The extraordinary manifesto

February 10th, 2013

I wrote a chapter on being extraordinary in an early version of the AOV. I had always thought the chapter reads like a manifesto and so here it is, transformed into one.


Be bold. Be daring. Be exciting.

Do things differently.

Think differently.

There’s no reason to do things the same way as everyone else. No point rehashing old stuff, or worse, stealing other people’s inspirations.

Here’s a simple way to do things differently.

Just do the opposite of what everyone is doing.

If people are doing it fast, do it slow. If they’re doing it slow, do it fast.

If people are doing it loud, do it soft. If they’re doing it soft, do it loud.

You get the idea.

Challenge the norms, because the norm is boring.

Challenge conventional wisdom. Conventional wisdom is nothing but old and dried up wisdom that’s been passed down and distilled into simplistic formulas.

It’s based on the common denominator. And extraordinariness is not about being common.

And refuse to be shackled by anything, any system, any ‘higher’ authority, anything that will try to control and define you and demand your complete allegiance.

Your owe allegiance to no one but your art.

And push things to the max. Max means further than anyone has done before.

Go faster. Do more than anyone else.

If people can play ten notes per second, do twelve notes.

If people do two world premieres, do five.

If people do difficult stunts, do impossible stunts.

When it comes to making things extraordinary, follow three simple guidelines.

First, do something no one has done before.

Second, do it in a way that no one has seen or heard before.

And third, blow them away with the power and conviction of your delivery.

2 Responses to “The extraordinary manifesto”

  1. Douglas Seth Says:

    This is very inspiring. You must be a great teacher!

  2. Philip Hii Says:

    Hi Doug, thanks. Just sharing some ‘mavericky’ ideas.

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