The Tai Lopez Show (general)

Your brain can easily be manipulated. Be careful. Science says you are more likely to buy German wine when German music is playing at the store in the background, and French wine when French music is playing. You are more likely to name Gatorade when you are given a green pen in order to fill out the survey of your favorite sports drink. You are more likely to buy an an expensive couch from a website with a background of fluffy white clouds. 

 

A bit sad (haha) but research shows this is how simple our brains can be when it comes to decision making.

 

For today's Book-Of-The-Day I was just reading, "Everything is Obvious – How Common Sense Fails Us" by Duncan J. Watts.

 

The author makes a good point. You can't always just rely on common sense.

 

The world is too complex. 

 

Too many factors are involved. 

 

"Common sense is bad at dealing with complex social phenomena like political conflicts, healthcare economics, or marketing campaigns..."

 

Our inborn common sense only works some of the time. 

 

Watts explains, “Urban planners in the United States have repeatedly set out to 'solve' the problem of urban poverty and have repeatedly failed. There is a wistful myth that if only we had enough money to spend—the figure is usually put at a hundred billion dollars—we could wipe out all our slums in ten years.… But look what we have built with the first several billions: Low-income projects that have become worse centers of delinquency, vandalism and general social hopelessness than the slums they were supposed to replace..."

 

Why did those housing experts with good intentions make such stupid mistakes?

 

It's the effects of the cognitive biases. 

 

“Psychologists have identified so many of these effects—priming, framing, anchoring, availability, motivated reasoning, loss aversion, and so on..."

 

I would add to this book's list all of the other 25 cognitive biases and 100+ logical fallacies. 

 

If your whole life strategy is to just trust your common sense, you are probably headed for a disaster. 

 

“Bad things happen not because we forget to use our common sense, but rather because the incredible effectiveness of common sense in solving the problems of everyday life causes us to put more faith in it than it can bear."

 

Common sense is best kept for simple stuff like not petting a growling Rottweiler.

 

Don't over use it. 

 

It won't work on some of the most important areas of your life

 

It won't work on your diet. When you eat junk food your bodies "common sense" meter will tell you that it must be good for you because it tastes good. 

 

Wrong.

 

If you're driving fast and you hit a water puddle and start spinning out of control, common sense will tell you to slam on the brakes. 

 

Wrong.

 

The list could go on and on.

 

Learn when to use common sense and when to use higher thinking.

 

Higher thinking comes only through training.

 

The world is full of people going to the gym for their body. 

 

But hardly anyone's going to the bookstore to "workout" their brain.

 

One of the main reasons I created the 67 steps program was to show how you can invert the problem and reverse engineer your own brain. 

 

Put in the work. 

 

Use your common sense for common things and your "trained" brain for the harder things in life. 

 

What's an example of an area in your life where you overused common sense?


If you want to learn faster you have to experiment with different 'modes' of reading and learning. One of my favorites is the 'gulping' approach, where you bounce around between 4 or 5 books all in one sitting. This takes advantage of what Steven Johnson in his book, "Where Good Ideas Come From," calls "negative quarter-power scaling." This means reading twice the books doesn't just give you twice the knowledge - it's exponential - it gives you 3 or 4 times the mental growth...

Direct download: How_To_Learn_Faster_-_Read_5_Books_Simultaneously_-_Tai_Lopez.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:10pm PST

I once read a poem that said, "Who is mighty? They who control their own thoughts." The good news is as you learn to harness your brain you will unlock a tremendous tool. How are you practicing mind control (haha I like how that sounds)...?

Direct download: Train_Your_Brain_-_Tai_Lopez.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:12pm PST

Everyone says you should follow your passion. But everyone isn't always right. If you want to achieve massive success in your career then passion might not even remotely be the right place the start. In today's Book-of-the-Day, "So Good They Can't Ignore You," Cal Newport examines the science of how to best choose your life's work. Newport says, "Don't follow your passion." This book is a bit controversial. It goes against most of what you've heard in the popular media. Steve Jobs, of course, disagreed with this book's premise.

Jobs said, "You've got to find what you love... And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle."

But Newport argues that if you actually look at what Steve Jobs did with his life, you will find a different story. Steve Jobs didn't start with passion for technology or design. In fact he was more of a hippie at first, interested in going to Zen monasteries and 'dropping out' of life.

