Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Get Inspired, and Be Crazy Enough to Think You Can Change the World!

Ever wonder why so many successful artists, athletes and entrepreneurs say the same thing? Well, maybe that's because what they are saying is actually true and works!

Check out Sir Richard Branson leading with a quote from Steve Jobs in the link below:

"The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the one who do."

Time and time again, you will hear the most successful people talk about believing in yourself and never giving up as two keys to success. If this is true, and I think the many success stories are proof that it is true, then there are only two reasons you have not achieved your own success, either: (1) you do not truly believe in yourself and your ability to accomplish what you have set out to do, or (2) it's just a matter of time (which if you don't have doubt and truly believe in yourself, you already know).

How do you come to believe in yourself to this degree? How do you become crazy enough to think you can change the world? While I doubt there is a simple answer that will satisfy everyone out there, I certainly believe that it has very much to do with finding out what it is you are most passionate about and what inspires you. When you are involved in something that you love and are passionate about, you will be better able and willing to complete immerse yourself in whatever it is, to learn everything you need to know and become an expert, maybe the best, at whatever it is. This will naturally give you confidence and lessen any doubt you may have about yourself. However, and perhaps more importantly, if you love what you do and enjoy the process of doing it, then you become less focused on an end goal. And if you are not focused on an end goal then you will not be consumed with doubt that you can actually achieve that end goal. This goes back to building a wall ( If you love building the wall and the process of laying each brick, then you are not focused on the goal of completing the wall. The idea of building a wall may seem impossible, in which case you may doubt that you can ever achieve such a grand feat.

So what does this all mean, and how does it relate to being crazy enough to think you can change the world? Being crazy enough to think you can change the world is knowing that when you do what you love and are passionate about, when you give the best you have to offer to the world, then you are in fact having an impact and changing the world already. There is no doubt. There is no fear. Because there is no goal to be afraid you cannot achieve. You are already achieving it, one brick at a time. So go, get inspired, and be crazy enough to know you can change the world. 

Read about what inspires Sir Richard Branson here:

Friday, July 26, 2013

Find Your Truth of the Moment, and Don't Give Up

There is nothing in the world that you are better at then simply being you. And having the discipline and confidence to be yourself is the key that will unlock your door to happiness and success. Just ask Grammy award winning rapper, producer and entrepreneur Shawn Carter (better known as "Jay-Z" or "Jay Z"). When asked about his continued success in music, where most artists eventually fade away, Hova explains that "it is the discipline to not get caught up in the moment" or "jump on the next hot thing" that has made him successful, whereas other artists "don't stick to what they know."

"Just having the discipline and having the confidence in who I am and if I go into a studio and I find my truth of the moment, there are a number of peope in the world that can relate to what I'm saying and are going to buy into what I am doing, not because it's the new thing of the moment but because it's my genuine emotions."

Not only is being yourself what you are best at, it is also the most unique gift you have to offer the world. After all, there is only one you. If you want to do something great, or bring some small change to the world, take Mr. Carter's advice: find your truth of the moment, and share it with the world. There will be enough people interested in what you have to give, so long as it is geniune.    

The second piece to this puzzle, and perhaps the one that requires the most discipline, is that once you discover who you are and what you have to give to the world, you have to never give up. In reflecting on his own success, Jay-Z's states, "The genius thing we did was we didn't give up." Whether you are an artist, athlete, entrepreneur, band, brand, company, etc., you will hear the word "no" many, many times. Doors will be shut, and you will almost definitely feel at some point like you should just give up. This is a right of passage that every sucessful person must endure: finding the will and drive to insist on following your dream no matter what, to essentially be willing to die trying to achieve what you believe in. Get to that point, find yourself at that place, and you will have already succeeded. 

Here is a YouTube clip of Jay-Z discussing his success:

Friday, July 5, 2013

Pearl Jam: Doing the Evolution

Pearl Jam is about to make a major announcement on Monday, July 8th, at 1:00pm. The band's website currently has a countdown clock leading up to the big event. What could it be? A new album? A new single? A world tour? Like any jammer, I wait with bated breath.

Like many Pearl Jam fans, I have grown up with the band. A once plaid shirt-wearing, angst-ridden kid, who would get motivated for school by singing such Pearl Jam songs as "Leash" ("Drop the leash/drop the leash, get out of my f'ing face"), I have matured over the past 23 years right along with many of Pearl Jam's themes. Today, now a father of two young boys, I continue to take solace in Pearl Jam's songs, which have grown to reflect the sort of awareness about life that only comes with age and experience. You see, like its fans, Pearl Jam has grown up too. And rather than fight change and try to continue being what they once were, Pearl Jam has not only embraced its own evolution, it has become defined by it. It is precisely this evolution that I find most facinating about Pearl Jam, and most relevant to their staying power. And their story in this regard is one that many other artists and entrepreneurs can learn from.

The all-too-often used phrase for today's modern world is "adapt or die." I think I would like to replace that with one simple word: evolve. Pearl Jam never adapted to the idea of having to make music videos, or doing extensive interviews, or pushing a radio-friendly single, or really any traditional method of music marketing. Yet, they did not die. Instead, Pearl Jam consistently made honest music, toured the world, fought for causes they believed in, and were genuinely appreciative of their fans. In fact, Pearl Jam did not "adapt" at all.  But they did evolve, and continue to do so (Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready has gone so far as to call the new album that the band has been working on "experimental," something few 23-year musical acts would dare set out for).

The problem with adapting is that you run the risk of becoming something that you are not, and following the flavor of the month. Long-term success is rooted in authenticity. Staying genuine to your brand and allowing yourself to grow naturally over time just may end up being your greatest strength.

Here's a link to Pearl Jam's last music video, "Do the Evolution", released some 15 years ago -