What can I do to make sure I am becoming the best version of myself?

What can I do to make sure I am becoming the best version of myself? by Ken Mazaika

Answer by Ken Mazaika:

I identified 21 actions that could help you become the best version of yourself.

#19 is the most actionable of them all.

1. Just show up. Say you want to run a marathon, but have no prior experience. The first step is lacing up you shoes and hitting the pavement. Even if you only make it half a mile on your first training run, you’ll be about 2% closer to your ultimate goal than if you didn’t put in any work at all.

2. Start from the beginning. You don’t just happen to stumble upon the best version of yourself. You need to start from the beginning and take a high number of small steps in order to become what you envision.

3. Recognize that the best version of yourself should be your vision, not anybody else’s. Don’t waste energy trying to live up to what somebody else wants you to be.

4. Stop looking for a secret trick. There is no miraculous shortcut to the better version of yourself.

5. Use Twitter to network. It’s never been easier to get in touch with influential and powerful people. Earlier in my career, I reached out a high-level executive of a company I was interested in. He was hosting an AMA session on Twitter. I asked him for advice about how to get hired for his company, and not only did he reply with some helpful tips, he also connected me with specific people at the company about an open position.

6. Don’t sweat the details. Just make sure that you’re moving in the right general direction. You probably don’t have the knowledge you need today to know the shortest path to your happiness 5 years from today. But you probably have some idea about how to move in the right direction. Take those steps.

7. Recognize the opportunity at hand. The Internet has fundamentally changed everything. Previously, knowledge was locked away in the minds of industry experts and in the pages of books that you needed to buy or check out from a library. But now, it’s easier than ever to learn new skills. This is essential to becoming the best version of yourself.

8. Write on Medium. Translating your thoughts into written narratives pushes you to think about the ideas in your head at a much deeper level.

9. Don’t count the hours. They don’t matter. Think about the last time you ran on a treadmill. If you looked down at the timer every few seconds, you probably didn’t enjoy your run. In turn, this made it far more difficult to run far.

But what if you took the opposite approach? You plugged in your headphones, lost yourself in the music, and took it one stride at a time….while resisting any temptation to look at the timer at all. If you did this, you probably discovered that you enjoyed the run and made it pretty far. Counting hours just slows you down from reaching your goal.

10. Accept help from other people. Don’t let your pride get in the way. Most successful people needed help along the way, too.

11. Launch a personal website. Maintaining an online presence of yourself pushes you to become the best possible version of you.

12. Write answers on Quora. Quora is an amazing place to help and inspire people at scale.

13. Ignore the social media scoreboard. People depict an extremely exaggerated version of life on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social platforms. We only share the good things, not the bad. So when you compare yourself to what you see on social media, you’re just hurting yourself.

14. Celebrate the small wins. Appreciating what you’re doing in the present gives you the motivation to keep making strides towards your ultimate goal.

15. Stop pretending to know things you don’t know. You’ll never learn anything if you pretend to already know everything.

16. Embrace failure. You can’t become the best version of yourself by playing it safe. Heck, getting fired could even be the best thing that ever happened to you, just look at Noah Kagan (employee 30 at Facebook).

17. Call your family. This is just the decent thing to do. But you can also learn lessons from your family that aren’t available through any Google search and aren’t accessible to pretty much anyone else in the world.

18. Exercise in the morning. Once I started doing this in the morning, I became far more focused and relaxed throughout the day. Science backs that up, too.

19. Create a side project. Doing something productive outside of work that makes you happy helps you become a better version of yourself. So, whatever it is…an app, film, album, whatever….start doing it on your nights and weekends. And who knows? It might just turn into a full-time job that you love.

20. Help other people become the best version of themselves. Pay it forward. Doing so keep you motivated on your own path, and you’ll find that the lasting connections you build from helping others will greatly benefit you moving forward.

21. Launch your MVP early. If you’re not satisfied with the current version of yourself, then the quickest way to solve the problem is to begin working towards the better version today. There is no “right time” to get started.

It can be tempting to think about the best version of yourself as some intangible point in the future. You know, the one where you are:

  • More successful
  • Doing what you love
  • Existing as an overall happier person

You see your current self as the regular season, and you’re just waiting for the playoffs to start before giving it your all.

But if all you do is wait for the best version of yourself to happen, you’re forever going to be stuck with the current version.

So, how do you launch the best version of yourself? Start making progress today.

Sometimes, you need to make a big change in order to unleash the best version of yourself. If one thought recently entered your mind, then it’s time to do it.

If you liked my answer, I’d really appreciate it if you upvoted it by pressing the light blue button below.

What can I do to make sure I am becoming the best version of myself?

What are the five most important things for a man to learn in life?

What are the five most important things for a man to learn in life? by James Altucher

Answer by James Altucher:

I'm 48. Here's what a man should know.

