Many people come to this website seeking tips on personal finance, self improvement, entrepreneurship, and all of the many topics in between these broader 3 categories.
For the last 18 months, I’ve been adding content on this blog, but have not looked to explain the name or the overarching principles of becoming a mastermind.
Every once in a while, it’s good to look back, reflect, tweak, and summarize where you’ve been and assess where you are going.
In this post, I’ll be taking a step back and talking about why this blog is called The Mastermind Within, and talk about the principles I’ve tried to convey on this blog and implement in my life over time to be successful.
Why is this blog called The Mastermind Within?
First, why is this blog called The Mastermind Within?
Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich and other classics, said, “No mind is complete by itself. It needs contact and association with other minds to grow and expand.” Putting multiple minds together, you can create a mastermind group and create something which is more powerful than the sum of those individual minds.
While it is true that many business owners and entrepreneurs use “mastermind” groups to connect with like-minded individuals, share tips and tricks, and grow together, I believe true life mastery comes from WITHIN. Every person has a potential which can be tapped, unlocked and used to obtain results beyond our wildest dreams.
Each one of us has the ability to put in time and effort to become the master of our own lives and pursue happiness – however happiness is defined. While a support group helps, there’s a thriving soul and spirit which is more powerful and potent inside of us than anyone else can influence or control.
Through working on yourself each and every day, and looking to become just a little better than yesterday, consistent daily efforts will result in massive success – and this has nothing to do with anyone else. It only has to do with yourself and what’s inside of you: someone unique, amazing, and strong.
That’s why this blog is called The Mastermind Within.
What does it mean to become a Mastermind?
Over the past year now, when I’ve interacted with various readers, I’ve been called a “mastermind”, “the mastermind”, and a slew of other things which imply that I’m smart.
As you’ll soon find out, one of the principles of becoming a mastermind is the realization that I am not smarter than you or anyone else in this world.
All of us has a powerful brain which can be used to better your situation. All of us are unique and have different talents. You have the power and resources to improve your situation if you want.
What does it mean to become a mastermind?
At a high level, becoming a mastermind is pursuing overall mastery in many areas of life.
At a lower level, there are many pieces to this pursuit which are necessary to think about on the way through life.
Principles of Becoming a Mastermind
Below, I’ve compiled a list of principles which I look to write about and share with you on this blog, and also have looked to implement in my life to be a little better than the day before.
One caveat, with many things I write about on this blog, I look to present you with options and tools which can improve your life. If you don’t agree with my view on life, that’s fine – no love lost 🙂 Thinking critically and looking to assess if new information is valuable in your life is one of the principles 🙂
- Critical thinking and being willing to think hard about different scenarios and strategies is very more important than any result
- Understanding I’m no smarter than you or anyone else in the world
- Realizing nearly everything can change and nothing is certain
- Living with an abundance mindset will lead to achieving your wildest dreams
- Wealth is not the goal, but a by-product of providing immense value over time
- Do a little bit each day to get a little closer to you goals
- Seek the truth, uphold the truth, but recognize that your opinions can and will change over time
- Happiness comes from doing what you want with your life and spending your time the way you want
- No one is the same as you, and there’s a learning opportunity with every new interaction
- Accomplishments should be celebrated and thanks should be given to where you came from
- Removing noise is essential for success
- Understand things take time and will generally take longer than you think
Below, I dive into each of these individually for further explanation.
Critical thinking and being willing to think hard about different scenarios and strategies is way more important than any result
Why are humans superior to the common ape?
Simple: humans have a powerful brain which allows them to do think critically, employ long-term thinking to navigate this complex world.
Unfortunately, many people don’t think hard about their situation and as a result, their situations don’t change.
Thinking critically and thinking hard takes a lot of energy, but it’s incredibly important for intentional living and becoming who you want to be in life.
If you take nothing else away from this post, that’s fine – I believe that thinking critically is the most important principle and can lead to all of the other principles I lay out here.
