BY JEFF BETTGER
Someone recently asked me what I like to do and what else I would spend my time doing if I could. I didn't have to think long and hard about this. I quickly said, “Hang out with interesting people and make cool [stuff].” The answer I gave was simple and profound. It got me thinking about why I answered that way and why it matters. I don’t have some robust philosophy developing on the subject, but I do have some gut instincts that I would like to share.
To get started I feel the need to unpack a few things. The first question seems obvious enough. Who constitutes “interesting people” and who decides? Fortunately for me, comma I find everyone interesting. Why? Simply because I believe everyone is created equal. new sentence I have lived long enough and asked enough questions to discover this: everyone has a story and everyone is interesting.
I think it starts with a person defining what interesting is. In this case, I am the one defining interesting, because it is my life, my time, and the people with whom I am spending it. I am an equal opportunist for interesting. However, I know some things that are not interesting to me and would rather not spend much time with people who do those things or act in those ways. Here are things that instantly make somebody uninteresting to me.
Political, social or religious posturing or manipulating
Trying hard to belong or fit in as opposed to being oneself (Joe’s post has a lot to say about this)
Exploiting other people in order to accomplish their own agenda
Those are five things that will cause me to instantly shy away from someone. I will avoid spending a lot of time with them. This happens especially when it comes to creating with somebody. I know tons of folks who love playing politics and try to “swim upstream”. I am not one of them. I refuse to waste my time spending it with people who love this sort of thing. They can all go hang out together and try and manipulate things to get what they want. I would just rather enjoy my life and the time I have on this earth with the people and things I care about.
That brings me to my next point. What is “cool [stuff]”?
Well, that is another subjective thing. Once again Joe’s post says it best. Cool is whatever you are interested in and enjoy. There are things I want to make and things I do not want to make. Simple enough. I don’t care if somebody thinks what I make is cool, good, or interesting. I only care if I think it is cool, good, interesting. In the end I want to spend my time with people I resonate with and on things I care about. I want to spend my time on what is worthwhile. I don’t need to impress anybody or try to fit in with anybody else’s standards.
If you like something and can find the time and resources to make it, then by all means suck the life out it–devour it and enjoy the fact that you are a human and have the ability to create. Whether it’s a spreadsheet, a design, a photograph, a painting, a song, a child, a meal–I encourage you to make it. Who cares if other people like it or if it looks good to anybody else. Enjoy your life by making something. If at all possible, make it with somebody else so you can share the experience together.