You could be good today. But instead you choose
tomorrow.- Marcus Aurelius
1. Make People Matter
It is more blessed to give than to receive. - Jesus
Why do we give gifts? It's because it feels good. If you want to create a strong bond with others, make them feel good. An easy way to make others feel good is to ask for advice. Advice is a gift we can all give. Watch how quickly people light up when you genuinely ask for advice.
I was out with friends, and I noticed one girl wasn't feeling good and staying out of the conversation. So I asked her for relationship advice, saying, "I'm rubbish with girls. Can you help me out?" Suddenly, she was in her element, offering advice and feeling great as I took note and learned from her. By offering her gift of knowledge to me, her life was given meaning.
How do you feel when others use your advice?
What advice could others offer you?
Ask one person for their advice. Take notes.
Notice how they feel while giving advice.
Act on their advice and share with them your results.
Notice how they feel once you show them your results.
Notice how you feel, knowing you gave meaning to their lives.
How did you make someone feel like they mattered today?
What was their reaction?
What are three ways you can make someone feel like they matter tomorrow?
2. Life is a gamble
When I see an anxious person, I ask myself, what do they want? For if a person wasn't wanting something outside of their own control, why would they be stricken by anxiety? — Epictetus
Most things are outside our control. Focusing on what is outside our control is a quick way to experience anger, anxiety, stress, and depression. Do we have control over how others act? Do we have control over the weather? Do we have control over the past? No, we don't.
Life is a gamble. We can do everything right and still lose. We can focus on the loss and remain sad, or we can focus on the fact that we did our best, we did all we could, and we grew in the process. You didn't get what you wanted, but is this outcome really that bad? What remains that you are grateful for?
If we should remove focus from the outcomes, what should we focus on? We should focus on two things we can control: our thoughts and our actions. Reframing situations can be the difference between being depressed and being happy. How often has an explanation changed how you saw a situation? Learn to see different explanations, and you'll be able to reframe any situation into a happier one. We can act in such a way that moves the odds more in our favor. Get good, and you'll win more often than you lose.
What are you currently focusing on?
Is this inside or outside your control?
What actions will you take to move the odds to be more in your favor?
How will you change your thinking in order to gain the most from this experience?
Throughout the day, ask yourself, "Is this in my control?"
How have you moved the odds in your favor?
How will you survive if things don't go your way?
How has viewing life as a gamble changed your thinking?
3. Imagine others want the best for you
I can read minds, but I'm illiterate." - Mitch Hedberg
Is it possible to know if "they think I'm ____"? Their actions and words may point to one outcome, but how often have others misread your actions and words? Is it likely that your skills outweigh theirs?
Mind-reading is a huge problem for all of us. We imagine what others are thinking and then react to that. All too often, we imagine that they are thinking the worst about us. As a result, we build resentment towards them and dissatisfaction with ourselves.
"They did ____ because ____." How can we know the thoughts that lead to the action? We often don't know why we perform some of our own actions.
Take a mental note whenever you notice yourself mind reading (e.g., "They think ____, They did that because ____").
Imagine others want the best for you. Repeat positive thoughts when you see others (e.g., "They love me, They think I'm cool, They want to be my friend").
After a week, take a mental note of how much better you feel.
How has imagining that others want the best for you affected your life?
What do you imagine they are thinking?
What new phrases could you imagine they are thinking?
Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity." - James Clear
We are social creatures. Not only do we want to be part of the group, but we also want to be at the peak of the group, the one others look up to. Raising our status becomes part of our life's purpose.
What do you post on social media? Why? How do your posts affect your status? How do likes/comments/shares affect your status?
Before we join a group, we need to ask ourselves if it's worth being part of. For example, in the context of mental health, is the status game based on who is thriving the most despite their illness, or is status based on whose life is the worst because of their illness?
Look around, and you'll see people playing the status game. Some make themselves stronger and thrive, while others make themselves sicker. Who do you want to be? What is the status game of your groups? Are they making you stronger or weaker?
*When you identify as part of a group, your opinions tend to be biased towards the group consensus (e.g., "win Bigly").
What status games are being played in your groups?
Are they making you stronger or weaker?
Could you change the game in order to make your group stronger?
Play the game that makes you stronger. Lead others to play the same game.
Pick any group. How do members think/act?
What groups are you part of?
Do these groups make you think/act in a way that improves your life?
5. Idea Muscle
Everywhere you go, everything you see, every problem you confront, you will instantly be able to react to every situation that stands in your path. You will be like Spiderman with his spider sense that instantly reacts and knows what to do even before the problem surfaces. ― James Altucher
We all face obstacles daily, and these obstacles can lead to fear, anger, and depression if we see no way through them. But how would we feel if we could see multiple ways through them? A lot better, right? Just like a swimmer isn't afraid of water, you can train yourself to not be afraid of obstacles. So, how do we train?
By writing out 10 ideas (solutions to problems) each day. For example, "How can I improve this room?" or "How can I make someone smile today?" By pushing yourself to think of 10 ideas, you train yourself to look for solutions that aren't obvious, which prepares you to find better solutions when you are faced with real problems. Being prepared keeps us calm, happy, and courageous.
www.TheRoccoEffect.com started out as idea lists. I initially thought I could put jokes onto t-shirts, which developed into quotes, and eventually into what we have today.
