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The Secret to Happiness Is 10 Specific Behaviors

Despite happiness being a primary human motivation, only one in three Americans say they’re very happy.
Several years ago in an interview with Conan O’Brien, Louis C. K. tells of flying on a newly equipped Wi-Fi airplane. He was amazed by the new technology. Until, during the flight, the Wi-Fi went down. Immediately, the man next to him became extremely upset. “As though the world owes this man something he only knew existed 10 seconds ago.”
Louis C. K. continues by describing people’s absurd frustrations with flying in general. People complain about it all the time “It was the worst day of my life! It took 20 minutes to board! We had to sit on the runway for 40 minutes!”
We hear complaints like these all the time. As if we’ve forgotten how incredible it is that humans can fly at all.
How are we so quick to take for granted the remarkable things going on in life?
Why is it so easy to complain?
Why do we focus on the negative?
Everything is amazing and nobody is happy.
However, happiness can easily be achieved even without the brilliant advances in the world.
Rather than being reactive to what’s going on around us, happy people take control of their lives and emotions. If you are unhappy with your life, who or what else can you blame than yourself? And if you can blame someone or something else, how is blame going to make your life any better?
Bad stuff happens to everyone. But life isn’t about what happens to you. It’s about how you proactively respond.
The following 10 behaviors, if applied, will change your life. Let me be clear, if you do these things, you will be an incredibly happy person.


1. Let Go Of The Need For Specific Outcomes
Not everything in life goes exactly how we plan. There are setbacks. Stuff happens. We mess up. Over-obsessing and basing happiness on specific outcomes leads to misery. Jeremy Piven, the famous actor, was recently interviewed by Success Magazine. During the interview, he mentioned that, as an actor, the only way to work is to go out and audition for specific roles.The challenge most actors/actresses face is that they get in their own way. It doesn’t matter how much homework they’ve done. If they’re too tied to a specific result, they can’t be present in the moment. They can’t truly perform their art. They come off as desperate. They get in their own way. Their performance isn’t what it could have been.Jeremy said that when he quit worrying about a specific result, he was able to be present during his auditions. He was able to be completely who he wanted to be. He wasn’t trying to be what he thought others wanted him to be. He performed his art.If he didn’t get the gig, either they didn’t get it or it just wasn’t the right fit. So he moves on to the next. In this way, he’s able to get the jobs he’s supposed to have. He’s not just trying to get anything he can get.
2. Define Your Own Success And Happiness
“Be everything to everybody and you’ll be nothing for yourself.” — John Rushton


No two human beings are the same. So why should we have one standard of success? Seeking society’s standard of success is an endless rat-race. There will always be someone better than you. You’ll never have the time to do everything.Instead, you recognize that every decision has opportunity cost. When you choose one thing, you simultaneously don’t choose several others. And that’s okay. Actually, it’s beautiful because we get to choose our ultimate ideal. We must define success, wealth, and happiness in our own terms because if we don’t, society will for us — and we will always fall short. We’ll always be left wanting. We’ll always be stuck comparing ourselves and competing with other people. Our lives will be an endless race for the next best thing. We’ll never experience contentment.
3. Commit 100 Percent To The Things That Make You Happy
“Many of us have convinced ourselves that we are able to break our own personal rules “just this once.” In our minds, we can justify these small choices. None of those things, when they first happen, feels like a life-changing decision. The marginal costs are almost always low. But each of those decisions can roll up into a much bigger picture, turning you into the kind of person you never wanted to be.” — Clayton Christensen
People are really good at self-sabotage. We consistently behave in ways that contradict our goals and ideals. This is incongruence. As Mahatma Gandhi has said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” The smaller the gap between what you should do, and what you actually do — the happier you will be.
Hence, Clayton Christensen says 100 percent commitment is easier than 98 percent commitment. When you fully commit to something, the decision has been made. Consequently, regarding that thing, all future decisions have been made.
Unless you’re committed 100 percent, you will always be a victim to external circumstances. By relying on willpower, you’ll crumble more often than you think. Research has found that people over-inflate their own performance. Chances are, you probably think you’re doing better at your resolves than you really are.
But once you’re 100 percent committed, you no longer need to rely on willpower. Your decision has already been made regardless of the circumstances. Saying “No” to anything outside our highest ideals becomes extremely easy. This is living proactively rather than reactively.


