Matt Ramos kindly reached out to bring a guest post to us - he's all about exploring and breaking behavior limits, and he talks about that on his blog -http://30vanquish.com
Here's Matt -
Letting Go of Your Ego Enables You to Live Without Limits
“As soon as you try to step outside of the behavioral limits, it gets scary and nasty and ugly real fast.” – Sebastian Marshall
So why should it be so scary, nasty, and ugly?
All you have to do is let go of the ego.
So now you’re thinking, how does letting go of your ego enable you go outside of the pre-made boundaries?
First, let’s define what the ego is.
Your ego is the core of all your self-esteem and your self-importance. It is what defines you as you.
Your ego makes you feel entitled to get things you deserve. So what do you deserve?
You deserve all the things you ever wanted of course.
The problem is if that thing you want is in conflict with social conditioning.
What’s social conditioning?
Social conditioning is all those rules that stop us from taking action.
Example 1: The boss is intimidating and you better not distract him from what he is doing. Besides, asking him anything can seem scary! However, let’s say you want a raise. The only way to get it is to either wait for it to come to you (it can happen but rarely) or you ask him/her for one. The latter is risky because it can potentially go against what you’ve been taught. However, if you execute it in a professional manner, you have the potential for gain.
Example 2: An extremely attractive person passed you by. You know that you’d like to get a date, but you just shake your head or make some excuse about the situation to avoid taking a chance. Deep down you’d like to go for it. The problem is that it doesn’t seem acceptable to you to start small talk and potentially get rejected. It isn’t so comfortable to talk to a stranger. It’s actually really awkward. Well, with that particular person, that’s the best shot you have. A few minutes of awkwardness to have a potential chance at something great is worth it.
So you’d let that awkward feeling get in the way of finding those amazing people? A shot in the dark is definitely better than walking away from the chance altogether. Trying can create a percentage chance above zero, whereas walking away guarantees that it is zero.
All our lives, it seems that talking to strangers is the wrong thing to do. It only is the wrong thing to do if you think that. How do you combat years and years of being told it is totally wrong and out of line? You let go of your ego.
Nothing beats first-hand exposure. Even if the first thing you do is just say "Hi" and nothing else, you are now one step closer to breaking the routine of your life.
All you have to do is go up to tons of people, a potential lover, a boss, a cashier, a traveler, a tourist, a friend you haven’t seen for years, etc. and accept any outcome. When you let go of your ego (wants, desires, your self identity, etc.) and accept the situation for what it is, then you’re able to take as many chances as you’d like. There is no attachment to any expected outcome, therefore there’s no resentment, no frustration. There is only looking forward for the next opportunity!
So let’s say you do that and you continue to get failures. It all comes back to the 90-9-1 rule. Maybe you’ll only click with 10% of the population and only get into the same wavelength of 1%. That’s totally fine because those odds are better than zero. The more people you talk to and try to associate with, the better chance those averages will play out. Don't be discouraged when only failures arrive. Continue to make adjustments based on that past exposure. Learn small talk, learn charm, learn confidence. The only way to learn those is by exposure! (Unless you're a natural and in that case, you should already be out there.)
Who really cares if you follow the social rules given? Strangers around the situation won’t really care and if they did, would forget about it relatively quickly. As long it harms no one, there’s no other rule for me to really stand by. If you say the wrong thing, move to the next opportunity. If you do the wrong thing, apologize and move on. What if you do the right thing?
You get the date.
You get the promotion.
You get to be more altruistic.
You get to have more fun by breaking the routine.
You create more opportunities for yourself.
You observe situations where you can take chances you wouldn’t normally see.
You get farther in life.
Thanks Matt, that was really cool. It's a hard task - letting go of the ego and not taking undesirable outcomes personally... but there is so much to be gained from it. Thanks for the insights - you can find Matt at http://30vanquish.com
ooh, I struggle with this one: in theory I am all about boundary pushing and taking risks, but when it comes to the actual practice of it... I am a coward and stay with the known, with the comfortable.
Matt from 30Vanquish left this really good comment on "The Cognitive Costs to Doing Things" - I think he's mostly right on with how he's going with it, but I have a few additional thoughts. Okay, here's Matt -
“Neurosis/fear/etc – Almost all humans are naturally more risk averse than gain-inclined. This seems to have been selected for evolutionarily. We also tend to become afraid far in excess of what we should for certain kinds of activities – especially ones that risk social embarrassment.”
This really hit me. I never thought of it as neurosis but that’s what it really is. I think I’ve made it a life goal to want to minimize this feeling as much as possible. It’s such a huge challenge for me that it’s something that’s worthy to challenge and overcome everyday.
It’s a daily battle because neurosis (especially in the social realm) is like a rubber band. Every time you do something neurosis inducing, it stretches out a metaphorical rubber band out more. That symbolizes how “flexible” you are with this neurosis. It’s like momentum. When you continue to do it, you have more leeway with novel experiences. (It’s not as neurosis inducing after the 10th risky situation in the same day for example.)
…so you can build a body you can be proud of.
…so you can travel.