Theme for 2016: “Why Not?”

Theme for 2016: “Why Not?”

2015 was an interesting experiment in goal setting. It was more about focus and theme vs specific goals. However, I did have one specific mandate for my business and that was profit. Yes, part of my ‘theme’ for the year, but it was a very pointed and specific goal. I actually hired a business coach and stopped trying to just have my business partner and I try to figure things out. We also worked on brining in strategic partners and that made a difference as well.

It was a success. And I’m stupendously happy about that aspect.

Not that I want to put a damper on success, but certain personal troubles occurred specifically around automobiles. Some good. Some bad. Lost a car. Got a car. Lost a car. Got a car. Very odd and unexpected all scenarios.

But even more than that, I started hearing phrases that started rubbing me the wrong way. Why? Did they raise doubts in my own goals and convictions?

Yes, they did.

  • “I would never want to be a millionaire.”
  • “I wouldn’t want to have a company that big.”
  • “All big companies are just greedy and taking advantage of the common Joe.”

The first thought that popped into my head has been, “WHY NOT?”

Why WOULDN’T you want to be a millionaire, have a big company, and are you sure that big companies are greedy? Or is it that you don’t understand business? Do you feel it’s better and more noble to serve people in a soup line and look them in the eyes or to be a business owner who has managed to make money enough to pay for hundreds of meals for those same people?

We bitch and moan about corporations like Walmart and others and still go shop there for the low prices. What a bunch of hypocrites! Now…those that complain and don’t shop, bravo!

The fact is we live in a capitalist Republic that runs on money. Play the game or get out. And while I agree it’s not the most just system, with a little effort you can make changes that work. Until we figure out a way to move to a resource based economy posited by The Venus Project, these are the rules we have to play within.

But I digress, as usual.

Why NotWe give ribbons for participation these days. I say find ways to question, think differently, challenge the status quo, and learn from past successes and failures. In 1984, I was picked as one of top ten seniors who the faculty believed would go on to do great things. Have I?

As I hit level 50 in a few weeks, this is the question I keep coming back to. What have I done to make people’s lives better? What have I done to help others. How have I made a dent in the Universe?

So, my theme for this year when offered big opportunities is simply…

‘WHY NOT?!’

Play big or go home.

Can I sustain? I have no idea.
Can I help everyone I want to? Probably not.
But if I don’t try, I know I won’t.

What We Leave Behind

What We Leave Behind

Stones from Post What We Leave Behind

As I walk in nature, I often come across an abandoned camp site or a pile of stacked stones and I think about the people who had been there before me and left traces behind from their visit. Granted, the hiking trail is a constant reminder of years of use and people leaving impressions behind and I am aware of this too.I heard someone talk about the story and adventures of Gilgamesh the other day

Readers may know that mythology is an interest of mine as well as lost civilizations. There are so many traces of civilizations that have fallen, disappeared and been rediscovered, that last week alone saw at least three major discoveries of the ancient world. Tombs. Temples. Caverns. While some people go out and shout “Ancient aliens must have built these things!” I personally believe we are smart, creative and tenacious enough to do some pretty amazing things on our own.

How Long Does It Take to Lose a Civilization?

Life After People ImageI was fascinated by a show called Life After People, a few years back, that explored how our modern civilization would fair over 10,000 years if we all vanished. To see a major collapse of buildings and bridges after two hundred years was stunning. To see how many things vanished over 2,000 was amazing. And to see how only the largest structures would still be seen after 10,000 was humbling. Nothing, save the Hoover dam, the great wall of China and the Pyramids would be recognizable. Nature is pretty persistent.

Epic of GilgameshRecently, I heard someone talk about the story and adventures of Gilgamesh. They said that Gilgamesh was searching for immortality, although I haven’t been able to confirm this. The speaker was saying how that he ended up achieving a kind of immortality as his story has been passed down for thousands of years and continues on today. Gilgamesh, according to an entry in Wikipedia, was an actual historic figure as a king of Uruk, Mesopotamia, around 2800 and 2500 BC. But he is also the main character (two-thirds god and one-third human) in a Mesopotamian poem titled the Epic of Gilgamesh. It is considered the first great work of literature.

