At times you get cocky, and think you’ve got it all.
This is a personal issue of mine.
You see, outside of my immediate family my circle is not interested in improving themselves like I am. Therefore, I have had to distance myself from all my friends, except a couple who are moving up in the world with me.
In comparison to my mates who smoke and drink their younger years away it seems as though I’ve hit gold. I work out a lot, read a lot, and I write often. I enjoy my part-time job and have been struggling and developing my mind for some time. Next year I will graduate with a neuroscience degree which will open more doors for me than a thirsty virgin at Dan Bilzerian’s pool party.
So I think I’m fantastic. It is very easy to become cocky and even arrogant when you surround yourself with people that are deemed ‘less’ successful than yourself in these aspects.
My mates and I met for a short catch-up after the gym. Word for word this is what was said:
‘The best thing ever happened was on Thursday, we managed to win ‘Apex Legends’… streaming through my mobile data and on TWO PlayStations!’
That was one of those moments where: the air cleared… and a magic cherub appeared holding a sign saying: ‘Clearly my friend, you do not belong here.’
This brings me to the point of this post:
Online or in real life,
You must find people who will elevate you.
You must seek those better than you in what specific attribute you would like to improve most.
For me, I want to get my writing out to more people, improve my fitness levels and overall productivity.
So, I came back to twitter. And while that sounds counter-intuitive, I use the site to forge relationships meeting great people and getting my writing out.
I am grateful to have been added to a group filled with savvy, successful, and intelligent people. And to be honest at the time of writing I considered myself ranked bottom in all those attributes in comparison to them.
And while excited at all the possibilities, the animal in me felt…. Insecure.
*gasp* he feels…
When some people talk you can feel the energy coursing out of their every word, stuff like conviction, purpose and a sense of higher meaning can even be felt through a screen when talking about the important things.
(And the odd shitpost, gotta have some fun, ho)
I didn’t feel I was at that level
And it pissed me off.
Like a smooth cup of English Breakfast (one sugar, milk after the boiling water, now stir) my emotions were stirred, and I clearly wasn’t as great as I thought I was.
Back to the lab again, yo
But its not all doom and gloom my friends.
The effect that changing my social circle had on me.
This new group humbled me, forcing me back to the drawing board with their intelligent discussions and raging intellects.
Peep the comparison:
Being around my home friends gave me the impression that I have nothing left to figure out- because I am the best.
Upon meeting my interweb friends- a simple change in perspective had me moving from the Slowlane which I thoughtlessly dominated- similar to how Jeff Bezos feels after yoga, to the Fastlane in which I lagged like a white man at the 100m sprint, or an Internet Explorer tab.
I have experienced first hand the fresh source of power that is changing your social circle.
I must admit; I have not got rid of my old friends.
I see them at the gym, and sometimes we drive up together. I do enjoy their company… in small doses.
You have probably heard the cliché:
‘You are the sum of the 5 people that you spend the most time with’.
I hated that phrase for a long time because I refused to believe I wasn’t as great as I thought I was.
Look at your life and tell me its not true, I dare you.
Your friends either drag you down to their level or bring you up to theirs. Wasting countless hours doing stupid things that do not further your progression leads you to a lack of vision … you refuse to broaden your horizons and eventually the comfort that comes with being average is somehow… acceptable.
And I’ll do anything to never ever go back.
Being a social butterfly I have always had a lot of friends.
Some I had to leave behind.
Some get it, and they support me.
Others, they make me feel guilty.
‘You never see us anymore. And you never spend time with us… you obviously don’t care’
Well, yes and no.
I still care. We spent a large portion of our teen years growing up together and they have formed a large part of my identity. We are like family and have been through a lot together… so that will never go away.
On the flipside, I owe them nothing. I understand that they benefit more from seeing me than I do seeing them, so a negative return on my behalf is not welcome.
You might sound like a heartless robot but its true.
I miss them. Seeing them once every so often is fine but I cannot justify wasted time that I could spend working on my craft or earning money.
They know how I value my time. Very highly.
Going to clubs to dance until four AM, watching loser men fight other loser men for girls who do not know their worth? Day drinking in big cities, spending hundreds of pounds in expensive pubs when I could be helping my dad out by saving up for rent? Playing games for hours at a time, in exchange for short bursts of dopamine when I could be reading, writing or at the gym preparing to defeat Thanos?
My dad taught me a lesson that fits well here. He drilled it into my head day after day until it has become a foundational belief of mine:
‘Put your priorities in prospective.’
