MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS | 2018 EDITION | VOLUME 131
Sure there are derogatory, petty, politicized definitions of snowflake. Haters have a job to do, and so attach liberal to flavor any insult. But what's more constructive to mentally strong high-performers is the importance of never melting under pressure. Which is where Dan Peña and I agree.
Allowing a bunch of go-nowhere trolls to drag you into shouting matches using the 'snowflake' hook can be solved by studying my Social Media Security series. Including: The 4 Social Media User Types & Why You Should Probably Quit Social Media, which discusses how to block toxic users. But disturbingly recently, I've mentored or encountered many snowflakes of the kind Dan Peña describes. Same ones discussed in the Powerful Life Skill of Asking. People who are too timid to make life-changing moves that brings financial success; engage, ask questions (politely) rather than lurking, take a stand; initiate and sustain phone calls or conversations, or survive constructive critique. And whether or not mental illness, stress, depression, anxiety, or fear of rejection is a factor, high performance is the treatment and cure I prescribe.
Next-level performers sometimes come in the form of the plague itself, or whatever one dreads. And yet, precisely that, is why a Leadership Manifesto is built into such discussions. High performers are so focused that Dan Peña's global warming denialism, brash or potty mouth entrepreneurism doesn't faze them, because they are big thinkers who stay dedicated to clearly defined goals. Neither does financial stress turn them into snowflakes. Emulate all that if you don't want to be a snowflake.
Highly pragmatic, high performers can listen to, survive, learn from, or form strategic alliances with people quite unlike them, just to achieve grand strategic goals. And your inability to understand them, is misunderstanding why many accomplishments and foreign policy decisions more deserving of an ethical leader and public servant — from North Korea to longstanding issues behind the U.S.-China Trade War were left to Donald Trump — a man that by all rational accounts, remains unfit to lead.
So whether you're an entrepreneur, leader, manager, influencer, teacher, brand, institution, or ordinary person in these tumultuous times struggling with everything from overzealous political correctness to success in the cutthroat competitive marketplace of ideas, Dan Peña's raw and uncut appeal and the rest of this resource is designed to bolster your mental strength. After all, you don't want to earn the name, snowflake, do you?
The likes of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade's suicide in 2018, to some, were snowflake moves.
Regardless where you stand in that debate, evolving and graduating to next-level mental toughness, performance and holistic wellness rather than being exposed to similar mental illness is laudable. For while repeated boredom is often a sign of depression, most people aren't as fortunate as Michael Phelps to get professional help. Which begs the question: How does one afflicted Filipino mother of 2 deadbeat dads working as a Hong Kong slave maid survive despite languishing in kitchen cabinets, while the wealthy use their hotel rooms or luxury to quit on life? What coping mechanisms can one learn from battle-scarred Blacks like myself? Brené Brown never responded. (Click or tap below)The delusion — stemming from a lack of true diversity in journalism — begins when we assume TV personalities and anchors making over $20 to $100 million a year can inspire suicide prevention and help their exclusive club of success aspirants secretly in depression recover and live fulfilled lives. When disruptive perspectives like the one featured here take a backseat because control-freak, self-made success that idolizes fame while leaving God or religion out of the equation, sells, and is politically correct. This is where pop culture and misguided, little/zero diversity media fails you.
Just as President George W. Bush never surprised me when it turned out he knew who Beyoncé was but had never heard of Jay-Z, I didn't know who Kate Spade was. Reuters.TV is my only TV. And filter bubbles? OK. If one is living a fulfilled life, enriched by diversity, purpose, balance, and perspective.
