The Wisdom of Deeds
Believe it or not, a decade ago Adam Sandler used to make hilariously, amusing and awesome movies. One of the last ones I enjoyed was his 2002 remake of Mr. Deeds.
I like it for many reasons, it’s funny, it features a smoke-show female lead, and best of all, it’s inspiring. Deeds is an all around good person, something that becomes rarer every day in this world.
There’s a capstone scene, where he has to deliver a big speech to turn the tide of the investor meeting quickly before they sell his late uncle’s company and dissolve thousands of jobs.
So what question does he ask as a thesis to his big speech?
He asks, “What did you want to be when you grew up?”
Remember when adults used to ask you that? Maybe they still are.
I think we can all agree, that question sucks. It’s one of the worst questions asked in the life of people.
Here’s the secret, nobody ever knows what they want to be when they grow up. Why do you think midlife crises occur in middle-aged men, and why most college students just throw up their hands and pick basket weaving as their major?
No one wants to be locked into something for life. I mean just look at how long most celebrity marriages last.
Try this. Call your mom or dad or boss today and ask what they want to be when they grow up. I’m willing to bet they throw out, at least, three possibilities. Aren’t they supposed to be in their dream jobs living out their careers right now?
It’s the same point Deeds makes in his speech. Life has a way of changing our goals as we’re living them out. And not only is that completely normal, but it’s also good!
For some reason, we hear all these success stories from business moguls and celebrities, and it seems like they always had this clear vision of what they wanted to accomplish in life. We read Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule, and we think, “oh shit, we’re behind. I better come up with my life’s purpose right now, or I’m f**ked.”
Well, if that were true there’d be no sales people.
Think about it. How many universities have formal degrees in sales (more now, but not too long ago this was unheard of). For most people, including myself, a career in sales is one of those things that just came along in life. I certainly didn’t wake up when I was six thinking, “I’m gonna be a VP of Sales one day!”
In fact, I spent 4.33 agonizing years of study at Cal Poly studying Mechanical Engineering while my friends in Busin…other majors…were throwing keg parties on Thursday nights. Then on the first day of real life, we both showed up in the same room for our first day of sales training.
But hot damn am I glad I’m in sales now. It’s the perfect job for me, and every day I get to learn invaluable skills that will propel me towards greater success in the future.
So how did I figure out that I didn’t want to do engineering but wanted to step into the sales world after college?
And more importantly, how do you find what you want to spend 40+ hours of your week doing? Especially when you’re choosing your very first full-time, big kid, professions.
Because if you pick wrong you’ll quickly end up dreading waking in up in the morning between Monday and Friday, and one day you’ll wake up at 40 with a beer belly and an empty life.
It’s obviously a bigger question than one blog post can address, but the principles I’m going to outline are a fantastic starting point. While not exhaustive, these alone can help you hone in on that amazingly fulfilling 9-5 hustle.
Each day this week I’m releasing a new post focusing in on a specific principle. If you’d like to get those sent directly to your inbox, feel free to sign-up for the email list.
Principle #1 – Don’t Be Afraid to Sack the Past
In my opinion, our past is the number one shackle we allow to hold us back from achieving our goals and dreams. There is so much baggage, negativity, and preconceived ideas tied to who we were yesterday, and we don’t even realize how much we let this affect us.
For example, I often ask recent, or just about to be, grads what they want to do next (as a little experiment) and the most common answer I get is something along the lines of, “well if I’m honest I really want to do X, but I just spent 4+ years studying to become Y, so I guess I owe it to myself and my massive student loan debt, and my parents, to try and get a job in Y.”
Translated this reads as:
“Through life’s experiences and the incredible joy of college, I have discovered that my passion and hidden talents call me to become something magically awesome. But because of the past and the things I’ve been spending my time doing, I feel obligated to spend massive amounts of my life doing something that will ultimately leave me unfulfilled and unhappy because if I do anything but that I will feel guilty. I will feel like I either wasted my time, made a wrong decision, made a bad investment, let other people down or a mix of all of these…”
When I hear this, a part of me dies inside.
