Are you afraid of change? Am I or Am I becoming? When to stop working toward the future self and to enjoy the present more.
Becoming an artist of life and designing your life. life engineering. I first heard this expression while listening to a podcast by Lavendaire. I remember I loved the choice of words: artist of life. Because if you are or know an artist, it is true that you have to detach from what is expected from you and just do your own thing, but in fairness, this could easily apply to anybody and what is expected from each one of us.
LEGITIMACY OF YOUR ‘SELF’
Recommended Podcast: Magic Lessons by Liz Gilbert
I listened the other day a podcast by Liz Gilbert `Magic Lessons´ which is a podcast from his book Big Magic that I am reading at this moment. In the podcast, she coaches or advice creative people while they try to express themselves in different ways. It is an amazing podcast and I recommend it greatly.
In this episode, she interviews this young poet that loves to write. But she does not see herself as a ‘Poet’ yet, so she applies to 10 MFA programs, and she gets a rejection letter from each one of them. After that, the young poet stops writing, as she feels that after being rejected by the so-called ‘professional writers in the institutions’ she probably does not have the `talent’ to write.
This is something that kills me. I have experienced this myself in other forms, and see many people that do not do something just because they don’t do it to the standard of whatever is fashionable or revered in that moment, country. But the lesson here is that to let institutions, school, society tell you who you are is simply a huge mistake. If you like to do something, just do it and do not try to do it to the standards of whatever standard or taste level has been pre-arranged because these do change. It is people, artist, who don’t care about it, who change them.
But the lesson here is that to let institutions, school, society tell you who you are is simply a huge mistake. If you like to do something, just do it and do not try to do it to whatever standard or taste level that has been pre-arranged because these standards do change. It is the people, like you and me, the artists, who change them. The institutions, only follow them to stamp the good work, and usually, quite late I might add.
When I started to paint I never wanted to show my paintings to anybody. I have alway painted because I enjoyed the experience, not because I was looking for some kind of reward or recognition. But I felt shame. Shame because when you paint in this case, you may be compared whatever artist the person you are talking to admired in school, the last museum the visit, etc. People think that to be a great artist means, to follow a pre-set of rules established by the really ‘now’ recognized artist of all times and anything else is just non-sensical.
Well, many amazing and recognized artist these days, experienced all this in their times. Vincent Van Goth, Pablo Picasso, Bran Stocker, James Joyce, Agatha Christie, Herman Melville and so many others.
As much as they try to control, institutionalize and regulate art, this is an innate experience of human beings since the beginning of times so it is irremediably tied to change.
FEAR OF CHANGE
We live in a society that is really afraid of change. Change is only acceptable when you are a child and is seen as something good. But the minute you step into adulthood, it starts to unfold its negative connotations. You are supposed to look for stability at all costs, to settle down and so on. That is probably ok for some people but it is quite unrealistic. Who is to say that at some point in adulthood we are going to have it all figured out and we are not going to change at all?
We work for future goals based on an abstract idea of our future self, but after a few years we are not even that same person, so why we plan so much not taking into account the inevitability of change beyond our control?
Daniel Gilbert (a Harvard psychologist) talks about this in his TED talk about the future self. He explains in his opinion, how to avoid some of the mistakes that we make when trying to please this concept of future self we all have.We have a fundamental misconception about the concept of time
GOOD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN YOU MOVE
I have been a planner all my life. And to be honest, it is quite a shock to work so hard for your future shelf only to get where you wanted to get and realize you are not even the same person anymore and you do not care about what you cared ten years before. Even if you don’t want to change, ‘Change’ will come and get you, so to speak.
I find it quite funny when they ask you at interviews who you want to be in 5 years. I always think to myself, oh boy, who knows?! But I get why they ask this question in interviews. After all the dream of all employer is a person that can offer the skills for the job and the stability to perform it for a period of time.
These days, I defy change, I explore it and try new things for the sake of it. I find it more fulfilling that to sit down on the fictional idea that my life is gong to remain the same. This way at least you can have some fun with it.
TAKING DECISIONS THAT ‘DO NOT MAKE SENSE’
And speaking of exploring and having fun with change, comes the moment when you start taking decisions that ‘do not make sense. We live in society, with friends and family that love us and know us. But they also have an ‘idea’ of us, with a defined set of qualities, flaws, etc… We share most of those ideas with them, whether we are conscious of it or not. The challenge is to defy those ideas about yourself with them and with yourself. Sometimes we do not try things out because of shame, as ‘it is not us’ because we do not feel comfortable with the new look in the mirror.
I think it is important to detach from whatever idea we have of who we are supposed to be and just be more pragmatic about things, and take some decisions that do not make sense, try fun things, even childish things just for fun.
Hope you enjoyed the post!