We scour books on strategy and wisdom. We plunder the streets for the latest trends and innovations that are making headlines. We pillage our brains trying to be the next guy or gal to invent that thing that everyone needs. We are all at some level looking for impact. We want to leave our mark that signifies our distinct and unique signature. We want our lives to matter.
I think the only way to leave behind an indentation that lasts, instead of that hand in a bucket of water feeling, is to be about people. If you get people to give you consent to lead them and then change them, your mark will last forever. They will tell your story until it goes viral. They will see that you understand…It’s people….It’s always people.
In an era of hyper change and hyper competition, where webbed networks level all points of control, and today’s participants abhor centralization, work and life demand a new way, a more natural way.
We must choose our path, our road and bear what we must on our own. There is no one else to bear the road taken but the one who chose it. -Abe from the movie Lincoln.
There is resolve in this. Firm, resolute resolve that puts the burden of proof and difficulty of choice on our own plate and beneath our own feet. And yet, our nature is to point fingers, lay blame, claim “victim,” or run for the hills when the travail supersedes the end, and yet we are the ones that ultimately choose what that end looks like. We bear the burden of the road. We are the ones that carve the path with our fingers and our toil and our choices that then tell the details of our story. Where we are in this sea is in large part a result of the interconnectivity of our choices along side of those of others and their place we let them play in our story. Sure we all have been dealt to some degree or another a raw deal and/or a bad hand, but what shape does it take? Do we sit back and bask in the alleged calamity or forge forward to find new fields?
What makes us all the same is that we get to mesh together the random meanderings of our circumstances and the capacity of our souls with the hope to find resolve within this freedom. We are determined to find the end, but the distinction resides in the choice and then the strength to bear what we chose.
Envy seems effortless. As we look at the “success” of our neighbor, our co-worker, best friend, cousin, parent, stranger, icon, etc. whether it be their car, house, title, “circle of friends,” or vocation, why do we so wish we were them or anybody but who or what we are? Why do we so easily slip out of our shoes on a whim and put ourselves into what we perceive their idealistic reality to be? We look over the fence and gaze, at times longingly at what they have, do, wear, drive, profess, or think only to wish we had it, or at least could have had it. Is our daily reality so heavy and arduous that it is our conundrum and therefore have our dreams become so Peter Pan like that they have morphed into our reality? Which one do we live the most in? Which one takes most of our time and imagination to make more real so that we can sup in the glory of possibility. It seems so easy to get lost in tomorrow and miss the now as we tumble through this life. Do we live like that? Do we lead like that? Are we always wishing for what is “becoming” or transpiring or “should be” so much so that we find what we do to be mundane and irrelevant? It becomes a swirling black hole when our dreams seem noble and good because they stem from our hard wire, our DNA only to find them potentially irrelevant or worse impossible because we have so discounted our daily lives.
I think life is the toil and sweat of pressing forward to our dreams while envy is a quick and easy way out. We can’t see that to find the other side of the fence we have to cross a large, barren field, scale a treacherous ravine and then meander through an uncharted valley floor before we can simply climb over the fence to the place where the grass is greener. Rather, I think the dream becomes real as we hold close to the anguish of learning and living so that we can not just see but understand what it takes to make our dreams real. Wanting what your neighbor or friend has is just a quick mental escape from the likely rough road you yourself need to define.
Putting the heart, hand and the mind together is difficult for most but natural for the artist. Actually, it’s a must. It keeps their heart beating and their soul panting and thirsting for more. An artist can see the anomaly of a vision in detail, ponder its connection to reality and then put hands to plow and make it so. It’s their core construction to do so. It’s a natural ability to plow through the doldrums of life’s barriers and banalities and create beauty within application. For the rest of us, it makes the world spin delicately and beautifully forward instead of sticking like black, murky mold to the dark, dry walls of mere results and tasks. Their idealism, their pure visioning for better things in a better world actually makes the rest of us see certain things that only the eyes of a child behold.
We live in a world that needs the artist to thrive and believe so the rest can reap the rewards of the imagination and the song of soulful struggle against the dank and heavy drudgery of living. I don’t just mean let the painters paint so we can view “things” in a gallery. Although that is rich and full of breathless endeavors, we need to see the world as our gallery full of breathless endeavors- business, non-profits, churches, school, start-ups, etc. Look at kiva.org, Tom’s Shoes, Semco, William L. Gore, Whole Foods and all the others starting things or building on things that stem from the beauty of the mind and heart with the end game to make this all better. With stories created from the apparent shackles of constraints and restrictions, they thrive in and birth innovations from being able to see around or through impossible places that the rest just see as “stop points.”The artist can rescue through creating dreams and making them real so our soulful struggle keeps spinning positively forward.
Are you “the artist” or the one that waits for “the artist” to create? Do we have to chose or are we all created equal enough to reach deep inside our well and draw out the Picasso that sits and waits for a nudge, a prod of inspiration to then go out and push through the thought of the impossible and produce a gallery for the rest to see?
I wonder why I want to do more and be more. Why do I want so much more out of life than what I have. I think in part, like Godin said, its what makes me feel alive. http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/03/im-making-money-why-do-more.html.
I wrestle like hell like Jacob did with not letting go until I find the root of my design, my true hard wire. What am I here for? Why am I here? You know the questions that make you get up in the morning, keep you driving throughout the day, and then wake you up only do it all over again. I guess I “charge” it or press the edges to try and figure it out. I want to feel alive. I don’t want to lose in a world that is fervently pressing the edges of change and advancing the human soul to new peaks. We live in a world marked by the fringe and I want to make sure that I am in the front of that fringe, or at least in pace with its current flux. I want to feel alive and I think the only way to do it is to fight forward and deny the innate latency that beckons us to fail.