Consider the following ideas as part of this week’s digest of interesting personal development thoughts. I have been going through various activities to improve myself, such as listening to thought-provoking audiobooks by Dale Carnegie, Robert Greene, Vanessa Van Edwards, and many others. I’ve also been going through a somewhat strict fitness routine with a coach for the first time, which I’ve detailed on my blog. All these things have helped me generate some interesting ideas worth sharing.
First, stop worrying or concerning yourself about the one person that week or month who was mean, racist, or rude to you in-person or online and notice and appreciate all the other people you interacted with who were kind and respectful. I don’t know how original this thought is, however, I don’t think it’s well practiced. People get so hung up on this one little itch when the rest of their body is fine (that’s an analogy by the way). I’ve noticed this myself, and I am working on practicing it more. This one time, a tattooed man flips me off by giving me the middle finger while he drives away because he came up to me in a sketchy way late in the day mumbling about asking to jump his car, and I said I would think about it and get back to him. He got his car started himself and decided to take out that negativity towards me. Dude, I’m in a new area at a sketchy time and you dressed really sketchy. I would’ve helped in other scenarios and I have actually jumped others’ cars in the parking lot before! Don’t jump to conclusions like I’m a bad person. I even felt a bit bad about it. While my past self could’ve got hung up on that for the rest of the day, I didn’t let it. There’s no use crying over spilled milk or some stranger jumping to conclusions and being rude. All it would do is make me feel worse. I started to pay more attention to the people who were nice to me. At the gym, I notice plenty of people of various ethnicities who are nice to me. There’s no racism or hate. I asked one man if I could swap benches with him since I need the incline and he doesn’t. He’s kind and gracious. He even moved all the stuff he has around his bench. I couldn’t believe it! It’s those small things. Why let one terrible experience ruin all the kind experiences I have the rest of the week?
Second, when you don’t have an intentional, thoughtful grasp about what brings fulfillment and happiness in life, you don’t have a plan when life circumstance leaves you in a place that doesn’t naturally give you those things. This scenario doesn’t only happen when you’re down and out of luck, it also happens when you find yourself with a boatload of money, more money than you can spend. If you haven’t seen the videos about the life of Notch, the creator of Minecraft, it’s a good example.
The summary of the videos is that he found himself with a billion+ dollars for inventing an adored video game, Minecraft, only to receive a lot of hate for changes to the video game and sadness/isolation because he had nothing of passion or purpose to strive for and his friends couldn’t hang out during the say since they were working.
What Notch may have failed to understand because no one told him is that anything that involves a large amount of people guarantees that there will be people complaining about or spewing some negative opinion. Unfortunately, that’s always the case. It’s the law of large numbers. There’s always going to be a variance of opinion, even if some of it is stupid or ridiculous. Organizations often deal with it by having a brand so the hate is pointed at a brand rather than an individual.
He also failed to understand what one can do to find fulfillment or happiness. While this comes naturally for some of us, it does not for others. There was a time when I was struggling with this, so I read a lot about the science of happiness and blogged a lot about what I found here. I believe happiness can be found through a higher purpose, community, quality friendships, health, a reasonable income, nature, fitness, good nutrition, good sleep, passion, time spent working on something of effort in your flow state, and a good relationship. Notch all of a sudden lost a lot of that when he sold his company and found himself with a lot of free time and a lot of money with no game plan or awareness on how to get that back. I hope he will eventually find his way. Many wealth people do. Some naturally figure it out, like Bill Gates, who immediately went on to pursuing a higher purpose and interest with his nonprofit after retiring from Microsoft. Others spend a few months on a beach before they get so bored that they return to start another company. You may think, “Notch’s story would never happen to me. I’d have plenty to do. I’d build a gold mansion. Then, I’d film it and build a YouTube channel. Then, I will go on vacation to Australia. Then, I’ll throw a big party with celebrities…” Notch did his own version of partying and his bucketlist items for the first few months too. You’ll be surprised how much free time you have and how fast you burn through those bucket items before you’re left empty handed. My point is that it’s best to understand what brings fulfillment and happiness, so you have an action plan and aren’t left confused and depressed. Humans are wired to want to work and do things that stimulate them to an extent, especially smart minds like Notch. That’s why some may even voluntarily choose to stay on and work for their company after they sell it.
We can learn some valuable things from the latest Jonah Hill celebrity gossip. This one’s unique, and it hopefully will spruce up the typical dry personal development content I usually give. So, I tend to avoid celeb gossip news since it’s usually a waste of time and a rumor mill. However, it gets a lot of attention, it’s fun, it’s entertaining, so why not this one time? Truth be told, I don’t know all the details to this story since I refuse to spend too much time going down the rabbit hole. I get most of the points though, which is that Jonah Hill’s ex has leaked a bunch of news how he is an “abusive” boyfriend. His ex is basically a surfer law student. One of the main texts that came to light was what seemed like a rather reasonable set of requests of her or else, Jonah says he’s not the man for her. The requirements include but are not limited to not having boundary-less friendships with other men and surfers or posting too many scantily clad photos of herself on social media.
