Sagi Shrieber interviews mega-successful creative entrepreneurs about the strategies, tactics, and mindset needed in order to flourish in all areas in life.
The deep and diverse interviews here offer practical tips and strategies, from entrepreneurship to health and wellness, personal development, and spirituality.
Sagi Shrieber: Hey buddy, what's up Sagi here! Today on the show, we have Didi Medina. Didi is a product design and leadership consultant. He's been in the game for over 10 years in the tech industry, working with companies in New York, San Francisco, here in Israel, and all over the world. He's very much like me, in the way that we both come from the tech world with over 10 years of experience in product design.
We've been very savvy and really connected to a lot of the people in the high-tech, like in the tech industry, and I think Didi has so much amazing value to give to this podcast because that's why I wanted to bring him on because he's such a smart dude. He managed to get to a very high income while also being that creative, that guy that starts many projects, just like a lot of us.
And me being the person who, starts my project as well, and not completing some of them carrying through, some of them became, pretty successful. But at the end of the day, I managed to get to a point where I’m becoming this seven-figure entrepreneur, how can someone take themselves to seven figures?
Didi is here to talk about that, not specifically the figures, but specifically how do you get productive. How do you manage to start a project? Finish your project. How do you become resilient? How do we not stop in the face of adversity? What is the right mindset to have about these things? Didi has such an amazing, tremendous concept about all these things from his experience and his unique philosophy, which you will see.
He has a very unique way of explaining it and a very precise way, and so coherent and so sharp that I think you'll love this episode. Guys, enjoy this episode, the Commit First podcast with Didi Medina. Let's begin!
Everybody, just one second before we start the show. I wanna tell you about Affirmations & Co.
Affirmations & Co. is my app Commit First, we launched an app. We're taking Commit First into becoming a mental fitness tech company, and Affirmations & Co. Is our first app. Maybe it'll be the only app we'll see, but. We just launched it a couple of months ago. We already have hundreds of users using it on a daily basis.
If you're using affirmations and you want to leverage affirmations to become the best version of yourself, please be sure to download Affirmations & Co and search for my name in a search bar. Follow me there because then you'll have access to my affirmations. In Affirmations & Co, we have access to everybody's affirmations.
It can build on top of them with one tap you add my affirmations to your affirmation. It can build on top of that. That's why we build up one another and also you have different lists. For instance, I have a list for gratitude, I have a list for morning, my morning routine. I have a list for before bed, a list for before public speaking, or before sales calls.
And in general, you can just have an affirmation session. I use the widgets on my iPhone. It's always in front of my eyes when I unlock my iPhone. I see on my own screen a huge widget retaining affirmations with a beautiful background, beautiful design. Obviously, you guys know I come from user experience design, so please download Affirmations & Co.
And if you haven't, you enjoy it. Please write a review on the App Store. We would love that. We would really love your help in pushing this app board and sharing it. This is Commit First, Affirmations & Co is a part of it. So guys, enjoy the show. Here is Didi Medina. Let's begin!
Talk to everybody. Welcome to the Commit First podcast, and today on the show we have Didi Medina. Didi, what's up?
Didi Medina: I'm just kidding. . , bro. I have to match that excitement. . It's like a toll owner. Oh, no, that's the best I can
Sagi Shrieber: Let's talk about excitement today. We're gonna talk about excitement.
We're gonna talk about work ethic and doing the work versus personal development and the whole kind of, world of affirmations and whatnot, right? Obviously, you guys know my perspective on things, but you might not know. Some of the things that we're gonna talk about that are my perspective when it comes to actually doing the work because of my personal development approach to things.
But also and I talk about a lot of these things on podcasts, I do not talk a lot about actually the work ethic, doing the work, that kind of things when it comes to when the things fly. And I think we had an interesting discussion earlier, Didi, about this. So to anybody who doesn't know that, you're creative like me, and you have experience in the field of like over 10 years right?
In the industry as a designer. And I think when both of us are creative, we used to be the people that have a lot of projects, and want to get a lot done. And then a lot of projects we leave, just that we start off, but we never finish. . And I know I for sure had that, I know for your, like you, you also had that, but both of us found made it work.
And I think both of us, like in general, like again, in the capitalistic world, we're looking at, how much revenue you, whatever, like how much money are you actually making? If you've taken past someone broke, it's not a good Yes. , but both of us managed to make over seven figures, to build our businesses and our operations.
And I think what's interesting is that most creative, I know a lot of them are really struggling to make even these six figures, and So let's talk about that. Let's talk about how do you actually get, as a creative, if someone wants to achieve a lot of things actually get to operate and be very productive and efficient.
What is the, what, where do you find it?
Didi Medina: It's a, there are 10 layers to that question. I think like from a standpoint of but there's a question like, how do you become productive as a creative. And then there's a second question, like, how do you make your productivity convert into over six figures of returning ROI?
Give me separate into two separate things cuz you, you don't have to mix creativity in the productivity of creativity into being defined by whether or not you make a profit. Yeah, that's the first thing. You'll think like most artists would define themselves as successful as an artist if it makes over a certain dollar or not.
Which kind of brings us to a very simple point. It's like you have to have the humility to accept that certain things are better than, I'm making money than others. And you cannot make certain things become the vehicle to the billion-dollar baby if it's not optimized for that. There are definitely routes that are better, like when I say I'm a creative and I say I'm like a designer and we also talk about income and the high profits that I've made throughout my career.
