Gangnam Style and Epics

How do you set out to create an epic?

You can’t.

Many have tried; none have succeeded.

Epics cannot be intentionally created.

They exist.

There is no formula to create an epic.

There is no amount of analysis that will produce an epic.

Gangnam Style is an excellent example.

Gangnam Style is an epic.

The author, Psy, spent 10 years trying to re-create that epic.

He failed.

Epics cannot be created with intention.

The universe rebels against this.


Why cannot epics be analyzed and machined out?

They just can’t.

If they could’ve been, they would’ve been.

How do we define an epic?

We can no more define an epic than we can define the Tao.

The Tao that can be defined is not the true Tao.

We can only talk about epics. We can approach them and understand general principles, but that does not mean that we can set out to create one.

The Wizard of Oz is an epic.

It was not intended to be an epic. It just became one.

Had the creators tried to make an epic, they would not have succeeded.

Epics don’t try to be epics.

Epics only try to be fun and entertain.

They focus on the basics, putting one foot in front of the other.

Epics don’t know that they are supposed to be serious.

They don’t try to be great.

Epics in the entertainment industry have the right combination of music, originality and movement.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Gangnam Style had the right dancing, the right music, the right video effects in an original and fresh way.

These elements complemented each other in synergy to produce something greater than the addition of each part.

A synergy ensued.

Magic occurred.


Archer Crosley

Copyright 2022 Archer Crosley All Rights Reserved

How to Succeed

Are you desiring to succeed in life?

How is this done?

I can illustrate a few principles.

In your line of work whatever that may be whether you are a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker, or even an attorney or a physician, treat everybody the same.

Don’t play favorites even though you may have some.

Don’t classify people into movers and shakers in order to weed out the undesirables.

Don’t dismiss people because you either don’t like them or you find them beneath you.

Don’t get rid of people because they ask you a lot of questions.

Attend to everyone thoroughly with the same measure of respect.

There are going to be clients who try your patience. Work through these clients diligently. Forget about your own personal feelings. Take care of their needs first.

Put yourself second.

You may think that their questions are silly; it doesn’t matter.

You should listen to their concerns no matter how trivial because their concerns may be valid, and you may be wrong.

Or addressing their concerns will lead you to ask questions which will reveal greater problems that unaddressed will cause you grief.

If you are concerned about being sued for your own malfeasance and are desiring to protect your assets, let me buy you a ticket on the clue train.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Forget about obsessively shielding your assets. Ultimately no amount of legal stratagem will protect you from your own malfeasance.

The best way to prevent malfeasance is to diligently take care of your clients.

Dismiss none of their concerns.

You may want to go home at five or five-thirty. Too bad. You should answer all the telephone calls and texts that you receive during the day.

Follow up on everything as soon as possible.

If you take care of your clients, your clients will take care of you.

If you take care of your clients, your life will take care of itself.

Don’t be a fake. Be yourself.

The most important thing in business is to be yourself.

Don’t be pigeonholed into the ideal that academics try to cram you into.

If people don’t like you, that’s not a bad thing.

Pray that they tell their friends because it’s a good chance their friends think like them.

It’s better to have clients who are in sync with your personality.

You can’t be all things to all people.

That’s why you are always better off by being yourself.

By being yourself you are going to attract people like you.

When you run a business you are selling yourself.

Let’s look at pediatrics. Because that is what I do.

Most pediatricians practice the same way. Any pediatrician can prescribe an amoxicillin prescription. Any pediatrician can order a CBC.

Most pediatricians practice uniformly.

Where we differ is in our personalities.

Over the years I have been able to detect fairly well when a patient belongs not with me but with another pediatrician who I know.

One time I was in the office on a Saturday and a patient came into my office. As I was interviewing the patient for the first time I said to myself, this is a patient who looks as if they belong with Dr. Wells. Not more than a minute after I had that thought, the patient said to me, well, Dr. Wells wasn’t open today, so that’s why I came over here.

You want people in your practice or business who think like you and who have your values.

What you don’t want are people who don’t think like you, or who don’t have your values.

For example, I am a very laid-back pediatrician. I have never worn a white coat and a tie. I take a quite different approach to pediatrics than a traditional pediatrician who might wear a white coat and a tie.

That’s a good thing because there are many people out there in the world today.

There are people who like traditional pediatricians, there are people who like informal pediatricians like myself.

If I am myself, I am more likely to attract people who are likely to follow my orders.

That has made me more successful than I ever thought I would be.

Well, those are a few important points that I would make you if you are desirous of being successful in life.


Archer Crosley

Copyright 2022 Archer Crosley All Rights Reserved

How to Say No

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How do you say no effectively?

Suppose someone comes to your door and bothers you to contribute.

Or suppose a telemarketer butts into your life at 8 PM and wants you fork over ten bucks for their cause.

How do you get them to go away as quickly as possible?

Do you be nice; do you be rude?

