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Jul 20, 2017

We’re spending time pretending to be awesome instead of just working on being awesome.
Dan Waldschmidt

Returning to Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements as discussed in Episode 011, Jason and Joey pick up the next principle: don’t take anything personally. This proves a relatively contentious topic, with varying levels of debate as to what it is that Ruiz means. Joey contends, does Ruiz’s hard and fast advice give one carte blanche to act like a dick - for if you are never taking personally, might you never pay heed to legitimate criticism? Jason asks, are there not times when it is worth challenging comments or actions targeted at you - such as if a close friend says something that might upset you? Jason volunteers to help clear up these issues by enacting Ruiz’s rule of never taking anything personally for a full week and seeing how it impacts upon his life - and The Grind will of course check in on his progress.

One thing the guys do agree with is that worrying about other people’s perceptions of you and consequently projecting inauthentic versions of yourself is one of the most negative routes to go down. In the vast majority of instances, a knock or slight against you derives from the insecurities of those responsible, and isn’t in fact anything to do with you. In the words of Ruiz: when you are immune to the opinions and actions of others you won’t be a victim of needless suffering.

Conversation also covers the modern phenomenon of young people’s need for validation on social media - a new societal crisis, or is mankind’s old fashioned vanity just appearing in new forms? How many people are failing to live in the moment because they are too busy attempting to project to others how much they are enjoying themselves? How much of people’s social media sharing is an authentic reflection of their genuine selves, and how much is designed to conform to other’s expectations?

It is the denial of positive life experiences through insecurity that Ruiz calls ‘needless suffering’ - whether refusing to go swimming due to fears over one’s appearance in a bathing suit, not pursuing a hobby because it is seen as ‘geeky’, or failing to make it in your dream job because people tell you it’s not possible. Shut these voices down - the only way to happiness is to be yourself.


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Remember The Name by Fort Minor (Warner Bros. Records and Machine Shop Recordings) acapella and musical tracks are licensed for use under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.5 license and have been remixed for use in this show. All rights that are not expressly granted under this license are reserved by Fort Minor and/or Warner Bros. Records and/or Machine Shop Recordings.

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