Thursday, November 15, 2012

What a Croc

Sorry, I watched this video by John Green, and I have to say it's a bunch of cow pasture material, the verbal stuff you avoid when hearing someone talk ad naseum about what to do with your life. A bit much maybe?

Well, maybe so in some respects but at about the 3:00 mark he said, "In the end, what you do isn't going to be as interesting or important as who you do it with."

That is the worst bullshit statement in the whole video. What he is saying to all those people who dedicate their life to work they love which involves endless hours working alone, like artists, poets, photographrs, writers, musicians, scientists, philosophers, clergy, etal, is that you are less important than those who just socialize their life away thinking it's important, thinking it's interesting, and thinking it's the true meaning of life.

What he is saying is that socializing with friends is more important than the endless hours JK Rowling spent writing the Harry Potter series. Really? He is saying Albert Einstein, who spent endless hours pondering the universe to write his famous theories, wasted his time when he should have been doing what? And all the symphonies were written by teams or brillant individuals, like Beethoven?

What he is saying is that anyone, myself included, who are comfortable being and working alone to imagine the universe of ideas, to wander and see whatever we want or like, to follow any small thing to the whole array of possibilities, aren't as important or interesting as people who just party because they're doing something with others?

What he is saying is to waste your life socializing than doing what you love when it require endless hours alone with just your own thoughts and your own work.  And that's the fundamental flaw in his advice, it's about wasting time with people than making time for doing something good.

I won't argue there are times and places where working together is the best way to accomplish something, but history has shown many of the best works, best ideas, best science, etc. came from individual endeavors, with only the mininal collaboration.

I won't argue there are times and places individual's achievements needs to be shared and worked together with other people to improve them and make them useful to the world. Aloneness only goes so far with some endeavors, but almost all the arts are produced through individual effort working alone.

I won't argue having worked in teams, even as a team leader, groups can achieve a lot, but in the end, you have to divide the work and everyone go do their part, to collaborate when you need help, want to think out loud, or want to share a thought.

But in the end, I've learned it's always one or a few who do the work for the whole team, many are just there to discuss and decide. Wasted time and space almost all the time. As a team leader I rarely convened the group but let it follow its own direction and worked with all the members to give them the time and space to do their best work.

Because in the end, the best innovation, the best creativity and the best results are almost always by individuals. I restricted the team to the least amount of interference of those people and only when we all needed to be on the same page, reading the same stuff and focus in the same direction to the same goal.

My advice, is simply ignore him and this advice, and if the rest of his shit is similar, then ignore him altogether. Folks like that often just like to spout advice to hear themselves talk and thinking their smart and important. They're not.

My advice is the age old advice, follow your heart and do what you love, and if it means endless hours alone pursuing a dream, an idea, a goal, or wherever it leads you, then do that. And if it means not socializing with friends or just hanging out somewhere, so be it.

Remember life is what you make of it and yourself, not what others tell you, including me.

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