Monday Musings Feb 2, 2019
Don’t Listen to People – Do Your Thing!
Isn’t that a popular idea? But misguided to be sure. If you ignore everyone you will blunder through life unaware of your shortcomings, your room for improvement, common courtesy, and so much more. We’ve all met people who are the embodiment of this philosophy and most of the time we can’t stand to be around them, right?
And here’s something VERY important: Incompetent people lack the skills to recognize competence. The result if often misplaced self-confidence. Research the Dunning-Kruger effect if you have time sometime.
Some interesting quotes about this:
- Confucius (551–479 BC), who said, “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance”
- The philosopher Socrates (470–399 BC), who interpreted a prophecy from the Delphic oracle that he was wise despite feeling that he did not fully understand anything, as the wisdom of being aware that he knew nothing
- Playwright William Shakespeare (1564–1616), who said, “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool” (As You Like It, V. i.)
- The poet Alexander Pope (1688–1744), who wrote in An Essay on Criticism, 1709: “A little learning is a dangerous thing”
- Henry Fielding (1707–1754), who, in the novel The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, wrote: “For men of true learning, and almost universal knowledge, always compassionate [pity] the ignorance of others; but fellows who excel in some little, low, contemptible art, are always certain to despise those who are unacquainted with that art.”
- The naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882), who said, “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge”
- Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), who wrote in Human, All Too Human (aphorism 483), “The Enemies of Truth. — Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.”
- W. B. Yeats (1865–1939), who, in the poem The Second Coming, said: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.”
- The philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), who said, “One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.”
So what should we do?
Listen to People, but do it Correctly.
No one is completely self-made. We all have to learn from others. That means you and I will need to listen.
Who do we listen to?
By “listen” I mean “pay attention to” or “follow the example of” in addition to just hearing what they say.
- For me personally, I will listen with deference to most anyone who is older than me. Always have, always will. They are a bit further down the path of life and deserve at least some consideration because it’s likely they’ve seen a thing or two I have not.
- People who are where I want to be. Want a happy marriage? Listen to people in a happy marriage. Avoid advice from people in unhappy marriages. Want to be wealthy? Listen to wealthy people. Want to be a better person? Hang out with better people.
- Consider always your inner circle of friends. If they do not embody the life you seek, you will either change your goals or change your friends. You do not need an emotional “breaking of relationships” but you do need to drift away into other circles. Throw a glove in a mud puddle. I promise you the glove will not make the mud puddle “glovey”. The mud puddle ALWAYS makes the glove muddy. So it is with your friends. Your closest friends, the people who consciously and subconsciously influence your life need to be people you want to be like. So if in your honest evaluation they are people you don’t want to be like, get away. I know this is hard to hear, but truth nonetheless.
Rogerism: “Surround yourself with people you want to be like, because you will become like the people you surround yourself with.”
What do we hear?
This doesn’t mean people are infallible. A person may embody the type of person you want to be, but will almost always have some flaw (don’t we all?). Focus on the parts of the individual you most want to emulate. Show grace toward the unsavory parts (remembering you have them too, right?) This is a life-long process. It’s difficult to predict who will end up being your close friends and confidants, but the important thing is to have a conscious filter running non-stop.
How do we sort it out and apply what we are hearing?
It begins with values. My sense of what is right and wrong. For me personally it ALL goes back to the two great commandments in Scripture. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. If we filter all thoughts, ideas, plans, and actions through this sieve we will arrive at a healthy and consistent way of living.
Values lead to principles.
These are guiding truths that inform my actions and reactions. For example, One of my relational principles is kindness. This is an underlying reality in my interactions, even when I’m saying no or providing correction to an employee. (NOT flawless here – it’s an aspiration). An economic principle of mine is the free market. I may resent the disrespect shown to the American flag by NFL athletes, but I would never agree to legislation requiring some sort of behavior. The NFL is a privately owned company. Companies bear the result of their many decisions in the marketplace, which is where this should be decided.
So, ignore those who would tell you to ignore others. Absorb truth, wisdom and value like a sponge. Filter that information based on your principles. Live out of a balance of emotion and logic. And there you go.
Here’s an announcement for ya.
By the time you read this, the GMS Planner should be available in the half page size in the Amazon store.
Personally I cut the spine off the book, punch with my handy ARC Binder punch and use the calendar in my big black notebook. If you’ve been around me you’ve seen me carrying it.
Coming Soon! My new book “The Ten Day Real Estate Investor” will be out first of March. If you’d like to be a part of my “street team” for the launch let me know. Lots of cool perks.
Books for this week:
Classic Read: The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People. Steven Covey. If you haven’t read it yet just do it. Most books I just check out of the library. Buy this one. You need to study it and re-read it from time to time (as I did this week).
Thinking, Fast and Slow, by David Kahneman. Interesting idea and seems completely true. Basically we think with two Systems. System 1 is quick, emotional, often irrational. System 2 is logical and rational. Sometimes we use System 1 because we think we recognize the situation and can make a snap decision. The author explains how mental models, heuristics, and confirmation bias can often muck things up. Good read. Recommended.
Alexander the Great, Phillip Freeman. I love biographies. This one is no exception. Alexander conquered most of the known world by the time he was 33. Vision, drive, determination, wisdom beyond his years, cleverness, and a good bit of luck along the way ensured his success. Although the book doesn’t say it, this story reminded me of the saying, “the harder I work, the luckier I get.” Yes.
“Days on Market” is a very important bit of data in your real estate business. You should know what the property is costing you each day and you should know what your average days on market are for this price range in this area. Here’s where this $10 tip becomes a $1000 tip. Never buy a property where the expected days on market exceed 45. If you are paying interest, you will not make money. If you are using cash you will miss other opportunities. So just say “no” to >45.
We had some REALLY cold weather up north this past week. And so I want to pass on some wisdom for frigid temperatures:
See you soon.