Who Says Being At Rock Bottom Is Really Necessary To Be Interesting?

One of the best things about writing a blog like this is getting to share ideas with other readers. Sometimes we agree, other times, not so much. But we always learn through the discussion and listening to the comments of others. I’m hoping you can add to this.

Rock Bottom and Being Interesting- Overcoming Hardships

Why Is This Interesting?

Recently I was browsing the posts of one of my readers, The Daily Man, and I came across this statement (here):

I think this is the reason why people who are at a point in their life where they are at “rock bottom” learn to succeed. They have no option but to take action. Well, either they succeed or they stay where they are at. I saw a documentary on Jim Carrey couple nights ago. He said-

“Desperation is a necessary ingredient to learning or creating anything. Period. If you ain’t desperate at some point, you ain’t interesting.

Hmmm, I thought… Is that right? It seems Jim Carrey thinks so.

What do you think about this thought?

Why is being at rock bottom necessary to be interesting?

Yes, I agree with the thinking that people at rock bottom can gain an understanding of the “no option but to take action” concept, but I wonder about the notion that being desperate at some point is a prerequisite for being interesting.

Sure, surviving desperate times brings its share of harrowing tales. And keeping people spellbound while hearing how we survived is an element of being interesting, but to me being interesting is much more than that. Don’t you think it’s also about how surviving changes a person? Or maybe it’s about how people use what they have to overcome the odds.

That was my Life Lesson… there were times in Baku where I could sense defeat was near- especially during the economic crash known as the Russian Meltdown/Asian Contagion.

Foreign Currency was of no value in the Russian Meltdown of 1998

What Has Value In A Crisis?

“Soon enough, in the fall of 1997 the first waves of the Asian contagion hit. The world price for crude–Russia’s primary hard currency export–had already begun its fall. Indonesia went. Japan foundered. The Asians dumped their GKOs (short-term, ruble-denominated treasury bills). Those ministering to Russia’s finances yet again doubled GKOs yields. As 1998 opened, the sharks swarmed. The ruble came under attack–again and again. With the GKO market soaring, the stock market–by the inverse nature of their relation–tanked.”   (from PBS FRONTLINE “The Russian Market, from Start to Crash”)

Imagine being inside a place where free-flowing information channels have yet to be established, propaganda is rampant, and everyone is clinging tightly to corporate apron strings for signals about when to leave. Everyone except locals, and you, because you haven’t got any. It’s either sink or swim… so you swim.

But is that what makes you interesting?

Some of the most interesting people I know are those who escaped being at rock bottom, those who planned and lived their lives in awesome circumstances but utilized the skills they had and never hit rock bottom at all. They changed attitudes and outlooks because of the potential to lose things or persons they valued, all without actually hitting rock bottom or even close.

Being interesting, I believe,  is a reflection of how we use important life skills and learn lessons without necessarily having to experience disastrous consequences personally. What makes people interesting (to me) is seeing how they work problems out and how they solve the puzzles life puts in their way.

Most expats I know are interesting- no, fascinating- specifically for this reason. I could be wrong, but I don’t think all of them had to hit rock bottom to achieve that!

What about you? What is it that makes you interesting?

5 thoughts on “Who Says Being At Rock Bottom Is Really Necessary To Be Interesting?

    • Whew! I was hoping you would! Thanks for the post, and for such thought provoking ideas- it did make me think a lot about Jim Carrey’s statement. I look forward to reading more discussion starters. 😉


  1. Just my opinion but I think anyone can be interesting….you don’t have to have fallen upon hard times in order to be such. Yes, hard times create many stories but just as many stories can be made if you have money…it just depends upon you, your attitude, your personality etc. My personality makes me interesting 🙂


    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Deborah. I totally agree. You’re living proof of that! I love that you have so much poetry in you.

      Your story on your About page tells a powerful message about perseverance- good for you!


  2. I think that Carrey quote comes from him as an actor. Actors need to be “interesting” to be cast. An accountant would need to be perceived as “honest and faithful”, an unskilled worker maybe as punctual and willing to “kick dirt”. And so on. So we should raise the level of abstraction: once your desperate enough you FOCUS o0n what is YOU can do to render the most service that creates the best reward/pay.


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