Glenn Beck invited Srinivas Rao, the author of The Art of Being Unmistakable: A Collection of Essays About Making a Dent in The Universe, on his television show Wednesday, praising the book as "the future," "what's coming," and "the way out of just about every mess the world finds itself in."
The two have almost nothing in common on paper -- Rao is a Berkeley graduate whose primary passion is surfing -- but Beck said he believes the two have "a soul in common," and see most people as "walking around in a fog ... not even using or understanding the power that they all have inside."
Rao described his life, saying that at the end of college, he felt like he was shown the "masterpiece" of life, but told that he could only paint with a few colors and not outside any of the imaginary lines.
"There's always this inkling that something is wrong here, something is missing, and you're not seeing the other side of this," he commented. "That, 'Hey, by the way, there's hundreds of other colors that you could paint this masterpiece with, and no one's showing them to you.' And, 'By the way, that canvas is completely blank...'"
But while he originally had such musings in the context of a career, Rao said that "what's great about the world we live in today" is that "if you want to create something, you have the opportunity to create it."
"Every day of your life is a blank canvas from which you can create something that doesn't exist," he said.
But how exactly does one go about doing that? Rao spoke about a number of topics, including not just fulfilling the "checkboxes" of life and how "your whole life will change in one brief moment of audacity, but those brief moments have to become a habit."
"The point is not go ditch your job and go crazy - I'm 35 years old and I live at my parent's house," he warned. But Rao said that living with his parents was a choice, because it would give him leverage to "get where [he] wanted to go."
He also spoke about mimicking behavior vs. modeling it, saying there is no problem with learning from others and growing, but the importance of putting your own "signature" on your work can't be emphasized enough.
"How do you deliver an experience that only you could deliver?" he asked."This is something we have to do in our products, this is something we have to do in our services. Being unmistakable, making yourself that way, that's a choice."
The two also spoke about truth and honesty, and how, though you may be afraid that your world will come crashing down if you are truly honest about yourself, it's often the day your life really begins.
"I wrote this entire book through Facebook status updates, and on my 34th birthday I just outed myself completely," Rao said with a laugh, saying he covered everything from all his failed jobs to all his failed relationships. "Letting all of this go was amazing. I thought it was career suicide ... what I found was the thing that it connected people to me like never before."
Beck said that he had a similar experience at a low point in his radio career shortly after he became sober. Without much forethought, Beck said he spilled his entire story on air, thinking it would be his last day in the industry. Instead, he found that it was "the first."
Closing the show, Beck asked Rao for one line in the book that sums it up. Rao responded: "Art that rewards its creator long after the average person would quit is admired, but it's rarely encouraged."
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