All Posts in 'Self-Learning' Category

Will Smith’s Wisdom

Great video with compiled clips of Will Smith sharing the wisdom he’s picked up through his life. I’ve long been impressed with Will and the depth of his character. I don’t believe he’s just a star, or an actor, or one of the elite with extreme amounts of talent. He is a powerful example of achieving one’s dreams, and, from what I can tell, a humble, passionate, loving person who wants to share the joy in his life with others. Enjoy the great words of wisdom from Will:


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?

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.


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?


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.


Hudsucker Proxy

Couple, Salt Flats

I’m getting ready to head out to the Salt Flats in Western Utah (we’re leaving at 2am tomorrow!).

I have had a movie on my mind all day. It could well be my favorite movie of all time: Hudsucker Proxy (don’t read the synopsis, just [order it, rent it, borrow it], and watch it). I realized today that it is a terrific metaphor for the visionary process.

Let’s see if the main character, Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins), has what it takes to be a true visionary:

Eager protagonist? Check. Surrounded by skeptics? Check. Unyielding commitment to his vision? Check. A little bit stupid? Check. This guy is textbook visionary. Watch the show. See if you agree. And leave a comment after you watch it. I’m curious to know what you think.

See you at the Salt Flats.


There’s no speed limit…

(Thanks goes to Dan Hixon for pointing this out in the comments from another post)

Here’s an interesting piece on the truth about learning. Derek Sivers illustrates with a personal story how a wise mentor taught him the value of time, passion, and true learning. In today’s world, we see learning as a form of work – the dreaded kind. Too often learning is seen as necessary and mundane, when in fact true learning (the internally-born, self-motivated kind) is exhilarating, wondrous, and inspirational. It energizes the learner, and produces passion of the driving variety – that is to say it moves the learner to action, and eventually creation. This is a great source of true happiness in life.

…“the standard pace is for chumps”…the system is designed so anyone can keep up. If you’re more driven than “just anyone” – you can do so much more than anyone expects. And this applies to ALL of life – not just school.


Is there something you can start learning today? Maybe something you’ve been waiting to pick up until you found “the right time”. What would happen if you just started? Today? Now?