An excerpt of my thoughts was recently published here.
Here’s my full thoughts below:
All too often people go through their daily lives with a head full of worries and an incessant to-do list. While these concerns are vital for staying afloat (paying the bills, picking up the kids from school) they are a very successful distraction from aligning with our higher purpose. Taking the time to recapture the wonder and fascination we intuitively understood as children is how we can return to this state of mind.
It helps to start small. Taking 10-20 minutes each and every day for yourself, whether through a daily meditation practice or taking a walk in your local park, is a beautiful way to reconnect. When we have the opportunity to reflect on the beauty of the world us and our very existence, we learn to stop taking certain things for granted.
Spiritual balance is not only incredibly beneficial to our health and wellbeing, it helps to calibrate our perspective in our daily lives, empowering us with the sense that life is a journey not a race. In order to make the most of it we need to have the courage to surrender to the winds of change in order to stay young at heart.
This truth hit me like a ton of bricks.
It spoke to my experiences wallowing in the darkness (for far too long).
It’s easy to turn our back on the past, to pretend like our mistakes are optional.
Yet when we fail to acknowledge our baggage we inevitably lose all forward momentum.
We need to confront our pain in order to move past it.
I tucked into this sweet little GQ interview with Dapper Dan, the original auteur of gangster chic. What blew me away about the Harlem magnate’s life was his ability to transcend, to cross over from one generation to the next.
Listening to each and every client, zeroing in on their dreams and delivering his very best time and time again.
You’ve gotta be willing to turn your back on the noise and listen to what’s calling you inside.
As Dapper Dan tells it; ‘You gotta say, “Hell with y'all. This is who I am.”’
I came across this quote while drinking in an episode of Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson featuring the one and only Snoop Dogg.
Maybe it was the copious amounts of weed being inhaled but I loved how everyone seemed concerned with how much the public discourse seeks to divide one another.
As the Long Beach native makes plain, we have more in common with our fellow man than that which separates us.
In order to realize this truth we need to get on the good foot.
We must have the courage to close the gap.
Today I discovered some curious facts about Tiger Woods.
They roam far from the rosy image the mainstream media has sold us.
Earl and Kultida Woods met during the mayhem of the Vietnam War and fell in love, giving birth to their first and only son as the last American troops evacuated Saigon.
They endured years of hatred and animosity, their Brooklyn apartment repeatedly burglarized by racist neighbours.
Through it all their son honed his voice and his innate talents. As fame followed, the conversation inevitably veered back to race. This time Tiger was ready.
His answer? Cablinasian.
A made-up word weaving his Chinese, Thai, Black, Dutch & Native American roots.
In order to avoid being pigeon-holed we need to quit standing still. Staying one step ahead of our narrative is how we change the conversation.
To this day, I still find myself falling to pieces when the finish line keeps getting pushed back.
When we come up short time and again.
Whether we know it or not, such realities are character building.
They make us more resilient. Force us to think outside the box in order to come up with the magic.
These problems bring out the best in us.
Learning to embrace the obstacles ahead is how we get better at the journey of life.
Jiayang Fan discusses the sobering realities of a new ignorant generation in modern-day China. A generation unable to educate themselves for the simple reason that there is no trace of it online.
The conversation got me to thinking about the power of memory.
While it sometimes feels like it would be easier to erase our mistakes much like the procedure in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, such a choice is inherently short-sighted.
Without the past how can we learn from our failures?
How can we ever get to where we need to be?
I came across this quote in an amazing profile on David Milch, the aging creator behind Deadwood, the overlooked (and now defunct) HBO series from the noughties.
Billy Wilder has been my numero uno since I came across his seminal post-war films in my twenties.
When I began to dive into the man behind the magic, I came to understand what made his films stand above the rest.
The man was a force. A pure workaholic. He sunk his teeth into the creative work with devout pleasure. Pushing his collaborators to the brink in search of a higher truth.
You’ve gotta put pen to paper in order to find the magic.
You need to put yourself on the line.
I often find myself SMH at the public conversation. People growing dyspeptic at issues that were once rarefied.
The wifi on a commercial airliner kicking the bucket. The evening train running a few minutes late.
