25 Ways to Avoid Living Your Life on Someone Else’s Terms

1. Don’t Watch Commercials

Commercials offer you virtually no value. They are psychologically designed to attract your attention and make you buy things you don’t need — regardless if you actually should. Extraordinary, focused people are never “sold” anything.

People are self-centered and only concerned with what they want, not with what others want. Whatever is on someone else’s mind is just propaganda.

2. Don’t Take Advice From Almost Anyone

“Never ask advice of someone with whom you wouldn’t want to trade places.”

-Darren Hardy, The Compound Effect

Most people don’t know what’s required for an extraordinary life, so they settle for ordinary. You’ll discover the secrets to creating an extraordinary life in just a few minutes. Most people aren’t living extraordinary lives. If you took a screenshot of the average American, here’s what you would see:

  • $67,400 in debt (that’s just under 35. It triples for 35–44 year olds and gets worse from there).
  • A coin-toss whether or not they get divorced
  • Only 2 “close” friends (perhaps less)
  • Half of them are desperate to leave their terrible job

Don’t ever take advice from strangers who don’t understand your goals or how you plan to achieve them.

3. Choose Learning and Growing, Not Entertainment and Distraction

“Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.” -Hal Elrod

Your income, relationships, and success are determined by your learning. Most people spend more money on entertainment and gadgets than self-education. They keep their relationship superficial because of this. Your learning and how much you invest in your self directly determines the extent of your growth.

4. Work Through Your Emotional Crap

I’ve been addicted to porn since I was about 11. Porn is not something I enjoy doing, but I did it to survive in a world that made fun of me for my speech impediment. My father divorced when I was a child, and it was terrible. I watched the effects of alcohol and cheating and miscommunication.

At 17, I was a fragile, insecure, resentful train wreck. Kimi and I got married while I was still at the University of Illinois. I’ve been struggling with addiction for a long time. It’s taken me this long to talk about what I’ve been going through.

Most people let their injuries dictate their lifestyles. This is just an excuse. If you want to avoid living someone else’s terms, then resolve your crap. You’ll improve your relationships, your finances, your self-esteem, your career, and your health when you put this to work in your life.

5. Don’t Watch the News

Most of the mainstream media is all about promoting their own agendas using fear and despair, and not giving you the real facts. All of us should always keep up-to-date, but the news is becoming a graveyard of misinformation, bias, and lies designed to reinforce our biased opinions, not make us better informed.

I struggle with being informed voters, because every time I start to learn more about important issues and candidates running for office, the bias, prejudice and fear-mongering most news outlets have resorted to, gets in the way.

6. It’s Lonely At the Top, But Climb Anyway

What Arnold Schwarzenegger said applies to everything in life, not just actors: There are very few people who achieve success without having to struggle along the way. For a while, I felt that, because there was so little room, people felt they were better off on the bottom of the ladder. But as the market grew, that changed.

So the next time someone says that you should make a “good” living, just tell them that we all have to start somewhere, and if they really want a good living, they’ll have to make a decision about

“Don’t go where it’s crowded. Go where it’s empty.” – Instead of fighting for scraps with the other 99%, be different. Do what you want. You’re in control. Nobody else’s opinion matters to your journey. You’ll find that the most competitive sales is actually at the middle.

7. Don’t Look at Social Media

Social media is supposed to be a way to “connect” with people. However, when it comes to social media, there is one major problem — it isn’t really a way to connect with people, but rather a way to sell to them. Social media lets you stay in touch with your friends and colleagues.

While social media is useful for some things, it doesn’t do anything for you. The reality is, social media’s main purpose is to mine your personal data so that companies and advertisers can make money off of it.

That’s their entire business model. This is how most people continue to live on other people’s terms; allowing themselves to be mined for information and psychoanalyzed by big corporations with the means to play on your deepest fears, insecurities, and goals.

8. If You MUST Use Social Media, Only Allow “Human” Notifications

Only turn on “human” notifications on your phone. Social media notifications are annoying. Most people spend too much time in their phones, checking emails, and social media. They’re just as addicted to their phones as any drug addict. If your phone supports this feature, it’ll vibrate to let you know it’s time to use one of your favorite apps.

