There are moments in our life which have the power to influence all of it.
Very short moments, and usually very scary too.
Announcing to the woman you love that you want to marry her. Announcing to your boss that you are leaving the company …
Such choices are hard to make and they have the power to haunt us night and day, even in our dreams.
I call them pivotal moments
Each time, we are left with one simple and basic choice:
Doing or not doing. Going or not going. Attacking or fleeing.
One way is easy but also lazy.
The other way is scary and full of dangers. We may be rejected. Others may hate us.
That’s the fear of change speaking.
To evolve and rise to a greater level, everyone need to change.
Change is something happening quickly, sometimes in an instant…even if we would like to believe it is the result of a long process of thinking, sometimes it’s not.
There are a lot of things which are not « thinkable », because they are not reasonable, they are the product of our emotions, and emotions are difficultly controlled by reason…
What is scary is the fear of the void, of the unknown. We don’t know what will happen after this scary decision happened. We don’t know how we will change.
We cannot predict the future…and in fact no one can.
But we would like to. Some people are going so far into wanting to control the future that they invent complex mathematic models, equations, formulas, models, systems that are supposed to tell them the future.
But those models are all flawed in some way, and the only thing we can calculate is a probability.
What is my probability of success? 30%?
If you accept that you have 30% of probability of success, you must also acknowledge that you have 70% of probability of failure.
But that’s alright. Failing is human.
Without failure, we wouldn’t be what we are now.
Without failure, we would be all losers incapable to become better at what we are doing.
That’s why you have to embrace the possibility to fail. And transform it into an opportunity to learn.
Because learning to become better is the destiny of mankind. It’s how we evolved to become what we are now. It’s how all the technology we now possess appeared.
If the scientists had been afraid to invent the plastic, imagine how the word would be now?
Humans are building on what other humans are creating and that’s why by learning and becoming better, we have the opportunity to add our own value to the entire humanity.
Those pivotal moments in our lives are the same. If we embrace even momentarily the courage to go through them, we see our life change and evolve. We see ourselves becoming better.
It often require an incredible amount of shear effort to launch ourselves in action and tell ourselves: « let’s do it, whatever happen, I will go through it »
Then, in a matter of milliseconds, our life changes, and we will never be the same than before.
Because all those courageous events we are going through adds up in our mind, making us more resistant and able to go through even higher amounts of danger and pressure.
In fact, many times, life isn’t as dangerous as we think.
We think that a small think will kill us, but in fact, when this event is finished, nothing happened. And we learn that we had underestimated ourselves.
That’s why if you don’t go through those event and if you choose the easy road every time, you don’t learn. And you start to think that everything around you is dangerous. You become paralysed by any small obstacle, and you cry silently, hoping that someone will help you.
When there are two roads to take, always choose the difficult one. Even if you fail over some obstacles, you will develop the power to overcome those obstacles and to become stronger.
Then everyone who took the easy road will wonder: « How did you become so strong in this or that? »
The answer is always the same.
If you want to do something…
If you really, really want to do something… do it and do it over again every day and one day, you will be good at it.
You won’t even notice the difference. You will feel exactly the same. Because the skills will have accumulated gradually in your subconscious, and you won’t even have noticed it. But other people will.
That’s how I learned Japanese, Chinese and Korean.
When someone asked me: « Hey, Cyprien, what’s the magic trick? »
I have to tell them something like: « watch dramas with subtitles or speak to yourself in the mirror »
But in fact, that’s a lie. There is no trick. Making some little efforts every day over and over again is enough. I don’t tell them that, because I know that they wouldn’t believe me.
Everyone wants a magic trick to do things faster and quicker, but that’s the reality is too boring to accept.
Impatience wants you to think that you can become proficient in few weeks, just by doing something special.
The real quality you need to develop is patience and also loving what you do for the sake of doing it.
I found that one of the major reason people fail to really learn a language is to learn to pass some test. They think that by having a paper, they will become proficient in this language.
Nope. You won’t. Sorry to tell you the truth.
Most of the time, it’s great to set a goal. But sometimes, it’s also bad. That’s what life taught me.
In fact, the determination and the conviction to go up to the end and to never stop comes also from one of those pivotal moments that I described earlier. A moment in which you make a commitment to yourself that you will « really » do it, that you won’t ever « play about trying to do it », but that you will be serious, whatever happens.
In fact, you even HAVE to think about what eventually could have the power to stop you, and plan what you would do in this case to continue, that’s as simple as that. You have to build the mental models in your head that will make you bullet-proof to failure and overtime you encounter one of those, you will execute flawlessly what you planned as if your life depended on it.
Most of the time, I just tell myself that I am the kind of guy who never quits. And because of that, I know that whatever I do, even if I have to stop it momentarily, I’ll eventually start to do it again and again, until I become proficient at it…because I never quit. I can sometimes make people think that I quitted. But that’s just a lure. So I can continue and become stronger when they don’t know it…because I never quit.
If you build such kind of story for yourself, you become exactly the kind of person that you want to be.
That’s sometimes scary, and dangerous as well. Because if you tell yourself the wrong story, you may limit yourself and become actually weaker. Take the example of someone who tells himself that he « doesn’t have a good memory » or that « his body is weak ». Guess what? He will become exactly like that…
Ok, that’s all for today…