Self-awareness is currently one of the sexiest words in entrepreneurship, happiness, productivity, or anything that has to do with personal growth.
Almost every entrepreneur or thought leader says that self-awareness is one of the keys to personal success. While that may be true — it’s by no means a new concept.
Greek philosopher Aristotle, who lived between 384–322 BC, once said:
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
We get it, self-awareness (or knowing yourself) is important. But I’ve learned that it’s also one of the most difficult things that you can master in life.
One of my first jobs was as a telemarketer for a telecom provider. It was basically cold-calling people all day, trying to sell them mobile contracts
I picked things up quickly and became the top performing salesperson on the floor. In my first month, I made at least five sales a day, which was more than double of what others sold.
People praised me big time. It also got to my head big time. By my fourth month, I got into a big slump. During one stretch, I didn’t sell anything for almost two weeks.
Have you ever experienced a setback that seemed to suck the life out of you? Bad things happen to us.
And it’s not a question of if something bad will happen, but when. So you better have a strategy to deal with setbacks.
We all have to deal with hurt, sadness, and loss in our lives. That’s a given. So it is not important to ask yourself why bad things happen.
As Epictetus said about 2000 years ago:
“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”
We collectively believe in a lot of myths. One of them is that your life only makes sense if you do what you love. That might be true, but the pursuit of your passion can be equally satisfying, which is something we often overlook.
Casey Neistat is an awesome YouTuber and entrepreneur. In his vlogs, he often talks about how much he loves his work (most recently here). And he advocates the belief of “find a job that you love and you don’t have to work for a day in your life.”
He’s not the only one who believes that. Many artists, athletes, entrepreneurs believe the same.
Do you spend the majority of your day at your desk? And do find it difficult to concentrate throughout the day? There’s a simple solution to improve your productivity and focus.
“How can I get more stuff done without being distracted?”
That’s a question I often get.
It’s human nature: We always want to improve output.
For machines it’s straightforward: You improve speed. Machines get faster and better every day. But what about your personal productivity?
Do you ever feel hurt by what people say about you? Well, it’s a part of life, so you better get used to it.
I’m amazed by how quickly people get upset. And I’m not talking about getting upset about real things like disease, death, not having food.
I’m talking about the small stuff of daily life. Why are our feelings hurt when the littlest things happen?
- Someone disagrees with you.
- A coworker says something bad about you.
- Someone always is ‘lucky’ and you are not.
- Your friend stabs you in the back.
- You don’t like your job.
- People don’t like your art.
Do you know that feeling of being so busy that time flies with a blink of an eye? We’re so busy with all kinds of things—work, friends, going out, holidays, etc. But being busy is not a good thing at all.
The other day, one of my best friends, Antonio, had his birthday.
We know each other since we were 14 or 15 years old. For the past years we both lived in different places over the world (he’s in Lisbon now) so we haven’t seen each other for a few years — but he’s still like a brother to me. And we always talk to each other on our birthdays. It’s a ritual.