Tag Archives: setting goals

10 Things You Need To Know About Yourself

1. Your personality type

Personality tests aren’t 100% perfect, but understanding your personality type will give you a whole new level of self-awareness. The first thing it will do for you is give you permission to have all the quirks that make you different from everyone else. It will also help you identify your innate strengths and weaknesses, which will help you understand how to navigate life using your unique mental toolkit. There are companies that offer full spectrum personality and aptitude tests that will tell you more about yourself than you ever thought there was to know. If you’ve never taken one of these I strongly recommend it. Unfortunately, they can cost hundreds of dollars, but it’s worth it. If you don’t have that kind of money you can take free tests online and then research your personality type online. Below are a couple of links to free tests.

Human Metrics

Free Personality Test

 

 

2. Your mission statement

If you’ve never summed up the purpose of your life in a brief statement then you can’t prove that you know what you’re doing with your life. Even if you have a vague idea, if you’ve never stated it then you don’t have a solid compass to guide your actions when life gets complicated. I’m not saying you have to know the definitive answer to the question of the meaning of life. I’m just saying that you need some kind of direction, and the better you articulate it the better you can follow it and improve it.

 

3. Your top 5 goals in life 

Having an overarching theoretical purpose in life is nice, but there’s not much point unless you have a plan on how to achieve that goal. If you’ve never articulated what exactly you want to accomplish in life then you’re just going to waffle through life like a lost explorer slashing through the jungle with no direction hoping to randomly stumble upon the promised land.

 

4. Your 5, 10, 20 and 30-year plan

Life takes a long time, and you can accomplish a lot in one year, but some goals take decades to achieve. The more completely you have your life plan mapped out the more likely you are to achieve your goals. This doesn’t mean you can’t be spontaneous or change your plans repeatedly. In fact, as you grow your plans should change, but you should still have a plan. It will help give your life and actions meaning, and having a clear plan will mitigate the hopelessness of floundering through life haphazardly.

 

5. Your 5 greatest strengths and 5 greatest weaknesses

Taking a professional personality/aptitude test will pretty much answer this question for you. Regardless of whether or not you take one you’re still going to change as you grow. Thus your strengths and weaknesses will change. The better you understand your evolving mental skill sets the better you can adapt your approach to life to them.

 

 

6. The 5 biggest turning points in your life

Who you are today and where you’re going in life was shaped by who you were previously and what happened to you in your past. The better you understand your past the better you can make sense of the present and the future. The best way to understand your past is to tell your life story to a professional therapist and get their feedback. If you can’t afford that though, you at least need to understand that your life is like a billiard’s ball. It moves in a set direction until an equal or greater force acts against it and changes its direction. Studying the turning points in your life will help you understand how you got to where you are today. That knowledge will empower you to take control of your destiny instead of getting knocked around by external forces until you fall into a hole.

 

7. Your 5 worst and 5 best memories

Something relatively traumatic has happened to everyone, and you carry the memory of those events with you to this day. If you never identify those experiences and confront them they will haunt you and cripple you for the rest of your life. Part of growing up and making the most of life is dealing with past traumas. I strongly recommend exploring those experiences with a professional therapist, but if you can’t afford help you’re still responsible for making the most of your life. You can’t fix yourself if you don’t identify what broke you.

On the other side of the coin, life is more majestic than it is tragic. Despite the bad things that have happened to you there is immeasurable beauty in life. Pinpoint the best parts of your life and carry those in your pocket so you can pull them out and bask in their warmth on the bad days.

 

8. Your top 10 moral guides (5 good and 5 bad)

Most of the human population claims to believe in one of the mythologies invented by our primitive ancestors. So when you ask them what their moral code is they just point to a religious book and say, “That.” But most people don’t follow even half of their religion’s moral code. They cherry pick the rules that conform to their modern cultural values. Even then they still break those whenever it serves their purposes. Effectively, most people don’t live their lives according to a concrete moral code. They just waffle through life fulfilling their base desires and reverse engineering excuses for their actions along the way. This approach yields chaotic results. This doesn’t mean that everyone should write their own religion or double down and make a more concentrated effort to live according to the primitive values of our blood-thirsty, chauvinistic, uneducated ancestors. But you will find it incredibly useful to articulate (and improve upon) a list of the top rules that define the difference between right and wrong.

