“I’m probably hopelessly out of date but my advice is get real-world experience: Be a cowboy. Drive a truck. Join the Marine Corps. Get out of the hyper-competitive ‘life hack’ frame of mind. I’m 74. Believe me, you’ve got all the time in the world. You’ve got ten lifetimes ahead of you. Don’t worry about your friends ‘beating’ you or ‘getting somewhere’ ahead of you. Get out into the real dirt world and start failing. Why do I say that? Because the goal is to connect with your own self, your own soul. Adversity. Everybody spends their life trying to avoid it. Me too. But the best things that ever happened to me came during the times when the shit hit the fan and I had nothing and nobody to help me. Who are you really? What do you really want? Get out there and fail and find out.”
–Steven Pressfield, when asked what advice he would give a smart, driven college student about to enter the real world.
I’m currently reading Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss and man is it a gold mine of wisdom. I’m only 20 pages in and I’ve already got notes out the wazoo. This one really hit me. I’m not so fresh out of college anymore, but sometimes it still feels like I am and in any case this kind of advice always gives me some kind of comfort that the decisions I’ve made in the last 5 years have been the right ones.
I’ve also been practicing mindful reading. We’re bombarded with so much information everyday, it’s easy to become immune to the characters on the page or screen. But when advice is involved, I have been trying to really zoom in on what that person is trying to say. There is a reason and a feeling that made these words come out of someone’s mouth, especially in a book like Tribe of Mentors where successful people are sharing part of their soul. It cannot be ignored.