Do I want success?
I saw a lecture by Malcolm Gladwell on his book Outliers. He spoke about the 10,000 hours (10 years) rule of intentional and deliberate practice with skilled mentors. I love art. I’m going to an environmental school in the middle of nowhere in Vermont. What am I doing? I’m already years behind the years when my brain would have sucked skills up like a vacuum. I think I should transfer to an art school as I originally planned. That was my panic, but I thought well why is success in my goal? Then it goes into money – I don’t want to be poor. Well why? That would hurt my chances of doing art? Well why do you want to do art? Because I like it – it’s fun. Does fun equal money? NO! Unless you have the time and support fun does not equal money, it actually COSTS money.
I’m 18 and will lose a year at Green Mountain. So if talent is to equal success then I will have to wait until I’m 29, which still isn’t a guarantee if the environment is not intensive and delivering enough to allow me to hone my skills – to even know which particular art form I’m inclined to enjoy or excel at.
He spoke about exploiting talents. How do I do that? Well, that’s not even close to being entirely up to me. So I essentially need to shoot myself into an art community and hope for the best. But it gets me thinking that his 10,000 hour rule really applies to the cream of the crop. The cream of the crop is great, but unrealistic at this point. So, I could get less time in and still have a great life. I wish that I was well known, but in reality I don’t have the factors to give me that edge.
I don’t even know what I’m doing, where I’m going or what I want. Should I care? Personally I don’t, but social norms make me care. I just want to learn, travel, write, create and have fun in due time, but then there’s this gorilla on my back about success in the eyes of others, fame, and money. I h0nestly want a break to get better physically, mentally and emotionally. I just want to live.
I don’t feel like I’m living. All I’ve been doing is being scurried around and taught to plan and invest and think ahead. The curse of human brain power. I’m just planning for my death really if I follow this track. I’ll keep planning and hoping and wishing and saving – FOR WHAT?! It’s never for anything immediate. Why can’t I just pick something and just have fun along the way.
Kids, marriage, money, cars – I don’t care about any of this and I’m tired of caring about it. These are not the musings of a silly youth. I’ve thought about these goals for years. Goals that have stressed out many people I know. And then I look at people who do what they care about and they get along. This whole success thing is a dangerous game of chance. Most of us are going to be average and we can’t just accept that and find other means of happiness and purpose. Either you win the lottery, or suffer your whole life trying to win it. To be with the big shots to be on top. The top is the top for a reason – not many people get up there. So why try so hard when you can be defining things and living – JUST living.
So all of these demands and expectations and tasks keep me up at night. I can’t stop thinking worrying and calculating because there’s just too much to consider! So many potential things that I don’t care about but I have to care if I am to survive without all the struggles of the working class! I hate working for other people – I’ve seen how stupid and painful it is – but out comes the reasonable retort – somebody has to do it! Yeah, well I don’t, but I don’t have those factors to save me from that. It’s like trying to get ashore from the middle of an ocean with all these treacherous buoys in the way. Money success fame money success fame – how to get it. It’s senseless, but where else can I go? No modern society is free from these ridiculously painful and tedious goals.
All the other adults I speak with try to sugar coat the point of this life. You’ll have a family. Just hang in there. It’s only one more [insert month/year/obstacle here]. You can make it. I don’t like taxes but I just get through it. But you have to have a job. An income is important. You have to. You have to. What other choice to we have? That’s the way things are.
The structure of humanity feels more and more alien to me as I get older. The rift grows larger.