The Point of the Game is to Play (with Chris Williamson) Pt.2 Apr. ‘23 Ep 555



In this engaging conversation, Alex Hormozi discusses the nuances of achieving success and the importance of action over mere philosophical musings. He emphasizes the need for defining clear inputs and outputs to reach desired goals, and the use of one's available emotional fuel—be it passion or pain—to initiate action. Hormozi shares his personal journey, including his struggles with living up to his father's expectations and eventually breaking free to pursue his own entrepreneurial path. He also touches on the role of ego in hindering success, the transformative power of preparation, and the inevitable loneliness that accompanies rarefied levels of success. Additionally, Hormozi predicts the rise of AI in content creation, which could redefine social media engagement and authenticity. He concludes by mentioning his upcoming book, "$100M Offers," and his focus on investing in businesses through

Summary Notes

Reward Mechanism and Action

  • The human brain is wired to seek rewards, and we engage in activities that provide such rewards.
  • Understanding what actions to take is crucial for achieving desired outcomes.
  • Defining the inputs and outputs for a goal is necessary to understand what initial actions are required.
  • The challenge often lies in identifying why we are not taking action and addressing it.
  • Many people attribute a lack of action to not having passion or motivation.
  • Utilizing whatever emotional fuel one has, such as pain or dissatisfaction, can be a powerful motivator.
  • It's essential to use available resources or emotions to overcome inertia and start taking action.

"And if you're like, well, I don't like doing anything, it's like, well, then that's impossible because your brain is wired to be rewarded for things, and so you are doing things that reward you."

This quote emphasizes the fundamental psychological principle that people are driven by the desire to engage in rewarding activities, even if they believe they dislike doing anything.

"Whatever the input is, you have to define what the input is that's going to get you the output you want."

Speaker A discusses the importance of clearly defining the necessary actions (inputs) to achieve the desired results (outputs), which is a critical step in goal setting and execution.

Overcoming Inertia through Negative Emotions

  • Negative emotions such as pain, anger, and shame can be used as fuel to initiate action.
  • The speaker used his dissatisfaction with being an "entrepreneur" and living a life dictated by his father as motivation to change his life.
  • Pain and discomfort can be stronger motivators than pleasure in driving people to take action.
  • The concept of "future casting" negative scenarios can amplify current pain and motivate one to move towards change.
  • Identifying the pain points in one's life and using them as leverage to take the first step is a strategy to overcome inaction.

"I hated being an entrepreneur. I hated being a wannabe. I hated living the life that my dad wanted me to live."

Speaker A shares his personal experience of using negative emotions as a catalyst to leave a job and pursue entrepreneurship, highlighting the power of dissatisfaction as a motivator.

"I think pain moves people far more effectively than pleasure does."

This quote reflects on the idea that pain and the desire to avoid it can be a more compelling motivator than the pursuit of pleasure, which can be a key insight for those struggling to take action.

The Role of External Influences

  • External influences, such as authoritative figures or internalized voices, can hinder action by dissuading individuals from taking risks.
  • The speaker had to confront the influence of his father and the expectations placed upon him to pursue his own dreams.
  • Recognizing and overcoming external pressures is necessary to take control of one's life and actions.

"You don't need to persuade when you have compliance."

Speaker A points out that authoritative figures can exert control without persuasion, which can inhibit personal growth and the pursuit of individual goals.

Personal Growth and Redefining Success

  • The speaker's journey involved transitioning from seeking his father's approval to defining his own measures of success.
  • The realization that seeking external validation was an endless chase led to a reevaluation of personal goals and values.
  • Understanding that true success comes from playing one's own game, rather than someone else's, is a critical step in personal development.

"I realized that the approval that I sought was always going to be moved."

Speaker A reflects on the futility of seeking external approval and the importance of setting personal benchmarks for success, which signifies a shift in perspective towards self-validation.

Finite vs. Infinite Games

  • Differentiating between finite and infinite games is crucial for understanding how to approach life and success.
  • Finite games have clear rules and endpoints, while infinite games are ongoing and have undefined rules.
  • Misapplying finite game strategies to infinite games can lead to frustration and a sense of failure.
  • Life and personal fulfillment are more akin to infinite games, where the objective is to continue playing and evolving.

"What happens is that people apply finite rules to infinite games, and then they wonder why it's not working."

