New Lessons Learned #1: People Are the Most Important Thing in Life

What’s going on my friends?

As we go along, we tend to learn things, some people learn quickly, but if you are like me, it takes a while for a lesson to become clear, and only after reviewing journals and walking around thinking about it, do I get it.

Now, I won’t take credit for the wording of this, as it was perfectly said by Aaron Clarey, in his book “Bachelor Pad Economics“, however I’ll write my side of it here, as it was profound enough to earn a permanent place on my sticky note wall.

Why is it more fun to play an old 2D tanks game with four of your buddies, than to play the latest release on a new platform solo? Or to play an old super Nintendo game with your friends vs. The Oculus rift by yourself?

It’s the social aspect of it. This is the reason sports have significance, otherwise who cares how much you can put a ball thru a hoop with a stick.

With other people, there is an element of unpredictability. AI programmers struggle to re-create this with virtual opponents, but sooner or later you become wise to the algorithm, and the game becomes a bore.

Playing with other humans creates competition, and often and element of humor when someone screws up and makes a bad move.

At the end of the day, we know it’s only a game and your scores don’t really have value. Bragging rights, maybe, but who would you brag to if you are playing by yourself?

This is a point that took me a long time to understand, as I’m very introverted, often turning down social events to pursue training and sleep.

Operative T once told me he thinks people are less Homo-sapiens, and more Homo-ludens – which means “Man the game player”

The catch is it takes more than one person to play a game.

Human connection is the most important thing, as Chris McCandless learns at the very end of his adventure. But we don’t have to starve to death in the Alaskan wilderness to see this play out in our lives.

As you get older, your life goes through what Clarey calls “Attrition”

When you’re in school, being the chore that it is, you are surrounded by peers your age, and this allows a social circle to form fairly easily.

After this time, for some high school, others after college, your circle of friends shrinks, simply because of life getting in the way.

You may move for work, get married, have children, and so will your friends.

A new job, a spouse, kids, all demand much of your attention, and soon your social circle gets smaller and smaller. I’m not talking about your facebook friend count, but the numbers you can call to go on a road trip, a hike, or for a drink.

This process of attrition will be accelerated if you move around a lot, or live in an out of the way location. Even working odd shifts, and keeping odd sleeping hours will accelerate this.

You may be able to arrange the occasional get together every few months, but it won’t be how it was when you were younger, and the gang would hang out every day after school.

This is something to keep in mind next time you’re tired, or don’t want to go out. Keeping your people close is something you’ll have to actively work for later in life.

This month I will be spending hundreds on plane tickets and lodging to go see the humans closest to me, and I would spend 10x more.

Because your people are the most important thing in life.

Don’t allow yourself to become a “It’s lonely at the top” kinda person. To me, more and more, this seems like a clever lie, created to keep you slaving away at a job you don’t like.

The best times I’ve ever had did not include money(though a little helps), the perfect location, or planned activities.

Those times did include good friends, adventures, and funny mishaps.

The real price for fun is other people and their time.

I hope this resonates with you guys, because it really did with me.

Until Next Time, and

All the Best.