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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Seetha E
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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 Seetha E »

Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) wrote:But I do want to leave you with a very practical tip. And that's this: Use micro-habits, and avoid taking on new macro-habits. Rome wasn't built in a day, people say. Starting a new macro-habit or making a huge change to your regime is like attempting to jump to the top of a huge staircase from the bottom. You will almost certainly end up lower than you started as you fall down in disgrace, with some broken bones perhaps. My books talks about that often via the word "overcompensation" which appears multiple times in the book, particularly in reference to abusive cycles, particularly self-abusive ones. It's big ups and big downs that ultimately get you nowhere, but just running in a miserable circle.

Only make very small changes to your regime and routine, one small change at a time, preferably with 21 days between each small change, since it takes about 21 days to build a new habit.

Thank you for #InItTogether.

Essentially we all know the ways around our consistency issues. There are family commitments that come up and consistency goes for a toss. These are important and unavoidable commitments. What is needed is a little time management and the will to value ourselves.

TRYING... is just allowing ourselves to carry on, a justification for our wrong actions.
When I read the book, there were sentences that hit me. But by the end of the section, I agree with your explanation.

I agree with your suggestions: micro habits and 21 days to build a habit.

Thanks again
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Post by Reva Parker »

I am curious on how you handled it now and when your kids were younger, especially, and if you had anyone else to help watch over them at times. Being a single mother by choice and without having friends or family who could watch him other than in extreme emergencies, I willingly chose work and hours, and what I did for myself around time for him because he was what is most important to me and still is.
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Moisés Alcántara Ayre wrote: November 4th, 2023, 10:44 am Hi Scott,
I'm starting my own business in a few more weeks. I've been giving it my best shot thus far. However, I was wondering what the most common mistake is for people who start their own business.

Moises
Hi, Moisés Alcántara Ayre,

Thank you for your question! :)

In a broader sense than you probably mean, I do my best to avoid the word 'mistake' altogether. I explain that and the reasons for it in this Instagram post.

The word 'mistake' is not always quite as dangerous and misery-inducing as words like 'should have' and 'ought have', but it can be, namely to the degree it is being used to imply or mean those things. For instance, when one says, "I made a mistake", they might mean the same thing as saying, "I shouldn't have done that" or saying "the past me is bad/evil for having done that". If they say to their child or friend or coworker, "you made a mistake", they might mean the same thing as saying, with resentment or judgementalism, "You shouldn't have done that", or "you are bad/evil", or "you did bad/evil things".

I don't think you are saying that, but instead I just mention it so you (and any other readers) can be aware (or beware) of that potentially dangerous use of the word 'mistake'.

So I recommend you check out that Instagram post, and moving forward instead of using the word 'mistake', use a phrase like 'learning opportunity' or 'growth catalyst', or even just a more descriptive objective term like 'typo' or 'miscalculation' or 'misperception' or 'misunderstanding'. You can even skip any possibly oversimplifying label entirely, and just say things like, "I did X, and I learned Y, so next time I encounter a Z, I will do A instead of X, thanks to that helpful lesson I learned by doing X."

In another example, instead of unhappily saying, "I made a mistake," you can just happily say, "I won't do that again."

Moving on, most new businesses go out of business within less than 10 years.

Starting a business is a little like getting in the boxing ring to fight Mike Tyson. It's brave, and most likely you are going to get your butt kicked brutally.

Most new businesses go out of business very fast, often leading to the entrepreneur who started the business declaring bankruptcy or being left with extreme debt. In fact, "most" is an understatement. 65% of new businesses go out of business within the first 10 years.

Even of those few that stay in business, many just lose money, meaning they don't make profit.

I think what you are asking is something like this: "What are some of the most common things that most new business owners do that significantly increase the chances of their business going out of business or that otherwise significantly reduce their profits (or increase their losses)?"

