Different types of people make you think.
If everybody in your inner circle is mostly the same, then you’re missing out. People you disagree with expand your mind’s reach.
Echo chambers are deafening when they’re filled up with your idealistic view of how the world should be. The world does its thing. You can do your thing with a mixture of people who have different world-views.
#1 — The Chaos Hurler
(You were expecting Oprah’s protege to start with. Sorry.)
They claim to be a realist in a superhero costume. That’s a stretch. These devils have flamethrowers for mouths. Everywhere they spit turns into fire. They don’t just predict chaos. They eat chaos for breakfast. Pessimism is a compliment to them. They want people to hate them.
They want anger and chaos, shaken not stirred.
Red is their favorite color. Images of stuff burning are their favorite to use on social media. “The World Is on Fire” is the title of their unpublished, never-to-be-published first book.
They swear a lot. You can’t tell whether what they’re saying is satire or real. They call it humor. You have no idea what it is. “Are they being serious?” you ask yourself a lot.
They love recessions. Problematic elections are a dream. A dictator leader as prime minister is their naughty fantasy (it gives them tweet ideas for months). Protests are their secret after-hours indulgence. Everything is wrong. They can tell you allllll the problems … and rarely a single solution. The solutions are poorly thought out because they want you to focus on the chaos.
Their chaos is an invisible mental illness.
You need this person so you can see your own dark side. We can all become little wheelers of chaos if we’re not careful. Your ego can shout, “you’re under attack” and publish a hateful tweet in its defense.
#2 — The Quiet Yoda
This odd human is zen. You can throw a cannonball at their firstborn and they’ll see a different way of looking at things. They spend time in nature. They direct message you photos of forests. The caption reads “Look, a forest. Isn’t it beautiful?”
You’ve seen forests before, so, you don’t quite get it.
Their words write unwritten philosophy books in your head. They know what to say when your life burns to the ground. When you’re afraid of having kids, you call them. When you’re afraid to get married and commit forever, you call them. When you’re afraid you might lose your job for doing something stupid, you call them. When you’re afraid of life in general, you call them.
Their words soothe. Their presence doesn’t pump you up with hype. Their presence is quiet. They say very little so you can hear your own thoughts. They don’t always give you the answer — they just lead you to it.
They seek no recognition.
They watch you lose your job. You feel like a bum. People think you’ve lost your career breakout. They don’t gift you a new job. They do meet you in a park for coffee though. They invite you over for a home-cooked dinner. They give you a smile. They remind you of the good times.
The crazy part is this: they don’t only do it for you. Their name appears in an endless game of Chinese whispers. They’re an urban legend of sorts. They’re known in the underground belly of business society to be “there for people.”
“Talk to them. They will know.”
They’re Yoda but they don’t own a star wars movie or know the legend. You’ve got to find your Yoda. These people never leave your side. They act more like tour guides for life than actual humans. I’m not even sure they have a pulse or live in square boxes called houses. They seem to only come out when it’s dark.
#3 — The Tyrant
You definitely need a tyrant in your life.
A tyrant can show you what you don’t want to become. I had a tyrant boss once. I thought movies like the Wolf of Wall Street were cool. Then Mr Bad Boss came along with his evil yellow smile and red eyes. He started using Wolf of Wall Street tactics.
He wanted salespeople to become contestants in his real-life version of Hunger Games. Tony Robbins wasn’t his guru. He didn’t use positive affirmations from the law of attraction movement. The motivation he loved more than anything was mortgage motivation. (He coined the term, not me.)
The tyrant doesn’t work for a company. They’re not a boss. The tyrant is the ruler of a kingdom they run in their head. Their goal is power, to help them ignore past trauma. They torture others while they secretly torture themselves.
You need this person in your life to teach you what happens when you’re unkind to yourself. You’re doing the best you can. Let the tyrant show you the way towards healing, not tyranny.
#4 — The Financial Energy Human
This human is weird. They talk about money a lot. They don’t seek to own a Lambo though. They have no luxury life dreams.
They talk about money but not like a blood-sucking entrepreneur high on VC money and personal branding advice. They talk about money differently.
They say “money is stored energy.” They talk about money as compared to time. They take economic situations and flip them on their head. They change how you think about your finances. Why?
So you can spend more time with your family and do things you enjoy. They’re trying to show you what the economic machine has been hiding from you since university. They’re dying for you to see money as information. Value is an idea they want you to know about.
Debt, purchasing power, and Web 3.0 are ideas they share. They talk about content as energy. They take passion you have for something and help you see how it can be turned into energy others can bottle. Their approach to life has nothing to do with $100 bills.
All they want is for you to stop working hard for a minute so you can see what you could be doing with your time.
Money puts you in a trance. Seeing money differently snaps you out of it.
#5 — The Protagonist
The protagonist is a champion of a particular idea. They don’t let critics shut down their ideas. People call them ignorant. They can be stubborn too.
They have a vision for the future and they’re bold enough to hold onto it. They go through a demotion at work because of their idea. They may even get kicked to the street and fired for backing what they believe in. They’re driven by an idea others don’t understand. They take personal risk to keep executing on their idea. They seek for change — they come up against human nature that resists change by default.
You need this person in your life to help you believe in your own ideas. The world wants to shut down your ideas before you’ve given them a chance. Don’t let them. Be led by a protagonist. Let them become the main character for a day. What if you saw the world like them?
#6 — The Time Worshipper
If you waste this person’s time they will arrange for your public execution. They hang people who waste their time. Again, it sounds drastic. You want a time worshipper in your life. They’re a little crazy but they help you reassess where you spend your time.
They’ve got layers of productivity hacks — apps, habits, time management tools, time savers. On the surface they look lazy. Once you look underneath the absurdness, you realize they are a hidden genius.
They value time more than any other resource. They spend time as if it were precious. Their presence is a quiet gift. When you do have their time, you appreciate it even more.
You want a time worshipper in your proximity so you can remember that you’re not alive for a long time. You may as well make your mark. If not today, then when?
#7 — The Animal Whisperer
I promised you humans. Sorry, I broke the rule.
Animals can’t speak English yet. Animals speak to you in different ways. They use their faces and their actions to talk to you. You need one good animal in your life (doesn’t have to be one you own). An animal whispers to you in the language of mother nature.
They’re there for you when your heart gets broken. When you get called to a strange meeting place at 3 PM in the afternoon. You arrive on time. You’re happy to see the person you’re in a relationship with. Suddenly, the oxygen gets sucked out of the food court you’re both sitting in.
They hand over a navy blue bag. In it is your birthday present. They tell you it’s the last birthday present you’re ever getting. The meeting wasn’t to catch up and say sorry. The meeting was set up to be a definite end. Your universe fractures in a million different places. You weren’t expecting it. Where were the signs? You didn’t see it. Upon reflection, it was staring you in the face the whole time.
You go home after your love life is nuked for eternity. You open the front door. You walk over to your bedroom. You start sobbing uncontrollably. You look out the window. You hear the sound of little paws entering your bedroom.
Her silky black fur glides through the air. She doesn’t look up wanting attention. She sits beneath your feet and makes no comment with a bark or using a gesture. She sits there next to you and stares out the window with you. She feels your pain. You sob a little longer. The tears roll down your cheek.
In that moment you’re glad you have an animal whisperer in your life. Even when your life gets turned upside down, they somehow hear your cry for help and come to the rescue with their presence. They whisper to you “everything is going to be okay.”
A one-sided view of the world is a nightmare. The different types of people you have in your life help you to think. When you think, you take in all the unusual thoughts that make your life make sense.
This article first appeared on Medium.