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leonardo da vinci

Let's go dent the universe

Let's go dent the universe

No matter what kind of positive impact you have on the world, there will always be someone who thinks you're a selfish jerk. And maybe you are!

So what?

Go make a dent in the universe anyway. Take up your hammer and start making some noise. Drown them out with the wonders you'll create.


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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
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No apologies

OK, I admit I have problems with authority.

I'm not facing down Lou Gossett Junior, refusing to do push-ups in the rain or anything. I just don't like to ask permission for things.

You know those geeks that have top-five lists? What about the really uber geeks who have top-five lists that no one else would have have a top-five list for?

Here are my top-five favorite geniuses:

  1. Leonardo da Vinci
  2. Benjamin Franklin
  3. Thomas Edison
  4. Albert Einstein
  5. Steve Jobs

Up until a couple of weeks ago number five was "Henry Ford." But after reading Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs bio (SPOILER ALERT: He dies), I booted Ford for a more modern, more irascible genius. Steve Jobs was kind of the Dr. House of the computer world. Someone tell Bryan Singer.

By the way, Einstein is vying for that number four spot with Walt Disney. Which is ironic, because I'm pretty sure Disney would have loved that playful little Jewish physicist like a brother.

Everyone on my top-five list has something in common (besides being dead). They were all known for doing things their own way, and never asking for permission to do it. In fact, I'm pretty sure all of them were considered assholes in their day.

Now I know what you're thinking. "Gee, Kev., way to backhandedly compare yourself to the greatest geniuses in history."

Agreed.

But my real point is that great leaders and great minds rarely ask permission to do the things that make them great. They just do it and accept the consequences, good or bad.

"Consequences" is kind of an ugly word for some folks, and I get that. Responsibility is hard because no one ever wants to be the one responsible for the bad stuff. If you get fired, you want to be able to point your finger at the boss and say, "That guy's a jerk. He never understood my potential." If a project fails or a deadline is missed, you want to be able to point at someone else and say, "It's that bozo's fault."

It's tough to put it all on the line and accept that when stuff goes bad it's going to go bad because of you.

But if you don't ever take that risk, you never get to the cool part.

You never create a masterpiece artwork that people talk about for centuries after the last stroke of your brush.

You never sign your name to a document that creates the most powerful nation in history.

You never invent something that becomes so indispensable that it becomes the symbol for genius.

You never create a theory that redefines scientific thought.

You never create a company that redefines multiple industries, over and over.

You don't get to do these things by asking permission. You do them when people tell you that they can't be done. You do them because you can't imagine a world that doesn't include what you have to offer. You do them because you are willing to take responsibility for something and see it change the world.

I hate asking permission. I'd rather just define my principles and take action, then accept the consequences and work with what I get. If it blows up in my face, then I earned that. But if it redefines the world around me, makes its way into history, creates something new and remarkable and pure in the world ... I earned that, too.

And I'm never going to apologize for that.



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____________________________________________________________
Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
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YoM: Make the World

In his latest post, Seth Godin damn near waxes poetic about “craftsmanship,” and how the new craftsman (“craftsperson,” he writes) can be anything from “a blacksmith or a carpenter, a visual artist or even a dedicated teacher.” It’s the last sentence in that line that I think says it best: “Someone to look up to.”

Leonardo Da Vinci was a craftsman (or a “maker,” as I define it here). He did astounding things for his patrons, and used his passion, enthusiasm, and curiosity to reshape the world and invent new things. True, some of these never left his notebooks. But enough did to make him a legend, and even his cast-off ideas have had people exclaiming in surprise and amazement for centuries.

Thomas Edison (why does everyone always throw in the “Alva?” As if there are that many other Thomas Edisons in the history books), was a craftsman with thousands of world-changing inventions to his credit. He had such an impact on the world that his greatest invention, the incandescent light bulb, has become iconic as the universal symbol for “a good idea.”

Bill Gates was a craftsman who saw a way to use the resources at his disposal to build something big. Some may vilify him, but his creation of Microsoft helped build the home computer revolution and opened the door for one of the biggest innovations of all time: the Internet, right in your home.

David Ogilvy was a craftsman who defined Advertising as an industry, creating many of the tropes and concepts still used today. As a novice, Ogilvy was given a small new hotel account with an advertising budget of only $500. He took that budget, which had been beneath the notice of his colleagues, and used it to do something no one had thought of up to that point. He bought $500 worth of postcards and sent them to everyone in the local phonebook. When the hotel opened, every room was booked. Ogilvy had “tasted blood,” and had taken his first steps toward icon status in the industry.

One of the common traits for all makers/craftsmen is their ability to look at the world, consider their resources, and build what is needed. They spend their time and energy considering how things work, how ideas from one category can be applied to another, and how to leverage everything you have to build something bigger than the sum of its parts.

That’s what this  “Year of the Maker” is all about — getting out there, looking at the world, and deciding what you can create to make it better. And the true craftsperson puts his or her time, energy, and care into making what they build the best it can possibly be. Use the resources you have, and build something. Be the best teacher. Be the best artist. Be the best writer. Be the best carpenter. Be the best soldier. All of it is a craft, and all of it requires personal strength and conviction, and a willingness to look at the world and constantly ask questions of it.

Get out there. Build something. Make the world great.


Like what you're reading? Consider tipping the author!

Tip in any amount you like, safely and securely via PayPal (no PayPal account requred). And thank you in advance for your generosity!


____________________________________________________________
Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
____________________________________________________________

BECOME A SLINGER

Get updates on new books, new posts, and new podcasts, plus be the first to hear about special offers and giveways. And pants jokes. Lots and lots of pants jokes.