June 23, 2008

The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth

My nice university-sponsored health insurance is ending soon, so I thought it would be good to go in for a check-up. On Friday morning I headed down to the university clinic right next to where I used to go to school.

The good news is that I’m fit and healthy, as I expected to be. The bad news is that I’m not sure what they think of me over at the clinic anymore, because the medical history review got off to a rocky start.

“What do you do for work?” the doctor asked me at the beginning of the interview.

“Well, I’m trying to start my own social movement.”

(There was a long pause, but he didn’t ask anything else about that. Instead, he looked at the next item on the list.)

“Do you take any medications?”

“Not usually, but when I need to, I buy them in Africa.”

(Another pause.)

“Do you exercise regularly?”

“Yes, I just ran a marathon on a cruise ship last week!”

The doctor put down the pen for a while before making a long series of notes. The whole time I was thinking, I have no idea what was just added to my medical records out of that conversation.

Truth-Telling in a Crowded and Noisy World

I may not have made a good impression on that guy, but it’s nice to know that many of you here are enjoying my nonconformist journey. There is a shortage of authentic truth-telling in the world today. When you find a way to tell a unique, authentic story, people will pay attention.

At least that’s my theory—I guess I’ll find out for sure tomorrow morning. Speaking of that…

Tomorrow morning I’ll release my long-promised manifesto, A Brief Guide to World Domination, here on the site. You can get your free copy tomorrow morning at 9am PST (or anytime after that). The report is completely non-commercial with no affiliate links—it’s just some good stuff for you to think about.

It includes more of my own story, as well as the stories of some other cool people—Leo from Zen Habits and Randy Pausch (the “Last Lecture” guy), for example—but more importantly, the focus of the report is on you.

See, I have to make a confession. From time to time people ask me for advice about what they should do with their lives, and I really have no idea how to answer that.

There are plenty of people out there who can give you therapy or all kinds of B.S. answers, but I am not one of them.

In the end, you are the only person who can really figure out what you are good at and what you really want to do. I write a lot about personal development, but I know better than to pretend to know the answers for someone else’s life.

I have no idea what you should do. Sorry to break it to you.

BUT, here’s the real secret—I have learned a few things in ten years of living life on my own terms while helping others at the same time. I passionately, wholeheartedly believe that if you can figure out the answers to two important questions, then you can truly change the world for the better.

The first question focuses on what you can do for yourself, and the second question focuses on what you can do for those around you.

Skeptics need not apply. But for everyone else, you can read more about the questions in my free 29-page manifesto tomorrow morning.

Feedback

If you have enjoyed the journey thus far, I’m glad—because I have a lot more planned for the rest of the year and beyond. After you read the report, I would be tremendously grateful if you would return to the site and post a short comment.

I am also soliciting feedback on how my writing has helped people. I am looking for specific examples of decisions you or someone else has made as a result of reading the manifesto or any of my other writing. Please contact me if that’s the case.

Some of these comments will be included in my book proposal, which I hope to complete over the next couple of weeks while traveling in the Baltics.

By the way, since I started this project in February, a lot of people have asked, “What do you hope will come out of this?”

Here’s a short quote from the manifesto that answers that question:

“If you want to know who your real friends are, start telling your craziest idea to everyone you meet. Some people will slowly back away from you as if you really are crazy, but others will latch on to your idea and help you any way they can. The people in the second group are your real friends.”

See, I’m interested in the people in the second group. Focus on the ones who care, and don’t worry about the critics.

Critics never change the world, because they are too busy complaining.

See you tomorrow?

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Image by Swanks

Comment on this article

17 Responses to “The Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth”

  1. I’m really looking forward to that manifesto Chris!! :) I’ll be in the countryside with no connectivity for a week so it’ll be great to have something interesting to read!

