Tuesday, July 02, 2013

I Should've Gone Into The Orange Barrel Business

"How much does your life weigh?" Five years ago, life was a lot different. I had more money, more things, more goals, more friends, more faith, more productivity, more time, more freedom and more adulation than I have today. But the thing is, I also had less happiness than I have today. Interesting. Maybe I was wrong about the correlation between life's mass and life's meaning. Inspired by the empty backback.

"A restless, hyperprolific artist, seemingly unable to do one thing at a time." This interview with Gary Panter helped me realize something. Focus is wildly overrated. For years, we've been poisoned by the fairytale that the secret to success is working with a laser beam. But that can't be true. The most successful artists and entrepreneurs in the world are the opposite. They worry they don’t have enough arms to do everything they want to do. They keep all their passions in play. They diversify their identities as much as they can. And they're not afraid to live larger than their labels. No labels, no limits.

"Most young comedians worry about being famous, not being good." Jeff Garlin's point makes total sense. Whatever your chosen craft is, being good requires labor, time, patience, rejection, discipline, commitment and grit. But that's not what people seem to value. Our culture places a premium on instant gratification and hyper-personalization. If it's not perfect, now and fee, we're not interested. And the result is, we're creating a generation of artists who are devoid of determination. Bummer.

"When everybody's looking for gold, it's a good time to be in the pick and shovel business." Fascinating article about the economic implications of legalizing marijuana. Makes me think of my grandmother. She definitely wasn't a pothead, but she did know how to spot an opportunity. Every time we'd drive through a construction zone, she'd stare out the window and say, "Wow, I should've gone into the orange barrel business." That was my favorite thing she said.

"I’m not sure they were setbacks, so much as life doing what it does." One of life's great realizations is that nature doesn't take things personally. She's not out to get us. There's no target on our backs. We're pawns in her cosmic game of chess, and the sooner we learn to appreciate every move––good and bad––the more enjoyable that game will be. Unless it starts pissing buckets the minute you step out the front door. Stupid climate change. Inspired by an interview with songwriter Stephen Kellogg.