Lou Holtz, Hendrix and the Prince of Egypt on Attitude: Just Believe

Admonitions from Lou Holtz in my Twitter stream jarred me out of a summer haze (not that kind, deviants…) this morning:

Ability is what you are capable of.

Motivation determines what you do.

Attitude determines how well you do it.

Admittedly, I’ve had a chip on my shoulder lately. Too often it’s easy to gripe about perceived injustice, lack of appreciation or acknowledgement from friends, family and in the workplace.

Even if said sentiments are valid, I’ve come to realize it’s just wasted time, space and energy.

As with forgiveness, happiness is a choice. It’s a gift we give ourselves.

Again, as mentioned in previous posts: the world doesn’t care if you have a degree, nor how hard you may have worked for it.

The world doesn’t care if you’re grossly underpaid, overqualified, under-qualified or entitled. If you have a dissertation, 14K grill like Lil Wayne, 10-foot spoiler on a tiny sedan or more bling than the polar ice caps.

But the world might care if you care. Might believe if you believe. 

How many times, mornings…

Days.

Weeks.

Months does it get increasingly harder to wake up ready and willing to face whatever’s next?

To extricate ourselves from our own self-pity, helpless-complex or demoralizing slumps and quietly say:

I’ll try again.

I’ll be better.

And not for anyone else but me.

And with that perspective the nerve and renewed desire to lighten someone else’s load, too…

That’s commitment. That’s selflessness from selfishness. Cynics might dismiss as antiquated, but experience seems to say that forgiving yourself usually precedes forgiving others.

As Daniel Deronda said, it’s about using your unhappiness to help you see other peoples’ pain. 

One of my favorite flicks is the story of John Nash, the mathematics savant from West Virginia played by Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind, which garnered 4 Academy awards (including Best Picture) in 2001.  

One scene that particularly resonated with me depicts a young, salient and blisteringly impatient Nash witnessing a “pen ceremony” (where faculty present their pens in honoring and welcoming a distinguished member).

Though not an official rite of passage at Princeton, the reel goes on to Nash’s professor asking, ‘What do you see?’ Nash replies, “Recognition.”

Shaking his head, the professor elucidates him: Accomplishment.

So often we miss the mark because we’re too focused on the mark, rather than our motives and the process of getting there. Perhaps the hardest part is recognizing when perspective’s lost, where we might have veered off-course in our attempts to control where we’re headed.

The notion of a journey, not a destination. The notion of being present, and slowing down to embrace the moment for what it is.

Granted, nothing worthwhile comes without a cost. I’ve learned that the most rewarding and enriching experiences have also stretched me the most.

Have hurt the most. Have disappointed the most. But man you stretch — and that’s what truly matters.

My first annual review post-college is this month, a part-time gig at a humble, locally-owned business in the town where I attended university. Perhaps the title and the prestige aren’t there, but at some point the world doesn’t seem to care a whole lot about that either.

Rather than dwelling on the fact that friends, family and loved ones are thousands of miles away out West and scattered across the globe, I’ve learned in the past few years to focus on making the best of the people, places and time that are in front of me.

To check my attitude, and willingness to make someone’s life a little easier. To accept the only guarantee I know so far: change is consistent.

Upcoming Footloose ( ahem — remake) dude Kenny Wormald‘s onto something:

If you’re true to yourself and you work hard, and treat people with respect you will Grow… 

RELATED LINKS

Dan Waldschmidt >> Why Believing is the New Selling

Spin Sucks >> Seven Habits to Change the Perception of PR

Anthony Iannarino (new site looks great) >> Unlearning Learned Helplessness

Joe Pulizzi, Content Marketing Institute >> PR and Fighting the Content Marketing Battle Within

 

 

The Convergence of Art and Technology: Google Goes GaGa

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You knew this was coming … ;-) This woman, a year my junior has been a source of validation, inspiration and regeneration since I hit rock bottom in Vegas and moved back to Ohio two years ago.

Nevertheless, my allegorical sister from another mister continues her meteoric rise through the piano, performance art, fashion, social, search, tech, innovation and online zeitgeist:

Highlights

  • If you don’t have any shadows, you’re not standing in the light…
  • And I really encourage people to look into the darkness and places you wouldn’t normally look to find uniqueness and specialness…because that’s where the diamonds are hiding

  • You have to look into what’s haunting you, and you need to learn to forgive yourself in order to move on (referring to the next single off her upcoming album, whose Biblical proportion doesn’t seem likely to conclude at ‘Judas’)
  • My girlfriends wanted to work for you (Google). I wanted to be the one they were searching for…
  • Piano’s funny…I mean it’s kind of this thing that always stays with you. You kind of get your chops back pretty quickly…
  • I was never the winner. I was always the loser.
  • ‎Because if the artist is constantly molding ourselves and changing and bridging –abridging — what we do for the machine, then the artist becomes part of the machine. I don’t want to be part of the machine. I want the machine to be part of me.
  • Addressing bullying: Do I want to stick it to anybody? No. I just wanna make music.

From a PR perspective, few artists today understand viral marketing and the highbrow aspect of our language as well as GaGa. In an interview with Fuse in 2009, she acknowledged: You’re only as good as your best references. I couldn’t help but smile when she mentioned Francis Bacon as a source for her ‘immaculate conceptions’ –and wonder what the spike in his Google search queries will be like in the next few weeks.

Crazy little monsters (a term of endearment she and her followers use).

Perhaps the most exciting part for me, and either those who appreciate or are artists who transcend time (Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Freddie Mercury, Hendrix, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Bowie, Clapton, The Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews to name a few…) is simply the music.

I love how she uses pianospeak to describe her message and music: Sonic (root/variation: sonorous, sonoric). Classical pianists (and I believe, all true artists) are religious about Soul: warmth, color — vibrancy.

GaGa reveals some pretty sick details about her progression as a singer and pianist, discussing how the forthcoming album (due May 23rd) will further highlight her abilities as a producer and songwriter. From a melodic perspective, she shared that

“Sonically, it just smells like me, if that makes sense…” adding

“I guess what I’m trying to say is, um –in my opinion — All good music can be played at a piano and still sound like a hit.”

A — f(expletive)ing Men. Is it May, yet? Lol.

But in all seriousness:

‘Where words fail, music speaks’ -Hans Christian Andersen

Enjoy the weekend!

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