Hunters & Gatherers: Benjamin P. Hardy
Dear Benjamin P. Hardy — I don’t say this enough, but I’ve enjoyed every single one of your blog posts. We don’t always agree, and I hope we never fully agree, but I always learn something, every time. Folks, this week I’ve interviewed Benjamin for my Creatomic Questions series, and I hope you enjoy getting an insight into a guy who writes some pretty awesome stuff. My comments are in italics.
Who is the first person you think of when you talk about Role Models?
You know, I first got to know Stephen Covey’s work as a pre-teen growing up in a little country town called Gnowangerup, and I think it was my first introduction to the idea of self improvement. Still love his work.
Can you walk us through one thing you do that helps your productivity?
Read inspiring and uplifting books daily. Also, I spend a good amount of time in prayer, trying to strengthen my faith and vision. For me, productivity is not about doing lots. It’s about doing the highest impact things. Writing 100 blog posts isn’t productive. Writing one blog post worth 100 blog posts is better. I’d rather spend one month writing something that has a huge impact than write 30 things in that same month that do little. That’s where clarity, faith, and learning come in.
I don’t know when people got the idea that it was cool to look down on faith, but I hate that. Faith is a powerful, valuable, useful tool.
What is the story of your journey as a writer?
I decided I wanted to be a writer 8 years ago while serving a humanitarian mission. Since then, I’ve read probably over 1,000 books. I started blogging in April of 2015. In 2016, I was the #1 writer on Medium.com. Now, I’m working on my first traditionally published book.
Can you identify the turning point of your career?
Becoming a foster parent put a fire under me. It forced me to take things seriously.
If your audience disappeared tomorrow, would you still write?
Absolutely. I’m always motivated to rise above my situation.
What is the one question you’ve always wanted someone to ask you? And what’s your answer?
I can’t think of a specific question. But I wish people were more willing to discuss deeper issues. Specifically, God and the purpose of life. I believe spiritual and even religious perspectives, when done in an non-dogmatic way, can actually enhance productivity, business, politics, and everything else. Unfortunately, most people can’t find a way to live their faith in an accepting and mature manner — where it isn’t weird for other people.
Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer? Why?
Hunter. I like being on offense. I like stress and pressure. I feel like my best self when I’m moving.
I don’t think I’ve had one person say they’re a gatherer yet — but that’s exactly how I’d describe myself. Interesting to think about.
They say everyone has one novel inside them. What’s yours?
I don’t know if I do. I think I’m probably non-fiction through and through.
What book would you give to someone who’s at their lowest point?
What is your favourite film?
Can’t pick one: Interstellar, Gattaca, Fight Club, Inception, The Matrix
What’s one good reason you’d never want to win the lottery?
I’d never enter the lottery in the first place.
How would you spend $100 to advance your career, business or life?
Marketing an article I wrote with Facebook Ads.
When was the last time you were so obsessed with an idea that you couldn’t sleep?
Probably a week ago. I’m writing a book. It’s consuming.
What is your Hill to Die On? (IE, the one belief or principle you have that you’d stake everything on)
My religious and spiritual faith. Everything else is an appendage to that.
What’s the worst investment you’ve ever made?
I once invested $40,000 in a risky overseas rice distribution company. I was recommended this company by a very trusted and close friend. The person who owned the company was also pretty close with my family. It seemed like a brilliant opportunity and I was totally over-sold with totally unrealistic promises. But I was young and naive. It was a total loss. I should have gone with a higher principle I’ve learned: Never invest in industries (where) you aren’t well informed.
What words do you live by?
Do what is right, let the consequence follow.
What advice would you give yourself in 10 years?
Start writing now.
What’s the worst cliche that is just never true?
You must love yourself before you can love other people.
Do you believe in anything that can’t be scientifically proven?
Most of the things I believe in can’t be scientifically proven, in the traditional sense. Although I’m a psychologist, and have become pretty sour at least toward the “soft” sciences. In psychology, nearly all of the research is done on college students and is focused around the “mean” or average. The outliers are removed. To me, that’s the last thing I’d want to base my life on, the “average.” I never want to be average. Thus, I’m very selective about the “science” I use to guide my life. Last though: at least in the social sciences, the methodology used to collect data is often really poor as well. Garbage in, garbage out. That said, I still love science and data. I just don’t base every aspect of my life on it. I see many weaknesses in it.
Thanks for sitting down with Creatomic Benjamin P. Hardy — keep in touch and I definitely want to write a review of that book when it’s done…