Don’t Waste the Time Before 9 A.M. on Jerks Who Live Rent-Free in Your Head

Tim Denning

This is how to not give a fudge.

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The hardest part about creating anything in this world is the jerks. They squat upstairs in your head living rent-free.

A friend introduced this idea to me when he sent an email that read, “Not giving a Fudge: Sam Altman post on Twitter.”

I thought about how my best work is done before 9 A.M. Previously, I used to waste those precious morning hours on jerks who would leave me nasty comments on social media. They got to hijack my mornings for free. Their comments ruined the rest of my day. Once you’ve been told you’re an a-hole enough times before 9 A.M., as bulletproof as you can be, eventually it has an effect on you.

One jerk I used to let live rent-free in my head was a bad boss.

“Business is war. We need wartime leaders. Not softcore pussies.”

That’s what he said like an Army General to another colleague of mine. Naturally, they told me what he said. I knew it wouldn’t be long until the day of reckoning would come. Shortly after, he fired me. I couldn’t let his critiques go. “Softcore Pussy? I’ll show him.”

My anger actually propelled me forward. I went on LinkedIn and shared my story of being fired, knowing he’d see it. Sure enough the post went mega-viral. Now I was the jerk living rent-free in his head, trying to show him how he could pull his head out of his butt and treat people with kindness.

He’s still working for the man. I’ve become my own man, getting closer to my version of freedom through being an online creator.

See the difference? Jerks living in your head can be thrown out on the street.

“You should trade being short-term low-status for being long-term high-status”

This is another golden nugget from Sam Altman. As a creator, I have funneled plenty of the profits into Bitcoin and Ethereum over the years.

Jerks call me out. They mock my business decision. When I began the habit at the start of Bitcoin’s journey, in the short term I was seen as a young punk kid betting on a stupid internet currency. A guy at work said, “It’s not backed by anything you idiot. You shouldn’t even be working in finance.”

A few weeks ago we had lunch. The conversation headed towards blockchain. He voluntarily apologized and admitted his interest in the space. In the short term I looked stupid. Over a 5+ year time horizon I look high-status to him.

Mind you, I don’t give a F about status. Status is a title you don’t take to the after-life. So if a status only lasts a maximum of the human lifespan, then who gives a damn? Not me.

Bottom line: play the long game. It’s okay to look stupid in the short-term if you’re going to be a genius in the long term, thanks to your decision.

This is how I think about writing online. I’m still learning. I make a tonne of mistakes. Critics write articles tearing down my view of the world. They think I care, but I don’t.

I’d rather write and make a few mistakes, than sit at home critiquing others and never doing anything notable myself. I think many of the indie writers I’m friends with will become the Tim Ferrisses, Ryan Holidays, and Marie Kondos of the next decade. That’s a bet I’m willing to back. Their writing already demonstrates where they’re heading.

It’s cool to look like a bum in the short term, to become a legend in the long term.

Without jerks, you find creative freedom

Creative freedom is easily lost.

Jerks start to mold your creativity with their comments. You start to think of a jerk before you create. You imagine the jerks’ critiques as evidence rather than the fiction they represent. Pretty soon you can become the jerk yourself. You start letting your ego tell you to respond like a jerk.

I found my creative freedom when I stopped giving a F**K. My work got better because it wasn’t held back by potential future opinions. I became prepared to deal with whatever flack would come my way. I even accepted the fact people I worked with in the corporate world might reject me because of this newfound creative freedom. But losing creative freedom is not a price I’m willing to pay.

Your work gets better when you focus on how you can help others, rather than on how you can defend yourself against an attack.

The jerks who attack you are mostly upset because they are afraid to deploy the level of creative freedom you’ve found in your own life. Creative freedom can lead to jealously — it’s normal.

The more you sh*t-talk other people’s creations, the harder it becomes for you to create — Eric Jorgenson

Quick Survival Guide for Dealing with Jerks

  • Ignore them.
  • If you dare, do this: Heart comments from jerks.
  • If you double dare, do this: Leave them a comment saying, “Appreciate your feedback and stay in touch.”
  • Use negative energy from jerks and transform it into energy to drive your work forward. Make the negative a positive. A sentence that describes the feeling looks like this: “I’ll show them.”

The world needs doers. That’s what creators are. We create despite the jerks that try to live rent-free in our heads. You can do the same. Don’t spend your mornings letting jerks throw dirt at your creations. While they throw dirt, you keep on creating.

Jerks try to hold you back and get stuck in their quicksand. Over the long term, creators create change which is where your creative joy is found.

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Aussie Blogger with 100M+ views — Writer for CNBC & Business Insider. Inspiring the world through Personal Development and Entrepreneurship www.timdenning.com

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