Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Eight words

I've been finding inspiration in some unexpected places lately. Sometimes I feel like a giant idea collector--as if the only way I can make sense of the world and figure out who I am inside it, how to negotiate the path from A to B to Z--is by gathering all kinds of thoughts and opinions, other people's stories, really, and then letting them knock around inside of me for awhile to see what sticks and what falls away. It's like some process inside me synthesizes them, and I await the "Ah-ha moments."

But sometimes I come across something that just strikes me as compelling, funny, and true enough to accept on its own, no synthesis necessary. Jerry Seinfeld's interview in Oprah's magazine this month falls into this category. He has some great things to say about creative process, but what jumped out at me was his basic advice for life. I think he came up with these for a commencement speech he gave. Whatever the genesis, I think these are just dang good thoughts to keep in mind as I wander around trying to make my time on Earth count for something. So here, for your consideration, are Jerry Seinfeld's Three Rules For Living:

1. Bust your ass
2. Pay attention
3. Fall in love

Check out the interview (Nov. 07 issue) for Jerry's elaborations if you're curious, but I think these eight words say a lot, even without embellishment. (And I fibbed about the no-synthesis thing; I've been mulling these over all week!)

7 comments:

Kimberly Palmer said...

Those are great, thanks Trish. Sometimes the simplest ideas make so much sense. But the first one is kind of tough -- how hard should you work? if you work too hard it might interfere with #2 and #3, right?

L Sass said...

Wisdom from Jerry Seinfeld! Whoddathunk? That Oprah! She brings it out in people.

Patti said...

since i am a fan of the word "ass" i happily agree!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Those are good! I've also read that he advises writers to write everyday, marking the writing days off on a calendar with a big 'X'. He says you make a chain and don't want to break it.

Same idea as 100 words in 100 days...

Swishy said...

I love those!

LEstes65 said...

Pay attention? I was supposed to pay attention all this time???? For the love of Pete - why didn't anyone TELL me this?!

en4ned said...

Don't you just love it - it really is that simple!!!! Caught that on his interview in Australia with Andrew Denton (Enough Rope, 26 Nov 07). Found your site - love it - when trying to recall the exact words!