Chris Hardwick

“You are the proprietor of your thoughts and feelings. And you choose how you frame the many experiences that form the campus of your personality. It’s a weird and glorious moment of self-awareness… the day you realize that you are the warden rather than the prisoner of your emotions.”

It doesn’t take you very long to realize that Chris Hardwick is a hardcore geek… except he doesn’t really refer to himself as a geek. He differentiates himself from prototypical “nerd” culture too by coining his own term: nerdist. The namesake of his popular podcast that would grow to become its own media empire, a “nerdist” is different from “regular” geeks and nerds in that a nerdist is an artist who creates. They don’t just passively enjoy comic books, sci-fi movies and zombie TV shows.

Rather, nerdists are the kinds of people who can harness the near-obsessive energy of a nerd and focus it toward creating something special. They take life by the reins, channeling their energy toward cosplay, podcasts, music and yes, even writing. Nerdists own who they are and happily express it to the world in creative ways.

Like a lot of people, I first came to know Chris Hardwick as the host of The Talking Dead, the companion program to The Walking Dead TV show on AMC. Digging a little deeper, I started to realize just how far this Nerdist thing goes. Indeed, the quote above was taken from the book that Chris Hardwick authored, The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (In Real Life). He has reached the next level, figuratively speaking, and has achieved great success.

All too often, we quietly slink into the role of the passive passenger, simply going along for the ride. We just accept life as it is presented. We allow ourselves to get angry, upset or frustrated, because those are the emotions that just naturally bubble to the surface. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. You don’t have to go through life on auto-pilot. You too can take control. You can pull the strings, rather than letting your emotions get the best of you.

I may not be a religious person, but the Serenity Prayer seems particularly appropriate here:

“Grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, COURAGE to change the things I can, and WISDOM to know the difference.”

There are many things in this world that are outside of our control. This is true. What we can control, however, is how we choose to respond. Own your emotions.