Ken Robinson tells this story: “A little girl was in a drawing lesson. [The teacher] said, ‘What are you drawing?’ And the girl said, ‘I’m drawing a picture of God.’ And the teacher said, ‘But nobody knows what God looks like.’ And the girl said, ‘They will in a minute.’”

Read the whole article here.

You have to be willing to walk. “When you finally are like, ‘Thanks so much for asking, but I’m going to pass’—that’s power. That’s easier said as you get a little more power, but as you start up the ladder in whatever field you’re in, you have to walk if people won’t give you what you’re worth. Once people don’t respect you enough to give you what you’re worth, they’re never going to.” ~Melissa McCarthy

Been a longtime fan of Melissa, in this interview she gives us an idea of how her career developed and some of the lessons she learned along the way.

Our character is often most evident at our highs and lows. – Be humble at the mountaintops, be strong in the valleys, and be faithful in between.  And on particularly hard days when you feel that you can’t endure, remind yourself that your track record for getting through hard days is 100% so far. ~ Unknown

 

This month we lost, arguably, the best DJ of our time. His music was both uplifting and inspiring. Over the last few years I have many memories of both listening and talking to others about his music. I remember showing a friend The Days / Nights EP (below), it was a moment I’ll remember forever because it was a crystallizing moment for our friendship. When you have the same taste in music (or anything, really) with someone all you want to do is share the good stuff with them and it was one of those moments.  And it was made possible by the music that Avicii brought to us. Rest in peace brother, you’re gone but not forgotten.

This one is for the writers. Some great tips on what to do when you’re stuck. Read the full article here. Also, if you haven’t seen it, Arrival holds a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.

5. The head is important, the heart is vital.
In all my draft work on the adaptation, I spent the most time on the intellectual and political challenges of the story. But if I ever encroached on the intimate, emotional through-line of Louise’s journey, the story fell apart. Other scenes could be sacrificed, reworked, moved, or cut to the bone. But director Denis Villeneuve and I found a bare minimum of steps to Louise’s personal journey, and that became our Alamo; our hill we would die defending. Denis had a knack for visuals that spoke on an emotional level while also dovetailing with the intellectual challenges our characters faced. Marrying those two, sometimes in a single line of dialogue or image, made the film come alive. It made us feel the story. And at the end of the day, what drew me most to Ted Chiang’s story was the way it made me feel, and above all else we wanted to transport and share that feeling with audiences.

Life doesn’t get better, you do.

The key idea behind the above quote can be summed up in one word, perception. We can  be philosophical here because there is a discipline dedicated to this subject called stoicism but we won’t go there today. Instead lets take a look a Pixar movie because they somehow, time after time, manage to convey visceral ideas beautifully in their movies. In Inside out for example, the main character is a young girl (Riley) that is in turmoil because she is forced to start over in a new city, at new school, with new friends because her dad gets a new job. As she slowly comes to terms with her situation she goes through some real hard changes. It’s painful to watch our character suffer. But the transformation that was so painful is what also makes the ending doubly beautiful. We can identify with Riley about the good and bad changes in our own lives. The difference for adults is that we get to choose. We get to choose whether we’re happy or unhappy. However, this is not to say that everything is happy all the time and that sadness has no place in our lives. It’s the understanding that all feelings have their place and we have a certain amount of control over how we respond to life as it unfolds outside our control. Emotional intelligence is something we can develop, slowly, one day at a time. This one of the many lessons one take away from the movie, it’s A+ and we highly recommend it. Tears not included.

I read a great article sometime toward the end of last year that regards advice that Naval has given in the past. Here are some of the points that stood out to me. I recommend reading the whole article if you have the time.

1. If you want to be successful, surround yourself with people that are more successful than you are. If you want to be happy, surround yourself with people that are less successful than you are.

2. To add behaviours/habits, do it one at a time.
To subtract, easier to do a lot at once. Most of them are interwoven anyways.

3. Pick one behaviour to change and give it 3 – 6 months to carry out.
SET PUNISHMENTS AND REWARDS.

4. Knowing how little you matter – very important for your own mental health and happiness

5. Set super low expectations and you won’t be disappointed. Seneca’s practice.

6. Confucius says you have two lives and the second one begins when you realize you only have one.

7. Advice to 20-year-old self:

  • chill out, don’t stress so much, everything will be fine
  • be more yourself, don’t try to live up to other people’s expectations
  • self-actualize
  • say no to more things
  • your time is very precious – on your dying days, you will trade EVERYTHING for another day
  • live in the moment

8. If I had always done what I was qualified to do, I would be pushing a broom somewhere***.