Defining Your Renaissance with 27th Renaissance and Modern da Vinci

Pantheon is derived from the Ancient Greek
Pantheon is derived from the Ancient Greek “Pantheon” (Πάνθεον) meaning “of, relating to, or common to all the gods” —Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheon,_Rome

Polymath, expert generalist, renaissance man. All representative of the life-long learners quest, the quest for full potential. Is a person made to fit into a narrow niche? Or, to expand across all fields of achievement? I believe everybody can have more than just one skill, talent, or ability that can be developed to a high level. Not everybody who chooses a singular role and perfects it is settling in life. Personally, I would feel like I was settling for less than I’m truly capable of, by going for one thing. Not going after all the things that fascinate me would haunt me. I enjoy learning, practicing, and immersing myself in many diverse realms. Many true experts are without a doubt some of the most disciplined and committed individuals to live throughout human history. But, countless souls may never even reach their full potential in any one endeavor. Falling into the grey and forgotten hinterlands between amateur and master. There is however, a rare breed: a breed that is diverse yet singular, masterful yet child like, competent and curious. This rare breed is the Renaissance (Wo)man. The path of renaissance is not reserved for the masculine. Truth be told woman are just as adept if not better at becoming skilled in a wide repertoire of capabilities. Anybody can choose to learn, practice and master many things.

Within everybody, there is a higher calling (or callings). For many they may have gone dormant, but deep within it remains. A spark of inspiration, or a faint voice saying—“Imagine that! Go. Go after that!” Listen to that voice and try what you’ve always wanted. Your path to renaissance begins with the clear understanding of what the ultimate version of yourself would look like. And, what capabilities they would have. Can you imagine if you were able to do everything that you’d ever dreamed of? Do this as an exercise: write down notes, record audio, or even make a video…what would I be able to do if I’d learned everything that interested me? What if I let all my passions express themselves? What things when looking back on your life in it’s last stages you’d regret not doing, or wonder to yourself what you could have done had you just tried. Those are the things to consider when defining your Renaissance. If I look at my list it’s the ultimate realization of allowing myself to have dreams and share them. Building the skills necessary to reach even 50% of what I’ve listed will make me into a much better man. There’s something cool about working on a list like this. Once certain skills become absorbed, practiced, and repeated until enough mastery  has been attained something interesting happens, the list becomes shorter. Shorter because mastering the right skills first, can speed up the ability to learn and absorb others. Learning how to learn is the gift and ultimate reward from defining and pursuing your own renaissance. Learn a second language like French; Italian and Spanish become that much easier. Understand how to de-bone a chicken, and duck, pheasant, and turkey become simplified. Learn oratory, and political power can follow. Some abilities  may seem completely separate or disconnected, but their connectivity reveals itself through pursuing deep and diverse learning. Masters can draw inspiration from anywhere. Their brains remain connected to the core of their abilities and  constantly curious. A trip to the cinema could spark a new painting, essay, or piece of music. A viewing at an art gallery may give the Master Chef insight into a new dish. Learning how to learn, keeps the brain fully active, and a lifetime of enjoyment can ensue.

The intricacies of a Tibetan Sand Mandala--complex, masterful and with multitudes of individual aspects making a complete entity. The intricacies of a Tibetan Sand Mandala–complex, masterful and with multitudes of individual aspects making a complete entity.

I compel you to define what your renaissance means—if you’re reading this you’ve got one to craft. Become part of the under-recognized Renaissance Period we’re all currently a part of. Every industry and field is having a renaissance as technology and information become widespread. It’s easier now to be a person of renaissance than ever before. Leonardo Da Vinci would absolutely be Crushing it today. Just imagine what someone who was so diversely masterful could do in our day and age. Then think of what we the individual are doing. Can we do more, be more and become more? Yes. Let’s craft our own renaissance. Are you with me?
As it turns out, I’m not alone on this pursuit. There are others already pursuing their renaissance, and I’m always thrilled to meet another striver and polymath. Serendipitously through Twitter I met such an individual: Michael Mehlberg who runs Modern Da Vinci is actualizing his own renaissance and, like myself, helping others do the same through his blog–Enter: Modern Da Vinci:

What goals drive your behavior? Which challenges excite your passions? Can you name a few activities that renew and revive you?

