sometimes might feel slow and look like the long way around, but if you’ve thought about it carefully and calculated it, you’ll know it’s the shortest path. It’s like your GPS, you know, Google Maps or something, and you program it to take you to your destination, you go Oh why has it taken me that long, windy way? And then you find out there’s heaps of traffic and a road blocked on what looks like the shortest way. So actually, the way you’re going is the shortest way, just on the map it doesn’t look like that.  And this is often how the best way feels. Investing, for example. Investing money feels like that. Everyone else is doing all this like crypto gambling and all these quick wins things, and you’re like, Fuck man, I’m only making like 6 or 7% a year and these guys are crushing it. Well, in 20 years, you’re going to be rich, and they’re going to be broke. Unless they’re, you know, the survivorship bias of a few lucky ones. So yours is actually the shortest path to wealth. Cos they’re gonna go wealth and then no-wealth. Right? Actually their end result is not wealthy, whereas yours is. And that’s quite often what the shortest path looks, it’s this like strong, steady, disciplined piece by piece thing.  You know, let’s say I want to become a black belt in jujitsu. The shortest path there is to do lots of training with the best experts, lots and lots of fights and practice, constantly being humble about my technique and allowing myself to be corrected, always finding guys who are better than me so that I can upskill. Watching a video with some complicated technique that’s way above my belt grade and just trying to do that in the class that might feel like a quick way forward, but the guys who do that do not end up good at martial arts. In the long run, they’re never black belts, those guys. Same applies to any discipline, dancing, whatever, the people who look for the the quick leap forward, they’re not actually taking the shortest path. They’re in fact, taking a deadend. They don’t end up at the destination, the guys, the slow steady guy does. And that’s actually the quickest way.  So the shortest path often includes being emotionally uncomfortable. It means challenging old beliefs that are unproven, especially childhood stuff. It sometimes creates short term conflict, it quite often can, especially when you’re battling through particularly a tough bit, you know. I think of sometimes the shortest path, you have to walk across broken glass, you know. It can shake up long standing systems, traditions, cultures, that have just become outdated. In the online space, anybody who’s like, I don’t want anything to do with AI, you’re getting left behind, right? However uncomfortable you are with the idea that robots are now smarter than people, you need to get on board with that ASAP, or your business is going to suffer, right? The shortest path is not the comfortable one.  That being said, somebody’s like, Oh I’m just going to use AI to do all the shit in my business I’m uncomfortable with, that’s not the shortest path either. The uncomfortable bit of business will always be that same thing that’s always been uncomfortable. AI might be able to help you do it, but you’re still gonna have to do it yourself. So the shortest path is that way as well.  In fact, discomfort is often a great marker of what the shortest path is. If it makes you feel emotionally unpleasant to go in a certain direction, there’s a really good chance that’s the direction you should be going in. Because if you feel really familiar and comfortable, it’s almost certain that you’re looking at the long way around, even if it is a way that gets there. So it’s not always going to feel good to do. It can be thrilling, can be satisfying, I mean when you feel like you’re really efficient.  I’ve felt very efficient for a few months now following this idea. It’s quite a powerful, godlike feeling, but I’m uncomfortable every single day. Like I had like three confrontations yesterday, it was a fucking mess. I’ve had like five this week. I’m not having a comfortable life I promise you that. But those conversations were as soon as I could think that they needed to happen, and as short as they needed to be, and they only had to happen once. And I know from experience that if I hadn’t done that, it would have been worse.  So it’s like rational, that’s why, you know, talking about the psychopath character from the book, what he is is really pure rationality, statistical thinking. They do this thing in the book called The probability trance where he kind of meditates on all the likelihoods of all the various options. And then once he figures out what’s got the highest likelihood, boom! That’s his decision. It’s something humans are very bad at. If you read the book, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, he talks about most cognitive biases are really centered around the idea that humans are really bad at thinking statistically. So the kinds of things that we think are the right thing to do, and the kind of things we feel like doing, are often statistically some of the worst things to do, like how somebody is afraid to get on an airplane, when statistically the drive to the airport in a car is more dangerous, you know, we’re just really not good. Even if we’re told that we’re not good at feeling it. Where the shortest path would be kind of understanding like, hey, for me to get to my destination, it’s safer to get on a plane than it is to get on a boat. So I’m going to get on a plane, and it’s quicker to get there, even though I’m afraid of flying.  