Week 20 & 21: Malcolm Gladwell & Being Elmo.
This week is a double-header! Vacation last week took me out of my routine and I have to admit I was too busy wakeboarding, tanning, working, and crafting bracelets to stay on track with 52 in 52 last week. All it means is that this week is a double dose of inspiration!
Week 20: Malcolm Gladwell.
I’m currently reading “What the Dog Saw”, and although I’ve barely scratched the surface on the bestselling compilation of articles, it made me realize that I haven’t written a review on anything by Malcolm Gladwell! This is absolutely insane to me, considering he is one of my favourite authors and I own four of his books.
If you’ve read anything he’s written, you’ll get where I’m coming from. If not, what you need to know is that Malcolm Gladwell sees the world differently. He has a way of leading you, the reader, to see oridinary things differently, and makes just a little more sense of this crazy world with every flip of a page. Here’s a snapshot of his most notable books:
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking takes a look at what our mind can do with just a split second of information. Our mental processes are much quicker than we might assume. The information, judgements and recognition that our brain processes in a split second is astonishingly fast and remarkably similar to conclusions we might draw over a long period of time.
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference is an absolutely fascinating book about change. It breaks down the reasons why an enormous change might have happened - and the little factors that line up for the right-place-right-time “tipping point” to occur.
The Outliers: The Story of Success has to be my favourite of the three. Gladwell breaks down the common notion of success by looking to the situations surrounding “outliers”: those outside the norm. The 10,000 hour rule is absolutely fascinating in itself - and that’s only one chapter! - and this book has a million cool facts to teach you on top of being an engaging and informative read.
Malcolm Gladwell. The star of Week 20!
Week 21: Being Elmo: A Puppeteers Journey.
Now, I had to explain myself a few times in the past week about why I even decided to watch this documentary. You’d be surprised at how many people think that Elmo, the cutest little red monster on the planet, is a laughable subject for a legitimate documentary! I had heard about Being Elmo: A Puppeteers Journey once from a friend on Facebook, then saw a link to it in an article I had read, and then it was available free on Netflicks - so I spent an evening watching the main character of Sesame Street and his creator. Totally worth it!
The doc presents the story of Kevin Clash, the man behind (underneath?) the worldwide phenomenon that is Elmo. I love a good biography, and the story of how this young man started creating and building puppets, original characters, and hosting puppet shows at the age of ten is totally doc-worthy. This man is insanely talented! Watching the story of how he was inspired by Jim Henson, and then ended up becoming involved in this interesting world of puppeteers was so cool.
Consider it a mash-up of “how it’s made” for puppets, an example of perseverance and believing in your passion, and a really sweet “follow your dreams” story. Check out the trailer below:
And there you have it. Two weeks in one, and two totally different sources of inspiration for you to see the world a little differently.
Back on track next Monday.