Wisdom about life is sometimes not easy to hear. We call this type of wisdom uncomfortable truths.
While they may not be easy to hear, understanding these truths makes it easier to level up and achieve the level of success that you expect of yourself. To build wealth. To live well.
I retired from full-time work at 35, and here are 11 uncomfortable truths that help me build wealth, get healthy and live a happy and successful life.
11 Uncomfortable Truths I wish I knew at 20
1. It’s EASY to look good.
- Show up every day
- Act like you belong
- Speak confidently
These techniques open opportunities. People admire confidence. All you need to do is show up on time and care about your work. The bar is set very, very low these days.
2. Risk builds wealth.
- Real estate
- Stock market
- A new job
- Moving overseas
- Going back to school
To build wealth, put your money at risk. To build character, put yourself at risk. Smart risks make us stronger, smarter and healthier people.
3. The vast majority of millionaires are self-made.
If you think that most rich people simply inherited their wealth or “got lucky”, then you’d be wrong. Fidelity found that close to 90% of millionaires didn’t inherit their wealth.
They earned it. Assuming all millionaires are lucky or evil will make it tougher to build wealth. Every time.
Why? Because it’s a negative thought. Negativity will never help us get rich and retire on our terms.
4. Your office competition is weak.
Throughout my career, I noticed something that was remarkably consistent at every place I worked:
- 60% are dead weight; unpromotable
- 35% barely do their damn jobs
- 5% are high performers
If you smile, show up every day and do your job, you’re already well ahead of 95% of your peers. Try it.
5. Your potential doesn’t matter. The world only cares about what you’ve done.
- Show results
- Speak in actions
Accomplishments will make you successful, not your potential.
6. Most don’t understand money.
Your friends want to “get rich”, but for the wrong reason.
Most people want money to SPEND, not to build wealth.
And, here’s the moral of that story: Never make a big financial decision just because your friends are doing it. The Joneses are broke.
7: Most people are self-absorbed.
And, this is why we shouldn’t give a shit what they think about us. They aren’t thinking about you. Ever.
- That Rolex watch you wear
- The degree you have
The BMW you drive People aren’t discussing you at their dinner tables.
8. Providing for your family is more important than your BMW.
Cars don’t put food on the dinner table.
They don’t pay the mortgage on your home, either.
Your #1 job is to provide for your family, period. If the car is getting in the way, sell it.
9. We don’t value free things.
Everybody wants free shit, but we don’t value it as much. Without skin in the game, people will lose interest. Never give away:
- Your time
- Your eBook
- Your secrets When you do, they become worthless.
10. Your need to be “right” kills your future.
Your focus on being “right” all the time is making you closed-minded and ignorant. 99% of the time, it doesn’t make a difference whether you’re right. It matters whether the *majority* is wrong.
11. Happiness is a skill.
For 99% of us, we choose to be happy.
It becomes a part of who we are. We can’t always control what happens to us, but we can control our reactions.
Choose to be happy.