Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, And smarter than you think.

Promise me you’ll always remember:

You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem,

And smarter than you think.

A.A. Milne

Around the time I was the perfect age, I discovered “When We Were Very Young” and “Now We Are Six,” by A.A. Milne on my parent’s book shelves. 

I remember particularly enjoying both of these books, not even remotely aware that I was being exposed to some of my first doses of philosophy. Yet, in looking back at Milne’s work, there are countless lessons of morality, civility, compassion, tenderness and appreciation.

Coaching young minds with these philosophies could not be more important in life. They become cornerstones to a person’s character and help build the basis of what can develop into countless strengths as the child matures.

For example… how important is it to believe that you are braver than you believe? This alone, is so fundamental to every aspect of life. Bravery comes in so many flavors, but in the end, it will all boil down to frame of mind, and the belief system that stems from such. Life is truly scary… on countless fronts. Whether we are facing an illness or a test, standing up to a bully, or trying out for an important audition, interviewing for a job, or asking someone who makes our heart pound, out on a date… bravery is the variable that stands in our corner, bolstering our fear with enough bravado to accelerate through the trepidation and catapult us into our successes.

Being stronger than we seem is a component of bravery, but it is a different skill. Bravery is a thought process, and being stronger than we we seem is the activation of the thought. Bravery is useless without the follow through to be strong in the face of any adversarial experience that we may ever weather. The legendary Chinese General, Sun Tau, author of The Art of War, said it most clearly, “Act strong when you are weak, and weak when you are strong.” This is so critical because people sense these qualities about you and like a dog that can sniff fear a mile away, a human can sense weakness through nonverbal body language, choices of communication, and a look in the eye. I could not begin to recount the myriad examples of how I have used this one simple thought in my life to get me through something that was scaring me. And I would suppose that when you reflect on your life experience, you can recount numerous occasions where you had to be extra strong to get through a tough chapter. This is a cornerstone in life.

Being smarter than you think is of equal importance. We can look at others and ask ourselves, why are they so advanced while we are working at a slower acceleration? Not everyone has a mind like Stephen Hawking. So what makes some of them go further than others? I would propose that in some of the circumstances where intelligence is relatively comparable, the difference is mental acuity and personal perspective paired with discipline. If you go into a test and you are dispirited, your results will be considerably lower than going into the same test knowing that you have what it takes to succeed. If you have such a mindset, you become more indomitable than ever before. Those successes breed more confidence and lead to more successes. I know this to be true from personal experience.

Some people see Winnie the Pooh as a lovable, funny bear who befriends Christoper Robin in the Hundred Acre Wood. I see Winnie as one of the cornerstones of helping me to become who I have developed into and, like A.A. Milne, I write every day in hopes that my efforts to do such will spark another generation behind me into feeling equally empowered so that they, too, may accelerate into becoming their greater selves.

Happy Saturday!

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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!