I don't know what is literally the most common one statistically, and presumably nobody does and nobody can. But, here are some of the most common and significant ones that I suggest you watch out for and do your best to avoid:


- Throwing Good Money After Bad -- Example: Imagine you own 10 lemonade stands, and 8-9 make a decent profit per month, and 1-2 of them are losing money or not doing well. Many business owners make the financially foolish move of spending 90% of their free capital and free time on that one worst lemonade stand, desperately attempting to fix it and make it perform as well as the others, or at least pay the increased expense of repeatedly bailing it out and repeatedly repairing the many expensive headaches it causes for you. Instead, it's usually more profitable to re-invest your time and money in your most successful businesses/stocks/endeavors/employees/etc. as opposed to proverbially throwing good money and time after bad. It sounds so simple on paper: re-invest in what works (i.e. your good investments) rather than throwing good money after bad by investing even more in your worst performers. But you might be surprised how common it is for people to do this. Even at the casino you will see people foolishly chase their losses until they go bankrupt. But it's not even just in business and fiances. Consider how codependent and addicted people become in toxic romantic relationships; People often take for granted a good easy low-maintenance partner while in contrast investing tons of time and effort and loyalty into a melodramatic, high-maintenance, and/or toxic one. They chase their losses; and the more they lose the more emotionally stuck and addicted they get. Even outside of romance, and into the realm of friends, family, and neighbors, people will often spend tons of time, money, and effort giving even more to ungrateful people in a desperate attempt to finally get their overpriced gratitude, which typically never comes, instead of cutting them off and spending that valuable time, money, and effort re-investing in the already grateful people who are easy to please. In other words, typically it's better to invest your expensive oil on the non-squeaky wheels, and throw away the squeaky wheel, rather than waste tons and tons of oil on a high-maintenance low-performing squeaky wheel and thereby neglecting the high-performing non-squeaking low-maintenance wheels that actually bring in the oil. Know when to cut your losses. Know when to fold. Do less, better. I rarely see a poker player lose by folding too often, but I often see the opposite: I often see them lose even bigger by foolishly chasing small losses and throwing good money after bad, when they could have just smartly folded and instantly stopped the bleeding. It doesn't matter how much money you already wasted training and re-training a poorly performing employee; maybe it's time to fire them. It doesn't matter how much effort you put into that department or side business or new product line in your business; if it's not as profitable as your others, then it might be time to fold. It doesn't matter how much you wish you could keep your left arm like an addict addicted to having it; if the infection is creeping up your fingers and past your wrist and past your elbow, it's probably time to amputate the whole arm. Some people would give up their whole business trying to fix an expensive broken unfixable pinky toe, just one little useless toe that eats up more than its fair share of the resources; Just cut it off and let it go.


- Not Considering Opportunity Cost -- This is similar to the previous one. And, again, it's something that comes in life in general, in many non-business and non-financial contexts. It's also why it is so important in business to remember that time is money and time is your most valuable resource because that helps you calculate the true full opportunity cost. However, opportunity cost come ups in solely financial senses too (i.e. even when time isn't much of a factor). For example, you cannot buy every stock. So when--with the same risk--one stock is returning 4% per year, and the average stock is returning 7%, and some great stocks are returning 10%-20%+, you are effectively losing money if you buy the 4% stock or even the above-average 8% stock due to the opportunity cost. Above average is not good enough. Above average businesses still go out of business. Choosing merely above average investments is still bad business. This heavily relates to the chapter in my book titled, "Do Less, Better". While I avoid calling anything a "mistake", I would call it a miscalculation. You don't want the average option; you don't want the option that is not the worst option. Even a slightly above average option is still a losing option when you properly calculate the opportunity cost. You want the absolute #1 best option, and you choose that by properly considering and calculating the opportunity cost, which most people don't do, and which is thus a common miscalculation. As an example, you can see many people make that miscalculation when they reply in my topic, Don't Take Any Advice from Unhappy People. Whenever someone replies in that topic with something like, "I disagree because poor people don't always give bad financial advice and don't always give the worst financial advice ever and aren't always wrong...", then they are clearly making this exact miscalculation of not considering the opportunity cost.


- Not Delegating Like Crazy -- Most businesses would make a lot more profit if their owner was better at delegating and delegated a lot more. I'm not just telling you to delegate. I'm telling to delegate like crazy. This, again, by no coincidence, is related to those common two wise phrases: time is money and time is your most valuable resource. There is a reason successful business-people often say phrases like that.


- Micro-Managing -- Delegating is counter-productive and self-deceiving if you micro-manage. Granted, this can be tricky to implement because training is important, and training can look identical to micro-managing. But, if you are really training it's very temporary, and you keep that in mind while you do it. The successful delegater keeps it firmly in mind and constantly repeatedly asks themself while working (especially while training or seeming to micro-manage): how can I avoid doing this thing I'm doing in the future? Likewise, by no coincidence, this heavily relates to what I call intentional laziness and the chapter, "Do Less, Better" from my book.

