Doing What You Love


Some people want to be artists?

Some people want to be actors?

Some people want to be singers?

Some people want to be authors?

Some people want to be musicians?

Then there is everyone else who want to be rich and famous and the arts is just a means to an end.

The arts and being creative are not like sports. In sports the most important thing is winning, it is grueling work, it requires pain, it requires not only doing your best, but being better than everyone else. That is how those who want to be rich and famous see the arts. It is a struggle. There is a lie in sports that says it doesn’t matter if you win or lose it is how you play the game. If that were true, they wouldn’t keep score, if that were true, they wouldn’t pay the best players the highest wages, if that were true, their heroes would come from losing teams.  But it is true in the arts.

Winning in the arts is doing the thing. Desire has nothing to do with success. Experiencing the moment of creating is the means and the end. A dance may compete, but if they don’t feel it, if they don’t put on a show, they won’t win. Practice for the actor results in pulling off a performance that suspends reality and the audience is caught up in the play or movie or tv show. The desire to do the thing, is just as, if not more important  than the reward for doing the thing well.

Here is the inspiration for this post. Last night I went to a local wrestling event. For some of these wrestlers this is a stepping stone to something more, to others this is it. This is their chance to live out a dream to fulfill their desire to wrestle. It didn’t matter if they won or lost, what mattered is they had fun while they did it. The desire to wrestle is enough to go through the pain of wrestling, of performing, of doing the thing. For that I am grateful and wish them continued success that comes from doing the thing and enjoying it.

I just want to clarify, most people do play sports for the love of the game. I know a lot of men and women who will play softball until their bodies do not work. Hell, maybe I am wrong about sports, maybe it is like art, maybe passion to do a thing lives in every activity a human finds that puts mind, body, and soul on fire to move, think, do or feel. Maybe, just maybe we need to remember that the means, the journey, the act of doing a thing, is the reward, especially when it comes to passion.

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