4. Be Grateful For What You Already Have
“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend … when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present — love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness] — the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach


Happiness is as simple as gratitude. Psychological research has found that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:




Physical

Stronger immune systems, Less bothered by aches and pains, Lower blood pressure, Exercise more and take better care of their health, Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking

Psychological
Higher levels of positive emotions, More alert, alive, and awake, More joy and pleasure, More optimism and happinessSocial

More helpful, generous, and compassionate, More forgiving, More outgoing, Feel less lonely and isolatedDespite these benefits, most people ungratefully focus on what they don’t have. As a culture, we have become wasteful and undisciplined consumers. The grass is always greener on the other side. A constant pursuit of having more of the newest and best.
How could you possibly find happiness when you relentlessly want more and never find properly appreciate what you have?
It’s time for you to learn how to be more grateful. Your happiness depends on it.


5. Say “I Love You” More

This may be strange, but if you tell your friends and family you love them, they’ll be blown away. I once knew a Polynesian missionary who told everyone he loved them. It was clear he was sincere.I asked him why he did it. What he told me changed my life. “When I tell people I love them, it not only changes them, but it changes me. Simply by saying the words, I feel more love for that person. I’ve been telling people all around me I love them. They feel treasured by me. Those who know me have come to expect it. When I forget to say it, they miss it.”Said author Harriet Beecher Stowe, “The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”As my wife, Lauren, tells our children daily, “The secret to happiness is to make everyone around you happy.” By default, you will get the satisfaction of bringing joy to others and their positive energy will come back to you.

6. Have Hobbies Directed Toward Your Dreams

Most people’s hobbies are just hobbies. And that’s okay. It’s good to have an escape from reality. However, research has found that a person can experience leisure in anything. Your work can become your leisure — where it literally rejuvenates you.When I decided where I wanted my life to go, my life vision, I consciously chose hobbies that would best get me there. Some of these hobbies include exercise, reading, writing, journaling, having deep and meaningful conversations, and being in nature. These hobbies refresh and rejuvenate me while simultaneously pushing me toward my dreams.

7. Don’t Wait Til Tomorrow For What You Can Do Today
“When I was around thirteen and my brother ten, Father had promised to take us to the circus. But at lunchtime there was a phone call; some urgent business required his attention downtown. We braced ourselves for disappointment. Then we heard him say [into the phone], ‘No, I won’t be down. It’ll have to wait.’“When he came back to the table, Mother smiled. ‘The circus keeps coming back, you know,’ [she said.]“‘I know,’ said Father. ‘But childhood doesn’t.’” — Arthur GordonHappiness comes from embracing the now. Not letting those moments pass you by. Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism, tells of the story of missing his child being born to be at an “important meeting.” He thought the potential client would be impressed with his commitment to work. Instead, they saw his decision to miss such a monumental moment as a flaw in character. That moment was a turning point for Greg. In fact, it spurred him to change everything about his life. He now removes everything from his life that is not vital and essential.Nothing in life is permanent. Kids grow up. Friends move away. Our loved ones pass on from this life. Let’s live in the present and appreciate the most important things in our lives before it’s too late.

8. Do Something Every Day That Terrifies You
Happy people step out of their comfort zone. You can’t grow if you don’t challenge yourself. And growth is a requirement of happiness. If you’re not growing, you’re slowly decaying and dying.
Elevated risk makes you feel more alive and puts you in a state of flow — which is an optimal conscious state where you feel and perform at your highest level. You become completely absorbed in what you’re doing — pure presence.
When you do things way outside your comfort zone, you naturally raise your conscious level. When you do things that involve high risk, and high probability of failure, you are forced to think differently than you normally do. You are forced to be creative and innovative.
Sadly, most people play life small, safe, and easy. The goals they pursue are logical. There is little element of risk and little requirement for faith.
Consequently, you should take bigger risks in your life. Do things that make you feel alive and activate flow. Of course, with this will come more failures. But if you’re not failing, you’re not growing. Rather than experiencing apathy in life, you’ll experience more of a roller-coaster of emotions. We can never appreciate joy if we’ve never felt sorrow. The more pain and fear we feel, the more we can comprehend and appreciate joy and happiness.


