if you want to be happy in showbiz (or any creative field), listen to that voice inside you. Even if it says “Fuck it” sometimes. Work with your friends. Avoid chasing fame or money. Just do what you want to do, when and how you want to do it. And if it’s not making you happy, quit. Quit hard, and quit often. Eventually you’ll end up somewhere that you never want to leave.
My dad gave me some good advice: when you’re walking with a lady you should always walk on the street side. His other advice was “Don’t do anything jailable” and “Don’t die”. [Laughs] He was using the minimum number of words but you got his point. If you’re doing stupid s***, be the guy who doesn’t do the stuff that could kill you. If you’re going to break the law: speed, run a red light, drink underage but don’t get yourself sent to jail.
There’s no competitive advantage today in knowing more than the person next to you. The world doesn’t care. The world cares about what you can do with what you know – do you have the skill, do you have the will.
Harvard’s Tony Wagner, author of Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World, speaking at Skillshare’s Penny 2012 conference.
Wagner’s insights echo John Seely Brown’s in the excellent A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change, as well as Sir Ken Robinson’s vision for changing educational paradigms to better foster creativity.
In the year after Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile, the record was broken again and again. Once people realized it could be done, it wasn’t an impossible task any longer.