Lessons I've Learned, 31-40

February 12, 2020
Lessons I've Learned

Lesson I've Learned #31:

People say they want the truth, but only about others. For themselves, they want flattery. (h/t Carl Jung)

Note: exceptions exist, and those people are rare treasures that I value highly and keep close--because they're truly honest with me as well.

Lesson I've Learned #32:

I say “I don’t know” much more now than I used to.

It's because I have the confidence to not need to have the answer to everything.

The more opinions I had, the less confidence I had.

Took me about 38+ years to see that in myself and correct it, though I saw it in others earlier.

Lesson I've Learned #33:

‬Almost everything I was told about "the way life is" has been wrong. Probably 99.8%.

Everything I know about how things actually work, I learned from:
1. my mistakes
2. books
3. observing (not always asking) those few people who're effective at life.

Lesson I've Learned #34:

Everything I want to do can be done with a list of things to do, in a certain order.

Seems simple, it is, but it unlocked a lot of progress for me. (h/t @JoePolish).

Bonus lesson: NYE is worst night of the year to go out. Amateur night. I stay in & sleep.

Lesson I've Learned #35:

If I have a problem, and money to solve that problem, then I don’t have a problem.

What I might have is an unwillingness to solve a problem. Why?

Often because it's the solution to another undiscovered or unacknowledged problem.

Example: Let's say I have an anger problem, and I want to solve it. If I can afford a great therapist to help me, and I never do-why not?

Because my anger is a solution to another problem. In this case, my way of avoiding feeling sadness and grief. (h/t Dan Sullivan)

Lesson I've Learned #36:

The structure I use to tell a personal story is very simple:

1. What happened?
2. What did I feel about it?
3. What did I do (or learn) as a result?

Repeat, over and over, until resolution.

That simple structure + lots of hard honesty = millions of books sold.

Lesson I've Learned #37:

People tell (and show) me who they are.

My only job is to believe them.

I used to ignore them, because I wanted them to be who I wanted them to be.

That caused a lot of suffering (for both).

This has been (and remains) one of my hardest lessons to learn.

Lesson I've Learned #38:

When I find myself wanting to believe something, I first ask if I could be fooling myself.

It is so easy for me to believe things that I want to be true.

No one can fool me as well as I fool myself. (h/t Richard Feynman)

Lesson I've Learned #39: 

To convince someone, I listen first. People usually aren't convinced until they feel heard and respected.

If I disagree, I ask them to explain how their position works. If they can explain, I learn something.

If they can’t, they're usually open to hearing a new perspective.

Note: This can backfire. If my questions reveal to someone they don't know what they're talking about, they often get angry and dig in.

Lesson I've Learned #40: 

There is no such thing as attention span.

People will stay riveted until you say something that allows their mind to wander.

Relevance + constant surprise keeps people engaged; as long as the surprises resolve and makes sense. (h/t Roy H Williams)

The point of sharing these lessons is to help others on their journey. If you know someone who could benefit from a lesson, please forward this blog post to them.

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Tucker Max

Tucker Max is the co-founder of Scribe Media, a company that helps you write, publish, and market your book.  

He's written four New York Times Best Sellers (three hit #1), which have sold over 4.5 million copies worldwide. He's credited with being the originator of the literary genre, “fratire,” and is only the fourth writer (including Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Lewis and Brene Brown) to ever have three books on the New York Times Nonfiction Best Seller List at one time. He was nominated to the Time Magazine 100 Most Influential List in 2009.

He received his BA from the University of Chicago in 1998, and his JD from Duke Law School in 2001. He currently lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife Veronica and three children.


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