A new post on Oprah.com titled “5 Breakthroughs You Can Learn from These Visionaries” sprinkles down little gems of wisdom, all delivered in neat, concise and totally believable little packages. These kinds of practical “cheerleading” tips really work — when we remember to follow them and to dig deeper when in the midst of worrying over whether (1) our new project is as viable as we first thought (2) our problem-solving approach is actually making said problem more manageable, or 3) our new take on a classic situation will appeal to anybody but us — and, of course, our loyal and ever-supportive family members and friends.
Take Philippe Petit, for example. He’s the high-wire artist who boldly scaled a wire between the World Center Twin towers in 1974 — a more innocent time when the terror of 9/11 was still simply unimaginable. See the amazing You Tube video here. Ever emphasizing his rarely matched pursuit of perfection, he proudly says , “People label me a madman of detail, and I don’t refute the title. I work towards perfection for thousands of hours….”
On another front, Paleontologist Neil Shubin, Ph.D., agrees with many individuals profiled in Bright Lights of the Second City that luck is, quite often, a factor in achieving one’s desired outcome. (See Shubin here on “The Colbert Report”.)
But Shubin is quick to remind us that tenacity trumps many other characteristics. When talking about how the time that he and his team found the snout of a Titaalik rosea — finally! — he emphasizes that “We could have given up — it had been six years. But we didn’t!” If you’re interested in paleontology, also meet Paul Sereno, profiled in Bright Lights of the Second City. (Something extra cool: They’re both affiliated with and teach at the University of Chicago.)
Read the Oprah.com post to meet celebrity stylist June Ambrose, cellist Zoe Keating, and Jad Abumrad, cohost of WNYC’s Radiolab. For more fascinating insights, check out of the 50 stellar Chicagoans in Bright Lights of the Second City.