Social media platforms are flooded with false friends, but a few real friends do pop up and connect with you. The problem is that they are rarely as exciting or funny as you hoped. Don’t be a slave to email, advertising, and other non-human notifications.Halloween in Vancouver is one of my favorite holidays!

These apps are useless. If you must use them, make sure the only notifications you’re receiving are from real people you know.

9. Read 26 Books/Year

26 books a year is 3 books a month. 3 books a week is hard. I think I’ll have a little bit of a challenge getting back to this. Fall behind on your Amazon business and you will feel like you’ve fallen off the face of the Earth. It’s easy to fall behind because everything is so time consuming.

That’s great, so you can read 26 books a year. That’s not hard. If you’re a slow reader, read what you like. This type of book is usually easier to read than most other genres. My friend once told me that it’s much more effective to read a book 30 times than it is to read 30 different books. A: This is a must-read for anyone who wants to improve their skin care.

That’s utterly ridiculous. I re-read important books, but it’s better to read more quantity at first, so that you can find what author Ryan Holiday calls “quake books,” books that cause a literal or metaphorical earthquake in your mind and radically change your perspective.

Just for fun, here are several of my “quake” books:

  1. Mindset by Carol Dweck
  2. DotCom Secrets by Russel Brunson
  3. The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
  4. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
  5. How to Be an Adult by David Richo
  6. The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ Demarco

10. Don’t Make All Your Money From Your J-O-B

“You won’t make the kind of money that can set you up for life and let you design your own lifestyle if your sole source of income is the salary paid to you by your boss.” -Jon Westenberg

People who make their living from their work get paid to do what they love. There are lots of good reasons to write a book, but the main one is that you are an extraordinary person. You’ve got all the ability you need to make money and create wealth—if you don’t already have it.

That’s one of the most important lessons I learned from The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ Demarco. Entrepreneurship gives you the ability to work less and earn more. Many people make money by trading their time for dollars — the overwhelming primary way most people make money. But this method is a losing one.

You have to make sure you use up every minute of the time you’ve got in order to make a living. Don’t spend it doing something that you know will just waste your time.

Right now, I have 5 income streams (and I’m working on creating more):

  1. Paid Medium posts
  2. Amazon affiliate links
  3. Online courses
  4. Coaching
  5. Book sales

I’m always trying to add more, so I can have more time for myself and less time working for someone else.

11. Don’t Buy What Everyone Else Buys

“It’s absurd that we would prioritize the hottest new device, the cool car, or trendy toy over owning that which makes us feel the most engaged and most alive.” -Neil Patel

If you follow what everyone else does, you’ll end up just like everyone else. Don’t buy what everyone else is buying. Instead, try a new type of investment and watch how it works out.

Many people are looking for ways to look better and improve themselves, like buying designer clothes, using gadgets, or getting plastic surgery. These attempts to improve ourselves often require us to buy new things or pay for treatments that don’t really improve our appearance.

When it comes to your self-esteem, it doesn’t pay to buy what everyone else buys. You want to buy what makes you happy. Save it for better things.

12. In Fact, Buy Almost Nothing

Having lots of stuff doesn’t make you happy—it just makes it hard to get around. In the last couple of years, I’ve shifted away from buying “things” to buying experiences. When I was younger I used to travel all over the world, feeding elephants, swimming with manta rays, eating at amazing restaurants, and building up a collection of memories and experiences.

Sometimes the best advice you can give yourself is this: Buy almost nothing. In thousands of years, the ancient Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote: “Not needing wealth is more valuable than wealth itself.” He went on: “He who needs riches least, enjoys riches most.” Be different.

You can never have enough options and the best products in the world.

13. Keep Learning After School Ends

“Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success.” -Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert Comics

The reason I failed at being a writer for so long was not because my writing sucked (although to be fair, it did suck). It took me too long to learn the skills of my trade, but now I’m getting good at it.

It wasn’t until I invested in myself – bought a writing course, bought writing books, and started learning the practices of viral writers – that I started to get ahead. If you want to start a business that is successful, you’ll need to learn how to generate multiple income streams. When you learn how to do that, you’ll be able to make more money with less effort.

From the first four and a half years to now, I’ve earned a total of $40. I’ve made thousands of dollars working from home this month and I expect to make even more in the months ahead. There are many people who know more than you do after school ends, and it’s always a great idea to learn from others.

