Top 12 Life, Love & Business Lessons For Dreamers & Artistpreneurs.
“Entrepreneurship is the last refuge of the trouble making individual.” ~ Natalie Clifford Barney
Five years ago, I started and lost my first business. It was a great idea — without the roots or skeleton to ground it, or the experience to build it or wisdom to sustain it. Yay…
I never thought seriously about becoming an entrepreneur. It sort of just happened to me, as I kept happening to life. It was an inevitable byproduct of trying to turn my life into a work of art and deciding to take no bullshit, shortcuts, fear, painkillers or distractions for a definite answer.
Ever since my first business went downhill, I haven’t liked the word entrepreneur. I find it lacks fluidity, movement, art, imagination and desire…
I think the word Artistpreneur would actually be more suited to my love affair with life.
Artistpreneur: According to my Dictionary (n. & v.) = A person-journey that turns her whole life into a sustainable work of art.
In the years after my first fall, I kept creating myself through different projects and businesses. Some worked, others not so well, and yet others yielded so much fruit I was able to cover all the holes left by my previous failed tries.
Living a life on my own terms has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever attempted.
And for any life to thrive on this planet, it must become sustainable. We often misunderstand being sustainable with just making an income. But this is only one of the many components of the sustainability equation.
Following Mama Nature’s model, Sustainability means giving and receiving in a way that benefits and creates more abundance for both — the Individual and the world.
I firmly believe — and it has taken me many years of struggle to finally understand and stand up by this truth — that you cannot truly prosper as an artist or a creator without inevitably becoming an artistpreneur — that is, a conscious and sustainable business(man/woman).
Trying to avoid the business side of your life — whatever it is that you do — because of any misconceptions, fears or insecurities you may have about it, is as if rain tried to avoid falling, because some people (you included) just don’t want to get wet.
I’ll be talking more about Artistpreneurship, as I refer to all creative business, in future articles, because one doesn’t even begin to cover it.
To begin this conversation, I want to leave you with a few, important, necessary, urgent as now, vital as oxygen, business lessons — applicable to all of life and art and love — I have learned the hard way. Because the way you do one thing is the way you do any thing.
I could write a whole chapter on each of these points. In fact, maybe I will.
For now, here is my first attempt at a Sustainability Manifesto for Dreamers and Artistpreneurs, enough to dip your toes, hoping it benefits your creative journey:
1. PRIORITIZE FREEDOM.
Physical, mental, spiritual, financial. Choices. Seek choices, have choices, create choices that further multiply your choices. The freedom to be your true self. Follow your call in any area life chooses to expand through you.
NOT TIME. More time seems to be the first goal of every creator trying to escape the Matrix of the 9 to 5 soul slavery in order to pursue their art or project to its fullest. But unless your top priority is FREEDOM, your fear and your deeply rooted habits of survival will find you another set of creative obligations to chain your self to.
The 9-5 is, deep down, a mentality. It’s not about the number of hours you work, or in what kind of prison you are serving your sentence, or what your escape plan is (if any), or when you plan to take the red pill and finally step into your passion.
The 9-5 mentality is about willingly giving yourself to all that isn’t you or life, while you ignore what is. It is about forgetting that your ultimate pursuit is not money or time, but FREEDOM.
So whatever your next step at this point in your life, work or business, make sure it opens yet another door, and sheds another layer of your slavery, and gets you closer to the freedom you are ultimately after.
The freedom to become your truest self and fulfill your mission on this planet — whether this implies more hours writing, or less drama coming from unfulfilling relationships and vampire partners dressed as angels, or less time spent on micromanaging and more time creating, et cetera.
FREEDOM has many faces. Write down what freedom means to you, in each of the above areas. And look it over every time you are tempted to say Yes to another form of slavery masked as the ultimate THING, or PLACE or TOOL or PERSON or IDEA, that might help you take the ring to Mordor.
2. DON’T PARTNER UP WITH A NON-EQUAL.
Whether we’re talking about business, love or art. A business is a kind of marriage after all. And it can be the worst or best kind.
