Pretty presumptuous of me to claim I have good advice, isn’t it?
Well, I do.
How do I know? Because I believe it and that belief comes across in the advice itself. It’s good advice because I say it’s good and if it works for you it’s good advice because you say it’s good.
Here’s the thing about the advice-giving industry and the people who follow advice.
We’re all adults.
Everyone can make their own decisions about right and wrong. They can take what resonates and discards what doesn’t.
I provide good advice but it’s a bit controversial. I call a spade and spade. Instead of thinking about the way the world should be, I focus on the way it is (or appear to be).
These pieces of advice all follow that theme.
David Goggins made a great point in an Instagram video he posted the other day.
For the uninitiated, Goggins went from a broke, obese, and a loser-like existence to becoming a Navy Seal, completing a bunch of insane physical feats, and writing a mega-best-selling book.
When he was broke and fat, everyone was giving him advice on what to do to change his life. Once he became successful, people were giving him advice on how he should give advice.
How is this different from someone like me who gives advice? Why do I have good advice as opposed to them? I come from a place of trying to lift people up, even if the message can get messy. These people just want to nitpick you.
Moral of the story: People are going to talk shit either way. Most people are envious and insecure. They can’t manage their own lives but want to manage yours for you. Don’t listen to them.
Be skeptical of anyone giving advice, even me. Trust your own judgment and decipher whether or not the person you’re listening to is worth listening to.
I do everything in my power to practice what I preach.
Sure, I fall short sometimes, but I do a pretty damn good job. I posted a fitness transformation post the other day. I tell people to get in shape all the time and someone commented that I back up my words with proof.
I run a 12-week mentoring program that teaches people how to structure their lives. During the program, I was personally completing the challenges and doing the same exercises I told my students to do.
The idea for the program came from the process I personally used to change my life, not just theory.
Look for receipts. Evidence. Don’t expect people to be infallible, but just watch to see if they’re doing what they tell you to do.
The other day, a reader told me they hate how much they love reading my articles. I’ve received many different versions of this comment. My words sting, but they heal, too, just like putting alcohol on a wound.
My words often sting because they force you to look in the mirror. If I could choose one single piece of good advice that trumps all others, it’d be to develop the ability to be brutally honest with yourself.
Rationalizations run deep. We use them to cope with life and avoid the truth.
You could be living differently but you’re simply choosing not to out of fear. Fear of uncertainty, fear of what others may think, fear that you might not be who you think you are, fear of trying and failing.
Ask yourself these questions and do your best to answer them honestly without flinching:
Answering those alone would be a great start.
Speaking of wounds, rip the band-aid.
Raise your hand if you waited months, or even years, to end a relationship that you knew was over? I’ve done it. Hell, I entered an entire marriage I knew was doomed from the start.
What situations are you stuck in just because they’re familiar? This happens with jobs, relationships, the city you live in, etc. You know there’s a better life in store if you just let go and moved on.
But there’s a rough and psychologically painful transition period you have to through to make it to the other side.
It’s all about deciding whether or not you want to take acute pain upfront or let that slow, dull, Chinese-water-torture-like pain slowly drain you and rot your soul from the inside out.
Deep down, we all know that politicians, pundits, and members of the media are full of shit.
Yet some of us still hold out hope that they’ll do good even though they’ve shown zero evidence of the ability or willingness to do so.
Most people will grant you that the societal overlords disagree with our evil, but they won’t go all the way and admit that their team is evil, too.
The left and the right-wing belong to the same bird.
Here’s some good advice from the anonymous novelist Delicious Tacos:
Stop having political beliefs, they’re just making you mad.
The culture war is a symptom of a widespread lack of purpose and low-self esteem. A bunch of lost souls looking for something to cling to. Since God is dead, many have turned to a messiah that lives in Washington D.C.
Remember this phrase, always. No one is coming to save you.
“But you should care, Ayo!”
Many people don’t think what I’m about to say is good advice, but, they’re wrong.
Stop concerning yourself with what’s going on in the world and focus on yourself.
After focusing on yourself, extend that care to your family, then your friends, then your local community/tribe, and maybe after that you can focus on the world.
You don’t care about the world. Ok, you do. But also, you’re virtue signaling. You only concern yourself with what’s trendy while a ton of atrocities happen in the background that you’re silent about because no one told you to care.
