You are just one step away from mastery.
Yet most of the time most of us turn a blind eye to it.
In a world crippled by FOMO (), we are essentially flooded by too much possibility. Because of the paradox of choice, we get into this of being afraid of choosing a path to self-discovery. What if I’m wrong? I can’t press escape and load from the previous checkpoint to take the other path, right?
“You have to make the right choice. As long as you don’t choose, everything remains possible.” Mr. Nobody
If we could learn one skill that could make a difference what would it be?
Everyone will jump and tell you to learn x, y and z because this is what matters today, 100% guarantee, the genie in the bottle told them so.
Let me tell you something. Actually, you don’t need to learn a new skill. What you need to do is unlearn all the clutter that is buried above what you already have.
You need to dig up from deep down inside the one skill that we are all inherently born with: Confidence.
Once you master this you will know what should be your next steps.
Yes, it’s a skill. But we take it for granted. We don’t focus on developing this internal feature. The most important one. We have it programmed in our genes. It’s what pushed people for the first time out of their caves to explore the world. It’s what got half of them killed but also allowed the strongest to survive, breed, create societies and it eventually ended up with you reading this post here through some wizardry that combines invisible magic waves that carry illustrations to a nicely polished piece of rock.
In gourmet cooking, sometimes it’s not about adding tens of ingredients to the recipe, but in cutting down the non-essential ones so you can taste the refined and balanced flavors. The same applies to building individuals.
In our 20’s we are in a frenzied rush to learn this and that, take that course, earn this degree, go to that event and research this and that. Gathering data and predicting trends. We are exhausted and confused, racing against no one and everyone at the same time, spreading ourselves thin over multiple layers and in the end going to bed feeling that we just aren’t enough.
In our 30’s after all this rat race, even though we are more grounded we feel like we missed out on something but we can’t really put our fingers on it.
This happens because we always add, perceiving a false added value when sometimes what we really need to do is cut down to our essentials and stick to them. Learn to say no, be courageous enough to choose, to close some doors, to break down some walls, to risk in being misunderstood.
And then you’ll look at me and say:
“You said that we are all born confident?”
“You are full of b-crap, Andrei! I was never confident” or
“You are full of b-crap, Andrei! I’m confident and haven’t achieved anything yet”
I might be. I’m not here to duel that with you now.
But, let me ask you this?
How many times did you feel that if you could achieve X you would feel so much better and when you actually did it you realized you still felt the same?
That was not confidence. That was adding another unnecessary clutter to the pile because you didn’t want to lock down on what really mattered.
And if you feel you were never confident it’s not your fault. You were raised in a system that doesn’t enhance what you have but instead tries to standardize you for most of your life to fit in a model that doesn’t work properly.
Look at Einstein, Nikola Tesla, Gandhi, Henry Ford, Maria Teresa, Bill Gates and even your dad when he asked your mom out on a date for the first time. These people achieved great things, not because of some particular technical skills, those were just add-ons, but because they were confident enough to pursue what mattered, focusing on enhancing what represented them.
Mastering the power of confidence will consequently cascade down in unlocking the three most important behaviors that help you achieve mastery.
- The art of Grit. This is the perseverance in the face of difficulty, boredom, adversity or sheer lack of will. This allows you to shut down your ears to the naysayers and focus on what matters to you despite discouraging opinions. Embodying this behavior also allows you to compensate for any lack of talent you might have. A growth mindset perseveres in the end.
“Talent might get you in the door, but character will keep you in the room.”
- The art of Discipline. If you are confident in your endeavor you will not wait for someone else to police you around. Those that lack any active self-discipline will be eaten alive by the flood of distraction.
“True freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline.”
- The art of Magnetism. Those who act confidently in their pursuits for achievement have a certain aura of attraction around them. We might love them, hate them, envy them but we certainly can’t neglect them. They attract people, and sometimes they attract people that can complement what they are actually missing in order to complete their objectives.
“Magnetism of a man’s personality is the result of his inner radiance”
So now that we know all this information how can we act upon it?
There is no scientific formula developed on how to achieve true confidence. In my experience of working with people from different cultures around the world, astarted to emerge:
In order to dig up through all the clutter that was laid upon you from your surrounding environment, you need to start cracking yourself open. In order to master confidence, you must allow yourself to get vulnerable (and I don’t mean holding hands in a circle and singing kumbaya around a campfire).
Being vulnerable means allowing yourself to be proven wrong once in a while. To be disappointed by someone, to be rejected, to raise your hand in class and tell the answer only to be laughed at because you were wrong, to come up with a great idea during a corporate meeting only to be shunned down by your peers. Sticking your neck out there is not weak, hiding under the bed is.
Going through these experiences and risk not being perceived as “perfect” is a subtle form of inner power. We learn. We adapt..
There is a quote I really enjoy that I’m sure you are all too familiar with.
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Do you know what they all had in common?