Look I’m not saying this judgmentally. We all do this constantly, with many decisions throughout life. I do this every day.
For example, I’ve been doing an enormous amount of reading about the toxins and inflammation causing agents in our personal care products, of which I own more than most men do.
So, I used Thrive market to order some replacement, all natural products, which I now love. But it was a big struggle for me to start using them right away.
I thought, well I still have all these other products I spent good money on. I can’t just throw them away and waste them…I’ll just start using these new products after I run through the old stuff.
The old stuff that is slowly poisoning me each time I use it…
I’d rather submit myself to a daily dose of proven toxins than “waste” money already spent weeks ago.
Moreover, this is one of the biggest reasons why companies and new business owners fail. They realize midway through a new venture that their idea isn’t panning out the way they thought. The market isn’t into it, and the numbers show it.
But instead of saying, “well that one is a bust, let’s abandon this idea” they cling to futile hope, with the sole reason being they’ve already spent so much time, effort, and money. We’re already too deep they say, it just has to work out. They press on, forever trending sideways and never growing until they slowly die.
I don’t want that for you. I want you to thrive regardless of what you did yesterday.
Don’t be like most people. Realize that every day of your past was required to get you to where you are today. You learned you grew; you discovered because of those actions and choices, not despite them.
The 4.33 years of hellish mechanical engineering study was incredibly valuable for me for an insurmountable list of reasons beyond just certifying me to become an entry level engineer. I use those skills and lessons every day, and it makes me a far better and more technical sales person. I realistically don’t even realize the vast implications and benefits those years gave me, the growth is often intangible.
But even if I hadn’t benefited at all from the endeavor, I wouldn’t give a shit. The past is the past. The happiest people live every day renewed and determined to spend that new day, that new allocation of time, building towards their dream future.
And when that dream future changes, they don’t waste any time not building towards it. Screw whatever they’ve got in their hands that moment. If it doesn’t take them closer to their goal, they scrap it.
So, as you look forward towards what you want to do next, if your tricky mind attempts to use the past or what you’ve been up to, as a rationale for doing something, or not doing something, ditch that thought. It’s not needed. In fact, it’s harmful.
Principle #2: Get Paid to Learn Things You Want to Learn
The following is seemingly intuitive and extremely simple, yet thought provoking – top performers are never fully qualified to do the jobs they’re hired to do.
Wait…what? Say that again.
Yes, you read correctly. Millions of jobs every year are filled by people who crush it in life, and yet they walk into these new jobs day one without many of the “qualifications” needed to perform it.
How does this work?
Well, just think about it for a second. You already know this.
The present path to career success looks a lot like a game of frogger. Top performer A starts at company B and stays 2-5 years and maybe gets promoted. Then they hop from company B to company C where they start with a bump in title and pay and start the process all over again.
The way to get ahead in life is to reach just beyond your capacity and achieve outside your comfort zone.
We seem to know this intuitively, but when spelled out for us it seems backward at first glance.
Therefore, there is no use spending time worrying about what skills you currently have, or don’t have, and whether or not those skills translate to the job you want.
Instead, you should work backward from the finish line i.e. where you want to end up, and figure out which skills are necessary for that job.
Then, look into the marketplace and find jobs that will pay you to work on those skills all day. These should be jobs that are just beyond your reach of achievement. That way you can still excel at them while you learn rapidly.
These should be job roles that ask and demand results from you that you’ve never gotten before, but you know you could if given a reasonable amount of time and effort.
For example, when I left college I knew I wanted to eventually have my own business and work for myself.
Logically, I investigated all the titans and moguls of business I respect. People like 50 Cent, Mark Cuban, and Aziz Ansari. I learned my ultimate dream will require a certain set of skills.
Namely, impeccable good looks, a strong sense of charm and humor, experience getting shot at multiple times, and, of course, exceptional sales skills.
Thankfully, I already had 3 of the first four skills just listed, but I knew I could learn a thing or two about sales.
So what did I do? I got a job in tech sales.
Boom, make a very comfortable living while learning how to do something I didn’t know how to do professionally.
