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Ten Quotes by Artist Andy Warhol That Are Damn near Guaranteed to Rewire Your Brain
Your mind's code will have glitches after reading this
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Andy Warhol wasn’t an a**hole.
He said some blunt things but they really do make you think. Often, you have to read his ideas several times to understand the wisdom he’s offering.
You may not be an art buff, although I’m sure you’ve at least seen his Campbell Soup masterpiece. Andy was one of the greatest artists of this century.
The way he saw the world will change how you see the world.
#1 – “Sometimes the little times you don't think are anything while they're happening turn out to be what marks a whole period of your life.”
I shouldn’t admit this but let me be real.
I’ve cried over this quote many times. It’s one of those quotes that just stirs up emotions inside of me I can’t explain.
A few years ago I had the privilege of working a job in banking that involved helping tech companies enter Australia. I got to work with and learn from the best.
I met founders of companies like Stripe and got to hang out with them and ask as many questions as I wanted.
The part that makes me sad is I took this huge opportunity for granted.
I brushed it off as nothing and kept looking for bigger mountains to climb, when the truth was, I’d already found something in life that was spectacular.
Before I knew it, the fun was over and my team went their separate ways.
I got a new job at a social media company but it was never the same. I missed my old teammates so much that I recently bought a house close to two of them so I could spend more time with them.
Sometimes I feel this nightmare repeating itself.
I have a 4 month old daughter. I love hanging out with her. Yet I spend way too much time in my home office typing articles like this.
Her newborn life moments are ones I can never get back.
It’s completely f*cking with the idea of money. When I get offered crazy amounts of cash – like $1000 for a Zoom call – I find myself turning it down because no dollar figure matters more than my daughter.
I don’t need more money to buy a mansion or purchase a Lambo. I need more time with my daughter before she’s a grown woman and off traveling the world.
Here’s one of the best quotes I’ve ever discovered that comes from a random finance Twitter account called fed_speak:
The purpose of life is to experience things for which you will later experience nostalgia.
Chase nostalgia, not money.
2. “You have to do stuff that average people don't understand because those are the only good things.”
We’re born into a society that’s boring.
Most people do useless sh*t throughout their day then come home at an ungodly hour to fix the pain with alcohol, fast food, and Netflix.
It works for a while but leaves your brain numb to the real world.
The way to escape working in office cubicle prisons and packing into public transport like sardines about to be eaten by a shark is to screw being normal.
You transcend average by following an obsession.
By spending more hours on a creative outlet or topic you’re obsessed with than would seem rational to almost everyone you’ve ever met.
The weirder people think your obsession habit is, the further you’ve drifted away from society. Then all you need to do is find other weirdos. Thankfully the internet makes it easy to find your obsessed tribe in private group chats.
Don’t ever let anyone coddle you into being normal.
3. “As soon as you stop wanting something, you get it.”
Some people try too hard.
I see it in business all the time. A wannabe entrepreneur wants a big 100+ person company with millions in revenue.
They can’t even tell you why. They just know they want the labels and identity that a successful business gives them.
But because their “why” is messed up, they’re forced to repeat a series of daily habits that make them bored to death.
Forced success isn’t success.
This is what the self-help movement gets wrong: if you need motivation to do something, you’re doing the wrong thing.
I love to go to the gym. I don’t do it to look hot or because it’s good for health.
I work out because I’m obsessed with it and it helps power my uncontrollable flow states, that’ve been the secret to my tiny online success.
Stop forcing yourself. Let it happen naturally.
4. “Being born is like being kidnapped. And then sold into slavery.”
I have a strange conversation with my newborn daughter every day.
“Sweety, you are a baby prisoner trapped in this house. You can’t eat, sleep, or poop without mommy and daddy.”
I say this as a joke but it’s true. Babies are prisoners. Just recently this idea led me to understand many adults are prisoners, too.
They go to work to be told what to do and babysat by their boss.
Workplace culture is breaking down because many people want the traditional job (that’s like a prison sentence) to now give them meaning and a sense of community too.
But businesses don’t give a crap about those things. They need to make revenue and get people for the lowest price possible to make a profit.
When Andy says being born is like entering a life of slavery, he’s right. The modern corporation institutionalizes you, coddles your mind, and brainwashes you to death with meaningless corporate slang and processes.
It’s the only way to get you to follow their rules and give them your precious time.