9. Put “The Important” Before “The Urgent”
Stephen Covey says that most people spend their time on urgent but unimportant things. We wake up and immediately check our email. Thus, we put our lives on reactive, rather than proactive mode. After all, email is simply a database of other people’s agendas.
Instead, happy people always put the important stuff first. Not only important, but important and non-urgent. The important stuff includes exercise, reading good books, setting goals, writing in your journal, and spending time with those you love. None of these things are urgent. We could easily put these things off until tomorrow — which is ultimately never. The most happy and successful people in the world spend most of their time on the important.
One of my favorite non-urgent yet important things is my morning routine. I wake up several hours before I start my work day. I meditate and pray to put myself in a space of gratitude and abundance. Then I get my body moving with exercise or yard work. I eat healthy food, read my long-term goals, listen to uplifting content, and do at least one thing to move me toward my goals.


10. Forgo The Good To Pursue The Best
A lot of things in life are good, even great. That doesn’t mean we should do them. In Good to Great, Jim Collins says that once-in-a-lifetime opportunities come up every day. Most people take any great opportunity that comes their way, even if it’s not in alignment with their life vision. Consequently, most people’s lives are moving in a thousand different directions. They aren’t able to consciously move forward in a singular direction.
On the other hand, happy people say no to even amazing opportunities. They will not sacrifice freedom for security. They will not get derailed by distractions — even sexy and attractive distractions.
Very few things in life are best. You can only determine what’s best for you once you know where you want your life to go. Be careful not to continuously engage in good activities and miss the best ones.


Conclusion

Happy people live in the present. They don’t miss the moments that matter most. They are incredibly grateful for all they have. They focus their lives on the important and essential. They forgo the many good opportunities in order to focus on the few best ones.


This article was originally published at the:
Observer.

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HOW DO YOU MEASURE YOUR LIFE ?
Simple algebraic equation of LIFE: aX + bY + c = P

Where P is what do we want in Life?C is a constant on which we do not have any controlX and Y are the variables on which we have a controlA and B are again constants on which we do not have control.Generally the most difficult thing is to find the right question, right problem, right objective that is P. We have so many forces acting on us and hence, with those generally what we chase is P+K or some other shit. For some people P keeps on changing with time, because they are never sure if its the right thing which they want in life?

Hence, to measure your life or to bring peace in your life or to become happy in your life or to get the sense of maturity in life, where no external factor creates any trouble in your life, firstly you need to find what do you want?
Second is what you need is variables of things that basically will take you to thing/situation/goal you have in mind. List down all the things.
For example: My objective in life is bring a +ve change in human's life at global/mass level. (I have introspective in terms of why I need this and at what cost and etc)
My next question is that to achieve this what do I have to do? i.e. list down your variables.
Start chasing your variablesFor few those the value of A/B will be higher and hence they might need to put a lower X/Y, but for you may be the value of A/B is lower and hence you would need to put more hard work to make sure that AX+BY becomes equal to P, even if the value of C is zero.In this time sometimes the variable B becomes negative, i.e. your family angle, your society angle, your girl friend doesnt want you to reach P, because in thr perspective, they think either it is un-achievable or they will lose you as an individual once you reach P. What do you do when something like this happen ? Increase X, the only variable truly in your hand.--------------------------------------------Few lines from some where which I like:
Because it’s all in how you choose to measure success. I don’t measure my success by displays of monetary wealth. I prefer to measure it based on social and global impact. Is that totally self-serving and biased? Absolutely. And that’s the point: You get to choose how you measure success.

Most of us are never told this. It’s not something we pick up in school or church. In fact, most of our social systems are built with their own metrics of success built into them which we are then expected and sometimes forced to follow. Get good grades. Make tons of money. Go to church. Buy nice things. Raise a nice family. Watch football.
It’s vital that we remember that they’re not absolute. We shouldn’t limit ourselves to them. Money is nice, but one can choose to see it not as the absolute measure of wealth, but as a useful tool to help achieve true wealth. Religion gives billions of people’s lives moral direction, but that doesn’t require one to believe in religion to be a good, moral person. Relationships and family are important, but lacking them doesn’t make you any less valuable as a person.
Again, we get to choose. And the beauty and the frustration is that we’re all different, so most of the time our metrics will be different.
--------------------------------------------------Happiness Hypotheticals:
The Happiness Hypotheticals are powerful tools because they can show us what metrics of success actually matter for us. Many of us think relationships will make us happy, but emotional health should be the goal and relationships the side effect. Many think popularity will make them happy, but one should do something important and noble and let the fame be the side effect.

