This post was inspired by a book called Steal Like an Artist by Austin Klein.
Silence. It is a beautiful, but also disastrous thing. Think about it. When you meet someone who is quiet what do you think about them? You might think they are shy, or depressed, or that they are awkward. Silence gives people the space to make assumptions about who we are. This leads to the question: why are we quiet?
I think the reason we are quiet is because we are scared we won’t be accepted. We are afraid that our work won’t be good enough, or what we have to say isn’t smart enough. I think sometimes we become so obsessed with finding ourselves to start our work, that we sometimes never start. For example, my blog – I put myself out on the internet not only because I have something to say, but so I can find something to say. My work is my writing. Sometimes it’s embarrassing to put my work out to the public, but I know that this is the only way to get better. I think I am obsessed with the idea of validation, but I think the best thing to remember is that validation is for parking.
A powerful quote to me is, “Find the most talented person in the room, and if it’s not you, go stand next to him. Hang out with him. Try to be helpful.” I love this because it applies to everything. Talent comes in every shape, form and color. It is so versatile and endless. Even if a person’s talents are not the same as you, you can learn from them. But, remember to be around people who will be honest with you. We can all use critique, and we need people in our lives to help us, because without it we won’t grow.
The last thing I want to say is to remember that nothing is original. Everything in this world was a stolen idea from something else. For me, I know that sometimes I discourage myself because I think that I am unoriginal. Believe me, remembering that everyone has a mentor, and everyone takes ideas from someone else will really take a chip off your shoulder. There is a funny saying that goes, “complain about the way people make software by making better software” said by Andre Torrez. This means, to me, that when we do choose silence, we should use it to create. To learn something new, to explore, and prosper.