It takes a certain kind of work to be boring, whereas in order to be interesting it’s mostly a question of habit—and the true secret of habit is discipline, and that your habits are what you choose them to be.
1. Cultivate your desire for knowledge.
Work to want it more. Knowledge is at home in any public house, coffee-shop, diner, saloon, or bar. Strive to become the unstoppable learning beast of unslakable thirst that you know you are.
How? By generalizing. Specialize, yes, that too, but read a little about a lot—or, if you don’t like to read, listen.
Take a course. Attend a lecture. Plug into a podcast. Take in a play.
Most importantly: seek to integrate the new things you learn into the full body of your existing knowledge. In this way, your web of learning will become interconnected, contextual, hierarchical, and sweeping.
2. Learn to listen in a charismatic way.
People love to hear themselves talk.
Attentive listening is an infallible hallmark of magnetism and manners. By being an excellent listener, slow to speak and swift to hear, you’ll go far in developing a kind of irresistible fascination.
Brilliant listeners focus sincerely on what the other person is saying. They never participate in a conversation with the mindset that they’ll listen only until it’s their turn to talk. If the whole time you’re listening, you’re thinking about what you’re going to say next, it will show on your face.
If you’re fidgety, this, too, will show invariably.
In your patience possess ye your souls. Learn to be patient. Patience and presence are signals of extraordinary listeners.
Good listeners do this:
— Pause before they respond.
— Never interrupt.
— Allow (in total silence) people to interrupt them.
3. Become a passionate storyteller.
Create stories around subjects that you’re truly passionate about. If the subject of your story is something you’re genuinely interested in, your personality will BLAST through, and you’ll be exposed as the ferocious creative force of insatiable appetite that you know you are.
Those who speak well speak briefly.
— Talent is meaningless.
— There’s not even really any such thing as talent.
— Ambition is everything.
The truth is that the overwhelming majority of successful people aren’t particularly gifted or educated or blessed. They become successful, rather, in any given endeavor, because they will it. Because it’s not how smart you are.
It’s how smart you want to be.