Ideas are great, they are the key to innovation and without them our lives would have been very difficult. We are living in an idea economy where new ideas not only survive but also thrive.
With that said, I have come across many people who are very attached to their ideas, sometime I am also among those people and have attached myself too much with an idea, thinking of it as a good thing.
Today, I had a great revelation while reading the book “Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration“, by Dr. Ed Catmull co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios and President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios.
In this book he has shared many of his encounters with Steve Jobs and have shared how Steve use to come up with a number of innovative ideas throughout his life,(well this part is known to the world) what I did not know was that he never got too much attached with an idea. He talked about how frequent the change of mind Steve had with his ideas and how he was never stubborn of his ideas.
What I learned from this is, rather than attaching ourselves too much with an idea, we should come up with a lot of ideas and test them, believing that we would eventually get a great idea along the way, this is how Steve made it.
I think we can also come up with a great idea only if we discuss a dozen of mediocre ideas. The success lies with constantly coming up with the new ideas and not attaching ourselves with only one.
As we become mature and have acquired knowledge and experience we reach to a certain level of comfort zone and this is how we differ from a child.
However there are still many things which we could learn from a child. One of them is adopting “new“. As we grow old we are reluctant to try new things. I have seen many people in my life who just don’t like to learn new things.
If we analyze the situation more closely the children learn because they have no other option but to learn because they haven’t learned anything yet and they submit themselves in learning and more importantly they are not scared of the outcome of what will happen if that didn’t work out.
However as an adult we attach ourselves to the outcome and we are scared of the unknown and we simply ignore the new.
All the big corporations are also the example of this phenomenon and we see it in their reluctance to adopt a new technology. They only adopt a new technology when it is absolutely necessary and there is no other option.
I am not saying to go and adopt whatever new things you could find all I am saying is don’t say no to anything before giving it a fare amount of time and analysis. There are plenty of new habits you could adapt to change your life for the better, there are plenty of new things you could learn to enhance your skill set only if you welcome the new and say yes to learning.
We should all welcome change into our lives and keep learning new things. It’s only the new which could replace the old.
I ask this question to myself very frequently and I read many books to get to know how really smart people think about this question. I have found one thing common and I would like share it with you too.
This might not be exactly what you are looking for right now and it can not be generalized for everyone because we all are different in many aspects. Also I would say it’s not the only reason why we are here but rather it’s one of the reasons.
So here it goes..!
We are here to be awesome, to build something awesome and feel good about it and do it over and over again. We like to be challenged and when we achieve what we strive for, we feel good about ourselves.
Nobody wants to drink mango juice at the beach forever, after becoming a millionaire. Of course many of us want to be a millionaire but it’s not only money that we like but also the challenge associated with it is much more fulfilling.
We constantly want to be challenged and we love it. It’s boring not to have any challenge in your life. Challenges make things exciting and interesting.
Problems and challenges are different side of the same coin. Problem is a negative word and people who crib are likely to use to it more often, on the other hand challenge have a positive impact.
It’s all about the thought process, how you looking at it.
Do you have a problem or a challenge to overcome?
Dr. Ed Catmull is co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios and President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios.He also have written a book “Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration“, which I am currently reading.
One of the core principles that they have at Pixar is “Fail Early Fail Fast” and it got me into thinking how different they are from the rest of the world.
They believe that success and failure go hand in hand and they believe in failing fast and early so that they could achieve success soon. If only we could live our life with this principle. He have also mentioned that how we are hard wired to fear failure and why we try to avoid it. But the truth is avoiding failure comes at a price which is mediocrity. Avoiding failure means settling for less than what you deserve which sucks.
Pixar has given awesome movies to the world a few of them are Toy Story trivia, A Bugs Life, Finding Nemo etc. They have created history and we all agree on this unanimously. Their thought process is making mistakes are the ways to create something new, something which never existed before. It’s not that they celebrate failure but they learn from it and they get better every single time.
So next time, when you are about to encounter failure don’t avoid it rather think about Pixar for a few seconds, and remember their core principle and try to incorporate them in your life.
When we were child we use to play to with everything that comes in our contact. It was awesome, we did not care for the consequences and we just wanted to play and have fun. Whenever I get a chance to see a child play I never miss it. They are so curious about everything.
They have courage to poke everything,
Seth Godin in his book “Poke The Box” talks about this phenomenon and how we have forgotten this virtue and have adopted a culture of compliance. We are so afraid of poking the box that we never do anything new. Poking the box doesn’t mean that outcome would be desirable and pleasing, it means new and we should be able to adapt and accommodate the new.
Remember dinosaurs, they are not here because they could not adapt. Well I am not saying that we would be extinct literally. If only we would dare to poke the box our life would be different. I am not saying it would be good or bad different rather you would gain an experience, a story to tell, I believe this is what is life for. To tell our endeavors to our next generation.
