As the New Year begins at least some of your goals should be like the
Prehistoric Cave girls drawn by Robert Crumb…Big, Hairy and Audacious
Studies have found that those who have written goals are at least four
times more successful than those who just drift through life aimlessly.
Sadly I must admit that up till now I’ve been a drifter and I have all
the lack of results to prove it.
As we go into a new year it’s an appropriate time to pause and
reflect on the year that was and,more importantly, a time to envision
what we want to achieve in the future.
In making our resolutions or goals we should tap into our passions.
Find projects we will be motivated and happy to complete and stay
committed to the process of achieving them. It’s essential to write the
goals down. Also they should be very specific, not vague.The clearer the
goal is in your mind, and then on paper, the more likely that one day
it will be realized.
Those who understand themselves well can easily create a Life
Mission but for most it requires some serious soul searching and
imagination. Having a clear Mission makes it easier to see if a goal
really fits you or not.
Think of your own funeral or if that’s too morbid then imagine your
hundredth brthday party. Now that most of your life goals would
hopefully have been completed what would people say about you ? What
would you want people to say about you ? Are you working towards
achieving that ?
Another, somewhat morbid, exercise that can help clarify your purpose, and
thereby assist in setting good goals, is to imagine what you’d do if you
knew you only had a week or a month left to live. Clarifying your
deeper value systems, by doing exercises like this,will help you set
really meaningful goals.
Most people don’t set goals. They know it would help them be more
succesful but although it’s easy to do,it’s also very easy not to do,as Jim
Rohn said. You must fight procrastination, don’t put off setting your
goals, there is nothing more likely to aid your future success.
Another mistake people often make is to set really easy goals or goals
that don’t reach for much. They set safe targets that will not take
them out of their comfort zone. Although these goals are generally achieved they
don’t bring much happiness or change the world.
Some experts believe that the best goals are those that are so
outrageous your friends would laugh at you if you told them about it.
Other experts advise that you include friends and family in your most
meaningful goals. I think it depends on the goal and also on the type
of friends you have.
In general though it’s good if you have the support of Family and
Friends and a strong faith to help you make it through challenging
times. Whether this means you share the details of all your wildest
dreams with them is a matter of personal choice.
Remember to balance both professional and personal goals and have a
mixture of each type. Use methods effective in one arena in the other
as well. If you use elaborate spreadsheets to monitor your business
finances why not balance your personal credit card expenses that way
Many goals,especially the Big Hairy Audacious types,will be long
term. It’s not hard for the more meaningful ones to require over five
years to accomplish so the next step is critical.
Break down the Major goals into daily steps. Take your Big, Hairy
and Audacious Goal, Something crazy, something so ambitious that people
would laugh if they knew you wanted to achieve it. Then work backwards
and determine the timeline of likely steps to achieve it and when
they’d have to occur.
From this timeline you can create the 5 year goals, the one year
goals, the monthly goals and the weekly and finally daily goals.
Eat the Elephant one bite at a Time.
Many self made success stories have emphasized that it’s the
achievement of daily goals which are most meaningful as they forge the
habits you really need for lasting success.
Disciplined success habits must be honed each day until they become
Be undaunted in the pursuit of your Happiness. Follow your Bliss.
Keep evaluating your progress.With focus and determination and creative flexibility
your success is guaranteed.
There was a man similar to Usain Bolt, Bill Gates, Brad Pitt, Vybz Kartel and even Michael Jackson.
This man was once a speed record holder, he was one of the richest men in the World and he had famous love affairs with several Hollywood starlets. He had a slew of critics too, they said the art he created was too Sexy and too Violent and he later became a crazy recluse.
He was Howard Hughes.
Ok, so it’s true that Hughes didn’t run on a track, like Bolt does and Howard Hughes used airplanes to set all his speed records and yes it’s true that Hughes didn’t sing Dancehall songs, like Vybz Kartel, instead his art form was Big Budget Movies, but I think it’s still clear that Howard Hughes lived a legendary life.
Bolt often says in interviews that he wants to become a Legend, I hope he will avoid all the pitfalls that Hughes fell into. In fact I think we could all learn a lot from the Howard Hughes life story.
Nowadays though few people want to read long books so perhaps you can just watch some movies inspired by Howard Hughes instead.
It is, understandably, nearly impossible to capture such a multi-dimensional character fully in one film but the Martin Scorcese film, “The Aviator”, starring Leonardo Di Caprio, was quite excellent. Every detail was just perfect from the Acting straight down to the musical score and costuming.
I also recently discovered that Howard Hughes is one of the inspirations behind the famous Marvel comic character “Iron Man”, (or more precisely his alter ego Tony Starks) who, despite being brilliant, has severe personal flaws. The comic-based movie “Rocketeer” also has a Hughes-inspired character.
Two other movies “Melvin and Howard” and “The Hoax” also detail aspects of the bizarre incidents that often surrounded Hughes.
The first is about the so-called “Mormon Will”, that surfaced after Hughes death, and the second is about a false biography, that someone wrote about Howard Hughes while he was alive, that forced the hermit magnate to defend himself with legal action.
As good as all those movies were though I enjoyed most of all the documentary about Hughes in the Modern Marvels series shown on History Channel. It showed the brilliant side of this incredible man. His company is still at the forefront of aviation technology and also critical in the development of the satellite television broadcasting that has made our world smaller. It showed how even when Hughes was in hospital for severe burns from a plane crash he designed a better hospital bed that is still in use today.
