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Real Life Lessons From a Real Rat (in the woods)

Real Life Lessons From a Real Rat (in the woods)

Why people are so different:

We all carry a model of the universe around in our head. How to walk, talk, the ability to predict danger, how things work and why things work are all simulated in our brains. This helps us to predict and function in a complicated universe. Everything from gravity, relationships and taxes are all reproduced in a working model in the brain.

Now there is only one universe, and one set of rules. But everyone’s model is very, very different. Everyone’s model is broken, missing rules and just plain wrong in areas. That’s because they can only build it on their life’s experience and it’s shaped by how they can understand and process that experience. So, we are really all living in different universes! It’s a more of a miracle that we can agree on anything, rather than be exasperated at our profound differences. NLP has a saying "The map is not the terrain".

Self Confidence:

It’s taken a very long time to understand that most people have none. It’s one of the biggest single factors in preventing people from being happy, taking risks, and winning at life. I was blessed with a way of looking at life right from birth, which has always meant I never lacked any self-confidence. I will try to explain it: You are truly the only person that knows who you are, and what you can do. If you have values, and remain true to them.

You are the only person that has observed your whole life, known your every thought, and seen your every victory and defeat. You know your strengths, your weaknesses and motivations behind your every move.

What the hell would anyone else know about you? They have known you for 5 minutes, and presume to call you fat/stupid/weak or useless? What the hell would they know about the real you? Almost nothing. Why would you even listen to them? Have a look at the mirror and remind yourself who really knows you? It doesn't matter what anyone else says about your values, when you face yourself, you can't hide from the things you have done.

Becoming Self Employed:

Leaving a safe, secure job to start a business. It’s a scary, hard thing to do. Your friends, parents and peers will all advise against taking the risk. What if you fail? What if it doesn’t work out?

Well, if you really crash and burn and utterly fail in a complete way…. Then you will just have to get a job again. I mean you have a job now, right? So you can get a job back if it all goes wrong.

So if you think about it, you are currently in the WORST POSSIBLE position you can be in, right now.

About money:

It’s all just junk. Look around you, all that stuff. Junk. Any man whos been divorced can tell you that even when it all gets taken off you, life goes on, it’s definitely not the end of the world. Live your life like it’s all going to get taken off you tomorrow. What a relief, no need to worry about it now.

Spend it on experiences, helping others, developing yourself –all these things can never be taken off you.

Its you who earned and acquired all that stuff. You can do it all again tomorrow. It’s not what life it all about.

Helping others:

Do it for you, and you alone. If you expect gratitude, you will be disappointed. It’s not why you should be doing it. Your motivation should be purely selfish – that feeling you get when you help someone. It’s a very small minority of people who deserve your help, assistance and love, but when you find one, give with your heart.
There is no better feeling. But if you want them to pay you back, expect reward, or even for them to say thank you, then generosity does not become you. Btw KIVA rox.


One strike and you're out. How stupid would you have to be to give people a second chance to betray you? How weak are you if you can forgive a betrayal? If its deliberate, and malicious, then please don’t kid yourself and make excuses for them. People really don’t change.

Business Partnerships:

By all means collaborate, work together, help each other and take on bigger projects with the help of allies.
But keep the lines of separation open!
There are many ways to collaborate – subcontract, share profits through invoices, swap jobs, employees, ideas and work under each other.
There’s no need to ‘get married’! Don’t form bigger companies, make people directors, or hop into bed with your business partners. It always ends the same way a marriage does! With people getting take advantage of, and expensive divorce proceedings! Always leave a graceful exit open.

Stop ameliorating discomfort

I see people jump through hoops to avoid discomfort. They don’t want to be too hot, too cold, work too hard, sweat, carry heavy things or confront painful truths. The problem is when you go through life avoiding discomfort, your threshold to tolerate pain and discomfort narrows, creating a constant feedback loop of trying to avoid but then still feeling discomfort.

“Grasp the nettle” - embrace pain, discomfort and hard work. It makes you tougher, makes comfortable times more pleasurable and gives you back the energy you would have spent dodging discomfort at all costs to do more noble things. Otherwise known as “take a spoonful of cement and harden up princess” in my native tongue. Or as one of my favourite sayings goes “On a dark, rainy, windy night… Enter that darkness”

On Forgiveness and holding a grudge

Never forgive, always hold a grudge. Friendships are like a bank balance, you can make deposits and withdrawals.

Sometimes people get overdrawn, and their cheques bounce - you say no to all their requests for favors and help. Over time, given enough deposits they can get back in the black.

But sometimes people ram raid the bank, shoot all the staff and loot the safe.
Its to those people I say forgiveness is not possible. Don't lose sleep or ruin yourself over the grudge, just keep it on file, and if or when the time comes up - pay back with interest!

Don’t be Anal

It’s not the detail that’s important, it’s always the idea. Never waste time dwelling on the little small picture facts, details and nuances. Always focus on the big picture, the broad concept and the idea. You should always learn this way. After all, you can learn the times table by either memorising the tables or you can learn how to multiply two numbers together. What’s going to be more useful in life? When the time comes to multiply 13 by 13, it’s only your business that will thrive and succeed. All the anal memorising businesses’ will be stumped.

Don’t make the Mouse Roar!

My accountant is a great man. During a harrowing divorce audit and in the midst of my suicide inducing high level legal persecution, he stood up and shielded me with righteous fury. He told me “if you back a mouse in a corner, it can do nothing but roar like a lion!” This must be an old Italian proverb that loses a little in the translation, but I think we get the general Idea. If you don’t give people an escape route, they will have no option but to detonate the mutually destructive nukes. Do you really want that?


As my friend passed by the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a rope tied to their legs. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break free from the ropes they were tied to, but for some reason they did not. My friend saw the trainer nearby and asked why these beautiful, magnificent animals just stood there and made no attempt to escape.

“Well,” he said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and at that age it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe that they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

My friend was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were. The powerful and gigantic creature limited its present abilities by the limitations of its past. How many of us go through life believing the ropes tied to us?

What ingrained beliefs are holding you back?

Real Life Lessons From a Real Rat (in the woods)

Rats are wiser than you think, thanks man.

Real Life Lessons From a Real Rat (in the woods)

Quote: (10-23-2018 05:10 PM)RatInTheWoods Wrote:  


One strike and you're out. How stupid would you have to be to give people a second chance to betray you? How weak are you if you can forgive a betrayal? If its deliberate, and malicious, then please don’t kid yourself and make excuses for them. People really don’t change.

Good stuff, only one thing I disagree with. The betrayal part. People do make mistakes. Just because they do them before, does not mean they will always do them. Life is more complicated than that. Past performance is not a true indicator of future performance. Or else we would all make a killing on the stock market every day.

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