What Makes Jack a Dull Boy?
Filippo Beccari is an Italian dance teacher a long way from home. Hoping to enrich the lives of 62 orphans, he visits the orphans daily and encourages them to move to the music as he hums or plays. The year is 1773.
Three years later Paul Revere rides through Boston shouting “The British are coming! The British are coming!” just as Beccari's orphans glide onto stage and stun a crowd of dignitaries with their debut performance. Each of the 62 children has become a magnificent dancer and 24 of them are world-class soloists.
And thus the Bolshoi Ballet was born in Moscow during the reign of Catherine the Great.
Bolshoi, in Russian, means “big” or “grand.” And indeed it is.
I wonder, would the Bolshoi have come into existence had a man been in charge of Russia at the time?
Pulitzer-winning novelist James Michener challenged aspiring writers to move to the rhythm of spoken words. He said they “might develop a sense of freedom that way.”
Two weeks ago I ignited a firestorm of controversy by suggesting that we embrace Michener's strange advice and post our efforts on youtube.
Judging from some of the reactions I received, you'd have thought I had suggested we overthrow the government, outlaw church-going and encourage young children to smoke pot.
Men were worried
1. that the effort would serve no purpose, and
2. that it might become a gateway to “other deviations.”
Yes, some people use play as an excuse to lose their minds. “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” But the Cognoscenti will recall a 7-minute session called Feynman's Pendulum in which I explain, “The object of play isn't to lose your morals, it's to lose your cares and inhibitions.”
People often ask me to help them turn their hobby into a business.
But does that make the hobby more fun?
Hosea Frank mentions this phenomenon in one of his witty and offbeat Zefrank videos: “And then they started saying that if you put focused energy into something without knowing how it would lead to getting money, you were participating in a hobby. [witheringly] Ohhh… it's your hobby.” – zefrank.com
Ze made a new video each weekday for a year in the hope of being accepted into the LOA, or League Of Awesomeness. That year ended on March 17, 2007.
My son Rex brought Zefrank to my attention a few days ago. Having now viewed a couple dozen of his 260 videos, I think Ze may be our brand of crazy. But before you go clicking these links, be warned: Zefrank is offbeat, irreverent and unrestrained. Which is a fancy way of saying that he is occasionally vulgar.
But he is also insightful and fun.
Pass or play. The choice is yours.
But remember what happened to Jack.
Roy H. Williams
PS – Have you taken a look at all the new classes coming up at WizardAcademy.org?
In just 2 weeks, Jeff and Bryan Eisenberg will be sharing online sales and lead generation techniques in Tuscan Hall. You gonna be there?