Imagine you’re a student. You have your heart set on studying poetry in university and you’re excited to sign up to the course. Yet fate intervenes making you one minute late for registration – and the only department with an opening left is in computer science.
This may not sound like the end of the world in 2017, but rewind 25 plus years and imagine that both of your parents were poets.
This was the reality for then 18 year-old Rául Cristian Aguirre and, interestingly enough, is what years later he ultimately attributes to his success in his most recent TED Talk – The Cocktail Effect: The Hidden Secret To Success.
As the founder of Tango 04/ Computing Group which was recently acquired by HelpSystems AND a poet, Aguirre was able to bring to the tech world soft skills like sensitivity and empathy – and this resulted in his ability to create something different.
When observing interesting people, one of the main traits that sticks out is that they are multi-dimensional and impossible to describe with just one title. For interesting people there is always an “AND” separating the titles on opposite ends, and the more extreme they are, they better.
“Tech Founder and Video Game Enthusiast” can be interesting. “Tech Founder AND Poet,” is interesting.
Below are four more common characteristics that run consistent from some of the world’s most interesting people.
1. INTERESTING PEOPLE GO FIRST:
Super-athlete AND entrepreneur, Gabrielle Reese, when asked by human guinea pig AND author, Tim Ferriss, what piece of advice she would put on a billboard for all the world to see, without hesitation she said, “Go First.”
Whether Gabrielle is waiting to check out at a store, or she simply makes eye contact with someone who is walking in her direction, she makes it a point to be the first to smile and say hello to the people around her, and according to Gabrielle, the results can be quite astonishing.
A Harvard study that has followed a group of 700 plus men over the last 80 years found that regardless of social standing, race or income those that were involved in the community and had meaningful relationships lived longer and happier lives.
Our net worth is indeed determined by our network, and the best way to grow that is to start by following Gabrielle’s advice and be the first to smile and say hello.
“The Simple Things Are Also The Most Extraordinary” – Paulo Coehlo
2. INTERESTING PEOPLE KEEP THE BALL IN PLAY:
How do you feel when you meet someone and a few days later they send over an idea that may help in regards to a problem you briefly mentioned you were facing, or simply the name of a good restaurant in a town that in passing you said you would be soon visiting?
James Altucher, entrepreneur AND best-selling author, accredits much of his success to each day writing down ten ideas for the people in his life, or those he wished were, and giving those ideas away for free.
When meeting new people it is easy to get caught up in the idea that we have to knock the skin off the ball on the first pitch, and we forget that not one “Hall of Famer,” has ever hit more home runs than singles. The best conversationalists (aka interesting people), like the best baseball players, approach their job with one goal in mind: make consistent contact and advance the conversation.
“If You Want To Be Interesting, You Have To Be Interested” – Dale Carnegie
3. INTERESTING PEOPLE EMBRACE BOREDOM:
Legendary investor AND one of the world’s wealthiest people, Warren Buffett, pulls up to the McDonalds’s drive-thru every morning and places one of three orders: if the market is down he goes with two sausage patties, $2.61, if it is up he splurges by spending $3.17 on a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit and if it falls somewhere in between, his order reflects that, coming in at $2.95.
There are many interesting lessons to pull out of Warren’s latest HBO documentary, “Making Warren Buffett,” but the consistent theme throughout is his ability to make a game out of everything, even what he orders for breakfast, proving that life isn’t always interesting, but sometimes it is up to us to make it that way.
“On The Other Hand, You Have Different Fingers” – Steven Wright
4. INTERESTING PEOPLE PATIENTLY PUT IN THE WORK:
One evening a young comedian by the name of Brad Isaac came face to face with one of his idols, Jerry Seinfeld. Eager to pick his brain Isaac approached Seinfeld and asked him the question that was burning in the minds of every young comedian, “How do you do it?”
Seinfeld’s response was simple, “the way to be a better comic is to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes is to write every day.” He then encouraged Isaac to go home and buy a big calendar and at the end of each day, if he did his job of writing, he told him to take a red marker and make a giant “X” through the day.
Renowned Chef AND TV Host, Anthony Bourdain worked for three decades before getting his break. Media mogul AND motivational speaker Gary Vaynerchuk may have appeared to have come out of nowhere, but with a quick google search you will see that he has been putting in the hours since day one plugging away at his craft patiently waiting for the dots he had collected to connect.
Out of all the characteristics above, patience is the common thread here.
It took Aguirre years of work before he saw the benefit of having the heart of a poet and the head of a tech founder.
It took Reese smiling and saying hello at everyone she came across to create those magic moments when someone smiled back and a connection was made.
It took Altucher writing down hundreds of ideas before being given his big break by someone on the receiving end.
It took Buffett years of entertaining himself with his breakfast game before the story became interesting, because somewhere along the line he became, “The Warren Buffett.”
And it took people like Seinfeld, Bourdain, Vaynerchuk years of putting in the work every single day for others to deem it, and ultimately them, interesting.
The beauty of life is watching the dots we collect, connect. After all that is where interesting is made.
The Two Most Powerful Warriors Are Patience And Time – Leo Tolstoy