Last week I turned 30. Unlike most people, I do like getting older. 10 years ago, I was a complete idiot.
Now, a decade later, I still know nothing, but I do feel more in control of my life. I thank that personal growth to an idea I stole from Socrates, the person who was once named the wisest man on earth by the Oracle of Delphi.
When Socrates heard that the oracle had made such a comment, he believed that the statement was wrong. Socrates said:
“I know one thing: that I know nothing.”
How can the smartest man on earth know nothing? I heard this paradoxical wisdom for the first time from my school teacher when I was 14 or 15. That humility made such an impact on me that I used Socrates’s quote as my learning strategy.
Have you ever been let down by a colleague who you thought was a friend? Or how about getting drunk at the office party? If so, you’re not alone.
But here’s the thing: You can’t mix your professional and personal life. And that’s not a great thing to hear, right? We all desperately want to have a great time at work. And I get it.
You spend more time at work than any other place in your life, so it’s important to enjoy what you do. But doing what you love and workplace rules are two different things.
That took me a long time to understand. Granted, I’m a stubborn idiot who has to learn things the hard way. But one thing I’ve learned about the workplace is this: Things are not what they seem.
I’m the last person to say that life is easy. I don’t think that’s the case at all. But there’s one thing I’ve learned in recent years that changed everything.
They way you THINK determines the outcome of your life. But thinking is hard. That’s why we don’t do it often enough. Helen Keller said it best:
“People don’t like to think, if one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant.”
I’ll show you 15 thoughts about life that will forever transform the way you live. Ready? Let’s go.
I’m completely new to this whole podcasting. I’m a podcast virgin.
And in the first episode, I talk too fast, say weird stuff, and ramble for way too long. I also recorded it, edited it, and even made the music for it with Garageband. It’s safe to say my podcast is not perfect.
Will it improve? Probably. But we have to see how it goes. Do I enjoy it? Do people enjoy it? Should I pivot? Or maybe even quit? Questions I always ask when I do something. And I encourage you to do the same for everything you do.
Anyway, if you’re curious to hear my podcast, in the first episode I answer these questions:
- “How do you rationalize (or not) doing something that others are already very good at? In my case, starting a small business.”
- “What did you learn from Seneca’s Letters From A Stoic?”
- “How do you deal with the emotional roller coaster of life?”
Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes (iOS), Google Music (Android), or Stitcher (iOS and Android):
And if you want me to answer your question, email me: email@example.com.
With every conversation I have, book I read, mistake I make, and new knowledge I acquire, I feel less sure about everything.
French philosopher Voltaire said it best:
“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”
When I got my first degree in business, nine years ago, I was certain I knew nothing. So I got a master’s degree after that. That took me about two more years.
Still, I knew nothing. So after that, I did my best to learn from mentors, family, business partners, clients, friends, colleagues. I tried to absorb all their knowledge.
Note: I recently shared this exercise only with the readers of my newsletter. I thought I’d post it here too.
Do you ever worry about things you don’t control?
If you do, join the club. It happens to all of us.
But worrying is waste of time and energy. I’ll show you a little exercise from my book Win Your Inner Battles that helps you to stop worrying.
Imagine the following situation: You make a mistake at work that upsets a client.
Maybe you send someone a wrong email. Maybe you forget to solve a problem. It doesn’t matter what it is. Imagine that something goes seriously wrong at work.
Every time I tell people I run, they ask: “Are you training for a marathon?” Or they ask if I’ve ever run a marathon.
Somehow, most of us believe that running a marathon is the ultimate benchmark of running. I used to think that too.
The ‘Marathon’ story is probably one of the most well know stories in the world. The most mythical version goes like this:
The Persians were battling the Greeks in the fifth century B.C. And at the Battle Of Marathon, the Athenian army was outnumbered four to one. There was a full-on battle going on at Marathon.