Satisfaction: You take it on the road for 50 years and get the hang of it (50 sec)

Q:   This never gets old to you?

Keith Richards: No. No. It gets more interesting actually. The weird thing is that every time I play “Satisfaction”, I’m finding new ways, just a little lick here and a little lick there, and I wish we would have put that on the record, but the fact is that the way things go, you wrote songs and five days later you’ve recorded it. You barely know the thing. And then you take it on the road for 50 years and I’m starting to get the hang of it now.


Need a fix, find The Rolling Stones music video here:  “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Someone will always have a higher jump or a more beautiful line.

natalie-portman-harvard-commencement

“I felt like there had been some mistake,” she said. “…that I wasn’t smart enough to be in this company.”…When Portman was finally able to combat these feelings of self-doubt, there’d be more roadblocks to overcome…

By the time Portman got to “Black Swan,” she said that “the experience was completely [her own].” Portman had vowed to only sign onto projects that she could glean meaningful things from. And Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” — a project she admits she was “woefully unprepared for” and was “15 years away from being a ballerina” when she signed on for — would carry, perhaps, one of Portman’s most meaningful life experiences.

“It was instructive for me to see that for ballet dancers — once your technique gets to a certain level — the only thing that separates you from others is your quirks,” Portman said. “Or even, flaws … You can never be the best technically. Someone will always have a higher jump or a more beautiful line. The only thing you can be the best at is developing your own self.”

~ Natalie Portman, 2015 Harvard Commencement Speech


Credits: Quote – Salon.com.

Not as well as Yo-Yo Ma, but still, to touch the hem of the gown that is art itself

ann-patchett-

Why is it that we understand playing the cello will require work, but we attribute writing to the magic of inspiration? Chances are, any child who stays with an instrument for more than two weeks has some adult making her practice, and any child who sticks with it longer than that does so because she understands that practice makes her play better and that there is a deep, soul-satisfying pleasure in improvement. If a person of any age picked up the cello for the first time and said, “I’ll be playing in Carnegie Hall next month!” you would pity their delusion, yet beginning fiction writers all across the country polish up their best efforts and send them off to The New Yorker. Perhaps you’re thinking here that playing an instrument is not an art itself but an interpretation of the composer’s art, but I stand by my metaphor. The art of writing comes way down the line, as does the art of interpreting Bach. Art stands on the shoulders of craft, which means that to get to the art you must master the craft. If you want to write, practice writing. Practice it for hours a day, not to come up with a story you can publish, but because you long to learn how to write well, because there is something that you alone can say. Write the story, learn from it, put it away, write another story. Think of a sink pipe filled with sticky sediment. The only way to get clean water is to force a small ocean through the tap. Most of us are full up with bad stories, boring stories, self-indulgent stories, searing works of unendurable melodrama. We must get all of them out of our system in order to find the good stories that may or may not exist in the freshwater underneath. […]

Does this sound like a lot of work without any guarantee of success? Well, yes, but it also calls into question our definition of success. Playing the cello, we’re more likely to realize that the pleasure is the practice, the ability to create this beautiful sound; not to do it as well as Yo-Yo Ma, but still, to touch the hem of the gown that is art itself… I got better at closing the gap between my hand and my head by clocking in the hours, stacking up the pages. Somewhere in all my years of practice, I don’t know where exactly, I arrived at the art. […]

Forgiveness. The ability to forgive oneself. Stop here for a few breaths and think about this because it is the key to making art, and very possibly the key to finding any semblance of happiness in life. […]

I believe, more than anything, that this grief of constantly having to face down our own inadequacies is what keeps people from being writers. Forgiveness, therefore, is key. I can’t write the book I want to write, but I can and will write the book I am capable of writing. Again and again throughout the course of my life I will forgive myself.

~ Ann Patchett. This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, Harper Perennial, 2014)


Source: Brain Pickings – The Workhorse and the Butterfly: Ann Patchett on Writing and Why Self-Forgiveness Is the Most Important Ingredient of Great Art

I like the list because it contains the seeds of its own undoing

better-than-before-gretchen-rubin

My favorite passage in the book is a reprinting of Johnny Cash’s to-do list: “Not smoke. Kiss June. Not kiss anyone else. Cough. Pee. Eat. Not eat too much. ­Worry. Go see Mama. Practice piano.” I like the list because it contains the seeds of its own undoing. Habits have an eternal appeal because they remove the element of choice. They hold out the promise that in the future we can improve ourselves almost automatically just by moving through our days, like the evolved operating system in the Spike Jonze movie “Her.” But Johnny Cash understands that temptation is not a virus we can remove. His list isn’t linear, it’s circular. He will never turn into June. He will always be Johnny, and every day he will cough, pee and eat. Just as every day he will have to resist the urge to kiss someone else.

~ Hanna Rosin, Book Review of Gretchen Rubin’s “Better Than Before”


Yet our useless fascination goes on

eyeball,black and white
In this age of the quantified self, we measure how many hours we slept, steps we took, calories we burned. Yet we know nothing about ourselves. We spend more time checking-in to our stats than our souls. Our experience is mined for data but not depth. We have all these numbers to improve now, but no idea how to dial back the numbness.

Life doesn’t have to be a spreadsheet, yet our useless fascination goes on. We spend more time shopping, in considering the thread-count of our sheets before purchase, than we do soul-searching, that beautiful art of thinking about the quality and purpose of our lives.

We are addicted to the constant digital stream, often peering gape-mouthed into the sordid details of other people’s lives; in the process we have checked-out of reality, neglecting our own life so pregnant with potential and meaning.

If we are to measure and monitor and improve anything, let it be our presence and character, a mindfulness for who we are and how we are experiencing and relating with the world. Have I been true to myself? Have I lived vibrantly today? Have I loved openly today? Have I made a difference today? Let us check in to ourselves in these ways; for, in the end, these are the only measures that matter.

– Brendon Burchard


Notes:

Kaizen

quotes


And to start your morning with Bach by Pablo Casals, here’s a Youtube link. Thank you Nia.


Source: thesensualstarfish

The Relentless Reviser

henri matisse-young-sailor I & II (1906)


The path to excellence.  Study the best in the field. Develop lifelong habits. Continuously revise and improve. (Kaizen.)  Practice.  Have a critical eye with your own work.  Be sure to focus on the process as it is as important as the output. Pursue your field of passion despite the views of your critics.  There are no shortcuts to excellence – it takes incredible focus and effort.  Same old, same old?  Yes.  It worked for Matisse.  And it will work for you and me.

Henri Matisse (1869-1954), along with Picasso and Duchamp, was regarded as one of three artists who helped define art and sculpture in the 20th century.  There is a Matisse show on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art until March 17th, 2013.  There is an exceptional review of the show in wsj.com titled The Relentless Reviser.  Below I share excerpts from the review that are applicable to many of us in our fields: [Read more…]

Problems identified…


Source: Thank you Steve Layman for sharing Indexed.com

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Now, Now, Now.

now now nowMake up your mind that nothing is more important than how I feel now, because now is everything. Now is the whole enchilada. Now is the power of me. Now, now, now, now, now… You might as well start somewhere, and it might as well be now. Why not start improving your life now, now, now?

~ Abraham

 

 

 

 

 


Quote Source: john449

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