The pursuit of materialism

The world now revolves around materialism.
The pursuit of having more, buying more, and getting more defines our society these days, by and large.

That is not a good thing.
Either for us individually.
Or collectively.
And it’s certainly not good for the world as a whole.

Materialism is a short-term strategy that favours small immediate pleasures over long-term benefits.
Often to get validation from others.

It leads to more waste.
It leads to more debt.
It leads to more clutter.
And it also leads to more unhappiness.

A better life happens when you think for yourself, rather than when you make decisions in order to “look good” or “fit in”.
If having more was the key to happiness, just having money would be enough.
And all those happy people who have very little would not be happy.
Having more is not the same as being happy.

That said, the point isn’t to stop buying things altogether, but rather to think before you buy.
The point is to be more mindful about the things you buy, their impact, and their necessity.

Think before you act, and buy only what you need.
That’s not just better for your life, it’s also good for the environment, and the world.

You need a backup plan

No plan is 100% fool proof.
Nothing in life is infallible.
There’s always risk, no matter how small the odds.

Things can (and do) go wrong.
So it’s important to have backup plans.

Hopefully you’ll never need them.
But in case you do, it is better to have backup plans, than it is to be caught completely unawares.

Backup plans can be the difference between surviving, and not surviving, a disaster, an unforeseen challenges.
Have backup plans.

Do you really always have a choice?

Have you heard of the saying: “you always have a choice”?
It’s a common one.
It’s one of the bedrocks of the self development field.
And it’s grossly misused.

Yes, you do have a choice.
But… it’s not a blanket rule that applies to everything.
There are nuances, and caveats, that you need to know about and understand.

The main thing to understand about that phrase, about you always having a choice, is that it’s talking about your response.
A more accurate expression then would be = you always have a choice re. how you respond.

Shit happens.
If the choice rule was universal then in theory you’d have a choice about the curve balls life throws at you right?
But you don’t.
None of us do.
Because most things in life we have no control over.
Control, at the end of the day, is an illusion.

But one of the few things that we do have control over is our response.
We CAN control how we respond to things, including the curve balls.

The good news is, you can train yourself to respond better.
To respond in ways that help you, and others.
To respond in ways that help you move forward, and make progress.

How you respond to things matter, a lot.
It can be the difference between you thriving, or you just scraping by.
It can be the difference between you having a good day, or a bad one.
It is one of the most important factors in determining the overall quality of your life.

So yes, you do have a choice, but not with everything.
Because most things in life are out of our control.

Don’t accept “you always have a choice” as a blanket rule.
Don’t think it’s universal and applies to everything, and then get frustrated when it doesn’t.
Understand what it really means.
Then work towards using it to improve your life, and make your impact.

You can only make lemonade when life gives you lemons IF you respond to it well; if your response helps you to keep moving forward, and make the most of the challenges.

It won’t be easy.
But you can do it.
You absolutely do always have a choice – with how you respond.
So choose wisely.

Why you need to have a quest

It’s not enough to have a goal.
You need to have a quest.
Especially if you want to do something incredible, make a difference, have impact, make your dent in the universe…

A quest is much more than a goal.
It’s the main purpose of your being.
It’s what drives people to achieve incredible feats.

When you have a quest, nearly everything you do, you will do for the benefit of the quest.
It becomes the destination to which all paths lead.

When you have a quest, it becomes your main thought.
The purpose that drives you.
The mission that determines (and is benefited by) everything else you do.

Quests provide clarity.
They provide strength.
They help you stay on the right course, even when things happen that throws you off course.
Above all, they help you achieve incredible things.

A quest = an ultra-focused, and serious goal.
A BHAG.
A moonshot.
A mission.
Or a purpose even.
Call it whatever you prefer.
Because the end-result is what matters.

When you think of the quest for the holy grail for instance, you know that that wasn’t merely a goal.
It wasn’t just a milestone people wanted to achieve.
A whole lot more went into it.
Those Knights knew what it took to create a focused, effective, purposeful goal – and that’s what a quest embodies.

To do something incredible, have incredible impact, and make your mark in this world, it is important to be driven by a strong sense of purpose.
It is important to have a quest.

Mine is to help at least a billion people significantly improve their lives.
What is your quest?

The myth of self-made

There’s this myth that’s been around for a long long time – that the people who are at the top of their game, the best of the best, have all done it on their own.
That’s what people generally think is what self-made means.

Rarely, if ever, is that the whole truth.

In fact, if you dig deep into the lives of the peak performers, people who are the best of the best, nearly always will you see a recurring pattern: that they have a team of people behind them.

Having a team and coaches is so common that, in the arena of competitive sports anyway, you won’t even be considered for anything unless you have a team behind you.

The notion is catching up, slowly but surely, and permeating other fields and professions.
And that’s a great thing.
It’s about time we change this archaic notion of strength = not asking for or getting help.

If you have fallen into that way of thinking, understand that it is quite ok.
That’s an area I myself sometimes struggle with, so I know how easy it is to accept that as the truth.
But having people there for you, and with you, makes you anything but weak.

Having help does not make you weak.
Not having help does
So learn to ask for help.

Going it alone is fine, but it is better to have people with you – people who will help you, and push you, and accelerate your progress.