Paulo Coelho on How to Handle the Fear of Failure

The road to success runs right through failure. It's an idea that's getting a lot of attention lately. Earlier this month, the Berghs School of Communication in Stockholm organized an exhibition around the whole premise that "success never happens without taking risks. And risks are what you're capable of taking when you overcome the fear of failing." But how to do that? How to take that leap? The exhibition put that question to artists and thinkers who know success in a very intimate way. (See full list on BrainPickings here.) That includes Paulo Coelho, the author of The Alchemist, a book that has sold 65 million copies across 150 countries, and he had this to say:

I'm never paralyzed by my fear of failure... I say "Ok, I'm doing my best... " And, from the moment that I can say that I'm doing my best ... I sit down, I breathe, and I say "I put all of my love into it, I did it with all my heart." ... And whether they like [the book] or not is irrelevant, because I like it. I'm committed to the thing that I did. And so far nobody has criticized or refused it. When you put love and enthusiasm into your work, even if people don't see it, they know it's there, that you did this with all of your body and soul, so that is what I encourage you to do.

It's a good thought, which gets pursued on a parallel track by Tim Harford. In 2005, Harford wrote the bestselling book, The Undercover Economist, and now he returns with Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure. Speaking yesterday on KQED in San Francisco, the writer, sometimes likened to Malcolm Gladwell, talked about the importance of experimentation, taking calculated risks, and creating room for failure, something that matters as much to individuals as it does to corporations or nations trying to solve difficult problems. You can listen to the full interview here.

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

Also consider following Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and sharing intelligent media with your friends. Or sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

Watch Selected Cannes Films for Free (For A Limited Time Only)

We've already written about the excellent film blog MUBIdaily, which is published by the online screening room Mubi.com. We've never really pushed Mubi itself, even though the site features a wide selection of independent and foreign films. It's a subscription site, and we prefer to focus on cultural offerings that you can access free of charge.

Still, for the next month, you can watch certain films on Mubi free of charge -- specifically, selections from multiple years of Cannes' La Semaine de la Critique (Critics’ Week), one of the festival's most consistently interesting sidebars. Each year a panel of international critics selects a current crop of shorts and features from first and second time directors, and now MUBI has made a number of past selections freely available online. The selection is a little uneven, but still often inspiring. Of the choices offered at Mubi's mini-retrospective, we recommend the Japanese film Chicken Heart, the clever Swedish short Seeds of the Fall, and especially Round Da Way  (Lascars), a lively French animated feature about life in the projects. You can watch Round Da Way above.

The full selection is available for free on Mubi until June 30th, with a caveat or two: Each film is only free for its first 1,000 viewings, you do need to register to watch, and there may be some georestriction at work (though we can't say for sure since we're based in the US).

And finally, of course, don't miss our big curated collection of 380 Free Movies, which includes a few major films from Cannes too.

Sheerly Avni is a San Francisco-based arts and culture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Weekly, Mother Jones, and many other publications. You can follow her on twitter at @sheerly.

 

Endeavour’s Launch Viewed from Booster Cameras

Here's the good stuff that nerdgasms are made of. NASA has released a video that lets you hitch a ride on the May 16th launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour. The video runs 37 minutes; it's narrated by a NASA official; and it loops around and lets you see the launch from several different vantage points.

You start with liftoff, traveling at 1300 miles per hour. Then, about two minutes later, the rocket boosters separate from the shuttle, and you then twist with them. The second loop starts around the 7:20 mark, and don't miss the splendid view at 9:40 ...

Related Content:

The Best of NASA Space Shuttle Videos (1981-2010)

NASA Captures Giant Solar Storm

NASA Zooms into Spiral Galaxy

Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange: Malcolm McDowell Looks Back

A few days ago, we linked to the recent Collider interview with Malcolm McDowell, the star of Stanley Kubrick's 1971 classic, A Clockwork Orange. One of the highlights of the piece is a short video clip in which the now 68-year-old actor describes the origins of the film's iconic -- and horrifically violent -- "Singing in the Rain" scene. (The ad on the Collider clip is short but abrasive, by the way. Be sure to turn down your headphones).

You can catch a much younger McDowell discussing that same scene in 1972, starting at minute 6:30 of the interview below. For kicks, slide back to minute 4:15, and watch the cocky 28-year-old give his interlocutor a sharp dressing down for daring to suggest that Mr. Kubrick could be "difficult" to work with:via @DangerMindsBlog

Related content:

Stanley Kubrick's Filmography Animated

Killer's Kiss: Where Stanley Kubrick's Filmmaking Career Really Begins

Kubrick vs. Scorsese Montage

Sheerly Avni is a San Francisco-based arts and culture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Weekly, Mother Jones, and many other publications. You can follow her on twitter at @sheerly.

23-Year-Old Eric Clapton Demonstrates the Elements of His Guitar Sound

In the fall of 1968, Eric Clapton was 23 years old and at the height of his creative powers. His band, Cream, was on its farewell tour of America when a film crew from the BBC caught up with the group and asked the young guitar virtuoso to show how he created his distinctive sound.

The result is a fascinating four-minute tour of Clapton’s technique. He begins by demonstrating the wide range of tones he could achieve by varying the settings on his psychedelically painted 1964 Gibson SG Standard guitar. His wah-wah pedal (an early Vox model) was critical to the sound of so many Cream classics, like “Tales of Brave Ulysses.” In the film, Clapton really has to stomp on it to get it working.

One of the most difficult skills to master, Clapton says, is the vibrato. In a 1970 interview with Guitar Player magazine he goes into more detail: “When I stretch strings,” he says, “I hook my thumb around the neck of the guitar. A lot of guitarists stretch strings with just their hand free. The only way I can do it is if I have my whole hand around the neck—actually gripping onto it with my thumb. That somehow gives me more of a rocking action with my hand and wrist.” If you watch the BBC clip closely you will see this in action.

The interview was conducted with Clapton seated in front of his famous stack of Marshall amplifiers. In the Guitar Player interview, however, he admits he rarely used both at the same time. “I always had two Marshalls set up to play through,” he says, “but I think it was just so I could have one as a spare. I usually used only one 100-watt amp.”

Clapton’s demonstration (along with interviews of bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker) was incorporated into Tony Palmer’s film of Cream's Farewell Concert, which took place on November 21, 1968 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. (Coincidentally, Clapton is appearing at the Albert Hall all this week.) The original six-song version of Cream's Farewell Concert is available for free viewing on the Internet. An extended 14-song version is available for purchase here.

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

Also consider following Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and sharing intelligent media with your friends. Or sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

Darren’s Big DIY Camera

Photographer Darren Samuelson spent a good year researching his big camera. Then it was time to build it. The bellows came first, crafted over two hard weeks on his living room floor. Next came the rear portion of the camera, and eventually the front, the rails, and the rest. All told, seven months of loving labor went into making Darren's big DIY camera, capable of producing 14×36-inch negatives. (By the way, it also used x-ray film.) At long last, it was time to give things a try at San Francisco's Lands End. The short documentary above shows you the rest. Don't miss the images at the 2:20 mark...

Jimmy Fallon Nails the Bob Dylan Impersonation

He looks like Bob Dylan. He sings like our birthday boy Bob Dylan. And yet he's covering perhaps the cheesiest 80s sitcom theme song ever made -- which makes it all the more hilarious...

« Go BackMore in this category... »
Quantcast