There is something calming about Mt. Fuji. I admit to not really knowing much about the icon, except that it holds a very special place in the hearts of the Japanese people. All I know for sure is that when I see it I feel a sudden sense of calm, and I need that every now and again. That’s why I subscribe to the Twitter handle @Fujidelic. Every so often, amid the noise of my Twitter feed, up pops a serene picture of Mt. Fuji. And I stop and breathe deep for just a second.
Picture from @Fujidelic
There are a variety of different sources of my anxiety. I’m hoping that if I write about them, I’ll be able to get some advice from all of you and maybe eventually work some of them out of my life. Today’s issue: down time.
Every day I struggle with what I should be doing with my down time. I am absolutely thrilled when I get some— the idea of finishing a boatload of items on my to do list actually speeds up my pulse. ME TIME? I actually get some time to myself? Woo hoo! But…what do I do with that time?
I don’t really have any hobbies. I play some guitar, but I’d call myself a novice blues guitarist at best (emphasis on the novice). I like auto racing, but I’m not the kind of guy who would watch a replay of a NASCAR or an F1 race. I’m not that committed. I thought about taking up a hobby and building an amateur race car, but do you know how much that costs? It ain’t a little. Besides, my downtime usually consists of an hour or two (or three) in the middle of a weekday, or when I’m between work events in a hotel. Plus, many of those hobby ideas feel so…superficial.
I feel like I shouldn’t be wasting my time, rather I should be making productive use of my down time. When I’m finished with whatever endeavor I pursue I should feel as though I’ve had fun, but I’ve also had a growth experience. Maybe I should be reading that book about Thomas Jefferson that’s been sitting on my dresser for the past 6 months, or learn that language I’ve always wanted to be able to speak. But those things seem like such an…effort. Of course, isn’t effort required if I’m gong to have a growth experience?
What usually ends up happening is that I spend so much time wondering about what would be the most productive use of my down time that I completely squander that very down time. Inevitably, I end up checking Facebook for 15 minutes and spend the rest of my time feeling anxious.
Are you the guy or gal who wears the colorful shoes at work? Maybe you’re the one who always rocks the funky accessories? Are you the person around the office who is known for being respectful, but direct? Perhaps you’re known as an entrepreneur who pushes the envelope, thinks outside of the box or [insert additional metaphor here]. If so, then you’re a Punk Professional.
Punk Professionals are driven, assertive, successful, and are on a constant quest for learning. We thrive on challenging situations, we like to disprove conventional wisdom, and we display our own bold personal style while doing it.
But the drive that characterizes a Punk Professional also has some down side— sometimes we push so hard that we lose sight of what’s important in life. Other times the overwhelming pressure of performing leads us down a dangerous path to addiction or other bad behavior of some kind. And fun often takes a back seat to work. Punkpro.com is here to help.
Punkpro.com helps daring professionals survive and thrive in both their professional and personal lives (is there really a separation any more?) It’s a source of fun, learning, inspiration and growth. It’s a place where we can be inspired with stories of success and learn about new paradigms in business. It’s about gaining a deeper understanding about great music and enjoying interesting aspects of art, sports and travel. As the community expands, we’ll be able to commiserate with our fellow business travelers, trade ideas with other innovative thinkers, and just grow all around.
Punkpro.com not only helps us grow, but it also helps us remember to savor the beauty in life that sometimes flies by unnoticed. And, maybe most importantly, it provides a healthy escape for bold professionals.
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Why a superstar art dealer gives me hope
Larry Gagosian is the most influential art dealer of the past century. It wouldn’t be exaggeration to say that he’s among the most important dealers in history. This piece in the Wall Street Journal magazine gives great insight into the breadth of his connections. You’ll read about everyone from Basquiat to Brancusi and from de Kooning to Koons. The name dropping alone makes it worth the read. But what I love most about this article is the hope it provides to every other wanna-be successful entrepreneur. That’s because I had no idea that Gagosian had absolutely no formal education in art or art history.
Gagosian earned his BA in English Literature from UCLA. After a short stint at the William Morris Agency he ended up selling posters on the street in Los Angeles. From there, a bit of business hustling and relationship building ultimately lead him to opening an art gallery.
It may have been chance that lead him to the art world, but it was his drive and moxie that allowed him to flourish within it. Through relentless determination he made key connections in the industry and built a business out of those relationships. He became an expert in the field and an indispensable player in the market despite his lack of formal training in art or art history.
It shows me that you need dedication, determination, and ambition more than you need pedigree or credentials. And that gives me hope for success in any endeavor.
Photo is the Wall Street Journal Magazine Cover, May 2016. Photo was found on https://www.gagosian.com/about/about-larry-gagosian, last checked by the author 5/31.2016.
Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Henry Rollins. When did you ever think you’d hear those three names in the same sentence? Well, the punk icon Henry Rollins had a little something to say about the former two individuals. Short story: He thinks they’re similar. Permit me to explain:
Regardless of your political affiliation, there’s something all professionals can learn from the band of political outsiders running in the 2016 presidential election. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are getting an awful lot of attention- and there’s a reason. They are authentic.
I don’t care whether you like them or hate them. I don’t care if you think they are dangerous to the country, or a breath of fresh air. The question is why are people attracted to them? The answer is because of their authenticity.
Don’t believe me? Listen to Henry Rollins’ interview with The Huffington Post. He hits on the key to their attraction— people think they are real. They are fed up with the typical politician who feels like a plastic, stuffed shirt. And that, boys and girls, is a key part of charisma.
Part of developing charisma is about making connections with other people, and connections come from genuine interactions. An interaction is genuine of you convey a sense of authenticity. People need to believe that you are who you represent yourself to be.
Action item: In your next important business interaction consider whether you’re coming across as authentic. Are you putting on airs? Are you making yourself out to be something you’re not, just because you think it’s the right way to behave? If so, stop it.