In Spade's case, a new Twitter follower's overzealous tribute and defense of her alleged obsession with maintaining a façade of her billion dollar fashion brand through alcohol and who knows what other substance abuse that caught my eye. In a digital era with viewpoints like mine underrepresented, it's easy to be ignorant of BETTER coping mechanisms than caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, drugs, and even guns. “Mental illness” is misused when the fatal consequences of bad lifestyle choices are often the root of stress, anxiety, timidity, and related diseases. Moreover, what denialists and snowflakes alike often miss is: Superficial things and Western experts alone aren't the antidotes to depression or nagging feelings of meaninglessness. This is why empirically, many affluent folks, having misunderstood happiness, fret. And so deluded, they live a lie or self-destruct, outlived by those in abject poverty.Truth is, there's a lot of help out there. Help sometimes as rudimentary yet effective as reaching out to people who don't look or sound like you; who aren't already in your exclusive clique, or like Spade, have the mislabel “influential” attached to their names. Human experiences capable of snapping you out of your “depression” or mental health downward spiral without need for addictive, expensive medical interventions and treatments. Some people, for whatever reason, go through life averse to wisdom and good judgment. Others never variegate their human experience enough to glean or seek good advice that disrupts their comfort zone. Ponder how humbling Bill and Melinda Gates' philanthropy is... Do you see how juvenile the veneer of Social Media personal branding is now? Be it a fatal celebrity overdose or suicide, you'd think the fact that their idols are destroying themselves would force a rethink. Yet many take it as “art” — choosing to be hypersensitive snowflakes (click or tap image) that melt under pressure in a world that ruthlessly pushes weaklings around. Which is why I teach the 4th Rule of Efficiency:Whether you're a teen, Asian, Caucasian (statistically the highest suicide rate), Black, etc., if you, or someone you know is contemplating suicide, obsesses about it, or is drawn to suicide fantasy, discussions or “artwork”, the wisest move, apart from using the resource below, is to avoid such groups, focusing instead on seeking help and busying yourself with causes that help, and connect you with humanity.Everyone's situation understandably will be different. And I'm no professional. Yet as a Black person suffering, enduring and actively engaging people luckier than I am who themselves are suffering and often simply need a good push in the right direction, at some point, I stop worrying about the affluent — often Caucasian — hellbent on denial and self-destruction. And for reasons Reta Saffo, Spade's own sister, perfectly articulates: “Sometimes you simply cannot SAVE people from themselves!” Those I've successfully and discreetly helped over decades have this in common: They're ready, step-by-step driven, and take advice. And the problem with the feature quote above is: Superficial things won't save you from depression or feelings of meaninglessness. Not sex. Not drugs. Not guns. But contentment.To be at rock bottom, broke, broken; stuck at a breaking point; perennially unable to breakthrough so as to break free from a torturously surreal house, or bad roommate situation perhaps — or maybe a community, city or country holding you back — that, is insanity inducing hell few have been through.
Lisa's Google Talk below plus interview with Lewis Howes further below and at the bottom of the blog respectively, are among my favorites. But mind you, this is not about emotionalism or fandom.
It's about “infecting yourself” with the powerful self-discipline and self-will required to free yourself from your predicament. Almost everyone with similarly authentic stories will find themselves crying more than a few times at some point. But ultimately, talking and emotion has to give way to action. Sustained action. Backed by dogged will. Hence these videos. Plus, ubiquitous hyperlinked texts and image resources throughout the blog, for those prepared to do whatever it takes.
You see, at the heart of mental weakness is Indecision and Decisiveness, Courage and Willpower. Regarding which, the late Dr. Myles Munroe often rightly said: “The most powerful force on earth is the will of man.” And to prove that, I submit to you that for every injustice — contemporary or historical — you can name, I can point to the crucial role of willpower. Incidentally, the same principle applies to change or failure in life.
The weakest people on earth aren't the thin, diminutive, the poor, jobless, the hungry; those who don't exercise, or the superficially unsuccessful. The weakest people on earth are those — sometimes leaders or managers; even pet owners — who lack the willpower to decisively tackle whatever it is accountability demands. People so weak-minded their default is pleasing everyone at all cost.
Pet owners, don't get defensive. It's not just pet owners. Some of the most mentally weak people I've observed and studied, from America to Asia and Europe not only hate confrontation and discomfort but often keep, are mentally enslaved to, and depend on pets. In the case of pet owners — and this is also true of aggressive drivers prone to road rage, and often smitten by externals (posh cars, status symbols, etc.) — overly confrontational attitude IS the mental weakness. And what I'm doing here is giving you different angles from which to tackle the problem.
It's also OK to be offended if you are a pet owner. I grew up with five dogs myself. Except I practiced the “Calm, Assertive” philosophy of the famed “dog whisperer” long before I heard of him. And the idea for the article originated from an epiphany I had about escaping a weaker past some call Loserville.
