The Tai Lopez Show

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.

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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 --

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?

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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 for more advanced material like this.

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Category:general -- posted at: 4:40pm PST