Why You Need To Diversify Your Interests #DyingFromTheInside

Hey I had to get followers.

I was willing to do whatever it took.
Spending money on fiverr to promote the videos. I thought more people were going to support me.

I was wrong. Tagging people on Facebook to watch your celebrity impressions is not a good idea.

My goal was to have 15,000 subscribers on YouTube.

The truth is that I gave up on Celebrity Impressions because I was shamed after trying as hard as I did and not getting any positive feed back. I failed… this is what identified my whole life around.

So…… I turned to some good ole fashion therapy called (Self Growth.)

I used to be ashamed about reading self growth books. But it’s my jam.

I don’t watch much TV, but if there were a channel that played Tony Robbins seminars non-stop, I’d watch it like a teenage girl glued to an America’s Next Top Model marathon. Say what you want about Robbins (opinions range from him being a complete hack and fraud to him being the second coming of Jesus Christ; my opinion is somewhere in the middle), but his seminars are never dull. The guy knows how to market helping people.

For the unaware, Robbins’ seminars have some kooky characteristics; in which people in the (massive) audience are able to stand up and address their personal issues with Tony one-on-one, in a kind of private counseling session… in front of 2,000 other people. For first time viewers some may believe it’s horsesh*t. Tony manhandles their emotional worlds, re- molding their realities in front of your eyes, all to thunderous applause. Whether it’s genuine or not, it’s never boring, and it’s usually educational.

(My old therapist refers to Robbins as the Batman of Psychology — sometimes he has to break the rules and do some unethical things, but it’s always for the greater good.)

I mean in this one seminar, a middle-aged man in the audience stood up and confessed that he was suicidal. He then shared his story: he was a finance guy, a very good finance guy. He made a fortune and not only that, but his friends and family members gave him their savings to manage and he made them fortunes as well. His entire life he had been successful and made a lot of people a lot of money.

And then one day he lost it all. ALL OF IT.

When Tony R started working his psychological Batman-like magic, his reasoning for wanting to kill himself was that his life insurance policy would pay enough to support his wife and children after he was gone, whereas if he stayed alive, his family would be saddled by debt and left broke. When Robbins threw out the obvious point that while his kids would grow up with financial stability, they wouldn’t have a father, the man calmly asserted, “Yes, exactly. That’s the idea.”

What immediately strikes you is this man’s not-so-smart belief that his kids need financial stability more than a living father. And it’d be easy to discount him as a loony for that and be on our merry way.

We’re better then this, right?

If we take a moment and empathize with him and really look into his motivation, we discover something important about his self-perception: This man perceives the value of his own life to be nothing more than about money.

Thus resulting in the a sense of any value for himself as a husband to his wife, a father to his kids, a true friend, companion, not to mention any other skills or hobbies. It’s not just that he thinks his kids would be better off with money than with him, it’s that he believes his only value as a person is to make money.

Mr. Tony R quickly pounced on the issue: this man had never emotionally invested himself or identified with his role as a father, a husband, a friend, a colleague — he had invested all of his identity (and time and effort) in making money and becoming rich AF. SO then once his wealth vanished, so did his entire sense of self.

If Tony R could have a side kick it would be: Tim Ferris. Tim is a superhuman self experimenter. His niche is superlearning

A while back, I saw a short video of Mr. Tim Ferris vand he mentioned a concept called “identity diversification.” He more or less said the following:

When you have money, it’s always smart to diversify your investments. That way if one of them goes south, you don’t lose everything. It’s also smart to diversify your identity, to invest your self-esteem and what you care about into a variety of different areas — business, social life, relationships, philanthropy, athletics — so that when one goes south, you’re not completely screwed over and emotionally wrecked.

Okay so you know I love self growth and I start geekin out on this but I loved this idea. It’s one of those ideas that’s so obvious yet transparent. When you hear it, it makes you feel like you just woke up from The Matrix. Identity diversification.

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WHAT IS IDENTITY?

