Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here.

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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Kirsten Schuder
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Kirsten Schuder »

Dear Scott,

Thanks so much for your kind reply. Sometimes, wisdom is hard-earned. You brought up healthy boundaries, and you are so right about those. In abusive situations, you're made to think you are responsible for everything and everything is your fault. That does not reflect reality. If everyone does have healthy boundaries, they take responsibility for their own actions.

It's difficult, dealing with family members who treat us less than. It takes some time to realize that it's okay; you don't have to sacrifice yourself and your own happiness just to keep abusive people in your life. You have a right to self-preservation. That is even supported by law. Even if those people raised you, everyone has a right to live without the tyranny of abuse in their lives, and if those people are resistant to change their behaviors, then all you're doing is bringing misery into your own life.

-Kirsten :)
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Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Hi, Kirsten Schuder,

Thank you for your reply! :)

Kirsten Schuder wrote: April 11th, 2023, 1:40 pm In abusive situations, you're made to think you are responsible for everything and everything is your fault.
Indeed, that's a poignant and accurate example of the broad category of things I am talking about when I mention 'taking undue responsibility for others'.

Self-responsibility (and by extension self-discipline, spiritual freedom, and inner peace) is, I think, less about taking responsibility for oneself and more about not taking undue responsibility for others.

That is one big reason my book explicitly talks quite a bit about toxic codependency and abusive relationships, including both those with our others in space (e.g. family members, romantic partners, etc.) and our others in time (e.g. our so-called past and future selves).

This subject reminds me of something I recently wrote in my other topic, "Whether you are looking for a savior or someone to save, or both, look into a mirror":

Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: December 9th, 2022, 6:22 pm
Many people lacking in inner peace focus on 'helping others'.

They claim to be filling other people's cups with their own empty one.

Proverbially speaking, many dirty messy backyards exist because their owners are too busy imposing their alleged help on other people's yards.


[View Full Post]

***

Kirsten Schuder wrote: April 11th, 2023, 1:40 pmIf everyone does have healthy boundaries, they take responsibility for their own actions.

It's difficult, dealing with family members who treat us less than. It takes some time to realize that it's okay; you don't have to sacrifice yourself and your own happiness just to keep abusive people in your life. You have a right to self-preservation. That is even supported by law. Even if those people raised you, everyone has a right to live without the tyranny of abuse in their lives, and if those people are resistant to change their behaviors, then all you're doing is bringing misery into your own life.

-Kirsten :)
Well said! I'm sorry you had to go through the tough life experiences it takes to gain such wisdom, but I am glad you have it. :)


Thank you,
Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Sophia_D_Ajayi »

Hello Scott

A close friend of mine recently got pregnant for her boyfriend. Lately, things have been so difficult for the young man. He hasn't been able to support her financially, and so she decided to break up with him. To make matters worse, she started dating someone else. And now she wants to give him the responsibility of the pregnancy!

She asked for my opinion, and I didnt know what to say. She claims the guy is ready to accept the pregnancy knowing fully well that it isn't his.


On the long run, wouldn't it cause a really big issue for her?
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Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

If you haven't already, you can sign up to be personally mentored by Scott "Eckhart Aurelius" Hughes at this link.


Hi, Sophia_D_Ajayi,

Thank you so much for your question! :D

Sophia_D_Ajayi wrote: May 8th, 2023, 6:11 am Hello Scott

A close friend of mine recently got pregnant for her boyfriend. Lately, things have been so difficult for the young man. He hasn't been able to support her financially, and so she decided to break up with him. To make matters worse, she started dating someone else. And now she wants to give him the responsibility of the pregnancy!

She asked for my opinion, and I didn't know what to say.

Why not say that? Or at least something like it?

Many times, in my personal life, a friend will ask me, "What do you think about XYZ?" XYZ could be anything. It could be some new bill in Congress, it could be some abstract thing like other people eating meat, it could be a mutual friend's new haircut, or anything. Many times, when I get asked that kind of question, ("What do you think about XYZ?") my answer is a simple polite two-word sentence: I don't.

Full stop. End of paragraph. End of my turn speaking. 

Typically, whatever it is, I don't think about it.

Often, less is more.

Despite being an author, I am typically a man of few words. I'm typically very quiet, both when communicating with other humans, and with myself in my own head. Even when speaking to myself in my own head, I typically speak softly and slowly, with many pauses both between words and sentences. Even when speaking to myself in my own head, I do my best to use the Socratic Method, asking more questions rather than making accusations, and doing more listening, observing, and contemplating than speaking and stating. When meditating, sometimes the best way to slow and quiet the mind is simply to genuinely listen to it. Yelling at it to quiet down, for instance, would only make it louder and more crowded.

