Don’t Wish It Were Easier, Wish You Were Better

We all wish life was a bit easier – that we had more time to relax, less stress, and an escape from the duties and responsibilities we have. But we know deep down that escaping our responsibilities doesn’t solve the problem. In fact, achieving hard things gives purpose, fulfilment and happiness. Athletes chase the thrill of hitting personal bests and winning Olympic gold, entrepreneurs want to contribute to make society better, couples want to have great relationships and raise a family. All these goals are difficult to achieve, but we appreciate life so much more when we do difficult things.

So instead of avoiding responsibility, seek it out. Find a goal that you’re not sure is possible for you. Doing hard things hardens you. It gives you more encouragement to realize that your potential is a little bit higher than you thought it was before. It’s the key to self-esteem and purposeful living.

What Door-to-Door Salespeople Would Say to Themselves if They Could Do It All Again

Working in door-to-door sales is always a rollercoaster of an experience. Almost everyone sucks to begin with, most people give up or get fired. Some people stick it out and get better and become very skilled at what they do.

So I recently asked a bunch of my friends who I’ve worked with doing door-to-door sales: If your current self could go back and talk to yourself before you started door-to-door sales, what would you tell him/her?

Here are the answers:

“Have some faith in yourself and others. Learn to be present in the moment and enjoy the process of the lows and highs. Shut your inside battles, the fear, the scarcity mindset. The best days of life as a D2D rep is when you are free-flowing, loving yourself, trusting others and yourself.”

“Believe in yourself because you can do more than you know and you deserve self-respect. Also attachment is an unnecessary stress. Money isn’t everything. Friends come and go. Sales go up and down. Focus on you and the rest will follow.”

“I would tell her focus on building yourself up, drink less, party less. Read all the books! Invest in yourself, and believe in yourself because you can be the best! Go young me!”

“Have more confidence with trying something you’ve never done before, even though the job sounds crazy as hell.”

“Be excited to be wrong, you were not born knowing how to do this profession.”

“Trust your instincts no matter what. Health is wealth. Continue growing even while you wander.”

“Trust your intuition.”

“Pay more attention to what you’re thinking and feeling than what you’re doing and saying.”

“Don’t be a follower, find your own way, find who you are and work on yourself for you and not for others.”

“This will be a journey of growth that will pay off in the long run. Effort and struggle must take place before you can become your best self.”

“Turn this into a career instead of a summer gig.”

“Think much bigger much faster and commit to mastery and being the hardest worker in the industry.”

“Work hard even when you don’t feel like it, don’t give up and settle for mediocrity.”

“Work harder.”

“Build a better system of habits – it’s important for success.”

“Try new things, find what you’re good at, focus on what you’re good at and repeat when things aren’t going as planned.”

“Study the sales system with more effort and read more door-to-door related books.”

“Enjoy the process, enjoy the people you’re working with, enjoy the people you get to meet. When you choose to enjoy the whole journey then sales will come, not the other way around.”

“Become more self-aware. Enjoy the moment.”

“No-one after you leave is going to remember you so give it everything.”

“Keep on top of every account and make sure you get paid correctly.”

“Don’t lend money.”

“Don’t do it.”

Although there was a surprising variation in the type of responses, there were some common themes of self-belief, trust in yourself, doing it as a career, working hard, and enjoying it as much as possible.

If you’ve done door-to-door sales, what would you tell yourself? Comment below!

Imposter Syndrome: How Can You Use Doubt Positively?

We’ve all been taught that doubt is bad. Doubt is weakness. Doubt means you don’t believe in yourself or your ideas. Doubt is less persuasive, doubt is insecurity.

But what about arrogance and overconfidence? A mixture of ignorance and conviction in people can be dangerous – in the past, it led to the 2008 global financial crisis and the Brexit referendum.

In his book Think Again, Adam Grant defines imposter syndrome as competence exceeding confidence. On the other side, armchair quarterback syndrome is where confidence exceeds competence. The sweet spot is somewhere in between.

