I am a huge fan of Pixar. I watched every single animated creation by this amazing company. Please don’t ask me which one is my favourite short or feature film because, as much as it sounds like I am exaggerating, I am not—I love them all. And since I don’t want to come across as if I am lying, don’t ask.

So today, early in the morning as I sat in front of my Mac and plugged into my iPhone music (did I also mention that I am an Apple fan?), it seemed like it is yet another dreary day ahead of me. It didn’t help that the office was pretty much empty since I am usually the earliest to arrive. What creativity? What inspiration? It was all bleah!

But then the internet kind of saved the day. I saw a keyword that immediately lit up my eyes. Pixar. A handwritten note by Pixar animator Austen Madison. (Side note: The fact that it was handwritten? Scored very high with me)

Happy! Click. Read.


Hand-written note by Austen Madison and the secret behind his success. (Credit: Letters of Note)


In his note, Austen tells how, as a creative person, he is at his optimum creative state perhaps only 3% of the time. 3%… That’s only 43.2 minutes in a 24-hours day? If he spends 16 hours awake then that’s just 28.8 minutes, which is how long I spend in the bathroom in the morning. How do you survive like this? Then he shares his secret… Everybody wants to know a good secret right? We always think there must be something-he-knows-that-I-don’t-so-damn-it-if-only-I-knew-what-it-is!

What is the secret behind that delicious piece of tiramisu cake (my daughter’s godmother makes the best ones!)?
Or this best selling author?
Or those beautifully photos taken?

Austen Madison says one word: PERSIST.

And it dawned upon me. There is no secret! We all know deep in our hearts how nothing else pretty much beats persistence, perserverence, and pure stubborness in not giving up. When everything is happening so fast in this day and age, when all the food is pretty much instant, and we all balk at how slow the internet connection is when in reality it is already freaking fast on this side of the world, we forget how to take time to do things. We forget how hard work is necessary. We don’t remember how some things don’t happen just in a snap of the fingers. So we get impatient, angry and very easily, we give up.

Persist on writing your story. Persist on reaching your audience. Of course along the way it will be a difficult journey, and we will meet many road blocks and even rejections. But we persist! Don’t give up!

Lance Armstrong said, “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.” Wow, such heavy stuff… Ok excuse me while I go re-watch Presto. Did I also tell you that I am a fan of all things bunnies?