Today I was reading one of the great books of all time: The Analects by Confucius. One line in Book 15 stuck out, “I once did not eat all day and did not sleep all night in order to think, but there was no benefit. It would have been better to study.”
It reminded me of the lie so many of us have bought into – that all the answers are “inside of us.”
Confucius says that’s a bunch of BS.
The answers are not within us. They are OUTSIDE of us – they are external.
You can’t just close your eyes and meditate and somehow magically have the answers to life’s hard problems pop into your head.
There are a whole bunch of dumb books and magazines telling you about ‘the truth within.’ It sounds great. Too bad it’s simply not true.
A few years ago, a friend of mine met a girl and married her in like a month. I asked him if he thought that was a wise idea. He told me that he had sat in silence and meditated and he received a clear answer from the Universe that this was the girl to marry.
A few months later I was hanging out with him again and I asked, “Hey where is your wife?” He told me that he was divorcing her because he had now gotten new ‘clarity’ from ‘within’ that she was no longer the right girl for him.
Kind of hilarious, I know. But I can’t laugh. We have all made stupid mistakes when we thought we were following our gut.
Meditation might be good for lowering your blood pressure and relaxing, but for finding the answers to life it’s a pretty poor way according to Confucius.
Look, I don’t care how you measure success. If you are spiritual maybe you consider Martin Luther King, JR. or Gandhi successful. Or if you’re an artist you consider Picasso or Mozart successful. Or if you like money you consider Sam Walton or Bill Gates successful. Or if you like sports you consider Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan successful…
Guess what? Everyone of those people got there BY STUDYING other people and external principles.
Picasso spent his whole life studying, so did Sam Walton, Gandhi, and Tiger Woods.
Michael Jordan had coaches. He didn’t meditate to learn how to shoot a basketball.
As the proverb says, “Study to show thyself approved.”
How did you learn English? You didn’t cross your legs as a baby, contemplate life, and somehow magically have the words form in your brain.
You listened to other people, you studied.
Sure we have some natural truth and instincts within us. The problem is most of our natural instincts do NOT work in the modern world. They are dead wrong.
There is an amazing book called Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by the Pulitzer prize winning Michael Moss. He shows how we naturally evolved to eat up salt, sugar, fat the second we find it. Now back when we lived in caves and in tribes that made sense. There wasn’t much opportunity to get extra calories.
But that natural craving instinct is horrible now in a world full of Doritos and Big Macs. It makes us fat, ugly, and die of heart attacks.
This is the scientific principle called “Mismatch Theory” and is explained like this:”Traits that were at one time adaptive in a certain environment, are now ‘mismatched’ to the environment that the trait is currently present in. This can present a number of problems for the organism in question.
One example is the taste of foods high in fat and sugar to humans. In Pleistocene environments, sugars and fats were relatively uncommon in the human diet.
In the modern Western diet, however, foods with such properties are relatively easy to acquire. This can be problematic since an abundance of such foods combined with the human adaptation to prefer them can, and often does, contribute to obesity and chronic metabolic syndrome.”
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Tais Mentor Tip of the Day
Tai’s Mentor Tip of the Day
I am not really religious but today is a Sunday.
So I decided for today’s Book Of The Day I would read the Bible, specifically the Book of Proverbs.
The wise man says in Proverbs 22:7, “…the borrower is the slave of the lender.”
How true this is.
Throughout history, the lender has always been the master over the borrower.
The average person in the USA is $225,238 in debt.
They owe $15,263 on their credit cards (at interest of around 14.95%), $147,591 on their house, $31,646 on student loans, and owe a staggering $30,738 on their car.
You might be in debt too.
If you are in debt you have two choices. You can be like most people and blame capitalism or ‘corporations.’
Or you can follow the old saying, “If you can’t beat them, join them.”
So become a lender. Start lending money yourself.
Lending money will accomplish one main thing: make you sophisticated with money.
Nothing will make you more financially savvy then lending out a little money and losing it, then learning from your mistakes, and evolving into someone skilled in advanced financial principles.
Lending money will teach you:
1. How to read people and be discerning with money.
2. How to structure win-win negotiations.
3. How to draw up a promissory note.
4. How to calculate a loan repayment schedule.
5. How to deal with conflict from people that aren’t paying you back.
Remember, if you want to thrive in life you have to become sophisticated with money.
One of the reasons I went through the whole laborious Certified Financial Planner Program was to understand money at the deepest levels.
So start by lending out a $100 or $500.
Remember only lend out what you can afford to lose.
I once lent a buddy $38,000 to renovate and flip a house. That was in 2007, right before the market dropped. I still haven’t seen a penny back yet.
But who cares? Gaining knowledge to me is more valuable than losing money here and there.
It’s like anything in life, you will suck at first. But if you patiently commit to building the new skill of lending money you will get good over time – real good.
I don’t recommend lending to family or close friends since there is always the chance of some long term tension.
Lend to an acquaintance or a friend of a friend.
And do not just informally lend out the money. That won’t teach you anything.
You probably have already done that in your life before. There is no real educational value from just pulling a $100 out of your pocket and giving it to a friend who is broke.
Structure the deal formally so they have to pay you back on an exact lending schedule.
debt, slave to debt, start small, lending money, a slave to debt
Tai’s mentor text tip of the day explains a simple financial law that only the wealthy understand.
It will make you rethink the way you buy things with your money.
From Charlie Munger to Warren Buffet, all of the successful people in the world use this method to get more money.