Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

Albert Einstein said, “Generations to come, will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.”

Admittedly, when Sir Richard Attenborough made the film about Gandhi, I knew next to nothing about this man. I was just a couple years out of film school and this film grabbed me by the brain and registered front and center. Here was the story of a man who did change the world, through intelligence and peaceful resistance

I have always been fascinated by the concept of one person changing the world and this elevated my thoughts on the topic, considerably. 

Taking his aphorism beyond the will to remove British oppression of India, to a personal battle, I believe the concept continues to hold water.  Indomitable will is as close to an absolute as we may ever personally achieve. 

It is expressed in many things that we do, but it is far more prevalent in situations where we are forced to encounter the counterbalance to that will, be it temptation, a personal or professional obstacle, or other. Whatever that indomitable will is standing up against is the variable that will measure one’s own ability to stand and be counted when the moment arises. (This is somewhat akin to standing up and saying, “I’m Spartacus!” But that’s an obscure reference to another very old film.)

Indomitable will is what gets people the high grades, the gold medal, the career position they ascribe to and so much more. It is the fuel, the energy, the nagging voice, the perpetual determination in all of us that propels us to accelerate to the best of our abilities headfirst into the unknown with a grit and determination that is unalterable.

Finding that tune, deep within the rhythms of our existence is a goal, learning to play it in times of stress and fear is a skill and leveraging it to catapult oneself into the highest ranks of our own potentials is the endgame. It strikes me, then, that teaching children how to summon this vast wealth of internal knowledge  could not be more important. 

Yet, as a parent, we find ourselves battling that indomitable will in all sorts of moments where our children are exhibiting it against us! Suddenly, the tables are turned and we are the evil British empire trying to force our child to eat their vegetables, or do their homework, or practice their instrument, or similar. This creates an interesting paradox because our indomitable will says we MUST BE GREAT PARENTS…. But we are also witnessing at this early age, the formulation of our children’s indomitable will and we must watch carefully how we negotiate our way across that virtual chasm. If we immediately resort to the power move, we do act with force like the British empire and in some level, that will only increase the determination and will inside the child. If not at this moment, then later at the next confrontation. Whereas, if we opt for the psychological option of a valid explanation and rationalization for what we are asking of our children so that they, in their mind, can find the peaceful path to accomplishing what we have requested of them, then we are formulating a foundation of negotiated relationship which (I believe) is the wiser solution to a longterm program with our children.

Once, when my son was less than seven, a dad who I did not know very well,  watched me interact with Chris at an Indian Guides event. He mentioned as an aside… there are two kinds of dads… The coach and the referee. The referee blows a whistle at every infraction and the coach watches and when something is going too far astray helps make some comments to get things back on track without the rule infraction whistle of the referee. It was such a simple comment, but it changed my parenting style thereafter.

Indomitable will is a treasure. It is the fuel of my internal being. It drives me to do some of the stupidest things I have ever done, in the name of something far more wise that (I believe) is inevitable. Since the film, Gandhi in 1982, I have continued to watch for how and where I might have a shot at changing the world. In my own tiny microcosm, I honestly believe that Sizzle is that outcome. It may not appear to be such from the outside looking in, but from inside my mind and seeing how the world would/could operate using overarching technology of this magnitude, I believe that this is absolutely possible. And when it comes to fruition, there will only be my indomitable will to credit for how it continued to progress against the most insurmountable odds.

I hope your indomitable will drives you to the moments in life that you treasure most. It certainly is the instrument of change and opportunity.

Happy Saturday!

Lessons From The Mountain: Changing the world, one thought at a time.

Lessons From The Mountain: Changing the world, one thought at a time.

Lessons From The Mountain: Changing the world, one thought at a time.

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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!