The best people in any field will always tell you they’re continuously learning.
The moment you think you know everything about your field of expertise is the moment you cease to be an expert. That’s when you plateau, that’s when you stagnate – you become irrelevant, obsolete, and you die.
Sure, you could pay $200,000 to get some fancy degree in the subject over the course of many years. But that degree will only get you the interview, at best. The hiring manager will still be chiefly concerned with your experience, track record, and demonstrated results.
What’s better is getting paid $100,000+ a year to learn that skill and to build up an impressive track record of success with that skill.
But Eric, you say, boo hoo that might work for you, but I want to go into [insert highly specialized and regulated field], and all the gatekeepers tell me I need [long list of accolades and worthless certifications] to even play ball in that court!
Sorry, but you’re wrong. Actually, I’m not sorry. You’re just wrong.
Those barriers are arbitrary constructs put in your way to weed out exactly the type of people who will be discouraged by them enough to quit.
For the most part, the world doesn’t reward quitting.
The world is looking for winners and winners don’t go around walls, they just knock them down. Still don’t believe me? Check out this story of an AirBnB revenue analyst who switched to their development team in 1 year, with no prior experience.
Or take my real life friend Tony. He got his big company to pay for his CS classes at Stanford because it directly helped him in his role. After he had finished the course, he used those new skills to get a better job, at a startup in San Francisco, where he makes more money.
Don’t worry; the big company can afford it. And they reaped tremendous value from Tony as a hire as he outperformed in his role daily as he learned. In other words, he delivered a net positive ROI to the company even with the expensive classes.
That’s what top people do.
So what are the skills and experiences you want to have in your life? When you’re on your deathbed looking back, what accomplishments do you want to have achieved?
What type of skills and traits will you need for your dreams to become reality? Find a way to get paid to do and learn those.
Principle #3: What Do you Already Spend your Free Time/Energy Doing?
Believe it or not, there was a time in my life when I wasn’t very good with women. I know, shocking, but it’s true.
Before I left for college, I had an intense addiction to video games. It was so bad I would be out somewhere hanging out with actual people, and there were usually even cute ladies in attendance because my friends were way cooler than me. And I would be sitting there totally unengaged because I’d be thinking about how badly I just wanted to go home and play that next level of Halo.
Are you shitting me!
If I met Dr. Who and he let me use his time machine, I would go back to 2008 and smack the shit out of that pimply faced, chubby, weirdo!
The worst part was I wasn’t even particularly good at video games; I just loved playing them.
I remember talking to my church pastor before I graduated. He told me more and more men were dropping out of college every year due to missing class thanks to, you guessed it, porn and video games.
I knew if I ever wanted a nice lady to entertain, even remotely, the idea of kissing me, I’d have to kick the habit.
So I sold all my games and consoles and transformed into the handsome prince charming I am today.
Which is why I love PewDiePie.
Because here’s the thing. It’s all made up.
Video games weren’t my problem. I was the problem. I was the one who wasn’t centered, driven, creative, confident, engaging, whatever other adjectives you’d like to insert.
The reality is whatever you like to do all the time. Whatever it is that you are obsessed with. That’s the thing you should do for a job.
And yes, I give you permission to be obsessed with a great number of things including your new yoga pants, but why on earth would you actively choose to devote your precious work week to something you’re not completely obsessed with?
I just never get it.
Oh, Eric, I’m obsessed with snowboarding. Whenever I see snow, I just want to play in it and snowboard all day. Ok, well become a professional snowboarder. Or work at a resort and ski all day, or, at least, live by a mountain. Or work for the X-Games. Or be a professional snowboard announcer. Do something where you get to be near to snowboarding every day.
Oh, Eric, I’m in love with travel, I just love seeing new places and flying all over the world. Ok, go be a travel agent, or work for the airlines, or at an exotic resort. Or pull a Tom Cruise in Cocktail and work a bar on some remote tropical island.