Speaker A explains the misalignment between the strategies used for finite games and the nature of infinite games, suggesting that a different approach is needed for life's ongoing challenges.

Infinite Game vs. Finite Game

  • The concept of infinite and finite games is highlighted, where the US played a finite game in the Vietnam War, aiming for victory, while the Vietnamese played an infinite game, aiming to survive and continue fighting.
  • Infinite games are described as more valuable, with the objective being to keep playing rather than to win a final victory.
  • Success is redefined as an infinite game where the goal is to continue engaging in successful actions.
  • The speaker expresses a personal belief that life after death is nonexistence, similar to the state before birth, which alleviates pressure regarding external outcomes.

"The Vietnam War isn't a simple example that Simonson gives, which is basically the US lost the Vietnam War because they were applying a finite structure, which is, we're going to win this war. And the Vietnamese people were playing an infinite game structure, which is, we're going to stay alive and keep fighting."

This quote explains the difference between finite and infinite games through the example of the Vietnam War. The US's finite approach contrasts with Vietnam's infinite strategy, leading to the US's defeat.

"And so the infinite frame always conquers the finite. And the thing is that most of the games worth playing are infinite."

The speaker argues that infinite games are superior and more prevalent among meaningful pursuits.

"And I would imagine success if you put all of those things together, it's an infinite game. And so the point of success is to do the things that make you successful."

Success is framed as an ongoing process, not a single achievement, aligning with the concept of an infinite game.

"But I don't think that what I will do will ultimately matter in 500 million years."

The speaker shares a personal worldview that diminishes the importance of long-term legacy, focusing instead on present actions and successes.

Traits of Highly Successful People

  • A study on highly successful people reveals three common traits: a superiority complex, massive insecurity, and impulse control.
  • These traits create a dynamic where individuals are driven by a strong desire to achieve, a fear of inadequacy, and the ability to stay focused on their goals.

"So the three most common traits of hyper successful people that they looked at...number one was that they had a superiority complex...The second is that they suffered from massive insecurity...And third, they had impulse control."

This quote summarizes the three traits found in highly successful individuals, highlighting a combination of self-belief, insecurity, and discipline.

"Now, the problem...isn't necessarily the most peaceful, blissful way to live your life."

The speaker acknowledges that while these traits may lead to external success, they do not necessarily contribute to internal peace or happiness.

The Paradox of Admiration and Success

  • There is a paradox where society admires successful people who often possess traits that are not inherently admirable or conducive to personal well-being.
  • The speaker questions how to reconcile the admiration of successful individuals with the understanding that their internal states may be troubled.

"And yet the three most common traits of these super successful people lead from a place which is almost objectively miserable, unadmirable."

This quote highlights the contradiction between the external success and the internal struggles of highly successful people.

Defining Personal Goals and Success

  • The conversation turns to what individuals are optimizing for in life, with the speaker suggesting that people should define their own measures of success based on their values and desires.
  • The speaker's closest friend, Dr. Kashi, is mentioned, who believes champions lack an "off button" and are driven by an insatiable need to continue.

"What problem are we solving? It's probably the number one most frequently asked question that I ask to our portfolio companies whenever we're about to do anything."

The speaker emphasizes the importance of identifying the core problem or goal that one aims to address in their endeavors.

"If the problem that we're solving is that I want to be don't need to do all these other things."

This quote suggests that personal contentment can be achieved without necessarily pursuing traditional markers of success.

Work-Life Balance and Personal Preferences

  • The speaker, Alex, is criticized for a lack of work-life balance but defends his choices by stating that he does not desire hobbies or activities outside of work.
  • Alex argues that since life is finite and individual actions are ultimately inconsequential in the long run, one should not be swayed by societal expectations.

"People are like, well, you don't have any hobbies, Alex. And you don't. Whatever, right? And I'm like, I don't fucking want any."

Alex expresses his disinterest in activities outside of his work, emphasizing his right to choose his own priorities.

"I fundamentally am like, you are going to die and you're not going to matter. And I'm going to die and I'm not going to matter."

This quote reflects Alex's perspective on the impermanence of life and the insignificance of external opinions.

Finding Personal Fulfillment

  • The discussion addresses how individuals can find what they truly want to optimize for in life, apart from societal pressures or external expectations.
  • Alex shares that he enjoys the process and rewards of operating a business, which aligns with his personal interests and goals.