That's also very strongly correlated to the fact that I work in tech, right? If I was a graphic designer working for print studios and local coffee shops, I, that's still a creative that can still be a very talented creative.
I doubt you'd be bringing in the same level of income or having even access to operating on the same level, which it's really important to differentiate between productivity, and not needing to mean profitability. If right now, like you're at a point in your career where like productivity is translated to profitability, like I know how to sit down, do good design.
I know how to be creative, but I want to get that to translate into like big bucks that can be addressed separately, right? So it just depends on which way you want to take. It's like, how do I become productive as a designer? I think it's convoluted to say that is defined by making more money.
It doesn't have to if you wanna say, how do I become profitable as a designer, that's a separate topic, we go down either one
Sagi Shrieber: Yeah, I think, I don't wanna talk about specifically designers because most of the people who listen to the show are like, either, like in any way, are maybe considering themselves creative entrepreneurs.
Yeah, feel free guys to just, shout me out and tell me it's not true. But creative entrepreneurs by default are creative people. , they wanna be also entrepreneurs, meaning they want to be business owners and they wanna increase their income. , to a point where they have, most people want to have enough for a good lifestyle.
And enough for a good lifestyle nowadays is a lot, right? But the people also wanna be financially independent and, they wanna make as much as they can in this capitalistic world. I think that I'm just putting aside the fact that, if you make below 100 K a year, that's also fine for some people, depending on why we live and everything.
I'm just putting out a separate thing. I'm saying like, I think in order to make the income that we're making. Okay. Which is again, not I can't say, I'm not even close to being like an eighth-figure entrepreneur. But I'm like saying there was a level to that, that I learned in the past couple of years that is the friction.
There's a friction point between personal development, crushing even limiting beliefs, building yourself up, in order to be able to make that much to be efficient, productive and to think right about things and to have the right perspective and doing the work, like putting in the freaking hours. There's like a clash because there's all this maybe like a lot of the personal development world says, do your affirmations and do your morning routine and do all that. And then at the end of the day, a lot of people rely on that. That's not like the conversation that we had, right? But I know you are also liking into personal development, so how do you, let's say, how do you use personal development in your role right now?
Didi Medina: I think obviously, solving hard things as far as you to be very mentally prepared for battle like you're just not gonna go. Everything that has a bigger reward tends to take longer, requires relatively more pain and adversity to overcome. You're not gonna get through that to see the other side of your work unless you can keep yourself lonely headed and whatever works for you in that process is a blessing.
Like some people find the gym to be a way to keep themselves grounded and patient and calm the process. And other people find affirmations to be, in some people do hybrid in both, and some people do yoga. I think whatever it is you choose to do, there are a bunch of different tools.
I think it's fair to assume that anything you pursue to do has delayed returns, right? It's like I start work, I break ground today, I'm probably going, gonna see the fruits of my labor in a year plus from now. In any sort of like meaningful way and probably like in a substantial way, like even further down the line.
You're gonna have to stomach a lot of like, patience and there's all these tools are very useful in calling yourself fuck down. Yeah. And just taking it step by step. So yeah, in that sense and to be completely honest, like when I'm completely lost at night, I don't know what I'm doing, and I feel like high senses of anxiety, I take waking up early, going to a gym way more seriously, right?
I'm also someone I can say completely honest, like when I feel like I have a lot of clarity around what I'm doing and I'm taking a lot of meaning from what I'm doing and I can get lost in my work for 15 hours a day, my habits go out the fucking window.
My ability to make high financial returns are still there. So that begs the question, and it's like, what do these things do? They help you deal with ambiguity. They help you deal with uncertainty and we all deal with a different amount at different points in time. Somebody can be making a million dollars here, but he's already cracked the code for it.
He knows how to do it, and then at this point, it's just from muscle memory and he doesn't have a bunch of insecurity about it, right? There's this concept of, if you wanna make it, you need to be very confident. Confidence is something you get after you've already proven to yourself, you can do it. Like you need a lot of courage. Courage is a catalyst of confidence. Confidence is the return on investment of spending courage, right? That's how that works, right? So you can have confidence about something you've never seen yourself firsthand and succeed at it.
You can be falsely confident, you can try to convince yourself with all the lies you wanna tell yourself that I am good at this lady. You don't know that. There's no hard truth for that, and there's only so far you can go to like cheating yourself out of like just accepting the adversity of I don't know that I'm gonna be good at this yet, and that's okay.
I'm still gonna wake up and do the work and try to prove to myself that I can be. Now, once you're past that chasm, and you're on the side of I know how to do this. You actually rely less on these tools, unless you're going for your next client, right? So it's if I figured out I'd make a million dollars a year, but now I wanna figure out how to make like way more, or I want to get into real estate, or I wanna get into something that I'm completely stranger to, again I tend to fall back on, I'm going into a place of un interim territory for me.
And I usually reach back into these tools always when I do that, and then when I'm like kind of working on a plateau and enjoying the view, I'm not trying to use the word plateau in a negative way. Like I'm saying I'm there, I'm aware I'm there and I'm enjoying the fucking view. And then's something people don't do enough, they're always trying to climb. Those periods of time yeah, I'm okay waking up at eight and I'll wake up at five. I'm okay. Do work when it comes to me and not do what it's not. And like it's a whole, it's a different face. So it depends on what side of that you're on at any point in time.