Oh, Eric, I just think [insert cool new app or technology] is the coolest thing since sliced bread. I’m on it all day, and I think everyone should use it. Hmmm, I bet they could use a sales rep, or a marketer, or a social media manager, or a support rep, or a position you could make up for them and add tremendous value.
But guess what, as soon as I respond with these ideas all I get are excuses.
But Eric, that job doesn’t pay well, and I need money. (No you don’t, you have no money right now, and you’re just fine). But Eric, they aren’t hiring. Umm…everyone is always hiring for the right person. Hell, I’ll hire you if you’re the right person for my business needs and can solve my problems.
I’m sorry to tell you, but once again these are just the barriers to entry if you want to be great.
The great ones don’t give two shits about the money, yet they have more than they know what to do with. And they certainly didn’t stop tinkering with the things they love because someone wasn’t hiring. If anything, they just created their own job or started their own company.
My all time favorite excuse in this category is, “But Eric, I’m just not that excited about anything.”
Is that what you tell people on first dates too? Because I’m sure lots of potential suitors are excited about meeting boring people with no passion for anything.
Come on; you owe yourself better than that.
Let’s remember Pewdiepie. Thanks to the internet, literally anything can be turned into money. You’re not excited about anything!?!?! At all!?!?!
Just take 10 minutes to think introspectively about this for yourself. Stop, and take a break from the endless onslaught of the digital barrage that we endure. Pause, and just sit with yourself for 10 minutes and think about what you like. I promise if you do that, you’ll, at least, have a start. You just need to get the ball rolling.
In today’s age, at the very minimum, just looks down at the phone you’re probably reading this on and work for the app you use most often. Even that is a better start than slaving away at some shit job that just made you the best offer.
Be strategic with your 40 hours. Invest those in yourself by finding work that will reward your future self. Get paid to learn and grow into the person you’d like to become.
Now to address some potential objections I already know you’re thinking.
But Eric, it’s easy for you to say this. You work in tech sales in Silicon Valley. But I don’t love sales. In fact, I hate it! And no one pays for underwater basket weaving which is what I’m really passionate about. Whine, whine, whine…excuse, excuse, excuse.
Oh really? We’re gonna go that route?
First, stop thinking about the money that’s in it right now, in the short term. When you truly master something and become the go-to resource for that niche, there is always money and a comfortable living at the top. I read hundreds of biographical accounts and featured success stories a month, and almost unanimously the most successful humans agree, they never truly made decisions early on about what they were going to pursue based on money.
Second, remember my entire point about PewDiePie? Well, he started with no money, but he didn’t care because he loved what he was working on. Loving what you do is greater than money. He worked at a hot dog stand to pay the bills.
Finally, if you actually were a good underwater basket-weaver you could find a way to get people to pay you for that. You could make it a show, or a class, or even a joke T-shirt and sell it online. Like I said, the internet makes it possible for everything to be a career.
You’re the one putting an arbitrary limit on what’s possible, not the world.
The reality is we all only get a certain number of hours to spend. Why not try to maximize spending them on things that matter most to you?
If it matters to you, you’ll care more and be happier about your work. That will make it more meaningful and more valuable. And ultimately that value will translate into a living because people will be willing to exchange money for the value you provide.
And if you just spent 10 minutes thinking about what you like to do with your time and you’ve still got nothing, leave a comment and perhaps I can help you jog the mind.
Principle #4: The Scarier, the Better
Most Americans will never face an actual life or death situation. Now, I know missing the newest episode of the bachelor during the week may seem like one, but the honest truth is our lives, for the most part, are pretty cushy.
Not to say what you or I have been or are going through isn’t severe or real, not at all. I’m just saying most of the choices you will make in life about your future will not potentially result in your immediate and painful death.
But we shouldn’t take that lightly.
Because this is not a universal truth for many of those that, aspire to do great things.
I often think about what it must be like to be Neil Armstrong or Buzz Aldrin.
For them, staring death in the face was the norm.
You might have wanted to be an astronaut when you were younger. Maybe you even wanted to go to the moon. But for you that was a possible goal, it had already been done.
These men aspired to walk the moon, but for them, it had never been done.