Invest, don’t spend. Save not waste. Changing yourself for the better comes from developing little habits that snowball into the lifestyle that others wish they had.
And it all starts with saying no.
Noor’s Nugget of Truth: Say no to one thing you want badly. Delay gratification for something you should do without but can’t, such as masturbating.
(Disclaimer: please consult a physician before you attempt to stop masturbating. You will no doubt be unable to handle the incredible, pent-up sexual energy and might injure yourself doing pull-ups)
I don’t know what it is, but there is great satisfaction in holding out on something that you want now, in return for a greater prize in the future.
And the future is yours if you want it.
I am 21 years old.
I already feel behind, although I know I am not.
My best years are ahead of me and I appreciate that God helped me realise this before it was too late.
No matter how much you care about someone, you can’t risk limiting your own progress and development for their happiness.
Life and progress do not care if it is your girlfriend of 3 years, or your deadbeat alcoholic brother.
Learn to say no.
Set your boundaries and stick to them.
If you don’t… then you will never truly be serious about succeeding, let alone mastering whatever craft earns you your daily bread.
My fellow men (and women, I see you), gather round and lend me your ears:
For this is important,
You must be selfish.
You must cling onto your values . Change them for no one.
Because if you do…
If you give in…
You wont just fail,
You will lose respect for yourself.
Then, you will lose sight of your goal
And you will end up in the same boat as every other Homo sapiens who had dreams but sacrificed them settling for less than what he deserved.
Here are two examples:
Miguel wanted to be heavyweight boxing champion of the world, but his girl was worried he would be badly injured. So he quit, for her. Now at 34 he has a beer belly and his hobbies include screaming at the TV every Saturday because his favourite football team is losing.
And who could forget Norman, who wanted to be a world-class music producer, but his child was on the way. His mum told him to get a ‘real’ job. Now he makes just enough to pay the rent, and to finance his new car- a purchase that he feels is justified because his office job is an hour from his home, on a on a light traffic day.
What do these two guys have in common?
They both have no personal goals, except for satisfying others in the short term and therefore themselves.
Settling for average in return for an unhealthy dose of short-term gratification.
‘But I love my wife! I can’t disappoint my loved ones! You always say family and close relationships come first!’
while that is true,
Do you know how you can really serve someone you love?
How to give the people you care about most the best life possible in this dark and unpredictable world?
Talk to them,
Tell them to be patient. Tell them the benefits that they will gain once you reach your goals. Change their mind. Align them with your vision.
If they truly love you they will stand by you.
And if you can’t convince them, then you deserve better.
You deserve someone who will support you when you’re right and not be afraid to tell you when you’re wrong.
Not put you down,
Making you feel like Tiger Woods in 2016 when he was arrested on DUI suspicion, except all the time.
Because ultimately we are in control of who we share our time with.
If you think you are not in control, answer me this:
If you found out today that you had an incurable cancer… The doctor gave you 2 months.
What will you do?
Will you still spend what little time you have left around that negative loser friend or that girl that was with you for clout or that family member that tells you your’e a deadbeat and that’s all you’ll ever be?
Or would you sail far, far away to do everything in your bucket list before you finally meet your maker?
Look into your soul. What would you do?
Would you never speak to them again? Say your goodbyes to everyone you ever loved and then set off travelling? Do pilgrimage with your close ones then move around the world experiencing the joys of life?. Write a book as you traveled to be released posthumously? Even as far as design and plan a marketing campaign to promote the book and film your travels… Then die with grace and no regrets, surrounded by people who love you…
Does that sound about right?
I’d love to hear your ideas.
Think it over. You see we treat time like we have plenty of it.
But time is a currency. We are born with buckets of it. However as we grow it dwindles down like Leonardo Da’Vinci’s pencil with every tick and every tock.
One day, you will die.
No more tock.
What are you going to do with what precious time you have now?
I am writing and writing every day and I will write several books. They will all be beautiful. This is inevitable. I don’t see this ever not happening because I love writing.
I am securing a future for myself any my family.
I have cut off all negative people from my life. When I see them at a party or in the shop, we talk for 2 minutes and move on with our lives. No hard feelings.
It is what it is.
What about you?
Make it a habit to surround yourself with positive people,
Builders not destroyers. That align with your vision like a solar eclipse,
Life’s short man. Start living.
- Find people who will force you to level up in the real world, if you cannot then in the online world.
- Understand that you are in control of what you spend your time on, and who you spend it with.
- Always give people a chance to prove themselves when they enter your life. If they pass then great. If they fail, do not hesitate to cut off associations with them.