Colorful picture, right?
Unfortunately, life traps aren’t always so obviously broadcast.
In fact, many of them are disguised as assets.
Others are such a subtle part of the “life script“, they’re invisible (to the untrained mind).
Noble-sounding ideas can be destructive when put into action.
What good is a personal code if it keeps you trapped into the wrong actions (ruining your life and emotional health?)
Everyone is quick to yell “SCAM!” when they see something that could change their lives, yet passively accept the real scams.
The problem with “it’s not a big deal” type thinking is that over time, IT IS A BIG DEAL.
Real scams are woven into “the way things are supposed to be”.
Let’s look at how to avoid them.
Avoiding Big Mistakes (Life Traps) Is Also Part Of Winning
Most value is created through ruthless subtraction.
Subtraction is a superpower in effective risk taking.
You’re purifying your form.
Discarding what you don’t care about is much easier than deciding what the rest of your life will be like. You might not know how to define total success, but you do know how to avoid being a total loser.
“Don’t be a loser” > “Be successful”
If you fall into any of these life traps, they will guide your decision making for YEARS.
You’ll be chained to the limitations of a smaller world.
Ready to identify them?
Good. So read on.
1. “Life Ends At 30”
As you think, so you shall become.
If you believe life ends at 30, it will.
Many view their 20’s as an era of precious YOLO time.
Why spend them developing skills + building a business?
Now’s the time to “find yourself” in a lifetime’s worth of hedonism!
There’s no better way to ensure your 30’s will be mediocre as F*CK.
But I didn’t stop there.
This life trap applies as much to the pre-30’s crowd as the after 30’s.
“We’re OLD, man… What’s the point in trying anything new?”
Never mind the fact that 50%+ of your life is still ahead of you.
This weak ass mindset ensures your ass is DONE.
2. Your Identity And Social Circles Freeze At Age 18
People want to enslave you to familiar expectations.
Once you’re labelled, you’re expected to perform within the limits of the label to maintain the “relationship”.
What are you giving up to buy this approval?
If you don’t overwrite faulty scripts with stronger/new ones, the old ones will re-assert themselves.
You are what you DO, not what they SAY.
Your identity and social circles are only as limited as your refusal to TAKE NEW ACTION.
Socially stagnant people cling to dysfunctional relationships. People who circulate develop new relationships and let wasteful ones wither.
3. Learn Something From Everyone
This is a classic rationalization.
While it’s important to learn from every situation, you don’t want to make excuses for losses or bad surroundings.
There’s something called “opportunity cost”.
For every loser you can learn one lesson from, there’s a winner you can learn 1,000+ from.
You don’t have to spend time with losers to learn NOT to be one.
It’s better to learn from those who are FAR ahead of you. Build a network of men who live out your ideals BETTER than you.
You should always aim to make your environment a reflection of AN ABUNDANT MIND.
Stay observant, but don’t rationalize your circumstances.
4. A 9-5 Job = Safer Than Ownership
Would you rather be at the mercy of someone other than yourself?
This is exactly what you’re doing as an employee.
You’re outsourcing responsibility at great cost to your income + freedom.
An employee of a business endures the same risks as the owner, without the benefits.
The only true security is your ability to create value and get paid for it. The greatest investment you’ll ever make is the investment in your business skills. When you can create a new business out of nothing, you control your destiny.
Most people work jobs to support needless excess.
They demand indulgences NOW instead of holding them off until later.
Which brings us to:
5. Scheduled Hamster Wheel Payment Traps
Some people take this to an even higher level.
In an ironic attempt to signal success, they finance depreciating liabilities with DEBT.
Enter: the classic golden handcuffs.
You see, debt is the currency of broke people. Don’t go bankrupt trying to look like a winner.
Avoid all things that are impractically attractive.
And here’s more.
6. The Expertise Trap
This is one of the paradoxes of life.
You learn by teaching yourself on a problem by problem basis.
Many people think, “I’m not experienced enough to make these moves!”
But how else do you expect to win?
Expertise is acquired by taking *calculated* steps into the unknown.
7. “Success Is Linear”
This ties in with the expertise trap + employee mindset.
People want a nice, neat plan to victory without accounting for changing conditions.
However, the only end point this guarantees is mediocrity.
The honest truth is: Year one is unrelated to year two.
You see, the more permanent the change, the less you notice it’s happening. The appearance of change seems to signal a birth, but can actually be a graduation.
If you expect success to be linear, you’ll hold yourself to rigid strategies.
*Effective* strategies stem from PRINCIPLES.
They give you confidence even when you aren’t 100% sure of an immediate outcome.
8. Chase False Progress Markers
“The most dangerous traps are behaviors that bypass our alarms about self-indulgence by mimicking more virtuous types.”
— Mister Infinite (@mister_infinite) June 25, 2017
False progress markers are an invisible hamster wheel with no productive outcome.
This is the core of the busy trap.
Everyone’s running around trying to “be busy” without taking a step back and observing what their actions are accumulating.
Immediate action FEELS good regardless of its use. So good in fact, many can’t break free.
People stick to useless and inefficient “formalities” because they can’t imagine life without them. Anything but facing the anxiety of the unknown.
However, these subtle assumptions keep you chained to an illusion.
The reality of progress is far from its stereotype.
9. Wasting Time With Vanity Projects
This is the essence of the “fake creative” mindset.
It’s also seen in wantrepreneurs.
They’re so in love with the IDEA of their project, they can’t see the REALITY of it.
- Do you have some grand vision without a single working prototype?
- Is there an actual market need (demand)?
- Can you add value to the purchase?
Turns out, the “vanity project” industry is actually very lucrative.
(Only it isn’t the egotist who’s making the profits).
Vanity galleries, concerts, and programs CHARGE to take your work on.
You’re paying to FEEL important without actually providing any solutions.
This can cause you to spin your wheels for years on end with the carrot JUST out of reach.
Real success builds on prior success.
Notice any recurring themes among these traps?
The biggest one is a lack of emotional control.
Everything revolves around good feelings, rationalizations, and linear thinking.
Your form is as fluid as you allow it to be.