Newport summarizes, "Compelling careers often have complex origins that reject the simple idea that all you have to do is follow your passion."

That reminds me a bit of Einstein, "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." 

So what is a better way to find out what you should be doing for work?

Let me give you a few ideas from the book and a few of my own:

1. Experience Creates Passion: Yale professor Amy Wrzesniewski published a paper called, "Jobs, Careers, and Callings: People’s Relations to Their Work." She discovered that the strongest predictor of seeing work as a calling was the number of years spent on the job. Experience at something seems to create love of what you do. Practice and years in the career matter.

2. Passion Is A Side-Effect Of Mastery: Daniel Pink is mentioned in the book along with a 40 year scientific framework called "Self-Determination Theory." The theory goes that intrinsic motivation comes from:

A. Autonomy - Having control over your career and feeling that what you are doing is meaningful.

B. Competence - Feeling like a master of the skills you practice at work.

C. Relatedness - Having strong social connections at your job.

So you must have a well rounded approach to finding your life's work. It's not as simple as just finding your passion. This theory of 'relatedness' actually shows that "WHO" you work with is almost as important as "WHAT" you do for work. Social life matters - even when it comes to work. 

3. Strengths Before All: My personal experience is a bit different than this book. I think that more important than just having a lot of experience, autonomy, competence, and relatedness, you must have 'APTITUDE' - what are you good at naturally?

I believe that this is the trump card that beats all other factors. 

This is what Peter Drucker taught in "Managing Oneself": "Most people think they know what they are good at. They are usually wrong…And yet, a person can perform only from strength.” 

One of the most important parts of my "67 Steps" program is the question of "Eularian Destiny."

I talk about the 5 or 6 ways you can determine your strengths (it's a bit too long to explain here but check out the "67 Steps" and review that video).

The basic explanation is that you have to open up multiple lines of "feedback analysis" so that you can get clues as to what your strengths are from multiple sources. You can't just go with your gut or ask your mom or best friend. 

Most of us have huge blind spots when it comes to determining our strengths.

And make no mistake, personality types exist. And because they exist it's logical that natural strengths and weaknesses must also exist. You can't just pick something you are passionate about and make that your career if you have no natural aptitude at it. Some passions should just stay hobbies.

You have to be better than the average. Much better.

In "Positive Psychology: The Science Of Happiness and Flourishing" authors Compton and Hoffman say the three most common human regrets are: Career, education, and romance.

Let me know, how well have you built your career around these principles?

Direct download: Dont_Follow_Your_Passion.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:22pm PST

If you want to learn faster you have to experiment with different 'modes' of reading and learning. One of my favorites is the 'gulping' approach, where you bounce around between 4 or 5 books all in one sitting. This takes advantage of what Steven Johnson in his book, "Where Good Ideas Come From," calls "negative quarter-power scaling." This means reading twice the books doesn't just give you twice the knowledge - it's exponential - it gives you 3 or 4 times the mental growth...


Americans spend 520 billion minutes a year online. That begs the billion dollar question - are these social networks bad for you? Today's Book-of-the-Day, "The Village Effect" by Susan Pinker, tries to answer that question using a fairly new scientific field called 'social neuroscience.' There is a power to face-to-face contact.

It's fascinating, “Research shows that playing cards once a week or meeting friends every Wednesday night at Starbucks adds as many years to our lives as taking beta blockers or quitting a pack-a-day smoking habit.”

Now maybe it's just correlation and not causation.

But there's more: "In 2007 Steve Cole and his team at UCLA discovered that social contact switches on and off the genes that regulate our immune response to cancer and the rate of tumor growth."

Pinker did her research and found, "Several remote Sardinian villages are the only places in the world where men live nearly as long as women. Everywhere else there is a gender gap in lifespan of about five to seven years.”

So what are the Sardinian's secrets?

"One essential piece of the puzzle, I discovered, has to do with the epoxy-like social bonds of village life.”

The healthy glue of community life.

So back to the original question, do social networks actually help or hurt our social life?

I think the answer is found in understanding the difference between quantity and quality.

You really don't need volume, you need what scientists call 'strong' relationships.

