You Are Asking The Wrong Questions

The society we live in is seriously messed up. How come? Why are there so many people who hate their lives? Why are there so many people who find themselves in their 80s with nothing but regrets? The reason is – we are programmed by the society to think in a very specific way. We are all pressured by the society to follow the tradition. Our minds are formed into this sheep mindset, just do what others tell you to do, follow the crowd, get a good education, work for 40 years of your life and you’ll be set. But will you? The reason why most people never really question this mindset is, they simply ask the wrong questions. They look for the “What” and the “How” ignoring the most important question there is – the “Why“.

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Mindset Transformation

As I went through my basic education and high school, I have always thought about what I wanted to do and how I will get there. Education was always the answer. Get a good degree, find a good job and you’re set, is what I had embedded in my mind. I finished my high school in Beijing, China where I had the privilege to attend an international school. I saw this as a major boost in my potential in the academic and the employment world. A European guy, who has traveled around the world, studied in 3 different languages and reached a great level of success in his education – this is what I thought would make me successful. And I reached exactly that – I got an offer from a few of the best universities in the world. This was something I was particularly proud about. I was the first one from my family who reached this level, the first one who studied abroad, the first one who could speak Chinese, the first one who had such a great potential. What I missed was the bottom line of everything. I never really asked myself “How do you want to live your life?” I never thought about the “Why” behind what I was doing. What has happened then completely shifted my mindset. One of the unis I had a conditional offer for declined it and I thought to myself “This is it, I am done with.” I was really stressed for a period of time. I decided to hide it because I didn’t want others to see me fail, I didn’t want to be a nuisance to others. What I didn’t understand back then was that this event was a blessing. I started looking for a way out of this crap. I started reading loads of self-development books, I started learning new things about myself and I really started focusing on my own personal development. How come? I still ask myself this question now. Maybe it was Rich Dad Poor Dad that has changed my perspective, maybe it was something else. Either way, shortly after this has happened, me and my friend started The Real Life Education. We were set to help others reach their goals through the journey of self-development and self-education – we wanted people to understand that the traditional education is not even close to the actual self-growth. Why? Because we learned it the hard way. At this moment of time, I have also met my current business team and mentor who have truly changed my mindset. They taught me to understand that whatever we do, we need to have a strong why, a strong reason. This was something that completely blew my mind back then, because I was never taught this lesson. Nobody ever asked me – “How do you want to live your life?” The only thing I have been asked was: “What do you want to do when you grow up?”

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Asking The Right Question

So what have I learned? Why are most people so depressed and regretful? It is exactly because they have been asking themselves the wrong questions throughout their lives. Many of us look to be investment bankers, accountants, financial asset managers, etc. But when we’re asked: “So why do you want to do this?” We are clueless. Actually, most people say that they really enjoy the job. REALLY?! If they would not pay you, would you still do the job? That’s what I thought… Absolutely not. We need to start asking ourselves the right questions! Why am I doing what I am doing? How do I want to live? How does my dream life look like? We need to set the final goal, the destination where we are going first. As Friedrich Nietzsche put it: “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” We need to understand our purpose first, then we can look for a platform to reach that. Most people are climbing their ladders and they’re climbing them fast. What they don’t realise is that they are climbing the wrong ladder! Make sure your ladder is the correct one! And if it’s not, don’t just stop and climb down. You need to jump and look for a new ladder now!! Your time is precious, make it count.

 

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Where to Start?

You start at the beginning. Sit down, forget about anything you’ve been taught. Take a pen and paper and write/draw your dreams. Be as specific as possible. Do you want a house on the beach? Draw it out,  look up its picture and print it out for yourself. Do you want to help underprivileged kids? Write it down and identify what you need to do to be able to do that. Visualise your dreams, visualise your WHY.

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Why You Need to Stop Watching The News

Today, I’ll be talking about another crucial area of our lives that affects us incredibly, yet most people tend to completely ignore it. As you might’ve already guessed from the title, I’ll be looking at a very controversial topic – the influence of the news on our state of mind.  Paying attention to what’s happening in the world is something that is broadly accepted as an important part of one’s life. In the world of modern technology, it is very common for people to wake up and directly pick up their phones to learn about what’s happened in the world when they were asleep. Is paying attention to what is presented to us in the news something that benefits us in the long-run, or is it something that only helps the negative influences of the world around us hold us down?

