Why I Don’t Go Home for the Holidays Ep 648



Alex Hermosi, in his podcast, discusses the personal growth challenges associated with returning home for the holidays, particularly when one's environment does not align with the person they aspire to be. He emphasizes the importance of maintaining boundaries and not succumbing to negative behaviors or relationships from one's past. Alex shares his own decision to avoid holiday visits to prevent reverting to old patterns, underscoring that it's acceptable to prioritize one's development over social expectations. He encourages listeners to be assertive in teaching others how to treat them and to curate an environment conducive to their goals, even if it means being the exception and facing loneliness or criticism on the path to success.

Summary Notes

Personal Growth and Environment

  • The speaker, Alex, emphasizes the importance of maintaining the integrity of personal growth by avoiding environments that encourage old, negative habits.
  • Alex believes that being surrounded by people and places from the past can dilute one's character and set back personal development.
  • He suggests that spending time in such environments necessitates a period of readjustment to shed the reacquired bad habits.

"If you're spending all this time working on the person and the character that you're trying to build, and then you just dilute it with crap around you, it's very tough to get back to that, which is why you feel like you have to take one or two weeks to shed the bad behaviors and the bad habits that you picked right back up when you went back home."

This quote illustrates the challenge of maintaining personal growth when returning to an environment that does not align with the individual's current path or goals. It highlights the potential setback that can occur from reengaging with negative influences from one's past.

Business as a Game

  • Alex views business as a game and shares his journey of building acquisition.com into a billion-dollar portfolio.
  • He expresses his hope that listeners will apply the lessons shared to grow their businesses and potentially partner with his company.

"The wealthiest people in the world see business as a game. This podcast, the game, is my attempt at documenting the lessons I've learned on my way to building acquisition.com into a billion dollar portfolio."

The quote conveys Alex's perception of business as a strategic and competitive pursuit, likening it to a game. It also serves as an introduction to the purpose of the podcast, which is to share valuable business lessons with the audience.

Choosing Not to Go Home for the Holidays

  • Alex doesn't go home for the holidays to avoid reverting to his old self.
  • He acknowledges that returning home can be detrimental to personal growth, as it often involves interacting with people who have outdated perceptions of who he is.
  • Alex's decision is based on his desire to change and not be influenced by past environments or relationships.

"I don't go home for the holidays, and that surprises a lot of people. And I don't do it because I don't like what going back home does for me."

This quote explains Alex's personal choice to avoid returning home during the holidays, highlighting his commitment to his self-improvement journey and the importance he places on staying true to his current self.

Fear of Judgment and Peer Pressure

  • Alex addresses the fear of judgment from others when choosing not to participate in social activities, especially when visiting one's hometown.
  • He emphasizes the importance of staying true to oneself and not succumbing to peer pressure or the expectations of others.

"If I'm talking to young Mozi, the biggest fear that I had was what people would think about me if I didn't go out with them when I was back home."

The quote reflects Alex's past concerns about being judged for not engaging in social activities with old friends or acquaintances. It highlights the internal struggle with peer pressure that many individuals face when trying to maintain their personal growth and independence.

Setting Boundaries and Retraining Relationships

  • Alex has become increasingly intolerant of being treated in ways he finds unacceptable.
  • He discusses the importance of reframing and reteaching others how to treat you, which can be uncomfortable but is necessary for personal growth.
  • Alex stresses that one has control over their response to others' behavior and that setting boundaries is crucial.

"I have become increasingly intolerant of people treating me in a way that I don't accept."

This quote captures Alex's firm stance on not tolerating disrespectful or undesirable treatment from others. It underscores his commitment to self-respect and the necessity of setting clear boundaries in relationships.

Responding to Disrespect

  • Alex provides an example of how he would respond to being spoken to disrespectfully, emphasizing the importance of communication and respect in interactions.
  • He explains that by asserting how one wishes to be addressed, a person can teach others to treat them with respect.

"If you think it's uncomfortable for you, it's even more uncomfortable for them."

The quote implies that while it may be uncomfortable to confront someone about their disrespectful behavior, it is often more uncomfortable for the person being corrected. The discomfort serves as a catalyst for change in how they interact with you in the future.

Misconceptions of Personality

  • Alex mentions that when he returns home, he is confronted with misconceptions about his personality, such as having a short temper.
  • He points out that people who currently know him would not describe him in that way, indicating that he has grown beyond the traits others associate with his past self.

"It's like, ah, you have such a short temper. Right? I'll get that one when I go back home. Anybody who knows me now probably would not describe me that way."

This quote illustrates the dissonance between how others perceive Alex based on his past behavior and who he has become. It highlights the difficulty in changing others' long-held perceptions, even when one has personally evolved.

