Thanks to one of my greatest mentors, Seth Godin, for this beauty of a blog post today.
Art is what we call the thing an artist does.
It's not the medium or the oil or the price or whether it hangs on a wall or you eat it. What matters, what makes it art, is that the person who made it overcame the resistance, ignored the voice of doubt and made something worth making. Something risky. Something human.
Art is not in the eye of the beholder. It's in the soul of the artist.
I was in a several-hour-long meeting last week and on a dry-erase board across from me someone had written:
Under-promising usually leads to making a lot of small, boring, safe promises, and over-delivering on those sorts of promises rarely, if ever, leads to anything great or even out of the ordinary.
Make fewer promises, but make them BIG promises and obsess, truly obsess, with over-delivering on them. You will not only achieve greatness from time-to-time by doing so, but occasionally you may even achieve something that is Totally Fucking Amazing!
Thank you, Hugh MacLeod, for some of my favorite art. If you're looking for some inspiration to help you shatter the status quo you may want to check out Hugh's new book, Evil Plans, that is out this week.
Thanks for the mention, Anita, my brilliant and dear friend and fellow self-appointed Ambassador to Cuba. Owl Farm is indeed as important and special as "Lookout Farm" ("Finca Vigia"), Hemingway's long-time home near Havana.
Speaking of Cuba, there is an amazing, rocking brewpub smack dab in the middle of La Habana Vieja ("Old Havana") that produces first-rate beers of which the brewmaster is justifiably proud.
The times they are a changin'.
La Taberna de La Muralla
Calle San Ignacio
esq. a Muralla, La Habana Vieja
Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba
And most definitely say hello to Maestro Cervecero ("Brewmaster") Ruben D. Maceo Rabi.
If you want to be #1 in any market, then you must be the best possible choice for people in that market looking for what you are offering.
You have to kick your own ass out of bed every day and make a dent in that market.
Hoping to be #1 in any market of any value by default, because the competition is a no-show, is a bad strategy.
. . . and then exceed them!!!
By seeing what can be, not just what is.
How do you do that?
Practice, practice, practice, like everything else.
You're a powerful person.
Don't let petty, insignificant bullshit block you from greatness.
Cut the leash!
A thousand thanks to MAXIM for the awesome "shout-out" about Doggie Style Pale Ale in the February 2011 issue!
"LADIES' NIGHT: Ordering a beer for her? Earn points with something other than Chardonnay for a change.
Doggie Style Pale Ale from Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, MD. Of course a beer called 'Doggie Style' is 'dry-hopped.' And of course your date will love its caramel taste. And of course you're going to try some dry-hopping of your own later. Heel, you animal!"
Doggie Style was also recently honored as the #1 Pale Ale in America by none other than the New York Times .
Cheers to Maxim, The New York Times, our beloved Ralph Steadman, and Matt Brophy and his team of brewing geniuses.
Oh yeah, and Doggie Style Pale Ale, Flying Dog's original beer, turns 21 this year. We knew that bad-ass little pup was destined for greatness when it scored a medal as a 1-year-old at the Great American Beer Festival back in 1991!
Every year for 60 years beginning in 1949, the centennial of the death of Edgar Allan Poe, the famous "Poe Toaster" would appear in the wee hours of the morning at Poe's original grave marker in Baltimore on Jan. 19th, Poe's birthday.
The shadowy figure, dressed in black with a wide-brimmed hat and white scarf, would leave three roses and a partially-filled bottle of French cognac, then disappear into the night.
The Poe Toaster's last appearance was in 2009, the bicenntenial of Poe's birthday. He did not appear last year. Nor did he appear this year. Never again?
"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before."
Cheers to you, master Poet!
That's what health clubs call members who join, pay monthly dues, but never go to the club. Too funny.
If everyone who joined a health club actually went everyday, then the club would be so packed you'd never be able to get through a workout. Or, the club would have to be huge. Or, the club would have to triple or quadruple its dues so as to reduce the number of members.
And, there wouldn't be so much extra value in having great abs because everyone would have them. Scarcity is what creates real value.
Everyone loves the concept of being in great shape but few have the discipline to get to that level.
Many businesses are based on this model of the many subsidizing the few and they count on having many non-users.
It's hard to stick with anything and master it, but it's SO worth it!
All the best,
I read something the other day that reminded me of a quote from George W. Cecil that I memorized 37 years ago. I know nothing about Mr. Cecil other than this quote.
"On the Plains of Hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions, who, at the Dawn of Victory sat down to wait, and waiting – died."
The great aim of all education, self-education being the most valuable, is not knowledge but action.
Tomorrow is today.
Let's not let the words "too late" be written over our bleached bones.
Let's ACT NOW and make something happen.