A private life is massively underrated.
I spoke to a friend of mine yesterday for the first time in a while. We lost contact due to the lockdowns and reconnected over the phone. She’s a 40-something legend. She’s the ultimate definition of low-key.
The conversation drifted towards the pandemic. She knew the basics about how to stay safe and protect others, but she had zero clue beyond that. The daily news agitates her. It’s already hard enough to live alone and not be able to socialize for long periods of time.
She has two businesses. One has been smashed by the pandemic. Her income has gone right down. Her other business is a startup eCommerce store on Instagram. Things aren’t going well.
The eCommerce business has drained all of her savings. Someone in her position would normally be screaming from the rooftops. It turns out nobody knew about what happened to her businesses.
She decided to be low-key about it all. To get back on her feet she has chosen to move to a rural area for a while to live with a friend for free in a caravan — a good escape from the pandemic. She plans on rebuilding her businesses quietly from her tranquil new location.
Most of her friends like me had no idea about her troubles. That’s low-key.
People can’t screw with what they don’t know
Keep yo whole life low-key and let people assume incorrectly — Trai Turner
Many people over the years have made false assumptions about me. They’ve assumed a lack of response to a message or a ‘no’ to an invitation is me being an a-hole.
They’ve even complained to people I know or gone on Twitter to cry. The truth is they made incorrect assumptions. Because much of my life is a mystery — on purpose — they come up with a narrative to serve their own selfish cause. There’s a lot to be said for keeping huge parts of your life private.
Gary Vaynerchuk is a great example. His business life is known all around the world. Tell me one thing: Have you ever seen Gary’s children or wife in any of his content? Nope. Gary’s family is private. He doesn’t talk about what his wife thinks of his work or personal situations he faces at home.
You can be hugely transparent in one area of life and keep the rest low-key.
People will make false assumptions about whatever is public about you. Let them. Without evidence people see the truth of the situation.
You can post online and still be low key
Private people have mastered the art of constantly posting on social media and still living a low-key life you know nothing about — Pammy DS
Posting content on social media is now a popular thing to do for most people. The fear is that publishing content online makes you flashy and anything but low-key. I disagree. You can use social media to write, or post photos, or publish podcasts, or upload Youtube videos and still be low-key.
It’s all in how you do it. Do you publicly name and shame? Or do you disagree with ideas rather than people? Do you share every detail of your life? Or only the details about the niche you represent?
I follow Aaron Will on Twitter. He’s low-key. Most of his life I have no idea about. But his philosophy on psychology is something I know intimately.
Leave out many details on social media from your life. Purposely create gaps in knowledge so nobody knows everything about you.
Ditch all the overpromotion
Many people are walking billboards. They wear clothes with huge Nike ticks on them — or worse, football jerseys covered in sponsors’ logos … yuck. They ask people to follow them everywhere.
As soon as they get the email address of one internet user, they bombard them with promotional emails asking for stuff. When they hear a person has a problem that their job solves, they go straight into pitch mode and forget you’re a human being with a heartbeat.
Overpromotion is loud noise. I choose underpromotion.
I have zero website for my online school. I mostly only send blog posts to people via email. I don’t use generic email templates. I have zero automation on my email list because I don’t want to treat people like robots. I try to answer direct messages and be polite, even when someone is extremely rude.
The question that drives my entire day is “how would I like to be treated in this situation?” This philosophy makes hard decisions for me. It stops me from being some marketing douchebag who is trying to collect $100 bills to fund the next Bentley.
Low-key is simply being real.
The #1 way to live low-key
Lower your ego. Too much ego is flashy. Your ego forces you to do dumb stuff. It forces you to take screenshots of your bank account and go “look, my bank balance for the last 30 days is $300K so trust me.”
The book “Ego is the Enemy” really brought me peace of mind. I started noticing when my ego did a lot of the talking. I realized how much devastation and drama my ego caused if I didn’t get my way.
So I stopped talking so much. I stopped caring about every little thing. I let the bad bosses use their employee flamethrowers. I let abusive comments or emails rest in peace because my grandpa always said “let sleeping dogs lie.”
Most noise in your day simply goes away if you practice inaction. Follow-up is rare. If you are in the middle of an email chain and you don’t respond, the thread usually dies. Or they follow up with a one-liner, you still say nothing, and then they may call you on the phone to discuss.
Then let them rant over the phone, sit in silence, and then say “I need to think about what you’ve said.” This reply messes with people who love drama. They don’t know how to react. When they’re the Tasmanian devil, you be Yoda who has gone into exile for decades to chill in a tranquil rainforest. Chaos struggles with longer time horizons. Draw out confrontations. Then ….
When you react to the noise with silence a lot of the stress disappears.
It all boils down to this
Mind your own business. You’ve got enough of your own problems to solve. Don’t worry about what gripe Mandy from HR has with you. Don’t worry about the negative comments you get when you put yourself out there online.
Just be yourself. Keep huge parts of your life quiet. Celebrate your big victories in silence so other peoples’ envy doesn’t enter your life.
When you live low-key you become more inward. You forget about all the external validation. That’s how you experience life-changing peace of mind.