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” -Mark Twain

14. Be Unapologetic About Your Values

I used to be a total pushover. I was always doing things, saying things, and acting in certain ways so that other people would like me. It was childish behavior and I acted like a child. I’d change my values of a hot girl who asked me to.

Not anymore. It doesn’t matter how you get what you want – you need to be unapologetic about your values. People who want you to change your values for their gain are called “The Devil’s Advocate”. Stick to your values, even if others say you need to. Don’t let them get you to act a certain way just because they ask.

15. Don’t Get “Sold” Anything Ever Again

One of my wife’s favorite places is Thailand. Her favorite thing there is the food and the people. It was wonderful, and the food was amazing. It doesn’t matter where we went, there were always “tuk tuks”.

The Tuk-tuk is a vehicle for tourists. Tuk tuk drivers are incredibly aggressive and pushy. My wife and I couldn’t walk down a single block and be offered a tuk tuk ride 20 times. There was only one taxi driver who honked and waved at us, so we thought we would pay for a short taxi ride

The tuk tuk driver told us how we needed him, how he’d help us get to our next location. In the car he was condescending and insulting, telling us we were too small and unworthy to sell him anything.

You know that old cliché about how salespeople are approaching people today? It’s outdated! Don’t let them trick you. I hate being sold a bunch of things. I’m methodical; I do my research before I buy. Only then do I pull out my cash. You need to stop being “sold” things you don’t need, by people who really don’t know what you need.

16. Say “No” to Almost Everything

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” -Warren Buffet

Doing what everyone else is doing isn’t really a great achievement. To do something different, to break new ground, takes true inspiration and a passion for what you’re doing. Don’t let yourself be a “yes man,” don’t agree to things that are bad for you, and avoid saying “yes” when you shouldn’t.

Want to avoid living life on other people’s terms? Say “no” to just about everything. You have to take the opportunity to make money whenever you have it. And when that happens, don’t pass it up. The world is full of great authors and musicians. It’s important to do what you love and learn from experience.

Most of the time, saying “yes” just puts a bunch of obligations in your schedule. What really matters is what you choose to say “no” to.

“Be the guy that says no. it’s no great achievement to go along with the crowd. be the unusual guy, the extraordinary guy.” -Darren Hardy

17. Stand Up to Your Bully

“A bully will back down before the runtiest twerp who stands his ground.” -Steven Pressfield

Bullying is a tough subject to talk about but I’ve been through the same and have survived it to tell the story. Like Bryan. I once played football in 10th grade, and there was a bully on the team who thought he could take advantage of me because I was young.

“He’s back!” Bryan Cardoza, the infamous gym class prankster, is back and ready to play his latest and most shocking He did it to guys and girls! Cackling with his cronies as he ran away. He’s an awful guy. He tried to panst my several times.

You’re still a nerd, aren’t you? Well, that’s because you’re still a pussy. Something was clicking in my head – “No more, no more”. I quickly pulled my pants up and turned around to punch his ass before he could see my package. The teacher had to break us up when he charged at her, because he couldn’t control himself.

I’m sorry, did you say something? I didn’t hear you…That would be really bad for you, as well as for your health. Don’t let fear stand in your way of being your best! Stand up for yourself when necessary. Be brave! It takes guts to start a business. But once you have that first dollar in the bank, a steady stream of income will keep you motivated to continue.

If you want to improve your interpersonal skills, start by standing up to your bully. If you allow them, they’ll define your life. They’ll tell you what you can. It doesn’t matter how difficult they may seem. They need to be taught or trained.

18. Reinvest Your Free Time

“Successful people don’t see it as free time, they see is as the only time they have to do the things they really want to do n life — and they don’t take a minute for granted.” -Nicolas Cole

People need to have their own life and not live someone else’s. When these people have free time, what do they usually do? Get off the couch and go outside! Your life is just as valuable and important as anyone else’s and you shouldn’t spend it sitting around watching TV.

Do you have the desire and passion to take the next step with Amazon, or are you continuing to spend your time and energy on low-frequency activities? My wife and I moved to South Korea to teach English and I became more disciplined than I’d ever been before.

I could wake up at any time of the day and still get my work done, but if I had to choose 5am — consistently! — I would. After school, I went to the grocery store and bought a bunch of pasta and wrote. I read. I built. Now, I have a full-time writing business where I work from home and earn thousands of dollars every month.

