Belief is what we don’t know.
Knowledge is what we learn.
Intelligence is the quality and quantity of what we know.
Faith is extreme belief in the absence of tangible fact.
78% of statistics are made up, you know the rest.
That Socrates bloke, he liked to question things, back in 400 BC.
Over a thousand years later, Descartes coined the phrase “I think therefore I am”.
Lazy old Steve Jobs came piggybacking along in the 21st century too, thinking.
I was reading a book on the tube the other day when someone said “I used to be a graphic designer but I gave it up – everything’s been done”.
Well, according to the great and the good there is no such thing as originality in advertising. Any designer, writer or director will have heard those inspiring words “been done”.
Once in the professional environment we do need to learn the rules, before we
can break them.
It is an industry full of contradiction, there are no rules- but often what follow are loads
of rules to prove just that.
Being different for the sake of it, without the learning is as ambitious or futile as reacting to Picasso’s blue period, forsaking the context and relevance of the work, let alone the work that went before it.
Philosophy, fashion, art, music, things – often advance by questioning or reacting to things that went before. After all there wouldn’t be much point having neo-classicism if there hadn’t been classicism. Great comedians, musicians, artists seem to be unaware of this unoriginal stigma.
Hirst is a genius, reinventing something whilst often making simple reference rather than homage to the kind of momento mori and semiotics of the renaissance.
Peter Cook, Jobs, Deadmau5, Verdi, Mozart – all genius heroes of mine. Along with Malcolm McLaren, mainly because I just liked his style and also because he was a master of invention and reinvention.
Constantly reinventing oneself is a task.
Assuming the naivety of a child is one way. Question everything, question the question.
Sounds great in the memoirs of an old sage, harder to do in the boardroom of Tesco.
People value the smart, the clever. It’s nice to be agreed with.
What’s the difference between being smart and a smart-arse?
Consider the source, great thought will often be uncomfortable.
Self belief will mean not following the herd.
Confidence ought not spill to arrogance and ought not derive from ignorance.
A pursuit of the simple is often a good approach. It’s the different between ‘but’ and ‘and’.
Its the difference in being curious or suspicious. Sceptical or a cynic.
Parents understand the gestalt and the illusion of choice. “Do you want pizza or an ice-cream?” They understand that “Wasting time” is better than “hurry up”. That “Silly” is better than “stupid”.
Children don’t understand why naming a goldfish ‘Hotdog’ is genius.
Because they don’t want to be a genius. Or heralded as a genius.
They are happy with a laugh or simply getting their own way.
Until we have to be the parent, we can be the child.
We can take the world in around us. We can wonder “Why?” and “Why not?”
My Dad used to get me to hang upside down with him on the sofa and we were suddenly in “upside down land”. Being smart isn’t necessarily coming up with another app for something no-one wants. It’s looking at the everyday in a way that no-one has looked at
it before. We don’t need to be clever or smart for the sake of it.
If you want to be a millionaire make something that people want.
If you want to be happy find something to do that you love.
If you want to be the best work out what you can lead the market in.
If you desire all three then good luck.
Sometimes unlearning is as simple as changing your perspective.