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Guest Post: Greatness and Humility

A few days ago, I wrote an open letter to a good friend of mine - "I Think Greatness is Something You Are, Not Something You Do" - I said to him, I'm not a great man, just a normal man working on great things. Greatness is something you do, not something you are.

To give you some background, my friend Brendon is just one of the most amazingly good people in the world. He takes care of everyone around him, his mind, body, and spirit are sharp. He's a black belt, an excellent programmer, a philosopher, a Shodan in Go (actually, even stronger than that - he's a Shodan under the Asian rankings, so probably even higher in America), a hard worker, extremely loyal, a clear and free thinker, widely read and knowledgeable, and again - an amazingly good guy. I've learned a lot from him (notably, he taught me how to play Go, sysadmin Linux, understand basketball at a very high level, improve at martial arts, improve my fitness, and other good stuff - we'd usually go drink green tea and play Go at Samurai Restaurant in Boston, go fight in the park, talk philosophy out at nightclubs, do stuff like that).

He wrote back to me about greatness and humility. I think this is a really beautiful piece, so I asked him if I could gently edit it and put it up. He graciously agreed. It's long, but go ahead and just start it and give it whatever time you have - there's a lot of amazing insight in here.

A Quick Favor Request - if you learn from this or it helps you, please send Brendon a quick email to mail@bobz.in - he was actually a little gun-shy about having such a personal piece put up with such raw power in it. He only agreed when I told him how many people it could help - so please, drop him a short line to say thanks if this teaches you as much as it did me.

Without further ado...

The Mindset of Surpassing Stereotypes

On The Mindset

The Mindset of Surpassing Stereotypes has to do with two basic things, 1. Stepping Over Stereotypes and 2. Side Stepping Stereotypes.

Stepping Over Stereotypes

I think how we respond to certain stereotypes are critical to the value and importance of the stereotype. What I mean by that is simply stereotypes are just labels. They do not become legitimate until we accept it or act off of it. Think about it this way, If someone calls you "dumb" or "stupid" based on what they perceive you to be that is merely a label. It doesn't become legitimate until you accept it and act off it and therefore proceed into a "dumb" conversation with them. I think lately a lot of us have been giving too much life to mere labels. When you are stereotyped you have two things you can do with that stereotype. You can either 1. Spread it or 2. Stop it. Think about a fire. You got two choices you can either add oxygen (in other words life) and feed into the fire and therefore spread it OR you could smother the fire and therefore stop it. Stereotypes are just like fires. A lot of us have been feeding fires instead of putting them out. Everytime someone calls you outside your name, or judge you unfairly, or performs some type of injustice against you don't stoop down to the level of the stereotype but instead step over it. Force people to see you for you and not what they stereotyped you out to be. The simplest way to to Surpass Stereotypes is to simply Step over them and show people you are above what they perceived you to be.

Side Stepping Stereotypes

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