Nobody cares what you think and you’re going to die

That’s a pretty bold statement to make, isn’t it? But it’s absolutely true; people really don’t care about what goes on in your head, they care about what you do about it. You know that saying, ‘put up or shut up’, that’s what I’m talking about. In this instance, it really isn’t the thought that counts. For fuck's sake do something with your ideas or they will die and so will a little part of you.

It’s all about results. If you think to yourself, ‘I want to be an artist’, but do nothing with that thought, the result is exactly the same as if you’d never thought it at all. You’re just some guy who works in a bank, or manages a phone shop, and occasionally catches some half-remembered wisp of happiness thinking about how it feels to be up to your elbows in oil paint. I don’t want that for you. You don’t want that for you.

However, if you dream of being a great artist; if it gives you joy to be covered in paint, or creating beauty from nothing, then please, go and do it. You owe it to yourself & you owe it to the world. As the genius Barbara Sher puts it; ‘what you love is what you are gifted at.’ If you have been given a talent, who are you to not use it?

'Someday' isn't coming

I've said this to so many people (actually, I say this to everyone), if you have a dream, something you’d really love to do ‘someday’? I have news for you – ‘someday’ isn’t coming, it’ll never get here. If something makes you smile every time you think of it, then do something about it, and do it now.

Action is crucial.

It doesn’t matter what you do, how large or small the action, it’s the actual doing that matters. You want to be a great artist? Take a sketchbook with you everywhere, paint everyday. You want to travel the world? Book a trip to somewhere you’ve never been before, even if it's just the next town over. You want to write a book? Commit to writing 500 words a day, no matter what.

Start small, but start anyway. Do not allow yourself to be limited by anything – No money to travel? Sign up for couch surfing, sell some of your stuff, hold a fundraising event. No time to make art? Get up an hour earlier, stay off the Internet & stop watching the goddamn TV.

There's more than one way to skin a cat.

If you feel limited by anything standing between you and your dream, sit down with a piece of paper, alone or with friends, and write out 50 solutions to your problem. They can be as crazy as you want, like writing to Bill Gates and asking if he would sponsor you whilst you spend a year photographing beetles in Cambodia. Or they can be as simple as asking your mum if she would mind taking the kids for an hour on Saturday mornings so you can get your 500 words on the page. Once you have 50, write 50 more. Allow nothing to stand in your way.

Ev Bogue puts this very well in his post How to Be Successful (Like James Franco): look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself, ‘you are going to die. Get out there and do some great work’. You are not immortal. You will die. Get out there and give your gifts to the world, do your great work, leave your legacy.

Because if you don’t, well, you haven’t really lived at all, have you…


If you liked this post, you'll love my Fearless Creativity Workbook. It's designed to get you thinking about the ten essential elements of a creative life. Click the button below to get your hands on a copy.
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