As a flurry of bullets spray dirt, like the wake created behind a speedboat, inches to the heels of the already wounded soldier, narrowly missing him, he frantically radios in for backup…

We can easily forget while we’re watching a film that directors and writers have staged the whole damn thing in a warehouse somewhere. If they do it right, we’ll never even consider that. We’ll get lost in the story; total immersion.

Excellence doesn’t always stand out.
It’s not always glamorous, or complex, or flashy.
Elite craftsmanship is often hidden in plain site, or, it’s made to look easy.
Have you ever tried to Mud your own drywall?, or
Bake something cute that you found on Pinterest?
Many of us think, “Gosh, I could do that!”.

Maybe we should try.

It won’t take but a few failed attempts to figure it out. A telltale sign of true excellence is when a person can take an extraordinarily difficult, complex thing, and simplify it—make it look easy.

There’s NOTHING simple about the amount of thoughtful, intentional repetitions that it takes to become excellent at something, no matter how easy it may look.

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”

Charles Mingus

Big shouts to my man Caleb Brown, an Art-preneur—painting, and a fellow seeker of excellence, for posting this quote yesterday and prompting me to write on this topic. He’s always motivating me to be the best version of myself. If you’ve seen Caleb’s work or follow his story, you know, he’s committed to craft mastery and to being an inspiration to follow your passions. Check him out:
His accounts: Instagram | Website | Twitter
Here’s a Ted Talk he gave titled “The Triumphant Gift of Adversity”

I have re-written this section countless times. This is the crisis of our generation, defining one's self in an 'about me' box knowing that 95% of our peers will log that as 'who we are' without ever speaking to us, because reading the long-version is just too cumbersome for our over-crowded, busy lives. // In short: I'm a polymath with a hyperactive mind, curious about and fascinated by the complexities of, basically, everything. I'm firmly committed to living a life of "areté"—omnipresent excellence, and my mottos are 'making the best of this life' (Mt. Botl), and "Do it now or forever wish you had". // I had a 'famed' basketball stint (captaining the 2014 Mercer team that upset Duke in NCAA Tourney + winning a Nat'l Title as a coach). I quit the sports industry all-together, cold turkey, soon after. I had an existential crisis with 'glory' and 'meaning' and other challenging thoughts revolving around how many hours (90+/week) I was spending trying to 'win games'. // Since 2017, I've been in pursuit of several entrepreneurial ideas and am educating myself on a few new areas of focus. The following is a condensed list of the countless curiosities and industries that I've explored, worked in, or studied the last 3 years (of which I will need to choose 1-3 of to focus on sooner than later). Writing, Podcasting, Teaching—Adjunct College Professor, Public Speaking + Workshops, Building & Construction, Sustainable Real Estate Development—Industrial + Urban Repurposing in particular, Negotiation, Marketing—Branding/design/communications, Woodwork, Gardening, Permaculture-based farming and homesteading, Psychology, Industrial Engineering—Process Improvement + UX consulting, Project Management, Renewable Energy, & Executive Coaching for (select) clients focusing on leadership, personal brand + career development, health habits, productivity, networking, and communication skills. Yes, all of it, and since I sleep minimally, and my mind races like an ostrich all day and night, I know a fair bit about each of those topics. I have an obsession with learning. I'm always looking to connect and have conversations with folks, so, hit me up. I hope my work brings you joy, value, a challenge, or a ripe perspective. Much love, Jakob

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