The AJAC & Ed Podcast – Value vs. Efficiency, Video Games, Relationships and Forgiveness

Listen to the episode here

Key Takeaways

  • 80% of Americans are overweight – it really doesn’t take much to stand out
  • Don’t confuse value and efficiency
    • Just because you’re efficient, doesn’t mean you’re valuable
    • Said another way – we can’t confuse the ability to make money with the ability to be valuable
  • “If you’re trying to think long-term in regards to building a business or creating objective real value for people, that doesn’t come from performing hyper-efficient actions and being the middle man. It comes from undergoing a steep learning curve of struggle, feeling stupid, dealing with confusion and not knowing what to do, having to get a teacher, and practice.” – AJ
    • Put in the work, evolve yourself over time, and then share what you’ve learned – this takes TIME
  • “If you want to be undeniably authentic, you have to have solved hard problems” – AJ
    • You can’t hide what those challenges teach nor can it be faked
  • “It’s really amazing how much easier it is to be creative when you’ve lived life and done some difficult shit” – Ed
  • You’ll never fail yourself if you focus your time in life on things that improve your ability to perform both physically and mentally

Books Mentioned

Intro

The Incel Community

  • Incels are an online subculture who define themselves as unable to define a romantic or sexual partner
  • “There is an epidemic of people who don’t understand that by definition most of us won’t hit the genetic lottery. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do a hell of a lot to improve.” – Ed
    • “There’s no such thing as an unattractive girl. That’s just someone who doesn’t try.”
  • Certain men tend think they’ll find one amazing girl, she’ll worship him, and then they won’t have to do anything to better themselves from that point on
    • The equivalent female version is a woman who thinks that just because they have a vagina and merely exist, they’re entitled to a great guy
  • 80% of Americans are overweight – it really doesn’t take much to stand out
  • AJ has been watching Mortal Kombat 11 game play videos for entertainment online (he calls it his guilty pleasure)
    • “What I’ve noticed is that the guys playing these games are fat as f*ck”
    • “I’m watching this thinking… these guys have a BMI of 50+ , they look like the smell, they have bitch tits… these guys are never getting laid”

Value vs. Efficiency

  • “In modern times, we’ve gotten these two things grossly confused” – Ed
    • Just because you’re efficient, doesn’t mean you’re valuable
      • “We can’t confuse the ability to make money with the ability to be valuable”
  • Compare these two:
    • If you become a professional video game player – you really only have that
    • But if you become a professional boxer – you’ll have a network of business contacts, you’ll be in great shape, you’ll have experienced and been forced to navigate real pain
      • You’re taught tons of life lessons along your journey
  • Aim to put time into an area that gives you worth beyond what you do
  • “If you’re trying to think long-term in regards to building a business or creating objective real value for people, that doesn’t come from performing hyper-efficient actions and being the middle man. It comes from undergoing a steep learning curve of struggle, feeling stupid, dealing with confusion and not knowing what to do, having to get a teacher, and practice.” – AJ
    • Put in the work, evolve yourself over time, and then share what you’ve learned – this takes TIME
    • Ed adds – “It is no coincidence that there is a correlation between follower size and the things you have done in life”
      • Most often, an online following grows out of people being interested in your life experiences (and these experiences are usually related to something many people are unwilling to do themselves)
  • Bottom line – “It sucks to get good enough at something where people want to pay attention to you” – Ed
    • Why? – It’s HARD as hell
  • “If you want to be undeniably authentic, you have to have solved hard problems” – AJ
    • You can’t hide what those challenges teach nor can it be faked
  • If you try to build an online following based on platitudes, you’ll flame out eventually – you’ll run out of “life”

The 3 Tiers of F*ckery According to Ed

  • Level 1: A simple f*ck up – all it requires is a simple apology
  • Level 2: You need to have a real “come to Jesus moment” with whomever you pissed off
    • Then you have to wait for people to forget and/or forgive you
  • Level 3: The most serious…. there’s nothing you can really do (like if it came out you were into child porn)

Forgiveness

  • “One of the paradoxes of the digital world is that we have the ability to express ourselves all the time, but that doesn’t necessarily make us better at expressing ourselves” – AJ
  • Part of getting older is coming to terms and asking for forgiveness for things you might have done wrong in the past
  • Ed said over the course of writing his book, Sober Letters to My Drunken Self – “I relived all the stupid shit I did and how it affected people”
    • In the writing process, Ed said he messaged ~5 people saying sorry for something he might have done in the past
  • Know this – “People are very good at forgiving other people. They’re better at forgiving other people than they are at forgiving themselves.” – Ed
    • And realize – people are forgetful (part of forgiving is just forgetting)
    • AJ adds – “People are far harder on themselves than they are upon others.”
  • A Course in Miracles introduced the idea of forgiveness to Ed and helped him forgive his mother for the way he was raised
  • Ed is currently working on a book about forgiveness

Life Advice

  • Take a step back and objectively examine your experiences
    • Was it really all bad? Did it teach you anything?
    • “That ability to sit back and objectively look at shit… that’s important!” – Ed
  • You have to be able to recognize the truth and face reality in order to move to the next level – whether with your finances or relationships
    • If you keep coming up short on your bills or you relationships keep ending the same way… you can’t create delusional stories in order to make yourself feel better about the way things are
  • Take risks in life and leave your comfort zone
    • It forces you to improve and learn things you might not otherwise have
    • Ask yourself – “When’s the last time I made myself do something hard that I wasn’t sure I could do?”

Wrapping Up

  • “It’s really amazing how much easier it is to be creative when you’ve lived life and done some difficult shit” – Ed
  • “Difficult circumstances force you to become better in the entirety of your life” – Ed
    • Ex. – Losing weight teaches you how to be disciplined, how to recognize that just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s bad for you (like a training session), and how to stick to a schedule 
  • You’ll never fail yourself if you focus your time in life on things that improve your ability to perform both physically and mentally
    • Those are the types of things that are most likely give you the biggest return as well as the most to teach from 
  • And remember – “Where two problems meet, that’s where the money is” – AJ

Additional Notes

  • Ed and AJ are big fans of Donovan Sharpe‘s content
  • AJ’s DMs are always open on Twitter
  • “You behavior creates consequences for you in the future that you can’t always predict and you only learn that the hard way when it happens to you – there is no other way to learn it” – AJ
  • “People on the internet have a short memory, except when it comes to their money” – Ed
  • Ed’s mom reads his emails
  • Ed says he was relatively broke until he was 28
    • AJ was the same until ~2016 (he’s 30 now)
  • AJ pays $3k/month for his apartment near the beach in LA
  • Check out this gamer girl who’s selling her bath water
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