KB#22 - The Friday Four - The 4 Forgotten Harsh Truths

mindset mindset advice the friday 4 Jul 07, 2023

Read Time: 6 Minutes

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A few months ago, I filmed a video titled “4 Harsh Truths” and it did pretty well on Tik Tok with almost 3,000,000 views.

click here to watch

Something I didn’t mention was the video should have been “8 Harsh Truths” but it took us an entire day to film just 4 ha ha.

I just stumbled on the other 4 in my notes, and since this is the “Friday 4”, I thought this would be the perfect time to show them.

Let’s get into it…


#1 - Life’s a game

Ever heard of Alan Watts?

He's a legendary philosopher, a master wordsmith, and an all-around cool dude.

He's got this one quote that I'm absolutely in love with:

"This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realise it is play."

It's a simple idea, but if you unpack it, it's really profound.

Let's break it down.


Completely Engaged in the Here and Now

Imagine sitting in front of your laptop, totally in the zone.

You're not worried about your dentist appointment tomorrow, nor are you reliving that embarrassing moment from the pub last Saturday.

You're just right here, right now, doing your thing!

Sounds nice, right? That's what being completely engaged in the present moment feels like.

It's not some mythical state of enlightenment but a state of being where you're truly present.

But how does that relate to happiness and success?

Well, think about it. When you're completely engaged in something, there's no room for stress, anxiety, or fear.

There's just you and the task at hand.

That kind of focus and presence can't help but lead to quality work, and quality work leads to success.

And the happiness part? When you're fully engaged, you're not fretting about the future or mulling over the past.

You're fully immersed in the joy of the present moment.

It's a kind of simple, pure happiness that's hard to find elsewhere.


Instead of Work, Realise It Is Play

Alright, this part might feel a little trickier.

We're conditioned to see work as this boring thing we have to do to pay the bills.

But what if we started looking at it as play instead?

When you're playing, you're experimenting, exploring, and having fun.

You're not worried about the outcome because you're too busy enjoying the process.

Now imagine bringing that kind of energy to your work.

It doesn't mean you must start seeing your budget reports as a round of Monopoly.

It's about changing your mindset and attitude.

It's about finding joy, creativity, and curiosity in what you're doing.

And just like being present, seeing work as play leads to both success and happiness.

Because when you enjoy what you do, you're more likely to do a kick-ass job at it.

And doing a kick-ass job at something you love? That's the recipe for success.

So, go out there and be present. See your work as play. Engage with the world around you.

And let happiness and success follow.


#2 - If you don’t love yourself, then no one else will

Let me tell you a juicy tidbit from success coach Robin Sharma about Kanye West.

(before Kayne was cancelled and went a bit…. you know..)

Picture this: a decade ago, Kanye's friend visited his house and encountered an enormous poster of Kanye in the living room.

His friend asks, "Kanye, why do you have a huge poster of yourself?"

Kanye replies, "If I don't love myself, then who else will?."

Yes, it sounds slightly narcissistic and a little out of touch

(considering how Kanye's life has unfolded, the wisdom of this statement is debatable)

But buried in there is a nugget of truth relevant to each of us.

Self-love isn't just about a positive self-image or healthy self-esteem.

It's the foundation for our happiness and success in life.

How can you expect others to do the same if you can't love and respect yourself?

Now, let's think about success.

What is a success, really? Money, fame, power? Maybe.

But isn't it also about waking up excited to do what you do every morning?

Isn't it about being content with who you are and where you're at?

That's where self-love comes into play.

When you love yourself, you're more likely to pursue what makes you genuinely happy.

You're less likely to settle for less, and you're more likely to take risks because you know, in your heart, that you're capable of achieving great things.

It sets the tone for everything else in your life.

So, when you're chasing success, ask yourself, "Do I love who I am and what I'm doing? Am I proud of the path I'm on?"

If your answer is a resounding yes, then buckle up, my friend!

You're on the right track to achieving true success and happiness.


#3 - I Already Know That…

I'm pretty sure you’ve heard this quote from Epictetus, the big-time Stoic philosopher:

"It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows."

If not, well, now you have.

This quote...oh boy! It’s loaded.

It’s deep.

It's like an onion with layers upon layers of wisdom.

