“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. there is on a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” – Martha Graham “There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is on a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”
– Martha Graham
“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.
And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.
And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
– Haruki Murakami
“Sometimes the greatest miracle is being able to face exactly where you are and say: This is where I am, no running, no hiding. There’s gold for me here, and I intend to find it, no matter what.”
“Choose one thing and become a master of it. Choose a second thing and become a master of that. When you become a master of two worlds, say, engineering and business, you can bring them together in a way that will a) introduce hot ideas to each other, so they can have idea sex and make idea babies that no one has seen before and b) create a competitive advantage because you can move between worlds, speak both languages, connect the tribes, mash the elements to spark fresh creative insight until you wake up with the epiphany that changes your life.” – Justine Musk
This one’s for the moments where you’re just awash with fear and are overcome with, “The fuck am I doing with my life?”
Dreams are cheap and easy. They come hot and fast. As any entrepreneur or craftsman will tell you, there are dreamers and then there are doers. The magic and ensuing madness lie in the execution. Sometimes the energy required to launch or re-launch— to get up when you’re down, to rise out of bed every morning—can be a challenge. And yet, you have to.
You must do the things you cannot do.
It can be demoralising and frustrating: to have a dream in your heart and want to be at Z when you’re stuck at B or probably worse, X. I used to tell the interns that there’s no such thing as microwaved success. You just have to do the work yourself.
The best example I can give of this is every time I work out. I have on occasion, ended my walks literally the minute (sometimes second) after my goal, for example 30:01.
Like, that’s it. Done with this shit. DONE. I can’t take a second more.
That’s all I have in me for the day. So I watch the green ring on my Apple Watch light up and get grateful for the moment, and thank my body for hanging in there. Sometimes that one second is about grace. Good for you for having shown up at all.
And if you’re in a dark night right now, good for you for being brave with what’s making you feel stretched and uncomfortable. Good for you for even having the guts to step into the arena. But back to that one second…
Perhaps the real breakthroughs come when you hang on just for another second more. Just one more minute, just one more day. Hang on.
Let’s have a glass half-full moment and choose a kinder, better thought.
What if you’re still in the thick of your lesson because you haven’t yet mastered what you need to know? What if this isn’t all for nothing.
Maybe one day you’ll be able to connect all the lessons you’ve learned on your journey and they light up your darkest nights like constellations, guiding you to your truest north.
Till then, do yourself a favour and choose better, kinder thoughts and, in the words of Wilson Phillips, hold on for one more day.
“If you believe the thing you make is really good, and really works, and if you believe this thing can help people, make their lives better, and give the planet a bit more positivity and peace, and you are NOT doing everything possible to tell people about it, that’s not just ‘bad marketing’ and that’s not just you ‘playing small’.On some level, you not sharing your gift, well, that’s immoral.” – Long Distance Love Bombs
Image by Georges Antoni and Windy Aulia for Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore