KB#21 - The Friday Four - Golden Handcuffs

mindset mindset advice the friday 4 Jun 30, 2023

Read Time: 6 Minutes

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#1 - Rothbard’s Law


Rothbard's Law states, "People tend to specialise in what they're worst at."

Sounds counterintuitive, right? But think about it.

  • The comedian who insists on being a dramatic actor.
  • The religious leader who can't resist commenting on science.
  • The manager with the charisma of a wet blanket that insists on leading the team-building retreat.

We've all seen it.

Rothbard's Law isn't about incompetence; it's about our strange tendency to undervalue our natural talents and chase after the things we struggle with.

If something comes easy to us, we often dismiss it as unremarkable.

But the things we can't do?

Those become our white whales, the challenges we're determined to conquer, even if they're completely outside our areas of expertise.

This law adds a new layer to the age-old debate about focusing on strengths versus weaknesses.

Should we hone what we're good at or strive to improve where we fall short?

Rothbard's Law suggests that we might not even recognise our strengths, and even if we do, we might find them boring compared to the allure of the unknown.

So, what's the takeaway here?

It's a reminder to value your natural talents and not to undervalue them.

It's about recognising that the things you find easy might be the things you're truly exceptional at.

And perhaps most importantly, it's about understanding that the thrill of the unknown, while enticing, isn't always the path to fulfilment or success.

Sometimes, the real magic happens when we lean into our strengths and push their boundaries rather than venturing into a field where we have no map.


#2 - Golden Handcuffs


Ever heard of golden handcuffs?

No, it's not some fancy piece of jewellery…

It describes the situation when you're stuck in a well-paying job you despise because the pay is too good to let go.

Sound familiar?

Picture this: You're earning a hefty salary, enjoying company-paid holidays, and got a corner office with an enviable skyline view.

But every morning, your dreaded alarm clock goes off, and it's time to go to work.

Now some of you might be thinking, are you nuts? That sounds like a dream!"

The dream quickly morphs into a nightmare when you're not passionate about what you're doing.

And passion is not something that can be bought. You can't just Amazon Prime it.

I want to share this quote with you.

"I'd rather work 80hrs in a job I love than 40hrs in a job I hate."

Spot on. Life isn't just about racking up zeros in your bank account.

It's about pursuing your passions, doing what you love, and getting genuine fulfilment out of it.

Before I go any further, let's clear something up…

This doesn't mean you must quit your job right now, sell all your possessions, and live in a van down by the river.

This is about recognising if you're stuck in the golden handcuffs and figuring out how to unlock them.

Here's a super-simple exercise to get you started:

  1. Write down what you love doing.
  2. Write down what you’re good at.
  3. Write down what the world needs.

Now look for the intersection of these three points.

That's your sweet spot.

That's the place where you should be aiming to position yourself.

Remember, it’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon. Slowly but surely, start spending more time on the things that fill your soul with joy.

Take a class, read a book, start a side hustle, do a weekend project - just get your feet wet!

The best part? It's completely okay if you don't nail it on the first try. It took me a lot of flops before I found my groove.

But when you land there, you won't look back.

Because, believe it or not, the grass IS sometimes greener on the other side.

So, do yourself a favour: unlock those golden handcuffs.

Stop living a life of "should" and start living a life of "must."

Life's too short to spend it on something you don't love.


#3 - A Successful Person


I recently came across a quote that slapped me right in the face with its powerful truth:

"A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at them."

Wham! Powerful stuff, right?

If you're anything like me, you've faced your share of criticism, rejection, and downright negativity.

I've been there, and so have some of the world's most successful people.

But here's the catch - successful folks don't let those bricks shatter them; they use them as building blocks.

Now you might be thinking, how the heck do I do that?" Well, my friend, I'm glad you asked!

Turn Criticism into Feedback:

The bricks they throw? That's criticism. Instead of letting it knock you down, treat it as constructive feedback. If someone says, "Your product sucks," ask them why they think that. You might just learn how to make it better.

Failure is a Goldmine:

Yep, you heard me right. Every brick of failure has valuable lessons tucked inside. Analyse your failures. Dig deep. Unearth the nuggets of wisdom hidden within.

Be a Brick Collector:

Hold on to every brick thrown your way. Even if it doesn't seem useful now, it might prove valuable later. When a challenge comes up, think, "Wait, I've got a brick for that!"

Build Your Foundation:

Use these bricks to build a strong foundation for success. The more bricks you gather, the more solid your base becomes.

Remember, success isn't always about being the smartest or the most talented.

It's about resilience. It's about taking the bricks life throws at you and saying, "Thanks, I needed that for my foundation."

Embrace the bricks. Let them motivate you. Let them make you stronger.

Then, when you're standing on top of your success, built brick by brick, you'll appreciate the view even more because you know what it took to get there.


#4 - Space Rockets


Did you know a space rocket consumes a staggering 11,000 pounds of fuel per second during liftoff?

That's like burning the weight of 2 elephants every second! (Crazy, huh?)

But once it reaches orbit?

Nada. Zilch. Zero.

It doesn't consume any more fuel. The rocket is just...there.

Floating effortlessly in the infinite void, cruising along at a cool 17,500 miles per hour.

And then it struck me - isn't that the same with our journey to success?

When we first start out - whether it's a business, a new job, a fitness regime, or learning a skill - it feels like we're burning 11,000 pounds of our fuel every second.

We're pulling all-nighters, juggling tasks, meeting with clients, and everything in between.

We're practically living off coffee and the pure adrenaline of starting something new.

In that phase, every single thing feels monumental.

There are days when you feel like you're swimming against a never-ending tide, and you might even ask yourself, "Is this even worth it?"

You're burning so much fuel, and yet the finish line still feels miles away.

But here's the thing - the rocket doesn't keep burning fuel forever.

After it breaks free from the Earth's atmosphere, things get...smoother. Easier.

Just like our journey to success.

When you stick with it, when you keep pushing through the challenges and learning from the missteps, something magical happens.

You reach your own orbit - your stride, your groove, your sweet spot.

You start to understand the lay of the land. Your network expands. You build up your skills.

You start to trust in your own decisions.

You find shortcuts. You become more efficient, and things that used to take you days, now take just hours.

Suddenly, you're not burning through your fuel anymore. You're cruising.

You're using less effort, but you're making greater progress.

You've reached the point where your momentum carries you forward.

So, if you're at the start of your journey, feeling like you're burning up way too much fuel, just remember...

You're a space rocket on its way to orbit.

And trust me, the view from up there?

It's worth every drop of fuel you've burned.



👉 Rothbard's Law: we love to suck. We shun easy wins and crave the tough stuff. But the real magic? Owning our strengths.

👉 Golden handcuffs: stuck in a cushy job you hate? Write down loves, skills, and what the world needs. Start slow, fail, and refine. Lose the "should", and embrace the "must". Life's too short for meh.

👉 Success is using bricks others throw as your foundation." Criticism? Your constructive feedback. Failure? A goldmine of lessons. Be a brick hoarder; build resilience.

👉 Ever felt like a rocket, burning tons of fuel to lift off? That's you, starting a venture, hustling hard, and feeling drained. But rockets don't burn forever. Reach your orbit - your groove - and you're cruising with momentum carrying you.


I hope you enjoyed this week's Friday Four; see you next Friday for another instalment.

Jay Alderton


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