Self-sabotage is the smartest thing you can do if you’re sabotaging a self that is not really you.

—Armond Demele

Quote of the Week (2)—December 28, 2009

 

8 Questions for deciding what to do

Jon Swanson has posted a great short list of questions you can ask yourself when deciding where to focus your efforts in life. I think these questions are particularly astute, and indicate to me that Jon understands a great deal about finding one’s vision.

Try to go beyond reading this list. Absorb it, ponder upon it, and use your most powerful imaginative faculties to discover the answers to each question. Where discovering your vision is concerned, these questions are pure gold (I particularly like 1, 2, 3, and 8):

We’re all making lists. We’re all looking for three words, for next steps. We all know that we just need to start, that the first step is the most important, that finishing matters. We all know all those things. We all know how to find the tools to help.

Here are 8 questions to help you decide where in your life you want to apply those tools.

  1. What do I want to finish?
  2. What do I want to change?
  3. What do I want to maintain? (Sometimes you are actually doing fine about some things).
  4. What do I want to refine?
  5. What do I want to stop doing?
  6. What do I need to do, though wanting has nothing to do with it?
  7. What can I finally throw away?
  8. What do I want to go back to?
 

And it is only they who are faithful in a few things who will be faithful over many things; only they who do their duty in everyday and trivial matters who will fulfill them on great occasions.

—Edwin Arnold

Quote of the Week—December 28, 2009

 

Question the masses

I believe this applies to everything in life. I’m a religious bloke, but feel strongly this even goes for religion. There is a difference between questioning and doubt. The former is almost always healthy, where the latter almost always destructive.

Too often we take what others say as gospel (public education, for example), only to find out we’re miserable when we act on their advice. Find your own voice, and speak up.

Don’t be afraid of failure. Be afraid of never trying.

*Jessica Hagy blogs at Indexed and is the author of a wonderful book of the same name.

 

You always pass failure on your way to success.

—Mickey Rooney

Quote of the Week (4)—December 21, 2009

 

You’ve heard of Pixar, right?

How about the documentary titled The Pixar Story? If you haven’t seen it yet, find it, and watch it as soon as you can (hint: look on select Wall•E DVD/Blu-Ray discs). The Pixar Story is a great doc about Pixar’s epic struggle to become what they are today. I think its safe to say that most folks probably think of Pixar as an overnight sensation that hit it big with their first feature film, Toy Story. That’s what I thought, too. I didn’t know how wrong I was until I saw this enlightening film about one of the most storied companies in our recent history.

What strikes me most is the amount of passion, vision, and pure perseverant love the Pixar folks have for what they do. They aren’t going to a job every day. They are doing what they love. They believe they are doing something that is making a real difference in peoples lives. Its no wonder they have been so successful at making their films.

“Pixar is seen by a lot of folks as an overnight success. But, if you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.”

- Steve Jobs, Pixar

Steve, no doubt, was a huge asset in the key moments of Pixar’s development. He spearheaded the IPO, giving pixar the real legs they needed to make it in the big time.

“We learned the important thing is not the idea, the important thing is the people. It’s how they work together, who they are that matters more than anything else.”

- Ed Catmull, Pixar

Difficult to argue with that philosophy. It’s hard to imagine a company with this type of outlook not having bucketloads of culture and passion.

 

Do what you love, the money will follow (just ask Fede Alvarez)

(See the embedded youtube video after the jump)

No doubt millions of people are asking themselves and others right now: “How can I score like this Fede fellow?” Also undoubtedly millions will try to do what he’s done—they’ll try to make the same kind of soup, only to find out the recipe ain’t working for them the same as it did for Fede. So what was his secret?

From avclub.com:

CBC News reports that Fede Alvarez, a Uruguayan man who made his 5-minute sci-fi short Panic Attack for $300 and “just for fun,” has landed a deal with Sam Raimi’s GhostHouse Pictures to direct a feature-length film…budgeted at $30 million.

(emphasis added)

and from yahoo news:

“…apparently nothing gets by Hollywood these days. [Alvarez] told the BBC, “I uploaded ‘Ataque de Panico!’ on a Thursday and on Monday my inbox was totally full of emails from Hollywood studios.”

Long story short, a bidding war ensued. The offer he pocketed: A $30 million deal with Sam “Spiderman” Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures. That’s a nice return on investment.

It looks and sounds like Alvarez understood a key principle to success: follow your vision. Do what you’re passionate about, and eventually you’ll hit it big.

In this day and age, everyone has been trained to do what other people love. Untold numbers of people will see this incredible youtube video, and they’ll try to follow Fede’s passion in an effort to achieve success in their own lives. Maybe a better use of our time and efforts would be to discover what we love as much as Fede Alvarez loves filmmaking—then do it.

Thank you, Fede, for showing us that we can do what we love, and the only obstacle we really need to overcome is our own self-doubt.

 

Genius is eternal patience.

—Michael Angelo

Quote of the Week (3)—December 21, 2009

 

Sara Jackson Holman is Following Her Vision

Thanks to my friend Kyle Yong Kim for making this great short about Sara. Both are very talented people.

Sara is an incredible singer with an incredible voice. She recently embarked on the journey of creating her first album. Below is a short film in which she discusses the path her dream has taken her on.

Sara understands the thrill of surrender, the exhilaration of acceptance. She has sacrificed her fears and worries, and submitted to the voice inside of her that persistently tells her she can follow dreams.

Sara Jackson Holman: artist and musician from Kyle Yong Kim on Vimeo.

 

Let us not concern ourselves about how other men will do their duties, but concern ourselves about how we shall do ours.

—Lyman Abbott

Quote of the Week (2)—December 21, 2009