With a little thought, these answers will come. We all have driving goals, exciting challenges, and reviving activities. Whether we consciously know what these goals, challenges, and activities are, they motivate us. But until we make them conscious, they are nothing more than motivators. By forcing them to be a part of our daily routine, we can turn them into a personal renaissance.

I’d be lying if I claimed to completely understood my own personal renaissance. No matter how much we simplify, life is complicated. No matter how easy they seem at first blush, our goals end up being loftier than expected. But I recognized that I needed to tame these complications and overconfidence. It took a specific exercise to provide the insight that allowed my personal renaissance to take shape.

Sitting at work, tired of countless emails and interruptions, I took a “thinking day” to redefine important priorities in my work. Many thoughts raced through my head that day. But one imaginative exercise in which I pictured myself 10 years in the future, set the stage for my renaissance and Modern da Vinci.

Take the time to think... Taking a thinking day helped define my personal renaissance… a life-long pursuit of discovering learning and creating.

Surprisingly, I pictured myself doing something quite different than my current profession. I pictured myself studying, learning, inventing, and working to help people solve complex problems with creative solutions. I pictured myself healthy, confident, and knowledgeable on a wide range of topics–a true modern renaissance man–always interesting, and always helpful.

Of course, not all men picture themselves studying and inventing in their day job. Those aspirations were my own; personal in nature and driven by my character. But many of us do picture ourselves as healthy, confident, and knowledgeable people. I knew that I could pursue these goals myself, but I also wondered if I could help others to the same. I knew that, if I were to do so, I would have to make this pursuit public. Hence, Modern da Vinci was born. It was a way to publicize new knowledge, discuss new experiences, and help others find their own path to becoming a confident, interesting, helpful, lifelong learner.

With that in mind, it’s worth taking a moment to recognize the incredible period of history in which we live. We have never before better understood freedom, technology, culture, art, or science. Like the classical 14th century European renaissance period, modern art, music, and technology flourish. At times, it feels like we are crossing a bridge between our age and the ultra-modern, high-tech, culturally beautiful future.

I often wonder if, looking through history books 500 years from now, children learn about the 21st century as a modern renaissance period. I often wonder if we should recognize this for ourselves today. Perhaps by recognizing it we can build a bridge to such a future. Perhaps by staying curious, by constantly learning, and by following our passions we can better recognize opportunities and live a fuller life with fewer regrets.

The World Awaits. We live in a time where nearly every city is full of countless possibilities. Art, music, and technology flourish all around us. We live in an amazing time where all of us can create, learn and follow our passions.

Now more than ever, it’s important to study, learn, invent, stay healthy, and push yourself to grow. You have limitless opportunities at your fingertips with which to inspire yourself and others. Through Modern da Vinci, I hope to inspire others to push themselves to become more knowledgeable, grow more confident, and achieve more. It all starts with defining your own personal renaissance.

I sincerely hope you are inspired to create and maintain your own personal renaissance. Find your passions and explore them. Maintain your curiosity dig into life. Most importantly, never stop learning. And while your renaissance will change (sometimes daily), you will clear your path through life and be able to seize any opportunity along the journey.


Life is a great journey. Defining, and pursuing your Renaissance will make it a more rich experience. Thank you to my friend Modern Da Vinci for his insights and thoughts. We hope you find all the things you want in life and learn to become a true master of your own Renaissance.


One Video Every Week for a Year, the Brendon Burchard #52WkVideoChallenge.

I have a new major priority that actually aligns pretty nicely with my Renaissance pursuits. Making and publishing one video every week for a whole year. Minimum one video, but I really need to be doing more than just one. Why am I making this a priority? And, what will I make my videos about? I am making this a priority for a few reasons, so I’ll explain the context of this priority.

