First let’s start with the most obvious reason why you keep living like everyone else: you keep thinking short term. Whatever situation you come across or whenever you need to take a decision, you usually choose the easiest way out. You want to live a life according to your own terms but you usually take the decisions which put you on the exact opposite direction of that goal. Need to spend the whole weekend at home working on your future business? Nah, let’s just go out and check out some girls. Or what about investing in a seminar where you can learn with the best? Forget it, I want to use the money for that long trip in southeast Asia.
But if this mentality really holds you back from achieving your most desired goals, I believe it is just one part of the “failure equation”. Yes, because there is still the rest of the iceberg, the main cause why the average Joe keeps living an average, even mediocre life.
You wake up, you look yourself in the mirror, you check how your skin is, whether you look tired or awake and whether your eyes are vivid enough, in order that you will face the day with the best confidence possible. In the end of it, you expect as a return the best possible outcome, since you have “invested” so much time and effort and therefore you must be presented with the rewards.
You think about your job or business and how you can thrive, so you look for the best ways and strategies to achieve your goals. You try to surround yourself and learn with the best, in order that you get there not only faster but in the right way.
Regarding women, every day is a new opportunity to meet more and better. So you start spitting “game” during the day, approaching like a king at night and swiping girls to the right on tinder, expecting to get the results you surely deserve. After all, you are a both good-looking and nice guy, so the girls are blind if they do not realize the value that you have.
In addition, you talk to your friends about your prospects, the nice women you are talking to and what you will do to bang them. It may not even occur to you that the guy whom you are talking to is at that moment in a difficult personal phase, so he has more things to think about than in your love conquers. Or else, he might not give a fuck about the women you have slept or intend to sleep with.
My friend, if these examples or the like sound familiar to you, then I have to inform you why you keep having a mediocre life: because it’s always about YOU!
What most of the people fall into
We are naturally selfish beings. No matter how many social activities and solidarity actions we may take part, in the limit we do it to have a sense of self-worth and to feel good with ourselves. We like to help others because that makes us feel important, a clear sign that we never do anything if we do not have a personal benefit or reward.
So first of all, without coming with any bullshit, just accept the fact that you are just like any other person. You care for your own interests above all – this can have as big exception the love of parents towards their sons, but there are still many cases in which this does not even apply – putting everything and everyone else in the background. Sure, you may care for and like others (when someone is in love, they do everything to please their beloved one, but deep down this is a way to be with the person THEY really want, so again it is a disguised self-centered move) but this is never as strong as the will to fulfill your inner preferences and desires.
So if you stop for a minute and make an introspection on this matter, you will see how most of the people think and operate: they simply schedule and plan their lives orbiting around themselves, in order that they can extract always the best possible results. But while this is normal in theory, the reality is that 90% of the population really take that perspective into an extreme level.
First, they talk a lot, especially about themselves. Conversely, they listen very little and do not make an effort to understand what the other persons’ problems or interests may be. If this is you, you may be thinking that you are being clever, since you are looking after your own interests. However, what you are doing is just putting yourself in a box which will only be beneficial for you, where the end result will be thinking small and, consequently, achieving small things.
But hey, nobody is exempt or innocent here: for the most part of my twenties, I followed this mindset of always looking for the easy way out, the quick results which would provide me instant gratification. I would always do something with the intent that it would bring me some kind of benefit, even if that would mean none or even negative results to others.
Yes, I am talking to you
In the first place, you might think “oh no, but I am not like most of the people, since I care and base my actions on others”. Well, not so fast pal, as most likely you are doing it without even realizing it. Let’s take a look at some examples:
You rarely talk to that friend who lives in Berlin, asking how he is doing but suddenly you have discovered that you will go there and a place to stay would be ideal to save some money. So you write him out of nowhere, asking first how he is – without really caring – to then come with your real intention, which is to know whether you could stay at his flat.
A friend of yours asks you for help, since he will be changing home and moving, but you had already set to be with that girl you met on Badoo during the weekend, so you apologize yourself saying that you had plans already. You prioritize a person you never met over another one who has always (or, at least, many times) been there for you.
