I love Kevin Smith. Not particularly for his movies. And not because he dropped out of film school to make Clerks. But because of the character that is Kevin Smith. I used to listen to his podcasts religiously. He’s full of hilarity, insight, and personality. A while ago he tweeted out a SMonologue (SM= Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier, Smith’s producer) and it hit me. If you’re a fan of his philosophy then you should check out his others. This is what I take from selections of the original SMonologue.
On the importance of doing what you love and self sustainability:
If it never feels like work, it’s NOT work.
Life is mutable; the rigidity of working for someone else doesn’t allow for much flexibility. So create your own ideal universe.
…and working hard:
… once you’ve got a taste for working for yourself, doing what you love doing? You’ll work 10x as hard as any brick-layer or paralegal, but you’ll NEVER feel it, never recognize it.
The work is long & will take you away from lots of other people & things. But you will never know/feel/realize it’s work – not until you look back.This Sundance marks 17 years since the CLERKS debut changed my life. But from the moment we got our foot in the door, the workload intensified a thousand fold. And I never noticed – because I loved it so much. For 15 of those 17 years, I didn’t stop.
Waking up and dreading what you have to do that day is no good. People assume that’s just the way life is, but it doesn’t need to be. Creating “your own ideal universe” seems like a ridiculous impossibility, but it becomes more reasonable when you look at what Kevin has done. Both his movies and his podcast network has been examples of him creating environments where he’s entertaining and surrounding himself with his friends. When I saw him at Sundance I was impressed by his ‘entourage’. He wasn’t followed by a bunch of douche bags. He surrounded himself with friends who were all part of the productive process. A lot of startups accomplish similar environments. That’s what the culture of Zappos is founded on.
The secret to a successful life is hardly a secret; it requires you to be self-centered as all fuck, is all. So long as it’s not at the expense of others, make yourself the center of your universe. You only get to do this ONCE, so try to take as much stress out of the process as you can.
This might sound offensive at first, but I think it’s something to strive for. If you think opting out of college is the best choice for you, then have some conviction. Don’t get your degree for your mom or dad or grandparent or anyone else. They love you and want the best for you. That love will always push you towards ‘safe’ and ‘average’. Doing anything worthwhile is inherently risky.
Why stress out in some office wearing clothes you hate, when the REAL stress lies ahead, as we face an inescapable grave. Doubt I’m gonna go quietly into that good night, so I’ll save the stress for then.
Sadly, as far as I’ve learned, we can do NOTHING to alter death; it’s GONNA happen.
But life? We can shape & change the fuck out of life!
Many Masonic rituals are designed with death in mind. Keeping death in mind puts life in perspective. Are things really that shitty? How would deathbedded you feel about your decision?
On waiting for permission to create:
Ignore the flock of Wah-Wahs, focus on what you love to do, and earn off it. And remember: once you get paid to do it, doesn’t matter whether someone thinks you’re good at it or not; opinions pay imaginary rents, kids. You get paid to do it, you’re a pro.
I talked about expert status – and even quoted a different SMonologue – in the UnCollege Toolbelt. Don’t wait for anyone’s permission to do something you love – especially if you can earn off it. If you take great event pictures but don’t have a degree, you’re still an event photographer. If you want the certification, good for you, go get it. Don’t think you need it just to have somebody else’s approval though.
It’s summed up on this dopey yoga wall hanging the wife has in the house that I only really understood this year:
——————————————-MAY YOU REALIZE YOUR DIVINITY IN THIS LIFETIME.——————————————
That’s worth working for. It took me 40 yrs, but I finally realized my divinity in this lifetime. Not talking “Clapton is God” or Lennon’s “We’re bigger than Jesus” when I say this: but we can each… hell, we SHOULD each make of ourselves… a god, for lack of better expression.
And I’m not talking the drag-some-kid-into-the-woods-and-cut-his-heart-out bullshit; I’m talking about finding for ourselves the same reverence the faithful reserve for the divine.
And what better to shoot for than mortal divinity?