Recipe for Unshakable Self-Confidence

I was recently talking to someone about the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, Jordan Belfort, and how he is currently earning a living teaching people sales techniques, which I found ironic because the real asset, which allowed him to earn such a monstrous income wasn’t his sales ability, or even his skullduggery – but his unshakable self-confidence.

Now, he’s an awful example of a role model – but in any really successful individual there exists a similar-breed of self-confidence that differentiates them from the average joe and allows them to turn latent ambition into tangible success.

This isn’t just the law of cause and effect in action, but the absence of self-pity that keeps so many people from becoming who they can be; or rather, a stronger force at work than self-pity, fear, and doubt.

As a lifelong student of the Universe I’m committed to building the immaterial skills and habits that manifest themselves in the material world; the outer-world is truly a reflection of the inner-world. To understand this and empower your life through this paradigm is a fine and beautiful thing.

Since I’ve shifted the focus of my growth to this narrative on unshakable self-confidence the universe has paid dividends into this investment and I’m writing to share them with whoever wishes to walk this path with me.

I just want to shout from the mountain-tops: “People, we can do anything.”

And I believe it. Look, you can tell yourself anything, but the bottom-line is: the only thing standing between you and your dreams is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself.

Go ahead, settle for less. It’s your life; however, if you wish to realize your true potential, it’s going to require work.

Part of that work – the most important part of that work is feeding your psyche.

Put it on a diet. Check your self-talk. Self-confidence is a state of mind. You have to go to that place mentally before you can accomplish anything of value in the physical world.

If you’d like the recipe for unshakable self-confidence: listen to this audio everyday for the next month. If not, kiss my fuckin’ ass, I won’t lose any sleep over it.

Earl Nightingale, The Strangest Secret – 1950

The Strangest Secret Summary

“1. Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.

2. People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going. It’s that simple. Failures, on the other hand, believe that their lives are shaped by circumstances – by things that happen to them – by exterior forces.

3. The key to success and the key to failure is this – WE BECOME WHAT WE THINK ABOUT.

4. A person who is thinking about a concrete and worthwhile goal is going to reach it, because that’s what he’s thinking about. Conversely, the person who has no goal, who doesn’t know where he’s going, and whose thoughts must therefore be thoughts of confusion, anxiety, fear, and worry will thereby create a life of frustration, fear, anxiety and worry. And if he thinks about nothing – he becomes nothing.

5. Our mind can do any kind of job we assign to it, but generally speaking, we use it for little jobs instead of big ones. So decide now. What is it you want? Plant your goal in your mind. It’s the most important decision you’ll ever make in your entire life.

6. Every one of us is the sum total of our own thoughts. We are where we are because that’s exactly where we really want or feel we deserve to be – whether we’ll admit that or not. Each of us must live off the fruit of our thoughts in the future, because what you think today and tomorrow – next month and next year – will mold your life and determine your future. You’re guided by your mind.

7. You see, the very law that gives us success is a double-edged sword. We must control our thinking. The same rule that can lead people to lives of success, wealth, happiness, and all the things they ever dreamed of – that very same law can lead them into the gutter. It’s all in how they use it – for good or for bad. That is The Strangest Secret!

8. The moment you decide on a goal to work toward, you’re immediately a successful person – you are then in that rare group of people who know where they’re going. Out of every hundred people, you belong to the top five. Don’t concern yourself too much with how you are going to achieve your goal – leave that completely to a power greater than yourself. All you have to do is know where you’re going. The answers will come to you of their own accord, and at the right time.”

edit 11/16/15: On the topic of confidence, I’ve written this, which is a must read for anyone looking to understand and posses confidence in themselves.

Strengths and Weaknesses

As I grow older, I’m gaining a deeper sense of the paradoxes within everything in life. It feels like one of the ways in which the universe can’t help but reveal some of it’s inherent mystery through it’s nature; philosophical quantum physics. The mysteries of life are these conundrums that we traverse and through this process of figuring life out, we gain wisdom and experience – sometimes, we even walk away with both.

Some of us seem more apt to figure life out and whether this aptitude is innate or developed is a moot point, for regardless of the origin of our individual facilities, we each posses unique strengths and weaknesses that ultimately have a lot to do with our individual capacity to figure life out and to be wise in doing so.

But often we gain experience without gaining wisdom; we repeat mistakes and we fail to see which way the river is flowing, jumping in and swimming the wrong way again.

The beautiful thing about wisdom is that it can be acquired through learning, which allows us to produce the solution that best fits the situation, without having the benefit of direct experience.

We have to remember that every experience we have is an opportunity to gain wisdom, but we also have the opportunity to shape our choices in a way that allows us to apply the wisdom we already poses – maximizing our probability of succeeding at what we do in life.

Our wisdom is our strengths, our lack of wisdom our weaknesses. When we do not posses wisdom regarding a given situation, we are jumping into the stream blindfolded.

Yet we are all basically blind to our strengths and weaknesses. We cultivate our strengths without realizing how valuable they truly are. If we all made life decisions based on our strengths, we would increase our aptitude toward success and we would decrease failure and discontent.

