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In this week’s newsletter, I want to share a question related to being your authentic self, as well as my favorite books, podcasts and videos on health, success and becoming world class at what you do.
Returning to Your Authentic Self
When Warren Buffet walks into a room, he doesn't need to prove that he's rich, capable or smart to anyone. Most people in the room already know that he is all those things. And the ones that don't have no impact on Buffet's $76 billion net worth. Buffet doesn't wear expensive suits and he eats McDonald's everyday. He spends most of his day reading and playing bridge. But most importantly, he's world class at investing. He's found his authentic self and lives it every day.
Authenticity isn't something that you express only after you've made it. Being your authentic self is actually the best way to separate yourself from the competition and become successful in your chosen field. As entrepreneur and investor Naval Ravikant famously said, "Escape competition through authenticity."
However, for many of us, we think that the secret to success lies in being something other than ourself. We think that we have to be like other people in order to be successful. That's why we're obsessed with Elon Musk's morning routine, the way Jeff Bezos makes decisions, or the way Steve Jobs treated his employees. We think that we need to change ourselves in order to be successful, when in reality, we need to return to our authentic selves. Being our authentic selves — not trying to impress anyone, not trying to gain affirmation from anyone, not trying to gain validation from anyone — is the way we will ultimately become successful. We just need to get out of our own way and let our authenticity help us win.
I'll never forget this story about Eric Thomas, who talked about how he moved away from his authentic self while writing his book, all just to gain acceptance from 'intellectuals'. Now, Eric was already successful while he was writing the book, he was (and still is) the number 1 motivational speaker in the world. But Eric felt he needed to change his style and change the way he spoke in order to appeal to intellectual folks, who he sought acceptance from. In his words, "I got away from my authentic self trying to be what that community wanted me to be." It's no surprise that his book ended up not doing as well as he expected. Eric reflected on this experience and saw that the way he succeeded way by being authentic to himself, so in his next book, he went back to his roots and decided to speak to 80% of the population who don't have college degrees. That book was a resounding success.
I'll end with a question from Eric Thomas. It's a question I ask myself every week during my weekly review or when I feel misaligned in my life:
“How much of your authentic self have you gotten away from, trying to be liked, trying to be affirmed, trying to blow up?!”
I'd be interested to know your answers to that question, just hit reply and we can chat about it.
Here's to living with authenticity,
📚 Curation Corner
Here's a roundup of some of the best videos, podcasts and books I've encountered recently.
The Diabetes Code: I discovered Jason Fung from his interview on Dr Peter Attia's podcast, The Drive. As someone with a familial pre-disposition to diabetes, I found Dr Fung's work on diabetes and obesity to be extremely useful, offering both scientifically rigorous explanations of why diabetes occurs, as well as actionable steps for how to reverse it (or in my case prevent myself from getting in the first place). His book "The Diabetes Code", is one that I have multiple copies of, have gifted to family and friends, and recommend to anyone wanting to understand how to beat obesity and diabetes, especially Indian people or people of South Asian decent. If you want to skip the theory and get straight to actionable steps, start with Chapter 4: "How Not to Treat Type 2 Diabetes", where he dismantles common treatments for type 2 diabetes, like insulin, oral hypoglycemics and low-calorie diets, and Chapter 5: "How to Effectively Treat Type 2 Diabetes", where he talks about how you can use carbohydrate reduced diets and intermittent fasting to reverse type 2 diabetes forever.
“If Cristiano Ronaldo invites you over for lunch, just say no!” 😂
Cristiano Ronaldo's dedication to being the best: If Cristiano Ronaldo ever invites you over for lunch, just say no! That's the moral of this story from Ronaldo's Manchester United teammate, Patrice Evra. He recounts a story about how he went to Ronaldo's house for lunch after training one day. Evra expected a delicious lunch, some rest, and maybe some light banter... but lunch turned out to be plain chicken and salad, and the afternoon turned into another training session complete with two-touch passing, sauna and Jacuzzi sessions! It goes to show you that if you want to be world class at what you do, you have to dedicate your entire life to it. It's not something you can do 50% or 75% of the time, it has to be your magnificent obsession in life and the thing that you structure your entire life around.
Kevin Hart's Road to Greatness: Kevin Hart's rise to stardom in comedy, acting and business has been truly spectacular. But what I find more inspiring is his mindset, his drive and his philosophy of how to be successful and how to live well. In this interview with Tony Robbins, Kevin gives us a glimpse into what motivates him, how he deals with making mistakes (and he's made many), and his vision for life. I recommend you listen to this over multiple sessions, with a notepad or with your Evernote open, ready to jot down all of Kevin's nuggets of wisdom.
See you next week!
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