A past you may be familiar with, where reality is airbrushed, vehemently denied; avoided. Where the people trying to empower or help are instead deemed “threatening” or “annoying”.
Loserville (see the video below) has nothing to do with broke, rich or social class but a place of weakness and insecurity. A place where rigid, over-attached people lose, and/or lack, the ability to think clearly and make good judgment calls. And sooner or later, ethics go out the window, replaced by a polluted inner scorecard.
From bad friends or roommates to average, lazy, irresponsible or unmotivated people casually going from one bad choice or move to another, Loserville is also WHERE people WHO don't get it, live. Where those who don't know with absolute conviction their WHY, WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and HOW, live. Where those whose minds are filled with junk, are on the wrong track, mentally weak; too rigid; continuously embracing a poor work ethic hence rarely prepared to seize or steadily maximize life's great opportunities, live. Stranded, knowingly or unknowingly, on a grim mental island where they withdraw, breaking down as life gets tough and all hope appears lost.
Even Heavyweight legend Mike Tyson once lived there, losing sight of gifted Abundance and diminishing his prosperity and perhaps destiny in the process. But you don't have to!
Don't EVER allow yourself to be defeated by your own mind's limitations, let alone others!
I first understood the importance of good mental conditioning and mental fortitude or toughness after traveling to Scotland only to waste thousands of dollars on a career program I hadn't thought through.
Coming out of a very traumatic life experience thinking I had overcome the associated depression, I signed up in a foreign country for a rigorous certification program usually pursued by poorly educated low income people as a 'key out' of their limited career options. I thought I was doing it for the passion, curiosity and therapeutic effects. Plus, the opportunity to help others. Unbeknownst to me, I was mentally still stuck in Loserville. Yet there I was with Loserville veterans fiercely intimidated by the success of others.
The backstabbing and toxicity was brutal. And the cost of such a bad move taught me How To Set Oneself Up To Succeed the right way.Your physical address isn't as important as your mental address. After all, your physical address isn't supposed to be permanent. What matters is understanding that your life story reads better as you position yourself for the right moves at the right time, with the right mindset 24/7.
There's nothing wrong with grinding and hustling. But as the saying goes: “Lessons in life will be repeated until they are learned.” This is why some of the most gifted athletes and celebrities are the most self-destructive. The same reason I personally know immigrants who made it America, only to self-destructively get themselves ejected.
One was tricked by the selfsame guardian who brought them to the U.S. into returning with no possibility to return to the States, after years of trouble. The other took the option of deportation rather than park their ego, leave Loserville, and live within the law. However, unjust.
Those who make the mental shift from Loserville know how not to be xenophobes or bigots in practice. And what it takes to be an upstanding citizen with impeccable work ethic. After all, we're all immigrants.
Loserville by contrast, is where the conniving TED Talks, Podcasts, Dr. Phil and Oprah Winfrey mockers; self development, motivational and inspirational content haters live. They mock and disregard the very content that makes one so attractive, he/she doesn't have to sell their soul, body or dignity for a living or respect. Such as Dr. Phil's 10 Life Laws (images hyperlinked).
From Filipino friends working like slaves in Hong Kong and beyond to Black people failing, “always create before you consume” means nothing. Just as any life-changing video or links shared with them. Inertia, squandered time online, hanging out in the hood, 'complaining buddies' or “yeah but” responses to attempts to offer actionable advice for escaping adversity often is the norm. Among others, recreational or hard drugs, liquor, clubbing, slacking, smartphone and/or Social Media addiction, from Facebook/Twitter nonsense to Snapchat, Instagram; what TMZ, WorldStarHipHop or some celebrity did, to critiquing others' work or badmouthing bosses. As below, they are people waiting for success rather than proactively building it.
Loserville is where the same egotistical, “Let's” posse and gang — let's go do this, let's go here or there...even if there's nothing legal or entrepreneurial about it — live. And because I'm from New York City, I know for a fact that many think they're grindin' and hustlin' when in fact, they're stuck in Loserville because of their mindset.
Loserville is a mindset of living in pieces rather in peace. Not focused, content and productive. And like a virus, infecting those around.
