I know something about you.
I know that regardless of who you are or what you do for a living; at some point in your life, you dreamed of creating something great.
Maybe you fantasized about moving into the woods and writing the next great novel. Maybe you imagined yourself giving an acceptance speech at the Oscars. Maybe you envisioned yourself playing music in front of a stadium filled with thousands of people.
Maybe you still do.
There’s something incredible about creating a piece of art — whether visual, musical, culinary, or literary — and having it connect to other human beings around the world.
We’ve all heard a song that made us want to dance or sing. We’ve all seen movies that moved us to tears or made us laugh. We’ve eaten a meal that we never wanted to end. We’ve been mesmerized by amazing works of art. We love seeing/hearing/tasting/reading other people’s creations.
And, as the video below explains, this love of art — what Ira Glass calls “good taste” — is the very thing that can crush our creative dreams.
As children, we naturally embrace the “creative self.” We’ll take a crayon and draw on whatever’s available — a piece of paper, the wall, the neighbor’s cat. And when we attend grade school, we begin experimenting with art. We don’t worry too much about the result. We just create. It’s fun.
Then, at some point during the transition to adulthood, our creative lights begin to dim. We start comparing our work to the work of others, and suddenly it’s not as fun anymore. It takes more effort. We come to an important realization:
We’re talentless hacks who suck at making art.
But hold on! Pump the brakes! That’s not entirely true. Odds are we’re experiencing the classic “paralysis by analysis,” which I’ve never heard explained better than Ira Glass (host and producer of This American Life) does in the inspiring video below.
Watch and listen as Mr. Glass explains the unique and occasionally hostile relationship between our taste and our talent:
Advice for the Creative Self:
It’s time to reclaim your creative spirit. It’s time to close the gap between who you are and who you’re going to become. It’s time to take the challenge.
Our new course, 30 Challenges to Enlightenment, is a toolkit for the courageous. It’s a system designed to break you out of worn-out patterns and help you claim a High Existence. Invigorate your creative self. Become a better artist. Become a better you.