How can I be of use?

On not starting artisanal ice cream shops

I’ve always been relatively good at the game. I got good grades, good jobs, and advanced through the game just fast enough to satisfy my ambition (and urgent need to please and impress the people around me).

Last year the competition stopped being fun. Achieving the next rung of the ladder didn’t make me feel taller. My whole life had been about climbing, and I was exhausted.

Now I wish I could tell a fabulous story about quitting my job, moving to Bali and starting an artisanal ice cream shop on the beach— but honestly, who does that? Don’t they have student loans?

I came to mentors with this crisis, and I got fantastic advice. If you work hard to help make people around you better, you will rise with your friends and colleagues, instead of in opposition to them. The theory that our individual success is the only thing that will impact our happiness is misguided — none of us lives in a vacuum.

The best way to feel a sense of accomplishment isn’t with more money, a fancier apartment, or better shit to instagram on the weekend— it’s by investing tremendous value in the people around you and seeing what crazy returns come from that investment.

We rise together, or not at all.

So now I start my days with the question “How can I be of use today?” and go with it. I’d recommend trying it out— tomorrow. Today is Sunday, go take a nap.