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We all want absolute certainty that things will go as planned. And when it doesn't  ( as is usually the case ) , we blame ever...

What if you have the power to change the world.. or even just make it a little better? Would you deny the world this gift?

This question may sound nice and naive and idealistic. But I am neither of the three.. or at least not anymore. Not after what life put me through. Not after what people pulled me through. I was ready to give up. And maybe I had. In a big way.

I was determined to just live for myself. Have it my way. Just focus on what I can do. For me. Just me. I will be kind to myself. For once. And forget about everyone else's opinions. I will forgive myself of my own mistakes. Give myself unlimited chances. To try again. And make more mistakes. And care not at all for what other people may think and say. Whoever the fuck they may be.

I never asked to be who I am. I never even asked to be born. What do I owe anyone?

I am me. And I would never apologize for being me. I am never gonna be a prisoner of anybody's expectations. No one will ever again dictate me on how to be.

I am me. Still just a frail, ageing and humbled human. Yet I am free.

I may not have much. But my God-given freedom is more than enough to dignify and give meaning to my existence. Therefore, never trust anyone who only has contempt for your freedom.

But freedom is useless.. If you won't use it.

You have to use it to help yourself. To be better. But don't try to be better by becoming someone you are not. Instead, be better at being yourself. Yes. Be better at being yourself. And that will lead you to become the best version of yourself. And don't be surprised one day when you look in the mirror, you'll see this amazing human being staring right back at you, saying "congratulations, you did your bit in building a better world!"
If you have any real sense of moral responsibility at all, let it be about achieving your own human potential. Let it be about taking care of your personal growth. Let it be about becoming a gift to yourself, and after that (by default), you shall have become a gift to the world. (Not that everyone will admire, agree or even acknowledge. You're not doing this for them, remember?)

Building a better world begins with building a better you, for you, by you. And contrary to what you might like to expect, it stops there. Never impose your gospel on others.  This is not a social movement nor a religion but a call to a "personal revolution". It has to come organically from within, or else where is the efficacy in that?

Never impose on others your values and your visions -- your truths. People are smart. They will get it. Your good intentions are NOT moral justification for your dictatorial stance. If you really have good intentions, then all the more should you respect other people's process of growth. (Don't even compare your own growth). The process is NEVER the same for everyone. You are not helping if you are getting in the way of their process in any way. You're just delaying their growth. The most you can do is inspire them, in silence. Just be a shining beacon in your own humble corner.. where those of us in the dark can never miss your light. One more thing, just focus on your own continuing growth, because you still need it, (we all do) and so do the world.

BUT BEWARE...! Unfortunately, not all people will leave you alone. There are smart, talented and influential people out there who will actually trick you into investing your total dependence on them. Your frail and pavlovian human nature is no match for the force of their personality and sheer sense of superiority.

It's not enough to focus on self-improvement and allowing other's the same space. You have to arm yourself against the tricksters and manipulators, who consciously preys upon your kindness and trust --- and eat your very soul. Life is too short to waste on blood suckers. And never think it's any of your responsibility to "cure" them. As soon as they assume that responsibility for themselves, they will find cure.

So, if you still haven't got a clue, let me spell it for you.

  • + One person has what it takes to build a better world. 
  • + And that person is You.
  • + Good news, is if you are up for the challenge.
  • - But if you aren't yet tired of your excuses, that's bad news.

We all want absolute certainty that things will go as planned. And when it doesn't (as is usually the case), we blame everyone and everything. Our belief in the possibility of "perfection" is strong. Warriors and fighters, on the other hand, have developed a secret winning strategy that works 99% of the time. It is called, "being realistic". Apparently, having to put their lives on the line everyday - as part of doing their job - has opened their eyes to a drastically different way of seeing things. We should try that once in a while.

War strategist Carl von Clausewitz used the word "friction" to represent the difference between our plan and what actually happens The bigger the deviation from the plan, the bigger the "friction".

More "friction" translates to more "heat" --- more aptly known as "stress". And "stress" can warp our sense of proportion and wreaks havoc on our propensity for complexity --- which can then feed into itself, until you get overwhelmed, burned out, or break down.

