Lessons I've Learned, 61-70

February 12, 2020
Lessons Learned

Lesson I've Learned #61:

I used to try to save people. To convince them they could succeed. To inspire them to take action in their lives.

I thought I was doing it to help them, but I was fooling myself. It was selfish (and arrogant).

I was doing this to avoid my own issues.

I now see that most people in stagnant and unhealthy lives chose those lives. I can't change them (nor should I).

Change requires belief it can happen, plus willingness to take action in the face of pain. People must find this in themselves.

Instead, I now focus on myself and my work.

The way I help others is by sharing my experiences and pointing the way as best I can, to maybe help others find this in themselves. I can only do my work and share my experiences.

The rest is up to them.

Lesson I've Learned #62:

I pair forgiveness with boundaries.

If someone wronged me, I forgive them. This is for me, so I can let go of the hurt I am choosing to carry over their action.

But after I forgive, I put up appropriate boundaries with them, to ensure the same thing doesn't happen again.

Lesson I've Learned #63:

In every field I've learn deeply, I discover 90%+ of people are clueless. They imitate, mimic & play act with no idea what's really going on.

I didn't believe it until I had the same experience in 3 unrelated fields (h/t Nassim Taleb)

The one exception is MMA/BJJ. Getting punched in the face has a clarifying effect on bullshit.

Lesson I've Learned #64:

The more someone guilt-trips or shames me, the more ashamed they are of that part of themselves.

What they project onto me, they are hiding from.

‪They project it on me to be distant from it, but still process it in themselves.

It’s a defense mechanism for them; they are making me their scape goat.

They get to feel good without admitting their own flaws.

Once I learned this, I saw it everywhere.

Lesson I've Learned #65:

The more seriously I take my feelings and the more time I spend to understand them in depth, the quicker I see through lies, humiliations and manipulations, and the easier it is for me to resist them, and find my own truth. (h/t Alice Miller)

Lesson I've Learned #66:

Behind every almost every criticism of mine is an unmet desire.

If I say “I want” I put myself out there. I can be rejected.

Instead, I often criticize.

What others “didn’t do” or “did wrong” is safer and easier than owning my own needs and wants.

This was a hard lesson to see about myself.

Lesson I've Learned #67:

I've almost stopped taking unsolicited advice from people. It's usually wrong for several reasons:

1. People tell you something that only applies to them.
2. People tell you what they should be doing, not you.
3. People tell you what they've other people say, but never did.
4. People tell you what they did, even if it was the wrong thing, to feel good about their decision.
5. People give advice to gain status/control. They tell you what you “have” to do, as a command. ‪

When I get unsolicited advice, I ask people what they did in my situation, how it worked for them, and what else they considered. ‬‪Those questions usually uncover one of the 5 above issues, and I know I can ignore them. ‬‪

People with good advice usually wait to be asked, then give information, not advice.

Lesson I've Learned #68:

I never assume I know what people mean, until I've heard them fully express themselves.

I used to assume I got their point and start answering before they finish. I was right 70% of the time, but not only did interrupting cause them to feel unheard, the other 30% of the time, I was wrong.

Now I (try to be) patient and listen until they are done speaking, which is often when the real meaning comes out.

Lesson I've Learned #69:

I cannot convince anyone that the story in their head isn't true.

I can only offer them a new story, one that is so good it replaces the old one.

Lesson I've Learned #70:

I won't usually change until I'm most sick and tired of my own bullshit.

When I'm fed up with the lies I tell myself and worn out by the pain I'm holding onto, that's when I create real change in my life.

That's often what it takes to accept whatever hard truth I was avoiding.

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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