February 18th, 2020
Recently, I heard this phrase "rent free". I think it was on a meme so I had to look it up.

The definition on Urban Dictionary is: 

To live in the head of someone that can’t stop thinking about you or anything to do with you.

Rent free meme

I'm no fan of Donald Trump, but the meme here is a perfect analogy. Donald Trump lives in the minds of millions of people every day. It is his goal to do that, actually. He is an attention whore.

It's not just Donald Trump, though, everyone wants your attention and mindshare. That's why Facebook/Instagram designs a highly addictive UX and Netflix has a $14B content budget.

But this blog post is not about that.

The rent free meme helped me in another way.

There are some people that I think about often, whether it's competitors, enemies, friends, colleagues, people I look up to, etc. 

The rent free framework is a framework to remind yourself that you should not be thinking about other people in that way - wondering about what other people are up to, checking their Twitter feed, etc.

Every moment that you think about someone else, they win! It's time taken away from your own work, your own independent thought and actions.

Being an original thinker is really hard (for me at least) - but as I get older, I think I get better - but I still struggle with feeling like a copycat and being scared to do things my own way.

I think one thing that helps is staying off social media and consuming less. What helps with that?

  • Writing every day: A form of creating and coming up with new ideas, no matter how small.
  • Running: A form of meditation. I think a lot on my runs, I'm forced to. Lots of new ideas and plans of action come from my runs.
  • Thinking: Just an extended period of time to think. Even something small like in the shower, or take a walk with no distractions. No TV, no computer, no phone.

The rent free meme is getting popular because it's especially poignant in this time. Followers are the new social currency, and those IG accounts with millions of followers, they are living rent free in your mind.

The rent free meme is a good thing, I think it's a fun way to help people understand how bad consumption can be.