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The Nature of The Modern News

Most people fail to realise that the companies that present us with the news very often, if not always, publish based on what they think will be read the most, based on what will give them a higher degree of exposure. Here comes the human nature into the game. We love to watch or to read about depressive, heavy stuff that happens in the world (eg. a terrorist attack, a natural catastrophe or a school shooting). The kind of events that attracts the average human mind sometimes scares me. Why do you need to know about a school shooting on the other side of the world? What can you do about it? How will it help you grow as a person? People often fail to ask themselves these questions and blindly follow the herd. If you look through today’s or yesterday’s news, half of it, if not most of it, will be something negative. That is the nature of the modern news. They focus on the bad, violent, angering stuff because that’s what brings them exposure, that’s what people read and that’s what people are most likely to discuss. They want you to get emotional about things, because you’re more likely to come back with a desire to look for more.

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You Are What You Consume

This is the reality, this is how our mind works. It’s like a computer. The more you look something up, the more likely it is to come up in your search suggestions. Your brain works the same way. The more you see the negative stuff, the more often will the negative stuff come up in your mind. The more often you consume positivity, the more positively will your brain think. It is all based on how you programme your brain. The way you programme your brain is based on many factors, such as your environment or the words you speak to yourself. In order to produce positivity, in order to live a positive life and to be a positive person, you first need to consume positivity, loads of it.

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How Can I Switch from Negativity to Positivity?!

This is a very complicated and long process. It won’t happen in a few days, maybe not even in a few weeks. You can’t simply forget all the negative stuff, that’s simply not how it works. As Bill Britt said, you can’t forget all the negative stuff without first remembering it (re-phrased). In order to re-programme your mind from negativity to positivity, you need to outnumber the negative pieces of your mind with the positive pieces. If you imagine a glass (your mind)  full of dirty water (negativity), you can’t simply empty it, because then your mind would be empty and it is very likely that you’ll fill it with dirty water again. What you need to do is start adding loads of clean water (positivity). What happens then? As you add more and more clear water, the concentration of the dirty water will progressively decrease and finally, you’ll end up with a glass full of nice and crystal clear water (a mind full of positivity). This metaphor is very practical – try it out yourself physically and you’ll see that it works!

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Should You Actually Stop Watching the News?!

You might be still thinking – I’ve never felt the affect of paying attention to the news. The thing is – it doesn’t affect your conscious mind, it works with your subconscious mind! You might not be aware of the influence it has on you, but if you don’t outnumber the negative stuff with positivity, you will be getting grumpier and grumpier and more and more depressed. This is how our subconscious mind works. What’s the bottom line? If you really need to watch or read the news (because of your job or whatever), make sure you consume some positivity after you finish watching – this way, you’ll at least dilute the negative stuff you’ve just read about. This way, you’ll at least minimise the damage in your battle against negativity. The fact that you stop watching the news doesn’t mean that you won’t hear about the bad stuff ever again – social media and the internet make it very hard to escape all the negativity. You will still need to consume positivity, but as I said before, you’ll tackle one of the aspects that influences you in a negative way.

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The Instant Gratifiaton Trap and Why You Need to Escape It

In the modern society, especially among the youngsters, it is a very common value that enjoying your life as much as you can now, being happy now and “living your life to the fullest” now is something that everyone should do. There is nothing wrong with these values, however the ways we understand these phrases are significantly corrupt. To enjoy your life, to live it to the fullest and to be happy is many times connected to the actions that lie inside our comfort zones, or simply to the things that make us feel better. How come? Doesn’t living your life to the fullest mean growing as a person and reaching for your goals and dreams – working towards them every day? That is what it is meant to mean. But if you ask an average person why they go out drinking 2-3 times a week, spend money on alcohol and spend time, the most valuable commodity we all have, in clubs and then in bed trying to get rid of the hangover instead of reading books, exercising and growing every day, the answer will be – “This is what makes me happy, I want to live my life to the fullest.” My next question would be, what about you in the next 5-10 years? How do you want to live your life in the future and what are you doing for it? Most people are not able to answer. So what’s wrong about this and why am I bringing this up? What went wrong is, most people in our society live on something called “instant gratification,” which is essentially focusing on their short-term happiness and completely forgetting about the longer run.

