On The Art of Doing:

Sometimes when I sit down and the words don’t come, it’s important that I force myself to just start writing. The only cure for writer’s block, curiously enough, seems to be actually writing.

Funny how that works.

I don’t worry about mistakes, or if things don’t quite make sense. I just sit down and write whatever comes to mind. It’s called free writing.

Before you know it, the words are flowing through you. You are no longer a writer, or the master of your own words. You’ve become, in many ways, a conduit. You’ve become a hollow conductor by which creativity and creation can direct its magic through.

You’re just a corpse carrying a soul, after all.


 

The more I think about it, the more I think that the mentality behind free writing is applicable to life. Not only is it applicable, its the essential mindset behind having a fulfilled life.

How many of us have that vision of our greater self in our heads, and yet we sit around waiting for that perfect idea or plan to formulate before we take a leap of faith on ourselves?

The idea of the exact right timing, or the perfect storm of situational circumstance is just a form of resistance that we create in order to stay comfortable.

It’s the bubble we blow to keep ourselves safe. Safe but unfulfilled.


 

We would love to film the documentary that would change the world, we just need to find the right camera, or get the funding, or find the right time to get away from the office for long enough to do it.

We would love to start that new business venture, but we’re just not sure our idea is different or trendy enough to really catch on. We’re not sure if we’re ready for such a financial or personal commitment. We’re not sure if we have the expertise to make it work.

We would love to write the next New York Times best selling novel, but we’re not sure if we can find the time between work, school, or the kids to sit down and write. We’re not sure if our storylines are all that new and exciting, or if we even have a storyline to start with. We’re not sure if we’re proficient enough in the rules of writing, or in the language itself.


 

This little stamp could be yours! All yours!

We would love to get out of our line of work and try something new, but we’re just not sure if we’re too old of a dog to learn new tricks. We’re not sure if we have the time and patience to go back to school, or take a training course in the evenings. We’re not sure about the money.

We would love to get married to that man of our dreams, but we’re just not sure if the timing is all that great. We would love to settle down with our fair Juliet, but how do we really know if we’re ready to face the difficulty of a relationship?


 

And yet some of the best documentaries I’ve seen have been filmed on little hand-held camcorders, or used footage that was entirely borrowed from other sources. But they just made it work, piece by piece, little by little.

Walt Disney couldn’t get a job as a newspaper cartoonist, but didn’t stop drawing. He drew and drew and drew. He made cartoons until the source of creation breathed life into them. He had no more entrepreneurial talent than you do, and yet look what his simple idea created. 

Rockefeller wasn’t born a multimillionaire. He wasn’t handed a massive company or inheritance. But he knew he was born to sell. So he sold. He sold candy door to door and did odd jobs wherever he could.

Hemingway didn’t come from a long ling of writers. He didn’t attend a prestigious university and earn an English degree. But he wrote. He also drank a lot, sure, but he wrote. He wrote words and he wrote them often.

So, what made Michelangelo a painter? What made Steve Jobs an entrepreneur? What made Bo Jackson an athlete? What made Hemingway a writer? What made Julia Roberts (or was it Sandra Bullock?) in Pretty Woman a prostitute?


 

 

Definitely Julia Roberts….right?

All of these people made money doing these things, but that wasn’t what made them who they were.

Michelangelo was a painter because he painted. He loved to paint and he did it with all of his waking moments.

Bo Jackson played. He went out every single day and he played. Half the time the sport didn’t even matter to him, he just played it.

Julia Roberts’ character was a hooker because she hooked (hookered?).

Hemingway was a writer because he wrote. He was also a drinker, because he loved to get pants-shitting drunk.


 

 

Doing the things he did, and doing them well.

You get the point.

Do you think Steven Pressfield considered himself a writer only after writing The Legend of Bagger Vance?
Or was he a writer for the nearly two decades of writing he did before his first professional gig?


 

There’s never going to be that perfect moment to do something, or someone, you love.

