Stay Scrappy: A simple guide to bullshitting through life

Stay Scrappy is a new concept I learned from Ali Abdaal’s Sunday Snippets Newsletter. I think deep down I’ve known this is the way to go about life, but like most people, I’ve caved in to the idea that everything needs to be perfect and systematic or else there is no progress. Personally, I’ve always referred to this idea as Bullshitting, and have thought it’s wrong. But his newsletter got me thinking more about it, and I revisited the idea.

From my observations, I’ve come to find out that the root cause of many of our problems is the chase of easily and objectively measurable progress metrics. The truth is that there is no truly objective way of measuring life. It’s simply not possible. By default, we’re monkey brains bullshitting through school, work and relationships. I can remember many instances in school where I submitted assignments on the second or last day with minimal effort based on the information I had on hand at that time. Funny enough, I got pretty good grades for many of them too. And that’s not a coincidence, my anecdotal experiences do suggest that I got similar results almost all the times I bullshitted and it has also been the case for other parts of my life.

This is not to say there aren’t times when we need to put 101%. Those times do exist, but how many things can you call important and put 101% of your energy into before the whole Jenga tower of careful work and decisions break down? Burnout, stress, [[anxiety]] are all things we face due to the excessive chase of perfectionism and systematic behaviours. We as a people have collectively been suffering more mentally in the 21st century despite the growing systematisation of everything. Perhaps that’s not the only way to do things or even the right way.

In his newsletter, Ali mentions; The bigger my YouTube business gets, the easier it’s been to go into perfectionist mode and agonise over every little thing because ‘the stakes are higher. and he’s not wrong to have suddenly felt like only a rigid and systematic approach will work. We’re all like that. When we reach new heights in life or have to shoulder new responsibilities, usually our first instinct is to put in the best effort possible or to attain the best outcome possible. That means, we resort to the default ‘tried and tested ideas. It doesn’t necessarily have to be that way though. You could be a leader in your life and try to just bullshit at times. See where that takes you. Why worry all the time? stay free and away from anxiety or stress.

It’s definitely not an easy task to try and implement something so new and different, I know that myself. But keep in mind that it’s not impossible either; because we’re the biggest barriers to anything in life. At the end of the day we’re doing everything for ourselves personally or to enact our beliefs, values and ideals, and that means we get to choose how we follow through on those enactments and actions.

So, when you feel overwhelmed, burnt out, stressed or anxious; just sit down for a while, take a few deep breaths and start with whatever you want to or feel like doing at the moment. ‘Just do it, like Nike says. Screw deadlines for those few minutes. Deadlines are set by humans, and like every other thing, system or idea developed by humans; it can be made flexible. And that’s what we’re gonna do!

Thank you very much for reading. I’ll see you in the next write!