Blood & Sweat

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What does it take to be “great” or even “one of the greats?  Does getting to that point have a time limit? Is it ageless?  Is it intrinsic or fated? Or do you have to give your blood and sweat to visit the depths of your soul in order to reach?

Most people that I’ve gravitate towards in life have some sort of inner ignition. A wildly-invisible force that drives them deep into their core to the raw, ugly-beautiful center and know how to show it to the world. I like being around people like this because it keeps me aiming higher. I feed off that kind of energy. Everyone has this thing but not everyone chooses to activate it. Or maybe we don’t always know what it is or how to do it.

When you do know it, that passion is electric and you can see it visibly through a person’s eyes. It  breathes through us, and it’s the stuff that gives us life, energy and motivation.

Personally I feel like I’m floating sometimes. Suspended isolation. Those reflective moments of being thousands of feet in the air while there is a whole other world going on down below. (Or perhaps I just feel that way because I’m literally writing these words from an airplane in route from London to NYC after a sleepless, whirlwind trip. Which, by the way, are the best kind.)  It’s not that I feel that I’m in a different realm separating myself from everyone else, though I do function in my own time zone, but I don’t always know what drives me. I don’t always feel like I have an ultimate destination in mind and I wonder why not. What path am I on?

“There are no two words in the English language more harmful than ‘good job’.” – Whiplash

I think too much sometimes and possibly even talk myself out of pursuing certain things because it’s so easy to take the comfortable road. Yeah, it sucks to admit it. You know, the decisions you make that lead you down a smart and logical route of contentment. However I also have that other side of me that is a completely adventurous vagabond who can’t help but go the opposite direction from the normal paths in life that society says we should do and be.

In my heart of hearts, the thing that I love most is traveling, passion and depth in people, places, memories and experiences. After all, isn’t that what our lives are all about?  A collection of memories, stories and flashbacks?  Art and writing have been my expression of this for as long as I can remember but I still crave to unearth what is deeper. What am I not doing that would take me further?

Thoughts like this rattle around in my head all the time and I only just thought to talk about it tonight because I just finished watching the film Whiplash on this 7 hour flight. Probably one of the most fantastic mainstream movies I’ve seen in ages. It’s the story of a young drummer with more passion than most people could ever understand. And the heart of the story lies in having someone to drive them and push them past their own expectations of themselves, while also excruciatingly being emotionally and psychologically bullied past their limits.

When the film ended it left me somewhere between crying my eyes out and total elation. What does it take to feel so strongly about something?  Anything?  Where does that passion come from and how do you tap into it? I felt something when I watched that because it reached me. I connected with the feeling and I wanted more of it.

I often find myself complaining about long computer hours, sleep deprivation and my own disappointment for continuing to work for ‘the man’. But something tells me that it has a limited timeline in the spectrum of my life, because I intrinsically need more to breathe and expand. Life lessons learned from yoga.  If you make space you will inevitably move into it.

I’m going to continue my mental yoga for awhile on this topic and see where it leads me. But I’ve realized that I haven’t given enough blood and sweat and I‘d like to open my mind and step in. I don’t know if it’s enough to push yourself or be pushed by someone better than you, but I’m curious about it for no other reason than to feel connected and start to produce more work that matters. I’m all in.