You have no idea what you're missing.

Action conquers fear.

You are scared. I am scared. We all are scared.

While humanity might not collectively share precisely the same fears, there are a few fears that seem to come up again and again. Fear of rejection. Fear of death. Fear of failure. Fear of embarrassment. Fear of disease. Fear of loss. Fear of heights. Fear of intimacy.

Like black mold, fear grows in dark, stagnant places. Our natural reaction to fear is to conceal it, hide it, sit with it, mull it over and ignore it. This only causes the fear to compound into something akin to phobia.

The only remedy for fear is to take it head on, the way the bull takes on the matador.

One of my best friend’s, Zach Janicello, tells me that baby bulls begin charging within days of being born. This isn’t because they are angry or spiteful. It’s because they are scared. We must face that which scares us like the bull: head-on, face-to-face, up close-and personal.

May 24, 2024

Too much pie.

Save for impressing strangers at parties, knowing (and being able to recite) a bunch of facts isn’t all that useful. Why? Because we live in an age where facts can be found in our pockets in less than 30-seconds.

On this note, I love the story about Albert Einstein being asked how many feet are in a mile. The genius drew a blank...

“Why should I fill my brain with useless facts I can find in two minutes in any standard reference book?”

If you are doing creative work (and I consider Einstein’s work to be creative), you’re far better off getting good at generating ideas rather than memorizing facts. Memorization requires an exorbitant amount of cognitive energy. If you were to spend your days attempting to memorize every digit in PIE after 3.14, you would have very little mental bandwidth available to generate new ideas.

Because ideas are original, they can’t be birthed from memory. They’re birthed from thinking, yes, but a sort of detached thinking that looks more like play.

May 23, 2024

Leveling the playing field.

Most of us underestimate our own abilities while at the same time overestimating other people’s abilities. This places us at a tragic disadvantage as we attempt to navigate life and work.

The reality is that 1 out of every 100 people you run into are truly more talented than you. Before these people were born, they were served some special potion that made them smarter, faster, sharper, funnier or more creative than the rest of humanity. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about these people besides glare at them with jealousy and try not to laugh at any of their jokes.

However, the remaining 99 out of 100 people you run into are of equal talent to you. Their success simply comes down to their self-belief. Nothing more. Nothing less.

It's less about possessing tremendous ability and more about possessing tremendous belief in your ability.

May 22, 2024

No excuses.

We are constantly making excuses. Worst yet, we don't even realize we're making them.

Why were you late to dinner? Traffic was terrible. Why haven't you lost weight? Slow metabolism. Why have you been quick-to-temper? Work has been stressful. Why have you not left the job you hate? Economy is shit. Why did you forget your best friend's birthday... again? Memory is bad. Why haven't you made time for that book you want to write? Far too busy.

While each of these are legitimate excuses, they're still excuses.

We reach for excuses because excuses allow us to pass the blame. When we announce to the table that traffic is terrible––and that's why we're 20 minutes late to dinner––we no longer have to take responsibility for making people wait 20 minutes.

An interesting practice would be to live a life free of excuses. With time, this might allow us to develop a greater respect for ourselves because we will live with greater honesty and retake responsibility over our own lives.

May 21, 2024

Belief is not charity.

You’ve got to believe in yourself and your abilities. If not for yourself, for others. So many people don’t believe in themselves and then they are discouraged when others don’t believe in them either. Belief isn’t charity. It’s something we earn for ourselves by believing in ourselves at both the best of times and the worst of times. Belief shouldn’t be confused with arrogance and blind confidence. Part of believing in yourself is being fully aware of your weaknesses, your short-comings and your biases. Believing in yourself simply means that you see a change in the world you would like to make and that you recognize you're capable of making this change; becoming this change. With time, others will learn to believe too.

May 20, 2024