"Friction" is unavoidable because nothing in life is ever the same. No amount of thinking in advance can prepare you for the infinite possibilities of the present moment. Possibilities which you may take advantage of or fall victim to.

What would you give to become immune to friction? 

Indeed, what would you give for the ability to feed on "friction" and convert stress into capacity for excellent performance? Of being able to be attuned to the FORCE of circumstances and master of the moment?

Being master of the moment is what I call being "dangerously awesome".

More than just being fully alive, being dangerously awesome means being fully awake. It means having tremendous fluency and fluidity in adapting to the unexpected. It means having the speed of mind to quickly see and use the potentialities of the unexpected as if you were counting on it to happen because you planned it that way.

At the root of this seemingly tremendous adaptive capacity is our basic set, standard issue, "human survival drive". We are familiar with this kind of strength, we hear inspiring stories and tall tales about it all the time. We admire people who seem to have it, even fictitious characters. But we don't know we have it within us until huge problems force us to be strong.

Philosophers and legendary warriors of old talk openly about this but they can't help but sound vague and mystical. How can they not? Wisdom gained in the face of death in the heat of the battlefield. Wisdom gained over a lifetime of meditations and discourses. They all speak of the same paradoxes to achieving personal excellence.

There are five core principles [and seven powerful ideas for unleashing them.]    

When you realize their life-changing potential, you will understand why I call them dangerous.


Maintain a constant "grasp" of the moment. Be at peace with chaos. Embrace uncertainty. Romance the unexpected. It takes a lot of will power to be always realistic and alert to the changing landscape. But REALITY does not really offer you any alternative. You have no choice in the matter. Surrender to the moment. But make the surrender, your choice. A decision you own. A realization that you are actually "connected" to the universe, so it's less a surrender and more of coming back home. Accept this moment. Love it. The chaos within and the chaos without is one and the same chaos that permeates the universe. Embrace the moment like there is no other reality, cause there really is none.

Seize the moment. Instead of getting overwhelmed, use it's energy as incentive to be fully engaged with reality. Ride life's momentum. Life is a "happening", an event, a constant stream, a cosmic phenomenon.  If you don't ride life's momentum, you'll get run over and over. And over.

Life is a closed door. If you don't open it and get inside, it will forever be an enigma to you. Action is the key to getting inside. And when you act, act generously, not half-hearted. Give. Give back to life. Especially when it seems you have no more to give. Keep giving. Give generously of your self in whatever you are doing now. Invest yourself in the moment completely. If it's not worth doing well, its not worth doing at all. To be aimless is to be dead. Stop waiting for opportunities. Instead, just do something, practically anything of value. That will "attract" opportunities. Especially, do something that you love. Action invites opportunities.

Believe in your success. Especially when it's hard to believe. Keep believing. Hold on to your vision. Keep in mind that strategic vision is more important than specific strategies. That with a powerful vision, everything will fall into place. Focus on the vision and believe.

The power is within you. It's irrelevant to think whether you earned it, or deserving of it. You just happen to have the power by virtue of being alive. That's what you need to understand, believe and be thankful for.  Your next concern is how to unleash it.  And that's the topic for a sequel post.



"We associate the willingness to risk great failure – and the ability to climb back from catastrope – with courage. But in this we are wrong. That is the lesson of Nassim Taleb."
-- Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker

An epistemologist of randomness, Nassim Nicholas Taleb was once described as "the hottest thinker in the world". Born in 1960, he is a Lebanese American essayist whose work focuses on problems of randomness and probability.

His book "The Black Swan" was described in a review by Sunday Times as one of the most influential books since World War 2. In it, he advocates for a society that can withstand "black swans" or difficult-to-predict events --- what he calls a "black swan robust" society. Taleb favors "stochastic tinkering" as a method of scientific discovery, by which he means experimentation and fact-collecting instead of top-down directed research.

According to Taleb, "we humans, facing limits of knowledge, and things we do not observe, the unseen, the unknown, resolve the tension by scueezing life and the world into crisp commoditized ideas".. This, he said, makes us victims to the Ludic Fallacy, or the misuse of games and dice to model real-life randomness.   


