In 1919 Germany was forced to sign the treaty of Versailles. The demands forced upon the nation were heavy, damaging and embarrassing. The nation only paid off their final WWI debt in October 2010, 90 years after the war had ended.
Let's go back again though, this time to 1929. The world is in the throws of the first Great Depression, the US is in ruins as the stock market crashes. The US is forced to collect it's overdue debts from Germany leaving the country in ruin.
German unemployment hits 15%, people are literally sleeping, starving and dieing on the street. The small sums of money the government does have are being used to pay off the immense fines imposed by surrounding nations affected by WWI.
I should also point out that Germany is still a young country at this point, barely 50 years old and already in deep debt with little sense of pride or identity.
Cue a young and brilliant speaker with an unshakable vision of a proud and powerful Germany. A Germany that fits squarely at the top of the world, a nation that innovates, engineers and progresses all areas of science, technology, economy & lifestyle.
This young man goes on to convince the German people that they deserve more, that they are worth more and that with hard work & dedication they will receive more.
He fulfils his promise's;
-making breakthroughs in science that changed the world.
-advancing the German infrastructure implementing structures like the Autobahn, Germany's first highway system.
-Grows the economy and creates millions of job opportunities thus reducing the countries staggering unemployment levels.
These three breakthroughs alone could be considered impressive for a country drenched in debt and depression. But, our young leader also caused the development of Volkswagen, Jet Propulsion & Rocket Engines.
By anyone's standards these achievements could be considered massive success, you could go ahead and argue that this young man has had a highly successful life. This young mans name was Adolf Hitler and he would go on to spur the German people to war destroying Europe as it was known.
Hitler's war would end the reign's of the most powerful empires in the world, end the lives of 6 million innocent people through unprovoked invasion & commit atrocities that would change the world forever. Hitler showed humanity what unchecked greed, bigotry and hatred could do when paired with an unstoppable drive for success.
Adolf Hitler was probably not always this way. WWII may have never happened if Adolf had simply applied different metrics to measure his success & combined these metrics with empowering values that embedded positive change on the world rather than tyranny.
Today we explore Success & how to apply better metrics to measure up your life. This blog will be split into three actionable steps that have helped me apply better values and metrics to measure my life and my success. I hope they help you to.
- J -
Step 001 - Realize That You Are Nothing Special
On the 10th January 2016 one of the most iconic pop artists of our time died from liver cancer. Know who I am talking about? Probably not. His name was David Bowie and the news of his death was forgotten within a week!
You could argue that David Bowie was special right? Then why was his death only trending on social media for less than a week. Because my friends, none of us are fu*king special. Not me, Not Paulo, not you, not Stephen Hawking and not even Kanye West or Kim Kardasian.
Realising this may just help you truly achieve something special, in David Bowie's case his special creation (music) will live on long after his death.
In society we grow up being told; 'you are special.' As children we are told that losing is still OK, that we are great in other ways. Hell teachers even give us trophies just for participating and losing.
As we grow older we are convinced by the media that we deserve more, that we are all special in our own way. We reach adulthood thinking, 'I am special and important. I won't lose ever (because you never did as a kid so why should you now).'
We go into situations thinking we deserve the reward before we even put in the work (because we have been told our whole lives that we are special and we deserve more).
Here's the punch line guys; You aren't special! No matter who you are or what you do you are not special. Once you can come to grasps with this counter intuitive way of thinking your damaging sense of entitlement will start to disappear and you will start taking responsibility for every single thing that happens in your life.
Step 001 - Remove your sense of entitlement, realize that you are not special & replace your entitlement with complete responsibility for every aspect of your life.
Relevant - Bro Weekly 18
Step 002 - Replace Your Bad Values with Good Values
When I was 23 years old, and recently single I took pride in going out with a stack of cash and throwing my money at alcohol, cocaine and ecstacy.
Chatting up some insecure young 20 something girl, buying her a drink and taking her home for some meaningless sex and a fifth of vodka just to ease the following mornings hangover. I would spend the following few days feeling like a piece of sh*t with no clue why. "I know what will help?" I would think to myself, "In 5 days, when the weekend arrives. I will just do it all again."
I got into a downward spiral fuelled by my skewed values; become a cash rich baller, spend money on material things that would give me status, assume that I am better than everyone else & lie to make myself seem more attractive to single girls.
Safe to say these values got me nowhere fast and only fuelled my sense of entitlement. This resulted in a deep depression that would plague me in moments I was alone. In essence, I hated myself.
The values we choose to follow are crucial in achieving true success in our lives. We must constantly compare our actions to the good values that we set for ourselves and strive to live by them each day. What are good values though? And, what are the crap values I should replace?
