Inscrutability is Fascinating Even to People Who Don’t Know What It Means

Baltasar Gracian

“It is good to vary in order that you may frustrate the curious, especially those who envy you.” – Baltasar Gracian, Born Jan. 8, 1601

As Harvey Danger once put it, “if you're bored, then you're boring.”

And you DO want to frustrate the plans of people who stumble across you, so they stop what they were doing and read you instead.

And you DO want to complicate (in a good way) the plans of the people who have followed you forever by giving them new and interesting ideas that will alter and augment the plans they already made.

And everyone who follows you should be envious of you in some way. They want your success, or your lifestyle, or your talent, or your skill, or your knowledge, etc.

Give them what you can. But not everything. Not all at once. Because Gracian also said this:

“Don't show off every day, or you'll stop surprising people. There must always be some novelty left over. The person who displays a little more of it each day keeps up expectations, and no one ever discovers the limits of his talent.”

And I think that is supremely valuable advice. You don't have to blow people away with genius. Mainly because even if you ARE a genius, it's not sustainable to perform at that level in perpetuity.

Don't stress. Just be good – do good. And then occasionally push it a little farther than what is required.

Just give them at least a chuckle or a grin or an eureka or even just a nod of acknowledgment or commiseration. Use all of those.

So no one ever knows when it's safe to stop paying attention, out of fear of what cool thing they might miss when they look away.

Does that seem too hard? It isn't. Look around. Hardly anyone else is even trying.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top