Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Fantasy Commencement: Chapter 3

Ever since I graduated from college, I've fantastized about what I'd say if I were a commencement speaker. I'm slowly compiling ideas, labelled "fantasy commencement".

Anytime you find something great (a writer, a book, a poem, a brand of yogurt, etc.), note it down.

Anytime you receive a good sounding tip (for pizza, or a podcast, etc.), note it down.

Anytime you notice something that looks cool (a park, a tree, a cafe, etc.), note it down.

Anytime you figure out how to do something you'll need to do again some day (download a PDF, print on an envelope, add lyrics to iTunes music, etc.), note it down.

You have a smart phone. Use it! You can also note stuff by shooting photos (which, don't forget, conveniently record location and time).

This sounds like abnormal behavior. And it is. But consider normality. Most people eat crappy yogurt and can't recall 99% of the great stuff they once knew about or heard about. What was that movie? Where was that restaurant?

Abnormal behavior is problematic if it puts you at a disadvantage. But the following are abnormal:
Being super good at something
Not being overweight
Committing to life-long learning
Being kind even when you can get away with being mean
Being generous when no one's watching
Living below your means
God bless abnormality if it gives you an edge. Happiness is abnormal. Creativity is abnormal. Excelling is abnormal. What's normal? Tedium, depression, and conformity.

I'm "Mr. Tip". I've offered hot leads to thousands of people, face to face (way more via my writing). And 95% of them thank me profusely, pretend to commit it to memory, and obviously immediately forget. They go back to eating needlessly crappy yogurt (you want Esti brand, often found at Shop Rite...and their humus is great, too). Simply because they couldn't be bothered to jot it down. 5% of people note stuff down, and enjoy greatness in every aspect of their lives. It's like night and day.

I promise this: You won't look back in regret for taking the time to note stuff. At no point will you think "Geez, all that work...for nothing!"

Obviously, you needn't obsessively chase down every single lead. That would be the bad sort of "abnormal"! But give yourself a fighting chance. At least have them available. Be kind to your future self by leaving a trail of breadcrumbs!

It's not "eccentric" if you get great results.

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