Leadership

The rise of social media, algorithms, and seemingly limitless options for customizability in our lives have brought with them a unique kind of comfort: the comfort of familiarity.

It’s easier than ever to stay in a worldview and ignore different perspectives. It’s almost effortless to create an echo chamber.

Perspective, in contrast, breeds uncertainty. It challenges not only our existing beliefs but, at its most extreme, our entire self-conception. This certainly is not comfortable. Changing who you are when you find out you’re not living right takes hard work.

But we must accept these challenges. We must shed our pre-conceived notions if we are to grow. If you’re not striving to learn, you’re doing everyone you interact with a disservice – and a massive disservice to your long-term quality of life. There’s genuine satisfaction knowing you fought for a well-lived, upright life that can’t be matched by the simple bliss of ignorance.

How do you get there? One main action you can take is finding those in your life who are willing to tell it like it is. Most people very much dislike conflict, so finding these people can be hard. Once you have them, though, they are priceless.

Real friends tell you when you’re being a jerk. Fake friends are there for a good time.

The question you have to ask yourself is, “Can I handle the real friends?”

 

If you don’t feel the total sureness required for legitimate confidence, just fake it.

Seriously, scientific studies have revealed that feelings follow actions, not the other way around.

It’s said of Steve Jobs that he wasn’t always right. In fact, he frequently changed his opinions about what direction to take. His secret was that he was sure. Confidence is a force that when cultivated creates a magnetism with immense power.

It doesn’t matter what you look like. It doesn’t matter what you do. Just do it confidently.

This is hard. Confidence isn’t merely a thought that you can do something. It runs deeper. It is a total body acceptance that some decision is the right decision. It is the complete belief you’re right.

This isn’t to say that confidence shouldn’t be checked. It’s a delicate balance between self-improvement and faith in oneself.

Despite your confidence you must be open to feedback. You’ll never grow without it.

Ignorance is bliss and some are just comfortable going along blissfully. They don’t care that they have an alcohol problem or that their friends have drug problems or that boy they’re interested in is a cheater and not a good person. They’re content. They’re happy.

The hard thing to do is to wake up every day and take responsibility for your actions. If you don’t have someone in your life pushing you to do that, why should you? How can you? It can be inconvenient, even anguishing, to live an upright life. The problem is that this kind of happiness doesn’t pay dividends. In the end, these folks are going to end up miserable and in poor health, wondering how things got so bad, and terribly misguided.

Integrity and searching for what’s right, on the other hand, will pay off long-term joy, wisdom, and peace. It also makes the world a more happy place because existence that is properly ordered, well-thought, and constructive is productive and satisfaction inducing. It just takes time to build good habits.

A big reason why so many never reach a state of genuine joy and abide in ignorant bliss is that they’ve never been shown or encouraged. We need more leaders who not just act as an example in the spotlight but who listen and try to patiently and kindly help.

 

One of the most difficult experiences in our lives is as followed:

Someone you know and care about is going through a tough time. Actually, they’ve been going through a tough time. In fact, they seem to ALWAYS be dealing with something.

They’re troubled, plain and simple, and they are a drain on your life. You give them advice, and they never seem to take it. What do you do? Your inner altruist says you got to stick it through with them. You got to be there for them no matter what.

Here’s the deal: if you have been trying to help this person for, let’s say, 3 and half months and they just can’t seem to get it together, to improve their situation no matter what you’ve told them, you have to trim the branches in your life.

They’re not going to do anything but continue to bring you down. If you want to be a 10, you have to hang out with 10s. You are highly and unconsciously influenced by the behaviors, habits, and attitudes of the people you hang out with the most. They set a standard whether you like it or not.

You must tell them, “Listen, I have been trying to help you for months. I care about you a lot, but every time we talk it seems like we’re just dealing with the same things over and over again. And even though I care about you, I have to keep in mind what’s best for me, and I just can’t hang out with someone who refuses to take responsibility for their life. I’m just concerned you’re not a great influence. When you’re ready to actually do something about your life, please reach out to me, and I’ll be happy to be there for you. But I simply cannot keep going in circles with you. I wish you all the best.”

You’re not doing your friend or loved one any favors by enabling their behaviors.

Let them fail. It will build character.

To survive, ant colonies require some members to act as scouts. These are the rare few who venture beyond the paths that have proven to lead to a food source. Many of these ants never return. They risk their own lives for the benefit of the colony.

The artist is a scout. They seek to venture beyond accepted wisdom and norms of the culture and discover new paths. It is in these paths that genius is born. Instead of death, however, their risk is isolation and misunderstanding. No one ever succeeded in a remarkable fashion that was unwilling to risk breaching conformity.

 

Most people don’t have access to the kind of power that money brings or great connections. So, in these typical circumstances how do you gain influence?

According to Tom Peters in his book The Pursuit of Wow and Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, perhaps unexpectedly, the answer seems to be to just act with genuine care, generosity, forgiveness, and empathy

By doing things like demonstrating you care through thank-you notes, voicing appreciation, sharing credit abundantly, and being sincerely interested in others, people who interact with us will experience a psychological affinity. We gravitate toward the good, and we want to follow people who seem to sincerely be seeking our best interests.