Certainty is an illusion.
Did you know that even the law of gravity is a statistical probability? There is a tiny possibility that in a fit of entropy (not sure if that’s correct usage), the atoms that make up the keyboard I type on will relocate to random spaces in the universe, and I will leave this post unfini….
But seriously, the possibility exists.
Most people like some degree of certainty. They like that there is something steady that will not change. Family, friends, a paycheck, God. Whatever it is, it is usually the foundation for their values and principles and actions.
But if this certainty is an illusion, how can we have confidence in anything we do?
If success is an event or destination or result, however you want to define it, action is a definite prerequisite—although I suppose your definition of success could randomly materialize, and not just as an optimistic mindset. Without action, there can (almost) certainly never be success (or failure).
In the first newsletter for Play Tennis Like A Ninja, I wrote about purpose. I wrote:
“Purpose” is an attitude you take during the point. If you’re going to approach the net, do it as if there were no other choice.
In other words, choose an arrow and let it fly.
But what when the arrow has already flown? What when you’ve done your part. The waiting and second guessing is the hardest. What if the wind changes as the arrow heads towards its target? Should I have waited till the target was closer to shoot? Or is the probability of things going wrong a constant? What if the target changes?
Truth is, once the arrow has flown, we are helpless. We can watch it. Pray for it. We can hope it will hit the target. But essentially…we are helpless.
And that is certain.
A heart doesn’t literally “break” into two pieces. It doesn’t take “forever” to do…well…anything. Whenever we use superlatives, we’re usually wrong.
As a tennis instructor, I often tell my students to exaggerate certain movements, either slow them down to glacial speeds so every detail can be analyzed, or to overdo certain movements to get rid of bad habits or inertia. There are some forms of exaggeration that are even considered therapeutic.
But notice that we usually exaggerate on things that are considered either trivial or things that are not quantifiable. “I love you more than anything else in the world” or “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse” or “It’s cold as hell.”
We could never get away with exaggerating sales numbers or the distance between two points.
There is definitely a divide between things that we can exaggerate and things we cannot.
Somehow I think that this division is really important. And somehow I think the things on one side of this divide are more important to us than the other.
In fact, I think that the things on that one side of the divide are more important than anything else in the world.
The first thing they tell you about Transcendental Meditation is not to try. They say that transcending the boundaries of the physical world is a natural process and to try to accomplish it is counterproductive. Some types of meditation encourage concentration or contemplation of a subject. They ask for discipline and methodology.
Transcendental Meditation is different. The man who brought TM to the West used to say:
Just take the correct angle and let go.
Seth Godin talks about the
(the part of the brain that is afraid of being ridiculed and consequently from any action that is different). He was asked if there was a technique to shut down the lizard brain. He replied that he certainly used a technique, but wouldn’t say what it was. It’s different for everyone. If I tell you my technique, you’ll try to do it the same way, and then the whole purpose is defeated.
There was a study done on people who have been extremely successful. They only thing they had in common was that they had nothing in common.
I’m fascinated by the internet and the idea of “viral”. And if there’s a dependable methodology to going viral. If there were, it would be highly dependent on behavioral sciences; i.e. what gets shared?—by the average user, that is. The two biggest contributors to shareability are:
People share things that make them laugh or things that make them feel pride or belonging to something.
But what makes something funny is highly random. And what makes one feel like they belong is also extremely subjective.
In other words, what goes viral cannot be predicted. Internet virality is like a smaller (and maybe less significant) version of Taleb’s content that go viralhas very little in common, it’s also true that some things are just more likely to be shared.
No wonder AFV has been on the air for more than 20 years.
Because chances are, you are awesome. And you have an awesome story. And you want to share them with me. And out of this will come awesome ideas.
Unfortunately, I get excited by the simplest of things. And given my inability to focus, it too easy for me to get sidetracked from the projects I already have going.
Networking is a great thing. Constructive conversations are even better. But if your psychological profile is like mine, it might be more productive to stay away from networking than to seek it out.
Artists become successful because they are able to convey a thought, idea, or emotion in a way that appeals to many other people. Not because they are skilled with an instrument or their voice.
A regular person becomes a fan if he/she can identify with an artist’s words or music. And then a relationship is born.
Glee is successful as a musical drama, not just a theatrical one, because each song is recreated by a new artist. That would usually not be any more significant than a YouTube cover, except that this new artist is a character with a story. And the relationship between the character and the audience has already been built.
The Glee soundtrack isn’t successful because its music is particularly great. Or because the singers are particularly great.
Glee music is successful because it’s connected to a story that we can relate to.