I was first introduced to FightMediocrity through his excellent animated review about Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book called Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. His ability to connect the dots and present ideas in a simple and visually engaging manner is fantastic. The video presented above is different from his usual animated style and offers a very interesting look at his philosophy and journey.
Adventure is but a collection of detours
He initially started the FightMediocrity channel by recording himself instead of the animated videos that we see today. He had the objectivity to realize that his on camera skills weren't as good as his competitors, which caused him to brainstorm new ways to present the information. A really awesome example of how failure can be the mother of success and how important it is to fail fast through an action oriented approach. Plan out an idea, implement it, test it, and repeat. A great reminder to be persistent, curious, and to keep trying new approaches.
Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.
Another topic worth discussing is his comparison of bodybuilding to material wealth. Both activities have steep costs and large benefits, yet it's much easier to see the costs associated with bodybuilding than it is for material wealth. Perhaps because money is a much more abstract idea than muscles and humans generally aren't too good at abstract thinking. The steps towards muscles are straightforward: lift, eat, sleep, repeat. The process for material wealth is much more variable, it can be earned, inherited, won, stolen, etc. It can change our lives drastically, for good and bad, but its much easier for us to be biased and favor the positives that money can bring. Golden handcuffs is a great term that helps illustrate the deficiencies of material wealth. Our expenses usually increase proportionally as our income increases, and this increase in expenses causes us to become handcuffed to the new level of income. There are of course exceptions to this generality and some folks like Warren Buffet are able to live a simple lifestyle in spite of their tremendous wealth, but these people seem to be few and far between. It's natural to succumb to the attachments of material objects which leads many to become slaves to their possessions and jobs. Like all things, money is a tool, a very powerful tool.
He describes how the simple things like taking a walk make him happy instead of owning a Lamborghini. When the simple things make us happy, then its simple to be happy. More avenues of possibility open up when we minimize our wants, but the price of admission is investing the time to take an honest examination of our wishes and actions.
Creating a life where you do what you want to do, I think that's really noble
Boom. If I were to pick just one statement to best live life by, this would be it. The ending of this video where he describes the difference between external and internal fulfilment is sublime. At the end of the day, we're either life's CEO or life's employee. We step closer towards a CEO role when we begin to go within and investigate our desires and sources of happiness. It's astoundingly inspiring when people have this much clarity and foresight. We all have the capacity to begin looking at the world more honestly, to become less biased, and start seeing the hidden costs of the things we often assume will make us happy. Imagine what the world would look like if more of us had this much passion, honesty, objectivity, and perseverance.