As humans, we’re all driven by happiness and meaning, but we often get caught up in unnecessary status concerns and superficial comparisons. When we create hypothetical either/or situations between those comparisons and happiness, it can quickly sort our priorities out for us. Tools such as these show us ways in which we can measure our own success.
I’m not famous, but I improve people’s lives. That makes me successful. You’re single and alone right now, but you’re happy and proud of yourself. That makes you successful.
We must take care in choosing the way in which we measure success because the metrics we choose will determine all of our actions and beliefs.
The metrics of success which we choose lead to long-term real life consequences, and they determine everything.

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True Humanity
To be happy in one’s own happiness and sad in one’s own sadness is beastliness, while to be happy in others’ happiness and sad in others’ sadness is humanity. Therefore, as long as, a man does not develop the nature of becoming happy in others’ happiness, and sad with others’ sadness, he does not deserve to be called a man. His appearance may be like a man, but in fact he is not a man. So long as a man is happy in his own happiness and sad with his own sorrows, it means that he has not developed humanity in him.


He who harms others for his own happiness and pleasure, does not deserve to be called a man. A man is he who having renounced his selfishness, does good to others or at least does not in the least cause any suffering to others. Therefore the lesson that needs to be learned is that let no one experience any pain or suffering, in the least bit through our actions. Besides trying to relieve the people of their sufferings, we should aim at their welfare, keeping in the forefront, how they can be benefited? May all beings be benefited!


 “Sarvabhootahiteh rataah.”
 “Remain engrossed in the welfare of all.” (Gita 5/25; 12/4). 


We are only responsible for the welfare of others to the extent of our ability, power and resources. No one can make everyone happy. Even all the men in the world pulling all their resources together, cannot make a single man happy. The reason is that as a man’s desire for prosperity, pleasures, honor and praise etc., are fulfilled, the more they are strengthened. In the Manasa, it is mentioned, 


“Jimi pratilaabh lobh adhikaayi,” 
“The more a man gains, the more greedy he becomes.” 


Even on acquiring an abundance of riches, the man can’t be satisfied. When the entire world together cannot make a single man happy, how can then one man relieve all people of the world of their suffering? However, all can adopt the feelings and sentiments, of wishing well for other’s welfare, i.e. “How can all be happy?”, whether he is a brother or a sister, young or old, rich or poor. No one is deprived of this right.


He who does good to others according to his power, God does good to him according to His power. If he applies all his power to do good to others, then God also applies all His power to do good to him. When God applies His powers, then how can he remain unhappy? No one can ever make him unhappy; and such a person attains God. The Lord declares - 


“Te praapnuvanti maameva sarvabhootahite rataah.” 
“Those who are engrossed in the welfare of all beings attain Me.” (Gita 12/4). 


We should wish -


“Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah;
Sarve Santu Niraamayaah |
Sarve Bhadraani pashyantu,
Maa kaschid dukhabhaagbhavet ||


“May all be happy, May all be free from diseases, May all attain benediction and May no one suffer in the least.”


He who wishes everyone to be happy, healthy and totally free from all sufferings, deserves to be called a human being. As long as he is not saddened by the sufferings of others, till then he cannot be considered to be a man. Second point is that, he who empathizes and identifies with the suffering of others, does not grieve from his own grief. You all pay attention! Only he, who does not have compassion for the joys and sorrows of others, has to suffer. Only he who is a pleasure seeker, and hankers after riches, experiences the void of and lack of happiness. But he, who is happy with the happiness of others, never has a shortage of happiness. How? His desire for enjoyment and pleasures perishes.


The desire for pleasures and prosperity is the main obstacle to God Realization. Sense pleasures and hoarding, will not permit man to realize God. The reason is that when he hoards, he does this with his body, and when he enjoys pleasures, he does so with his body. So if a man is attached to the body, an effigy of bone and flesh, if he is a slave to these, how can he attain spiritual enlightenment? But he, who is happy in the happiness of others, ceases to have the desire for happiness or pleasure, while he who is moved and distressed in the sadness of others ceases to have the desire for hoarding.


