Be The Constant Student
When I was in my late teens, I didn’t really understand that entrepreneurship could be a path for me. It just seemed like this thing Richard Branson (creator of Virgin) did. It didn’t seem accessible even though I read his book and learnt about his story.
I remember another moment when I was at university studying psychology. We did this unit on consumer psychology and I thought about how fascinating that would be as a career path, but I was in a bind. My dream had been, for however long, to be a filmmaker and not a psychologist.
I looked at these paths as mutually exclusive. That is, I couldn’t work in consumer psychology or marketing because I wanted to be a film director. It was one or the other.
I remember feeling a little torn over this.
Time went by. I approached the end of my university years. Then the First Door appeared.
Recapping my own journey, which has hit great heights based on my own standards (and thus the only standards that matter), serves a reminder of what’s possible.
I write extensively about the idea of the ‘First Door’ and the ‘Thousand Doors’ not as an expert or prophet for each of your journeys. I write about these ideas because I have a sense of what’s possible, and I fear that most people see but a fraction of this exciting world behind the front of the Doors they see now.
There is a whole new world right next to you, that you can’t yet see.
In the Disney Classic Aladdin, we see the young hero take an Arabian Princess on a magic carpet ride to help her discover the beauty in the world that has always laid right outside her castle.
In the Harry Potter series, the wizarding world lies just behind the Muggle world that Harry already knows. In fireplaces, down toilet pipes, and behind paintings. He is so close, but yet so far.
Most classic of all is the example of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – where the Door to the magical world lies hidden in a very nonchalant wardrobe.
For me the First Door was presented to me by a guy called Nick Abraham, unsuspectingly, when I saw his work in Nepal and asked to help him. This is what I have come to label as the Thousand Doors Journey, where new opportunities or ‘Doors’ began to line my path.
This new world had always been there, but I’d never seen it.
The experience in Nepal began with an earthquake in 2015, that summoned my friend Nick to the country. When he landed in Nepal, a series of events were set in motion – events that have rippled through my friendship group, family, and the work and lives of those I’ve interacted with since.
Nepal gave me a different view of the world, and thus a different view of myself. All of a sudden, I saw entrepreneurship as this thing I could try on for size. I learnt so much about international development, cultural differences, different value sets, human nature and so much more.
Not only that, but I met incredible people who accelerated and compounded my learning even more. The people I would meet would later help me out in times of crisis in my personal life and enable me to overcome major life obstacles.
The Journey Since.
Because I was getting entrepreneurial, the opportunity to start a real estate agency was presented to me. If I had been stuck at uni still, it would never have occurred to me to try my hand at this.
Given the need to stand out in a crowded industry, I started aggressively consuming podcasts on anything and everything that could help. It started off with very real estate specific content, but eventually evolved.
Having started with little real estate experience, I started to gain a deep understanding of the industry.
On one of the real estate podcasts I discovered a very tech-focused real estate coach from the USA called Dan Wood, and by digging deeper into him, I learnt of some really cool digital tools that streamlined our real estate work. I became more digitally literate, which boosted my skill sets in a very across-the-board way, given I could apply these new tools to almost anything online.
At the same time I also started deep diving into The Tim Ferriss Show which began to teach me more about creative process, business, writing, mindset and life in general.
So when COVID-19 hit, and I decided I wanted a fresh core challenge after real estate, I took a new detour that led to what is now the podcast, blog, 18 & Lost book and the idea of the Constant Student.
The Compounding Journey
From 2016-2021 I have been on a compounding journey in almost all areas of life. I have been learning way more than I ever imagined about business, writing, creativity, philosophy, romantic relationships, friendships, investing, non-linearity, introspection, human nature, psychology, how-to-learn and countless other areas.
And the rate at which I learn feels like it is getting faster and steeper.
In this period of time I have not been working harder than my friends. They pull longer hours and have more friction and obligation in their lives. I have greater flexibility than most people I know and lower stress it seems, though I earn less week-to-week in terms of cash for now. In saying that, I have placed a number of financial investments that look promising than most of theirs! (And I haven’t even hit crypto yet!)
I will say that I have more family support than the average person, granted – what a gift that has been. I have been lucky – though I’ve developed skills and abilities I’m incredibly proud of, I know that luck and randomness have played a huge role in being in the places where I got to develop these.
Luck can be Controlled.
In the book by Alex Banayan called The Third Door, his interview of a Microsoft Executive named Qi Lu unpacks all you need to know about luck:
“Luck is like a bus,” he told me. “If you miss one, there’s always the next one. But if you’re not prepared, you won’t be able to jump on.”
You need to go down to the bus stop, and not sit at home. You need to be on the route that the good buses take, and you need to have criteria around when you decide to get on and off. Few people embrace this approach as much as they should.
To return to my favorite metaphor, you’ll often not recognise the First Door, the Door that happens to have Narnia on the other side. Once you go through the First Door, you will be better at recognising the Second Door (next great opportunity or decision to come along).
Where is your controlled luck? Where is your randomness?
To be precise and clear, I can think of only two or three people I know in my current peer group who are maximising their potential and the impact they can have on the world right now.
Only two or three. And I know some very promising young people I can assure you!
That’s only my opinion, it doesn’t necessarily count for much. But it serves you a challenge, whether I know you or not.
Find some controlled luck. Find some randomness.
Be the Constant Student.
Now that you’ve read these words, you can’t claim ignorance as an excuse.
You’ve been given the call. You’ve been shown the Door to Narnia, not by someone who has mastered this ‘Narnia’, but by someone who feels they can see the infinite and unknowable expanse that lies one Doorway away from where you are now.
The ideal to strive for in my mind is that of the Constant Student.
The student is always learning, and is never the master.
The student has a ceiling on where their ego can go.
Unlike the ‘teacher’, the ‘expert’ or the ‘master’, the student is never held back by thinking they know it all.
They wisely remember at all times how little they know – and for this reason they remain open-minded.
They see the exciting journey to be had and the opportunities to be taken up; they notice the Thousand Doors.
They live the compounding life, and see greater returns on their time, without necessarily working harder or taking on more stress.
They never need to know the most. They never need to be right for the sake of being right.
Instead they look for the right way, which is the way that is most fun, most meaningful, and most dedicated in its service to others.
They don’t seek money. They don’t seek fame. They don’t seek glory.
Their currency is learning.
Because if they have the right learning, everything else will fall into place.
The relationships. The money. The impact.
Their only enemy is indifference. Specifically, indifference to learning.
The Constant Student asks the right question, which is not what to learn? Or even how to learn? But first, why to learn?
And their answer? Because your learning is your journey. Your journey is your life. And so your life is your learning.
How you can Be the Constant Student.
For this reason, we named our new community ‘The Constant Student Community’, and plan to fill it with people who resonate with this ideal of lifelong, humble learning.
Our mission is to reduce the excuses. The excuses are…
I don’t know how to embrace the Thousand Doors.
I don’t have time to source new opportunities.
I can’t afford to open the First Door.
I’m not aware of where this First Door is.
I don’t want to open the First Door.
This community fits into your full time life. It is affordable for most. In our marketing, it is our duty to make you aware of it.
Its purpose is to set you on the path of the Thousand Doors.
All that is left now between you and your compounding life, your Thousand Doors Journey are these four words.
I don’t want to.
Join the Constant Student Community here.