The Internet, Contacting Your Idols, And Being Grateful

We live in truly amazing times. This is a recent personal story to make you see what I mean.

I live in Guatemala, and I’m lucky enough to have access to an iPhone and the Internet.

Three days ago, I was listening to a podcast of Tim Ferriss, bestselling author and angel investor. During the podcast, Tim mentioned a book by Derek Sivers called “Anything You Want”. I had come across some of Derek’s articles before, and they were great. Therefore, as soon as I finished the podcast, I wanted to buy the book.

I closed my Podcasts app, opened Safari, went to Amazon.com, typed the name of the book, and purchased the book in Kindle version for 11 bucks. One minute later, I opened my Kindle app, and began reading the book.

The book was spectacular. Short. Clear. Simple. And most of all, eye-opening.

At the end, Derek urges people to write to him with questions. I figured I had nothing to lose with trying.

I closed my Kindle app, opened Mail, and typed Derek’s personal email address. I then stopped and thought of what I could ask him.

Derek is probably busy, so I knew I shouldn’t write a long email. Yet if I wrote a short text with a relevant question, he might be nice enough to write back.

I’ve been wanting to improve my writing for a while, and his style of writing was one of my favorites. I sent him a short email introducing myself and asking him if he had any advice for writing better.

Two days later, he responded.

(Sharing with his permission)

Derek’s email response

Wow.

Looking at the big picture now: from Guatemala, I was able to listen to an amazing podcast by Tim Ferriss, for free. I was then able to purchase the exact book I wanted straight from my phone for < $11 and start reading it in < 1 minute. After reading it, I was able to contact the author and get a reply within 48 hours with amazing advice for something I needed and will serve me for many years to come.

Of course not every author will be as nice as Derek to provide his personal email address and take the time to respond. But the point of this story is that it’s easy to take for granted the amazing times we live in, and the great tools we have in our fingertips.

Every once in a while, when we live through experiences like this, let’s stop and realize how lucky we are, and the amazing opportunities that the Internet opens up for us.

Let’s take advantage of them.

Oh, and Derek, thank you.


Thoughts on Media is a community publication on Medium, curated by ReadThisThing.