Last year I decided to make a list of the most important life lessons I had learned until then. I had no idea that a year later, the article was viewed more than two million times.
The article is a reader’s favorite. And I still get emails about the article almost every week. So I thought I’d create an audio version of it, narrated by me.
After the audio article, I talk about how and why I wrote the article. So if you’re interested in behind the scenes, stick around until after the audio article.
If you want to read along, you can find the post below the audio. Enjoy!
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Hi there, superhero! How are you? Working on a lot of projects simultaneously? Planning a holiday? Taking care of the family? Paying the bills? Hitting the gym every day? Going out with friends? And always solving problems that are not even yours?
I bet you’re doing it all. But here’s the thing: You’re not a superhero. So quit acting like one. You can’t do everything by yourself.
For a while, I thought I was Superman by doing almost everything in my business. On top of that, I also thought I could write blog posts, create online courses, podcasts episodes, and YouTube videos.
There’s a very fine line between boredom and having a burnout.
Conventional wisdom says that you should jump outside your comfort zone to reach the ‘magic.’ I never understood that saying. What magic are we talking about? Unicorns? Men from Mars? An orgasm? What? I don’t know.
Here’s the thing: I’ve tried leaping out of my comfort zone, and it didn’t work out for me. However, I’ve also tried to take things very slowly. That also didn’t work out for me. I’ve found that you need a balance between challenge and comfort. And that’s a very, very, difficult thing to do.
The reason is that doing challenging things requires skill (see drawing above). The more challenging the task, the more skill you need. The problem with taking huge leaps is that you don’t have the skills to address the challenge.
I love practical advice that you can immediately apply to your life. And Zen, a school of Mahayana Buddhism, is full of practical wisdom.
When I tell my friends, colleagues, and people I work with that I like reading about Zen Buddhism, they often make remarks like: “When are you going to grow your hair, walk around bare feet, and talk about yoga all day?”
That’s the hipster way of life. Not the Zen way.
What is Zen, actually? To be honest, I don’t know. It’s not a religion, belief, or piece of knowledge.
Have you ever turned down a project, job offer, or client just because you didn’t like them? If you haven’t, you’re not the only one.
It takes a lot of guts to turn down money. I remember one time at our family business; my dad refused to sell to a prospect. The team and I didn’t understand it. We thought: “They want to pay good money. Why not accept it?”
“Because they are assholes,” my dad said.
Fair play, I thought. The truth is that it was way more complicated than that. My dad had worked with that company before in the past. And he also knew others who worked with them. Apparently, they were a “supplier hopper.”
Sometimes you sit down somewhere — maybe in a coffee shop, at the office, or in front of your TV — and out of nowhere, a thought pops up in your mind:
“Why am I not farther in life than now?”
Maybe you thought you’d have kids by now. A business that would make a lot of money. Or that you were a well-respected person that makes a difference in the world. Maybe you thought you’d own a house by now. And that you had everything figured out.
But none of that shit has happened.
Do you know that feeling of waking up tired? Or coming home from a day’s work completely paralyzed by fatigue? Sometimes you just feel like doing nothing, right?
- “I don’t feel like working.”
- “I don’t feel like doing groceries.”
- “I don’t feel like going to the gym.”
- “I don’t feel like taking public transportation.”
I feel you. I’ve been there. And now and then, I’m still there. But what if I told you that you’re wasting your life with that attitude?