Trigger Blessing

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Triggers are good, and rather than avoid reliving intense experiences, we should embrace them.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way and started at the thrilling conclusion, let’s go back and explore the counterintuitive idea that it’s a good idea to embrace the sources of our deepest pain.

The trigger, the beloved bogeyman of social justice warriors eager for a justification to shut down contrarian discourse, nonetheless represents something real. Traumatic experiences, once past, are buried deep within the furthest recesses of our persistent memory, locked away safe and far from our present mind. Triggers are the keys to the holding cells of the brain, threatening to release whatever rampaging monster of pain we keep locked away.

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Everything’s a Scam

Scam

Scam: Anything and everything new you’re excited about

Word of mouth is crucial to the business community, especially in the world of entrepreneurship. New business thrives on excitement and energy, and a critical key to its success is imparting enough of this energy onto investors to secure startup funding. Because of this, frauds, thieves, and con-men have long exploited the entrepreneurial environment to convince investors to part with their hard-earned cash before disappearing into the night. Therefore, the basic “Stay away from X, it’s a scam!” warning can be a currency of high value in the business community.

That’s where we run into problems: people “printing money,” or fabricating scams to artificially inflate their own value in the community. You see, the cost of poo-pooing a new idea is very minimal in the long run. Even if a new venture succeeds, no one doubles back and makes former critics eat their words. They instead focus (as well they should) on keeping their victory going. Meanwhile, the consummate critic gets a momentary boost of clout, and this only increases if they end up vindicated.
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Seven Ways to Ignore Criticism

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Haters everywhere. Try to do almost anything, positive or negative, and you have to wade through a host of comments and critiques trying to bring you down. Qualified or unqualified, warranted or unwarranted, you can expect plenty of people telling you why you’re wrong and should feel bad.

But you need haters. You need criticism. You need people questioning what you do and how you do it. It’s the only way you can grow as a person or as a professional. The problem is, most of the criticism you get is anything but constructive, and only serves to drag you and your dreams down to the bottom of the ocean floor if you let it. It’s human nature, after all.

So how do you know when to ignore criticism? You keep reading, that’s how. Here’s the seven types of critiques to ignore:

By people with no connection to the issue

Is the person delivering the criticism an industry expert? Industry amateur? Do they have any authority to comment on the subject at all? No? They’re probably just haters, then. Please note, though, that consumers do have authority to comment. For example, if you’re a writer, avid readers might have something important to contribute, as could people who aren’t usual readers of your subject of choice, but have some personal connection or interest in the subject of your particular piece. But if the critic isn’t a writer, doesn’t read on the subject you write about, and doesn’t care about the subject the piece at hand, ignore them.
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How Do Masters Get So Good?

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Ever see someone who’s so good at their craft that you’re left in wonder as to how anyone could get that good? Their skill is unparalleled. They are instantly able to conjure up the perfect response to any situation. And, most mystifying of all, they are able to do so effortlessly, almost as if by magic.

How do they do it? How did they get so good?

Well, I’ll tell you how they didn’t do it. They didn’t discover a shortcut. They didn’t find a secret method for success. The standup comedian didn’t discover the perfectly hilarious subjects and vocal tones that make every crowd go wild. The martial artist didn’t memorize a killer sequence of moves that will allow them to fight their way out of every situation. The writer didn’t learn all the rules and techniques, use the ideal structure and format, and start producing masterpieces. The community organizer didn’t obtain a list of all the important local leaders, devise a communication pitch perfect for energizing people into action, and instantly command the attention and respect of an entire community.

In short, the master doesn’t know some big, specific secret you don’t. Instead, he or she lives by two brutally simple principles: [Read more…]

Seven Lessons I’d Give My Younger Self

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SONY DSC

Every action provides information. Even lies and failure tell you more than you ever thought you’d know. The collection of life lessons learned through living is wisdom, and sometimes we are able to avoid the mistakes and replicate the successes of others without having to go through the same experiences. Below are seven of the biggest life lessons I now know that I wish I had known years earlier.

Almost everyone is wrong You’re taught to respect your elders, revere clergy, and listen to gurus. Well, guess what: almost everyone is wrong. Even most experts are wrong about their own field much of the time. The beginning of adult wisdom is when you stop looking up to others with childlike wonder and start to see other human beings as equals. A child thinks that everyone but himself is right. A teen thinks that everyone but himself is wrong. An adult knows that everyone, including himself, can be wrong.

No one cares about you It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of a caring world with a defined purpose, filled with compassionate people waiting to help you along your way. Wrong. The world, and its inhabitants, don’t give a crap about you. Even family and lovers are doing their own thing, and only interact with you as it suits their own personal goals. This isn’t meant to be depressing, but to relieve frustration when the world doesn’t go as you had expected.

Everything is your fault Believe it or not, this is inspirational. No, not everything is your fault; however, you have sole responsibility and control over your own life. Viewing everything as your fault empowers you to take ownership and change whatever is wrong. If you make things other people’s fault, you become helpless to change your condition. [Read more…]

Who Makes Grown Men Cry?

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Grown men don’t cry. That’s the prevailing wisdom. Whatever great tragedy or deep sadness they deal with, men are supposed to keep their feelings bottled up inside and present a calm, stoic public demeanor. If a man cries publicly, you can be sure that he has been profoundly moved.

You can become someone who will move grown men to tears. The question is, will you be an inspiration? Or a source of pain? Two famous comedians, Bill Burr and Louis C.K., have spoken about individuals who had that level of impact in their lives, one positive and one negative.

Bill Burr is one of the most successful comedians in the world. He has sold out Madison Square Garden, has acted in shows like Breaking Bad and F Is for Family, and runs a successful weekly podcast, to name just a few accomplishments. He is known for his style of always pushing uncomfortable topics with glee, having stated that he’s having the most fun when 20% of the audience is alienated. All of the above made his story of his father all the more remarkable when Burr recounted a tale of Christmas from when he was six years old. His strict, borderline abusive dad chided him growing up for joking around (his comedic talent apparently started young), comparing him to a giggling little girl. One Christmas, Burr received a doll from his father to mock his budding love of comedy. When recounting the story, Burr, a seasoned veteran of performance, had great difficulty struggling through the story of that Christmas, choking up several times. Many decades later, the mere memory of a minor prank by his father could still bring a very successful man to tears. [Read more…]