My wife and I have this great idea. We want to build a free concert series as an outreach to hurting people. We’ll sing a bunch of songs, some on the radio and some obscure, but the purpose will be to get people in touch with their emotions or their spirituality or their love for one another and do so for free — as a service to our community.
We don’t want to preach our views on stage or force people into our mindset or way of thinking — we just want to bring people together for a free show and create an environment where people can speak openly and build community.
Yesterday, we were sharing this idea with a friend of ours. I discussed the idea, and the meaning behind it and how I envisioned it would work while we drank coffee in this wonderful new coffee shop in Bloomington, MN. I answered his questions and left the conversation feeling that he was responsive. I properly illustrated my passion and he responded with a smaller degree of passion.
In my experience, this is natural. To my wife, she found this to be unfulfilling. She made a comment on the way back home.
“Do you think people are really behind us in this?”
And I couldn’t help but think she nailed it.
She keenly detected this difference in level of passion. We had more of it, and our friend had less of it. She felt unsatisfied because she wanted to share a passion with a friend and have them respond with even more passion than she had.
And there’s a reason he didn’t respond that way.
Some days I think there are only two types of people in the world.
People like me, who overanalyze everything. (bad)
And people who are too busy doing and living and being to really even realize (or care for that matter) about what others are thinking. (good)
The truth, I’m sure, is more complicated than this — but there’s something to be learned in this black-and-white polarized view of the world.
Generally speaking — people who barrel ahead generally get further in life than those who inch forward, analyze, redirect, inch again. And we like to make fun of the barrelers, don’t we? We like to look at those dream-chasers as ignorant, silly people. You know who I’m talking about — the ones who quit their jobs on a whim to open a business, or who move to another city/state/country with literally zero prospects or job leads or apparent reasons.
And yet, even when those who barrel come back home with a life in shambles, we still feel jaded that they did something.
I’m all for analyzing and planning and preparing. But at some point, these things become a crutch — an excuse to not move forward and implement the plan. At some point, you just have to barrel.
These people, these barrelers, they understand something about the world that us analyzers don’t. They get that people are never going to see what they see — so rather than trying to justify or explain or reason with people who are at best going to mildly agree — they do what it is they want and deal with the consequences as it happens.
People are never going to be as passionate about your dreams as you are. It’s like a mathmatical law of the universe.
You have the vision. You have the dream. To you, it’s crystal clear.
But everyone else can only catch a glimpse of it until it’s finished. And even when its finished, they might not be able to fully appreciate it.
Think about a form of art that you have literally zero capacity to perform. For me, any type of drawing or painting.
If a painter came up to me and desribed their vision for this wonderful serene realist work and how it was going to change the way that realist art is performed or viewed — my response would be something like this:
“That’s cool! Do it!”
In their head, they see a vision. In mine, I’m seeing some mix of Rembrant and Picasso, and then realizing that Picasso was an impressionist, and then thinking about just how little I know about art in general.
So the trick — the real trick — is distinguishing this difference. Because even when this friend of mine shows me this earth-shattering world-shaking painting, the true meaning of it might still be lost on me.
And that’s not because the painting isn’t earth-shattering. That’s because I’m art-stupid.
Hear me on this.
No one will ever be as passionate about your dreams as you.
It won’t happen. Ever.
And that’s not a problem with you or what you accomplished.
Make art, music, films, novels, poems because you want to create — because you have something to say and you need to get it out. Dream big, not so people will get behind you. Dream big and press forward and by natural consequence people will BE behind you.
Be passionate about your work and others will be passionate about it too.
And if you feel yourself wondering “Does anyone else really think I can do this?” I’d like you to shut that voice up. Call your mom, call that uber-supportive friend. Let them calm your nerves by telling you that you’ll change the world.
Or just ignore that stupid voice entirely, because what does it know anyways?
And barrel confidently forward.