The 10 Stupidest Things I Did Last Year
A shortlist of things winners don't do.
2021 was a wild year.
Through the last year, I’ve started a business, competed in Jiu-Jitsu more than 10 times all over the US, gotten nearly 3 million views on my writing, and published 2 ebooks.
I did a lot, learned a lot, and, in a surprise to no one, I fucked up a lot.
I wrote a lot of articles on life lessons and self-improvement, but I also fucked up most of my decisions and got worse in many areas of my personal life. Whoopsies.
Funny how that works. However, of all the dumb things I did last year, a few stand out among the rest.
Here are 10 stupid things I did in the last year that I’m looking to improve on this year.
I invested in people based on their potential.
Potential is fun, but it does not equate to anything.
The people around you are not stocks and they aren’t NBA draft picks. Don’t invest time, money, and energy in them based on “where you see them going”.
I was too scared to invest money in my career.
Here’s an “inspirational quote” I like:
“Scared money don’t make no money.” — YG
If you want to build a career doing something you love, get ready to see the red. Get ready to take some risks.
I ignored my physical and mental limits.
You aren’t a superhero, even if that self-help dude on the internet tells you are.
Bending becomes breaking faster than you think.
When you break down, it’s hard to do much of anything.
I didn’t build up the courage to ask for my worth.
I thought asking my clients and customers to pay me what I was worth was an ultimatum that I couldn’t handle.
It’s a bit scary, but NOT asking for your worth is the equivalent of shooting your career in the foot.
I’ve been spending the early parts of 2022 playing catch up for the hole I dug myself into in 2021.
I prioritized the short-term over the long-term.
When you’re a young solopreneur, athlete, or on any other difficult individual path, small decisions seem huge.
It’s easy to sacrifice today, thinking it will pay off later, but this is backward logic.
In the future, you still need your health, body, and peace. Think long-term.
I thought after some small success, I thought I would be “good”.
Last year, I won 6 Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, wrote more than 10 viral articles, and got my first million views on my writing.
Not too shabby for someone who had literally no idea what the hell they were doing.
In the past, I thought that by achieving my goals, I’d be less stressed in the future about “making it”. I thought winning would make anxiety go away.
But the truth is that “making it” doesn’t exist. Once you achieve your goal, the restless mind will invent a new one. If you don’t do something about your brain’s inability to be happy, you will chase goals until the wheels fall off your metaphorical bus.
Do not seek goals in place of peace.
I thought talking about my mental health would make me weak.
Hiding your mental struggles is the most twisted society trap that exists.
We make it seem like mental health challenges shouldn’t be discussed, but discussing them is actually the single best way to ease the distress they have in our lives.
When you’re a guy, it’s especially easy to invalidate your own struggle with mental illness.
If you can stop doing this and become good at talking about and understanding your mental health, you’re in the 1% of people in terms of emotional maturity and intelligence.
I saw failure as failure.
Losing in the world championships is always a hard pill to swallow.
I’ve lost in every world championship I’ve competed in, except for one.
Last year, I lost in the quarterfinals — one match away from the podium. After struggling with injuries during some of the biggest tournaments of the last fall, I wanted my run at worlds to be my redemption party.
Instead, I lost.
I felt like a bit of a failure. I felt like I spent all of last year with my true potential just out of my reach.
This was my emotions talking.
When you remove emotion and analyze yourself objectively, you’ll see that failure is not good or bad.
Failure is data. Nothing more.
I was too scared to quit exhausting endeavors.
Usually, you’re just 1 or 2 “quits” away from changing your life.
Cut out people who suck. Quit draining relationships. Plot your escape from a dead-end job. Learn to quit and you’ll realize there are countless life-changing opportunities out there.
If you stay where you are, the results will stay as well.
I chased people like a dog after its tail.
This is the last one because it’s the one that changed my life the most.
When you stop chasing people, your life becomes quieter. You are alone. But if you let yourself sit alone for a bit, you’ll realize that this is can be a very good thing.
Being alone is only bad when it’s not what you want.
When you don’t mind being alone, that’s called “peace”.
Hopefully reading through these 10 dumb things that I’ve done won’t dissuade you from reading more of my writing in the future.
I’ve got a few cool projects in the works that I’m excited to share soon, but for now, the best ways to support my work are to either subscribe to my premium newsletter or pick up a copy of my latest ebook—How to Make Stagefright Your B*tch: A battle-tested guide to overcoming performance anxiety.
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