However, Grant argues that it’s better to err on the side of imposter syndrome. The humility of knowing that we can be wrong and fallible would probably have prevented the disasters mentioned above. With a healthy sense of doubt, Wall Street officials maybe would have stopped contributing to a broken system of bad debt leading to the collapse of the housing market in 2008. Prime Minister David Cameron was so confident of a Remain vote in the Brexit referendum that he felt forced to resign when the public voted in the opposite direction.

A potential benefit in imposter syndrome is that it drives us to work harder and to get better. If we don’t feel like we deserve the role or adulation we have been given, we may be motivated to prove ourselves even more. More importantly, imposters seem to learn better, seek out insight from others, and have the humility to know that they don’t know everything.

In some ways, it makes more sense that confidence should come as a result of competence increasing. Personally, my confidence got shattered quite quickly when I started in sales because I thought I was going to be much better than I actually was. Because my confidence was so high to begin with, it was pretty destructive, but luckily I still had the self-belief that maybe I could improve and finally see some results.

Grant advises us to be both confident and humble. Have faith in your strengths but also be aware of your weaknesses. Be confident in yourself but also have the humility to question whether you have the right tools in the present. Learning can be never-ending if you choose it to be.

The Happiness Equation: Is It Easy to Be Happy?

The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha is a hugely readable, enjoyable and informative book on one of humanity’s biggest conundrums: “How can I be happy?”

At the end of the day, all people want in life is to be happy, and this is by far the best book on happiness that I have come across. It is written in nine different chapters filled with short sub-sections, and an easy-to-remember one-liner to finish off each section.

Here’s my summary:

Be Happy First

A lot of people get caught up on thinking, “If I achieve/do/have this, I will be happy”, and don’t realize that happiness is a mindset. Pasricha describes that the composition of happiness is 10% circumstances and 90% everything else. There are no guarantees that the end-goal will make you happy, and even if it does bring joy at the end, you’ll be spending the whole journey stressed and unhappy. If we were to imagine the happiest people we know, it’s not always the wealthiest, most successful people. So if we can switch our mindset to happiness as a default, not only will our lives be more enjoyable, we could even reach our goals faster too.

“Happy people don’t have the best of everything, they make the best of everything.”

Do it For You

One of the greatest inhibitors of happiness is a lack of self-confidence. Pasricha splits a graph into four quadrants, with “Opinion of self” and “Opinion of others” on each axis. Self-confidence is when both opinions are high. We see ourselves and other people as competent, moral, of good character. If someone has a low opinion of others and a high opinion of himself, he is considered arrogant. On the other hand, if he has a high opinion of others and a low opinion of himself, he is considered insecure. Finally, if he has a low opinion of both himself and others, he is classified as cynical.

Probably the most pervasive of the four conditions is the one of insecurity. One of the biggest reasons we may feel insecure is when we act as people-pleasers, or when we are searching for external validation. When we inevitably fail to please someone or our hard work ends up falling on deaf ears, it can be miserable.

So how can we make ourselves immune to criticism or lack of recognition? Do it for you. If the primary motivation for doing something is just because you want to, it’s known as internal validation. This means that it no longer matters what the outside world thinks or says, because you’re just doing what you want to do, and you like yourself for it.

Remember the Lottery

This is another way of describing how lucky you are to even be alive. What are the chances that the universe created life on Earth, and created you? The fact that only one in 15 of every person who has ever lived is still alive, and you being one of them, is a blessing. So no matter how bad it gets, you’re still lucky enough to be breathing. Not every person has the privilege of doing that.

Never Retire

Pasricha starts off the chapter with the story of a teacher at his college that reluctantly retired and within a few days fell ill and died. He attributed the death to the lack of purpose that set in for him soon after retirement.

He goes on to highlight that on the Japanese island of Okinawa nobody retires, and almost everyone lives to over the age of 100. They all have an ikigai, a reason for waking up in the morning that gives them joy or meaning in life.

It turns out that retirement is an entirely invented concept, relatively new to the world. The concept was put into action in Germany less than 150 years ago, and it could be argued that it doesn’t work.

