5 Maxims for a Great Life
#1 Work for the dopamine.
98% of people die without fulfilling their dreams. I see the research and I get scared. First reaction: it's not true, probably an exaggeration.
Second reaction: I look up other research; nothing less than 90%. Sh**! Terror. But how can so many people fail? I don’t know. And I’ve stopped asking why. I asked a friend, he said we should stop dreaming. Maybe he’s right.
I've had moments; many failures, few successes. Not 'Billionaire' kind of success, but moments where I've felt like, YES! I did it. Times I've been proud of myself and filled with content. Here's what I've learned
Work for the Dopamine
“Be careful not to compromise what you want most for what you want now.” Zig Ziglar
Likes, likes more likes. Not enough. Get a bit naked on Instagram. More likes, not still enough. Dopamine. We want a hit by all means.
We use different methods, but we want the same thing. Some take drugs, get high, get naked on Instagram, buy more clothes, eat more food. It's addictive. We want to be recognized, we want to feel good. But so many people go for it through the wrong means.
I'm sure Oprah Winfrey feels good whenever she goes on stage. Or whenever she's mentioned as one of the most powerful women in the world. Jeff Bezos feels amazing being the richest human. They've done great things and they get to feel amazing because of it.
Whenever I checked my results and I saw an 'A' I feel so good about myself I could ask Rihanna on a date. And I still feel good whenever I remember.
Our need to feel good could be a drive to do greater things and not just to give away cheaply for 'likes' or drugs. You want to really feel good about yourself? Work and get noticed. Write something great and watch people comment on, and share your work. That’s when you really feel good.
Be an Alchemist
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Eighty different jobs! Robert Greene worked about eighty different jobs, then he wrote six best sellers.
Some people just work five jobs and they think the world is against them. He did many jobs but he wasn't wasting his time.
He was seeing, observing, learning, and absorbing all the experiences.
Zora Neale Hurtson, abandoned by her father after losing her mom. Took up all kinds of jobs in different homes to survive. Whenever she worked in the homes of rich people who had books, it was a chance for her to read. She became the most famous black writer of her time.
Learn to transform lead into gold. See everything that happens to you as a kind of chance, a rare opportunity given to you by the universe.
You’ve Heard this Before
“The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest (people) of the past centuries.” – Descartes
Read like your life depends on it. I used to be really clueless. My own experiences didn’t even make any sense to me. I had a naive and narrow view of how the world worked. Books changed my life.
Here's the thing; when you read, you are like a vampire of wisdom. You suck from others and you buy yourself some time; you avoid unnecessary mistakes, you have a heads-up on important matters by learning from the mistakes of others.
Malcolm X, a criminal was totally transformed by books. Reading was the only way he could transform himself from a drug dealing, stubborn criminal to a force for good. It was the only way he could see a different reality from the one he had always known.
“My alma mater was books, a good library…. I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.” – Malcolm X
We have a tendency to think in a very narrow manner. We think we know everything just because we’ve had a few experiences.
But what we usually learn from our environment and our experiences is just a narrow part of reality. Without books, we can be stuck in that small world.
The Grass Isn’t Greener on the Other Side
There’s always this importance we attach to what we don’t (or can’t) have. And once we have it, it suddenly loses its value.
Celebrities who worked really hard to achieve fame only to become miserable after that.
We never really have a realistic imagination of things. We always tend to blow things out of proportion and shape them into whatever we want in our imagination.
The Israelites thought leaving Egypt will be the best thing that can ever happen to them. But when they got out, they wanted to go back. Now they can only remember the crumbs of food they still had in Egypt but forgot the torture.
But it doesn't have to be that way. We can learn to love what we have. Imagine how your life would have been if some people or some things were absent. You don't have to lose things before you know their value.
Never Stop Being a Student
“I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be.” —Albert Einstein
One of the scenes I can never get used to is old people who have outdated views about life. They’ve taken their beliefs and turned them into unchangeable rules.
They've stopped learning. They think they know everything there is to know about life. It's usually impossible to explain or teach anything to them.
“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.” —Epictetus
Life never stops teaching so we should never stop learning.