Momentum

Have you watched gymnastics at the highest level? World Championships. Olympics.

What these gymnasts do on the balance beam should be impossible. It’s just 4 inches wide and stands 4 feet off the ground. Most people would struggle to simply walk across it, these athletes tumble.

Beam is the big scary monster of a gymnastics meet. Falling here is often a dream-killer.

But when you watch awhile, you’ll notice gymnasts rarely fall while doing the seemingly impossible: backflips, front flips, twisting layouts, flying 10 feet off the ground and landing on 4 inches.

They seem to fall in the slow moments. A standing leap, a spin, or the subtle pauses after a difficult pass.

It would seem the difference-maker is momentum.

Isn’t it the same for all of us? As long as we’re charging after goals, flying full speed, bobbing and weaving around obstacles in our path, we’re unlikely to fall down.

But when we stop moving, stop risking, stop charging ahead, this is when we stumble.

So keep moving always. But remember, the real key to the beam is balance.


Why Do You Fight?

boxingring

Are you fighting for what you believe in? Or are you fighting because there’s an opponent in the ring?

There’s a big difference

And it matters.

Motivation does not determine victory but it sure does impact the path you take to get there.

I’ve always found that foes bloom and fall like leaves in the wind but convictions have roots and will outlast the season.

The Finish Line

There’s a reason it’s called the finish LINE and not the finish area.

It’s a clearly defined marker, unambiguous and immovable. You’re either finished or you’re not. Like a light switch is either on or off, there is no “almost finished”. 

As entrepreneurs, we define our own finish lines, set the route and the pace.  Still we can never be certain that we’re close to the line. We know the path is rarely straight and the curves are things unplanned. 

The key is to never slow when you see the finish line on the horizon. To sprint through first base. And once you’re there, don’t waste time on a victory dance because the next leg of your race has already begun.


Trying and Succeeding

When did people begin exaggerating the difference between trying and succeeding?

Creating a wedge between honest effort and the hopeful result.

The growing viewpoint that something is not worth doing unless one knows he can succeed in the endeavor, wrongly measures “success” only by the intended result.

It fails to recognize effort and growth as the successes they are, and it doesn’t allot for the doors we unlock, unexpectedly, along the way.

When a set goal is not reached, we need to ask ourselves “was this worth the effort even though I didn’t succeed in the way I hoped and planned?”

The point is not the answer to this question but realizing that this is always a question worth asking.


Disembarking In Order

Credit to Artist: Frits Ahlefeldt. Line of People sketch, ink and color drawing. http://art.fritsahlefeldt.com/photo/717/Line-of-People-sketch,-ink-and-color-drawing.html
Credit to Artist: Frits Ahlefeldt. Line of People sketch, ink and color drawing.

 

Planes disembark in an orderly manner and I’m not sure how.

When a plane lands and finds its gate, folks file out row by row, each waiting for those ahead of them to collect their things and go. It’s an anomaly in an otherwise asynchronous society in which unabashed self-concern is a daily vitamin we feed ourselves.

Planes ultimately disembark with order. But next time your plane lands, pay attention to that split second immediately after the “ding” of freedom. You’ll see passengers, like caged animals, jump up, rip their bags from overhead and turn for the exit… before recalling common courtesy and tribe mentality.

They ultimately remain standing at their seat and wait their turn to file out. With order.


Redeye Flights Life Lesson

plane

In planning, it sounds amazing. I board a flight close to midnight, fall asleep like any other night, and wake up on another part of the globe. Teleportation. Perfect.

Only… things don’t always work that way, do they?

Instead, sometimes you can’t sleep in the plane and by 3pm the next day you’re wandering a foreign city like a zombie, or falling asleep in meetings, in cabs, on subway trains.

Life lesson reminder : If something seems too good to be true… it probably is.

But I’ll keep taking those chances.

And I’ll keep taking those redeyes.

Meeting’s Canceled 

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The relative convenience of a meeting time has a direct inverse correlation to how much notice you should give someone if you plan to cancel or alter it.

For example, if you schedule a meeting with your team for 11am and you realize at 10:30 that the meeting is unnecessary or not possible for whatever reason… if you scratch it, everyone’s probably fine. They might even be happy. It’s the first half of a work day. Surprise, they just scored an empty 30 minute block to fill with other work, or an early lunch. This is especially ok if the meeting was just scheduled this morning or yesterday. If it’s been on the books for a week, it sucks a little because attendees have had to take it into consideration when building out their schedules.