We are constantly finding more ancient sites ranging back 11,000-12,000 years or more. We were supposed to be simple farmers and nomads, but archeologists are finding full ruins buried beneath sand and dirt. Golbekli Tepe is one such site. More are being found in Peru and across the globe.

Geologist Dr. Robert Schoch (mentioned often on this blog), dated the Sphinx at 10,000+ years. A striking contradiction to the 4-5,000 years that Egyptian historians stick to as it’s age.

But why does it matter what we leave behind?

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.
~ Pericles (495 BC-429 BC)

Footprints left behindAs I approach a half-century mark in years, I think about what I’m leaving behind. For a while, people were trying to convince me that we shouldn’t leave anything behind. Zero Carbon Footprint was a movement going around. It honestly pissed me off. I was born here and have a right to live. And while I tried to build more than destroy, the movement was almost saying that I shouldn’t exist because I was destroying the Earth. I have calmed down. I understand the goal. But I refuse to shrink.

Why does it matter so much about what we leave behind? For me, it’s easy. While the Ancient Greeks would ask about someone who passed away the question “Did they live with passion?” I think what I wonder most about is, “Did I make a difference?”

That is probably the biggest thing I think about looking back on my days is “Did I matter?” In the grand scheme of things, did my existence help, hinder or do nothing for our planet and the universe?

Now, many readers may say, “Huber, you’ve got many many years to go! Why so glum?”

Luckily, I am not glum at all. Rather, I want to consider that the next half of my life (should I be so luckily) is even better and more meaningful than what has come before.

Words, actions, and how you affect the world around you by your actions seem to last much longer than buildings (with a few exceptions from antiquity). I have discovered that I have helped many people in my life and didn’t even know it. I remember when I was growing up, unsure about my place in the universe or what God might have in store for me, I would often say, “God, I know you put me here for a reason that may not be anything more than to help someone across the street some day in the future, but would it be okay if I could stay around a little longer afterwards and explore and play?”

I’m not sure if I’ve done what I’ve come here to do yet. I have some new ideas. In the long run, whether we only leave behind footprints in the sand that are washed away by the tides of time or we create or inspire epics of song, story or poetry to be written that echo through millennia, we should share our gifts with others. Whatever talent, love or passion you have, do that as much as you can and you will end up weaving your essence into the lives of others and ripple outward and forward in time.

Return of the Sun

Return of the Sun

Unsplash image of Foggy ValleyAs I write this post, the sky is gray, fog lays across the hills and valleys, rain is drizzling down and it’s cold. Not freezing, mind you, but pretty dang chilly. It’s a perfect day to curl up in bed and watch a movie. But this is the year of creativity, profit and adventure, so I’m up writing and being creative.

Since the Winter solstice has passed, the days are getting longer and the sun is slowly returning with the promise of light and energy to bring Spring into fruition.

Circles, Zero and the Sun

As some of you may know, I am often fixated on information about our sun. I am not fearful of what may occur, but aware of the power it produces and the fact that it is not as stable as we think it is so far from our home planet.

Sun SymbolThis morning, I listed to NPR (National Public Radio) for a bit about a man who searched for the source of the symbol for the number zero. Being a circle, I recalled that an old symbol for the sun is a circle with a solid circle inside.

As a believer that we’ve gained and lost knowledge many times over the millennia, this looks suspiciously like an orbit. Circles often also symbolize a continual loop where a pattern repeats or a path is taken again and again.

Joseph Campbell’s idea of A Hero’s Journey talks about how the Hero’s Journey loops back upon itself, and a new journey begins. Being at the beginning of the New Year, I see this symbol as a sign of this idea. Another progression around the sun begins, and we take that opportunity to reflect and start a new journey for ourselves.

