Here is a quick summary of how you can live at the intersection of wonder, awe, and curiosity. For the full guide on how to be interesting, check out Jessica Hagy’s full book How to Be Interesting: (In 10 Simple Steps).

   1). How to be Interesting: Go Exploring

How to be interesting - Go Exploring

Explore ideas, places, and opinions. The inside of the echo chamber is where all the boring people hang out.

Talk to Strangers

No one has seen exactly what you have. No one has been to all the places you’ve visited. No one feels just as you do.

Find out why.

How to be interesting - Expose Yourself

Expose Yourself

To embarrassment. To ridicule. To risk. To strange events & conditions. To WILD IDEAS. To things that make you cringe. To strange vistas & new sounds. Trust me. It’ll be fun.


Childlike NOT Childish

Look with open eyes. Remember how amazing the world was before you learned to be cynical.

See the neat things.

The messy things.

The funny things.

Less CRANKINESS.

More MARVELING.

 

   2). How to be Interesting: Share What You Discover

How to be interesting - Share

And be generous when you do. Not everybody went exploring with you.

Let them live vicariously through your adventures.

Instigate

Do not wait until tomorrow.

Say, do, or make it now. Go where you need to be. Do not wait to be invited places. How your own parties. Do not sit by your phone. Pick it up. Spread the word. Press the buttons. Buy the tickets and enjoy the show.

How to be interesting - Instigate

Offer to Help

What you have is worth a lot. Seek out the people who need it. Know what you can do and tell people you’re willing to do it. They will treasure and remember you. Your time. Your talents. Your compliments. A seat at your table. A cup of sugar. A clean pair of socks.

The world needs whatever it is that you have.

Compliment Liberally

Kind words are quite precious and cost nothing; it’s surprising that they’re so rare. Laud what you enjoy. Praise the people who excel in novel ways. Do it publicly and often.

Everyone needs more encouragement.

How to be interesting - Compliment

Put Your Own Spin On It

How to be interesting - Spin

You see and you evaluate.

You read and you ponder.

This is human nature: We interpret information as we absorb it.

Well-constructed opinions add to the original artifact.

 

   3). How to be Interesting: Do something. Anything

How to be interesting - Do Anything

Dance. Talk. Build. Network. Play. Help. Create.

It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re doing it. Sitting around and complaining is not an acceptable form of “something,” in case you’re wondering.

Involve Others

How to be interesting - Involve Others
You’ll need help. You’ll need advice.

You’ll need allies. SO you have to tell someone how you feel and what you’re up to. Let people in on what you’re doing.

They will champion and support you more than you ever imagined, and mock you less than you fear.

Sign Up

Join a club. Take a class. Volunteer.

Have a party. Take a meeting.

What we do shapes who we are.

Be someone who’s been there, done that, and wants to do new things tomorrow.

How to be interesting - Sign Up

Own Your Territory

Whatever you’re doing, enjoy it. Embrace it.

Master it as well as you can.

This is how you combine a sense of freedom with a feeling of safety.

How to be interesting - Own It


4). 
How to be Interesting: Embrace Your Weirdness

No one is normal. Everyone has quirks and insights unique to themselves. Don’t hide these things- they are what make you interesting.

Do NOT Fake It

Costumes. Poses. False smiles and forced conformity. It all gets in the way of what’s truly interesting. You are innately unique. There’s no need to hide behind an ill-fitting mask.

Question Your Motives

How to be interesting - Motives
Interesting people are motivated by things bigger than the status quo. Are you doing what someone else expects you do, or what you feel, deep down, that you must do?

The only way to exceed expectations is to ignore them – and do what needs doing instead.

Get Sidetracked

Who’s more interesting: A famous scientist, or the famous scientist who plays the cello and whittles marionettes in a lighthouse at the edge of the world where he sometimes writes poetry by the light of passing ships?

Exactly. Follow your weird impulses and do all sorts of things. Getting sidetracked can lead you to exactly where you belong.

How to be interesting - Sidetracked


5). 
How to be Interesting: Have a cause

How to be interesting - Purpose

If you don’t give a damn about anything, no one will give a damn about you.

Recall What Makes You Cry

A place. A person.

A creature. A song.

Now devote a little more of yourself to that memory.

Get Dirty

Spectators do not make news.

Observers do not steer history. Be vulnerable.

Be serious. Be immersed.

If you want to matter, you have to climb all the way into the mess that is before you.

Speak Up

Praise the marvelous. Shut down the nasty.