If you haven't read my book, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All, I highly recommend you do read it. Twice. Even though it's non-fiction, I partly went for a Sixth-Sense-style structure to the book, in that most people see the first 2/3rds of the book in a whole new light when reading it a second time, due to the way the teachings at the end of the book seem to turn many things upside down. A world of seeming problems becomes revealed as a world devoid of evil and problems at all.

In any case, in both readings, you will see that a major theme of the book is the concept of The Dichotomy of Control and the principle of fully and unconditionally accepting what you cannot control. I mention all that to mention this: You don't need to have an opinion about everything. You don't need to think about everything. In fact, you can't. You can't even come close. Much like the RAM or the space on the desktop screen on a computer, you can only fit so many thoughts in your head. You can only think about so few things in one human life. How much rent-free space in your head do you really want to give to your friend's lovers, even if your friend is asking you to?

At any one time, your mind can only get so crowded, loud, and rushed—and it doesn't take much to get to that loud crowded rushed max capacity.

Putting aside the matter of the impossibility of going over capacity, if you can avoid running at or even near capacity, that's generally a much more peaceful and powerful way to live. Otherwise, your mind becomes like New York City traffic: inefficient by overuse. It's also just kind of an unpleasant way to live, to consistently live in a proverbial traffic jam in one's own head from crowded, loud, rushed thoughts all screaming for the attention of which there is so little in supply, a recipe for extreme anger and extreme anxiety and extreme stress and extreme fear. Some humans live their whole lives with that feeling of being in an eternal traffic jam, as if always dreadfully late to some super important meeting, with horns blaring, with angry stressed fearful anxious adrenaline pumping.

You say that your friend simply asked for your opinion, which is very different from asking for your advice. In any case, let me ask you: why not say something like, "Do what you truly think is best, and, as your friend, I will love and support you regardless."




With love,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott



Opinion.jpg



In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Melissa Jane »

Hi Scott,

Thank you for creating this forum. I was, at first, hesitant to ask my questions because I didn't really know which questions to ask, as I have several. However, I'll start with this:

Do you have any advice on how to plan one's finances? I've been watching some motivational videos and reading some books on finance planning and I've seen some formulae . For instance, one person suggested this structure:

40% of the income on expected,

40% on savings

20% on emergency funds.

Do you agree with the above plan? If not, do you have any alternative suggestions.

It would be great if you gave some insights too on how you used to plan your finances, particularly before your savings reached $10k.

Thank you very much for your thoughtful pieces of advice. I've bookmarked this topic so I can go through your responses whenever I need them!
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Hi, Melissa Jane,

Thank you for your question! :)
Melissa Jane wrote: May 8th, 2023, 4:08 pm Hi Scott,

Thank you for creating this forum. I was, at first, hesitant to ask my questions because I didn't really know which questions to ask, as I have several. However, I'll start with this:

Do you have any advice on how to plan one's finances? I've been watching some motivational videos and reading some books on finance planning and I've seen some formulae . For instance, one person suggested this structure:

40% of the income on expected,

40% on savings

20% on emergency funds.

Do you agree with the above plan?
Off-hand, I think it's fine, but no more or no less than most others. For simplicity, we could refer to the above proposal as 40/40/20. I don't see that as being better or worse than 45/45/10, or 30/30/40, or 33.3/33.3/33.3, or countless other breakdowns.

In analogy, I've heard that when it comes to weight loss diets, they all work. If you follow them, that is. Thus, the main factor that will affect statistical success rates for different diet plans is simply how likely they are to be followed by those who happen to start them. (And, presumably the same is true of weight gain diets, which is worth mentioning since I do work with some people who are actively working hard to gain weight.)

If you are putting anything to savings on a weekly basis, you are probably doing better than most people at managing your finances. To me, the key question is not the very specific details and exact tuning of your plan (e.g. is it 38% to or 42% to savings). That's not the key factor in your success, and in fact what would exactly work best varies from person to person. 38% might be the best number for one person; 40% for another person; and 42% for a third person. The key question is will you stick to the plan, whatever it is, and by extension will you even start it. I've met people who spend hours working hard writing down a very strict and detailed diet plan or financial budget that they never even start, let alone stick to.

If someone's rent costs them 65% of their income, I wouldn't recommend they put 40% of their income to savings and thereby become homeless and hungry. Before you worry about savings at all, I say pay your rent/mortgage, buy your groceries, and so on.