Understanding I’m no smarter than you or anyone else in the world
I’ve read 100s of books, listened to hours of podcasts, implemented much of what I learned, and constantly am seeking to learn and grow my knowledge base. When I play board games, I’m very good at visualizing strategies, implementing them and improving the odds of winning.
I could say I’m smart, but that would be ARROGANT.
Arrogance is not attractive nor productive.
Here’s my take on this:
The only thing I know is I know nothing at all.
This is a quote attributed to Socrates, and is something I look to apply in my life.
I’m going to stop short of saying that humbleness is a principle of becoming a mastermind because I believe there is a time and place for celebrating your accomplishments (whether it be in a private or public setting).
Everyone has different talents and levels of knowledge.
Just because you share a different view, which may be more or less informed than my view, this does not mean that you are smarter or less smart then me. All it means is I need to learn more, and there’s a learning opportunity, or vice versa.
Realizing nearly everything can change and nothing is certain
My education is in mathematics and in the past, I’ve been employed as a statistician.
Math is one of the only subjects where things are absolute (there are caveats here, but let’s agree 1 and 1 is 2, 2 and 2 is 4, etc.).
When looking at data, human nature, politics, economies, almost anything, all of these things have variation and unexplainable change.
If you have more than 1 data point, in statistics, you need to introduce confidence intervals and talk about ranges of an outcome.
Want to hear a joke?
Why were economists created?
To make weathermen look smart.
The world is incredibly complex and ever changing. You have 7,000,000,000 people walking around and 7,000,000,000 motives.
This ties in with the previous principle. To think that things are static and absolute is short sighted.
I’m not smarter than the world or the universe; I’m just a speck who is looking to understand more and will probably never know anything.
Related to this principle is not taking yourself or work too seriously and having fun with life.
Living with an abundance mindset will lead to achieving your wildest dreams
I’ve talked about having an abundance mindset before on this blog.
What is an abundance mindset?
Put simply, it’s a mindset where you can win and I can win.
Living with an abundance mindset is viewing the world as a beautiful place with endless opportunity.
We both can have a favorable result from our interactions.
You can have anything you want – but it will take time and effort to get there.
Wealth is not the ultimate goal, but a by-product of providing immense value over time
I talk a lot about personal finance on this blog and one of my goals is to become financially free at a young age, but I don’t have a “number” and I don’t care about early retirement.
Personally, I think the concepts of personal finance are boring. The reason I talk about it though is because it’s important and something I realize many other people struggle with.
Money doesn’t really matter to me because just having money is not fulfilling. Money is a tool to do what you want with your time and money.
Honestly, I want to have millions of dollars in the bank someday. I don’t want to put a number on it, because that would put an artificial cap on my sights. $10 million? Why not $100 million? Why not a billion?
With an abundance mindset, all of these are possibilities.
Here’s the thing though, wealth does not come easy.
Wealth comes from providing immense value over time.
How do I provide value? How do I solve other people’s problems?
Answering these questions will lead to the answers of becoming wealthy.
Do a little bit every day that will push you a little bit closer to your goals
Overnight successes are 5 to 10 years in the making.
Success comes from simple daily disciplines added up over many days, weeks, months, and years.
In personal finance, this concept connects to the concept of compound interest.
Very few people can go from no wealth to becoming a millionaire overnight.
But, by being consistent and saving money each and every month and year, you will start to accumulate more and more money.
It’s the exact same thing with your goals. Take a step each and every day to become just a little bit better than yesterday.
Seek the truth, uphold the truth, but recognize that your opinions can and will change over time
This principle follows from the principle that I’m not smarter than anyone else and because of this student mindset, I need to be open to incorporating new information into my worldview.
While navigating this complex world, there are learning opportunities in every place you look.
I want to know the truth and I want to make sure that this truth is the REAL truth – not some phony infomercial truth.
That being said, because I know I’m not smarter than anyone else, I’m able to be fluid in my thoughts and understand that I’m not always right.