On being moved with the sufferings of others, man thinks of relieving the sufferers of their sufferings. Just as we spend money to relieve ourselves of our pain, similarly, we will be willing to spend money to relieve others off their sufferings. We will not be able to hoard too much money! Even if it is accumulated, we shall not remain attached to it, by thinking that it belongs to others. It is therefore mentioned in the Bhagawat -


Yavad brhiyeta jatharam taavat svatvam hi dehinaam |
Adhikam yo’bhimanyeta sa steno dandamarhati || (7/14/8)


A man is authorized to possess only the bare necessities of life. It means that the food which satisfies your hunger, the water which quenches your thirst, the clothes and house which are necessary for the bare maintenance of your body, are yours. One who lays a claim to anything else besides these bare necessities of life is a thief and will be punished. You may say that you have not got these from somewhere else, these are your own. But how are they yours? Did you bring even a single thing with you when you were born? Will you carry even a single coin with you when you die? Therefore all the extra things with us belong to those who have a shortage of these. He who is sad with the sadness of others, never hankers after pleasure and prosperity. His heart is filled with compassion which provides him with such a relish or joy which cannot be provided by mundane pleasures.


If you amass riches, it means that within there is cruelty, lack of compassion. Where there is compassion, there is no amassing of possessions for one’s pleasure. Why? Because he is naturally joyful! The happiness that comes from hoarding is of the modes of passion and ignorance. The happiness which is derived by being happy in the happiness of others is not changed into pleasures and prosperity, but it is a kind of bliss! a very joyful feeling!


He whose nature and inner sentiments (bhaav) are to share in the sufferings of others, can never ever enjoy pleasures while others are suffering. A person with a noble heart can’t cook and relish delicious dishes, if his neighbor is starving. Under such circumstances, he can’t relish food at all. But those people who cause suffering to others, will they suffer on accord of other’s sufferings? Such people who cause suffering to others for their own happiness, dishonor others for their own honor, blame others for their own praise, dismiss others for their own position, don’t deserve to be called human beings. They are not human beings at all. They are animals! Animals that are so lowly, that they have neither horns, nor tails. They possess human body and beasty nature. Birds and beast are purified by reaping the fruit of their sinful actions. But vile persons, who cause sufferings to others, pave the way to hells by committing new sins. In the Ramcharitramanasa Lord Rama says to Vibhishana –


Baru bal baas narak kar taataa |
Dusht sang jani deyi bidhaataa || (Manas 5/46/4)


O’ dear friend, it is better to live in hell, but let providence not give us the company of vile persons (Manasa 5/45/4)


It is vile to be happy and sad with one’s own happiness and sadness. Our stay in hells will expiate our sins and purify us, while company of the vile will lead us to different kinds of hells.


Animals don’t incur sins by causing suffering to others because the ordinance of sins and virtues is applicable to human beings only. Birds and beasts cause suffering to others in order to satisfy their hunger, rather than for pleasure and prosperity. But a millionaire or a multi-millionaire that goes on hoarding wealth by causing suffering to others does not deserve to be called a human being. He is worse than an animal. This human life aims at purification. Those who cause suffering to others commit sins and they will have to reap horrible fruits.


The inner sense of those who don’t feel happy in the happiness of others and compassionate with sorrow of others is impure. Their impure inner sense paves the way to hell for them. The inner sense of animals is not so much impure because they don’t kill beings for pleasure. They satisfy their hunger with the kill. Men are free to perform new actions while animals have to reap the fruit of their past actions. Men prepare delicious dishes and relish them and thus they incur sin. True humanity consists in being happy with others’ happiness and sad with others sadness. So every human being should have the sentiment how can all beings be happy and how can they be relieved of their sufferings?


नारायण ! नारायण ! नारायण


From "Ease of God Realization" in Hindi and English by Swami Ramsukhdasji

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Happy fairytale story were scatered when you choose to leave
 Dancing Princess became Cindrella when you choose to leave.
Frozen was the heart when you choose to leave.
Alice in wonderland was what one found itself when you choose to leave.
Even when you  choose to leave one still hope to find the Golden flower of Rapunzle
to make everything fall back into its old place.

#humsafar

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Elon Musk chose himself: here’s how
Choosing yourself means taking risk, means not being afraid what people think, or your chances of success or failure.
It means doing what you want and hopefully helping the world along the way. Because when you help others, that’s how you get paid in a choose yourself world.
Elon Musk is inspirational to many people, including me.