A) QUIT YOUR JOB

You can't get rich at a job. You have to get rich by either starting a business or having multiple streams of income.

Don't quit your job tomorrow. Be a man. Be responsible. Just do it over time but every day move towards this goal.

Why do you need to get rich? Is this particular to a man?

Not really. Woman should do this also. But historically, men in our society have been the bread earners and you will feel better about yourself if you can do it.

So do it.

B) DON’T LET SOMEONE ELSE VALIDATE YOU

If you want to make a TV show, make a video. If you want to write a book, write it and self-publish.

If you want to be an investment banker, find one company that wants to get sold and another company that wants to buy it and put yourself in the middle. You don't need to be "chosen" by Goldman Sachs.

If you want an education, find a way to learn online. You don't need to get a degree in X to be X (unless legally).

C) HEALTH.

Men die earlier than women.

There's really only three keys to better health. I'll add a fourth.

Sleep well. Eat well. Low stress. And to help all of the above go faster, exercise.

Fill in the blanks how you want to get the above done. It doesn't matter. As long as you are aware of how important the above four towards living to be 100 with high quality of life then you will do it.

D) DON’T OUTSOURCE YOUR SELF ESTEEM

Sometimes I've met a woman and I've basically given her all of my self-esteem to take care of.

Then she gets tired of me, bored of me, and dumps me, and now she's taken my self-esteem away until i find it again.

It's hard enough for any one person to manage their own self-esteem, let alone yours.

Take care of your own self-esteem.

E) CREATIVITY

When you are creative, you become competent. Every day try to do one creative thing a day that makes you feel good.

This is one way to make yourself your priority and never anyone else.

Does this seem selfish? It totally is.

But 1% a day improvement in creativity compounds you into a giant among people.

You will feel good, you will have better relationships with people, you will be able to do what you want.


Oh, there’s one more and it’s basically obvious. Always be honest. See? Obvious.

Do I do these things? I can tell you that when I haven't my life has fallen apart. And when I have, I can do whatever I want.

What are the five most important things for a man to learn in life?

How do I become more intelligent and have better conversations?

Answer by Matthew Manning:

Here is how:

  1. Do all of the obvious things that people are going to suggest and that you could probably figure out yourself.  Chief among these is, of course, reading more.  Read all the time, even when you are waiting in line at the DMV, even when you are in the bathroom.
  2. Don't forget reference books. When I was a kid I would pore over encyclopedias.  These days you can do much better with Wikipedia.  Read the articles you like, look at the pictures, try to understand the tables.  Go on Wikipedia adventures, clicking from one thing to the next, and try to figure out how you started at Woodwinds and ended up at Beastie Boys.
  3. Try to unlock fine art.  Try really hard to read poems and figure out what they mean or what the author was talking about.  Pick out one picture in a museum and stare at it for an hour.  This will feel like an exercise in futility at first, but it will get easier over time and you will be amazed at how enlightening it can be.
  4. Spend more time in coffee shops (or any other social, creative space).  Listen to the conversations around you.  Even if you think people are morons for what they are talking about, just listen to them.  Try to determine if you agree or disagree and why.  If you feel compelled, butt into a conversation and see what happens.
  5. Watch more documentaries.  Documentaries zero in on a small slice of life and pull it apart for nearly two hours.  The specific illuminates the whole – this the key to increasing intellect.  Try to see the connections to how small microcosms represent larger working systems.  This is how you better acquaint yourself with metaphor.  Metaphor is the great tool of the human mind, and it's what separates us from the beasts.
  6. Spend less time trying to absorb the "noise" and pay attention to the specific "signals" that interest you.  There is a deluge of bullshit information that is thrown at your everyday, and I don't hesitate to say ignore most of it.  Pop culture deadens the senses and fills up important storage space in your finite brain.  If you must take it in, do so with a critical and suspicious eye.  For more on this watch Carpenter's "They Live."
  7. Find the others.  Find other smart people and make friends with them.  Don't look to argue with them.  Try to understand them, debate respectfully, and learn from them.  For more on this: a quote by Timothy Leary

Now the most important question:  can you do it?

How do I become more intelligent and have better conversations?

Are we wasting our life by trying to learn too much?

