I have a thing for hats now

Yeah, I have a thing for hats. It’s weird; I can’t get enough of ’em.

Anyway, here’s something that’s been on my mind. What’s the difference between that successful person and yourself? Well first off, it all depends on who you define as “successful”. I’ll just make it pretty general; a successful person is just someone you aspire to be better than and/or want to emulate. Sound good? Good.

Here’s something to keep in mind first, these are just my own thoughts and observations. You got something against ’em? Big whoop. You got your own set of ideas. Agree to disagree, that kind of jazz n’est-ce pas? Fantastique; nous allons commencer.

That “successful” person is generally different from you from you because they:

  1. actually have some sort of trait that distinguishes them from others
  2. have a set goal in mind (not necessarily specific)
  3. aren’t bothered much by failure
  4. get things done in an efficient manner

1. They actually have some sort of trait that distinguishes them from others
Hopefully this won’t need too much explanation; I’ll use the photo from above to explain. When you look at the photo, what’s the main thing that catches your eye? Hopefully the seagull (otherwise I don’t know how your eyes/brain function(s)). Sure, the photograph skews it so that the seagull is more interesting but suppose you’re walking down a large courtyard (such as in front of Koerner) and there’s a lot people. You’re on your way somewhere and in that crowd of people there’s that seagull just walking around and there’s a pretty good chance you’re gonna notice it just cause it’s different. Now the seagull represents the way a person dresses (fashion), a particular skill the person has (this can range from breakdancing to joke telling to academics, their physical appearance (you know, people who just seem to be born photogenic), and the way they act and speak (whether or not they’re a complete a** or extremely nice).

Be the seagull. Seriously.

2. They have a set goal in mind (not necessarily specific)
When this “successful” person started in whatever made them “successful”, I highly doubt they had an extremely detailed plan. A goal, definitely; a plan, somewhat. The goal can be big or it can be small. It could be a goal that affects the whole world, or a goal of just “hanging out”. Now to plan! How often have you had a plan set and something came along and ruined it? I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a plan, but if you’re thinking that the plan you have is the “be all, end all” ohhh boy life is gonna give you a whoopin (unless you’re INSANELY lucky). Which brings me to my next point.

3. They aren’t bothered much by failure
Plan doesn’t work out and you totally messed up. OH NOOOOOO. No, wrong attitude. Try: “Dang, now where did I screw up and where can I improve?”. Before I go any further, I feel like putting this out. I have a HUGE gripe with the current school system (and by that I mean elementary and high school). The way that it’s taught indirectly teaches that there is only “right or wrong”. It has a huge impact from my experience. The first couple times I was embarrassed by being wrong; after that I just stopped taking chances. The following video explains it a lot better (GREAT speaker), but the gist of it is I stopped taking chances up until I discovered photography.

Failure is a part of learning and quite honestly the “right or wrong” attitude doesn’t allow a person to take chances. That “successful” person is either willing to take chances, or just don’t care all that much.

4. They get things done in an efficient manner
Generally, “successful” people don’t put things off for too long and/or have some sort of system that just gets everything done. That’s it. Really.

Everything always sounds better in my head, but I got time to work on that. See? I’m kind of taking a chance at sounding completely bonkers. Essentially all I am saying is: find something that makes you unique, go do it and take a chance, and see where that goes.

It’s all easier said than done I know, but once you get past the first step it gets a lot easier. When you were a baby, learning to walk was probably extremely lame. Now look at how you walk now. It’s not that bad is it?


One thought on “I have a thing for hats now”

  1. thank you (for taking the risk of sounding crazy; you don’t, but I can relate to the “it sounds better in my head”). I actually found this quite helpful and thought-provoking. good points – I need to work on the latter two. I would also add the time/practice/hard work/perseverance factor, à la Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 hours” in The Outliers.

    your “be the seagull” phrase reminded me of this blog post, “Be the Chicken Nugget in a Bag of Vegetables”: http://sharilopatin.wordpress.com/2011/01/05/chicken-in-veggies/ …it’s on writing, but still relevant.

    ah yes, one of my favourite TED talks, though it’s been a while, so it was good to revisit it… this quote also goes well with it (I can kind of relate?): “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” –Albert Einstein
    (btw, have you seen the video of the talk he did on campus? there’s some overlap: http://www.terry.ubc.ca/index.php/2010/03/03/the-element-how-finding-your-passion-changes-everythingsir-ken-robinson-videoseptember-30-2009/)

    oh, and I almost thought he said “they focus on their *hats, and slightly off to one side” in the video, but he probably said “heads” (must have been the accent) …but that does seem to be my problem – creativity/the creative arts allow/help me to experiment and take chances, but I still live too much in my head…

    p.s. out of curiosity, about how long does it take you to write a post like this? and sorry for such a long comment!

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