How To Destupify Yourself In 10 Hard Steps

1. Embrace Your Limits

There is a long list of people who are veritable titans of their industry, who –at the first glance- didn’t stand a chance of amounting to anything.

And then they decided to embrace their limitations and became legends.

Everybody talks about Louis Armstrong’s trumpet playing prowess. The man invented the High C. But what about his singing?

There isn’t a vocal coach in the world that would encourage the ol’ Satchmo to try and make a living as a singer. And yet, there is no one with a more distinct sounding voice.

Here is another example:

Some people have youth, some have beauty. I have menace. ~Edward G. Robinson

Mr. Robinson turned his lack of youth and beauty into a prolific career playing a gangster in a series of movie roles on the big screen.

2. If You’re Only Half Smart, Be Half Smart Twice

You may not be great at one thing, but you might be good at a couple of things. And as disparate as those things may seem at first, why not try putting them together.

I know my limitations. I could never make it as a writer, and I could never make it as a fine artist. Thus the world of cartooning was waiting for me to come along. I have plenty of partial ability. ~Said the Pulitzer Prize-winning American cartoonist Berke Breathed in his Interview with Time Magazine.

3. Make Faster Mistakes

Everybody fails. Since the day we’re born and try to learn to walk, we fail. Somehow, when we’re adult, we start to take our failures personally.

We didn’t get mad at gravity for falling when we were 2, why get down about it now?

Failures, like successes, happen to us all. You shouldn’t be taking either of them personally.

4. Work Outside of Time

We rush around by the minute, charge by the hour, rely on nanosecond technology, as if that timing was truly important to a life intelligently lived. ~Bob Fenster

To be smart is to create. And to create we must stare into space, not stare into time.

The importance of time has been invented sometime in the 17th century when the minute hand was added to a clock. Until then, the hour hand was all that was needed.

Before a watch was even invented, meeting someone at dusk was specific enough.

The minute hand is used to keep us busy so that we wouldn’t notice that we have nothing to do.

5. If You’re Not Smart Enough To Create, Steal.

One of the best selling books of all time is Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People (Amazon Affiliate Link)

I’ve talked to people who claimed that this book changed their life. If you haven’t read it, I warmly recommend it.

The ideas I stand for are not mine. I borrowed them from Socrates. I swiped them from Chesterfield. I stole them from Jesus. And I put them in a book. ~ Dale Carnegie

6. Ask Too Many Questions

Not only of others, but also of yourself.

Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as concise evidence that you are wonderful. ~ Ann Landers

7. Seek Out and Embrace Your Critics

The online world is filled with “me too”, “great post”, and “I agree”, sycophants.

I’m not suggesting we become a giant asshole, nor do I suggest that we belittle or disrespect anyone. What I am suggesting is that you seek out and embrace your critics.

They are the only ones not blowing smoke up your ass.

8. Break Your TV

Sometimes I write things I hope to do. This is one of those things.

TV teaches the dismissal of focus, disengagement from the thinking process, and a reliance on easy answers to misstated questions. Glen Beck anyone?

Our brain doesn’t distinguish between what happens on TV and what happens to us in real life. TV works because our brain places us into the center of the action as if the storylines are happening to us.

Because we grew up with TV, we’ve conditioned ourselves to make a superficial distinction between what goes-on on the screen and real life. But when first movies were shown in theaters across US, people would hide under the seats when the locomotive would approach on screen.

9.You Only Have To Be Smarter Than Your Enemies

Florida State Troopers put up a sign on a highway frequented by drug runners that said “Narcotics Inspection Ahead.” Then they hid near the sign and waited.

Any time a car made a sudden U-turn immediately after the sign, State Troopers would swoop in, pull the car over and search it for drugs.

The campaign was a smashing success.

10. Learn Plumbing

The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because philosophy is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water. ~ John W. Gardner former secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

After you’ve learned plumbing, learn how to ride a motorcycle, play guitar, learn WordPress

Stop when you run out of things to learn.

This post was loosely based on a very funny and thought-provoking book The Stupid History of The Human Race (Amazon Affiliate Link) by Bob Fenster

I hope that some day, instead of saying good afternoon, people will say “so…what are you learning today?”

So…what are you learning today?

Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi 🙂

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  • Elisa

    I like the list, except the breaking the TV, I don’t know if I could ever do that. I like specially if you are only half smart be half smart twice, I would add be dedicated to that. I get tired of people saying I am smart just because I am in grad school, nope I am just your average GPA person that tried tried tried again. Oh and on my to do list islearning WordPress, although plumbing sounds good too!

    • Dino Dogan

      I know…breaking the TV is hard to do…Im so addicted o it I hate it…but I think thats the first step, right? Recognizing your addiction 🙂

  • Chris Loyd

    I like the “if you are only half smart be half smart twice” too. Im pretty good at few things, need to figure out how to combine running and sawing and I’ll be set 🙂

    • Dino Dogan

      May I suggest a new Olympic sport? Speed sowing 🙂 ouch lol

  • TristanH

    Loved the post, Dino.

    1. YES. I fully realize that I’m great at some things and horrible at others. I am 100% ok with that. I don’t need to be an expert at everything.
    3. YES. I’m a varsity failure. I’m really, really good at it. But it’s from my failures that I’ve learned what it takes to succeed.
    8. YES! Break it! I’ve been TV sober for 2 years now. I had withdrawals for the first week or so just because I’d always watch TV when I ate. And so eating without watching TV was boring. But then I just ended up eating faster, which lets me get more done 🙂
    9. Wow. That’s freaking awesome.
    10. I love that quote. It’s so true; a well rounded person is a healthy person.

