Shedding Relationships In Your 20's (Pt.1) Ep 473

Summary Notes


Alex discusses the evolution of personal identity and relationships through the metaphor of life's seasons, emphasizing the importance of aligning with those who support our growth and share our ambitions. He reflects on his own journey, from being a troubled youth to an aspiring billionaire documenting his process, and the necessity of shedding relationships that no longer serve his goals. Alex candidly shares his philosophy on love and friendship, suggesting that the depth of these bonds is measured by the sacrifices one is willing to make to maintain them. He highlights the transactional nature of relationships, arguing that growth often requires pruning one's social circle to focus energy in a singular direction. Ultimately, Alex advocates for honest self-assessment and communication, choosing to surround oneself with people who reinforce the identity one aspires to have, and accepting that friendships may be seasonal rather than permanent.

Summary Notes

Identity and Personal Labels

  • Personal labels shape identity and how others perceive us.
  • People resist when someone changes, as it doesn't match their established pattern.
  • Growth is mistaken for change by others who expect conformity to past identities.

"One of the big things with identity is the labels that we say about ourselves. I am x. I am impatient. I am angry. I am whatever. And people in your past have the identity that they know you as, and then they will speak, and they will beat that label into you because you're not matching their pattern."

The quote emphasizes the importance of self-identification and the challenges faced when personal growth leads to a departure from the labels others have assigned to us. It underlines the conflict between self-evolution and external expectations.

Documenting Entrepreneurial Journey

  • Alex regrets that business icons like Bezos, Musk, and Buffett didn't document their journeys.
  • He is documenting his own journey to build a billion-dollar business for others to learn from.

"I always wish Bezos, Musk, and Buffett had documented their journey. So I'm doing it for the rest of us."

This quote highlights Alex's motivation to document his entrepreneurial journey as a learning tool for others, inspired by the lack of such documentation from other successful entrepreneurs.

Life Seasons and Friendship

  • Alex views his life in three to five-year "seasons," each with different focus and relationships.
  • He has willingly let go of friends from past seasons to grow and align with his current goals.

"I have shed friends basically every season of my life. And so I think about my life in. In three to five year seasons."

This quote reflects on the transient nature of friendships in Alex's life and his method of categorizing his life into distinct periods, each with its own set of relationships.

Affinity and Relationship Maintenance

  • The strength of love or affinity is measured by the willingness to sacrifice for a relationship.
  • Relationships are based on mutual exchange, and the strength of a relationship can be determined by how long one is willing to wait for positive reinforcement.

"The amount you like or love someone is directly proportional to what you are willing to give up to maintain the relationship."

This quote explains Alex's perspective on the correlation between sacrifice and affection in relationships, suggesting that the more one is willing to give up, the stronger the love or affinity they have for the other person.

Utility and Exchange in Relationships

  • All relationships involve an exchange of value.
  • The longevity of a relationship depends on the frequency and quality of positive reinforcements.
  • There is a limit to how long one will wait for positive experiences before ending a relationship.

"I am a big believer in utility, which is there is an exchange in every relationship."

The quote encapsulates Alex's belief in the utilitarian nature of relationships, where the exchange of value is fundamental to the relationship's survival.

Entrepreneurial Relationships and Sacrifice

  • As Alex's entrepreneurial goals evolved, he found that many people around him were not willing to make the same sacrifices.
  • He prioritizes his relationships based on the willingness to sacrifice and the mutual utility derived from them.

"Many of the people I had around me a weren't willing to pay the price that I was willing to pay for the things that I wanted, but also wanted me to give them more than I was willing to."

This quote reveals that Alex's entrepreneurial ambitions required sacrifices that not all his friends were willing to make, leading to a natural selection of relationships based on shared values and willingness to sacrifice.

Indebtedness and Social Norms

  • Alex feels no obligation to maintain relationships out of indebtedness or social norms.
  • He encourages others to evaluate their relationships based on personal values rather than societal expectations.

"And so we get into this weird indebtedness thing, and I think you have one life, and a lot of times we maintain these relationships because of social norms."

The quote challenges the concept of maintaining relationships out of a sense of indebtedness or obligation, suggesting that one should make relationship decisions based on personal values and the one life they have to live.

Growth Through Elimination

  • Personal growth is often achieved by removing distractions and focusing energy.
  • Time, focus, and energy are limited resources that should be directed efficiently.
  • Eliminating energy distractors is crucial for maintaining directional alignment.