Articulate what others are afraid to say out loud. Further the discourse.

How to be interesting - Speak Up

Anything is Better than Nothing

Actions matter. Even small ones.

 

   6). How to be Interesting: Minimize the Swagger

Egos get in the way of ideas. If your arrogance is more obvious than your expertise, you are someone other people avoid.

How to be interesting - Ego

Imagine Everything You Do NOT Know

Everything you’ll ever know is only a fraction of a microscopic dribble in the great, churning universe of information.

Let this fact be comforting in its enormity.

Just Listen

To what is said and what is left out.

To the message between the words.

To the tone of voice.

To the sarcasm and to the reverence.

Communication is far more than just words.

Remain a Student

Sign up to learn things. Philosophy, archery, accounting, painting, diving, fire eating – anything you can admit you do not understand. You never know when you’ll need a random skill.

How to be interesting - Student


7). 
How to be Interesting: Give it a shot

Try it out. Play around with a new idea. Do something strange. If you never leave your comfort zone, you won’t grow.

How to be interesting - Failure

Why Not?

Afraid to fail?

Afraid to fail and that other people might find out about it? So what if you fail?

Really: So what if you fail?

Would that really be so bad?

Stockpile Anecdotes

How to be interesting - AnecdotesRead randomly. Overhear on purpose. Watch movies and clouds and people.

The more you absorb, the more you can exude.

Overstep Your Bounds

Just because you’ve never been somewhere doesn’t mean you don’t belong. Just because it’s not in your job description doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Only you can really decide what league you really belong in.

Make Real Plans

Maybe tomorrow?

I guess I’ll start later?

No, make your plans kinetic, not potential.

Procrastination leads to regret.

Tackle the Hard Stuff

Know that obstacles scare away most of the competition. And that the hardest things are the things that are most satisfying to be done with.

How to be interesting - Hard Stuff


8). 
How to be Interesting: Hop off the Bandwaggon

If everyone else is doing it, you’re already late to the party. Do your own thing, and others will hop onto the spiffy wagon you built yourself.

Do a Very ODD Job

Ever sit in traffic and wonder what eveyone else sitting in traffic does for a living? For a hobby? For fun? There are as many answers as there are people. They’re all possibilities.

Question Uniquity

Just because it’s everywhere doesn;t mean it’s good or worth participating in.

How to be interesting - Question

Follow Your Curiosity

If you find yourself drowning in the vat of popular but boring sludge, your curiosity will be your lifeline.

Change Measurements

Square footage? Horsepower? Millions in the bank? People in your fan club? Days you wake up happy? Look at what you’re measuring and consider alternative units.

How to be interesting - Measurements

Leave the Safety of Home

You grew up with certain people who did certain things in certain places. Leave home to see how unique and universal your childhood was.

How to be interesting - Leave

Investigate the Obscure

Revive forgotten stories.

Read old books. Dust-off forgotten trends.

Listen to rare music. You might find your favorite thing hiding in the woodwork.

 

   9). How to be Interesting: Grow a pair

Bravery is needed to have contrary opinions and to take unexpected paths. If you’re not courageous, you’re going to be hanging around the water cooler, talking about the guy who actually is.

Accept Friction

How to be interesting - FrictionYou don’t want to impose.

You may shy away from making waves.

You may feel you couldn’t dare ask for what you need. You need to get over that.

Get Stubborn

Giving up is boring. Getting frustrated and plowing ahead despite it all requires the power that only a truly interesting person possesses.

How to be interesting - Stubborn

Get Rejected (a lot)

When you put yourself out there, a lot of people will reject, dismiss, or ignore you. But a few will embrace and champion you. While the nos may sting, only the yeses matter.

How to be interesting - Rejected

Make a Mess

Rearrange furniture, elements, ideas, and opportunities. Then put the pieces back into a different and better order. It’s time to put the creativity back into creative destruction.

How to be interesting - mess

Whine Productively

If things are unsatisfactory:

1). Document them.

2). Change them.

Few people ever bother with that second bit.
How to be interesting - Whine


10). 
How to be Interesting: Ignore the scolds

Boring is safe, and you will be told to behave yourself. The scolds could have, would have, should have. But they didn’t. And they resent you for your adventures.

How to be interesting - Ignore

In Summary

How to be interesting - Summary

To see the full list of Jessica Hagy’s amazing collection of charts and graphs on how to be interesting, check out her book How to Be Interesting: (In 10 Simple Steps).