I typically would conceptually combine emergency funds and savings together, thinking of them as one category. You do want to avoid putting too much if any funds into long-term and/or non-liquid investments until you have a safety net of some liquid savings for emergencies.

I don't usually think in terms of percentages, but rather in terms of priorities.

I = Monthly Income

N = Your monthly basic living expenses, such as groceries, rent/mortgage, healthcare, transportation to work/school, etc.

D = I - N.

What to do with D (Discretionary Spending) depends on your unique goals, dreams, and preferences.

Many times when a person is putting a certain amount of funds into "savings" it's with a specific expense in mind that they cannot currently afford to buy, such as wanting to buy a house or a car or start a business or go on a vacation.

Emergency savings is a little different, but not as much as some people think. Imagine if a safety net wasn't a metaphor. Imagine you had to go to the store and buy a literal safety net, if you wanted one. Imagine they came in different sizes and qualities. If you have $10,000 to spend, who would I be to say that the wrong thing for you to do is buy a $5,000 safety net that you want and buy a $5,000 car that you want, instead of buying a much better designer brand safety net that costs $10,000 but no car and have to walk or taxi everywhere. To repeat myself, it depends on your unique goals, dreams, situation, and preferences. The desirability of a certain financial safety net over another varies by person. Some would be better off buying the bigger more expensive and reliable one, and others would be better off buying the cheap one, and some would be better off foregoing it altogether.


Melissa Jane wrote: May 8th, 2023, 4:08 pm It would be great if you gave some insights too on how you used to plan your finances, particularly before your savings reached $10k.
It use to be that that I would go grocery shopping for my kids and I about twice a week, and I would have less than $100 in my account. I'd have to put things back at the register sometimes because I literally didn't have the money in my account to buy them. One time to make my rent on the last day when it was due, I took spare change I could from my house to the bank to turn it into to just squeeze together the last few dollars. There was little choice to make financially because there was so little room. The financial decisions made themselves. When one of the two or more choices is feeding my kids versus letting them starve, it's hardly a choice at all.

My I - N was basically $0 on a good day, for many years.

If after a while of improving my situation I had $1 per day to spare, it would have still taken me 10,000 days to get to $10,000 in savings even I put 100% of that spare $1 into savings each day. Over 10,000 days, unexpected expenses would have surely come up to eat away at those savings. I'd probably still be poor and struggling to get to the $10,000 in savings if that was the strategy I took. If I made savings a big goal for me back then, I'd probably still be poor and with little savings. But that is very unique to that situation.

I had to take big risks to get out of that situation.

I feel it wouldn't have been rational or sensible to have thousands of dollars sitting in an account unused at that time, in case of some possible unknown future emergency that might come up. In a way, my day-to-day life was an ongoing emergency for many years.

In other words, I didn't achieve the success I've achieved by playing it safe and by spending my limited money on unprofitable safety nets to have around just in case.

I was very cheap when it came to safety nets. I took a lot of risks. I invested my spare money in investments that were very high-yield but thus risky.

I didn't have enough to lose financially to make it worth the major cost of desperately protecting my assets with safety nets. If I had declared bankruptcy, I would have lost almost nothing because I had almost nothing (financially).

Safety nets are a better investment for when you (1) can afford them, and (2) strongly want to keep exactly what you already have currently, not for when you want something very new. If you want a big return, the cost is more risks.

Neither strategy is right or wrong. It depends on your unique situation and your unique goals.

Most importantly, none of the things written above in this post really get a key aspect of why I was successful financially, especially over the long term. Rather, this last paragraph is far more important than anything I have written in the above post:

If you have spare money leftover after paying your basic living expenses (e.g. rent/mortgage, groceries, etc.), consider these three options of where you could put it: (1) into a low-interest liquid savings account, (2) as cash buried in your backyard at no interest, or (3) into risky high-yield investments or business ventures. In any of those three cases, you are presumably way better off financially and making much better financial decisions than someone who instead spends it on (4) luxuries or recreational expenses such as alcohol, drugs, movies, cable TV, Netflix, luxury cars, fast food, eating out at restaurants, jewelry, name brand clothes, etc.

I love a glass of wine or whiskey, but there was a couple years in there where I didn't drink at all, not even one glass, because I was putting every spare dollar and minute into OnlineBookClub and my kids. That's part of how I made my income go from what it was to being more than 10x that much.

Even in the case of someone who spends a lot on #4, I'm not saying they are making a mistake or such. If they prefer fun now over long-term financial stability or long-term financial goal-achievement, then that's their choice. There is nothing wrong with it. In fact, I'd typically choose to be more like them over someone who dies at old age with a lot of unused money in a savings account. What I am saying is that minimizing #4 is the main factor in achieving your mid-term and long-term financial goals, if you have any.

