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Day 42: Why is everyone not doing it?

This is a painful dilemma I have been ruminating for the past year.

In January, when I started radically changing my life, Jeremiah was reading Tim Ferris's "4-Hour Workweek". I thought it's too much of a luxury for me to get that paperback.

Finally I brought myself to buy it with my "free uni money".

The effect on my life and thinking was tremendous.

It made me even more confused about my dilemma though.

If any Vanderbilt student can 100% get their hands on a Tim Ferris book or some other ones to drastically improve their life, why are they not?

More examples.

More pain of not understanding.

Crowdfunding is a thing. A real thing. A growing thing. A thing with proof of effectiveness.

Why is everyone not pursuing their passion projects? Okay, maybe not all projects are shareable and appealing to some sense of good but why do all artists and writers and scientists and what-not not already pursuing their dreams?

When there are proven ways to make money and live freely, why is everyone not doing it?

Ecommerce is a thing. Multiple YouTube channels explaining the whole damn thing very clearly and very much "for free".

I was actually in mental pain from not being able to understand this.

Now the obvious answers seem clear.

  • not everyone has access to certain mindsets

  • not everyone is capable of adopting a mindset even when exposed to it (like it clashes or doesn't coincide with their life values and the screen that they have towards life)

  • not everyone possesses skills and training to pursue a certain mindset/idea into fruition.

I really wanted to think about this more.

Why is it really that not everyone is living a beautiful life, with ample diversified sources of income, personal happiness, and rich mindsets, fulfilled and giving back to others?

So if you are English speaking and with a decent internet connection, there should not be any excuse for not having money or not knowing how to do something.

We all have all it potentially takes to become anyone.

Took a lot of thinking.

Essentially why do we not know what to do and even if we know, choose not to?

The internet has everything. If you are creative and smart, almost anything for small prices or no cost at all.

Let's see a peculiar example.

A successful, or so he presented himself, eCommerce entrepreneur K came to Vanderbilt to give a talk. Super cool! That's exactly what I needed at the time. I share my plan to pursue ecom with a grad student R.

He says:

"Be careful. It cannot be as easy as it seems. There must be something K is not telling you."

Okay, maybe, K is not giving out all of his nuggets at a free Vandy talk. It doesn't disqualify eCommerce though.

R continues:

"If it was that easy, everyone would be already rich."

Ah, R is thinking the same darn thing!!!!!!!

I think I started figuring it out.

The challenge of education in the modern age is not access to information but the art of internalization.

[internalize= to incorporate (the cultural values, mores, motives, etc., of another or of a group), as through learning, socialization, or identification.]

Art of internalization is my term (or so I think). It is actually an art. More on this in later posts.

Access to information remains to be a problem in developing and underdeveloped parts of the world. Uzbek middle-schoolers don't get to play around with school computers as much as Americans. When watching a youtube video costs you half of your lunch (buying data because there is no school WiFi), your resources are pretty limited. Let's talk about developed countries with ample access to resources.

It is not getting access to the resources that matters but actually internalizing them, which includes a whole set of different skills.

Hunting after the information is a mindset inherited by us from past generations!

My parents had to wait in lines during the Soviet Union to get a book. They wrote their papers by hand. (mmm what did editing look like I am wondering). This example might be a bit of an outlier for other countries but it helps understand this concept a lot.

Now, what's the whole hype about?

Well, technological changes take place but the changes in our brains, mindsets, all that good stuff we inherit from our families and surroundings take way longer to change.

That's why this is a huge realization!

This can profoundly rule the way we approach learning nowadays.

Rewiring the old pathway of collecting information into selecting and intaking the information is going to be hard.

Let's back up.

Evolutionarily, we are wired to be pessimists, as it increases the chances of survival. An optimist who says "It's okay, it was just the wind that made the bush move" gets eaten by a tiger. Same way, we are wired to seek fatty and sugary foods because historically those were the most filling. Now, the times have changed but our biology hasn't. Being pessimistic doesn't affect your survival rate while attempting optimism can increase life quality potentially. There are so many choices of sugary and fatty food, that we consciously have to overcome our natural impulse.

You do not need to be collecting information anymore. Fighting for it, fighting off others who want to get it.

We want to struggle a little for the stuff that we get to really value it. So let's redirect the struggle to internalizing.

This is why consciously redirecting focus from accumulation to internalization of certain information will take intentionality.

Another nuance is watching someone do it vs. doing it

Watching eCommerce gurus give out their secrets gives me some leverage but not nearly as much as collecting strategies from multiple of them, mixing it with data, my own observations, and eventually doing it myself.

Something I read today in this philosophy book talked about how we cannot communicate our experiences. Like you have to live it to actually get it.

So even the best resources are only able to tell you that much.

The rest you sort of have to live yourself. Fight yourself. Overcome yourself.

Good internalization skills, a clear judgment will help get to that point faster. Depending on discipline, internalization will vary in terms of how much you can learn.

Jeremiah says that "in order to play baseball, you just go practice the shot". With Facebook ads, for example, a good intake on how people do it saves a lot of time. So the timing of this will vary. But there is always a point at which you start living the experience yourself.

Let's bring it back to my initial confusion.

When you discover an amazing resource and your brain goes lit.

"How is this possible???"

"All of these nuggets just for free?"

"For me?"


"Is everyone already rich????"

"No, I don't have a chance at this."

blah blah blah.

No, we introduced all of our excitement at the wrong moment along the road to greatness.

All of this emotional energy should go into internalizing, applying, implementing, testing, aka experiencing that thing yourself!

Of course, when we see that amazing video, you want to appreciate it so that you are more drawn to study it. Don't get too excited until you actually make progress past just accessing that information.

Because you are right. 122k views is a fact. 122k of other people who got lit for a brief second and then went on living their lives the old way.

I have like tens of folders of bookmarks. It adds 0.5% of value to my daily education. The true 99.5% value comes from a certain chapter I actually chose to read this morning.

Do not be fooled by ample resources. Do not make an excuse of not having access to something. It is purely your fault if you haven't learned something that you need to.

All the nuggets are right there. Information is not a problem!

Last beautiful gift.

My theory is that potentially the actual "art of internalization" lies not as much in internalization itself but more so in the unique specific knowledge that each of us brings to the door when intaking some material. The material itself is a stimulus that strikes in numerous 122k+ directions. But it only actually produces a response within a couple of "neurons", specifically designed to respond to that kind of information. (very surface knowledge of neuro lol)

So you are bringing your unique and specific knowledge and experiences which allow you to carry that piece of information to new results.

Weird, but it is exactly like millions of sperm cells that travel to the egg to make fertilization happen. With every step along the way, a certain amount dies off. Only a small number comes close to the egg(=the goal).

Another lesson we learn here is that it is a long journey for those poor sperm cells. The acidic environment kills many, just like the acidic environment of doubt, bad work principles, lack of direction, etc. kill us too. It also takes days of traveling down to realize their goal. Again, this is the internalization and implementation point.

Then only one sperm cell actually makes it, leaving millions of its brothers behind.

Lucky for us (!!!!), we don't have to compete with millions and in most fields, we don't have to be the very first one. We just need to make it.

🗣See having access to the material as the beginning of the journey. Focus on learning to internalize rather than collect the right resources to achieve your specific goals.

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