Here are two big ideas I’ve revisited since being under quarantine.
The World Is A Malleable Place
Many of us are way too cynical.
We think that the world is the way it is and there just ain’t that much we can do about it.
But in my more lucid moments I’ve heeded this wisdom from Silicon Valley legend Marc Andreessen:
The world is a very malleable place. If you know what you want, and you go for it with maximum energy and drive and passion, the world will often reconfigure itself around you much more quickly and easily than you would think.
And this from entrepreneur and former Y Combinator president Sam Altman:
A big secret is that you can bend the world to your will a surprising percentage of the time—most people don’t even try, and just accept that things are the way that they are.
People have an enormous capacity to make things happen. A combination of self-doubt, giving up too early, and not pushing hard enough prevents most people from ever reaching anywhere near their potential.
We Accept Crappy Circumstances Out Of Pride And Fear
I picked up my old copy of the kind-of-scammy-but-totally-brilliant The 4-Hour Workweek last night and immediately got hit with this truth-seeking missile:
Don’t confuse the complex with the difficult. Most situations are simple — many are just emotionally difficult to act upon.
The chapter was mostly about how our fragile, prideful egos invent clever rationalizations to justify our previous bad decisions.
And whenever we ignore what is true and obvious, we deny ourselves a chance to actually improve our situation.
Just because you are embarrassed to admit that you’re still living the consequences of bad decisions made 5, 10, or 20 years ago shouldn’t stop you from making good decisions now.
If you let pride stop you, you will hate life 5, 10, or 20 years from now for the same reasons.
The passage ends on a zinger quote from British author Colin Wilson:
The average man is a conformist, accepting miseries and disasters with the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain.
Stay juiced and see you on the other side.
When the COVID-19 lockdown ends and you’re legally permitted outdoors again, may you burn bright with the fire of somebody ready to change the world or, at least, themselves.