UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM - PART 2
You know what they say about opinions; they’re like (insert body part), everybody’s got one. And it’s true, unless the middle part of your brain has been damaged or removed, we all have opinions about certain things. Opinions are good, they’re healthy, until, of course, they aren’t. When your mind is closed and unable to process new information, or information that runs counter to your opinions, that’s when opinions become what we call dogma. In your mind it’s settled fact, and it’s often accepted as fact uncritically, meaning you haven’t really dug too deeply into why you have this particular opinion; you just do.
As a quick recap of last week’s show and the first 5 pieces of unconventional advice and wisdom:
- Progress isn’t linear, nor is it ever final. It doesn’t move neatly in a straight line. Instead, it looks more like a slow heartbeat with lots of peaks and valleys over time. It’s completely normal, get used to it.
- Money can help unlock more options for you, but you shouldn’t wait for it to show up before doing something. If you can figure out how to do things before having all the resources, imagine what you can do once it does.
- Life is too short to be living it based on what somebody else thinks you should be doing with it. Say no to almost everything that doesn’t serve you in some way.
- Do some things that scare you a little. Learn to say ‘eff it’ a bit more and exercise that ‘I don’t care what others think’ muscle.
- Stop using the word career to describe your history and your future. Careers are a made-up idea from the start of the industrial age. You had the option of working the family farm or working in a factory or some kind of mine. Now, you have a long list of options to choose from and you should, often. Go back to number four and say ‘eff it’ to thinking you have to sit in a cubicle and grind away for someone else’s second home and Ferrari. Pursue things that interest you and be willing to reinvent yourself at any age.
Alright, let’s get into the next five pieces of unconventional advice and wisdom that I’ve been gathering in my notebooks over the last 3 to 4 decades.
The next piece of unconventional advice I’ve been practicing with great success over the years is this:
- Give away your best stuff for free!
I can’t remember who said it or when I heard it, but when I did, it was like a bomb going off in my brain. I think it was a guy named Mark Joyner, who was one of the early pioneers of marketing on the internet. I have one of his books called, The Great Formula, and it might be one of the concepts in there, although I’m grabbing at straws since I’ve heard this wisdom from several teachers since then.
As soon as I heard the concept, it immediately partnered with another unconventional idea that my Sensei taught me when I was 21 years old. He said, ‘Blaine, there is no such thing as saving your energy for something else.’ He was basically saying to give it your all at every opportunity because your internal battery will recharge to a higher level when you do. If you try to hold something back, you’re doing yourself and the world a disservice. This idea of giving away your best stuff for free was kind of like this idea of not trying to save up your energy. You give away your best stuff for free and several things happen:
- It forces you to come up with even better stuff.
- It builds up your confidence in what you’re doing.
- It gets you vital feedback to iterate and make the next stuff better.
- It helps you build a network and an audience.
- People create their own internal dialogue that says: “imagine what their paid stuff is like?”
So, with that one, you got an extra little bonus wisdom from a Zen master: don’t try to save your energy or effort for a later date. Go all in, use it up, be exhausted after the effort. You’ll only build greater capacity for future efforts.
The 7th piece of unconventional advice is this:
- Happiness is not a worthwhile goal, stop trying to achieve it.
Happiness is a state of mind and a state of being that is completely within your control and not something to be achieved. If you are doing things in order to be happy, you’re also acknowledging the lack of happiness at the same time. I know that might be a little too Zen for some, but it’s the reality of our existence and the way our brains work. To say, ‘ I need to make more money’, is also to say, ‘I don’t have enough of this thing’. And, while it might be true based on a particular perspective, the thought negates all other options for recognizing the state of having enough. Maybe it’s not more money you need, maybe it’s less debt. Maybe it’s a different lifestyle you need. Maybe it’s simply a different view of the world that will lead you to a different thought about the thing.
When it comes to happiness, there is so much BS advice in the world suggesting we should be seeking happiness in everything we do. If you’re not happy, move; leave; change; find somebody or something else. Again, it might be the right thing to do, but if happiness is the filter through which you’re making all those decisions, you might be making lots of short-sighted short-term decisions. Happiness can’t be found in another person, sorry. Happiness can’t be found in a different job, sorry. Happiness can’t be found by making more money, sorry.
Happiness is an internal state that does not exist outside of you. Can having more money relieve some stress and unlock some opportunities for you? Of course! But it doesn’t guarantee happiness. Can life be better with a different partner? Of course! I’m not advocating for remaining miserable or in an unwinnable situation. I know this one intimately since I am infinitely happier with Jolene than I’ve ever been with anyone else in my life. However, what I learned is that it’s not because it’s Jolene, it’s because of who I had to become first and how I had to see myself and the world before I could find a different type of joy in life. It was all inside of me, not outside.
Stop trying to achieve happiness, just start to be happy.
The next piece of unconventional advice is:
- Nobody really knows what they’re doing, so don’t be fooled.
This one is one that has taken me a long time to figure out, but once I did, it had a very relaxing effect for me. What it means is that all of us, to one degree or another, is telling cool stories about our expertise and experience to help establish our little corner of the world and gain some respect. What we’re really doing is trying to calm our own egos, which are constantly screaming at us that we don’t know what the heck we’re doing, and somebody is going to find out. This is referred to as the imposter syndrome.