Some call it being “trapped in the Matrix.” I just call it modern society that is the default option if you follow the mindless path to nowhere.
The best way to set yourself free is to get your money right, so you’re not dependent on these old institutions to pay for your food and shelter.
5. “People should fall in love with their eyes closed.”
The downside of social media apps like Instagram is they’ve made us surface-level creatures. We don’t go deep anymore.
We just judge a person by their “profile,” which is basically an acting resume with a few professional modeling shots.
It’s why I only engage with text-based social media.
I don’t want to be dumbed down to imagery because my brain will likely default to attractiveness instead of the s*xiness of one’s mind.
All this obsession with physical beauty has led men to not have as much s*x and stay at home getting off to pixels on a screen.
Loneliness is at an all time high as well.
Since the 2020 bat virus we’re trained like caged animals to stay home more and not venture out. So chance encounters with beautiful minds are less likely to occur.
Learn to distrust your eyes. Start paying attention to spoken or written words instead.
6. “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
Part of what I do for a living involves high-performance coaching.
I regularly meet people who are waiting for stuff to happen. They have the “someday mindset.” One day they’ll take the action they need to or commit to a change.
They’ve been saying that for years.
External events don’t produce the changes you’re desperate for. You do. And sometimes it takes you to become so pissed off that you actually get off your ass and do what needs to be done.
That’s why I love failure.
Failure is the spark of energy that has the power to send you in the opposite direction in life. Nothing changes unless you do.
Andy Warhol says, “When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it.”
That’s a sad fact.
Many people will be dead before they change because they keep putting off the decisions that could lead to the life they want.
And by living this way, they’re existing as if they’ll live forever.
Then reality hits and a health scare either wakes them up to their mortality … or takes their life (when it’s too late).
Start with tiny new decisions.
7. “Art is what you can get away with.”
In a way, that’s what this Substack newsletter is.
It started as a rebellion against social media algorithms that have now been caught red handed with their pants down for suppressing ideas and free speech.
Many of the ideas I share here push the limits of what’s acceptable.
They take traditional ideas and stab them in the heart. On occasions it causes some crazy replies that even turn into death threats. But it’s worth it.
Trying to progress the conversation and make people think is the real art.
Do more of that every single day.
8. “Success is what sells.”
I’ve met more starving artists than I wish I had.
They’re often searching for a new way to sell, or to indoctrinate people to consume their work. What they miss is, the best persuasion is success.
80,000+ people are subscribed to this newsletter. When that stat gets revealed to a new subscriber the newsletter sells itself.
It’s hard to resist an idea or person that has that much social proof.
But I’m a dumbass.
The only reason for any of this tiny success is brute force, done daily, for 9 years straight without stopping.
One night back in 2013, I went down the rabbit hole of a random blog, and came out the other side obsessed with a new medium of expression that wasn’t my former creative passions of DJing or playing drums.
Success requires a low IQ when you break it down.
And once you cross the threshold of energy needed for success, what you’ve created sells itself on auto-pilot. Andy Warhol discovered this magic too.
9. “I never think that people die. They just go to department stores.”
What Andy is referring to here is the consumerism virus.
Many people get stuck buying things they don’t need to play status games that destroy the amount of free time they have.
It’s why they say free time is real wealth, not money.
Once you become obsessed with money it eats you up inside. You see everyone as a line in your personal finance spreadsheet. Your animal instincts get switched on and your purpose each day is to hunt your prey and kill them for revenue.
These transactional humans look like zombies to people that reject consumerism.
I can see through their spineless exterior and straight through to their rotting soul. An addiction to chasing money only leads to envy, and turns life into a competitive bro sport, where every win is like a mindless football touchdown.
You don’t need 95% of the crap subliminal ads try to sell you.
10. “I'm not afraid to die. I just don't want to be there when it happens”
This final quote from Andy is fascinating.
All of us will die, but we don’t know what it feels like, and there’s no way for us to remember it. Perhaps we’ve been dead before and lived multiple lives. No one knows.
I often think about my grandma that got buried in a cemetery not too far from my house. Did her body break down into the soil and become part of a worm?
Did that worm get eaten by a bluebird that now sits on my window in front of me? Is my grandma, through the bluebird’s body, trying to tell me something?
I have no idea.
That’s the mystery of life.
Death happens but it’s best not to think about that fateful day.
Instead, live as if your death day could be tomorrow, so you stop caring about useless BS that won’t matter in the grand scheme of life.
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