Work brings more benefits than just a monthly paycheck. Most work is social – a place to make friends, connect with people and work in a team. It also adds structure and routine that is so important in living healthily. The stimulation that work entails is a good physical and/or mental exercise. Finally, work can sometimes add extra purpose and meaning to life if the role especially helps other people, or works towards a better world.

Overvalue You

Pasricha invites us to calculate how much we make per hour. Most people get paid on a salary, and they can stray away from the usual 40-hour workweek. Interestingly, traditionally high-paying jobs like lawyers end up getting paid a very similar hourly wage to lower-paid jobs simply because they work way more hours. I’m not entirely convinced about the point Pasricha makes, but there could be some level of truth to it.

The main point of the chapter is to stand back and ask whether you are spending your time in the way that you want to, and whether your hourly wage justifies the job you’re doing.

Create Space

Pasricha points out that we all need space in our lives devoid of thinking and doing, otherwise we can suffer from burnout, or stress-related illnesses. But how do we create that blank space in our calendars?

Pasricha argues that multi-tasking is impossible and that people are better off separating tasks and doing them one by one, with minimal distractions. He also brings up the idea of making shorter deadlines. People almost always leave projects until the last minute, so why don’t we squeeze out the time usually reserved for procrastination by bringing forward the deadline?

The amount of decisions we need to make on a daily basis can also affect how effective we are. By reducing the number of small decisions we need to make, we can free up our brainpower for larger, more important decisions. President Obama only had suits in two different colors, while ex-Navy SEAL Jocko Willink writes down what he’s going to do that day the evening before.

Just Do It

So much of our lives are spent thinking instead of doing. It can lead to the very real condition of ‘paralysis by analysis’.

Pasricha describes the relationship of being able to do something (can do), having motivation to do it (want to do), and doing it (do). Instead of viewing it as a linear relationship i.e. “I have to be able to do it, and want to do it, before I do it”, we can imagine it as a circular relationship that feeds back into itself. Therefore, we can start at any of the three conditions to get the momentum going. However, the one that is under our control the most is “Do”. By forcing yourself to do something even if you don’t want to or don’t think you’re able to, it actually makes the other two more likely to come true. This can be related to cold showers, training for a competition, or going to the gym.

Be You

“There’s nothing more satisfying than being loved for who you are and nothing more painful than being loved for who you’re not but pretending to be.”

Happiness can’t be achieved without authenticity. It’s so easy in the modern world to wear a mask, and be what people want you to be. But as Gandhi once said, “Happiness is when what you think, say and do are in harmony.” This may sound extremely difficult, but it’s actually quite simple if you forget about what other people will think of it.

One of the most impactful parts of The Happiness Equation is when Pasricha shares the The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, a book by Bronnie Ware, a palliative nurse from Australia. Here they are:

I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.

I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Hopefully we can learn from the dying by not making the same mistakes. In a nutshell, authenticity removes regret.

Don’t Take Advice

Customer: What’s the best dish on the menu?”

Waiter: The fettuccine alfredo.

Customer: I’ll go for the pizza please.

Why do we do this? We already know what we want, but we still ask for advice. Sometimes we take the advice instead of doing what we want, and we regret it. There is so much conflicting advice everywhere we look. What’s the healthiest diet? Should I buy an old car or a new one? Do I need to take supplements?

Pasricha highlights that there are conflicting clichés that we accept as true. Good things come to those who wait. But the early bird gets the worm. He who hesitates is lost. But look before you leap. There are countless other examples.

In the end, a combination of our heart and common sense will probably tell us what to do.

What was the biggest takeaway from this summary of The Happiness Equation? Let me know in the comments below!

Ed Cooke: Sometimes All You Need to Do is Sit on the Loo and Zoom Out

Ed Cooke is a certified Grandmaster of Memory that was featured on Tim Ferriss’ Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routine and Habits of Billionaires, Icons and World-Class Performers. The following excerpt has come in handy on several occasions since I first came across this.

It goes:

“When I was at school, I would lose a debating competition or discover that I was a loser in a more general sense. I had what I call, in a way, a ‘mind hack’. I’d be sitting on the loo or something and I’d just think, ‘Oh, everything feels terrible and awful. It’s all gone to shit.’ Then I’d consider, ‘But if you think about it, the stars are really far away,’ then you try to imagine the world from the stars. Then you sort of zoom in and you’re like, ‘Oh, there’s this tiny little character there for a fragment of time worrying about X.'”

