4 Strategies That Help Me Not Want To Quit Ep 512

Summary Notes


Alex, a successful entrepreneur, shares his insights on maintaining longevity in business by managing stress and decision-making. After a burnout scare with his wife, he realized the importance of perspective and emotional control for sustained success. Alex outlines four strategies he uses to cope with negative situations: amplifying the problem to desensitize himself, preparing for the worst to build resilience, gaining perspective by comparing current problems to extreme scenarios, and embracing the impermanence of the universe to ascribe personal meaning to his actions. This mindset allows him to focus on learning and teaching, which he finds personally meaningful, ensuring his continued engagement and success in the entrepreneurial game. Alex encourages other entrepreneurs to adopt these mental frameworks to stay in business for the long haul, finding their own meaning and values to guide their journey.

Summary Notes

Stress Management and Meaning Making

  • Alex discusses the human tendency to assign meaning to stressors, which may not inherently possess any meaning.
  • By acknowledging this, Alex suggests that individuals have the power to interpret and react to life's events, akin to playing different notes on a piano.
  • The metaphor of playing piano notes represents the control over the narrative constructed from life's occurrences.

"When I have any stressors in my life, I'm saying that I'm choosing. My brain is choosing to make meaning out of this when there was no meaning to be made to begin with."

The quote emphasizes the speaker's belief that stress is often a result of the meanings we ascribe to events rather than the events themselves. It suggests a level of control over one's emotional response to stressors.

Business Longevity and Decision-Making

  • Alex introduces the concept of longevity in business as a key to success.
  • He suggests that to avoid quitting (which he equates with failing), entrepreneurs must have a structured approach to problem-solving.
  • Alex emphasizes the importance of managing one's thoughts and state of mind when dealing with business stressors.

"And so if you're an entrepreneur and you're a business owner, the number one thing that I've seen that creates success is longevity, meaning that you can continue to play the game, because at the end of the day, none of us is going to quit business, or hopefully not quit business."

This quote highlights the idea that the ability to persist in business over time is a fundamental component of entrepreneurial success. Alex implies that quitting is the only true failure, and thus, strategies for resilience are crucial.

Alex's Personal Stress Management Strategies

  • Alex shares four strategies that have helped him manage pressure and stress in his business.
  • He introduces the first strategy, which involves imagining a negative situation being magnified by 1000 times and then reevaluating it.
  • This strategy is particularly effective for minor to medium-sized issues that occur regularly in business.
  • By mentally amplifying the issue, Alex shortens the emotional disturbance it causes and becomes desensitized to it.

"So the first that I do whenever I have any kind of negative situation, is I go 1000 x negative, all right? And then I reevaluate."

The quote describes Alex's initial strategy for coping with negative situations in business. By exaggerating the severity of the problem, he gains perspective and reduces its emotional impact.

The Impact of Business Size on Stress

  • Alex theorizes that the potential for stress in business scales with the size of the company.
  • He suggests that a business owner's stress could increase tenfold with a tenfold increase in revenue, or even more with larger growth.
  • This concept implies that successful management of stress is essential for entrepreneurs at all levels of business.

"So if you're stressed in your own business right now, like, add a zero to whatever your revenue is, and you'll have ten times the potential for stress if you were ten times bigger or 100 times the stress if you were 100 times bigger."

The quote presents the idea that stress can scale with the success of a business, implying that entrepreneurs must be prepared to handle increased stress as their businesses grow.

Emotional Immunity through Negative Visualization

  • Alex discusses the concept of negative visualization, a technique where one imagines experiencing a negative event repeatedly to become emotionally immune to it.
  • By acknowledging that nothing has changed except for one's perspective, one can short-circuit the emotional response and apply this immunity in the present moment.
  • This practice is seen as a way to protect one's mind and improve decision-making, especially for entrepreneurs and business owners whose success is judged by the quality of their decisions.

"And so when I think and I imagine myself experiencing this negative thing over and over and over and over again, it's called negative visualization, then what ends up happening is I become immune to it."

The quote explains the process of negative visualization and its outcome—emotional immunity to the imagined negative event.

"And so I think to myself, well, if I can become immune to it after a thousand tries, I can become immune to it on the first try because it means nothing has actually changed, only my perspective on the occurrence."

