One of the things you can do as a person is enjoy what you’re doing — for yourself and for others. You can decide to whistle while you work, as it were.
And making this decision breaks down to looking at what you’re doing, and how you feel about it.
I think of these as perceptions and value judgements, and I’m going rant on these a little bit.
PERCEPTIONS AND VALUE JUDGEMENTS
We get to decide where we focus our attention in this big world of ours. You’re probably awake for 16+ hours a day… What are you doing with that time?
Are you focusing on your health, or your business, or your relationships, or what?
Realizing that you have control over this decision gives you a lot of agency and power over your life.
But in addition to where you put your attention, you get to decide how you feel about what you experience. I call this feeling a value judgement, and contrary to popular opinion, I believe this judgement is a choice.
We all have conditioning, absolutely. Maybe you were raised to believe that something is good, while I was raised to believe that thing is bad…
But I think in the end we all have control over our judgements.
And this is important to realize because if you’re doing something that you don’t enjoy, well, I think you’d benefit from either doing something else or changing the way you feel about it — and both of these are within your capability.
Essentially, what I’m talking about is taking responsibility.
Something I believe in very strongly — and something that has served me very well in my life — is the idea of personal responsibility.
Meaning that I believe whatever situation I might find myself in, I’m responsible for it. It came from the choices I made, where I chose to put my attention and the value judgements I associated with those perceptions.
And if I want to change my situation, then that’s up to me. I have to change my actions or change my judgements.
I don’t think many people are willing to hold this opinion. I think they don’t want to take that much responsibility, because it requires a lot of intention toward the choices you make and the outcomes you want.
But once you decide to take on that responsibly — it’s actually incredibly freeing. Because you no longer feel at the mercy of other people and outside forces. You take control over your life.
And let me say this: There are definitely external factors that are working against people and what they want. There’s classism, sexism, racism, agism, etc… We’re all swimming against a current, and that current is much stronger for some people than others.
But my point is that, at the very least, we have a great deal more power over our lives than we’re willing to accept.
We get to choose where we focus our attention. We get to choose how we feel about what we perceive.
If you’re operating form the viewpoint that everything is happening to you, and that you have no control and that you’re a victim…
Then it’s a much harder place to improve from, and you’ll have a much harder time getting what you want.
And that’s what this is all about… It’s about having the life we want.
And toward that end I want to add one more step beyond just perception and judgement… And that’s action.
This post is not advocating for manifest destiny, or the idea that you should try to get what you want simply by focusing positively on it (à la The Secret).
I think positive thinking is fantastic, and it’s great to have a plan…
But once you have a plan, I think it’s better to take consistent action toward getting what you want. You will be much more likely to achieve your goals this way.
So get out there! Have fun! Get what you want!
Catch ya later.
0:54 Judge your own Experience
1:48 Perception and Value Judgement
2:49 You Decide where you Direct your Attention
4:01 Value Judgements are your Choice
4:53 Taking Responsibility for your Life
8:34 Take steps in the Direction of your Goals
9:15 Set Goals and a Plan
9:59 Success and Progression
11:37 Happiness does not Increase with more Wealth
13:25 Decide to Enjoy what you are Doing
Click Here For Video Transcript
They talk about in the sort of, you know, when people go and become monks and stuff, right? They make them sweep the floor, like, all the time, you know? I was reading this book about this guy who had to like cut the grass with a pair of scissors. And one of the reasons that they have you do these tasks that seem mundane, that seem like sort of long and tedious is because you then get the opportunity to decide to enjoy that task. And if you decide to enjoy what you’re doing, all the sudden you start to see the intricacies of it. You start to have a relationship to the experience of doing this thing that you didn’t have before, and you didn’t have it because you judged that thing as bad, which brings me to this idea of perception and value judgment.
So one of the things that I think holds people back in life, like everyone’s talking about mindset and positive attitude and all this kind of stuff and yes, that is important. And I think it’s been sort of, you know, it’s been sort of grabbed by pop culture and somewhat misconstrued. People have been somewhat misguided with relationship to this sort of like manifest destiny and “The Secret,” and not that I’m like against the idea of, you know, hey, positive thinking and stuff like that. But I wanna break it down…rather, one thing, I do have a gripe that I will mention after I’m done with my rant here. But I do have a gripe with relationship to, you know, manifesting, you know, bringing things into being by thinking positively about them. So I wanna talk about how I see that.
