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What Do You Want From Life?
A baby's arm holding an apple? Low expectations?
The Tubes asked this question back in 1975. What do you want from life? The last line of the lyrics was an answer “…A baby's arm holding an apple”
It was 1975. Things were different then. People wanted children’s body parts holding things I guess, instead of the things we want today.
I want it all, and I want it now, says Gary Vaynerchuk every morning to his mirror, as soon as he wakes up. I bet he does.
I don’t happen to want that. Could you imagine? Where would you put it all? Queen wants it all though:
The most common answer to the question “What do you want from life?“ is to feel happy. We want to be happy.
So the BIG question is: What makes you happy?
The easy, quick answer for me is I do. I make me happy because happy is inside of me already. Not always at the surface, but it’s there - when my world is right, and things are ticking along as they should. Happy is internal, like my heart.
Wise old Charlie Munger at 99 years old
He often talks about how to enjoy a happy and fulfilling life. Yet his life has not always been a cakewalk.
At the age of 31, Munger was divorced, his young son had died of leukemia and he had no money.
He rebuilt his life. As well as becoming one of the world's most successful investors, he focusses on the essentials of happiness. He is Warren Buffett’s business partner.
"Generally speaking, envy, resentment, revenge, and self-pity are disastrous modes of thought. Self-pity gets pretty close to paranoia…Every time you find your drifting into self-pity, I don’t care what the cause, your child could be dying from cancer, self-pity is not going to improve the situation. It’s a ridiculous way to behave." ~ Charlie Munger
He is 99 years old and is remarkably as enthusiastic as ever. Becky Quick on CNBC interviewed Charlie:
Becky: By reading many entrepreneurs and famous people, they always say that you have to dream really big.
Instead you say, Charlie, that the secret to a happy life is having low expectations. Could you please expand on that?
Charlie: “Well yes you climb as hard as you can by just advancing one inch at a time - that's the secret of life. And now there's always somebody who's a little nuts and who succeeds.
But for every guy who exceeds, there are 1000’s of failures.
Becky: Is this an under promise over to over deliver situation too?
Well of course - who in his right mind would like going around making a lot of commitments and failing time, after time, after time, at doing what you had promised to do.
Everybody would hate you, right?
There's no more guaranteed way to make people hate you than to fail them in their reasonable expectations.
So of course you want to live a life where by and large you're meeting the reasonable expectations of other people.
That's what civilization requires of all of us”.
Manage expectations. The first rule of a happy life is low expectations. That’s one you can easily arrange. And if you have unrealistic expectations, you’re going to be miserable all your life.
“I could employ a team of the world’s greatest nano-scientists and still not create a violin small enough for the woes of little Pauly Junior”. ~ Janel Comeau/*witter
I grew up in a middle class household, 4 years older than my bro. Both of my parents worked. I didn’t want for much, and if I did want a thing, I’d have to get creative and figure out a way to get it.
I look back at my high school years and thank my lucky stars that it was over in just 4 years. Just 35,064 hours. It was tough. And this is where my expectations for life were formed. And I set the bar low. Like Limbo bar low. Because I didn’t enjoy life at all for those 4 years. Just 35,064 hours.
Awe muffin. 😢
But when high school was over, I felt as though I lost the weight of the world off my shoulders, for 35,064 hours.
But life got significantly better the moment school ended. I took a year off to work before going to College and took Advertising/Marketing for a couple of years.
And things started getting good. My life’s experiences exceeded my expectations by miles. I was happy. And I still have that feeling. Everyday life exceeds my expectations.
That difference, or gap between your expectations and your reality is the happy cookie right there. This is what we are looking and searching for externally. But it is up to us to set our expectations. So set them low, and don’t worry, be happy. Cue song by Bobby McFerrin.
So the old guy, Charlie is right about the expectations thing.
Peter Kaufman is the CEO of Glenair. He wrote:
“We tend to take every precaution to safeguard our material possessions because we know what they cost. But at the same time we neglect things which are much more precious because they don’t come with price tags attached: The real value of things like our eyesight or relationships or freedom can be hidden to us, because money is not changing hands”. - as heard on the Morgan Housel Podcast
Setting our expectations is a mindset. We can practice this and just do it. And it is free.
Marketing and Expectations
It is up to the seller/marketer to set the buyer’s expectations. You do this by the words you use for your brand story, product descriptions, videos, presentations, marketing materials, SEO and so on. Everything you use and associate with, to sell your product. Your product can be a physical thing, an electronic document, a book, a course or whatever thing you sell. Even a FREE Subscription to your Newsletter.
The words you and/or your marketing guru use. These are 100% in your control. The words matter.
Don’t promise what you know you can’t deliver. Don’t lie - in person, on the phone or in email or ad materials. People have pretty good BS detectors now a-days. So resist the embellishment, the enhancements, exaggerations and such.
For example: An e-commerce widget you are selling comes from China. You have NO control over that supply chain situation. So don’t say the product will be delivered to the customer in a week. Won’t happen. And when it finally gets delivered, the customer will no longer be a customer. They will never trust anything you say again. They may even demand a late delivery discount. Their Lifetime Value or LTV just stopped.
People have to Know, Like, and Trust you before doling over their money to buy whatever you’re selling.
Here are 20 action words that can help build trust when writing marketing materials used to sell a product or newsletter subscription. Sprinkle some into your writing:
These words convey a sense of reliability, credibility, and security to potential customers, fostering trust in you, your product or subscription.
So exceed the customer’s expectations, and your business will thrive!
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