Lessons Learned #5/2016

Tell people what they are not ready to hear in increments they can handle or they will turn against you. One of the easiest ways of alienating people is telling them what they are not ready to hear. We all have believes that govern our lives. We have built these believes through a lifetime of learning and experience and are emotionally invested in them. When somebody openly challenges these foundations, our gut reaction is refusal and cutting contact with that person to avoid cognitive dissonance and protect our identity. If you want people to stay cooperative, tell them what they are not ready to hear in increments they can handle or packaged in a way that will allow them to adjust their believes by letting them complete the puzzle themselves. (NOTE: Some of the time “shock therapy” does work. In fact there are times when only telling the brutal facts work.)

Hold your friend accountable the same way you would a stranger. Breaking that rule is the essence of clanism which keeps many of the poor countries poor. The justification “I’m doing it for my family” or friend is the hot bed of corruption and leads to the institutionalization of corruption at the level of a group, company or society. Inspired by Mark Manson and The School of Life

Become confident by 1. gaining relevant experience, 2. getting even more practice with visualization, 3. focusing on what you can control. There is a slight contradiction here with the Stoic principles of negative visualization, which focuses on the bad things that can happen to you. But it’s not really a contradiction, as by contemplating what can go wrong and then specifically imagining how you will come out of those situations, you achieve both goals. Don’t be afraid of thinking about negative stuff, but make sure you can see in your minds eye how you will tackle if any of it happens. Inspired by Conor McGregor.

Take the edge of a heavy statement away with a joke. Compliments or any other statements that deliver a punch and leave the listener dumbfounded and not knowing what to say can create an awkward situation. These can be solved taking the initiative and propelling the conversations further and thus saving them from having to say something. Humor works really well, but anything that will move the conversation is better then waiting for the listener to respond. If the statement was a complement, a slightly derogatory joke works great as it deflates the tension created by the complement and makes the listener laugh. Inspired by Russel Brand.