Are we dead, yet?

Journal

Every once in a while, do you get into these weird fits of creative frustration?

The kind that totally wreck you, like how biting your tounge can throw your entire equilibrium off for days?

Do these unscratchable itches< make you lash out at the people you really should be holding close or encourage you to skip your morning bike ride after all?

Can you trace these… I dunno… let’s call ’em “episodes”… to discernable catalysts?

Alive people are constantly changing; hopefully improving – often decomposing – always room for improvement. Alive people enjoy the progress they make; they relish in the growth and really dive into the moments they’re living.

Sometimes it’s meeting someone context-shifting, and other times you get system shock from the momento mori of an unexpected loss. You read about that kid from your graduating class in the New York Times and think, “That idiot accomplished WHAT?!?”

And then you cast a love/hate glance at your half-baked-ideas book and wonder what the hell is keeping you from your own personal press release.

There are times when it’s not people, right? You read a mindshattering poem or watch wind blow across the weeds in the field outside your window. Art can do this. Or a really good basket of french fries. So can war.

This is probably one of the most frightening things you could do to youself.

These catalysts make you question your productivity – your creative output. Sometimes they stem from the fact that you aren’t measuring up to your own standard… even the lowest standard you’ve set. You want so badly to be building right now. To catch up.

How’s your life project plan coming along? Are you where you want to be right now?

The thing about trying to design lives is that you can’t rapidly iterate through multiple versions. The prototype is all you get.

Birthdays are your nemesis because they impose an arbitrary measuring stick. You’re XX years old, chief. How’s that life of yours going?

So you you look back and try to ask yourself if you’ve done ok so far or you see the pile of drawings you’ve labored over for hours – you might think they suck. (Honestly, they probably do. )

Look around right now and try to figure out if you’re happy; the scary part happens when you realize you have no idea.

Sure you may think you are happy. Hell, you might be the happiest you’ve ever been in your entire life. But have you maxed out on happiness? Is asking that question a sure sign that you haven’t?

Every cell in your body will be replaced within a year.

If you only get one chance at the whole sum of the life project, let’s break it up into bite-sized, managable chunks.

What you can do is iterate over the moments. This moment you have right now. Is it a good one? No? Why not? What can you do to make the next one better?

Perfectionists go crazy with this. You can’t ever reach perfection because you are the sum of your imperfect previous moments.

But alive people will always try to get there, especially rabidly insane perfectionists.

Alive people are constantly changing; hopefully improving – often decomposing – always room for improvement. Alive people enjoy the progress they make; they relish in the growth and really dive into the moments they’re living.

Don’t like what I’m saying here?

If you are alive, you are revitalization personified.

However, if you are as happy as you claim, you may as well be dead.

“Happy” People that can’t think of anything they could do differently with their lives are creatively dead.

Being perfectly content means you will resist change. Resisting change is death.

Put on your brave face, jackass, and tell me how you couldn’t be happier. You and I both know differently.

And if you insist on telling me how you are 100% in bliss (i.e. you don’t want to grow), well, frankly, I don’t want to know you.

I don’t make friends with the dead.

Own up to it. Right now. (Pssst. You aren’t there yet, chief. Try a little harder.)

Come on. Fess up. Don’t you have that little itch to scratch?

If you do, let’s get to scratching it. If not, I hope you have a fantastic life in your little, stagnent, happy, numb-world.

How does reading this make you feel?

Embrace it for a second.

Now go iterate on that moment.