Alex highlights that the only change is in perspective, not the event itself, suggesting that emotional immunity can be achieved immediately with a shift in mindset.

"And in so doing, you can shortwire yourself to that end outcome and then fast forward it to the present so you can live the rest of your day or less of your week without being emotionally disturbed."

This quote emphasizes the benefit of negative visualization, which allows one to live without being emotionally disturbed by applying the outcome of immunity to their present situation.

"And when you do that, at least for me, I feel like I make better decisions."

Alex shares a personal outcome of the technique—improved decision-making, which is a critical aspect of business success.

Preparing for the Worst in New Endeavors

  • Alex introduces a second strategy for mental preparation, which involves expecting the worst circumstances when starting a new habit or activity.
  • By anticipating difficulties, such as being tired or stressed, one can mentally prepare and commit to acting despite these challenges.
  • This strategy is based on the idea that humans have good psychological resilience if they brace for impact, and it applies this concept to self-preparation for habitual activities.

"What I will do is I will expect the worst circumstance. All right? So rather than saying, okay, I'm going to go work out and feel excited, right, to go work out, I'm super pumped. What I want to do is I want to plan and prepare my mental state for when it comes time to work out. I'm going to be exhausted. I'm not going to have slept well, I'm going to have a lot of business stress."

This quote details the strategy of expecting the worst to prepare mentally for challenges, particularly in the context of starting a workout routine.

"And so it literally does go into truly expecting the worst case scenario and making the preformed decision to act anyways, despite that, because you have planned for it."

Alex explains that by expecting the worst case scenario and deciding in advance to act regardless, one can overcome obstacles more readily.

"So most people, most humans have really good psychological resilience if we brace for it."

The quote suggests that psychological resilience is inherent in most people and can be accessed through mental preparation.

"And so what we're doing here is using this bracing technique on ourselves in advance of a situation that is likely to occur at some time between now and when we die, especially if it's a habit that has to be ongoing."

Alex emphasizes the use of the bracing technique as a proactive measure for coping with challenges associated with ongoing habits.

Call to Action for Podcast Support

  • Alex makes a direct appeal to listeners, asking for support in the form of ratings, reviews, and sharing the podcast.
  • He emphasizes that this support is not for personal gain but to help more entrepreneurs succeed and improve experiences for their employees and customers.

"Real quick, guys. You guys already know that I don't run any ads on this, and I don't sell anything. And so the only ask that I can ever have of you guys is that you help me spread the word so we can help more entrepreneurs make more money, feed their families, make better products, and have better experiences for their employees and customers."

This quote is Alex's appeal for support, highlighting the podcast's ad-free and non-commercial nature and the desire to help entrepreneurs.

"And the only way we do that is if you can rate and review and share this podcast. So the single thing that I ask you to do is you can just leave a review. It'll take you 10 seconds or one type of the thumb. It means the absolute world to me. And more importantly, it may change the world for someone else."

Alex requests listeners to leave a review, emphasizing the minimal effort required and the potentially significant impact on others.

Emotional Coping Strategies

  • Alex discusses various strategies for emotional coping, specifically dealing with negative experiences.
  • The first strategy mentioned is the emotional brace, which involves repeatedly imagining a distressing event to reduce its impact.
  • The second strategy is to emotionally prepare for the worst-case scenario to gain perspective on current problems.
  • Alex emphasizes the importance of context and perspective in minimizing the perceived severity of issues.
  • He suggests that many problems become irrelevant when viewed in a broader context.
  • Alex also touches on the concept of "should" creating expectations that lead to mental friction and unhappiness.
  • He explains that managing one's mental state is crucial for maintaining the ability to make high-quality decisions, especially as responsibilities grow.

"So kind of this is imagine the thing that you just had happen that bothered you for a thousand times, then it stops affecting you. The second one is you emotionally brace yourself. The third one is you imagine worst case."

This quote outlines the three emotional coping strategies Alex uses: repeated exposure to a negative event, emotional bracing, and worst-case scenario visualization. These techniques are meant to desensitize and provide perspective on the issue at hand.

"All of us benefit. We get the gift of perspective from those who die."

Alex reflects on the perspective gained from experiencing the death of someone close, suggesting that such events provide a valuable shift in viewpoint that can help in dealing with lesser problems.

