As you can see above, I cut my hair and beard.
The past year and a half provided a social experience that proved to be unbelievably insightful, surprising, and humbling. This social experience I speak of is not just about the places I traveled, but also the impact of having a big beard and long hair.
The questions and comments cover a full spectrum:
- “So how long have you been growing that beard?”
- “Why are you growing that beard?”
- “Woah. Dude. Sweet beard!”
- “That is gross, why are you letting yourself go?”
- “When are you going to cut it?”
Not only were there plenty of comments every day, but plenty of looks as well. Some places were more intense than others (ie. India vs Ocean Beach), but nonetheless it was a constant flow of commentary, staring, and curiosity.
My plan was no plan. There was no set date as a goal. There was no mission to accomplish. I immersed myself in the flow of things. My beard became a physical representation of my thought process. A superficial story to those I passed by.
I began to focus on the importance of ‘doing something by doing nothing’. This became a theme in many discussions instigated by my beard. This was not to promote laziness. It is really about promoting the need for many people in this society to accept that taking time to sit and relax can be the ultimate (and necessary) catalyst for creating something great.
The effect of doing ‘nothing’ by not shaving really surprised me. Conversations came to me. People gave me insight as I met them. Some opened up, others closed off. Regardless, every interaction provided a learning experience about people. It was like my beard was working for me.
I know that millions of people around the world have beards. Having a beard is not something new…but for some reason when you have an ‘intense beard’ it sometimes feels like people have never seen one before. It can make you feel like an outcast. It can cause anxiety. It can empower you as an individual. It can provide a unique perspective on people. It can allow you to uncover elements of society you may not see without looking differently.
For me, it further pushed me to always do what I want to do. To leverage from the fact that I can create my own reality, pursue my own interests, and create my own unique perspective about what is important in life.
So here is to all of you out there doing what you want to do regardless of criticism, social norms, and other attempts to diminish one’s true interests. It is a path worth pursuing and one that will give you more than you could ever imagine.
I decided to trim my beard and hair as I’ve just launched a company here in San Diego along with my Co-founder Derrick. Take a look at txtRacer.com and sign up to compete for deals you deserve here in San Diego.
Thank you for all of your support!