Want to Become the Best at What You Do? Read This.
Benjamin P. Hardy

Ben Hardy is often wise, but there is an awful lot of emotional knee-jerk approval reaction to this piece. I find this piece about 40% wisdom and good advice, and about 60% waffle.

Don’t work on your craft or your job, work on yourself: what is this even supposed to mean? What if you’re trying to be a clarinet player or a writer, are you NOT supposed to be working on your clarinet or your writing while you’re doing some other mysterious “working” on “yourself”?

80% of your energy should be devoted to rest and self-improvement: yeah, try to become the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or Elon Musk or J K Rowling by using that as your guidance. Of course you need sufficient quality rest, but if you seriously think that putting 80% of your available conscious energy into resting and reading Tony Robbins, you’re nuts, aren’t you? Even Tony Robbins wouldn’t say that — he’d say get out of here and get some action done. (Especially if you’re not doing enough of your clarinet playing or writing!)

Don’t copy other people: make them copy you. What an over-simplification of ongoing processes. Creativity always starts with inspiration and cultural input, i.e. what other people have done before you. Even when they were starting to write their own songs as teenagers, and being creative as early as possible, the Beatles were using Elvis Presley and Gene Vincent and Little Richard and Chuck Berry and Tamla Motown as launching pads for where to go — and sometimes what to copy. Listen, if you’re copying someone else, don’t worry about it unless you are a prisoner of copying them and never becoming yourself. But it’s OK as part of the process.

OK, some of these comments could be me misunderstanding what is meant. In which case some clearer articles, rather than just “hey let’s get everybody inspired and tell me how beautiful my words are before they go back to their same old tedious routines”, might be called for. Readers need to end up with better lives — not fleeting emotional comfort that just doesn’t all contain properly thought-through “advice”.

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