- Thinking Good is Good Enough; or Otherwise Not Giving It Your All, Day In & Day Out -- In business, you need to be the best to not die (i.e. go out of business). Customer don't want the second best option. They aren't going to buy your product if there is one that is just as good but cost a little less. They are going to buy your product if they can get one that is even a little better for the same price from someone else. Most business owners drastically underestimate how competitive and cutthroat the market is, and that's why they die (i.e. go out of business). For more on that, please do read this Facebook post of mine.

- Becoming Complacent; Not Growing; or Not Giving It Your All Consistently Long-Term -- Sometimes people give it their all for a little while, and then think they can rest. Again, this isn't just something you see in business. The epitome in the non-business world might be what you see at the gym on January 2nd: many people can give it their all for a day or two; but, as the days of the year go by, the gym gets emptier and emptier. In the business world, you often don't get a second chance or any leeway. In the business world, even a little tiny small lack of consistency tends to be much more lethal. Just a little bit of complacency will quickly kill you in business. For more on this, please see this other Facebook post of mine.


Needless to say, the above list is not exhaustive. Nonetheless, I hope it is helpful!

However, let me also summarize some of the key philosophy behind all of the above in a much shorter and memorable 12-word mantra you can use:

Time is your most valuable resource. Do less, better. Practice intentional laziness.



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



Time is your most valuable resource. Do less, better. Practice intentional laziness.
Time is your most valuable resource. Do less, better. Practice intentional laziness.



---
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.
Moisés Alcántara Ayre
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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 Moisés Alcántara Ayre »

These are all amazing and practical ideas that I think, with some effort, I can implement. Right away, I spotted delegating and micromanaging as a weakness. Thanks so much, Scott, because with your thorough explanations, I'm going to rethink my professional growth in a new light.

Moises
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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

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Reva Parker wrote: November 7th, 2023, 12:36 am I am curious on how you handled it now and when your kids were younger, especially, and if you had anyone else to help watch over them at times. Being a single mother by choice and without having friends or family who could watch [my son] other than in extreme emergencies, I willingly chose work and hours, and what I did for myself, around time [with my son] because he was what is most important to me and still is.
Hi, Reva Parker,

Thank you for your question! :)

My kids are 13 and 11 now, and now they basically take care of themselves, so I'll just focus on the past when they were much younger.

I was a full-time single dad for many years.

Most notably, though, when my son was four years old, and my daughter was two years old, there was a period of a few months in which their mother had to go away for a while, so I had them 24/7 for those months. Because they were only four and two at that time, I couldn't (without committing criminal neglect at least) walk down to the store to grab a gallon of milk without taking them with me. Basically, kids that age literally require constant supervision. To call it a full-time job is a wild understatement; it's a 168-hour a week job. You get some breaks while they sleep but you are still on-call, so to speak, because they could wake up any minute, and you cannot leave the house. It's the most exhausting job I ever had in my life--being a full-time single dad of young kids.

Nowadays, about once every month, I babysit a 3-year-old child (who actually happens to be my kids' baby step brother, meaning one of the kids my ex had with her new husband), and even just for the two hours once a month, it is so exhausting. I cannot believe I use to do that 24/7.

Even aside from those few months where I had them with me 24/7, there was many years in which I had them most of the week, and it was nearly just as tough to juggle as having them 24/7.

There's 168 hours in a week. I wouldn't take a job babysitting a mere 40 hours per week even if you paid me $100,000+. It's so exhausting. It's physically and mentally demanding, and very high pressure. I'd rather be a minimum wage burger flipper at McDonald's than be a full-time babysitter at $100,000 per year. :lol:

Your question is: how did I handle it?

That question can mean a lot of things, and I'm not sure which one you mean.

How did I handle it emotionally? Like are you asking me what emotional feelings I felt while doing it? Like how many times did I go in a bathroom and cry because I was so overwhelmed?

How did I handle it mathematically, as in like how I operated my financial budget and time budget? In other words, are you asking me what percentage of my income I spent on X versus Y versus Z, and how many hours per week of my 168 hours per week did I spend on A vs B vs C?

Or is there a different adverb that would fit there?

I am not really sure what you are asking, so I invite you to re-phrase and re-ask your question, hopefully with more specific words.

However, I will say this: The physics of it is pretty easy. The math of it is pretty easy.