And that is because I believe that a lot of growth comes through elimination, it comes through pruning the tree, because we only have so much juju, we only have so much time, we have so much focus, so much energy that we can pour into things, and a lot of people don't like, people talk about, like, energy vampires, and it paints it in an ugly way, but it's really just energy distractors.

This quote emphasizes the importance of eliminating unnecessary elements from one's life to foster growth, likening the process to pruning a tree to ensure vital resources aren't wasted.

Surrounding Yourself with Like-Minded People

  • It's beneficial to associate with people who share similar goals and are slightly ahead.
  • Relationships may evolve or diminish if they no longer offer mutual growth or benefit.
  • The frequency of interaction may decrease with those who do not align with one's path.

And so for me, I wanted to always surround myself with the people who wanted the same things as me and were ideally a little ahead of me.

Alex explains the value of being around people who not only share similar aspirations but can also provide guidance and inspiration due to their progress.

Defining Friendship

  • Friendship is subjective and can be defined by the value it brings to an individual's life.
  • Friends can serve different purposes, such as offering a chance to unwind or contributing to personal projects.
  • The level of communication with friends can be adjusted based on the value derived from the relationship.

For me, it's somebody that I have positive senses for, that I'm willing to keep that conversation going. That is what I'm willing to endure to maintain the relationship, which I don't do with many people.

Alex provides a personal definition of friendship, focusing on positive interactions and the willingness to maintain communication based on the perceived value of the relationship.

Communication Cadence and Confrontation

  • Reducing communication gradually can naturally phase out relationships without confrontation.
  • Direct conversations may be necessary when a significant change in relationship dynamics is evident.
  • Honesty is pivotal in addressing changes in goals or paths between friends.

And if you slow down your communication cadence with someone and how frequently you see them and when you accept invitations, it naturally fizzles, right?

The quote suggests a strategy for letting relationships fade by intentionally decreasing the frequency of interaction, which can allow for a natural end without direct confrontation.

Identity and Labels

  • Individuals should be wary of labels, especially those imposed by others from the past.
  • It's important to choose and surround oneself with people who support the identity one aspires to.
  • Growth involves shedding outdated labels and embracing new, self-affirmed ones.

But you have to choose the labels that you want over yourself, and you want to surround yourself with people who encourage the labels that you want to be.

Alex discusses the significance of consciously selecting personal labels and the role of one's social circle in reinforcing these chosen identities.

Evolving Social Circles

  • Social circles may change as one's journey and goals evolve.
  • Letting go of relationships that no longer provide value is seen as a path to rapid personal growth.
  • Continual engagement with new communities and individuals is part of a dynamic growth process.

Like the moment something doesn't provide me value, I shed it. And a lot of people probably disagree with that. And that's cool. You disagree, but that is how I have lived my life, and it has served me well.

This quote reflects Alex's philosophy of promptly moving on from relationships and situations that no longer contribute positively to his life, acknowledging that this approach may not be universally accepted but has been effective for him.

Aspirations and Influence

  • Alex discusses the importance of setting large goals and the influence of one's social circle on personal aspirations.
  • The idea that the scale of your friends' ambitions, particularly in terms of financial investments, will likely set the bar for your own.
  • The concept of earning your way into higher circles by absorbing knowledge and executing on it.
  • The notion that personal growth may necessitate changing one's social circle to be surrounded by people who match one's ambition.
  • The rarity of finding people who share the same level of ambition and the need to seek them out actively.

"My hope is that the people that I meet now are trying to go all the way with me. And it's funny. I was talking to a very big, very big influencer, and I was telling him about what I wanted to do, how we're going to get to a billion, how we're going to get to 10 billion, et cetera."

Alex expresses a desire to find people who are willing to aim for extraordinarily high goals and to accompany him on the journey to achieve them.

"The increment that your friends talk about in times and money, time and money are the increments that you will talk about time and money in."

This quote emphasizes the idea that the financial discourse within one's social group sets the standard for one's own financial thinking and ambitions.

The Dynamics of Friendship and Growth

  • The concept that friendships often change over time, and many are based on convenience rather than long-term commitment.
  • The idea that the internet has made it easier to find like-minded individuals who can become "rare" friends.
  • The recognition that having a few good friends by the end of life is a sign of a good life.
  • The distinction between friends who have conditional support versus those who are truly supportive in all situations.

"And so for me, I've wanted to live a rare life, and so I will have to be surrounded by rare people."

Alex acknowledges that to achieve an exceptional life, one must surround oneself with exceptional people, who are not commonly found.