The harsh reality is that the imposter syndrome exists primarily because it’s true, you don’t really know what the hell you’re doing, even though people all around you tell you that you do. This is a very unpopular opinion, and psychology tries its best to explain it away as a product of perfectionism, neuroticism, and a few other isms, but the reality is that it’s caused by your internal self knowing that nobody knows what the heck they’re doing, you’re just afraid of getting caught.
Let’s be clear. This one is not to say that you don’t know what you’re doing as an appraiser, or as a brick layer, or as a computer tech. No, this one means that in the grand scheme of life, nobody really has much of a clue about what’s going on, what it’s all for, and where it all leads to…and that’s ok.
It also means that we tend to think everyone else knows what’s going on, even if we don’t. Don’t believe it! They’re just as clueless as you, they might just be able to keep it together better than somebody else. Nobody really knows what’s going on and everyone has insecurities about it. Some of us have just found strength in that knowing, which can sometimes come across as having things figured out when in reality it just means that I know you don’t know either, so no reason to be intimidated.
The ninth piece of unconventional advice or wisdom gleaned from notes over the years is this:
- Mentorship is not just for young people and beginners of a new skill.
Fortunately, I learned this one in my early 20’s when I packed up all my stuff and became a hardcore student. What I saw in that dojo and monastery was people of all shapes and sizes, all colors and nationalities, all walks of life, and people of all ages and stages of life learning new things and seeking out mentors. In talking with many of them, I learned some real nuggets of wisdom from a bunch of people who had tons more life experience and wisdom than me.
At every stage and every age, there are simply things we still have to learn and areas we can grow in. It literally never ends, unless you decide that you no longer need somebody to give you insights and guidance. If you aren’t seeking out mentors and guides throughout, you’re missing out. One of the greatest experiences I have ever had, and it has completely transformed my life, was in learning how to become a real student. Now, I seek out opportunities to secure mentors in a variety of areas of my life. It might be a jiu jitsu teacher, it might be a meditation teacher or an expert in holistic medicine. I have a writing mentor, a podcasting coach, 2 business mentors, a real estate investment mentor, and coaches and mentors in several other areas.
If you want to really grow, you have to be willing to subjugate your ego a bit and ask for somebody to guide you in a particular area. It’s cool if that’s not your thing, but I can tell you that there is a very noticeable difference between those who have coaches and mentors, and those who don’t. The biggest differences usually being in the realm of success, income, confidence, and vision. Coaches and mentors are not just for young people and beginners, you should have them at every phase of your life and career.
The final piece of unconventional advice for this episode is this:
- Be extremely ruthless with removing toxic people from your proximity.
I’m saying this in a specific way and using strategic language to be sensitive to a particular situation that some of you may suffer in. I’m using the word ‘proximity’, as opposed to what I’ve always said in the past, which is to be ruthless with removing toxic people from your life. The problem with that advice is that many people suffer by having toxic parental relationships. And, while I think some of those people really should remove those people from their lives, many more would do well to simply remove them from their proximity.
Removing somebody from your proximity simply means that they enjoy very little access to you and very little influence with you. Instead of completely cutting off your toxic relationship with your mother, maybe you just need to create emotional distance and restrict access to you.
If you have people in your life that negatively affect your mental and emotional state, it is incumbent upon you to push back, set boundaries and ground rules, and remove them from your proximity. The only ones allowed to have access into your inner circle and be entitled to your influence are those who bring value to your life, make you better as a result of the relationship, want the absolute best for you, support your choices, love you for who you are, lift you up, and love you unconditionally. Everyone else can pound sand. You may not have to remove unhealthy people from your life completely, but you must ruthlessly limit access and proximity to you and be prepared for the emotional manipulation and harassment that is sure to follow for some time after.
There you have it my friends, 10 pieces of unconventional advice and wisdom collected from several decades of receiving from people all over the planet. Some good advice, some horrible advice, but grist for the mill, as the saying goes. All of it just something to ponder, test out in the world, receive feedback, and then modify as needed.
Speaking of modify as needed, if you know it’s time to modify your appraisal business because it’s no longer serving you like it once did, it’s definitely time to utilize the ninth piece of unconventional advice and get yourself a coach and mentor. It’s what I do and, if I do say so myself, I’m really damn good at it. You’ll never know, however, if you don’t step out of the box and reach out to me. It’s completely free to email me, message me, or call me. We can set up a time to jump on a free coaching call where I’ll learn a little more about you and your situation, and then give you some real actionable advice that you can put into play today to make a difference. I’ll sell you nothing, pitch you nothing, and ask nothing from you.
Of course, if you don’t want to talk to me then the greatest gift you could give yourself and your business is the gift of community of likeminded people, which is exactly what the Appraiser Increase Academy is; a growing community of like-minded, growth minded, profit minded, and ideal lifestyle minded people all trying to help each other build awesome appraisal businesses. You can try the Increase Academy out completely risk free for a full month with no strings attached. If you haven’t gained any value or grown in any way, you simply cancel, and you’ve lost nothing. Just go to www.coachblaine.com/freemonth and try it now.
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