The life of a creator and a visionary is a lonely path. My biggest mistakes by far in business so far have come from this weakness: I didn’t want to be alone.
I never cared about, or even understand, what making it to the top means. And my idea of success is quite different from the one society has tried to impose upon us for a hundred years of materialistic madness.
I do not see a top. I see a journey. Or more like 6 billion journeys intertwined. Whatever different tops the world has agreed on, I find ridiculous and silly titles someone invented — probably like any genius — while sitting on the toilet.
Why should I seek to fill them when I can just make up my own?
Yet loneliness is real. And I have been so lonely on this journey, unbearably so, at different points.
I’ve longed for another pair of eyes to simply blink to whatever the hell I was talking about when I couldn’t even see the full picture of my ideas yet or how they’d come to be. Another crazy and uncensoring mind to bounce my crazy off of, without being judged or misunderstood, but patted on the shoulder, told “Don’t worry, crazy,” told it could be done.
And I mistook their blinking for a partnership potential.
But just because your dog seems to understand you when you talk, it doesn’t mean you should entrust it with your wallet or make it a co-partner of your venture.
On a second thought, maybe you should. Dogs may not understand a single business notion, but they will be more loyal to you than any other human.
In fact, I have just partnered up with a few stray dogs, stopping by my current improv office on a black sand beach in Bali. The deal is: I feed them. And in exchange, they follow me around and take naps at my feet. And that makes me so happy. It’s great business for the soul.
Don’t get me wrong. By a non-equal, I don’t mean intrinsic superiority or inferiority.
These hierarchies in value are also something someone else made up, while sitting on the toilet, and we would be inferior to ourselves if we subscribed to them.
And I don’t mean you should only shake hands with carbon copies of yourself either.
I mean someone whose values and talents are pointed in a completely different direction from the one you are assigning to them, yet you mistake them as your twin because *ahem* because they nod (so deep is your thirst for company), and the next thing you know you trust them with your life, imagination, business, heart and wallet, and you put them in a position that doesn’t do justice to either you or them.
Why? Just because they are good listeners?
MY BLOODY NOTES TO SELF: True understanding and compassion come from acknowledging every individual NOT BY THE WAY THEY RELATE TO YOU (when they get it, you make them ruler of your universe; when they don’t, you kick them out of your universe) but by how true they are to THEMSELVES, how efficient they become in living out THEIR OWN PURPOSE, and how well their own dream and world and values can fit within the PROJECT, WORLD or LIFE you are creating.
The solution to the problems I’ve created by giving people who didn’t deserve, titles they hadn’t earned, for things they didn’t know how to do — just because they lent a compassionate ear to my crazy — are as difficult as the problems themselves, and I am still paying the price.
Please, learn from my mistakes. Learn to see each individual for WHO THEY truly ARE, for WHAT they have to offer, and don’t settle for any kind of collaboration that doesn’t take into consideration each other’s strengths and weaknesses, each other’s input and output, each other’s differences and sameness — and COMPENSATES EACH OTHER ACCORDINGLY.
3. FEEL THE FEAR, BUT DO IT ANYWAY. QUIT THE DRAMA, DISTRACTIONS, EXCUSES AND APOLOGIES THAT KEEP YOU FROM YOUR GREATNESS. (DAMMIT!)
We engage in most drama and distractions as a way of escaping or avoiding our true call and mission.
We, writers, artists and creators, more than any other breed, are addicted to drama.
When you don’t feel capable of living up to your desires, or you are too afraid to try, you settle for a smaller existence, and fill up the space between the truth you’re craving for and the lies that fear has built for you, with drama or excuses for a so-called life.
By drama and distractions, I don’t mean just the obvious distractions (in fact, these are the least threatening ones) — I mean anything that doesn’t lead you to fulfil your ultimate purpose and instead makes you settle for a metaphor of your real life. Your starved imagination will seek to get fed anyway… and it is up to you to give it real food or junk.
