The goal isn’t just to deliver the information – it’s to capture the imagination.*
The people who keep going when something threatens to stop them are those who have bigger stories to connect to beyond the information of their present predicament, enabling them to bring their imagination to bear on the resent reality.
These stories are not fixed but unfolding, they not only involve flourishing for one’s self but for others too. In this, they’re infinite in nature, including others for as long as possible, and, when the rules become recalcitrant, finding better ones.
(*From The Story of Telling: What the Best Communicators Do.)
Thank you for allowing me to be a human being.*
(St Clare of Assisi)
One cannot know the rivers till one has seen them at their sources; but this journey to the sources must not be taken lightly.**
Nan Shepherd was describing actual rivers in the Cairngorms but I snatch her words for human lives, how we must go to the sources of our lives to understand them, to be the people we can be and want to be.
These journeys are hard; there are many temptations to face on the way.
Temptations not to begin to look more closely, or to give up when it becomes demanding, to switch the journey for an easier one, to end up thinking too much of ourselves, or too little.
To make these journeys, though, is what it is to be human.
(*St Clare of Assisi, quoted in Richard Rohr’s The Divine Dance.)
(**From Nan Shepherd’s The Living Mountain.)
At least it feels like this. People who seem to be seeing clearly in what appears as darkness to us.
In our universe, humans are only able to use around 5% of existing light without technology.
It’s a reminder for me that in the human family, we need each other to be able to see more than 5% of what there is to see.
What this also means is that we can see what others can’t.
Though this can can feel so mundane and ordinary that we underestimate how powerful our seeing is, thinking everyone must be able to see what we see.
Perhaps they can’t.
Perhaps the thing to do is to hone what you can see with what others see. Those who do this chose a powerful way:
‘They see with their mind’s eye a different future.’*
( *From Seth Godin’s blog: Make an impossible dream a future reality.)
Or, do what you love, love what you do.
When love is involved in what you do then you have an advantage.
The universe is expanding all the time and, in some smaller way, as products of our universe, our lives are expanding too.
Love accelerates this.
We sell ourselves short when we argue that there’s something magical about creative work, something that can only happen if we’re born to do it.*
Energy produces talent. Energy to keep going, wrapping hours of practice around some passionate curiosity. There’s nothing magical about it, but it can be the closest thing to alchemy you can know, the thing that will only exist if you make it so.
There’ll always be energy to do this, if you want it.
(*From Seth Godin’s blog: Born to paint?)
It’s the work we quietly get on with when no one is watching that makes people care to connect. Visibility alone won’t get us to where we want to go.*
Titles […] point backward in time. They have their origin in an unrepeatable past. Titles are theatrical. Each title has a ceremonial form of behaviour.**
The wholehearted way is one we walk when no-one else is looking, doing hat matters most because we are denying ourselves if we err.
In these days of social media where someone can be “followed” by millions, we can be tempted to think that numbers equate to meaning. What we need more than anything else, though, is for you to keep working at your wholeheartedness, at what will make a real difference in the world, that opens the future:
‘The only essential is this: the gift must always move.’^
(*From The Story of Telling: Building a Following.)
(**From James Carse’s Finite and Infinite Games.)
(^From Lewis Hyde’s The Gift.)
But extraordinary contribution is rare. It’s when we surprise the system, and perhaps ourselves, by showing up with something unexpected, fart beyond the common standard. […] Extraordinary contribution changes no just the recipient but the giver as well.*
Pain and joy, belief and unbelief, agony and ecstasy go together.
When something really good comes along, it is likely that it not only changes things for those who are open to it but has already radically altered the person bringing it.
It’s what makes life life.
(*From Seth Godin’s blog: What is extraordinary contribution worth?)