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Stealing From My Heroes To Achieve Self-awareness

Gary Vaynerchuk is my mentor. I watch his videos to get motivated. I read his books and blog for insight into social media. I discovered him less than one year ago. What was I doing before then? I often wonder.

The market is the market is the market- Gary Vaynerchuk

Yesterday, when I was obliged to recharge, I spent my day watching him and Casey Neistat, the film maker.

I can’t say this loud enough- these people have influenced my thinking, my philosophies and altered my mindset in the most positive way I could ever dream of.

I no longer look at work, entrepreneurship or life in the same mediocre way.

Q: How do you surround yourself with the right people?
A: I don’t know- I just eliminate the wrong people in my life
 Casey Neistat

When I think of my life’s purpose and the reason why I need to write everyday, what they say serves as a compass — in Srinivas Rao speak.

Here’s from my Casey binge yesterday:

If you can’t see the goal post, which way do you know to the kick the ball?
Free time is the enemy of progress.
Productivity = Happiness

And I can afford to say Gary is my mentor because of the huge influence James Altucher had on me. I choose my mentors. Books. Movies. Gary. Anything. James taught me that.

I still read him. But not as much as I used to.

I’m the Highlander. I meet the masters, absorb their powers, and continue my hero’s journey.

There are effects to amassing such knowledge: I speak differently. I approach tasks and problems from a less negative point of view.

Even the way I give advice has evolved.

For all this growth, when people ask for my opinion, I am comfortable to say: I don’t know. Not only does this make me want to learn more, but it allows me the humility to learn from everyone who knows more than I do.

And boy do I learn from everything.


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The leitmotif in my community: young people hardly know what to do with their lives. Questions like: what is my passion? How do I get a job? Where do I get a job? What do I do to get a job? What about the government? What about entrance exams? I should leave the country?

Get the theme? Few people want to create. They (we) just want jobs.

I’m confident in my potential. What wakes me up every morning, is the feeling that I’m not the optimal version of who I am. That I could be more. Do more.

I live in a University town — Buea, Cameroon. Filled with late teens and twenty somethings. The majority have no idea why they’re studying what they’re studying. A larger majority, doesn’t care about what they’ll do with those often misguided degrees.

Many are just lost. Swooped by the current of their narcissistic parents’ dreams, peer influence and plain lack of life orientation.

I was one of them. I switched degree programmes twice and took 7 years to get a Bachelor’s Degree when most took 3 years. I think I know a thing or two about academic frustration in Cameroon.

Plus, I interact with them on a daily basis. Smart, young, talented…frustrated, confused, with no motivation.


Gary Vaynerchuk hammers on Self-awareness as the key to happiness and eventual success. Last month, during his interview with the legendary Larry King he reiterated this.

Larry King: How do you teach Self-Awareness?
Gary Vee: I don’t know *Pause* I just know know it’s pretty damn important.

There are three questions I believe can help anyone find a path to his/her passion. These are of course ripped off from Gary.

They seem simple enough. But I’ve come to understand that if you get the answers to these three questions, you’re more than likely to get a successful life. That, of course, depends on your definition of success.

1. What do you like?

What would you do for the rest of life if you weren’t paid? What would you want to do everyday? Would you write? Paint? Interview people? Run? Walk? Solve math equations? Programme?What is it that makes you feel alive?

You can read this post by James to get a better picture of how you find your passion. One way to do that, is to look at the things you did as a child for hours.

I started writing in 2003. I was 13 years old.

2. What Are You Good At?

Here’s where things get tricky.The fact that I like writing may not mean that I am good at it. This is where self-awareness is most important.

If you haven’t watched the interview above, you should NOW!

Gary advises that you get the people closest to you to be comfortable. That you take weeks — months even, to let them know that you’re fine with them telling you the hard truth about yourself.

Then ask :

What am I good at? What do I suck at? What are my strengths, what are my weaknesses?

Gather this feedback and course correct. This method works for those who aren’t self-aware enough. Not everyone is.

When you can find something you like AND you’re good at it, you get a few steps closer to being able to fully utilize your unique talent in your DNA.

How can you position yourself to succeed?

If you like eating food, and you’re good at eating food ( random example expressing my love for food), there is a wide range of activities that you could do to allow you make a living doing what you like, which happens to be what you’re good at.

These activities range from food blogging, to photography, to opening a restaurant, being a house husband who cooks, etc

The opportunities to make a decent ( even amazing) living via your passion are largely dependent on your personal definition of success. As well as your context.

I may tell you I’m successful when I have a book published. For another person, success is a meal everyday.

When you know yourself, you detach yourself from society’s definition of success. It’s this detachment that lets you dig deep into a passion, knowing that in three years, you could change the face of the community.

It’s this detachment that grants the mental fortitude to take on an online course with the desire to gain a new skill, knowing that in six months, that video editing skill would position a budding amateur as an independent filmmaker.

This self-awareness allowed Casey Neistat at 17, young father , living on welfare, to wash dishes for a living and bury his time in video making when he first got hold of a camera. He’s been at it for decades and his resolve only compounds. He posts a movie every single day on his YouTube channel.

This positioning could mean getting an internship at a company. This may mean carrying coffee for free, for someone whose advice you’d need. It may mean getting great grades in order to ensure that you get that scholarship to the UK.

Find what you need to do to live with your passion.

Passion is good. Living your passion is better. Living from your passion is best. Tchassa Emmanuel- my father.

Hi. I’m Tchassa Kamga and I love writing.I currently live in Buea, Cameroon. I host a podcast and I freeze stuff on Instagram. You can find me on Twitter,Snapchat and Facebook as well. Together my good friend C. Befoune, we started Self-ish where we share personal essays on self improvement, content creation and human relationships.

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