Heights by great men reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.

Heights by great men reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.


Have you watched someone that seemed as if they were on a meteoric rise to success out of nowhere?

In most cases, that “nowhere” was a complete illusion. To most of us, a glimmer of someone else’s success looks sudden and meteoric. But in reality, it was much more likely to be akin to Sisyphus in nature. A long, tedious push through the turmoil of aiming high and actually getting there.

I have known very few people who have found an instant success. It is not that they do not happen. I remember the story of an associate’s brother who spent his days surfing, and one day thought up a rubber stretch device that went over his Swatch watch and called it a Swatch guard and reportedly made significant sums over night. But, in all the years of helping clients get their products to market, I have met almost none who did it without significant efforts that go long beyond the ordinary work day.

Why do we take these challenges when gainful employment is readily present and can enable us to live a happy life, free of pushing boulders up a mountain in thankless efforts? I think the answer comes from the mountaineers who explain why they go up Everest. 

“Because it is there.”

It is just that simple. No deeper explanation. 

To some it is a calling. A beacon that offers them a chance to discover what they are made of and how resilient they are. It truly is inexplicable beyond that simple perspective.

In the course of building such a mentality, we are faced with several options. In some cases, there are even short cuts, like figuring out how to cheat on an exam, or do the least amount of work and still get credit. These experiences, when leveraged, teach us how it feels to bypass the real solution and get to a short term finish line. What it does not do, is teach us how to toil upwards in the night. There is only one way to learn that lesson and that is to do the work. 

It is exhausting and sometimes completely debilitating and demoralizing. But, once completed, there is a breathless satisfaction that cannot be replaced by anything else. It is just the knowledge that we prevailed, regardless of obstacles, doubt, fear and pain.

Life offers many paths. The task of Sisyphus is not for everyone. But if you opt for the experience, roll up your sleeves and STAY HYDRATED…. Cuz you are going to sweat an ocean along the way.

Happy Tuesday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!