two cheers for the slacker.

21 02 2011

20-something “slackers” have changed (and are changing) the world.
Stop trying to rush them into growing up, getting a wife, starting a family and settling down.

This is the premise of one of the latest pieces published by The Wall Street Journal.

Oooooohhhh, good stuff.

The author uses some pretty powerful examples to make his case:
Mark Zuckerberg. Age 26. Created Facebook. (changed my life)
Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim. Created YouTube. (changed my life)

Who needs marriage, family and adulthood?
I’m in the process of creating something better!
(This is the war cry of today’s 20-somethings).

Heck, it was my war cry – and that of my friends (still is for some). The belief is that we are figuring ourselves out. We want adventures, accomplishments and accolades without being “tied-down”.

“Do we really want more generations of 23-year-old men who drink themselves to sleep every night dreaming about what they might have done if they hadn’t gotten married and had kids right out of school? Do we want to repeat the mistakes of our fathers or learn from them?”
The assumption in this quote is that our fathers really messed things up by getting married at a younger age.

I don’t buy it.

I think a 23 year old can be married and still be creative.

I have come up with my own list of individuals who accomplished great things while married.

George Lucas. Created STAR WARS! Married.
George Washington. FOUNDED America! Married.
Michael Jordan. WON 6 NBA titles. (Didn’t win ANY till after he was married)

I think each of these accomplishments helped change the lives of generations of youth!

Looks like you don’t have to be a “shaggy, hangdog 27-year-oldr dressed in a baggy college sweatshirt and cargo shorts, taking empty pizza boxes and beer bottles to the dumpster” in order to accomplish greatness.

Oh, and one more pretty important guy….
” I, Nephi, took one of the daughters of Ishmael to wife…” (1 Nephi 16:7)
(although to be fair, the age at which he was married is a bit unclear)

? Do you need to put off marriage to be able to create great things?

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tiger mother vs. western parenting.

18 01 2011

Chinese people are smarter than Americans.
True or False?

False. (at least in my opinion)
There is nothing abnormally special about the Chinese mind that makes it superior to a Westerner’s brain.

So, why does it seem like the majority of the Asian students in public schools can be found somewhere in the top 10% of their graduating classes?
Discipline.
And where is discipline learned?
At home.
Following logic, can we assume Chinese parents are better at creating successful kids?

Amy Chua, author of “Why Chinese mothers Are Superior” certainly seems to think so. (if you have not read this article you MUST check it out)

Western thinking currently focuses on individuality, building self confidence, and making everyone feel like a winner.

When was the last time your boss paid you the same amount as the CEO because he wanted you to feel like a winner?
When was the last time you got a promotion because your boss wanted to build your confidence?

That is not real life.
Hard work, accomplishing tough goals and discipline is what moves you up the corporate ladder.

Western parents worry a lot about their children’s self-esteem. But as a parent, one of the worst things you can do for your child’s self-esteem is to let them give up. On the flip side, there’s nothing better for building confidence than learning you can do something you thought you couldn’t.”

If you quit everything you try as soon as things get tough, you will NEVER accomplish anything worthwhile.

Mrs. Chua forces her kids to take piano and violin and pushed them through the tough times and consequently has 2 virtuoso daughters.
I don’t think you should choose your child’s pursuits – but I’m all for pushing them to stick with it and not quit after things get a little tough.

What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you’re good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences. This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up.”

I don’t think there is anyone who has perfected the art of parenting. Even some of the best parents in the scriptures had some children slip through the cracks.
“And it came to pass that I was desirous that Laman and Lemuel should come and partake of the fruit also; wherefore, I cast mine eyes towards the head of the river, that perhaps I might see them.
And it came to pass that I saw them, but they would not come unto me and partake of the fruit.” (1 Nephi 8:17-18)

Everyone is learning and trying to figure out what works best for them and for their kids.
But, I think Mrs. Chua made several comments worth testing out.

I don’t have kids… yet.
But if I can do as well as my own parents I’ll feel pretty good at the end of it all…

? How did you liken the scriptures to your life today?
? What did you think of the Mrs. Chua’s parenting approach?





blickenstaff’s.

1 08 2010

*Ok first I’m going to make a quick plug for myself. Remember the video I posted for the Dr. Pepper dance contest? Well, if you’ve got a minute go make a comment on it! (Well, if you liked it – otherwise it’s probably better you just ignore this – haha) I need lots of comments!

I’ve got big news!

I’ve basically spent almost two years searching for an opportunity to work at a PR firm – or do anything PR related.
I desperately wanted to be involved with a firm somewhere, anywhere!

When I moved back to Utah I got in touch with Cheryl from Snapp Conner (a PR guru who started her own firm in the area!). After lots of pleasantly persistent emails and meetings we were able to work out an employment opportunity!

I was overjoyed, thrilled, ecstatic etc. etc.
This was what I wanted.