Answer by Stan Hayward:

Yes you are
What is more, you are wasting your time reading this post
and I am wasting time writing it

You are wasting time laying the table to eat. You could eat it just as well by using a bowl like your dog does

You are wasting time dressing up to go to work, and then changing your dress to go somewhere else

You are wasting time earning money to buy things you do not need
You are wasting time arguing with people who will take no notice of you
You are wasting time cataloguing your possesions when you will never use that catalogue
You are wasting time installing programs on your computer that you will rarely use
You are wasting time window shopping
You are wasting time watching TV that is not entertaining or informative
You are wasting time thinking about things you will never get around to doing

You wasted time learning a language you rarely speak, an instrument you rarely play, some party tricks you rarely practice, and cooking something you rarely eat
In general, your whole life is a waste of time

The reason you exist is because your parents concieved you when they had nothing better to do
And it is likely that you have, or will, do the same

You will waste much time looking after your children and buying them things they will break, ignore, or clutter up the place
You will waste much time running around clearing up after them

You will waste much time looking after your car which will stand empty for most of its life

And to top it all, you wasted time writing the question because even if someone give a perfect answer to the question, the answer has no beneficial application whatsoever

The good news is that
soon, just about everyone in the world will be unemployed because automation will replace us all
We will have nothing at all to do other than waste time all day

But instead of wasting it on the the above things that we currently do because we are socially pressured into doing them
we will waste time in creative ways

We will all live like the idle rich who do not lift a finger
We will live like artists who vaguely believe that their artistic insights will change the world
The world will be changed, but rather like you change you clothes, so it won't matter much

There, I've said it, and wasted exactly eleven and a half minutes of my life that has disappeared to wherever time goes when it is used up

I hope you are happy now

Are we wasting our life by trying to learn too much?

How I can be happy?

Answer by Dushka Zapata:

Here is what has worked for me.
  • Enjoying the present moment. Not dwelling on something that happened in the past; not obsessing about the future.
  • Make decisions that come from a place of love instead of from a place of fear.
  • Accepting what is. A lot of unhappiness comes from expectations and resisting what is happening.
  • Don't want what you don't already have. Envy (wanting for yourself what someone else has) and jealousy (the fear someone will take what is yours) make me unhappy very quickly.
  • Come across an obstacle and feel challenged instead of frustrated. This is all about attitude.
  • Think of others. Thinking only of yourself means you never get out of your own head.
  • Control nothing: I catch myself forcing, pushing, pulling, manipulating, plotting and set it aside.
  • Believe things happen in your best interest.
  • Feel grateful.
  • Feel that you have enough.  
  • When met with the unknown, feel a sense of adventure rather than uncertainty.
  • See beauty everywhere.
None of these are decisions you make but rather things you practice. Practice makes these things both easier and more frequent.

How I can be happy?

What is the craziest thing you have ever said to your boss, with or without getting fired?

Answer by Jay Bazzinotti:

I have been asked to tell the following story many times, and it became so famous that I was even asked to record it for NPR.

I worked for a high-tech company when high-tech was just starting to make an impact on the world. This was before the internet, even before everyone had PCs. We had one IBM PC for the entire department and it was a thrill to use it. I say this just to give an impression of how things have changed since then.

Our company made high speed modems, but the fastest anyone could do in those days was 9600bps, and you paid 10,000 dollars a piece for each modem — and you needed at least two of them, one for each end. We had invented a mechanism that would double that rate to 19,200bps, which was like lightning at the time. The benefits were immediately apparent and every major company wanted them, damn the cost. Unfortunately, the techniques we were using were in their infancy and had lots of bugs. Even though we were selling them like ice cream on a hot day, they didn't really work as advertised.

A huge oil company bought a massive amount of product. Their plan was to link all of their gas stations across the US to the their central site and have the managers report daily sales to the home office. This previously had been done by mail or phone and was slow and inefficient. With a modem system they could know what their revenues were to the penny overnight, or even several times during the day. They did some cursory testing on the devices and rolled them out. But they didn't work.

Our engineers worked day and night to fix the issues but it turned out to be intractable. There were grave concerns that we might never solve the problem. Our salesman for the company was a brave and confident expert with years of experience but he was becoming increasingly despondent. The customer was agitated and angry and threatening to return the product. This would have been a huge setback, possibly a death blow to the company. They were by far our biggest customer and by far the biggest sale we had ever achieved. And the salesman would not get his commission.

I was the manager of the business unit, newly promoted into the role at the age of 26. I thought I was something special, and to be honest if not modest, I was a world-wide expert on these technologies and frequently flown around the world to solve problems. But what I didn't know was that behind the scenes the senior managers of this customer were now DEMANDING a reckoning with our company. Our management knew it was the end if we did not have a solution, and we had no solution.

The salesman set up a meeting with the Senior Vice President of this oil company, a man who probably had the power to overthrow third world countries or have people killed. Suddenly, the President of our company had pressing business in Europe. So did every other executive down the line until, casting about, they looked at me. I was to be the sacrificial lamb they would send to the slaughter. I was told to go "make nice" with the customer to buy more time. I was unaware of the political issues behind the scene. If I failed, I would be unceremoniously fired as a token of good faith. The salesman knew it. I did not.

Thinking this was going to be yet another triumphant visit, and with a swelled head, I went out, bought a new suit and briefcase and flew from Boston to the West Coast. I didn't even have anything to put in the briefcase except a pad and pencil since I wasn't given any progress report, possible solutions or any token that might mollify them. Management was so certain of disaster that they thought it best I go completely in the dark.