The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.
~ Joseph Campbell

Back to the sun…

It’s a fascinating thing that hangs in the sky (when we can see it). We take it for granted. It gives life to our planet. And it is theorized to have helped in the rise and fall of civilization over the millennia.Two great sources about the sun, besides doing your own research by going to NASA’s website and pouring over tons and tons of data:

  1. Suspicious0bservers.org and the ObservatoryProject.com
    Ben Davidson started a daily video newscast in 2013 reporting on the status of the sun, Earth weather patterns, earthquakes and environmental events. By 6:30 a.m., his video is online. He also adds all links where he gets his information so you can check it out and verify for yourself. By the way, the “O” in Observers is actually a “Zero.” Here’s the YouTube Channel and an example video from January 3rd:
    http://youtu.be/OLi3sLVf6dU
  2. Dr. Robert Schoch, who has his Ph.D. in Geology and Geophysics from Yale, wrote a book titled Forgotten Civilization: The Role of Solar Outbursts in our Past and Future. In it, he presents his latest research centered on the magnificent Göbekli Tepe complex in Turkey, which confirms his thesis that ancient civilization goes back thousands of years earlier than mainstream historians generally care to acknowledge. Also presented is a new discovery: a reinterpretation of the mysterious rongorongo texts of Easter Island, as the glyphs connect to the work of a prominent plasma physicist. He discusses how solar outbursts and plasma discharges brought about the rapid end of the last ice age and the demise of the early civilizations of that remote period.

What I like about Ben Davidson is that he ends each News Video with “No Fear” when it comes to information about our sun and it’s output. Both men simply state facts that our sun can kick up a tantrum from time to time… and we’re still here. There is no ‘doom and gloom,’ but simply giving us a way to pay attention to a bigger picture that stretches back thousands of centuries.

On this cold gray dreary day, I did take time to chill out and watch a movie. I also wrote and hung out with a friend. As I finish this blog post, and today’s ‘Space Weather,’ although I know that Winter is just settling in, I eagerly await the return of the sun.

What interesting things have you learned about the sun?

Theme for a New Year: Creativity, Profit and Adventure

Theme for a New Year: Creativity, Profit and Adventure

New Year's ResolutionIt’s 2015 and most people start all their New Year’s Resolutions, lofty goals, or otherwise map out how the coming year will be better than the last. I’ve tried it lots of times and one year made a resolution not to make any more resolutions.

Two years ago, I set out to focus on goals. Ten of them to be exact. Based on a Brian Tracey interview I had heard through Success Magazine (a favorite of mine). For thirty days, I wrote and memorized my top ten goals and three action steps for each. The year progressed. At the end, I looked back and discovered I had failed to achieve any of the goals. “How could this possibly be,” I asked. They are all still important at the end of the year, but I failed to achieve even one. The fault must be with me, of course.

Last year, 2014, I set no goals. No intentions. Just wanted a few certain things: for my business to be successful financially, to help my friends and family, and to strengthen my relationships. This time, while I had some success and had amazing help from friends and family throughout the year, I still didn’t quite experience what I had hoped to happen.

However, while there were many many challenges that I had never thought I’d face, there were many successes:

  1. I wrote nearly 60,000 words for a novel and even more for ideas for other stories. With this, I’ve decided that I am, officially, a writer. I’m not a professional writer, but a writer none-the-less.
  2. My friends and extended family members helped my family through a very hard time that occurred at the beginning of the year. I am eternally grateful and humbled.
  3. My business partner, key employee and staff helped solidify and strengthen my business setting us up for long term success. While we lost some great folks, it wasn’t due to anything we had done wrong, but rather great opportunities that they were offered. Recent research says that if you have great people, expect them to be poached.
  4. My wife and I (and boys) managed to go through a tough time and come out stronger than ever. Our future looks bright personally and financially.
  5. I accepted the role as President of a professional organization chapter. While I still feel like a kid compared to the professionals I am helping lead, I have been so rewarded professionally and so excited to see businesses thrive that have joined. I still have 9 months to serve and hope things keep going in the same direction.

There is more, but those are things that feel key.

The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.
~ Joseph Campbell

This year, I turn 49…one year from the half-century mark. This gives me great pause as my mother passed away suddenly at only 55 years young. Logically, I know I’m healthy enough to go on many many more years, but there is that subconscious fear that I have to achieve whatever I was put on earth to do more quickly. Regardless, I’m eager to accomplish more sooner than later.

And it was with that thought that I decided (and have heard of others doing the same), to simply create a theme for the year. And that theme is fairly simple: Creativity, Profit and Adventure.