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Instant Gratification

This concept is something that is so engraved in the traditional way of thinking that it is almost a taboo talking about this. How come? This is because all the brands such as Mc’Donalds, KFC, Marlboro, Hennessy etc. are all based on this fundamental preference of many people. Let’s take the example of Marlboro. Marlboro is one of the most famous cigarette brands valued at 26.6B$ . Actually, we can take this a step further. The whole tobacco industry is based on instant gratification. What does that mean? It means that all their products are based on how they make you feel at the moment you use them.  They make people feel good at that specific moment, but they make them feel terrible in the long run. So how come people still use these products even though they know they will feel awfully bad later on, maybe even die as a result of using these products? The answer is – instant gratification.

This is how most people think, this is how most people’s brains are programmed. They want to feel good now and forget about the future and the brands like the ones I mentioned realise this fact and use it to their advantage. This is the reason we’re dealing with a huge amount of lung cancer patients that wouldn’t have to be so desperate if they would’ve understood the concept of instant gratification and how dangerous it really is.

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Delayed Gratification

So what should we do about this? How do I escape the trap of instant gratification? To start with, as with everything we teach, you first need a strong reason, a strong why you want to escape this trap. Be it your health, be it your dreams and goals, you need to figure out something that can motivate you internally, because external motivation can only take you so far. But what really matters is why you want to do this. Once you have figured out a strong why you should be able to see why trading long-term happiness for instant happiness kills your dreams in the long run. It is immensely important to understand that what you really want is usually something that takes lots of work and more importantly lots of personal growth.

Delayed gratification is the understanding of the fact that you need to do the hard work now in order to live the life you want to live later. This doesn’t mean that your next 5 years will be full of suffering. It means that your next 5 years should be years of growth and self-development. You can still hang out with your friends, if that is something that you feel like will personally develop you and push you towards your goals. But if you want to become the superstar football player and you want to train tomorrow in the morning, if you friends ask you to go out tonight you can guess what the best answer is (hint – sorry, I’ve got some goals to hunt). The concept of delayed gratification allows you to understand that each decision you make now needs to be made for the greater benefit in the long run. This is something we spoke about in one of our recent posts. If you want to learn how to make successful decisions, definitely do give it a read.

Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.

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Escape stagnation in 10 minutes

Why am I not growing anymore?!

I reckon we’ve all been there before. Maybe you are in this situation right now. To be fair, everyone reaches this point and has to deal with the same issue. You are in the process of learning something and you feel like you’ve been stuck at the same level for age. In other words you’ve hit the plateau. You don’t feel like you are progressing well. You are frustrated because you’ve suddenly stopped growing. Your stagnation makes it much harder for you to actually get up and work towards your dreams every single day. Don’t worry, I’ve successfully gone through many similar situations.

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“What great performers have achieved is the ability to avoid doing it automatically.”

Geoff Colvin

I have stopped making progress… why?

The progreess curve is very steep at the beginning of each learning process. We make great strides straight to the brightest future and march towards excellence with no doubts in our minds. At least that is how it feels. However, after some time our progress slows down, stops and what is more, very often our curve of progress falls into negative levels. Why is that? And what to do to overcome this state? Let’s look at it together…

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Knowing about the learning curve is essential

This is the classical learning curve of adopting any skill. If you were afraid that you are not growing as much, you are stagnating or even degrading, looking at this graph should calm you down. As you can see above, when learning anything new you must stay persistent at all times! Especially in the third phase. That’s when the biggest crises hits you. Now that you’re aware that if you feel like your progress has stopped you might be actually getting closer to your goals, you need to stop where you are, think and figure out a way to get back on the track! Dedicate your time, energy and willpower to get yourself to the top again. Support it with your passion and don’t ever doubt your abilities again.