It's like if--for some absurd reason--I had to eat a whole pile of cat poop each day to survive for years, and so I did. You can ask me how I did it; and the answer would be that the physics and math of it was infinitely easy: I just put the poop in my mouth and swallowed. I just did it. As my book says: Do or do not; there is no try. I'd eat the cat poop, happily, if not with a literal smile on my face than still at least with a figurative sincere loving spiritual smile, with invincible inner peace (a.k.a. true happiness).

To call it easy is an understatement. Even to call it infinitely easy is an understatement. It's so infinitely easy that it is not on the one-dimensional scale of easy to hard. It's not that it requires very little trying, but rather that, like anything, it requires absolutely no trying at all because there is no try.

It's just simple physics and math to make it work.

If I had had the time, I could write a whole book about each one day. There's countless stories each with seemingly infinite details. One day I'm in the car driving to the bank on the 10th of the month with coins and spare change I've collected from between cushions and such so that I can turn them into the Coinstar machine to put together the last few dollars of rent before I get charged a late fee the next day, and then drive the check over to the landlord because it's too late to mail it.

That's just one example of countless.

Each day had its own infinite unique details like that but the underlying story was the same and it was simple and, in a way, infinitely easy. I simply practiced what my book now teaches others: Each and every day and moment, I fully and unconditionally accepted the cards that were dealt to me in that day or moment, and played those cards to the best of my ability, with the 'best way to play them' being basically simple mathematical/physical formulas.

As long as I don't worry about the cards I am dealt, and was truly honest with myself, the rest is infinitely easy to handle. The cards practically play themselves from there. It's as infinitely easy as eating cat poop; the 'how to' of it is just obvious. But when the best card to play is obviously the 'Eat Cat Poop' card, some people will complain and such, and resort to resentment and hate and blame and worrying about the cards they are dealt and worrying what they cannot control, and complaining about it, and anxiously agonizing and ruing on it, and overall just go way out of their way to make it seem way more complicated than it is, which is at best just a dishonest way to rationalize not eating the cat poop, but ironically is presumably even more self-destructive and misery-inducing if the person ultimately does still eat the cat poop. If you are going to take the band-aid off either way, then it makes even less sense to do it slowly and waste tons of time and energy on it, with all sorts of useless resentment and such. Commit to it, and then just do it with loving acceptance. Then it's infinitely easy.

In other words, typically in life the path we each will want to take if we are honest with ourselves is obvious and infinitely easy to take, but what creates the illusion and feeling of 'hardness' and such is just the dishonest denial over the fact that that's the path and the dishonest denial over the fact that it's really just that simple. It's often as easy as eating cat poop. But that fact is often understandably met with all sorts of dishonest self-deceiving misery-causing denial that sacrifices inner peace and sacrifices spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline).


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


From the movie Anchorman
From the movie Anchorman



---
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.
Moisés Alcántara Ayre
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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 Moisés Alcántara Ayre »

Scott,
When hiring people, what are the personal and professional qualities that you think are most critical? Is it possible on a job interview to identify those qualities?
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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 Joy Wendy »

My parents are about getting a divorce and I don't know who I should follow. I love them both but I really wish I could do something so they could still be together. I really need your advice.
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Post by MehulPan »

I'm a student of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science from India. I'm currently a first-year student and hence, I've got very little workload. I'm a bit introverted and hence lack in communication skills. Also, my proficiency in English is quite good, but when I try to speak it, I become blank. I've tried to talk in English more and more daily. As a result, I've been getting better at it. My English communication skills via texting are far better than any average Indian's. However, I want to improve my communication skills and eye contact with the person. Please suggest me something.
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Post by Melissa Jane »

Hello Sir,

I've previously read about your rise from grass to grace. I read about your past stories, including that one moment when you used the last coin you had to pay your rent.

I've also worked with you for some time now and everything I know about you is incredible. You are very smart, you have an incredible work discipline, you have very good people skills (Not to mention managerial and marketing skills). I also logged in to Alignable today and saw that you've received so many recognitions, including the Local Business Person of the Year right from 2020 to 2023.

My question is, how is it that you couldn't monetize all these skills then? Is it because during this period, you were still laying foundation for some other big projects or did you acquire these incredible skills later in life?

Are there any specific skills that you think that if you had acquired earlier in life, your financial success would have come earlier than it did?
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Post by Risper Ouma Lisa Anyango »

Did you ever feel like quitting on online book club, and if you did, what did you do to pull back your spirits not to quitt?
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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. Anyone who makes it through the first 21 days of the free mentoring program (which only takes about 5 minutes per day) is then also instantly eligible to be hired for a paid internship, if they desire.

Moisés Alcántara Ayre wrote: November 9th, 2023, 7:34 am Scott,
When hiring people, what are the personal and professional qualities that you think are most critical? Is it possible on a job interview to identify those qualities?
Hi, Moisés Alcántara Ayre,

Great question! :)

Before I get to the list, it's definitely possible to get a decent sense of roughly how much someone has these traits via a job interview, or otherwise just meeting them or even looking them up on social media. Haters, for instance, don't usually seem to hide the fact that they are haters; they wear it almost like a badge of honor. People who truly have the qualities I list below have a noticeable aura around them, and it manifests in everything they do even the tone of the posts they make on social media, such as in how positive/loving versus how negative/hateful those posts are or versus how honest those posts are versus sensationalist, click-baity, or poorly fact-checked.

When hiring people (and more generally when choosing friends and associates), these are the critical qualities that I value and prioritize most:

- Honest

- Self-Disciplined

- Values and practices self-responsibility

- Respects the freedom of others and, in other words, the self-responsibility of others (e.g. practices the principle of live and let live, both spiritually and politically, meaning the person engages in neither aggressive violence nor in the emotional/spiritual analogues thereof such as hate, resentment, and judgementalism)

- Motivated

- Hard-Working

- Consistently aims to be smart-working, i.e. understands the value of delegating, automating, self-educating, and making a process more efficient and productive so that you get even more work done with the same time and effort. (I say "aims to be", because I'll happily teach someone this as long as they really want it.)

- Assertive

- Values assertive communication in others, and isn't an enabler of toxic unassertiveness; i.e. avoids reading between the lines and doesn't try to be a mind-reader.

- Gracious, i.e. consistently practices gratitude and has the grace of free-spirited inner peace (a.k.a. graceful true happiness).


I hope that list is helpful!

If you have any questions about the above, or any other questions about anything, please do let me know. :)


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



This is an example of an ad I recently posted offering to hire people for paid internship.
This is an example of an ad I recently posted offering to hire people for paid internship.

---
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. Additionally, anyone who makes it through the first 21 days of the free mentoring program (which only takes about 5 minutes per day) is then also instantly eligible to be hired for a paid internship starting at $10 per hour with unlimited potential for growth.
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.
User avatar
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
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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 »

If you haven't already, you can sign up to be personally mentored by Scott "Eckhart Aurelius" Hughes at this link. Anyone who makes it through the first 21 days of the free mentoring program (which only takes about 5 minutes per day) is then also instantly eligible to be hired for a paid internship, if they desire.


Joy Wendy wrote: November 12th, 2023, 4:52 am My parents are getting a divorce and I don't know who I should follow. I love them both but I really wish I could do something so they could still be together. I really need your advice.
Hi, Joy Wendy,

None of the following four sentences are true:

1. You should follow your father.

2. You should follow your mother.

3. You should follow neither.

4. You should follow both.


Rather, there is nothing you should do. There is never anything you should do.

There is no 'should', and there is no 'ought'.

That is a key teaching in my book, "In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All".

May I ask if you have already read my book in full?

Regardless, here are some other topics I wrote about the subject of how 'shouldness' is an illusion/superstition that leads to you giving up your inner peace (a.k.a. happiness):


- An elaboration on how judgemental moralizing and the superstition of 'moral law' infringes on free-spirited inner peace

- I lovingly and deeply pity those who think unchangeable reality "ought" to be different than it unchangeably is.

- The Six Dangerous Misery-Inducing Words: "Must", "Have to", "Need to", "Should", "Ought", "Try"

- To believe in an all-powerful God and think 'should-not-have-ness' exists is to therefore believe that God did a bad job

- My Advice: Cut the **** by letting go of the shoulds. #SelfResponsibility #Freedom #SelfDiscipline #FreeSpirit

- There is no "Is-Ought Problem" because there is no 'ought'.

- Don't should on me. If you are going to should on anyone, go should on yourself.

- How Unassertiveness Leads to Aggression and the Illusion of 'Shoulds' and 'Oughts'

- Dangerous Moral Busybodies | "A tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."

- Letting go of expectation | How clinging to the superstitions of expectation and blame disrupts your inner peace

- Six Questions for People Who Believe Should-Not-Have-Ness Exists (i.e. for people who believe in 'shoulds' and 'oughts')


With all that said, and with it in mind as context that there is nothing you should do, let me ask you this: If you could force your parents to be together (e.g. by putting a literal gun to their head and ordering them to stay together), would you really rather do that, rather than let them end a presumably unhappy marriage so that they may exercise their freedom to pursue happiness, meaning do what they think would make them happiest?

In other words, if you could only choose between the following two things, would you rather your parents stay together and be miserable or split up and be happy?

That isn't just a rhetorical question. You don't have to answer it to me, but at least truly ask yourself and answer it. Take a moment to think about what your answer is and why.

Sometimes when we have trouble accepting what we cannot control and cannot change it's because we aren't being fully honest with ourselves about what the situation is exactly and what our own desires are. There's a feedback loop between (1) denial about things being the way they are and (2) not seeming to be able to accept them as they are. If things seem like they don't add up in the story you are telling yourself, they probably don't. If the truth seems hard to accept, then it's probably not the truth. For instance, you might be in denial about how beneficial staying in their marriage would be for them versus how beneficial splitting up would be for them. If so, then by looking at the situation as something it's not, you are unable to accept it as it is because instead of seeing the acceptable simple reality you are seeing a rightly unacceptable fiction. A happy marriage ending in divorce would be a tragedy, but it's one that doesn't exist. Reality is always right, and the universe doesn't miscalculate.

If you look at the question you are posing me and yourself as follows then it will be impossible to answer without unreasonable things like shoulds and oughts or otherwise refusing to accept what you know you change: "My parents have the happiest marriage in the world. The best thing for them is to stay together, definitely. But they are getting divorced! Help, I need advice."

In my experience, a happy marriage never ends in divorce. In my experience, a divorce is worth celebrating. If I meet somebody who says, "I just got divorced," I'd say, "congratulations", not "I'm sorry."

If I had to boil my advice to you down to eight words, it would be these eight: Live and let live; Be happy for them.


One of my favorite songs is "Scars" by Sam Smith. As someone who is divorced myself and has a great co-parenting relationship with my kids' mom (and her new husband and their kids), every time I listen to that song it reminds to do my best to work hard to make it so my kids grow up to feel the way Sam Smith expresses he feels in that song. Maybe it can give you some warmth during these challenging times as well.

In a very important sense of the words, there is no grace except grace under fire. Grace doesn't exist despite the fire but because of it. The darkness is what enables the light to shine. When times are darkest and most challenging for me, I take a moment to sincerely express gratitude for that darkness.


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



divorce.png



---
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. Additionally, anyone who makes it through the first 21 days of the free mentoring program (which only takes about 5 minutes per day) is then also instantly eligible to be hired for a paid internship starting at $10 per hour with unlimited potential for growth.
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.
Nehap17
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Posts: 14
Joined: November 16th, 2023, 7:25 pm

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 Nehap17 »

Which book(s) would you credit to have changed your life and set you on the path you're currently on?
Moisés Alcántara Ayre
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Posts: 30
Joined: October 13th, 2023, 1:28 am

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 Moisés Alcántara Ayre »

Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: November 20th, 2023, 11:30 pm If you haven't already, you can sign up to be personally mentored by Scott "Eckhart Aurelius" Hughes at this link. Anyone who makes it through the first 21 days of the free mentoring program (which only takes about 5 minutes per day) is then also instantly eligible to be hired for a paid internship, if they desire.

Moisés Alcántara Ayre wrote: November 9th, 2023, 7:34 am Scott,
When hiring people, what are the personal and professional qualities that you think are most critical? Is it possible on a job interview to identify those qualities?
Hi, Moisés Alcántara Ayre,

Great question! :)

Before I get to the list, it's definitely possible to get a decent sense of roughly how much someone has these traits via a job interview, or otherwise just meeting them or even looking them up on social media. Haters, for instance, don't usually seem to hide the fact that they are haters; they wear it almost like a badge of honor. People who truly have the qualities I list below have a noticeable aura around them, and it manifests in everything they do even the tone of the posts they make on social media, such as in how positive/loving versus how negative/hateful those posts are or versus how honest those posts are versus sensationalist, click-baity, or poorly fact-checked.

