Philosophy

The Best Revenge

There are a million quotes about revenge, but when it comes down to it, the best revenge...isn't revenge at all. 

The best revenge is to not be like that.
— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Marcus Aurelius said it best. In a time when hate and fear are near all-time highs in American politics, it's important to keep this idea in mind. How do you respond to people who are ignorant, angry, and fearful of people not like them? Try getting into an argument with one of these people and see how well that works.

At the recent Trump rally in Chicago which turned violent, protesters tried that exact method. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that those protesters, no matter how well-intentioned, didn't convert any die hard Trump supporters to their way of thinking. No, let's go back to good ol' Marcus Aurelius. 

If the other person is ignorant, be informed. If the other person is angry, remain calm and optimistic. If the other person is fearful of outsiders, be tolerant and accepting. If the other person is spreading lies, speak the truth. Don't argue. Don't debate. Don't resort to violence. Simply do what you think is right. Don't "be like that."

Understand the Basics or Lose

Technology changes. Tools change. The social landscape changes. Human nature does not change.

- Felix Dennis

There are basic human traits that have not changed for tens of thousands of years. Our tools and methods have evolved but the roots of our actions remain the same.  Every year students are graduating from universities with all sorts of knowledge, yet many of the people I meet and interview, don't have a clue about what really matters in the world. 

What counts in the real world isn't your knowledge or a specific skill set - let's just get that out of the way. There is always someone who's as good or better than you at a given task. Yes, being good is important, but that's not enough to get you beyond mediocre. It never has been. The only way to ever make an impact in this world is to understand human nature and learn how to lead people. 

If you can't learn how to move people, even in the simplest of situations, you don't have a chance of winning, whatever that means to you.  It's that simple. Master the basics or learn to accept a life of mediocrity.