So for me the answer is simple - use social networks to find old friends you lost touch with and to invite them over for dinner or game night.

My action plan based on this book (always make sure you have a practical action plan for every book you read or conference you attend) is the most practical action plan ever.

In fact, I used to do this but I stopped for some stupid reason.

I am going to have a game night once a week on a set schedule at my house.

And I'm going to use social networking like Facebook, email, and texting to invite them.

Can't get simpler than that.

What is something simple you can do to increase the amount of in-person, "strong" social connections you have?

Direct download: Are_Facebook_and_Twitter_Bad_For_Youwww.MP3Fiber.com.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:33pm PST

Is violence ever justified? It’s a hard question. 

I just saw the movie “American Sniper”. Some people are saying it’s military propaganda, while others say it’s the story of a true American hero.

When I’m confronted with hard questions like these I look to people with more expertise than me. I go straight to the top. I’m fortunate enough to be friends with Dr. David Buss and he sent me the fifth edition of his book “Evolutionary Psychology”, which I have read many times.

There are good arguments for both sides. Clearly Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi were very effective in their campaigns for non-violence.

But what about WWII, where Hitler was met with violence and the war was almost lost due to inaction? It took a long time for the Allies to join the war; the U.S. didn’t even get there until Pearl Harbor and it almost cost them the victory.

When we’re confronted with hard questions like these we tend to oversimplify. Remember what Albert Einstein said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” This question is not something to be oversimplified, though most people will. 

When you break your leg you don’t go to an amateur. You go to someone who has spent 20, 30, 40 years of their life setting broken bones. 

In Chapter 5 Dr. David Buss talks about cooperative alliances - he calls it “the problem of group living.” In your life you will come across people who are free-riders; you give, and they take without giving in return. You will also meet defectors - these are people who betray you. This problem of group living is something that we’re all confronted with. So why do we participate at all? Buss says, “The beauty of reciprocal altruism is that both parties benefit.” 

In an ideal, Utopian world there would be no military because people advance through cooperation. We grow emotionally, socially, and intellectually by working together. 

The problem of war and violence is certainly one of people not getting along, and part of that is because of defection and free-riding. You see this among nations - at some level we must get along on both a national and global scale. 

Buss says, “Experiments show that higher levels of cooperation occur when a system is in place to punish free-riders - inflicting costs on those who fail to contribute their fair share.”

When someone makes a mistake, should you yell at them? A wise person would say, “It depends!”

It depends on the type of person - some are motivated by aggression and some are not.

It’s the same with violence - it depends on the situation. 

For Martin Luther King Jr., who was leading a small minority against a nation, rising up with arms would be counterproductive. When Mahatma Gandhi was fighting imperialism in India, violence wouldn’t have helped him. He used non-violence and it worked. But like I said, if you tried that during WWII it might get you killed. 

The most effective strategy for most environments is something called ‘tit for tat’ theory, which was developed by two scientists; Robert Axelman and W.D. Hamilton. Buss says, “Axelrod identified three features of this strategy that represented the keys to its success: (1) Never be the first to defect-always start out by cooperating, and continue to cooperate as long as the other [person] does also; (2) retaliate only after the other has defected-defect immediately after the first instance of nonreciprocation; and (3) be forgiving-if a previously defecting [person] starts to cooperate, then reciprocate the cooperation and get on a mutually beneficial cycle. To summarize: ‘First, do unto others as you wish them to do unto you, but then do unto them as they have just done to you.’"

Aristotle said, "Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy."

Going to war is easy. Being a pacifist is easy. But to do the right thing at the right time? That’s difficult. To know when to be aggressive and when to be passive is difficult.

You must become wise. You can’t live your life with simplistic, black and white thinking.

As either an individual or a group, when is war justifiable? When is it the right time to be pacifistic or aggressive? Leave me a comment below and let me know your opinion.

