Eminem’s song asks the listener, if you had one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted, one moment, would you capture it? Or just let it slip?
It’s one of the most inspiring, empowering and energizing rap songs of all time.
But it’s also a major reality check. Because contrary to what popular culture tells us, there are no big breaks in life. Very few people are given the proverbial one shot to change everything. And so, part of the journey is learning to find satisfaction in small compensations.
Macleod’s theory on small art says it beautifully:
Small art is a lot less hassle to make. And you can make more of it. More often. Without bankrupting yourself or putting your life on hold for months on end. And perhaps more importantly, there’s the personal sovereignty angle. With small art, there’s no need to wait for someone else to deem it worthy beforehand, no need to wait nervously for the rich patron, the movie studio exec, or the illustrious museum director to give it the greenlight. No need for the politics or the schmoozing or the bureaucracy. With small art, you just go ahead and make it, and then it exists, and the rest is in the hands of the gods. Your work is already done, and you can get to bed at a decent hour. And not lose any sleep over it, either.
Hugh’s approach to the creative process finds satisfaction in small compensations. It trains us not to think about how big we want our dream to be, but about how much love we want to give out while we’re following it. Because as cinematic and dramatic as we’d like our journey to be, the reality is, life rarely rewards us with a blast of trumpets and cornets making a joyful noise.
And so, let go of seizing everything you ever wanted in one glorious shot. Learn to salute the satisfaction of small breaks instead.
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That Guy with the Nametag
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