LEADERSHIP: Overcome Obstacles, with Edward Norton
Edward Norton is an Oscar-nominated actor, director, screenwriter and founder of the non-profit crowdsourcing venture Crowdrise. Experience has taught him that self-confidence is not the key to success. On the contrary, every bold new venture naturally summons up the feeling that “You’re a fraud. This is not going to work." By the end of this lesson from Big Think Edge, you’ll have a sense of the negative self-talk that might be holding you back and a mental strategy for pushing past your anxieties and fears.
Edward Norton is an actor, director and philanthropist. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards, for Best Supporting Actor in "Primal Fear" and "Birdman", as well as Best Actor in "American History X." His other notable films include "Fight Club" (1999), "25th Hour" (2002), "The Incredible Hulk" (2008) and "Keeping the Faith" (2000), which he also directed. Norton is also known for his work on environmental and social issues like renewable energy and low-income housing. In May 2010, Norton co-founded the website Crowdrise, an online platform that harnesses the power of social networks for charities.
At the beginning, when you start that process, I think it’s 100% certain that it will feel completely half-baked. You will always be looking over your shoulder waiting for somebody to call you out and say, "you’re a fraud, you’re an idiot." Like, this is not going to work. Getting used to that sensation is a good thing. I’ve been acting professionally for 20 years and I still start things and basically wait for somebody to go, "Wow! You really don’t know what you’re doing. You really suck."
You have to anticipate and embrace the inevitable sensation of fear, like, you will feel fear for sure. And you will feel risk. None of those like daydreams where you imagine yourself in a movie of your own success, like, just happen without that zone and period of risk and terror. Like, terror. Existential sort of horror and certainty that you are going to fail. I don’t think it ever goes away. The only thing I think happens is that you get used to the sensation. You can get to that point where you say, "oh yeah, this is that phase where, you know, I’m sweating out three t-shirts a day because I think we’re about to go off the cliff like every six hours." And that’s okay. You’re like, you know, I’ll buy more cheap t-shirts and just, you know, wait it out.
And sometimes you’re not wrong, sometimes you do crash and fail. But that’s okay too. I think a lot of people just balk at that sensation and I think you’ve got to push through it.
In this lesson from Big Think Edge, Oscar-nominated actor Edward Norton offers a mental strategy for pushing past anxiety and fear when taking on a new venture.
Sharon Salzberg, world-renowned mindfulness leader, teaches meditation at Big Think Edge.
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- Sharon Salzberg teaches mindfulness meditation for Big Think Edge.
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Research has shown that men today have less testosterone than they used to. What's happening?
- Several studies have confirmed that testosterone counts in men are lower than what they used to be just a few decades ago.
- While most men still have perfectly healthy testosterone levels, its reduction puts men at risk for many negative health outcomes.
- The cause of this drop in testosterone isn't entirely clear, but evidence suggests that it is a multifaceted result of modern, industrialized life.
The 21st century is experiencing an Asianization of politics, business, and culture.
- Our theories about the world, even about history or the geopolitics of the present, tend to be shaped by Anglo perspectives of the Western industrial democracies, particularly those in the United States and the United Kingdom.
- The West, however, is not united. Canada, for instance, acts in many ways that are not in line with American or British policies, particularly in regard to populism. Even if it were united, though, it would not represent most of the world's population.
- European ideas, such as parliamentary democracy and civil service, spread across the world in the 19th century. In the 20th century, American values such as entrepreneurialism went global. In the 21st century, however, what we're seeing now is an Asianization — an Asian confidence that they can determine their own political systems, their own models, and adapt to their own circumstances.
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