Maturity is not when we start speaking big things, it is when we start understanding small things.

Maturity is not when we start speaking big things, it is when we start understanding small things.

As we start making our way through school, many topics cross our paths and leave us in a continual state of awareness and potential excitement about some of the ones that are most intriguing and engaging to us. We learn in school to become generally conversant on a handful of these subjects in order that we may pass our classes and make our way forward in life. These introductions to so many broad topics create the stimuli that give us cause and reason to become ever more inquisitive in some of the specific fields that are enticing us.

Interestingly, the small topics are the ones that are considerably more acquired and find their way into our being as we mature. Some of these could be encompassed in the word: subtlety.  Some of it can stem from a large understanding at the outset of learning but requires a deeper grasp of the subject matter before the ultimate desired outcome is achieved. We might look at the art of learning to play a musical instrument and in the course of this experience, a musician ultimately learns the finesse of making a specific note or sound happen through a more refined physical act or touch in the course of them playing the instrument. In the case of a writer, we are quick to discover that the true art of writing, is re-writing. Whatever we believe to be well thought and appropriate, is always subject to revision that is capable of significant improvement of that written concept. We learn about the wide range of synonyms and uses of metaphors and similes. Each of these add color and value to whatever it is that we are hoping we might express to another.

In the case of a friendship, we are likely to make friends when we are young and some of those friendships sustain and others slowly fade away. The friendships that last bear commonality in the way that our bond with that particular friend is formed, through circumstance, common interest, common predicament, and so on. Continuously looking at the world from macro to micro enables us to grasp the very big picture, and with exploration, we drill down on subjects of interest, finding ever more subtleties to entice our curiosity and deliver us to green pastures of exploration, experience and enlightenment. 

In the course of going myopic, our perspective changes on the larger macro view of any topic by our slow mastery of the details of that topic, giving light, shade and color to the areas of interest that have captured our attention and given us cause to find this path into whatever it is that we are desirous of learning.

If I were to give any credit to our former president, it would be that his presence created a need in me to learn many of the subtle details of civics and how our government works. Through what I perceived as a threat on our democracy, his influence gave me reason to take a subject that was previously dry and banal and learn the minutia details while history was unfolding before our eyes. It was not a lesson I sought, nor had any real interest in. The specifics of how states certify the electoral college and how that ultimately is methodically resolved in our participant democracy was not even on my radar, until cause gave me reason to learn and understand. Once I drilled down and saw the experience for what it was, and how my perceived opponent was going to influence a predetermined course of action, the minutia of the process became fascinating to me and on January 6, as what has always been standard operating procedure was taking effect, I was on pins and needles watching to see if there would be a riot at the Capitol and stood by transfixed, as we all did, while our traditional civic procedure was trying to be derailed through lies, deceit, and arrogance. What had always been taken for granted by me (and by the rest of the world) was suddenly in complete turmoil with angry militants calling for the death of our elected representatives. The macro had given way to the micro and in the micro perspective, it was obvious that there was a direct assault on our democracy through the Big Lie, and all that transpired thereafter.

We mature in life through our understanding of small things. They give us shape and form to the larger structures of interest and complement the larger understanding we have at the outset by defining the details that truly make up the experience. That is how David Gilmour can pick up the exact same guitar as Frank Zappa, Prince, Al di Meola, Jimmy Page and Pete Townsend and make a unique sound that the others are not making. The pressure on the string, the movement of the fingers, and so on. 

Life gives us many chances to find the micro explorations of interest to us. Through these explorations we finally begin to understand the bigger picture through our mastery of the smallest minutia. Leonardo conquered 3D painting through his understanding of chiaroscuro and sfumato (the use of light and darkness), the understanding of perspective and his finesse at painting without leaving a brush stroke in his wake. 

Find your details, explore them with passion and master topics on a level that your cursory exploration only began to tease you with. Once you have gone down the proverbial rabbit holes, you will find your passion for those topics expands exponentially and your desire to understand even more of the details grows with each and every new morsel of information that you consume.

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!