I’ve always that the only way to take me out is with a “paperwork error.”
You’re not going to outwork or outfight me. But I might forget to sign some paperwork sometime. This trait, which is linked to a lack of conscientiousness, has followed me since childhood.
On the Big 5 / OCEAN scale, I in the top 1% in Openness to new experiences, and in the bottom 10% for conscientiousness. This has created some interesting adventures and also challenges in life, which can be described as my way of saying, LET’S RUSH RIGHT INTO THIS OH WAIT NO I DIDN’T PLAN FOR ANY OF THAT STUFF YOU’RE MENTIONING.
- Take the Big 5 Inventory test here.
- Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You is a fun and insightful look at human personality.
My desk was always the messiest. My handwriting was terrible. Only one other person class had worse handwriting than I had, and my handwriting did not improve despite practice.
But I also travelled all over the world, and was crazy enough to think I could write a best-selling mindset book and make films and live a life that’s hard to believe it real.
I used to have poor credit because I’d forget to pay bills. I had the money to pay them. I’d just forget to.
Identify your fatal flaw.
You have one.
A fatal flaw isn’t a mild character defect.
It’s a flaw fundamental to your core.
You’ll see this fatal flaw manifest itself in all areas of your life.
For example, my fatal flaw has to do with some weird inability to focus on the mundane.
- I forget names,
- Pay bills late,
- Forget to file paperwork,
- Don’t follow-up with emails,
- Take too long to return calls.
Having a fatal flaw doesn’t make you a “bad person.”
Life has upside and downside energy.
My creative brilliance is a strength, and this strength comes with a downside energy.
Put Systems in Place to Protect Against Your Flaw.
First of all, when my daughter was born I transferred almost all of my money to her and any future siblings through various trusts. (Because my “fatal flaw” isn’t going to harm her. Let someone come after me for some nonsense. Good luck. I have no net worth!)
I set all of my bills to auto-pay.
I have a credit monitoring system via Credit Karma and Credit Sesame.
My wife remembers peoples names for me and briefs me before I talk to anyone.
My business partners handle all of the logistics.
Spending hours to fix a problem that could have been avoided in minutes.
I don’t beat myself up too much, though, as I’m uniquely talented in other ways.
But I do need to protect myself from myself.
That’s ultimately what mindset is about.
Self-knowledge without action is narcissistic navel gazing.
You learn about yourself, identify your strengths (and MAX THOSE OUT), and then find out your weakness (and militate against the negative consequences of these flaws).
In business this is called a SWOT analysis, which I learned about from Marc Lobliner.
A 25% improvement is a completely new life.
I am not perfect and do not pretend to be.
There is no such thing as “unlimited energy” or “total malleability.”
We have physical talents, and we have mental ones, and while we can improve, we can’t completely change every aspect of our personality.
But we do have 25 to 50% of our personalities to work with.
And that’s huge.
We humans aren’t good with numbers, so it’s hard to think about what a 25% improvement looks like.
In school, you could get a C or an A.
In health, a 25% improvement is being obese or merely a little heavy, or being fit or absolutely jacked.
This is especially true because self-improvement gains compound.
When you improve, this becomes the “new you.” And then additional improvements are measured against this better version of yourself.
You go from overweight to fit, to super fit. (If you want.)
Some of you know me as a “public personality.”
Did you know I used to have social anxiety?
Five years ago I almost didn’t show up to a New York meet-up due to “social anxiety.”
Years ago I scheduled my first blog meet-up, and almost didn’t leave the house.
“What if no one shows up? I’ll feel like a loser.”
That was my internal monologue and self-talk.
I ended up leaving and arriving late. Over 40 people had showed up, and at the time, I just had a blog.
Yet even this required me to push through, to be more social.
I am naturally an introvert, and introversion has a physiological aspect.
For most of my life, I thought I was “broken,” because being around people exhausted me.
Ah. It’s all about dopamine.
Yet I then used introversion as an excuse. “Oh, I can’t go out. Introversion!”
Anyhow, if you watch me now or attend my events, you’d never guess I am naturally introverted.
That’s because I pushed myself past my limits, started off small with meet-ups, and then held more meet-ups, and five years later I throw major international events.
(It still takes me a lot of “down time” afterwards to recovery. Introversion is a real thing. But I’ve come a long way from having social anxiety.)
How to Fix Your Fatal Flaw
Step 1. Identify it.
Be honest. You have one. Don’t be emotional about it. You’re assessing yourself as you would a business.
Step 2. Mitigate it.
Your flaw is likely deep enough that you need to focus on avoiding the “downside risk” rather than think you’re going to eliminate the challenge.
Systems and processes help in a huge way. Your own systems will vary based on your challenge.
Step 3. Max out your strengths.
One of the perennial debates in the self-improvement world is whether you should “eliminate weakness” or focus on your strengths.
Gorilla Mindset is about focusing on your strengths, and maxing those out.
People who “eliminate weakness” develop negative self-talk, as they are always focused on problems.
It’s far more effective to focus on what you’re good at, and develop those talents and strengths.
(I cover these issues in detail in my Mindset Master Class.)
What’s Your Fatal Flaw?
Post it in the comments.
Also, if you’ve made it this far, here’s a gift for you.
To celebrate the grand re-opening and to offer you the best products today, take 25% off of Gorilla Mind Smooth, and 25% off Gorilla Dream. (Gorilla Mind Rush is out of stock. Man, that has been a killer seller, and it takes a long time to get back into stock. I personally take Smooth, as Rush is too intense for me. But the younger guys love Rush.)