Send the elevator back down

kevin-spacey

“If you’ve done well in the business that you wanted to do well in, then it is your obligation to spend a good portion of your time sending the elevator back down.”

– Kevin Spacey

Q: What keeps you going? What get’s you up in the morning?

KS: We had dinner one night on the beach.  We decided to play a game and the game was you had to describe the most important thing in life using one word.  So we went around table. You got health, wealth, family, money. It came to John Huston and he said “Interest.” “Interest.” “Interest” that’s the most important thing in life. And I feel that is something that I have adopted. The idea of being interested in things that I don’t know rather than things that I do know. Peeling back the layer again and again of putting yourself in situations that are challenging and new, that are compelling, and ask of yourself something different than you’ve ever done before. And sometimes this means doing things that scare you and things that you’re not sure you can succeed at.

I suppose that is why I have always loved the theatre and why I love doing plays over anything else. There’s a ritual to it.  There’s also this incredible thing about it where it’s like you are walking on a tight rope. Feeling like you have nothing below you but your faith in what you are doing, your appreciation of the words and the story the author has written and your trust in your fellow company members.

Q: Do you feel that taking risks gets easier and easier over time?

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Whispering. Whispering.

red hair

Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves.
But deep down below the surface of the average conscience
a still, small voice says to us,
something is out of tune.

~ Carl Gustav Jung


Credits: Quote – Thank you Eclecticity. Photograph: eikadan

It, did. It had me.

Christine-Comyn

“From the beginning I had a sense of destiny, as though my life was assigned to me by fate and had to be fulfilled. This gave me an inner security, and though I could never prove it to myself, it proved itself to me. did not have this certainty, it had me.”

C. G. Jung, from Memories, Dreams, Reflections

 


Notes:

What does it mean?

White on White

It was in June. Circa 1995. A sticky late afternoon. I jump in a Yellow Cab to visit a client’s home to inspect Fine Art collateral. The cab pulls up to his building. A massive, black granite stone polished to a high sheen. Money.

I offer the doorman my name and the purpose for my visit. He reaches for the phone to confirm. Sir, I’ll escort you up.

The Doorman holds the door as I enter the elevator. Hat. Uniform. White gloves. He presses the button. Penthouse. 

Hi. Good to see you again. Would you like me to show you around our place?

I graciously accept. My feet are damp in my wing tips; they clop on the white Italian marble floor. The echo ricochets off the vaulted ceiling, off the contemporary furniture with its sharp lines, and off the floor-to-ceiling windows. I look out over the city – – a spectacular view – – and then look down below.  I note that my hands are trembling. Take a deep breath. It’s acrophobia. Step back and away. 

Would you like something to drink?

I thank him and pass. I can’t have anything near my stomach now. I’m nauseous. Stomach is churning. I’m breathing rarified air. I don’t belong here.

The air conditioning, noiseless, offers a cooling feathery touch. I shiver. Fine Art and humidity are not friends. The temperature, constant and cool, preserves.

Here’s what you came to see.

[Read more…]

One gets the sense they are trying to armor up

graduation

Excerpt from David Brooks in the NY Times: The Streamlined Life

In 1985, only 18 percent of freshmen said that they felt overwhelmed by all they had to do. By 2013, 33 percent said they felt overwhelmed. In 1985, 64 percent of students said they ranked in the top 10 percent or at least above average in terms of mental health. But today, students admit to being much more emotionally vulnerable. They also declare low levels of spiritual self-confidence.

At the same time, one gets the sense they are trying to armor up, in preparation for the rigors to come. They assert their talents. They rate themselves much more highly than past generations on leadership skills, writing abilities, social self-confidence and so on. For example, in 2009, roughly 75 percent of freshmen said they had a stronger drive to achieve than their average peers.

Human nature hasn’t changed much. The surveys still reveal generations driven by curiosity, a desire to have a good family, a good community and good values. But people clearly feel besieged. There is the perception that life is harder. Certainly their parents think it is harder. The result is that you get a group hardened for battle, more focused on the hard utilitarian things and less focused on spiritual or philosophic things; feeling emotionally vulnerable, but also filled with résumé assertiveness. The inner world wanes; professional intensity waxes.

