Guest Post by Davis Nguyen – 100 Learnings

From Jia - One day, I received an email from a fan named Davis Nguyen. He sent me a list of things he learned from my 100 Days of Rejection Therapy. I receive a lot of emails, but this is the most comprehensive and detailed learning summaries I have read. And I want to share the email with you.  Davis is an economics major at Yale University. When he’s not solving for Nash Equilibriums, he is helping introverts improve their confidence and overcome their fears of rejection. He was inspired by my journey and wrote a book on overcoming fear of rejection and getting others to say Yes, which is available for free on his blog.  @SpeakfortheMeek


We all hate being rejected, yet it is something we deal with every day. We have our ideas turn down, our requests rejected, and invitations declined. The feeling of having someone tell us “no” is hard for anyone to deal with.

Nearly 6 months ago, Jia Jiang decided to make an effort and overcome his fear of rejection. It has been a long journey and Jia has come a long way since asking a stranger to borrow $100.

On his path, Jia shared with us his successes, his failures, and his lessons learned. From his videos, we can see that Jia has grown a great amount, but like many of you, I also have learned a lot from just watching Jia.

In honor of Jia nearing the competition of his 100 Days of Rejection Therapy, I wanted to share with you and our community a list of 100 life lessons I have learned from Jia’s amazing journey.

On Confidence

  1. You don’t get what you wish for, you get what you work (or ask) for.
  2. To grow, you need to do things that are outside your comfort zone.
  3. Confidence is everything. Have it and you will go far.
  4. Even if you are faking confidence, if you believe it is real, no one will be able to tell.
  5. Don’t worry about what other people think.
  6. Ask for what you want. This includes acknowledgement from others.
  7. Be authentic; be yourself.
  8. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  9. Learn to take criticism.
  10. Learn to take and give compliments.
  11. It never hurts to try.

On Courage

  1. When things go wrong remember that few things are as bad as they first seem.
  2. Giving up and moving on are two different things.
  3. It is okay to be vulnerable.
  4. Courage is resistance to fear, not absence of it.
  5. The opposite of courage is not cowardice but conformity.
  6. To know your true courage you have to face your biggest fears.
  7. People are people, don’t be afraid to approach them.
  8. Have the courage to ask, because you never know what you will get.
  9. When you have the courage ask, you might not get what you expected but it will still be worthwhile.
  10. Telling someone they’re ugly, doesn’t make you any smarter. (When people judge you, they are judging themselves.)

On Communication

  1. You can’t win an argument.
  2. Listening skills are key to successful interactions.
  3. Acknowledge those who have helped you.
  4. There are two sides to every story.
  5. There is always room to negotiate.
  6. Negotiating one-on-one is easier than in a group.
  7. If you don’t ask, the answer is already no.
  8.  “Why?” is the most powerful question.
  9. Talk directly with the decision-maker.
  10. Ask for things people have control over.
  11. Having people on your side from the inside helps.
  12. Humor makes life and conversations easier.
  13. Use Humor wisely and in the right places.
  14. Don’t assume others know what you mean.

On Success

  1. If you do what others do, you can expect what others expect.
  2. If you really want something you’ll find a way, otherwise you’ll find an excuse.
  3. Successful people read…a lot.
  4. Having a positive mind pays for itself.
  5. Be a life-long learner.
  6. Attitude is everything.
  7. Be proactive.
  8. Life is too short do something you hate; follow your dreams.
  9. Be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are of your own.
  10. When you fail, try again.
  11. The “right opportunity just around the corner” isn’t coming to you, so walk to it.

On Happiness

  1. Making one person smile can change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world.
  2. Regardless of the situation, life goes on.
  3. You’ll feel better by giving than receiving.
  4. Smile a lot.
  5. Laugh a lot.
  6. Have fun.
  7. When you have the power, grant someone their wish.
  8. Make someone’s day.
  9. Be willing to help, even when you’re not asked.
  10. Your life is only as interesting as you decide to make it.

On Rejection

  1. Rejection isn’t the end of the world.
  2. Rejection is just one person’s opinion.
  3. When people reject you, ask why.
  4. When you reject someone do it positively.
  5. What’s worst than rejection is self-rejection.
  6. Don’t be embarrassed by your request.
  7. Requests that are fun are less likely to be rejected.
  8. Learn from your rejections.
  9. Whom you ask matters.
  10. How you ask matters even more.
  11. Practice helps with the above two.

On Business and Entrepreneurship

  1. Company culture is everything to business success.
  2. Happy Employees = Happy Customers.
  3. Know when to cut your losses.
  4. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
  5. Get feedback from customers.
  6. When things are bad, turn the tables around.
  7. Be honest and transparent.
  8. If you are an expert at something, there is someone who is willing to learn from you.
  9. Even you fail you learn a lot.
  10. If you don’t have a plan, you are truly planning to fail.


  1. Choose your spouse carefully; they will either make life easier or harder.
  2. Follow the golden rule: treat others like you want them to treat you.
  3. Better, follow the platinum rule: treat others like they would want to be treated.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  5. Support your partner; even if they have a wild idea, because you never know how much they will flourish from your support.
  6. There are a lot of things you could be doing, but that doesn’t mean you should do any more than you are doing. Enjoy life. Slow down.
  7. Treat everyone well no matter if they are the company CEO or the Welcome Greeter.
  8. Taking the time to check in to close friends doesn’t make you anymore money, but you get a feeling that money can’t buy.
  9. Care for others and they will care for you.
  10. Kindness goes a long way.


  1. Become an expert at something even if it is rejection.
  2. Have a Plan B.
  3. Have a Plan C.
  4. Silence is powerful.
  5. People are more likely to help you than you think.
  6. Having a great mentor goes a long way.
  7. Be a mentor.
  8. Be willing to teach others.
  9. What you really want might be closer than you think.
  10. Life means more than just money and fame.
  11. The outcome isn’t always as important as the journey.
  12. Nice people do exist in the world.
  13. Begin; every journey begins by taking the first step.