So it’s about smart investment in the future at all times, always doing what’s best for your future self, no matter what you have to go through now. So people just are always, they’re going the long way around. People think you create deep connection with small talk. That doesn’t make sense. A deep connection doesn’t include small talk. So why would small talk create it? People sacrifice their nutrition and their exercise so they can work hard, but then they have to spend all that money on their health later because they’re all fucked up. You know, Ghandi talked about that – was it Ghandi? No, The Dalai Lama talked about that, about people working themselves to death, and then all their profits they have to spend on their health, that doesn’t make any sense.  Like working less and working on your health now is the shortest path to being healthy all the time, right, like doing something for your health right now is obviously going to be the shortest path to being healthy right now and in the future. People spend money to feel rich. Investing money, so you end up rich, is the shortest path. Spending is a south step, you’re losing money when you spend it on crap. People seek approval to feel better about themselves. If you want to feel good about yourself, the approval must come from you. So when you’re seeking it from someone else, at the very least, you’re not seeking it from yourself, and you’re training yourself to need it from other people, which puts your confidence in their hands. It’s very much the long way around. In fact, that never ends up at the North Pole, you will never end up at confidence by approval seeking. That’s only a South step. So every time you do it, you’re wasting time and walking further away from confidence, even if it feels good when somebody gives you approval.  So these are all backward moves. And most people are making backward moves. Most of the people I’ve observed in my life, and we’re talking many 1000s of people that I’ve dived deeply into psychologically, I’m not just talking about judging people who walk past me. One of the key elements to the shortest path is this idea of fractals. So fractals, in mathematical terms, is when something at a small scale resembles something at a large scale, the way a paddle kind of looks like a lake and the way a lake kind of looks like an ocean, you know, like pools of water basically look the same at any scale, right? Well, your behavior should look the same at scale. The right thing to do for your entire career is the same, should look relatively the same as the thing you do any minute of the day at work, right? The thing that creates, you know, having a great relationship and being an excellent partner should really look no different when you’re dating, that should be the same guy. You see what I’m saying?  So whatever you’re doing on a micro level, single conversation, single movements and exercises, single moves in your career, you know, they should look like the grand picture. If you’re doing a thing that looks different to that then you’re probably off track. You know, sometimes it’s really obvious if you like, injure yourself and the grand goal is health then clearly you’re off track. But other times it’s not so obvious, like people think small talk leads to a connection. They don’t realize no, that leads further away. That being safe with dishonesty isn’t going to lead to honesty in the future. It’s actually creating precedent of dishonesty that you will feel obliged to maintain. You’re going to find it harder and harder to be honest with this approach, not easier.  So a good conversation should look roughly like a good relationship. A good product should roughly look like a good business. You know, any phone call I make to customer service should be like talking to the CEO. A good town meeting should look like how good empire is run. A good meal should look like how a healthy lifestyle is decided. You know, a good day should relatively have the same elements as a good year, and any deviations are suspicious. You can’t go north by heading south. So you need a grand goal. You need, if the shortest path is between A and B, you need to know what B really is. It’s not just some quick outcome that makes you feel good, it’s about being the person you want to be, right. Because the grand goal will dictate any smaller goals, any short term moves, they all need to accumulate towards the grand goal, they all need to contribute to it. You know, if I want, say I’m investing money and I want a million dollars, then all of my tiny little investments should be about profit. If nothing else, right, they should. I shouldn’t be throwing away money or gambling it in a silly way if I want a stable income in the future, right. So every little move I do should make sense to the bigger picture and should fight against that short term desire for instant gratification because the shortest path is not the quick fix.  