From the Desk of Tai Lopez:
It’s a funny world. People bragging about how big their house is or how nice their car is. How about bragging about how big their library is?
I tweeted that out and one guy wrote back, “How about not bragging at all.”
To which I replied, “You’re bothered about bragging about reading? Give me a break. I wish I lived in a world bragging about reading.”
I have been studying an amazing book called, Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing”
One of the main takeaways is that there is nothing wrong with competition and a little conflict. In fact, certain personality types (introverts) often ONLY thrive under competition.
This Twitter guy imagined a world where no one bragged or showed off what they were doing. But the science is in. What you really want is a world ‘bragging’ and prodding others into a healthy, constructive competition.
By the way, my Tai Lopez Capital Group is looking for accredited investors.
We acquired Dressbarn, a $740 million revenue company last month, and those who got into the group early were able to get in on it.
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Some of those who got into our group early were able to get in on our latest deal on Dressbarn,
As the Roman Poet, Ovid, wrote thousands of years ago, “A horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace.”
Of course, there is a balance. As the book says, “We need to make a distinction between adaptive competitiveness and maladaptive competitiveness. Adaptive competitiveness is characterized by perseverance and determination to rise to the challenge, but it’s bounded by an abiding respect for the rules.”
The main issue is that we are innately programmed to compete and bragging is often a part of that competition.
But in the modern world, softened by luxury, and so full of “Evolutionary mismatches”, we brag about parts of our lives which are irrelevant to the end game of living the “Good Life: Health, Wealth, Love, Happiness.”
To live this Good Life you have to be sure to not major in minors or minors in majors.
So you have to stop bragging about things you did not work for (money you might have inherited, the good facial bone structure you were born with) and start ‘bragging’ about things you have accomplished like how many books you have read.
Of course, I say the word ‘brag’ somewhat tongue-in-cheek. What I really mean is ‘prod’ yourself and others towards bigger things by holding out aspirational goals that others can realistically attain through focused work.
Michael Jordan was famous for this. He was the king of talking big and also performing big.
Jordan once told Shaquille O’Neal: “I’m coming down the court next time. I’m going to dribble it between my legs twice. I’m going to pump fake and then I’m going to shoot a jumper. And then I’m going to look at you.”
And, of course, Jordan did what he bragged he would do.
We live in a society that is too afraid of competition. I look back at certain years in my business career when I wasn’t aggressively moving forward. And I regret those years.
The book “Top Dog” laid out some principles about the competition I wish someone had told me years ago.
Here is my top 10 list of quotes from my notes on the book:
1. Those who focus on what they’ll win choose to compete far more. Those who focus on their odds of winning choose to compete far less.
2. (Speaking of the Olympic games and the Ancient Greeks and the Greek word “Aretas”): “Aretas”—attaining excellence through competition—became the supreme Grecian virtue. Aretas was something that the gods had and mere mortals sought to achieve… The Ancient Greeks did not fear that competition bred immoral behavior. They believed that competition taught moral behavior.
3. As a general rule, the research has found that the Greeks had it right: most of us do improve in competition. We do naturally rise to the occasion.
4. It’s even true that competition increases creative motivation. While our society upholds an ideal that creative genius is most prolific when it’s untainted and uninfluenced by petty outside forces—such as comparison to others, deadlines, or financial rewards—we conclude quite the opposite. Competition doesn’t kill creativity: it facilitates creative output by supplying motivational drive.
5. Competition also teaches people to be comfortable with conflict and opposition, which is a necessary building block for developing the creative psyche.
6. But when people say that the difference between an elite competitor and an intermediate competitor is all mental, that’s accurate: becoming a better competitor is about controlling your psychological state, which in turn alters your underlying physiology. Most simply put, if you can control your fear, then you can control your biology, too.
7. It’s a myth that remaining calm is the answer for everyone. Only some people need to remain calm; others conquer anxiety by going to the other end of the spectrum—by being highly aroused, animated, and even angry. A recurring note in this book is that there are two kinds of people: those who need to avoid stress to do well, and those who actually need stress to perform their best. Being told to chill out, relax, and think positively is fundamentally counterproductive for some people.
8. For most of us, competitive fire is hugely impacted by what we feel our odds of success are. It’s a big difference if you’re competing against ten people or competing against 100. When the field is too large, and the chance to be near the top is slim, people don’t try as hard. Here’s a remarkable example: when taking the SAT, the number of other students taking the test at the same location has a significant impact on the average score… In 1898, Norman Triplett found that competition against one person is better than competing against no one at all. Garcia and Tor have discovered that competing against too many others has the opposite effect—effort suffers
9. People may say they don’t compete for the money, and that the job is its own reward. However, motivation rarely operates on a single level. There’s a motivational hierarchy, with intrinsic motivation at the core—doing something just for the love of it. Once you’re with others, participating in a common activity, being better than the others can motivate you. Once there’s a structured competition, then winning is a reward. Trophies and titles act as symbolic rewards, which can, in many cases, be just as powerful as any financial reward. Prizes and financial bonuses are merely the last layer.
10. In just about every study of competition effects on a normal population, the majority improve their effort level in competitive circumstances, while some are immune and some reduce their effort… the tradeoff is that competition doesn’t benefit everyone… And while one might presume introverts don’t like the social nature of competition, the truth is that introverts’ performance improves significantly in a competition. (Extroverts improve in a collaborative setting, but perform worse in a competitive one.)
So in closing, remember what the great philosopher Heraclitus said, “Polemos Pater Panton” – meaning “Conflict is the father of all.”
Your hopes and dreams lie behind a wall of conflict. Prod yourself, don’t be afraid to ‘brag’ a bit about goals you have (but don’t be obnoxious), find the competitive style that suits you best (depending on whether you are an extrovert or introvert), and move forward through time getting a little closer to your big picture.
The second you understand that things like bragging, prodding, and competition are your ally, you will rewire your brain to embrace them.
Heed the warning of Thoreau, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, what is called resignation is confirmed desperation.”
This is a controversial topic, I know. You might not agree with everything I wrote. But I hope this message at best serves to ‘prod’ you forward.
Remember Tecumseh’s poem: “Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.” You will need some competition to perfect and beautify your life.