Do you hem and haw and say, “Well, I’m not really sure.”


Listen to their spiel, then calmly gather your resolve to deliver a one-inch Bruce Lee punch to their gut – metaphorically speaking.

Say, “No.”

Stay silent as they melt away.


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Copyright 2019   Archer Crosley   All Rights Reserved


Fixing Your Bayonet

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What do you do when you’re talking to a wall?

What do you do when the tree you fell in the forest you own makes no sound other than to yourself?

What did Van Gogh do when the only painting he sold was to the sister of  a friend?

He must have laughed at his predicament. 

Somewhere in his soul he had sold himself that what he was doing was important.

Day after day, he must have quit, then roused himself from despair to paint that one last painting and to do it more vibrantly than the one before.

Yes, we might ask, but what if we’re a fool, deluding ourselves of our uniqueness? Or the quality of our work?

Where is the line between foolishness and the bold stroke of genius?

What are the clues?

Clearly mass appeal can never be on the list.  If we were rich and famous, we wouldn’t be asking the question.

Can we ever know?

If we could, success would be a cakewalk.

Many years ago, the owner of a famous home improvement store related a story of the first day that his store opened. He stated that a person came up to him and said, “I drove all night to get to the store.”

“At that point,” said the owner, “I knew we had a winner.”

What this means is that the day before he opened his store, he didn’t know he had a winner. He was just like everyone else.

He was scared.

He was lonely.

He was insecure.

What drove him then to stay the course, to spend the enormous capital that it took to open that store?

Somewhere down deep in his soul, perhaps unarticulated to the conscious mind, he said to himself: This is where God wants me to be.

This is where my home is.

I will defend this rock to the death.

I will fix my bayonet.


Copyright 2019   Archer Crosley   All Rights Reserved

Giving Yourself a Chance

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When I was young I wish I had known that you could make a living doing anything.

In grade school, I would watch these kids in my class draw obsessively.

I couldn’t figure out how anyone could make money out of that.

I thought I had to be a doctor.

Well, as it turns out you can make money drawing, and a lot of it.

You can even make money by playing video games.  I saw a documentary the other day of a guy who makes $500,000 a month playing video games on line.  People watch him play.

Can you believe it?

Now, had I realized this as a kid, would it have made any difference in my life?


Maybe I would have started a band.

As a kid, I played a little piano.  I remember my best friend’s mom encouraging us kids to start a group.


I also used to make fun of my teachers by doing impressions of them to my mom.

She told me I might want to consider being an impressionist or a comedian.


I couldn’t see it.

Seeing it seems to be important in choosing where we end up in life.  It seems that if the vision comes to us, we can more easily move down that path.  It gives us comfort and helps to stave off worry and insecurity.

There is a lot of negativo out there, most of which is self-manufactured.

Where do I want to be in five years?

Where can I see myself?

Spending a little time dreaming seems to be as important as running around like a headless chicken “getting things done.”

Einstein said that imagination was more important than knowledge.

We don’t often think of imagining ourselves, or better yet, re-imagining ourselves.

We spend more time on other problems external to ourselves.

Yet what could be more fun and more important than assuring our future success?

Take the time today to do nothing and see yourself where you would like to be.

Make it a habit for one day a week.

I’m going to start today.

Turn off that droning television set where everybody’s voice tends to merge into one monotonous hum.

Put aside that device that you reflexively scroll through every two minutes to check on Google News.

What, no change?  You mean it’s the same news as there was two minutes ago?

Yes, it’s the same.

Jettison that restlessness you feel.

Give yourself an opportunity to relax and enter a better world.

You’ll be glad you did.


Copyright 2019 Archer Crosley.  All Rights Reserved








Finding Yourself

As Clint Eastwood would say, a man has to know his limitations.

This is a lesson lost on the human potential movement that encourages you to become a superman.

There you are, standing atop a skyscraper, the wind blowing in your face.

Theories and technology abound fooling you that such is possible.

The personal computer began it  all by allowing people to publish their own works with the same professionalism as a New York publisher.

Who could resist the notion of competing with Hemingway’s publisher?

Not I.

This trend continued as the Internet developed. Now, it’s possible for anyone to run their own mini-television station within the confines of their home.

It’s very seductive and  also very dangerous.

Sometimes  a person’s horizons can be broadened too widely.

A person can spend years walking down a false passage only to realize that these technologies don’t exist to make amateurs professionals but to make already existing professionals better.

In other  words, you’re better off getting some basic training in that field.

Just because I can go out and buy a microphone and a boom does it mean I possess the basics of communication science to be a successful broadcaster.

Publishing is more than writing, speaking and printing.

Publishing also involves selling, which is tougher than it looks.

In other words, a man needs to know his limitations.

Compounding this is the theory of psycho-cybernetics that asks you to become a master of the universe.  If you imagine something fiercely enough, it will come to pass.


Or maybe such a path takes decades to travel.  Maybe you would’ve been better off in the field in which you were originally trained.

