Adam Carolla is a controversial guy. But I'd guess those people who think they know him haven't spent much time listening to The Aceman, whose fans know him as someone who has helped countless teenagers and adults through their troubles. That's thanks to his amazing ability to turn information into wisdom and make it entertaining.
On a recent episode of my podcast, Man School with Caleb Bacon, I asked Carolla to offer up some of that wisdom. However, instead of using callers to The Adam Carolla Show as a reference, I wanted to hear some advice based upon his own life. During that chat, he detailed two significant insights he's drawn from his fortysomething years. These two pieces of advice will help you towards a better life. Who doesn't want that? I know I do.
#1: Try New Things
"If you stood on a beach and were watching these guys ride big waves and just thought, 'I could never do that,' the most important thing you could do is one day find yourself on the wave with these guys."
Being the best at something shouldn't be your only goal. Just try something.
"Don't just be attracted to things you are good at," Carolla told me from his Los Angeles warehouse. "Turn your brain on and see how efficient you can be at something new."
He is also a big proponent of using fear as a guide: "That moment of fear means, 'I should probably do this,'" he said, before throwing in some levity. "Unless it involves a bear."
Instead of letting fear talk you out of something, let fear make you do something. "Maybe you are a dumb guy and someone says 'we are playing Scrabble.' The important part is that you tried it."
He was filled with fear when was asked to be on Dancing with The Stars. This handyman-by-trade has never been a dancer. However, he recognized his feelings toward this new world of dance steps and sequined outfits and he used that reluctance as a barometer for knowing that this was a good idea. The result was the positive feeling of walking through that fear and gaining many new fans (even though he finished in 8th place.)
Ultimately, opening up your mind to fear will lead to a richer life, full of experiences that you never would have even attempted. It sure beats standing on the sidelines and waiting for life to come to you.
#2: Learn That It's Not Them... It's Always You
"Everyone is externalizing the shit out of everything all the time. Internalizing is like exercising, you don't like to do it, but, it is good for you."
Adam Carolla's next piece of advice was to internalize your life instead of externalizing it. That means swallowing your pride and admitting when you have messed up. He gave an example of getting your wallet, purse -- or, in Carolla's case, a fanny pack -- stolen out of your parked car outside of a movie theater.
His options to deal with this situation were:
- Blame society; it is always someone else's fault (in this case, the thief.)
- Admit that you might not have made good choices, and see where you could have done things differently.
"Say, 'this one is on me, maybe I shouldn't have left my wallet or purse in the passenger seat of the car, I will learn next time,'" he said. Because, "if you have nothing to do with it, then there is no wisdom to gain from it at all."
It may be easy to write off the advice from this comedian, but that may mean you'll continue to miss out on regular opportunities for growth. I know I'm willing to suck up my ego in order to become a better man.