But what does it mean for you?

How can it help you on your personal development journey and lead you to the success you crave?

First things first: to "know" something means to have it in your brain - packed away, neatly organised in the file cabinet of your mind.

There's no room for questions or doubts; it's rock solid.

But this “knowing” can turn into a trap.

When you “know” something, you stop being curious about it, stop questioning it, and stop exploring it.

And that, my friend, is where the danger lies.

The stuff that we learn, that we "know," changes.

The world is not a static place. The way things worked ten years ago isn't how they work today.

Think of the fax machine: a groundbreaking invention at its time, extinct now!

Epictetus was on to something when he warned us against this arrogance of thinking we already know.

He was telling us to keep a learner's mindset.

If you think you know everything about a subject, you close off any opportunity to learn more.

And that’s a fast track to stagnation in a world where the only constant is change.

So, how can we ditch this detrimental "know-it-all" mindset and embrace the humble "learner’s" mindset?

Well, it’s simple - not easy, but simple.

  1. Question Everything: Don't just take things for granted. If you think you "know" something, challenge it. Ask why it is the way it is, how it came to be, and if it can be improved.
  2. Embrace Mistakes: Remember when you were a kid, and every fall was just a step closer to walking? Well, learning is the same. Don’t let the fear of mistakes stop you from trying new things.
  3. Stay Curious: Keep that childlike wonder alive. Ask questions, explore, and dig deep. You’ll be amazed at the new ideas and possibilities that unfold.

The journey of success and personal development is never-ending.

There's no final destination because there's always something more to learn, always a higher level to reach. But, with the right mindset - the learner's mindset - it's one hell of an exciting journey.

Take it from Epictetus and countless successful people after him:

You can't learn what you think you already know.

So, throw out the "I already know this" attitude, put on your learner’s hat, and see how far it takes you.


#4 - Master Your Emotions, Master Your Future

What a rollercoaster of a week!

Just when you think you've got everything buttoned up and running smoothly, life throws you a solid uppercut.

What was supposed to be attending a charity boxing match last weekend turned into my own personal bout with Covid.

How's that for a plot twist?

Not to worry, though.

I've been feeling oddly productive with a good helping of rest and Netflix binge-watching.

But here's where things got a little testing...

A couple of days ago, I was casually scrolling through my comments when I found one particularly salty person who's apparently sick of watching my content.

Their parting gift?

A not-so-pleasant mention in the comments section announcing their grand exit.

(I never get why people have the need to tell the world about their unfollow but each to their own)

In my semi-delirious, mildly emotional Covid-state, I whipped up a hilarious video roasting this discontented soul.

The old me would've loved this.

It was a masterful mix of wit, humour, and just a dash of sassiness.

It would have been an epic mic drop moment.

But, as I was about to hit the 'post' button, something hit me...

And it's a golden nugget of wisdom I want to share with you all today:

"Master Your Emotions, Master Your Future."

See, the thing about personal development and success isn't always about taking the easy shots or winning every fight.

It's about understanding how our actions and reactions impact not just us but everyone around us.

My knee-jerk reaction to this guy was to fire back, to get the last laugh.

But in doing so, I wouldn't have made the world any better.

I wouldn't have uplifted anyone or made someone's day brighter.

At that moment, I chose to master my emotions instead.

I stepped back and didn't let my own vulnerability drive my decision.

I didn't post the video.

And that, my friends, is the secret sauce.

That's the key to success and personal development.

We all have moments of weakness when our emotions are heightened or raw.

But our choice of how we handle those moments defines us.

Instead of fanning the flames, I decided to be the bigger person.

Because, in the end, our goal is to leave people better when they find us.

(even if that person is a bellend...)

When we master our emotions, we gain control over our future.

We can direct our energy towards being better, doing better, and making a positive impact.



👉  Life is a game: Find out the rules and get good at the games you want to play

👉  Learn to Love Yourself: When you love yourself, you're more likely to pursue what makes you genuinely happy.

👉 You can't learn what you think you already know. Question everything and stay curious

👉  Master Your Emotions, Master Your Future. Just because someone says something that upsets you doesn’t mean that you need to respond. Those who shout hate are usually looking for help.


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

Jay Alderton

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