A few years ago, I was doing nothing with my life. I was sitting around watching all these really incredible people doing really inspiring things, while I was sitting around on my butt, wishing I could be like them. They seemed in a whole different world than me.
How do you be like them? How do you get to know them? Why don’t I know anyone like them?
Well, I wasn’t doing anything.
I didn’t know it then, but over the past few years, I’ve come to realize that doers like to be around other doers. So, one of the easiest things you can do in order to meet more interesting people is to do something interesting yourself. Do something. Do anything.
Doers, Talkers, and Wishers
In business, startup and hacker communities, there’s a saying about three typers of employees. A, B, C players if you will. A players are the best, B players are pretty good, and C players are passable, if that. It goes:
A players hire A players. B players hire C players.
The idea is that A players hire people as good or better than themselves, because they have a natural curiosity and know that by being around those who are better than them, they’ll get better in the process. B players, on the other hand, hire C players because they’re more interested in feeling superior to others than they are about getting better.
It’s very similar to how doers act. In the world of doing there are three types of people. Doers, talkers, and wishers.
Doers see something they don’t like, and do something to change it. Talkers see something they don’t like and tell everyone how much they don’t like it, but never do anything about it. Wishers see something they don’t like and tell themselves in the head over and over how much they wished things were different.
Doers attract doers. Talkers attract wishers.
Doers like to be around other doers. Being around people who not only want to change things, but actually change things helps the doers keep doing. Meanwhile, talkers tend to hang out with other talkers and surround themselves with wishers who will listen to the talkers talk about how they would change everything if they were in charge. This makes the talkers feel important and makes the wishers feel like someone else might actually change things for them.
Doers have very little patience with talkers – those people who talk, talk, and talk but never actually do. Occasionally, it can be hard to make the distinction. A talker might be able to pass off as a doer, after all, some talking is necessary prior to doing, but any illusions they might have about their true nature, are short lived. Sooner or later, the talkers eventually reveal themselves to be just that, talkers, because when nothing actually comes from their discussions.
Because of this, doers tend to be wary of talkers and move right along without them – mostly because it doesn’t require much effort to talk or wish that things were a certain way. Even if the discussion or pretense is some sort of philosophy or thoughtful discourse, talking is almost always easier than doing because doing requires physical action.
Doin vs. talking.
I try really, really hard not to fall into the trap of the talkers. Endlessly discussing how things should be but never actually doing anything to change them. Pretending like I’m changing things, rather than actually changing them.
I’m in an interesting position because I get a lot of emails from people who say they’re going to do stuff, and then go out and do it (I love it when this happens). I also get a lot of emails from people who say they’re going to do stuff, and then don’t (I don’t love this nearly as much).
One of the most frustrating things in the world, is to hear people talk about things they want to do, then never actually do it.
Not only do they not do anything, but they relegate themselves to the world of the talkers and wishers and end up becoming jaded and apathetic while disillusioned at the current state of things and dis-empowered at their own ability to change it.
If you want to meet new & interesting people, try doing something new and interesting. If you don’t know what other people consider new and interesting, try doing something you consider to be new and interesting.
Note: One of my favorite things about the Impossible League is that it’s not just a massive collection of people talking about what was on TV last night. It’s people doing some really interesting things. Last month, Kurt got his skydiving certification, doubled his ability to speed read and donated $1,000 to a variety of charities. There’s 350 other people doing some amazing stuff. As a group, we’ve donated almost 3k to Kiva. The League isn’t about amassing a huge quantity of members as it is about recruiting a concentrated group of doers.
You Can Change
Everyone starts out as a wisher – hoping things will change. When two wishers get together, they usually become talkers, and start talking about how everyone else should change things. Sadly, most talkers never get beyond this point. They stall out at talking and never move on to doing anything. The extra sad part to this, is that the only thing preventing them from becoming a doer is doing something. Anything.
The only thing special about doers other than they do things. Most of the time, they’re forced into action. They find themselves ina situation that’s so bad that there really is no alternative other than to do something. Anything. And change things.
You get to choose: You can be a doer. You can be a talker. You can be a wisher.
I’m going to choose do something. It’s way more interesting.
If you want to do something, you can join us in the league.