Sagi Shrieber: Yeah, it's interesting, because again, like, my mic was in a way, but so when you talk about it, I'm like, in some areas I have this theory, first you have to have clarity of vision. A lot of people are stopped there, right? Yeah. They don't have clarity of vision.
The things like taking the time to just not do anything. Yeah. Gives you the space to understand and get clarity. Then when you gain 30, you need to take massive action towards that goal. Yeah. Totally. And then the massive action you are gonna hit out of adversity.
That's where you also need the mental fitness side of things. And more people, some people need it more than others, maybe. Yeah. I think a lot of people just don't know to differentiate between the two phases. Gaining clarity of vision and then taking massive action towards your goal.
Sometimes they're intertwined, at least in my career, it was like that, like in, in the past five years, I've been a lot of places of like lack of failure. So I said, okay, fine. I'm gonna take more walks in nature. I'm gonna meditate more, I'm gonna but still right now, when I'm in massive action mode I feel like the amount of adversity, your tackle can be sometimes really heavy., so in order to break that, for me, again, meditating, walking, working out affirmations. So all these are like habits that I built for myself. . Yeah. To utilize when I need it.
Yeah, but the question is, why do you think, do you think people just don't know when to, how to, like, how much you should, they should pay attention over here versus how much attention they should pay, like working, actually doing the work. I think people are just underestimating maybe how much work is needed.
Didi Medina: That's a good thing, I mean, there's a whole like psychological paradox that explains that one with the Dunning-Kruger effect. It explains our confidence towards things, right? Like it's on a, it's an inverse belt curve. It's like when you know very little about something, you're very confident about it.
As you learn more about it, you get very petrified about it, and as you become an expert and you're very confident and comfortable which means if you're doing things that are new and you sound overexcited about it, you're probably in a novice category. Yeah. It's the same reason why people when they start a brand new job, they have so many great things to say, and then two months later they have a shift in opinion.
And the same thing with every new thing you go through, the problem is like most people get to that middle ground, which is the point of sobriety, that's a point where you're really looking at it for what it is. And they see it as no, now I discovered the battle. It's just, it was there all along.
You didn't wanna see it when you started cuz you couldn't see it. And that's like usually the point where now, you fully understand it. Now it's about climbing up and getting to the other side where you become an expert at it and you've mastered that challenge and you've become good.
And I think back at what you were saying, the way I usually like to reference it is like, people have to be both methodical and disciplined, right? It's if you're all disciplined, you can work really hard in the wrong direction. If you're all methodical, with no discipline, you can be a complete philosopher, right?
And you need to have enough methodology to put. You're like hard work to good use, which is not given. Working hard does not mean it's being applied in the right way. You can learn really fast and hard in the wrong direction. That is absolutely possible. Yeah. So you need to know how to cycle through that sometimes if you find yourself working really hard, not getting the results you want.
Having the humility to step back and being like, maybe it's not about me, not trying hard enough. It's about me applying that effort to the wrong place and really trying to reflect. Other times you can find yourself overthinking it overplanning something to death and trying to convince yourself, out of every possible risk.
And that's also a good time to just, shut up and just do learn. And then when you get to the bottom of that curve, like then make the decisions on what is and what isn't, cuz your brain is gonna both for better and for worse, try to make assumptions way too far into the pipe in advance to try to protect you.
And if you knew how to succeed in new things that you're about to do, you wouldn't be taking on the jump, you'd be on the other side of that, right? So it's fair to assume that if you're on something new, you're the last person you should trust to ask the question of what would actually cause this to work out.
Like you don't know that. Yeah. So just try to think about it and try to like, come up with some level of a plan. Don't beat it to death, don't turn over, scrutinize every detail, and then just apply it, and see how it goes. Iterate and slowly eventually make it to the top.
Sagi Shrieber: So here are a few traps I think, like people find themselves out, right, regarding what you just said. One is they say I can't predict that much in events. I'll go ask other people if my idea would work. Then they go ask other people, and people like mostly say, nah, know the chances of this working are slim like any other business then.
And I hit, I definitely hit this when I build Affirmations & Co. Most people said Sagi, you're building a personal development app, come on, like b2c put your time into something more practical, right? And then, I cannot still predict anything in the future. I have no idea, even if I would be able to self-fund this thing, the whole way through.
So for me, it's kind of just Commit First, carry the app later on it. But I think a lot of people just get stuck there. They find themselves not being able to either commit to it because they're too afraid because of the unknowns. And then also some mentors and some family members, whatever, that usually have no experience with it.
Never done an app themselves or anything like that. You know, nobody will want to invest in such a thing. No. You have no way to succeed. . So for me, I have a way around that, which I explained to people, but I wanna hear your perspective. How would you tell someone that just wants to get started, and build a business, as a lacks clarity about what they want to do?
How do you help 'em start?
Didi Medina: Whew, what's a heavy one? I have like a. Non-sexy answer, right? I think like some people might sit and tell you like, oh, you have to believe in yourself. What do you really have to believe in pursuing something you've never done before?
Like you can look at other things you succeeded at, and roughly say, I've done hard things in the past and came out on top. So why is this any different? But that becomes looser and looser abstractions of what it is you're about to do. It's just don't make that fuel in your enemy. It's like first normalize the fact that it's there.
