Life Hack for Getting Suddenly Awesome: Get Smart

[wpw_follow_term_me posttype=”post” taxonomy=”category” termid=”3″ disablecount=”true” followtext=”Follow This Serial” followingtext=”You Are Following This Serial” unfollowtext=”Unfollow This Serial”][/wpw_follow_term_me]

Image from the law of attraction book list featuring all major law of attraction authors at

Out there in the world—the “real world” that people are always talking about—the world after college, which is supposedly much different than anything you ever learned about there—people are always saying that we humans are, essentially, lazy.

“People don’t want to read,” they say, over and over. “Keep your writing short and to the point.

“People just want to be entertained,” they say. “They want to watch reality shows and other mindless entertainment. They don’t really want to learn.”

Well, in my humble opinion: Nothing could be further from the truth.

People love learning. People crave intellectual stimulation.

People really want to be smart.

And those hugely popular reality shows that seem to be such solid evidence for our collective mental lassitude? Well, it just may be that the opposite is true. Maybe we like them, not because we are lazy, and not even because we are a bunch of gory-minded drama-seekers (although that may be a little part of it).

Maybe we like them because of what they have to teach us.

Reality shows, after all, are a kind of lab experiment—a big, grandiose lab experiment, yes, but a lab experiment nonetheless—in which humans are the rats. They show the viewers how real people act in extreme, high-stakes circumstances.

They teach us about ourselves.

Okay. So. Maybe this is going a bit far, I don’t know. Maybe not all reality show fans like them because they learn something.

But that’s why I like them.

And that’s why I like documentaries (if they’re entertaining, too). And that’s why I love reading non-fiction, even more than fiction, which is also useful in its way (even in fiction, after all, the characters must be believable, and must teach us something.)

And that, after all, is what getting smart is really good for. Getting smart isn’t just about knowing more things.

It’s about understanding them, too.

It’s about understanding, especially, yourself.


Buy stuff on Amazon and support this blog. Easy enough, right? Just click here. Anything you buy counts.


More to Read:

Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday

Knowledge Checklists: Filling My Educational Gaps, One Subject at a Time

200 Spiritual Practice Success Stories

Fights You’ll Have After Having a Baby: A Self-Help Novel


  1. Alright! I’ll admit it here right at the beginning. I’m biased. Reading this passage from your post today, resonated:
    “People don’t want to read,” they say, over and over. “Keep your writing short and to the point.

    Why am I biased? Because the last two jobs I’ve held have been in the book business.
    –Rj Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut
    –The EC Scranton Memorial Library in Madison, Connecticut.

    In fact both jobs overlapped for three years. While working at the bookstore I noticed people came from all over the state to buy books and now that I’m at the library only I see the number of people coming into get books has increased as well.

    My Reader Advisory blog:
    though it has only been active since September has been hugely popular.

    I like your description of Reality Shows as lab experiments. Mollie. I honestly never looked at them in that light. Makes sense though.

    Keep writing. Love your thoughts.


  2. I read constantly from the time I learned to read. It taught me more with each book, each poem, each line. I used those previous experiences as jumping points to new books, new adventures. I prefer fiction, especially science fiction (yes, I like horror, too!). The point is that I learned to read and that opened up my life and I would never trade that for much of anything in the world!