10 quotes from one of my favorites

I find myself re-reading books more often as I get older.

The first time you learn something, it’s euphoric. But my favorite lessons come on the 2nd go. I have a collection on my Kindle called “Read Every Year.” One of the books on that list is Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferriss.

Here are some of my recent highlights:

  • It’s almost more difficult to think of a time when an apparent failure didn’t set me up for later success. Failure is inextricably connected to any major success I’ve ever had.

  • Ignore any advice that tells you you’re going to miss something. Every mistake I have made was because I thought I didn’t do or get this now, it was never going to happen.

  • Suffering is a moment of clarity, when you can no longer deny the truth of a situation and are forced into uncomfortable change.

  • Do everything you were going to do, but with less angst, less suffering, less emotion. Everything takes time.

  • It will be tempting to live a life that impresses others. But this is the wrong path. The right path is to know that life is short, every day is a gift, and you have certain gifts.

Let’s talk about that last one.

My goals are wildly influenced by the people around me. Yours are, too. In his book, “Wanting,” Luke Burgis writes:

The truth is that my desires are derivatives, mediated by others, and that I’m part of an ecology of desire that is bigger than I can fully understand.

Luke Burgis

When I see someone else is doing something awesome, I want to do something awesome, too. This is the healthy side of it.

The unhealthy side happens like this: I believe because they’re doing something awesome, maybe even more awesome than me, they must be better & I must be less than. Classic trap.

When someone shows you their highlights, you must realize it is a highlight. Nobody knows my flaws the way I do, so I cannot compare my situation to anybody else’s or I will get off track — it’s faulty data.

Professionals compare to themselves — more specifically, the version of themselves they imagine from the future. They set their own targets and move on them; open to data & feedback but locked into the habits, routines, and initiatives that are most likely to take them to their predetermined destination. 

Here are 4 ways to eliminate comparison

  • When insecurity shows up, remind yourself of your future — where another person is (or says they are, rather) has no bearing on your future

Negativity can be repurposed. In fact, most negativity is actually a positive in the end if you treat it right.

  • Remember that at every new level you will feel like an imposter

You can’t negotiate around this. It’s coming, and the only way to make it through is to keep going through (until you feel like you belong). When you get a new car, it takes a bit to feel like your car; same is true in life. 

Watch this for more.

  • Set non-monetary targets to keep you tracking on the things that matter

There are a ton of people who are more successful than I am if we’re just talking about money. I am rich but not that rich. I make great money but I’m not like the “world’s richest consultant who has ever lived.” 

Of course, I say this, but I do not really know. Maybe I am. I would conservatively estimate myself to be in the top 10% probably from the last 100 years but I cannot win this game… it only takes 1 person coming in and maximizing earnings for a year to dethrone this title. 

It is not a worthy title to chase.

When I’m feeling like comparison is setting in, I look at the areas where I have won the most — my family, my friends, my memories.

Here is a post I wrote recently on Facebook that shows an example:

Some of my 2024 targets:

  • Smile often, it always works out
  • Drop whatever I’m doing when my kids walk up and want to talk
  • Spend ample time solving complex problems and publishing the solutions
  • Push my physical body so it can handle the standards and pace of my calling
  • Trust God fully, power levels are unlocked by our faith not our intellect
  • Enjoy great moments with great people (in the right place at the right time for the right reason)
  • Take my daughter to a musical and teach her how to ski
  • Enjoy Barcelona with my wife
  • Etc…

The list goes on and on…

Family at the top, business at the bottom. One does not suffer because of the other, they compound.

  • Read old books

This sounds odd but it’s effective: the world was here before you were born, and it’ll be here (hopefully) long after you go.

To remind myself of this, I read things that came from a long time ago… and I think, “These people are dead. They were smart, and they moved the world – but now they’re gone. One day I will be gone, do I really want to waste my time thinking about this?”

Usually the answer is NO.

The key to anxiety, and comparison, is usually to spend time processing through who you want to be, how you want to get there, and what obstacles you can solve that currently stand in your way.

“Let no anxiety about anything distract you.” Philippians 4:6

On of the oldest books you can find = the Bible. Read it, feel better, the end.


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