At 10 years old I told my teacher I was either going to be an artist or an inventor. I had a vision of me in a chaotic studio, canvases and paint everywhere, sunshine bursting through the windows. And another vision with me in a white lab coat, bubbling flasks and whirring machines of unknown purpose busying the huge lab as I built Something Brilliant.
Either way, I was creating things. That’s my earliest, distinct memory of how important creativity is to me, something that’s been a constant in my life even though there have been stretches of time where I’ve completely forgotten, ignored or mistreated it, at heavy cost.
In cutting out one of the most vital parts of me I became someone I was never supposed to be, and had I not come to my senses I’d be a very different person today.
When you were 10 years old, did you have any idea you’d be the person you are today?
Did you think you’d have what you have, do what you do, believe what you believe? Did you think you’d have achieved what you’ve achieved, struggled how you’ve struggled or be limited by what limits you?
If you’re anything like me I’ll bet there’s a heap of stuff you’d never have put your money on.
So my point here is this:
If things continue as they are, who are you going to be 10 years from now?
If you’re not watching, you might become someone you don’t like.
Having a target to aim for can create motion, but movement without meaning can also create irrelevancies that are easy to get lost in, no matter whether you already know what you’re working towards or whether your aim is to figure out what your next “something” could be.
Those irrelevancies are fine in isolation, but there’s a point where they they pepper your experience with more damaging holes than you can afford.
And the price is your heart
Think about it for a moment. How many things were part of your life 10 years ago that are completely absent today? What things did you love back then that don’t even cross your mind today?
It’s bizarre and troubling to realise just how much things have changed and how many parts of your life no longer happen.
Pursue what you want, but remember that the texture and richness of your experience is what shapes who you’re becoming, not what you want.
You can reach your goal having become a monster. You can miss your goal having become an angel.
The process of becoming the person you’ll be ten years from now, five years from now, even one year from now has already begun. Your responsibility is to ensure your experience has the texture needed to help you become the kind of person you’d love to be.
What kind of person are you becoming?