Tuesday, May 28, 2013

You Will Use Everything You've Ever Learned

"Make the rest of your life happy." What good is an blossoming career if you have nobody to share it with? What good is a ton of money if you're too stressed to spend it? What good is an impressive client list if you don't have a decent friend list? Those are some of the mistakes I made by being too focused on my career. Turns out, happiness doesn't have the same effect when it's not diversified. Thanks for the inspiration, Ron Swanson.

"One of the greatest tools you have as a songwriter is anonymity." Reading this article about Shane McAnally proves there's something beautiful about moving away from the spotlight and working quietly. Cranking out songs, selling them for heaps of cash and watching the rockstars sing them as you sit back and play with your kids? That's the best of both worlds. You retain the beauty of crafting the music without surrendering to the bullshit of hawking it. Sounds like a dream job to me.

"What he lacks in output he makes up in opinions." I'll give Billy Joel a pass on this one. But for any other artist, if all you do is complain, that doesn't count as work. If all you do is use social media to rant about social media, that's not art. You're not being productive, you're being annoying. Go make something. Sheesh.

“Godlessness never goes out of style.” For years, I gorged myself at the buffet of religion. Tried almost everything. But eventually, after about six trips to up the bar, it finally occurred to me that I wasn’t even hungry anymore. So I stopped eating. And the strange thing is, I’ve never felt more satisfied. Interesting. Can God still have a sense of humor if you don’t believe in him? Inspired by an interview with Ira Glass.

"Advertising doesn’t add value, interactions do." The organizations that have the greatest impact are the ones that create an unavoidable, irresistible call to interaction. Not action, interaction. Meaning, real humans connecting with each other in a real way. Asking customers to fill out comment cards isn’t interacting with them, it’s just wasting paper. What is the obvious space for interaction to happen in your industry? Inspired by a heated discussion at POKE.

"You will use everything you’ve ever learned." That was the advice Johnny gave to Conan, twenty years ago. Love this concept. I think of it as compressing your personality. I will make use of everything I am. I will demonstrate all of my skills at once. I will bring all of myself to everything I do. I will take all of my assets and alchemize them. I will create micro moments of individual expression. I will fulfill my whole capacity for living through the firepower of my creative arsenal. Not a bad way to work. Inspired by an interview with the funniest man alive.