I have a theory. Well, actually, I know a guy who knows another guy who has a theory. It’s called “some guy” theory.
Here’s the theory in a nutshell:
No matter what “it” is, there’s always “some guy” for whom “it” doesn’t work.
Whether we’re talking about losing weight, eating healthier, managing money, investing resources, building a business, having a successful marriage, learning to meditate, etc, there will always be a story about “some guy” who just couldn’t get the system, the diet, the idea, or whatever to work for him.
Most people begin their research into a new area of interest by looking for “some guy” and as soon as they find him, they run in the opposite direction.
“It didn’t work for ‘some guy’, so it wont work for me.”
Case closed. Dreams abandoned. Cynicism adopted.
What these same people often forget, however, is that “some guy theory” applies to playing it safe as much as it does to taking risks.
In this excerpt from a commencement address to Maharishi University of Management’s class of 2014, Jim Carrey tells the story of how his father really wanted to be a comedian, but he chose to avoid the risk and decided to do the “practical” thing by becoming an accountant. At the age of 12, Jim Carrey watched his father get laid off from his “secure” job as his family struggled to make ends meet. Jim’s takeaway from that experience was “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
That sounds inspiring, but I know “some guy” who took a chance on doing what he loved and now he regrets it.
And that’s the key insight of “some guy” theory: whether it’s a sad story or a happy story, there’s always “some guy” who experienced it in the opposite way.
“Some guy” is everywhere and, quite frankly, I think his results have very little to do with you and I.
Results vary because people vary, levels of commitment vary, efforts vary, strengths and weakness vary, priorities vary, and so on.
Whatever your plans and projects may be, base them on your experiences, your beliefs, your tolerance for risk, and your opportunities.
“Some guy” has his own life to live and he probably wont be around to comfort you if you fail to live yours.