"But if you die with one good friend or two good friends, you've had a really good life."

This quote suggests that the quality of friendships is more important than quantity, and having a few solid friendships is a hallmark of a well-lived life.

Honest Conversations and Personal Development

  • The belief in the importance of having difficult conversations to foster personal growth and improve relationships.
  • The idea that being direct and honest with friends about concerns can lead to either stronger relationships or a necessary parting of ways.
  • The suggestion to join communities with shared goals to find new friends after distancing from others.

"The steps of doing that is that you have to be willing to have hard conversations."

Alex stresses that personal and professional growth often requires the willingness to engage in uncomfortable but necessary discussions.

"And once you have the vacuum of friends, because you'll probably have weeded people out, then the best thing to do is join communities."

After distancing oneself from certain friends, Alex advises joining communities that align with one's goals to form new, meaningful connections.

Goal Setting and Life Direction

  • The importance of having clear goals to ensure life decisions are aligned with one's desired direction.
  • The acknowledgment that goals can change over time, but maintaining a consistent direction allows for compounding progress.
  • The concept that changing career paths too often can be detrimental to building on past experiences.

"So there's an old Indian saying that if you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there."

Alex uses this proverb to illustrate the importance of having a clear direction in life to avoid ending up in an undesirable place.

"The longer you can have the same goal, the more of your life you directionally align in one way, the more compounding works in your favor."

This quote highlights the benefits of maintaining consistent long-term goals, which can lead to greater cumulative success due to the power of compounding efforts.

Directional Decision-Making

  • Directional decision-making involves choosing what you want more rather than striving for perfection.
  • It's about moving towards what you want to do, like making money or building things, and refining your path as you go along.
  • Intelligent design in life paths is only apparent in retrospect.
  • Keep choosing between 'mores' to navigate towards your goals.
  • With each step taken, the next step becomes clearer, allowing for pivots towards the ultimate destination.

"You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to be right, you just have to know, like, well, I want to make money... you'll get to where you're trying to go rather than trying to pick the perfect spot because you don't have enough information to make the right call."

This quote emphasizes the importance of prioritizing direction over perfection when making decisions. It suggests that clarity comes with action and that perfection is not a prerequisite for progress.

Perception of Time and Judgment

  • People judge others based on how they choose to spend their time.
  • Judgments are subjective and reflect personal preferences rather than objective truths.
  • Emotional charges from statements about how one spends time stem from societal expectations.
  • Reflecting on whether a life choice will be regretted in old age is subjective and depends on personal values and context.

"People will judge you on how you spend their time, and their judgments are simply expressions that they would not spend their time the same way you do."

This quote highlights the subjectivity of judgments about time allocation, implying that such judgments are more about personal differences than objective assessments of right or wrong.

Life Choices and Regret

  • One's life choices, including career growth versus family time, should align with personal desires and values.
  • Regrets are only significant if they overshadow the entirety of one's life.
  • The speaker values doing "epic shit" and is at peace with the trade-offs made in pursuit of that goal.

"If you really want to get deep on it... if you only regret this moment compared to all of this, was it the wrong call?"

The quote challenges the idea of regret by questioning whether brief moments of regret can invalidate a lifetime of choices aligned with personal values.

Transactional Nature of Relationships

  • Relationships are transactional in that behaviors are either reinforced or punished.
  • The speaker is comfortable ending relationships that become more negative than positive.
  • Relationships are seasonal and not meant to last forever.
  • Honoring past connections without ongoing involvement is possible and healthy.

"I think that people don't like the idea that relationships are transactional, but they are... Would I regret cutting off relationships? Which punished me? No, not at all."

This quote acknowledges the transactional aspect of relationships and the speaker's comfort with ending relationships that no longer bring positivity, reinforcing the notion that it's okay for relationships to have a season.

Seasonal View of Relationships

  • Viewing relationships as seasonal allows for appreciation of the time spent together without the expectation of permanence.
  • Past romantic relationships can be looked back on with fondness, even if they have ended.
  • People's desires and life circumstances change, which can naturally lead to the end of a relationship or friendship.
  • It's acceptable to have many friends from different seasons of life.

"I like to think of things in seasons... And if things changed in their life, maybe they got married, they got have kids, and they don't want the same things anymore in terms of what they're willing to trade at their time for. Cool. Thank you for that season. It was awesome. Loved it."

This quote encapsulates the speaker's philosophy of appreciating relationships for what they were during a particular time in life, without the need for them to last indefinitely. It embraces change and the evolution of individual paths.

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