So the grand goal really should be about the person you wish to be, not something you have that’s out of your control, you know, fame, wealth, power, possessions. None of these things are really yours to decide. They can all be taken away from you by others. But say being a person of integrity, who has no regrets when he dies. You know, being the kind of person that you wish everybody else would be. Being a model of a father. However you want to put it, have a grand goal for yourself of this person where you’re like, If I’m lying on my deathbed, I’m just gonna be thinking fuck I’m the man (or woman)! You know, it’s like, I fucking nailed this! And it won’t be anything to do with possessions or reputation, approval, it won’t anything like that. You’ll just look at your consistent behavior over the years and be like, Fuckin spot on, what a good cunt. Right? Whatever it is, it’s that image that needs to be forefront of your mind all the time.  And understand I’m trying to get there in the shortest distance possible, right? I’m trying to find the shortest path to being that guy. What you’ll realize is often, like in the fractal example, the small move now means you’re instantly there. See the destination to be doesn’t mean something in the future. You can be that guy right now. If that guy’s courageous, be courageous right now. If that guy’s honest, be honest with the next thing you say. And then you are him! There’s no delay, you’re not like, Well if I do this for 10 years, then it counts. Na na, as soon as you’re honest, you’re already being him. That’s the shortest path, you see.  See people have a goal like, I want to be a millionaire. Well, then you never achieve it until you’re actually a millionaire. But if your goal is, I want to be resourceful, then every time you make a smart move with money, you’re there, you’re resourceful. Goal achieved. You can have it as many times a day as you want. And you’ll probably end up being a millionaire as well. So isn’t that nice? I’ll give you some examples. Now this is the bit that I’m really like a work in progress. But just from my observations, my own life and working as a coach for so many years, here’s some kind of ideas as to how this applies to specific areas.  So let’s start with business. The shortest path of business has got to be selling to customers, doesn’t it? What is a business? It’s something that sells to customers, provides product or a service to clients. That means whatever it is that create sales has got to be the shortest path. Connecting, serving people, selling directly. Anything that grows your reputation, that brings in more customers, all of that’s the shortest path. Anything other than that is probably a waste of time, or at least less effective than what you could be doing. It means upholding good customer service. It means your reputation, your ethics, aligning with your stated values. It means good partnerships with similar companies and people. If you’re not doing any of that stuff, if you’re fucking around on a website when you should be selling, you know, then you’re not taking the shortest path. Health. The shortest path is always choosing the healthiest thing to eat. It’s exercising every day. It’s getting as much sleep as you can. It’s addressing illnesses and injuries as soon as possible with the best available care. It’s saying no to quick fixes and hypey things, and just going with the solid evidence based research as to what the healthiest things are to eat and what the best exercise is. At this stage, by the way, that is a Mediterranean diet, and HIIT training, high intensity interval training. There are other things that are also quite good and also probably similar quality. But basically with those two, you can’t go wrong. Relationships. The shortest path is honesty. This is not a moral thing. But if you want a deep connection with someone who’s like your loyal partner or your best friend, if you want to create an inner circle of people who would die for you and you’d die for them and you know each other inside out, there is no quicker way to get there than by being completely honest all the time. Anything else will take longer. Even slight gameplay, even slight manipulation, even holding back a little bit, takes longer.  It means you gotta address conflicts directly. You cannot hesitate to confront, set boundaries and maintain boundaries. You cannot let anything fester. It means compassion and prioritizing loved ones over other things. It means the ruthless exclusion of harmful people. It means choosing connection over feelings, like happiness, comfort, approval. Sometimes you gotta be unhappy to maintain the connection. That’s the best way. That’s the shortest path.  Confidence. Self confidence. The shortest path means taking responsibility for resolving the things you can control and accepting the things you can’t, always focusing on what you can do about it and nothing else. It means it’s taking the hardest, scariest path when it’s available, so that you build your courage to become a very brave person. It means always respecting yourself, never allowing people to disrespect you, and also respecting others. It’s a very short path.  