It’s important to have a system for focusing our minds when reflection is needed.
But art we can’t just sit in a corner and perfect ourselves. Not if we want a chance at creating real meaning in the world.
The reality is, we are a social species with an innate desire to communicate with each other. And we need to leverage that comes from working with other people.
What I think about the things I regret most in my life, it often goes back to a failure of connection. Instances in which I inflicted upon myself the damaging psychological state of isolation. Lonely nights where I easily could have called friends and left the house and participated in the community, but instead, chose to degenerate into a narcissistic celebration of self, disappearing down the rabbit hole of my own head.
However, I don’t beat myself up for those moments. I forgive myself for making a habit of isolating. And I use that regret as a reminder to honor the interdependent parts of my personality. To never deny the reality of my desire to be with others. To actively work on community building. And to identify myself as both an independent artist and as a community member.
Maisel’s book on creativity for life poses a powerful question for each of us to ask ourselves in this respect.
What about me do I need to change so that I’ll have a better chance of joining meaningfully with others?
It’s the perfect measure of accountability. A reminder to go out of our way to honor the part of ourselves that is not satisfied with a life of estrangement and seclusion.
Because the asset which is the self atrophies most in isolation.
Remember, few people have ever achieved anything of significance entirely on their own. Contemplation has its place, but it can quickly become a form of escapism, flighting us from the world into a realm of false bliss.
The fastest pathway to happiness, the primary path to aliveness, is reaching for the other.
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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