CREATIVITY

  1. In writing and art
  2. In my business and for clients
  3. In relationships and for fun

PROFIT

  1. For things I want to explore in life
  2. For the ability to help others in business (mine and others)
  3. For the resources to give to the community

ADVENTURE

  1. To travel and explore parts of the world I’ve never seen
  2. To experience new things with my wife, family and friends (individually and together)
  3. To create things only in my imagination to thrill and inspire others (see Creativity above)

See how it all loops together?

That’s it. I hope to write more this year than the past, but…hey…we’ll see. It could be an adventure!

How about you?

Twinkies™ and Global Consciousness

Twinkies™ and Global Consciousness

(Originally a talk given at Unity of Fayetteville on 7/21/13 about manifesting)

If you’re here, you’re obviously wondering, why Twinkies,™ Global Consciousness and Manifesting?

I know that nearly everyone here has studied manifesting. Most of you have attended Mary Morrisey’s Prosperity Plus class, watched The Secret, read Manifest Your Destiny by Wayne Dyer, studied Wallace Wattles’ The Science of Getting Rich, Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, and the Abraham/Hicks Law of Attraction.

So why would I pick a topic you all already knows?

After hanging out with many of you, talking with others, reading through many books, watching tons of videos and listening to recordings, I kept wondering why many of us still struggle to get what we all dream about.

And then I found out why. I have found the villain that keeps us from success. This villain is devious, steadfast, and insidious.

This villain sabotages our actions just when we are at the edge of success. They place thoughts of fear, jealousy, greed, anger and superstition when we just start to feel our plans are about to come to fruition.

twinkie-protestsAnd then last year this villain took our Twinkies™.

But like in all literature, film and mythology, this is not the kind of villain who is simply motivated to destroy for the sake of destruction. This villain can be saved. It can seek redemption. We can become allies with this villain for the greater good redeeming their past vile actions and inactions.

Just as Darth Vader turned from the Dark Side to help Luke Skywalker defeat the Emperor, or the Grinch returns all the Christmas presents back to the Whos down in Whoville. This antagonist can also be redeemed and become our ally.

This villain is none other than our subconscious mind.

Now we can stop fighting with ourselves and begin recreating the great story of our lives. We have goals and dreams. We have challenges. And we have a villain to battle and save who will help us in our grandest dreams.

How did our subconsciousness steal our Twinkies™ you ask?

Think about our world. Our lives. Our thoughts.

Over the past few decades, we’re more and more concerned with our health. We’re focused on what we’re consuming. How we’re consuming it. We look to make better choices. Many of us often think, “If they didn’t have Twinkies™, I wouldn’t be tempted to eat them.”

I’m making some assumptions on this part, and I know there was some Union management issues at hand, but as a business owner I can guess that some of this occurred: as buying habits shifted, profits dropped in the Hostess company. Workers may have been cut or at least a reduction in hours. In the worker’s subconscious minds, they began feeling fear of losing their jobs. The managers and owners began fearing a loss in profits and the inevitable layoffs. Their villains kept feeding their fears. Finally, a tipping point was reached and no amount of product placement in a zombie movie could help. Hostess filed for bankruptcy and an end of an era was upon us.

For those of you wondering about the zombie movie reference, one of the characters was in search of Twinkies™ in the after apocalypse zombie infested earth. He understood that, contrary to popular belief, Twinkies™ did, in fact, have an expiration date.

Here’s where our villain can be turned and how global consciousness enters the picture.

It has been shown that global events and what people focus on globally can cause a measurable effect. At the moment, from what I’ve read, scientists are only showing that computers constantly producing random numbers will begin having less random numbers when global events occur. However, we’ve learned that ‘Prayer Walks’ (or circles) in cities with high crime have resulted in a lowering of the crime rate from 25% up to 46% according to some sources.

Now, did the outrage of Twinkies™ demise spur us to turn our subconscious minds in conjunction with the larger global consciousness to create action?

Last week, Twinkies™ returned to the shelves of stores with a further extended shelf life (just in case of a zombie apocalypse, I’m guessing).

And…they are testing gluten-free, sugar-free and low-sodium versions to boot!