It's like it's not going anywhere. I think most people see the fact that an emotional cocktail comes up as a bad sign, like their first fail, but it shouldn't be a bad sign. It's like obviously your body's gonna try to protect you. Your psyche's gonna try to protect you and it's gonna optimize for laziness.
It's not gonna optimize for success. It's gonna optimize the preservation of energy. So everything about you is gonna try to convince you out of it for the most part. And if you know that's your natural state, Then just when it comes up, don't try to give it too much meaning, like we decide how to give meaning to the emotions we have, and when people feel like, oh, my intuition's telling me x it.
You have to be equally honest with yourself, what about your intuition tells you. That you're the expert to answer this question like you haven't come to the other side like every I see you see this everywhere. It's like people who've never made a million bucks critiquing people who have made a million bucks.
And what? It takes a million to make a million bucks. I'm sorry you didn't do it. You don't know and I have the ability to say everything I thought I believed about making money before I started making real money. Was absolutely wrong. Like my assumptions were completely off. Bet you come in, no surprise.
So normalizing the feeling I think is first, be okay with the fact that it's just there, right? It's noise, it's amongst things. You're gonna have it come up like on a weekly basis and where you pursue. Like complicated things. It's also your advantage in life. It's like the second you become somebody who can just dance with the chaos you get to be part of a club that's less than 5%, right?
The beauty of the world is like 95% of people don't have the stomach to dance with the chaos, which gives you the advantage. It's like once you learn how to do that, you'd be surprised how little competition there is. Like, no, nobody can do it. It's like you when I see people coming to me and be like, oh, you're not afraid that other people are gonna steal your business if you share your secrets, like no.
Do you know how much work it took behind these ideas? Yes. Do you know how many insecure nights I had? I don't see the average person doing this. I'm not worried at all. I give them the goddamn damn playbook and they still won't do it. So that's what you have to look forward to is the fact that everybody goes through it and you rarely, those gut feelings were only rarely right..
Like it's you. It's just you trying to protect yourself from something you don't understand and we're always afraid of something we don't understand. So don't get too much weight after that, it's like okay, I am struggling not getting away cuz no matter how much I understand this on an intellectual level, on an experiential level, my body, my emotional reaction to things is doing things I don't want.
And this is very common. I have this happen a lot, like you know, you were in a household where that was very religious, right? And pretty much like I grew up with this mindset of no matter how much I succeed in life, I won't be good unless like I'm good in the eyes of God.
And that was like this idea that was taught to me as a kid. And even while I started becoming successful, I find myself going to my parent's house for a visit and flexing, right? I need to make sure everybody knows how successful I am. Like, and then going on the day, I'm like, why the fuck did I do that?
I know I'm good. I know I have nothing to prove. Why did I do that? Cause frankly, what we understand in an intellectual level is different than what we do. Like it's driven from an emotional level. So, as much as I can say words that make sense to anybody who's listening, I understand that even if they make sense to you and you can fully internalize it.
The experiential level of your body is going to conflict with what you understand intellectually. And that's where these tools really come in. They police your emotional level, meditating right? A little bit more can help slow down that response of going from, I feel a lot of control to needing to do something about it.
Yeah. So that's yeah. All those tools really help slow down that emotional state to try to keep up, with what you already understand to be true on an intellectual level. And I think like over time as you take on more risk and you tolerate more risk and you get more comfortable with just risk being all around you, your tolerance goes up, you'll find needing these tools less and less for those reasons.
So, that's also like really enjoyable to see. I think now I meditate not to keep myself like calmly capable. I do it just because I enjoy it. And of course, as a massive beneficial like, I used to like, police myself to do it. Cause I knew things would go wrong if I did. I'm not on that stage. But yeah, that's like “power the process”.
Sagi Shrieber: Interesting. So I think like most of us, when we grow through what we go through in order to grow to our full potential have limiting beliefs that we came up with, right? How do you work on yours?
Didi Medina: I'm also not gonna say anything groundbreaking here. It's like, you'll be surprised if you write down what you believe to be true, how absurd it would look to you when you read it back, right? One thing that I do is, I found it I think from Tim Ferris a long time ago.
It's like one of those things that like all the methodologies and ways of doing things. This thing, this one that stuck with me was, Fear-setting, right? It's the human condition that is programmed to be afraid of loss more than it is programmed to pursue opportunity, right? So if you're trying to understand why you're reacting to something in a certain way, that doesn't make sense to you.
You're like, why? Why? Why don't they give us so much weight? Like why is this the way it reacted? It doesn't make sense. It's probably because of an underlying fear. So starting off with not what you want, but rather what you're afraid of is actually a more productive way to try to understand what's causing certain behaviors.
The fear-setting template is available online. Like you can find. . But it walks you through the systematic way of just saying like, what are you afraid of? What is the consequence of inaction? It really gets you to write down in a structured way, the thing that you just don't wanna say out loud cuz you think you're better than that.
Between you and a piece of paper, nobody can see share, right? Yeah. Hey, it's like the most vulnerable place things that you wanna even open up to in front of a therapist, you can possibly say in a piece of paper which is like very powerful. So you go through it and then realize where the fear comes from and just normalize it and humanize it.
