“To be casual, relaxed, the person in every situation who tells everyone else not worry about it. Not the other way around–the agitator, the paranoid, the worrier or the irrational. Be the calm, not the liability.” Found in a bin of papers, dated 6/24/10
Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.
Why did this stand out so much to you? Of all the papers in the bin, why this one?
Great note. How/why did you come about it? Do you know why you wrote that down?
I keep a file on my computer named “2014 lessons learned” and each day or time that I have something to add to it, I do. And the BEST PART about that is exactly like your note: after a few years, I go back and take a look at what problems I was having back then, lessons learned, epiphanies, and all other growth events. This reminds me where I am, where I was and where i want to go.
Thanks for sharing Ryan!
It’s something I love about blogs and the thing that puts me off doing my own; seeing how people change. I don’t know if Ryan feels the same was as in (2007) –
But his writing has just become so much more ‘mature’ for want of a better word. The pieces have less flowery language and the content is so much more thoughtful. It feels like at 20 (when Ryan wrote that post) he was much more angry and trying so hard to impress by trying to be like a ‘philosopher’ from the books he reads. Now it feels like he’s naturally become what he respects and from reading his posts he’s a much more likeable person.
I’m not alluding to be some wise-man trying to pass judgement. I’m 20 and I do exactly the same :P. Your try and be a cocky smart ass and then come off as a complete ass XD.
When I get in a situation when everybody else irrationally panics – I help myself by imagining I am the eye of the storm whirling around me. Always trying to lead by example.
I’ve definitely got a long way to go before I am the calm guy in the room. For about 5 years after college I was trying to force myself into an overly corporate mold in California. I grew up in Asia and Europe and came from a missionary family, my dad a theologian/historian and my mom a pediatrician. I felt like I needed to do something entirely different and so ignored my international, service-based professional instincts and tried to fit into a company that simply was not me. I gradually got traction and attention but it was at the horrible cost of becoming “the agitator, the paranoid, the worrier or the irrational”. When I finally decided to go with my gut and return to my natural strengths it absolutely changed my life. I traveled the world for a year, got a new job and relocated to Bangkok. For the first time in a long time I actually have this weird existential peace. I’m not where I want to be but I can definitely say I am finally on the right path.
Wish i had read your book prior.
Stay clam and be cool. Do shit that change those around you. But give them a kick in the ass.