29 March 2010

The truth about the better ones

“It's not that I'm so smart; it's just that I stay with problems longer.”

This is one of Albert Einstein's famous quotes. As many of you know, I'm a big fan of his and this one quote always sticks in my head every time I'm edging on failure and hopelessness. The more I read about great people the more I realize the reason their quotes are so...inspiring is because they themselves were very inspiring people. The more I enhance myself, the more I appreciate what they do. A true leader is one who makes his/her followers find a better part of themselves they would have never discovered on their own. Isaac Newton's confession that the reason he could see further was because he was standing on the shoulder of giants is a perfect example for this.

The more I study comedians, drummers, fitness trainers, designers and just people in general, the more I realize it's not so much the set of cards you were dealt with, it's what you do with it. How many possible combinations or strategies did you really think of before you decided to fold and let destiny decide your future? I have yet to find a successful person I admire who said the only reason they achieved what they did was because they had a head start with good fortune growing up. At the end of the day, it's your effort that really counts. Even if Michael Phelps was gifted with the perfect body for swimming, he still had to put in that time and effort of training to get the gold medals he got. The more I play drums, the more I realize it's not a matter of physical fitness but personal technique that counts. As my technique improves, I realize the reason I couldn't get to where I wanted was simply bad technique. It's like using a blunt saw to cut logs. You could be super strong but you're wasting your time and effort nonetheless. As Abe Lincoln said in his productivity tip about sharpening your saw before trying to cut a tree.

It's quite a shame to be honest because the more people I meet, the more I realize that people are giving up too easily because they classify themselves as "not great" and have accepted the reality of that. When I hear people say "I'm not good at computers!" and get frustrated, I used to sit and explain to them that just like getting fit, getting good at the computer requires constant effort which will pay you back in time saved from using better technique. To be honest, sometimes it even frustrates me to the point I walk away when I see people wasting their own time whining about something in their life. The world has honestly fallen into the pits of quick fixes and faster results. The issue is that people have forgotten the joys of a journey.

Hiking isn't about the destination, it's the path of getting there that is fun. No one would watch sports if all they cared about was the final score. If you took a pill that could make you go from flabby to fit in 24 hours, you're missing out on that great feeling you have after a month when you find out your body fat went down 2%. You're losing that great "It took a lot of work, but I did it" confidence booster because now you can't thank yourself for getting you there. I mean, it's like getting on a bus, waiting for the bus to get you to your destination and getting off. Yay... or something. But had you walked all the way, you'd be impressed "woah, I can't believe I walked all this way!"

Anyway, on a more positive note, I recently did another comedy gig for the promotion of mental health and happiness and after the gig, this kid who's nickname was "bus" came up to me while I was leaving the venue and told me he was a biiiggg fan of mine, to the point he'd watched the shows I hosted on TV and even noticed that the TakeOut Comedy website was done by me! :P He had a stutter but was so passionate about wanting to meet me :) It felt great to know that I had in some way touched someone's life that way, but it also felt good because he was brave enough to pursue his goal of meeting me :) I told him to add me on facebook and we could be email/pen pals :) I really hope he adds me, it'd be great to share stories with him.

This really makes me stop and wonder, as much as we know the end product of people like Albert Einstein, how many people did they interact with throughout their lives who just knew Einstein as a normal person? I'm really curious to know.... maybe I'll find out within the next 10 days? :)



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