Don't Be Nice, Be Committed! Dan Pena At The Ritz
James here, with this week’s #ThrowbackTuesday.
I have already looked back at the second conversation Brian had with Dan Pena at Guthrie Castle in Scotland. Now it is time to return to the infamous Ritz seminar that Brian and Dan organised together in London.
Here you get a Dan with more edge and less pleasantries. He starts right up the track, calls most of the room c*nts and proceeds to detail exactly why this is the case.
Brian’s introduction is worth watching over again. It’s funny, honest and raw. It is also a detailed and powerful account of what resistance looks like.
Brian talks about his first meeting with Dan, and what was going through his mind when he travelled up to Scotland for the Castle Seminar.
For Brian, the proof was in the results. The sharp difference between who he was when he went in, and who was when he came out, was evidence enough that Pena wasn’t screwing around.
As you know, Dan doesn’t do political correctness. He insists that trying to be nice all the time has nothing to do with being moral, but everything to do with having low self-esteem.
I think this is an important lesson for my generation, and younger. We have learned to equate being good, with being nice.
For people like Dan, being good means being successful, acting with integrity, meaning what you say and following through on what you say you are going to do.
Being nice means you are looking for the shortcut. You want the gratification of respect, without the hard work it takes to earn it.
This is hard to swallow. Even now, as I write this, I can hear my mind scratching around my skull for excuses.
The truth is, it is easier to be nice. It takes real work and dignity to command respect, and you can’t do that worrying about offending others.
In the end, it is about leadership. We must stop waiting around for affirmation. Just F*cking Do it.
On a related note, Dan goes pretty deep about the issue of Emotional Bank Accounts.
Not only is this more important than the Financial Bank Account, there is a real-world, causal relationship.
A strong Emotional Bank Account has a direct impact on the money you make. You can’t be successful without it.
So how do we take care of this account?
The truth of the matter is Dan doesn’t give a formula. It just isn’t that simple. Dan gives some pretty heavy examples of what a strong Emotional Bank Account looks like, and talks about the qualities a person has when they possess emotional wealth.
If you have ever suffered from low self-esteem or a negative self-image, Dan’s message here can be frustrating.
You are still waiting for the magic spell, the trick that will turn you from a “p*ssy” into one of the world’s influencers.
There isn’t one. The uncomfortable truth here is that you have to make a decision, you have to simply be prepared to fake it until you make it.
Dan describes the reaction of his former teacher when he was asked if Dan had changed since being at school.
The teacher says no he hadn’t, and the only thing that changed was the fact that Dan’s achievements “caught up with his big mouth”.
Nothing outside of you can make you a stronger person. Nothing can give you the hunger and the character to be successful. If something could, it wouldn’t be called SELF-esteem.
What marks out successful people from unsuccessful people?
We know it isn’t talent!
At The Ritz, Dan talked about this a lot. It comes down to commitment.
For Dan the word commitment is almost a spiritual word, it is the foundation of everything he teaches. It is Dan Pena’s religion!
We must live every minute of every day like our lives depended on it. As if we had our “backs to the wall”.
Hardly any of us do that.
Why? Because we have been taught not to, we have been raised to hide our light under a bushel, not to stand out from the crowd.
Living life with commitment means going all the way, and that comes with a price. Being successful requires taking risks, gambling with life, facing our weaknesses and standing out.
I think it goes back to that “being nice” thing. It is easier to be a doormat, to create a wall of defences around ourselves, than it is to pull the trigger, make the damn cold call, and declare yourself honestly to the world.
Successful people are successful because they break through these ego defences. And ego defences can be hard to punch our way past, because they often come in the guise of the moral highground or being “good”.
Does any of this resonate with you at all? Let me know guys, because this is just my take!