Same Old

“There’s nothing new under the sun.” I’d be surprised if a. you hadn’t heard that before and b. someone from your parents’ generation hadn’t said it to you. Why is that? Because they’ve seen the thing that you’re seeing now for the first time and know that it isn’t the first time the world has seen it. Undercut hair dos? Did the rounds in the early 90s. Groovy headscarves? 60s. Thin ties? 80s. And so it goes on.

The reason I bring this up is because I have a confession to make. I recently picked up a copy of a book called Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. It is an amazing book full of great advice from the great and the good, and I highly recommend it. Anyway, one of the people in it is a guy called Cal Fussman who has interviewed some really famous people over the years including Mikhail Gorbachev (the podcast with Tim Ferriss is here and has a great section on his interview with the former Soviet leader) and he explains that he did this really long story for Esquire magazine about being the sommelier at the top of the World Trade Center. To cut really quite a long story short his notes – made over a few years of training to become a sommelier – were rendered useless by mould. Rather than throwing his hands up in horror and giving up the story completely he simply says “It was fine because the good shit sticks.” He remembered all the important stuff and wrote a great article about it.

Sorry for all the links and name dropping but I want to make two points:

1. Cal’s comment comes back to what I said in a previous post about owning your plan and this is somewhat the same. The important stuff will always be there and will allow you to act, or in this case tell a story, with agency. Imagine if someone took away your notes 5 minutes before making a speech. It wouldn’t be great and you’d feel nervous but I bet you’d still be able to deliver a great speech.

2. My confession. I thought “Hey! That’s a great line. What a brilliant name for a blog. Oh but someone is bound to own the domain…” Well, they didn’t, and here we all are. So, sorry, it’s not the product of my creative mind (because there’s nothing new under the sun) and thanks Cal and Tim for giving me the idea.

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