Direct download: Is_Violence_Ever_Justifiedwww.MP3Fiber.com.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:58pm PST

There’s only one way for you to rise up out of the ashes in any area of your life. And it’s to combat a disease, a mindset that has poisoned the minds of millions. If there’s one thing that’s sure to kill your dreams and goals in life, it’s learned helplessness. If there is one ounce of this in your brain, dig it out. Because if you don’t get rid of it it’ll grow and become a poison that stops you from living the good life. I talk more about learned helplessness in Step 7 of my 67 Steps Millionaire Mentor Series. Click here to check out the program -- http://bit.ly/1u7VKeB

Psychologists Martin Seligman and Steve Maier conducted an experiment where they put dogs in a locked cage and gave them electric shocks. At first the dogs jumped, and yelped, and tried to get out but eventually they just lay down and took it. They learned to be helpless. The psychologists then left the door of the cage wide open and shocked the dogs again, but the dogs stayed in the cage because that’s what they’d been trained to do.

You and I have a medieval mindset. Back then, if you contracted a disease it would most likely kill you. Germ theory didn’t exist until a couple of centuries ago – our ancestors didn’t even understand that they could prevent transfer of disease just by washing their hands. 500 years ago life was like a box – you were caged in. If you were born poor, you died poor; there was virtually no way to get a better life.

But guess what? It’s a new year, it’s a new century, and we're free from these cages. What plagues us is the voices of 10,000 generations whispering that the cage is still locked. In my last video I talked about Stephen Hawking, who was able to look past his debilitating disease and live an abundant life. We’re not hampered by the environment, we’re hampered by the mirage of this cage that we feel over us. It’s been transmitted by our DNA so in a sense it’s not our fault, but it is our responsibility to change it

I read an interesting book about internal rebel forces in WWII. In France there were freedom fighters who rose up to sabotage the Nazi forces on behalf of the allies, and died for their beliefs. The author argues that these deaths were a complete waste because the sacrifice made by the rebels didn’t really help the war at all. What ended the war was industrial power – having more tanks and weapons than the enemies. Rallies and protests might make you feel like you’re making a difference, but at the end of the day they don’t really help much. 

A study in “The Millionaire Next Door” found that the average high-net-worth individual worries about things within their control, while poor people tend to worry about things that are outside their control. That’s learned helplessness – if you feel for too long that you can’t fix your situation then you lie down in the cage and stop trying. Protesting won’t solve anything. What you should be doing is reading a book on finance or health, finding a mentor, travelling the world, and saving more money.

Focus on what’s in your control. Before you start protesting, read a book about your cause. Allan Nation used to tell me, “Before you can change anything you have to understand why it is how it is." 

Earn the right to be a protestor. 

Start the revolution in your own brain. 

What’s the biggest area of learned helplessness in your life and what can you do to fix it?

Direct download: Start_A_Revolution_In_Your_Own_Brainwww.MP3Fiber.com.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:23pm PST

I’m not really into materialism but I have to admit fast cars are pretty fun.

In business and in life it’s important to have a mix of selfish and unselfish goals.

Why is capitalism so successful?

It’s based around the first cognitive bias – the reward bias.

Adam Smith says that you have a reward mechanism built into your mind in terms of what you want to buy and what you want to consume.

But more importantly, everything in business is about creating customers. So whether you own your own business or work for somebody else you still have to focus on creating a customer base.

“There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer.” 
- Peter Drucker

A lot of people get confused about what a business exists for. They think it exists for personal profit, or net profit for shareholders, or that it exists for charitable purposes: to save the world.

All of those goals are real, some are worthier than others, but at the end of the day they’re there to create a customer.

Without customers you have nothing.

The most important thing to understand is that you not only have to be able to create a customer, but you also have to be able to capture the value that you create.

One of the biggest mistakes people make in business is to create value but not capture it. 

It’s not enough to have great skills. 

You need to be able to monetize them.

Ideas create value, but creating and capturing are not the same.

The average person in Los Angeles makes $52,000 per year, but that’s not enough value. Over 30 years you will capture a value of about $1.5 million, but how much value do you think you’re capturing for someone else? If an employer is willing to pay you $52,000 they’re probably making at least twice that profiting from your work.

You can work for other people, it’s good to learn from your competitors, but there comes a day when you have to say, “Enough is enough, and now is enough. Now it’s my turn.”

You can do it as a more highly paid employee, as a partner, or as a solo entrepreneur.

But make no mistake, you can’t find the “good life” if you don’t capture your own value.

Like Henry David Thoreau said, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.”

Some people try to capture value by forming their own business, but that doesn’t always work because you need skills. There are 50-60 skills you need to have to run a successful business.

