Lasting wisdom from unlikely sources are what this blog is all about, right?
I’m not someone who takes good advice well. I may have been in some form of therapy or another since I’m seven years old, but I’m shockingly hard to reach when it’s in my own best interest sometimes. But I’ve been thinking about this Craig Ferguson quote since I first saw his standup bit about it in 2011:
I can still remember how jarring I found this one collection of thoughts to be, and how I still in 2016 work to reach back and remember these ideas when I feel angry or threatened or just am overflowing with opinions that I think everyone needs to hear:
- Does this need to be said?
- Does this need to be said by me?
- Does this need to be said now?
Most often, I can get to step two with some kind of quick but elaborate justification. But in combining steps two and three of Craig Ferguson’s advice, I rarely come out the other side of this flowchart feeling as confident as I did when I began it.
This idea is somewhat in line with my Amazon shopping philosophy. In undergrad, I had a nasty habit of shopping online almost perpetually. And because Amazon makes it so easy to get from want to have, I would often make more than one order per day. It was costing me a fortune and I was ending up with things which, by the time they arrived at my door a few days later, I didn’t really want all that much anyway.
My best friend prescribed a 24 hour wait period to cool off some of my immediate wanting. It still fed my need to want things; I could fill up my cart any time the urge struck me. But I would have to leave them there until I got that little “oh, it seems you’ve forgotten some things in your cart!” email from Amazon before I decided to commit to the order. More often than not, everything would get dumped a day later, and it saved me a bundle in the longer run.
Imposing a wait to reply doesn’t always feel reasonable in the heartbeat pace of social media, but pushing my vitriol or forced education of online strangers through the Ferguson sieve often leaves me questioning the confidence I felt at the outset. Which is when those ideas go into the draft folder (my unholy Twitter oubliette), and are almost never heard from again.
Unrelated to good advice, I’ve always found Craig Ferguson to be sexy af in a very unconcerned about being sexy sort of way. The kind of guy who well knows he has huge balls but doesn’t make any mention of it until they flop out of his shorts in the locker room and draw the attention of every man within sight lines.