Intelligence. The shortest path is about maintaining the curiosity of an enthusiastic student. That humility. Always looking for better ideas, smarter people to surround yourself with, more reliable sources, finding the things that always get the best results. Always open to that information, always implementing it and trying to make sure that it works before you accept it. Skills. The shortest path is about practicing most of the time, say 70% of the time, and 20% of your time getting training from an expert to learn the next new thing, and 10% of time absorbing passive information like books and videos to get ideas. Most of the time you got to be doing the thing, practice, practice, practice, muscle memory, experience, get your 10,000 hours in. There’s other things that help but that does most of it. It’s about getting it wrong in every possible way, so that you know exactly what’s right. It’s about failing as much as possible, always putting yourself beyond your current skill level, so that you can move the boundary forward.  It’s about reflecting accurately and rationally on what you did, what worked, what didn’t, successes and failures. No emotional attachment, just going, What are the facts? What do I learn from this? What can I do with this information to get better? How do I practice what needs to be practiced? How do I stop what needs to be stopped? It’s about challenging strong competitors, but not too strong, people that you can almost beat, and not becoming the big fish in the small pond.  It’s about diversification. If you’re a musician, play multiple instruments, so you can wire up different parts of the brain. Do different dance styles. Try a range of martial arts. And it’s about the space in between as well. Taking breaks, reflecting, allowing your brain to catch up and consolidate the information.  I’m just going to finish off with just some random examples of what somebody taking the shortest path might look like.  Investing in a diverse range of low risk investments, mostly low risk, maybe some high and middles to balance it out. The boring way that’s mathematically proven to be the best. It’s the shortest path to wealth. It’s not uneducated gambling on hypey things. It’s not hoping that something unproven will be the next big breakthrough. It’s just doing the solid, boring, long term stuff that’s proven to work.  Being transparently honest on a first date. Despite how much this is recommended against, you know, treating the person like they’re already your partner of 10 years, and you got no secrets left and no nothing to prove any more. Behaving like that right from the first thing so that if they are still with you in 10 years, they’ll say he’s still the same guy, he’s the same guy I met, he hasn’t changed a bit. Well, at least he’s only improved. Make sure that you behave in such a way that you either make or break your relationship within the first 10 minutes. This is either gonna sweep them off their feet, or sweep them out the door. Nothing in between. Nothing that manipulates them to stay without certainty that they really want to. Save yourself years of pointless pretending that just ends in divorce. Go through 100 people quickly to find the one that’s right for you.  Telling someone directly what you want, even though you think they should know it or even though they might think you’re rude. Never assuming that someone can guess or that they’re going to take from your clues what you’re trying to say, but treating it much more like an engineering manual, give them exactly what they need to know to get your needs met. Playing the nice game simply means it’s going to take longer, if it even happens at all. You’ll be harder to understand, they’ll be less likely to deliver it accurately, and you’re only going to build a relationship with someone who wants you to be nice, which isn’t in your best long term interests. It’s better to get rejected and find someone else who will meet your needs.  Fasting, working out during your fasted period with you know basic exercises that are intense and make you sweat. Eating nothing but clean vegetables and protein. Trying to get sunlight and good sleep every day. That’s the shortest path to health. There’s really not much more you need to do. You don’t need weird, you know, crazy hypey things, weird exercises, and, you know, fad diets and bizarre new supplements, none of that.  Taking 10 minutes to journal every single night on what you did during the day, and trying to learn from your mistakes and celebrate your wins. Ignoring your performance guarantees a slower learning rate, assuming you even learn at all. Avoiding facing how you actually performed doesn’t help you. Face it truthfully. Be brutal with yourself, but ignore criticism from other people, unless you went and sought out expert advice. Anything anyone else says is irrelevant, because they just don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing.  