I've garnered immeasurable value from browsing this subreddit over the years, and believe it's about time to start returning some back. I work for one of the world's largest financial institutions and, through the I've lessons internalized (with partial thanks to the great men who post on this subreddit), I've gained a reputation as the go to mentor for new hires looking to embark on the path of becoming their best selves. Here are a few of the main points I cover in a first meeting:
In the Workplace:
• Positivity is a choice, and an incredibly useful tool. Be willing to tackle any task placed before you, and allow enthusiasm to flow throughout the completion of each. Why do you think they ask so many personality questions in interviews? One of the most important things to keep in mind when working for someone is just how strongly their perception of you can be altered based on how enjoyable you are to work with. Remaining present in each and every situation while radiating positive emotion towards others will cause them to begin to crave your presence.
• Never complain or gossip. Do what has to be done without complaining and avoid gossiping as most will secretly or subconsciously look down on you for it. Make it appear as if you leap over obstacles with ease as it’s one of the best ways to garner respect (Law #30 in the 48 Laws of Power – make your accomplishments seem effortless).
• Talk to everyone. Find commonalities and show genuine interest in each person you interact with while remembering FORD/RPM (On the table: Family, Occupation, Recreation, Dreams; Off the table: Religion, Politics, Money). “Learn to be interested so people want to talk to you, and interesting so people want to listen to you.”
• “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Yes, it’s cliché, but I’ve heard this spouted time and time again by higher-ups, and have seen it to be true. Seek out individuals that have high influence and try to make connections with them. Thrive whenever opportunities to prove your worth arise as fostering strong relationships with senior management is the best way to fast track your own rise to their level.
• Learn to value your time, and don’t give it away easily. You’re closer to closer to death with each tick of the clock (mention leader of Dark Army’s obsession with time in Mr. Robot), and anyone worth a damn will respect you for attempting to squeeze as much value as possible out of your forever fleeting time. The more you value the moments in your life and the improvement you derive from utilizing each to the greatest extent possible, the more people will want to be around you. Most hope to surround themselves with driven and successful individuals, and driven and successful individuals become labeled as such after years of taking advantage of the opportunities laid before them. A filtering process where you determine the worthiness of people and activities in your life becomes more and more necessary as you align your actions closer and closer with what it takes to attain self-actualization.
In Life (The Path to Self-Actualizing):
• Find your own life philosophy, and be a soldier of it. Developing and refining a life code over time will provide you with the ability to quickly judge your actions and mindset, as well as a strong frame of reference when figuring out how to most efficiently tackle obstacles laid before you. This is a never-ending process, but the self-awareness and growth that arises from it will emit benefits into both your day to day and long-term experiences.
• Cultivate a mentality of abundance (antifragility; living life free of attachments). There are two different lenses of which a person can view life: one of scarcity, and one of abundance. An individual seeing life through the lens of scarcity is driven by fear and insecurity; they spend a great deal of time worrying about how others perceive them and rely heavily on stability, meaning they have allowed themselves to become strongly attached to the relationships and objects in their lives. Those who’ve cultivated an abundance mentality realize the vast number of things worthy of their gratitude, and have little to no fear of losing any single one. Consider that we have more in our lives today (technology, medicine, and other luxuries) than anyone did in the 1800s, yet so many people fail to find contentment. This greatly stems from just how easy it is to fall prey to comparisons; if you have a $500k house and live on a street filled with mansions, you’d likely feel inadequate, while that wouldn’t be the case in 99% of other communities. The less you require in life to be happy, the better your life will be. Those living in abundance realize just how little they truly need (it’s all about perspective), and their mental fortitude opens the door to limitless opportunities as they don’t fear taking risks. Learn to treat outcomes with passive indifference while caring only about the actions you take, and you will be better off for it. One of my favorite quotes that entwines stoic and zen philosophy is relevant here: “Not giving a f*** isn’t about not giving a f***, it’s about embracing your natural capability to weather any amount of suffering, loss, or change. In essence, it’s about pleasantly floating while the whole world frantically swims, and, if you’re good, it’s about teaching others to float with you. After all, life is better with company.”
• Learn how to suppress your ego and fully open your mind to new perspectives. The greatest obstacle to learning is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge. The quickest way to hinder your progress is by preventing yourself from internalizing the viewpoints held by respectable individuals because arrogance clouds your ability to objectively judge critiques given to you. Embrace constructive criticism as locating your flaws and working towards improving each competency you’re lacking in allows you to excel, while continually congratulating yourself on your strengths does nothing to progress your standing. Take in new information with an open mind by attempting to remain objective while tying little importance to whether or not it conflicts with your viewpoints or perceived self-value.
• Find a mentor worthy of emulation. A mentor is one of the most useful tools you can ever have when it comes to streamlining the acquisition of qualities you hope to adopt into your life. Learn from their mistakes before you wind up falling prey to each, and apply the lessons they’ve learned from their experiences in whatever way possible. One of the salient points to bring up here is I often notice people instantly ignoring individuals they disagree with on certain issues and treating them with disdain, but most successful individuals will have at least one trait they’ve mastered that’s worth paying attention to. And once you begin to master these traits yourself, mentor others so they can benefit from everything you’ve learned from your own accomplishments and greatest failures (which are necessary and should not be avoided), as it is teaching each trait that enables us to reach the final stage of mastery.
• Embrace the struggle, and create a sense of urgency in your day to day life. As I said before, learn to value your time and live your life with purpose by taking it upon yourself to improve your self-worth on a daily basis. Become obsessed with self-betterment, intensely intellectually curious, and read vigorously in your free time to broaden your perspectives, and better understanding the intricacies of both business and the world as a whole. You most likely don’t remember what you did four years ago today, but the actions your younger self took got you where you are now. Seek difficult situations that challenge you as much as possible because forcing your body and mind to adapt is the fastest way to grow, and you will be able to forever reap the rewards of your hard work and time invested.
TL;DR: You expect to grow without having the discipline to read a five minute post? GTFO.