You’ll always find those that say no. You can’t do it, you’re wasting your time, your idea is stupid. This can be detrimental to those who actually try to create in the world, but you must quickly realize something if you hope to succeed.
A creator is a tiger, someone who gives and contributes to society in the best way they know how. Everyone can create in some way.
The naysayers are sheep, they don’t understand why anyone would create, what it means, where it can take you and the value you gain from it.
If the tiger doesn’t learn to ignore the sheep, he will fail. The tiger will falter in his confidence, his beliefs and ideals. He will lose his passion and suffer and eventually, he too will become a sheep, full of negative energy and pessimism.
But if he can disregard the sheep, he can prosper. Other tigers will support him, inspire him, and he will see his goals realized, not always in success but in lessons and growth and pride.
I recently finished Mastery by Robert Greene, a great book exploring the process of becoming a master.
There are several great biographical stories on the various paths to mastery by some of the greatest figures in history (Leonardo Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, etc), as well as an in depth guide for reaching mastery. A process that has three key steps.
1. Finding Your Passion
Understanding your inner calling is the first and foremost step towards mastery. Without knowing where you should focus your attention, you have no path forward. Of course this is easier said than done.
2. The Apprenticeship
Upon finding your passion, the next step is to enter into an apprenticeship and learn everything about your field. This is often through a mentor, but can be through various mediums and methods – the key is to gain a complete knowledge of your chosen field, which can take years.
The final phase is that of the master, but there’s much to do from here. You now have a perspective and foundation that allows you to make connections others are blind to. You often surpass your mentor and enter into a deeply creative phase during which you truly reap the benefits of your mastery.
The book goes into more detail into what mastery is, how to achieve it, and what to do when you get there.
Check out the video below for more from Robert Greene on Mastery.
No, I’m not talking about Jack Daniels, although that has value too… Jack-of-all-trades, master of none. Hardly flattering if you ask me, but in reality the value of a generalist is more important than ever in today’s world and here’s five reasons why.
1. Speak the Language
Although you may never be an expert, you are able to quickly gain a high level understanding in any given field and be competent enough to understand what’s going on. This gives you the ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with everyone.
2. Boost Creativity
Being multi-faceted and having a diverse skill set inherently leads to a more creative individual. You are able to pull ideas and information from multiple sources and connect the dots that others would overlook.
3. Never Be Bored
It’s simply more fun to be a Jack-of-all-trades. You’re constantly engaging with new ideas, information and experiences, which keeps you on your feet and excited about what’s next.
4. Develop Confidence
Being exposed to so many different fields and areas grows your confidence and makes you realize you’re able to tackle any situation. You’re much more open to taking risks and no challenge seems too big.
5. Become A Leader
All of this results in an individual who is an ideal leader. You’re able to communicate and collaborate with others, innovate in your field, be passionate about your work, have belief in your abilities, and not be afraid to take risks. All of this based on your diverse background and big picture perspective.
In the end, if you feel like there’s not just one thing you’re passionate about or you enjoy doing a million things at once, you shouldn’t be discouraged.
You should embrace being a Jack-of-all-trades. As you can see, it’s more valuable than you could imagine.
In this week’s links discover the true value of education, understand the benefits of smiling, practice self-control, interact with the latest HTML5 video, and learn to focus on process over passion. Enjoy!
What exactly do students get with the ridiculous amounts of tuition they pay every semester? An important question as more and more students are facing ever increasing student loans. Seth Godin tries to clarify the real value of the money being spent.
In a TED Talk by Ron Gutman, we get a high level overview of just how powerful smiling can be. Some surprising findings include its impact on longevity and how a smile can create positive emotions in others, very interesting stuff.
Behavioral economist Dan Ariely shares some further insights into the area of self-control. He covers how our self-control is essentially challenged everyday and how we can develop the ability for our own benefit. Also, the marshmallow experiment video near the end is hilarious.
Another showcase of HTML5 is found in the interactive film ROME for the latest collaboration album between Danger Mouse, Jack White, and Norah Jones. Its really cool stuff, but as it says its experimental, so you should use Chrome to watch it.
A recent post from 37 Signals talks about how it is the process that is more important than the passion, when doing business. There are some great points in the article about the issues with following your passion and how to find meaning in your work. Also for more from 37 Signals, check out their book Rework, that rethinks the assumptions of business settings.
And if you missed last week’s links, check them out here.
I Always Wondered is exactly what it sounds like, a website that explores the curiosity of blogger Jarrett Green. In it he covers topics such as “How do plants know when to bloom”, “What makes curly hair”, and “When was the first email sent.” I love the concept and you’ll definitely learn a thing or two about mostly useless stuff.
Another brilliant video by Daniel Cloud Campos, focusing on the sounds you find in everyday life. He has some amazing work to date, and I suggest you also watch Welcome Home if you haven’t seen it yet.
The people you spend the most time with affect you greatly, which is why in this article from Zen Habits, the focus is on spending time with those that are passionate about what they do. They leave you both inspired and motivated, what more could you ask for.
Amazon recently launched their new service, the Cloud Drive, which essentially gives you 5 Gbs of free space online. If you’re familiar with Dropbox, you know how valuable these cloud storage services can be. The great thing is if you buy an album on Amazon, you’re automatically upgraded to 20 Gbs of space for the year. Not a bad deal at all.
An interesting article from Austin Kleon talks about lessons learned since he was in college. Its got some great insights about artists, advice, creation, and much more. Great read and even better lessons for us all to acknowledge.
And if you missed last week’s links, check them out here.
