But I stand firm: only teenagers collect and worship idols. I admire a lot of people, but I don’t worship them. With regards to me I could mention The Buddha, Donald G. Reinertse, Michel de Montaigne, Hunter S Thompson and David Eugene Edwards, just to mention a few people from various walks of life. But I remain sceptic. If they’re wrong, they’re wrong.
This is important because everything the guys at 37signals does, might not be the right way to go for you. Every move from Steve Jobs is not necessarily worth repeating in awe. Everything that Chomsky writes is not holy or untouchable. Everything in the Bible might not ring true. Richard Dawkins is not the ultimate source of all accumulated wisdom between heaven and earth. Neither is Seth Godin, Malcom Gladwell or Chris Anderson.
I choose these examples simply because I often come across people who all express unhealthy admiration for their work – to the point of worship .
In the words of the great Seneca:
“No new findings will ever be made if we rest content with the findings of the the past. Besides, a man who follows someone else not only does not find anything, he is not even looking. ‘But surely you are going to walk in your predecessors’ footsteps?’ Yes indeed, I shall use the old road, but if I find a shorter and easier one I shall open it up. The men who pioneered the old routes are leaders, not our masters. Truth lies open to everyone. There has yet to be a monopoly of truth. And there is plenty of it left for future generations too.”
But, I hear you say, aren’t you a bit of a Seneca fan right now with this quote and all?
No. I admire his writing. No more, no less. Please, learn to know the difference.