Since I can’t make videos or audios right now, or even talk on the phone, I’ve had a lot of time to think. And naturally one of the things I’ve been thinking about is the desire to do new things.
No kidding. I’ve taken my voice for granted for years. When I get it back, it’s going to be like something brand new.
I was trying to remember when I felt this kind of desire before. And suddenly it hit me.
In 1986 my head was in the clouds.
I wanted to fly like an eagle. Or rather, I wanted to fly without killing myself.
But I knew I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t talented. And when I started taking lessons, it confirmed I wasn’t talented. My instructor went out of his way to tell me I wasn’t talented. Every time we met.
I couldn’t blame him. I used to get very nauseous during every instructional flight. Afterwards I would walk out to the car trying to look like Tom Cruise in Top Gun, then sit for about 10 minutes in the heat until the waves of nausea subsided enough for me to drive home.
It took me 67 hours, the high side of the national average, to achieve the exalted rank of Private Pilot. There was nothing in what I did back then that would have indicated I’d still be alive and flying today.
Looking back, it’s a miracle I ever became a pilot. I had no talent. I had no ability.
All I had was desire.
And as I learned a little, my desire grew. And I got better. And I got more desire. And so on…
The exact same thing was true of when it came to video. Incredibly, I started learning video the day after I got my Private ticket. And it was just as clear to my instructors in video that I had no talent.
I don’t think many would say that to me today.
I see a lot of people come into the BrainyVideo family. They have desire too, just like I did. They lead busy lives. They have children and responsibilities and the need to make a living, just like I did.
And a few of them say “Hey, really, I want to learn video.” And they learn video.
Most don’t, though. They just don’t have enough desire to get started. And that’s cool. Video is special. It’s for the crazy ones, maybe; the ones who don’t mind testing their limits and are not so afraid of making mistakes. And yes, maybe even looking foolish.
Because that craziness is what you need.
Otherwise it takes 10 years to learn what could take 10 days, because your mistakes get weaved into your DNA and it becomes impossible to see them. You need to see them through the eyes of a good instructor and also through the mistakes others make when they are pointed out.
That’s why I get angry when I see other teachers showing people a way to make videos that get them to repeat and ingrain the same mistakes the instructor unknowingly made, and then those people go on to teach others by example, and it’s all a pretty depressing downward spiral.
We teach almost anyone how to make cool-looking and sounding videos in 3 days. And then we work on the content that makes those videos turn viewers into clients.
Did you notice the order of events?
First comes the boring technical part, then the fun and profitable content part. You can’t reverse the order.
What if I had soloed before spending 20 hours with an instructor, taking all that time to anticipate things that would happen and everything that could go wrong, and making a bunch of low-risk mistakes, having them pointed out to me and correcting them and understanding in my bones what doing it the right way felt like?
And while you’re thinking about that, guess what? Something did go wrong on my very first solo; something that has killed a few pilots.
Here’s what happened.
There’s a tradition that your first solo is a surprise.
My case was no different. We had just landed, and the instructor got out of the plane and told me to go up and do 3 touch-and-goes. That’s where the wheels barely touch the runway, and then you take off again without slowing down.
So with my heart in my mouth, I pulled his door closed and took off.
About 500 feet up, his door opened.
Had I somehow convinced my instructor that I should solo, then learn the boring stuff later, I would not be here today to tell you what happened next. But part of the boring stuff was him telling me that if your door ever opens in flight, don’t panic. Just calmly reach over and close it.
So that’s what I did. And then I finished my 3 touch and goes. And you know what? When I landed, I did kind of feel like Tom Cruise in Top Gun; a slightly nauseous Top Gun.
Today my friends jokingly call me the world’s greatest pilot. Which is silly. After all, there are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old bold pilots. I’m just a pilot who learned that being good at something was a simple matter of reducing the mistake count with a good instructor. Because it sure had nothing to do with “talent.”
But you do need one thing to be successful.
Of course, no one can give you desire.
Desire is kind of magical. It’s the inner compass that tells you if you’re headed in the right direction. Some say it’s the universe trying to express itself though you. In the 60’s they used to say “if it feels good, do it.” Now maybe we can say “if it feels right, at least don’t ignore it!”
All that is to say this: if you have the desire to learn video, then you can learn it. It’s not about being talented or technically-oriented. I know this because I was neither. I was the only kid on the Army bases where I grew up who couldn’t change a spark plug.
Fast forward a few years and you see my students making really cool videos that they’ve learned how to do by taking our courses or learning one-on-one in a VIP weekend.
And the only thing they had in common was desire. Hm.
Desire. I know some monks say it leads to unhappiness, but I’ve never been a good monk.
Maybe I just lacked talent.