"But to get to the person who's like, how do I find my thing? I'm a big fan of being directionally correct rather than absolutely correct."

Alex advises people to explore different paths to gain perspective and find their passion, rather than seeking a perfect answer from the outset.

"The micro rewards I get every day."

This quote reveals that Alex finds fulfillment in the daily accomplishments and progress within his business activities.

Running Towards Opportunities

  • The metaphor of a rat running away from a cat and towards cheese is used to illustrate the importance of moving towards opportunities.
  • Rapid iterations and trying different things are emphasized over trying to pick the "right" thing.
  • Speaker A discusses their own experience with choosing between different business ventures.
  • They highlight the lack of visibility into the future and the need to move away from negative situations to find something rewarding.

"And the thing is the rat, it's so simple. It's like, there's cheese here, but what you really just need to know is that there's cheese out there and there's a cat behind me for sure."

This quote explains the concept of moving towards opportunities and away from threats. It emphasizes the simplicity of the decision-making process when faced with clear incentives and dangers.

"I've lived my life through a series of rapid iterations, not trying to pick the right thing, because I just, like, even when I started my first business, I was between frozen yogurt test prep and a gym."

Speaker A uses their own life as an example of how they approached decision-making by exploring various options rather than trying to find the perfect one.

Reverse Role Model and Avoiding Negatives

  • The concept of a reverse role model is introduced, where one identifies traits or behaviors in others that they want to avoid.
  • Speaker B talks about using negative examples as way markers to guide one's own actions.
  • Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger's philosophy of achieving success by avoiding stupidity is mentioned.
  • Speaker A discusses decision-making fallacies and the importance of taking action rather than seeking perfection.

"So the reverse role model is if you live in a town or you grow up somewhere and there's no one around, you like the sort of person that you want to be like, but there are tons of people like the person you don't want to be like."

Speaker B explains the reverse role model concept, which involves learning from the negative examples set by others to shape one's own path.

"This is why investor frames can be so useful. Like, if you're looking for the perfect investment, you won't find one."

Speaker A connects the reverse role model concept to investment strategies, emphasizing the need to take action rather than waiting for perfect conditions.

The Role of Inflation in Motivation and Investment

  • The existence of inflation is discussed as a motivating force for investors and business people.
  • Speaker A suggests that inflation creates urgency to deploy capital rather than letting it sit and lose value.
  • The conversation touches on how different economic conditions might affect business decisions and investment behaviors.

"The one thing that's guaranteed is if you keep the money, it will go down in value because it'll inflate."

This quote by Speaker A highlights the certainty of inflation and its impact on the value of money if not invested.

"I think it would motivate investors, yes, but, I mean, the business people would just probably keep more coins in their vault and just keep transacting."

Speaker A speculates on how business people might behave differently in a world without inflation, possibly leading to less urgency in investment decisions.

Underestimating Opponents and Preparation

  • Speaker A discusses the dangers of underestimating competitors and the importance of preparation.
  • They emphasize that complacency and hubris can lead to failure, even for those at the top.
  • The conversation includes insights on how simple preparation can dramatically improve performance and the pitfalls of ego.

"You gain nothing from underestimating your opponent."

Speaker A points out the futility and risks associated with underestimating competitors, as it can lead to complacency and potential failure.

"People underestimate how much smarter you can seem if you have 20 minutes of preparation."

This quote by Speaker A underscores the significant advantage that comes with being prepared, even with a small amount of effort.

Content Creation and Originality

  • Speaker A discusses the value of originality in content creation and the pitfalls of copying others.
  • They emphasize the importance of documenting real experiences and insights to create unique content.
  • The conversation touches on the long-term sustainability of being a content creator and the need to find an original source of content.

"I always see it as like a first mover thing, which is like, they need me. I don't need them."

Speaker A expresses the advantage of being a first mover and the independence it grants in content creation, as opposed to those who rely on imitating others.

"The reason that the content that we have is quote original is because I document through Twitter the things that come up in my actual life."

This quote illustrates the practice of using personal experiences as the foundation for creating original content, which differentiates one's work from others.

Egos and Success

  • The discussion explores the relationship between ego and success, particularly in the context of wealth and visibility.
  • Speaker A argues that many successful people are humble and that visibility does not necessarily correlate with success.
  • They suggest that egotism can hinder growth and that facing more challenging situations is necessary to keep progressing.

