11 Things you should have done instead of reading this blog
And 9 reasons why they would have been a waste of time
1. Really, I have a list
The internet is littered with information. Blog writing manuals suggest making lists, and lists are popular. They are popular for two reasons — 1) they are essentially a finite set of “Chicken McNugget” wisdoms — and people like Chicken McNuggets, 2) if you are using multiple page loads, each leads to additional add revenue for display ads — and publishers like revenue.
But these lists are as useless as the 1000 diet tips that have been helping fat people loose weight in countless women’s magazines. If one of them worked, you wouldn’t a need a monthly spread of a new one.
2.The lists don’t teach you a damn thing
I can make you a list on how to play soccer like Messi. You can read that list, and you can even do everything I tell you to. The list may even be the 10 things that Messi did since he was 10. You are still not gonna be Messi. If you were Messi a hypothetical me would be interviewing you on how you became who you are so I could make a list in order to make a few bucks of your success. You wouldn’t be the one reading it.
3. Learning takes time
If you really are interested in learning something you need to accept that it will take time. The common adage is that it takes 10,000 hours to master something. I have no idea if that’s true, but I can imagine that it would take a long time to master anything. If we took the 10,000 as a compass needle, then at an hour a day, it would take 27 years to build great skill at something. Now, is there anything that you consistently committed this kind of time to, outside of responsibilities that were heaved upon you (family, work, etc.). I think the only thing we do consistently is watch tv.
4. Willpower and Discipline
If you want to stick with something for 3, 5, 10 years — out of choice, not necessity — you will need willpower and discipline. My friend Dandapani imbibed that to me during a brief conversation I had with him years ago. There is nothing you can really master if you can’t garner willpower and discipline.
5. Nobody wants the hard truth
Willpower and discipline are the keys to meaningfully transforming your life. Everything else is fluff. Even if you subscribe to the notion of karma, and God’s grace, and all that hocuspocus, it is iron will that helps you navigate. When God asked Noah to build an arc, he didn’t just work on it for 5 minutes on the weekend. And when Rama went into the jungle for 14 years he didn’t just eat bananas.
6. Don’t believe in lists
If you have been the same lame douche for the last 10 years a fancy list is not going to change you. You need a kick in the gut; and life provides those for free.
7. Let’s qualify all of this
Let’s not. Life is hard, and some have it much harder than others. But you cannot choose your past. Whatever happened — that’s what you got. And now the question is not what was given to you, but only what you can make of it.
8. Fuck It
I have three kids — I ain’t got no time to write out 11 bullshit points on why not to read goddamn lists. I give up.