Worse is the idea that if you follow your passion money will follow. I would like to believe so but maybe there is no money in your passion.

Maybe your passion is creating not selling.

Selling is what brings home the bacon.

Is this dispiriting?

Yes, but it’s always better to know the truth.

If you can’t sell, it doesn’t mean your work is bad; it just means you don’t have the talent, passion or time for selling.

In that event, you’ll have to find someone who can, or you’ll have to wait for someone to find you.

Don’t despair. Vincent Van Gogh had to wait.  He knew his limitations and poured his energy into creating.  As did Vivian Maier.

So are you the next Van Gogh?

How can you know?

Ask yourself this question:  Are you prepared to do what you do for nothing for a long, long time?

Are you willing to limit yourself?

Or are you going to get frustrated at the lack of cash and move into opening a pizza joint?

How to Sell

If you want to be a great actor, you have to commit.

Commitment is the key to success. 

There can be no wavering if you want to make it to the top.

Wavering is tantamount to death.

People need to have faith in you.

Imagine if a chair was unsteady.  

Imagine if that chair teetered when you sat upon it.  

Why, you’d get another one.

For you to sit  in a chair you must accept its stability.  

You do this so often you forget that you make this assumption.

People must feel the same about you.

They have to accept you as stable.

They need to know that you’re the real thing, not a cheap imitation of someone else.

To achieve stability, you have to be believable.

To achieve believability, you must believe in yourself.

The best way to achieve that is to be yourself.

A great actor is quiet in his soul.

A great actor isn’t afraid of himself.

A great actor doesn’t try to be somebody else.

A great actor essentially plays himself playing someone else.

Mickey Rooney, the actor, said that he could teach anyone to be an actor by asking them to accept their individuality.

What he is asking you to do is not be afraid of yourself.

You have to accept yourself, the good, the bad and ugly.

Don’t be afraid of your defects.  

It is those defects that make you you.

It is those defects that give you a rounded three-dimensionality.

Now, some people aren’t going to like you.

Too bad

A great actor understands that he or she can not be all things to all people.

A great actor says, so what.

A great actor says, go see another play.

Let it be, baby.  

That is the key to selling.

Choosing the Right Path

How do you choose the right path for you?

Often in your life you find yourself at a crossroads.  Life may not be working out, or you are are not getting to that better place that you desire.

You’d like to make a change, but you’re not sure how to do it.

Sometimes you’re not quite at the fork in the road.

You want it so bad, you imagine it. 

What do you do?

The choice can be heartbreaking.

Risk is uncomfortable; consequently, you’d like to find some sure way to know what will happen if you jump.

For sure, you don’t want to jump and burn.  You want to land on your feet.

How do you evaluate the risk?

Maxim:  No one can predict the future.  

I’d like to say more about that, but to say more is to say less.

What you’d like to ask yourself is what you expect to gain by going down a particular path in terms of concrete change.

After all, you are contemplating a change because you want change in something – be it money, prestige, social good or personal awareness.  If you are choosing to scale a mountain, what do you gain out of this?  Endorsements?  Prestige?  A nice write-up in the paper?  Money raised for a charity?  Self-satisfaction?

Write that down so you can at least have a goal to reach.

Next, ask yourself if you have the skills or tools to go down that path.  If you don’t have the skills, can you attain them in the time-frame you have chosen?  Can you make the time?  It would be no different than choosing which path to take when scaling a mountain.  Without the right skills and tools, we are more likely to crash and burn.

For example, you’d like to communicate your message to the public.  How will you do this? There are many roads up the mountain.  A book in which a person can communicate through the power of words?  Or visual media where a person communicates by virtue of personality?  One has to know one’s self.  How do you react on camera?  Are you shy and reserved?  Can you compete with others in the arena of screaming and yelling?  Where do you excel?  Because you do want to excel.

God gives us all gifts.  Embrace those gifts.

It is a fallacy to believe that you can have all gifts or develop all gifts.  Now, the human potential movement wants you to believe that this is so, but it is not so.  Some people are ahead of you in a particular game.  In which game are you ahead of the pack?

Preparation is everything for success.  Jumping in just because you read about someone else jumping in is a mistake.  Ask yourself if you have the skills to succeed.  Remember, the media simplifies a person’s success.  They don’t always tell you the backstory to that person’s rise to fame and glory; they often fail to relate that the person in question worked many, many years in a related profession which gave them the skills to succeed.

Finally, what do you want on your tombstone?  This is an expression from the 60s.  A more modern way of saying this is:  What do you want your Wikipedia page to say?  In fact, it may be helpful for you to write out your own Wikipedia page today on your digital device.

So, in summary, ask yourself what you want, whether you have the skills and what you want on your Wikipedia page.

Now, with that stated, and the path chosen, everything in your life must inexorably drive to that end point.  There can be no turning back, no regrets, no wailing over spilt milk. 

Commitment and resolve are key.