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Category Archives for Relationships

Are Your Friends Holding You Back?

As much as I love visiting Finland (the small frozen landmass where I’m from), it sometimes serves as a painful reminder of how estranged I’ve become of my old friends and social life.

The more I see the world, the more I grow. The more I grow, the more I realize how limitless I am.

Thus my goals grow with me. I don’t plan to sit around waiting for success to knock on my door. I’m here to leave gorram tremors in my wake.

10k€ a month? What if you double it? Triple it? What if there was no limit to your income?

More free time? Are you implying that all of your time isn’t free? What if you could go anywhere at any time?

This is my reality.

When You Outgrow Yourself

The sad thing when your goals grow out of the dimensions and comprehensibility of normal people, is that you no longer have much to talk about.

“Sorry, I can’t go anywhere tonight, gotta work tomorrow.”

“Did you see <celebrity> in <newspaper> tonight? That was so embarrassing!”

They speak of proudly saving pennies at the thrift store.

They speak of lofty goals as ridiculous pipedreams, and return quickly to their comfortable every day lives. “I wish I could go to the beach again, but gotta save up some vacation days.”

They grovel at the sight of the only attractive person in town. After all, if they can’t get this girl/guy, there’s no more girls left in the world.

“I hate my job but I can’t quit because we have a Christmas party soon.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’ll talk about anything. But I’ll always turn it into something deeper than just superficial stuff. Your job? Let’s talk about your goals in life. Whatever your wildest wishes are, I’ll dig it out and tell you that it’s possible. Because I truly believe that.

I have yet to be presented with an impossible dream.

Normal People Don’t Want Possibilities.

Here’s the ugly truth. With extraordinary people, it’s possible to talk about dreams and goals. They will welcome it.

It’s possible because extraordinary people are capable of picking themselves up and taking responsibility for their lives. If they know something is possible, they will do everything in (and outside) of their power to get it.

A normal person will resist this. To them, some or most things are out of their control. All of their dreams are being prevented from happening through external causes.

Can’t get a girl because all the good ones are taken. Can’t get rich because they didn’t invent Facebook. Can’t improve their life because they have to go to work tomorrow. Whatever convenient excuse they can come up with, as long as it’s not in the mirror.

If you, as limitless individual, go and tell these people that their dreams are completely possible and even easy to attain, they will dismiss you. They will resist your words to the bitter end. Because they absolutely can not face the idea that they would have responsibility of their own fate. They will treat it as a burden.

Now that’s fine.

I’m not complaining. When 99% of the world fight to be mediocre, it’s much easier for me to be part of the 1% and fucking kick ass.

Old Friend or Ball and Chain?

The reason I’m writing about this is that those “normal” people might be your friends. They might be your social circle which only yesterday was normal life for you. They might be the trusted companions who just recently were there to support you at a rough time.

But because you’re a driven person, you’re evolving. You’re leaps and bounds ahead of where you were yesterday. They can’t keep up. They don’t want to.

You’ve become a person who is no longer normal to them. You find you can’t talk to them about your dreams. They shrug off or even resent your dreams. You’ll find yourself talking about mundane crap just so they won’t get annoyed.

You’ll feel a frustration growing.

I did.

This is why I left Finland, years and years ago. To find people … not on my level, but above and past my level. People who live in a reality where there are no limits.

I’ve since learned to forgive myself and others, and even love. Still, visiting Finland is always a painful reminder of how much I’ve grown. It’s like a yardstick of development. 

Move away from things that feel heavy. That’s the only way to progress in life.

Surround Yourself With Amazing People

Leaving for home, I felt fucking heavy. Am I on the right track? Am I delusional? What if I’m crazy? Maybe I should just go back to where I came from and be a good little boy like the rest of them.

I was haunted by these poisonous thoughts. Then, after 2 hours of meditation I realized.

STOP.

This is why you can not spend energy on normal people.

They love you. As best they can, they want the best for you and themselves.

Unfortunately, their thoughts and doubts will poison your mind.

They will just by living in their own reality, pull you down to their level. And that will hurt your creativity. It will hurt your vision. It’ll fill your head with doubt.

As an extraordinary individual, you must forge your own path.

A wise man once told me: listen to and respect other people. Learn from them. Hear their opinions. And then do whatever the fuck you want.

