You wouldn’t want the knives in your kitchen, the pencils on your desk, or the books that you read to be dull, would you? If it’s important to keep ordinary things like that sharp, think how much more important it is to keep yourself sharp.
Yes, it’s possible for people to become dull too, much like all those tools you have around your house.
Just as a knife that starts out razor sharp can get very dull after a few years, it’s easy for someone who was once a fascinating fireball to end up a dull deadbeat by the time he reaches middle age.
We’ve all known a number of acquaintances who started out in their youth with brilliant and sparkling personalities but then ended up endlessly sitting on the couch repeating the same stories about the good old days.
Luckily, a little effort can make yourself – like that knife – every bit as sharp as before. Unfortunately, making yourself sharper is quite a bit more difficult and complicated than sharpening a knife. In fact, it may even require taking an additional step or two.
Sharpening a knife just requires you to hone off the parts that have become dull, which automatically makes the edges sharp again. But this would be just the first phase of sharpening yourself.
Yes, you need to cut some things that make you dull – things like always watching the same TV shows, always talking about the same old topics, and always associating with the same people. But you also need to take another step – adding something new to replace what you honed off.
This may require you to get busy – reading, taking some courses, checking out new TV shows, movies, or plays, finding ways to meet new people, learning new crafts – there’s no end of possible ways to add things to your life that will help make you sharper.
What happens when you’re sharper? Well, for one thing people will find you much more interesting, which should mean you’ll have better conversations and make more friends.
But the other thing about sharpness is that, just as with tools, if you’re a sharper person you’re able to get more done – not simply because you’re more efficient and capable, but also because those qualities tend to make others more likely to trust you to do things.
Does getting more done, having more friends, and being a more interesting person sound good to you? Maybe you just need to make the effort to sharpen yourself up.
If being dull doesn’t appeal much to you
just keep on looking for some new thing
that you can learn about, or see, or do
that makes you more sharp and interesting.