Understanding this curve helps you cultivate your patience and understand what it really takes to become better. Use it!

What to focus on?

The key to bringing yourself significantly more success in the future is to focus your mind not on your following year, not on the upcoming weeks, neither on the next few days days, but only on the present. You can not achieve great success without making the necessary small steps towards it. Do not ever try to be revolutionary by risking 100% on something you have not fully understood. That is not bravery, that’s madness. You need to work on the details. You need to be able to fully concentrate on the small particles of your great and fulfilling path. That is the way every single genius is made. Your goals need to be focused on working on every minor thing, which has to be executed in a perfect way. You are able to work hard, but giving it everything  is manageable for a very short time. At least in the beginning. After a while, you will become used to the hard work and struggle it takes to get what you want. You will become comfortable giving it your all. That is called progress.

What does it take to be a master?

Stay present. I do not want to repeat myself, but it’s very important. Be fully concentrated on the moment! If you want to follow this path of reaching your final destination, this is the way to go. Have you ever wondered why does the beautiful word present also have its second meaning as the synonym term to a word gift? Coincidence? Not at all. At least, I believe so. To be present means to be gifted. You are in possession of that magical thing. Use your present time wisely. You never know how much time you have.

Stop looking around, stop looking in the past or trying to predict the future. Be present. You’ll see a big difference. Have you ever seen any of the horse races? Try to recall the horses having their blinkers on their heads forcing them to focus on what is actually important – the very next step! Imagine that you’ve got one and focus only on the activity you are engaged in right now. Employ the so called “Tunnel Vision”.

“If you focus yourself 100% on your minutes, the hours will take care of them.”

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Now you know about  the magic of the so-called deliberate practice!

So that’s it? Is that the thing? Is it that simple? You probably all know that old saying which proclaims that in simplicity there is beauty. It is very true. Deliberate practice is a term denoting the whole process of mastering your skill through the method of consciously concentrating on the smallest details when acquiring a new skill. The method I mentioned above. The term comes from the great American writer Geoff Colvin and is used as the main topic in his best selling book called Talent Is Overrated. I definitely recommend reading it. It will teach you a lot about your big potential to grow in any area. It will also teach you plenty of useful things about the most successful people (like Tiger Woods or W.A. Mozart) using the method of deliberate practice. I just cannot stress enough how great the message of the book is.

“You can not always be doing what you love, but you can always love what you do!”

This is the very last point worth mentioning in this informative article. When you’re going to train anything with the deliberate practice method, you’ll need to stay very patient. You will have to find a lot of willpower, at least at the beginning of your progress. I’m sure you know that even though you might be doing something you really love, constant repetition does get quiet tiring after some time. You might fight it for a long time owing to the fun you’re having. Nevertheless, you’ll get tired. And that’s completely natural. However, life is also about managing to do stuff that you don’t love. Sometimes you even hate it. And these things are the most important in terms of your progress. What exactly? Your attitude towards anything you really don’t enjoy doing. Sometimes you don’t have a choice. If you cannot do what you love, try to love what you do instead. You will feel the difference almost immediately after persuading yourself that you’re absolutely fine doing that!

The lecture of the day…

If you want to master any skill you need to take advantage of your present state. You’ve been gifted with the opportunity to live at the moment, use it wisely. Evenly important is to use it effectively as well. Because the time we can work at our maximum is very limited. And if you want to grow effectively, you need to maximize that time. You need to focus on the small details, small habits. They should be done almost perfectly. Through repeating that process you’ll begin to make an impact. You will be growing more than ever. Concentrate on your present self – doing that, the future is taken care of.

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Should you really go to university? How to spend your uni-time the right way?

What is your purpose?

 

First things first. What do you expect from life? And what are you willing to sacrifice? When deciding about anything you should try to predict the outcomes of your final decision. That could help you with making your final decision, support your arguments and boost your confidence. Deciding whether to go on a university, or not, is probably going to be a key life decision. What is also worth mentioning is the fact that it represents a huge financial decision. The prices of fees have literally escalated, especially during the last 20 years.

