A Table for Six, Please
Idols, mentors, mother and father figures, and teachers all have common traits. They’ve managed to understand our struggles, and help us overcome them. We’ve all hit walls in the past and will continue to do so in the future. But through proper guidance, we hope (and sometimes manage) to integrate principles and lessons that later serve as problem-solving tools.
It is also interesting to compare how we choose these individuals over time. At birth, we depend entirely on our parents and our immediate family. They clothed us in the morning and fed us at night. Our lives were predicated on their decisions, rendering their presence — or absence — vital in later development. However, idolization of our parents can slowly dissipate and be replaced by teachers, sports coaches, friends, etc. For instance, when I was a young teenager, my basketball coaches quickly became vital to my existence. They paved the way for deeper realizations of what it means to be a member of a larger group, learn how to prioritize, and confront my ego when it gets in the way of my responsibilities.
Today, I’d like to have an honest conversation with you. Among every imaginable person who has lived (or will live), who would you have dinner with? Your choices are infinite. Think about their personalities and how they would blend with each other. Here is my honest list:
1) Peter Thiel
For some reason, Thiel’s Zero to One completely changed my life. Although it is one of today’s most read business books, it introduced me to entrepreneurship as it should be — an exercise of creativity and being right when everyone is wrong. Thiel looks at the world through different lenses, and although his political thoughts do not align at all with my own, I believe we thrive toward the same things. His insights are compelling, his thoughts are insanely thought-provoking, and there is no doubt that he’s been an inspiration of mine for quite some time now.
2) Kurt Cobain
I don’t think Cobain would be the most intellectual fellow of the gang. Take some time to watch some documentaries on Nirvana and you’ll understand exactly what I mean. His life was not an easy one — I think any moral personal would attest to that. However, I spent most of my childhood and adolescence listening to every single one of his albums, and they too changed my life. The honest, pissed-off, and completely crazy sides of him are worthy of tremendous praise. Not to mention that he revolutionized a genre a music. I don’t know how well he’d blend in with everyone, but I’ll keep him on the list.
3) David Lynch
Watching Mullholland Drive was another turning-point in my life, although a subtler one than, say, when I moved to the US. His adoration for dreams and exploration of the weirdness of reality is incredibly unique. Picture Lynch and Freud in the same room for a few seconds. Doesn’t that sound absolutely amazing? Yes, it does.
4) Sigmund Freud
As many of you know, I could go on and on about our misunderstandings of the mind, the systemic issues that affect mental health systems worldwide, and our flawed adoration of psychiatric care. Sigmund Freud revolutionized how we approach the unconscious and the vulnerabilities of the mind. His theories, cases, and pioneering work paved the way for debates and questions that will last for centuries. Although he’d be the youngest of the gang, there’s no doubt he’d be the life of the party — in a very strange way.
5) LeBron James
Yes — you guessed, none other than, my man, LBJ. If there is one person I try to imitate every single day of my life, it’s him. So I’ll leave it to that.
Comment your list below and let’s have some fun with this. I’m sure this could be an exercise that can be actually pretty quirky and productive. Just picture Freud and LeBron side-by-side. Isn’t that amazing?
Again, thanks for your time. Until next time, may you enjoy your dinner for six.