Cutting your losses: don’t read books that you don’t like

I used to have a mindset that when I pick up a book to read, I have to finish it – even if I don’t like it. Don’t do that!

Don’t read books that you don’t want to read. If you start a book and half-way through, you don’t care about it anymore, then just drop it. Life’s too short to read books you don’t like.

There’s a great book, “What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars by Brendan Moynihan and Jim Paul” where one of the authors describes how he held on to a poor investment decision and refused to cut his losses. He did that mostly out of his pride and arrogance. Needless to say, he lost a lot of money and went from “hero to zero.”

The main financial point of this book is simple: There are many ways to make money, but only one way to stay wealthy – don’t lose money.

So, there’s no point in holding onto things that don’t benefit you or your endeavors anymore. Sometimes, it’s a wise choice to cut your losses (invested time, money, energy, etc.) and move on. Holding on will increase your losses even further.

KRISTJAN

Accountability mirror

This is an awesome tool I got from David Goggins’ book “Can’t Hurt Me.” If you haven’t read it already, I highly highly recommend doing so.

I write down the next steps of my goals on sticky notes and stick them on a bathroom mirror. E.g., if you’re trying to lose weight, you might write down how many pounds or kilos you wish to lose next.

It’s important to be specific and use exact numbers and metrics that can be measured. Being vague like “get rich” or “become fit” hardly ever work, because these statements are not really even goals – they’re more like wishes and hopes.

Placing these tiny steps that you want to achieve on a bathroom mirror ensures that you see them every day – thus holding yourself accountable. You look yourself in the mirror every day and then look at your goals. You can’t lie to yourself there.

If you achieve a goal, then remove the old sticky not and replace it with a new one. Simple yet effective.

Also, it’s important to break bigger goals into smaller steps as it’s easier to measure your results and stay motivated if you are continuously gaining small wins and moving forward.

I personally find this idea really cool and continue using it. Try it yourself!

KRISTJAN

Toxic people: how to recognize and what to do about them (this can save your life)

“Pablo Picasso was notorious for sucking the energy out of the people he met. His granddaughter Marina claimed that he squeezed people like one of his tubes of oil paints. You’s have a great time hanging out all day with Picasso, and then you’s go home nervous and exhausted, and Picasso would go back to his studio and paint all night, using the energy he’d sucked out of you.”

Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!

If you ever meet someone who drains you, you better run. People who bring you down or do not help your cause need to go. It doesn’t matter if they’re friends or family, it’s best to ditch these people.

“But that’s cold,” I can already hear. Here’s my answer:” Yes, it is, so what?”. Welcome to the real world. It’s not all warm and fluffy and nice out here. Not everyone has your best interests in mind – you need to protect yourself.

Ultimately you’re not doing yourself any favors by hanging out with people who are not going anywhere or make you feel bad about yourself. The environment shapes us. If the people who surround us are blocking us, it affects us negatively as it becomes our environment.

It doesn’t mean to hate these people – of course not. Just to keep a long distance and ignore them.

So, if your friends are not on the same level as you are, then get new friends. If your girlfriend or boyfriend is toxic, get rid of her or him and get a new one.

If you sense any poison dripping at all, run as fast as you can, because the poisoning will only end until you leave or your ‘e poisoned to death – just look at most married middle-aged couples out there. They’re an empty shell of their former self. They’re tired, worn out, and have no drive nor passion. Essentially they’re already dead – they just don’t know it yet.

Instead, surround yourself with people who are positive, light, want to move up in life, and don’t complain.

By the way, complaining is a perfect way to see if you should let someone in your life or not. Whether you’re considering to hire someone or having them as your girlfriend/boyfriend, just ask what they think about their last boss or boyfriend/girlfriend.

Look at their eyes. If their eyes light up as they unleash a toxic flood of complaining, then it’s almost a 100% certainty that that person will talk about you the same way sooner or later.

Trust me; you don’t want to experience this on your own. Don’t ever let anyone like this in your life. They will poison you – and they can do it up to a point where you will consider suicide. I’m not even joking – this can be a matter of life and death.

KRISTJAN

I’m different

I’m different than most people. That’s not me being cocky – that’s a fact. I know this because when I observe myself in certain situations and then observe others, almost everyone else does the same shit, whereas I do something else instead. Note that I’m not saying that I’m better than others.

Not because I want to be so different, but because the stuff that appeals to the masses, doesn’t interest me at all. My mind just works differently.

I can give you some examples. Let’s take watching TV – most people watch TV – I don’t. Most people are constantly on social media, driven by ego gratification – I don’t. Most people always use the escalator – I don’t. Most people don’t read books, I do. Most people would be happy with an average life – I am not. Most people want to settle down; I don’t. I could go on indefinitely.

What is the reasoning of a mother playing some dumb game on her phone while her kid is trying to get attention? What is the reasoning using an escalator if you could use your two fucking legs that were meant to be for walking? I just don’t get it. I must be weird. I probably am.

I wasn’t always like this; I was exactly like I described the people above. This is why I’m ranting about this so much.

There’s a quote by Robert Bly that might explain this:

“Our story gives a teaching diametrically opposite. It says that where a man’s wound is, that is where his genius will be. Wherever the wound appears in our psyches, whether from alcoholic father, shaming mother, shaming father, abusing mother, whether it stems from isolation, disability, or disease, that is precisely the place for which we will give our major gift to the community.”

