Stupid question, but have you ever felt like doing more with your life, whether that’s getting knee deep in a ridiculous experience, starting a career, coming up with an idea, selling a product, changing the way things are done, changing the way you do things, teaching someone something they don’t know, learning something new or finding someone you can truly be happy with?
Well, I hope this post might inspire you to achieve these things and spark the fire cracker of awesome that I believe is beneath each and every one of our asses. In order to make this slightly easier though, I’ve included 6 videos 🙂
So let me break it down into 6 main points that I think barbarically summarise human evolution:
No one wants to know about that thing you could’ve done that one time but never actually did. People want to learn and feel inspired by your experience, history and perspective, why, because you’re awesome and I sure as hell don’t have the experience, knowledge and perspective you do…hell, the Queen herself aint got shit on you.
Learning new things is pretty damn important, it’s all about the appreciation of your unique outlook on the world which helps lead to progress. Progression is what allows us to explore new career paths, become a master in our field, find fun people to hang out with, open ourselves up to new business opportunities or simply surprise people with the random crap we know.
Now I’m not talking about university learning here, I’m talking about the simple things that can have an incredible impact on your life, like Steve Jobs taking a calligraphy course after he dropped out of varsity…that calligraphy course was fundamental in creating the seamless type fonts we see on Macs and PC today, you can find out more in the next section when we get to that video.
Never become complacent, explore the things you enjoy and maybe, just maybe, they might become the things you love doing for the rest of your life….figuratively and metaphorically speaking 😉
The video below by Matt Cutts is all about trying something new for the next 30 days and I for one am gonna jump on this like a hillbilly at a ho down:
Now before you roll those eyeballs and say “here we go, another God damn hippy”, let me clarify that “love” means various things to different people. For me, it’s the passionate appreciation and willingness to connect with someone/something, and then allowing yourself to feel inspired by that connection in a positive way. Pretty deep, but let me explain…
Loving what you do is quite obviously an important thing, unfortunately all my life I’ve been told “son, you walk down the street and ask the first person you meet whether they’re doing what they love or not. 9/10 times you’ll find someone who hates their job”. Fair enough, but I see two problems here – people who are working to live, and people who haven’t explored their hobbies. You love art, how many business opportunities are there for you? Become a painter and live on scraps until you hopefully become a success, cut off your ear and die? Doesn’t sound glamorous at all does it?
But the problem here isn’t the financial gain, it’s that people are conditioned to believe that their interests and hobbies are merely just that…fun things to do when you’re not at work selling cars for example.
There is absolutely no reason you can’t be successful doing something you love, I’m not saying it’s easy (if it were everyone would be doing it), but it’s the people who spot the opportunities and are open to doing new things simply because they love it, who might turn into the car salesman who runs the next version of the Vauxhall art car boot fair, the car salesman who actually creates the world’s most expensive BMW paint brush to promote the brand, decides to sponsor the dirty car art project, uses the idea of invisibility art to sell his product in a shopping mall etc…
The Steve Jobs video below is simply inspiring, lots of great quotes and stories, but the one that stood out for me was: “But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love.”
Innovation, probably my favourite stage of the lot thanks to the crazy Mo’fo’s at 21 tanks, can be described as bringing something new to an environment which ultimately leads to changing the way things are done. Really, it’s the physical proof of man’s evolution.
If we’re comfortable with someone in a relationship, isn’t it easier to get along and just do the things that matter instead of wasting energy on being a version 2 of yourself? You’d explore, challenge, fight, learn and eventually fall in love. Why wouldn’t this be true for work?
Once we’ve fought to find something we enjoy, we learn as much as we can about it, to the point that we start noticing opportunities to the problems we might face and proactively try to improve it. It’s that idea of “contribution” to an industry or individual that makes us feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in life. We’re doing it because there’s a need, and we have an interest.
The video below is a great example of innovation, and more importantly, it shows how one man in Malawi called William Kamkwamba had an interest to learn about engineering so he could help the people he loved…not because he wanted to make a fortune, but because he saw a need, had an interest in engineering and took it upon himself to peruse his passion in the hopes of adding some value to the way things were done:
Failure is the lack of success, success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose…key word purpose. Purpose is the reason we do what we do and it’s sure as hell the reason we hit the ground so hard when we fail, because no one likes to want something and then have it taken away…it sucks.
You’re gonna fail, you’re gonna fall flat on your ass at some point and regret a decision, but it’s having those future ideals and the passion for your field that will get you back up on your feet with a cool scar to show all the chicks…because chicks dig scars.
I have no better way to summarise this section than to quote Conan O’Brien from the video you’re about to watch below: “It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique”
The video below raises a really interesting question: “Do schools kill creativity?”
Now although this section is about how we can take our passion, knowledge and cool innovation stories about our experience and impart that knowledge to new starters or partners, it’s also about how we can help raise the next generation of ass-kicking babies. How can we help enable people to find what they’re passionate about and give them the opportunity to peruse that dream.
In the video Sir Ken Robinson speaks about Gillian Lynne who’s a big deal in the world of choreography, responsible for such productions as Cats and Phantom of the opera. It’s absolutely amazing to hear her story which puts Ken Robinsons quote below into perfect context:
“The fact is that given the challenges we face, education doesn’t need to be reformed — it needs to be transformed. The key to transforming education is not to standardize it, but to personalize it, to build an environment people want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions.”
6. Leave a legacy
We make our way through life meeting people, doing incredible things, learning new skills and the like, but have you ever sat back and wondered if there was anything in particular that you’d like to change or leave behind? Maybe not, I certainly don’t know who I’m going to be years from now. Kids, my own company a dog named Triffis…no clue, but what I do know is that one day these people might be able to benefit from my years on this earth, and although times change I’m pretty confident that these 6 basic principles will remain the same in some way.
Sarah Kay is a spoken word poet, and a great example for why I find the idea of leaving a legacy so fascinating. She dedicates her first poem in the video to her non-existent daughter, lessons in life she hopes to hand down to her when she finally arrives. Sarah Kay started off with an “interest” in spoken word poetry, and besides her fear for public speaking and age, decided to get involved and started going to grown-up events when she was still in school. She realised that she didn’t have to follow the way these people were writing their poetry and started doing it the way she felt worked best. That allowed her to leave a memorable impression on so many people, change the way people thought about “how” they should write their poetry and brought the idea of spoken word poetry to a much wider audience. She will be remembered, and her daughetr will hear her poem one day, and she will leave a legacy because she simply loved what she did and she did it to the best of her ability.
- So in summary, if we set out to learn new things in life, regardless of how much we think we may already know, it might give us the experience, understanding and willingness to innovate
- Innovation is ultimately about changing something, which we all know never works all the time, so be prepared for failure and don’t think that it’s a bad thing, because it’s not
- Failure will allow us to learn and weed out the crap until we know where it is we really want to put our time and energy
- Loving those things that we do put our energy into is the key to our success, because yes, you could peruse a career in law or chase down that hot girl in a club because of the immediate financial or sexual rewards, but think about what it is you have to offer and whether you could love it for the rest of your life