(Photo courtesy of Ghosts of Earth)
Some people got pretty mad about the Instagram blog.
And that’s cool.
The 6th law of power is “Court Attention At All Cost.” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
But there’s something deeper I want to dive into that I didn’t highlight enough in that post–and I hope it didn’t make too many people mad:
Because it’s better to have allies than enemies.
OK, so that’s obvious–but like much of what this blog deals with, knowing and doing are two separate things, and people often don’t do what they know.
For example: people continue blasting away at heavy cardio (like jogging, elliptical, etc) expecting to lose weight–then eat bagels and get down on pasta dinners. Not gonna happen. Because modern science has shown that high intensity training (HIT), like weight lifting, sprints, or cross-fit, are the most effective activities for losing fat and staying fit. Along with a low carb diet of course.
Likewise, most people do too little to court allies and are too quick to make enemies; they fail to act with purpose or the long game in mind.
So back to that blog on Insta = narcissism. It’s a perfect example on a very small and insignificant scale, because as I point out in the post, a whole shitload of people on Instagram post pictures for the purpose of getting likes, comments–attention–but then refuse to give that same attention to those they follow.
And in so doing they miss a tremendous opportunity.
Because people like those who like them–people who give them positive, genuine attention. Which is why I make a point of liking nearly all posts, and commenting regularly on those stories and posts I find compelling.
It’s not in-genuine on my part either–I’m simply curious and interested in the people I follow. They’re having experiences I don’t get to have. They live life in a way that’s often radically different from my own. Why shouldn’t I learn about them and make myself a more knowledgeable and well rounded person?
I should–and this applies to life in general. We have a choice in this modern world: we can walk through life sheltered from others by technology, or we can use technology to interact with those around us and profit from those relationships.
Too many people choose the former–which brings me back to the main point: I’d rather have allies than enemies.
I’ll give you an example: a little less than a year ago, a friend and I were at Interurban on Mississippi to grab a beer and a boar burger (unbelievably good–if you live in Portland or visit, I highly recommend making a stop). Shortly after we arrived a beautiful woman sat nearby on the patio. She brought out a manuscript and began to read, and the both of us being the huge literary nerds we are asked her what she was working on…
And it led to a great conversation. I ended up giving her one of my books and we exchanged numbers for the purposes of collaborating in the future.
The next day I read some of her work. It was good (although a tad sentimental), so I wrote her a text to that effect. What became quite clear, however, as our conversation progressed, was that she was becoming ever more prickly, to the point where even though I was simply being a nice, genuine person and asking for some help finding editors, she basically told me to stop bothering her.
So I did.
Fast forward to a month ago where I saw on Insta that she had just been published in a collection of poetry. Again, just trying to be nice, I DMed her something to the effect of, “hey congrats on getting published!”
Now you would think that someone offering genuine congratulations on being published–especially from a fellow author–would elicit at the very least, a simple, “thanks.” Instead I got no reply. At that point I was like whatever and unfollowed her–Power Law #10, Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky.
Not my loss–hers.
Because she lost an ally.
I’m a writer and an author. I’m prolific AF. And I’ve only just begun. Moreover, I never asked her on a date, never suggested I wanted to have anything but a friendly, collegial relationship. I was simply curious, genuine, and nice.
Who knows what the future holds, but in the coming months I’ll be publishing a new book, starting a podcast, establishing my brand (ChuckingRocks: leading the IRL revolution), etc. So it’s quite possible–likely even–that I could have helped her in the future. But oh well: as I point out with dating, people make dumb decisions all the time and that’s on them, not you or me.
And as long as that’s where it stays, whatever.
Unfortunately, it’s often the case that people go even further and turn someone who’s indifferent into an enemy. Some teachers are terrible about this: they get so angry about a particular student’s behavior that they go our of their way to antagonize them–and at that point what is the student supposed to do?
Power Law 15 is Crush Your Enemy Totally. And in my experience, even if teenagers don’t know it, they practice it with ruthless efficiency–to the teacher’s chagrin.
I’ll be honest: I don’t know where I’d be without my allies.
Some guy I met randomly at a bar–Ken–is currently editing my next novel Say Yes. He’s an awesome dude, incredibly wise, and we met because we’re both curious people and figured out after talking for awhile that we love books and have similar tastes and values. Say Yes would not be the book it’s going to be without his help and insight. But it never would have happened if, like so many people, we weren’t open to the idea of meeting someone we didn’t already know–if we weren’t looking to make allies.
Just this week I’ve gotten help finding a book publisher, advice on a new word processing system, and a new logo and branding campaign for the blog–all because I have allies who want to help me.
Because they know I will help them in turn. Because I treat them with respect, and instead of seeking conflict or holding grudges, I look for accord, symbiosis, and collaboration. Sometimes it means offering something without expecting anything in return. But whatever it takes, I want people on my team.
And honestly, I feel bad for people who scorn that sort of relationship. I feel bad for people who through carelessness or cattiness or arrogance or avarice alienate people instead of looking for collaboration and cooperation.
It’s even true of the women I cold approach.
Some, of course, like what they see and we exchange numbers or whatever, and we figure it out from there.
But of those women who aren’t into muscular, tall, handsome men (lol) or have boyfriends, it’s interesting: some, seeing that I’m a high quality person who’s ambitious and friendly suggest we be friends or at least follow each other on social media–which rocks! One woman I met, Jen Scholten–along with her partner, Ophelia Darkly–are doing some revolutionary stuff: a performance-based literary series focusing on expression beyond words through the use of multimedia. The beautiful featured image above is courtesy of these fine ladies. Please check them out–you will not be disappointed!
The rest, unfortunately, are just rude. Instead of being forthright, these women stop texting mid-conversation or flake on dates or pretend not to see me if we happen to cross paths in public. And to those I say: good luck SOD (Swipe/Online Dating). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
But in all seriousness, it’s unfortunate–not for me: for them. Because that’s probably how they treat a lot of people in their life: as if they’re disposable, only necessary if they can be of immediate, selfish use. Which is too bad. Because maybe I have friends they’d like to meet or vice-versa. Maybe they’re doing something cool we could collaborate on. Maybe they would just enjoy reading this blog or my books.
I guess the point is: what harm can come from having more friends–more allies? None. So why not do everything we can to foster that mindset?
Make allies not enemies my people.
Much love! And as always, please contact me if you want to collaborate, contribute, etc. Best way is to sign up for the email list!