On the other side, let’s say you schedule a call for midnight (it happens in startup life – probably more often than we’d like). Now, unless you’re a college freshman, that is not a “convenient” time. So, if you realize you’re going to have to cancel or push that midnight call, you better tell the other members before they throw off their circadian rhythm or set an alarm to wake up in the middle of the night. Canceling at 11:50pm is worse than having the call as scheduled even if you know you can’t hope to accomplish more than an item or two. This same thing applies to a 6am mtg.

Time is our most valuable resource. Respect others’ time and they will respect you as a person. Don’t, and they won’t. And they shouldn’t.

Whatever Works

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Back in 2009 I wrote a post about how all my best ideas come to me in the shower. It made me think about how many of these gems just disappear somewhere between the rinse-repeat and the toweling off… and how i needed to change that. I even solved my own problem, discovering that waterproof notepad are apparently a thing.

Well, I’m happy to say that I’ve finally got one – a waterproof notepad, not a big idea. I can’t believe it took me 4 damn years. That the lesson here. If you ever discover something that helps you ideate, or create, or think more clearly… do it. Maybe its driving at night; waking early and hitting snooze; Whatever it is. Get it, buy it, repeat it often.

Attention Film Schoolers!!

Something you may not know about me is that I went to film school. In fact, I went to what is widely accepted as the #1 film school in the world… USC School of Cinema. I was a Film Production major. I say this not to brag (because it really hasn’t done me much good in my chosen career path) but to illustrate that it’s fair to assume i received the best education one could get on the topics of all things film. Well, i was recently introduced to a screenwriting book called Save The Cat by screenwriter Blake Snyder. I’m admittedly late on the uptake with this one, as the book was published in 2005. I hope you’ll accept my not having worked in the industry those past 6 years as my alibi here.

I feel like an old fogey saying these words, but…. “when i was your age…” we learned screenwriting from old men and old books, and we learned it as a seemingly scholastic exercise. Blake Snyder’s book turns the process on it’s ear and shows writers not how to write a script, but how to write a script THAT MIGHT HAVE A SNOWBALLS CHANCE IN HELL OF SELLING!!!Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

What a novel concept… teaching new or struggling writers how to take their hobby (that’s what it is if it doesn’t pay your bills yet) and give it a chance of becoming their career. Save the Cat tosses out the taboo term “high concept” but replaces it with vehicles and techniques that really get you to the same thing… simple and sellable. Snyder focuses on crafting a perfect logline because the elevator pitch is just as important (if not more important) as the script itself. In an industry and city where the writer may be a valet, and the producer might be the guy with the claim ticket, the 10 second pitch has unexpectedly changed more than a few lives.Movie Trainspotting (1996)

Most importantly, Snyder kinda makes the process easy for you. If you’re committed, have a semblance of an idea, and have Save the Cat, i think you’ve got a shot.

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Great TED – The Social Animal

I had about a 20 minute drive to make last night, so I decided to cue up a TED talk on my iPhone and see if I could multitask transportation and enlightenment. I succeeded. Or rather, David Brooks, columnist for the New York Times succeeded with his compelling talk about human nature and our conscious awareness.

There are several comedic and interesting sound bites worth sharing, but he delivers a summation in the middle of his talk that struck a chord with me.Watch 1916: The Irish Rebellion (2016) Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

“…. for centuries we’ve inherited a view of human nature based on the notion that we’re divided selves. That reason is separated from the emotions, and that society progresses to extent that reason can suppress the passions. And it’s lead to a view of human nature that we’re rational rational individuals who respond in straight-forward ways to incentives. and it’s lead to ways of seeing the world where people try to use the assumptions of physics to measure how human behavior is… and it’s produced a great amputation. a shallow view of human nature. we’re really good at talking about material things, but we’re really bad at talking about emotions. we’re really good at talking about skills and safety and health, but we’re really bad at talking about character.”

Though the talk and Mr. Brooks are politically focused, and though his party views are conservative (he’s been quoted as saying “I was a liberal before coming to my senses”), the meat of his TED Talk is a social and psychological commentary on our subconscious perception, interactions, and ultimately, how those things effect our views of others and of society and societal issues at large.

Important stuff to be aware of, think about, and develop a perspective on.
http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf