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No Time for Begging

If you have to beg someone to be in a relationship with you, you’ll have to beg them to stick around down the road.

If you have to beg someone to be your friend, you’ll have to beg them to remain loyal when times get hard.

If you have to beg someone to buy your product, you’ll have to beg them to keep liking it after they buy.

If you have to beg someone to invest in your business, you’ll have to beg them to not regret the decision when they start to question themselves.

If you have to beg someone to go to a party with you, you’ll have to beg them to have a good time once you get there.

If you have to beg someone to believe what you want them to believe, you’ll have to beg them to stop falling apart once doubts begin to creep in.

If you have to beg at the beginning, you’ll have to beg midway through.

If you have to beg midway through, you’ll have to beg at the end.

Begging always begets more begging.

When people aren’t interested in what we have to offer, we often make the mistake of twisting their arm in an effort to guilt-trip them or frighten them into changing their mind. That kind of strategy might bring short-term relief, but it’ll also guarantee long-term headaches.

Here’s why:

No matter what course of action a person decides to take, there will be inevitable challenges and inconveniences along the way. This is true of every person and every path.

Do you know what happens to people who choose their own path? They almost always own up to the obstacles they face. Even when they suffer, they almost always take responsibility for their experiences. Do you know what happens to people when they feel like they’ve been coaxed into doing something that didn’t initially feel right? They almost always react with a spirit of bitterness and blame when things go wrong.

When you use desperation tactics to get what you want, you’ll almost always get more than what you bargained for. In addition to getting what you want in the short-term, you’ll also get a babysitting job in the long-term because someone is going to expect you to comfort and console them whenever they’re inconvenienced by the situation you dragged them into.

Avoid these kinds of situations with haste. As Mike Murdock once advised, “Go where you’re celebrated, not where you’re tolerated.”

Work with people who are happy to work with you. Surround yourself with people who are happy to have you in their circle. You don’t need to require a hero’s welcome everywhere you go, but you can always do better than begging.

Speak your truth, walk with conviction, and let your life speak for itself.  If someone isn’t buying what you’re selling, run quickly in the direction of the next possibility. Sell yourself well, but don’t sell yourself short. Keep pushing yourself to be great, but don’t push anyone to acknowledge how great you are.

As Jack Canfield wrote, “Some will. Some won’t. So what. Someone’s waiting.”

Adventures with someone who cherishes you and your gifts are waiting. There’s no time for begging. Move on with your life and don’t waste any more time on those who are unmoved by your life.

Self-help is as dangerous as it is helpful: It all depends on how you approach it

For every principle, there’s a variable.

Hard work pays off (except for when it doesn’t).

Being friendly is a great way to make friends (except when it isn’t),

Do what you love and the money will follow (except for when things just don’t work out that way for whatever reason).

Be assertive and people will respect you (except for when you run up against the guy who doesn’t respond to your assertiveness training tips).

Meditation and visualization techniques can help enhance your performance (except for when they just make you cranky, impatient, and annoyed).

These are only a few examples. An exhaustive list would fill volumes.

The general point is this:

Establish a principle and reality will provide you with an anomaly that refuses to be accounted for by that particular precept.

Principles, in and of themselves, are not safe. Every principle has at least one set of conditions that is capable of rendering it inapplicable.

The solution to such quandaries, however, is not the abandonment of all principles. The solution is the addition of critical thinking.

There is no path to personal development that will yield successful results without a vigilante commitment to 1) thinking for yourself 2) weighing everything you learn against your own subjective convictions and experiences 3) experimenting with different approaches even after you’ve had several failures and 4) taking personal responsibility for the outcomes you create through your choices.

If you’re looking for a fool-proof approach to self-help, there isn’t one. Every good piece of advice that has ever been given is fully capable of making your life worse if you aren’t careful, conscious, and creative in your personal application of it.

Good self-help always begins with the self. Each person is, in the end, responsible for dealing with the variables of his own life. There is no system or teacher that can save any of us from this responsibility. The most beautiful bit of wisdom is immediately transformed into an ugly tool of destruction as soon as it is placed in the hands of someone who surrenders this responsibility to another.

You’re free whether you like it or not

The ability to say “I hate my life” does not make one a victim.

Not liking reality isn’t the same thing as being devoid of power.

Personal freedom is not a mood. It’s an ontological fact.

Its existence does not depend on the absence of unwanted conditions.

Its presence is not always confirmed by an abundance of positive emotions.

Feelings wax and wane, but the fundamental being-ness of freedom always remains.

You can wait until you feel free or you can decide to live as if you are free.

Break the mold

That’s the slogan for Praxis.

According to its founder, Isaac Morehouse, “Praxis is an intensive 10-month program for those who want more than college. It’s for entrepreneurial young people who want real-world career experience and the best of online education all in one.”

I recently interviewed Isaac about the program and I’ve had several private discussions with him since then.

He’s made a believer out of me.

I’ve bought into his revolutionary vision and I intend to be a part of his efforts to fill a long-standing gaping hole in the educational marketplace.

My new role as a partner will encompass many elements. One of those elements is blogging.

Every week, I’ll be writing a special post over at the Praxis blog on some aspect of education, entrepreneurship, and/or personal development.

My first post is about the importance of separating ideas from idea-givers.

Feel free to check it out: Even jerks can have good ideas

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