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5 Reasons Why It’s Better to Choose Your Passion Over Looking Cool

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Most of us wouldn’t mind being happier, and because of this, we do what we can to achieve this. We work harder, earn more money, and buy fancier possessions. We buy into the belief that this rat race will get us to the state we want. What happens if it doesn’t?

One flaw to this idea is the idea of status. I’ve met people who will do whatever it takes to look “cool” to others, even if it means sacrificing their passion, happiness, or potential. I’ve caught myself doing the same thing. It’s a common problem, yet we need to fix it.

Here are 5 reasons why it’s better to choose yourself over being cool:

1. You Sacrifice Long-Term Enjoyment for Short-Term Pleasure

Would you rather have a lifestyle that everyone thinks is cool but you hate or a lifestyle you love but everyone else thinks is just okay? Screw what other people think. You have the power to live the life of your dreams, and if this life isn’t what other people want, it doesn’t matter.

Unfortunately, many people die settling for the first choice. They would rather take a job that looks glamorous from the outside but is hell on the inside. While others admire how much money some of these professions make, they’re dying every day on the inside because they’re working 90 hours a week and don’t even have time to spend their money.

2. You Live Up To What Sets You On Fire

I was listening to a podcast who featured, Charlie Hoehn, a well-known author in the career development industry. He mentioned how he has a friend who is rich but works as a Walmart greeter for fun because he enjoys talking to people.

Most of the world would look down on that job title because it’s low status, yet this guy doesn’t care. Because he doesn’t care, he’s doing what he enjoys doing most — he’s not letting his fear of judgment hold him back from living the life he’s most excited about.

“Follow your own passion, not your parents’, not your teachers…yours.” – Robert Ballard

3. You Only Attract People That Are Good For you

Imagine what would happen if you pretended to be some rock star or high-status personality you are not. Even if you actually had that lifestyle and appearance, you’d attract people who have the wrong values and interests. Your relationships would be shallow, and they wouldn’t last because you wouldn’t relate.

People fall into this trap because they have a scarcity mentality. They don’t think the world is abundant enough to give people what they want. They don’t think they are good enough. Therefore, they try to change themselves and their interests to what they think will attract who they want.

Ultimately, no healthy person wants that in the long run. If you’re into books, hiking, and anime, why would you want to spend your time with someone who likes drugs and partying all the time?

4. You Become Cool By Doing It Your Way

I get it, if you live in a small town, it’s going to be close to impossible to convince anyone that you’re weird yo-yo hobby is cool. But when you grow up and move to bigger and better places, there are a lot more people and chances to meet someone with similar interests.

Rather than hide what you think is embarrassing or what you think your weaknesses are, embrace them. Stop believing you always have to be someone you are not in order to be loved or appreciated.

I recently went to an old-fashioned Swing dance class. The music they played and the dance moves they taught were old school American. It’s something your grandparents might play on the record. Yet there were over fifty young people my age there who loved it.

I thought the whole thing was a bit lame, and they would’ve been laughed out of my old high school but I couldn’t convince anyone there otherwise. That’s because, in their group, everyone else thought it was super cool and that’s all that mattered. I was in the minority.

On the same theme, by setting boundaries and not over compromising, you don’t become a chameleon by pretending that you’re interested in other people’s interests just to get them to like you.

5. You Live A Healthier, More Pleasurable Life

There are billions of people out there. The more you meet, the more you realize how different each person’s interests can be, thus it’s important to embrace what you like doing and who you are.

Yes, you’ll be whacky. Yes, you’ll find people who make fun of you. No, that doesn’t mean you never change anything about you. However, it does mean being okay with what your unique goals and visions are — not someone else’s.

Too many of us waste our lives living up to our parent’s, friend’s, or society’s expectations, only to hate our lives and feel like we’re dying a little every day. Wouldn’t you rather live a life you love even if it wasn’t “cool” by society’s standards? If you’re living your dream life and making six figures a year shining shoes, who cares if others think it’s low status? You’re making more than them and you live for it.

“Love the life you live. Live the life you love.” – Bob Marley

Life is sometimes a balancing act. In this case, you don’t want to be so rigid in your interests that you never try something new or are unable to keep a conversation going. You also don’t want to lie too much by pretending you’re interested in things that bore you.

Similarly, you want to find a healthy balance between something that pays the bills and excites you. Life doesn’t always have to be a compromise. Eventually, you may even find something that is also cool to the people who matter to you.

