Today I’m happy to introduce the second guest post on this site from my friend Ethan Blagg.
Ethan is an entrepreneur, investor, inventor and writes deep meaningful texts that really makes you think.
He loves to write about personal self actualization, personal understanding and the advancement of civilization.
In this guest post I asked him to write a post about how important it is to know yourself (self actualization) if you want to reach financial independence.
Let’s dig in to the post!
If you are reading this blog, it is highly likely that you aspire to be financially free.
You don’t want to have to answer to anyone and have the ability to stop doing the things you don’t want to do.
You want independence and success.
Sadly, most people fail to reach this grand destination.
They fail to fulfill their potential.
They live a life of mediocrity, failing to ever see what they were truly capable of.
Most people are never truly free.
They are held by shackles and bonds.
Why is this?
A good place to start is that people do not truly know what they are capable of.
If you do not know what tools you possess in life, how then are you supposed to use them?
This is where self actualization comes in.
Self Actualization is the realization and fulfillment of one’s talents and potential in life.
Think of it as both discovering what you are capable of and then doing something about it.
The world’s highest achievers know themselves very well.
The highest achievers know their strengths and they know their weaknesses.
They know what they are capable of.
They know their tendencies, and how to observe their thoughts.
These people achieve great things because they become a person who is capable of achieving great things.
They get the best jobs, start the best businesses, and get the best opportunities because of who they are and the skills they possess.
The highest achievers are really free; free from financial worry, free from caring about what other people think, and free to do what they want when they want.
Enough about them.
How well do you know yourself?
Do you honestly know your strengths and weaknesses?
Do you know your habits and tendencies?
How well you know yourself is closely tied to how successful you can be.
Reaching financial independence without really knowing yourself is almost impossible.
The following information is only for people who have an interest in growing, learning, and getting to know themselves down to the core.
If you are comfortable with your life and don’t want to grow further, then don’t waste your time reading this.
But, if you are willing to grow, to change, and put in the effort and energy to improve your life, keep on reading.
Alright, since you decided to stay, let’s go over three actionable steps that you can take right now that will get you started on the process of self actualization and becoming financially independent.
Are you ready?
Let’s dive in.
Step 1: Take Personality Tests.
Often times, to truly understand something about yourself we must view it from different perspectives.
This is where different personality tests come in handy.
These tests will be excellent tools in your toolbox.
It is not far fetched to say that knowing your skill sets and talents will get your closer to financial independence, because you will be able to double down on your strengths, generate better results, get better opportunities, and have more leverage when negotiating deals.
We are going to go over three different personality tests. They are all different, and provide different insights.
They take work, but will reward you with the gift of knowledge and understanding of yourself.
This test is oftentimes one of the first tests that people stumble onto.
In this test there are 16 different personality types.
You will fall into one of these different types.
Are you feeling or thinking?
Are you more structured or more free form?
How do you like to give and receive information?
Route 2 FI and myself both agree that this test is a MUST! (editor: this personality test changed my life and was the reason I started the blog Route 2 FI).
If you do not take any of the other tests, take this one.
It only takes 10 – 12 minutes! But the results you get from it may last for life.
It is simple and effective.
Through this test I learned that I am an INTP (Introverted Intuitive Thinking Prospecting).
I was finally able to understand how I fit into the world.
I do not use the words often, but life changing is the best way to describe what this test did for me.
This test is highly detailed and you will instantly see what your strengths and weaknesses are.
The test shows you exactly what your top strengths are and which ones fall to the bottom.
Clifton strengths Finder 2.0 is well regarded as a key staple in the business and psychology community.
Through taking this test I learned that my top strengths lie in strategy, directing, and ideation.
As we will learn in the following steps, this is where I should focus my energy. I no longer try and do things that I am naturally terrible at.
As Naval Ravikant says you should focus on what your naturally good at:
This test costs some money (yes… you have to invest in yourself if you want to grow).
But think of it this way. Isn’t it worth $50 for a quality test that will you a for a life-time because of the midblowing results?
You will receive a large amount of information about yourself, almost a creepy amount of information.
You will be asking yourself… how do they know this?
This test shows you your leadership styles, action bias, and thought tendencies.