This is the fruit of my labor. I spent free time to create this project. We can’t spend it numbly bingeing on TV. It’s okay to watch television, but we should use our free time wisely. Rest and recovery are extremely important. But, tell me how you spend your free time, and I’ll have a good idea of where you’re headed.

19. Cut Out Naysayers and Haters

“You can’t be an important and life-changing presence for some people without also being a joke and embarrassment to others.” -Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

As your journey unfolds, it often highlights others’ fall and decline. Doubt is for losers! If they doubt your ability, that’s a sign that you’ve. But if you let them, these criticisms and raised eyebrows will define you and your definition of success

When you start experiencing success there will always be naysayers and haters. Learn from other top-performing Amazon sellers, and don’t just focus on avoiding bad. You don’t have to let them into your life. If someone criticizes me now, I humbly assess whether that criticism is accurate and useful.

If the product is full of “crap”, you may drop it and move. I don’t live by the rules of others.

20. Give Away Money

“Giving money is the secret to most wealthy families.” -Robert Kiyosaki

As a Christian, I’ve been tithed as long as I can remember — giving back 10% of my income to God (as in the church and church ministries). You don’t have to be a Christian to experience the benefits of giving money away.

You learn something when you tithe is that it feels awesome. It’s an easy way to break the poverty mentality—claiming you’ll never have enough—and instead shift into a feeling of abundance.

Putting your money where your mouth is is the only way to really make a difference. This group of people is more than detached from most of the world and its toxic greed and social expectations. Don’t expect to give up your money—when you do, you free yourself from the slavery most people don’t understand.

21. Read Personal Finance Books

I’m sure that at your old corporate job, you remember how excited you were to read about financial success in Thomas Stanley’s book, The Millionaire Next Door. A coworker of mine tapped me on the shoulder and asked me what I was reading.

“It’s a personal finance book. I’m trying to earn extra money. “Why’s that?” he asked. “It’s so cool. I’ve been watching you play for years and never seen you do that. I was thinking about trying it but wasn’t sure how it would feel.

It’s not very likely that reading these financial books will make you rich. However, these books will give you the knowledge and tools to earn wealth, if you choose to. When it comes to wealth, being rich means living less on other people’s terms and more on your own.

22. Know Nutrition 101

There were, are, and always will be questionable health fads that, in reality, aren’t good for you. I really recommend this book. Aubrey Marcus writes about the daily routine she uses to help her students become their best selves. It’s an awesome book that will help you change your life.

If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to listen to his recommendations for how to eat. Don’t take the word of people around you at face value. Research your nutrition and how your body reacts to different foods.

23. Know Finances 101

Most people don’t know how to balance a checkbook, set up a budget, or identify what “good” or “bad”

24. Know relationships 101

Don’t buy a house before getting married! It’s easy to get a house, but it’s much harder to get a spouse!

Always make the first move.

The meaning is simple: if you can help the relationship, then do it. Sometimes when we wait for someone else to start something, we may not get it done, or it may take much longer than expected. Instead, we should always be proactive.

Most people have superficial, strained relationships with family and even with friends. Most people are so busy looking at the other person as the one who is supposed to make the first move and are surprised when the other person says something, or does something.

Pride is one of the main causes of divorces, and is also the leading cause of the breakdown of marriages, friendships and families. You need to make the first move — even if it should be them.

  • Initiate the conversation
  • Send the first text
  • Say you miss them
  • Say you love them
  • Apologize and ask for forgiveness
  • Organize a hangout
  • Compliment them
  • Thank them
  • Tell them you appreciate what they did

25. Take a Nap When You’re Sleepy, Don’t Power Through It

It’s true, there are times when taking a nap at work is necessary. It’s nice to have a day or two off every week. After the weekend, I just take it easy and enjoy the quiet. In this world, there’s no need for coffee or entertainment to keep us from lying down. We’re already on our way to do it anyway.

Instead of lowering your energy, creativity, and focus through caffeine, it’s better to have a rest when you can.

In Conclusion

“You cannot allow the actions of others to define your reality.” -Steven Pressfield

Most people don’t live their lives on their own terms, so they aren’t enjoying life as much as they could. It seems that their lives are largely dictated by others: their boss, their colleagues, their family, or just society in general. You’ll discover how to get started and find your own passion in any field.