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  • When I was a freshman in college I majored in economics.

  • Now I definitely wasn't passionate about finance or econ back then – I decided to pick this

  • major simply because it was one of the few career paths that my parents approved of.

  • You can make a lot of money working on Wall Street.

  • Now - when school started, I distinctly remember going to econ class and falling asleep every

  • single time.

  • It also turns out that I would snoreso the people around me would complain and after

  • a couple of weeks I stopped going to classbecause I was just embarrassing myself.

  • Instead, I ended up studying on my own.

  • It wasn't easy - I struggled with my levels of motivation – I would procrastinate – I

  • would end up cramming for a couple of days before each testjust so I could barely

  • pass.

  • And at the end of my freshman year - I realized that I simply had no motivation whatsoever

  • to continuing studying this subjectso I dropped the major.

  • And I eventually dropped out of school all together.

  • Fast forward to March of 2020 – the stocks markets around the world fell by over 20%

  • in the span of a week because of the pandemic, and I found myself in a rather interesting

  • position.

  • See I never cared much about investing so I was sitting on cash that I've saved up from

  • working on this business for the past 5 years and I realized that I should figure out what

  • to do with this money.

  • Because as many great investors saywhen there's blood on the street, it's the best

  • time to buy.

  • I ended up spending 3 to 4 hours every single day just devouring all the finance and econ

  • material that I could get my hands on.

  • I remember binge listening to an 8 hour book on the history of money in one sitting.

  • And what's funny, is that this was basically the same material that I was studying back

  • in college.

  • Butthis time around, I was able to do it effortlessly.

  • My motivation was so highthat I didn't even have to try.

  • How is this possible?

  • Well it all comes down to a concept that I've recently been digging into, called Wu Wei.

  • Wu Wei is an ancient Chinese philosophy which directly translates intothe art of doing

  • nothing”.

  • Or The Art Of Non Forcing

  • Now this doesn't actually mean that you should do nothingWu Wei is more about aligning

  • your life in a way so that things feel effortless.

  • A common analogy that's made: is that most people try to row their boats in order to

  • get places, but someone who has mastered the art of Wu Wei would figure out how to set

  • up a sail and then use the wind to push them while they take a nap.

  • They end up getting to the same destination, faster, all with just a tenth of the effort.

  • You see - I was able to spend thousands of hours over the course of the last year and

  • a half, studying economics effortlessly, because I had the Wu Wei wind on my side.

  • I became interested in this subject on my own.

  • It wasn't something that my parents or society pressured me to do.

  • I simply realized that if I did not understand what was happening in the economy, if I did

  • not make the right investments, I would lose a large majority of the wealth that I've accumulated

  • over the years.

  • This fear sparked a curiosity.

  • And that curiosity became my windand next thing you know – I wanted to sit down

  • in bed and binge listen to 8 hour textbooks.

  • Now how does this apply to YOUR life?

  • Wellhere's the harsh truth.

  • If you genuinely don't like what you're studying...then honestly...you shouldn't study it.

  • I really don't see the point of spending decades of your life pursuing a career that you dislike

  • just to make your parents happy.

  • First of all - your chances of success are going to be lower, cause you're competing

  • against people who actually like this subject.

  • Which means they'll study and practice effortlessly.

  • They'll have the Wu Wei Wind on their side while you don't.

  • And secondly your overall sense of happiness in life is going to be much lower because

  • you're going to feel trapped doing something you genuinely don't enjoy.

  • My advice to youis to find a career that you are at least somewhat interested in.

  • Like on a scale of 1 to 10, you need to be at least at a 6.

  • Once you find this, you can then use the following idea to maximize and capture the wind.

  • I've been thinking about a new ideathat's still in it's experimental stages.

  • And it's the idea that we can capture the Wu Wei wind by structuring our life to align

  • with our current personality.

  • There is a test called the Big 5 personality test, which is widely considered as one of

  • the most accurate personality tests available.

  • Yes, I know personality tests aren't 100% accurateand yes I know that personalities

  • can be changes over time.

  • But I still believe that it's useful when it comes to figuring out what types of things

  • would feel more natural for you.

  • For example, I personally rank lower than average for one of the Big 5 Personality traits

  • called Neuroticism which basically means I can handle negative emotions fairly well.

  • So using fear to spark curiosity to push the sails of my boat would actually be a good

  • idea.

  • I used the idea of losing wealth to scare myself into being curious.

  • On the other hand if you rank high on Neuroticism, meaning that you don't work so well with negative

  • emotions - It might be a much better idea for you to do visualization exercises about

  • a positive future so that you can experience pleasant emotions and use that as the wind

  • for your boat.

  • Here's another example: Let's say you score higher than average for extroversion, which

  • basically means that you enjoy socializing with large groups of people.

  • In this case, if you were to form a study group, you might find more motivation because

  • the task of studying all of a sudden becomes more enjoyable.

  • You're having fun with your friends while getting work done.

  • Here's yet another example, let's say you're someone who scores high in openness meaning

  • that you enjoy being creative and trying out new things.

  • In this case you should not pursue a career that involves doing the same thing every single

  • day.

  • It would be more natural for you to pursue something that allows you to come up with

  • creative solutions.

  • So instead of studying to be an accountant you might find it more natural to become a

  • software developer which has a lot more opportunity for creativity.

  • On the other hand if you rank low for openness then pursuing a more repetitive job like being

  • an accountant might feel more natural for you.

  • And one final example: If you're someone who scores lower than average for conscientiousness

  • meaning that you really don't care about being organized, then maybe you shouldn't

  • try to force yourself to schedule out your entire day.

  • You could simply keep a short daily to-do list where you jot down the major things you

  • need to get done.

  • I believe aligning our life with what's natural for us can lead to work that starts to feel

  • more effortlesswhich ultimately leads to more action.

  • I know this is a lot to take in, I'm still exploring this idea of Wu Weiso I will

  • definitely be speaking more about it in the near futureif you don't want to miss

  • that future contentjust make sure you subscribe and hit that bell icon.

  • This episode was brought to you with the help of Skillshare.

  • In order to truly adopt Wu Wei, one should focus on skills that they actually enjoy.

  • And skillshare is perfect for this.

  • Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes with - topics ranging

  • from things like copywriting to animating.

  • Surely you'll find something that genuinely interests you within this wide array.

  • Speaking of animating.

  • I know a lot of you have been asking about how we make these videos.

  • If you want to learn exactly how some of our artists do this: check out Animation for Illustration

  • by Libby VanderPloeg on Skillshare.

  • It's a beginner friendly course that will introduce you to many of the things we use

  • for our videos.

  • Skillshare is giving away access to their Premium Membership to the first 1000 people

  • who click on the link in the description box below after that it's only around 10$ a month.

  • Which is incredibly affordable compared to what you would have to pay to learn these

  • skills inan in person class.

When I was a freshman in college I majored in economics.

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Ancient Chinese Secret to Staying Motivated - Wu Wei

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    Zoey posted on 2021/05/28
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