My first memory is being beaten.
I had taken a magic marker, snuck out of my house, and wrote all over the outside wall of my friend’s house.
His mom called my mom (or dad, I forget) and the first thing I actually remember is being hit.
I don’t remember anything good from that day. Maybe dinner was good. Maybe TV was good. Maybe I played with my friends that day. I don’t remember the good things.
The bad things I always remember. I remember peeing in my pants on the second day of school and everyone laughing.
I remember, years later, so many girls I wanted to date completely rejecting me. On two occasions even running as fast as they could to get away from me.
I had glasses, acne, braces, tangled hair, cysts down one side of my face, and I wasn’t good at sports.
Or a girl, in dance class, saying to her friends, “You don’t have to touch him. Just put your hands one foot from his.”
I guess this is bullying. But some bully is also: a Jimmy B (or Billy A or Matt F or…) coming up to me from behind, hitting me as hard as possible in the back so I fall and all my books go every place.
I couldn’t handle it so I stopped going to school. I’d leave my house and pretend to go to the bus stop but instead run across a field to the highway and take public transportation into New York City.
I wanted to make money so I’d try to find empty cans of soda in the garbage that you could redeem for 5 cents a can at any grocery store.
I got super into the occult because I wanted to cast spells on my enemies and use the powers of my mind to get girls to like me.
I just wanted my life to change.
I don’t want to talk about all my ups and downs. We’ve all had them.
We’re often “stuck” and we want to be “unstuck”.
We often end up in a job that society approved of, our parents approved of, our teachers and friends approved of. But after years, we are unhappy. Or rather, I was unhappy.
It’s hard for me to learn by just looking at my past experiences. Because how can I think in new ways?
Easy: I read a lot and I then get to call anyone I want and have them on my podcast and ask all the questions I want.
From Richard Branson to Tony Robbins to Jewel to Tiffany Haddish to Kareem Abdul Jabbar to Garry Kasparov, Yoda (literally…I had the man who played Yoda on my podcast) and so many more.
(Richard Branson, when he’s taking time off from being on my podcast)
Here’s some of what I learned:
- Who you are with is who you are. Don’t spend time with people who are toxic to your daily life.
- “Kaizen” / Consistency. Get better every day at the things you love. 1% per day compounds into 3800% per year. That’s a lot of improvement compared to what 99.999% of the population does.
- Freedom is NOT depending on the decisions of others for your personal improvement in all areas of life.
- Gratitude and Fear can’t exist in the same mind at the same time.
- All decisions are either Growth decisions or Fear decisions. Only Growth decisions point in the same direction as your inner compass for success.
- +, -, = Spend time with people who are “+”, better than you so you can learn from them. “=” a peer group who challenges you that you can grow with and “-”, a group that can learn from you.
- Everything is Energy. To succeed or be creative or have impact on the world or be a better parent or spouse or friend, you need energy. Physical, emotional, creative, spiritual.
- Physical Health: Eat. Move. Sleep. These are nature’s magic ingredients to maximize your physical health.
- Emotional Health: Being around people who love you.
- Creative Health: Practice writing down ten ideas a day every day. Doesn’t matter if they are good or bad. After I did this for just three months I felt like I had a new superpower compared with “ordinary citizens”
- Spiritual Health: Do not let the regrets of the past, or anxieties of the future, steal from the only moment which truly is real – which is right now.
- Give and you will receive. This doesn’t mean “give money” (although it could). It means have a mindset of giving, without ANY thought of scarcity, and without any thought of it being transactional, and amazing things will happen. Always look to help.
- Integrity. It’s hard to live. But if you don’t have integrity, then you live a double life. It’s hard enough to live one life. Living two lives (or three, or four, or five) will destroy your energy, make you sick and unhappy.
- Example: When Jewel was living in her car, she was offered a million dollar record deal. She turned it down! How come? Because it was against her own integrity of the kind of music she wanted to create. Every day, understanding your values and what your integrity is and being unafraid to express that integrity in a kind way is the key to everything.
- Questioning. Everything we think we know and understand. All of our “facts” will change every few years (or faster). The person who questions the most will succeed the fastest.
- Example: The other day I was with my daughter and she was showing me something in her History textbook. I asked her, “is this really true?” She said, “it’s in the textbook.” So we started doing research. It turned out her textbook is completely wrong. The benefits of questioning? We spent quality time together, we learned how to be skeptical over a widely accepted fact, we learned how to follow our questioning and do research. And least of all, we learned something new but with the ability to still question it.
- Everybody is Irrational. Some people believe “X”. Some people believe the opposite of “X”. It’s 50–50. Over 100s of decisions and ideas, it makes sense that people are probably correct only a very small percentage of the time. If you just assume that most people are irrational it’s much easier to navigate the waters of success and failure.
- It’s My Fault. In 2000 I lost money in the stock market (like many). Everyone encouraged me to sue my stockbroker. I said, “no way. It’s my fault.” I made all the decisions, even the decision to take his advice. I do standup comedy. When the crowd is silent I often hear comedians say, “ugh, it’s a bad crowd.” I’ve even seen a known (but not successful) comedian curse out the crowd for not laughing. I always assume I am doing something wrong and failing to connect to the crowd (or failing to deal with the psychology of a silent crowd). There’s always something to learn when I say, “It’s my fault”. I used to play chess competitively. I could only get better by studying my losses. In chess there’s a saying, “Only the good players get lucky”.
- Process > Outcome. If my process is good – if I’m doing my best to question, learn, read, follow the examples of those better, practice, small improvements, keep energy up, etc etc – then I can’t predict the outcome.
- How come? Because tomorrow I will be better than today and I will understand the possible outcomes even better. I never focus on outcome. Just process. Process is pleasure. Process is today and in the moment. Outcome is always a fantasy in the future.
- Money is a byproduct of all of the above.
- Romance is a byproduct of all of the above. Don’t outsource your self-esteem to a romantic partner. It’s hard enough to handle their own self-esteem, let alone two. You will be destroyed.
- Health is a byproduct of all of the above.
- All obstacles have opportunities. Read “Man’s Search for Meaning” for the most obvious example of this. This book (among with about 200 others) is like my bible.
I’d like to say I live my life by all of the items on this list.
So I will.Share This Post