If you want to see an insane example of people telling you to settle in life, look no further!
Your Surrogate Asian Father, Ramit, combs the internet, to find examples of internet nutcases who think it’s OK to be mediocre at life. I don’t allow that shit.
For example, my mom used to ask me why I got a 97% on a test. It sucked back then, but in retrospect, it taught me how to push myself harder.
Here’s a post I stumbled across and couldn’t stop reading. In it, a woman asks this:
“I have a weird problem and I’m not really sure where to talk about it…Everything I do, I do it 90%. I’m a knitter and a crafter, and I went to art school. I’m fully capable of putting my all into everything I do and being wildly successful, but I get up to about 90% before I crap out and give up or cut back. I started weightlifting – again, the same thing. I started cycling and the same thing happened.
Basically, I want to be a hardcore motherfucker at anything I want – I want to ride my bike 60 miles a week and be hardcore. I want to knit 60 socks a year. I want to work hard and party harder, basically, but I have no fucking energy.”
What do you think the reaction is? Do people give her advice on how to build her energy, or master her inner psychology, or use systems to improve her life?
They tell her she’s overreacting and she should be happy with life. Why try harder? That’s a lot of work.
NEGATIVE NANCY COMMENT #1: “So you basically want to be a robot? Or superwoman? I’m only half joking! What actually makes you happy? These are perfectly valid reasons not to overextend yourself. Don’t burn yourself out. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”
NEGATIVE NANCY COMMENT #2: “Giving 90% is plenty. Would you pour exactly 12 ounces of soda into a 12-oz cup? Should a 150-lb climber trust a rope with a 150-lb max? If you are giving 100%, you have no margin for error. It means that if anything else gets put on your plate, you’ve got nothing.
Also, life is filled with competing demands. You can’t put 100% into any one thing (because that would mean you had 0% left for everything else).”
NEGATIVE NANCY COMMENT #3: “90% is great. I hit 100% and burn out if I get that high. I have so many things I wish I could do and want to try to do but I usually hit 1% and quit out of boredom.”
Guys, are you fucking kidding me?
Notice what’s happening: People are telling her to be SATISFIED with herself…even though she’s not happy!
This person WANTS to improve, to become “hardcore,” and when she asks for advice, people tell her to stop wanting more.
Can you imagine if someone said she wanted to lose weight, and everyone around her said, “You look fine”?
Or if someone said, “I want to get into an amazing college,” and his parents said, “Why bother applying? You won’t get in any way.”
Actually, YES! A lot of us CAN imagine it because we have people around us who would rather we settle for safety than excellence.
I learned how to channel my frustration into personal development by surrounding myself with successful people. They taught me the ways they approached productivity, money, dating, entrepreneurship, education, even failure.
I listened to what they said, but I also studied what they did. And as I did, Jim Rohn’s quote became even more true: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Now I want to share their advice with you. I’ve found myself in the fortunate position of having friends who are CEOs, New York Times journalists, Navy SEALs, fashion designers, and a bunch of other weird, awesome people.
And through the wonderful power of this email list, where I usually treat these emails as a chance to tell dirty jokes and share embarrassing Instagram pictures, now I get the chance to share what they taught me.
So over the next few weeks, stay tuned. I have never-before-released material coming your way that I can’t wait to share.
The key thing to remember is this:
It doesn’t matter if you live in Kansas or Barcelona. This is the beauty of being alive in 2014 — you can have access to the best people no matter where you live, no matter how old you are, no matter what.
NO MORE EXCUSES.
NO MORE LETTING PEOPLE AROUND YOU SAY, “Oh, why bother? You should be happy.”
Are those the people you want to surround yourselves with? Or do you want something more?
Talk to you soon.
P.S. Some articles that inspired my decision to share this advice with you:
- Am I going too far by not wanting to spend 60k+ on my daughter’s film degree? This is a great question with very contentious answers. Should you let your children do what makes them “happy”…even if it will likely have disastrous financial results? What would you do? Can you guess what I would do?
- If you could redo your education, what would you change? 80 gajillion people talk about how they regret not trying harder when they were younger. Do you think those people are trying harder now?
- What’s the most self-destructive thing you regularly do to yourself? Fascinating comments.