We all experience problems. Sometimes though, we can focus on how it’s so terrible that the problem completely balloons out of proportion in the grand scale of life and the universe.

The above quote from Ed Cooke is a very simple, but powerful visualization. I tend to prefer imagining my body from a bird’s-eye view and zooming out slowly, like Google Maps would. I can then include other people in my mind’s eye as I zoom out further – neighbors, people driving their cars, farmers ploughing fields, office workers etc.

Through this visualization, we can understand how many other people occupy this world, and that they have problems too! So why aren’t we hung up on those people’s problems to the same degree, even though some (or most) of them are worse than ours? It’s the inflated sense of self-importance while simultaneously forgetting the interconnectedness of the world. Sometimes a brilliant way to solve our own problem is to solve somebody else’s.

A lot of our individual problems can come from self-consciousness. But sometimes we forget that it’s not only us that suffers from this, the whole world does to at least some degree. A simple example from my own life would be as a door-to-door salesman it used to be incredibly nerve-wracking to knock on someone’s door and speak to them. But once I recognized that the person who answered the door was probably just as nervous or scared of silly old me at the same time, it was much easier to relax. Sometimes we view every other person as formidable, competent, and confident, everyone except ourselves. But it’s important to remember – we all feel the same things, and we are all human.

The Four Agreements: Don’t Take Anything Personally

In three years of working in door-to-door sales, I realized that there is no way of lasting as long as I have without starting to believe that rejection is not personal.

When I first started in the job I would finish work with no sales and beat myself up for the rest of the evening about it. Everyone said no to me because I sucked at speaking, I sucked at listening, and I sucked at sales. Although this was almost certainly true, it was massively disempowering and my confidence levels were in freefall.

I eventually started getting a few sales and gradually started improving. Fast forward to my attitude today and it is completely transformed. If someone says no to my offering now, I just tell myself that they didn’t want it. Of course it’s a lot easier to say that now, knowing that I have sold close to 300 security systems.

The consequence of having this present attitude is that it’s stress-free. I know who I am and I’m secure in myself. Instead of coming home with the world on my shoulders, I just know that I will put the work in and I’ll get what I get. I’ll make hay while the sun is shining, and just place one foot in front of the other when results aren’t so good. But things will come good.

Taking things personally comes from the need to be accepted, the lack of self-identification and self-confidence. Occasionally, I will knock on someone’s door that will yell expletives, and be physically and verbally threatening. I stay calm, excuse myself from the situation and carry on to the next door. I know it’s not personal. Have they slept? How is their mental health? Is he or she just a terrible person? Whatever the answers are, none of it has anything to do with me. They’ve done what they’ve done because of them.

Say if someone lies to you. You get offended, and it ruins your day, or even your week. But that person probably lies to everyone, including themselves. It’s just part of their character. They’re the common denominator. So who’s really going to suffer in the end?

To take something personally is an imbalance of self-importance. It’s likely that if the same thing happened to someone else, they wouldn’t care the slightest bit (or at least not as much). The fact that it’s happened to them magnifies and exacerbates the situation.

To take something personally is to choose suffering over peace. Next time you encounter a choice to take something personally or not, which will you choose?

The Four Agreements: Be Impeccable With Your Word

The Four Agreements is a book of wisdom from a modern-day Toltec named Don Miguel Ruiz. Toltecs are an ancient tribe from Southern Mexico known for their knowledge and wisdom. Ruiz summarizes the Toltec philosophy through four agreements.

Ruiz says the first agreement – Be impeccable with your word – is the most important and most difficult one to honor.

Language is one of the most powerful tools that determines the course of our lives. Words have the power to create love and share joy, or spread hate and lie about others. Without using our word impeccably it would be extremely difficult to live a life of fulfilment.

An example of the extent that word can be used for evil is the rise of Nazism and the suffering caused by the word of just one man.

