After a YouTube marathon that included watching some the most brilliant minds of today’s age talking about the transformation happening to our industries and world, highlighting the collapse of old systems and even entire industries, I’m even more convinced that the power now rests with each individual. As this transformation gains momentum, art and creativity are becoming invaluable. Hotels are replaced by people offering their private spaces to virtual strangers, media by Twitter and anyone can become a star if they have a message and are willing to put the time and effort to spread it.
We live in a world that is moving so fast, in order to make an impact, we need to let go of what’s holding us back, plunge in with both feet, and once and for all stop worrying about what others think about us. No matter what we do to try to stop them, humans will go on judging each other. At some point, it becomes a total waste of time.
In a world where daily information fire hoses spit out trillions of data bits, it is authenticity and vulnerability that is gaining in value. To be vulnerable, means putting something imperfect into the world and letting the world respond. If a product is too polished, there is no vulnerability; therefore no real learning can take place. What is of value today is the opposite of what was of value yesterday — people don’t need perfection. There is not time to attain perfection. Perfection, in case you still are wondering, is an illusion. Especially in a world that is moving at the speed of light.
People who are walking the tight rope are the ones getting the attention. It is those who have the guts to take the risks. But even that is not really as hard as our brains make it seem. We have a built in mechanism inside that is there to protect us from danger. But it was hardwired into our circuits millions of years ago when people died at thirty from a simple cut and encounters with lions were commonplace! It is not the case these days. There is so much less to be afraid of. And yet we hold off, we hesitate, get old and turn rigid as the world moves on…
“We are too focused on — how do I avoid criticism? And not focused enough on — how do I make a difference?” — Seth Godin
Focus on the People Who Listen, Ignore the Rest.
It can be hard to be inundated with crude comments and negative feedback as you are trying to gain a foothold in the world. So why not simply ignore it? Again, there is only so much time we have to do the work we came here to do and negativity can be a serious creativity sap and focus detractor. Why not focus on the people who support us and can benefit from the work we do? There will always be those who will judge, criticize and dislike what we do. We must accept this fact and move on.
Don’t Wait for People to Pick You. Pick Yourself.
Wanna write? Wanna do music? Wanna help people? Wanna start a business? Do it. The gatekeepers are leaving the gates. The long lines to get inside the VIP lounge are dissipating. Now everyone can become whatever they want with enough focus and perseverance.
“Do You!” — Russell Simmons
We live in a world when new channels of communication are opening daily. There are really no excuses to not do what you want to do. You don’t need the security. In fact, where there is security, there is too much clutter and density, too many watchdogs and too much red tape. Find you own way, build your own gate or bridge to your dream and please, please do not fear rejection. Go on, cross it.
“Polarize People. When you create a product or service that some people love, don’t be surprised when others hate you. Your goal is to catalyze passion — pro or anti. Don’t be offended if people take issue with what you’ve done; the only result that should offend (and scare) you is lack of interest.” — Guy Kawasaki
Acknowledge the Fear and Go For It!
What people are trying to avoid is not so much failing, as then other would likely not even notice, but rather admitting to themselves that they are no good. And the moment shame kicks in? Adios art and creativity. It creates a resistance to trying something new and recoiling into the comfort zone. The key is not to run away from those fears and feelings but to face them and acknowledge them. That simple, tough not necessarily easy recognition will help you soften inside and the feeling to pass. It is like stretching yourself a little more each time, building more space, more tolerance for discomfort until true agility kicks in and they you will go looking for challenges because overcoming them will make you feel more strong, resilient and confident. So don’t pretend the fear is not there. Listen to it, feel it, and do what you have to do. It will make you shine. In fact, you can make yourself be so on fire, that your obstacles will become your fuel.
“Our inward power, when it obeys nature, reacts to events by accommodating itself to what it faces — to what is possible. It needs no specific material. It pursues its own aims as circumstances allow; it turns obstacles into fuel. As a fire overwhelms what would have quenched a lamp. What’s thrown on top of the conflagration is absorbed, consumed by it — and makes it burn still higher.” — Marcus Aurelius
Ewa Zwonarz is a Polish-American writer, the author of “Moonchild,” a paranormal mystery novel, self proclaimed health fanatic, and travel aficionado. Ewa graduated Valedictorian with a B.S. in Mass Communications from Menlo College. She lives in San Francisco Bay Area where she allies with business teams on company turn-arounds, works out, and publishes a blog @ www.ewazwonarz.com.