Vincent Chan

I finally won the big fight

Welcome to reThinkable – my weekly newsletter where I share actionable insights to build a wealthy healthy life.

Here’s what we’re covering:


🥊 I finally won the fight

❓ Who is “That Guy?”

🤺 How to beat “That Guy”

Estimated read time: 3 minutes and 57 seconds

🥊 I finally won the fight

Recently, I just started working on a BIG project.

It had been sitting on my to-do list for nearly a year, but every time I considered starting, I found an excuse to postpone it.

“Ah, I gotta do this one important thing first.”

“Today isn’t a good day because it’s raining.”

“I can’t do it this month — the total solar eclipse will be bad luck.”

But now I know why I always delayed it — it’s because of “that guy.

You know who I’m talking about — “that guy” in your head that keeps holding you back, always telling you to:

1. Stay in bed instead of waking up early

2. Watch one more episode before starting working

3. Don’t even bother trying that new thing because you can’t do it

But I’m happy to share that I finally fought “that guy” and won.

I can’t share the details of the big project just yet but I have something else to share. Today, I’m sharing who “that guy” is, what it’s doing to you and how you can beat it.

❓ Who is “That Guy?”

Research shows that our brain like easy and quick solutions because it prefers short-term pleasures (without the pain, struggle and difficulties


While this approach might work with some things, everything meaningful in life requires the opposite. Whether you’re:


1. Stuck in a dead-end career 
2. Struggling to pay the bills
3. Lacking the confidence to start your own business


If you want to achieve something worthwhile, you need to resist that voice and act in spite of it.

But I get it — it’s hard. 


It’s easier to just listen to the voice and settle with what you have because it’s more comfortable.

But which option would be better for you?

Every decision comes with a price. In economics, they call it opportunity cost. Basically, it’s the value of what you give up when you choose one option over another,

Whether you choose to act or not, both options come with a potential cost:

1. If you listen to your inner critic, it will cost you opportunities and happiness
2. If you ignore your inner critic, it will cost you through potential failures


However, only the latter comes with a potential reward: success.

It’s up to you to decide, “which price are you willing to pay?”

Unfortunately no matter how much success we achieve, no matter how many motivational talks we listen to, no matter how much we discipline ourselves, “that guy” will never go away.

We can only do our best to outsmart it.

🤺 How to beat “That Guy”

Those who can overcome “that guy” will be more successful. Those who can’t will never know what they could’ve achieved.

Here are 3 strategies I’ve used to fight the inner critic.

1. Take the Offensive Position

The best way to outsmart someone is to first understand how their mind works, and then stay one step ahead of them. Don’t wait for the voice to strike; attack first to gain the upper hand.

For example, if your goal is to achieve financial freedom, you need to invest. But “that guy” in your head might prevent you from starting because “investing is scary” and “it’s too much work.”

But for most people, investing in a simple Index Fund or ETF like FXIAX or VOO is all that you need — just set it and forget it. With an Index Fund or ETF, you automatically diversify your money and reduce your risk. You can invest in these funds with any brokerage account like Fidelity or Schwab but I personally like using Moomoo because it offers you 5.1% APY for your cash and gives you some free stocks just for depositing $100, which is pretty great.

Here’s how to take the offensive position despite “that guy.”

First, set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your brokerage account immediately on payday. Then, have your brokerage account automatically invest those funds in the stock market. You’ll be automatically investing regardless of what “that guy” says.

2. Break It Down

“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” If you’re too focused on the final outcome, you will become discouraged from taking action.

It’s easier to start if you break down daunting tasks into manageable ones. Not only does this make it easier to start but every time you complete a task, it’ll motivate you to keep going.

For example, if you want a raise, break down everything you need to do to get one: gather information on typical salaries for your position, list the achievements and contributions you’ve made since your last pay bump, prepare your talking points, and practice. Request a meeting with your boss to discuss your career and compensation. If it still seems daunting, break it down further.

3. Figure out your why

Having a purpose makes it easier to take action. It’s hard to convince yourself to go through pain and suffering if you don’t have a genuine reason. Without a reason, it’s easier to fall off the wagon and even easier to not start. Your “why” doesn’t always have to be profound — you can just make a promise to someone you love or start a challenge with a friend.

Always remember, no matter which decision you choose — to fight “that guy” or not — there will be a cost involved. But only one decision leads to a reward.