-Jay

Success is the Opposite of Happiness

STUFF is the make up and bandaids of happiness. – Gary Vee

Seems to be a general consensus that getting stuff and acquiring things isn’t going to make you happy.

I’m gonna go one step further and say – SUCCESS will not make you happy.

Success, in fact, is the antithesis – the complete opposite of happiness.

“…Wait, what did you say?” I hear you ask.

Think about it. How many people are filty rich but unhappy? Successful beyond comprehension, but miserable inside? You can probably think of at least one example.

Clearly then, success by itself does not make you happy. Happiness must comes from somewhere else.

What do I mean by happiness? Fulfillment. Peace. Calm. Balance. A neutral complete satisfaction. Happiness is when you can sit alone in a quiet dark room and not feel like you need to get out. The state of being where nothing could ever disturb you.

We are happy when we are content with nothing. It is your natural state. You need nothing to fulfill you.

We are so far removed from this idea of simply being, that even my describing it is making you scratch your head in bewilderment. “What the hell is Jay even talking about? This happiness thing sounds incredibly boring, why would you even want that?”

That’s fine. Just humor me for a moment. Now, let’s look at what “success” is.

To be successful, you need to get money, get an education, get a family, get busy, get ahead. Oh and keep struggling. That’s a big one – you should ALWAYS keep struggling. Success can never come easily, you MUST struggle to get ahead.

Success is a series of exciting peaks and gut wrenching lows. It keeps you trapped like a mouse in a running wheel chasing a piece of cheese. Convinced by your ego that external things will make you happy, you go from one source of stimulation to the next.

Never truly satisfied.

Success leaves you feeling hollow. Empty. Always longing for something new. A new stimulus, a new way to get excited. Not unlike an addiction.

Success is manipulating reality to conform to your needs.

Happiness is surrendering to reality. 

What’s Wrong With Being Successful?

You’ve been told your whole life that you must succeed. You’re taught to strive for success from the moment you enter the real world. You’re taught that happiness and good things come for those who succeed in life. Media and society tout successful people as the heroes and luminaries of our time.

But they got it wrong. Success has nothing to do with happiness.

Let’s imagine a scenario for a moment.

You’ve made it. Forbes covers, billionaire list. Whatever incredible success means to you, you’re there.

You’ve set up a number of profitable businesses that largely run without your help. If there was an infinite amount of funds, you’re effectively at that point.

Your mind is a neverending explosion of ideas. An ideafactory that will not shut down. When you’re done with business, you turn to philantropy. Schools. Hospitals. Energy.

As long as it’s helpful, you think. As long as someone’s life improves. Seeing others in distress makes you work even harder to get there. 

People start regarding you as some sort of superhero. 

Life is PERFECT, right?

As long as you have new challenges to overcome. New successes to keep you excited and stimulated, you feel great. Adventurous.

… but you can’t shut off your brain.

However brilliant your mind is, it will never shut up. The ideas will keep coming. You can keep working and keeping yourself busy to drown out the deafening noise, but it will never stop.

Sure you spend some free time with your friends. Golf and jogging and maybe a beer night now and then. Maybe even take the new car for a spin.

But eventually you run out of things to do. Out of stimulants. And then, when it all quiets down, you face yourself.

… You face the loneliness.

When you’re lying there in your bed, you feel empty. Hollow. Sad. 

The person sleeping beside you might as well be a million miles away for the cold you feel.

Happiness? You’d give everything for just a moment of serene, genuine happiness. A moment of calm.

You might say this is an extreme example. Fine. Let’s tone it down a bit. What’s your definition of success?

  • You want a raise so that becomes your life purpose. What happens when you get the raise? You’re successful. Will you look for another raise? When will it end?
  • You want more money? Great. What happens when you get it? More money? How much money is enough?
  • You want the perfect wife/husband so you’re always looking for better options. Great. And when you get it, will you then be happy?

Whatever your motivator to push on to succeed – if it is external, then it will run out.

And when it does, you must face the silence and yourself.

What will you feel? Guilt? Shame? Loneliness? Fear?

Make no mistake. You can not keep stimulating yourself forever to drown out the noise.

Material values have no ability, no POSSIBILITY to provide us inner peace. Only a compassionate mind, your OWN mind, is the key to reduce anxiety – Dalai Lama

That’s why forcing reality to conform to your needs is a short term solution. That’s why chasing success is a fool’s errand.

