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There is nothing more attractive in another person than...
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Senior year of college, my friend Mike stayed at my apartment, too tired to walk home. On that night, I felt a compulsion to play a particular song on repeat for not one hour but three. Clocking in at 3 minutes 59 seconds, Mike and I must have heard this song 45 consecutive times. My guess is you never did:
In my distorted memory, there is pure bliss that night. Feelings akin to walking through a field of sunflowers after sundown, wearing platform shoes made from angel food cake. A squishy, edible, peripatetic stroll without a goal. As for Mike? Not so much. Close to an hour in, there was a barely audible grumbling from the top bunk.
Todd, you gotta change that song. Please turn it off. You heard it enough times. It’s in your head. You’re good. Get that fucking song off! Now! I’m serious. This is torture. You are literally torturing me. And…I’m going to...
He proceeded to vomit on his shirt. My bed. And it dripped into the bottom bunk. Then, we laughed as the song played on (because the stereo system was on the far side of the room and I wasn’t getting up). It was glorious in original experiences. A slow, deeply textured instrumental of what it feels like to be driving on a road for eternity. Add in my friend Mike’s bodily repulsion and I never tire of this track.
What amazes me is how few people know this influential art in my life. Hoover existed for two years and created one album. A mere 3,272 monthly listeners appreciate their contributions on Spotify. To put this number in perspective, Taylor Swift has over 85 million monthly listeners, Run DMC has over 4.5 million listeners, and The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (please listen to this) has over 300,000 monthly listeners.
I regularly contemplate the strange scenario of how one person’s pinnacle of creative achievement is meaningless to another.
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Back in the days of bookstores, I would digest the sheer number of magazines produced monthly. From Log & Timber to Karate Illustrated to Civil War Digest (where they hell do these journalists find new stories?).
As an individual differences researchers, I am often disappointed at the confined list considered. Right now, demographics is are all the rage - sex, gender, race, and the rest. For personality, there is often an artificial limit on the Big Five. What often is forgotten falls into the bin of interests and passions.
Which leads to a truth about humanity:
There are few things more attractive than a person expressing their deep-seated passions with abandon.
The hopeful benefit of age is caring less about the judgment of others. A fear that keeps us from being effortlessly ourselves - self-silencing, hiding, concealing, and suppressing what we think and care about far more than desired. A point eloquently captured by Portuguese author José Micard Teixeira.
Your well-being advice for the day is nothing more than this:
Honor what you love and loathe irrespective of what’s popular, while keeping an open mind to that which you have been insufficiently exposed.
If you disagree about the most attractive quality in a person, leave a comment. If you enjoyed this, spread the word! Or click the heart button (always appreciated). Don’t be shy, leave suggestions, constructive criticisms, and dare I say, a few positive words about what resonated. Leave comments here or find me on Instagram and LinkedIn and Twitter.
For Skills on Bravely Deviating From the Herd
Check out my award-winning book, The Art of Insubordination: How to Dissent and Defy Effectively. Do me a favor and send a copy to a recent high school and college graduate! I wrote the manifesto I wish I had in my early adult years.