“We are subject to forces from deep within us that drive our behavior and that operate below the level of our awareness.” -Robert Greene, The Laws of Human Nature
There are no “new” fundamentals.
In the words of best-selling author Jim Rohn, “Truth is not new.”
Contrary to popular belief, there are fundamental laws that determine much of your life: your performance, energy, relationships, health, and success.
If you follow these laws, odds are you’ll naturally achieve success, even attract it.
But if you break these laws, it’s very likely you’ll end up broken, empty, and unfulfilled — even if you do manage to achieve your goals.
Nearly a century ago, the great American author Frank Crane wrote in his book, The Business of Life, “Any human being that will observe the laws of life as carefully as a successful business observe the laws of business will come to that inward poise and triumph which is life’s happiest crown.”
Many people don’t follow these laws at all. They seek to take shortcuts and circumvent the process. Their useless attempts to succeed outside the law will ultimately end in failure. Sad as that is, it’s good news for the rest of us. We can succeed where most have failed. We can achieve what most others won’t.
If you want what no one else has, you must do what no one else does. Or, as my colleague Srinivas Rao wrote: “If you want to live an extraordinary life, you have to give up many things that are part of a normal one.”
If you want to live an extraordinary life, it’s time to upgrade your mindset.
Rise Above the Rest By Admitting Your Faults
I used to think that if I wanted to be the best “__________” (writer, basketball player, husband, Settlers of Catan player, etc.), I needed to be about perfect, and I embraced my pursuit og near-perfection.
The result was always the same: frustration, exhaustion, and emptiness.
I’ve learned I can’t be a perfect husband, writer, basketball player, or anything. Far from it. When I try, I just tire myself out and feel terrible from the constant failure. I especially tried this with girlfriends and romance; I declared I would do anything, and be whatever my partner needed me to be so that we could have a near-perfect relationship. I never could, and I’d end up angry and resentful.
In his new book The Laws of Human Nature, Greene advises readers to understand how irrational, narcissistic, and biased we can be, and almost always are. If we pretend we aren’t, we’ll just remain in mediocrity. But if we admit it…we cut loose the weight and can soar to new heights.
It’s why I failed for so many years as a writer before I finally got the hang of it — I wrote about me, me, me. It was humbling to learn that, the truth is, my readers don’t really care about me…they care about what I can give them and how I can help them. My narcissism and pride prevented me from seeing that.
Admit your faults. Embrace them. Then, take action. Do as best as you can. In the words of author Ryan Holiday: “Ignore what other people are doing. Ignore what’s going on around you. There is no competition. There is no objective benchmark to hit. There is simply the best you can do — that’s all that matters.”
You’re not that great. But that’s OK. Neither am I. But we can do great things by forgetting our silly pride and moving to help others. That’s where success and fulfillment start to come in: by selflessly serving others.
“If you want a billion dollars, help a billion people,” said uber-successful entrepreneur Peter Diamandis. Or as my favorite author of all time C.S. Lewis wrote: “Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”
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