Life passes by at a frantic pace. Wait too long, and you’ll be looking back in disgust at a life filled with routine and an overbearing focus on trivial, fleeting matters.
This is the norm for most, as it’s never been easy to live a comfortable life long on distractions and short on achievement. This is the core premise of “playing it safe;” settling for mediocrity and living and working to satisfy the wants and needs of everyone around you. There is no risk in such a life. Worst yet, this type of acceptance almost guarantees you will never make bold moves.
As we grow up, we are taught, usually indirectly, how to blend into the crowd.
In our youth, we are expressive and imaginative as we question everything we see around us. As we get older – teachers, parents, and other authority figures gradually kill our sense of wonder and amazement. We are slowly molded into societal drones.
We are encouraged to go to college and get a job. We are told this is the only way to be successful.
At work, we learn a specific function and repeat it daily. This cause and effect, A to B function, is the norm for most white-collar workers. The 80/20 rule is in full effect, as 20% of employees create value and 20% of tasks create value. 80% of employees and tasks create zero or negative value.
Most time is wasted, either due to lack of deep knowledge (only repetitive knowledge is necessary) or lack of efficient systems in place. Such mundane, regimented tasks suck the soul out of even the most energetic soul. In time, we lose our sense of identity, becoming no different from everyone around us. We are unhappy and stressed out.
Because we are bored out of our minds.
Our social lives follow the same script.
Most people suffer from a common misconception; that others care about their lives. People are too busy with their own lives to really care about your Facebook rant, or daily Instagram updates, or sixteen Snapchats of the soup you made from scratch. What social media does capture is the boring nature of the crowd, and how little difference exists from one person to the next. This is safety in numbers in action, exposing humans for what they are, creatures of habit and conformity.
Whether we want to admit it or not, we envy the lives of those around us, especially those who are perceived to be more successful than us. You could even say that we secretly hate these people. As a response, we cluster towards normalcy because it is there that we feel accepted and comfortable. Our lives move in unison with our friends and family; decisions such as marriage, children, home buying, all occur in a seemingly orchestrated wave. The focus is on the crowd and fitting in, never on our personal path and development.
The erosion of identity.
We’ve been taught to place it safe from the day we are born. Our brains certainly embrace this – it’s primary purpose is to keep us alive – and thus panic occurs when it senses risky behavior.
Thinking of quitting your job?
Our brain will easily rationalize why you shouldn’t do that.
Want to move?
Our brain will talk you out of that.
Leave a partner that makes you unhappy?
Maybe it can work, says your brain.
This is the Flinch in action.
To stand out from the crowd and avoid being muddled with the masses, three things need to happen:
You need to be UNPREDICTABLE
You need to be FEARLESS
You need to embrace and attract ATTENTION
Routine and habit are vital components to a fulfilled life, but only if you focus on the right things. Most do not, and their regimented lives border on an insanely boring trek. This feels normal (everyone else is acting this way), so nothing really seems out of the ordinary. It is only when we look back to see all the time gone and wasted with a loveless routine that we realize the mistakes we have made.
You must cultivate a personality of unpredictability – never let anyone be able to define you. Give people what they least expect, both in action and appearance. The minute you are categorized, you lose control and your novelty wears off. This is especially true in attraction, as routine is a death-blow. Spontaneity, bordering on madness, is a great quality to have. When people say “he’s nuts” or “he has too much energy,” it is the ultimate compliment.
Most men live a boring, routine life, never sticking out from the crowd and playing it safe with every decision. Such men are timid and afraid of risks. They overthink and talk themselves out of change. Thus, they continue on down the same boring road. They never allow themselves to take control and assert dominance and unpredictable behavior. Thus, they are labeled mediocre –lost in the crowd of average.
Don’t be the safe, boring guy. You’ll simply be left in the dust.
Fearless doesn’t mean putting yourself in harmful situations.
Fearless means taking risks that have the potential to yield long-term gains, in the form of monetary rewards, fulfillment, and satisfaction. It’s turning your back on what’s safe and proven, and inviting what is unknown and unstable. Being fearless implies that everything will still be okay in a worst case scenario, and that it is better to have tried and failed than to never have tried in the first place. This manifests itself in employment.
Most people work a job they feel is safe. This is why people are afraid to switch careers and pursue something that would yield enjoyment and fulfillment, instead of strict monetary gains. We feel it is too risky and that we would set themselves back if they made such a decision. This rationalization is the most damaging of all; we’ve created a false sense of security in our corporate world.
The landscape is shifting, and now more than ever it is possible to achieve success AND fulfillment together. The internet has connected the world; what you feel is a small idea, a wasteful thought, could be the next big thing. The old model is broken, on the verge of collapse, and the first movers will be the ones you reap the benefits. Practical knowledge is key, but so is fearlessness, deciding that you are a valuable asset and that you trust yourself to create value.
Fear holds you back, but once you accept and harness fearful thoughts, you begin down the path of self-actualization; always looking for personal growth and discovery.
Bet on yourself, you are more talented and creative than you give yourself credit.
Attracting attention is paramount to success. Attention is a difference maker, a multiplier – helping you go from point A to point G, instead of Point A to Point B.
You must be ruthless in your quest for attention, but understanding that negative or too much attention does deteriorate value over time. Instead, cultivate a persona of someone who cannot be defined. Being unpredictable actually attracts attention, because you will easily stand out from the bland crowd. At this point, work diligently to present yourself in the best way possible – both physically and mentally.
Don’t come off as too perfect, but let people know that you aren’t just another run-of-the-mill bore, that you have big goals and a clear path in life. By being a bold and commanding attention, you are giving yourself the opportunity to be noticed by successful individuals who can help accelerate your ideas and passions. Since most people are afraid to voice their opinions, be the one who is heard and impress those around you with your knowledge and assertiveness.
Life can be a long, boring affair if buried in routine and predictability.
This is the state of the masses.
To break loose, learn to attract attention and overcome your fears of change. Leaving your comfort zone has never been more profitable, yet so many never even give this a thought.
Taking risks can define a life; there is no reward for the man who simply exist’s in this world. In your relationships, be unpredictable. Do not let others define you. Nice guys finish last, and so to predictable guys. Be ruthless in your pursuit of passions. Don’t leave this life until you feel satisfied with what you have accomplished. Be bold and watch as you find success. The boring, disorganized majority will be left behind to wonder “What if?”
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