A seed is sown when someone first tells a child that they are ugly, stupid, or useless. From that point on, the child looks for evidence to defend this newly formed agreement. If they get something wrong in class it reinforces the belief that they’re stupid. If they anger their parent it reinforces the belief that they are useless.

Luckily these spells can be broken by evidence to the contrary, although it is arguably more difficult to break the spell than reinforce it. That’s why we live in a world where self-confidence, self-esteem and self-love are becoming harder and harder to preserve. The language that’s being used in our environment is the problem.

Gossip is something that occurs so often in normal life. We always want to talk about other people. But gossip is harmful, even if the person we are gossiping about never finds out. It spreads a negative energy and plants new negative beliefs in others. One way that I catch myself gossiping is by asking myself if I would say the same thing about the person I am talking about if they were present in the conversation too.

Even though it wasn’t mentioned in the book I also took this rule to mean: “Do what you say you’re going to do.” I believe that the more extensively a person can turn their words into action, the more fulfilled their life will end up being. Doing what you say on a consistent basis will build trust in yourself, and others will trust you too because you can be relied upon. The discipline and strength required will create the self-confidence, self-esteem and self-love that is a prerequisite for a good life.

Be impeccable with your word.

Donavin Rudnicki on How to Attract Women, Why Masturbation is Bad For You, and Building Confidence in Men

Whenever I see Donavin Rudnicki, I can tell when he’s up to no good. His blue eyes sharpen, and one eyebrow raises a bit more than the other. A half-smirk starts to form on his face. Donnie is a prankster, a YouTuber, and probably the best wingman you can have on a night out. He will walk up to a group of attractive women, and within seconds be captivating their attention while directing you to join in and then diverting all the positive attention to you. One of the first times I saw Donnie he was talking to a girl on the street, and she was smiling, playing with her hair and fully engaged. At 25 years of age, Donnie has slept with over 200 women. So when I met Donnie recently, I wanted him to share his thoughts on what he’s learned about how to attract women.


Donnie made a light joke when I remarked that he was probably the best pick-up artist I have seen. Donnie doesn’t take himself too seriously. Some of his pranks on his YouTube channel have me cringing on how embarrassing they are, including him wearing a thong out in public, and reading pick-up lines to unsuspecting people from a book borrowed from the library. He’s confident, funny and charismatic, but it wasn’t always that way. “Growing up I was the shyest kid in the world, I was literally the kid with the sweater vest. I never talked to a girl through high school,” Donnie explained. It was only when he started to read different books on how to talk to girls, and watch tutorial videos on Facebook that he started to build his confidence talking to girls. He would approach cute girls he saw in the supermarket. “I realised that a big part of it is confidence. If you don’t have the confidence you kind of have to fake it until you make it.”

I’m sure a lot of men never approach cute girls in the supermarket, but most probably wish they had enough confidence to do so. “For me it’s just being really authentic with women. No matter what, it’s never going to get easier to talk to a girl, but if I was feeling shy or not too brave, I would say ‘honestly, I don’t normally do this, I’m a really shy person but you’re adorable and I had to come say hi or I would regret it’. Putting yourself out there and being vulnerable like that can mean a lot to the right girl.”

“Putting yourself out there and being vulnerable like that can mean a lot to the right girl.”

But what if confidence or courage was lacking so much that this would induce feelings of nausea and panic? Where can someone like that start? Donnie has sympathy for people like that, and after all this used to be him. He understands that no-one ever gets taught how to talk to girls in school, and that romance films are unrealistic. “Don’t even focus on the girl right now,” Donnie advises. “Some of the times I met the cutest girls, I wasn’t even focusing on girls. I would be talking to the person at the cash register, the old lady on the street, or asking a stranger for the time. Eventually you realise that talking to a girl is like talking to a buddy of yours or your grandma, it’s not that big of a deal.” It seems like just by becoming familiar with talking to and being around attractive women, even the shyest men will eventually get used to it.

“Some of the times I met the cutest girls, I wasn’t even focusing on girls.”

A few quirky pick-up lines can be a good idea too. “You can’t just say hey do you want to fuck,” Donnie clarifies. “You have to say a funny pick-up line to differentiate from all the guys that say ‘hey can I buy you a drink, or hey do you come here much?’ It intrigues them and then you’re open to have a conversation where they’re going to be more receptive.”

