How to Not Be Most People

Who is Sandy MacKay?

I help Canadians build wealth through real estate and expand their freedom. I am obsessed with finding ways to live a life by design, rather than by default.

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I am sensing a lot of fear right now from most people about the economy.

It seems to be a topic in nearly every business interaction I am having lately. Right after a couple jabs at the gloomy weather, comes the concern about the economy.

How are you handling the market right now?
Are people losing their homes yet?
Have you had to let anyone go?
Did you see x company let go of 10 thousands of employees?

Even the most positive of conversations seem to have this underlying tone of fear in them.

People are worried.

They’re worried about the economy in general. They’re also worried about this Artificial Intelligence (AI) conversation going on.

I can’t recall another technological advancement where people were this fearful of it.

Stephen Hawking said that future developments of AI “could spell the end of the human race.”

While the end of the human race could be possible, most people aren’t fearful of that yet. That seems far enough into the future, that it won’t directly affect us.

The major reason people are fearful of AI today is they fear we could be replaced by computers in our jobs.

We’ve seen many examples of this takeover already in previous waves of automation.

This fear is shared by employees across all industries, including creative professions. AI is capable of composing music, creating films, creating paintings, writing sales letters, and building out courses.

If you haven’t tried out ChatGPT yet then check it out here. GPT stands for “generative pre-trained transformer”.

This technology could be a major disruptor. It may even be capable of taking down Google!

Look at Google’s search engine market share. In an industry like tech, where billion dollar companies can be built in less than 2 years, they’ve maintained an incredibly high market share for decades. This graph really is remarkable.

So if Google’s core service is at risk. Shouldn’t you be fearful about your business? Your job? Your entire industry?

The answer for most people is yes. Most people should be fearful about this.

Most people will experience a lot of pain because of this disruption. They’ll feel lost, scared and not valuable.

Despite the potential disruption, I highly doubt that Google, as a company, is scared.

Google, and many of their staff, are not like most people.

You don’t have to be like most people either!

How To NOT Be Most People

1. Seek Responsibility

Everything that happens in your life is your fault.

Even if it isn’t your fault, it’s your fault.

When every situation in your life is your fault, then you have the power to change every situation in your life, if you desire to.

Whenever you choose to make something someone else’s fault, you lose the power to change it.

This includes that scratch on your car door that showed up out of nowhere after your quick 10 minute trip inside the grocery store.

Was it from the car next to you? A runaway grocery cart? A bike? It certainly wasn’t you. How could this be your fault?!

This is absolutely your fault and could have been avoided.

Think about it.

You could have parked in a different spot, arrived 10 minutes sooner or 10 minutes later. Better yet, you could have owned a nicer car that didn’t dent so easily!

Your choices led you to that parking spot at that time and put you in the way of that unknown door scratcher.

Every lost sale in your business is your fault. Every disgruntled employee, angry customer, and your unprofitable businesses are all your fault.

When you take responsibility for all the negatives in your life, you also get to enjoy some of the credit for the positives. You can’t accept credit for the positives without also accepting the negatives.

To see the biggest impact of this, you also have to seek responsibility first. It doesn’t quite work when you are forced into taking responsibility. You have to seek it, and take it before others do.

When you seek responsibility, you are grabbing the easiest bit of power available to you. When you let others take it, then you’re losing power.

More responsibility = More power

2. Proactively Learn

Most people are not learning based people. Most people learn whats needed to get through life, and not much else.

With the speed at which life moves in 2023, this quickly becomes a recipe for a very difficult and fearful life.

Proactive learning means you seek information to grow your mind and skills every day. When you do this regularly, you form a habit of learning. When learning becomes a habit, your brain looks for lessons in every situation.

When you search for lessons in every situation, including the most challenging ones, fear diminishes greatly. Instead of fear, you’ll feel more hope and gratitude.

Hope that the lessons you learned will be beneficial for you one day.

Gratitude for everything that happens for you, and every lesson learned.

To eliminate fear, proactive learning needs to become part of your daily routine.

I find that making time for reading and/or listening to books early in the morning is a great way to start the day off with a learning attitude, and to build this habit.

3. Think Critically

A paper published in 2004 by a Harvard professor defines critical thinking as, “That mode of thinking – about any subject, content, or problem – in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them.”

Critical thinking requires knowledge, so it goes hand in hand with proactively learning.

In a world where knowledge is available on demand, proactive learning just for the sake of knowledge is not useful enough.

