I struggled a lot with putting on muscle. At my age I thought my metabolism would have slowed down enough to make this fairly simple but not so.
Watching the scale as I packed in meal after meal and shake after shake and the numbers didn’t budge made me realize: my body was resisting my attempt to make it bigger. My mind or ego was resisting my attempts to make it bigger and take up more space in the world. To overcome this body/mind/ego resistance takes continual, repeated, habitual, & powerful acts of willpower (which you can train).
This same process takes place when you decide to self-improve. Quit your job, start a business, pursue your real passion, improve your game, get better skills, hunt your fears, go back to school, get that degree, make more money, try to meet your heroes, all of that will trigger the “mediocrity” instinct in friends & family.
It’s the ‘crab in the bucket’ syndrome. When one crab tries to escape, the others will try to pull him back down. All the crabs are going to die unless they escape.
When people are of high quality you see the reverse happen — when a rap star makes it out of the ghetto he turns around with his millions and helps put on the guys he left behind. (see Eminem & D12.)
Your friends and family are, by definition, accepting of your failure, and your mediocre efforts. “These things take time.” This is a true statement, but the attitude that allows things to take forever is what you want to avoid. This is what allows people to have “that one great idea” they nurse along their whole lives, but never take action on. This is what allows people to say “One day, I’ll have that great idea” and keep discarding ‘lesser’ ideas instead of executing on them, learning, and letting failure sharpen their thinking and bring them better ideas.
You should surround yourself with people who push you harder than this. Rather than just saying “You did your best” and “These things take time” they’ll say “What did you learn?” and “What will you do differently now?” and “What can you do to most effectively shrink the time until your success?” This should be the constant conversation happening in your Gang of 5. These people should not be accepting of your continued mediocrity. They should know, not just believe, that you can do and be better, and they should relentlessly push you towards that, especially when it requires you getting out of your conversation.
How many people in your life will say to your face, “Not good enough.” These are your NGEs. Can you count them on both hands? On one? Is there even one person who has said this to you in the last 6 months?
If not, make it your mission for the next 30 days to seek out this person until you find them. Your progress will accelerate conservatively 5x when you have them working with you.
We all complain. I complain a lot. “Food is so expensive,” and “I’m so tired of eating eggs every day.” Boo-fucking–hoo. I’m not in the jungles of Southeast Asia with shit dried in my pants watching my buddy try to breathe through the night on one good lung while under mortar fire.
All I’m doing is trying to hustle up a good product or service, and meet some beautiful women. My life is comically easy compared to what previous generations went through.
Be critical with yourself. Is your life really that hard? If you had to survive that SE Asian jungle, could you?
If you could — or even if you think you couldn’t — I’m willing to bet you can survive whatever piss-lame inconvenience that is currently holding you back from the life of your dreams.
Stop bitching and especially stop listening to friends & family when they want to comfort you into mediocrity. Go out there and get your NGE (“not good enough”) buddy and then take that 5x performance multiplier and use it to get your life right.
“Success is about people, people, and people.” –Richard Branson, billionaire playboy