Nothing is wrong with you

Some midday inspiration from James Altucher (well, really from Gabi Uri, but featured today on Altucher’s blog). Gabi has no calf muscles, but holds the world record for for females holding the plank position.

I do remember the last thing Gabi said before she got off stage. The final moments of her talk.

She said: Sometimes people ask me, “What’s wrong with you?”

She said: “And I reply, ‘Nothing is wrong with me.’”

How often do you tell yourself that you aren’t cut out to be the person you want to be? That your dreams can’t become your reality because something immovable stands in your way?

Next time you do this, think of Gabi. Think of Kyle Maynard. Think of other people facing actual disabilities who do things everyday you won’t do yourself because it’s “too hard” or because you have some problem, some self-imposed inhibition, that keeps you from taking that first step. Then remember: There’s nothing wrong with you.

Ben Carson is confused

Ben Carson is confused. I’ll leave the details up to Matt Welch at Reason.com. I’ve long been suspicious of Ben Carson. He seems to have good intentions, but that doesn’t make up for his rather disturbing comments about how economies work. He’d probably make a nice dinner guest, but he’s not someone free market fans should want in the White House.

What 1920 means for today

I got published today at Values & Capitalism. Topic is the election of 1920 and why American voters aren’t as hopeless as some pundits might say. In 1920, they voted for deflation and extreme austerity in the form of Warren G. Harding. His acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention called for “thrift and economy, for denial and sacrifice if need be, for a nationwide drive against extravagance and luxury, to a recommittal to simplicity of living, to that prudent and normal plan of life which is the health of the republic.”

Hardly words we’d expect to hear from a winning candidate today. But perhaps last week was a referendum of sorts on unconstrained government and reckless spending. Maybe politicians would do well to start talking like this more often. Forget what the media might make of such sentiments—history shows that ideas like this can be popular.

Say something!

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

The more I get out into the world, the more I’m convinced this is terrible advice—especially for people wise enough to take maxims like this seriously. Successful people ask questions. They take risks. They probe for answers. They don’t sit silently in the corner. They use what they know to carve a niche for themselves where they can begin to build a life. This has never happened by saying nothing, and has only ever happened by saying something. Even if you’re not sure what to say, your silence is rarely helpful. My old boss used to say, “The most expensive person in the room is the one who says nothing.” He was right. By saying nothing, you are almost always doing nothing. Perhaps your silence keeps you from doing too much damage, but it’s also keeping you from doing any real good. We’re called, at least, to try. I guarantee you: At the end of your life, you’ll value your failures far more than those risks you never took.