I went in to Blickenstaff’s and let them know about the offer and my potential departure.

After some discussion and some waiting to hear back from the men at the top a counteroffer of sorts was presented.

As the movie mobsters famously say, “it was an offer I couldn’t refuse“.

Yeah, you heard right – I walked away from my dream job!
Crazy?
Yes!

BUT – I am going to have some very unique opportunities that I could NOT pass up with Blickenstaff’s.

Blickenstaff’s has thus far been successful and the fourth quarter will be a whirlwind of profit (prediction).
This is my opportunity to get in at the ground level of something amazing.
I am going to bust my butt harder than ever before to make sure that when this company takes off, I take off too!

They are going to teach me how to become a buyer – I’ve also been given tremendous autonomy in regards to PR and marketing.
At SchoolTipline (a start-up I worked for several years ago, I wrote some releases that got us national press and an overwhelming amount of leads)
I know if I put my head down and work like crazy that we will see similar if not better results!

I am so grateful to Cheryl at Snapp Conner for helping me and being so gracious and kind. Everything I have read or heard about her firm is extremely positive. In fact, if you are ever in need of an agency to represent you, Snapp Conner is my hands-down recommendation!

I am grateful to Blickenstaff’s for believing in me and giving me an opportunity I literally never dreamed of.

Now it’s time to get to work!

“Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will…” (D&C 58:27)

? What is your dream job?





ego.

28 07 2010

Teamwork is what the Green Bay Packers were all about. They didn’t do it for individual glory. They did it because they loved one another.
– Vince Lombardi –

There are a million quotes and stories out there about ego, teamwork, success and how these things interact with each other.

I teach dance at a local studio called Center Stage. (If you live in Utah Valley, this is where you NEED to take your kids to learn dance)

It is an incredible studio.
I’ve been around for a couple years now and have seen some interesting changes.

I had a chance to substitute for the hip-hop company the other week. I’ve loved these kids for several years and have so much respect for the talent they have. They are a real pleasure to work with.

Having said that, here’s comes my caveat : There’s some attitudes developing. A handful of students are starting to let things go to their head. (Nephite Pride Cycle, right?)

“… being glifted up in the pride of their own eyes…” (Alma 1:32)

The kids are good – but not that good.
Advances in technology make it easy to see your competition – they are out there practicing – working every day so that they can be better than you.

I don’t care if you are the best in your studio.
There is someone at a studio in a city down the road who is better.
And someone down the road from that person who is even better.

I had a chance to help judge the hip-hop auditions today.
Some of the “best dancers” didn’t show up.
They want to see who is going to be on the company first and then just expect a spot to be available for them because they are good.

Sad.

There was a lot of arguing and petty bickering when I subbed the other week.

I think of the quote form Lombardi – the Packers did everything based on the team, because they loved their teammates.

Contention will destroy even the MOST gifted team.
Love and unity can bring success to even the biggest underdog.

I wonder how far these kids could go if those few really gifted students would check the ego’s at the door and do everything in their power to contribute to the team.

? How do you help someone recognize the immense potential they could achieve if they would put their pride aside?





anniversary.

21 07 2010

Today my grandparents celebrate their 55th anniversary!

55 years with the same person… Wow.

The United States divorce rate is hovering around 50% (cdc.gov)

“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder…” (Matthew 19:6)

If you can make it 55 years with someone you are an anomaly to the current system.
Congratulations Grandma & Grandpa Aldous!

I think about the phrase we use in the church, “eternal companion“.
For those of you who served missions, think about all of your companions. Did you have any that you could have spent forever with?
Hahahahahaha!

Probably not.

The mission is the ultimate testing ground for companion success (survival).
If you served and loved (eventually) your companions then you have developed skills VERY necessary for a successful marriage.

Eternal companion? Wow. What an amazing thought.

When I had dinner with Leahs parents in Arizona (remember the post-dinner interview) her dad expressed his concern that we hadn’t dated long enough. He said that it’s hard to marry someone you have only dated a couple months (long distance) and only been friends with before that.

I quickly made sure a distinction was established – Leah was not my friend. Leah was my best friend and that had been established LONG before we started dating.

Friends come and go – best friends are sticky. They don’t just leave when trouble hits, when frustration mounts, when times are hard, when you look terrible, when depression hits or when you feel like you can’t go on.

A BEST friend has been tried and tested. They were strong and they made you stronger in your moments of weakness.

Leah has done exactly that for several years now.
Thank-you – you met me at my craziest, darkest period of my life and you never stopped encouraging me.

Eternal companion?
Yeah, when your companion is your best friend, eternity doesn’t sound long enough.

Grandma and Grandpa Aldous congratulations on 55 years!
Someday I hope to be blessed with the opportunity to celebrate such a momentous occasion!

? What has helped you find longevity in your marriage (suggestions for me?)?








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