Serial killers by night or my only story where I give advice. It’s priceless.
Motivational speakers, self-help, and self-improvement gurus — I don’t trust them, I don’t like them! I know, they mean well but for some reason, I get all cynical… It’s my problem. On so many days and in so many situations I can’t get my shit together. So, paradoxically, instead of trying to learn from someone’s experience, I am thinking: Pretenders! I don’t believe you got your own shit together either! You give self-improvement advice by day and you do sinister things by night!
On a more serious note, I don't believe in giving advice to grown-up people. Actually, I barely even give advice to my kids. I educate them, I tell them stories, but I rarely advise. I think most advice doesn’t work. Quit this and that habit. Do this and that in your relationship. Do this and that in your business. In your life.
People are stubborn. Our egos are big, so are our biases, passions and ambitions. The only way to change our behavior is not by listening to someone’s advice, but by learning through our own experience, through our own successes and failures.
Another problem is that a lot of advice is very hard to “execute”. I’ve developed an eternal passion for running. It became my life’s cornerstone habit and I discovered the power of habit. I ran my sub-three-hour marathon not because I trained for the goal of running a sub-three-hour marathon but because I stuck to my running routine with perfect consistency. However, just because I’ve become enlightened about the power of habit, doesn’t mean I can easily apply my experience to the other areas of my life. It’s very, very hard, even with the knowledge. If I could, I’d be the perfect everything: husband, son, father, business professional… I’m not.
Anyway, I thought I’d share a few professional and life lessons I learned, often the hard way. I specifically picked the ones that are easier to adopt.
- Don’t say, do. Action over words. Don’t announce to the world your new endeavor. The chances are your new endeavor will fail and that’s ok. Just don’t announce it. It’s a distraction. You’re feeding your ego. I remember how proud I was to share the mock-up of my app on my Facebook page. Look at me! I’m a start-uper! I’m an entrepreneur! My start-up eventually died. In hindsight, I don’t regret that much sharing my excitement. I’m just saying it’s a distraction. It doesn’t help succeed.