For the next five days, join www.notepd.com and make idea lists for these questions:
- What could I stop doing in order to improve my life?
- How can I avoid becoming homeless?
- How could I make $10 today?
- How can I improve one room in my house?
- How can I improve my love life?
- What would you like to write future lists about?
- How has your thinking changed due to writing lists daily?
- What ideas would you like to work on further?
6. Imagination is worse than reality
We suffer more often in imagination than in reality. - Seneca
You made a mistake at work. What will happen? The boss will shout at me, everyone will laugh at me, I'll get fired, the news will spread, and no one will ever want to hire me. Or will the boss understand that everyone makes mistakes, tell you not to worry, and advise you to be more careful in the future? What's the most likely outcome?
Why do we envision the worst outcomes? Because that's the key to our survival. Those who planned for the worst survived. Those who didn't got bitten by a snake and died.
We should plan for the worst. That's how we lessen the impact should it happen. But we should also be aware of the likelihood of it happening. Who wants the worst outcome? No one. No one benefits from the worst, so we all do our bit to avoid it. We also all want the best and work hard to achieve it. With all of us working to avoid the bad and achieve the good, how likely is it that the worst will happen? Does it make sense to make ourselves sick with stress over these imagined outcomes?
If you are unsure of the future, ask yourself:
- Has my worst prediction ever come true?
- What can I do to avoid the worst?
- What's the most likely outcome?
- What would be the best outcome?
- How can I make this outcome come true?
- Take note of where the outcome lies on a scale of worst - likely - best.
- What events were better than you imagined?
- What events were worse?
- What is your imagination stopping you from doing?
- Will things really be as bad as you imagine?
"I move forward in my life every day, even if it's only a tiny step because I know that great things are accomplished with tiny moves, but nothing is accomplished by standing still. - Zig Ziglar
I have found that growth is the quickest way to happiness, motivation, and overcoming depression. When I grow, I become better. My actions lead to more successful outcomes, and as a result, I help advance the world, one day at a time. Making the world a better place reduces suffering and fosters more happiness and further growth. Growth leads to better opportunities in all aspects of life. Time is an investment, and we can choose to invest in ourselves or let it go to waste. Be wise, invest your time, grow, and become awesome.
For the next week:
- Learn one new skill.
- Combine your new skill with an old skill.
- Share your new creation.
- How have you grown in the last week?
- How will you grow tomorrow?
- How does your growth make you feel?
He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. - Friedrich Nietzsche
When our lives have meaning, we can push through almost anything. A mother will go through hell for her children, a soldier will give their lives for freedom, and an artist will sacrifice their time to share their masterpiece. We all have something we would risk everything for, but it requires self-reflection to find. Ask yourself what matters to you? Who matters to you? What ideas are worth fighting for? When you find your answers, hold them close. Write them down and remind yourself whenever you are struggling what you are struggling for.
Answer these questions every day for a week:
- What is important to me?
- Who is important to me?
- What ideas are worth fighting for?
- What mark do I need to leave before I die?
- How have you grown in the last week?
- How will you continue to grow?
- How does focusing on your growth make you feel?
The greater the level of calmness of our mind, the greater our peace of mind, the greater our ability to enjoy a happy and joyful life. - Dalai Lama
Anxiety and stress stem from the same thing: an overcrowded mind. We make bad decisions when we overthink, which in turn leads to more anxiety and stress. It's a vicious cycle, but there is a way out: meditation. Meditation, simply put, is training our minds to focus on one thing. With only one thing in our heads, we are able to think clearly and achieve better solutions. With better solutions, we reduce the causes of our stress and anxiety. Clear your head, think clearly, and start living an awesome life again.
For the next three days, whenever you catch yourself overthinking:
- Breathe deeply in through your nose and out your mouth.
- Focus on the breath. Feel it flow through you.
- Notice the objects that surround you.
- Say their names, colors, and any other characteristics.
- Notice your calm state.
- What can you do to reach a calm state?
- How do old problems look after you leave your calm state?
- What is your performance level like when you are calm?
10. One Sentance
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. - Albert Einstein
When we're on our deathbeds, looking back on our lives, how will we judge our lives? What truly matters and what is of no concern? Take a few minutes to ponder over this.
Do the problems you have today truly matter in the grand scheme of things? Do your grievances with others hold significance? How much time are you spending on focusing on what doesn't matter?
This task helps us remember what to focus on. Think of a single sentence that describes how you'd like to be remembered (e.g., a caring and loving person, an amazing inventor, the funniest person I ever met, etc.). This one sentence will serve as a guide to keep your focus on what really matters.
Meditate over how you'd like to be remembered.
Write down what truly matters and what didn't matter in the end.
Combine these insights to write one sentence that will guide you.
What is your one sentence?
What effect has this had on your thinking?
How did it guide you today?
Love this list? Want more? Yes? I'm glad to hear it. If you liked this then you'll love my two guidebooks, filled with content like this and short comics to help guide you towards a happier life.
The Rocco Effect - Set 1