Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pass The Drowsy Pills

(Pre-Script: This post will speak to you, or it won't. However, there is a 37% higher chance it WILL speak to you if you read it as the song, " Everybody's Changing," #54 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...)(...still waiting...)
So there I was, and I said to myself, "Self," because that is what I call myself, I said, "Self, there is something wrong here."
If I have learned anything so far in life it's that excellence is often passed over for mediocre and status quo. You could be excellent at something, really excellent, and you could do it well, and you could put your whole heart into it. But often you will find that the guy who only does what you do well on a mediocre level is the guy who makes money at it or gains popularity from it. It is almost like he or she is rewarded for letting society at large keep their intellect asleep. Wouldn't want to awaken the senses, now; Excellence hurts people's brains. It makes them think, examine, and a lot of people are not ready to think or examine, and will punish you if you so much as show them a mirror. A lot of people would rather say "I don't get it" and go buy the latest pop artist's album with unoriginal and often non grammatical lyrics about the same fluff things over and over, no layers, and unoriginal musicality, then listen to Mozart or Beethoven and exercise their brains. Exercise hurts. It's the only way to get to the endorphin rush at the end, though, and only if you push hard enough. But in the moment, it hurts, and we are a very in the moment culture. Make no mistake here, people; I am a fan of fluff, good fluff, but there is a way of creating fluff brilliantly, so that even the blandest fluff has layers and originality, and I love pop, but there is a way of creating pop that is original and does not just "pop" like a bubble when it lands on any solid surface. To do it well is tricky, though it can be done, it has been done. This, too, is a form of genius.
In the movie "Good Will Hunting," there is a scene where the Professor says to Matt Damon's character, Will, something to the affect of, "There is a huge difference between what you can do mathematically and what I can do, but most people can't even tell the difference."
So we all have to decide: Do you do what you love, and what you do well, to the deepest fullest level that you know, without compromise, knowing full well that you may never make a name for yourself in your lifetime? That it may not be until you die, and someone unearths your personal effects, that they sigh and go, "Oh, I get it now. " IF EVER?! Or do you sell out, and maybe gain a world of financial wealth and/or popularity now, while no one will remember your name in 25 years, except for maybe on a "Where are they now?" television special?
The third choice is to ride on the coattails of someone else's brilliance. This is common. An original idea is recognized and applauded, so others simply copy it, may even have a modicum of success from it, albeit cheated success.
Now, an exception to this is if you can recognize someone else's brilliance, and put your own spin on it, and use it as a spring board to create your own brilliant thing. This is tricky, but can work, if done correctly.
"But Michelle,"
interrupts my Dear Imaginary Reader,"
"Michelle, how do we know if we are doing the thing correctly? Whatever 'the thing' is?"
Dear Imaginary Reader, I have exhausted my words on the subject. How far you want to take your brilliance is up to you now.


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