You go having dinner with a couple of colleagues – guys whom you enjoy to spend time with but who are now living in different cities, so you do not have the chance to be with them so often – to a nice restaurant, having a nice time and a real good time together but, when the bill arrives, you quickly realize how much money you would waste paying for all, so you just suggest that everyone pays his own consumption.
You meet a guy who you know has a startup, who went from 0 to a 5 figure revenue/month in less than one year, and is a specialist in marketing strategies, so you already see all the opportunities he can provide you. But instead of getting to know him better, his passions and preferences, you immediately start firing questions about this and that and how you could implement it in your business.
The secret to success
The secret to success is neither to only think about you nor to become the Madre Theresa of Calcutta and dedicate your life to the others. No, the real key is to have a starting point on yourself – e.g. a real desire to create something, a will to succeed – and then sharing it with an endless enthusiasm with others.
“Hey, but who is interested in your story? And in the end you are doing exactly what you said you should not be doing: to talk about yourself”. Not so fast pal…first, let’s be clear here: a person who has nothing to share or anything coming from himself is an EMPTY soul. Those who live listening only to the others are long condemned to become invisible beings.
The trick of showing enthusiasm about something and then sharing it with others, is that you will, in some or in many cases, inflame these people. So that story will soon become their own as well.
Meaning that people will start talking about themselves and that is exactly where you will start to LISTEN to what they have to say. It is basically an old trick of influencing people, which Dale Carnegie already referred in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People: “Let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers”.
Then, when you share your own thoughts with thrill with others, something very interesting happens: even if the receptor of the message does not really have an interest on the topic you are trying to spread, at least he or she will have the tendency to give you an honest feedback. And from there, you can adjust and improve what you are trying to promote or even sell.
In the end, the better you share your message with others, the more they will respond actively to it, so you will have the proper tools and the practical guidelines to put you on the right track. So afterwards, it will only be a matter of adapting or shaping your core work, according to the interests of your audience.
There is one thing that I have learned the hard way: selfish behaviour induces small thinking. And small thinking leads to a mediocre life. And a mediocre life will completely block your possibilities of reaching high and achieving big things.
One of the reasons why I am still far from where I wanted to be is because I spent my whole twenties thinking about the potential benefits and advantages I would get in every situation. And while this is normal, due to our nature, it is the complete wrong mindset.
Just think about it: if you focus too much on yourself, it means that the others will also do it. Not on yourself but on themselves. So you will easily become an uninteresting person on their minds and sooner or later you will be just a memory of that guy “whom I had a nice conversation with” or “whom I once made business with” but whose relationship simply did not work out.
Start leaving yourself and your ego a little bit aside and put attention on others. Look at their behaviors, at their passions and at their preferences. Listen to what they have to say. Approach others just for the good feeling, not expecting anything in return.
And the funny thing is that when you think so much about yourself, you also get affected negatively much easier and more often.
You love girls and want to bang as many as possible? Great, but then you get rejected hard a couple of times so you total lose your motivation, because your ego has just been put in stake. Instead, move somewhere where girls are hot but do not give a fuck about you. So there you will have the perfect environment, a hostile scenario where girls do not look at you so you just have to leave your comfort zone and face your own fears. Yes, expose yourself without any mercy, like you have never done before. And then you will see the wonders of it.
You start a business and you are all confident in the beginning, but then you quickly realise that the market does not respond to your campaigns, as you thought in the first place. Or that your customer base is scarce and almost nobody gives a fuck about your product. Well, instead thinking about your hurt, wounded ego, start looking at your competitors, what they offer, how they communicate and how they sell their products.
You see, the more you think about yourself, the more you will move away from your goals. Ironically and conversely, it is exactly when you stop thinking so much about your own benefits and start looking at the others, what they like, what they crave, how they behave and what makes them happy, that you will begin reaping some benefits from you.
It is not a matter of not caring about yourself – no, you still need to fight and go after what you want with all the will and power in the world. It is simply a matter of aligning your desires and passions with the world. And if you do it consistently and with no cynicism, you will magically start leaving that mediocre life behind.