Taleb detests the error of comparing real-world randomness with "structured randomness" in quantim physics /where probabilities are remarkably computable/ and games of chance like casinos where probabilities are artificially built.
He said, predicitive models /such as those based on Plato's Theory of Forms/, gravitate towards mathematical purity, thus fail to take some key ideas into account; such as:

1.That it is impossibile to possess all relevant information
2.That small unknown variations in the data can have a huge impact
3.That theories or models based on empirical data are flawed because they fail to account for events that have not yet taken place but could have taken place.

He claimed that the foundations of qualitative economics are faulty and highly self-referential. He states that statistics is fundamentally incomplete as a field as it cannot predict the risk of rare events.

TALEB'S CHALLENGE is how to live and act in a world we do not understand and build robustness to black swan events.

An application of his most effective, or least fragile, risk management approach is one in favor of linear combination of extremes. In other words, Taleb advocates a dualistic approach -- to be both hyper-conservative and hyper-aggressive at the same time, as these two extremes are more robust to estimation errors. This approach of avoiding the middle option is also known as The Barbell Strategy.

For example, an investor might put 80 to 90 percent of his money in extremely safe instruments, such as treasury bills, with the remainder going in to highly risky and diversified speculative bets.    

Taleb believes The Barbell Strategy is applicable across all domains, from politics to economics and to one's personal life.

Entrepreneurs, especially effective ones, possess a very specific type of mindset, attitudes and character traits. Now, aspiring entrepreneurs, especially those who do not possess the personality type most ideal to entrepreneurial pursuits, are the ones most eager to spend time and money learning all they could about entrepreneurship --- only to amass a lot of entrepreneurial knowledge that would be useless to them. Why? Because they would be hugely distracted in a carnival of interesting but irrelevant information and misplaced enthusiasm that they would very likely neglect the one thing they should be focusing on in the first place --- developing an entrepreneurial personality.

THINKING is a physically painful, energy depleting, calorie-demanding pursuit.

I don't mean the muscle-wrenching kind of pain but the very vaguely felt kind of pained drain when micro "blood" droplets drip out of the brain (as the synapses break down old connections and forcibly create new ones). Its an almost violent task that literally involves physical workout inside the brain, straining the cells, as you would strain your muscles in a physical workout.         

Beyond just physically taxing, however, thinking is actually a morally demanding occupation requiring true courage. 

I'm talking about independently thinking for yourself ---- understanding for yourself the facts, formulating your own opinions, and standing your ground amid a legion of loud mouthed fools who feel compelled that you should benefit from their "enlightened" opinion...  

When you have successfully "killed" FEAR, it now becomes ultra possible to learn how to make friends with this bully called "failure", and recruit him into your team.

If you must ask "why", here's why you should be best friends forever with "failure":

"Failure" is the neighborhood toughie, better if he's on your side. Like a shadow, it shall always be close by whether you fear it or not. Unlike fear itself, this monster doesn't exactly feed on your fear, although your fear of it does give it super villain powers. Like the law of gravity, expect failure to come knocking on your door EACH time you fall, any time of day or night. If you're lucky like me, you get several visitations for every fall...
Would you rather cling to the promise of success or crave the assurance of security?

On the surface, the question is one of personal preference but upon closer scrutiny, the issue is a bit heavier, so allow me to delay the kill.

Choose your pick right now, nobody needs to know your answer anyway (but feel free to debate with me, if you wish).

Knowing what you want is a primary qualification for maximizing your human potential, so do not muddle your answer by saying you prefer a “mixture of both”. Just relax and let feelings be your guide.

Would you rather feel successful or secured?

Neither preference is ethically higher than the other, (although, as you may have guessed, habitual winners usually prefer one over the other.)

Okay, here’s the deal...
The fear of failure is probably the biggest psychological barrier ever known to personal growth. But know what? Just remove the “fear” part and what you have left is a most volatile fuel to fire up your personal revolution!

Curiously, failure is somewhat translated in the brain as a kind of “death experience”--- something to dread about...


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