11 things that are irrelevant in our daily lives (if you want to succeed)


“Life is not just eating, drinking, television and cinema…The human mind must be creative, must be self-generating; it cannot depend on just gadgets to amuse itself.”

I’ve been using the statement, “it’s irrelevant”, a fair bit as of late and I hadn’t really noticed its constant use until today. It’s incredible the amount of things we give our time and energy to that are not only completely non-essential to our lives and our own personal evolution, but irrelevant, be it in information or because they do more to distract us from our goals, path, focus in life, our mission, than they do to aid us.

So, I started jotting down just a few things that are irrelevant in our daily lives. Some of these things are obvious, others we unknowingly give great importance to. Each, however much we currently cling to them, should be rooted out of our lives if we’re going to succeed as we define success.

This isn’t meant to be a list you breeze through and forget tomorrow. Ideally you print this out, as I have already written it down on a pad for reminder, and glance at it when something stresses you out.

The reality is that something cannot stress you out. It’s you that give “it” permission to affect you. It’s your reaction to the event that gives you stress, thus, you are in control of everything in your life and that cannot change unless you release said control.

1. The event.

The event cannot send you into a spiral, no matter what it may be. It cannot change your mood, nor can it prevent you from improving. The event, be it you getting fired, some ass-hold cutting you off, even a personal tragedy, none of these things can negatively affect your life, your mood, your emotions, unless you allow them to.

Events aren’t irrelevant so much so that its our reactions to them that make them relevant. And most events should be relevant because they either give us an opportunity to enact control over our emotions, an opportunity to learn, or an opportunity, pure and simple.

2. The opinions of others.

Opinions are subjective in nature, yet we give them objective power.

Someone calls us a name, we act as if what they’ve just said is some kind of travesty and we must prove them wrong. If someone thinks something of us, be it negative or positive, their opinion is irrelevant, and in giving it relevance by choosing to do so we make their subjective opinion of us our objective truth.

3. Your possessions.

Our society is set up to make us consumers. More than that, it’s set up to make us believe that if we consume we’ll somehow matter more. The truth is that consuming only pours dirt on a void that cannot be filled, it must be healed.

Your possessions don’t matter, and in having more things you become more dependent on things in general for validation of your self-worth and value.

And why do you worry about the material things in life? Look at the birds in the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet they survive. Are you not much more valuable than they? Look at war-torn Somalia and recent earthquake-devastated Nepal. Are you not much more fortunate in your lives than the people in these countries? Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

4. How many books you’ve read.

“It does not matter how many books you have, but how good the books are which you have.” ~ Seneca

There’s another quote, I think it’s from Marcus Aurelius, although I should say, where he notes how some men fill their libraries with books simply to show their guests how much they read. They skim through books to have them finished for the sake of finishing without absorbing their contents.

A book is a treasure, not a notch on your belt.

Take your time with the words on the pages and absorb them fully. Every book you open can make you a better man. Every book you place on a shelf for show, makes you the weaker.

5. What you intend to do tomorrow.

Tomorrow is completely irrelevant yet most of us push what we must do today, to a day that is both not promised nor in existence. Tomorrow also brings its own challenges that will get in the way of what you want to do. New reasons will arise. New excuses, too.

What you intend to do tomorrow may never occur. The only guarantee you have in your back pocket is starting today.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back– Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”~ Goethe

6. Your potential.

Your potential simply dictates how high your bar is set in life. Hard work often beats potential, actually, it almost always does. It’s where interests align with purposeful work where the magic happens.

Your potential only matters when it’s realized. And to realize it you must be far more humble than the vast majority of those humans who feel entitled to what they haven’t earned.

Your potential isn’t a right, it’s a challenge. The question isn’t what your potential is, but if you’ll achieve it or not.

7. Your sense of entitlement.

What you feel you’re owed by the world or society or your job is irrelevant. It can only bring you envy and cynicism. It can only make you lazy and weak. Your sense of entitlement is a cancer that eats away at your humility, your sense of pride (the good kind), and your hard-working nature.

Let go of this expectation to be given what is owed to you and instead focus on earning what is up for grabs, which, in this world, is whatever life you want to create for yourself.

8. Where you start in life and what you start with.

Rich or poor,  where you start in this world is irrelevant. Where you end, this is what matters.

Will you leave this planet having fought well and hard for what you think is right and against what you know to be wrong?

Will you create a better life for your kids than you had growing up?

This is the important one…

Will you, when you’re about to breathe your last breath, die of pure exhaustion having given everything you have to your mission in life, or will you die of old age and with much left still to give?

Where you start is irrelevant unless it propels you to do more every single day of your life.

9. Your perception if it’s not founded in reality.

Reality, it seems, is becoming subjective. People identify as things they aren’t and an increasingly politically correct society cuddles and coddles them without identifying the fact that what they identify themselves as isn’t what they are.

Reality is actually a thing.

If you’re broke you’re broke. If you’re white you’re white. Black you’re black. If you’re a man you’re a man, and if you’re a woman then you’re a woman. These aren’t subjective things. If you’re hard working, then that is the reality. If you’re lazy, then you don’t deserve shit.

Your grasp of reality will determine how hard you work, how much you help and how humble you are. You’ll be able to know where you are in life and you’ll be able to find the solutions that will make a real impact.

The world isn’t concerned with what you identify as, they are concerned with the person you are and how you’re making this world a better place.

10. What others expect of you.

It’s often the case that young people aim to fulfill their parents expectations, or they rebel. Either way they’re reacting to what someone else expects of them and not what they want, which, if they dig down and really dream, is far greater than anyone else’s expectation.

What others expect of you is irrelevant so long as it pales in comparison to what you expect of yourself.

If those around you expect more of you, they’re correct. If they expect less of you, remove them from their life or prove them wrong. Don’t, however, let the expectations of others guide you unless they’re in line with who you are and what you want to give this world.

11. The injustices you’ve been subjected to.

The injustices you’ve been subjected to are not an excuse for you to fail. They are a reason for you to succeed.

Within each failure and injustice is an opportunity to enact what control you have over your thoughts, emotions, and choices.

It doesn’t matter what’s been done to you, it only matters how you react.

Will you rise or will you use this injustice as an excuse to wallow in self-pity?

Something that does matter, very much.

Your feelings and emotions and your perception.

How you view the world will dictate whether you rise to challenges or shrink beneath their weight.

Everything before this conclusion, though, isn’t to say that life’s ebbs and flows shouldn’t be felt in their entirety. Pain is an important part of life and not all parts of life are good in nature. The death of a loved one sucks, but you need to feel that sorrow, to avoid it is cowardice.

Going through life avoiding pain and joy and staying only in the middle is to avoid the human condition all-together. However, to allow those feelings to lead you down the road to permanent sorrow is cowardly as well. You must feel them, but you cannot let them weaken you.

They are. You cannot change their existence. You can choose to react to them as a warrior would. React to them by being in them fully and letting them shape you for the better.

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To your investment success,

Gerald Tay


About the Author

Gerald Tay Author, entrepreneur, professional investor and loving father, runs with a tongue-in-cheek approach to property investment - and himself. He is widely regarded in the industry as 'The Common-Sense' Investor. Gerald writes with passion and straight-forwardness, disclaiming wild claims and impractical investment strategies behind lies and ignorance pervasive in the property industry for vested interests. His well-known statement, "All I did is to value my investments with science, logic and common sense.'

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