If someone wants to be financially rich and isn't, they aren't going to get there by spending their limited funds on alcohol or Netflix or jewelry.

Based on your question, I have a feeling that's not you. It sounds like you are already on a path to success, and I would recommend you don't worry to much about the details and instead focus on staying on that great path you have chosen.

In the private one-on-one phase of the mentoring program, I will get more details about exactly what each mentee is spending their money on currently, and what their unique situation is, so I can provide more specific advice, but I have a feeling based on your question that you have already found the right path and are walking it. :)


Thank you,
Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Meghan Soderholm »

Hi Scott,

Regarding writing a best-seller, do you have a specific process you must follow? Do you always start with the intro or jump around and write what comes to mind?

Regarding helping others, what advice can you give to someone who has a mental illness? (i.e., depression). How can you be sure not to say the wrong thing or trigger their symptoms?

Regarding life coaching, what advice can you give to someone suffering from imposter syndrome? Fear of 

Reading In It Together for a third time is very rewarding, and there are so many elements I did not pick up from the last time I read it that I'm blown away at how much I am learning.

Thank you so much for all your help!
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Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Hi, Meghan Soderholm,

Thank you for your questions! :D

Meghan Soderholm wrote: May 16th, 2023, 9:58 amRegarding writing a [great book], do you have a specific process you must follow? Do you always start with the intro or jump around and write what comes to mind?
I do not have a specific process that I must follow. More importantly, I do not think there is a strict formula that every writer must follow. What works well for one may not work well for another. For instance, one writer might work better writing with classical music playing, while another might write better with complete silence, while yet another writer might do best journaling in a notebook on a bench in a busy mall or park. The same goes for how much outlining you do and to what degree if at all you write your book in consecutive order.

Whether you write a detailed outline first or not, I do recommend you keep an outline. You can write the outline while writing the book too, so that you keep them in parallel, jotting down notes into the outline after putting them into the main book. That way you can make sure everything is consistent and structured well.

By writing on a computer and using the formal headers in the Word Processor, you can automatically generate the Outline and Table of Contents as you write, which also saves you the trouble and possible confusion of having two different documents, one being the actual manuscript and one being the outline. Thanks to the power of modern computers, you can easily have those be the same one file.

While writing a book, I typically will use headings and subheadings to make notes that will show up in the outline that I then remove or replace later. So for example if I was writing a fiction book I might have a placeholder chapter title or subheading like, "[Joe Fakeperson falls down a well, and his phone breaks so he cannot call for help.]" That way it shows up on the outline like that for me, letting me easy see and remember when that event happens in the story.


Meghan Soderholm wrote: May 16th, 2023, 9:58 am Regarding helping others, what advice can you give to someone who has a mental illness? (i.e., depression). How can you be sure not to say the wrong thing or trigger their symptoms?
I'm sorry; I don't think I understand this question exactly. Are you asking me to advise you on how you can give advice to a third person (who happens to have a mental illness)?

If so, I would have to ask you some questions about that third person and your relationship to them to advise you on how to advise them, or if to advise them at all.

In that case, one of several questions I would ask you is if that third person asked you for your advice.

Meghan Soderholm wrote: May 16th, 2023, 9:58 am Regarding life coaching, what advice can you give to someone suffering from imposter syndrome?
In general, my advice for such a person wouldn't be different than my general advice for anyone, which is in part because those kinds of feelings are so very common. Almost everyone could benefit from having even more confidence and being even more confident. Generally, all humans suffer from anxiety and from irrational fears, especially when it comes to social situations and work and their career or job. It's no more avoidable than hunger or sexual attraction.

I find some psychological terms are a bit like horoscopes. They are practically always applicable because they are so broad and describe near universalities of the human condition.

In a way, I think almost anyone could be construed as having imposter syndrome.

Arrogance isn't confidence, but rather the opposite, so even the most seemingly arrogant people are the ones perhaps worst suffering from low self-esteem, for which they drastically overcompensate. The most seemingly arrogant people might not say even privately to themselves that they have imposter syndrome, but they may nonetheless actually have it most of all, hence all their desperate overcompensating.

Even if it's more figurative than literal, we can in a sense say to the arrogant person doing arrogant things: Who are you really trying to convince: me or you?

Eleanor Roosevelt wrote, “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”

My point isn't to point out the obvious folly in these feelings, but rather to point out that they are so incredibly common as to be essentially universal for humans.

I suppose my primary advice to someone who feels they are suffering from imposter syndrome is to simply let go of any sense that you shouldn't be suffering from it, or that it's abnormal or even bad.