Drama and distractions are the fast food of the soul. Instead of nourishing your heart with your true calling, you feed off someone else’s stories, needs and expectations, while ignoring your own soul, your wild, your truth, the burning fire at the center of you.
When you begin to live from your passion, focusing becomes easy, clarity feels like home, clouds start to lift, ideas flow, creative energy abounds.
When not, you’ll crave soul drugs and drama highs that give you the sensation of feeling more alive than the otherwise nightmare you are living. But both the highs and lows are equal sides of the same lie.
SOLUTION: Stop living the lie. Occupy your imagination with YOUR TRUTH, YOUR ART and YOUR STORY. Develop the guts, the courage and the resilience to re-create your world, even if it takes you the rest of your life. As Paulo Coelho just wrote (with lipstick) on my mirror:
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
4. CONSIDER ‘THE COST OF OPPORTUNITY’.
The COST OF OPPORTUNITY refers to the things, people and opportunities you give up, in order to pursue the ones you choose to invest your time in.
You only have 24 hours in a day. Same as every human who has ever lived. Whereas your ultimate goal is FREEDOM, the means to get to it, your truest currency, is not money or things — it’s TIME, aka LIFE.
Every second of your life is an investment of TIME and PRESENCE (Heart + Mind + Body) you consciously (or unconsciously) decide to put in a project, a person, a job, an art… This makes it impossible to invest it in something else, even if you wanted to.
THE SCARY QUESTION IS: Are your time + heart investments giving you more life, or sucking the little you have away with a vague promise of more life later down the line, which never actually materializes? Are these choices making more LOVE than the one they’re taking?
Nature operates by abundance. One single fruit yields a tree, that yields a hundred more fruits. Why shouldn’t we? Aren’t we nature too?
The best gift you could ever give someone you love (starting with yourself) is YOUR TIME + PRESENCE. I would go so far as to say, your love is not enough to call it Love unless it’s made of time + presence.
Everything else can be forgotten, changed or misunderstood. Not your time (and as such, your presence). Time is the one investment you cannot change or ever get back. Pure action. The one gift that can never be returned or taken away.
The real tragedy of life is not that it’s so short & full of troubles, so messy, yet so beautiful. It’s that we get trapped in what doesn’t give it and instead of actually living it, we settle for HOPING to SOMEDAY SOON, definitely… maybe live it?
But aren’t we all terminal? Sooner or later, in one way or another, this story ends for every single one of us.
My 2 questions now, for everything and everyone I choose to invest my time & heart in, is:
A) How much life is it costing me?
B) How much more life is it creating — for me and others?
If B is not higher than A, then have the courage to say No, and trust a greater Yes is waiting in the dark.
Both a Yes and a No are balancing acts in the dance of life. It’s not about getting stuck or infatuated with either/or, it’s about the very fact that we have a choice.
Rejection doesn’t exist in and of itself. It is only a byproduct of a deeper, stronger and truer selection. Behind every No you give or receive, there’s a more powerful, irresistible and life-affirming Yes.
When you are tempted to feel sorry for your bruised ego, or for those you say No to, look for the bigger underlying Yes. It’s always there, I promise. Nothing/no one is empty or without a cause or consequence.
To live like you have choices and to honor others’ choices even when they do not include you is freedom. And freedom further multiplies your choices.
With this kind of soul math, how can you ever lose?
5. TRAIN AND EDUCATE YOURSELF. EVERY DAMN DAY.
The limits of your knowledge are the limits of your world. Never stop searching, exploring, creating yourself. Never stop being a beginner.
The one common trait of most successful people: they never stop being students. Their curiosity is greater than a thousand cats.
They love the classrooms of life, they learn from both, their pretty A’s & ugly F’s and all the bittersweetness in between.
They slowly (and often painfully) teach themselves to let go of certainty, to ask the questions and become their own handwritten answers.
I’ve never invested as much time, money and heart in anything as I have in my education.
