Saturday, January 5, 2013

Business in Prime-Moving: Creating the Prime-Movers, and Protecting Them

Quite interestingly, without even intending to brainstorm it I think I may have come up with a beginning business venture. It'd be a small source of income at first -- not enough to break away from a job, I'd suppose -- but a very worthwhile beginning with lots of potential.

To remind you, I recently lost my job and in contemplating the market I'm starting to think it may be better for me to try something by my own hand. Even with my experience and abilities, and even the fact I live in an area with lots of job creation going on, it's insanely hard for me to find a job, especially a job that contributes to my long-term goals. The reason is unknown to me too, for while I have a nice personality, useful experience, and good ability, there's some "Factor X" that makes people get angry or scared at me, or otherwise view me as "off." Is it because my hearing-impairment gives me an accent, or that I try hard to speak properly? That I hold my shoulders up high and keep good posture? That I look funny, somehow? I don't know, but despite my best manners and demonstrated capabilities this "Factor X" keeps costing me opportunities, so most of what I get are jobs where the employer feels sorry or pity for me, is so desperate for labor they hire me without looking at my materials, or whatever. It's foolish, and I can't correct Factor X, not knowing what it is.

The secondary difficulty is that, even upon getting a job, my ability and interest in doing my best can actually serve to my detriment. My first job in Texas involved people getting more and more hostile as I worked harder, and them doing their best to make me do the most menial stuff while they hoarded the satisfying work, such as when I was a bartender who had to do all the laborious cleaning while my bosses frequently stole drink orders from me. Most of the employers I've dealt with are severely irrational.

In the rare and occasional times I've been able to deal a costumer my own brand of ideas I've always gotten pleasing results, whether it'd be giving a costumer full sit-down service at the bar or catering to random requests, so I think I have the potential to contribute very good services/products that I'd be rewarded better for if an employer weren't standing in my way. There's good people out there I know, where I could get ahead, but my is it tough finding them!

Since 2012 I've taken the practice of integrating all my new years' resolutions under a theme to dedicate what kind of year I'd like it to be, and 2013 is the year of Prime-Moving for me; that is, when I do my best to become the kind of prime-mover I can be. It's a term I've learned of from Ayn Rand, which is used to describe the greatest, most talented men within a society, the people who follow their own judgement and thinking ("moving" themselves) and contribute vastly great things to the world ("moving" the world), such as inventions, scientific and philosophical discoveries, and so on. They're summed as the people who move themselves and move the world, but don't let themselves be moved by the irrationalities of others, such as by subjugating their talents to people-pleasing or caving into demands from nosy busybodies. Think Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney. I have no idea yet what kind of prime-mover I could become, but to become one in my own right is my desire this year.

While walking around I happened to be bouncing around some ideas about self-improvement, and in thinking about the Year of Prime-Moving, what if I tried making some money off specialized writing on the issue of self-improvement and mental health for prime-movers? That is, the rarely used and unique methods for developing yourself into the absolute best human-being you can, and how to deal with the stresses that come inherent within such a pursuit.

Yeah, say! Lots of untapped potential there! Ever since I dropped out of college it's become a burning value within me to maximize my total powers of a human-being. This quote by Leonard Peikoff says it best:

"[The proud man] does not demand of himself the impossible, but he does demand every ounce of the possible. He refuses to rest content with a defective soul, shrugging in self-deprecation 'That's me.' He knows that that 'me' was created, and is alterable, by him." (Brackets aren't mine.)
Yes! That's what I mean by becoming a prime-mover! Realizing every iota of potential within oneself, the entirety of what's within the realm of what's possible. In whatever life a person should choose, that means the best mind possible, the best body possible, the best ethics possible, the best personality possible, and endlessly on! (Of course, the specifics vary widely; the "best body possible" is going to be different in conception for a computer programmer than for an actual body builder.) This kind of self-realization is tremendous and exhausting, but it is possible if one knows the right methods to use for the desired ends, and how to cope with the stresses, such as recharging from exhaustion or dealing with hostility from bullies. It's a complex problem for everyone to contemplate, yet solvable if anyone is willing to dedicate a lifestyle to their maximum fulfillment, for inherent in this realization is the pursuit of the highest happiness as well.

Back when I freshly dropped out of college I became well-known within a limited blogging sphere for being ruthlessly dedicated to self-improvement. I was always setting, analyzing, and measuring goals publicly, and came up with some pretty original stuff, from a very unique vocabulary exercise that's more thorough and cognitively beneficial in its practice, to religiously carrying a stopwatch to work for the best spurs to productivity. What I put out there was uniquely my own methods for maximizing oneself as a human-being, and in plenty of endeavors I have results to show for it, such as how the vocabulary exercise sharpened my mind or how the stopwatch made me nearly the best employee in a place.