Read full article:  The Streamlined Life


Photograph by Mutaz Albar

And than, and than, and than

photography,doubts,close-up,woman,grief,hurt,remorse

“A moment later,
I was filled with doubts,
and the next moment after that
I began to doubt those doubts.
To think one thought
meant thinking the opposite thought,
and no sooner did that second thought destroy the first thought
than a third thought rose up to destroy the second.”

Paul Auster, from The Book of Illusions


Photograph: Eric Rose via Your Eyes Blaze Out. Quote: A Poet Reflects. Paul Auster: Book of Illusions


What Drives Success?

success
Not sure I buy into #1. I’m a fervent believer in #2 and #3.
I’ve mastered #2. There’s considerable work required on #3.

“The strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that, together, propel success. The first is a superiority complex — a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality. The second appears to be the opposite — insecurity, a feeling that you or what you’ve done is not good enough. The third is impulse control….

It’s odd to think of people feeling simultaneously superior and insecure. Yet it’s precisely this unstable combination that generates drive: a chip on the shoulder, a goading need to prove oneself. Add impulse control — the ability to resist temptation — and the result is people who systematically sacrifice present gratification in pursuit of future attainment.

But this success comes at a price. Each of the three traits has its own pathologies. Impulse control can undercut the ability to experience beauty, tranquillity and spontaneous joy. Insecure people feel like they’re never good enough…A superiority complex can be even more invidious. Group supremacy claims have been a source of oppression, war and genocide throughout history.”

~ Amy Chua & Jed Rubenfeld, What Drives Success?


Read entire article in NY Times: What Drives Success?  Worthy…


Ghosts you chase you never catch

portrait, black and white, photography

“I wouldn’t describe myself as lacking in confidence, but I would just say that … the ghosts you chase you never catch.”

John Malkovich


John Gavin Malkovich, 59, was born in Christopher, Illinois.  His paternal grandparents were Croatian. He is an American actor, producer, director, and fashion designer. Over the last 30 years of his career, Malkovich has appeared in more than 70 motion pictures. For his roles in Places in the Heart and In the Line of Fire, he received Academy Award nominations. He has also appeared in critically acclaimed films such as Empire of the SunThe Killing FieldsDangerous LiaisonsOf Mice and MenBeing John Malkovich, and RED, and has produced numerous films, including Juno and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.


Image Source: Youreyesblazeout

Yes.

black and white portrait

Your body
is not
a battlefield.
It’s time
to put down
your weapons.

~ Olivia


Quote Source: Sun For Her Soul via Your Eyes Blaze Out. Portrait Credit: Thierry DeHove


The Impostor Syndrome

“The thing about ‘impostors’ is they have unsustainably high standards for everything they do. The thinking here is, If I don’t know everything, then I know nothing. If it’s not absolutely perfect, it’s woefully deficient. If I’m not operating at the top of my game 24/7, then I’m incompetent.”

Read more about the Impostor Syndrome (and those afflicted by it including Maya Angelou, Meryl Streep and Tina Fey) in this post titled: Crushing the Impostor Syndrome @ CycloneLife.net.


Source: Crushing the Impostor Syndrome @ Cyclonelife.net via 99u.com.

4:22 am. And Inspired.


Wednesday mornings are customarily reserved for my selections of fellow bloggers’ inspiring posts of the week.  We’re departing from our normal fare. My Rachel shared this 6-minute clip last night.  I was captivated. No more words. WATCH.


Note to Rachel. Your short email to me said: “good video about how we (women specifically) perceive ourselves.” Your subject heading was “awesome video.”

I do believe you missed a few sentences in your email.  Here’s what I read between the lines:

“Dad, you were relentless and I didn’t like you for it.  How many times did you tell me I didn’t need eye make-up? Hundreds, I think.  How many times did you tell me that I didn’t need hair color.  That nail polish didn’t matter much.  That I didn’t need any make-up at all.  That I was beautiful just the way I was.  I’m beginning to get it now Dad.  You were right. (Again)  Thank you Dad.”

You are welcome Honey.  You are more beautiful than you think.  Yes you are.

And the Golden Globe award goes to…

funny, laugh, true, psychology, success


Anne Hathaway offered the best quote of the night at the 2013 Golden Globes Awards during her acceptance speech for best supporting actress as Fantine in Les Miserables.


