Welcome back to another Fury Discourse. Slowly these Fury interviews are taking the web by storm.
The first, and recent blown up one, is HERE: The Vitruvian MAN. The legend, really.
But today we sit down with War on Weakness. Most of you know him, big twitter account, curates quality content, and helps with B2B writing. He is legit a powerful, nuanced mind.
Without further ado: LFG, check out the interview.
- What is the book, or books you’ve given most as a gift, and why?
Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?
Three books that have greatly influenced my life:
1- How to stop worrying and start living by Dale Carnegie
I used to suffer a lot from anxiety as I’m an introvert and introverts have a problem with getting stuck in their head.
This book completely rewired the way I address my worries, and gave me specific steps to overcome my anxieties so I can perform at my best every day, without the mental blocks of fear, worry and anxiety.
2- How to fail at almost everything and still win big by Scott Adams
This is the most realistic and honest book about success I’ve ever read. The biggest takeaway I got from this book was the idea of creating systems instead of focusing on goals.
That one idea completely changed my approach to success and now whenever I have a big goal or mission to accomplish, my focus is on refining the system because I know when I do this, my goal will be accomplished.
3- The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell
The conquest of happiness is a book I urge every young man to read. The name is a bit cheesy but the principles of attaining happiness which Lord Russell mapped out almost 100 years ago still apply to this day.
I think a lot of young people today overconsume, thinking that if they just had more of X, they would be happier.
This extensive essay about that magical place of happiness we all strive to get to breaks down the causes of unhappiness, and explains what it means to be happy.
It completely rewired my values and helped me achieve a greater peace of mind.
I would not be as happy as I am today without this book and I’m overdue for a re-read.
- What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months, or in recent memory?
I just picked up a set of Olympic gym rings (Intey Wood is the brand). They haven’t arrived yet but I’m certain they are going to have a huge positive impact on my health. I used to lift weights but as gyms were shut due to the Covid-19, I had to make the transition to bodyweight training.
I’m excited about the results and benefits of bodyweight training and I’m looking forward to working out in nature. There are a lot of parks in my neighbourhood so it’ll be interesting to see how I adapt to my new “gym”.
- How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a favorite failure of yours?
My favourite failure is probably quitting my corporate job ten years ago. I had a very lucrative job in a top financial firm but I quit out of frustration.
In hindsight, it was an impulsive decision I made when I was young but by doing so, it forced me to fend for myself and live life on my terms.
Quitting that job led to a handful of business failures including running a travel agency and writing erotica novels on Amazon.
All of the above led me to stumble upon Money Twitter where I’ve created a strong community and continue to learn the fundamentals of online business.
My online income keeps growing daily but had I not quit my job 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have the freedom of working for myself today.
Life is unpredictable and when you have big failures like this, you have to roll with the punches and keep flowing.
- If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it – metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions – what would it say and why?
A few words, or a paragraph, IF HELPFUL it can be a someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?
These two words were repeated to me by a mentor of mine when I was 23 (He was 38 at the time). I believe that no matter where you are in life, whether you’re stuck in abject poverty or you’re a billionaire living in the Hollywood hills, there is always a higher level you can get to.
Most people see success purely in financial terms but that’s a limited outlook on life. There is always something greater you can achieve.
If you are poor then your current mission should be to make more money. If you are rich then your current mission could be to write that novel you’ve always dreamt of, or dedicate your life to helping others out, or simply just building your body.
Wherever you are, there is always something more you can do so never, ever settle.
- What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
When I was 24, I quit my job on impulse, packed up all my belongings and traveled around the world. I was a broke hippy and went through a lot of struggle but those 12 months of living poor taught me more about life than any other year.
- What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
I have this strange fascination with notebooks and pens. Whenever I see a notebook or pen that looks cool to me in some way, I have to buy it. I feel like I’m always on the hunt for the perfect pen and notebook combination.
I have over 20 notebooks and about 7 different pens which I leave all over my house and in the pockets of my bags and clothes. Some are completely empty, some are full and some only have a page or two filled out. My mind never shuts up so I always find some place to take those thoughts and put them on paper.
My dream is to one day create and distribute my own line of notebooks, like Moleskin.
- In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
I believe there is no such thing as hard.
This belief came to me from the Joe Rogan podcast with @hotep jesus.
What we think of as hard, children think of as new.
