One Friday morning in April, I had the extraordinary privilege of sitting front row / stage left at Creative Mornings(NYC) to hear John Forte share his story — in words and music. Creative Mornings’ global theme for April was humility and when an artist’s life journey has taken him from Brooklyn to New England (prep school) then onto the world stage and crashing on the Federal courthouse floor in Houston, chances are the artist has more than a few reflections on humility — as well as what matters in life.
Create for yourself. With all the noise (“so much noise out there” as Forte noted) whatever you produce has to be meaningful and fulfilling for you.
Celebrating humility for the sake of humility…why bother? Actually sounds rather cloying. Humility is comprehending that if you hit it out of the ballpark today, you were damn fortunate for starters and chances are you won’t be able to do the same thing again tomorrow. And that’s ok, according to Forte, as long as you acknowledge the person who does hit it out the park that day. Celebrate the success of others. The world is big enough for each of us to have one good swing of the bat.
Savor those moments you’re currently overlooking. Forte walks everywhere and not because he was raised in Brooklyn. Ask yourself, if your movement or routine or surroundings were severely restricted what would you miss most? After 17 years in NYC, I still walk the city’s streets looking up, in awe and gratitude.
Can people change or how are they changed by their actions and outcomes? In likely his strongest response, Forte said “I am still the same John Forte. I am responsible for my actions and deeds.” A refreshing response which smacked humility on its ass.
Put your best foot forward — no assurance you’ll get the best result. And with luck and a little humility, chances are you’ll pull through.
Need more to contemplate?
Don’t wait for a year-end assessment to determine your next career path. Assess your trajectory every day. We’re all switching jobs and three years is the new ‘black’ in terms of employee tenure. While I agree that constant feedback and self-assessment is key, so is coming to work everyday and doing the job that needs to be done. Forte reflected on this during his 20 minute Creative Mornings presentation, to the time when his job was to clean out the prison guards’ garbage cans.
There may be a better job or bigger ambition on your career horizon, however, if you have a job to do, come to work every day and do it.
We’re all freelancers on Facebook. Each day we willingly unleash massive amounts of content into the world. What if we could reinvent socioeconomic structures to align with these contributions? With the marginal cost of digital information now reduced to zero, has the time arrived to invert scarcity thinking in an abundance mindset? Albert Wenger thinks so.
The Genius of ‘Want to Grab Coffee?’. This headline typically causes me to light my hair on fire, however this Atlantic post is worth a read. Grabbing coffee is often the equivalent of a poorly managed meeting — no agenda, no “why” and no follow-up — regardless of how much we like to talk (especially about ourselves). My networking tip is to make it quite clear to your coffee date why you’re meeting and what the specific ask is.
What is it in the person’s career or experience that intrigues you? Why are they the person you’re seeking out for advice?
As previously noted, many of us are unleashing volumes of content into the world on a daily basis from tweets to updates to blogs (all of which is easily revealed by a simple Google search). The hook to going for coffee is stringing that information together — and not asking for the information otherwise found on page 1 of the Google search results. And be sure to find out before you ask, if they even drink coffee.