However, that’s not the way we think. We lead lives based on what we think we should do given 50 other factors. Society, career, relationships, ego, culture, goals, peer-pressure – all these external factors which place little weight in assessing our strengths and weaknesses, aside from judging perceived risks and difficulties.

We’re wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain, and we base these on these external factors. Operating on this paradigm is completely antithetical to self-awareness.

To be self-aware is to know your strengths and weaknesses. To be self-actualized is to cultivate and pursue your strengths.

We need to rewire our operating systems. We need to program a new paradigm that says: figuring life out and succeeding is best accomplished when we focus our energy in life on applying our strengths and avoiding our weaknesses.

We need to program a new paradigm that says: figuring life out and succeeding is best accomplished when we focus our energy in life on applying our strengths and avoiding our weaknesses.

Life isn’t fair, but it really isn’t fair if you don’t make this decision to change your compass in life, because the people who operating from their strengths are going to wipe the floor with you.

I know what you’re thinking, “well, I’m really good at organizing” or “I’m really good at sailing” or “I don’t even know what my strengths are”.

Look, it’s time to ditch this guidance counselor thinking and upgrade your idea of what a strength is and what a weakness is.

This is going to take a little existential thinking on your part. Our pragmatism is keeping us far too grounded. First, let’s take a look at people who have played to their strengths in life. Imagine anyone killing it. Anyone just shining in life.

This isn’t about being average or even good. This isn’t necessarily about being great either, but it is about feeling great.

You see, I believe that individuals who crush it, people who are able to just make things click, those are people that have a heightened sense of awareness about what they do. I’m not saying they can see or feel better, but they have a greater perception about what they do then the competition. They have a better understanding of things. They have a beautiful mind for what they do.

I told you we were going to get existential.

That’s really what it is though. Our strengths are the things we have a beautiful mind for.

Our strengths are the things we have a beautiful mind for.

These things are not always tangible skills. Sometimes they are modes of communicating or feeling. Remember, we just happen to live in a society that values success over self-actualization. However, I believe that we all have a beautiful mind for multiple things.

A beautiful mind is nothing more than the ability to use your humanity to create change in other people. We’re peeling the onion here. This is about life and life is about affecting people positively. Collectively working together as a village would.

We need to be the best villager we can be. It’s taken me 28 years to start to see my place in the village.

I’m have a generosity of spirit for lifting people up and changing their thinking with empowering paradigms. I have a strong business sense to grow companies and improve products. Those are a couple examples of areas where I am applying my strengths and let me tell you – life is getting really good as a result of that applied energy.

On the other hand, like everyone else, I have weaknesses that abound.

There’s a great story a father told his son.

There were two dads and two sons in a town. One dad was a kind and gentle fellow, the other dad was a mean and nasty drunk.

Their sons were best friends growing up and they both turned into wonderful men. When asked how they became great men, the son of the kind dad said, ‘I looked at my dad for how to be” and the son of the mean dad said “I looked at my dad for how not to be”.

The moral of the story is that being aware of your weaknesses is just as valuable as being aware of your strengths when it comes to managing your choices.

I truly believe that if we focus our energy on discovering and following our strengths we can change our lives in ways we never thought possible.

Note: I’ll publish a part 2 soon where I will go more into depth about applying this concept to our lives.  You can subscribe to my blog to get notified when it’s published.

edit: 11/16/15 – reading this again two years later and realizing I never really did a part two. Here’s one better.

A Note About People

You know, sometimes I come across people that are such just honest to goodness kindhearted people that it’s heartbreaking to see them struggling.

It’s heartbreaking to me because these people are doing their best and they aren’t trying to fuck people to get ahead. They’re too damn nice for this world.

They’re just trying to keep the lights on. Fighting their quiet little battles. Often with no one at all really there for them.

I thank G-d for the people who care about me, but just as much, I’m thankful to be relatively well-equipped just to deal with life. I can build companies and I can use my people skills to attract a mate. That might seem like a silly way of putting things, but I have to remember that there are countless people who are 50 times more deserving than I am, and they don’t have any of the advantages I do.

If we were really evolved in our humanity, we would work together to take care of one another.

We might not be barbaric, but living in a social and economic vacuum is really just an absurdity when you think about the injustices in the world.

I’m not just talking about income inequality, or even the 800 thousand people living as refugees in Syria at this very moment. I can’t fix that injustice and nor can you.

But what we can do is share in our humanity together by opening our eyes and our hearts to the people all around us who are really in need.

We need to be soldiers for these people. We need to protect the most vulnerable people. In my imagination of G-d, he cries seeing how we are so out of touch with the human spirit. The human spirit is absent, just a phrase you hear on TV commercials. Where is our real human spirit.

We have no honor, no ethics that we really live by. We use all of our talent and all of our abilities for ourselves.

Maybe I’m just really selfish, I don’t know. But I know that people are struggling, and they need help. Are we going to help them, or are we going to step over them as we climb up social and professional ladders.

I don’t want to live in a vacuum. I don’t want to be another indistinguishable, unremarkable human. I want to protect the people who need protecting.

Edit: A wonderful new friend I made posted a very relevant story perfectly exemplifies the spirit of this post.

Read the story, you’ll LOVE it.

And here’s a youtube of the story.