Sunday, July 23, 2006

Focusing Your Creative Energy

Life is totally unscripted. There is no grand plan. There are no predetermined outcomes. Everything is based on choices and actions. The events around us are not predetermined and most external actions are random. We can influence some things but we always are dealing with the unpredictable and the uncontrollable.

Control what you can control, influence what you can influence and stop worrying about the things that you can’t control or reasonably influence. Make wise choices because you have to live with their consequences, good or bad. All you can leave behind are memories, some good and some bad. So concentrate on making the good memories and try to minimize making the bad memories.

Time is unknown but finite. Your health is only under a limited amount of your control. What you can mostly control is what you do, how you act, what you eat, how you exercise, what you watch or don’t watch on TV or at the movies, what you read, who you are as a person. Wealth comes and goes, but knowledge is unlimited and the only thing you can retain. Share your knowledge with others and you will be creating good memories for them and potentially positively influencing their future actions.

What you can’t control but can try to influence are other people’s actions, world events, local events, and your own health.

The big paradox for most of us is that we tend to focus on what we can’t control and neglect to focus on what we can mostly control. Focus your creative energies on the things you are actually able to control and try to leave the world a little richer for your contributions.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

To Old To Cut The Mustard

**For those not familiar with this expression here is someones attempt to explain its likely origin -

I recently came across a discussion which was based on the premise that “people over thirty are just too old to learn new things”. In specific the discussion focused on, as you would expect, animation and drawing. My initial impression was “well that’s just ignorant”.

Then I cooled down a little and thought about it. Now I have to admit that learning new things was easier when I was younger, so was staying up all night and partying. But seriously, when you are young, you should have fewer distractions and more mindshare to devote to learning. So it seems logical that with less interference you have a greater capacity to learn. Of course there is the counter argument, that the older you are the more you have experienced and therefore you actually can learn things faster because you have more points of reference on which to relate things. Ultimately it boils down to a combination of things and none of them are specifically age dependent.

First, learning is easier without a lot of distractions. Second, learning is more about the desire to learn, the motivation, than it is about youthful energy. And thirdly, if two people are equally motivated and have the same lack of distractions then the more experienced person should have a decided learning edge. The counter argument to that is that sometimes experience brings along extra baggage in the form of prejudices that can block the openness to new ideas. But then inexperience often leaves young people open to naively accepting some pretty hair brained concepts without question.

The long and the short of it is that learning is a personal pursuit and like most things personal, it totally depends on the individual and therefore making generalizations like “people over thirty are just too old to learn new things” is, as my first impression validated, “just ignorant”.

"Gosh, it's my lucky day, a bright new coin just for the taking !!"

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Lazy Days of Summer and Other Random Thoughts

It’s pretty much a typical lazy summer day here in Tuberville Georgia. The kind of day where we just sort of naturally don’t want to do much more than sit out on the front porch under a slow moving ceiling fan and just contemplate world events.

Now as things go around here, world events mostly center on conversations about where you can find the biggest roaches and such. I personally vote for Houston Texas. They grow some serious sized critters down there. It isn’t unusual to see a roach what’s bigger than your whole hand. And those big roaches have wings and can fly. You have to be mighty careful when being dive bombed by a Texas roach.

For some strange reason the roaches sure loved to take up residence in the ash dump of our brick barbeque pit out in the backyard. Then in the springtime when we would make the first good cooking fire of the year in that barbeque pit, you could just sit back in a lawn chair and watch those prehistoric sized bugs scramble for their lives. There is nothing more entertaining than watching toasted glowing reddish orange cockroaches flying into the night sky. It is just natural fireworks.

It seems like there is humor all around us. You just have to learn to be open to experiencing it. Take my poor old dog for example. He recently had a minor surgery on his hind leg and had to wear a cone shaped collar to prevent him from biting at his stitches. It is hard to imagine what a dog thinks about a thing like that. He must wonder "what terrible thing must he have done?" to receive such treatment as to be made to resemble a dish antenna. He just keeps looking up pitifully from his position lying down there on the floor and hoping that no one will crank on his tail trying to adjust the TV reception.

I suppose that observing critters has been a source of many a cartoon idea. There sure are a lot of cartoon characters based on cats and dogs and mice. I can understand the cats and dogs, but who wants to have a pet mouse? I mean we sometimes have an unwanted house guest, but they’re not pets exactly. They do provide some exercise and entertainment for the cat, but I don’t think that classifies them as pets themselves.

Yes, there sure have been a lot of cartoon characters based on critters. Perhaps it's because they are just naturally funny, but more likely it has to do with the fact that you don't have to worry about being harrassed about your characters looking to ethnic or insulting some special interest group.

Yes, it sure is a lazy summer day, which is why I'm just sitting here thinking about some cockaroach lawyer showing up at the studio claiming that we have cast terrible dispersions on the good name of his bug client.