    You’ve given very good all around advice and encouragement in these posts that have encouraged me to work harder on my niche and to embrace the traveller in me I usually try to suppress when home! And your marathon story is huge encouragement for me!! I don’t plan on running a marathon right now, but you’ve shown that even when someone travels around and is writing a blog etc., they can still be active in the world and use their bodies. It’s encouraged me to run that “extra mile” in the morning. Thanks!

  2. Hi Chris, i like your topics here on your blog and i agree with the statement, that to show your real ideas and behavior to people you see who your friends are. I’m looking forward to your manifesto.

    Andreas

  3. Your health services provider probably told that story in the break room after you left. At least he didn’t recommend counseling!

    I’m looking forward to the fully polished manifesto!

  4. Well, Chris. I think we will be friends. :)

  5. Looking forward to tomorrow!

  6. Hey guys,

    Thanks for all the support; I hope you like it.

    @Sara – that is funny!

  7. June 23, 2008

    C.J. Boehle

    Hey Chris !
    I’m new to your blog but all of a sudden life is looking fun again.
    I’m remembering when I was a kid and could hardly wait for the day’s
    adventures to begin!

    Thank-you so much for reminding me.
    c.j.

  8. You’re touching on some powerful stuff and I feel that you are slowly unraveling the layers o get to the real essence of the process. Should be interesting. I read the Manifesto and can’t wait to contribute my thoughts and responses.

  9. Chris,

    The visit to your doctor had me laughing so hard at work yesterday … I completely agree with what you said about determining who your real friends are – I get this reaction all the time when I tell people that I really like to play video games or that what I really wanted for my birthday was a Wii. My peers, especially other women, just can’t understand why a woman my age would be interested in video games. They don’t step back but they often change the subject assuming I must be some sort of violence crazed idiot and they don’t take the time that there are many many games that don’t involve violence at all.

    Anyway … looking forward to your manifesto.

  10. I am fairly new to this blog but am already loving it. I think your approach is true to the title, it is unique. Looking forward to the manifesto.

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  12. I would post a comment, but I don’t want to be just like everybody else.

  13. “The first question focuses on what you can do for yourself, and the second question focuses on what you can do for those around you.”

    You know, sometimes I have to just be slapped up the side of the head with the simplest things to snap me out of my own confusion. Thank you for this today – it clarified perfectly a quandry I’ve been tussling with for months.

  14. June 25, 2008

    Danny Garant

    I discover that we have to tell the thruth about myself and my opinions. It might cut me from some people, from the main wave, but I would miss all those who think alike. (My circle is big on world destruction or the end of humanity. Anti-vegan, pro seawolves hunting and promoting a return agro and hunter-gatherering living). Just by talking about my pet project today, I discover someone else with a project like mine. That means potential for partnership.

  15. I can’t agree with your test for true friends b/c I have many friends, including my 2 sisters, who care a great deal about me but still can’t fathom that I am vegan. I have explained it many times, but they are not ready to receive it. Nevertheless, I know that they love me and would do a great deal to help me do what I believe in. I have hope that they will see compassion as I do eventually, but their love and support make my life better now.

  16. My comment above was meant to mean a couple of things. In a sense it was one of those Douglas Hofstadter paradoxes, since saying “I would make a comment but…” within a comment is a paradox. And the comment “I don’t want to be just like everybody else” was having fun with the name Art of Non-Conformity.

    But I just wanted to also say I enjoy this site so much, and your manifesto rocks. I realize that I agree with so much of what you say.

    In my own path I discovered e.g. how to completely ignore food marketing (for the most part). As a way to combat MS my wife and I decided to research topics such as the 50 best foods, and when we shop now we don’t feel controlled at all by food marketing machines. We choose based upon our research. Anyway, that small lifestyle change has completely reshaped who I am physically (now 6’0 160 lbs down from 218), and shows just a glimpse into the power of non-conformity.

    Thanks for this site, and thanks to Phil Gerbyshak (the Make It Great guy) for referring me. By the way that Hofstadter book Metamagical Themas is now available for free on Google Books.

  17. Loved the book! Told ALL my friends. Started a business. Next step: Take over the World!

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