Internal peace and calm can only be found by surrendering to reality. That, my friends, is HAPPINESS.

How to Create From Happiness

Wow, success sounds a bit shit, right. So what can we do? What if you wanted to be successful and create awesome things and become something huge?

Let me just say that there’s nothing wrong with creating things, building businesses, and a legacy for yourself. Some successful people do massively good work to help the world and I commend them! That’s amazing.

You can do it too. But instead of chasing success, I suggest finding your happiness first. Then create from a place of love. That’s the beauty of not chasing success: you create from an infinite fuel source.

Sounds a bit woowoo, so let’s break it down. I like to be practical, after all.

What do you want? No, really. What do YOU really want in your life? Take a moment to think about that.

Based on Maslov’s hierarchy of needs, I would expect it’s something along the lines of:

  • Security
  • Companionship
  • Ways to express yourself

Traditionally, a successful person would achieve these through external means, like a big home, a community and expensive toys. The bigger the Mercedes, the more successful you are, right?

Instead, we’ll look for answers from within you.

First, you must learn to accept and forgive yourself for your mistakes and imperfections. That will prepare you to more readily accept others with their differences and imperfections.

This will lead to connection. With yourself and others.

As humans, we thrive on connection and empathy. We’re wired that way. True connection, and I mean deep, authentic, genuine open-hearted understanding is the best way to build trust. And building trust is the best way to get rid of fear.

Once you realize you can trust complete strangers, the world no longer seems like such a hostile place. (Security)

You start building true connections with people and learning who you are and who you want around you. The more you get to know yourself and others, the more you’ll get an idea who your tribe is. The people you align with and resonate with on a deep level. (Companionship)

When humans are connected in this way, we feel warmth and fulfillment. We feel heard. We feel safe. When you trust someone implicitly, when you’re pushing through a challenge together, you feel camaradery. There is no room for fear.

You create and express yourself in any way you please because fear does not stop you, and you have your tribe supporting your every step. (Expression)

And that’s how you create using the Power of Love.

(yes, I love BTTF.)

Remember the billionaire from earlier? Imagine he is slowly finding his internal happiness. Instead of acting from fear, loneliness and lack, he acts from the deep peace within his mind. He loves and is loved.

His goals become clearer because his mind isn’t clouded with noise. It’s easier for him to focus and find the next step. He seems to find more joy in his work.

He doesn’t get irritated with people, leading to easier communication. People take him more seriously because of a more balanced presence.

This may as well be you. Become the billionaire fulfilled with peace.

And here’s the real doozy: When you start creating from a place of happiness, you will reach your goals easier, almost without effort.

Your Next Step

Are you stuck in a success-cycle? Do you feel like the only motivator for you is to find the next emotional peak, some stimulus to keep you going?

Do you feel hollow and lonely when it all gets dark and silent?

Would you like some help with that?

We should talk.

-Jay

How to Manage Conflict and Improve Your Relationships

As civilized human beings, we usually get along fine until someone brings up politics, religion or personal beliefs. At best that can lead to a friendly squabble at the family Christmas gathering.

At worst, it can lead to an explosive war between nations. 

Conflict is often frowned upon as something negative, as something to be avoided by all means necessary. Mostly because we’re so bad at it. We don’t want to offend people, we don’t want to seem like assholes, and we most certainly don’t want to be the one always picking a fight. 

So society teaches us to shut up and behave. Go about your daily life, live a shallow and non-intrusive existence, and try not to piss anyone off.

And yet, conflict is a natural part of life and personal growth and deeply connected genuine relationships are only accessible by embracing conflict.

So how can you get better at handling conflict?

The 8 Causes of Conflict

According to psychologists Art Bell and Brett Hart, there are eight common causes of conflict. The list is for the workplace, but you can imagine these reasons propping up in real life as well.

A conflict of:

  • Available resources
  • Working styles
  • Perceptions
  • Goals
  • Pressures
  • Roles
  • Personal values
  • Policies

More simply put, it comes down to a disagreement between two or more humans (or I should say, ONE or more humans). And because of lack of skill in conflict resolution, a simple disagreement can escalate into a massive argument.

But there’s good news!

Since conflict at its core is just people disagreeing, we have a good chance of solving every conflict by listening to the people involved.

Quick Guide to Resolving Any Conflict

Here’s a quick rundown of how to resolve most conflict situations.

