Lord Miles made the term “dark tourism” famous.
At 21 years old, he made the decision to go to Afghanistan as everyone was fleeing. His aim was to tan and meet some girls.
The young gun took his phone and did livestreams in front of the Tal!ban. Somehow he made it home alive. When the Ukraine war broke out he jumped on a plane and landed in the middle of the action.
Tanks. Bombs. Russians. It was a blast.
Once again he made it out alive and had fun. He missed Afghanistan and decided to go right back again. This time he wasn’t lucky. They arrested his sorry ass and threw him in jail.
Many thought he was dead or that the story was made up.
Turned out it was true. The man and three other detainees are now on their way back to the UK. What an adventure, hey.
While you could argue Lord Miles’s plan was a ridiculous one, what you can’t deny is that he at least took some risks and lived life a little. Too many people give way too many f*cks about things that don’t matter, so they don’t truly live. They die at 25 and get buried at 75.
If some situation is holding you prisoner, ask yourself “Will this matter in 5 years?” Here are a few things you won’t give a f*ck about in 5 years.
Whether you hit your KPIs
KPIs made me feel like a factory worker, like a cog in some ugly machine.
In the moment KPIs feel mission critical. Like your whole world depends on it and if you master them, then you’ll have some amazing career and qualify for a gold watch at your age 65 retirement party.
KPIs are a joke.
In 5 years you won’t even remember them. What you will remember is whether you achieved your personal goals. And you’ll remember if you worked in a toxic workplace with some dumb boss man who treated you like his personal slave.
Trade KPIs for meaning.
What football team won the grand final
A lot of sport is just a giant distraction.
We had a grand final here recently in Australia. People went crazy and got blind drunk. I had party balloons and streamers all over my lawn from the celebrations and debauchery.
But if you ask these mongrels who won 5 years ago, they can’t even remember. A ball gets passed around a football oval. Someone kicks it. Another person kicks it.
It’s mild entertainment but it’s not the meaning of life.
People will worry about how the football team is doing, but completely forget what they want to do with life. It’s why we drink massive amounts of alcohol. We want to forget. We want to numb.
If you love football then watch it. Don’t let me rob you of that. But just don’t take it so damn seriously. It doesn’t matter. The scores aren’t going to be etched in your gravestone or anything. Okay?
Being told no
“No” is an opinion. Read that again.
I don’t know why the average person gets their nose so out of joint about being told no. I love no. No means you’ve got a decision. The worst outcome is indecision.
Tyre kickers love indecision.
They love to say “one day” “someday” “I’m too busy” or “when the kids grow up.” That’s what should scare the crap out of you. But being told no is glorious. The weird thing about no is it’s an illusion.
For example, my default answer to everyone about anything is no. It’s a test to see how serious they are. Because over the last 9 years I’ve noticed most people don’t follow up.
If a request is so important then wouldn’t you follow up?
Of course. So that means a lot of requests are just weak thoughts in disguise that should have never been emailed to someone. I love no because it’s a rejection that leads to a new direction.
The world would be a better place if more people said no instead of choosing the piss-weak option of ghosting.
How many ‘likes’ or comments your post got
Social media has become a giant popularity contest. It’s sad.
Instead of competing for likes that can’t buy you anything, focus on building an engaged audience you can help. And having those people read a weekly newsletter you publish.
That’ll feel 10x better. And even if you only have 100 readers, you’ll still derive more meaning than some InstaBAM influencer with 1M followers. Vanity metrics are shallow. They eat away at your soul.
Share content to enrich rather than take from society.
What you wear to dinner
All the shenanigans of dressing up is odd.
In 5 years no one will remember what evening wear you wore tonight to the local pizza bistro. It’s fine to look nice. But buying a different outfit for every day and spending hours in the bathroom doing your hair is a waste.
The time you piss away getting ready could be spent with the person(s) you’re going out to dinner with. That’ll make your bond much closer, and you’ll have more fun.
The older I get the more I’m dressing like Mark Suckerberg — a grey t-shirt and blue jeans for every occasion.
When you made an ass of yourself
We all embarrass ourselves.
I once called a man “Peni$” instead of Pierce. Oopsie. Mistakes happen. What holds us back is when we let embarrassment stay with us. Then everyone else forgets while we become trapped by it.
There’s no need. Embarrassing yourself means you’re putting yourself out there and doing stuff, instead of staying at home in a dark bedroom and typing troll comments on X aimed at high achievers.
What took me a decade to learn is, 99% of people aren’t paying attention to anything you do. Even your friends and family.
So….now you’re free. Create without judgment, and no need to thank me.
What age you were 5 years ago
None of us are getting younger. Every day we’re slowly dying.
So what the hell are you waiting for? It’s easy to think age matters but it doesn’t. All that matters is you start doing the things that matter to you as soon as possible.
Because humans have this Superman complex where they forget that they could die at any moment.
I don’t live like that anymore. A 2015 cancer scare woke me the hell up from the nightmare I was living. Now if I want to do something, I do it today (or likely never). The same applies to getting old.
“I’m too old to do XYZ…”
Bullsh*t. You’re never too old. People don’t care about your age, they care about how you make them feel. So make people feel awesome. Act like you’re Peter Pan.
Have childlike curiosity and imagination, and you’ll never age another day in your life.
Buying a kickass luxury car with a banging sunroof
One of my favorite people is a writer.
I idolize him. Then the other week, bizarrely, he posted a Youtube video of him doing burnouts in a Mercedes Benz.
My fanboy hard-on instantly went soft.
Yuck. No one cares what car you drive. It’s a hunk of metal with four wheels. Any of us can get into huge debt and mortgage our future to buy a Big Man’s Willy (BMW).
The harsh truth is as soon as you drive the car out of the showroom and pay the salesperson their giant commission, it loses somewhere between 10%–20% of its value without you lifting a finger. Nice.
Then in a year’s time you’ll be driving the old model and feel like you need to upgrade again. The cycle continues. And here’s what I know for sure after being sucked in by the luxury car cult with a baby blue BMW:
In 5 years time that car will feel worthless.
It’ll feel like every other car. Great for 2 weeks and then same-same after that. Stop making car yards and car loan providers rich.
The less luxury stuff you own the richer you are.
Another Zoom meeting
I can’t remember most of the Zoom meetings I had in my last job.
That’s because 99% of them didn’t matter and almost all of them could’ve been an email.
Before you schedule a meeting think about the cost.
Think about the families who might suffer if that person is trapped in meetings all day. Then you’ll get better at solving easy problems via email and you can focus any meetings leftover on the hard problems.
It’s for this reason “Memo culture” and writing are making a comeback. Thanks Jeff Bezos ya bikini babe legend.
What you should give a very big f*ck about
It all comes down to this. What you should give a f*ck about is where your energy and attention is going. Is it being wasted on superficial nonsense, or spent wisely in areas that will create a lasting legacy?
Stop giving so many f*cks about stuff that won’t matter in 5 years. And dare to be contrarian and play hard, uncomfortable life games.