And then from there, once you read it back, you're just like, yeah I was definitely giving that way more weight than I should. Now you'll be sober for about a week or two. So this is why it's continuous work. It's like you'll like for a second be like, all right, I feel comfortable.
I'm gonna go put in my time, wake up early and get back, and then slowly starts dwindling off because again, those returns, like those Returns On Investment, don't come really quick. . So you might have to do this a couple of times. You might need to start journaling, right? It's like you need to carry it out long enough so you can be patient enough that the returns come.
So that's how I do, I like trying to get what's in my head out in some sort of productive way, either by writing. I reflect once a week. And I also have a therapist, like I and I think finding a good therapist is probably the hardest challenge anybody can go feeling. Yeah. I think 90% of therapists are mediocre and don't know what they're doing.
Because for the most part, we just wanna be validated. So if you sit in front of a person and someone's really? Wow, I agree. Wow. At first, you're gonna feel great, and then you either feel like you're making progress because you just want to hear that you're already good. It's also why we go out to other people and ask them about our companies like we're not actually seeking information, we're seeking validation, and then you do two things for different, the same thing, sorry for the different reasons will yield completely different results, right?
Yeah, good therapists are hard to find and while you don't have a good therapist, good mentors, and when I say good mentors, write problems that you're trying to solve. Talk to people who've already solved it, right? That's like the hard rule. It's like, don't ask people to help theorize what they think would work if they were in your shoes or whatever.
It's very dangerous. Like you don't need more speculation, right? Yeah. It's like you wanna solve problem X, find someone who's already solved it, and then go talk to them. You'll get a whole different experience. So that's number one, right? And then if you can't get mentors, be your own mentor.
Write it, fuck down, write it, and then try to read it back and reflect on it. Now you can probably push it through judging..
Sagi Shrieber: Oh my God, man. Oh, that's not getting into AI. But I think first of all, I think everybody can get a mentor. We have by the way like we had a discussion back well ago about mentors and such, but my theory is I get clarity of vision. Take massive action, and get a mentor. Yeah, I have it right here.
Vision, action, direction, and I think that most people, basically, get stuck in some shape or form on taking action. What is your, like what's your take on if we have to now wrap this up and give some maybe, examples? You know what I'm gonna take it in a different direction then we'll wrap it up with what I wanted to ask.
Sure. I wanna ask you, so you had another project which started, that you dropped, right? You still start new projects? Yeah. And you fall a little bit right now, right? Would you say that right now you are better at taking on a project and seeing it through having it come to a success? And if so, what are your tips for people who are not starting projects all over the place and not continuing?
Didi Medina: So you can have two people both like starting a bunch of projects and both dropping a bunch of projects. One person, I would say keep doing what you're doing. And another person, I would say, you have something you gotta revisit, right?
There's a difference here in the pursuit of finding the project, right? You're gonna have a lot of sacrifices. A lot of things that almost became something but didn't, taught you something and then reused and then bent in a different way, and it's like part of the process, right?
Whether you see 'em now or you'll reflect on it in 10 years and say, how did all these different attempts, like shape, like who I was, even at the very least, you just kept that curiosity gene, like going and touching different things, right? It, it's more muscle, to keep, and then.
There's another person who is trying to convince them into, because convince themselves into the certainty of whatever they take on is going to work out, and because of that, they only start and never end. That version of that scenario is problematic, right? Like I think the number one thing that I learned about making really big decisions is that have a lot at stake.
Whether it's for you or for others, you start with leading yourself and in the future, you might lead others, you might make big decisions on behalf of a 500-person organization. The nature of big decisions is you need to make them based on clarity, not certainty, right? And. Most people get stuck because they believe this is something that they wire themselves to believe.
What if I can't prove that this is gonna work at the forefront, then there's a justification of why not do it. And that's a completely flawed mental model, right? That's a very defensive mental model. And it's not how great things happen, right? Clarity is not ignorance.
Clarity says like, all right, here's a set of information they have today, and based on it, there's Cisco change, like it can work, right? It's you can find a billion people that don't care for the application you're starting but you know to yourself this is something you would use and there's gotta be at least a hundred people like you.
That part, you know too, that's clarity, right? Yeah. Is that enough to start something? I would argue yes. So, that's like the issue. I think people try to convince themselves into saying, no, I'm being responsible. I looked into it. There are very rational stories behind every one of these narratives around why I didn't do something right.
And very few people are ever gonna say out loud I started, it was interesting. I just got, undisciplined and bored and dropped it. And then that's an honest answer. Yeah, that's also not something to dev yourself for because these things that you draw play a massive role in the things that you end up sticking to.
Sagi Shrieber: Yep, have fun interest in skills, and experience.
Didi Medina: Totally. So it's like the meaning we give to certain events that we go through to try to protect on egos that really cause the damage. It's like I started something and dropped it halfway. Let me try not to think about it.
That's one version of that or I started something, I didn't do something about it and ugh, I'm so lazy. I lack discipline. That's another toxic story. And then I didn't, I pursued it for a little bit, I dropped it because here's a very elaborate story of why it won't work, and frankly, if none of you are like fortune tellers, you don't quite know that, right?
So all those stories are bad and it's like being honest with yourself and giving yourself space to be human and like just saying, okay, I'm gonna start a bunch of things. It's okay to not have success. It's okay to be part of the cohort that's working to get there, and it's okay to not be there yet, right?
