Monday, May 06, 2013

Whatever Conquering Of Selfish Habits It May Necessitate

"Investing in the reality of other human beings." What nobody tells you about working for yourself is, it's easy to fall down the narcissism rabbit hole and not even realize it. Spending ten hours a day in your pajamas, pounding away on your laptop, doing the work you love is a glorious thing. But when we start acting like artists first and humans second, we start trading independence for empathy. We start chipping away at our ability to participate fully in another person’s experience. Admittedly, I was the biggest offender for the longest time. But I managed to dig my way out of the rabbit hole just in time. Whew.

"Dangling the carrot of exposure." Well, we can't pay you any money, but it will be good exposure. Riiiight. Here's the problem with this transaction. First, it's just exposure to more people who don't have any money. Second, it's hard to buy groceries with exposure. Third, the only value for me is if you cross my palm with silver. Fifteen bucks little man, put that shit in my hands. Otherwise, don't waste my time. Unbelievable. Doesn't anybody exchange money for value anymore? Sheesh. Inspired by an article on internships.

"There is no adversity coming their way any time soon." Moving across the country with no job, no friends and nobody to depend on but each other was hardest thing we've ever done. And it was totally worth it. We intentionally put our relationship through the wringer and came out on the other side, stumbling but surviving. And we give thanks for the experience daily. The point is, everyone needs a good low. If life has never handed you a pile of shit, it's hard to deepen your character and perspective. Thanks for the inspiration, Michael Moore.

"A place where dreams are had and followed." Hugh knows how to paint a picture of office culture. But why stop there? This mantra should hang on the walls of homes, schools, sports teams, congregations, yoga studios and all other places people come together. At the heart of what it means to be a person is the act of dreaming, doing and finishing. Coming alive through the pursuit of ideas. Dreaming isn't dead. It never was, and it never will be. 

"The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads." Stories about wasted genius break my heart. This article about tech bubbles reconfirms something I've thought for a while now: Freedom is finding a home for all of your talents. That's the biggest difference between my life today and my life two years ago. I upgraded from a four track to a sixteen track. Not to mention, I'm playing with a band now. Sweet. There's nothing more beautiful than making meaningful use of everything that you are.

"Whatever conquering of selfish habits it may necessitate." I spent the first ten years after college flushing a lot of the selfishness out of my system. Life was solely about executing my will, building my brand and satisfying my inherent neediness to succeed. It was awesome. But eventually, I knew I couldn't stay locked inside my own selfish needs forever. So with the help of a magical accomplice, I made a conscious decision to change my pronouns. In spirit, in language and in action. Not an easy transition. Especially for someone who's never really had to share before. But was worth it. Existing as a "we" rocks.