Business is an interesting thing. It is a mix of old tricks and new ideas. An ever-changing medium that one can never get comfortable with.
I'm thinking about this today because the world of journalism is changing so much. With that, the world of business, technology and everything else changes. I see many reactions across generations. Older generations are mostly stubborn, insistent on doing it the way they know how. They don't want to give up what they've grown up with. They write off the new ideas as unnecessary and harken back to 'better' times. This may be true in some aspects. Newspapers, for example, have a timeless quality to them. There is no news medium more historical and prominent throughout history. But that alone should not be a reason to stay stuck in our old ways. If a person has nothing to do with the world of journalism and just prefers to read a newspaper on his lap until the day he or the newspaper industry dies, then no problem.
The problem comes when you have people involved in the business or teaching it continuing to be stubborn. There is only so much history can teach us until we eventually need to rewrite it and make new history. A professor talking about the history of newspapers may be interesting (not to me), but how will it help those students get jobs in a world that will likely be devoid of newspapers in the next decade?
The same goes for business. Why preach the same old processes that don't work? The world of advertising has never been more confusing or exciting. Television commercials aren't as effective as they used to be due to DVR's and short attention spans. Staying power is extremely difficult these days. So instead of spending 3 quarters learning about the history of advertising, maybe make one of those classes into a brainstorm seminar on the future of advertising. After all, those who go to college now are supposed to be the innovators of the future right?
I'm not trying to blast the older generation by any means. In fact, I think the current generation's lack or respect or knowledge on the older generation's accomplishments is nothing short of a travesty. However, the older generation better get with some of the new ways or they will find that they will get flushed out, no matter how innovative and masterful they used to be. There is a time for pride and a time for survival. I don't know how you could survive in the world as it is now without knowing at least the basics of computers.
For that reason, I keep up with all the trends. Call me a sellout, call me a self-involved kid, call me a follower, but for all that I am also someone who won't be out of touch. That's one thing I hope never happens to me. At some point I will have my ways that I prefer (I already do), but everytime I see a new website, new technology, and new ways of doing things, I check them out. Why be stubborn and get left behind? Many will find this hard because they get sentimental attachment to certain ways things work, and I understand that. But I like change. I like seeing the new ways of the world. I see good business as a model that constantly improves on itself, constantly looks for ways to get better, constantly looks at competition and tries to take the good and the bad and improve.
That's the amount of songs on in my music library. I have a stereo in my car that plays my ipod and recently I've just kinda let it shuffle on its own and avoided specific artists or playlists. I'd love to just keep it going like that, it's very interesting. You go from broadway tunes to Senses Fail to the Beatles to Norah Jones to one of my radio clips from ASU to Valencia to Dane Cook to Death Cab and... well you get it. It's fun!
How I Jumped the Shark.
How I Met Your Mother is my favorite show, hands down. This weeks episode was very disappointing for me for a few reasons. 1) Lily and Robin (Alyson and Cobie respectively) are both preggers and it's becoming very obvious on the show. Lily can barely move anymore, the last two episodes have had the characters sitting down almost the entire time, and the feable attempts to hide the pregnancies are awkward. 2) The morning show fiascos that Robin went through were too much. Live birth? Heart attack? Fire? I don't like that style of writing. Shows are allowed to venture into the surreal a bit sometimes, Barney has been established as an enigma, so his character can get away with weird stuff like that. Robin's morning show fiascos were just a sad attempt to get some laughs. This season needs to end on a high note and get back to more of the subtle, witty comedy and steer away from the outrageous slapstick stuff. We don't want a repeat of Scrubs Season 6 & 7 again do we?
Twitter is becoming kind of cool. I'll admit I like to follow celebrities, but only the ones who are funny and have cool stuff to say. I like hearing about Mark Hoppus's day, especially when it involves him rehearsing for the Blink tour. I like hearing about John Mayer's creative process. I like hearing Shaq's ridiculousness. It's funny how much news and entertainment have changed. You see newspapers going under every day and yet Facebook and Twitter just keep growing. A whole job market is starting to fade, which is bad right now, but good for the future. Reporters aren't the fountain of knowledge, they are mediums. Successful reporters have blogs and twitters and facebooks in addition to their articles. I know immediately when the niners are bringing in a free agent, I get minute-to-minute updates of the Apple iPhone 3.0 event, I can stream video, read blogs, read twitter updates, etc on anything I'm interested about. News oversaturation? Maybe. But it makes sense why day-old news isn't selling anymore and why waiting till 6pm or 11pm for a hokey, depressing newscast isn't the number one option anymore.
For those who say it's bad, I ask, why? Because of tradition? Tradition is sentimental, but it is not progessive. We have to keep moving with the times, with the new ways of getting things done. Tradition is good in many ways, I think it belongs in many facets of life, but we should always look at ways to renovate, recreate, make things better. But this is coming from me, someone who is really open and adaptive to change. I'm probably the only person who likes the new facebook layout. Did you know you could create a friend list and it will only feed you stories from those people in the list? I love that! I have a friends list and a family list and it weeds out all those people I'm friends with on Facebook just to bloat my numbers. If I wanna see their random updates, I can just go to the regular news feed. I love it.
Anyway, heading to Oregon and Seattle tomorrow to tour colleges. I'm looking at University of Oregon and University of Washington. I'm really stoked about it and I will definitely be going to one of these schools come fall. I'll have a video (maybe) and some thoughts on it when I get back.
When something is sustaining, it doesn't mean it is consistent.
I think that when we seek happiness, we unfairly assume it will be consistent. A sustaining happiness is what I seek. I understand that days aren't always perfect. I understand that relationships hit snags. I understand that doubt seeps in. But at the end of these bad days, these snags, these doubts are meaningless. The happiness, the dedication, and the knowledge of what is real rise above. That is a sustaining happiness. I think we all truly seek that, because consistency is impossible in any aspect of life. We can follow routine, plan for every variable and hope for the best, but we can not control the simplest aspects of life. We can't control emotions or the sequence of events. Sometimes, we lose our jobs or get in fights or have unexplainable unhappiness. These times test us and make it seem like consistency or sustainability are impossible to achieve.
Half of that is probably true. Sustainability is up to each individual. You can stay happy overall if you want to. You don't have to fall into a life you don't want. You may not be able to have a perfect job or perfect relationship or perfect life, but you will be happy with what you do.
Only if you want to. Because you can leave whatever bad situation you want if you work hard enough. It takes patience, time and effort, but you can still do it.
For the first time, I started recording and just talked. I didn't plan out anything or write it down, I just said what was on my mind. If you are interested in seeing what I had to say, here is the video:
I'll blog more later, I'm at work now and I have to get a lot of stuff done. I just wanted to get this up so people can start watching it. I'm a guy who likes peace and doesn't like negativity, that's all there really is to it.
Also, the new Copeland may be in my top 5 for albums coming out this year. It's that good. I can't stop listening to it and this album hit me more immediately than pretty much any album this year. More thoughts later.
Think about your life. Your world. Your existence. Think about what it means. What is important to you. What matters to you. Think about all these things for just a little bit.
Now try something different and think about something else. Think about what's going on in the world and what you can do. I know it's daunting and I know it doesn't seem like there is much you can do. I always like to say that, "If the world is an orchestra, I am but one small instrument." But one small instrument can provide another harmony, another swelling chord, another overtone. One small instrument can sabotage the orchestra. One small instrument can lead the orchestra into a powerful chorus. And combined, many small instruments are what make the orchestra as big and great as it is.
So lets end that metaphor and get back to the point. You mean something. There is more to life than trudging along at the speed of traffic. More to life than what you own. More to life than all your success and popularity.
I think about the great moments of my life. And while images of my curtain calls on stage or my awards or my big moments in front of large groups of people stand out, what rises above are the simple things. The time I told a group of random strangers to pull their car up to the gas pump so I could give them a few gallons to get home because they were broke. Or the time I gave a $1000 scholarship just because I wanted to and helped a high school senior pay for college a little easier, or this heart walk I'm about to do, which I have raised over $200 for that will go to the American Heart Association. I think about the countless friends I've helped find jobs, or helped get through tough times, or took out for a fun time when things weren't going well for them. I think about my family and how we always come back together in the end. I think about the love I've had and not the love I've lost.
I think about these things. And that is where I find meaning. And I'm not trying to come off holier-than-thou here or try to make myself out to be a saint, because I certainly haven't been among the best people in the world.
What I am trying to say is that life matters beyond my nice apartment and my nice TV and my nice phone and computer and iPod and everything else.
I'm just your typical American, I live paycheck to paycheck, I stress over a full time job and I go to college and spend money I don't have so I can eventually get a degree and earn more money so that I can buy a house with money I don't have right after I finish paying off my college loans. I find time for fun when I can. I find happiness in small gestures and small moments and I get by with that. I stress and worry and hope and dream like anyone else. But what I am saying is to think about how lucky we are that we can even do these things. Think about where you are in your life and before you sell yourself short or lament your situation, think about people elsewhere in your city, state, country, or the world that don't have the luxury to even consider dropping an unfavorable situation for another. Think about that... and then tell me you aren't happy with at least one aspect of your life.
Now think about how you can be a small, but effective instrument, because this orchestra isn't going to conduct itself unless we all decide to play together.