For months, I have been carrying around this torn out page from an old Oprah magazine. I am drawn to its colors, design and enduring message. This message is for me. And to be honest – the journey is all I have. I can’t guarantee the outcome of any event or relationship, but I can work them out and enjoy myself. I can always end a journey by selling my business or accepting another adventure. I guess the present moment is a lot cooler than I give it credit for.
This month my journey has led me to a few coffee dates with some very interesting and connected people. With each one, I had the privilege of telling my story and being surprised by our similarities. A CEO of a national company, the director of a small theater and the president of a non-profit arts organization all have journies they are excited about. Projects and risk, hopes and expectations that have no guarantee= enjoying the journey. Maybe that is why their lives are so exciting.
I guess I have still been thinking that after all this work, I will plateau and enjoy the ride. But, that isn’t true – AND, I am not allowing myself to enjoy it. James Clear writes, “Your concern is to do the work, not to judge it. Your concern is to fall in love with the process, not to grade the outcome. Keep your eyes on your own paper.” The journey is everything – and if others come along….awesome.
Success is knowing what you should do and doing it. Failure, waiting for someones permission to do it. I’m not saying feedback isn’t important, but getting insight from 10 people may be overkill. On Sunday, our pastor connected the Gospel to the cultural icon of The Hunger Games. This kind of sermon is not my style. As she tried to pull up the 4 note bird call that fans know from the show on her phone, the room fell silent. And then, the 4 tones were whistle from the middle of the sanctuary by a second time visitor, age 16. He did what he knew to do and saved the day in a perfectly timed action.
What are you waiting for? Why don’t you just start writing 400 words per day in an effort to finish that book you know you can write? And why are you putting off the next steps of your great idea. It is only an idea now, but your action and sharing it with 3 others, sets it into motion. You know what you should do…so do it. You are a success.
When an artist speaks her voice into the world, she does it in an effort to stay alive. To be alive, ignite her true self and connect the inner flame to the outer world. This is what I call “voice” and “song.” The voice within the artist and the song it produces in the world.
When an artist expresses himself in an effort to change the status quo – impact – make ripples in the still water… he may do so with the idea that he is contributing to the larger picture. But what if what he says is “the” point? What if what she sings “changes” everything? And what if that impact causes violence? Let me tell you, the artist thought it through and spoke it anyway.
It is his voice.
Let art shape you – not frustrate you. Let art inspire you to step into the cause it is pointing to – don’t get mad at the artist. Let art be the catalyst and you…the hero.