Lose Well is, technically, a self-help book. But it mixes advice in with great anecdotes and real-life examples that aren’t complete and total bullshit. So you really don’t even feel like you are being helped – you’re too busy relating and laughing hysterically until you suddenly notice that, hey, this makes sense and could actually help me.
Such is the beauty of Chris Gethard (pronounced Geth-ard, not get hard – take your mind out of the gutter), comedy’s perpetual underdog and, in my opinion, best innovator. Read on for why you should let Chris Gethard help you.
WHO ARE YOU TO TELL ME HOW TO SUCCEED?
Chris Gethard is a success. He’s had a TV show, an HBO comedy special, a bunch of really cool movie roles and TV guest appearances, and a hauntingly beautiful podcast.
So why the hell should you listen to a successful guy about losing?
Well, he had to lose a LOT to be successful. The whole book is about the failure after failure that Chris experienced before he became who he is today. It’s also about the failures he still experiences, even as a success. Basically, even if you lose, you’re still doing SOMETHING. As he puts it:
You want to get out there and go for it. That’s great. Failure is your friend. Winning is your goal, or losing is your goal. You never want to land in that sad middle ground where you haven’t failed. Where you did nothing to embarrass yourself, but didn’t do anything to distinguish yourself either. That’s the difference between winning and playing not to lose.
Chris maintains that even if you crash and burn, if you learn something and do something to get you out of your comfort zone, then good on you. Who cares if it’s not technically a win? In his words – “aim average.” Just get out there and do the damn thing. He also gives you advice on what to do when you actually go out and do the damn thing (whatever it may be).
SHUT UP, ANNOYING VOICES
I am the queen of talking myself out of things. I can come up with about a dozen reasons not to do something in ten seconds flat. Granted, some of them will be far from rational (“LAUNDRY IS FOR THE RICH! MILLENIALS CAN’T EVEN AFFORD FABRIC SOFTENER!”), but they will still be there. Basically, the mean voices in my head that tell me I can’t do things win. A lot.
Chris takes all the terrible things that your head tells you before you do something and addresses them all. Seriously. He’s incredibly comprehensive in naming all the reasons you could use to talk yourself out of going after your dream. You name it, he’s got an answer for it. You don’t know how? Learn the fundamentals and go from there. No one else you know does it? Do it anyways. Those are just a few samples. He covered reasons I hadn’t even thought of!
DON’T FORGET WHY YOU STARTED
I really enjoyed the fact that Chris fully admits you might not be able to do whatever your dream is. That it is fully ok to stop and ask, why do I want to do this? If you’ve tried your absolute hardest, and you’ve done everything you can do, and you have gotten out of your own way as much as possible, and you’ve put in the time and the work, and you have learned your basics and tried to go beyond, and it just isn’t working out, it’s okay to stop. I like that he admits that some dreams aren’t going to happen. Because, for a lot of us, they aren’t. I’m never going to be Misty Copeland even with fifteen years of dance classes. And that’s cool. We’re all gonna lose sometimes – but if you lose and learn, if you lose and walk away with your head held high, if you lose and had the best time of your life – did you really lose?