This is why as adults, we admire children.
We miss that illimitable curiosity that drives them to pick up random objects and experiment, open doors they shouldn’t be opening, make a mess of their dinner etc.
We admire them because we miss the days where we lived life without any sense of success or failure, just pure curiosity.
Somewhere along our upbringing, we were programmed to categorise experiences as either “easy” or “hard”.
But I don’t think like that anymore. I believe an experience is either “familiar” or “new”.
The only reason why we see new experiences as “hard” is because the older we get, the smarter we think we are because we’ve gone through school, some of us have gone through college, we’ve gone through jobs etc and so we think all that life experience makes us an expert.
So if you’re a 35 year old man like me and you’re learning a new skill such as coding, it’s going to seem “hard” because you’re adjusting to a new and unfamiliar experience, just as a child must adjust to using a spoon to eat his food for the first time.
The only real failure in life is giving up and the main reason why people give up is because they think whatever new experience they’re facing is “too hard.”
Truth is, 99% of these “failures” could be avoided if we just changed our perspective and stopped seeing a new challenge as “hard” but rather as a new, undiscovered experience that we’re getting used to.
Once you break past the newness of the thing, it’s no longer hard.
The only thing that’s “hard” is dealing with yourself. That’s what’s hard. Can you defeat your own fears, your own doubts, your own mind?
“When I wake up in the morning, the only thing I have to defeat is doubt. It’s the only thing I have to defeat. Once I defeat doubt, I live in a limitless world.” – @hotepjesus
Once you delete the word “hard” from your mind, all of the goals you want to achieve become achievable.
All it comes down to is a matter of upgrading your mindset and having the patience to show up everyday until that new goal, that new skill goes from “new” to “familiar”.
- What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the real world? What advice should they ignore?
My advice would be if you have a strong vision that’s consuming you, but unpopular with your family and friends, chase it and chase it fearlessly.
You have no idea how much of an ENERGY advantage you have when you are young. Don’t waste it doing what everyone else does and just get a job and spend your money buying stupid things and partying all weekend.
Build a business, create art, work on side projects, fail as much as you can, travel extensively, go for broke, and do it all over again. Aside from death, there is no failure you won’t grow from.
As far as advice to ignore, as a general rule of thumb any advice that comes from “conventional sources” should be ignored: advice from mainstream media, advice from celebrities, your friends etc.
- What are bad recommendations, you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
I’m a non-fiction writer and the most overrated and un-useful advice I hear is “just write a lot” or “just write every day”.
Yes writing a lot will automatically make you a better writer but it’s not enough.
As a non-fiction writer, it’s important that you research, research, research!
I break research down into 2 components:
Broad research is anything you consume based on your natural curiosity. This could be podcasts, books, youtube videos, lectures, articles, tweets etc.
Broad research also includes any experiences you have that triggers an idea or makes you say “ah huh!”. Write those ideas down. That’s the universe speaking to you.
I am a curious consumer so I will consume anything that tickles my interest. At the moment, I am fascinated with persuasion and human behaviour so anything that’s related to those two topics is interesting to me.
Take lots and lots of notes of everything and anything. You may not see it now but some day those notes will be of use to you.
Specific research is anything directly related to the project you’re working on now. For example sometimes when I write, I need certain statistics to back up my message so I’ll go digging into research papers and articles to find those statistics.
If you’re writing sales copy, you’ll need to research your market, your competitor’s products, your competitor’s sales angles etc.
- In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to – distractions, invitations, etc? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?
I used to feel bad about turning down invitations to social events I didn’t want to partake in, but now I will be honest and say “no” if it’s an event I don’t want to attend.
The older you get, the more you value your time so I don’t feel bad about turning down invitations anymore because I am the only one in charge of my time.
- When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? What questions do you ask yourself?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and unfocused with all the technological distractions these days.
When I lose focus, I take a step back and analyse what I am doing from a third person perspective.
I literally imagine myself as a different person controlling a character (me).
I ask myself “what is (your name) trying to achieve? Why is he writing this article/(insert activity you’re trying to achieve)?”
By zooming out and seeing myself from a third person point of view, it becomes much easier to align my current action with my future vision, without being bogged down by any negative feelings of distraction and procrastination I may have.
This story is part of the big cover story of September 2020, do read the other accompanying pieces: