Pixar’s Joe Ranft’s 2 Rules For Living

Joe Ranft knew how to live. Considered the heart of Pixar’s films his sense of humor and gift for storytelling were legendary throughout the industry and throughout the world. How can you apply his life lessons to promoting yourself, your product, business, service or cause? Storytelling is key along with two others.

1. The journey is the reward.

I want it now. I can’t wait. Hurry, hurry. Show me the money. What do I get? Life will be better tomorrow.

Stop.

What about now? What about doing without knowing what will result, just for the fun of it?

This is what Kathan Brown, a client of mine who is legendary in the print making/etching world and who has worked with such artists as John Cage, Richard Diebenkorn, and Richard Tuttle, writes in the opening of her book, Ink, Paper,Metal, Wood:

“Thirty-three years ago when I founded Crown Point Press I didn’t have a clear plan, but I liked the feel of ink on my hands and the look of it after I’d printed it onto paper using an etching press. I liked working with polished copper, aromatic liquid tar, rosin from pine trees, and wax, heated and rolled out thin — poetic materials from another age.”

She goes on to say that she started the press for her friends who were painters and sculptors and how they taught her ways to make sense of life in this day and age.

During this time when our troops and the Iraqi people continue to die, when hundreds have died or are in desperate straits in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, when depression, obesity and anxiety have become as commonplace as the housefly, how does what you do help us make sense of the world?

And while the journey is the reward, Kathan says, “You can’t just sit around and enjoy. You also have to look for the next step.”

2. Trust the process.

Process is often mysterious, frustrating and slow. Process is also miraculous, easy and instant. They are part of the same continuum.

Margaret Welty is a great example of trusting the process. She’s an artist and gifted teacher who just got her own cable TV show ). She has attended the Soundbite System for Success ™ teleclasses ) every single time they’ve been offered.

She practices weekly with her soundbite buddy and has done so for over six months. She’s made dramatic strides that have come from trying different ways of saying things, hearing her soundbite buddie’s feedback and booking herself on radio shows so she can hone what she’s learned. I love the phrase (soundbite) on her website: “No Talent? No Problem! Drawing Free allows anyone — even YOU to start drawing NOW.”

Even me? With Margaret holding my hand I will trust the process and give it a go. No doubt Joe Ranft would cheer me on.

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