You Are an Enormous, Eternal, and Majestic Mountain

Welcome to Unsolicited Advice, an open column space for anyone who wants to tell someone, or everyone, what’s what. Submit your 500 words to editorial@synthesis.net

You are an enormous, eternal, and majestic mountain. Before you set out to discover this world, take the time to find your own paths, peaks, and rivers. Discover what you are good at. Then get better at it. If you are interested in something, you’re probably a natural. Try on hats that look good on the rack and see if they fit. Don’t be discouraged when they don’t; just check them off the list, and move on. Be willing to scare yourself with calculated risks… if it doesn’t kill you, it’s still an option.

Don’t start a business, a project, or commit yourself to another person’s life until you’ve discovered who you are… and your partner(s) have done the same. Play the long game and enjoy every minute of it. It may take half your life to pursue all your myriad talents and interests enough to know which paths deserve your focus—just imagine how much more you’ll accomplish with all those skills in the second half.

Don’t sell yourself short and don’t let money be an obstacle for you or those around you. Money is just the fuel for the fire. Be willing to let it burn.

After you find yourself, all you have to do is BE yourself… just remember to do it LOUDLY. Organize, create, cause a scene. Don’t hesitate when you know the timing is right, and don’t be afraid to go against the grain for something you believe in. If you stick to it, the grain will change to fit your needs.

The most important skill you can cultivate is learning how to relate to people. Everything else is a close second. We all have far more in common that we can know at a glance. Find those common threads with the people you meet. Learn how to see the bigger picture when getting to know someone. Be willing to judge, just don’t do it harshly. You’re no angel either. Craft your own story, memory by memory, while taking the time to listen to others tell their tales. Learn from everyone.

The most important ingredient for success is enthusiasm. If somebody sees what you’re doing and wants to be involved, find a place for them. Help others find their passions. They will remember you for it.

The world’s smartest people will tell you that it’s more important to be kind than to be intelligent. Everyone you’ve ever met would rather hangout with a dumb nice guy than a smart asshole. Don’t sacrifice a friendship for a head-trip. Forgive as a matter of course, and change your course if necessary. No matter who tells you to, don’t hate anyone. Hate is in the past, put effort into being the future.

Stop saying “but,” instead learn to say “and.” Don’t say “I have to,” remember that you “get to.”

…Opportunity is everywhere, so don’t wait for it to knock, become it instead.

…and if the goal is to write 500 words or less, write 500. Exactly.

by JULIAN RUCK