I’m not an expert in everything and many things are not certain and static.
Recognizing things can change and will change will set you free.
Happiness comes from doing what you want with your life and spending your time the way you want
When are you enjoying life? What are you doing? Who are you with? Why do you feel this way?
Happiness in life comes in many different flavors and varieties.
I believe happiness comes from doing what you want with you life.
What makes you happiest? Are there things you are doing in your life you love doing? How can you do more of that and less of the things you aren’t doing?
Ultimately, you are the creator of your life and can do anything you want with your time and energy.
The pursuit of life mastery involves taking your current situation and making tweaks over time to better it.
It might not change over night, but can change over time.
No one is the same as you, and there’s a learning opportunity with every new interaction
Hi, I’m Erik.
I’m a 27 year old male. Are you 27? Are you a male? If not, we are different and have different experiences to share.
I grew up in Minnesota. Did you grow up in Minnesota? If not, we are different and have different experiences to share.
When I was 14, I hit my first home run and slid into second base because I didn’t realize that the ball went over the fence. Did you do something like this? If not, then we are different and have different experiences to share.
I’m being a little bit ridiculous here, but I think I’ve made my point: we are different and because of this, there is an opportunity to learn and grow from each other.
This also ties in with the principle of I’m not smarter than anyone else and it would be arrogant to think that way.
A quick example here is if I studied Boston history and culture (I’ve never been there), and thought I was smarter than someone who lived in Boston their whole life. Who is smarter (in the traditional sense) here?
This is just my point… it would be arrogant to think just because I’m more well read or have certain experiences that I’m better, smarter or more whatever than someone else when I have no idea what they’ve been through or what they have seen in their lives.
Accomplishments should be celebrated and thanks should be given to where you came from
Did you just get a promotion at work? Did you recently have a big win? What about just a small win?
Yes? Do a little dance then!
There’s no reason not to celebrate your wins.
Wins are a great time to reflect on how you got to that point, give thanks to your supporters, and start to plan for the future.
For a happy life, balance is necessary:
- balance between fun and play
- balance between consumption and creation
- and balance between celebration and struggle
Removing noise is essential for success
Social media, the news, and things that don’t matter are not important to your purpose and life.
Over the last few years, I’ve looked to reduce and remove noise from my life and it’s been incredibly beneficial for my productivity.
With so many people and companies looking to grab our attention, it’s tough to stay away from that new shiny app or toy.
Many of these new shiny things aren’t worth it though and won’t lead to happiness in the long run.
Noise gets in the way of our goals, purpose, and actions.
Take time to understand the noise in your life and make moves to reduce it over time.
Understand things take time and will generally take longer than you think
Last year, when I started this blog, I set a goal to get 15,000 page views in a month by the end of the year.
18 months later, I still haven’t accomplished this goal.
Last year, I started a business with $6,000 and thought it would be enough because we had pre-orders and interest before starting.
13 months later, we still aren’t profitable, but we are gaining momentum.
In a year, will my goals be met? I don’t know.
All I do know is things take time. I need to be patient while continuing to do a little bit each and every day to become better.
No one is an overnight success as I mentioned in one of the previous principles, but that success will come eventually through disciplined action taking and consistent efforts.
This is just one way, you are the creator of your life and need to think for yourself
As I mentioned above, thinking critically and figuring out what is most important for you and your situation is incredibly important for success.
Listening to supposed “gurus” or “experts” can help inform you of your situation, but ultimately, you need to implement what feels right for you.
I talked about this above, I’m not some genius mastermind that you might think – I’m still on my way to life mastery, financial freedom, understanding more about this world, and finding the truth to further improve my situation. All I can do is just that; working a little bit more each day to become a little bit better.
You have the ability to do whatever you want in your life.
You are the CREATOR of your life.
Go and get it.
Readers: what are some of the principles you try to live with in your life? Do some of these principles resonate with your life practices?