Investing in and taking advice and guidance humbly from proven experts with a healthy respectable track work record. You know, getting random information from highly marketed unproven sources, or listening to hypocrites and novices like your family, or doing it all on your own without support, all of that’s not the shortest path. That all takes longer. It’s better to be a humble student of the master. Always letting go of any argument when you can see that you’re wrong, and humbly accepting correction. You know, both your relationships and your education are slowed down by your ego and your desire to win or your aggression. As soon as you’re wrong, go Fuck you got me, educate me. Not only is it best for your relationship with the other person, but you’re going to become the wisest person with this approach. Quitting anything that isn’t creating the results it should be rather than hoping that the results will come eventually. Now, this is a tricky one because some people, you know, the shortest path sometimes take a long time to come into effect. But it’s about seeing that no progress is being made, even though it feels like it is. For example, when I was doing the pickup artist stuff, it felt like I was making all this progress with women. But when you asked me the question, How much closer am I to having a deep and meaningful connected relationship? The answer was not at all. Yeah, I was sleeping with more girls. Yeah, I had more phone numbers. But if anything, I was more fake with them than I’d ever been. So I’d actually made no progress on the thing that actually mattered to me. So you got to be very wary of things that feel like progress when you’ve actually forgotten what the goal is. You might be like, Oh, my website’s almost done. I’ve registered my business. You know, I’ve got my social marketing going. I’ve got my social media going. You’re really excited. And then you’re like, Well, how many sales have you had? None. Then whatever you’re doing is not working at all. Need to reverse that. Go get sales everyday, then work on your website. Immediately confronting someone, face to face, about anything that could possibly lead to resentment. That’s the shortest path to maintaining a healthy relationship. Letting it sit or dealing with it indirectly and less than accurately, like just texting, for example, all it does is complicate things and builds contempt. If nothing else, even if it resolves it, it takes longer. It’s gonna have to be faced at some point, whatever the thing is that bothers you, so face it as soon as possible. It’ll be the easiest and smallest that that confrontation needs to be. Stopping to take care of injuries and illnesses. I’m bad for this one. I always try to work through it and get all like David Goggins on it. And all that leads to is long term disabilities and stress related burnout, and things, bigger issues that take longer to fix. You know, you want to nip these things in the bud as early as possible, right. Overcome your ego and your fear, go see the doctor, go see the nutritionist, get your shit sorted out. It’ll save you time in the long run to take time off now. Walking away from anyone if you see sign of a deal breaking trait, you know, trusting your instincts that somebody’s done something quite wrong. And I don’t mean somebody’s imperfect, or somebody is a bit annoying, but they’ve done something that an ideal person for you would never do. Okay, betrayal, theft, deception, setting you up to fail in some way, discouraging you on your dreams. You got to know what your deal breakers are. Right? It’s like, oh, he’s under six foot tall. That’s not a character flaw. That’s not something that’s going to hurt you. You’ve gotta to know what’s going to hurt you, what you just cannot tolerate in terms of abusive behavior from other people. And if that happens, even once, that’s it, because what you want to do is you want to surround yourself with people where that never happens, and these people do exist.  So you don’t need to waste time with someone where it’s happened once. You don’t need to give them three strikes. Because the kind of person you look for is so healthy it wouldn’t even occur to them to do this. I’m talking about the big ticket items, right? I’m not talking about you know, having standards that are superhuman, that you’re demanding perfection from people. I’m talking about people that breach your values in a significant way. You’ve gotta know the difference between somebody that just needs a confrontation versus somebody that needs a rejection. And when it meets the criteria of needing a rejection, don’t hesitate for even a second. Don’t think about it twice, get it done, block, cut, delete, move on, find someone else. Because even if this person could turn it around and be a better person in the future, the shortest path is to find someone who’s already there.  So like I said, this is all just ideas in process. But I want to hear from you guys on what your thoughts are about this, what this idea of the shortest path means to you, examples of it, what it would look like to create a practical way of living like this, what kind of questions you need to ask yourself to prompt yourself to figure out what the shortest path is and how to take it. How to know the difference between that and instant gratification or superficial materialistic desires. We’re talking about deep integrity work here. And I want to put it out there if you’re interested, get in touch I’m planning on setting up some kind of group community around this, where people hold each other to account to walk the shortest path, and I’ll have more details about that coming out later. Thanks for watching. Catch you next time

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