I've written so much on the subject before that I think I would do well in specializing in self-improvement, especially since I know way better what interests people and moves them, and what bores them to tears, such as the blogging series of "Weekly Reviews" I stubbornly kept up with next to no readership for it.

But beyond self-improvement there would also be a lot of analysis on mental health for people wanting to maximize themselves. Prime-movers in a society, like Thomas Edison or Aristotle, are extremely rare because they make rare choices and take unbeaten paths, and that also means they undergo unique and uncommon mental stresses too, such as being lonely in a special way, being maliciously attacked by people who are envious, facing decades of being unjustly treated in the job market, and so on. As far as I know, little to nothing has been written about how people can effectively deal with this, at least not from the explicit angle of someone trying to be their personal best, so it's sadly hard for people like that to know how to effectively act when frequent bullying induces misery, injustice in the job market makes them feel like giving up, or if they feel tremendous anxiety when people disapprove of them. The philosophical/psychological analyses of not caring what other people think and so on is all out there in literature, but next to nothing in terms of being directed at people so dedicated to their absolute best, and there's also unaddressed issues such as the psychology of aging mixed in with the frustration of decades of failure in the job market, such as someone who may not get his just rewards until his forties or beyond.

All of this is personal one way or another to me. The intense value of self-realization was sewed into me when I went on a massive self-improvement spree after dropping out of college, often working so hard I had to sleep off exhaustion and sometimes induced headaches. I've also had to suffer a lot from other, irrational people, such as my family who pestered my studies so much I couldn't concentrate, or bullies in the workplace who killed my work ethic. There's also that fact, already mentioned, that Factor X sabotages my work opportunities, so while I *deserve* to be further ahead, I remain still stuck in menial labor, as by and large I get jobs by luck and don't get compensated justly, further damaging motivation and breeding a small hopelessness. These are all tangible things with causes and effects, and every problem has a solution, so I believe there's many unsaid things and unhad ideas that could prevent people from falling from their best practices out of stress and frustration, like I have. I think it's possible to get back, to hold on with rational methods, and push past further barriers to reach one's heights as a human-being, despite all the people and events trying to drag you down into a slump. To hold on and keep pushing forward is necessary if you hope to break through. Just how many broken do we know today who were actually idealists in the past, long given up?

Cutting apart the separate elements -- self-improvement, mental health, relationships -- it may seem like it takes up ground in other people's specialties, but I think it can all be integrated if it's explicitly focalized on being one's absolute best. The self-improvement aspect focuses on unique, underutilized, original, and so forth methods on maximizing yourself, whether it be in autodidactism, teaching, or whatever. The mental health aspect would grapple with questions such as recovering from an exhaustive lifestyle, or preventing anger from getting a hold of you. Even things such as relationships are important to consider, as people can either help you in your journey to happiness, impede you, or make you go backwards into misery if you don't know how to judge and act properly, so you better think about it if you want to keep the good people in, bad ones out, and cope with the rest.

My motivation in this is to not only travel down my own road of self-discovery and realization and see how far I can take myself, but also to push other people down their roads too. I want to aid in creating more prime-movers for the world, the rarest and most valuable people on earth, and, more importantly, aid them in protecting themselves, such as learning how to cope with ten years of failure or to stick to their guns despite a harassing family. Our world would be a much better place if it were more loudly proclaimed as to how exactly great men got to be great -- dispelling the whole "luck" myth -- and if the best in society were taught how to protect the best within themselves from destruction in a society that desperately wants them to give up out of envy.

Of course, my blog would be primarily psychological and deal with fundamental principles, as it wouldn't be possible for me to branch out everywhere. I wouldn't be able to, for example, tell an athlete what the best nutritional regiment would be for their goals, but I think I would be able to hand them the thinking tools so they could think and discover that on their own, as I do strength train and have my own perfect body goals even if I don't want to be a professional. I think it would be possible to avoid getting overstretched, and do rich enough psychological, epistemological, and philosophical analysis that a person would be able to apply it beneficially to his own life, no matter how drastically his would be from mine.

A lot of my personal strengths come into play here. Writing is one of my fortes, and it's something I plan to nurture my whole life, so why not try making some money at it? I'm practiced at doing and writing about self-improvement, especially in doing self-experiments like frigid ice baths or doing math drills at the grocery store. (Self-experimentation would be a hallmark, certainly.) In terms of ideas, I think I also have a good skill in setting down bridges between abstracts and concretes, and I think the difficulty people have in doing so is from not being able to draw a line. For instance, at my last job there was an employee slogan on the wall that stated that "[we all] want to reach [our] potential." In one way or another that means maximum economic worth, ability, or whatever, but no specific concretes are specified, so it's a dangling abstraction that doesn't actually help people set specific actions around them. I'd be able to take such a thing and state that it entails studying until you get a headache, working out until you can't stand up, and so on, really reaching your potential.