But basically, what I wanna get to is that I wanna break that down to a practical level for you, which is as a human being we can all agree that you get to decide where you direct your attention, right? So you get to decide whether or not you, you know, put attention on your body, or whether or not you work out, or whether or not you put attention towards creating a business, or whether or not you put attention towards your relationship. Now, that is not to say that there are not, you know, external factors like the society that you live in, like sort of, you know, who runs the government, you know, what’s happening in the world. Like, there are external factors that affect you. But in your daily life, you do get the opportunity to decide where you put your attention.
Therefore, you are choosing what you perceive. So in that sense, you have a lot of agency and a lot of power with relationship to how your life goes because you get to decide where you put your attention, right? So you get to decide where you put your attention. Then you also then get to place a value judgment on what you’ve perceived, right? So you get to perceive stuff, you know, decide what you’re perceiving and experiencing by where you’re putting your attention. Then you get to decide whether or not the experience that you perceived was good or bad. You get to place value on that, and those value judgments actually are your choice. Yeah, I mean they are conditioned. There are societal value judgments. There’s sort of people’s moral lines.
But if you look at different societies and different cultures, they have different sets of value judgments. So that whole, like, value judgment on perception is actually quite malleable. Like for example, in certain cultures, they eat dogs, and that is totally normal. They eat cats, and that is totally normal. And that’s like, you know, that particular judgment is a societal construct that is okay in that society. That’s not okay in the society that I’m in, right? So basically, you get to decide what you perceive by where you’re putting your attention, and then you get to judge whether or not that perception was good or bad.
Essentially what I’m talking about is taking responsibility for your life because one of the things that I believe in very strongly and that has served me in my life is personal responsibility that, like, what is happening in my life I am at cause for. I created the experience. And yeah, that’s not to say there aren’t external factors and that, you know, aren’t victimized by certain external factors, sure. Like, I will give you that. But for the most part, you get to decide how your life goes. And one of my core value propositions is that of personal responsibility, is that of like if I’m in a situation it’s because I did what it took to get there. I had this conversation, or I behaved in this way, or I reacted to what was coming at me. I emotionally reacted in a certain way that caused XYZ effect. I caused it. It’s my responsibility.
What’s happening in my life is because of the things that I did, because of what I chose to perceive, how I chose to judge those things, and then how I chose to react to those things. And if you take that approach to life, it’s really freeing because you have so much more power, so much more agency with regard to how your life goes because you’re in control of it. And that is a really powerful position that not a lot of people are willing to take this position of like no, the circumstance that I’m in, I have responsibility in, and I can affect change in my circumstance. I can affect change in my physical body, you know, health-wise. I can affect change in my business life, in my relationship life, in my work life.
And again, I’m not sort of coming out against any particular set of circumstance that has people held down in any certain way. Obviously, there’s classism, obviously, you know, people are born into not having, you know, a lot of opportunity and people are born into having a lot of opportunity. Like, there’s all that stuff. And I’m not sort of denying any of that because that’s also real, right? However, what I am saying is that you do have a lot more power than you think, probably, in relationship to deciding, you know, if you decide to watch TV four hours a night, which by the way, it turns out a large part of the population does, which as you can probably tell by this rant, that I have some level of value judgment against. I think that like this is me perceiving something that’s happening and placing a value judgment on it. Like okay, I think that’s probably, for me anyways, not how I’d like to spend my time because it’s not gonna get me the results that I’m looking to get, right?
So you get to choose sort of how your situation goes by what you decide to perceive i.e., where you decide to put your attention, and then how you decide to judge what’s coming at you, you know, what value judgment you place on the experience that you’re having. So point here is you have a lot of responsibility in how your life goes. And if you’re operating from the viewpoint that everything is just happening to you, and you don’t have any responsibility in how your life is going, and you’re victimized by this, that, and the other, it’s a much harder place to win from. It’s a much harder place to succeed from. It’s a much harder place to get where you want to go from because you’re saying that you don’t have any agency in it.
Now, back to the initial rant of like sort of I’m not trying to bash “The Secret” or any of these other sort of manifesting, you know, this idea that like…okay, so what I think is that the content was misconstrued. Like sit back and decide what you want, and put it on a vision board, and then it will come to you. Like, sure, it’s nice to set goals, right? So like, sit back, figure out what you want, think about it, think positively in the direction of it, set those goals. But if that’s all you do, you know, your chances of getting whatever that thing is are much less likely than if you actually then do something in the direction of those goals.