Inspiration is somewhat of a risk: it takes you outside the world you once knew and introduces you to a new thought, person, idea, or something totally unexpected.

I want to find Elon Musk’s most inspirational quotes. The ones that might give clues to how each inspiration leads to the next. The ticking of the clock.
Here’s his quotes that most stuck with me.
1. “If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”
I often get stuck: what if something really is impossible?
But Elon Musk then takes it to the next level always: “let’s go to Mars”. Or “let’s make a billion dollar battery factory.” So at the very least it’s always worth exploring the delicious curvature of the impossible.
2. “Going from PayPal, I thought: ‘Well, what are some of the other problems that are likely to most affect the future of humanity?’ Not from the perspective, ‘What’s the best way to make money?”
I've interviewed over 100 people now on my podcast. Each of the 100 have achieved amazing results in their life.
That's a subjective opinion.
"Amazing" to me.
But none of them have done if for the money. I was talking to Coolio, for instance, who had the best selling song of 1995.
He started writing lyrics every day in 1977. It took him 17 years to have a single hit.
"Never do something for the money," Coolio told me. "Or the girls", he added.
3. “(Physics is) a good framework for thinking. … Boil things down to their fundamental truths and reason up from there.”
My guess is he is not referring specifically to the science and theories of physics but the act of visualizing something, coming up with an idea or a theory of why it might be true, and then figuring out how to prove that theory.
To me, thats what physics is. Since the rules are constantly changing, which is another fascinating aspect of physics.
Visualize a possible universe. Prove that it can happen.
4. “The first step is to establish that something is possible; then probability will occur.”
I wonder about this. What's impossible? Maybe a time machine is too hard to figure out.
But to make an electric car you can imagine first a hybrid car that has a trunk filled with very efficient batteries so you don't ever need the gas part.
Then it becomes a function of probabilities versus possibilities.
5. “It’s OK to have your eggs in one basket as long as you control what happens to that basket.”
Many people think entrepreneurship is about risk. In fact, it's the opposite.Good entrepreneurs don't learn by failure (the popular "failure porn" all over the Internet).
Good entrepreneurs learn by solving difficult problems.
Elon Musk controlled his outcome with Page on x.com not by destroying the competitor but by merging with it (paypal).
6. “Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up.”
I always think this is the magic equation: persistence + love = abundance.
You have to love something enough to persist. You have to persist enough to deepen your love.
This is true for a career. True for a relationship. But only true for YOU and not what someone tells you to do.
And then abundance is the natural outcome. Not just for you but for everyone. Since wealth comes to those who create wealth for others.
7. “You want to have a future where you’re expecting things to be better, not one where you’re expecting things to be worse.”
This is incredibly important. News reporters have zero qualifications to inform people and yet they are all doom and gloom to sell subscriptions.
But people who choose themselves... first imagine a better world and how to make the leap to get there.
8. “It is a mistake to hire huge numbers of people to get a complicated job done. Numbers will never compensate for talent in getting the right answer (two people who don’t know something are no better than one), will tend to slow down progress, and will make the task incredibly expensive.”
When I was running a software company, we always knew it would take one great programmer to solve a hard problem in one night versus 10 mediocre programmers taking a month to screw up a problem even worse.
Ultimately, if you want to make a TV show, don't rely on the gatekeepers.
Take a camera. Make a youtube video. Make 100 youtube videos. Now you have a show. All by yourself.
9. “If you go back a few hundred years, what we take for granted today would seem like magic – being able to talk to people over long distances, to transmit images, flying, accessing vast amounts of data like an oracle. These are all things that would have been considered magic a few hundred years ago.”
And now imagine what it will be like 300 years from now when people look back at today. "They had to actually 'connect' to an Internet then!" or "It took them 7 hours to get from NY to CA!"
10. “My biggest mistake is probably weighing too much on someone’s talent and not someone’s personality. I think it matters whether someone has a good heart.”
I recently watched a company go from a billion in revenues to zero when a founder stole $90 million from the company.
Integrity, humility, and doing your best is by far the most important consideration when evaluating whether to work for someone.
In order to choose yourself, you have to make sure you have completely surrounded yourself with others willing to take the same leaps. Else you will all fall into the ravine you are leaping over.
11. “When I was in college, I wanted to be involved in things that would change the world. Now I am.”