I was picked up by our salesman in his new Jaguar , along with our field engineer, both of whom knew the gravity of our situation and how dire things were. I was cheerful and humming in the car as I took in the sights. I was surprised by their gloomy silence until we got to the customer's campus. I had never seen anything like it before. Oil money can buy anything, and this building was modern and massive, the lobby was an art museum with original paintings by the Masters.

We didn't even have to wait. As soon as we announced ourselves we were shown to a conference room. This is when I really got scared. The room was huge with an impossibly long conference table surrounded by the most expensive leather chairs money could buy. There were tuxedoed waiters with white gloves bringing crystal glasses for the pitchers of water. There was a stenographer with a real steno machine to take the minutes. The room was already filled with executives and lawyers speaking to each other in low voices and grim expressions. I knew then that I was doomed.

Finally the door opened and the SVP came in. A hush fell over the room. Here was a man that everyone in that room feared and respected. You could feel the power and electricity coming from him as he strode in. He sat directly opposite me. I blinked stupidly as the sweat rolled down my sides. Next to me our salesman was gripping his Mont Blanc pen like a drowning sailor clutches at a piece of driftwood. On my right the SE sat stoically. No matter what happened, he would be safe — unless the company went broke because of this debacle.

The SVP opened the meeting as if it were a legal proceeding, reading a summary of the problem and all the actions taken to date, emphasizing our failure to solve it. As he got into it he became angrier and angrier. He started pounding the table and he got red as he spoke of how much time and money had been wasted and spoke of "fraud" and "malfeasance" and "misrepresentation". All of this vitriol was directed at me. He was further insulted that our company had the nerve to send me, of all people, not even a VP. Finally he pointed at me and said in a harsh voice, "If you can't fix this problem today, right now, around town your name isn't going to be worth squat!"

And then he sat back in his chair. I can still hear the leather creaking. There wasn't another sound in the room. Every eye was on me now, and what I would say next. I had nothing.  I didn't even have anything in my briefcase to fumble with for time. 

And then, without even thinking, I said, "Around town it was well known that when they got home at night their fat and psychopathic wives would thrash them within inches of their lives"

I couldn't believe my own ears. I couldn't believe I had just said that. To my left, our salesman looked at me in horror and tried to pull himself away from me in his chair. The SE had his mouth open. So did all the important lawyers in their suits and suspenders. Even the stenographer looked up from her machine at me. I was well and truly fucked. The SVP wound up to scream at me and I flinched.

Then he stopped.

"Wait a minute," he said, "I know that line…"
"Yes," I whispered, "It's from Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' album."
He said, "I knew that. You like Pink Floyd?"
"Yes," I said, "It's my favorite group."
"Mine too," he said, suddenly smiling and getting up, "I saw the 'Wall' concert in LA in 1980. It was fantastic! I even caught one of Gilmour's guitar picks. I have it framed in my office with the ticket stubs. Come on, I'll show you!"

And he got up and walked over to the door. I numbly followed. My ears were ringing and I knew I stunk of sweat and fear. The people in the room were dumbstruck. Everyone had their mouths open or were looking at us in absolute amazement. No one said a word.

As we left the room, the SVP smiled and said to the room, "Oh, we'll give them a few more weeks," and he waved them off and we went down the hall. The rest of the visit passed in a blur.

The salesman was pounding the wheel and laughing out loud on the trip back to the airport. "We gotta get you a great big steak," he said, "You know, you can only get away with that once in your career." The SE didn't say a thing except, "I like Pink Floyd too."

When I got back to the office I was the hero of the hour. The salesman had called and related the story to everyone he could reach, and I was called into a meeting to recount the adventure. Everyone was laughing and slapping me on the back. It felt good to be the hero for once: tomorrow I would once again be the goat, I was sure. Over the next few weeks we had a dramatic breakthrough in Engineering and the problem was solved, the situation resolved, the customer saved. They went on to buy many thousands more modems. Pink Floyd saved the day.

What is the craziest thing you have ever said to your boss, with or without getting fired?

What are some worthy goals to pursue in life?

Answer by Dushka Zapata:

This reminds me of a joke I recently heard.
A drunk loses the keys to his house and is looking for them under a lamppost. A policeman comes over and asks what he’s doing.
“I’m looking for my keys” he says. “I lost them over there”.
The policeman looks puzzled. “Then why are you looking for them all the way over here?”
“Because the light here is so much better”.
We all look for things where the light is better, rather than where we’re more likely to find them.
Instead of setting specific goals, resolve to be receptive to the opportunities life presents to you.
Open your eyes. Say yes more often.
Don’t wear blinders on your only adventure.

What are some worthy goals to pursue in life?