Asserting a New Identity

  • Asserting a new identity involves not just working on it but also behaving in a way that aligns with the desired identity.
  • It's important to reject the old frame others impose and respond as the person you aim to be.
  • This approach can be challenging for others to accept as it highlights their own inability to change.

"If you want to be a different person, then you need to behave a different way, which means that if you want to step into that identity of the person who doesn't struggle with drinking or doesn't struggle with their temper, then imagine what that person would say in response."

This quote emphasizes the necessity of acting in accordance with the new identity one wishes to adopt, rather than conforming to the old perceptions others may have.

Family Dynamics and Personal Growth

  • Family and friends can either support or hinder personal growth and behavior changes.
  • The environment one returns to should facilitate the desired behaviors and goals.
  • A supportive family will clear the way and provide attention, while a detracting environment will make it harder to maintain new behaviors.

"To figure out whether your family and the people that you're going home to are conducive to your goals. What behaviors do I need to do to achieve the goals I want? And do these people support those behaviors, or do they detract from those behaviors?"

This quote addresses the importance of evaluating whether one's social environment, particularly family, is supportive or obstructive to their personal development and goal achievement.

The Paradox of Change

  • When individuals change, it can be difficult for others to accept, often because it reminds them of their own shortcomings.
  • The paradox is that if the people from one's past had also grown and changed, they would likely no longer be in the same place.
  • It is acceptable to choose not to return to an environment that is not conducive to one's growth, even if it means missing family holidays.

"It's very tough for people to see people change, because oftentimes when we change in our world grow, we remind them of the changes they've been incapable of making."

This quote reflects on the challenge others face when someone close to them changes, as it can inadvertently highlight their own failures or lack of growth.

The Trade-off of Returning Home

  • Returning home involves weighing the positive aspects against the negative ones.
  • One must consider if the positives of going home outweigh the negatives and whether it's worth the trade-off.
  • It's crucial to remember the reasons for leaving and how they align with personal growth goals.

"When you go home, there are positives. There are some things that are positive. There are also things that are negative. They exist separately."

This quote acknowledges that returning home has both positive and negative aspects, and they should be considered separately when deciding whether to return.

The Dynamics of Reward and Punishment

  • Reward remains potent over time, while the impact of punishment diminishes, which can affect decision-making.
  • This dynamic can lead to repeating undesirable behaviors because the negative consequences are forgotten more quickly than the rewards.
  • Actively reminding oneself of the negative reasons for leaving can help maintain focus on personal growth.

"Because reward does not decrease over time, but your reminder of punishment does. So let me give you a tactical example of this."

This quote explains the psychological principle that the positive memories (rewards) of a situation tend to last, while the negative memories (punishments) fade, influencing our decisions to revisit past environments or relationships.

Maintaining Personal Rhythms and Productivity

  • Emphasize the importance of staying consistent with personal routines and productivity streaks.
  • Recognize the potential negative impact of breaking these routines for holiday gatherings.
  • Suggest that the trade-off of indulging in holiday activities may not be worth disrupting a productive rhythm.

"You've got this little work grind that's going. You've had a good streak. You're like, being productive. You're making progress. Don't break it."

This quote highlights the significance of maintaining a consistent work routine and the progress that comes with it, suggesting that one should not disrupt this positive trend for holiday events.

Dealing with Family Expectations and Social Pressure

  • Discusses the fear of judgment as a motivation for attending family gatherings.
  • Suggests that the negative aspects of family events, such as unwanted conversations, do not contribute to personal growth.
  • Encourages listeners to weigh the benefits against the potential downsides of attending such events.

"The only reason you go back is because you're afraid of what people will say."

This quote addresses the social pressure to conform to family expectations, implying that fear of judgment is often the driving force behind attending family gatherings despite personal reservations.

The Impact of Absence on Family Dynamics

  • Imagines scenarios where one's absence from a family event is either unnoticed or leads to negative conversations.
  • Argues that the individual's absence has no negative impact on themselves if the family reacts poorly.
  • Highlights the inevitability of both positive and negative memories in life.

"Imagine play it out. You've got the whole family there and not you. Version a, they just forget that you're not there, and they keep living their lives."

This quote suggests that an individual's absence from a family event may go unnoticed, and life continues regardless, indicating that the fear of not attending may be unfounded.

Personal Growth and Social Nonconformity

  • Reflects on personal experiences of anxiety and dread associated with holiday traditions.
  • Shares the realization that there is no obligation to participate in unwelcome family events.
  • Connects the decision to avoid certain social situations with the pursuit of an exceptional life.

"If you want to be exceptional, and I will say this again, then it means you will be an exception."

