Time teaches all lessons and none is more important than this; always match intensity. In the case of friendships, match intensity.
In the case of love and romance, match intensity. In the case of business or business partners and acquaintances with new ventures or meetings about new acquisitions, match intensity.
Always remain an equal partner to avoid the lopsided feeling of giving too much of yourself without an appropriate return.
Ever think to yourself, if I never called this person then they would never call me back?
Ever invest so much of you that you find yourself facing the point of diminishing returns?
Did you ever find yourself here, investing in the wrong friendships and the wrong relationship, losing more the deeper you sink?
So, what do you do?
You find yourself investing more because you don’t want to “Lose” what you’ve invested.
You don’t want the time you gave to go to waste. You don’t want to lose the relationship. You don’t want to feel the loss or the shame of something that simply didn’t work out.
You invest more with hopes to make something work, even when it’s not meant to be.
Ever rehearse an exit strategy, and yet, there you are, investing again, especially after you swore you wouldn’t?
Ever share your dream with someone and sell them on the idea of a partnership?
You set up a few meetings and the ideas in the room take on so much energy—you’d swear the roof was about to blow off. The plan was too good not to work out.
You follow up with a few phone calls. You make a plan. You shared your dream with someone you thought was deserving of your attention, and then suddenly, you noticed the lopsidedness.
You noticed that perhaps the dream was similar but the drive was just not the same.
This is why I say match intensity.
A best friend of mine often talks about white belt syndrome. He talks about the art of Jujitsu and the disciplines that come with training.
He advised me to always be mindful of the people I choose to share my values with. He said to be mindful of my partners and my friendships.
He discussed the white belts in his class. He told me how some of them are scared. Some of them have the idea they will be the next best thing in the Octagon, fighting MMA battles on television.
There are some that have no throttle or control—they’re only one speed, which is all-out, which is dangerous.
Then my best friend explained the reason why he was always mindful when choosing his partners. “I’m older,” he said to me.
“I have a job to go to in the morning.”
He told me, “I don’t heal so quickly anymore.”
He said, “I want to learn and I want to train,” and then he talked about the people that supposedly said they would only go at “Half-speed.”
Then he mentioned, “How do I know what their half-speed is?”
“I got hurt a few times,” he said.
“That’s when I learned the most important lesson in my life. Always match intensity.”
“If they go half-throttle then so will I but if their half throttle is my full throttle, then I have to go all-out, otherwise I could get hurt.”
He went on to say “This doesn’t mean I wasn’t ever hurt again. But it did cut down on my injuries.”
I think about this idea from time to time: Always match intensity.
I think about networking and the relationships I believed would flourish or be something different, and then somehow, they simply fizzled away.
I think about business attempts I began to discuss with partners and how the visions we shared turned out to be completely different.
I was thinking about the investments I’ve made, both financially and emotionally. I was thinking about the amount of time I’ve invested on the betterment of my life and the dependency of outside sources.
Whether this is people, places, or things, which are all beyond my control; oftentimes, I over-invested in fear that my stock (meaning me) would never reach its full, or best possible potential.
I have no control over outside sources.
Influence? Yes, I might be able to influence, but as for control goes, I can only control so much. In fact, I have learned along the way that I am least in-control when trying to control things which are beyond my control.
I think about the questions this causes. I think about the way i second guess myself as a result of my manageability, due to my misdirection of energy.
I think about the times we as individuals, settle for less than what we dreamed for, simply because fail to believe in our ability to reach our dreams.
We lose patience, so we negotiate our personal terms to gain something rather than owning nothing.
I think about the times people spend with the wrong people because it’s better to be with someone than no one at all. And I think about the fear of loneliness, yet meanwhile, there is nothing more lonesome than standing in poor company.
I was thinking about what happens to us when we settle for less, which is unfortunate, because eventually, the fact that we compromised ourselves catches up to us.
If we settle, we eventually become resentful because although we compromised our dreams —truth is once we’ve compromised our terms, our dreams became deferred or disregarded and inevitably unlived.
And what kind of life is that?
When this happens we begin to feel disregarded and unimportant. This distracts us from self-worth, eventually creating a sense of worthlessness, which becomes cancerous, and if we are not careful; unending.
This is what happens when we compromise our worth. This is what happens when we pair up with wrong match and fail to match intensity. This is what happens when we overly invest in something that fails to return our value.
There is a business term for this known as the sunk cost fallacy.
I talk about this often. This is when we invest in costs that we can never retrieve, But we don’t want to lose, so we invest more so not to lose the value; meanwhile the fallacy remains that if we continue to invest, we will eventually see return.
A fallacy is false notion; it’s a deception, it’s a miscalculation, but in this case, the fallacy is a personal lie that we tell ourselves because simply put; we just don’t want to lose anymore.
We don’t want to seem, look like, or feel foolish—and so long as the deception is alive, the denial can feed the false perception of our dreams to possibly become true,
I think about the amount of time I have invested in ideas and programs, which were failing, and yet, I invested more just to keep them alive.
