Entrepreneurs, artists and professionals from the Copenhagen scene, all brought together for an energetic conversation about creativity, succes and finding a path.
Stefan Hjort, Musician
If you push too hard to create something novel – something never created before, then you are going to fail. Everything has pretty much been done. But that also makes everything a resource for you to use. Focus on creating something that is truly you! Let go of what others tell you.
After I split from my former band, there was a certain pressure to write something that was in demand. Everything became very algorithmic and I had a hard time seeing myself in it. It was only when I took over the reins and wrote something, I would enjoy myself, that something happened. I regained the joy I felt about writing music when I switched back to my mother tongue. The words felt more real, and they reflected something more genuine to me.
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Yves Le Lay, Chef & Owner of A Terre
If you are captivated by the method of your craft, personal development and success will come naturally. From the beginning of my career, I was hooked on the adrenalin rush of the gourmet kitchen. Precision, heat and temperament. You learn to take a lot of shit, when you are standing in a scolding hot kitchen all night, with orders are flying in. And with this chaos, you attain a certain calmness to your work.
After that phase, the game is mostly about manifesting your personality in the craft. You can go far in haute cuisine on hard work, but the top of the industry is reserved for the icons who are able to infuse themselves into their creations. Like art, food needs identity – and that process never ends.
Mikkel Westfall, Architect & Creative Director at Aarstiderne Architects.
Personal development often comes after a revelation. When you unravel the core of a subject or a craft, you learn how to deconstruct it. For me, this happened around 3 months into my architectural studies.
From the first day, I felt like an outsider. I came from a background in carpentry and as a construction store clerk, and I had trouble grasping the academic language of my professors and fellow students. They were taught in discussing art and had taken high school diplomas and architectural preparation studies – I was just good at drawing. This disconnect almost made me quit the studies altogether.
Yet, one day our professors gave us the task of drawing a pavilion in the style of our favourite architect. Unlike the other students, I did not really have an understanding of architectural history, but my parents had an Alto vase – so that was what I chose. I built my pavilion in the organic shapes of Alto and worked tirelessly on my model. Then my professor came into the room. He gave me credit. When I asked him why he thought well of my work, the essence of architecture unfolded in front of me. Everything opened up. That moment defined my career. After that, it was only hard work.
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Andreas Von Der Heide, Co-founder of Les Deux
The feeling of success first came to me with running. It gave me an arena that allowed accessible and quantifiable progress. It offered a place to unfold and to think. I remember the first time I broke through the barrier while running a marathon. This is the mythical threshold of limits the body sets on itself. When you transcend this barrier, you feel boundless. That limitations are mostly psychological.
I pretty much only see opportunities in every situation. This is a mindset I have chosen. If you start searching for them, they usually arise more often. Find your core, and let that be your driving force. I live to create – whether it is in business, ideation or energy. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.
Bamba Lowe, Fighter
I knew I was successful the moment I realized, that success was something you work towards, as opposed to something that is given to few lucky individuals. Work for what you want and develop a mindset that equates practice to personal improvement. Learn that your goals can be achieved through will. They will not come without effort, but if you are willing to sacrifice, they will come.
I believe in myself because I am conscious of my abilities to work for my vision. My work ethic subdues my limitations and the negative thoughts. Because I put in hours of practice, I am able deduct my own strengths and flaws – solve my own problems.
Anything you practice, you will become better at.
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