This quote implies that choosing a path different from the majority, such as not attending family gatherings, is a step towards leading an exceptional life, and may involve standing out from the norm.

Managing Relationships with Family Members

  • Advises selectively engaging with loved ones at family events while avoiding those who cause discomfort.
  • Encourages direct and honest communication about one's feelings and boundaries.
  • Suggests practical strategies for managing interactions with difficult family members.

"This is the absolute litmus test for navigating these controversial conversations elegantly, is that you simply tell the truth."

This quote underscores the importance of honesty in dealing with family dynamics, especially during sensitive conversations, suggesting that truthfulness is the key to handling such situations with grace.

Handling Social Obligations and Expectations

  • Discusses the perceived social obligations surrounding holidays and family gatherings.
  • Offers alternatives to participating in traditional holiday activities, such as sending money for presents.
  • Stresses the importance of being truthful with oneself and others about one's willingness to engage in holiday customs.

"You state the facts, I don't want to come, I'm doing really well, or hey, I will come on the condition that I'm not going talk to so and so."

This quote provides examples of how to assert one's preferences and conditions regarding family gatherings, emphasizing the need for clear and factual communication about personal choices.

Personal Time and Rest

  • Rest is productive and can lead to increased productivity post-holidays.
  • It's important to set boundaries to avoid feeling entitled to your time.
  • Taking time for oneself during the holidays is necessary to prevent the need for recovery afterward.

"If you rest well during the holiday days and you're more productive after the holidays, that's a good thing."

This quote emphasizes the value of rest and its positive impact on productivity, highlighting the need for personal time during the holidays.

"I would rather not have a week or two of bad lack of rest where everyone feels that they're entitled to my time, entitled to my energy."

Here, Alex speaks to the importance of guarding one's time and energy from others' entitlement, suggesting that rest is crucial to avoid a prolonged recovery period post-vacation.

Curating Environment and Standards

  • Wealthy individuals often have controlled and pristine environments.
  • High standards for personal space and company are common among successful people like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Steve Jobs.
  • As one grows and improves, their standards and expectations for those around them should also rise.
  • Surrounding oneself with negativity can hinder personal growth and development.

"They don't allow people who are detracting from the people they want to be in, the behaviors they want to do in."

The quote illustrates the practice of successful individuals to maintain environments that support their goals and exclude negative influences.

"Your standards rise as you grow, as you become better, so, too, do your expectations, or rather, should your expectations become of others that you surround yourself with."

Alex discusses the natural progression of increasing one's standards for themselves and others as they evolve and improve over time.

Setting Boundaries and Teaching Others

  • It is our responsibility to set the rules for how others treat us.
  • We must reinforce and teach others how to interact with us.
  • If people do not respect our boundaries, it is acceptable to disengage from them.

"We create the rules of engagement for other people to interact with us."

This quote highlights the idea that individuals have the power to define how they are treated by others.

"If they do not adhere to the agreements that you have set, then you don't need to play anymore, and their loss is your company."

Alex conveys the concept that if people fail to respect our boundaries, we have the right to remove them from our lives.

Being Unaffected by Others' Opinions

  • Having difficult conversations allows us to live life on our own terms.
  • It is important to remain unaffected by others' negative reactions, like a "rock."
  • Adhering to personal goals can often lead to feeling isolated or misunderstood by others.

"Having these hard conversations gives us the space to be the people that we want to be on the terms that we set."

Alex emphasizes the importance of tough discussions in shaping our lives according to our own standards and desires.

"Just be the rock be like, I understand, got it. Not going to change my behavior, but I understand."

The metaphor of being like a rock suggests that one should remain steadfast and unmoved by others' negative responses to our boundaries.

The Journey to Achieving Goals

  • The path to achieving significant goals can be lonely and challenging.
  • Criticism from others is common when pursuing a path different from the norm.
  • As one achieves their goals, confidence grows and tolerance for negativity decreases.

"And you'll feel more and more confident to the point where in the future you just have no issue with that. You'll have zero tolerance."

Alex describes the process of gaining confidence through achieving goals, leading to a decreased tolerance for negative influences.

"I am significantly less tolerant than I was in my first video four or five years ago."

This quote reflects personal growth over time, indicating a decrease in tolerance for behaviors that do not align with one's goals.

Advice for the Holidays

  • The message is particularly aimed at those who are not excited about holiday family time.
  • Alex encourages those who feel this way to make choices that are right for them.
  • For those with supportive families, they should enjoy their time with them.

"But this is just for the people who aren't stoked about going back for the holidays and are not sure what to do."

Alex acknowledges that his advice is specifically for those who do not look forward to traditional holiday gatherings and may need encouragement to make their own choices.

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