My advice is to embrace it as a very common aspect of the human condition. Do your best to not expect to not feel those feelings. If and when you are hit with those common fears or insecurities, look at them like rain clouds passing by overhead. Notice it, and allow it. Treat it like you would hunger when you don't want to eat, or a sexual urge when you don't want to act on that, maybe because you are busy at work in a professional environment. It's simply part of having a human body. Or in other words it's simply part of the human experience.

Fear, hunger, anxiety, discomfort, pain...You will feel these every day. We all do.

You cannot get rid of them. Period. Full stop.

You can make huge amounts of money, become absurdly famous, and achieve incredible professional success in your career. None of that will give you inner peace and confidence, and none of it will get rid of the unavoidable feelings we all feel every single day such as fear and discomfort. True confidence comes from inner peace and from loving acceptance (especially loving acceptance of yourself and of the human condition in which you find yourself), which doesn't come from money, fame, professional success in your career, or material comfort. But that's good news because it means you can have it now. You can have your inner peace, and the brave graceful confidence that comes with it, now. It costs $0 and requires no diplomas or career accomplishments. There's no external authority or external source of validation who you have to ask for it. Nobody can say no or deny you it because you need nobody's permission, except your own in your unique present.

This is all similar to something I wrote in the book on page 100:
In It Together, page 100 wrote:The ego is as empowered by low self-esteem as it is by arrogance. Someone with excruciatingly obsessive low self-esteem is as egotistical as any full-blown narcissist, if not more so. In the same way the ego is inclined to say, “the world revolves around me because I am so great,” the ego is equally inclined to say, “the world revolves around me because I am so awful.

[...]

Allow the ego, like all things that are, to be.

Allow the fleshy human, with its feelings and instincts whatever they happen to be, to be.

Allow your hunger, your anger, your jealousy, and your fear to be. These are like fleeting clouds floating by. Hating or condemning them in no way banishes them. Unlike real rain clouds, when you yell at these rain clouds to go away, they just get bigger. They can and will feed off your negative attitude.

To fight undeniable reality is to lose. You lose not only the fight itself, but also your inner peace by the fighting itself.

If you don’t fight, then there is no fight to lose, and your inner peace remains intact. And the rain clouds—both real and metaphorical—float by.
***


Meghan Soderholm wrote: May 16th, 2023, 9:58 am Reading In It Together for a third time is very rewarding, and there are so many elements I did not pick up from the last time I read it that I'm blown away at how much I am learning.
I am so glad you are finding it rewarding, and I am truly honored that you have chosen to read it three times. :)


Thank you,
Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Post by Sonia Gonzalez »

I wanted to ask several of the questions you have already answered, so I was glad I took the time to read the previous posts.

My question now is: how do you deal with rejection? I admire that you cannot get discouraged, but getting disappointed, sad, or frustrated (as I understand discouraged) is not the same as getting rejected (told your ideas are not good, your work is pointless, etcetera).
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Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Hi, Sonia,

Thank you for your question! :)

The question is very general (which is totally find and good), so I will answer it in a very general loose way using a few examples from my own life. But also free to ask followup questions with other more specific examples if you want to hear my more specific advice about a more specific type of situation

Sonia Gonzalez wrote: May 26th, 2023, 9:56 am I wanted to ask several of the questions you have already answered, so I was glad I took the time to read the previous posts.

My question now is: how do you deal with rejection? I admire that you cannot get discouraged, but getting disappointed, sad, or frustrated (as I understand discouraged) is not the same as getting rejected (told your ideas are not good, your work is pointless, etcetera).
How exactly I would deal with rejection would vary greatly on the specific situation. Often, the first step in deciding how to deal with it will be to get those details. I could take a deep breath, and then genuinely and calmly ask myself: What did I want? Why did I want it? What did I actually explicitly and assertively ask for? And in what senses specifically was I explicitly rejected?

Every little detail can change the response quite a bit. For instance, if I text messaged someone a yes/no question, it can be very different if they don't respond at all versus having actually responded "no".

Whether it comes to approval or rejection, many people harmfully fall back on toxic unassertive communication, both in terms of how they speak themselves and in how they listen and interpret the words or actions of others.