After my totally life changing, amazing experience at World’s Greatest Speaker Training I was and still am committed. Committed to actually doing this, going for my dreams. More so now than ever. A final call to action at WGST was from Brendon Burchard directly: Make a video every week for a year. My life will change just from that process, but he also added a reward: do that and he will share your message to his over 3 Million Fans on Facebook. Fortunately this aligns with what I really want to do and if you’ll look on My Renaissance Defined (linkTK) then you’ll see the desire to make videos and understand production from all aspects. That’s what some of my first learning curves have been. There’s a lot of quality work I need to practice.

What You Need to Know:

1.My Videos Will be released every Sunday for Brendon’s Challenge.

2. I’ll repost some of the videos on my blog, but I would love for you to subscribe to my YouTube if you want to be first to see the whole evolution.

3. I created a hashtag #52WkVideoChallenge that I’ll be using on Twitter Meerkat, Periscope, and Instagram

4. These videos ARE going to get better. Bare with me as I learn everything.

This is my first video—it’s a discussion about how much practice this takes and the expectations I had that I didn’t meet in doing my first video. Please watch it and let me know what you think in the comments below. (Full Disclosure: my opinion is that I can always do better at this point in my learning journey, so it ain’t great—to put it mildly)

For my second video, I decided to create a video about my top takeaways from the amazing experience at World’s Greatest Speaker. I forgot my notes when we got to location (I had two friends help me on this one), and went off the top of my head. Probably not the best, but for me the great thing about video 2 is the location we found. It displays my city in graffiti, and the size of the DALLAS is about the size of a small to average stage that I will one day end up on. This is great for me to work on and evaluate my movements on stage (as Bo Eason specialized in) and noticing repetitive expressive patterns (wordTK). I do hope that you can get some value from watching my second video—I share many truths that I was given by some master Orators and performers. Check it out and let me know your feedback. EDIT: Forgot to mention how bad the sound is. I had a handheld mic but it was windy so I had to edit out the wind in Adobe Audition (still not great at sound editing).

Did you watch either video? Have a comment or question, let me know. I’m going to be creating many more and I will often MeerKat (@multitude27) and Periscope (@multitude27)  behind the scenes material which has been pretty funny, and maybe somewhat insightful.

Thank you for reading and watching. Wait until you see what I’ve got planned.

I’m At Brendon Burchard’s Worlds Greatest Speaker Training: Review (Day 4)

DAY 4:

Last day 😦

6:27 AM

Slept in a little bit more today, these hotel beds are super comfy. An abbreviated workout here in my hotel room and some visualizing took the place of my gym workout yesterday. Getting some writing done too has been good. I’m ready for another great day here at WGST.

Ready to put in the work required for Greatness.

Ready to put in the work required for Greatness.

9:00 AM

Here we go, last session. I’m going to finish strong. This is the 4th quarter I will give all my focus and energy into these last few hours.

3:00 PM

It’s very challenging to put into words how exactly this event has impacted me. Now that it’s all over I really feel strongly as I mentioned on my day 1 post—this has been the best investment of time and money that I’ve ever made. The level of inspiration I feel; coupled with almost 60 pages of notes on strategy, tactics, techniques, tips, and great information has me already at my next level. But I can’t stop. I can’t go back to “normal life”. I won’t let the ball touch the ground. This is the beginning of the next decade of work I put in to become amongst the Worlds Greatest. I’m coming back next year, and I’m going to be up on that stage sharing a Signature Story. I hope that anybody reading this will consider first and foremost following Brendon Burchard and his message—his podcast, YouTube, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and all of his books are of immense value to anybody at any stage in life. You can even get his new book: The Motivation Manifesto here for FREE! (Just pay Shipping & Handling) After that immersion, get one of his online courses. And attend a live event. Then at any point come back to this blog post and comment on how he’s helped. Because I know without a single doubt that this man is here to help the world, he has already helped me immensely and I know he can help you too. Secondly, I hope that anybody reading this will also consider investing in themselves. Time, money, energy, love, kindness and compassion. Invest those in directions that bring inner fulfillment and by doing so enable you to make a real difference in the world.