Like all of these things are prerequisites to playing in this game, right? It's if you can't be patient with yourself, you're not gonna make it far enough, right? So I think there's just a lot of pressure in society today of being successful. Overnight success is you look at your friends and you're like, oh, why am I not there?
And there's a lot of fear that you might not make it to the other side, and I get that. I'm not someone that's going to encourage you to death. It's just if you can learn to deal and live with that uncertainty, this is the thing that most people do they try to convince you that you're great
They try to convince you that you're gonna be great, and they'll tell you everything upfront and nobody knows that. And that's super, super toxic because the main tool you need in order to get to the other side is to tolerate this adversity. Like to stand straight, even in this uncertainty, if I take that away from you, I'm taking away your biggest tool. Yeah. I'm taking away your biggest opportunity. To develop the thing you need in order to potentially make it to the other side, right?
Sagi Shrieber: What was the name of the book? He said, the American Coddling Culture?
Didi Medina: Oh, Jonathan Haidt is an amazing social psychologist. He wrote two books, both really good, but the one we were talking about is the Coddling of the American Mind, it's more of like a study that trust explained why as a societal norm, you've become very soft or since like the millennials have become very soft, like, I included in this cohort since the nineties, and what part in our culture caused those outcomes.
None of them are badly intended, but ultimately we're solely losing this ability to accept that there is adversity, there is chaos and it's no one's responsibility taken away, and you should also try your hardest to also not to let anybody take it away.
The second somebody takes it away, you become fragile. You can't like to operate in chaotic situations and like when did you ever know life to be anything but chaotic? People have mixed opinions. People believe in different things. You have certain interests, other people have other interests.
If every time somebody doesn't wanna give you what you want, that becomes a reason to just stop where you are. You're not gonna ever develop the tools to get there. Like it's just, yeah, you get what you take.
Sagi Shrieber: Yeah, definitely, man. I think we've gotten soft also because 2010 to 2020 for anybody in the world was just fantastic. It was a great decade. We got to 2020 all of a sudden. Oh shit, adversity. We have to stay at home, people got lonely or people with kids got, my god, like two weeks with my kids and all and I think at the end of the day, a lot of people saw the opportunity in it, but a lot of people also never really quite got it.
And the mindset that we put ourselves into, if we were too coddled, then that would be, we're always looking for comfort. And when shit gets hard, we can't take it because we're not resilient, because we haven't built that resilience. So our mind always goes towards comfort and away from discomfort.
And then what we usually do, if we are masters again into comfort, see that great restaurant, let's go and let's go have fun. Let's go on another trip. Let's go on a vacation. Like we're masters at that. But when discomfort comes, we're just really pretty good at getting away from discomfort.
But when we just have no way of running from it, like Covid other people just got, burned I think, and in order to go and be ready for that, be resilient and understand that life's gonna hit you hard a lot of times, then you have to go towards discomfort on a regular level. Do you believe that?
Didi Medina: Yeah. Yeah. I think seeing yourself win is not as important as allowing yourself to fail and finding out it's not that bad, right? It's because like you get bored of your successes really quick, right? You're just like, you're right. I did that and that's something I can do in my sleep now. I need something harder.
The really ironic thing about success. Is because we're just sophisticated baboons, we're not special. Like that's the thing I try to remind people is the second you succeed the second habitual adaptation kicks in, which is our ability to get used to the norm that we have and take it for granted.
You're gonna want more, right? You tell yourself, now once I have a Lamborghini, I'm gonna be happy, and then everything is settled. It's like once you have that, you would want a private jet. And that's just on a very superficial level, but like you can see that also with the challenges you pursue, like with work and stuff like that.
And the irony in all of it is as you succeed, your problem gets harder, not easier. Because the thing that will satisfy you next is now 10 times bigger than the thing you just did, right? If I already know how to make a million dollars, right? The next problem I need to solve is okay, how do I build a company?
Now a lot of like caterers like that are starting out are gonna say things like, oh, but you have resources so you can invest and you have a better headstart than somebody else. Sure, I'm not gonna deny the fact that I have resources, but if you're denying the fact that it's still fucking complicated, it's just, it's straight ignorance.
It's like there are a lot of people who have been given millions of dollars that burnt it to the stake, right? Like it's, there's no shortage of those too. . So there, and the decisions get bigger and bigger. Like you watch executives of 200, like right now, what's happening in the market, like executives are gonna show up to work and be like, oh shit.
Like when you like fire 15% of our workforce, that's not an easy decision. Try to wake up and do that, not unless you can walk like a second in those shoes, and try to imagine yourself doing it. Say thank you for the just thing you need to do is say no to the client, right? It only gets bigger and your resilience grows and develops.
And it's something that at a certain point, the more you look at it as, like some people have it, some people don't. One day you get it and until then you don't have it. The more you see it as this binary thing that either exists or doesn't, rather than it's like something that you never stop training, just like a muscle the more it becomes this mindset of me versus them, right? Whereas like we're all in the same bucket and we're all dealing with a different context. The challenge I'm dealing with is super, super hard for me. In the situation, I'm in, my sister who's just starting her life, she's like 17, 18.
Her biggest fear of not landing her first job is as real to her as some, of what you might call significantly "bigger problems" that I'm dealing with, right? But to her, that's literally the biggest problem right now in her, from her vantage point that you'll ever deal with in life, that's what she believes and that experience is true to her.
