Earlier in the year, I came across this term when Sahil Bloom tweeted about needing fewer friends and more intellectual sparring partners (ISP).
It got me thinking. Who are my ISP’s?
They would be people who are willing to call you out on your bullshit, question your assumptions, and put you to think deeply as Sahil said.
I love argument, I love debate. I don’t expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that’s not their job. -Margaret Thatcher
Sparring gives me energy and fuels my writing. I like to think of it as one of my favorite past times like soccer was when I was a kid. Come to think of it, I spar on a daily basis. Texting with my friends, coming up with concepts with my business partner, battling over what’s for dinner with my fiancé.
I recently joined my second writing cohort from Write of Passage by David Perell. The members aren’t just sparring partners, they’re more like assassins in a battle royale. 300 like-minded people getting together for 5 weeks to write about what they’re passionate about. We’re tasked to read and edit some of our fellow writers’ essays.
This time around I am working with the WOP team as a Steward in a coaching capacity. I look at this as intimate sparring. I get to chat one on one with some of the brightest and most ambitious people on the internet.
Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate. - Hubert H. Humphrey
Sparring keeps you sharp and on top of your game. It’s not about winning but coming out of a session with more clarity on the discussion. I can’t wait to step into the ring again.
In my opinion, we all need ISP's. Thing is, it seems many people are afraid to spar with others and critique, share opinions and even enlighten. Great piece.