We forget how fortunate we are in the scheme of things. Never before has mankind had it so good.
We need to stop whining about what we’ve lost and start enjoying all the things we take for granted.
I’ve come to acknowledge a rather curious trait of mine.
When I am wrapped up in my own world, shooting or molding my projects away from prying eyes, I’m as happy as a lamb.
Yet when I venture into the open in search of new dreams or collaborators I find my emotions growing unsteady.
I begin to lose focus on what matters as my expectations crash against an otherwise indifferent world. Growing blue and weary as I grieve for a dream now lost at sea.
While I still loathe myself for wearing my heart on my sleeve at the best of times, I’ve come to accept the rollercoaster that I am.
Without it I wouldn’t be me.
While the journey of life is one we must walk alone, it helps to seek out companions along the way.
Special souls that make us better, less judgmental and grateful for the things we have.
Surround yourself with people that make every day lighter and brighter.
People that help you savour the little things.
“It’s not quite there yet.”
I’ve been struggling to accept the fact that much of my creative output continues to meet the above phrase.
After digesting Ryan Holliday’s latest blog post today, it helped shed light on my gatekeeper complex.
As much as rejection hurts, it forces you to grow stronger, to dig a little deeper in search of the truth.
Never stop striving.
I came across this amazing quote in a tell-all interview with the Queen of TV Soul in a recent Hollywood Reporter.
It really hit home. Mostly because I’ve ignored advice like this for much of my life.
It takes guts to not talk down to friends and colleagues. To instead put ourselves in their shoes.
Compassion goes a long way to healing open wounds.
We’ve all had those special moments.
We might be one of thousands cheering at a football game, a head in the crowd at a live show or celebrating with friends at a packed restaurant or bar.
A feeling sweeps over you as you look around you. Something you can’t describe but that you feel all the same.
The knowledge that you belong to something greater.
Sure, you don’t know these strangers from a bar of soap but deep down you know that each and every one of them has hopes, dreams and fears. Just like you.
That’s love. That’s real.
We can all reach this point on a daily basis. We just need to be willing to remove our armour. To display our vulnerabilities to the world.
This is how we grow together.
This is how we build a more compassionate world.
I came across this Times Magazine supplement over the weekend featuring an interview with Wanda Sykes.
I first came across Sykes in the noughties on Curb Your Enthusiasm, one of my all-time favourite situational comedies.
While I was a fan of her comedic timing (watch her roast Pres. Obama at the ’09 Correspondents dinner) Sykes’ personal life left me with much to chew over.
Sykes, a middle-aged African American woman, has confronted her sexuality with genuine honesty and confessed to her own personal and professional missteps
When we air our dirty laundry, we begin to sleep a whole lot better.
I. M. Pei, the legendary Chinese-American architect passed away last week at the age of 102.
I came upon this beautiful obituary and found myself marveling at Pei’s incredible career. Here was a man that dreamed big dreams and cultivated a reputation that afforded him the opportunity to realize them.
I. M. Pei put his passions front and center and stuck his neck on the line in service to his dreams.
That’s something we can all get behind.
My lady shared this great little podcast with David Brooks, the NYTimes columnist, in conversation with Tina Brown.
The former Vanity Fair editor quizzes Brooks’ on his new book The Second Mountain: The Quest For A Moral Life whose central theme got me all excited.
There are two mountains in life:
The one we grow up climbing, be it your dream job &/or the Kodak family.
The other being the one that lies within the depths of our soul.
For most of us, this second mountain shows itself in the wake of trauma. Following the loss of someone special or an unfortunate health diagnosis.
In order to reach our true potential we need to have the strength to venture down into the valley and listen to the silence.
Then we need to lace up our hiking boots and start climbing.
I came across this little video of David Bowie from the late nineties (how about that carrot top!) and his humble advice to aspiring artists.
It’s all too easy to succumb to the pressures of our peers and associates, to deliver work that satisfies the standards of the day.
Yet every time we do so we poison our inner voice, the one that yearns to reach for the stars.
When we slip and graze a knee it doesn’t help to pretend otherwise.
Owning up to our foibles is how we become better at life.