And that's what makes it real, is the fact if you believe it to be true, it's gonna be equally painful. And, but the thing is, it never stops, right? Like when she gets to my age and she went through like certain challenges. Now she's dealing with bigger challenges. She's again gonna find herself at that same doorstep of feeling like this is an impossible story. I can't overthink, let's just go in and start figuring out what to do. Like eventually, no matter what happens, it's like you can theorize something to death. It's not gonna change your reality, as much as I want to say there's a certain amount that does, right? Like there, as I said, you have to be somewhat methodical, right?
So there's room for it, but to a degree but at a certain point you're gonna find yourself either saying and therefore what, and needing to answer that question or suck in the same position inevitably. And nobody's gonna get drowned, yeah
Sagi Shrieber: Yeah, 100% I think, like when I was in boot camp in the army, then I remember like those couple months I was completely miserable, like completely miserable and all of a sudden, like I was like this good kid coming from the good house, good family, and all of a sudden like commanders are fucking yelling at me and like making me run from one place to another and I have no control of my real life.
I lost all my freedom. And I got really like depressed and I was like, really in a bad state. I remember just calling my parents the first weekend when I was closing at the base, I was just crying. I can't believe that this is my life now and like about a year after I left the army I met up with some people from that were with me in boot camp and they were going around, like we're on the table eating dinner and they're like, just talking about how amazing the boot camp was.
They're like, how fun was that? And I was like, fun? What are you guys talking about? And they're like, that was so fun. What are you talking about? Like we, we had so many laughs, we drove the commanders crazy.
Yeah, what you guys like actually took it in a great way. So we both went through the same experience. And I started as a hard, bad experience, in my world perspective, whatever. And they just started a very fun experience, and it's completely, the same experience.
So objectively, we all go through a lot of like similar things, but we are so subjective. , like the baboons, so subjective. We can decide if we want to take it one way or another. . And that's such a big insight, so thank you for sharing that.
And another thing is regarding what you, just going back to what you talked about, like completing projects and stuff. , I'll just feel like my 2 cents to anybody who's asking themselves like, Oh, so I don't know, like what project maybe I should pursue? So I always tend to go back to that Ikigai concept.
So if you guys look Ikigai up, the concept Ikigai is where you have a Venn diagram, imagine 4 circles, and the top one is what are you really passionate about. The left one being, what are you really good at? What are your superpowers? The right one is, what does the world need actually need? Not what they want, what they need. What do you think they need? And then the bottom one being, what are people willing to pay for it? Yeah. Which is actually what people want to buy. And so if you map all this like you map this Venn diagram, you'll find a perfect project that at the end of the day, we'll give you the final result meaning, when you're at your deathbed, you will not regret doing it. So in a way that might be a good thing.
Didi Medina: Yeah. There, there's a, there's something I was once told that stuck with me. It was like, You're not gonna regret anything that's your decision, but you'll regret plenty of decisions. And that's confusing when you first hear it, but if you think about it, it's like a lot of times we go day to day making decisions when we make them because we feel like we have a choice.
Okay, I need to wake up. Okay, shit. All right, I'm gonna do it. It's like your decision, it's like a decision that you made, but you took no ownership over it. Rarely do we approach a situation where a decision needs to be made and make it our decision. This is my decision, this is what I'm choosing to be.
This is what I'm choosing to do. And the upside of doing that which means you're still making the same decision, but like from a different state of mind, is you can't regret when you do that, and when you can't regret, you don't pay that transitional tax that you get sometimes, like when things don't work out.
Cause plenty of things are not like where you end up, like feeling like a victim for a little bit and finding ways to justify why it didn't work as consequences that have nothing to do with you. Because, even if it didn't work out because of somebody else, the funny thing is just like if you are convinced not in a positive way that it didn't work out, that's on me.
Like you find yourself just moving on to figuring out what's next much faster. You pay less transitional costs, like you're talking about compounded interest over time. I find that people are not to make decisions like this, like that transitional period that most people pay off oh shit, I need a feel bad and guilty and just crap for a little bit before I try to take on something next.
That transitional period that might be a couple of months, a couple of years, that some people pay that other people don't is a difference between me getting to summer monumental and two years and somebody else getting there in 10 years.
Yeah. Or even at all. Cause that shit can also break you. It's like you can also not come out of that funk. So it's to your better benefit to not overprotect yourself. It's okay to fail. It's a very cliche thing to say. It's necessary to fail. And it's good that you're paranoid and afraid of what's to come.
You're not the experts, so don't over-try to think about it. You're, it's your natural state. You're not the person who should be advising yourself on whether or not that should be the reason not to do something. And you can always go into everything saying fine. Like I'm gonna do this for two months, learn more about it.
And then I will make a secondary decision. You can even do that if you wanna prevent yourself from needing to psych yourself into this is all or nothing. I need to pursue this for the rest of my life thing. Which can be heavy. You can just say I'm really gonna give this my all for two months and I give myself permission after two months and only after two months, to reassess and see if I want to continue.
That might make the emotional barrier of not taking too seriously and not overthinking it a little bit more possible. But these are all like hacks to subsidize our current mental states. Some of us have more mental toughness due to better parenting and think to the parents, you've done that. I didn't get that. Some people have to develop it. And you know what? At the end of the day, just make yourself a minimal to like being slapped around Bill's character, right? That's my opinion. Yeah. On the I'm not one of those people like here to convince anybody they're great.
