The last lines of my new book, The 5 Habits to Mine Your Gold, read: “Act now, set yourself free, and make your life your art. Your art can live forever.”
If you want to make an impact, it’s time to understand the Connection Economy. This is well described in Seth Godin’s book The Icarus Deception, so named because he believes we have been brainwashed to live in an age that tries to scare us from standing out, shining, and challenging the status quo (‘don’t go too close to the sun!’).
We have been sedated by our culture and industry titans who want to keep us engaged in the thoughtless and non-creative so as to pose no threat to their industries making ever more profits.
1. “Art is what we do when we’re truly alive.”
You can create art. We can all create art. Being an artist is an attitude about your unique work and the contribution you want to make in the world. It is work that’s new, real, and important.
It can be painful because it forces us to be vulnerable, take risks, and it can fail. But if you don’t feel vulnerable or scared, “you’ve lost your best chance to make a difference” – AND your art can succeed, be valuable, and scale.
2. “SAFE IS NOT GROWTH.”
The Industrial Age has built a trap that has seduced us into being invisible and afraid to stand out. We settle by being obedient and comfortable. Our cultural dreams have changed to aspiring for security, compliance, the “more” monster (always wanting ‘more’), and the corporate ladder. This is the status quo that makes a miniscule percentage of people huge amount of money, and it depends on everyone else living on mute and in the safe lane.
What’s scarce is trust, connection, and surprise – these are the three elements of a successful artist. While creating your art may lead to vulnerability and failure, it will also lead to the joy of connection, breakthrough and humanity.
3. What matters now is:
Stories that spread
This is why I am in the process of building an online breakthrough community. Watch this space. I need genuine connection with others not Instagram and Facebook perfection and anyone serious about growing needs the same. High achievers have always needed a support cast. We don’t need more entertainment or more stuff. Too many of us are lonely and bored – especially after the Pandemic. “Be the artist we can’t live without who chooses to do work that matters.”
4. No one is going to PICK you to lead and create.
Sorry, but you are probably not going to be ‘discovered.’ Godin surmises that one reason many entrepreneurs have dyslexia (Richard Branson), ADHD (Gemma Styles – influencer and sister of Harry Styles) or are on the autism spectrum (Elon Musk) is that they grew up used to not being ‘picked’ for anything. You have to pick yourself and get moving. Confront your fears and start solving problems for people. Try, fail, try again.
5. “Creating art is a lifelong habit to practice daily.”
You’re only a success in the moment of the successful act. Then you have to do it again.
– Phil Jackson
The truth is, Godin’s message that you need commitment, passion, and guts to make your art is no different than Marshall Goldsmith’s message in his most recent book The Earned Life and David Goggins’s message in his most recent book Never Finished. If you want a rich and meaningful life, you NEVER stop going to the ‘gym’. You have to earn it every day. Just because you’ve hit a big sales target or run a marathon, these are great accomplishments, but they do not make an accomplished LIFE.
Your daily efforts also matter deeply because good work is now easier than ever to find. Good work is barely a meal ticket in fields of any significance.
6. Can you really create art?
On March 12th, 2023 at the Oscars, Best Director award winner Daniel Kwan said: “I never thought of myself as a screenwriter or a storyteller. I never thought I was good enough – I have self-esteem problems…my Imposter Syndrome is at an all-time high.” Yet clearly enough film experts and fans deemed him (and his co-director) good enough to be the best in the world.
In an earlier interview he talked of his film representing his own struggle to find his art and that he had to “crawl around in the dark and chaos, finding something worth living for, finding something worth fighting for.”
This is the spirit of making your art that Godin is speaking to and imploring us all to work on. He says that – unlike Daniel Kwan – it isn’t necessarily that you will win anything, but “at least you will have lived.”
Find a journey worthy of your heart and soul for your one journey and just take steps towards it. In the immortal words of Eminem: “Look, if you had one shot or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it, or just let it slip?” Take the leap of faith, model it to others, and teach bravery.
To making your life your art!
Founder & President
Matt Anderson International
1177 Oak Ridge Drive, Glencoe, IL 60022, USA
Phone: +001 (312) 622-3121