"More people stay poor because of their egos than get rich off them."

Speaker A posits that ego is more often a barrier to wealth than a contributor to it, challenging the current valorization of egos online.

"There are far more people who are rich and anonymous than there are people who flaunt their Lamborghinis that they rented for a day."

This quote by Speaker A challenges the perception of success based on visible displays of wealth and suggests that true success is often not as visible.

Entry into Competitive Fields

  • Entering highly competitive fields can be daunting due to the established success of industry titans.
  • Even exceptional individuals may require decades to prove their competence.
  • Comparing oneself to industry leaders can be humbling and a reminder of one's current position.

Like, Warren Buffett made $90 billion on the trade he made in Apple in 2021 move. Right? And so I'm like, I am entering into a, like, how could I say that I'm good?

This quote underlines the speaker's realization of the vast gap between their current position and the achievements of industry giants like Warren Buffett, highlighting the challenge of proving oneself in a competitive field.

The Role of Ego in Limiting Vision

  • Ego can prevent individuals from acknowledging their weaknesses.
  • The Dunning-Kruger effect suggests that knowledge increases awareness of one's ignorance.
  • Comparing oneself to a narrow group can inflate ego, but broader comparisons can be humbling.

Because you cannot admit deficits and say you're awesome at the same time, in my opinion, I can't say, like, I suck at all these things and then also be like, I'm the, like, you can't do it either.

The speaker suggests that ego prevents an honest assessment of one's abilities, which is essential for growth and improvement.

Loneliness and Success

  • Success can lead to a form of loneliness due to the rarity of peers who can relate to one's experiences.
  • Relationships at higher levels of success may be fewer but potentially deeper.
  • The difference between loneliness and solitude is highlighted, with solitude potentially being positive.

Loneliness is a kind of tax you have to pay to atone for a certain complexity of mind.

This quote reflects on the idea that intellectual complexity can lead to loneliness, suggesting that success and the uniqueness of one's perspective can isolate individuals.

Transient Relationships in the Ascent to Success

  • Climbing the success ladder can lead to transient relationships due to changing contexts.
  • High achievers may experience a "free agency of friendship," with relationships evolving as they progress.
  • Acceptance of this dynamic is crucial; not everyone views it as a negative.

I think there's just more free agency of friendship that happens on your climb up because you're just moving between strata more frequently.

The speaker describes the fluid nature of relationships as one ascends in success, implying that the constant movement can lead to more transitional relationships.

Predictions for Social Media and AI

  • AI is predicted to significantly influence the future of social media.
  • Verification checkmarks may shift in meaning from status to authenticity (real person vs. bot).
  • AI-generated content is expected to surpass human creators in quality and speed.

I think AI is going to be the main driving force behind the future of social media, and I don't know how we're going to deal with it.

This quote predicts the central role of AI in shaping the future of social media, acknowledging the uncertainty of its implications.

Algorithmic Influence and Audience Capture

  • Social media algorithms create a feedback loop, influencing both content delivery and user preferences.
  • Extremity in views is easier to predict and therefore encouraged by algorithms.
  • Creators adapt content to audience preferences, which can lead to a loss of authenticity.

Everybody needs to understand that it's not just you programming the algorithm, it's the algorithm programming you.

The speaker emphasizes the bidirectional influence between users and algorithms, highlighting the impact this has on content and user behavior.

The Ethics of Technology Adoption

  • Humans typically embrace new technologies without considering long-term consequences.
  • Nuclear weapons are an example of a technology that humanity has chosen to limit.
  • Genetic sequencing has safeguards in place, but the widespread nature of AI may prevent similar controls.

Has there ever been a technology that humans have created that we were like, nah, we shouldn't do this.

The speaker questions the inevitability of technology adoption, citing nuclear weapons as an exception where moral consensus led to restraint.

Upcoming Projects and Business Ventures

  • The speaker is working on a new book, "100 Million Dollar Leads."
  • They spend significant time ensuring the quality of their creative work.
  • The speaker's business focuses on investing in companies and seeking growth partners.

$100 leads. 100 million dollar leads, which is the second book in the 100 million dollar series, is going to come out this year.

This quote announces the upcoming release of the speaker's new book, which is part of a series, and indicates the effort put into its creation.

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