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Make The Strangers Mad

If you’re advocating what I believe, just say it in the funniest or catchiest way possible.

If you’re doing anything else, please include a preface, a lexicon, a bibliography, and enough footnotes to ensure no one in the history of humankind ever misunderstands.

Sincerely,

The Internet

P.S.

If you truly want to have an impact, don’t hedge. Or as Gary Vaynerchuck says “don’t be the guy in the middle.” Write with conviction.

Don’t write for voices in your imagination that uncharitably scrutinize every possible loophole in what you say. Write for the audience who actually cares to listen to the things you care to write about. Non-believers and hecklers exist for every philosophy. There’s no use in trying to avoid them.

Isaac Morehouse once told me that “most people sell their souls for nothing more than not having a stranger get mad at them.” Make the strangers mad. This world can handle the presence of angry strangers. What it can’t handle is an abundance of people who don’t have the guts make a point.

It’s Not The Advice, It’s How You Apply It

Advice giveth and advice taketh away.

Information is free, but choices are not. They always involve hidden costs and unknown variables. Whenever you act on an idea, there’s a chance that it works out better or worse for you than the people you got the idea from.

In your efforts to study “the success secrets of the rich and famous,” don’t forget the following: every good conceptual tool has a context within which it is harmful or unwise to use.

Keep learning and keep creating, but don’t waste your time looking for something that’s risk-free.

Risk-free advice doesn’t exist — no matter what all those articles about “what successful CEO’s eat for breakfast” tell you.

Your Adventure Isn’t The Only One

Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash

The only people who are more underestimated than dreamers are the people who dreamers routinely dismiss as being boring and uncreative.

It can be easy for those of us who self-identify as “creative types” and “adventurous spirits” to get so absorbed in our own concept of what makes life interesting that we make the mistake of assuming we have a monopoly on what it means to live freely and fully.

Living the good life takes many forms. And although each person is epic and eccentric in their own eyes, every single one of us is the prototype of someone else’s very definition of “loser.”

If you really want to create an extraordinary life, don’t underestimate all the ordinary people around you who seem to be living ordinary lives. They’re only ordinary to you. In someone else’s eyes, they’re cooler than you could ever hope to be. And the ones who are the most cool are usually the ones who have the easiest time appreciating forms of cool different from their own.

Life is an adventure indeed. And nothing enhances that adventure more than the ability to learn from those who find meaning and magic in the places that strike us as mundane.

Learning is Like Showering: Don’t Stop Doing It

Photo by Seth Doyle on Unsplash

“Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.” -Zig Ziglar

Imagine asking a colleague if they’d like to join you for lunch and having them respond with “No thanks. I had lunch last month.”

That would be confusing, right?

Imagine someone telling you they don’t take showers anymore because they did a project 5 years ago where they took showers every single day.

That would seem odd, right?

In both cases, an important insight seems to be missing: some things are valuable not because of the amount of times we’ve done them in the past, but because of the way our lives are transformed by our refusal to stop doing them in the present. The value of eating and showering is a matter of hygiene, not history.

The same should be considered true of feeding your mind with a steady diet of ideas.

In Why Reading about Big Ideas Is Necessary for Success, I wrote:

All problems are knowledge problems and all solutions are knowledge solutions. This is why a steady diet of philosophical thinking and philosophical reading is so important. If you’re not regularly consuming content that exposes you to challenging concepts, you risk becoming a virtual solipsist: someone who believes in the existence of other minds, but who lives as if his or her own mind is the sole source of creative solutions. If you want to be a successful professional, refuse to settle at your current level of intellectual development. Study your butt off and never stop challenging yourself to become a better thinker. If you’re content with the books you’ve already read, your career is already dead.

Learning isn’t just an accomplishment, it’s a practice.

Pursue knowledge in the same way you brush your teeth or change your clothes. Instead of taking pride in how much you’ve done it in the past, try to remember how much you’re going to stink if you don’t keep doing it regularly.

Personal growth is an infinite game and the only way to “win” is to playfully keep the process alive.

This Is Not a Subtweet

“You’re worried about the wrong things.” -Kanye West, Paranoid

This is not a subtweet.

This is your conscience.

You are feeling unsettled by what you read here for reasons that only you can understand.

Maybe the author was thinking of you in particular when she wrote it. Maybe she wasn’t thinking about you at all. It doesn’t matter either way.

If you’re living as you know you need to live, the subtweets don’t matter. And if you’re not, then you’ve got bigger problems than a tweet.

Stop worrying if this or that tweet is about you and just go do what you know you need to do.

Sincerely,

The social media posts and status updates that are keeping you awake at night.

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