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Why I'm Not Writing A Post Bashing The Anonymous Troll

Act I: The Discovery of Conflict Invigoration

I recently discovered a phenomenon common among many highly successful people. I'm calling it "conflict invigoration" - this is a personality trait, a mixed blessing and curse. It's the kind of person who can move heaven and earth when inspired, but doesn't do as well when they aren't... and who is always invigorated by a fight.

I first noticed conflict invigoration among a number of the most successful people I knew personally. See, I don't think this is an entirely new observation, but a lot of the people that reach stratospheric levels of success are kind of deranged. You almost have to be, to keep going after you've "won" by every conceivable measure, to work yourself to the bone at the expense of your sanity and longevity and vitality, to neglect so many of the basic human needs and pleasures and comforts.

I saw this trait in lots of successful people, and then I started paying attention to biographies and histories. Indeed, many of the most expansive people in our generation and previous ones are conflict invigorated - they've perhaps always got a baseline of creativity and striving, but it really comes out when a fight breaks out.

"Competition is always a fantastic thing, and the computer industry is intensely competitive." - Bill Gates

Picking from your Past.

On Music Lessons w/Marc Plotkin

I recently took a voice lesson. I've been working on composition so much in my music work lately that I've let a couple of performance skills atrophy a bit. Noticing this, I signed up for voice lessons to make sure my (already limited) range and technique didn't completely wither.

I've studied music quite a bit in the past, but never with someone like this. Like myself (but not for voice), this teacher studied formally in college, learning classical and operatic technique, but has come to living the Brooklyn indie-rock musical life instead. (To anyone rolling their eyes at that, it's quite a powerful combo, the stereotypical shaggy guy in a plaid shirt who can sing a perfect Aria or identify any concerto) I've always liked this idea of learning as much as you can, then picking what's relevant to apply to your situation later. I did this in the past by spending years studying jazz saxophone with some of the best players around New York City, and later applying most of the knowledge in harmonic choices as a singer-songwriter and guitarist in an indie-rock band…not an obvious use of such skills, but it really worked well!

This voice teacher, went about things a little differently. He studied formally like I did, then after school he threw out everything he learned and tried writing/performing/recording being purposely absent-minded of what he learned. He did the opposite of every technique and every rule the conservatory world preached to him.

He then had polarizing approaches to compare to make a choice for his third act. The music he's making now is his most excellent and he supposes it's due to the fact that he's now making choices based on the best of each of the prior two situations. Pulling back some of the conservatory technique, as well as using tricks he only would've learned by purposely not following the rules.

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