Honestly, I haven’t had a Twinkie in years. I was sad to hear Twinkies™ were gone. But not because I wanted one, but because it reminded me of when I was younger and when I was a kid. It was a treat. Sure it was all sugar, not good for you, and otherwise kinda gross when you think of all the preservatives. But it evoked an emotion.

I also believe that the power of our global consciousness is limited by each of our own sub-consciousnesses and consciousnesses. It is EASY to believe in holding a Twinkie in your hand and eating it. It is more difficult to believe that we can create a non-profit organization that feeds the world, a home in Italy, or other lofty dream.

Why? Because we’ve held a Twinkie before. We have not owned a home in Italy…yet.

Let’s get back to the villain.

Part of the entire New Thought movement understood the power of the subconscious mind. Even if they didn’t completely understand how to control it, they knew the basics on how to turn it to their goals.

Today’s teachers understand much more, and are teaching it very well.

While you can’t control your subconscious, you can feed it.

Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich says this:

“THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND consists of a field of consciousness, in which every impulse of thought that reaches the objective mind through any of the five senses, is classified and recorded, and from which thoughts may be recalled or withdrawn as letters may be taken from a filing cabinet.

It receives, and files, sense impressions or thoughts, regardless of their nature. You may VOLUNTARILY plant in your subconscious mind any plan, thought, or purpose which you desire to translate into its physical or monetary equivalent. The subconscious acts first on the dominating desires which have been mixed with emotional feeling, such as faith.

THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND WORKS DAY AND NIGHT. Through a method of procedure, unknown to man, the subconscious mind draws upon the forces of Infinite Intelligence for the power with which it voluntarily transmutes one’s desires into their physical equivalent, making use, always of the most practical media by which this end may be accomplished.”

Hill mentions the Infinite Intelligence. Wallace Wattles speaks of a Formless Intelligence. And while I know many of you have heard it before, it bears repeating:

“There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the inter-spaces of the universe.

A thought in this substance produces the thing that is imaged by the thought.

Man can form things in his thought, and by impressing his thought upon formless substance can cause the thing he thinks about to be created.

In order to do this, man must pass from the competitive to the creative mind; otherwise he cannot be in harmony with the Formless Intelligence, which is always creative and never competitive in spirit.”

Mike Dooley, who was in the movie The Secret boiled it down to this

“Thoughts Become Things. Choose the Good Ones.”

Einstein revealed to us a Universe made of Energy. He hypothesized that everything, in fact, was made of energy. That all the way down to the atomic level, things vibrate, oscillate and resonate. Quantum studies show that we can change reality. We can change the outcome of experiments simply by watching them.

Hill said, “every impulse of thought that reaches the objective mind through any of the five senses.”

Our senses simply pick up different types of energy by vibrational interpretations. Everything is energy.

Twinkie StonehengeIt’s at this point we can turn our villain into our ally. 

Some of you may have already redeemed your subconscious mind and are working together in manifesting what you want. Others, may have a twisting plot of cooperation and conflict going on in your own personal stories, like I have had. The rest of you may be listening to your subconscious now and it’s saying, “Don’t listen to this guy. He’s an idiot. He’s trying to brainwash you. He doesn’t have our best interests in mind. Quick! Check your cell phone. Play Angry Birds. Angry Birds!!! AIM. FIRE. AIM. FIRE. AIM. FIRE! DIE EVIL PIGS.”

Where was I?

Ah yes…turning the villain into a hero.

It’s here that the real work begins. Work that can be fun, but takes practice and dedication. The results and rewards are nothing less than miraculous.

With correct thoughts, you can begin immediate manifestation. You can have and do anything you want. But you have to get out of your own way.

Abraham says the Vortex exists ready for you to enter and live from, but you have to let go.

How many of you have thoughts in your mind, right now, saying something like, “I really want to go buy this coffee maker, but… I don’t really need it. I’d kinda feel guilty getting it because little Joey really wants a bike. I don’t really want to spend money on a bike right now.”

The Infinite Intelligence, the Formless Intelligence, the Genie, Bob, or God just heard… “I want a Coffee Maker. No. Not really. Joey wants a bike. (but I don’t want to buy a bike).” Coffee Maker. No Coffee Maker. Bike. No Bike.

Okay then. Nothing.

