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More About Intek - Knowing a Skill vs. Living a Skill

About three weeks ago, I recognized a common phenomenon that's hard to describe.

A lot of times, you know something, but you're not doing it. Or you're not living it regularly.

When you come across information you've already read or seen, the temptation is to say, "I already know this." Okay, you know it - but are you living what you know? If not, you might want to keep studying and practicing on that topic, even if you feel like you "know" it.

When I start reading a book on managing money, or managing time, or setting goals, sometimes I have a reaction. I say, "I already know this." But then I stop myself. Stop. And I ask, "Am I living it?" Okay, I need some goals and I need to look at them regularly. Am I doing it? If not, I'll re-read the section, or watch another video on it.

I'll be honest - it's somewhat boring going through information you've already come across. But it's necessary if you're not doing/living it.

What An Arts Degree Taught Me (Besides Art)

On Ryan

I was asked last week by my friend Alex Milak and the great guys at DecisionDesk to write a short blog post on what it means to graduate with a degree in the arts, and how that's helped me in the art world and beyond. I'd highly recommend checking out the resulting blog post because there's lots of quality advice on there if you're thinking of pursuing an arts degree or interested in what it would be like to have a life in the arts. While the blog published a shortened version of what I submitted (thank goodness, because I can be way too long-winded), I figured I should go ahead and share the full version here.


When you're in high school, the next big step that consumes your mind and your wildest dreams (or nightmares) is college. When you're in college, life is awesome because, hey, college. However, at some point, maybe in your junior or senior (or super senior) year, you start realizing that you're one step away from the real world. You're going to need to graduate with something to show for what you've done the last four (or five) years. With a medical or law degree, you can show that you're ready for the next round of school. With a business degree, you can get internships to show that your skills can apply in the real world. With an arts degree…wait, just what can an arts degree get you in the real world?

I hate to break it to you, but when you graduate into the real world with an arts degree you're basically back at square one. You're back in the same talent pool you would be in if you decided to go pro straight out of high school. They don't tell you this when you apply or go through an arts program. When you apply to an arts program that involves an audition, chances are that 90% of the decision on whether or not you are accepted relies on the strength of that audition, grades and extracurriculars be damned. When you apply for a performance job in the real world, that reliance on performance in an audition is going to be more like 99% in most cases*. No one's going to care that you aced three semesters of music history and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Juilliard if you don't fit the part they're looking for.

No matter what your art, just know that it's a ruthless, over-saturated, highly competitive pool of some of the world's top talent you'll be graduating into. However, at some point during my four years of undergraduate and two years of graduate studies, I stumbled upon some incredibly important nuggets of knowledge that have helped me begin to navigate this crazy, unforgiving place we call the “real world." Having the opportunity to learn and apply these skills in a learning environment made going to school more than worth it, believe me.

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