Full disclosure: I stole the title of this blog post–from a YouTube comment.
Here’s the evidence…
This is a screenshot from the comment section of a trailer for the movie Inception.
How did I end up there? Well, I have a little ritual that I perform every month or so. It’s simple. I begin by identifying some person, philosophy, or project that I feel deep admiration or respect for. Then I go on YouTube to see how long it takes me to find a video comment where someone says something like “I’m not impressed” or “This is overrated” or “I don’t trust this.”
Whenever I conduct this experiment, I time myself. It’s never lasted longer than 90 seconds. I’ve never failed to find a comment like the one in the screenshot. Today’s choice was inception. Inception was no exception. it took about 20 seconds to find someone who wasn’t impressed.
Why do I do this to myself? It keeps me grounded and it purifies me of my illusions. It reminds me of the simple little fact that there are always people talking smack about the things I believe are cool. My loves are someone else’s laughs. My inspirations are someone else’s irritations. My standards for success are someone else’s standards for stupidity. And if this is true of the things I consume, it’s probably true of the things I create.
Like Inception, I am no exception. And precisely because of that, I find it a little bit easier for me to be exceptional.