Try nothing you will succeed every time

Try nothing you will succeed every time.

Trying nothing means there is no risk, failure or shame.

We already “know” it’s not going to work. By raising the white flag you bypass the whole experience and go straight to the end. If your only goal is to reach the end then by all means don’t try. Why bother right?

Try nothing and you will succeed in getting nothing.
Try nothing and you will succeed in changing nothing.
Try nothing and you will succeed in learning nothing.

Try something and you will succeed in getting, changing or learning something.

Enabled generation

Every generation has adults worried about the youth not living up to their potential.

In the 60’s we called them Hippies.
The 70’s they were called Burn Outs.
The 80’s? Airheads. Gothics. Head Banger.
In the 90’s they were Punks.
Now we are here in the 00’s and 10’s and we are hearing the Entitled Generation.

Most of us have good intentions but we need to ask ourselves: Am I truly helping this person? Is this the right thing to do?

Instead we are worried: What will they think of me? I don’t want to upset this person.

The synonyms of the word entitlement include qualify, make eligible, authorize, allow, permit. Maybe the better question is to ask are we qualifying, authorizing, permitting this behavior?

The foolish choice is the easy choice. No one is immune to entitlement. It is an epidemic. The truth is we all have a child in each of us that we need to teach to behave.

Entitlement, the behavior, is the symptom not the problem. The problem is enabling someone.

Remove the scoreboard

What if we weren’t going to keep track of who did what for who today?

Externally someone may not do their fair share of the project. Internally this creates frustration. Frustration that we have lost something (pride, time, money, etc.). Someone may have crossed you the wrong way, looked at you and said something that didn’t make you feel good. So you keep count. If the score improves then they can be back in our good graces.

What if we removed the scoreboard? What if instead we start keeping track of what we have done to help someone else today? No more even steven. No more going half way, instead we go all the way.

What have you done to create something beautiful for someone to enjoy? What have you done to make someone’s life a little easier or better? What have you done to make someone feel better about themselves?

How many of our relationships at work, at home, in our marriage, in our schools, churches could improve by simply not keeping track of the score of the opposing team?

Start keeping track of what good you have done in the world. Stop worrying about everyone else is score and just keep improving your own.

It’s just the story we tell ourselves

There is your story, my story and the truth.

The truth on what we think happened; it’s just the story we tell ourselves. It’s not how it is though.

We tell ourselves that it’s okay to eat one cookie. One cookie was good. So now I will have two cookies.

We tell ourselves a story that is favorable to the hero (which is us). To shield us from blame, shame, failure so that we can remain safe and secure.

“It’s okay; you’ll do better next time. You really didn’t want to blog anyway.”

Don’t let this story drive you away from actually doing something meaningful today.

Prejudices, biases, experiences, nature, nurture have all shaped the stories we tell ourselves. Maybe it’s time to stop listening what it going in our head and start telling ourselves what we are going to do.

2% cash back guarantee

I have never, ever heard anyone admit that they don’t pay their credit card on time. Here are some stats:

  • 100 million Americans do not pay off their credit cards each month.
  • 63% of those that bankrupt couldn’t pay their credit cards.
  • 47% more is spent when using a credit card vs using cash.
  • 75% of airline miles are never redeemed.
  • More money is spent in the US on storage facilities then going to the movies.

Someone out there is not on time. Someone is getting charged for being late. Someone is over drafting. Somebody has to be doing it; otherwise the credit card business wouldn’t be in business.

Credit cards are the cigarette of the financial world. It’s time to cut them up.What about the points? Who cares about the points! I don’t have to sit around looking at my bank statements and worry did I pay this off in time?

But what about 2% on all purchases? Again who cares?
That is 2 cents off every dollar.
20 cents for every 10 dollars.
2 dollars off every 100 dollars.
20 dollars off every 1,000 dollars.
200 dollars off every 10,000.
2,000 dollars off every 100,000.

None of these points or cash back bonuses or flights will change your life. It only takes one time to be late. One time for the credit card companies to get a $39 late charge for them to win.

Credit card companies are not your friends. They are not trying to make your lives better. They are selling bondage.

Don’t sell yourself so cheap for cash back gimmicks. Your time and attention are far more valuable than what they can offer.

Give them the onion

Do you want to be remembered? Don’t be predictable.

We have an expression among our circle of friends: give them the onion, make them cry.

While a flower is nice and multiple flowers are even nicer, it is common. There is nothing special about the flowers. Sure you went to the florist, picked out the arrangement they would like and opened up your wallet to purchase them but anyone can do this. It isn’t remarkable. No one remembers anyone by being ordinary.

Que the onion. The onion is so random, so spontaneous; they can’t help to ask “Why did you give me an onion?”

You have them hooked. Now you can tell a story. Any story will work. Those who bring onions will be remembered.

Thrashing

Start thrashing now. Do it early while it is cheap. If you wait it is only going to get more expensive.

Over 150 years ago, Henry David Thoreau said “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours … In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty, nor weakness.”

Be wary of blanket statements such as: “I need to have my cell phone.” “I can’t get up without my morning cup of coffee.” “How do you live without a DVR?”

Why surrender so much power? You don’t need this. You don’t need that. What you need is essentials (shelter, food, water, clothing) not luxuries.

Try thrashing to the point where it is uncomfortable. A little discomfort in a comfortable world is not a bad thing. Who knows you may even like it. You can always bring that thing back in your life.

Ask yourself one question when deciding what to thrash; do I need this item or am I using this thing to distract myself from the world? If you don’t thrash this item this time and you are on the fence commit to saying if in 3 months I don’t use this item then it needs to go.

The cost of not thrashing, not taking away the distractions, can be insurmountable. We have more time and access to knowledge and resources than we ever had before in the history of the world. How are we using it? How are you abusing it?