It's like I'm here to say everybody has the ability to come in and whether or not you're one of them has more to do with you than the world, right? There's an exception to that rule. Please, nobody. Tell me like, oh, but you don't know what it's like to grow up in my shoes. I have my own story.
Everybody does, and I'm very aware that some people have a better head start than others. I don't take that away. I just think at a certain point, if you go down that train of thinking, you'll just hit a wall or you'll circle back to the same question and therefore why? And once you get to the point where you're like, and therefore what?
And you're like, all right, I gotta get started anyways, then ask yourself, when you're at that intersection, do I have a chance of winning? And if the answer is yes, it doesn't matter if you have a better chance or a lesser chance than somebody else, just focus on winning. Like it doesn't really matter. At that point.
Sagi Shrieber: Yeah. And we all heard so many amazing stories, but like poor people getting to so much greatness in their lives and
Didi Medina: Which is a big part of their ability to were conditioned their whole life to deal with adversity.
Sagi Shrieber: Right, they're resilient
Didi Medina: Yeah, I moved down from my parents' house when I was 14 and a half. My experience is my circumstances. It's not like to get pity. It's like that was my gift. Like, was taught early on no one's gonna fend for you. Like you don't show up for yourself. You're not gonna, you're not gonna get what you want, right?
Those are my conditions, right? And like I, those types of pressures and circumstances, doing one or two things to people, like it either breaks you, right? You can go into severe depression and before you know it head trajectory, it's really bad and you break out of it
yeah. And you transform into something else. I was very lucky to be part of the cohort that experiences, stuff like this and breaks out of it. I'm not saying it's not easier to fall into the other bucket and that if people fall into another bucket, I'm not gonna be compassionate and understanding.
Most of us are not in that bucket. We have, we've been to university, we've been to, we have access to good information. Clearly, you're watching this podcast right? You're not part of a cohort that doesn't have access and information. You don't live in an age where you live in the Soviet Union or like socialism and all that.
Like you're living in a different time. So I think no matter how much you wanna make an argument that you don't have all the resources to do what you want in the most convenient way you'd like to, once you stop a new flight, you'll notice that you have just enough resources and just enough ability to give it a partial go and see what happens.
And you just eventually gonna have to accept that as your fate no guarantees and put it to work. And if after you put it to work, it doesn't work out, talk to me then. , I really find anybody coming up for a follow-up to doing that.
Sagi Shrieber: No, I think that was a great conversation. I would say, first of all, before we wrap up, Didi, where can people find you?
Didi Medina: I'm not that active on social media, but if you wanna reach me, reach me at email@example.com, just email me. I measure my productivity by how little is on my calendar these days, so I'm very open. And yeah I have Instagram, like Twitter, but I'm not really on those. I don't even have the apps on my phone.
Sagi Shrieber: Why, by the way? Do you have a specific..
Didi Medina: I think there are a thousand justifications of how you can use this stuff for good to benefit you. , I'm No,
Sagi Shrieber: obviously, it's a lot as well.
Didi Medina: I don't find the ROI to be that monumental. I find that anything important makes it to me. Don't live under a rock. It's oh, I don't get the latest news on the war in Ukraine. Trust me, I have papers. Like I, I know. Yeah. And I think short-form information is toxic because to get anything to be that short-form requires the intense removal of nuance and this entire world in this entire existing is nothing but nuance, right? So it's if I wanna learn a topic, I don't wanna learn it in tweets, I wanna learn it from a really extensive fully comprehensive book that goes into multiple perspectives and multiple viewpoints. Yeah. So the shortest form of information that I allow myself to consume is podcasts.
And that's also just to get a broad idea of things I might be interested in. And from there I usually, once something sticks I'll go find a book to read more about it. I just find it influences my way of thinking in ways I don't really like. Like it's just, yeah.
Sagi Shrieber: Got it. All right, man. Didi, first of all, too bad you don't, you're not active on social media because I think you have so much value to give to people. We had a talk before on our agency and hopefully, we'll be doing some business together. And you gave so many valid points. I think your philosophy of life and business is so great and spot on, a lot that I relate to.
So thank you so much for your value, man. And yeah guys, if you enjoyed the conversation, so first of all, feel free to share it on social media. If you're active on social. You can also email Didi at firstname.lastname@example.org just to say thank you. If you just got by from this podcast, feel free to email Didi directly.
And if you share it on social media, I'll send it to Didi and show him. Guys, thank you for listening to the show. Remember, two things. One, Recommend this show to others. Send it to someone who might value shared learning on social media. Rate us on Instagram, I mean on Spotify.
If you're listening to this on Spotify, rate us on iTunes or Apple Podcast. If you're listening to an Apple podcast, write a review. That means so much in order to get the workforce to the show. And second thing, download Affirmations & Co. and use it well. Use it not to be reliant on it for your success, but use it to grow.
To just rewire your brain and limiting beliefs. I use it on a daily basis as the widget on my iPhone Affirmations & Co., follow me there. If you do, just find me on a search and follow me. That way you'll have access to my own affirmations and you can use them as your own. Guys, thank you so much. Didi, thank you, and see you on the next episode!
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