What a year it has been, huh?
What’s next? Locusts? Aliens? The rapture?
I have some good news and some bad news. Bad news first. It’s just going to get worse.
I’ll dive into a bit more depth later, but this is an election year, meaning the misinformation, psy-ops, and mass hysteria will only increase in the coming months. Both sides are equally guilty.
Good news? This is also a time of amazing opportunity. If you’re on the right side of the equation, you can be more productive, make more money, and find great opportunities at a bargain, e.g., I took the money I had saved and bought stocks when the market collapsed.
Does my attitude seem ruthless to you? Shouldn’t I care more?
Here’s the way I look at our times. Two things can be true at once (something 90 percent of people need to learn).
On the one hand, terrible tragedies are legitimately happening. On the other hand, the media does what it always does — cherry-picks the most salacious lizard-brain tickling content possible to get you overly emotional. I predicted this would happen in a YouTube video I shot last year.
If anything, me being a minority who’s winning in life should be good, right? Sign of progress, right? Depends on who you ask.
I saw a Tweet the other day that articulated the point I’m trying to make perfectly:
There’s no mass propaganda teaching you to be strong.
That says it all right there. Before I dive into some of the specific tips on how to thrive in not just 2020, but beyond, I want to share the attitude I have had throughout this entire year, which is my attitude when it comes to self-improvement in general.
Why Now is the Best Time to Double Down
When co-vid struck, I noticed a lot of writers around me doing a couple of things. Either they totally buckled and stopped writing as much or they pivoted all their content to be co-vid related.
What did I do? I kept writing the same stuff I always write, perhaps tweaked slightly for the times, but mostly the same timeless information.
What’s happening right now during the protest? Same thing. Everyone’s pivoting, reacting, buckling.
From a creative perspective, deviating from what makes you successful is a short-term emotional strategy. From a mental health perspective, it’s a disastrous way to live in our current climate.
Some people have ‘checked in on me’ to ‘see how I’m doing’ expecting me not to be doing well. Why wouldn’t I be doing well? I’m a self-improvement writer who supposedly teaches people how to be mentally tough. Why wouldn’t I be mentally tough during tough times?
I don’t just write this stuff for my health. I actually mean what I say. If self-improvement doesn’t apply when shit hits the fan, what’s the point? Shouldn’t I be going even harder during tough times? Yes, yes I should. And I am.
If you are going to emotionally fold every time something crazy happens this year, you’re in for a long year my friend. There’s a full-blown culture war going on with religious fervor, a holy war.
You can either participate in and rot your brain on the process or you can focus on your own self-improvement so that you can actually help others. You being depressed sharing hashtags from your one-bedroom apartment in lockdown isn’t helping anyone.
It’s time to wake up. If you’ve read my writing for a while, you know my themes. I don’t trust the media, at all. I see the information in the world as mostly noise and BS. And I see society as an emergent property incentivized to brainwash the masses.
What, you thought I’d suddenly fall in line with the narrative, lockstep? Silly rabbit.
If you want to not only survive and thrive in 2020 and beyond, use this post as a field guide for what to do next.
Buy In when There’s “Blood in the Streets”
There couldn’t be a better time to start a side project, business, long-term goal, or even just a hobby.
I saw a Tweet from an e-commerce store owner saying how products were at a discount from post-co-vid fallout. Is it evil to take advantage of that, or smart?
You deserve to jump through a few loopholes, okay? Why do the big corporations get to do it and not you?
I don’t have perfect data on this, but logic and reason suggest that the internet wave is only going to increase. Some antiquated business models have been and will continue to get wiped out.
The stock market is up, aside from the fed monopoly money package, because tech runs the stock market, not the brick and mortar economy. This divorce between non-tech professions and wealth isn’t just a reflection of the stock market, it parallels real life.
Lack of other options forced everyone, including older folks, to become more computer literate. If you’re a writer like me, you probably have access to a bigger audience since more people are inside.
I’ve been plotting some products and ideas in silence. Once the world is normal again and people are ready to be optimistic again, I’ll be there.
In your case, if you have no experience right now, starting your project and learning some skills during the downtime will help you be primed when everything is fully open again — not just the physical structure, but the opening of people’s minds.