I spend a great portion of my day just reading and researching — and for the past four years, most of my reading and research has been on creative, sustainable business. On the days I don’t have the time to read about business because I actually have to work on it all day, I read while eating. No excuses.
Prior to my artistpreneurial life, I spent four years waking up at 6 am, locking myself in my room (through different shared houses) on several cups of coffee, and reading every morning for 3-4 hours. I became so obsessed with this me-time alone with the masters, that any interruption would become the enemy and mess up my day.
It took me another year to stop OCD-ing about it and feeling guilty and terrified when I could no longer do three hours of research and it was time to put my studying into practice.
Prior to those four years, I had spent another three — starting with a harsh, welcome-to-the-cruel-adult-world, 20s crisis — reading from 7 to midnight after coming back from work, because my day job was too soul-crushingly painful to endure without a high dose of tea and literary sympathy.
Whatever your definition of success, whatever your truth, your way and your life looks like, you’ll get there faster with the spongy and elastic mind of a child, a student, a beginner.
On any given day, truth is a humble, baby step into the light.
6. PLAY AS HARD AS YOU WORK.
Nourish your inner child every chance you get. It’s the only real thing in you.
I didn’t truly learn this until I burned out and failed at adulting. And I’m still struggling with it.
Due to some administrative mistakes I’ve made, I am still, to this point, unable to be away from work for more than maybe a weekend at a time — and even for this, in order to truly unplug, I have to plan weeks in advance. Usually, even on my best free days, I have to put in at least 3-4 hours of work.
I guess having creative babies is, on many levels, the same as having human ones — though it should be much easier, or get the creatures walking faster.
In my case, and because of my stubbornness in learning the lessons I’m sharing with you today, some of my projects are still wearing diapers, even if they should be young adults by now.
A while back, I broke down when I realized it’d still be a while until the creatures could be old enough to go to school, allowing me the freedom I was hoping for, when I created them.
I remember my dad’s advice: “Okay, you have small children, and you have no idea how to be a mother. You can’t fully unplug or abandon, or get a babysitter to replace you. I get it… So what CAN you do that comes as close as possible to what you want and at least gives you a taste of the freedom you’re after?”
“Hmm… I suppose I can travel.” The excitement of seeing new places makes the umbilical chord I’m still unable to cut more bearable.
So, instead of waiting for the perfect time — you know, when we’re all multi-billionaires with no desire left in us but to retire to that island for our happily ever after — I started traveling with my babies still in diapers in my laptop, and finding different offices in remote places, where I could still breastfeed the creatures.
For instance, today I just worked for 8 hours on this beach.
Did I want, at three different points, to smash my computer, change my name, take my clothes off, let out a loud wild, primal scream, and swim to the nearby island to begin a new life away from Virtualia? Maybe.
And yet, beyond these frantic ups and downs — which are the price we pay for being made of night and day — I loved writing this article at the sound of waves, and pausing every paragraph to gaze into the distance, and hear my ancient water spirit whisper Thank You for this life.
THE POINT OF PARADISE IS NOW, NOT LATER.
The point of Now is an imperfect, messy love affair with life.
So, how CAN you play right in the middle of your most excruciating work day? Some-thing is better than No-thing. Something creates new neural pathways, strengthened by new habits. New neural pathways attract more circumstances in which they can develop. These circumstances end up mapping a new life for you.
But it must start somewhere. And in this case with a firm Yes to you and a smart No to all the limitations that keep you from doing SOMETHING just because you can’t do EVERYTHING.
Someday I’ll smash this thing, swim to that island, change my name, and send you perfect letters from the future. For NOW, I love my job TODAY, and it looks beautiful from HERE.
7. TAKE RISKS. CONSTANTLY STRETCH YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
Where there if FEAR, there is LOVE. It means you are investing a piece of you in something (or someone) you believe in, and you fear losing it. But if you don’t go through with it, you lose the love, and if you lose the love, you lose the heart, your deepest journey.
Unprecedented action is the backbone of creativity. Risks are the sine qua non for growth.
