What I’m Reading – The Nerdist Way

For the last week or so, I have been reading “The Nerdist Way” by Chris Hardwick. I was happy to add it to my library. So far, it has made a positive impression with me. It speaks to me as a nerdist, a productive, working professional and from a personal point of view. Though I am not finished with the book yet, I believe that this book will be getting at least a four star rating on Goodreads. This will definitely be a book that is pulled from the library shelf to read again.

Nerdist Chris Hardwick
Chris Hardwick by Gage Skidmore

About Chris – The Original Nerdist

Incase you don’t know, Chris Hardwick is the brains behind the Nerdist web empire. In the words of the website, “Nerdist was started by CHRIS HARDWICK and has grown to be A MANY HEADED BEAST”. In addition to being a comedian, he currently hosts no less than six different shows on television. He is one of the hardest working people in the entertainment industry.

About the Book

Reading “The Nerdist Way” has revealed to me that, in many ways, Chris’s life experience is very similar to mine. I can relate to the stress and anxiety he lives with and how he coped with it in the past to how he copes with it now. He decided on his own that quitting drinking was the best thing for his life while I had to come to the same conclusion after a bout of pancreatitis. Both Chris and myself are now sober although he has a few years on me.

On Stress and Anxiety

His account of experiencing stress and anxiety was almost exactly what I experienced; it was like he was crawling around in my head, that is rather unsettling if you think about it. One of my favorite parts of book with respect to this was his account of looking up medical symptoms on the internet”

THE WEB: A HYPOCHONDRIAC’S LIFEBLOOD Please do me a favor. We’re friends now, right? OK, good. NEVER go online to self-diagnose. EVER. Don’t fucking do it. You might as well just ask Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to kick you in the solar plexus. Sites like WebMD should just change their name to Enjoy YourCancer.com

YES! Finally someone came out and said what I have been saying for years! I feel vindicated!

The Ever Working Brain

As a fellow nerdist, I understand the way he described the head always working, always thinking and always making connections to things that may not necessarily be correct or even healthy. Whether it be worrying about that strange ache on the back of your right earlobe or worrying about where you are going professionally, the voices in your head (not literal voices, that’s just crazy) whisper the worst case scenario; that only helps make things worse.

In a lot of ways, I think this contributes to the reason why many of us have chosen to quiet the voices in our heads (again, we’re not crazy) with alcohol. When there is nothing telling you that you are dying of some horrible ear lobe fungus, you are actually a much happier person in the short term but not in the long term.

The Professional Nerdist

As productive, working professional, I appreciate Chris’s work ethic. Once your mind is free of the voice-muting alcohol, it needs to turn to other outlet avenues. For both Chris and myself, that seems to be work. I am not saying that I am as hard of a worker, as productive or as successful as Chris, I am just relating my experience compared to his and the similarities. Take this quote from the book for example:

The fortunate or unfortunate occurrences that befall you most of the time are the direct result of attitudes you employ and the choices you make.

This expresses almost the same set sentiment as one of my favorite quotes by Khalil Gibran. Chris is constantly reenforcing the formula for success in that there is no simple formula. Success is made from hard work, not something lucky you find by chance.

Strive for excellence in something you love.

What I’m Reading – The Magic of Thinking Big

So far, I am 25% done with this book by David J. Schwartz. Its not a bad book, full of reenforcing quotes and ideas that, if one took the time to think for a few moments in this fast-paced world, they would come to the same conclusion. I like books like these, because they serve as a condensed reminder of the importance of thinking big and setting goals higher than you otherwise would.

These ideas are timeless, going back to the age of the Greeks or before. They survived through the Middle Ages, thrived in the Renaissance, reemerged again in the Age of American Exceptionalism (note: I personally mark this period as the post WWII era to the 1960s). Its a pity that critical thinking and goal setting are not taught in public schools anymore.

I see so much promise in the generation coming of age and am optimistic about the future and the youth of that future, skills like the ones preached in this book will make the future generations unstoppably successful.

If you get a chance, check out this book. It has a lot of little nuggets of wisdom such as these:

  • “See what can be, not just what is.”
  • “Build castles, don’t dig graves!”
  • “To think confidently, act confidently.”