In the era of instant, it’s about the complete opposite. You want it now, but in order for it to last you’ve got to wait to start, to gain experience, and you’ve got to keep at it with no obvious chance of success in sight.
So elite college grads go for safety, soul-draining, high-paying jobs on Wall Street, and the poor want instant acclaim. And it’s only the lifers who last.
If you’ve got nothing to say, no one’s gonna want to hear it, at least not for long.
YOU DON’T WANT WHAT YOU THINK YOU DO
Not only are the odds of winning the lottery long, in order to have a million dollars to spend each year, you’ve got to win seventy five.
This article in the “New York Times” breaks it down:
What you want is freedom. And if you can’t gain it by winning the lottery, maybe money isn’t the answer.
Now I’m not saying money isn’t important, having not enough will make you think about it all day and will ruin your life. But freedom is charting your own course, being able to do what you want, and that’s rarely about cash.
DON’T EQUATE PRESS WITH SUCCESS
There’s a story in the newspaper about a live stage version of the movie “Point Break.” I’m sure the actors and creators are congratulating themselves. But few people will ever see the production. And there will be very little money. So I hope they’re doing it for the fun of it, because there’s not that much more. Oh, you could get noticed by producer bigwigs and move up the food chain, but this is the bane of indie movie producers. You make something meaningful and then you want to make “Iron Man”?
Have left the public conversation. That’s what’s killing everything but the blockbusters. Used to be you had to go see the flicks so you could discuss them at parties. For all the publicity about “Blue Jasmine,” nowhere I go is anybody talking about it. It appears it’s a press story, kind of like Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s banjo folk tour.
People talk about television because it’s accessible.
Music doesn’t last because it’s too accessible. Your track can be trumped by another with a click.
We’re all grazers looking for something superior and spending more time in transit than at our desired location.
Are mature. It doesn’t matter whether you use Android or Apple, they both do the same thing. They’ve become commoditized. Future breakthroughs will not be in mobile phones but in another, heretofore unseen area. In other words, if your phone has LTE, you may not need to upgrade for years. Which is kind of what killed computers. You had to have the latest and greatest chip and more RAM to utilize the new applications, and now what you own is good enough and you’d rather not spend the money.
If you’re still excited by mobile phones, you probably can talk for an hour on bathtubs.
I wish I were born yesterday, so this present, cacophonous world, was all I knew. A baby boomer didn’t realize three networks and needing to go to the theatre to see a movie were restrictions. We liked cable and VCRs, but now we’re stuck, lamenting the passage of the good old days, the seventies movies and the seventies records. And we want to be hip and glom on to what’s new, but we just don’t know how to play. How do you make sense of a world with endless choices?
Is highly-anticipated and then it wanes.
All the good thinking is done in the fall, after we’ve gotten our ya-yas out. When the days get shorter and the nights get cooler and we don a sweater and spend time indoors, reading, watching…
MONEY IS FORGOTTEN
David Geffen did an interview in “Fortune.” It’s behind a paywall, so it got no traction. But the most interesting thing he said was how Bill Paley had been forgotten. Everybody with money has been forgotten. So enjoy it while you’re here, because there will be no lasting monument, unless you give your alma mater a hundred million and then students will know nothing but your name, they’ll have no idea what you did.
Art can last. But very little of it does.
And they still don’t call it the “teens.” I don’t know what they’re waiting for. But it’s almost fifteen years since the beginning of the new millennium. Classic rock music is even further behind us in the rearview mirror. Today’s youngsters don’t remember the eighties, never mind the seventies.
He died this week.
The most vaunted record exec in the seventies, absolutely unknown today. He was the guy behind the success of “Saturday Night Fever.” Some of those songs remain in the public consciousness, he does not.
You can’t remember who’s alive or dead. So much time has passed that your memory is clouded, if it can be penetrated at all. But they say those who let go of the past live longer, let that be your prescription.
CONVENTIONAL WISDOM KILLS
It killed the L.A. “Times.” The publication looked at the circulation numbers, thought they told the truth. Whereas the reading public suddenly realized there was nothing left in the newspaper and gave up.
Same deal with Bieber. Don’t look at grosses, it’s perception that matters. Everyone believes he’s lost control, he’s already done.
GOING ON THE ROAD
You’ve got to love it. Otherwise it’s an endless grind.
Ask yourself… Do you want to spend months a year wasting time traveling to play the same damn songs again and again? Sure, the Dead stretched out, and Dylan remakes his tunes, but many acts cannot afford to do this, people want to hear the hits.
So when the techies say to forgo recording revenue and make it up on the road… Do you really want to do this?
Ask yourself before you go down the pike of a music career.
SIR KEN ROBINSON
This guy is a star. He lived in his niche until he got lucky, with a TED talk.
We’re all looking to get lucky. If you keep doing it, you’ve got more opportunity to succeed. It’s always the one thing you don’t really want to do, that you think will be a waste of time, that breaks you through.
The record companies of the late sixties and seventies didn’t ask you for a single, they just gave you money and hoped to get lucky. Oh, they picked people they believed in, but they steered clear of the creative process.
And it’s all about the creative process.
Sir Ken comes out with some gems in this article:
“It’s important to note, especially for parents, that there just isn’t a straight line between what you do at school and what you go on to do. I argue in my new book it’s like being on the ocean. You keep correcting your course according to things that happen to you. And we end up writing a resume, which makes it look like it was a plan. There was a study by a professor at Duke University looking at the degree majors for leaders in 500 companies in Silicon Valley. Forty percent were in math, science, or engineering, but 60% were in the arts and humanities.”
“The continuum, as I see it, starts with imagination. It’s the most extraordinary set of powers that we take for granted: the ability to bring into mind the things that aren’t present. It’s why we are so different from the rest of life on earth. That’s why we’re sitting in a beautiful building, drinking from these cups. Because human beings make things. We create things. We don’t live in the world directly; we live in a world of ideas and of concepts and theories and ideologies.”
But what’s most interesting is Sir Ken is not selling t-shirts or coffee mugs, he’s not trying to capitalize on his fame, waiting for a Fortune 500 company to break him big. No, this is who he is.
Be happy with who you are.