This quote sums it up:
What do the protestors want? Can they articulate it meaningfully, not in platitudes or “people over profits” or “more fair income redistribution” soundbites? They can’t tell you because they don’t know. They can, however, yell at you what they don’t like, and the louder they yell it the more they hear it themselves. Nothing is expected to be accomplished, it is all for branding. – The Last Psychiatrist
You can make a much bigger dent in the universe if you take my approach vs trying to solve unsolvable complex geopolitical problems you have zero control over.
This quote sums it up
“Wake up every day like it’s your 1st day in town & you don’t know a soul Make fast lovers, fast friends, faster business relations Waltz in & out of a hundred venues to stoke ur curiosity Keep a pace you can maintain like your life depends on it. Your life does depend on it.” – Brute De Force
Get out in the world and make your presence known.
You want to have a little bit of clout in your locale. You want to have a few places ‘on lock.’ I frequent the same places over and over again. I tip heavy, chat up the staff, and mingle with people at venues.
Say I take a date to one of my spots or have a business meeting there. They see the way the people in the venue respond to me and my status shoots through the roof.
Nothing wrong with adding a dash of cunning to an upbeat and positive spirit. I genuinely do love getting out and about and meeting new folks, but that calculated effort gives me advantages.
You’re always on stage.
Act like it.
Some call it shallow. I call it realism. When you see someone in a fresh suit you automatically attribute characteristics to them at a subconscious level. I always try to dress well, even with casual wear.
I’m cognizant of how I move from place to place because I know people are watching. I stand straight with my shoulders back. I project my voice. I’m creating a vibe about me on purpose.
You want to create that effect in people’s minds where they think…
Who is this?
You want to make it seems like you have something going on. The best way to do that is to actually have things going on.
I don’t just dress well and have a nice posture. I’m actually on the move doing cool and interesting things every day. Remember, it’s the combination of genuinely seeking to live a good life and adding a dash of calculated effort on top.
A lot of people like to see themselves as being above some of the methods I just described.
This usually happens with book smart types. They’ll say things like “Small talk is boring.” Well, dude, or dudette, maybe people don’t want to talk about Dostoyevsky at the party. Vibes are important.
People turn their nose up at ‘shallow’ or ‘superficial’ things like small talk because they suck at them. They want the world to accept them as they are and liken themselves as authentic, but they’re just, honestly, afraid of people.
Soft skills are crucial to getting ahead in life. If they don’t come to you naturally, make an effort to work on them. People scoff at the idea of having to work on themselves, especially socially, but it just opens many doors.
How do you get them?
The solution is to pick a character, write down your values, and commit. Sometimes, you will fail. It will suck. But the doubt will stop. You will have something real that tells you if what you’re doing is right. You will know when you are winning. – Hotel Concierge
Without soft skills, tons of smart people waste their talent because they can’t connect with people.
Maybe you’re not a genius introvert. You’re probably socially awkward and weird. Work on it. Value the ability to connect with others just as much as I.Q.
It’s likely more important.
Learn how to calibrate yourself.
I don’t go on big rants about the evil nature of society when I’m in a casual setting. I don’t spout beliefs I don’t hold, but I also don’t go out of my way to drop knowledge bombs on people who aren’t ready to receive them.
Robert Greene’s law of power comes to mind:
Think as you like, but behave like others.
Know how much of your personality to dose out to people. I’m still quite brash and outspoken in my real life, but if I said everything I thought, all the time, without any sort of filter, I’d get myself into trouble.
Speak your mind, but don’t do it when the costs far outweigh the benefits. Be yourself, but your calibrated, socially aware, mentally heightened, present, and presentable self.
I’m very aggressive and harsh when I’m trying to get messages across with writing, but in my day-to-day life, I go out of my way to be pleasant to people.
I’m reminded of this quote:
“It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than ‘try to be a little kinder.” – Aldous Huxely
You never know what people are going through, what battles they’re fighting, or how much they’re in need of something as simple as a smile or a kind gesture.
You’d be surprised at how much people will light up just because you were slightly above average in terms of kindness, pleasantness, and respect.
Unharden your heart. Be kind to others. Try to be a force of light in a world that seems to be growing darker by the day.
Why did I just give all of this ‘good advice’ then?
Because life is a paradox filled with contradictions.
This entire post is a contradiction. It’s about being genuine yet calculated, real yet performative, indifferent yet deeply caring.
Sometimes you have to calculate to put both yourself and others in a good position. Often, being ‘real’ or authentic is just an excuse to stay in your shell and does no one any good.
Some of this advice is hard to hear and controversial, maybe even wrong. But I doubt you question the place where it comes from and that’s what matters.