Truly Powerful People (234)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

In another blog in another life I wrote some rants to artists – meaning, of course, that I wrote them to myself. As I set up my new business I have been reviewing the archives and I came upon my rants. Here is a remake and an update of a ghost-of-rants-past (it is Halloween, after all). Read the word “art” as also meaning “life:”

What if you will never be understood? What if trying to be understood was a fool’s errand, a waste of your precious energy? Consider this for a moment: all great art lives beyond the rational; it transcends the world of data and fact, of the linear sequential and the prescription, and it reaches into places where words cannot go. You can’t measure it, quantify it, or contain it. You can engage with it. It only has meaning in relationship.

It seems to me the power of the arts (life) is in NOT being understood; moving beyond understanding is the point, not the problem. Trying to be understood is really a mask covering the need to be liked or appreciated. Like yourself. Appreciate yourself. What other people like or don’t like is none of your business. Besides, you are the only one who will ever really understand yourself – no one else has access to your internal workings. No one else really knows what you believe. Free yourself from the attachment to what others think and pour your energy into what you bring to life – and bring it.

As my mentor, Tom, used to say, “You will know the power of your work by the size of the tide that rises against it.” Some people may appreciate you and your work, others will not. That is beyond your control. What is within your control is your capacity to do your work. You can cut your ears off investing in what others may or may not think about what you create or you can do your work and offer it to the world. Trying to be liked or understood will knock you off your artistic rails; you’ll lose sight of the essential and trade it for the superficial. It will make you timid. Stop trying to be understood and do your work. Stop trying to be liked and offer your work as if it might actually change someone’s life – because it might.

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