‘As soon as you try something new, you’ll get resistance.’*
‘[L]iving for something can be mundane – and therefore far more sacrificial, because seldom does anyone else notice. You just go on living, beating the drum for the thing you’ve chosen to value above all else. Genuinely living for something, day after day, is much more valuable than looking for a blaze of glory at the end.’**
Chris Guillebeau writes about how, as a young person in church, he’d sit through some high-octane delivery finishing with some variant of the question, “What’s worth dying for?” He’s come to the conclusion that a better question is, “What’s worth living for?’
This is a more difficult question. When we’ve decided what we want to live for, we’ll need to make some changes, and change brings resistance, from without, and most of all, from within.
Walter Brueggemann claims there’s nothing more upsetting to a regime of order than passion. What if the prime regime of order is our own life, towards which we’ve made a number of tradeoffs?
‘The gift of freedom was taken over by the yearning for order. The human agenda of justice was utilised for security. … And in place of passion comes satisfaction.’^
Personal order, personal security, personal satisfaction, but we long for more.
When we begin to open ourselves to there being more, that there is something we want our lives to stand for, we meet the resistance.
First comes judgement: Who are you to think you can do that? Isn’t that someone else’s responsibility? You’ll never make it.
Then comes cynicism: Who cares? The world won’t get any better? Shouldn’t you think about yourself firstly and foremostly?
Finally comes fear: This could ruin me. I’ll be the laughing stock. What will happen to me.
We need to figure ways of taking on the resistance on an everyday basis, to grow the newly found passion before it evaporates. Frans Johansson asks What is the smallest executable step?^^ Pixar’s Ed Catmull talks about short experiments.*^ These allow us to try, fail, and learn. Invaluable.
When I look back on my own journey, I realise this is how I’ve made progress to be. Not some seamless leap. But many small steps, sometimes stumbling, sometimes progressing, but over a long period, a journey of possibility results.
Everyday provides us with many opportunities to try out our passion in small executable steps and short experiments. We don’t know what might emerge from these, but something will, and everyone can do it.
‘Remember this the next time you moan about the hand your dealt. No matter how limited your resources, they’re enough to get you started.’^*
(*From Michael Bungay Stanier’s The Coaching Habit.)
(**From Chris Guillebeau’s The Happiness of Pursuit.)
(^From Walter Brueggeman’s The Prophetic Imagination.)
(^^From Frans Johansson’s The Click Moment.)
(*^From Ed Catmull’s Creativity, Inc..)
(^*From Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit.)