I’ve been reflecting on this with Connie over the past month or two. How come I’m never satisfied with my day. Why am I constantly living in a state of fear (fear that our business will vanish one dreadful morning, fear that we won’t have enough saved up for our retirement, fear that if we don’t out-work our competitors then we’re doomed to fail, etc).
Why am I finding it challenging just to feel a simple emotion that is happiness. Why.
I was reading this email series from Perry Marshall that talks about what he labels as “head trash”. He goes deep into his own struggles with depression even though he has achieved massive success with his business, demons from his past, and figuring out what it all means and where these mental anxiety comes from.
Another very successful entrepreneur who founded WooThemes (Adii) also openly talks about his struggle with depression, even though he’s massively successful, have a loving wife and a child he loves very much.
The more I dig into the stories of entrepreneurs, the more I realize that a lot of them have mental struggles and their own issues they deal with.
I don’t think I suffer from depression (depends on how you see it), but I did discover upon further reflection that I do have a hard time just being content, being happy with the simplest things. How come some people can find joy in the most basic of things, and I always seem to have this frown on my face and worry about everything.
How can I find inner peace? How can I become more care free?
Connie brought up a good point just yesterday. She said that she hears from my good friends how I used to do really silly things and seemed to have so much more fun. That’s not the same me that she sees nowadays.
What I discovered based on what other entrepreneurs have shared, the way we frame our mindset about how the world works are deeply seeded when we were very young. Like it or not, we are all governed by our own mental rules.
For me, the way I think about success and money (just a few off the top of my head):
- Success only comes with extreme hardwork
- Success only comes with long hours of work
- Save hard as it is really difficult to make money
- Life is a struggle, and it’s normal as it’s the same for everybody
- If I want to do “other” things such as spend more time with family, friends, or start a family, then I have to postpone entrepreneurial success
- It’s not easy to make money. It’s really hard.
Now, who taught me these “rules”? Are they true? Says who?
In a way, I feel that these rules are true, even if I didn’t have a chance to experience them. I think for me, these “rules” have taken root as a very deep foundation within my brain since I was young. The way I observe my parents and others around me. Media always talk about these issues (tv shows, movies). Financial news journals. You get my point.
All these pre-conceptions brainwashed me, leading me to automatically believe that all must be universal truths – that the only way to get ahead is through outworking everybody else, and not giving myself a chance to be happy with my results. If I become content, I will become complacent, and that will be the beginning of the end.
That’s just some of my own head trash.
You see, to live an extraordinary life, requires us to think differently. The way an average person thinks and perceives things, is very different than how a successful person sees the world. How you define success doesn’t matter, the point is that they see things differently because their brains are wired differently.
I struggle a lot with my own limited beliefs. Hard to find time to spend with others without giving up time to spend on something else, must save hard as the flow of money is very limited, must work 15 hour days as that’s the only way to grow our business, etc. Do you see how limited (and pathetic) my beliefs are?
I now recognize them, but it’s a huge struggle to change or re-frame my mindset. These are deeply rooted head trash that controls everything I do. They control my thinking, they control my instincts. It takes a massive, conscious effort to recognize, and negotiate with them.
I should be focused on abundance. There are plenty of success for me to achieve, and I don’t have to live by those “rules” in order to become successful. There are no shortage of opportunities out there. There are no limitations. There is no such thing as “there can only be 1 million successful people out there, and the rest will be unsuccessful”. No such thing. No need to live in constant fear, constant self-attacks to force myself to work harder.
In any case, I’m just vomiting a bunch of random thoughts I’m going through right now. It’s a real struggle to learn to see the world and approach things from a different angle. I’m trying to re-wire my brain and be more happy, more content, more positive and see more abundance (versus limitations).
Changing my belief system, can change the way I observe the world. Such a “small” tweak, can be so powerful. Create my own reality, instead of living within a reality that others imposed on me. Dream big. Dream boldly.