Loserville is the headquarters of mannequins. Where more focused and agile 8, 10 or 15-year-olds shun. And being hungry and determined to be mentally stronger, refuse to ask permission for greatness, —and make better moves. (images hyperlinked). A place of dysfunction, of endlessly reactive toxicity, self-righteousness and irresponsibility. A place for where one couldn't possibly name any of the 3 Rules Highly Effective People Live By. Where drama is mistaken for productivity. And WHY, WHO, WHAT, WHEN and HOW priorities are dislocated. So WHAT is your WHY for grinding? WHAT's the cause of your hustle? Do you even know the difference between the two? Julian Mitchell is here to help:
Hustlers make the right moves and master positioning, while someone WHO is a grinder always searches for moves, seeking to master WHERE they’ve forcefully been positioned.
Someone WHO is a grinder can work tirelessly and see no return. Their sense of fulfillment is found in the chaos of moving at a fast pace, juggling multiple tasks, or simply being busy. However, someone WHO is a hustler makes sure every effort reaps a valuable return on investment.Grinders desperately seek opportunity. If a slot opens, they step in without hesitation for the purposing of proving their worth to others. Hustlers put effort into existing opportunities to build on their vision and create additional opportunities with the value they already know they have.
Hustlers are not haters. A hustler respects the process and knows WHAT it really takes to achieve the seemingly impossible, while grinders often hate because they don’t understand HOW to similarly master the game. Which is the problem with the grind and/or hustle of a lot of people.
No clarity. No direction. No concept of process execution and management (see video above). Easily distracted. Easily attracted to mediocrity. And consequently, easily defeated.
These are the same people likely to waste time railing about Boxers from generations long gone. MMA/UFC fighters and contemporary Boxers WHO couldn't teach them the first thing about HOW to get out of harm's way, —like the defensive genius right above. HOW to be phenomenally successful. HOW to out-think rivals trying to cheat an already rigged system as they work(ed) their way to the top. Not just in combat sports, but conversely, in both financial and personal investment. Yet:
There are critical qualities that can’t be taught that every entrepreneur must master to realize a massive vision. [AKA, leverage]
During a business consulting trip, one of my several new mentees, an athletic five-star hotel employee and previous boxer — one of 4 for whom I created an 8GB flash drive full of self development media — revealed to me everything I needed to know about WHAT was wrong with his hustle. Simply by telling me WHO inspired him, as a Boxer. We won't get into the specifics. But now is a great time to thoroughly reassess the STATE of your hustle, and grind.
Make sure you seek advisement from mentors WHO are also hustlers that can teach you proper planning, positioning and WHAT moves are really worth making. The best leaders don’t create followers. They create more leaders. And the very fact that I'm publishing this means that I am, and do feel convicted by the same imperative. Because mine isn't perfect either. But as Billionaire businessman Anil Ambani said: “Concentration can be cultivated. One can learn to exercise will power, discipline one's body and train one's mind.”
Generally speaking, people WHO appreciate my Blog don't binge watch TV, or have time for (video) gaming, clubbing, spending countless minutes or hours on long distance calls that aren't entrepreneurial in nature; about making a difference; or go-nowhere crowds and trivia. Nor do they have a Social Media presence without clearly defined purpose.
Their WHY for hustling and grinding isn't necessarily about private jets, yachts, penthouses, big mansions Bugattis, BMWs, bling bling or other bragging cred, either. As Bill Gates has said, being a billionaire is “overrated”.
Graduate from the grind and continue to refine your hustle. That is the difference between an internship and equity – peaking as a boss and evolving into an owner.
WHAT matters is building the inner mental muscle to overcome any HOW. Because without that, success will always be fleeting. And you'll always default to “broke”/financially dependent, or out of business. WHY?
Because your competition — not the competition you can see — is more hungry, determined, ruthless and relentless. Which is WHY being phenomenal is less about obsessing about them and all about out-working, out-preparing, out-thinking, out-smarting, out-delivering and out-amazing them and achieving strategic pre-eminence by working on yourself. So leave Loserville. And like Mayweather who transcended brittle hands and family dysfunction to greatness, make your pain pay you.
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Current Top 20 Most Influential in My Development Series (No. 3: Dan Peña)