A lot of people oversimplify things. 

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein

What you really need to do is “know thyself”. Peter Drucker says, “Success in the knowledge economy comes to those who know themselves - their strengths, their values, and how they best perform.” 

Entrepreneurs and people who create wealth and financial freedom always follow the same rule. 

They follow the rule of knowing themselves.

Try taking a personality test. I recommend the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator – it measures the ways in which we experience the world and make decisions.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses, and build a business around that.

Knowing yourself is the quickest path to not only wealth, but fulfillment. The average person spends only 12% of their life doing something they really care about.

What’s more important that the money you make is the quality of the minutes you spend. You don’t want to spend 12% of your life doing what you love, you want to spend 88% of your life doing what you love. You have to invert it; the rest of society is lost. 

“Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” – The King James Bible

The first step in capturing monetary value is knowing yourself. Peter Drucker says that it is only when you build on your strengths that will you be good enough for people to pay you for what you know.

You can’t build on weakness, so take the time to find your true strengths and capitalize on them.

Capture your own value by building a business around the things you’re best at and wealth and happiness will come naturally to you.

Visit tailopez.com for more advanced material like this.

Direct download: EPISODE_ONE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:40pm PST

I am not really religious but it's the holiday season.

 

So I decided for today's Book Of The Day I would read the Bible, specifically the Book of Proverbs.

 

The wise man says in Proverbs 22:7, "...the borrower is the slave of the lender."

 

How true this is. 

 

Throughout history, the lender has always been the master over the borrower.

 

The average person in the USA is $225,238 in debt.

 

They owe $15,263 on their credit cards (at interest of around 14.95%), $147,591 on their house, $31,646 on student loans, and owe a staggering $30,738 on their car. 

 

You might be in debt too.

 

If you are in debt you have two choices. You can be like most people and blame capitalism or 'corporations.'

 

Or you can follow the old saying, "If you can't beat them, join them."

 

So become a lender. Start lending money yourself.

 

Start small.

 

Lending money will accomplish one main thing: make you sophisticated with money.

 

Nothing will make you more financially savvy then lending out a little money and losing it, then learning from your mistakes, and evolving into someone skilled in advanced financial principles.

 

Lending money will teach you:

 

1. How to read people and be discerning with money.

 

2. How to structure win-win negotiations.

 

3. How to draw up a promissory note.

 

4. How to calculate a loan repayment schedule.

 

5. How to deal with conflict from people that aren't paying you back.

 

Remember, if you want to thrive in life you have to become sophisticated with money. 

 

One of the reasons I went through the whole laborious Certified Financial Planner Program was to understand money at the deepest levels.

 

So start by lending out a $100 or $500.

 

Remember only lend out what you can afford to lose. 

 

I once lent a buddy $38,000 to renovate and flip a house. That was in 2007, right before the market dropped. I still haven't seen a penny back yet. 

 

But who cares? Gaining knowledge to me is more valuable than losing money here and there.

 

It's like anything in life, you will suck at first. But if you patiently commit to building the new skill of lending money you will get good over time - real good.

 

I don't recommend lending to family or close friends since there is always the chance of some long-term tension.

 

Lend to an acquaintance or a friend of a friend.

 

And do not just informally lend out the money. That won't teach you anything.

 

You probably have already done that in your life before. There is no real educational value from just pulling a $100 out of your pocket and giving it to a friend who is broke. 

 

Structure the deal formally so they have to pay you back on an exact lending schedule.

 

Go to Rocketlawyer.com and download a simple loan agreement.

 

Don't worry about charging interest. This is a training exercise not an attempt to become a bank or a loan shark.

 

The bonus to all this is that you will also be improving the world.

 

When I lived with the Amish I realized they have a secret weapon. Instead of only relying on big banks, they lend each other money at low interest. This allows young people who don't have much credit to get started running their own businesses.

 

Many Jewish, Lebanese, and Muslim communities do the same. It's genius.

 

By the way one of my favorite charities is Kiva.com where you can lend money to people in third world countries so they can start up their own business and rise out of poverty.

 

So stop being a servant. Become a master. I don't care if you are 18 or 85. Flip the tables on the conventional structure by becoming sophisticated with money.

Direct download: BODTV_Bible__AUDIO.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:47am PST