You need to be able to take in that knowledge and be able to apply it.

It’s estimated that the average adult makes 35,000 remotely conscious decisions every day.

To make more good decisions, it requires good critical thinking.

To make more great decisions, it requires great critical thinking.

But…Good and great decisions don’t always produce good and great outcomes. I’ve found this to be a great lesson to help with my critical thinking.

You can make great decisions, and end up with terrible outcomes. That’s a reality of life. There’s always an element of luck. Very few decisions are 100% correct.

When you understand this, it helps open up your mind to other opinions. It helps you become a better open-minded critical thinker.

In a world of automation, open-minded critical thinking will lead to progress.

It will make you more valuable.

4. Effectively Collaborate

At our year end office parties this year I shared a message about collaboration. I talked about the importance of teamwork and being a great teammate.

In tough times, the value of being a great teammate goes way up. When organizations have great teammates collaborating together, the organizations value goes way up.

Most people in this world are walking around all day thinking about themselves. In almost every interaction they’re thinking about 1 question…

What’s in it for me?

Flip the script on this and instead of thinking about whats in it for you 80%+ of the time, think about whats in it for others 80%+ of the time.

Focus on being a better collaborator and giver in 2023. When you do this, you’ll attract everything you want out of 2023 and beyond.

There will always be new disruptions in life. These disruptors (like AI) can affect every area of your life including your business, your relationships, your health and your finances.

The disruptors are either going to push you up into more pleasure, or push you down to more pain.

There will be more people pushed down than pushed up.

You do not want to be like most people!

You get to choose how disruptors affect your life!

Great Teammates = Great Warriors

The United States Navy SEALs are perhaps the most elite group of warriors in the world.

When one of the SEALs was asked, who makes it through the selection process to become a SEAL?

The SEAL responded, “I cannot tell you the type of people who make it as a SEAL, but I can tell you the type of people who don’t become SEALs…”

He says, “The guys who show up with huge muscles and tattoos who want to prove to the world how tough they are. None of them make it through.”

He says, “The preening leaders who like to delegate all their responsibility and never do anything themselves, none of them make it through.”

He continues, “Some of the guys who make it through are skinny and scrawny. Some of them who make it through can be seen shivering out of fear through the process.”

He says, “However, all of the guys who make it through, when they find themselves physically and emotionally spent. When they have nothing left to give physically or emotionally, somehow they are able to find the energy to dig down deep inside themselves, to find the energy to help the guy next to them.”

“They become SEALs,” he said. “If you want to become really good at being an elite warrior, you better get really good at helping the person to the left of you, and helping the person to the right of you.”

Great teammates = great warriors.

10 Ways to Be a Great Teammate

1. Communicate – Listen more. Put your phone down and truly listen. Listening is best done actively, not passive. Talk less.

2. Problem solve – Suggest creative solutions when possible. Critical thinking, as mentioned above, will help you with this.

3. Know your role – If you are unclear about what the team’s expectations are of you, then go get clarity on this asap from your team or your leader. Say no to anything that is not in line with these expectations.

4. Take initiative – Be proactive. Help prevent problems before they arise. When they do arise, fix them with a sense of urgency.

5. Stick to your deadlines – Others are waiting on you so they can do their work. Don’t make them look bad by passing the baton to them late.

6. Know your strengths – Take and review some sort of personality test yearly to learn more about who you are. Ask for work that takes advantage of your skillset. When you learn more about yourself, it also helps you understand others better.

7. Support your team mates – Make others feel valued. Celebrate their successes and give them compliments.

8. Share info – Read a good article? Got a good tip? Heard a great podcast? Share this stuff with your team. This shows them you’re engaged in proactive learning, and will motivate them to do the same.

9. Ask for feedback – After finishing a project, or doing a presentation, ask your peers for feedback. This shows them you’re open minded and wanting to get better. It opens everyone up to share the truth, rather than just sharing fake compliments. Everyone learns and grows through this.

10. No drama – The general populations seems to love drama. Don’t bring that crap into the workplace. It is a massive time suck and exactly the type of thing that keeps you like most people.

“There’s no I in team.”

“Bright lights don’t need spotlights.”

“The star of the team is the team.”

You’ll always shine brighter with a great team around you. Life will be more fulfilling, easy, and fun.

Don’t be like most people. Be a great teammate instead.

Until next week! ✌🏻

– Sandy MacKay