 

9. The 5 pieces of advice you would pass onto the world

When I was 18 I asked every adult I knew what single piece of advice they would pass on to a young person just striking out into the real world. None of them had a coherent, premeditated answer. None. That’s when I first realized the majority of the adult world has no idea what they’re doing and are just making it all up as they go along. That’s no way to go through life, and it’s not fair to the younger generation. Boil down the lessons you’ve learned in life into at least five pieces of useful advice for yourself and the rest of society so that we can all live wiser, happier lives.

 

10. 5 things you’re going to teach yourself

Knowledge is like a superpower. After you graduate from school nobody is going to be cramming superpowers down your throat; it’s up to you to seek out and consume knowledge yourself. If you haven’t identified what you want to learn you’re not going to seek that information out. So put a lot of thought into that and articulate what you want to know. You may want to start by asking yourself what the most important information a human being can know is.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Growing up and Becoming You
Happiness and Peace
Self-Esteem
Health
Drugs and Addiction
Achieving a Healthy Work/Life Balance
Leadership and Authority
My Tweets About Self-Help

My Advice To The Younger Generation

My senior year of high school I asked as many adults as I could for the single, best piece of advice they could give to a young man just about to enter the real world. I probably asked around 30 or 40 adults this question, and I never met one who had an answer ready. They all had to stop and think about it. Most of them acted like that was the first time anyone ever asked them to sum up what they’d learned in life.

I don’t specifically remember any of the advice they gave me because most of it was generic and watered down to the point of being useless like, “Do your best.” “Don’t have any regrets.” or “Love everybody.” What I did learn from them and what did stick with me was that not having an explanation for who you are, where you’re going, where you’ve been and what you’ve learned is no way to go through life.

 

Grown ups are stupid. You have no idea.

 

Since I don’t want to be that guy I’m going to give my speech to the younger generation right now. The most important thing I can tell young people is that your life is your responsibility. Life isn’t a bowl of cherries. Life is hard, and it’s going to knock you down. You can blame the whole world for all your problems, but even if you’re right, your life is still your responsibility and nobody else’s. Once you’re dead all excuses are moot. Death doesn’t ask you how the world treated you. Death asks you how you lived your life.

If you want to make the most of out of your life you need to plot a goal, lay out a plan in writing and focus the rest of your life on it. In order to know what you want out of life you have to do two things. First, you need to define yourself.

Everyone can tell you their name and where they’re from, but most people don’t spend enough time reflecting on who they are, take time to meditate and feel what it’s like to be them or express themselves through the things they create with their hands. They let the world tell them who and what they are. They associate their identity with the institutions around them. They let the world burn its image onto them instead of burning their image onto the world.

This causes them to spend their entire lives chasing circles trying to find happiness but never truly getting what they want… because they never truly defined what they wanted. They just drifted where the currents took them and then simultaneously cursed and defended where the undertow took them.

Don’t be that guy. Find yourself. Do that by writing your life story. Analyze your past. Map out your journey so far and analyze the patterns. Use that to figure out what made you who you are.  Then once you’ve taken control of your growth, create yourself into who you want to be.

Keep pounding away at finding/creating yourself. Take personality tests and start studying psychology as early as possible. You are your mind. If you don’t know how your mind works then you don’t know how you work. Not only will studying psychology help you understand and take control of yourself, but it’ll help you understand other people, and that will be the most important job skill you’ll ever learn no matter what you do for a living.

 

 

The second thing you need to do before you can say where your life is going is to learn to think. Thinking is asking questions. Everything you’ll ever do will be done because of a question you asked yourself in your head. The quality of your answers and thus your actions will be determined by your ability to ask the most important questions, analyze the variables logically, perform cost/benefit analysis and formulate answers.

Nobody else can answer all your questions for you, and for the most part, nobody will even try to help you figure out life. People will (intentionally and unintentionally) give you bad advice, and there’s no way to check to make sure your answers are correct. People will use fear and bribery to coerce you into living your life based on mythology and contrived doctrines. If you choose to follow that path, question it like your life depends on it. If it’s true it’ll stand the most objective test for factual accuracy possible. If it fails the test then you’ll be free.