In most contexts, no means no, yes means yes, and everything else means something else and often little to nothing tall. I recommend listening to what a person actually explicitly and assertively says and only that, meaning don't read rejection (or consent) between the lines, and feel free to assertively ask for clarification. If I am selling vacuum cleaners, even if you say, "I am not really interested in buying a vacuum cleaner right now", I would not at all take that to mean "I am not going to buy a vacuum cleaner", let alone to mean, "I am not going to buy a vacuum cleaner from you ever, no matter how much you lower the price and no matter what you say, so go away and never speak to me again." Usually, when I get a soft probable no, I'm not that upset because I'm too busy asking for clarification to be much upset or off-put by it. I'm too busy negotiating or honestly, "so to be clear is that a hard no?" Then when I get the clarification I'm long already over it and can honestly think and/or honestly say, "Thank you for the clarification. Take care! :)"

It can be hard if not impossible to accept what we cannot control and cannot change if we don't know it's something we cannot control and cannot change. Fear of rejection is thus also a fear to know, and to not know often actually feels much much worse. If one is debilitatingly afraid of rejection, one may never get rejected.

It's not always black and white. If you tend to hear "no" and hear rejection when someone hasn't assertively said it, and don't ask for clarification, it will be hard to accept as something you cannot change because it's not necessarily something you can't control or change. If the rejection is only a figment of your imagination, you can change it. Moreover, you can generally 100% absolutely and easily change and eliminate a case of unclear rejection. You might change it into clear-cut definitive rejection, but that can be a great change to make if you are able to make it. It's typically much preferable to be firmly and clearly rejected than to be probably rejected but you don't know and can't be sure, let alone have no idea one way or the other at all because one is too afraid to find out.

In another analogous situation, if a medical doctor knows for certain that you are going to die in two months exactly, you will likely feel better about it and accept it more easily and pleasantly if he tells you the blunt truth than if he gives you false hope. You can't really accept a truth that you don't know is truth.

The belief that ignorance is bliss is a symptom of one still being heavily addicted to comfort and trapped in the comfort zone. (All humans are on the addiction spectrum.)

Knowledge is liberating, and liberation is the true heavenly bliss, in my opinion at least. The truth will set you free, people rightly say.

To go at it from a slightly different angle, many years ago as my full-time job I worked for a political party going door-to-door raising money for political campaigns. It was like doing door-to-door sales, except harder because I was essentially selling nothing. I had to get people to give me money for nothing. I had strict quotas to meet and would get fired if I didn't collect enough money going door-to-door. We worked with a rule of halves: Half the people wouldn't even answer the door. Of those who did answer, half would abruptly slam door right in your face. Of those who let you talk, half would refuse to take your clipboard and put their name and phone number on our petition-like list (which was mostly just a trick to get them to hold the clipboard so they were trapped in conversation). Half who put their name down would still not give any money.

It's a numbers game.

Each valuable "yes" is typically found at the end of a staircase of "no"s.

If you want to get to "yes" you have to choose to walk through a bunch of "no"s.

Generally speaking, rejection is the price you must pay for a valuable yes.

Similarly, failure is the price you must pay for success.

In boxing, I'm only so good as I am at dodging and blocking punches because of the punches I've taken.

Thus, if I had to answer the broad question in one quick sentence, I suppose it would be this: How do I deal with rejection? I smile to myself and say, "Great! Now I am one step closer to a yes!"

How do I deal with failure? I smile to myself and say, "Great! Now I am one step closer to success."

You will find few people at the top of the staircase because so many people are so averse to failure and to hearing "no".

Neither failure nor the word "no" is ultimately what stops so many, but rather it's the refusal to eagerly get and accept those "no"s and those failures and keep it moving to the next door or the next prospect.

A lot of people get one "no", one big punch to the face, or one big failure, and they pack their bags and go home. It's so infinitely easy to walk that staircase to success and "yes" (it's just a numbers game), but very few even make it past even the first step.

Maybe after the first one they realize just dislike even a single "no" or punch to the face or failure that much. Or maybe they somehow believed they could get to the top of the staircase without going through a bunch of "no"s and failures and punches to the face, be those literal or figurative punches.

Everyone's different, but I smile when I get hit. It means I am one step closer to the top.


Thank you,
Scott
a.k.a. Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Sonia Gonzalez »

Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: May 26th, 2023, 3:25 pm
It's a numbers game.

Each valuable "yes" is typically found at the end of a staircase of "no"s.

If you want to get to "yes" you have to choose to walk through a bunch of "no"s.

Generally speaking, rejection is the price you must pay for a valuable yes.

Similarly, failure is the price you must pay for success.

Thus, if I had to answer the broad question in one quick sentence, I suppose it would be this: How do I deal with rejection? I smile to myself and say, "Great! Now I am one step closer to a yes!"

How do I deal with failure? I smile to myself and say, "Great! Now I am one step closer to success."

You will find few people at the top of the staircase because so many people are so averse to failure and to hearing "no".

