Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The World Cannot Be Deprived Of This Talent

"Pay attention to the vital few and ignore the trivial many." Wise words from John Paul Digoria. Couldn't agree more. The tricky part about his philosophy is, you have to know the difference between the two. If you're cursed with a broken sense of priorities, unable to discern what's worth doing in the first place, even the best advice in the world won't do you any good. The key is creating a filter. A question to ask yourself before moving forward like, "Is this activity guaranteed to provide me with the experience of meaning?” or "Does this make me money or make me happy?" Sounds like a a lot of work––and it is––but after a few months, you start to internalize the process and the filter becomes second nature.

"The world cannot be deprived of this talent." That was Dr. Drew's reasoning for wanting to treat Tom Sizemore's addiction. This guy was so good at what he did, that it would be a crime to rob the world of his gifts. What a beautiful response to natural talent. We should all be so lucky to have someone like that in our corner. A cheerleader who believes in us, maybe more than we believe in our ourselves, and sees something that we're too close to ourselves to see. I've had my share of those people in life. I call them shovers.

"It was a little something, but my anxiety turned it into a big something." Anxiety is the great amplifier. It either makes us see things that aren't really there, or makes things that are there, seem much worse than they really are. Over the years, I've experienced my share of anxiety, usually around feelings of loneliness. And what I learned from my therapist was, the moment those waves come crashing in, you grab a surfboard and ride the anxiety back to shore. The surfboard being the mechanical tool, i.e., deep breathing, exercise and meaning making activities. And the shore being an ideal state of being, i.e., relaxation, happiness and human connectedness. Sound hokey? It is. And that's why it works.  Inspired by Josh Groban's backstage freakout.

"I don't write jokes, I write moments." Interesting approach to the creative process from Marc Maron. I think every artist has their version of this. I've always told people that I don't write books, I write modules. Uncategorized chunks of creative material. Objective, portable content that accumulates and categorizes into its own structure. Which eventually, probably, turns into a book. By thinking in this way, you lower the threat level of the creative process, train yourself to be an incrementalist and prevent premature cognitive commitment. 

"In the harsh light of hindsight." When something is happening, I'm totally confident. I believe I'm doing the right thing. Acting the right way. Making the right choices. Then, after everything blows to hell and I've tiptoed my way out of the wreckage, I always look back and say to myself, "What the hell was I thinking? How could I have been so blind?" At which point, I vow never to say never again. And that lasts about six months. Inspired by Sleep No More.