While I might add more to this list later on, I think this all divides into five-ish or so pieces, all that integrate into the subject of a person becoming their best:

* * * * * 

1.) Detailing original, unique, unheard of, and underutilized self-improvement methods. 

As I said above, prime-movers are rare because they make rare decisions. Thomas Edison, for instance, wasn't lucky to be born with a big brain: He consciously dedicated himself to the tiring study of his subjects of interest, and it's just a fact that few people choose to study that intensively, particularly outside of school, which is why there isn't a gaggle of Thomas Edisons today.

But furthermore there's also methods people have never heard of, that are underutilized, or just not plain invented yet. I, for instance, discovered a stopwatch was key in helping me become one of a restaurant's best employees. I've also invented new methods such as one called "Deliberate Thinking," which is an original way to cultivate your intelligence in just about any situation.

The more these methods are discussed, honed, constructed, refined, and measured in practice, the more and more able people will be to start tapping into their greatness. You can't do so otherwise if you simply don't know what to do!

2.) Constructing an easy reference for techniques.

What are "conceptual exercises"? What is "Deliberate Thinking"? In past self-improvement writing it used to drive me nuts to introduce a special practice in my life and then feel obligated to continually reexplain it, and I also felt they were treasures lost to time since there wasn't any definitive home for their description, especially since they were always being refined. How about an encyclopedia, then? A bunch of hand-dandy web pages, either with special information or just a mere collection of links, that makes it easy for a person to research special methodology such as my "Deliberate Thinking" when the curiosity strikes him? It'd make the information far more accessible and available, especially to new readers who might walk in the midst of a the refinement of a two-year-old self-improvement technique.

3.) Post stories, videos, and/or images of inspiration, such as people succeeding despite mass disapproval, or overcoming a hardship, such as paying off debt, correcting an injury, and so on. 

One thing that I've learned within recent weeks is that the most inspiring thing for people, the one that is most potent in moving them to action, is to witness real accounts of success in the world.

For instance, a few weeks ago I noticed a viral video that told the story of a man who was diagnosed to be paralyzed for life. It was thought that he would never gain use of his legs again. Well, he believed that he could otherwise, and followed were a bunch of clips of him desperately trying to gain use of his legs again, such as attempting handstands and falling and stumbling over repeatedly. The video ended with him running towards the screen, having successfully regained the use of his legs after an arduous struggle.

A lot of people reported being very emotionally moved by that, several even admitting they cried. Why is that? Because the man is a living statement of success in the world.

As another example, I once came across an art thread -- which I can't find anymore, regrettably -- where a man dedicated himself to posting his paintings *every single day* in an intense effort to improve at art. He was an amateur at start, but by god he stayed so committed that he actually continued that posting habit for years, and people got to actually watch him improve painting by painting, until he actually became an expert and ran his own art class. People got to watch literally every single step in his self-improvement, and commended him in droves after reading him so steadily become a master.

In my own life, I've noticed I've most been able to move people through my actions. Whenever I spoke about doing math drills to improve my brain, other people followed along and did them too. Whenever I spoke about talking ice baths, I unintentionally convinced other people to try them, and cold showers as well. It was entirely absent my intention to persuade them to live differently, and yet I succeeded in doing so without meaning it.

Heroes in art serve as one source of fuel, but heroes alive are what really push people to do something about their lives. I'd like to have an open venue for people to post their stories, videos, or whatever of when they overcame an adversity such as the paralyzed man, or how they step-by-step gained a valuable mastery of a skill as the painter did. This is the stuff that moves people to seek greatness in their life, and just like how Mark's Daily Apple posts success stories of people getting healthy on the Paleo diet, I'd like to post success stories of people getting ahead as human-beings, to show people that moving forward towards self-realization is possible, and there are very real methods they can adopt and practice for themselves.

4.) Analyze mental health in the context of stressful self-improvement and long-term failure.

Now, I am not a psychologist mind you. No license, no degree, no anything. What I'd bring to this table is not legal medical advice, but purely my own thinking and self-experimentation. By and large my recommendations wouldn't be controversial anyhow, just things like writing, singing, or whatever; no medication suggestions.

Prime-movers are rare in the choices they make; they're available to most all, like studying to maximize your intelligence, but very few actually go down that path. Still yet, prime-movers deal with less than common mental obstacles. In the face of exhaustive studying, what are some good ways to recharge the brain, lest it start petering out and buck back at the energy expense? Or if people don't buy your product or service, how do you effectively deal with the frustration that's inherent in it, so that one isn't tempted into throwing in the towel?