    Thanks for the great read! I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

    • Dino Dogan

      That means a lot coming from you, thnx dude 🙂

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  • Cindy Bidar

    LOVE the idea of breaking the TV. A few years ago my ancient console TV (remember those?) died, and I decided not to replace it. When I called the cable company to turn my service off, the poor woman who took my call was flabergasted. She insisted that I should just keep my service, because it would cost more to turn it back on again when I bought a new TV. She honestly couldn’t grasp the idea that I was deliberately choosing to live without the damn thing. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made.

    • Dino Dogan

      YOU are my idol. When I grow up I want to be like you. TV is my worst problem…I watch it less nowdays but thats only because I watch TV shows on my laptop….so I imagine that doesnt really count lol

  • Nia

    # 7 Excellent point which relates to not only career, it can be applied to anything which challenges ones self, in addition to keeping #6 balance. As for #5 it worked for this Country 🙂

    • Dino Dogan

      lol… “it worked for this Country” …you made me spill milk all over keyboard with that line…truth is sometimes funny

  • mark

    Really brilliant post today. I love the title too (yep, I am a tad jealous as most of mine kind of suck).

    I must say that, as I made my way down the list, I started thinking about what would be #10. I knew that it had to be something amazing. It was, but wow, I was not expecting anything quite like that. 🙂

    #8 is the one I like best, though. Too much time wasted on other people’s dreams.

    Great one Dino. Have a good day!

    • Dino Dogan

      Thnx bro…just wait till you see what I have for you tomorrow and thursday …you WILL piss your pants lol

  • Elise M

    Wow, awesome. This type of stuff really makes you want to take a long, hard look at all the mundane tasks we do in life.

    TV = ew. Haha. I could get rid of TV for the rest of my life and never regret it. I only watch it for sports and the weather. But I can get those on the internet.

    And that comment about plumbing was pretty cool too.

    Lookin’ forward to that SEO podcast tomorrow 🙂

    • Dino Dogan

      I will have to force myself to get rid of it…its sooo useless. You know what always pissed me off to no end? the “This movie has been modified from its original version”….grrrr…I hate that lol anyways…the SEO podcast comes out in few hours and I promise it will be epic 🙂

      • Elise M

        Hahaha you know what I hate even more? When all my friends want to talk about are their stupid primetime TV shows and I can’t contribute at all because I don’t watch any of them.

        Are your podcasts downloadable? It would be cool to listen to it on my long ass commute tomorrow.

        • Dino Dogan

          One great thing about the Internet is that we are no longer slaves to lock-step culture we’ve had for the last 50 years or so due to stupid TV shows and water coolers.

          Anyways… most certainly can download the podcast. Comes out in about 2 hrs from now….

          • Elise M

            Excellent… I’ll try to get on that in the morning.

  • ronika

    One of my favourite Edward G. Robinson lines from Double Indemnity(which is perhaps appropriate for this post) “Every month, hundreds of claims come to this desk. Some of them are phonies. And I know which ones. How do I know? Because my little man tells me.”
    Very enjoyable post, Dino.

    • Dino Dogan

      wow…that might be the most post-relevant comment Ive ever seen on any blog ever 🙂 thank you

  • Julie Nutter

    I agree with everyone else, #7 is probably the most fun and the most challenging. And also more rewarding. Also a big part of the article that I am still afraid to write. =]

    Awesome. I love it. I love the title, too, even though I still sad that you chose to spell it correctly.

    • Dino Dogan

      Its fun to see you work your way up and catching up with all the posts lol

  • Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Dino,

    I like this post and let me tell you, 8 isn’t a big deal.

    I got rid of TV 5 years ago. No cable feed, no basic channels either. I still have a handful of DVDs but watch them sparingly so my TV is off for weeks at a time(You can only watch “Raising Arizona” so many times). The surge in my growth seems to strangely have coincided with when I got rid of the box 🙂

    As for #4, it resonates with me strongly. Time is an illusion; it’s just a creation based on the movement of the sun and moon. Humans are the only creatures who understand and embrace the concept of time. Bears don’t check their calendars before hibernating. Raccoons don’t check their watches before heading out at night to raid our trash cans. Only Now exists, and when you can work outside the confines of time magical things happen for you instantly.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Dino.


    • Dino Dogan

      Thnx for sharing that Ryan. Not there yet myself, but the first step in any 12 step program is recognizing the problem lol

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  • Ryan Critchett

     This is an awesome post, Dino. I like the idea of embracing your limits. So many people talk about breaking them, and I agree with that as well but when, in this guy’s case (the crazy voice) you have something you can’t change, take it to the world!

    • Dino Dogan

      Thnx Ryan, great fun chatting with you just now… I want to hear an interview between you and Nic

  • Brad Holland

    Love all the tips, but there is no way in hell my LCD is going anywhere. 1080p @240hz of baseball and football are some of the things I live for. What the hell is wrong with some of you? Might as well sell all your shit because you don’t need any of it except your spear and loin clothes.

  • Amber-Lee Dibble

    ugh. I AM TRYING!

    • Dino Dogan

      We’re all just work in progress. Aren’t we? 🙂

  • BetsyKCross

    OMG! I’m laughing! What a concept to play with today…good at / interested in many little things, master of none or relatively few…story of my life! I’m okay with it. But to hear it as stated in #2…cracks me up for some reason. Why change who you are if instead you can weave it all together and have some fun? LOL! Love it. Thanks for the laugh!

    • dino_dogan

      I know…No 2 is pretty darn good. It describes me to a T except I may be working with quarters instead of halves 🙂 @BetsyKCross

  • Tony Dowling

    I don’t know about the TV argument, but no 9 made me laugh so hard I squirted juice out my nose