I recently completed The Element by Sir Ken Robinson, a great book about finding the place where your passions and your talents intersect. Check out a complete summary here and I recommend reading the book as well, its a good one.
I recently finished The Element by Sir Ken Robinson and moved onto A Whole New Mind by Dan Pink, which has been fantastic so far. But first things first, The Element was a great book that really gets you to reflect on the path you’ve taken in life so far and how to change it. Essentially the Element is where your passion meets your talent, meaning its something you not only love to do, but you’re also good at – the ultimate goal is to find this in your life.
After defining the term, the book focuses on why many of us have not found our Element yet, which includes the education system, lack of external support, and self belief.
The major aspects of the book focus on getting in the right mindset to acknowledge that you have that certain something in which you can excel and being open to finding it. There are a number of tools that can help you along this journey, such as finding your tribe or community that shares your interests, engaging a mentor that can help guide you to where you want to go, and unlocking your imagination and creativity to help in the self exploration.
Sir Ken Robinson also includes a few disclaimers on your path to finding your Element, one being that your Element does not have to be your career, it can be a balance between your career and your passion,. The primary reasoning behind this is often monetary, especially when you have a family to support. Furthermore, he also warns you that you will always encounter those that will be naysayers, those that are negative and unsupportive, which can be hurtful, but it is important to overcome such people. Finally, he makes it quite clear that its never too late to start looking for your Element, so there’s not point in not starting.
Through a number of inspiring stories and great examples, Sir Ken Robinson emphasizes the value of your Element and how we can go about reaching it. Definitely a book worth picking up, especially if you find yourself dissatisfied with your education, career, or prospects. Rating 9/10.
Ever felt like your job isn’t what you were meant to do? Seems like a lot of people get that feeling. In an article by Dan Pink, we look at the questions that arise from this realization and how to find out what you would truly be happy doing.
An inspiring initiative that focuses on sharing the voices of those partaking in the protests around the world. There are designated pages to the movements occurring in Morocco, Libya, Bahrain, and more, all allowing the people’s voices to be heard.
We all know the ‘Winklevi’ from The Social Network but in this interview from Fast Company, we get their take on the movie, Facebook, Mark Zuckerburg and more. Its really interesting to hear their side of the story that is often assumed to be inline with the movie.
The 2011 TED Prize was awarded to the French street artist JR. In his TED Talk, JR gives us a look into the meaning of his work, as well as how we can all get involved in the Inside Out Project. If anyone is up for doing this, let me know! Check out the project here.
Finally, if you missed last week’s links, check them out here.
There’s always some free time during our days and how we decide to use it is up to us. Do you want to spend it on something mindless and temporary, such as a tv show or something worthwhile and valuable, like learning a language? The choice is yours.
You know all those things you wish you could do or want to learn to do “someday”. Well the key to fulfilling those wishes is using your free time effectively. How you spend that extra 30 minutes or couple of hours in a day are vital to being able to achieve your goals. During that time you could…
Watch an episode of your favorite TV show vs. Workout
Play video games vs. Start your blog
Mindlessly browse Facebook vs. Learn a language
Watch video after video on YouTube vs. Create something
Go shopping vs. Work on a business idea/project
Ultimately the choice is up to you, so the next time you have some free time, really think about how you want to spend it and what’s important to you.
The average time a person spends in the education system is approximately 17 years during which they spend about 21,420 hours or 1,285,200 minutes physically in school. Is it worth it? From Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, we learn that it takes about 10,000 hours to become an expert at something, so based on that tidbit, we should all hopefully be experts in two separate areas. I was personally an expert at the extended bathroom break and concealed texting during class.
Now maybe the point of our earlier years of school isn’t to develop expertise, but rather just develop a solid, diverse foundation to prepare ourselves for college. This so-called foundation is focused around math, science, english, and other “core” subjects, but are these subjects appropriate for everyone?? If school’s primary purpose is to prepare us for our career, life, and future then is this concrete curriculum really fulfilling these needs? I feel that each individual has a certain passion, an area that they are best suited to and that school’s simplest purpose should be in discovering what this passion is.
How many of you really had no idea what you wanted to do when you went to college? How many of you changed your degrees at least once? How many of you realized that you didn’t want to pursue your degree after college?
I think the biggest problem with our education system is that it doesn’t allow students to fully explore and discover themselves. I myself first thought I wanted to be a doctor, then I was thinking biomedical engineering, and I finally studied chemical engineering, which I have no intention of utilizing in the future. Think how much I would have benefited if I knew that I was more interested in design, business, and education earlier in my life. Think of how much you could benefit from knowing your passions earlier in life.
Sure there were great experiences along the way and I have no regrets on the path I took, but it shouldn’t be this hard to discover what you want to do in life. There are exceptions of people who realized what they love earlier in life, but I think this is more a result of external influence that led them to such discoveries. These external influences include extracurricular activities, parents involvement, friends influence, or just unique opportunities at the right place and right time.
Either way, its more likely this exploration and discovery is realized outside of school, with the exceptions of sports, some music (band/orchestra), and the core subjects. In this regard, perhaps we know we’re good at math, but what does that mean? Where is the real world application? What can math be applied to? These are the kinds of things that we don’t really talk about in school and thereby the real value of even this passion is not fully realized.
I feel that schools need to focus on implementing this form of exploration in diverse activities that can lead students to their true passion. The current external activities are available but to a very limited extent due to time and accessibility constraints. Better integration of such diverse extracurriculars in school would allow students to discover, explore, and experiment earlier in their lives to allow them to truly know what they want to do in life and how they can make that a reality.