February 5, 2008 — 6 Comments

When I was a junior in high school, I went to one of my favorite teachers ranting and raving about how I was done. I was so much smarter than everyone in the class and I always saw straight to the core of the issue while they were preoccupied with superficial bullshit and I was tired of waiting around for them. I was sick of them stealing my ideas–they never gave me credit anyways. It was like I did all the work and nobody noticed. “Ryan,” she said, “that’s your job.” And I promptly shut up about it.

Ryan Holiday

I'm a strategist for bestselling authors and billion dollar brands like American Apparel, Tucker Max and Robert Greene. My work has been used as case studies by Twitter, YouTube and Google and has been written about in AdAge, the New York Times, Gawker and Fast Company.

6 responses to Hubris

  1. I was like this too. But my teachers never really moderated me in this way. Unfortunately, I got the idea that effort was for dumb people. This notion stayed with me for a long time.

    You’re one of the hardest workers I know. How and when did you develop this habit? Where does it come from?

  2. I can definitely see why she was one of your favorite teachers.

  3. ever read Atlas Shrugged? It deals directly with this and gives a different perspective on how to deal with it.

  4. I did and I understand what Rand is talking about. You shouldn’t let other people use your virtues against you.

    I wrote about Atlas and whether it’s our “job” or not a little while ago. It is definitely a dilemma that I have trouble with.

    Anyone else is free to give their thoughts.

  5. I had a rowing coach who said that an experienced rower controlled his strength and speed–but that no rower that had taken up rowing in a controlled manner ever went on to be great. He said that a great rower is inately reckless and maniacle, and later learns how to rear it in.

    I wonder if this applies to people who are extremely driven. You and Tucker began as roudy and lacking direction, but you managed to take it under control and harness that drive more positively. Are the two related?

    I think ultimately it comes down to restlessness… it needs an outlet, whether or not you are willing to put it to good use.

  6. An aptly titled entry.

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