I watched the movie Whiplash for the first time with my wife. Without hesitation, I can it's one of the most important movies of the 2010s.
  1. Young people shouldn't settle for mediocrity. I define young people as 18-24 year olds.
  2. The phrase "good job" is overused and unhelpful. It rewards mediocrity, defying our zero-sum Western society.
  3. You can push people to be great without being an emotional terrorist like J.K. Simmons' Fletcher.
  4. As a professor, I celebrate and appreciate Fletcher's ends. The problem is his means are abhorrent.
  5. If you're not great, that should never dissuade you from doing what you love.
  6. Case in point: I vocalize in bands because I like it, not because I have any talent.
  7. Yet greatness at a specific discipline requires an extreme level of focus. It may even require a level of mania that most people simply lack.
  8. This raises a point that applies to post-secondary education and life: effort, not talent, creates separation between people.
  9. In addition to effort, commitment or invest really matters. It can propel your effort.
  10. But beware emotional tyrants who care more about their vision of excellence than the people they mentor.