Robert Bly, Iron John: A Book about Men

This is me trying to wake up people. Being most of my own life in a derp-state is my wound. It’s absolutely terrible. This blog is my gift. It’s for free for you to accept it or not. It’s here if you’re interested. If not, that’s also cool.

So, it really feels like waking up from the Matrix. Every day is precious. Every day is a gift given to us to use it. Yet, most people think they live forever and use their life to do absolutely irrelevant stuff. Don’t do it!

I think the only answer is that they’re asleep. Just by looking at people’s eyes in the subway, I see that there’s no aliveness in them. I’m not talking about all people, of course, but about the majority. It’s sad. So much better potential than me goes to waste.

By the way, if you’re a male reader, do yourself a favor and read that Bly book. Also, read Fire in the Belly by Sam Keen. These are probably the best two books about being a man and not a boy. I know I’m getting a bit sidetracked here, but whatever – this info is important.

KRISTJAN

Always learn something new

Here’s the thing. If you’re not moving up in life, you’re moving down. Same thing with our brains: If you are not learning new skills to keep your brain fit, it doesn’t stay the same; it deteriorates.

Our brains need to be exercised. They need to learn something new; they crave it.

It doesn’t really matter what skill you learn – it might be a new language or juggling – but it’s important always to learn something. Otherwise, our brains get bored and weak.

So, it’s not just that you learn a new skill; you also make your mind stronger, which in turn affects everything else you do.

KRISTJAN

How to become rejection proof

The fear of rejection is one of the biggest and most common fears people face. It’s the kind of fear that stops us from doing the things we want to do and living the life we want to live.

This fear is so strong that people would go out of their way to not get rejected. In fact, studies have shown that rejection uses similar neural pathways as if we would experience physical pain. That explains the pain.

However, what rejection really is? In our minds, we imagine being yelled at, being shamed, or something similar. Yet, if you look at it from a rational point of view, in most cases (probably a 90% at least) it’s just a “No thank you.” That’s it! No shaming, no yelling whatsoever.

So why does it affect us so much?

Let’s travel back hundreds of thousands of years to the caveman times when we lived in the tribes.

Getting rejected by a tribe could literally mean the difference between life and death. If you somehow managed to get yourself cast out of the tribe, you were as good as dead. In those harsh conditions, surviving alone was almost impossible.

This is why we have such a strong emotional response. Our brain – that uses the same hardware chip that a caveman had – simply freaks out and tries to keep us from harm.

Nowadays, it doesn’t matter how much you get rejected; nothing changes – except your chances of success. We’re not going to die no matter how many “tribes” reject us.

We all know the story of J.K. Rowling being rejected by 12 or something publishers for the Harry Potter book. Yet she kept persisting, and at some point, got a “yes.”

What we have to realize is that rejection does not say anything about us. It doesn’t define us. We’re still the same person.

By being afraid of rejection, we miss out on so many opportunities. But we would never know because we never try.

And the truth is, that there’s absolutely no way around rejection. It’s impossible always to get a “yes.” So we better accept it as a part of our lives. Rejection is nothing personal. It’s part of the deal.

However, if you constantly get rejected, then instead of becoming bitter, take it as feedback. It tells you that maybe there’s something to be changed in your behavior, attitude, or the way you come across.

Just remind yourself that there’s no limit on how many times you can get rejected – you can get rejected unlimited times.

Besides, the more you get rejected, the stronger your mind will become. The less you’ll care. It’s just a fact of life that not everyone will like you, and you will also not like everyone. That’s the way it is and the way it should be.

Last but not least, rejection trains you to not be dependent on the outcome. You’ll start to feel comfortable in your own skin. You’ll stay true to yourself and who you are without seeking approval.

KRISTJAN

Produce more, consume less

Most people are only concerned with consuming without thinking about the return of value. They watch TV, consume social media, buy stuff, etc. Now, I’m not putting down these people, I’m just saying how it is. If you look around, I think you’d agree.

I also think you’d agree with me if I say that they are not happy with their lives. In fact, I’m quite sure, it’s the producers who are a lot more content with their lives. Entrepreneurs, artists, writers, creators, YouTubers – everyone who feels they are creating something instead of following a manual – fall into the producer’s category.

I’m quite sure it has something to do with the fact that there’s meaning in what they do. Whereas a life where you only consume has not much meaning.

Do an audit of your life. How much time do you spend consuming, and how much time you spend on producing?

Even when you’re looking at ads, you can look at them with a consuming mindset, as in: “I wonder if I should buy this” or with a producing mindset:” I wonder how this ad was made”, “what was the process of this ad to get here”, “How it was designed?” etc.

Consuming for the sake of consuming is meaningless. We should consume in order to produce. That also applies to e.g., eating. We should only eat in order to do things, not because we’re bored or we just feel like it. Eating high-carb foods like ice cream and bread is a lot of the time meaningless – they just give empty calories without any nutrition.

“Balance” is the keyword. Again, I’m not saying we should never eat ice cream and never watch a stupid TV show, but it’s better to keep it at a minimum. We should try to do things that actually add value to our lives. Spending time with friends, exercising, learning new skills as opposed to scrolling social media feeds, watching TV and news, smoking, playing video games all day.

So, it’s good always to ask ourselves: “Does this add value to my life?” if the answer is no, why do it? Why do the things that don’t add anything or that have no return whatsoever?

KRISTJAN