This is highly important when working with other people, and making sense of your actions.
I learned from this test that I am the dominant leader type.
This explained my leadership style to a tee, and it was almost humorous reading about myself in detail.
The test will help you understand how you need to position yourself in teams, job roles, and negotiation.
This test is also free and will especially help you improve your corporate career.
Because…you do want to increase your salary when you’re still in the 9 – 5, right?
Step 2: Deep Dive Into Your Mind
This step is not for the faint of heart.
You will uncover some disturbing truths.
Drill hard to find the root of a problem you are facing.
Ask yourself question after question after question until you cannot go any deeper.
Use logic to go from question to question.
Assume the role of an authority figure, trying to get down to the bottom of what really happened in a crucial incident.
Do not take no for an answer.
Find out the truth.
Let’s do an example to get you going:
“Why do you feel negatively toward ultra wealthy people?”
Because all wealthy people are selfish and greedy.
“Why do you think this way?”
Because this is what I was brought up to believe.
“Where did this belief come from?”
Movies, parents, and peers as a child.
“Why should you trust these sources?”
I probably shouldn’t. They are not accurate. They should not be trusted.
“Are all wealthy people greedy and selfish?”
“Where can I find accurate information?”
From observing and leading directly from the source; wealthy people.
“Do you believe that there are some good wealthy people?”
It is possible that there are some good wealthy people.
Do you see how an exercise like this might be useful?
This just identified the root of the problem.
You felt negatively forwards ultra wealthy people, and you just traced that belief down to its core… your childhood conditioning.
This is what is known as a limiting belief.
Everyone has them.
It is through the process of elimination that we grow.
To reach the level of success and financial independence you desire, you must irradiate the limiting beliefs that are lurking deep within you.
If you do not, these beliefs will persistently keep you self sabotaging your own success, because your mind will subconsciously kill your momentum despite your hardest effort.
Tracing the top level thought or emotion to its core is an extremely useful tactic in uncovering limiting beliefs and destructive thought loops.
If you want to be financial independent and wealthy you have to think like the rich, it doesn’t help to hate them.
This excersise is really powerful if you want to be the best version of yourself!
Step 3: Focus On Strengths. Outsource Weaknesses
The quest of becoming a “well rounded person” is for chumps and will keep you in the ranks of mediocrity.
No high achiever spends time on improving their weaknesses, as this is a futile effort.
The results will be minimal.
High achievers double down on their strengths, because they know that this is where they have leverage.
They get a disproportionate output from their input.
Do you really want to become financially independent?
Then focus on your strengths.
You will get better opportunities, you will bring more value to others, get paid more for your time, and live with much less stress.
High achievers work smart.
They do not do things they are not naturally inclined for.
They outsource their weaknesses to people who have strengths in that area.
Humans are collaborative animals.
We are meant to work with people.
Working in areas that you are not naturally gifted creates friction and stress.
You don’t want to be stressed all the time, do you?
The first step in this is knowing your strengths and weaknesses.
This is why you must take personality tests.
This will show you what to work on and what to outsource.
Here is an example:
Let’s say that you find out that your top strengths are strategy, commanding, and ideation (i.e. me).
Details, technical skills, and operational systems might be your biggest weaknesses.
You could attempt to do everything yourself, but at the cost of being well below average on all of them, immensely overwhelmed and stressed.
You would be much better off focusing on leading people towards a grand idea, and lead a great team of people help with the details, operations, and technical output.
You must accept that you cannot do it all.
This will drive you insane.
Work with people.
In doing this, the value that you bring to other people goes up, henceforth the money that you can generate for yourself goes up.
Regardless if you work a 9-5, are a freelancer, or you own a business, this still applies.
The more value you can bring, the more you get paid.
This is a fact.
You now have three steps to take.
They require work and effort.
No one can or will do these for you.
You are the only person who can do this.
You can either go down the hard road of Self Actualization toward success, or you can stay in the comfortable lane of living an average life.
What will you do?
Will you take these three steps forward Self Actualization?
I sure hope you do, because you have talents and skills that the world desperately needs.
And believe me, by doing this, you’re gonna speed up your route to financial independence a lot!
Have questions, comments or suggestions? I would love to help you with your FI-journey.
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