There is no stairway. You create it with each new step you take in the dark.
The discomfort, the stretch, the growth pains of creation come from doing things in a way you’ve never done them before.
If it weren’t unprecedented, there’d be no newness, no change, no evolution, you’d be repeating patterns in your old skin. There’s nothing revolutionary, disturbing or life-altering about stagnation.
When you answer your hero’s call to redesign your life, don’t expect to be protected by the familiar — there’s no insurance that can cover all the wonder you are capable of making. Don’t expect your usual safety net to reassure or catch you.
It won’t because it can’t. You’re on your own. And that’s exactly where you must be to evolve.
You need to be pushed out of your comfort zone, and venture in the no man’s land between the Now and Not Yet; you need to meet your higher self in the desert of who you no longer are and through the storm of who you’re trying to become; you need to let creativity build you a net on the way down. And trust that it will.
As Grandpa Emerson just texted,
“There’s nothing capricious in nature, and the implanting of a desire indicates that its gratification is in the constitution of the creature that feels it.”
Your desires are not random. They are the map your feet should follow. Your passion is no joke, it’s your most serious love affair with life. Whatever the pains of becoming, a greater gain is coming.
8. INVEST IN YOUR ASSETS, DON’T GET DISTRACTED BY YOUR LIABILITIES.
Italian economist and philosopher Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80% of results are determined by the 20% of causes.
Applying Pareto’s 80/20 principle to your life, art and business, 80% of your wealth (material, emotional, physical, spiritual… all areas of you) will be generated by 20% of your assets. Likewise, 80% of your productivity will come from 20% of your actions.
I consider an asset something or someone that generates more (love, wealth, life, peace of mind, creative possibilities) than what it requires. I consider a liability something or someone that generates less (love, wealth, life, peace of mind, creative possibilities) than what it requires.
This isn’t to say that your current liabilities may not, some day, become your assets, that you should just abandon everything that isn’t generating more right now.
The problem I see with many artistpreneurs — myself included — is that we are often confused as to WHAT and WHO are our assets vs. WHAT and WHO are our liabilities.
We are eternal amateurs. We go after what glitters and screams gold, and we ignore what actually is gold through everyday, committed and consistent ACTION + RESULTS.
If you combine this with our need for company or world-savior complex or impulsiveness or lack of training, experience and a solid business backbone, we often end up investing 80% of our time + work + energy + emotions + income in our LIABILITIES, and only 20% on our ASSETS. (Don’t you just want to punch yourself sometimes?)
Results? The cost of opportunity is way too high.
We lose all the creative energy we do not use, because our time is filled up with the 80% that uses us.
We ignore potential partnerships that could rocket-launch our ideas because we’re too worn out by the ones that turn each breath into a milestone.
We waste our precious hard-earned income by investing 80% of it in what doesn’t generate any, but further enslaves us.
We exhaust ourselves by filling up 80% of our time with micromanaging or shadow jobs or vampire relationships, trapped in survival mode on cruise control — and this slows us down in our work and mission, and further complicates our vision.
And ultimately, worn out by all the 80’s we can’t manage, we lose trust in ourselves and watch our dreams deteriorate, believing they were too good to be true.
No, no, they weren’t too good to be true. You were too scared to be true to your call. You were too distracted by your liabilities to let your assets help you break through.
Become aware. Make a list of WHO and WHAT in your life is currently an asset, and another of WHO and WHAT in your life is a liability.
This doesn’t mean you should completely let go of all your liabilities. It only means getting honest with yourself about WHICH 20% in your life RIGHT NOW accounts for 80% of your WHOLESOME wealth — emotional, spiritual, material, physical — and any other aspect that amounts to the full equation of You.
Remember, you are a full package. Include the WHOLE of you in any deal you make with life.
Start nourishing your ASSETS consciously, WITH INTENTION. And if you still must keep some liabilities, hoping they will evolve, at least push them towards the end of your list — Don’t let them take the first place in your day, art, work and heart.
