Author: Paul Joo

Paul Joo, Decision Architect and devotee of Human Potential & Performance. My passion is identifying & unleashing personal potential.

freedom… to feel secure or to win?

You actually have a lot more freedom than you think, because you have the freedom to believe whatever you want to believe. 

Now, most people feel that this is inaccurate, because they tell themselves “I want to believe I can succeed & win., BUT I’m plagued by doubts that I can.” The truth is that if you’ve passively decided that ultimately you “can’t win”, it is because you find some form of SECURITY in holding that belief, regardless of how much you feel you want to win.

The Bottom Line: As long as you feel any SECURITY at all from holding on to negative beliefs, you will be hard-pressed to move forward and live your potential.

PS. Remember that clinging to feeling SECURITY doesn’t always feel particularly “good” or “comfortable”; in fact it most often has a tinge of “sacrifice” to it – for good reason too.

Self-discipline – your path to personal power

“I’m such a loser!” vs. “Suck it up!” This comparison illustrates the critical difference between self-pity and self-discipline. The former is toxic, the latter makes you powerful.

It is really quite simple: You never need be tough ON yourself, which means that attacking yourself is pointless. Doing so is just self-punishment, and there is never any benefit or value from it; it is simply a form of self-indulgence.

That said, make sure you don’t confuse self-punishment with what really does have benefit & value: Self-Discipline. Self-discipline means being strict & tough WITH yourself, not tough ON yourself.

Look, we can all use a kick in the pants from time to time. So when it’s your turn, remember to actively reject any inclination towards self-indulgence, and embrace self-discipline instead.

“Suck it up, buttercup!” And smile knowing that you’re gaining ground every time you do.

some truth about compromise

What it most often ends up as: The mutual exchange of inequities.

What it very seldom is: The optimal way to get more for all and less for none.

Consider: The “Next Best Thing” is in fact often a whole lot farther away from “The Best Thing” than you may think.

approve of your self…. yourself!

Here’s the simple logic as to why your own approval of yourself is really what counts.

Can anyone other that you truly know what really matters to you and what you want out of life? Nope. 

Accordingly, your own approval of yourself should be a priority that eclipses anyone else’s approval of you. 

Hidden Bonus: Gaining your own approval is the first critical step on the path to earning your own self-respect.

invest in yourself

One big problem with Social & Family Obligation is that it preaches “invest in others!”.

While the spirit of this advice is laudable, it compels well-intentioned people to attempt to “invest” their time, energy & effort – their lives really – into others. Unfortunately, the common outcome eventually experienced is feelings of futility, disappointment, resentment or bitter regret from having spent their years investing in others at the expense of investing in themselves. 

Why does this happen? Because people confuse contribution with investment. It is not possible to invest in another person – only yourself! E.g. When you give “help” to someone, it can be by default a wonderful contribution to their life, but it is not an investment. So consider what you generously gave as spent and have no expectation of a return on that spending. This is one reality of human nature. 

In fact, the only way that helping anyone can ever truly result in any valuable return on your efforts at all is if & only if they themselves invest whatever you gave them into themselves; sadly this happens very rarely. 

Bottom line: contributing to the lives of others is desirable because it is kindness, but you can really only invest in yourself. But when you take that responsibility you can expect ROI: valuable returns on that invested energy & effort. Go for it.

whence cometh courage

It has long been remarked that courage is not absence of fear, but rather mastery of it. Sounds reasonable. But how to begin the process of mastering fear in general?

One useful way to look at it is in terms of accountability.

Set in your mind the decision to hold yourself genuinely accountable for everything you say, think, feel, and do. Try it, and see if you don’t immediately feel that you’ve discovered a hidden wellspring of courage.

choices, choices, choices…..

We’re continually faced with choices, and life being what it is, there will naturally be times when those choices are harder than we’d like to face. 

And when that time comes, many will simply give in to their emotions, let the decision be made for them by circumstances, and then declare that they had “no choice”.

But there’s a problem with that strategy. If you decide that you have “no choice”, you will stop looking for them. And when you stop looking, for all intents & purposes your choices in life will simply cease to exist. 

Well, now you’re in the unenviable position of having made yourself a victim of your own self-fulfilling prophecy. Not good.

Look, the reality is that sometimes there is no really good choice, just a hard one. Take comfort in the fact that our choices reveal to us what we’re really made of. So if you want to live a life that you’re proud of…..well….just suck it up, buttercup.

Take a stand against fear & doubt, make your choices as intelligently & thoughtfully as you can at the time, and stand by them responsibly. And if one doesn’t work out so well, don’t worry, there’s always another one just around the corner for you to do better with.

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