 

 

But don’t think freedom from delusion will set you on the one true path; you’ll never find the one true path because you’ll never be able to prove you’re on the right path, but if you keep questioning life and improving your ability to ask/answer questions, then at least you can live your life for yourself. And if there’s any hope of anyone ever figuring out the universe, the only way any progress towards that goal is going to happen is if someone, preferably you, questions what the hell is going on around here.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Growing up and Becoming You
Happiness and Peace
Self-Esteem
Health
Drugs and Addiction
Achieving a Healthy Work/Life Balance
Leadership and Authority
My Tweets About Self-Help

The Prime Prerogative

"If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you'll find an excuse."

 

There’s more information in the world than your brain can possibly store or process. Not only are there obscure factoids about South American tree frogs you’ll never know (and don’t care to know), but there are libraries of very important, very pertinent information that you really, really should know but simply don’t have the capacity to learn. Even in our daily lives, we have to ration out what we apply our brain to. We’d all love to learn 10 foreign languages and all of our friends’ phone numbers, but we don’t have the mental capacity. Our brains are already overclocked, and the fact that we live in the digital age, where information fights for our attention in a world already over-saturated with information, makes it all the harder to manage the clutter accumulating in our brains.

Luckily our brains are smarter than we are, and our brains have done an exemplary job of streamlining the process of collecting, storing, processing and retrieving data. But again, it can only do so much. When you’ve got too much to do and not enough resources to do it all, you prioritize. Consciously and subconsciously we break life down into a kaleidoscope of shifting priority schemes. We’ve got long-term priorities, mid-term goals, short-term desires, side projects, and fantasies. We prioritize our friends, our lovers, our sins, our strengths. We construct our perception of reality on all of these imagined lists and hierarchies. Our understanding of these lists becomes who we are.

That process is extremely tumultuous, especially for people who live in inhuman environments. It’s pretty simple to knock a person’s priorities out of whack. Just don’t teach them anything. Don’t let them do anything they want, and scare them all the time. Everyone you’ll ever meet (yourself included) is arguably a little broken, but broken minds still operate using the same operating system as nurtured minds. Everybody’s minds still have to break life down into a hierarchy of priorities in order to manage processing all the data required to propel a semi-autonomous, bi-pedal, organic supercomputer.

This means that everyone you will ever meet will have their own unique, pyramid-shaped daydream in their head about who, where, what, when and why they are. Those pyramids are built from the unique amalgamation of information their minds happened to get cluttered with. So everyone has their own imperfect perception of reality, and each of our universes are ultimately built around a center point, which I call the “Prime Prerogative.”

 

 

Your life is a question that your brain is trying to solve. Your prime prerogative is the answer it has come up with based on the information it has been able to gather. It’s you doing what you think is most important in life based on your values. It’s the direction that the boundaries you set for yourself are taking your life in…. and that direction may or may not have any resemblance to what you say you believe the meaning of life is.

Uneducated people raised on processed, homogenized consumer culture don’t tend to take the time to meditate on the meaning of life, and if/when they don’t exercise their ability to think for themselves for long enough then their brains default to auto-pilot. Then their prime prerogative defaults to seducing a mate and fighting their way as far up the social hierarchy as their monkey claws will take them. A worst-case scenario would be someone who has been so stonewalled and crippled by their environment that they’ve given up all hope of ever achieving any of their own personal priorities. When prisoners in P.O.W. or concentration camps lose their prime prerogative they just lie down and die. Or if you work in a sweatshop for long enough you just die inside and sleepwalk until your body stops moving, but if you ever meet a person who is still alive and breathing, you can predict they have a prime prerogative.

A person’s prime prerogative is typically set by the time they’re in their mid-twenties, but it can change, especially if the environment changes since that upsets the equation of life the brain is trying to solve and forces it to recalculate its priorities. People’s priorities also tend to change when a hot piece of ass walks by or someone offers them a lot of money. So even if you think you’ve figured out someone’s primary prerogative, you might be basing your answer on information the person gave you when they were pursuing a side goal, but if you spend enough time with a person then their prime prerogative will shine through even if they try to hide it (or because they try to hide it). You still won’t be able to see it through people’s facades if you’re not looking, and to make matters more confusing, our own prerogatives often blind us from seeing other people for who they are and understanding what they want.

