Crafting a Worldview via the Malleability of Beliefs

Each morning, I wake up, open my laptop and look over a check-list.

That list contains the things I should do every day in order to be happy, productive, and to put me slightly closer to my goals.

One of the most important steps on that list is to read over and reaffirm my core beliefs.

This raises an obvious question: if your beliefs are an accurate representation of the world (i.e.: if they’re true), why do you need to define and reinforce them? Shouldn’t they come naturally?

My answer to this question is a resounding no.

Perhaps this would be the case if we were completely rational, long-sighted and unemotional. But we aren’t. Without external intervention, we fall into beliefs that are easy, benefit us in the short-term and make us feel good. That’s why we may say we believe “hard work is always rewarded,” but are betrayed by our actions and have our true belief that “working hard is not worth the effort” revealed.

I’ve been meaning to write a condensed, heavily edited post containing these core beliefs for some time now… but I’ve been putting it off. Every time I start writing the post, I end up editing it for a couple of hours and giving up. This morning, as I was reading over my beliefs, one of them stood out.

You’re gonna fucking die.¬†When you do, that’s it. Look in the mirror and remember this fact on a daily basis. Make decisions from this context.

So instead of continuing to edit this down to something more readable and well articulated, I’m going to live in accordance with this belief and post it as-is; unedited.

My core beliefs.

What one man can do, another man can do. Most people who are more successful than me are not smarter (or better in any way); they just work harder, are more consistent and ferocious. Everyone “puts their pants on in the morning.

Your brain is built to learn how to succeed. You just need to give it the “input” it needs to learn.

Always be shipping. Always be building and releasing assets – blog posts, open-source contributions, portfolio pieces, etc…

You already have everything you need to be successful. You don’t need permission from anyone, you don’t need to “learn more” – you just need to define what you want, put a plan in place to get it, and then execute.

Seek feedback. Feedback is the only way to improve.

People don’t care about what you say or do nearly as much as you think they do. They’re too busy worrying about what other people think of them.

Fear equals opportunity. If you’re afraid of something, so are other people. Think about this question: what opportunities does that create?

Feeling “bad” or unhappy is a psychological and physiological state than can be changed. Check-in with yourself. Become present, feel the sensations in your body, and shift the focus.

Take a position on things. Make yourself vulnerable. The ability to make yourself vulnerable is actually a sign of true strength. Sitting on the fence or following the herd mentality is the definition of weakness.

Focus on the objective. Once you’ve made a decision, don’t spend time worrying about what could go wrong or what you stand to lose.¬†Focus on the upside. Focus on what’s to gain.

Always do the hardest thing first.

Avoid negativity like the plague. Waste no time on negativity from yourself, or from other people.

You are privileged. You’re lucky to have been born in this time period, in an affluent country to great parents. It’s up to you to make the most of it.

Enjoy the process, don’t defer happiness to when you achieve the result. The “future” doesn’t exist – it’s an illusion. If you can’t be happy now, you’ll never be happy.

Take action… NOW. Be the architect of your world; don’t let anyone do this on your behalf. If you aren’t willing and able to design your life, someone else is going to do it for you.

Work with what you’ve got. Don’t waste time focusing on how or why you “can’t” or “shouldn’t” do something. It’s meant to be hard. Try anyway.

You’ve only failed if either you’ve given up or you’re dead. Otherwise get back up and try again.

Take up space in the world. Smile. When in doubt: take up more space, smile more.

It’s up to you to set the tone of your interactions with people. It’s up to you to make interactions interesting and fun. Participate; don’t be a spectator.

Be open and honest about what you want and what you think. Honesty is the best policy; even if deceit is easier in the short-term, it always ends up costing you more in the long-term.

No one has your exact history, set of experiences, beliefs and knowledge. Everyone has a unique perspective. Your story and what you do is interesting and worth listening to by the virtue of being your story.

Your social network is an accurate predictor of your future net worth.

You can only attain what you believe is possible. Something isn’t achievable until it seems “normal” to you. If it doesn’t seem normal yet, pretend like it is. To quote a self-help platitude: fake it till you make it.

You’re gonna fucking die. When you do, that’s it. Look in the mirror and remember this fact on a daily basis. Make decisions from this context.

The world is an abundant place. There are opportunities (for businesses, for fun, for relationships) everywhere. Most limits are internally opposed by your own beliefs and mindset.

Every single person in the world has something to offer. It’s up to you to see the good (and yourself) in others.

The only tried, tested and true formula for success is doing a lot of work. If you aren’t getting the results, you probably aren’t working hard enough, or you’re just doing the wrong things.

The map is not the territory. No matter how well constructed your models may seem, they aren’t the real world. Theory is no replacement for experience.

Life is struggle. If you’re not experiencing some level of pain or discomfort, you’re not living: you’re dying.

People really want you to do well and succeed. They want you to be powerful, confident and take the lead. So don’t disappoint them: step up and do it.

Nothing really matters that much. The outcome is the same for everyone. Choosing to spend your short time on this planet trying to “do better every day” is a personal choice.