Is This Who You Want to Be?

Here’s a list of 30 books you’re supposed to read before you’re thirty if you plan to be plain, uninspired and be an English teacher at a local junior college.

-Or here’s some advice on making money from writing by someone who isn’t actually a writer or happen to know anyone who is one.

This is a chubby weirdo who thinks you have to confront your boss to get vacation.

-Lastly, we have a ‘brand manager’ who can casually reference the 2 truths, 1 lie icebreaker along with some logical fallacies, unnecessary acronyms and plenty of Arbitrary Capitalization of ordinary Phrases For Emphasis.

If you’re a piddly fucking loser who spends their time reading employee handbooks and going to mixers then that’s a way to think about life. If at any time during your day or education the concepts of Good Boss, Bad Boss, social media, Gen Y, Gen X, Seven Highly Effective Habits, ‘Bulletproofing’, Blogging, liveblogging are in anyway significant, you’ve saddled yourself with the wrong set of priorities. God forbid, if you actually use those words in seriousness, I don’t it’s possible to truly quantify how far you’ve removed yourself from the sphere in which people get things done.

The funny thing is that the people who spend time obsessing over these workplace laws are always the absolute worst at following the rules that matter: meeting deadlines, delivering expectations, communicating what they want, being informed, common courtesy. You know, the stuff that makes society work.

So here’s what you do when you read things like that: keep your head down and keep thinking. The problems that they pretend to have figured out are far more complex than the 23 year old working at a non-profit in Minnesota will ever be able to articulate via bulletpoints. In almost all cases, the people who put together tip sheets and career advice give it away for one reason – they couldn’t manage to make use of it themselves. Let them have the low-hanging fruit they pass off as profound observation and dedicate yourself to chipping away at the actual reality in front of you. You know, turning words into works.

The final irony: the world is indeed a profoundly different place than it was a generation ago, the Brazen Careerist writers though, they are the same small-minded, pontificating idiots that’ve plagued every recorded age. You don’t have to let your ego pull you down that hole. You can pass up attention, the temptation to boil big things down to headlines and giving yourself comically pompous titles and experiences you’ve yet to earn. It just takes discipline and some goddamn perspective.

Note: I keep reading that Penelope Trunk and Brazen Careerist need venture funding, so if you have a few dollars laying around, maybe they’ll make give you an honorary chair in the field of Coachology.

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.