I just finished reading Hugh MacLeod’s book Ignore Everybody and I wanted to share some passages that were useful.
The problem is that I’m struggling to remember them or find them in the book.
And yet, the entire time I was reading the book, I was nodding my head in agreement with what I read, or was turning my head a little to the side to try to understand a little better.
Hugh’s final “chapter” sums up the entirety of his book in one short paragraph:
If I had to condense this entire book into a line or two, it would read something like, “Work hard. Keep at it. Live simply and quietly. Remain humble. Stay positive. Create your own luck. Be nice. Be polite.”
This was a quick read. Make sure you read this next statement carefully:
ONCE YOU’VE READ THE BOOK, the Table of Contents is powerful. The short titles of each chapter remind you of what you read, but they ARE NOT a substitute for reading it.
So don’t think that just by reading the Table of Contents you can get full value from the book (though, truth be told, I’d bet there IS value in reading it!). Here’s my reminders of the contents of the book:
- Ignore everybody.
- The idea doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be yours.
- Put the hours in.
- Good ideas have lonely childhoods.
- Ir your business plan depends on suddenly being “discovered” by some big shot, your plan will probably fail.
- You are responsible for your own experience.
- Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.
- Keep your day job.
- Companies that squelch creativity can no longer compete with companies that champion creativity.
- Everybody has their own priavte Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.
- The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.
- Don’t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.
- If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.
- Never compare your inside with somebody else’s outside.
- Dying young is overrated.
- The most important thing a creative person can learn professionally is where to draw the red line that separates what you are willing to do from what you are not.
- The world is changing.
- Merit can be bought. Passion can’t.
- Avoid the Watercooler Gang.
- Sing in your own voice.
- The choice of media is irrelevant.
- Selling out is harder than it looks.
- Nobody cares. Do it for yourself.
- Worrying about “Commercial vs. Artistic” is a complete waste of time.
- Don’t worry about finding inspiration. It comes eventually.
- You have to find your own schtick.
- Write from the heart.
- THe best way to get approval is not to need it.
- Power is never given. Power is taken.
- Whatever choice you make, the Devil gets his due eventually.
- The hardest part of being creative is getting used to it.
- Remain frugal.
- Allow your work to age with you.
- Being Poor Sucks.
- Beware of turning hobbies into jobs.
- Savor obscurity while it lasts.
- Start blogging.
- Meaning scales, people don’t.
- When your dreams become reality, they are no longer your dreams.
- None of this is rocket science.
This book is the evolution of an essay that Hugh wrote for ChangeThis. The essay was downloaded over 4.5 million times and was called How to Be Creative, and you can get at the original post over at Porchlight Books: How to be Creative.