One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through and it will be someone else’s survival guide.

One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through and it will be someone else’s survival guide.

Think back. Way back.

Do you remember someone telling you a story of their life experience when you were very young? 

It was a convoluted tale of experiences, disappointments, frustrations, set backs, partial triumphs, more set backs, depression, fear, anxiety and finally a substantial triumph. 

It may have been a person you know, or perhaps it was a biography that you read, or a documentary that you watched.

Somewhere in there, you found a kernel. 

It may have been one person’s story, or perhaps it was several. It might have been a consistent series of experiences that you found to relate to, or perhaps your path became a patchwork of many such stories, from which you have selected the morsels of inspiration you needed to thrive.

In my case, it most certainly has been a patchwork of both real life individuals, such as my father, as well as biographies, films and documentaries of people whom I truly admire.

They say that success looks to the outsider as if it were instantaneous, but from the inside looking out, it is a long, tenuous journey, populated with countless chapters of conflict, fear and deprivation. 

As we grow older, we realize the truth in these experiences, as we have lived them. Some of them are incredibly joyous, others nowhere near as much.

It is important to paint a proper picture for the generations that follow us. I have heard my generation continually belittle the following generations, labeling them with whatever gen this or millennial that that helps them identify a continuous age sector that is moving through society. 

I do not buy into those generalizations. Of course those generations are different than ours. As well they should be. They have different stimuli, resources, role models, opportunities, technologies, world circumstances than we do. They are going to behave differently, have different interests and yes, they will have some different moralities as well.

That’s perfectly acceptable. If that frustrates you, you are not remembering how your generation differed from the ones that preceded you. In your mind, perhaps you are glossing it over, but to the generation before you, you were radical.

One thing is consistent from generation to generation. Life is not easy. Not by any stretch. It takes focus, contemplation, patience, determination, passion, persistence and a hundred other qualities. The tech may change, as will some of the morals, behaviors, beliefs and attitudes, but the human condition will always remain (for the most part) a constant. They will still have all of the ups and downs that you have had, even if they look different and appear as different variables, they are still relatively similar challenges.

Be generous in telling your tale. Not annoyingly so like Grandpa on the Simpsons, but strategically so. When you encounter a willing young mind, listen to what they are working through and offer just enough of your life experience as to inspire them or comfort them in knowing that they are not alone and that the tough times will pass in favor of better times to come. 

Hope is the great elevation that continually lifts humanity. It separates us from the animal kingdom at large. If you can be a vessel of hope or inspiration for another, you have probably given them the greatest gift you may ever give.

Happy Wednesday!

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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!