I don't proclaim I'll always deal in answers and advice. Sometimes a piece may be just one long question, and identifying the nature of the problem and asking the right questions can oftentimes be a huge step in the direction of solving it, especially in handing the reader leads.

Though, the more and more potential solutions that get bounced around -- especially the ones that get experimented with and their results reported -- the more people will be able to keep up an intensive lifestyle and know how to more effectively handle themselves to ensure that it remains a life of progress, rather than of burnouts and giving-in. My Deliberate Thinking, for instance, is so intensive that it's insanely stressful, so it's hard to keep up for more than a few hours a day. How to recharge the batteries more effectively so that I can get back to getting further and further ahead with it?

'Tis all towards becoming more robust, and not only becoming a prime-mover but also knowing how to stay one despite the demand of energy.

5.) Analyze how to deal with relationships, whether it be keeping good people in one's life, coping with bad ones, or dealing with harassment. 

As I've stated above, people have the ability to add to our happiness, impede our journey to it, or make us move towards misery. For someone trying to being a prime-mover this is especially important, for without the proper knowledge the ways to act towards people can be extremely confusing, especially when dealing with people who might actively bully you out of envy.

This is a sensitive issue for me, as people have been the number one barrier to my success. Not physically; rather, because I didn't know what to do in situations I was suffering in.

For instance, I dropped out of college to become an autodidact. I lost trust in the educational system, especially since they irrationally thought me mentally deficient, and they utterly failed in teaching me anything well, so it was time to take matters into my own hands. However, my grandmother severely doubted my ability in this -- or that I was even telling the truth in stating that I was teaching myself -- and interfered immensely in my autodidact activities. She later acknowledged that I was indeed growing more intelligent by it, but she interfered so greatly that I had to give up my studies since I couldn't concentrate; she ruined the endeavor.

Also, at my first job in Texas my coworkers deliberately tried making me miserable the harder I worked. I was the only one in the whole branch that was actually interested in the restaurant field, so that made me stick out in a way that was unpleasant to them, such as my being able to work harder or set up self-improvement ventures. People sought me out to harass me (such as a partner in the dish pit who nearly got violent, or a food runner who threw his dishes at me), dumped more and more menial labor on me while hoarding the interesting work, and so on. It killed my work ethic and pushed me to a mild nervous breakdown, and I didn't boast, preach to, or harass these people in return: I minded my own business, but because they couldn't keep their envious eyes away they lashed out at me to dissolve my nerves. It really damaged my work ethic and has made it hard for me to feel passionate about the restaurant industry ever since.

 Additionally, I find myself lonely: Few people surrounding me share my deep interests and dedications. How does one cope with that? And in a lifestyle dedicated to self-improvement, how can I best incorporate healthful socializing and to make time for relationships? Those are important questions to answer for those who seek out greatness, either in dealing with loneliness or hatred.

As an extension, inherent in this is also the question of how one deals with a negative history. Year after year of negative happenings can leave some footprints in a person, so how can one employ principles to sweep them away and avoid a bad past from rotting oneself from within? I lost my recent job due to caving in from the stress of not being able to move ahead after nearly three years of restaurant work.

Yes, a good degree of this will include me divulging some tender things about my own life, to continue the logic from point number three, that what inspires people most is to witness success. My problems have very real answers out there -- some already percolating -- and if I can demonstrate to the reader that I can overcome my own adversity, then it's yet still more fuel for people to overcome their own.

* * * * *

Right now I'm not contemplating any set regiment as to when I'd write upon self-improvement, a psychological point, or post a success story, but I am considering a Mon-Wed-Fri posting schedule for now, and am still yet contemplating the kinds of pages I'd have to create, such as the encyclopedia, disclosures (so I don't get sued), and contact forms.

The money-making portion would come from Amazon Associates, Google Ads, and a Paypal Tip Jar. It's that last one where I hope to maximize my earnings, by persuading people to pay me for the value I add into their lives, perhaps by convincing them of a life-changing self-improvement venture, or how to stand up to intimidation, or a story that changed their career views. But in accordance to whatever value I've added into their life. Perhaps there will be some other monetizing methods, but my idea is still of primary importance; I'm not going to go around thinking "What article will gain me the most reward?" but rather "What article will please me to write the most and contribute the best value?" Quoting Mary Kay: Go into something you would do for free and someone will pay you well for it. My satisfaction with the content comes first.

From here I've got to start gathering together my article ideas, drafting and publishing them, set up the appropriate pages, and monetize the blog.

See you in our adventures together in greatness!

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