As a blogger, I cop a lot of heat for delivering the truth rather than sugar-coating it with Instagram selfies, perfect image filters and nice words. I’ve written about ditching your loser friends, giving up porn, being spat at by haters online and everything under the sun.
I’m not here to impress you; I’m here to give you the truth so you can grow. It’s not about me or some BS personal brand; it’s about how all of us can smash our goals using the truth and leave a legacy behind that will stop us from having regrets.
Here are the 19 harsh truths you must hear
1. We all have the same problems.
My problems are the same as your problems. You might be dealing with some BS, but you’re not alone. That divorce, person that passed away, rejection letter you got or redundancy you were forced to take is happening to many other people, at exactly the same time.
Knowing your problems are all the same is how you stop yourself from getting stuck and feeling sorry for yourself. All your problems are simply a process that you have to deal with.
This process is part of the human experience and it’s what you were forced to sign up for when your parents decided to have sex and create you in the first place.
2. You don’t need experience – ever.
So many people in the workforce resist applying for their dream career because it says in the advertisement “5 years of X skill required with a proven track record.”
This line is part of every template for every job ad ever written. This line is in the ad to stop time wasters and people that don’t have the killer instinct to see past the obstacle that’s been laid in front of them. If you give up on your career dream just because of one line, in one job ad, you’re probably not cut out to work for most companies.
Experience often leads to a fixed mindset that makes you think you know everything when you don’t. Sometimes the best experience is no experience and a brilliant mindset.
3. We’re all going to have someone die on us – expect it.
I’ve lost many relatives in the last few years including my grandma who died at 104 because she stopped eating and decided she lived enough. On the day the doctors told me she didn’t have long to live, I was out of town.
I hurried back and went to see her. The doctors said to hurry up as she was close to death. I got there just in time to see her eyes still open. I held her hand and told her that I loved her very much. She squeezed my hand, closed her eyes and passed away shortly after. It’s like she was waiting for me the whole time.
All of us are going to lose someone, so enjoy the time you have with your family and friends. Don’t take a moment of it for granted and never leave people you care about on bad terms. The last thing you want is someone to die on you having the relationship tarnished because of something stupid like a disagreement over money or a difference in beliefs.
“Death is guaranteed for all of us. It’s the only certainty we have and it’s the only motivation you should ever need”
4. Complaining is a waste of time.
It achieves nothing and it’s for people who don’t want to face the harsh truth: we’re in control of everything that happens to us. Meaning: we’re in control of how we interpret all events.
Complaining is a disease that carries an antidote called “Freaking stop it, now, please.”
No one likes a complainer and it’s only making you get stuck in your head instead of charging forward towards your goals and doing something cool.
5. No one gives a hoot about your personal brand.
All these personal brand courses and “building a brand on LinkedIn” are ridiculous. No one cares about your ego, how good you think you are or your company. All we care about is what’s in it for us. If you deliver something of value, then we will all like your stuff. There’s nothing else to it.
Your brand is just a perception based on the results you’ve proven in the past. Your brand is only as good as what you can teach us, give us or inspire us to do.
6. Other people’s opinions don’t matter.
Being bogged down by what other people think of you is crazy! Half the time, the people who are sharing these opinions are complete failures and are projecting their wants, needs, failures and desires onto you. They are hoping they can live vicariously through your life because their life sucks.
The only opinion that matters is yours. If you believe you can do the impossible, then you will.
7. You don’t need education or permission – they’re both optional.
A colleague asked me the other day if she should do a course in social media to get a job in the field. I told her “Screw that and build a presence online which will demonstrate your ability.”
I also told her “There’s a bunch of podcasts that you can listen to for free that don’t ever require you to do anything other than listening. Then all it comes down is picking the people who’ve already crushed it and following their strategies – seeing as they’re proven.”
You don’t need education to achieve your goals. You also don’t need anybody’s permission. If no one will hire you to build their website, then start your own company and generate business for yourself.
“Whatever you do, don’t waste time seeking approval. This habit comes out of overthinking, laziness or lack of execution”
8. You never want to have regrets.
There have been several studies conducted of what people dying think before they pass away. Uniformly, the vast majority have regrets about things they didn’t get to do.
When you realize that there are no barriers and you should just try everything that your heart desires, you live a life of no regrets.
You experience life for the miracle that it is. If you like to travel then go do it. If you want a career in a certain field, then go do it. The strategies, resources, people, etc. will find their way into your life when you commit to taking action and not having regrets.
9. The human experience is full of suffering. Time to master it.
In some ways, you could describe our lives as torture. From day one, we’re going to suffer – guaranteed. On the other hand, suffering is only torture when you allow yourself to suffer.
When you see suffering as a necessity and you learn to use it to your advantage, that same suffering becomes fuel for your goals and dreams. All of a sudden, when suffering enters your life, you know what to do with it.
