Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008...12:24 am

When I Wasn’t As Smart, I Was Pretty Sure I Knew Everything

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When I was a young impressionable lad (think the late 90′s!) I used to write down all my “life lessons” in a marble notebook. I was experiencing and learning so much so quickly that I felt like I needed to put it on paper to make it real, and more importantly, make it part of me by devouring it like a NYPD chicken roll at 3am.

As I aged I stopped doing stuff like that (don’t fret Vant – I’m not talking about eating chicken rolls). Perhaps I’m less inquisitive, or more hardened or maybe I just don’t have as much time to contemplate these days. But that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped learning. As 2008 comes to an end I’ve been in a reflective mood. It’s been one scary ass year. While I haven’t had any major accomplishment or highlights this year (and that IS disappointing to me) I have done a whole lot of thinking and learning and hopefully maturing.

In 2008 I’ve learned that…

  • I sure do learn a lot more about myself and others when things are bad than when they are good. It’s kind of tough because at those times all I really want is results and not lessons.
  • The more I know the more I realize I have no clue. I’ve spent more time and brain power than ever before thinking about politics, the economy and the world. My one overwhelming epiphany throughout is that I have no idea about politics, the economy and the world. It’s funny because not that long ago, when I wasn’t as smart, I was pretty sure I knew everything!
  • I’m not as entitled as I sometimes think I am. Success really does need to be earned. Thing like entitlement and empowerment are often things you create for yourself.
  • Dick Rod is garbage. But I would have told you that last year.
  • Wealth is something that needs to be protected for when you need it, not something that I should try to use to impress others. I’m pretty sure my dad has been trying to teach me that one for the first 27 years of my life but I guess I had to figure it out on my own.
  • I like to write and it is something I’ll do (in one form or another) for the rest of my life.
  • Anything is possible in this country. Maybe not fair, but possible. It boggles my mind that a half white, half black Hawaiian kid who spent his youth in Indonesia will be the President of the United State. It boggles my mind even more that he, by far and away, seems to be the most qualified candidate for the job.
  • Words like hope and change aren’t just clichés but are actually a great lens through which I can now view our future.
  • If everybody is doing something that makes them rich and appears brilliant that just means they are earning a few bucks. It doesn’t mean they are brilliant and doesn’t even mean they are successful. I need to create my own definition of “brilliance” and “success” and I hope I am honest with my myself in how I quantify that.
  • Wall Street seems as baseless as it did when I decided to hang up my financial calculator after two uninspiring summer internships back when I used to be as ideological as I’m being right now.
  • The Internet has just begun to change the world. Some of the ways that this manifests is going to be quite peculiar.
  • I need to have passion for what I do and need to be around passionate people. Otherwise I’m going to be bored. Complacency seems way scarier than failure. Inspiring people inspire and I want to be around them.
  • It’s pretty easy to pull off a scam if you win people’s trust and cross boundaries of immorality that are unthinkable. For some reason I pity these people more than anything else. Special thanks to Bernie, AIG, that scum Illinois gov. and friends.
  • As bad as things have been (and I’ve heard so many that I respect tell me this is the worst it’s even been) it can always be worse. In fact, if this is as bad as the economy gets in our lifetime I’m pretty excited for our future.
  • A 9-2 start (against pathetic competition none the less) by the Johnnies can get me dreaming and captivated in much the same delusion as at my sister’s bat mitzvah in 1992. My buddy Leor who was a Johnnies fan in thier heyday came to the game with me on Saturday and is mystefied that I still follow them so closely. I tried for an hour to explain how a 9-1 mark, potentially the apex of their season, is a moment in time that must be both savored and cherished!
  • Everything can come crumbling down in an instant. I guess I just have to be thankful in good times and prepared for bad times.
  • This world becomes more interconnected every day. I’m trying more and more to think of myself and my life within the context of the world instead of within the context of me.
  • I’m going to start many more businesses in my career. I always thought that Sportsvite would be a litmus test to find if I am truly an entrepreneur. I love the ideas, mindset, challenges, and passion that go into creating now more than ever.

    I’m sure I can go on and on. I’m sure that we have shared some of these lessons and others are probably more personal. Hopefully, you’ve thought about some of the things you’ve learned this year and I would be honored if you would share them with me at some point.

    I’m not sure if I’m going to get a chance to write about my expectations and goals for 2009 but I’m pretty sure of two things.

    1) I want to do as much as I learn.
    2) I want to start or create something new.

    I also want to thank all you guys for following along on this blog all year. I’m not the best at keeping in touch and the fact that that you take a few minutes out of your day to listen to what I have to say is humbling and exciting. Thanks for the emails, support, criticism and compliments. Keep them coming. Happy Holidays and I wish you and your families a healthy and peaceful new year.

    • Marc

      Great post litty – 2009 is gonna be big. Also mad props to vant – nice to see your name in lights again son