Howard Hughes, the inventor, the legend, we Salute you.
This strange, hump-backed, looking fellow is Harvey Pekar and he’s actually one of my heroes.
Harvey Pekar really loved collecting stuff. At one point he collected comic books and then later on he began to collect rare Jazz records.
This somewhat obscure hobby led him to meet Robert Crumb. Crumb had a love of rare Jazz music also. Crumb was also beginning to become well known as an underground comic book artist. Crumb’s adult-themed art work impressed the normally cynical Pekar.
Through reading his friend’s material Pekar began to realize the immense untapped potential of the whole comic book medium. Sure the medium had it’s full range of masked superheroes but Pekar felt there was a huge range of stories still waiting to be told.
“Comics could do anything that film could do,” Pekar realized. “And I wanted in on it.” he said. However it took Pekar some time to decide just what he wanted to do. “I theorized for maybe ten years about doing comics,” he says.
Pekar laid out some stories with crude stick figures and showed them to Crumb. Crumb became the first artist to illustrate American Splendor.
American Splendor was a groundbreaking series of Comic Books. The comic documents daily life in the aging neighborhoods of Pekar’s native Cleveland, where Pekar worked throughout his life (even after gaining fame) as a file clerk in a large Veterans Administration hospital.
American Splendor basically chronicles all the everyday events of Harvey who is a kind of everyman character. Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff seems to be the basic theme.
It’s laced with a realism and subtle humor that reminds me of Woody Allen or Seinfeld at their best.
Pekar gets material from anything at all. For this reason I think bloggers (especially those that write about anything like my Blogfather Madbull) will really enjoy learning more about him and his work.
For example Pekar would write about things like “How do you pick the best line to join while waiting at the Supermarket ?” or he might ponder his own name and write about what happened when he looks up his own name in the directory (and who hasn’t done that ?).
More poignantly though he wrote about his personal battles with Cancer. Later on as he got famous and appeared extensively on popular shows like Letterman’s Late Night Show he wrote about that new found fame also.
A recent movie about his life presents an easy way to learn about him. In the movie entitled “American Splendor”, Pekar finds love, family and a creative voice through the underground comic books he creates. Along the bumpy journey, he meets, marries and falls for Joyce, an admiring comic book seller.
The movie also shows the real life Harvey and his friends in some revealing snippets that enrich the heart-warming film. Be warned this film may even make you cry at a few points and will certainly make you laugh at many points.
It gets my highest recommendation, when you see the story of my hero Harvey you will be inspired too and you’ll realize it’s really a Splenderously Crumby World, full of Unexpected Possibilities.
A close friend, who knows that I like comics, asked me recently to remind him of the name of a particular character. The character, he said, used Sound to create powerful energy blasts that could knock out his opponents. He couldn’t tell me any more about the person but kept assuring me that I would remember the name, even though he couldn’t. I felt like Joseph being
asked by the Pharoah to remember the Pharoah’s dream.
I was drawing a complete blank and really wishing my friend could tell me some other details about the character for me to stir my memory. Anyway we continued to talk about other things and I pretty much forgot about this Unknown comic book character.
That night while idly surfing the net I suddenly felt like Archimedes in his bathtub. Eureka !I screamed as I remembered exactly who my friend was thinking of.
Banshee !! I screamed. An appropriate response.
Banshee was an Irish criminal who fought the X-Men, with his Sonic powers, originally, but later became an X-Man himself.
It made me reflect though on the powers of the mind. We have so much things stored in our brains and for so long just waiting for a chance to Scream at us. Our subconscious is working to ferret out information we need even while we’re focused on other tasks.
That same night, while reflecting on the power of comics, to entertain and teach, I thought of how comics really combined the best of both books and movies. I had a strange and strong desire to read this old Superman comic that had published a letter of mine, when I was a teenager. Amazingly I found a copy of the letter and then had a desire to read the comic I was writing about in my letter.
I did not consciously remember any of the story but on reading it again I realized that the villain being fought by Superman was named Silver Banshee. (This fight happened in issue#17).
Amazing, my mind had being trying to tell me that there was more than one Banshee character and reminded me of things I could not consciously remember anymore. My subconscious or intuition was guiding me straight to the information like a homing pigeon flying back to its home.
Banshee. It seemed more than coincidental that there would be two different characters with such a name, one created by Marvel to fight the X-Men and the other to fight Superman in the DC Universe. Since both characters were from Ireland, in the various stories, I wasn’t that surprised to find out that Banshees are actually based on an Irish Legend.
In legend a Banshee is always a woman ( apparently the Marvel Comic writers forgot that).
Historically it’s believed that in 1437, King James I of Scotland was approached by an Irish seer or banshee who foretold his murder at the instigation of the Earl of Atholl.
A Banshee is a woman who appears to foretell someone’s impending death usually by singing, wailing (hence the sonic based comic villains) or even just by appearing and washing the blood stained clothes of the person soon to die.
In legend a Banshee is definitely a bad omen, when they open their mouth it’s worse than a bad case of Halitosis it means someone is going to Die.
Luckily in my case seeing the Banshees just meant that my memory was Subconsciously stronger than I even knew.
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