Five Things 1 – Inspiring People
Recently I read an article that suggested I should write down ten ideas every day…. then I read another article that suggested I should write down ten people I admire and quantify why I admire them.
I think ten is a bullshit number so I’m going with five. I’m relatively sure I could list five of anything this way and quantify it the same way. I’m also putting a further spin on this to start a ‘Five Things’ series, which I’ll look to post as regularly as possible.
The hypothesis behind Five Things is that understanding my own whys of my own whats should make it easier for me to understand the qualities that I’m looking for in other aspects of life.
Starting today then, I’m listing five inspiring people , all of whom have impacted me in some way. One issue that bothers me about this practice is that my lists are undoubtedly going to change in some years time… so I question whether it makes sense at all… nevertheless I need to start somewhere to better refine future lists.
- Krystian Zimerman – Pianist
There is no shortage of skilled virtuoso pianists in the world, but few of them can really strike the strings like Zimerman. He tops my list as the most impressive person ever. Music is a subject I believe I have quite a significant depth of knowledge in (particularly classical), and although I think the way you rate a pianist is largely subjective, my reasoning behind this rating is that Zimerman does not seem to lack in any obvious technical area, in addition, he has a level of patience in his playing that stretches worlds beyond similarly placed pianists. He plays with precision whilst maintaining a balance in his emotions (unlike Lang Lang, for example, who plays like he’s part of a circus performance), furthermore, he lets the music do the talking – naturally, and with subtle technical panache – rather than forcing it through exaggerated emphases on expressions.
I value Zimerman for his precision, natural perfection and the scope of his seemingly infinite technical capacity.
- Antonio Vivaldi (deceased) – Baroque Composer
Vivaldi is undeniably one of the greatest composers in history. He wrote original, structured melodic pieces that I think largely defined the transition between late baroque and early classical. Even Bach was influenced by Vivaldi, and although I’m also a huge fan of Bach and his wonderfully structured and logical melodies, I personally hear a greater sense of originality from Vivaldi’s pieces.
I value Vivaldi for his structure, inventiveness and influence – which carries through to this day and hopefully will continue for millennia to come.
- Michael McIntyre – Comedian
I’ve been to every one of Michael’s major standup shows in London, in addition I’ve been to many of his smaller events and “warm-up” events. Michael is one of the few comedians who can bring me to tears with laughter. His charisma and wit is truly something very special.
I value Michael for his humour, his character, his humility and the passion he brings to the entertainment stage.
- Gordon Ramsay – Chef
Few people give as few fucks as Ramsay when it comes to the stupidity of others. Watching Ramsay give people shit after they make a mistake is like seeing a vocal, amplified version of my email complaints in realtime. Ramsay’s one-liners are punchy and on point, he immediately reveals all the flaws in logic and outlines the fundamental principals of the problem – in a very poetic and entertaining way. Furthermore, Ramsay’s restaurants are brilliant and the people who work for him really are the very best of the best.
I value Ramsay for his attention to detail, his drive for perfection and his no bullshit attitude, twinned with his complete care-free responses to anyone that doesn’t fit into the picture. If you don’t like it – fuck off.
- Lee Jae Bok – Badminton Coach
I had the pleasure to spend a lot of time with Lee and for some time to be a part of his elite group. He took great care of me and helped me realise a potential that I could not have discovered without him. I believe that most of my success in life is a direct result of Lee’s guidance and discipline. I used the majority of what he taught me to further myself in other areas of life. His key lessons are based on very logical principals and these are often optimistically delivered in the form of analogies and metaphors. Lee taught me that irrespective of who else believes (or does not believe) in you, you must be able to believe in yourself in order to progress.
I value Lee for teaching me that I am unlimited, and that I can push myself far further than I had ever thought was possible.
This concludes my first Five Things. For my next Five Things, I will look at five foods I find phenomenal… I’ve already drafted it, and you already know that pizza is my #1!