There’s never been an easier time to stand out in human history.
There are endless distractions everywhere. You could get access to cheap pleasures and dopamine-hijacking platforms at the press of a button. And almost everyone is hooked.
The stats say over 210 million people suffer from social media addiction worldwide. About 40% of US social media users between 18 and 22 years report feeling addicted.
Standing out simply requires you to look in the opposite direction. By simply doing these things, you can easily set yourself apart from the majority of distracted people out there.
1. Get out of the matrix
Every social media — and gaming — platform has one goal: to keep you hooked.
If you don’t spend most of your time there, they won’t make money. This is why they continue implementing new strategies — like shorts. They know that your attention span is becoming shorter and shorter.
But they don’t care about that. All they want is for you to stay on those platforms and consume.
The few wise ones use the platforms to produce content for others to consume. But the vast majority of people are simply on social platforms to consume and be sold to advisers.
If you want to get ahead of most people, move from being a consumer to a producer.
It’s not going to be an easy transformation as producers and consumers have opposite lifestyles. But it’s a decision you’ll look back and thank yourself for.
2. Find a mentor
As Seneca once said,
“It is good for one to have appointed a guardian over oneself, and to have someone whom you may look up to, someone whom you may regard as a witness of your thoughts.”
Today, what it means to have a mentor has changed a lot. You don’t have to meet someone physically for them to mentor you.
You could have access to all of someone’s wisdom without even meeting them physically.
Almost everyone I wanted to mentor me was not even from my country. But I had books and the internet. So I dug up everything they’ve written and said on YouTube. Then I also dug up their mentors and learned from them.
Besides the obvious fact that you lot a sh*t tone from having a mentor, there’s also another side that people don’t see. In the words of Seneca, a mentor can also serve as “a witness to your thoughts.”
He or she doesn’t have to be there with you. For instance, when I’m down or feeling unmotivated, I imagine what one of my mentors would do in my situation. Sometimes I just picture them looking at me.
3. Have a morning routine
Having a morning routine can change your life.
I’m not here to tell you to wake up by 5 am or read two pages every morning. Your routine is whatever works for you.
But what I’ll tell you is that starting your morning on the right foot, productively, without distraction, is one of the best life hacks ever. Try it.
4. Your aim determines your direction in life
“Imagine who you could be and then aim single-mindedly at that.” — Jordan Peterson, rule 2, Beyond Order
As Peterson also said, “what you aim at determines what you see.” He couldn’t have said it better.
There’s scientific evidence that visualization actually works. But not in the way most people think.
We usually picture the law of attraction when we think of visualization. But the idea that you can magically manifest a reality if you picture it enough in your mind isn’t realistic.
But what’s realistic is that your subconscious mind is in control of most of the things you do. And according to Dr. Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist at Stanford University School of Medicine, visualizing something has almost the same impact on the brain as actually doing it.
Okay, away from science.
The point here is that if you don’t have any aim, your life will not have a focus. And you’ll be surprised how many people wake up in the morning without having anything to look up to.
Having something to do gives your brain something to work towards. The brain is by nature a creative machine. And once you have something to look forward to, it’s going to randomly bring up creative ways to propel you toward that goal. This is why visualization works.
Furthermore, having an aim simply makes your life more meaningful.
5. Act like everything you do matters
If you’re familiar with Jordan Peterson, this concept shouldn’t be foreign to you.
According to Peterson, the suffering that is ever prevalent in the world often leads most people to a state of nihilism. They become resentful and bitter.
And in this state, we all have two options: Resolve to cheap pleasures and behave like nothing you do matters, or carry your burden and act like everything you do matters.
Most people choose the former, and it’s no wonder why.
In the short term, it feels good to act like nothing you do matters. You can depend on cheap pleasures, lose yourself in addictions, and party away all your youth.
This is even more tempting if you’re already independent. Because then, no one can challenge you about the choices you make for your life.
But the price you pay for acting like nothing you do matters is that your life will be full of void and meaninglessness. Not to mention that we all pay a price for everything we do and not do.
The better alternative — to live like everything you do matters — is more difficult in the present, but will make you the kind of person you’ll be proud of in the future. It will straighten you and help you discover your full potential. It’s a price you should be happy to pay if you want to grow.
6. Pick a skill and master it
Learning a skill goes beyond just the skill itself.
Besides the fact that you gain something valuable from mastery, the process it takes to learn something difficult can transform your mind in ways that you can’t imagine.
In my experience of learning to play the piano, the bass guitar, and my favorite, writing, I learned to be humble about my abilities. Robert Greene also pointed out this point in Mastery when he wrote,
“People who do not practice and learn new skills never gain a proper sense of proportion or self-criticism.”
Furthermore, and more importantly, I learned to be disciplined and consistent. And because of the length of time it took me to learn these skills, the process of discipline, consistency, humility, and focus has become a major theme in everything I do.
The average man is highly distracted. Most people go after cheap pleasures because it gives you an easy road to feeling rewarded.
But mastering a skill is slow, tough, and full of drudgery. However, the process will toughen your mind and transform how you see yourself forever.
7. Reading puts you ahead
Except you’ve been through a lot of crazy experiences that taught you a lot of lessons, it’s difficult to get ahead if you’re not a reader.
Once you understand the value and transformative power of books, you’ll never stop reading. It’s like living many lives and taking lessons without having to go through the same sacrifices those people went through.
I owe a lot of the transformation I’ve gone through in my life to books. It’s the only shortcut I’ve seen to success.
But the idea of books being good for you is nothing new. Most people already know, but I’ve also seen from experience that most people still don’t read. And it’s one of these three reasons:
- They got tired of reading because they kept going for the wrong books
- They gave up on reading because they didn’t see any immediate positive change
- And lastly, they just find books boring
The only solution I’ll give to these three problems is for you to find the right books. I promise you, when you find the right book, it won’t be boring for you.
I’ve also come across books that I didn’t find interesting. Sometimes books other people recommend may not resonate with you. Books are interesting if you find the right one.
8. Take up the responsibility of living
Not everyone alive is taking up the responsibility of living.
Some people just spend all their time on autopilot, doing things they don’t care about. That’s not living.
As Price Ea puts it, “Everybody dies, but not everybody lives.”
To truly live is to take responsibility for the life that you have.
It means you wake up every day and do not see your life as a burden you have to deal with.
It means that you clean yourself up and truly look in the mirror and think of the things you can do to make yourself better.
It means you let go of resentment, blame-shifting, and poisoning habits, and take care of yourself like someone you were responsible for taking care of.
9. Build your body
That little progress you see when you look in the mirror, knowing that you’re doing something little every day, you’re doing it right and it’s having a positive impact on your life, has a bigger impact on your psyche than you think.
Feeling a sense of progress toward a goal is powerful.
I don’t mean you have to look the way Arnold Schwarzenegger looked in Terminator.
Just simply exercising, doing push-ups, and lifting moderately heavy weights consistently will transform your body.
Besides the fact that building your body makes you look good and more attractive, exercising has a wide range of advantages that we’re all already too familiar with.