The best book I have ever
written read written about today is How To Get A Grip, a profane and shouty guide to personal development.
Here follow some of the most popular passages, according to Amazon popular highlights. Read and weep and save yourself some time on reading the whole thing.
When you’re done weeping and reading, and if you still want to read more, check out How To Get A Grip on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
On positive reinforcement (you can do ANYTHING!):
SOMETIMES IN LIFE, things get a bit shit. You can’t avoid it. It’s how you deal with the shit that sets you apart and, while you may think you lack the resources to turn things around and make it all a little less shit, you don’t.
On mortality and the purpose of life:
Life is not a competition, it’s a game. There are no winners or losers. We all end up dead.
Ambition is perfectly healthy so long as it’s YOUR ambition.
On how ladies think:
She’s thinking ‘He seems like a really hot, intelligent guy. The kind of guy who I’d like to take home and suffocate with my thighs.’
Treat people well and you’ll find them more inclined to lend you their lawnmower.
If you find that the grass is often greener, it’s time to buy some fertilizer.
On book titles that are likely to be sure-fire best-sellers, if ever written:
Tug of War – a history of military masturbation
Trim Six Inches Off Your Flabby Thighs With Neuro Linguistic Programming
Set Your Child On The Route To A Fulfilling Career In The Medical Profession By Reading Him Bedtime Stories In Swahili
On the perils of progress:
Advancement and progress are what keeps civilization civilized. But they’re also what gave us nuclear weapons and daytime TV.
On the futility of being easily offended:
When you find other people’s behavior distasteful, you get upset, your blood pressure gets raised, you lose a lot of time worrying and you shave seven minutes off your own life. Nobody else gives a shit.
On appreciating what you’ve got:
Some have it worse than others. Some of us were born in the arse-end of the country to a family of inbred petty criminals with facial tattoos and Neolithic attitudes to women and literacy.
Talking about your problems helps resolve them. Incessantly blathering on about the shit you’re going through does the opposite.
Until I got sideswiped by that forced sabbatical at the end of last year, I had a pretty tight thing going with my emails.
For a long period in 2013, I was sending out a daily email to the handsome-as-all-hell folk who’d had the foresight to share their email addresses with me (hey! I’m looking at you!)
To this day, I still get tons of questions about that. Questions like “why?” and “didn’t people get pissed off?” So here goes:
Q1: Why do you send so many emails?
The darnedest thing happened today.
(I don’t think I’ve ever used that word before. Sufficiently liberated, I’ll use it again.)
I got a message from a stranger on LinkedIn that was concise, appealing and warranted a response.
Imma tellin’ ya, I almost dang near fell out o’ my chair!
You see, the general dross that I get over there comprises invitations to join self-serving LinkedIn groups, invitations to spend money on improving my LinkedIn profile, invitations to rank higher in Google, invitations to import promotional material from former Soviet-bloc countries, invitations to go into partnership with technology manufacturers from the Far East, invitations to connect on “the latest new social network that’s going to transform how you watch videos of cats falling off ladders” and other such nonsense.
A handful of tossers even use LinkedIn messaging as a sort of surrogate email list and blast me crap that I never signed up for and certainly don’t read.
But today, I got something different, for the first time in YEARS.
You’ll hear statistics quoted at you repeatedly (normally by marketing consultants who are pitching their products) that X% of small businesses fail in the first couple of years.
Because marketers like to make up statistics, or base them on dubious “guesswork” or slanted studies, the percentages for this particular horror-story tend to veer from 60-95%.
If you’ve got a philosophical approach to “failure”, you might argue that a coffee shop that was open and trading for two years didn’t, in fact, fail at being a coffee-shop. Similarly, the typewriter industry isn’t a failed industry just because it has become marginalized.
But working on the basis that failure is an involuntary closing up of shop due to negligence, bad planning, bad luck or lack of will to live, it seems, even anecdotally, that a LOT of small businesses fail pretty soon after they open.
(It’s entirely normal. Entrepreneurs manage risk on a daily basis, and managing risk is a risky business.)
I’m back in Malta, in the office that overlooks the building that may once have been the Libyan embassy (but nobody’s really sure).
The last three and a half months have been a forced sabbatical of sorts, juggling optimism and anguish and the logistical improbabilities of living in one room, a thousand miles from home, alongside a 4-year old with behavioral quirks, three suitcases and a baby on varying degrees of life-support.
Edward (4 months) was admitted to Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital on 31st December for right ventricular obstruction relief with muscle resection, valvectomy and transannular bovine pericardial patch.
(That’s heart surgery.)