Image Source: ParalyzedBeaver

You Reading This, Be Ready

woman, face, portrait, eyes

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life -

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

- William Stafford  (The Way It Is)


Sources: Poem – Thank you WhiskeyRiver.  Photograph: Rangefinder

Flying…with Baggage.

not good enough, psychology, confidence, assertive, assertiveness, self-help, life, mental health, story

I get assigned the middle seat on flight to the Midwest.

The Window and Aisle seats are occupied.  (< 2 hour flight.  No reason to work oneself up. Last post on similar topic was titled Think Small and it came rushing to mind.)

WSM (Window Seat Mate) asks how “the big guy was so lucky to get stuck in the jump seat.” I reply that I’ve had back-to-back storms to thank for the rescheduling.  No reaction from WSM.

Our Flight is grounded for a “quick repair.”

I pull out my PC to grind through some emails.

WSM steals one glance at my screen.  And then another.  And another.  And another. And then just stares. (I need to invest in a screen protector to keep out prying eyes.  Yet, we can all be forgiven to steal a one quick glance to knock out the curiosity…)  However, there has to be an Emily Post rule where 4-5 side glances followed by a protracted stare is over the line.)

[Read more…]

Sylvia Path: “I am myself. That is not enough.”


Sources: Sylvia Path quote via creatingaquietmind from larmoyante. Image: Crescentmoon

Related Sylvia Path Post: Oh, How I Ricochet Between…

Productivity vs. The Amount of Work

ilovecharts, charts, level of confidence, efficiency


I think he’s on to something here…


Source: querosabermais via ilovecharts

You must go at it with monastic obsession…

John E. Smith @ strategiclearner is a frequent inspiration stop for me.  Here’s another one of John’s great shares.  Henry Rollins speaks to college students in this clip however I believe his remarks are inspirational to all of us.  He shares an important message that needs to be heard, shared and passed along. It’s worth 5 minutes of your time.  You’ll find the transcript below.

Transcript of Henry Rollins’ remarks:

Young person, you’ll find in your life that sometimes your great ambitions will be momentarily stymied, thwarted, marginalized by those who were perhaps luckier, come from money, where more doors opened, where college was a given–it was not a student loan; it was something that Dad paid for–to where an ease and confidence in life was almost a birthright, where for you it was a very hard climb.

You cannot let these people make you feel that you have in any way been dwarfed or out-classed. You must really go for your own and realize how short life is. You got what you got, so you have to make the most of it. You really can’t spend a whole lot of time worrying about his. You really have to go for your own. If you have an idea of what you want to do in your future, you must go at it with almost monastic obsession, be it music, the ballet or just a basic degree. You have to go at it single-mindedly and let nothing get in your way. You’re young. That’s why you can survive on no sleep, Top Ramen noodles and dental floss and still look good.

All the people you admire, from Mohamed Ali to any politician, they work and work and work. Your president right now is a man who got where he is through very hard work and scholarships, mainly hard work and application and discipline. If these people can do it, why not you? [Read more…]

Today, I’m making myself…??? (multiple choice)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Source: abirdeyeview via jorthomas149

How I ricochet between…

 

 

 

God, how I ricochet between certainties and doubts.

~ Sylvia Plath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Quote Source: thingssheloves via loveyourchaos.  Image Source: iamscottdo via Mme Scherzo

Related Posts:

High Self-Confidence Is a Curse? Yep…

atelophobia

Yes, the old saw is at it again.  New research is turning over on its back yet more conventional wisdom.  Many of my emotional shortcomings (short fuse/anger), phobias, indulgences (salt) are proving to be either normal or critical to success – I knew I just had to wait it out…

This time it’s Dr Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, an international authority in personality profiling and psychometric testing who posts “Less Confident People Are More Successful” in the HBR Blog Network.  (Important Disclosure: HBR could post just about anything…unicorns, Sasquatch, Ogo Pogo, mermaids – – and I’m a buyer.) Here’s some excerpts from his post:

“…There is no bigger cliché in business psychology than the idea that high self-confidence is key to career success. It is time to debunk this myth. In fact, low self-confidence is more likely to make you successful…”

“…After many years of researching and consulting on talent, I’ve come to the conclusion…If your confidence is low, rather than extremely low, you stand a better chance of succeeding than if you have high self-confidence. There are three main reasons for this:”

[Read more…]