If all this business talk is making you sick, consider this: The way you do one thing is the way you do ANYTHING.
Every relationship in nature — down to the atom — is a sacred transaction. There is no communication, no co-creation and no life at all on this earth, without a give-and-take exchange. If this is how nature — our source and mother and creator — operates on a millisecondly basis, then who are we to settle for any less?
You can survive on a one-sided investment for a while, but the point of you is not Survival — it’s a full, abundant, unapologetic, win-win Aliveness. A business, a relationship or any other creation based on survival is not sustainable. A promise of more life is not the life.
When I finally understood this principle and started detoxing from all the vampires in my life, my work and business took a major leap. So did my peace of mind.
I still have quite a way to go, and I’ve been humbled lately by realizing just how blind (and oh-so-ignorant) I’ve been and all I’ve lost these years through my liabilities.
But changing a whole way of life is a gradual soul business, and if there’s hope for me, there’s hope for you.
Let’s just stop lying to ourselves and get more pro at letting go of our lose-win investments — even with the hurt this shedding and these breakups bring along.
9. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY.
Best advice I’ve ever gotten from the voices: You want to be your own boss? Then start by treating yourself like your best employee.
You can’t create anything worthwhile on an empty tank. You can’t give anything unless you learn how to give it to yourself first.
So many of us, creators of all kinds with a superhero complex, who want to save or change the world in some way forget the Number One requirement to do so: changing or saving ourselves first.
My greatest struggle. My Achilles’ heel. My weakness any day. The one person I’ve ignored more than any other in this lifetime: Me.
We are our worst kryptonite. We self-destruct slowly and softly in the name of a person, an idea, a belief, a way of life, a job, a sense of accomplishment or security or worth, or whatever makes you stress so much over so little.
Counterproductive to our soul and body so we can be productive to the world? How does this crazy math play out for you? It nearly burned out my spirit and destroyed my health.
I don’t believe in selflessness or selfishness. Neither extreme seems sustainable.
How can you be selfless if you have a self and a deep need to nourish it? And how can you experience any connection, compassion and true empathy for others while buried in the selfishness of your ideas?
I believe in self-care. And I am trying to relearn this art I was born knowing.
Respect yourself when you are not sure how to love yourself. You are your best friend, doctor, boss, employee, the only territory you really have any power over, the truest author of your life.
If, like me, you can’t fully unplug and take more than a day off at a time, try resting like your heart, between each heartbeat.
10. TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEART. NOURISH YOUR SOUL. AVOID DRAMA. GET AND STAY INSPIRED.
Don’t waste your energy on drama vampires that deplete you: passing as mediocre jobs, people you feel you should be stuck with, beliefs that insult and dismiss your own soul…
Don’t settle for a smaller story than the one you are capable of creating.
Don’t fight the empty battles that malnourish your soul. Break free and build another world with your bare hands. Nothing is worth a dime without your heart fully alive in it.
Don’t take advice from anyone not living the life you desire. People living their own life are abundant. They don’t need to prey on others like parasites to thrive.
They are too busy creating their own world to stop and criticize or feed off yours. They will often encourage you to go after your dreams, however crazy or unlikely, because they’re also doing it themselves. And most will help you if they can.
Only people who haven’t accepted their own greatness will be bothered or threatened by yours.
It’s simple: If your doubters knew what they were talking about, they wouldn’t be talking… they’d be doing.
Look at the FACTS, ask the QUESTIONS, face the ISSUES head-on, don’t be seduced by empty drama that distracts you from the REAL TRUTH of you, the epic story in your veins still waiting to be written.
Surround yourself with the doers, get infused with their creative energy. Life is too short for wasting it on ghosts. Don’t let somebody else’s negativity, smallness or lack of vision sabotage your dreams, IN ANY WAY.
As grandpa Joseph Campbell just WhatsApp’d me,
“We’re not on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes.”
Seek to be around this energy as much as possible.
You slowly turn into a combination of the top five people you spend most time with. You become what you absorb on a regular basis.