To conclude poking the box doesn’t mean that you have to go out of your ways to do something new, it means wherever you are, do not fear to experiment , and try to change things around you for the good.
We often have an idea about other person’s weak spot and many times we have a chance to give an honest feedback to that person but we are reluctant in doing so. Sometimes because we don’t know the other person enough to give a feedback and other times we just don’t want to.
In all those times we forget that we also have a blind spot, an area which we could not see from our point of view but is quite visible from other person’s point of view.
In my early days I took very little interest in knowing the other person, it came out as arrogance, meaning other people felt that I am a very arrogant person, and I had no idea. In my early days so many people took interest in me that I never bothered taking interest in them.
It was only after a couple of honest feedback that I got to know that the first thing people notice in me is arrogance and this was a revelation for me. I encourage everyone to give honest feedback to as many people as you can, because we are here to help each other to become a better version of ourselves.
Thanks to all those people who made me a better person.
Being perfect is now the new thing which haunts everybody nowadays. When we starts something, we want to be perfect at it and that too from the very first day.
Why do we need to be perfect from the very first day?
We see so many amazing work all around us and we love it and when we are about to create something new we want it to be like the stuff we read or see, which is again perfect. We also adore Aamir Khan and his work for being perfectionist.
In all these times we also want to create something and we want it to be perfect and sometimes this feeling gets in the way of creation itself. What it means that we create something and never show it to the world since it’s not perfect yet. Many times we prepare so much that we almost never reach to the end product and again never show it to the world.
We are also extremely critical of our work and we reject it as soon as we see any flaw in it, resulting we never publish something to the world and never let other see our work in the first place.
Ask yourself what is better not shipping your work to the world or let it ship irrespective of the quality of the final product?
I am not saying to ship it improperly, what I am trying to convey here is put a deadline on yourself and ship your work before that because that would help you to at least publish your work and proceed forward.
All I am saying is don’t let perfection be in the way of your creation rather create so many times that the work become perfect, because if you look closely nobody was perfectionist from the day 1.
We cannot be 100% motivated all the time and sometimes we feel down and we also think that it’s a bad thing to feel demotivated or down. Well, as a normal human being we can not be motivated all the time and of course there would be times where we are down. we should not think of it as a bad thing rather we should monitor our thoughts as to why we feel down in the first place.
In the book “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment” the author Eckhart Tolle talks about the mind and how it is a different entity altogether. One of his famous quotes is “we are not our mind”. He suggests that we should monitor our thought patterns and acknowledge the variations in our thoughts, in simple terms be a watcher of our mind, because then we would realize why we feel down in the first place and only after that we could work on it.
So it’s OK if you are feeling bad or down, first acknowledge it and then watch it to find the patterns like this to work on it so that you could eliminate it for the good.
Today I completed the book “Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain” by two very famous economists Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. Steven was chosen as one of Time magazine’s “100 People Who Shape Our World” in 2006.
This book is totally based on facts and data and I got to know about how the economy approach works in real life and it cleared my doubts that it has nothing to do with money, and it is everything to do with facts and actual data. It is really a very long and tedious process.Every theory is backed by countless number of data here.
In this book there are stories involving people who shook the world by taking a really freaky approach and this book also tells us why we should opt for a strategy which is not conventional. This book talks about how to ask a better question to solve a problem and why is it important to ask better and different question to solve a problem.
I also got to know the importance of feedback in real life and realized that how often we loose focus on giving and receiving feedback.
I got to know why it’s important to focus on smalls problems rather than wasting energy and time in solving a lot bigger problem. I am not saying that bigger problems are not important but it helped me to gain a whole new perspective to look at a problem irrespective of it’s size and how it can create a big impact, it was really a good experience to view things from an economist’s point of view.
I would suggest this book to people who would like to know what is happening inside the mind of person who is about to break a world record by many folds and what is his way of thinking and this is just one example, if you want to know answers to questions like that this book is for you.
Yesterday I watched one of the interviews of music director A. R. Rahman at Google. One thing that I have found common among really successful people is that they are really authentic. This trait was very much visible in him also. Simplicity and peacefulness are among many other attributes that i liked in him.
I have so many questions in my mind that I would like to have an answer and for that I read books, listen to podcasts and watch interviews of many successful people around the world. Apart from that I like to talk to everyone and try to learn from everybody. I was delighted to see that there was a question and answer session in that interview also and subconsciously I was hoping that somebody could ask him my question.
I was very lucky and one lady did ask him “what was he thinking when he was 19 years old?”
To my surprise the answer however was that he was very confused at that time and he didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life and also he did not wanted to pursue a carrier in music and his mother made him to do so.
Think about it for a second one of the most successful music directors of the world did not wanted to pursue music and did not know what he wanted to do with his life.
Turns out that it’s OK if you don’t know what to do with your life right now. As long as you are curious to have an answer to that question you still have a chance to make your mark in this world.
Thank you Akash for recommending this to me and also congratulations on your new job.