(Sigh)

We’ve all heard this example or something like it. The question is, “How do you stop doing that!?” Let me ask another question you MAY have heard the answer to before: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”

Practice. Practice. Practice.

So let’s figure out what exactly it is we have to practice. And, specifically practice on getting your new hero to focus on the things you WANT and not what you DON’T want.

My wife and I, many of you, and lots of people I know are INSTANT manifestors. Or at least, very quick manifestors.

As many of you know, I have a thing about movies and mythology. I’ve publicly spoken about my desire to be involved in movies. I’ve written a dozen outlines of movie plots and screenplays.

A few weeks ago, Christi and I were talking about some goals, considering various resources, and otherwise dreaming. Two things we focused on were me taking steps to finish one (or more) of my ideas and doing something with them, as well as making a comment about how our house needs to start pulling it’s weight in our family by producing some additional income.

Literally two days later, one of our friends posted on Facebook post and tagged us in it. “Eric and Christi have a nice living room. How about it? You guys want to be in a movie? Or at least your house?”

We checked it out and a movie production was looking for a location to shoot an independent film AND was willing to pay a few hundred dollars for a night shoot.

BAM! I got to hang with a movie crew and watch the pre-production and chat with the director, photographer, actors, and production people. The house made money for us.  AND…bonus…our son who had just made a comment of wanting to make a certain amount of money a week got hired by the director and made the entire amount in a night.

Pretty cool, eh? And I’ve focused on writing several days since then and am much clearer on what I want to accomplish.

So how did the opportunity manifest itself so quickly and so specifically?

We had no expectation of HOW things would unfold, we simply wanted an outcome. This is one of the keys. One of the ways as kids we were able to accomplish things. We never knew HOW something was going to happen, we simply knew what we wanted. We didn’t know if it could or couldn’t be done, simply that we wanted it done.

To end my talk today, I want to give you a few items to help your subconscious become your ally. To turn it from the dark side. To deliver all the presents back to you it’s been hoarding.

The Law of Attraction is based on one simple idea: what you focus on expands.

  1. You must be crystal clear on your goal or goals. Create a vision board. Create a mantra. Describe an experience. Paint a picture of the perfect relationship.
  2. Use the present tense when referring to your goals.
  3. Eliminate all negative thoughts. Anything self-defeating, critical, sad. Your FEELINGS are your best indicator of where you are in manifesting. Choose better feelings and thoughts and you will find yourself closer to your goal and you’re FEEL when you are closer.
  4. Meditate
  5. FEEL what it’s like to have achieved your goals.
  6. Say “Thank You” and embody gratitude. Negative thoughts and fear cannot exist at the same time as gratitude.
  7. Believe, have faith and pretend you don’t NEED it.

Lastly, you can try the Genie Approach.

Use the two magic words. No. Not Abra Cadabra (or is that just one word?)

“I Command…”

“I Command that a parking place will open up in front of the coffee shop!” One did for me, by the way. However, I had meant for a FREE parking place to open up. Sigh.

BE CLEAR AND PRECISE!

Also, there is ONE RULE for the Genie Approach: You cannot command others.

None of this, “I command Christi (my wife) to make me a pie!” Which, wouldn’t go over well in a multitude of ways. Your command should be “I command the universe create an apple pie for me.” Now, of course, the fasted manifestation is to go to the store and buy one, but…hey…instant!

twinkies-roadSo, go turn your villain into a hero, command the universe, have faith, and manifest some Twinkies.™

(And if you had been at Unity, I passed out the newly released Twinkies!)

Click here for more podcasts from Unity.

Once Upon a Time, there was _____.

Once Upon a Time, there was _____.

Stumbled across this little gem. Apparently, one of the story artists at Pixar, Emma Coats, tweeted a whole series of ‘story basics’ that she learned on how to create appealing stories from her senior colleagues. This article is a little old from May 2011 and is from http://www.pixartouchbook.com.

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.

#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

#6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

#8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

#9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

#10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

#11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.

#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.

#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

#15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

#17: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on – it’ll come back around to be useful later.

#18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

#20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?

#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

#22: What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

As I really begin my journey into writing, I found this very inspiring. And since I have loved everything that Pixar has done, this is just fuel for the fire.