World’s Greatest Speaker Training ended with great value from each speaker, and the final series of Signature Stories. The last person to step up on stage was Brendon’s mom. She had been there helping as a volunteer the whole time, and I had definitely seen and interacted with her several times. Brendon expressed that she was the real reason he’s achieved what he has and he does what he does. I was moved to tears thinking of my own mother and the immense generosity and love she’s always given to me. I actually posted a Video to Twitter which Brendon Burchard himself retweeted! Amazing.

How can I summarize something that I truly believe changed my life? I can’t here on this page. But what I can do is put into practice what I’ve learned and live from a place of joy and faith that I can and will change the world. That I can and will live my dreams. I encourage you to cultivate these beliefs, and to watch me grow into a Renaissance Man.

Thank you Brendon, Roger, Bo, Rachel, Chelene, everybody who had the courage to get up on stage and share their signature stories, the entire team that put on World’s Greatest Speaker 2015, and thank you to the AMAZING people that made up the crowd. I know we’ll work together and do great things for the world.

I'll be back next year!

I’ll be back next year!

Stay tuned…I’m just getting started.

Do You Read, or Look at Your Own Content From the Past?

 

Revisiting a Photograph I took from Sunset Blvd.

Revisiting a Photograph I took from Sunset Blvd.

I’m curious. Take this poll and let’s see how many people look back on their work after time has elapsed.

 

Recently I re read a post I did on Medium, and was blown away that I wrote it. It’s about excuses, and I’m still making them. I was astonished at the poignancy of my words and their still applicable nature to my life. I found myself thinking “Wow! I wrote that?” and “I should really heed my own words.” I’m writing to ask if you read and revisit your content at all after creating it? If so, do you find value in it? I certainly have, and intend to make this a regular practice. If I can get value after the fact out of my posts, that gives me hope that others may also find my words, photos or videos of value. Lifetime value not just the day it’s published but ongoing in the future. Creating evergreen content, not just a paltry list post that becomes obsolete as times change, and the marketplace evolves. Can the value sustain? Am I digging deep into life to examine worthwhile issues and sharing the best of what I’m learning on a day to day basis? Documenting my life and journey in a way that will have value in a year, or 5. That is much more of a strategy I can stand behind and work towards as opposed to continually posting only for volume. Clogging or diluting my portfolio and brand that I’m developing with quantity and not quality. Maybe I’m not the best writer or content developer now, but I genuinely want to publish and share my best work in any channel or platform. I don’t want only selfies on my Instagram or tawdry list posts on my blog. I want to push and pull the best out of my experiences. By doing that I will develop more skills, confidence, and content. Waiting for the perfect moment, or until I can create without finding flaws only delays my dreams. I eliminate the excuses for not taking action (insert Nike slogan).

I’m glad that I’m writing. Having the dream & goal of being a writer without writing has annoyed me for some time. Looking back over my content is a nice way to check my process and progress.

Outlining a Writing Workflow

Outlining a Writing Workflow

Two blog posts a year (2014) does not cut it. Being inspired to dedicate myself to learning content creation and marketing is a good feeling. Can I keep it up? Time will tell. When creating anything do you just ship it out and forget about it? Moving on to the next project and the next and the next? Take a moment to examine and revisit it after time has passed, does it still have relevancy? Is it timeless? I want to end with a paraphrased quote from Drake. Yes the R&B/hip hop artist. I remember hearing him being interviewed describing parts of his work and method. He stated he was all about lasting power. Creating music that can be listened to with the same enjoyment years after its creation. “I want my CD to stay in your car.” Perpetual relevance by placing an emphasis on quality. I realized that when listened to that interview at the time his CD Take Care had literally stayed in my car’s 6 CD changer since buying it. Create product that’s going to still be worth something in the future, maybe worth even more. That’s what I’m working towards, I have a long way to go, but knowing the difference between instant gratification and lasting power is truly valuable.

