I've been reading Tim Ferriss' book Tribe of Mentors. It's a collection of responses from many different individuals on the same eleven or so questions. It's an inspiring read.
For this post, I wanted to include a few quotes. These first two deal with finding your art or, perhaps, your purpose.
First, from American Writer on Business Practices Tom Peters in response to advice to students:
They say: “Think big! Have a compelling vision!” I say: Think small. Do something super cool by the end of the day! I write about “excellence.” Most see excellence as some grand aspiration. Wrong. Dead wrong. My two cents: Excellence is the next five minutes or nothing at all. It’s the quality of your next five-minute conversation. It’s the quality of, yes, your next email. Forget the long term. Make the next five minutes rock!
And the second, from writer Keven Kelly:
Don’t try to find your passion. Instead master some skill, interest, or knowledge that others find valuable. It almost doesn’t matter what it is at the start. You don’t have to love it, you just have to be the best at it. Once you master it, you’ll be rewarded with new opportunities that will allow you to move away from tasks you dislike and toward those that you enjoy. If you continue to optimize your mastery, you’ll eventually arrive at your passion.
I loved these two quotes for multiple reasons.
One. Selfishly for moi.
Two. Selfishly for Tina.
Three. For you.
I love to aim at perfection. And sometimes, I fail. Sometimes I fail on purpose, because if everything is "perfect" then one perfection might impede on another part of my schedule, so I need to be choosey about what gets "perfected" and what does not.
But in regards to the first quote, I love how he recommends being passionate about the next five minutes. Sometimes I'm on the phone using my computer. I'm talking to my mom or brother or best friend and I have to slap my own hand from surfing the web or working on a job while talking. And then when I remember that they're the most important thing, right now, right for the next five or ten minutes, the conversation is better. I'm less distracted and more engaged. I listen with action. I don't butt in. But my responses are more strategic and productive.
When I try to "think big," it often paralyses me. For instance, if I try to come up with the best new idea in the world, I retreat into a world of fear. That fear prevents me from doing anything at all. It's that sisyphean complex of aiming at impossibilities rather than possibilities. Drawing one small picture. Making one small photo. Writing one small page. One meal. One thing at a time. Add them all together and it's a body of work! Instead of thinking big all the time, think smaller actions that get many good responses rather than one big coup!
Regarding the second quote: In my search for my art, I have had to give up on a lot of passions. I've had to find things I love and concentrate on them. I LOVE to draw and make paintings, but I've had to let that passion slide over the years and concentrate on others.
I LOVE to cook. And developing cooking has become one of those little things to feel creative on. When you take the time to discover a new recipe, shop to find ingredients (pre-production), assemble ingredients (learning to cut, chop, mix, etc.) complete the meal, serve it and see the face on your audience (of one or many). That to me is art expressed in less than two hours. You can do it daily. And it can fulfill so many inner needs ... on so many levels.
We need to eat to live. Many of us need to make art to live.
I'm doing my best to live by the philosophies of Make/Share, Do More and focus. All of these things fit into a small accomplishment zone.
And finally, I'm going to leave on a quote from too-good-to-be-true, French entrepreneur, creator and humanitarian Jérôme Jarre. As I reread it, I realize how my 18-year-old-self would red flag this quote with honking/blinking red lights of woo and blasphemy. My 22-year-old self stumbled on the idea of "mini-gods" as I was doing my senior thesis and became okay with it. My 42-year-old self is completely good with it and inspired by it.
I'm not sure the exact question on this, but let's say he's answering advice to students.
A belief: the belief that we are all mini gods. I mean this in the sense of creators, in a way that should not feed our ego but our consciousness. This means the entire universe is not just outside but also within us. We have unlimited power—the power to solve any problems facing us or facing others. We get to create our realities. It’s a simple and small belief, but it can change the course of humanity. Being mini gods means we never lack. We know we already have everything. We don’t need a million dollars. We don’t need a trillion followers. We are complete. We are full. So full that we can give without counting. The day we will all start acting like mini gods is the day there will be peace in the world.
This quote also corresponds with some other woo I have printed next to my computer since last July, which is the abundance thinking bullet list:
- Believe there is always more where that came from.
- Share their knowledge, contacts, and compassion with others.
- Default to trust and build rapport easily.
- Welcome competition, believing it makes the pie bigger and them better.
- Ask themselves, How can I give more than is expected?
- Are optimistic about the future, believing the best is yet to come.
- Think big, embracing risk.
- Are thankful and confident.