But what about texting? It’s something that every modern man in the dating scene has to contend with. How can a man not regularly get ‘ghosted’ by women that are texting ten guys at the same time? Donnie says it’s all about relating the text message to the conversation you initially had when you got their number. “You don’t want to say ‘hi, how are you, how’s your day going’, you have to be a little bit more fun. You don’t want them to look at the message, you want them picturing the person they were talking to before. Girls will appreciate you working a bit harder, standing out.”

So say if you can talk to an attractive girl, how do you get from an enjoyable conversation to going in for a kiss? “There’s a thing called indicators of interest, like if you’re talking to a girl and she’s playing with her hair, she is touching your arm, or if you’re physically close with the girl. Eye contact is huge, you will never kiss a girl without eye contact. It triggers something within them deep in the evolutionary part of their brain. If they’re looking down at your lips, then they’re thinking about kissing you.” At that point you should just lean in and go for it.

“You will never kiss a girl without eye contact.”

We then started talking about why so many men seem to have trouble with women. “A big part of it comes from being dependent on a female for their own happiness. A lot of guys don’t have their shit together.” Donnie explains that the basics for any guy is to go to the gym, eat healthily, wake up at good times and build good habits. “If you go on a date and she finds out you just masturbate and watch porn all the time, have no friends or social circle, don’t do anything… how would you feel if you met a girl that was kind of overweight and had nothing going for her? You wouldn’t be attracted to her either. Once you start getting your shit together, your confidence will come. Girls will see that and they will be more receptive to you. You have to slowly build your life up and work on yourself.”

“How would you feel if you met a girl that was kind of overweight and had nothing going for her? You wouldn’t be attracted to her either.”

One of the biggest things that is destroying masculinity and sex drive is the modern day is masturbation and pornography. “There’s a thing called instant gratification,” Donnie starts. “Watching porn teaches people instant gratification.” And this isn’t the type of thing men want to learn. “It’s unrealistic, it’s unnatural, so it is really damaging young men. As for masturbation, a lot of your testosterone and confidence is built up [from refraining from masturbation]. Every time you masturbate you’re throwing that [confidence] away. Refraining from masturbation will teach your mind to be a lot more confident and a lot more focused. You can use the built up sexual energy in other areas of your life. In the book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill, there’s a chapter on that,” recalls Donnie. “Every time you masturbate you subconsciously tell your mind you have passed your genes on when you haven’t.”

“Every time you masturbate you subconsciously tell your mind you have passed your genes on when you haven’t.”

Like any regular guy, Donnie has been in love. But he also has important lessons for anyone who has dealt with rejection and break-ups. “I fell head over heels with her. Things ended pretty shortly after it began. I thought I loved her a lot, and it was really hard getting back out there. I think the biggest thing is just realising that there are more girls out there and she wasn’t the one for me.”

Donnie is happy that he took the courage and time to become better than most men at attracting women. “It’s definitely given me a lot of confidence, so if I meet the right girl, I am in a better position [than if I didn’t have the experience]. The way Donnie sees it is that he is willing to have 10,000 rejections in order to find and attract the woman of his dreams. “It’s not your fault if you’re not good at attracting women, but it is your duty to get better at it”.

“It’s not your fault if you’re not good at attracting women, but it is your duty to get better at it”.

In the end, Donnie believes the most important part about attracting women has nothing to do with women. “If you’re unhappy with your job and your life, [she] can tell right away so a big thing would be to be more honest with yourself. Look for a job or career that you want to do for the rest of your life and go for it. Go on an adventure, be more daring.” In our conversation Donnie has used the word ‘purpose’ several times. “Find your purpose. She has to know that no matter what happens, you know what you want and you can be a good provider and she will be taken care of spiritually, emotionally, physically. Have your shit together enough so that you exude that, and it will make a world of difference.”

You can find more of Donnie on YouTube @DonDoIt and on Instagram
What are your biggest struggles with attracting women? What the best things you’ve done to attract women?