When hiring people (and more generally when choosing friends and associates), these are the critical qualities that I value and prioritize most:

- Honest

- Self-Disciplined

- Values and practices self-responsibility

- Respects the freedom of others and, in other words, the self-responsibility of others (e.g. practices the principle of live and let live, both spiritually and politically, meaning the person engages in neither aggressive violence nor in the emotional/spiritual analogues thereof such as hate, resentment, and judgementalism)

- Motivated

- Hard-Working

- Consistently aims to be smart-working, i.e. understands the value of delegating, automating, self-educating, and making a process more efficient and productive so that you get even more work done with the same time and effort. (I say "aims to be", because I'll happily teach someone this as long as they really want it.)

- Assertive

- Values assertive communication in others, and isn't an enabler of toxic unassertiveness; i.e. avoids reading between the lines and doesn't try to be a mind-reader.

- Gracious, i.e. consistently practices gratitude and has the grace of free-spirited inner peace (a.k.a. graceful true happiness).


I hope that list is helpful!

If you have any questions about the above, or any other questions about anything, please do let me know. :)


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




job-post-offer.png


---
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. Additionally, anyone who makes it through the first 21 days of the free mentoring program (which only takes about 5 minutes per day) is then also instantly eligible to be hired for a paid internship starting at $10 per hour with unlimited potential for growth.
Thank you, Scott.

The list does help me look for a specific set of qualities.
I was wondering whether these can be spotted on a job interview. Are there critical questions to be asked? Are there specific techniques to be used to elicit some of the qualities you've mentioned?

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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 »

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


Hi, MehulPan/Mehul P,

Thank you for your question. :)

MehulPan wrote: November 14th, 2023, 2:04 am I'm a student of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science from India. I'm currently a first-year student and hence, I've got very little workload. I'm a bit introverted and hence lack in communication skills. Also, my proficiency in English is quite good, but when I try to speak it, I become blank. I've tried to talk in English more and more daily. As a result, I've been getting better at it. My English communication skills via texting are far better than any average Indian's. However, I want to improve my communication skills and eye contact with the person. Please suggest me something.
This is surprisingly analogous to me: I am also a huge introvert, and I have been teaching myself Spanish, and I can relate to the idea that it's much easier to learn to write (and read) a foreign language than speak it. Since is is so personally relatable for me on both counts, hopefully I can provide some especially helpful advice.

I suspect you may be complicating the issue by aiming to do two tough things at once.

I already mentioned the power and value of monotasking in my reply to this question about balancing parenting and work by jeminah28.

So we can already start to see that seemingly very different questions and seemingly very different obstacles can actually fundamentally be very similar and the solutions will be essentially the same: to implement some certain same teachings from my book.

Most notably, I think the chapter that will help you most here is the chapter titled, "Do Less, Better".

What I suggest is to break this project down into two separate projects:

(1) overcoming your introversion by improving your social confidence and communication skills, without any regard to learning English

(2) learning English even better, especially in regard to listening to it spoken out loud verbally and being able to speak it back verbally out loud


For #1 there's many things you can do, such as taking acting classes, taking public speaking classes, or picking up a job in the field of (or starting a businesses in the field of) verbal sales, meaning sales that take place over the phone and/or in-person face-to-face.

Acting classes could be especially helpful. They can hit it from two ends: First, they will get you more comfortable speaking and performing in front of an audience. But, secondly, they will teach you how to take more control over your own feelings (or, worst case, fake it a bit). For example, a good actor playing a scene in which they are to be very sad isn't going to fake sadness, but actually use advanced acting techniques to actually feel sad while doing that scene. Likewise, if a good actor is playing a character who is very confident and feeling talkative and social, the good actor will literally get themselves to feel confident and such to do that scene. So it's not simply that you might learn how to fake confidence and friendliness and such (though that can be a helpful backup too), but it will literally teach you how to fake it so well that you actually become it. You can go so deep into the role of feeling confident and charismatic that you actually literally simply are it in the moment. You just take a deep breath, and become the role. Let me be clear, I am absolutely not suggesting you be dishonest or be a faker in any way in the slightest, but rather I am suggesting you use the techniques that actors use to actually honestly feel feelings in order to learn how to better control your feelings, so that you can use those techniques to honestly make yourself feel confident and calm and such in any situation whenever you want.

First, I suggest you become an extremely talented actor (or salesperson etc.) in your Indian language, for example, and then separately on the side also learn English. Learning a second language is in and of itself a fairly straight-forward process. At your level, the next step will be immersion: Watching movies in English, speaking to people in English, changing your device's default language to English, but all of that can be done separately from your project of improving your non-English-specific communication skills and overcoming any obstacles caused by your introversion.

