Sometimes I forget how weird I am.
I don’t mean that in a self-deprecating way. Weird is a compliment in my books.
What I mean is that it’s easy to forget what you’ve been through. Ideas that were once novel, even radical, are now the norm for you. You forget that you went through a process and that you didn’t always think this way.
It’s sometimes hard to remember that most of the people around you haven’t read the books or blogs, or met the people that completely shifted your reality. (Of course, you probably haven’t read the books they hold dear either, and that’s always worth exploring.)
But I have no idea where I would be had I not read The 4-Hour Workweek three years ago, or found The Art of Non-Conformity and Chris’ work. I don’t know where I would be had I not been exposed to all of the tremendous bloggers, entrepreneurs and multipotentialites who are making it work.
I owe so much to the people who came before me, and whose work I had the fortune of finding. They put themselves out there. They wrote books and articles and spoke and generally put their thoughts out into the world.
I try to pay it back by paying homage to them and thanking them and helping them. But I also try to pay it forward by putting my own ideas out into the world, because you never know who might serendipitously stumble upon your work and be in the exact right place in their evolution to hear it.
It’s also worth remembering that this stuff takes time. There were about two years during which I merely consumed material. I had a “practice blog,” where I recorded my thoughts, but that was mostly for me. I listened to podcasts, read books, devoured digital products. But it took time until I was ready to take any substantial action. The end of law school (not to mention moving to Portland with a couple thousand dollars in my bank account) helped put pressure on me to HUSTLE, but I generally think that we go through a period of absorbing material before we take our leap. That is normal.
So when you meet someone who seems open and thinks what you do is awesome, but hasn’t been exposed to, or internalized the beliefs that you have, be gentle with them.
Encourage them, live by example, and share your ideas. Stay connected to what you believe and do your thing. But try to remember that you can’t make their struggle yours. Their journey is their own.
Have your beliefs about what is possible changed in recent years? How do you reconcile this new mindset with those around you? (And I don’t mean the haters, but the genuinely awesome, open people.)