I think many just take celebrity gossip as entertainment or react with their opinions, and move on. I think there’s stuff we can learn here to improve our own lives. For one, Jonah Hill is often referenced by dating coaches or people in the manosphere as the one fat guy who can still do well with women because he makes up for his physique with his fame. It just goes to show you that, in reality, even Jonah’s struggling to figure it out. His partner was not a high-status individual, just an everyday, maybe somewhat above average woman, but not famous or anything high-impact. And he’s not exactly living a life of abundance with tons of women. He’s dealing with the fallout with this one person.
Second, from the photos I’ve seen of the couple, it looks like even Jonah is trying to trim down. It seems like he’s been trying to lose weight and dress high-status. He’s got his hair-dyed, slicked backwards, it seems like he’s skinnier than before, and he’s dressing to accentuate his tattoos and edginess and hide his weight. It just goes to show you the importance of health and fitness. Even Jonah with his fame can’t compensate for his weight completely. It’s not easy though. Research shows that most Americans are overweight or obese. Our food culture is stacked against us.
Unlike in some video games, in life, it’s better to have a decent level in various stats rather than really high level in only a few stats and really low level in other stats. By being well-rounded, you achieve your goals more efficiently and effectively. For example, a man who is a level 9 in fame and a level 8 in riches but is a level 2 in having time for his family/partner, a level 2 in his hygiene, a level 2 in how interesting/funny/fun he is, a level 1 in health and physical attractiveness, and a level 2 in giving attention, care, or respect to his loved one isn’t going to outperform a man who is a level 5 across all these stats in the long run. The stats he lacks become so repulsive that it doesn’t make up for the great stats.
Next, I think it’s important to set boundaries in life and work. I haven’t examined every detail of Jonah’s requests though it’s good to set reasonable boundaries with any type of relationship. When you have reasonable demands about what you can and cannot allow, you have to voice them and have consequences if they’re crossed. Otherwise, people are ignorant or step all over you. In work, I’m learning to be more honest and clear when I am overbooked and I get a request. I need to work on being less of a yes-man and saying that I cannot get to a task until X time in the future because my current work comes first.
Most of my life is going well, so why worry or stress so much about what’s going wrong? Take things one moment at a time and be so busy you don’t have time to worry so much. Yeah, I’ve been reading and have now finished How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie, a book that’s been on my list since 2014! So, a lot of these thoughts are on this topic. It’s very useful though because as the book claims, so many people are infected with too much worry and anxiety all the time. They worry about their jobs, how they look, if they’re going to get cancer, if they’re going to get into an accident, if someone likes them, and so on and so on. It really drives people sick, and the book has tons of tips to help with that. As an over-thinker, I enjoyed this book a lot and found it useful!
Honestly. I have a lot going for me. I have a solid job. I’m not homeless or worried about putting food on the table or paying rent. Work gets stressful at times, but it’s not too crazy, and I’m fairly certain I won’t lose the job any time soon. My health, nutrition, and fitness were decent before, and they’ve gotten a lot better this year with this new fitness coaching I’m trying. My work-life balance is decent. I have free time to enjoy, go for a walk, travel, or watch TV. I’m fairly happy and fulfilled. I’m smart, kind, thoughtful, and accomplish a lot. So, why worry about things to a point that it isn’t productive and only get me stressed, like if I lose my job? Or an impending recession? Or how I’m going to become a millionaire? Or if the shaky airplane I’m on will crash? And so on and so forth. We inherited worry from our ancestors as a survival mechanism. A little can help prepare us. A lot can be needlessly stressful.
In the grand scheme of things, what you’re worrying about will likely not happen given the law of averages and isn’t as catastrophic as you might think. Your worst case scenarios aren’t that bad. So, what if you lose your job? When I told one of my coworkers about that fear when I was departing my previous job and saying farewell to her. She responded immediately to me in a reassuring way that there are so many jobs out there and that I would find another. And it’s true! While I work in a competitive industry and have seen many coworkers come and go and get let go, it’s not happened to me yet in many years, so I must be doing something right! And if it does, it’s not as bad as I think. Similarly, if you’re fearful of health issues that haven’t happened yet or not ever finding the love of your life and dying alone, bad thoughts aren’t going to help! If anything, they could hurt your results, how you feel, how you appear, how you act, and how the world responds to you. Your thoughts are the garden of your mind; depending on how you groom or neglect that garden, it will manifest in a way that leads to actions that respond in the real world. The world will react to you differently when you change your thoughts and identity! Other than my job, my biggest fears aren’t likely going to happen. It’s actually statistically a lot less likely I’ll die from an airplane flight than a car drive, for example. And even in the car, I’ve gotten into much less accidents than the average person. I’ve been driving for well over a decade and have avoided any type of major accidents because I’m very careful.