This post will probably be ignored. It isn’t about Twitter and it doesn’t include an infographic. It’s complex, not easy, which is why it’s kind of a mess. Skip it if you think you can’t handle it, no problem.
But first, a question.
Do you think you’re a good judge of character?
Most people do. But how would you know if you really were?
Being able to judge someone’s character is a sign of success. But it isn’t all it takes. Properly assessing someone you meet requires more: It requires being a good judge of someone’s potential. It helps you know what kind of relationship you want to have.
But how can you tell if someone can be a leader, or if they’ll be successful? How can you tell if they have initiative, or if you can trust them?
I propose that judging someone’s potential– even someone you’ve just met– is easy. It’s based on one fundamental character trait that you can develop with practice and, with it, change your life. I’ll explain below.
It’s clear to many of us here on the web that there is a new class emerging. Robb Wolf, a research biochemist, blogger, and New York Times bestselling author is a part of it. So are Everett Bogue, Tim Ferriss, Chris Guillebeau, and many more. You may be, too, and if you are, you already know it.
If you don’t, then it’s possible you have no idea what I’m talking about, so here it is.
Almost two years ago, Chris Brogan and I started writing a book called Trust Agents, about a set of people who were taking advantage of digital technology to grow their influence. The book would become pretty popular here on the web, and continues to sell well, which is great. I realize now, though, that the phenomenon is about more than that.
One main aspect of this new generation (who can be young or old, btw) is their understanding of systems and games and how to find workarounds (“gatejumping” or “lifehacking”). It’s clear that they don’t need a million dollars to be happy– so they figure out what they really need and find easy ways to get it.
In other words, these people have built systems around them that faciliates financial and career success. Generally, they aren’t chasing the dream of massive wealth– they know it has very little to do with happiness– so they work on new, more fulfilling goals instead.
Ev Bogue recently decided to become a yoga teacher. Tim Ferriss hacked his own muscle mass and wrote the 4-Hour Body. Guillebeau is exploiting the loopholes in air travel to visit every country in the world. I could name many more of these people, each doing it in their own way.
Whatever you decide to call it, it’s big, and it’s because of access to information and the ability to see others doing it in real time. Still, some people want this and get it– and others do not. Why? Because of this specific character trait.
This brings us back to our first point.
How do you judge someone’s character instantly, find out what kind of person they are and how likely they are to succeed? Easy.
Ask them to do something unusual (like a bet). Or, question the way they’re doing things and see how they react to a totally different method of thinking.
Their reaction is based in their ability to deal with change and experimentation, and the ability to experiment is directly related to their real-life success.
The basic difference is whether you are willing to test your environment and lead an experimental life. And it is a trait that is taught to us by our environment– by games, by seeing other people doing it, and by seeing inefficient models of reality (such as school=success) that we can choose to avoid.
Here is the simple reality of the situation.
Accept what your parents, your teachers, and your peers say, and you’ll be a slave to what they’ve said. You’ll base your decisions on what they’ve decided, instead of what you have. Your learning will slow down and much of what you want will not come true (unless you shrink your expectations).
Test everything for yourself– assume nothing– and the opposite will happen. Your results will be based in what is real. You’ll become a king. You will accelerate as you learn and your momentum will carry you past obstacles you never thought you could conquer before.
You’ll quickly learn you don’t need a job.
You’ll free up your time.
You’ll find out how boring it is to do nothing. :)
You’ll seek out other things that fascinate you.
You’ll become an expert in them, faster.
Finally, with no one to tell you what to do, you’ll be happier.
Some will say: “That’s not really my style though, I like to take it easy.” Well, I’d argue that you’re thinking too small, and that you’ve chosen that small is ok for you.
This brings me to my final point: if you want to be someone like this, you can be. All that it takes is to transform how you deal with challenges.
Do you see life as a game to experiment with, or do you see it as a series of corridors? This will change what you’re capable of.
For years, we’ve been here on the internet, blogging and talking about “lifehacking,” then returning to our dreary real jobs under the guise of “being more productive.”
I have an idea. Why don’t we apply this to our actual lives?
Some of us do, and the results have been extraordinary. You can too.
Do you live this way, or want to? Let’s talk. Leave a comment. Enter your email in the box below and press enter, we’ll figure out how together.