Consciously or unconsciously, we all choose what’s important to us; we choose what we value. We choose the a form of measurement, with which we measure success and our self-worth. Common measuring tools people often choose include: being professionally successful, being highly educated, making a lot of moo- la AKA money, being an excellent father/husband, being faithful in a chosen religion, being socially and/or sexually popular and desired, being physically attractive or beautiful, and on and on.

Whatever we choose to measure our self-worth by, be it how big of a fan we are for our favorite sports team or making more money than any of our friends or getting more attention from the opposite sex, we are choosing in which way we want to receive validation to feel good about ourselves. Like a painting, whatever you choose to value and receive validation from your comrades into your overall identity.

Most of us naturally gravitate toward certain aspects of our identity merely through growing up and having attention or praise lavished on us for particular reasons. Maybe you were the smart kid, or the good-looking actor, or the popular musician, or whatever. The validation we receive growing up largely determines how we choose to value ourselves in our adult life.

Some of us also experienced emotional traumas early on and therefore many of us get fixated on certain aspects of our identity more than others. Social pressures can also force us into over-identifying with a certain aspect of our identity, which then drowns out other areas of our lives.

I over-identified with my talent in impressions/ my physique and the validation I receive from social media. This leads to me becoming depressed and living on a treadmill with no job. This is robbing me of my relationships and forsaking other important areas of my life and my identity.

In the case of the man in Tony R’s seminar (look I’m a poet and I don’t even know it), he lived an entire life that reinforced his identity as a man who could make money. He worked 100 hour weeks for decades. He made millions. Everyone who knew him, knew him as the man who could make money and did. The people whom knew him and liked him because he could make money.

This constant pressure and lack of diversity in his life eventually warped his perception in himself away from being a father, a husband, a friend, a role model, and instead a walking bank account. That’s all that came to matter to him and his identity. He had nothing else going for him because he never invested in any other aspects of his relationships. And when the money was gone, so was his identity.

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WHAT DO YOU CARE ABOUT?
One could take this advice as merely being a well-balanced individual. The problem is, people can be well-balanced but still not have a diverse identity. They can participate in a lot of different activities, but still lack the skills of their validation and self-worth from their overall identity.

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So, let’s say you’re a balanced individual with a successful acting caree, a spouse, some cool hobbies, and you enjoy reading in your spare time. But in reality your career dominates your identity. You work so much that you have little with which to relate to your spouse other than work. Your hobbies all involve your work on set/stage. Your reading relates to your career. You have no diversity.

A lot of people I know in Entrepreneurship are like this. Their friends are their co-workers. The books they read and movies they watch relate to their job. Their social excursions are work and networking functions. The dates they go on with people they meet doing work-related things. There’s no diversification of where they’re receiving their validation. And therefore their emotional stability and self-esteem is at risk.

If you commit all of your identity in one shoebox, then you put your self-esteem and emotional health at risk.

Robin Williams recently committed suicide a few years ago. (RIP Robin, you were beyond talented). But a lot of discussion has taken place about successful actors/ actresses well being. One can’t imagine what they must feel, having gone their entire lives since childhood being recognized for being great at a single activity, and then once they hit success; what’s next?

My antidote to fixing this…..

What do you care about? I mean, what do you really care about? Invest yourself in a wide range of areas. If you like cars, start attending car shows or learn how to build motors. Don’t just travel as a vacation, but commit in learning about the cultures. Learn a new language. Make time for old friends. Pick up new hobbies. Get competitive in something. Expand yourself beyond your work and your relationships. Go out for no other reason than to be with your friends. Learn how to dance. Take some time off work. Attend a meetup group and talk about favorite Ted Talks.

And don’t just do something else, but care about it, invest yourself in it.

Lest you become like our finance guru at a Tony R’s seminar. Because chances are, the Batman of Psychology is not going to be around to save you.

Comment below and let me know How you’re flgoing to save your life by diversifying your identity.

 

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