In fact, most people said it would never be done. (Sidenote, if people often tell you’ll never do something you’d love to do – you know you’re onto something)
And even more, people said they would surely die.
Think about how cautious you are about so much of your life.
Have you ever held two brands of yogurt in your hands at the grocery store and spent 5 minutes doing a quick risk analysis on Chobani vs. Fage and which one would make you look fat? I have.
Yeah, we’re soo risky with our lives.
The first moon walkers actively chose to hurdle themselves into outer space, towards a rock that had never been explored by humans, with the entire deck stacked against them.
That’s how you achieve greatness.
You push yourself outside of your comfort zone and reach for the stars. Neil and Buzz took that literally.
But you don’t have to.
The best part about the seemingly enormous risks you will take to realize your full potential is in hindsight they won’t seem too risky at all.
In fact, they’ll seem trivial, even comical in the right perspective.
And that’s what it’s all about, perspective.
We seem to create extreme dichotomies in our minds when it comes to choices about our future, but if you stop and think about the decision as if you’re an outside observer, these extremes often seem…extreme.
-“I either have to eat completely healthy all the time and go full on Paleo, or I can let myself go and just eat crap all the time.”
But why can’t you eat healthy most of the week and pig out on the weekend? That’s Tim Ferriss’s strategy.
-“I either have to love my job, like wake up every morning crying because of how obsessed with it I am, or I’ll just absolutely hate it.”
But why can’t you value other aspects of life more than your job and maximize those while you work a job that you’re not obsessed with but you don’t mind? Clearly, I think you can have both, but why does it need to be dichotomous?
-“I either have to be a relationship person or a hookup person. Casual or serious, there must be a line in the sand.”
But why can’t you have casual relationships and more serious ones based purely off of how your life and feelings are settling at the time, or more importantly, who you’re in these relationships with and how those people make you feel?
The reason we do this has to do with our fears.
We tend to fear things we don’t fully understand. It’s a cognitive defense mechanism. It’s a survival instinct.
But it no longer serves us well when it prevents us from realizing the vast expanse of opportunity that is just waiting for us if we’d just dive in.
In his new book, Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet, Jesse Itzler talks about what he learned from living with the toughest man alive for a month.
He said something that has stuck with me when he was talking about it on The Art of Charm Podcast.
He said this Navy Seal loved pain. He embraced it, and he saw it as his reward.
Pain as his reward!
Wow, that’s sobering.
Those Navy Seals make you feel soft.
That’s how we should look at our circumstances in life as well.
Let’s embrace the scary, let’s embrace the uncomfortable, the non-traditional. The painful.
That’s how you innovate, and that’s how you achieve things others simply are too afraid to think is possible.
Hence, the scarier your goal or dream seems, the better.
Each day you wait to take the leap towards your dream is a day where your risk increases.
Here’s what I mean, as a single, 23-year-old you have virtually zero responsibilities. You can be jobless, homeless, and ambitionless and it affects only you.
As a 45-year-old, married person with kids, the scenario is the opposite. Even your micro decisions will impact those around you, and those impacts can be enormous and lasting. You can’t just decide to switch careers in this scenario; your risk is exponentially greater.
It’s not impossible, but the stakes are raised exponentially.
So don’t wait to hurdle yourself towards the moon.
And when you sit there and dream and think about what you want to get out of life.
The moment you have the thought, “no that’s too crazy. That’s not possible; that’s not realistic etc. etc.”
Double down on that idea. Don’t run from it. Chase it.
Because that’s when you know you’re truly on to something.
And if it scares the living shit out of you, but at the same time excites you beyond belief, you know it’s perfect.
Principle #5: Don’t Read Job Descriptions, Build Relationships
Job descriptions make me laugh, especially nowadays.
Did you know they are a big part of the recruiting process for many organizations? Crafting the perfect job description is a heavy focus.
They spend hours in meetings coming up with them. And they try to write them so meticulously, scrutinizing every detail.
Because, after all, this is the be all end all summary of the job. You have to get this right.
Otherwise, no one will know what to do in their job, right!?
