A cynic’s credo

Dan Norris
2 min readAug 13, 2021

Life is made up of small interactions. The casual chat with the barista at the coffee shop, the random workplace banter about the latest TV series, the conversation with your partner on the drive to work.

Being relevant in these interactions is an innate human need and it’s not really that hard, just have an opinion. Even better still, have a contrarian one — or a negative one.

That pushes the conversation forward, it elevates you to higher status at that time and it keeps you comfortable. You get to leave those interactions feeling good about yourself. Feeling relevant.

These interactions reward not taking action. They breed cynicism.

Cynicism is a toxic cancer that feels comfortable.

A lifetime of comfortable cynicism, is a lifetime of not taking action.

Cynicism would have been very easy for me. It came naturally. My household was naturally cynical, cynicism was beloved and confused with intelligence because it won conversations.

It took a lot for me not to be cynical, even when I took the plunge and started a business. I fight against it every day.

A cynic would say that our business has gotten this far because of luck or timing, and it’s true.

A cynic would say our competitors have gotten ahead because of unfair advantages and exclusive access, and it’s true.

A cynic would say “x company” is not going to make it for “x reason”, and let’s be honest, there’s a very good chance it’s true.

That’s the problem with being a cynic, you are always relevant and more often than not, right.

But the biggest problem with being a cynic is the one that’s not so obvious.

Some people, do create a business that does really well.

Some people do get rich.

Some people are inspired by how good their competitors are and use that as fuel to do better themselves.

Some people back companies to make it and don’t back them to fail.

Some people choose to make things even though they are up against all the cynics in their comfortable conversations.

These people are creators.

A lot of creators fail, they end up with a life of trying a lot and not making it.

Some creators make it. They are unfairly rewarded with way too much success. The kind of success that the cynics absolutely hate.

A cynic ends up with a life of not trying anything and still not making it.

What would you prefer?

Create something.

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Dan Norris

Entrepreneur, author & international speaker. Co-founder @blackhopsbeer author of #7daystartup & 3 other best sellers. http://dannorris.me/