 

I hope you like what you read and decide to go re-visit some old work of yours.

 

An aside:

I started my first real content channel with my Instagram in 2012. I’ve always tried to put only photos that I think are good from a photographic standpoint first, and being an authentic representation of what I love and strive for. Over time my captions or comments have become more thoughtful. But I don’t post something unless I want it to stay there for 5 years. Will I look back at that snapshot and say “Why did I put that on the internet?” Or “That was important that I shared that, wow look at that great shot or I remember that rawness and hustle.”

 

My first Instagram Post Ever!

My first Instagram Post Ever!

 

 

What Can I Give the World?

Blades of Grass holding Life's Essence

Blades of Grass holding Life’s Essence

Do I have anything meaningful to give to the world? Can I contribute and make my mark on an ever changing, crowded, and evolving planet Earth. Do my other 7 billion brothers and sisters feel the same way? Does everybody want to leave a positive legacy and be known for great things?

I’ve been pondering these questions, and I think the answer to all is a yes. At least to some degree. Certainly I wasn’t born without SOMETHING meaningful to give back—I can’t simply be a taker or consumer. Surely, I can develop a worthy attribute, skill, or mission that gives value to others on the planet we share, and the planet itself. Making my mark on the world has been a calling I’ve always felt, sometimes with a crushing pressure. I reflect upon the cliche “pressure makes diamonds” and aim to thrive under the pressure of expecting greatness from myself. A challenge I’ve faced is overload. I literally want to be excellent in my skill set in so many things that it is overwhelming. On the positive side it I’ve got an endless To Do list of things that I enjoy and can categorize as productive time on some level. This is great, but there is a bottom line that must be met for me to be functioning as a member of society. Some avenue that is being pursued must create “a living” in the societal sense. I just thought of this metaphor about my current undertakings. Taking one swing of an axe at 27 trees one at a time is a bad strategy to cut them all down. Possibly a better tactic would be to completely take each tree down, sharpening the axe between each tree. Or taking a few choice trees and rotating between them 1/3 at a time. The most ideal plan may be to step back and look at the forest. What? Looking at the alignment of the trees and noticing which one if cut with the right technique and forethought may knock down several other trees using the force of gravity on its way down. That is just a metaphor, I don’t want to cut down any trees, I’d honestly rather plant many many trees in m lifetime. If that metaphor was written poorly or I lost you replace the trees with goals and cutting down with accomplishing. So if I try to accomplish 27 goals at once versus accomplishing one at a time, or clustering a handful, or looking at the complete picture and seeing which goal can accomplish many others once it is completed.

 

So realizing that I need a better strategy, what do I even intend to give. The list of what I want is clearly posted on my blog, and that’s somewhat partial and not as specific as the goals I’m working with now on a daily basis. But, all that is me me me. What about you you you and we we we? Will I create soley for a selfish and personal reason, or can I ensure that I’m giving value and hopefully creating in service to others and good causes. The latter sounds much more noble, but can I or you say that that is our intent at all times? I can’t. Maybe it’s because I was an only child for most of my life, but I’ve noticed in times of reflection that I often behave very selfishly. Look out for number one they say. I don’t really consider that a great piece of wisdom. Number one is just one number. Focus entirely on that and that’s just one looking after one. Can’t I look after many, and then should I ever be in need have many that would consider looking after me? Has a nicer ring to it. Looking over the words that are written above it’s apparent there is a lot of “I” in this writing. This is a reflective and personal questioning of my motives in life, and I hope that you can see some value somewhere within. Gratitude for reading my words. Let me finish by answering the question initially posed. What can I give the world? Myself, my best self, working hard, candidly as I pursue deepening my strengths, improving my weaknesses and overcoming the obstacles while taking ideas through the creation and execution process—defining dreams and questing for success for myself but also for the tribe that we all are a part of.