If I had to sit down and write my job description today, it probably would only be marginally similar to the one I applied to.
And that’s the point of working a good job. It molds to you as much as you mold to it.
And top performers are always looking for ways to supersede their role and capacity and perform outside their job description.
So, unfortunately, what ends up happening is the job descriptions usually become a mental blocker for people.
An arbitrary hurdle one must overcome to feel “qualified” for the role.
“Candidate must have X years managing complex systems in a dynamic, fast-paced environment. Required, a minimum of 10 years experience. Nice to have, XYZ niche skill that no one who is looking for jobs right now actually has.”
Can I throw up now? And as far as those, “nice to haves” go…
A McLaren P One would be nice to have right now too, but I’ll get by with my dad’s Toyota RAV4.
The craziest part is when companies find their dream candidates they hardly ever even compare them to the job description.
Instead, they judge them on their perceived ability (communicated during interviews) to perform the duties of the role.
Yes, of course, you must have the basic skills. You can’t get a job as an engineer if you don’t know how to use a computer.
But you’d be surprised how many entry level software engineers there are getting jobs every day who only have basic coding skills.
We do the same thing in sports.
How many athletes did you know on your high school sports teams who weren’t the best players technically (i.e. game strategy, positioning, experience, etc.) but they started games due to their raw skill and potential (and hustle)?
Not going after your dream job because you don’t match the job description is like saying you lost a race you never even entered.
And that’s the trickery of it all, many times they just put those “nice to haves” up there to stop the truly bad candidates from applying, especially the big brands that get thousands of applicants a day.
They are encouraging you to self-select yourself out.
I can think of no better way to illustrate this than the beautiful world of Craigslist personal ads. You know, the place where the highest quality dates and meaningful relationships commence.
For example, let’s take this ad found from a quick google search.
The reality that women have had to lower their standards down to “I’ll just take someone who’s nice and respectful” is the saddest part of this ad. Those should be assumed qualities of someone they plan to spend actual time with.
So at first glance, this seems extremely reasonable.
But let’s peel back the layers.
First, consider the channel she’s advertising in. This person is listing their ad on Craigslist Personals. And this is in the age where there are dozens of more effective, less creepy, and higher quality alternatives.
I can only imagine the sheer volume of dick pics she’s getting right now.
From this, I’d say we can safely assume she’s getting a large amount of low-quality submissions. Guys that don’t even remotely fit any of these criteria, which should be pretty foundational.
Which means any guy who even subtly hints he may possess one of these fundamental gentlemanly qualities will stand out from the herd.
Ramit Sethi calls this the Craigslist Penis Effect to illustrate how in an onslaught of garbage and noise, it doesn’t take much to stand out as the best.
The only thing one needs to do to have success here is reply with one sentence that’s not terrible, and not include a dick pic.
And to make sure my thoughts on this weren’t completely bull shit, I even tested it.
I got a reply in 3 minutes.
It’s not difficult to stand out.
You can be sure you’ll never get the job if you never even try just because a web page told you-you didn’t have one of the made up, ideal, dream candidate skills they just thought up in a random meeting.
And, put in a little work and position yourself well, and you’ll quickly rise to the top against all the other run of the mill resumes and applicants.
Moreover, you can’t go about living life letting other people tell you what you can and can’t do; no one ever obtained anything desirable that way.
Instead, why not just completely skip the application process entirely?
This route is actually how 99.9% of top performers obtain their next job. Most of the time the application, if even completed, is a technicality. It’s so they have a record in their database in case they get audited.
You’ve even heard this, but you probably didn’t believe or understand it.
“You gotta network. Build your professional brand” ←- These are the bullshit phrases people use to attempt to describe this higher level the world’s elite are operating at.
Imagine, if instead of applying on the job page and never hearing back only to doubt yourself further and cry yourself to sleep at your boring ass job that you hate. You instead, reached out directly to someone who trusts you who can introduce you to a hiring manager for the role you want. Then you offered value and built a relationship with that person.
Then you told them your intention was to work for them, so they brought you in for interviews. You nailed them, and they said, “we need you, and we’ll pay you whatever you want.”
