I think that in every Maker’s heart of hearts, there is a dream of being surrounded by others like them who live their lives working and dancing to their own heartsong, trying to do their own best work and cheering each other on to greater effort. We dream of a place that supports us in our journey while letting us find our own way to our own best life.
In 2001, a group of friends graduated from college and set out on a cross-country road trip to interview people who lived “lives centered around what was meaningful for them.” The boys acquired an RV, and wandered around countryside filming a documentary about their trip in which they brazenly approached all sorts of people who were doing what looked like interesting things and asked them a lot of personal questions about life-issues like, “How do you know that this thing…
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Japanese farmer-philosopher Masanobu Fukuoda once said, “The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation of human beings.“
Hands-on (often inept) fooling around with stuff has been called “tinkering.” The top definition for the word “tinkering” in the online collaborative Urban Dictionary is this: “to mess around with something and you don’t really have a clue what you are doing.” (The regular dictionary definitions are pretty boring.)
“Meaningful Work” is the new Grail, it seems. Every time you turn around there’s somebody or other admonishing and exhorting you to get out there and “find” the work that gives meaning to your life. It’s the key to happiness, joy and self-fulfillment, they say.
It occurs to me that it is probably not possible to convince humans to take a long-term view using argument or persuasion or logical thinking. It seems to me that people focus on long-term because they want to or because they’re tired of hitting themselves upside the head all the time and really tired of having to climb out of potholes that turn out to be really deep and gnarly lava tubes.
It’s a cliche, of course. Writers, artists, and performers of all sorts (including politicians and business speakers) are forever being told that they have to “find their own voice.” The premise in all this advice is that each one of us is a unique individual with our own way of seeing the world and sometimes by speaking our own truths in our own way we can help other people find theirs.
“Follow your passion”…”take the path with a heart.” We hear that a lot, those of us who are looking for meaning and mana to add to our ordinary lives. Are they the same thing? Do they mean what we’ve been told they mean? Does this advice make sense?
When comedian Steve Martin was interviewed by radio host Charlie Rose, the funnyman was asked to answer the “how” question aspiring performers always ask those who have made a success of their career. Martin said nobody liked hearing this answer, but he did it anyway: “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”
PRODUCT (Book): THE WAR OF ART: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles AUTHOR: Steven Pressfield PUBLISHER: Black Irish Entertainment LLC