"And most times, what I found is that most problems shrink into irrelevance within broader context. They actually never get solved. We just realize that we just don't care and that they are no longer meaningful to us."

This quote explains that many problems lose their significance when placed in a broader context, indicating that the resolution of an issue isn't always necessary for it to cease being a concern.

Perspective on Life and Meaning

  • Alex introduces a worldview that he finds useful for maintaining mental freedom and reducing stress.
  • He describes a belief that the universe will eventually disintegrate into a fine mist, rendering all accomplishments meaningless in the grand scheme.
  • While some might find this perspective depressing, Alex finds it liberating because it places the responsibility of ascribing meaning to life on the individual.
  • This belief allows Alex to detach from the significance of problems and focus on what truly matters to him.

"And so I believe that the universe will continue to expand until eventually everything becomes a fine mist. Over a long enough time horizon, the sun will give out, all stars will extinguish, and then everything will just become a fine mist."

Alex shares a cosmological view that emphasizes the impermanence of everything, including human achievements. This perspective serves as a mental tool to alleviate the weight of current problems.

"And as silly as that may sound, it means that anything that we do, this video, anything that I accomplish in this world, will eventually disappear and be meaningless."

By acknowledging the eventual meaninglessness of all actions, Alex suggests that the significance of our problems and achievements is transient and ultimately decided by us.

Concept of Inherent Meaning

  • Alex discusses the notion that nothing has inherent meaning, implying that meaning is a construct of the mind.
  • He suggests that stressors in life are given meaning by our own choice, rather than possessing meaning intrinsically.
  • By recognizing this, Alex believes he can control the "meaning" he assigns to events, reducing their impact on his emotional state.

"use it means that nothing has inherent meaning. And so that means that when I have any stressors in my life, I'm saying that I'm choosing. My brain is choosing to make meaning out of this when there was no meaning to be made to begin with."

This quote explains that the perception of meaning in life's events is a subjective choice, not an objective reality.

Perspective on Legacy and Impact

  • Alex questions the desire to build a legacy or make an impact, suggesting that such aspirations are ultimately futile.
  • He points out that even significant contributions are likely to be forgotten over a span of centuries.
  • This perspective helps him alleviate self-imposed pressure and expectations.

"You're probably not going to leave a dent in the universe. And even if you made some big advancement, within 500 years, it'll probably be forgotten."

Alex is emphasizing the transient nature of human achievements and the eventual insignificance of individual efforts in the grand scope of time.

Emotional Management Through Perspective

  • Alex uses his understanding of meaninglessness to manage emotions and stress.
  • He describes this approach as his "ultimate trump card" to maintain control over his emotional responses.
  • This mindset allows him to assert that he is the "master of his own universe," deciding what is meaningful for himself.

"This is my ultimate trump card that I use to keep my emotions at bay and ultimately say, I am the master of my own universe."

The quote reflects Alex's strategy of using a philosophical perspective to regulate his emotional reactions to life's challenges.

Purpose and Learning

  • Alex identifies his purpose in life as learning.
  • He explains that creating content and teaching others enhances his understanding and knowledge.
  • Teaching forces him to grasp the finer details of a subject, improving his comprehension.

"Because when you have to teach something, you have to learn it better. You have to learn the nuances of what makes something work."

This quote underscores the idea that the act of teaching can deepen one's understanding of a subject.

Business and Personal Impact

  • Alex shares how his philosophical views have positively influenced his business career.
  • He suggests that by choosing to engage in activities that he finds meaningful, he can maintain long-term commitment and avoid burnout.
  • His life becomes a tribute to the ideals he values, which he considers eternal.

"Because if nothing has meaning except for what I choose to give meaning, then it means I can choose to only play games that I find meaningful."

Here, Alex is expressing his belief in the power of personal choice to ascribe meaning to his actions, which in turn guides his business decisions and commitments.

Dedication to Improvement and Ideals

  • Alex is committed to improving his content and skills through coaching and courses.
  • He finds meaning in making his lessons engaging, entertaining, and educational.
  • He believes that while specific actions may not be eternally meaningful, the values they represent are eternal.

"Values are eternal, and values will exist even when everything disappears in the universe."

The quote captures Alex's belief in the enduring nature of values, which he prioritizes over the fleeting impact of individual actions.

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