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Overcoming Invisible Scripts Important For Success

Last week, I shared an article called Insurance Invisible Scripts, and it started off as one of the typical stories of people who actually would benefit from having an affordable insurance to help them with physiotherapy and rehabilitation BUT because of their invisible scripts of “I KNOW (BUT I WONT DO IT ANYWAY)” and assumptions like

  • babies/toddlers don't need accident plans, because they fall/injure themselves all the time (small injuries is meh, but what about worser conditions?)
  • one of them works in hospital, so hospital covers their costs (erm, so what happens when/if they decide to leave?)

So they decided (then) that only one of the three needs to get the insurance, and the rest of them can live with what they have/can.

Not wrong.

Not right either.

But as I mentioned, this kind of decisions and actions and life story, isn't uncommon. And neither are these people stupid. In fact, these people are super smart people, and these kinds of stories happens all the time, to smart people, and it's not because they're stupid (obviously they're smart), but it's the invisible scripts that drives them.

I shared earlier, an accident plan can be as affordable as $460 per year, which is roughly SGD$ 1.26 per day, which is MUCH CHEAPER than a can of drink in Singapore (at this point in writing, a can drink in a coffee shop averages SGD$ 1.50 per can, and in upscale areas, can range from SGD$ 3 – 6 per can).

So it's really affordable (to those who really cannot afford this yet, sorry – you will have to build/free up more budget for this).

Ok, moving on from there: Invisible Scripts

I learned the term “invisible scripts” from my Asian Surrogate Father: Ramit Sethi; a brilliant, hilarious, but ultra smart, successful personal development and financial guru, and he's someone I'd followed for YEARS.

And invisible scripts refer to pre-programmed, ‘de-facto', default behaviors that we take or make.

An example is:

  • when is time to purchase something important like basic and required and affordable insurance, we sit on it and drag on it. Usually until its too late. Even though it's way cheaper and more affordable than that SGD$ 1.50 can of coke per day.
  • when “we know” “we should” invest more, go to the gym, save more, build a side business, and yet, we automatically turn off, snooze and don't do anything

Basically, it's putting off doing what's important to do or make, and focus on the mundane, and achieve nothing at all.

But most importantly, it isn't 100% your fault.

The thing is, most of us are programmed socially to:

  • follow the crowd ie when there is a long queue at a stall/shop – means that something is good there right?
  • if everyone dumps or talks bad about something, means that thing is bad right?

YES AND NO.

Yes for the basic/retail stuff like food at restaurants/stalls, or if a certain place gives a discount – this is true in the retail and food and beverage industry.

But it's not the same for investing and entrepreneurship.

Why do you think Warren Buffett (world reknown investor) said:

Be afraid when everyone rushes in, and be hungry when everyone is afraid?”

Why do you think Steve Jobs (world reknown business leader in Apple and Pixar) said:

Be hungry, be foolish.

These are basically contrarians, going against the grain, zagging when everyone is zigging. I do not say to be contrarian for the sake of it like “let's sell sand in Sahara because NO ONE IS DOING THAT” – but I'm saying is that pay attention to the details and understand what these people do.

Warren Buffett doesn't have a large team, and spends most of his time reading. Steve Jobs was an astute marketer and business leader in Apple.

What I'm saying that is to overcome invisible scripts, the best ways that has worked for me so far in my life is:

  • knowing what I want (clarity), and this comes from quiet, “thinking and strategy times”
  • having a set schedule to execute and do what needs to be done

I do not rely much on willpower.

In fact, I'll say that I don't have much willpower – I get distracted easily. But when I put systems in place, personally, investment wise, business wise, and don't meddle too much with the schedule and process, I do much better.

Often it seems that people think that I have a lot of willpower to make decisions, but that's not the case – I create a simple framework to follow that guide me, and it's really simple:

prioritize activities that build passive income for the mid and long term and schedule regular times to participate in them; de-prioritize activities that lose money/unmeaningful

So I don't have to “actively think and ponder” for more than 5 minutes if any activity presented to me is worth my time or not – I just run it through the “check” above, and if it's worth it, it goes into my schedule and I'll work on it when the time is right. If it's not worth it, then it doesn't go to the pile.

That's my organizing principle.

And that's why I spend very little time choosing clothing to wear, food to eat – these are not the high nor long lasting impact stuff, so that my efforts and activities “do not dissipate” but “add onto themselves”. Some simple examples:

  • long term dividend stock investing + reinvesting dividends
  • daily exercise
  • daily supplement taking + eating in line with my diet approach
  • daily online business building
  • daily offline business management
  • daily prayer and quiet time
  • daily spending time with loved ones

They all work and add to themselves, strengthening themselves day-in-day-out with little/lesser “loss/dissipation”.

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