So, kindly but firmly, fuck this shit, and walk away from all the vampires preying on your soul. Salute them with a poem and a bow. To each their own revolution.
The greater your influence, the harsher the critics. Let them talk, while you go be a work of art.
11. NEVER COMPROMISE YOUR VISION.
The Number One reason that makes you compromise your vision is, simply, FEAR. Compromising your vision never works. The ghosts of your greatness will come back to haunt you, even a million years later.
Everything you could have done, the people you might have loved or let love you, the places you might have seen, the adventures you might have had — if you just hadn’t given in to Fear and Smallness and Plan B’s and compromised your vision based on logic and the deadly traps of reason.
This, too, is Karma.
I’ve learned the hard way, that if you want to live an extraordinary life, you have to get rid of your plan B.
There is no just-in-case, no second best, no ifs or buts or maybes. The moment you let Fear give you B’s and C’s and D’s, a part of you will settle and you will not give your Plan A your all.
Yes, jumping from the highest place you can imagine requires you to leave all certainty and parachutes behind.
You want it all from life? Then give your all. Somehow a greater net is activated by the jumping.
If a specific outcome doesn’t materialize, don’t worry, there’s no such thing as No-thing, Void or Emptiness. Life, Love and Wonder will still take another shape. They are unstoppable (like you).
Because Plan A is not a thing, a person or a situation, you must hang on to at all costs (with bloody claws), even when you evolve past it.
Plan A an expansive way of operating, a paradigm that makes you squeeze the marrow out of life, keep creating beauty out of chaos, and be all you can be in any situation.
Plan A. Or Nada. Die standing for your vision — the life you want, the work, the art, the love. Never settle for the crumbs, the shadow or the vague idea of it.
12. TRUST YOUR (FUCKING) SELF.
I don’t want to curse in your face so inelegantly, but this last point almost fucking requires it.
We are afraid because we do not trust ourselves. We do not trust ourselves because we do not know our selves.
Would you trust strangers with your burning truth, craziest dreams or deepest aches — soul secrets you don’t even tell yourself out loud?
We are estranged from our desire, unknown suspects of wonder, unauthored masterpieces, scared of the wild things howling in us, feeling unworthy of the longing trapped within our bones.
Uncertain whether it really belongs to us or not, we are afraid our desire may either never materialize, or that when and if it does, it will be taken away.
We try to protect ourselves from our truth through the same scars left by the lies.
We play hide and seek with our real selves because we are not sure who we can find on the other side of this heavy curtain of shoulds, coulds and woulds, scripts and agendas the world has turned us into.
Creative action is the only way our soul can get a taste of our true nature and actualize itself beyond these bars. It’s the first leap into the dark, a desperate roar for freedom, a lamp that if lit daily, our feet will have no choice but follow.
YOU LEARN TO TRUST YOURSELF BY DOING. YOU GROW YOUR WINGS BY LEAPING. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY.
It goes like this:
You seize a possibility of something true and beautiful and necessary to your lungs. You let it find a home in your imagination and keep you up at night.
You light the candle of desire daily. You trust it with your heartbeats. You use your creativity and your resilience to turn it into fact.
You find a way through or around your setbacks. Determined. Trusting. Water-like.
Resist your doubts. Ignore your doubters. Sacrifice some things or people it turns out you actually can live without.
This heartbroken world doesn’t need more clowns or celebrities, it doesn’t need more pissed-off grown-ups, dream thieves, frowning or pretense from empty-hearted, superficial but successful people.
It needs curiosity and passion, storytelling and truth, uniqueness and variety, dreamers crazy enough to do.
The only success I know is mastery over your own soul, the greatest power is the freedom to create yourself anew, time and again, and turn your life into a work of art.
The only Yes you’ll ever need is waiting on your lips.
WHAT LESSONS AM I MISSING? GOT ANY TIPS TO SHARE?
PLEASE ADD YOUR INPUT TO THIS MANIFESTO IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.
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