You’re never going to be fully equipped to do it.

You’ll never be expert enough in your own mind.

But you will always have that little voice that calls you to do the thing that makes you who you are.

And by listening to that calling every single day, you’re already a writer, or a painter, or a hooker.

And you’ll find you’re pretty fucking awesome at it. So do it.

Be good to each other,

~MG

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What a Time to be Alive!

What a time to be alive, indeed!

What a time to be alive!

In a time when parents no longer take responsibility for the education of their children.

A time when the children – those who will someday lead us into the future – are subjected to the cruel and inhumane punishment known as public school.

A place where the boring, limited, and inadequate lesson plans leave young scholars uninterested in learning and intellectual growth.

A place where those children who are blessed with strong spirits and who are full of passion are often reprimanded for their inability to sit and learn in such rigid settings.

A place that values the memorization of information over the learning and understanding of it.


getty_rf_photo_of_boy_writing_on_blockboard
[Source: http://www.webmd.com ]

What a time to be alive!

In a time when an infinitesimal portion of the population controls the vast majority of the world’s wealth.

A time when the majority of the population lives below the poverty line.

A time when many are completely reliant on government subsidies to survive, although that welfare rarely covers the expenses of basic necessities.

A time when the middle class is consumed in a cycle of barely keeping their heads above water, being considered too rich for financial aid but barely making enough to pay the bills.

A time when lawsuits are rampant, lawyers are the destroyers of the law, and justice has been twisted into a profit driven business.

A time when alcohol abuse amongst the masses is commonplace, serving as a popular escape from the grey clouds of life.

A time when the self-indulgent elite live for material accumulation and thrive off petty gossip during their elaborately wasteful dinner parties.

A time when breakfast and lunch are eaten on the go, or neglected all together, as the daily grind demands early mornings and busy lunch hours.

Our time is more valuable than our health.


235
[Source: http://www.homeless-oftheworld.com ]

What a time to be alive!

A time when economic factors are driving farmers off of the family farms they’ve worked for generations and into the crowded cities.

A time when those in power are forced to spend wastefully on unneeded construction projects to create low-skilled jobs in order to keep the flawed economic system above its breaking point.

A time when theoretically there is a chance for the upward mobility on the social and economic ladder, but in reality many children will earn less and live worse than their parents.


New York Construction Workers Lunching on a Crossbeam
“Lunch Atop A Skyscraper” 29 Sep 1932 — Construction workers eat their lunches atop a steel beam 800 feet above ground, at the building site of the RCA Building in Rockefeller Center. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

What a time to be alive!

A time when conservatives vilify and berate religions different to their own, and who campaign against sexual orientations different to their own.

A time when the dire economic status of many people pushes them towards religions that promise salvation and riches after their death, in exchange for absolute and radical servitude during their life.

A time when the equal status of women is a hot point of argument between religions.

A time when minorities are granted superficial rights, statuses, and titles but are never truly treated as equals.

A time when the act of marriage is openly mocked, and adultery is so rampant that many people believe that no one can be faithful.

Adultery
[Source: http://www.listland.com ]

What a time to be alive!

No, I’m not talking about today.

I’ve just described the daily life of Romans during the Antonine Dynasty, nearly 2000 years ago (138-193 AD).

Those social, educational, religious, and economic issues led to the collapse of Rome.

The world crumbled into 500 years of darkness.


the-course-of-empire-destruction-thomas-cole-1836
Destruction [1836] by Thomas Cole.

But these issues all seem a little familiar, don’t they?

Of course they do, because they are the very same issues we struggle with today.

Are we really evolving as human beings?

Or is the path we’re walking one we’ve already walked before?


Luckily for us, we are not doomed to repeat our mistakes.

As a few warrior poets close to my heart once wrote:

There’s still time to change the road you’re on.” – Jimmy Page / Robert Plant, Stairway to Heaven.

Maybe it’s time we learn from history, rather than just repeat it.

Be good to each other,

– MG.