Your operating system is what holds you back

Elon Musk. Barack Obama. Lance Armstrong. I need to be these men to achieve my wildest dreams. I can’t be anyone but myself. All I can do is upgrade my operating system.

To have something you’ve never had you have to do something you’ve never done. To do something you’ve never done you have to be someone you’ve never been.

Imagine if you had Elon’s entrepreneurial might and his ability to marshal capital and put it to use. If you had Barack’s remarkable public speaking talent and ability to organize massive groups of people behind a common cause. Lance Armstrong’s athletic excellence and champion’s mindset. What would you accomplish if you were them? If your mind ran the same operating system as theirs?

Everyone has a different operating system. It’s always running just below the surface, dictating how we act and react to situations. Each operating system is shaped by past traumas and victories. Transformation involves upgrading the operating system in order to act/react differently, producing different outcomes.

Practical strategies for upgrading your operating system involve digging up the past and acknowledging it. You can also force yourself into transformational circumstances. Like Jia Jiang, in Rejection Proof, face rejection again and again until the fear is gone. Afraid of public speaking? Talk to strangers at every opportunity. The idea is you have to do something uncomfortable to upgrade your operating system. Otherwise your outcomes won’t change, even if you win a lottery.

As TD Jakes beautifully said, You can change your hair, your clothing, your house, your spouse, your church, your residence, but if you don’t change your mind, the same experience will perpetuate itself over and over again, because everything outwardly changed but nothing inwardly changed. There is nothing as powerful as a changed mind.

Upgrade your operating system.

James Altucher of

What I’ve learned from James Altucher:

  • Develop your Daily Practice to cover 4 areas: physical, mental, spiritual, emotional
  • Build your idea muscle by writing down 10 ideas every day.
    • At first your ideas will suck, after 6 months your ideas will rock
  • Strive to improve yourself by 1% every week

What inspired me from James Altucher:

I keep having to remind myself that consistency is oh-so-important. You have to practice your craft every day. You have to exercise every day. James talks about this often in books and podcasts. When terrible things happen to you, your daily habits, your morning routine gets you through it.

Resources from James Altucher:

Gary Vaynerchuk of Vayner Media

I’ve been obsessed with Gary Vaynerchuk (YouTube). I’m not sure how I never came across him before. He’s a rockstar social media mogul who understands things like Twitter and Snapchat and the next one you haven’t heard of yet. He built a million dollar wine business, took that business online, and created an early YouTube channel called WineLibraryTV.

Gary says (paraphrasing) “don’t create, document.” What he means is that you don’t need to bother trying to be clever, to be creative. By just documenting your work, your successes and failures, you create value for people who follow.

What I learned From Gary Vaynerchuk:

  • Self-awareness is extremely valuable and unteachable.
  • Know your strengths and triple down on them. Don’t chase what other people tell you you should do.
  • Regret is the most painful. Spend time with retirement home residents to see this pain first hand. People regret what they do not do.
  • Immigrants have an unfair advantage because they recognize the opportunity that others don’t. Native-born people take things for granted.
  • Those who work the hardest create the most luck. Tom Bilyeu: “I will die before I quit. I will outwork you.”
  • Don’t pay attention to people who complain. Jeff Bezos: “complaining is not a strategy.”
  • Don’t use age (or anything else) as an excuse to not learn new technology.
  • Pursue unreasonable goals. Gary will buy the New York Jets when the time is right.

What Inspired me from Gary Vaynerchuk:

  • Gary’s incredible work ethic
  • Gary’s unreasonable goal of owning the NY Jets
  • Gary’s ability to connect with and inspire thousands of people