Most people don’t want you to succeed
DJ Khaled was right.
They don’t wanna see you win, mate.
I mean almost none of them do.
No one really wants to see you elevate yourself beyond what they consider you capable of.
I’m not just talking about your fake friends and acquaintances either, because that goes without saying.
I’m talking about everyone.
Your family who loves you, those friends that you’ve known for years, the people that you work with.
All those guys.
Don’t be thinking that they are right there with you on your path to success.
Don’t be counting on them to want for you what you want for you.
That sh-t is rare as all hell.
They love you. Sure.
They want you to be healthy and happy. Absolutely.
But to watch you pursue a level of success that is beyond what they consider to be a possibility for you?
That calls into question their understanding of just what is possible for them?
Their understanding of what is possible period?
That will be an uncomfortable pill for them to swallow.
God, me and Jay Z just understand each other.
We’ve all felt that pressure from people around us to stay in some box that they’ve placed us in.
A simple example is when, as a grown man, you go and visit your parents.
You could be a bloody cage fighter for all they care.
You could make a living, lining men up and knocking them unconscious.
Your mother will still see you as her little boy.
Another example comes from your high school friend group, who will tend to see you as you were all those years ago.
If you built a reputation as a shy kid who fumbled around and didn’t talk to girls, they will continue to see you as that person.
You will feel constant, subtle pressure from your oldest friends, to continue to act in the way that they would expect you to.
By doing this, they can feel like they really know you. Like they understand the limitations of who you are, to them and to the world.
They can feel secure about their own limitations by extension.
This process is largely unconscious and well-meaning. It’s not like these are bad people, trying to bring you down.
These are not c-nts.
These are the people who helped make you the person you are today.
And yet, they really don’t know a thing about you, do they?
Just how much can you change over time?
I guess really, whether or not your friends know you is determined by how much potential there is for someone to change their character, desires, and skills over time.
If you are just going to be that same person they always knew, doing those things you always did, then they are right about that box they’ve put you in arent they.
But you do change, and you strive to keep changing, and anyone who doesn’t adapt their perception of you to account for this will only really know your old self.
Your character can change over time
Your character is really the essence of what you are like. It is defined as the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
Bravery is a character trait. But bravery is just the actions that you take in spite of fear. Anyone can take bold actions that they are scared to take, and they will make themselves braver by doing so.
Mental fortitude is a character trait. Someone who is mentally strong is able to prosper in the face of whatever life throws at them. They can remain whole in situations where others would find themselves broken beyond repair.
And yet, mental fortitude is built through the hard times in life. If you choose to take a more difficult path or encounter one of life’s unavoidable tragedies, then you will find yourself stretched. Your mental strength will be called upon and conditioned.
Integrity is a character trait. This, too, is within our control. We have full autonomy over our own words and actions. B-llshit is a man-made phenomenon.
I say all of this to say – your character can change over time. And for your sake, I hope it does.
Your desires can change over time
“The problem for us is not are our desires satisfied or not. The problem is how do we know what we desire.”Slavoj Žižek
Your ambition influences all of your decisions and the actions that you take day to day, but its effect goes even further.
“Desire is a contract that you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want”Naval Ravikant
Your temperament, then, is influenced by what you desire.
If someone desires some outcome that is wild relative to their current position in life, their mood will be drastically affected by their ambition.
If someone already has what they desire, or they desire something less strongly, then they will not feel the effects of this contract that Naval Ravikant talks about.
I put it to you that the more ambitious a person is, the more their ambition contributes to their overall identity.
For example. Think of someone who you know with relatively modest ambitions. Like they want to have kids and a wife one day. If I ask you what they are like, then their ambitions perhaps won’t even come into your description of them.
“Ah yeh, John? Great guy. Likes a drink. Saw him the other day actually.”
Now think of someone with outlandish ambitions. Your description of them might only be their ambitions.
“Ah yeh, Elon? Great guy. Wants to put man on Mars. Wants to transition the world to electric cars. Wants to fix Twitter”
You can only desire what you can see
When I was a student, I wanted to get good grades so that I could get into a good college and be a doctor. This would be the best thing that could happen to me, as far as I could see.
When I was in college, I was miserable. I wanted to find a career that I genuinely enjoyed, so that I could really apply myself. This was the best possible outcome that I could see at the time.
When I was a young chef, I wanted to work in one of the great restaurants of London. I was keen to learn my craft and prove myself as a cook. As far as I could see, this was the most exciting path I could take.
Today, I want to build a successful blog. I want to build an audience and learn about business. As far as I can see, this is an amazing opportunity for a better life.
As your life changes, your perspective changes. As your perspective changes, your desire changes along with it.
The way I see it, your desires changing over time happens naturally as you move through the world.
Who said the world is fair?
As children of our generation, we grow up incredibly sheltered and unaware of the harsh realities of life.
We assume that things fundamentally work.
That you get what you deserve.
That good people will have good lives.
Here’s what our world is really like.
It doesn’t exactly scream “fair” to you, does it?
Of course, it’s not all like this.
We have come such a long way.
