Cynics Do Not Contribute, Skeptics Do Not Create, Doubters Do Not Achieve

There really isn’t a good way to follow up a post like last Monday’s. It struck a chord with so many awesome people with stories just like ours, and the comments continue to roll in. I’ve been completely blown away by the response from everyone, and today I’m ridiculously grateful to have a place to share my thoughts. I’m also very happy to have things like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc where people can talk about our awesome experience with Pixar. So despite my best efforts, today’s post isn’t going to be as good as Monday’s. That’s just how it goes sometimes. I mean, I’m sure whoever made Weekend at Bernies 2 had every intention of it not sucking, but it pretty much sucked.

The goal for today’s post is to suck less than Weekend at Bernie’s 2 and not be as good as the Pixar post, so here we go:

Negativism is easy.

Click to find out why negativism is so easy

Dear Pixar, Thank You

Entertainment seems to be a hot button issue these days, especially when it comes to parenting. Terms like “screen time” put a sour taste in our mouths, and we’re constantly told to limit the amount of time that our kids get in front of computers, iPads, TVs, and the like. There’s no doubt that having kids lead active lives is ridiculously important, but today I’d like to shift the focus a bit and give a shout out to some of the most brilliant and creative minds of this generation. Today I raise my virtual glass to the fine folks at Pixar.

If you’ve been following my ramblings for very long you now that I enjoy a good flick. It’s a great opportunity for me to escape reality for just a little while and it allows me leave the worries of life next to the electronic kiosk just before I buy that popcorn with extra butter flavoring. Brady has seen Cars 2 and Toy Story 3 in the theater and has loved the experience both times. He’s always ready for the next outing to the movies and never forgets to remind us when we drive past the theater. Really, he never forgets. Ever. Collin, on the other hand, has never really been too involved when it comes to the theater experience. I remember taking him to see Toy Story 3, watching about ten minutes of the movie, and then going out into the hall and watching reruns of Mickey Mouse clubhouse on my iPhone for the next two hours. The theater just isn’t his thing.

Keep Reading About Pixar

Always Publish. No Matter What.

Seth Godin talks all the time about “shipping.” It’s this idea practice where we set a deadline and then we meet that deadline, no matter what. The product isn’t always going to be perfect. In fact, it’s rarely going to be perfect. There are going to be flaws.

The beauty of the flaws is that we can learn from them. As soon as we, or someone else, identifies where we could have done better, we set the deadline for the second version. And then we meet that deadline. And then the third, and so on.

After a few releases It’s like we become machines. Really awesome machines with frickin’ laser beams on our heads. The more often we deliver the more comfortable we get with hitting that publish button. Every release becomes more refined than the last and pretty soon, we’re pumpin’ out some high quality crap if you know what I mean.

I see a lot of bloggers get discouraged because they’re not getting comments on their posts or their stuff isn’t being shared as much as they’d like.

Guess what, even the best bloggers don’t hit a home run every time they step up to the plate. In my opinion, the best bloggers are the ones that strike out completely, dust themselves off, and hit publish again the next day.

That takes guts.

I’ve quit before. I understand the desire to publish something insanely awesome and feeling like it’s never quite good enough.

What we need to understand, and what it’s taken me about 1,000 blog posts to realize, is that the three pointers at the buzzer don’t come without some early morning gym time on a weekday.

Keep shipping.

Legacy is a Funny Word

Yesterday Joe Paterno died. When someone dies we almost always look for the the good they leave behind. It’s our nature. However, yesterday as I watched the news break on Twitter and Facebook, I noticed that reaction to his death was one of the most polarizing events I’ve ever witnessed. People wanted to talk about his “legacy” and many of those who scorned him just a few months ago were now remembering Coach Paterno for all the good he’s done over the years.

This article, “Joe Patern’s Legacy Outweighs Scandal” has well over 3,000 comments as I write this. Each comment the polar opposite of the one before it. One reader responded with the following:

“Great read… it’s refreshing and inspiring to read someone who understands that while he admits he made a mistake, one mistake shouldn’t forego his 61+ years of dedication, and the tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of lives he touched and helped improve.”

Another weighs in with this:

“No. Scandal outweighs legacy you idiot. People are more important than football.”

People keep arguing about whether or not his failure to expose the rape of innocent children can be somehow offset by his 61 years of being a great coach and mentor. Personally it’s not even a question worth debating but it’s not my opinion that matters.

Ask the parents of the victims whether they’ll remember the generous donations Paterno made to Penn State or the sleepless nights their children spent blaming themselves for what went wrong.

Ask the victims whether they’ll remember 409 career wins or the shame stemming from those unspeakable events in a State College locker room.

In a Washinton Post interview that took place just over a week ago, Joe Paterno said of the abuse, “In hindsight, I wish I had done more.”

So do we, Joe Paterno. That could have been your legacy.