6 Lessons Learnt from Derek Sivers Speech to Berklee College of Music

Just saw this video on Youtube where Derek Sivers spoke to Berklee College of Music:

1) Focus, Disconnect and Do Not be Distracted

Key learnings: time spent is training, if one chooses to focus. People who are casual ( relaxing, derping around ) end up with casual talents. On the other hand, people who are focused and intense end up successful. The biggest enemy is distraction. Mastering focus will help us control our lives.

2) Do not accept the speed limit.

You don't get extreme results without extreme actions. For example, if you are a writer, you should not only write 1 article per week, but also spend twice the time to improve the writing. In Derek Siver's example, he mentioned that the curriculum for Berklee College of Music scheduled the curriculum such that it allows average students to complete the degree in 4 years; Derek did it in 2.5 years

3) Nobody will teach you anything, we have to teach ourself

DO not expect the teachers to teach us; they well present information to us, but it's 100% up to us to teach ourself.

4) Learn from your heros, not only theirs.

Derek was saying that our heros are just as good as other people's heros. Learn and appreciate the techniques taught by our teachers; never feel that our teachers' heros are better than ours. We need to learn and analyze from our heros too.

5) Don't get stuck in the past

"Jazz is about innovation". Same thing with life: innovation is needed more than imitation, don't get stuck in the past.

6) When done, be valuable

Derek mentioned that we should never underestimate the value of making money; making sure that we are making money is a good way to ensure that we are making/doing something of value.

An example given by Derek is video games: how much people are paid to play video games vs how much people are paid creating video games ? People who are paid to create games obviously are paid a lot more than those who are playing video games; these are the ones who are valuable as they are relatively less people who can build games as compared to the number of people who can play games.