There are over 1 billion fewer people living in absolute poverty today than there were in 1990, and our empathy as humans is what separates us from much of the animal kingdom.
But just because we have managed to make society so much better than it once was, does not mean that there is not a level of injustice built right into our lives.
So when people around you act in a certain way,
That makes you question them and their intentions and their character,
It might not be that they are so horrible.
The problem might be, that you assumed that they would jump to support you with whatever you were doing.
It’s very rarely as simple as that.
Scarcity vs abundance
The theme of scarcity and abundance seems to pop its head out whenever anyone talks about any self-development issue.
It’s that bloody fundamental.
Long story short- there are two ways to think about the world.
It’s either a scarce place- where there’s only so much of everything, or an abundant place- where there’s absolutely loads of everything.
If you see the world as scarce, you will be protective of what you have. You will be fearful of sharing and losing things, and you will avoid taking risks.
This kind of thinking leads to jealousy of what others have, staying in abusive relationships out of fear, and working an unfulfilling job as if it’s the only job out there.
When others don’t want you to succeed, this is part of the reason why.
They are not worried about your success.
They are worried about what your success means for them.
If you see the world as abundant, you are less fearful and more open to the possibilities of the world. If you lose something, you can get more. If you give something, you can get more.
This kind of thinking leads to optimism about the future, willingness to take calculated risks, and being genuinely inspired by the success of others.
The connection between scarcity/abundance and self-esteem
In such a vast world with so much opportunity for people, you might wonder how anyone can think that your success somehow impacts their life.
It’s not like every grand you make is a grand less for them to make.
There are 88 trillion dollars out there for crying out loud.
It turns out, that often a scarce mindset stems from personal insecurity and low self-esteem.
It’s not that people think that the world doesn’t have enough opportunities. It’s that people are worried that they won’t be able to take advantage of those opportunities.
They don’t believe in their own ability to make something of themselves.
It’s really got nothing to do with you.
They are struggling with their self-image.
So jealous people are not awful people.
Jealous people are people fighting demons.
And when you look at it that way, you actually find yourself feeling their pain.
You are not a doctor
So jealous people are jealous because of their own deep-seated issues.
Hearing this, you might be inclined to try to help these people.
God bless ya.
If you’ve ever tried this, though, you’ll know that helping somebody who doesn’t think they have a problem might just be impossible.
There is a distinction that has to be made here. Helping people who want your help is a beautiful thing.
Nothing else quite like it.
Giving something of yours to someone, (money, advice, experience, empathy), purely to try to make a positive impact on humanity, is one of the single most fulfilling activities out there.
It’s like you’re paying back the world for being born.
But if someone doesn’t want you to try to help them, either through their pride or your inability to actually help them, then any efforts that you make will only end up with you wasting time and damaging the relationship.
I saw Jordan Peterson talk about this in a podcast a few months ago now, but his answer to this question stayed with me:
In response to a question about how to encourage someone without imposing your desires for their life onto them, Peterson said this:
“Disabuse yourself of the notion that you know what is best for this person. Not only do you not know, you actually don’t want that responsibility. For two reasons.
Let’s say they do what you say. And something good happens to them. Well, whose victory is that? Yours or theirs? And if it’s yours, did you just steal it?
And then let’s say they fail, following your advice. Well, they pay the price for that. And you can skip away merrily and say ‘well, I should speak more carefully’. It’s like, you do not mess about with people’s destiny”.
The only way to truly help someone
I know I just made a case that you can’t help people who don’t want to be helped.
I know what I said.
There is actually a way to make everybody that you know inspired to build a better life for themselves.
What’s brilliant about this, is that you actually aren’t helping other people to be better at the expense of bettering yourself.
When you yourself set a brilliant example- by working hard to build an amazing life, being there for people who need you, achieving things considered extremely difficult by others- then at some point those hard to reach people will notice.
When they notice, maybe they will start to question the confines of possibility that they have placed on themselves.
Maybe they will start to dig themselves out of scarce thinking and into abundance.
Maybe they will finally start working consistently on their own vision because they finally believe that the hard work can pay off as it did for you.
And you know, honestly, maybe it won’t!
Maybe they’ll resent you for wanting more!
Maybe they’ll say all kinds of things about you that really aren’t true!
But mate, sorry to tell you. It’s all you got.
Get away from all the noise (TLDR)
No one’s gonna be shouting encouragement at you every second of the day.
People have all kinds of problems, and they got their own lives to deal with.
You can’t count on most other people to encourage you because it won’t end well.
You’re gonna have to learn to be inspired and motivated all on your own.
To be a source of inspiration for people around you, even.
Make a plan for your life, and then put your head down.
You’re a smart guy. Get to work.
What you don’t know now, you can learn.
If you can’t make this thing work, you can just try some other thing.
And you’ll be even better at that thing because you’ll have all of the hard-earned knowledge you gained from failing at this thing.
Try some sh-t, be smart, work hard, be patient, think for yourself, keep learning, and good things can happen.
When you succeed will have made your own life better, and the people around you can be inspired by your heroic example.
You will have made the world a better place.
It’s not complicated is it?
It’s very very very difficult.
But it’s not complicated.