Bob Dylan on thoughts, being successful and the “Me Decade”

First of all, there’s two kinds of thoughts in your mind: there’s good thoughts and evil thoughts. Both come through your mind. Some people are more loaded down with one than another. Nevertheless, they come through. And you have to be able to sort them out, if you want to be successful. You must get rid of all that baggage. You ought to be able to sort out those thoughts, because they don’t mean anything, they’re just pulling you around, too. It’s important to get rid of them thoughts.

Then you can do something from some kind of surveillance of the situation. You have some kind of place where you can see it but it can’t affect you. Where you can bring something to the matter, besides just take, take, take, take, take. As so many situations in life are today. Take, take, take, that’s all that it is. What’s in it for me? That syndrome which started in the Me Decade, whenever that was. We’re still in that. It’s still happening.

– Bob Dylan

This exact statement is why I’m starting to get in the habit of asking the question, “What can I give?” as opposed to being the taker that I’ve been since I was born. I’m constantly reframing my circumstances and asking myself what I have to contribute to the situation at hand than trying to figure out what’s in it for me.

A wise person once said “I learn a lot more from finding the answer to my question than I do from the answer to my question”. In the process of consistently asking ourselves what we can contribute of positive value to every situation as opposed to our natural disposition of what’s in it for us, we can find many more opportunities, in turn, fulfillment from satisfying our innate desires to do something of substantial impact to the world around us.

In essence, let’s find opportunities to give, even when we’re receiving. Our natural instinct is always to “me” up every situation but people who truly achieve success and self actualization are those who constantly wonder, “How about them?”. That’s a far better question than “What’s in it for me?”.


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