If you actually then put in the effort, if you actually then show some determination and grit and movement in the direction of this vision board of yours, which by the way, I like to create vision boards. I’m all about vision boards. Nothing wrong with those, those are awesome. They give you a roadmap for where you want to go. You then have to travel, you know. You have to, like, take the journey to get where you wanna go. So like, the idea that you can just think about something and then it will come into existence, sure. I’m sure that happens, you know. It’s happened to me. I’ve had, like, thoughts and ideas of things I’d want and then they’ve just happened without seeming like much effort. So like, that’s one way to go, and that’s cool.
I think, though, a better sort of more consistent way to have the things you want is to sort of ideate on them, set your goals, and then set a plan to move in the direction of achieving those goals. And have that vision board and that positive thinking be promoted by sort of daily consistent movement in the direction of achieving that particular thing of consistency, of action, in the direction of achieving whatever it is you want to achieve. And there’s this just buzzword, while I’m like ranting here and drinking my coffee and whistlin’. There’s this buzzword in society of success. Everyone’s talking about “be successful.” Every time I open my phone I get, you know, ads for, you know, success-oriented things.
And from what I can tell, there seems to be a synonym between success and progression. Like, what people are referring to when they are talking about success, at least in the sort of industry that I’m in, which is that of entrepreneurship, that of business ownership, that of personal development, is like moving in the direction of sort of more wealth, or I mean in general it tends to be more wealth. And you know, the only thing I’d like to add to that is, like, people’s definition of success is very different, right? So this sort of like blanket statement, “You can be wealthy,” or you know, “Hey, success equals money” is like, you know, perhaps not so right-on for every person because I know that my personal definition of success is so different from a lot of people who are in similar spots to me where they have a company with 50 employees and whatever, like who are in similar positions in their work life.
Like, my idea of success is much different than a lot of people’s ideas of success. My idea of success is sort of work-life balance, is space in relationship to what I’m doing, is plenty of time for my hobbies and my relationship. Like actually, more time for my relationship and personal life than for business life. Like, I have this definition of success that is different than just make a whole bunch of money. And I understand that sort of when you’re just getting started, the idea that you could have more money would be sort of really attractive and that might sell you on whatever program you’re signing up for.
But there’s been studies done that have shown that like in this particular society, American society, if you’re in America, after $75,000 in total sort of household income for a person, happiness does not increase with more wealth. Money can buy you comfort, for sure, right? Like, I’m speaking as someone who has gone from sort of identifying and feeling very poor to now, you know, being wealthy in that regard, with regard to wealthy as it’s described in society with regard to money, right? And happiness does not increase in proportion with wealth. There are so many people who are so wealthy and really miserable, and really overworked, and really stressed and really angry, who don’t have a lot of intimacy, who don’t have a lot of connection, who don’t have a lot of personal satisfaction and fulfillment.
So I think when you’re looking at this idea of success, including purpose, mission, connection, intimacy, physical well being is so important because it’s really, actually, what it comes down to. Like, what makes people really happy from what I can tell is like connection to other people, purpose in life, physical well being, feeling like what they’re doing means something. Yes, success in regards to sort of societal standards with regard to work life, but…I don’t even know how I got on this crazy rant. But I enjoy talking about this stuff. These are sort of some of the underlying viewpoints and philosophies and principles that I operate from that allow me to have a very successful business and have a really sort of rich, and fulfilling, and engaging personal life and not be like super stressed or super overworked or, you know, kind of not enjoying what I’m doing.
I think what started this was the concept that like you get to decide whether or not you’re gonna enjoy the actions that you’re taking. So therefore, if you know that, if you know you get to make that decision, you might as well enjoy what you’re doing. You might as well decide if you’re gonna do something, enjoy it, right? If you’re gonna do something and be miserable, and resentful, and not really wanna do it, like, “Ugh, I gotta take out the trash, and now I gotta do the dishes,” or, “Man, I gotta do this,” like, don’t do it. But you could decide, “I’m really enjoying doing the dishes because it makes my wife really happy, or taking out the…” You can decide to enjoy what you’re doing I think is the thesis of this ramble, and if making the choice to decide to enjoy what you’re doing when you’re doing something brings energy to that thing, brings enthusiasm to that thing, brings enjoyment to that thing, and allows you to then do it even better. So enjoy what you’re doing.
Ezra here from “Smart Marketer” with a whistling, rambling post. And thank you for watching.