I always wonder about the phrase "change the world". Can one person change another.
Perhaps the most valuable starting point is to do everything I can to change myself each day: to be physically healthier, to be around emotionally healthy people ,to be create, to be grateful.
To try and improve in these areas 1% a day.
Then maybe I can have a head start on changing the world.
12. “I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.”
I'm invested in about 30 companies. The companies that fail are when CEOs smoke their own crack.
Technology, competition, customers are constantly changing. But we have a cognitive bias to think that the activity we have invested the most time in is, of course, a GREAT activity.
What could be wrong with it?
So it's important to constantly question this evolution-based cognitive bias with constant questioning as if one were an outsider looking in. Without that, businesses fail.
And if you have trouble taking your own feedback, find someone you trust. Find an accountability partner. Ask: am I choosing myself?
And when you find one...find a group. Have a meetup of like-minded people. Together, is how we individually choose ourselves.
13. “I wouldn’t say I have a lack of fear. In fact, I’d like my fear emotion to be less because it’s very distracting and fries my nervous system.”
A small level of fear is motivational. It forces me to have a backup plan. The average multimillionaire supposedly has seven sources of income. They all have backup plans.
Even Elon Musk has Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity, and probably a dozen other companies he's peripherally involved in.
Any endeavor I do, I always ask two questions: "What is my plan B?" and "What is my evil plan?" Meaning what do I hope to learn from this that nobody else expects.
14. “Life is too short for long-term grudges.”
I always think that I'm the average of the five people I spend the most time with.
So this quote is important to me. Don't spend time with people who can even incite a grudge. I try to spend time with the people I love and who love me.
Even when something bad happens, rather than blame, I try to think about what I learned. I don't want to make the same mistake again.
It takes practice. I am very trusting. But I hope to learn a little each day.
15. “Don’t be afraid of new arenas.”
Again, inspiration is a risk. It means stepping out of the comfort zone where you've never been before.
I try as an exercise to figure out at least one thing a day to do that is outside my comfort zone.
The other day I went up to people and asked them if I could buy a $1 bill with a $2 bill. Interestingly, everybody who was white avoided me. I was a lunatic. But everyone else took my $2 bill in exchange for a $1 bill.
You never know what you find when you experiment. But it's always fun and scary and good practice for getting out of the comfort zone.
16. “I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.”
I thought about this when I read it. I think it's ok for "ordinary" people to be ordinary also. Ordinary is beautiful.
But I think every day it's worth trying to be a little better (1%, an amount so small it can't be measured) in physical health, emotional health, creativity, and gratitude.
Maybe that is a path to extraordinary as that 1% compounds. But I don't want the pressure of "future extraordinary". I just want to be a little better today
17. “I could either watch it happen or be a part of it.”
Sometimes people say to me, "I missed the boat" or "I am too late". I think it's never too late to do what you love.
What you love is always on the shore, waiting for you to arrive, waiting with open arms.
18. “Being an Entrepreneur is like eating glass and staring into the abyss of death”
People say to me, "I hate my cubicle. I want to be an entrepreneur."
Entrepreneurship is a disaster. 85% of entrepreneurs fail and failure is not fun at all. Not to mention you have to deal with customers, employees, investors - they are all your bosses and not the other way around.
Then you have to sell, you have to execute, you have to build, you have to exit, you have to grow.
I like Elon Musks's approach of having many things to work on. Many Plan Bs. So any one entrepreneurial endeavor doesn't take up all the mind space.
One secret, though, to beat that 85%. If you start off with a profitably customer, the odds of failure go from 85% to less than 20%.
19. "I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact."
I highly recommend Andy Weir's book, "The Martian". He self-published it. Then it got picked up by a major publisher. Now Ridley Scott doing the movie.
Discusses this very topic.
20. On his favorite book when he was a teen, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy": It taught me that the tough thing is figuring out what questions to ask, but that once you do that, the rest is really easy."
Here's my favorite part of Hitchher's Guide to the Galaxy: the idea that all you really need from a materialistic perspective is a towel.
Then the Universe sort of takes care of things after that. Hygiene is key.
21. "I just want to retire before I go senile because if I don't retire before I go senile, then I'll do more damage than good at that point."
The two most critical years in terms of dying are the year you are born and the year you retire.
So I doubt Elon Musk will ever retire.
Credit: https://yourstory.com/2015/05/elon-musk/

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