No one threw us a life jacket. They let us drown.
I kept kicking and clawing because my teacher once told me, “A person only floats when they’re dead.”
But it didn’t work. The water was pulling me down.
A brick was strapped to my foot.
My mom looked at me with water in her eyes. But then something great happened. The mailman delivered the welfare check and he saved us.
We could either buy groceries for the week or fix the leak in the roof. We went to Safeway and bought groceries. Then the next day the roof caved in. But it wasn’t all bad because I didn’t have to take a shower that day.
“Get in. Let’s go for a cruise.”
My dad hopped in.
I stepped on the gas. The engine revved. Excitement ran through my veins. A smile flashed on his face.
And just like that we were off, racing through the city…in a drop top.
Growing up we spent countless days living in a house with no roof. Now we were cruising through the city in a car with no roof.
As we pulled up to the red light, we looked at one another, and I could tell we were both thinking the same thing…we had conquered the world…or at least we had found our life jacket and escaped the bottom of the ocean which we once called home.
I guess every dog does have his day.
HOW TO CONQUER THE WORLD
If they don’t know your dreams, they can’t shoot em down.” – J.Cole
1. Don’t listen to anyone…especially the people around you
I stopped talking. I’ve been doubted and mocked before. But this time it wasn’t going to stop me. This time I was going to prove them wrong. And I did.
They told me I could never make money with a blog. I did.
They told me I could never survive on my own in another country. I did.
They told me I could never get into university. I did.
They told me I could never sell out a room. I did.
They told me I could never stay sober. Alright…they were right about that.
But who told me these things? My friends and family, the people I love the most.
It’s usually the people closest to us that doubt us the most.
But don’t let their words drag you down. Just smile and continue.
2. Improve every day by 1%
They kept telling me I changed, but I couldn’t see it.
It’s hard to see changes in yourself as you move through life day by day, but when you let a year pass, you can see things clearly. Unfortunately for me, when the year came to an end, I realized I had been travelling in the wrong direction.
1% compounds and a year later you are either a superhero or an obese mother of four on Maury trying to find out who’s the baby daddy of little Roger. Try to be a superhero. Improve every day.
3. Get a job in a high growth industry, learn as much as you can, find inefficiencies in the industry, quit, create your own company, and solve those inefficiencies so you can count cash for a living.
I only take a job to learn, never to make money.
I know I’m not going to get rich by working for someone else. I work to learn so one day I can get rich on my own.
4. Keep your body in this world, but your mind out of it
Be of this world, but not of this world. Does that make any sense? No? Well fuck this tip then.
5. Surrender to life, but never accept life
I wore ripped socks in grade two or three and I was scared the other kids would find out. I was ashamed. Then they saw them during gym class and they laughed. They called my family poor. Then I surrendered. I surrendered to my ripped socks. I surrendered to life.
I stopped hiding. I wore my ripped socks with pride. But I didn’t accept my ripped socks. I sold lemonade and then my mom bought me new socks.
6. Remove all doubt and see success before you see success
I couldn’t understand why I kept failing. Fuck me. I tossed it up to bad luck. But it wasn’t bad luck. It was my fault.
Now I can tell if I’m going to succeed or fail before I even pick up the bat to take a swing.
If I go in thinking, “eh let’s just throw this up against the wall and see what happens”…I fail every single time. There hasn’t been one incidence where I took that approach and succeeded. Not one.
But if I go in thinking, “I’m going to make this work or die trying”…I still fail. But sometimes I succeed. And those sometimes are enough to conquer the world.
7. When everyone else is doing X, do Y
I could see where my life was heading and it was boring as fuck. Everyone was on the same road. We all wanted to be different and unique, but we were getting sucked in the assembly line society had designed for us.
It was making me sick so I dropped my classes and moved to another country. From that day on I always tried to do things a little differently so I could carve out a competitive advantage. I fell on my face and was left feeling like an idiot most of the time. But sometimes I found that competitive advantage and it took me to great places.
8. Read as many books as you can
Yesterday I was in Pakistan. Today I traveled to London. Tomorrow I might go to Paris, or LA, or Vietnam. I don’t know. It depends on what book I read.
Reading is like travelling. It takes me to places I never been to, it exposes me to people I’ve never met, and it teaches me things I never thought of.
Always be reading, always be learning. I didn’t learn shit in business school. Everything I learned, I learned from reading.
9. Be rich in love and laughter
They can take away your money and put an eviction notice on your door, but they can never take the love out of your heart and the laughter out of your belly…unless you let them.
Please don’t let them.
For you will never conquer the world without those two things.