Suffering is part of the struggle which will help you do wonderful things in this world.
10. Quit wasting your time and throwing it down the toilet.
Pissing your time up against the wall doing useless activities rather than pursuing your passion(s) is the dumbest thing you can do. All of the things you want to achieve and haven’t yet can be done in the time you waste.
You think you don’t have time to write, make music, train for a sport but you do. You have just as much time as I do so why not use it to do the activities that will make you feel a sense of accomplishment?
11. Create value ahead of everything else.
That’s why I have no payment walls, masterminds or courses. When you create massive value for free, everything you need comes at you at 100 miles an hour. The question is whether you’ll help other people get what they need so you can get what you need.
You’ll never have to worry about money again when you focus on creating the most value you can and growing through personal development.
12. Gratitude is a bloody superpower!
Ever since I started keeping a gratitude journal, I’ve learned to see so much good in the world. Even on days when I hit a major crisis, on the outskirts of that crisis is still so much good.
Gratitude is how you turn the balance of thoughts in your mind from negative to positive. This will never happen by default, so you have to make it a habit to deliberately be grateful every single day.
13. Hate to break it to you; money won’t make you happy.
I know what it’s like to have more money than you can spend. It means nothing. Sorry.
Deep down you know money won’t make you happy, yet you chase it because everyone else on the hamster wheel is doing the same. The harsh truth is that meaning and purpose (which sound corny) are far more powerful than money will ever be.
We’re all chasing feelings, not money. You don’t want the money you want the feeling you get when you have it and buy stuff with it. Meaning and purpose give you even better feelings and they are free.
The most depressed I’ve ever been in my life is when I was rich in financial terms and poor in my own mind. Everything changed when I found a purpose bigger than myself.
The exact same opportunity is available to you. Will you take it? Will you accept this harsh truth?
14. Be you and stop being an actor.
The right people will be attracted into your life when you quit being a Hollywood actor and pretending you don’t have problems and that life is like spending every day in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory licking lollipops and having Oompa Loompas serve you everything you could ever want.
The word “actor” is what I use to describe someone who’s not being vulnerable, authentic and real with everybody.
Telling people you’re not okay is fine. Asking for help is the greatest gift you can have in times of pain and suffering.
If you’re hiding the real you because you’re ashamed of who you are then know this: you can always become the person you’ve dreamt of being. It takes discipline, courage and a sense of fight to grow, adapt and admit when you’re wrong.
Accept where you are and move mountains to get where you know you can be in the future. We’re all capable of so much more than our current circumstances.
15. The only currency is time (Apologies crypto traders)
Quit trading time for money, distractions, toxic friends, bad habits and anything else you know is not serving what you stand for. Time is the one thing you can’t get more of. Time lets you work on those passions that send shivers down your spine.
Guard your time like you guard your life. Protect your time and spend it on things that will cause you to help others, live without regrets and be passionate.
16. Some people dream and others just execute. Do the latter.
We’ve all got hopes and dreams but how many people do you know who actually do what they dream of. The answer is very few. That’s because dreaming is like an orgasm: it feels amazing.
“Dreaming has become a form of masturbation and it doesn’t lead to anything meaningful. Execution separates those people you deem to be successful from those people you deem to be mediocre, or worse yet, failures”
Execution is about not having all the answers and putting in the work. It’s spending five hours writing a blog post or doing a hundred laps of the running track to get your fitness level up.
We all want to become the best in our field but that will only happen if you experiment like crazy, learn, grow and continue executing.
You’ll gain the skills you need by executing and learning what doesn’t work. Please quit dreaming and start believing through executing.
17. Trying to meet society’s idea of success is a loser’s game.
What you see on the Internet as success is a lie. Success is whatever you make it and it varies to some degree for each and every person. Most of what society thinks is success is built on outdated ideas.
For us millennials, our idea of success stems from our parents who value home ownership, cars, university and stuff that doesn’t align with who we are.
We have this inner conflict because we want to chase our own version of success, but then we lose society’s acceptance because we don’t fit the criteria of the majority.
Screw the majority. Following the herd is not how you become extraordinary: being you is.
18. Perfection doesn’t exist and never will.
Perfection is the belief that there’s some Havana where nothing goes wrong. Perfection ignores failure, mistakes, a growth mindset and an unrealistic view of reality.
“We’re all incredibly imperfect and that’s what makes us human and truly beautiful beyond what the eye can see. Perfection is a joke and that’s the harsh truth”
19. We’re all going to die. The End.
The clock is ticking amigo. Stop reading this article and use the time you have left to create a legacy that’s bigger than you could ever dream of. Inspire the world through your gifts, take care of your family and come to terms with the fact you’ll have to say goodbye one day.
Death is guaranteed for all of us. It’s the only certainty we have and it’s the only motivation you will ever need.