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

The absolute bulletproof way to wake up early in the morning

My whole life, I wanted to wake up early in the morning, Yet I always failed at this, no matter what I tried. There were times when I managed to wake up early for a week or so, and then I got derailed and was back to my old habit to hit the snooze button.

Some habits are just incredibly hard to form, and this was one of them. I managed to establish many other activities as a habit – like exercising, blogging, and meditating every day, just to name a few. However, waking up when the alarm went off – was not one of them. It just did not stick.

It’s safe to say that I have cracked this puzzle. 

First, you need a “why” to wake up. Find something that you like to do in the morning and is also beneficial. Maybe it’s reading a book, or writing or drawing – whatever it is, it has to be something you enjoy doing. And it should be something that doesn’t take a lot of effort.

Meditating and exercising are great things, but for most people (including me), they are definitely not motivating enough to get me out of bed. Exercising is hard work, and meditating is not stimulating enough to wake me up – I would fall asleep in no time. 

For me, the first activity I do in the morning is summarising a book using the Blinkist app. It’s simple and motivating enough to help me get out of bed. I like to hear a summary and to take notes of a book I have already read or am going to read, or I’m thinking about reading. I learn about new ideas straight in the morning. I love that!

Second, before doing your activity, you need to get out of the bed. Even if you have your “why”, you might still fall asleep because you might tell yourself something along the lines of” just five more minutes.” We all know that this is like playing with fire.

So, what has helped me is to set up a series of actions that also act as triggers. It’s like dropping breadcrumbs and simply following the trail. 

What you want to do is to put your alarm clock away from the bed. So that you physically need to get out of the bed when it goes off. 

For some people, this technique alone might do the trick, but for me – I would simply get up, turn off the alarm, and go back to bed.

Next, when you get out of the bed, go straight to the bathroom and brush your teeth, and wash your face. This makes you feel fresh and awake. Even if you only had 5 hours of sleep, you feel a lot more awake. 

Then you might want to brew a fresh cup of coffee or go to your “why” activity. For me, although I’ ma coffee addict and absolutely need my morning coffee, I go behind the desk and start writing instead. I get my coffee from a local grocery store later.

By the time you’re doing your “why” activity, you’re already awake and will not go to bed anymore. It’s highly unlikely, at least.

So to recap, you need a “why” activity that is easy and motivating enough, and you need to trick your brain all the way to the bathroom when the alarm rings. 

Third, make a contract with yourself. 

This is the method I have used successfully to make even the hardest habits to stick. I also wrote an article about it a while ago. If you haven’t read it, search for “contract” on my site if you’d like to.

The basic idea is that you take a piece of paper and you write on it what you promise to do. In this case, you would write on it that you will wake up on your specified time every day no matter what. No matter what!

You can make this contract between yourself or the Universe/God or whatever you relate to. Write it as a real contract – be specific about what is the latest time you have to be out of the bed, and the timeframe you need to do it (90 days is a good timeframe to form a new habit.). 

Also, write that consequences will follow if you breach this contract. For me, not wanting to become paranoid by screwing over the Universe does the trick.

Sign it and add the dates. The more “real” and specific, the better – leave no “wiggle” room. I’m sure you know how sneaky our minds can be in talking ourselves out of what we need to do.

Now, it might sound super cheesy and ridiculous or retarded or whatever, but for me, it works, that’s why I share it. As the Murphy’s law states: “If it’s stupid, but it works, it isn’t stupid.” So, maybe it works for you as well – and if it doesn’t – nothing lost.

KRISTJAN

People who have good social skills all have this one trait

If there’s one thing that the people who are great at socializing have in common, it’s the ability to communicate their character very fast. Very fast!

You’ll know exactly who you’re dealing with after just a couple of seconds of interacting. There a clear signal coming out of them. There’s no wavering or wishy-washyness. In seconds you know what type of person they are.

When we do or say something, we have an intent behind it. E.g., you have an intent to ask a stranger for a question. However, there can be other conflicting intents as well. Maybe also, you have an intent to look cool or not get rejected. This means your original intent is now divided – it’s not clear anymore. You want one thing, but you also want something else. It’s like driving with breaks on.

This is why confident people with good social skills are so charismatic. They don’t worry about looking cool or anything else except what their intent is directed towards. If they listen, they listen 100%. They don’t divide their intent to 50% by also thinking about what they could say next.

I believe this – just as almost anything in life – can be trained. We should be very clear in what we want, say, or do.

If you’re talking to the other person, the intent should be clear. If you want something, make it clear to the other person. If you just want to chat, then make that clear.

If we’re going to do something, then we should do it, not just half-ass it.

KRISTJAN

How to keep going even on the bad days – secrets to achieving your goals

There are days when we feel absolutely shit. In those days, we might not feel like doing our work.

However, it’s very important to do our work even if we don’t feel like it. Every day! Even if we’re not in our best form – that doesn’t matter. What matters is that we do our work.

Many people talk about motivation.

The problem with motivation is that, in those shitty days, motivation is suddenly nowhere to be found. Motivation is like one of those people who is your friend when everything’s great, but when things get hard, this guy is gone – out of the window.

As David Goggins says: “You need to be driven”.

This means you have to want it bad – whatever your goal is. And these shitty days will test you how bad you want it. If you skip a day as soon as you don’t feel like it on that day, then you don’t really want it. You only wish and hope.

Another thing is that we put too much emphasis on the end result. However, we should really put the focus on the doing itself. Forget about the goal for a second and just focus on the action itself.

Trust that if you simply do the thing, at one point, you will get there. Focusing on the goal doesn’t help – the goal might seem miles away, further deteriorating our will. Focusing on the action is better – just do the thing, and that’s it — one step at a time.

That doesn’t mean to forget your goal. It means to not focus on it. Keep your goal on your mind, but put the focus on doing the action itself. After all, it’s the action that matters, not thinking about the end result.

This is hard because we want to see instant results. If we don’t see results right away, we start to doubt whether or not there’s even a point to keep going. But if you think about your actions rationally, you realize that if you keep doing that action, it will, at one point, get you to the result you want. If not, then modify the action.

Writing is a good example. If you write every day, you will get better. It might take time, but it will happen.

Or losing weight – you might not see immediate results, but you know that if you stick to your diet, changes will occur.

Also, when you skip a day, it’s not an isolated event. E.g., we might think that if we skip the gym once, then it’s an isolated event and an exception.

However, skipping a gym session will affect your whole character. You will train yourself to give in more easily, and therefore, it affects everything else you do. You become more lenient on yourself, and before you know it, the exception has become the norm.

KRISTJAN