1. Listen, and listen CLOSELY

This is the most important step. You shut up and listen.

No, SHUT UP. Your only job is to listen. Let the other person vent and rant and say what they feel like.

You don’t need to agree with anything they say. They may be completely wrong.

The person talking should focus on beginning their sentences with the words “I feel like”. That helps to separate the issue from the person. There may be accusations and you may feel like you’re blamed of something. You’re not. Ignore the feeling of needing to defend yourself at this point.

The other person must be allowed to speak and you must listen to their point of view, however inane and dumb it might feel to you.

The point of this exercise is to respect the person. We are humans and every human deserves the basic respect of speaking and being heard.

When they’re done talking, you switch roles and repeat.

2. Separate The Problem From The Person

I know it’s frustrating when someone doesn’t agree with you on some issue. You know you’re right and you want to prove it.

But here’s the real buggery gosh darn truth: they also know they’re right. And they’re frustrated because you don’t agree with them. That’s an important point to realize. For whatever reason, they have come to the conclusion that their “right” is different from your “right”.

We can’t all be right, but we CAN all be wrong. The truth is always somewhere in between.

Once you understand that we’re all fallible human beings trying to do our best to ensure our own continued survival, it puts things into a different perspective.

Their disagreement isn’t with YOU, it’s with your dumbass opinion.

Neither should your disagreement be with them as a person. Feel free to ridicule the idea, the opinion, the thought as much as you want, but always understand: that idea came from a living, breathing human being. And us humans, we’re all in the same boat.

Ideas and thoughts can be argued and discussed. They’re not real in that sense.

3. Accept The Situation

Maybe you realized you were wrong. Maybe you were able to present your case and change their mind.

Maybe all parties have decided to stand strong on their respective opinions and the disagreement remains.

It’s all good. Everyone has presented their perspective and viewpoint and has been listened to.

Now let it go.

It’s time to learn and grow. We know more about each other and our relationship has evolved. We can now accept the situation and start looking for options for the future.

4. Explore Options

If this is a business situation, perhaps you can find an easy solution or even a suitable compromise enough to get your work done. Very rarely there’s a business case where a simple disagreement between parties makes work impossible.

But if it does, great! This conflict has shown that a part of the team can not function. If this leads to someone quitting or leaving for good, it’s all a natural part of growth and should be revered. You should be thankful they’re no longer draining your energy with their disagreement, and they should be thankful that you’ve helped them grow.

As for personal relationships…

Most likely there’s a reason you got together in the first place. If you’ve been fundamentally authentic when meeting each other, your core values and principles most likely won’t change (which is why I always advise people to find themselves before finding someone else). Remind yourself and your partner that this disagreement doesn’t change the reason you got together in the first place.

If on the other hand you have fundamentally taken a step into different directions… be thankful. Sometimes we grow and evolve so drastically that we are no longer aligned with our partner. Then it is time to explore that. Sometimes this requires taking steps away from the relationship.

Sometimes the loving choice is to let people go.

Personal Growth Through Conflict

I love conflict. I absolutely thrive in it. When people get feisty and emotional, their true colors come out and our relationship evolves.

And I love that. That’s why you won’t find me talking about easy topics. You chat with me, we’re drilling deep. I want to see what’s behind your mask. What you love, what you hate. Engaging people on this level is a great way to create genuine connections, to instantly find out if you two will get along.

Don’t confuse this with being confrontational, angry, obstinate or provocative though. We’re not looking to insult people or make them angry. We ask difficult questions and risk getting into a conflict situation because we’re curious about who the other person really is underneath.

If you’re afraid to risk offense, embarrassment, being wrong, getting into an argument, or someone questioning your beliefs, you’re forever destined for superficial “how’s the weather” type relationships. Avoiding conflict will have nasty results in your life:

  • Business will suck because you won’t stand up for your values. People will regard you as a spineless salesman or a pushover.
  • Relationships will suffer because you come across as bland and inauthentic. Potential mates will find you unattractive because you seem wishy washy and don’t feel strongly about anything.

But… if you take a risk of offending someone, stand your ground when your ideals are questioned, voice your opinion when no one else agrees… you might just find someone who agrees deeply with your values.

Do you feel powerless in your worklife? Do you have trouble making deep connections with people? Hit me up, let’s talk about managing conflict.

-Jay