If nothing else, understanding other people’s prime prerogatives is useful because it allows you to spot douche bags, con men and psychopaths from a mile away. It’s also useful, because if you ever need something from someone and you know what they want most in life then you can make it in their best interest to help you remove an obstacle between you and your prime prerogative by helping them achieve their prime prerogative.

Of course, there’s a dark side to all of this too. If you work for a marketing firm you can use this understanding of basic human motivation to mind fuck consumers into buying products they don’t need with money they don’t have. If your prime prerogative is to have sex then you can appeal to your sexual prey’s prime prerogative to seduce them. You can even design a cult that uses traumatic brainwashing techniques to reprogram unsuspecting recruits’ prime prerogative so that they’ll want to be your doting, suicidal slave.

But as Isaac Asimov said, “If knowledge is dangerous, the solution is not ignorance.” (paraphrased) The fact of the matter is that anyone who doesn’t understand the principle of the prime prerogative is navigating their way through society half blind.

How do you figure out other people’s prime prerogative? You just start with the assumption that no action is an island, and then you watch people to find patterns in their behavior. Once you start spotting patterns you simply extrapolate them. When multiple behavior patterns all lead to the same conclusion then you can be fairly sure you’ve found their prime prerogative.

 

"Action expresses priorities." Mohandas Gandhi

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Growing up and Becoming You
Happiness and Peace
Self-Esteem
Health
Drugs and Addiction
Achieving a Healthy Work/Life Balance
Leadership and Authority
My Tweets About Self-Help

Advice On Life

1: Know/create yourself.

You can’t not be you, but if you choose not to understand yourself, identify areas you want to grow in and follow through with a plan to constantly reinvent/upgrade yourself then you’re just going to go with the flow your whole life on autopilot. You’re going to get stuck in an unfulfilling job. You’re going to fall in love with the first person who touches your genitals. You’re going to have children to try to fill the void in your life, and you’re going to be a terrible parent because your own life lacks purpose. You’re going to look back on life in old age and wonder what the point of it all was. But if you’d known who you were and actively set personalized goals then you would have lived with purpose.

 

 

2: Be curious and pay attention.

All of the answers to all of your problems are out there in the universe. Problems aside, there are more wonders in this cosmic playground than you could possibly experience or understand, but in order to solve any problem or get the most out of your play time, you need to look at the world around you and study it.

Every time you see something new you should wonder why it is the way it is. Finding out why will empower you. Not knowing will cripple you. Not finding things out is like choosing not to have any superpowers. So find out as much as you can about as much as you can, and never lose your passion for learning, because the moment you stop learning is the moment you start regressing back to a thirsty, hungry, horny monkey on autopilot.

 

3: Never trust authority.

There will always be someone with authority over you. At any given point in your life, you’ll be subject to multiple authority structures simultaneously: your parents, teachers, bosses, police, politicians. They can all give a good reason why they should have authority over your free will, and most of them will have a fancy looking piece of paper that says they’re more alpha than you.

While these authority figures may deserve a pat on the back or two for something they did, all men were created equal. Everyone will always be equally valuable, and no matter how much knowledge, experience or age someone has, they still don’t know the meaning of life. Ultimately we’re all just bullshitting our way through life and mimicking random cultural norms we take for granted. And no matter how much anyone knows, our knowledge is dwarfed by what we don’t know.

Since we’re all equal and we’re all idiots that means you would be a fool to have faith in anything anyone says. I’m not saying not to listen to people. Listen to everyone. Learn from everyone. Just doubt everything. And when someone tells you that you have to obey them, recognize that they’re bullying you into submission. That’s all that’s happening there.

Your life is your responsibility. Your authority leaders aren’t going to live it for you. They’re not going to do your work or suffer the consequences of your mistakes. Your life is in your hands. I’m not saying you should disobey everyone. I’m just saying, authority isn’t ordained by God. It’s invented by men. The only authority anyone has over you is the authority you give them.  Don’t give it away carelessly.

 

4: Get a skill and a certification.

The world is a cut-throat place these days, and since the poor are the most defenseless they get their throats cut more than anybody. You can’t live a good life on minimum wage because you can’t afford the basic necessities of life. If you can’t afford the basic necessities of life then you certainly can’t afford to take years off of work to go to school much less pay the extortionate fees every adult education institution charges. But if you don’t have a skill and a piece of paper that says you graduated from somewhere then it will be almost impossible for you to get a job that pays a living wage. Thus poverty becomes inescapable real quick, and the older you get the harder it is to get out of. Seriously, life is hell without a skill and a certificate. Get a forklift license if nothing else. Just get something, because if you don’t then you’ll most likely end up a beaten down wage slave for the rest of your degrading, exhausted existence.

