A Motto At The Intersection Of Health And Creativity
This is the first time I have talked about my health publicly:
I have a digestive autoimmune disorder. That's as specific as I'll get. I only bring it up because you will benefit from hearing my experience.
I'll never forget what the doctor who diagnosed me said in his thick Indian accent,
"Be a warrior, not a worrier."
A warrior attacks the problem without thinking. A warrior makes a choice, immediately. If something doesn't work, they move on and fully commit to the next choice.
I've been with four different specialists since that diagnosis. Not all of it is my fault--it's an extremely complex condition. But part of the issue is that I can't make a freaking decision. Drugs or no drugs? This drug or that drug? What should I eat/not eat? I haven't committed to anything. For years.
So yeah, I'm saying this to myself as much as anybody else.
Commit to something already.
I can't be on stage as an actor during the pandemic, so I'm channeling my creativity into writing. And you know what? I don't know what else to tell you other than my day is objectively better when I get writing done. I'm much nicer. I genuinely want to spend time with family and friends as opposed to feeling obligated to just sort of exist around them. I am warmer and more open, and more enthusiastic about little every-day life things.
But there's not guarantee this will happen the next day. It all depends on whether or not I show up.
See I am in no position to lecture you. I'm just a guy who knows how to arrange words in a cohesive fashion and has internet access.
You know what sets me apart? My ambition. I'm hungry as hell and I have no trouble telling you that.
Because I know you are hungry too. We're in the trenches together.
All it takes is for you to stop being afraid of what ends up on the page or the stage and just keeping your head down and doing what you were called to do.
Then you'll have no trouble facing the other aspects of your life. no trouble resting, with the certain knowledge that the battle will be just as difficult tomorrow.
The concept of the inner war; the concept of the day to day inner struggle is as old as civilization. It is as old as any conceptualization of the mysteries of time and space.
What is the "universe" today other than everything around us? It's not that big. It's right in front of us. It's the social media, the books, the people, the family, the news, the intellectuals, the influencers. Who doesn't feel that all the noise paralyzed them with indecision and misunderstanding of who the are and what they want?
No one is immune to this. Your environment and your internal conditioning inherently impose expectations on you. And that environment's only currency is fear. And the inevitable outcome of submitting to that fear is immense pain and regret.
It's aggravating when people say "the universe showed me this sign" or "the universe said that wasn't for me" or "everything happens for a reason."
Why waste the single most wonderful privilege of being a human being? Your chance to challenge what the universe gives you.
Next time you feel like you're burning out? Take the whole day off and go visit someone who has no arms or no legs. Or someone with severe neurological affliction. People are born with these conditions.
Don't waste your mind. Your body. Your heart. Your time on this earth. The sheer fact that you are alive means that you are experiencing something that literally trillions of other potential souls throughout the ages will never have the chance to experience.
Don't let the way the universe has conditioned you to sit back take that chance away from you.
The reason why it is so difficult to develop our minds about challenging situations is that asserting one's selfhood requires confronting the anguish and discomfort within ourselves.
The universe assigns us docile roles for no other reason than to test our metal. And if humans did not have a natural need to test their metal, why on earth would the billion-dollar self-help industry exist?
The important thing to remember is that these tests happen every single day. They're there every time you hit the snooze button after you promised yourself you'd wake up early to paint the sunrise; every time you choose to settle for what your mom, boyfriend, boss, acquaintance, or political rhetoric expect of you because it's easier than making up your own mind about something.
Your environment and your internal conditioning inherently impose expectations on you. And that environment's only currency is fear. And the inevitable outcome of submitting to fear is immense pain and regret.
I'm not saying you shouldn't listen to people who have more expertise or experience than you. Or people that care about you. I'm saying that if you don't know your own point of view first, it is impossible to actually listen to others. Because that which is not already distinctly formed cannot grow.
Why do you think children are so much better at getting what they want? They haven't been forced to lose their distinction yet. Children grow fast. Adults just die.
Children and animals are smarter than us. Because they know what they want and they know exactly how to go about getting it and they don't hold back.
Here's the truth:
I'm a work in progress. You're a work in progress.
I'm committing to getting out of my own way. Will you do that too?
The Universe is nothing more than a set of constructs. Some of those are incredibly real and immutable, like gravity (though, even that is arguable). But most of it exists to convince us that we have no other choice but to comply.
Try walking away to fresh possibilities and new hopes. Assert your humanity--what is creativity, other than that?
There is no path. The fog won't clear before you start walking so just start.
Don't read the book you should read, read the book you want to read. Talk to someone you don't normally talk to. Start a blog. Make YouTube videos.
You know what you're really afraid of?
But that's the whole point.
Being human is nothing short of completely embarrassing yourself.
I promise you when you actually start doing what you want, you will feel foolish.
But you might be surprised at just how easy it is.