Meaning, success. I know they sound grand.
But when I hear about “big” people, their stories, their tactics, their habits, all I can dissect is that it’s simple but not easy. They have a reason, primal and bigger than themselves. They want to matter.
From the surface it seems they have it all figured out – mended the creases, cruising with ease and triumph. We envy the results and sigh. It’s talent, we say.
But second glance that polished monolith and there you’ll see a simultaneous evocation of what once was crude and uncertain. Stare long enough within the furtive folds and what transpires is a humming of harmony and drudgery. In the midst of crafting, there’s dullness and excitement, blood and relief, uncertainty and revelation.
An artist molds a glass, forms gentle and jagged protrusions, sheds rough and grandiose skin. In its finality we revere the flawless. What we forget is the soul’s imperfect malleability. They all started somewhere but ended nowhere.
The bug in the artist’s gut is welcomed with curiosity. It started with a potential. Then a feast in isolation and frustration. Finally, it unveiled more than he expected. He was about to give up but found himself staying in the arena.
For what, exactly?
Meaning – we’re all wired for it. That’s why creativity begs to be manifested. Do you feel that urge to create – anything? Do you feel that void when you keep postponing? Are you holding back your child-like enthusiasm or your adult nerdy fascination? We all have that propensity for wonder. It claws on us in so many ways.
All it takes is that we slow down and create that space for what lights us up. To shun the excuses and just begin.
Now, when we find ourselves engaged in a craft, we grow a simple, big reason. Why do I labor for words? Why do I keep drawing? Why do I crunch data? Why do I keep tinkering? Why do I share my thoughts? Why do I keep singing my heart out?
That reason belongs to each one of us. It’s the spark that will propel us to get to know ourselves better and stretch our capacities. It’s the rudder that aligns our actions with our values. It’s what nudges us up in the morning. It’s what lends a hand when we’re in a slump. It’s what makes us come back frayed and curious again. That reason is our torch, our guidance.
Should we honor that reason, our ‘whys’ set the stage not for perfection but for possibilities.