 

5: The world doesn’t owe you anything, and life isn’t fair.

You can scream at the heavens until your lungs blow out and pray on your knees until they bleed, but it won’t change anything. Throughout your life, you’ll suffer repeated injustices. You’ll get the short end of the stick time and time again. That’s going to happen. Crying about it isn’t going to change anything. The only way to change anything is to do something. The sooner you accept that the world doesn’t owe you anything and life isn’t fair the sooner you can dry your face and start getting your hands dirty doing something about the problem.

 

 

6: Don’t be a consumer whore.

Just because you can afford to be stupid doesn’t mean you should. Paying too much for things you don’t need is ignorant. It’s immature. The cost/benefit analysis doesn’t add up. You earn money by spending time working. Money comes from time. Time is fleeting and irreplaceable. The time in your life is the most valuable thing in the universe. Trading it for a $150 shirt that cost $8 to make is giving your life away for nothing, and it makes you a chump. It also means you’re going to have a lot less money in old age, and less money means less security. Less security means more anxiety. More anxiety means more problems. If every consumer whore had done something useful with their money such as donating it to a free online school that covers every topic in academia then the world would be one giant leap closer to Utopia. But as it stands we’ve chosen sports cars, name brand shirts and blood diamonds over Utopia.

 

7: Have high intellectual standards.

The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your mind. Life sucks for stupid people, and life is limitless for smart people. Being smart isn’t just about memorizing all the keywords in every university textbook. Books just tell you about what’s going on around you. Once you understand what’s going on around you the next step is to engage with the world, study it and try to navigate and operate it. Since you’re going to die someday relatively soon you don’t have any time to lose. If you can choose what kind of environment and stimulation you expose yourself to, you should choose to expose yourself to intelligent, edifying things. Celebrating stupidity by acting brainless and watching brainless television and listening to brainless music and talking about brainless things is a waste of time. You’re letting the mysteries of the universe slip through your fingers. To make matters worse, the more you do it the more you reinforce your own brainless behavior  and since all your brainless friends don’t study the world around them and they just mimic whatever the people around them are doing they’re going to see your brainlessness and assume that being brainless is what we’re all supposed to be doing. Then, as a group, you’re going to be an intellectual drag on society. You’ll become the brainless consumer whore sheeple who politicians and marketers can manipulate into squandering society’s potential for the benefit of a few sociopaths.

 

8: People are important.

You’re an animate, sentient, bipedal, autonomous cosmic supercomputer. You’re stranded in an elegantly designed universe for a relatively short time, and even if you could find a logical explanation for the absurd, existential question of life you probably couldn’t empirically prove your answer. That sucks and is made worse by the fact that we’re stranded in a cold, harsh universe that isn’t fair and doesn’t owe us anything. Life is hard, but there’s one warm light in the darkness. That light is the other people in the world you’re surrounded by. Each one of us is an existential question, and we have a universe in our minds. We’re the only thing in the universe we can connect with. We make life worth living. We’re the most important thing in the universe. There’s nothing more important we can do than taking care of each other. Hurting, killing, exploiting, bullying, manipulating and abandoning each other is the worst thing we can do.

 

9: Today is what it’s all been leading up to.

About 14.7 billion years ago an infinitely dense point of energy expanded inexplicably creating time and space as we know it in the process. Since then the atoms in your body have been flying through space. After traveling through gas clouds, stars and oceans they’ve finally come to rest in your body. The atoms inside you have been a cloud, a meteor, a fish, a plant, a cough. The matter in your body has been amazing places and done amazing things. It’s been an incredible journey, and it has all been leading up to one final step. The last step is the step you choose. At the very least it warrants raising your hands to the sky and shouting, “I’m here!”

The time to celebrate life is now, not after you graduate, get promoted or retire. Life isn’t around the corner. It’s here. Now. Today.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Growing up and Becoming You
Happiness and Peace
Self-Esteem
Health
Drugs and Addiction
Achieving a Healthy Work/Life Balance
Leadership and Authority
My Tweets About Self-Help

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