The above narrative isn’t one from the la la dream world. It’s the real world many live in every day.
Yes it’s more work, and much harder, but the reward is far greater.
Instead of spending countless hours scanning job pages trying to find the perfect job description that summarizes your skills and abilities (them telling you how to be) go out there and get your hands dirty. Talk to people. Meet people. Add tremendous value to everyone. And discover the job that’s perfect for you.
Then ask for it from the people you just spent time helping, and don’t apply until after you’ve accepted the offer and they realize they never got your resume, and they need it to check a box.
Do you want a single piece of paper that most people lie on and inflate to be the only chance to convey to someone how perfect for them you’d be?
It’s the same reason the dating apps can be so hard. On these mediums, all you are reduced to is a picture, a paragraph, an impression.
Instead, get out there and meet people. Cold email someone. Add value to them. Solve their problems. Ask for advice. Ask questions to learn about what jobs and companies are really like. Take anyone and everyone who will accept to coffee.
At the very least email me and use my connections.
But don’t spend your time reading the job descriptions. Spend that time out building relationships and let the job descriptions come from you creating them in the role.
It All Comes Back Full Circle
It all comes back to Mr. Deeds. Particularly the scene at the end (spoiler alert) when he’s back in his small town of Mandrake Falls feeling rejected and tricked. The high society and immense wealth of New York were for all intents and purposes a complete bust, and the worst part is he’s heartbroken because the love of his life turned out to be a total fraud.
So he’s delivering a pizza to his old friend deep in the frozen woods when he faintly hears his love drowning in a frozen lake.
So what does he do?
After he realizes the threat is indeed real, he moves quickly and sticks his disgusting frost bitten and nerve dead leg into the frigid water to rescue Pam Dawson/Babe Bennett from death.
In this analogy, Pam/Babe is the job.
They end up together and happy because Deeds chooses to forgo the past and start fresh, with how he feels at that moment. He takes the risk for the possibility of future happiness. (Principle #1 = Don’t be afraid to sack the past).
He’s going to have to get to know the real her, that’s for sure, but he knows he can learn that along the way while he also gets the benefit of being with her. He gets “paid” to learn something he wants to know, as he goes. (Principle #2 = Get paid to learn things you want to learn).
Despite her lying about a lot, he already has spent a considerable time getting to know her and some of the “real her” must have bled out. In other words, he already likes the little he knows, and he already spends time thinking and missing her, why not try it out? (Principle #3 = What do you already spend your time/energy doing?).
Sure he’s scared, what if she hurts him again, and even worse this time? Well, good! Because with great risk comes great reward. On the flip side, what if they get it right, and it’s amazing? (Principle #4 = The scarier, the better).
And finally, all signs, suggestions, advice, etc. points to not going for it. If he lets everyone else dictate his decision here, for the most part, it’s going to be a pass. Because that’s the safe thing and the world around you, and even your brain loves safety.
And if it were all about compatibility i.e. job descriptions, it’d be a complete bust. She’s bourgeois, a New Yorker, he’s a humble small-towner, but he doesn’t make it about the prescription but rather about the relationship.
He throws out the paper description of things and builds the relationship. (Principle #5 = Don’t read job descriptions, build relationships).
Taking Action, Make it Happen
Of course, all of this is easier said than done, but those willing to go the harder route and follow this advice will be rewarded considerably for their efforts.
None of us wake up and dream of being middle aged, with a beer belly, and three kids, with daily unhappiness that drives us to spontaneously buy a motorcycle. But every year thousands of people experience that exact thing.
So the question is, are you going to open your mind to the possibility that there’s an alternative to your assumption of how careers should work?
Or are you going to follow the same old advice job listicles and employment centers have been giving for years?
I promise that following one of these principles, and adding them into the mental framework of how you think about your career will yield incredible results; they’ve done just that for me.
The choice is yours, but it could mean the difference between scoring the smoke-show female lead as your lifelong love or delivering pizzas in the woods for the rest of your life.
Up to you.