Let us know in the comments what you think is cool that others may not.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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The 3 Types of Confidence You Need to Know and Understand

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We’ve all heard it before, confidence is everything. Those that seem to have it, have it all. They, themselves, are not necessarily perfect human beings, but they seemingly have the charisma to attract whatever they want in life. (more…)

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3 Simple Tips to Strengthen Your Emotional Intelligence for Better Relationships

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Relationships are challenging. They make you examine yourself from all angles, and that can be triggering. For example, have you ever had a friend or significant other say something that sparked an argument instantly—only to find out you misheard what they said in the first place? (more…)

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If You Want to Avoid Failure Once and for All, Ask Yourself These 4 Questions

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You just invested in yourself and in your business. You are taking massive action but the results are just not clicking yet. While everyone is making 10X, 20X, and even 100X ROI on their initial investment, you have made $0 return. Failure is starting to overcast your bright shining positive attitude and you are feeling the pain and shame of it. (more…)

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3 Simple Hacks That Can Recharge Your Willpower and Help You Perform Better at Work

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How many times did you wake up feeling like you could conquer the world? You set ambitious goals for the day, you put on your best attire and walked out the door with a big smile on your face but eventually, life took over. Traffic, emails, work, family, and everything else you have around slowly but steadily started to drain your energy and made you feel exhausted.

You run out of battery, and the only solution that seemed viable was to rely on more caffeine. When that stopped working, all the temptations around you started to look much more appealing, and that sense of drive and commitment you had before slowly faded away. This is you running out of willpower.

Willpower: what is it? Why is it limited?

The American Psychology Association describes willpower as “the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals.” In the book “The Willpower Instinct”, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, explains how every person’s willpower is limited, and slowly depletes throughout the day. The more “willpower challenges” you face, the quicker your reserve drains. Dr. McGonigal divided the different types of willpower challenges you might encounter in three categories:

  • I will: We face this type of challenge whenever we should do something, but we simply don’t feel like getting it done right now.
  • I won’t: We face this challenge when we try to resist temptation, or we try to keep cool in stressful situations.
  • I want: This is a particular type of challenge where we keep track of our long term goals, dreams, and desires. In this instance, we feel like we should take action right now to come one step closer to the goal. 

It’s easy to recognize it when you face a willpower challenge because you literally “feel it in your body.” Imagine being really hungry and walking in front of a bakery. The sight and the smell of pastries quickly triggers an “I won’t” type of challenge, and it takes a severe amount of effort and energy to walk away.

Every time you manage to win one of those challenges, a little bit of your willpower reserve gets used. The more challenges you face daily, the harder it will be to stay true to your goals.

Can you train or recharge your willpower?

A growing body of research suggests that willpower should be considered a muscle. To strengthen it, you should exercise it regularly, but you should not overwork it. Therefore, we shouldn’t try to “be good” at all times. Instead, we should learn how to relax and recharge our willpower.

The general advice on how to improve willpower involves sleep, proper nutrition, and regular exercise. This broad and general recommendation is often not downright applicable by most, because it consists of changing various daily habits. Luckily, three very effective hacks have been discovered, that have an immediate effect on our willpower and take just a few minutes to apply.

Here are the 3 ways to refill your willpower reserves:

1. Focused breathing

Breathing, when done correctly, can stimulate the release of calming hormones while reducing the release of stress hormones like cortisol and catecholamines. To make this effective, you should deeply and slowly inhale through the nose for at least five seconds. Fill your belly with air first, then your chest, and when there’s no more space for air, still try to do tiny inhalations through the nose.

You should feel a pulling sensation around your neck and trapezius muscles. Once your lungs are full, try to hold the breath for five seconds, then slowly exhale through the mouth for at least five seconds. If you repeat this process ten to twenty times, you should feel dramatically more relaxed. Use this method several times a day, especially when you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety.

2. Reward yourself when you accomplish a micro goal

According to a recent study, frequent instant rewards can boost motivation, and therefore, willpower. Creating your own reward system can help you to accomplish your to-do list, and also resist temptations. Since every individual has different tastes, you should come up with creative ideas about the small and frequent rewards you will give yourself upon winning any willpower challenge.

You can see this hack in practice in Apps like the popular Duolinguo, where after completing each lesson you get presented with a chance to open a treasure chest. This rewarding system seems to keep the users much more likely to keep learning new lessons.

3. Taking cold showers

Your body has an autonomic response to cold water. Getting into a cold shower is a difficult (but minor) willpower challenge on its own. As I previously mentioned, winning a willpower challenge strengthens your willpower muscle. Having a morning cold shower, on top of having multiple health benefits, will set you up for a positive winning streak of further challenges.

High performance is the sum of many small habits. Successful people don’t have an unlimited reserve of willpower, but they do have a set of daily rituals that made them succeed. These three hacks are some of the most effective techniques to develop willpower, but some of them may not fit every individual. You should try to find the perfect mix of daily practices that best fits your lifestyle and likes, so that you can strengthen your willpower muscle and perform better at work.

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