Neither failure nor the word "no" is ultimately what stops so many, but rather it's the refusal to eagerly get and accept those "no"s and those failures and keep it moving to the next door or the next prospect.

A lot of people get one "no", one big punch to the face, or one big failure, and they pack their bags and go home. It's so infinitely easy to walk that staircase to success and "yes" (it's just a numbers game), but very few even make it past even the first step.
I wanted to ask a general question, because life rarely puts groups of people into very specific situations, and I hoped my question helped someone going through /wondering something similar to me. I loved it, thank you.

I think that the two things I want to keep remembering and make a part of my life are:
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: May 26th, 2023, 3:25 pm Generally speaking, rejection is the price you must pay for a valuable yes.
Similarly, failure is the price you must pay for success.
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: May 26th, 2023, 3:25 pm Thus, if I had to answer the broad question in one quick sentence, I suppose it would be this: How do I deal with rejection? I smile to myself and say, "Great! Now I am one step closer to a yes!"
How do I deal with failure? I smile to myself and say, "Great! Now I am one step closer to success."
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Akangbe Opeyemi »

My question is “What do you do when you feel like you are failing to take the step to fulfilling your purpose? The reason is due to fear of taking the wrong step or failing at what you are planning to do, you just can't find the confidence"
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Post by Catalina Isabel »

Hi Scott, thanks for allowing us to write our questions 🙂 I've really enjoyed reading the other Q&A's.

There is one thing I've always wanted to do, which is writing a book.

I did write a bibliography once, as a 23 year old finding my feet and trying to make sense of my life up to that point. It was a novel of my life, with chapters from early childhood onwards. I changed names of each person and got as far as speaking to a publisher and paying a deposit. Then, i suddenly changed my mind. To me, it felt like I'd written this book as my own form of therapy, and perhaps it wasn't right to share with the word. I left it at that. I did feel really proud of myself though, and re-read it over the years.

For years, I've written small short stories and articles. I've done "free writing" when too many thoughts are in my mind too. However, I haven't been able to write a book or even get close to it (not even a chapter).

Do you have any tips to write a book? Or to start brainstorming ideas? Or do you just start writing?
Also, how do you know it's the right "time" in your life to write it?

This time, it would be a fiction novel. Perhaps a psychological thriller or similar as I have always enjoyed reading those. I have a couple of ideas and samples, and to be honest I'll be so happy if I write it, it isn't about fame/money or anything else. I just love writing.

I understand your theory of when you put your energy into one thing, you take away from others. And yes, i am.a busy person. I work full time as a Team Leader which is physically and mentally demanding but I absolutely love it. I have two young kids and a husband who I adore but also take time of course. I also have a lot of family and friends which I am very close with.

Any tips on these questions will be much appreciated!

Thanks in advance 🙂
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Akangbe Opeyemi wrote: June 17th, 2023, 6:41 pm My question is “What do you do when you feel like you are failing to take the step to fulfilling your purpose? The reason is due to fear of taking the wrong step or failing at what you are planning to do, you just can't find the confidence"
I think I already answered that question earlier in my reply to Megan's question about imposer syndrome:

Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: May 16th, 2023, 7:51 pm
Meghan Soderholm wrote: May 16th, 2023, 9:58 am Regarding life coaching, what advice can you give to someone suffering from imposter syndrome?
In general, my advice for such a person wouldn't be different than my general advice for anyone, which is in part because those kinds of feelings are so very common. Almost everyone could benefit from having even more confidence and being even more confident. Generally, all humans suffer from anxiety and from irrational fears, especially when it comes to social situations and work and their career or job. It's no more avoidable than hunger or sexual attraction.

I find some psychological terms are a bit like horoscopes. They are practically always applicable because they are so broad and describe near universalities of the human condition.

In a way, I think almost anyone could be construed as having imposter syndrome.

Arrogance isn't confidence, but rather the opposite, so even the most seemingly arrogant people are the ones perhaps worst suffering from low self-esteem, for which they drastically overcompensate. The most seemingly arrogant people might not say even privately to themselves that they have imposter syndrome, but they may nonetheless actually have it most of all, hence all their desperate overcompensating.

Even if it's more figurative than literal, we can in a sense say to the arrogant person doing arrogant things: Who are you really trying to convince: me or you?

Eleanor Roosevelt wrote, “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”

My point isn't to point out the obvious folly in these feelings, but rather to point out that they are so incredibly common as to be essentially universal for humans.

I suppose my primary advice to someone who feels they are suffering from imposter syndrome is to simply let go of any sense that you shouldn't be suffering from it, or that it's abnormal or even bad.

