Feel free to ignore this post at your own risk. We won’t argue with you. You’ll see why in the post. If you’ve lived long enough to see hundreds of irrational and illogical decisions made by people, you’ll build a new framework for how they tick. If you want the summary, everything you learned about economics can be tossed if the phrase starts with “assuming humans are rational…”. They are not. So we’ll jump straight into some long-term expectations as it relates to people.
Do They Dislike You? If someone dislikes you, they won’t believe you regardless of factual evidence. Even in extreme situations where it is blatant. If you’re able to successfully dunk a basketball and you are 6 feet tall while the other person is also 6 feet tall, he’ll think you cheated somehow. Or that if he trained harder he could be just like you. No we are not kidding. Also. If you played XYZ sport at a high intensity college, where it can easily be looked up online, they will rationalize and say “it’s probably his twin brother”. No, again, we are not kidding.
If someone really doesn’t like you, they will go to great lengths to try and believe you are not good at anything. Even if the facts can easily be found, they will claim that you’re a liar. This is just how it is. In public settings they may tone it down a bit and try to claim they are better than you at something “more important”. If you understand this concept, you’ll easily flush out who dislikes you and likes you based on what they say about your verifiable accomplishments (to your face or behind your back).
You’re Always the “Dumb One”: This one is extremely intense if you go up the income/net worth ladder. While the vast majority of rich people are first generation millionaires (something around 80%), there are still some people who got rich by luck or inheritance. Again. Vast majority are *not* like this. That said they do exist.
So if you ever meet someone who went to a top school like Harvard, people will assume they are smart. They might be dumb because they simply went to the best private schools their whole life and mom/dad made a generous donation. So on and so forth.
The important concept here is that you’re always the dumb one. So if you ever try to explain something you better be *sure* that even an idiot can get it. If an idiot cannot understand it then you shouldn’t talk about the topic. Why? When you try to explain it in basic terms and they don’t understand, they will assume that you’re the stupid one. We are not kidding. So you better be *sure* that you’re explaining things in obvious/simple terms. (Hint: now you know why our writing is non-nonsense straight to the point, it reduces confusion for everyone – smart or not smart).
Arguments Are a Waste: If you end up getting into a heated argument with someone, that relationship is officially over. Just give up on it. While there are rare exceptions to the rule, you’re never going to change someone’s opinion on highly emotional topics for example. So you’re better off just deleting their contact information. Have you ever gotten into an argument with someone and they say “yeah you’re totally right, i am totally wrong”. Neither have we.
The other problem with arguments is that other people may be watching. And. To them you just look like two idiots yelling at each other. So you’ve not only wasted your time with someone who thinks they are right but you’ve also diluted your own worth in front of anyone who saw the interaction. There is a zero percent shot that you’ll remove all argument from your life, but, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
Lack of Self Awareness: This is another human condition that is common amongst 99% of people. This is NOT common among the 1%. The 1% are the 1% because they do have self awareness despite the average person thinking they have big egos. Big ego people are unable to see what they are good at, what they are not as good at *relative scale* and what they need to improve upon.
Take sports for example, if you can jump 40 inches in the air and your one mile time is a horrific 5:00 in high school, you probably shouldn’t be a long distance runner and you probably shouldn’t waste your time trying to play soccer. Instead you should probably play volley ball, basketball or compete in the high jump/long-jump. So on and so forth. We’re not saying you *can’t* get better at running a mile, we’re saying that you’re a fool for spending your time there. Just because you can get better at something doesn’t mean it should be a focus point. This is an extremely common mistake. Just because you like something doesn’t mean you’re good at it (no matter what mom and dad say).
If Successful You Will Lose Friends: “You changed man”… “Of course, I didn’t work this hard to be the same”. This is another reality of humans. While your close friends will actually be happy to see you succeed the vast majority will not be happy about it. Think about the average person, does he enjoy seeing someone the same age as him vastly surpass him in terms of life success? No. Why? See point #2 where they always think you’re the dumb one and they are better than you despite all of the verifiable data points.
You shouldn’t let this deter you. As you become more successful, you find out who your real friends are. You’ll be surprised at which ones stick around and which ones drop off entirely. Some of your contacts end up being around for 10, 20 or 30 years and you would have never guessed that they would still be around.
Rationalization: While many internet intellectuals will argue that women rationalize more than men. Our experience suggests that both of them rationalize. We are not kidding. For example, if a guy shorts a stock like Tesla and it goes from $40 to ~$1,800 today, he will seriously believe he was right “but the timing is off”. Well if you lose everything there is no way you were right because you have no time to recoup the money.
This happens a lot. Look at CEOs who claim they made the right decisions despite running their companies into the ground. Or guys who leave from Company A to Company B only to see Company A thrive and Company B go bankrupt “It was the right risk reward decision” is a common saying. The real answer, the mature one, is to simply say “got this one wrong”. At least have some self reflection.
Ignore What People Say: While you can *remember* what people say, try to focus on the tangible part of “what they do”. If someone says they want to improve at something but don’t show any results and don’t show any resolve to go out of their way to fix the issue… It means they don’t actually want to get better. They can continue to tell you “I want/am going to get better at XYZ” but what they are really saying is they “wish they could get better without any effort”. For those that have been involved with affiliate marketing, you know why diet pills are so attractive. A quick fix with no real effort beyond popping a couple of pills. This is only accelerating in our society where everyone wants to know exactly what is going on in just 2-3 sentences and they get upset if you can’t explain it to them in fractions of seconds. Focus on actions not words.
Incentives Rule: Unless you are related (family member) or perhaps a friend for 10-30+ years… Assume that you have to align incentives. If you put two people in a room who are “friends” but then incentivize them to compete and fight one another, they will fight eventually. This isn’t a bad part of the human condition, it is actually quite natural. Assuming that people are going to do the “right thing” all of the time when you’re constantly tempting them to do the wrong thing is going to net a lot of bad results/outcomes. For your regular life and your work life, try to align incentives so everyone wins. This is not easy but the headache will be worth it. Friendly reminder: your co-workers are never your friends. Don’t be a fool.
Set and Forget: One final one we’d leave with is your average person is entitled. If you’ve run a product business you know that even if you tell the customer something is delayed they will ask that you give it to them for free (seriously). This isn’t something you should do unless there was an issue with the product of course. Instead recognize that everyone expects a free hand out. On your side, never expect more from someone. If you sell something for $8 and it generates $800 for them, don’t expect them to come back and give you a $20 tip. Hell. People don’t even tip properly at high-end restaurants since they view the servers as “lower than them”.
Newer Readers: For those that are unfamiliar with our blog we have three high quality products in order: 1) Efficiency, 2) Triangle Investing and 3) Spending for Maximum Return. In order, you learn how to make a good amount of money (a million liquid within 10 years or so), how to correctly invest it and finally how we’d avoid blowing it all with intelligent spending and PED use to improve quality of life. We hold Q&As 1x a month for purchasers only.