My 3 Best Quora Answers of 2022
A different newsletter this week.
This week for the newsletter, I wanted to do something a little bit different.
I wrote something on Quora a few weeks back that hit a million views (the first answer below). That was exciting for me, so I thought this week for my newsletter, I’d share some of my top Quora answers of the year.
Why are intelligent people not confident?
This is Georges St-Pierre. He’s arguably the greatest MMA fighter of all time.
Apart from being an all-around bad mother fucker, Georges is also known for being one of the most skilledmartial artists of all time. He challenged himself in many disciplines of combat sports and sought to become a true mixed martial artist.
This success across disciplines to me is proof that he’s an incredibly intelligent athlete.
In a sport like MMA, it’s usually thought that fear is an emotion that you are not allowed to feel, but Georges proves that wrong. He gets scared and still kicks ass.
When you’re getting ready for a fight, the natural human response is fear—anxiety. Less intelligent people disguise this fear through blind confidence, but Georges St-Pierre used this fear to fuel him to become the most technically developed fighter many people have ever seen.
He’s smart, and he feels fear because he realized the magnitude of what he was trying to do.
He felt fear and he felt unconfident, but he just didn’t allow these feelings to dictate the way that he approached his endeavors.
He was smart enough to figure out a way to deal with his lack of confidence.
I’m not as badass as Georges St-Pierre, but before I compete in my own martial arts matches, I am always nervous and a bit insecure.
I’m scared to boast about my own abilities because while I’m not a genius, I’m smart enough to realize that everything I have built can be taken away in a moment.
For about a month earlier this year, I was the number 1 ranked athlete in my weight class and belt rank, and I still felt anxious about the guys who are chomping at the bit for “a piece of me”.
Sure, I’ll talk shit when I’m with my friends, but when comes time for me to fight a stranger in a competition with a prize on the line, I always struggled with being a bit too hesitant.
Thinking too much has been my Achilles heel for my entire life.
Even though I’ve built confidence through years of successful competitive performances and results, my analytical brain does a great job of always finding ways to make me doubt myself.
Intelligent people struggle with confidence because, well, they think a lot. Thinking is a natural predecessor to doubt.
However, thinking a lot also helps us to solve problems.
You have to work to build a confident mind, and even if you’re smart, it’s possible.
One of my favorite quotes is “if you’re so smart, figure out a way to be happy” from author Raj Raghunathan. People used to tell me I was depressed because I was “smart”, and I never liked that. It made me want to be dumb.
Instead, I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out how to build lasting happiness for myself.
I also think you can rephrase this thought process for the issue of confidence:
“If you’re so smart, figure out a way to be confident.”
What are valuable skills that many young people are losing?
“You damn kids and your smartphones!” — an old person, allegedly.
People always say that young people are losing the ability to communicate because all we do is sit on our phones all day. They think we don’t have any social skills because we use social media a lot.
Most of the young young people I talk to (I teach kids martial arts to kids between 4–15) don’t lack social skills or communication skills. They communicate very effectively.
Most of my friends who are my age communicate pretty effectively too. That’s why we’re friends.
My parents struggle more with social media. Maybe one of you can tell my mom to get off Facebook or tell my dad that you can’t just make YouTube videos and become famous overnight.
The skill that I think that young people struggle most to learn is the skill of freeing themselves from social judgment.
Young people are not antisocial. We don’t lack social skills. We’re anxious. There’s a difference.
When you interact with people in social settings, you have to be on. You have to listen, you have to speak effectively so that you are not misunderstood, and you have to practice the give and take of “conversations”.
To socialize well, you need some self-awareness.
We youngin’s get this, we’re just tired, because thanks to our stupid phones, we feel like we have to always be on. We’re constantly looking at what other people are wearing, what they’re saying, and how they’re acting, and it’s fucking exhausting.
We don’t lack social skills, we feel like we’re always walking on eggshells, and this makes it seem like we’re reserved, antisocial, or quiet.
In reality, there is a big difference.
Young people don’t need to practice being social, we need to practice letting go.
Have you ever had to throw someone out of your home and why?
Oh, here’s a weird story.
Yesterday, I was sitting in my studio apartment at my desk trying to write something for a client, and randomly, an old lady opened my door, walked inside my apartment, and laid down on my bed.
I looked at her, dumbfounded. I wasn’t sure if she was on drugs, had dementia, or if there was anything that would explain my visitor’s arrival.
Then, it got weirder.
“You don’t live here!” she said to me.
I didn’t know what to say to that.
I didn’t say anything.
What would you have said?
Then, another (younger) lady popped into my apartment and said “excuse me do you know her?”
“Ummm, no,” I replied.
“I don’t either,” said the second lady. I still don’t know where she came from.
So at this point, I was sitting at my desk, staring at my 2 guests, and had absolutely no idea what was happening.
By now, the old lady was on her phone and dialing to make a call to some. She was starting to sense that something was wrong.
“Excuse me, ma’am,” I said, confidently trying to defend my home turf, “you are in the wrong apartment.”
“I am in the wrong apartment,” replied the old lady. She sounded as if I was brainwashing her.
Then, she got up and left.
“I’m so sorry,” said the second lady.
She was apologizing for literally nothing.
“It’s not your fault!” I said, trying to remain composed.
Then, she closed my door and left. I got up and locked my door.
Finally, I started thinking about ways to make this story a Quora answer.
The moral of the story? Lock your doors folks, you never know when a random old lady is going to walk into your apartment.
I’ve never kicked anyone out of my home before, but yesterday I had to kick an old lady out of my apartment.
Those are 3 of my most popular Quora answers from this year so far. If you enjoyed them, you should follow me on Quora. I post there way more than I probably should.