We are all artists.
I recently listened to a podcast-conversation with author and entrepreneur Seth Godin (find a link to it here). Godin speaks about some of his greatest lessons he has learned in life. I found his words truly inspirational; it made me want to immediately pick up a pen and write about absolutely anything. It felt like every word that Godin spoke got to me; I wrote down more than thirty different things I found especially great. My favorite point Godin made was that everyone is an artist; we all have the potential to create and make something special.
After hearing Godin’s podcast, I can connect to many of his ideas. For instance, in my English class, we are pushed to create something, usually our various essays. After we create our pieces, we share our ideas with the rest of the world, but not for the rest of the world. Godin believes that as writers, we shouldn’t “do work” for our viewers and readers, but we should “do work” for ourselves, not for ratings or popularity. As we write, we as students are supposed to make our work memorable and matter to other people. We need to “find the faith”, as Godin describes it, in our writing, education, and lives, which will help us create something special. I often find myself writing about topics I truly care about, such as in my previous blog posts about my water polo team and peer tutoring experiences.
Listening to what Godin had to say in his podcast made me see what I really want to get from my writing and creations. I can’t be afraid of failing or being wrong. I need to realize that if I have a chance to lead (whether it be on my water polo team, in the classroom, or in my community), I need to take it. I have this newly-found drive to “break down barriers” and deface the social norms that society holds us captive in. I want my writing to resonate with others; I want people I have never met to read my blog posts and tell their friends about it. I want my readers to learn something from my writing and know that I am sincere and passionate about what I write; my readers should feel the same emotions I feel about my topic.
Like I stated before, I really connected with Godin’s point on how we are all artists. When I’m peer tutoring for the special education class at my high school, I see that all those kids are artists and they provide me with inspiration and happiness. When I was younger, I used to sing a song at my church where one of the versus was “fill my cup and let it overflow.” The special ed. students fill my cup with new ideas, which I then take and pour out into my essays and blog posts. They have no idea that they are artists, painting pictures in my mind and shining light on new ways of thinking. Each and every one of the students I help makes an impact on me. They each have their own special characteristic that makes me smile. For instance, there’s Darren who tells me I have nice elbows. There’s Charlie who everyday stops by where I sit at lunch, says hi to me, and talks about his day. And there’s Elyse, who has the same love for everything Disney as I do. They are all unique artists in my life.
As I scroll through my various social media feeds, I see so many people trying to be like everybody else. “Genuine” is what connects us, whereas “fake” is just simply for enjoyment. You can have a conversation with someone just for the sake of talking to someone, or you can talk with somebody and connect with them, learn something, and take something new from the conversation. I have a lot of friends who are my “fake friends,” there only for entertainment and looks. Then again, I also have many “genuine friends” who talk to me about life, leadership, love, and trust. We should all strive to be the genuine friend.
I am also known as the “positive” and most spirited person on my water polo team. However, I’ve realized that negativity is what drains my positivity. It’s the people who tell me to “stop being so cheery” and find my optimism annoying who bring me down. Negativity is fraud of the happy soul; those who are negative don’t deserve any success. I’ve learned that if you go into a game telling yourself you’re going to lose, you will and you won’t give your best effort. If you say to yourself, “We can do this together! I believe that we will win!” you have a good chance of playing a great game. You need to connect and amplify the positivity for it to reach out to others.
Even though I found nearly all of Godin’s points clear and vivid, I still wonder to myself, how we can all be proficient and real marketers? How can we imprint everything Godin talks about in primary schools or in all levels of schools? How do we differentiate between a real artist and a cog? What distinguishes an innovator and an industrialist?
Every day I learn something new in my English class. I don’t just learn about literature, grammar, or writing, but I learn about life, and I believe it’s helping me find myself. Through writing and reflecting, it is becoming clearer to me who I am and who I want to be. I want to be an innovator, a leader, a connector, and an artist. I find myself writing about what I’m passionate about and finding new ways to express my emotions in my work. I’m becoming not just a better writer, but a better thinker.
A shift has gone on.