I think about the wasteful moments of regret, wishing I had gotten out when I could have (or should have) and wishing I had the courage back then, because apparently, I lost my courage the deeper I invested.
Truth is if I had matched intensity with friends and partners or, if I had matched intensity and understood my value and ensured when my worth was, or wasn’t being met; I could have cut and avoided future losses.
The mistake is emotional investing—this is when I invested nervously and insecurely.
I map this out in what I hope you will consider to be a relatable version because after all, we are all human.
These poor investments were made in fear that I would not reach my goals or find my dreams —and the fallacy was that perhaps, if I discounted myself or negotiated my terms, I would eventually find my dreams (somehow) but the outcome came with no avail.
The question is how we can avoid this
- Always be mindful of personal value.
This is very important because one-sided relationships lead to more of the above.
Knowing one’s own worth is important. This enables us to seek the benefit of mutually beneficial and reciprocal relationships and allows us the foresight and the understanding of our time and our energy.
- Remember your vision.
Always be aware of your goals and your plans to achieve them. This is your heart. These are your dreams, which belong to you, and therefore; it is up to you to achieve them—otherwise, your dreams run the risk of being deferred, or worse, fading away to nothing.
- Be aware of opinion.
Not everything we think is fact. Be careful with assumptions because assumptions might not always be so.
Remember: Perception is not truth and emotion has a way of altering facts. S, stick with the facts.
- Avoid emotional decisions.
This is not to suggest there is anything wrong with emotions or feelings. This is us too; however, emotional thinking leads to things like spitefulness, retaliation, which is wasteful energy, and worse emotional decisions lead to silly things like “Cutting your nose off to spite your face,” which, in the end will only create ideas of resentment and regret.
- Allow yourself to be wrong.
There is nothing wrong with mistakes. There is nothing wrong with miscalculations—so don’t beat yourself up, but don’t stand behind a wrong decision, just to prove yourself right.
Remember, you can’t save your ass and your face at the same time.
You can save your face for a temporary stay, but in the end, everything comes out in the wash.
Saving your ass might suck, In fact, I know it does. But at least the problem is over when it’s over (unless you decided to drag it forever) at least now, you can heal, readjust, and reclaim your position and stand up ion your own two feet again.
- Be mindful of your investments and friendships.
Only you know what you deserve, and additionally, only you know if your needs are being met.
Be careful not to take on the opinions or energy of the company you keep just to “Fit in,” or “Belong.”
If you find yourself in the face of diminishing returns and not receiving your worth, then ask yourself why
Assess yourself; what are you motivation and intentions?
How do your relationships and your relationship goals match if the relationships you keep are not the relationships you want?
Next, define what you want in return. How are your needs being met.? Question yourself honestly, but most importantly, answer yourself honestly as well. Otherwise, the exercise loses its point.
- Do not be afraid to say goodbye.
Know that sometimes, the best idea is to walk away.
Oftentimes, the most freeing feeling we can have is standing up, simply walking away, and never turning around to look back.
Do not fall into the quicksand ideas that success, life, love, or happiness cannot or will not exist in anyplace else. Your drive is alive and will never let you down, so long as you remember to feed it.
- Do not be afraid to try and try again.
We are always learning, constantly, and on an everyday basis. This means we will encounter new projects and find new technologies.
Don’t be afraid to learn or try new things.
This will empower you, like an exercise to train your thinking with an “I can” mentality, which will allow you to open up to a better possible learning potential.
- Never sell yourself short.
Be mindful of your thoughts and ideas.
Do not put yourself down. This becomes habit forming and worse, this mindset leads us to self-fulfilled prophecies.
Be aware the words you use to describe yourself. They have an internal and external impact on you and your surroundings.
Steer clear of the negative internal narrative that talks to you in your head. Be mindful of the scenarios that play out in your thoughts—they can and will often grow increasingly worse. This can lead us to respond to something that has not even happened yet.
Put simply, don’t play the move out in your head, kid.
Let the ending come naturally. Otherwise, you’ll drive yourself crazy.
Stay clear of self-deprecating conversation. Be humble, be modest, and be mindful. And remember there is a difference between confidence and arrogance; one is truthful and the other, well, that’s just someone pretending to know it all.
(and who the hell likes someone like that?)
- And last but far from least, always match intensity.
This works in life as well as Jujitsu.
Trust me on this one. Always share yourself proportionally and be aware that if you give with the idea of getting something in return—well, then you really didn’t give anything at all—you just offered a trade, which is fine to do but remember something before you go forward, not everyone trades fairly.
I think about the things I’ve shared with people and the energy I’ve put out to others. I think about the ideas I’ve sent out to the universe, with hopes to see what comes back.
I think about the times I’ve allowed myself to give in to distraction and the self-destructive path this led to.
I think about all of this and I come to one painfully simple conclusion: No one is ever going to be a better advocate for me than me.
It is my job to protect me to the best of my ability. This doesn’t mean I won’t ever be hurt but it does mean I have the right to match intensity and protect myself at all times.