I was 45 years old when I decided to learn how to surf.
They say that life is tough enough.
But I guess I like to make things difficult on myself, because I do that all the time.
Every day and on purpose.
That's because I believe in disrupting my comfort zone.
When I started out in the entertainment business, I made a list of people that I thought would be good to me.
Not people who could give me a job or a deal, but people who could shake me up, teach me something, challenge my ideas about myself and the world.
So I started calling up experts in all kinds of fields.
Some of them were world-famous.
Of course, I didn't know any of these people and none of them knew me.
So when I called these people up to ask them for a meeting, the response wasn't always friendly.
And even when they agreed to give me some of their time,the results weren't always what one might describe as pleasant.
Take, for example, Edward Teller, the father of the hydrogen bomb.
It took me a year of begging and more begging to get to him to agree to meet with me.
And then what happened? He ridiculed me and insulted me.
But that was okay.
I was hoping to learn something from him—and I did,even if it was only that I'm not that interesting to a physicist with no taste for our pop culture.
Over the last 30 years, I've produced more than 50 movies and 20 television series.
I'm successful and, in my business, pretty well known.
So why do I continue to subject myself to this sort of thing?
The answer is simple:
Disrupting my comfort zone, bombarding myself with challenging people and situations—this is the best way that I know to keep growing.
And to paraphrase a biologist I once met,if you're not growing, you're dying.
So maybe I'm not the best surfer on the north shore, but that's okay.
The discomfort, the uncertainty, the physical and mental challenge that I get from this—all the things that too many of us spend our time and energy trying to avoid—they are precisely the things that keep me in the game.
Studies serve for delight, for ornament, and for ability.
Their chief use for delight, is in privateness and retiring;for ornament, is in discourse;and for ability, is in the judgement and disposition of business.
For expert men can execute, and perhaps judge of particulars, one by one;but the general counsels, and the plots and marshalling of affairs,come best from those that are learned.
To spend too much time in studies is sloth;to use them too much for ornament,is affectation;to make judgement wholly by their rules, is the humour of a scholar.
They perfect nature, and are perfected by experience:for natural abilities are like natural plants,that need pruning by study;and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large,except they be bounded in by experience.
Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them;for they teach not their own use;but that is a wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation.
Read not to contradict and confute;nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse;but to weigh and consider.
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed,and some few to be chewed and digested;that is, some books are to be read only in parts;others to be read, but not curiously;and some few to be read wholly,and with diligence and attention.
Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others;but that would be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books;else distilled books are, like common distilled waters, flashy things.
Reading makes a full man； conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.
And therefore,if a man write little，he had need have a great memory;if he confer little, he had need have a present wit;and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he does not.
Histories make men wise; poets witty; the mathematics subtle;natural philosophy deep; moral grave;logic and rhetoric able to contend.