The Most Introverted and Reflective Year of My Life..so far. 

This is my first post from my iPhone. 
  
this is been a different here than any other year I can recall. 
I’ve definitely spent a lot of time looking at my life in a lot of different ways I’ve tried a lot of different things and failed honestly. I really think that this is valuable time even though half of me thinks that I’ve been wasting a lot of time this year. Maybe I have, but I am called to continue pushing in the direction of my dreams. 

I’ve always set goals, but setting these new kind of goals I’m working towards now with deadlines is exciting and scary at the same time. I’m putting a lot of effort into changing my psychology. Understanding what’s been holding me back in my own mind and in the physical world. Every time I get a good idea I’m like wow this is it this is the one but the value of an idea lies in its execution and implementation not simply in a bold stroke of creative genius.  

 Plain and simple I have to do the work. In 2015 it is so easy to be distracted probably easier than ever, but I’m choosing my focus better with each passing day. 

People can say what they want about personal development or “self-help “but I’ve always wanted to be successful so studying success and ways to overcome your own struggles is valuable to me. I’m immersing myself in only positive and pertinent material, with aims of creating my own. Tim Ferriss and Anthony Robbins have been major helps to me this year. Although Tim is more in the Learning and lifestyle design space, I still help myself with his content. Unfortunately self help has a somewhat negative connotation, so I don’t want to lump Tim with a group to which he is much more diverse than. I’ve been a major follower of Tim since I was 22 and working 80 hour weeks in the craziest job I’ve ever had. Finding the 4 hour work week back then was life changing. This year I will re read it and execute on its principles like never before. Tim actually put me on to Tony Robbins. Of course I’d heard of him and read quotes, but never had I chosen to dive deep into his work until hearing him on the Tim Ferriss Show Podcast, I then purchased Tony’s new book and subsequently his Ultimate Edge program. Amazing value! Understanding how my brain works and why I do things is incredible knowledge. Acting upon this knowledge is my main aim at present.  I now truly am committed as I write these words to getting back to work, rekindling the hardest working spirit of my deepest warrior soul. 

Creating content and realizing my goals and ideas is what I am solely focused on. I don’t need to party, “chill” or anything else other then create the life I deserve and dream of. Much work to do, but I have found a way to love it. Loosing momentum and not following through are painful and I’m finished with that pain. Writing, learning, helping others, oration, fitness and documenting it all equal massive pleasure. 
Here’s to being back on the campaign trail to being a Renaissance Man and Warrior. 

It’s Race Week

Race at Cowboys Stadium!This Saturday I’ll be in the stadium of the Dallas Cowboys doing the Spartan Sprint. I am so excited to be able to compete in the stadium of my all time favorite sports team!! This will be the shortest distance Spartan Race I’ve ever done, but I’m betting that the obstacles and bleachers will make up for the 3 mile distance, still providing a fun and challenging course. I am a die hard Dallas Cowboys fan, and always have been. This race represents an opportunity to sweat, struggle and perform in the same arena as the Cowboys on Sundays. What a wild and awesome experience. My first ever stadium race and I hear they are a different animal. Without the necessity for long distance endurance, more explosive athletes may have a better day.  This week I’m getting prepared to race my best race, I have nutrition and training at the best they’ve been so far. I’ve been really honing in my training and improving the consistency. I know that after my races in May (posts and videos to come) that I will have to really continue to innovate, improve, and invest in my training. I want to be at a true elite level, not just paying the extra money to sign up for the elite heats, but really being at my best and competing at a level worthy of the title elite. I have a long way to go and mountains to climb on my journey to the pinnacle of my own performance. But this Saturday I’m going to enjoy how far I’ve come and the chance to Throw Up the X on the Jumbotron at JerryWorld. I’ll be capturing and creating content over the weekend to showcase this unique and exciting experience. Wish me luck!