"We gather knowledge faster than we gather wisdom." - William Bell

What Inspires Me

Posted: November 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Inspiration, Life | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a massive blank canvas. The intention was to create some home made art for myself. I wanted something for my bedroom that would inspire me each and every day. I’m a gentleman who is in love with words, so I gravitated to my favourite quotes. Out of the ones that I had scribbled down across various notebooks and scraps of paper, I found my top five quotes for consideration:

  • “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” – Walt Disney
  • “Bad decisions make great stories.” – Unknown
  • “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” – Francis Bacon
  • “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss
  • “You have to do stuff that average people don’t understand, because those are the only good things.” – Andy Warhol

I mulled over these for a couple of days, trying to figure out which one I liked the best. Which would put me in the best mood day after day? Which quotes could be applicable to the challenges that I would face that day and put them in perspective? Which ones would be applicable to work, athletics and relationships?

It wasn’t until I was talking with my sister that I had a striking realization – none of these quotes work. Why? Because none of them were funny. Sure, they tote heavy life lessons that I should try to remember every day. They’re words that encourage taking risks, learning from your mistakes, pushing the boundaries and appreciating your experiences. But they’re not funny.

Humour inspires me. It’s the trigger that makes me happy. It puts me in my most productive mindset. Silly humour washes away worries, insecurities or concerns. It’s like a warm hug from a giant teddy bear. It makes me feel safe. It makes me feel like anything is possible. And that’s what I need to crush the day.

Some people get inspired by tragedy. Some by hope. Some by deadlines. Some people get inspired when they see all of the amazing shit that other people in the world are doing. For me, the most consistent trigger that works day after day is humour. Something silly. Something to make me smile.

Now I just have to paint this fucking thing …

- Christian

Friday Inspiration

Posted: April 29th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Sometimes the greatest opponent to doing great things is that little voice inside your head. The best thing to do to shut it up is to DO exactly what that little voice says that you couldn’t.

Because that little voice inside your head is afraid. It’s afraid of trying something and failing. It’s afraid of succeeding and having everything change. It’s afraid of challenging the status quo of the everyday pattern of your life.

Ignore that little voice inside your head. Instead, listen to the feeling in your heart that’s begging you to create or try something new.

- Christian

Christian … What Do You Actually Do?

Posted: November 25th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Thought Starters | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

This post is for my Dad.
I don’t think he understands my job.
I work in advertising.
On the account side.
A lot of times people ask me what I do.
Here’s what I tell them:

When Churchill retired from politics he tried painting.
He set up his easel in his garden.
He got just the right size canvas.
He organized all his paints and brushes.
He’d chosen a perfectly comfortable stool.
He made sure everything was absolutely right.
Then he tried to decide where to start on the painting.
He stared at the pristine, white canvas.

Should he start in one area and work his way across?
Or should he sketch in the rough outline first?
Should he try to include the whole landscape?
Or should he pick one particular part to concentrate on?
How to begin exactly?

Two hours later his wife came out with a cup of tea.
He hadn’t painted a thing.
He was still sitting there thinking.
The canvas was still perfectly white.

His wife asked him why he hadn’t painted anything.
He said he couldn’t decide where to start.
So she picked up a brush and painted a huge squiggle in the middle of the canvas.
Churchill went ballistic.

What are you doing, you’ve ruined a perfectly good canvas.
She said, “Well now you’ll just have to fix it won’t you.
And he started to fix the mess.
Scraping off the paint, and painting over it.
And pretty soon he’d painted his first landscape.

See what was stopping Churchill was knowing how to start.
What his wife did was take the start-point away.
She gave him a problem to fix instead.
The man who could lead Britain in a world war didn’t know what to do with a blank canvas.
Give him a problem to fix, a massive mess that no one else could sort out.

But how do you start when there is no problem?
Creative people are good at fixing problems.
Good at responding.
Not so good at creating from nothing.
With no brief, no direction, no ideas, nothing to get hold of.

So that’s what I do. I draw squiggles on a blank canvas.

- Christian