That doesn't mean stop being an introvert. I never stopped being an introvert, nor would I want to. Rather, I am--and you can easily become--both (1) an introvert and (2) a great salesperson, a great customer service agent, a very confident and non-nervous person in social situations, and a very charismatic friendly in-person presence, at least when I/you choose to be. For example, I worked in a door-to-door job for a year, and did great at it as an introvert, and I was also a server and a bartender for many years and was very good at that too, as an introvert. I also ran for public office and got elected to the town government, as an introvert, and thereby served for over three years on the local Board of Ed overseeing a 9-figure budget (over $100 million annual budget). Again, as an introvert. I don't think I could have done as well at these things as I did if I wasn't an introvert, which including among other things includes being a very good listener and understander when I want to be.

Perhaps the main #1 reason most introverts are introverted is precisely because they use a lot more energy in social situations, and thus find those situations more exhausting. It's like a boxer who can only throw punches as hard as possible. Where an extrovert might get energy and get hyped up by being around a lot of people and from being in social situations and get tired and anxious when home alone, we introverts have the opposite experience: For us, being social or interacting with people and even just listening to them speak while making eye contact can be more like working out in the gym or running a marathon or playing timed chess against a tough opponent or doing a timed long hard high-pressure math test. We can be very good at it, precisely because we spend so much mental energy per minute on it (e.g. running a more complicated in-depth simulation in our mind of others' minds, which, ideally, results in us more thoughtfully and accurately determining what they are thinking and feeling). The very reason we introverts are often so good at such social things is also why it is so exhausting for us and why we crave and need to get alone time to recharge, even if to get that alone time we have to withdraw into ourselves while people are still around us and avoid making eye contact or even looking at people lest our brain overheat and explode. The reason we can be so exceptionally good at it is the same reason we often prefer to not use our power: it's exhausting to use our power rather than rest in our own inner world (if not literally in wonderfully comfortable physical isolation). I love mediating by sitting alone in my backyard, but-I've probably actually done it more while being in a crowded loud room full of people. I take a deep breath, slow my mind, and in a way let my spirit consciously float away to a place more spacious and calm. It's practically identical to something I do when I am in the middle of running a long foot race and I'm feeling especially physically tired and uncomfortable: I take a deep breath and mediate while running to find peace and strength from my inner peace. When the outer world, including my body's feeling like pain or discomfort is most dispeaceful, that is precisely when I make most use of invincible unwavering inner peace and spiritual freedom. That can help me stay on the treadmill a little longer while working towards a new PR, or recharge my quickly depleted social batteries while in the middle of a crowded room, but such physical things have limits. It would be counter-productive to spend 15 hours a day running full speed on a treadmill.

I mention all that to mention this: If you look at engaging in social situations like working out in the gym or training for running a race or training for a hard job or performing a hard job (e.g. like being a server in a busy restaurant or an actor on a stage in an important million-dollar production), you might have better results. Focus on quality rather than quantity. You wouldn't spend 15 hours a day working out in the gym; right? 1 hour of work can give you more results than 15 hours of work because it lets you focus on quality rather than quantity. It's not just that you might get more results per hour worked, but that you will actually also get more done overall, precisely because you avoid the drawbacks of overtraining and low quality work. You will get more done total by working less hours at it. If you work out for 15 hours a day in the gym, you will get less results total than working out 1 hour per day; not just per hour, but total. As an introvert, it tends be the same with social situations. It's not ideal to overdo it. It's probably irrational to expect or hope for socializing to ever be non-exhausting for you. In other words, you will probably always be an introvert. But you can use that to your advantage. You can become better and more effective in social situations, public speaking, and in-person sales than extroverts precisely because you are an introvert whose mind does what theirs doesn't. Use the mental overdrive to your advantage. Play to your strengths. Be confident precisely because you are an introvert. It can be like nunchucks: It's a powerful tool if you learn how to use it, and it can quickly become your weapon of choice, one you would never choose to give away for another even if you could. :)


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


"Be confident precisely because you are an introvert. It can be like nunchucks: It's a powerful tool if you learn how to use it."
"Be confident precisely because you are an introvert. It can be like nunchucks: It's a powerful tool if you learn how to use it."




---
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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