This article will challenge your beliefs and forces you to change all assumptions about who you are, what you think is true and impossible.
How Certain Are You?
What are you doing that you think is 100% correct and justified? Are you doing something just out of habit? Just because that’s what everyone around you is doing as well and telling you to do it? Have you actually taken the time to look into your behavior and see whether or not it’s justified at all?
Us humans are by default very bad at decision making and thinking for ourselves. Our primal psychology, designed to live in an unforgiving and harsh environment, seeks to find shortcuts and promote its own survival by copying the behavior of others.
Now, this doesn’t work inside your head or mine exclusively. It works both ways. I am trying to look into what you do and simultaneously you are doing the same with me – you are trying to look at what I do and copy it. If we weren’t aware and smart enough to think for ourselves, which I know you and I are, then we would be stuck inside a vicious feedback loop of random behavior and we would learn something new and actually applicable only through massive trial and error.
A Great Story
I read Tim Ferriss’ amazing book Tools of Titans and there he has Bryan Johnson as a guest. He [Bryan] tells a great story about the importance of challenging one’s beliefs at all times. Here’s how it goes.
“There are 5 monkeys in a room, and there is a basket of bananas at the top of a ladder. The monkeys, of course, want to climb the ladder to get the bananas, but every time one tries, they are all sprayed with cold water.
After a few times of being sprayed by cold water, the monkeys learn to not climb up the ladder to get the bananas…The experimenters then take one monkey out and put a new monkey in, and the new monkey sees a banana. He thinks, ‘Hey, I’m going to grab myself a banana,’ but when he tries to go up the ladder, the other monkeys grab him and pull him back…
The experimenters eventually systematically pull every monkey out, and now you have five new monkeys. Any time a new monkey comes in and tries to climb the ladder, they grab the monkey and pull it back, but none of the five have ever been sprayed by cold water.”
The monkeys simply follow certain activities because that’s what everyone else around them is doing as well.
You’re an Idiot, As Am I
People almost never challenge their own beliefs or actions because they don’t even pre-conceive the idea that there can be another way – a better one. Don’t be a sheep heading down to the slaughter just because you follow the herd.
Group-think refers to the masses adopting certain beliefs based not on objective factual data or their own personal experience but because they want to fit in with a certain collective. That’s how most riots start out.
Zap out of it for a moment, detach yourself from your situation. Look at yourself and others as if an alien from another planet with more advanced evolutionary development.
Really think about it.
- What potential dangers am I avoiding because I’m afraid of getting sprayed at with water, although it has never happened before? Why are you doing the things you do? Where are you deliberately turning a blind eye to your behavior – bad habits, limiting self-talk, procrastination?
- Why are you doing the things you do?
- Where are you deliberately turning a blind eye to your behavior – bad habits, limiting self-talk, procrastination?
What Beliefs Do You Hold Dear Not True?
Richard Feynman, the Nobel Prize winning scientist said: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself-and you are the easiest person to fool.”
Another one by Steve Jobs: “When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it… Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”
How I Try to Change All Assumptions
This has become one of my mantras and motivations to keep experimenting with different biohacks, habits and thought paradigms.
- When I started intermittent fasting, some people would drop their jaws in fear of me starving to death. But I’ve never felt healthier, more energized, sharper or alive.
- Before starting the ketogenic diet, I thought I needed carbs to workout or build muscle, but I’ve never been in a better shape before. I don’t eat carbs and I can even improve my training when not having eaten anything for days. How crazy does that sound to you?
- When I started my blog and decided to go PRO with it, almost no one around me believed it could be possible to earn a living with it. At least that’s what they actually thought. I felt the skepticism in the voice of my parents. Now, I’m making more money than them.
- People say don’t work too hard or you’ll burn the fuck out, but I haven’t had a day off where I didn’t do anything challenging, educating or worked on my business, in 3+ years. There are periods where I work for 14-16 hours with just a few movement breaks for fresh air. In general, I’m on the post – in the vanguard -24/8 – yea…I create an extra day into the week with my hustle.
- I’ve done polyphasic sleeping, which includes several napping cycles throughout one 24-hour period and I felt amazing. I was energized and creative without having to rely on stimulants.
Challenge Your Beliefs
The biggest breakthroughs in my life have all happened whenever I decided to break through the paradigms I’ve had so far and transcended my cultural background. Question your beliefs, behavior and especially those people around you.
Your cultural baggage and your own blind spots are the biggest things that are holding you back in your life and preventing you from making progress. If your environment, culturescape, friends and your own voice of hesitation are impeding you on your path to glory, then the obvious self-empowered course of action would be to discard all of them.
Ruthlessly, cut out the ideas, responsibilities, and ties that are holding you down to the ground and set yourself free.
Challenge all assumptions, thought paradigms, behaviors and, most importantly, challenge yourself and how you view the world.