One of the big reasons I admire athletes is that they have to perform. In front of stadiums filled with people, they have to be excellent on a schedule. To make that happen, they must be in a regular program of stretching their abilities. Pushing farther. Going beyond. But for most of us, after high school or college, we actively avoid pushing ourselves. After that last final exam, we quietly vow we’ll never stretch quite that far again. But you’ll never achieve your best without taking the risk of
How can you make your dream their dream? It’s a great question if you’re a creative person. In many ways, the ability to present or “pitch” your ideas is one of the most important things you can learn in business – or life. Whether you’re trying to produce a movie, publish a book, get a raise, launch a business, find donors, or whatever, your ability to inspire others to your way of thinking is critical. So to make you better at presenting your brilliant ideas, here’s 10 important principles to keep in mind:
We’ve all heard so much about “passion.” People want to be passionate about their work, so they search for a career or calling they can feel passionate about. However, I’m not a big “passion” person because passion is transitory, temporary, and often shallow. It has too many ups and downs. Passion is great, but it simply won’t get you very far. So what do I recommend?
If your goal is to make an impact in your career or calling, it won’t be long before you meet someone who doesn’t recognize (or even dismisses) your talent. Early in my career, I worked for a man who thought so many of my ideas were stupid that he fired me. But after I left, I used those same “stupid” ideas to help other organizations do amazing things. But sadly, my experience has been echoed throughout history. For instance:
One of my favorite Thomas Edison quotes is: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” I can confirm that in four decades of working with leaders, the single biggest reason they fail is that they get distracted. They aren’t willing to
If you work in the entertainment industry you know about “elevator pitches.” Essentially, the idea here in Hollywood is that if you meet a big producer or movie studio executive in an elevator, you should be able to deliver a summary of your movie idea in the time span of an elevator ride, or roughly 1-2 minutes. If that short pitch is done right, the producer or executive will want to know more – and theoretically invite you to a meeting. Now, here’s a better idea:
Why aren’t you writing your book, creating your film, starting your business, launching your ministry, or otherwise making your big idea happen? Probably because of what writer Steven Pressfield calls “Resistance” – that urge to do anything other than sit down and do what you actually need to do. I’m working on my next book, and yet every morning I have an almost uncontrollable urge to do something – anything – else: check my email, re-arrange my closet, organize my desk, take a walk, or a million other things.
The idea of “Resistance” is far more powerful than we think, and unless we learn to overcome it, we’ll fail every time. In fact, in his recent book “The War of Art” Pressfield doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to how big an issue “Resistance” really is:
“How many of us have become drunks and drug addicts, developed tumors and neuroses, succumbed to painkillers, gossip, and compulsive cell-phone use, simply because we don’t do that thing that our hearts, our inner genius, is calling us to do? Resistance defeats us.
If tomorrow morning by some stoke of magic every dazed and benighted soul woke up with the power to take the first step toward pursuing his or her dreams, every shrink in the directory would be out of business. Prisons would stand empty. The alcohol and tobacco industries would collapse, along with the junk food, cosmetic surgery, and infotainment businesses, not to mention pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and the medical profession from top to bottom. Domestic abuse would become extinct, as would addiction, obesity, migraine headaches, road rage, and dandruff.
Look at your own heart. Unless I’m crazy right now a still small voice is piping up, telling you as it has ten thousand times, the calling that is yours and yours alone. You know it. No one has to tell you. And unless I’m crazy, you’re no closer to taking action on it than you were yesterday or will be tomorrow. You think Resistance isn’t real? Resistance will bury you.
You know, Hitler wanted to be an artist. At eighteen he took his inheritance, seven hundred kroner, and moved to Vienna to live and study. He applied to the Academy of Fine Arts and later to the School of Architecture. Ever see one of his paintings? Neither have I. Resistance beat him. Call it overstatement but I’ll say it anyway: it was easier for Hitler to start World War II than it was for him to face a blank square of canvas.”
Over dramatized? Maybe. But the question remains? Isn’t it time to overcome the Resistance in your life?i
Everybody needs a project. It may be your job, but in most cases, it’s something else. Some call it a “hobby,” but to me a hobby is more about relaxation than accomplishment. Retirees often die if they don’t have a project. Once they start feeling they can’t contribute, then their lives seem over. Your project should be a passion, something you’re good at doing, and a way to