Know Cool People

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I think this should be obvious, but life is better when you know cool people.

Your connections are your best teachers, rivals, and discovery algorithms

Obviously a network serves tons of other functions besides that, but we’re not talking about a network. We’re talking about the cool people you know.


One thing I think is pretty central to being a cool person is having a lot of esoteric knowledge. (Useful, practical knowledge can also make you a cool person, you just need to have personality to go along with it.) Being able to spend time around people soaking up the knowledge that they exude is pretty amazing.

Worth noting I built this garden in part so that cool people can find it, think I’m a big dummy, and teach me things through criticism

Additionally, becuase personality is imitation, being surrounded by people that you think are cool will subconsciously, osmotically make you more like them (thus cooler.


Adam Grant has a great episode of his podcast WorkLife talking about the power of rivalries to fuel greater performance from the rivals. He also discusses the fact that it’s very difficult to become a supportive rival to someone if you start out as competitors and then try to become friends. The more productive order is to be friends and then start competing. The cooler and more capable the people around you are, the more they will push you to be a cooler and more capable version of yourself.

Discovery Algorithms

How did people discover new music, recipes, and travel destinations before the internet? They picked them up from their friends. This is still one of the most effective ways to be introduced to new things. If you’re looking to add new things to your secret bucket list the single best way to do it is by having people around who regularly do cool shit. When they offer to bring you with them to do it, say yes.

An awesome short blog post from Austin Kleon

It’s worth noting that one of the ways you convince cool people that you’re also a cool person is by faking it.

Know enough cool people and you may discover you’ve become a part of one or more scenes.

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