Sometimes I feel like I’m moments from becoming destitute. In reality the last time I’ve been remotely close was when I was about 21 and I had somewhere in the vicinity of $200 left to my name.
It was stressful, but not entirely.
Since I was living with my Parents at the time I didn’t have to worry about much, but I still had these odd day-dreams of negative bank balances and eating trash. Those thoughts spurred me to learn more, to hustle, and to take focused action. In that way thoughts of dumpster diving and freeganism (eating trash) were useful.
Since that time I’ve never struggled to put food in my gullet or a roof over my head. Yet I sometimes still have this nagging voice in my head that won’t let up. A voice I could argue keeps the hustle alive, but can also let a loser mentality bubble to the surface.
I think this is common amongst entrepreneurial types. It’s easy to get caught up in mind games when you’re consistently challenging yourself. When this month looks worse than last month or next month looks great, but you’re not there yet. Or when you spend a lot of time on a project and it goes belly up.
Most people aren’t cut out for this lifestyle. They see the end results, not everything else that goes into it. It’s that “everything else” that separates the winners from the losers. The linchpins from the whiners and crybabies.
A bit of a tangent: These mind games might be why you’ll find many entrepreneurs and high-level executives take drugs like Adderall and its ilk. Most won’t talk about it, but it’s more common than you think. Which is why I respect guys like Tim Ferriss, Dave Asprey, and Dan Andrews who aren’t afraid to discuss stuff that might be taboo to some.
This is more of a warning post than anything. If you find yourself in a lot of the 53 things listed below your life isn’t what it could be. It probably sucks. (It doesn’t have to.)
Note: The links below are not there to look pretty. Click on them. You’ll learn more.
Let’s get to it, how to be a loser:
- Don’t work on your craft every day. (Includes weekends and holidays.)
- Expect handouts and instant success. Feel entitled.
- Forget about the 10,000 hour rule, don’t even put in 1,000 hours.
- Don’t learned the fundamentals. (more on this next week; subscribe)
- Use your job/spouse/dog/anything as an excuse.
- Consume information, create nothing.
- “I’ll do it tomorrow.”
- Watch TV more than you read.
- Don’t hold yourself accountable.
- Don’t reach out to people.
- Don’t help people get what they want.
- Don’t test.
- Don’t make mistakes.
- Buy $5 lattes, but don’t spend $100 on web hosting because wordpress.com is free.
- Don’t seek help from mentors.
- Don’t seek help from peers.
- Ask for help before you make a real attempt at figuring it out yourself.
- Tell yourself your past matters.
- Criticize often.
- Tell yourself your age/sex/location matters.
- Stop learning.
- Treat your body poorly.
- Look for an instant fix for everything.
- Think short term.
- Don’t write.
- Don’t speak your mind.
- Don’t take breaks.
- Don’t show gratitude.
- Don’t tip.
- Watch the news.
- Believe the world is scary.
- Start arguments.
- Go too easy on yourself.
- Go too hard on yourself.
- Don’t question your beliefs.
- Think, “I’m above this.”
- Hit a woman.
- Don’t get good.
- Live in fear.
- Care too much what people think.
- Don’t care enough about your craft.
- Don’t learn from your mistakes.
- Spend more than you earn; go into debt.
- Don’t travel or experience new places and people.
- Don’t ship.
- Talk more than you listen.
- Don’t take chances.
- Be cynical.
- “It’s too difficult.”
- Don’t take responsibility.
- Give up.
Giving up before it’s time to give up is the sure sign of a loser. Read The Dip for more about when to give up and when to forge ahead. It’s my favorite book by Seth Godin.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not stating that if you fall into some of the above categories once in a while you’re a loser. What I’m stating is you’re letting the loser mentality creep up on you. Let that happen at your own peril.
Hopefully I did my job and this lit a small fire under your ass. It did? Cool. Share it on facebook or twitter (right now, before you forget):