Either you’re on the internet wave and part of this new economy or you’re totally lost in the shuffle. The corporate office and brick and mortar are on life support right now. Get with the times, or don’t. Your choice.
Don’t Let Yourself Get Brainwashed
Does the media outright tell lies? Let’s just put that argument to the side and assume they don’t. Even if they don’t outright lie, they spin information and put it through a certain prism to evoke emotions.
Have you ever noticed that there are certain approved battles and hot-button topics you can debate? Most people only think about the dual nature of the debates themselves, but they never stop to ask why the Overton window was chosen or by who.
There are a lot of injustices around the world daily, but you only know or care about the ones the media tells you to care about. Your knowledge of what happens around the world is extremely limited. You let the media tell you what to care about and you let them put you in a box where you only get two choices.
There’s a third option — don’t play the game at all. I affiliate with no political party and actually see useful bits and pieces in each that I cherry-pick to form my own opinions. That’s a thing you can do, you know.
I always focus on what the media isn’t telling me. What are they trying to hide when they amplify certain injustices and societal problems? I won’t get into a political treatise here, but let me sum it up this way.
If we, the 99 percent, are constantly fighting with each other, the one percent gets to laugh all the way to the bank. This is exactly what they do over and over again and we take the bait over and over again. People think they’re freedom fighters. They’re pawns fighting for tribes with leaders who don’t care about them. Doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you choose.
One hundred percent of you are contributing to the oligarchical crony capitalist beaurocratic monolith if you engage in tribal political warfare, regardless of the side you’re on. How people don’t seem to understand this is beyond me. But they can’t see the game being played at all. They’re barely hiding it at this point. They don’t even give you bread and circus anymore.
Understand the game being played so you can remain unemotional and stay focused on your mission. I wrote an article about using self-improvement as a tool for social justice. The punchline was the idea that we fix this by decentralizing, focusing on ourselves, building our own little mini-empires, and trading with each other.
I don’t play the outrage game because I know it creates the exact opposite of the intended outcome. Adopt this attitude, stay focused, ride things out while everyone fights, and come out the other end stronger.
Leave “The Masses” Behind
Some people tell me I have a cynical tone to my writing. This is the truth. I’m extremely cynical and pessimistic about the masses, but I’m extremely optimistic about individuals. I can get through to one person at a time. The masses are toast.
So, let me talk to you right now.
How are you going to come out of this year and what will your efforts get you?
I want you to play out this scenario. You decide to stay in the tribal fight because you care. You post a bunch of caring hashtags on your social media profile, obsess over the news, and fight for your army in the holy war.
Maybe your candidate wins. But what happens after that? Do you actually get anything you want, for yourself or your tribe?
Will you get?:
- Massive structural change — The robber Barrons will finally say, “You know what guys? Ok, we give up. We’ll let go of control. Utopia if yours.” Think this through.
- Substantive policies pushed through — Every politician postures during elections and deliver essentially none of what they promised. And we fall for this every time. Even the policies they do push through aren’t the big major ones we really want, say something like single-payer.
- A better life — Again, let’s say your candidate wins. How will your actual life change, except maybe you feel a bit better?
And therein lies the moral of the story. All of this that’s going on right now is primarily about feelings. The holy war is psychological, not structural. People don’t care about actually winning, but feeling like they’re winning.
Is that how you want to live your life?
Getting emotionally pushed around constantly?
I was having a conversation with my mom last night — my mom who grew up poor in a segregated neighborhood but got free ride scholarships to college and made it to the middle class. We talked about what’s going on and how much the narrative is screwed up.
I told her I don’t feel oppressed because I wasn’t raised to be a victim. She said, “Exactly.”
That’s all you have to do to not be a victim, just don’t be one. You decide what to believe. You decide how much opportunity there is in the world.
Regain control of your own mind and stop letting society put a battery pack in your brain.
I’m telling you right now, if you keep playing the outrage game for the rest of the year, you’ll do irreparable harm to your mental health.
If you focus on winning, during the harshest of times, you’ll be living like a king or queen for the rest of the decade.
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