Crap Values & what to replace them with
"Crap values can be identified as; superstitious, socially destructive and not immediately controllable" (The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, Mark Manson).
Seeking momentary pleasures; meals out, new netflix movies, takeaways, casual sex, drugs & alcohol may fix our basic human needs at the time but they have a nasty side effect. Momentary pleasure ends leaving a person wanting more, the next fix. This results in the downward spiral I mentioned above. A spiral that results in no lasting pleasure and no true sense of achievement.
Try replacing pleasure with contribution & passion. Find something that can help positively change or affect the world/your immediate community or even one person. Start investing your time and energy normally spent chasing pleasure into this new project. Soon the passion will develop. You can harness the motivation from that passion and improve on your contributions.
Money! Money! Money! The expectation nowadays is always to make money. People will give up their passions to make a little bit more money, give up their loved ones just to work overtime and afford them new "yeezy's."
Sh*t people will even give up time.. time, to pursue something they hate just to make a bit more money so they can buy that bottle of Veuve tonight and show their apparent friends how happy all their money makes them. Can you see the problem?
Money is necessary but it is not everything and it sure isn't a value you should measure your life against. Replace your focus on material success with a focus on creation. Create something lasting and something that inspires others. Build a business, start a charity, create art, write a book or get into photography.
As you improve over the years, turn your new found passion for creation into a business model and turn it into your life's work. Continue creating things that benefit others and fuel your values for contribution & passion.
Inability to Admit Error:
You are wrong! I am wrong! We are all wrong! Sh*t does that mean this blog is wrong? Maybe. But it is probably less wrong than always being right. That's a bit of a mind f*ck isn't it.
What I am trying to say is more simple I promise. Being wrong is normal, being wrong most of the time is normal, it is admitting that we are wrong that human beings tend to struggle with. I do, all the time. Admitting failure is tough but the growth that we can experience in doing so is tremendously beneficial to our learning and overall happiness.
Replace your stubbornness with honesty. When you are in an argument or have a stern point of view that you do not want to fold on just take a moment and think; am I actually right or am I just arguing to prolong my own humiliation and failures.
If the latter is true then chances are you are wrong. Be open, honest and admit defeat overtime you will benefit massively from your new found openness.
I am constantly told by those around me that my presence in their life makes them happy because I am always happy and positive. I am humbled to hear it and grateful that I am improving the lives of those around me. but it simply is not true.
I am sad all the time, probably more so than I am happy but my secret is that I am OK with that. NO ONE is ever happy all the time! If they tell you they are, well that's just bullsh*t.
Sadness is an important part of life that generally accompanies a failure of some sort: break up, lost job, failed interview, bankruptcy, family death or the last episode of Game of Thrones coming to an end.
Replace your value in constant happiness with a value for the lessons gained from sadness. You will learn to embrace and almost crave sadness when you realize the benefits and learning you gain through the associated failure/s.
Step 002 - Replace your bad values with values that are based on reality. Values that contribute in a positive way, revolve around honesty & favor creation/passion over money/material wealth.
Step 003 - Measure your success against your new values.
Step 003 is the easiest step. You have gone through the transformational period in Steps 001 & 002 now you just need to associate pleasure with your new values and continue to measure yourself up against these new Life Metrics (the values).
Know your values like the back of your hand, have them written, typed and recorded so you can reference them everyday. Every decision you make and every action you take should then be measured against these new metrics.
If you commit to these values you are probably going to notice something huge. You are going to feel happier, more confident in yourself, more motivated and... More successful in Life.
The reason is simple; the bad values that you used to measure yourself up against are impossible to ever truly reach. There will always be more money to make, always another girl/guy to have meaningless sex with and always another high to chase. Being positive all the time is near impossible so failure leaves you broken and in pieces.
Honesty is constant, contributing can be achieved every day, doing something you are passionate about everyday means it is impossible to not achieve your life metrics. Here is an easy example to compare:
'I want to create a billion dollar business.' Umm... ok what happens if your business only ever achieves 999 million? You haven't achieved your life metric at all so you still feel like a failure even though you can probably buy every temporary happiness fix available.
How do you feel successful every day leading up to your billion dollar valuation to? Does that mean you feel like a failure everyday for 60 years until your company ticks over the billion dollar mark?
Instead try, 'I want to create a business that allows me to pursue my passions everyday.' Boom! Measure that up to your new life metrics. Even before you make a single dollar you are already successful.
Step 003 - Now Do It! And finally feel able to look yourself in the mirror and truthfully say, " I am successful."
Let Paulo and I know if this helped you in the comments below & if there is a topic you want us to cover please tell us.
Dream | Travel | Live
Paulo & Jacques.