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The Good Person’s Guide to Kicking Ass

How empathic people can achieve power and influence

There’s a reason that we see so many corrupt people in positions of power and authority. It’s not because they’re particularly competent. They’re not there because they do a good job. The reason they are in those positions is that they didn’t give up.

Set and review goals

As I write this article, I have a list 84 medium and long-term goals in a spreadsheet. I review some or all of those goals every day. As I review my goals, I can feel how it reorients me towards my larger desires and longer-term destinations.

Surround yourself with people who encourage you

Often, the reason we ended up so open to feedback, so willing to adapt, is that we came from environments where that was our survival mechanism. Most of us no longer need to be in environments like the ones we grew up in, and we can instead surround ourselves with nurturing relationships.

Just keep moving forward

The world-famous entrepreneur Richard Branson is apparently dyslexic. The most celebrated investor of all time, Warren Buffet, doesn’t understand technology businesses and barely uses a computer.

Learn to receive negative feedback

I used to get really upset when people gave me negative feedback. I would sometimes both attack the person giving the feedback, and at the same time feel discouraged. I learned a lot from my psychotherapy clinical training, which was a long process of learning to accept, integrate, and grow from negative feedback. I’m not perfect at receiving negative feedback now, but I’ve come a long way.

Get enough rest

It’s really hard work to keep moving forward and to keep pursuing your goals. We often forget how much we need to rest and recuperate. A large part of training for any athlete is the time spent resting. Make sure you’re sleeping enough, and taking care of other aspects of your life, such as nutrition, your intimate relationship, and your friendships.

Take baby steps

Sometimes we get stuck and we don’t know how to move forward. If we allow this to overwhelm us then we will be stuck for longer. The longer we are stuck, the more stuck we feel.

Spend some time doing nothing everyday

I’ve written a lot about meditation. Meditation is great, but what you need more than meditation is to do nothing. You could be sitting in a hot tub, or a bath, or standing in the shower, or swimming in the ocean. Be somewhere other than your desk, doing something other than your work.

Believe in yourself like everyone else does

If you tend to doubt your competence, then you probably overcompensate by trying really hard, and getting really good at things. People around you probably believe that you are very capable, and they can’t understand why you don’t have more influence and power than you do.

Make it into a game

You can think of the project in front of you as this ominous thing that you might screw up, or you can think of it as a game. How can you experiment with it? How can you try new things? What new tactics and strategies can you test?

Conclusion

The world needs you to kick ass. You are more capable, more principled, and more deserving than many of the corrupt psychopaths and narcissists who currently occupy many positions of power, influence, and authority. Please use this guide to rise up and take charge of your destiny.

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An engineer-psychologist focused on machine intelligence. I write from my own experience to support others in living more fulfilling lives | duncanriach.com

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