Ingenuity – Harden

Use Your Damn Head

Our Manifesto says…

Muscle and power only get you so far.  At some point you need to tap into that superpowered hard drive sitting above your neck.  Go for ingenuity.  Be smart and be clever.

Of all the Proofs, this may be the one that sets you apart most from all the poor souls not in our tribe. That’s because this is where uniqueness makes its cameo in the screenplay of your life.

There are an infinite number of roads you could take to get to the goal you’re pursuing—or at least as many different ways as there are humans on Earth. We can’t tell you which road to pick, because until you create it, it doesn’t exist. It’s all up to you and your particular brand of ingenuity. Don’t worry, we’re not expecting you to be an Einstein-level inventor or a Stephen Hawking-grade genius. All we are asking is that you put in the time and effort to sort out a way to Earn Yours.


“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” – George S. Patton


Mastering each of the Proofs will take you far and allow you to judo-chop problems that send others skittering off in fear. Yet there’s one universal foe that every 3rdNutter runs up against: time. The only way to vanquish this villain is to play by its rules. Do it well, and you might look up one day to find this archnemesis has become a staunch ally.

You’re probably thinking, “Um, great advice, but aren’t we supposed to be talking about ingenuity?” So glad you asked. The smartest thing you can do is to figure out what someone (or something) else can do for you. This is where that old work smarter, not harder axiom comes into play. While even you can’t create more time, you can decrease the number of demands on YOUR time and accomplish more.


The most accomplished people in the world are the ones who use their cleverness to leverage all the resources at their disposal. Not only does this free up more hours in the day, it also means there’s more mental energy at your disposal. So look around and figure out what you’ve got on the playing field, and then put those chess pieces to work. Perhaps it’s a friend who is always hanging around with seemingly nothing to do. Or that kid down the street who, for a nominal fee, could be doing menial tasks that aren’t worth your time (hello laundry, dishes, and trash). Whoever or whatever you enlist, your goal is to minimize time spent doing trivial nonsense, and  maximize the time available to pursue your goals.


  • Take inventory of the places in your life where you’re working hard, but not smart.
  • List out possibilities that could help reverse that equation, and then make a move to put that resource into action.