In the present, more and more young people do not even ask themselves whether they should go to the university and get their degree, start some business or try to get employed somewhere. The biggest problem is that the society is pushing students to get those degrees. The students are being pressured immensely from their families, friends their peers, government or many other social groups that are represented by many entrepreneurs and basically all the sorts of employers. It has become a dogma that you need your degree to become successful. However, does that mean you shouldn’t even go to the university? Absolutely not.

In case you’re also unsure how to decide, don’t not panic, the only thing you need to do is to read the rest of this text.

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The mainstream mindset about education is obsolete now

 

The scheme that getting your degree will make your life easy is very, very outdated and doesn’t work at all. Having a degree does not guarantee you getting a solid job anymore. I admit that getting a degree in some scientific industries (for instance medicine, law, natural scientist, etc.) is undoubtedly necessary, but in almost any other branch you might be absolutely fine not having any.

Despite the high number of many famous successful entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs or Richard Branson who didn’t even get a degree, I would still recommend you to go and get one! But not because of the degree itself.

 

Why to choose studying at uni?

 

It does not matter whether you want to become an entrepreneur or an employee of a company. If you want to become a better person you need to meet a lot of new people, surround yourself with coaches and mentors and always try to learn a lot. Isn’t that what university is actually for? Yes it is! Interesting is that in reality, almost nobody does these activities. The problem is that vast majority of students are too concerned only about their degrees and do not learn anything. If you want to be different and get the most of your student time, you have to use it wisely! The best thing is that it is only up to you.

 

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So how should you use your uni-time?

 

A university is there to help you to prepare yourself for the adulthood. It should help you. That means you need to be proactive and responsible enough to realize it before starting your course. It is only up to you how well you will manage to prepare yourself during those years full of opportunities. The key though is that being a university student does not provide you with any service that will magically make you successful.

Worth mentioning is also the mindset concerning studying. Well, if you are going to study, you are probably not going to actually learn anything. Your objective must be to learn. It is a huge difference in between those two commonly used words. You study a subject, not a life. When you want to get better at something, you need to access a lot of brand new knowledge, new activities and unknown processes connected to your current topic. Can you imagine an athlete studying only the theory regarding running faster? Hardly. All you need to know is the difference between those two words. Believe it or not, knowing about this difference will help you a lot!

 

What opportunities do you have when studying at a university?

 

You’ve got an enormous opportunity to grow! Just realize it, you’ve got a minimum of three years full of time you can potentially use for your self-realization. You have a genuine chance to surround yourself with very inspirational people, you can find long-lasting relationships, you can start businesses or you can just develop numbers of skills, abilities and most importantly habits that will lead your growing personality towards a better life.

 

But you must be proactive!

 

If you still think that you only need your degree and once you have one you are educated enough, read this. Imagine that you will be going to the gym for 4 years. You’ve got yourself into a good looking shape and everyone tells you how awesome your body looks! So you think there is no point in working hard because you’ve done it! You stop going to the gym and stop focusing on a proper diet. This way, you will end up very early with an obese body. And that’s very similar to thinking that school will prepare you for life. No, it won’t. It can help you, like the gym membership could. But if you don’t go to the gym and don’t work hard on your body and mind, why should you be successful? Imagine your university as the ultimate gym for your future career. After getting a degree you should want to stay in shape, that’s what it’s all about!

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And if you don’t have a degree and don’t even want one, here’s a bonus for you!

 

According to our information, companies Google and Apple will no longer ask for your degree. This might be a big opportunity for you, if you don’t plan to get one.

 

The lecture of the day

 

When trying to decide what is the best way for you, it is absolutely necessary to set your goals first. We think that your main goal for university should be actually learning something, not merely getting your degree which will magically save your life. We recommend you to focus on learning actual skills that will help you to become more employable and potentially support you when building your own business. Instead of just studying subjects, try to learn something practical, helpful and effective. Imagine that your university is the ultimate gym for your life. Build your habits, winning mentality and will to learn new stuff. Work hard on getting better in every area you desire to improve and most importantly, realise your dreams!

 

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