My advice is to embrace it as a very common aspect of the human condition. Do your best to not expect to not feel those feelings. If and when you are hit with those common fears or insecurities, look at them like rain clouds passing by overhead. Notice it, and allow it. Treat it like you would hunger when you don't want to eat, or a sexual urge when you don't want to act on that, maybe because you are busy at work in a professional environment. It's simply part of having a human body. Or in other words it's simply part of the human experience.

Fear, hunger, anxiety, discomfort, pain...You will feel these every day. We all do.

You cannot get rid of them. Period. Full stop.

You can make huge amounts of money, become absurdly famous, and achieve incredible professional success in your career. None of that will give you inner peace and confidence, and none of it will get rid of the unavoidable feelings we all feel every single day such as fear and discomfort. True confidence comes from inner peace and from loving acceptance (especially loving acceptance of yourself and of the human condition in which you find yourself), which doesn't come from money, fame, professional success in your career, or material comfort. But that's good news because it means you can have it now. You can have your inner peace, and the brave graceful confidence that comes with it, now. It costs $0 and requires no diplomas or career accomplishments. There's no external authority or external source of validation who you have to ask for it. Nobody can say no or deny you it because you need nobody's permission, except your own in your unique present.

This is all similar to something I wrote in the book on page 100:
In It Together, page 100 wrote:The ego is as empowered by low self-esteem as it is by arrogance. Someone with excruciatingly obsessive low self-esteem is as egotistical as any full-blown narcissist, if not more so. In the same way the ego is inclined to say, “the world revolves around me because I am so great,” the ego is equally inclined to say, “the world revolves around me because I am so awful.

[...]

Allow the ego, like all things that are, to be.

Allow the fleshy human, with its feelings and instincts whatever they happen to be, to be.

Allow your hunger, your anger, your jealousy, and your fear to be. These are like fleeting clouds floating by. Hating or condemning them in no way banishes them. Unlike real rain clouds, when you yell at these rain clouds to go away, they just get bigger. They can and will feed off your negative attitude.

To fight undeniable reality is to lose. You lose not only the fight itself, but also your inner peace by the fighting itself.

If you don’t fight, then there is no fight to lose, and your inner peace remains intact. And the rain clouds—both real and metaphorical—float by.
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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Re: Public Q&A for My Mentees (or Anyone Who Wants My Advice) -- If you want my advice about anything, post your Qs here

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

Hi, Catalina Isabel,

Thank you for your questions! :)

Catalina Isabel wrote: June 18th, 2023, 4:52 am However, I haven't been able to write a book or even get close to it (not even a chapter).
Have you not been able to, or have you chosen not to?

Excuse the absurdly morbid example, but, just for the sake of argument, if someone put a gun to your head, and ordered you to write a fiction novel right now, would you be able to?

Again, sorry for the question, I just want to understand if this is a matter of ability or choice.

In my book, In It Together, I wrote, "An imaginary roadblock can be as effective as a real one." (Page 120)

Many times we tell ourselves that we must do things that we can choose to not do, and many times we tell ourselves that we cannot do things we could choose to do. Of course, such beliefs can be self-fulfilling, but, even then, usually the only thing really stopping you is the belief that you can't.

Catalina Isabel wrote: June 18th, 2023, 4:52 am Do you have any tips to write a book? Or to start brainstorming ideas? Or do you just start writing?
For me, I've never really had the issue of wanting to write a book but not having an idea for one. In fact, if anything the opposite is the case: I've probably thought up hundreds if not thousands of different ideas for books, but I just don't have the time to do them all nor the desire to do more than a few. So it's not the case that I wanted to write a book or two but had not idea for one; Rather, I had many ideas for books and had to pick which ones to do versus to not do.

Catalina Isabel wrote: June 18th, 2023, 4:52 am Also, how do you know it's the right "time" in your life to write it?
What do you mean by "right time"? As you sue the terms, what would be the difference between it being the "right time" to do something versus the "wrong time"?

For example, what would be the difference between me eating an apple at the "right time" versus the "wrong time"? Or what would be the difference between me taking my kids bowling at that "right time" versus the "wrong time"?

Can you physically do something at the "wrong time"? If so, what does it mean (as you the terms) to do something at the wrong time? Is it possible to provide me a couple examples of some things you've done at the "wrong time" and why in what sense exactly it was the "wrong time" to have done those things?


I look forward to getting your answers to my questions and then hopefully providing some helpful tips once I understand your situation, desires, and questions more clearly and fully. :)


Thank you,
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
a.k.a. Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
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