Art demands everything and gives nothing

There are over a million podcasts currently available, with over 30 million episodes.

At this point, you don’t start a podcast to get famous.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.

A life long pursuit of writing won’t guarantee a spot on the NY Times Bestseller list. And neither will playing the guitar give you a spot in the Rock Hall of Fame.

Art demands us to give our most precious resources of time and attention, with no promise of giving anything back.

Yet, when we surrender ourselves to our art, we can get better at it.

It’s a pursuit, not a destination.

There’s magic in making something that wasn’t there before. It’s what brings artists back to the table again and again.

Practice over routines

2020 has demolished our routines.

Going to the gym at 6:00 am, starting work at 8:00, eating lunch at your favorite restaurant, dropping the kids off to soccer practice…all of these are routines.

Routines change with the schedule.

Practices are completely different.

Praying is a practice. Publishing one blog post per day is a practice. Exercising, being a vegetarian, staying debt free, committing to a marrage…practice.

Practices are a commitment. Contributing to a long arc.

Your routines mean nothing without a practice to perfect.

Training to see the world as it really is

Our brains have evolved to be afraid.

When we hear a stick break in the bush, our brain assumes there must be a sabertooth tiger out to get us.

Of course, in our modern, industrialized world, we don’t have to be afraid of sabertooth tigers anymore.

Yet, our brains can’t make the distinction when we are inundated with negative media.

We assume and believe that the world must be going in the wrong direction. That it is worst today than it was yesterday.

That isn’t true though. Every category whether we are talking mortality rate in children, education, clean water, sanitation, antibiotics and medicine, rates of poverty, wealth, wellness…every category has improved for us as a species.

The rate of growth isn’t linear either unlike what we have seen in human history up to this point. The rate is exponential. So fast, that our brains are missing it. And because of the dark matter of the web, we are training ourselves to focus on the negative while ignoring reality.

The world is the safest it has ever been.

When we step outside the box and see, the world is an abundant place. There is enough. We are not there yet. We have a far way to go to get the other 3.5 billion caught up to what many in the first world have, but every day we are a step closer to bending the curve towards equality.

One size fits all mentality

One size fits all mentality tries to fit for the most people they can.

So, obviously, they pick the average while ignoring the edges.

Except none of us are that average.

Trying to make solutions fit for everyone means they won’t work for anyone.

Unique problems need unique solutions.


If you’re not disappointed from time to time (especially when people don’t notice your work), then you are not producing enough of it.

Every artist deals with rejection and will go unnoticed. Especially at the beginning.


Every time someone stands up and shares something about who they are, the world becomes a better place.

Keep making art.


The Grateful Dead has produced over 400 songs with 30 albums over a 30 years career.

Do you know how many #1 hits they produced?


And yet, they have sold over 35 million albums and played 2,318 concerts.

It is estimated that they have played to 25 million more people than any other band.

Yet, in so much popularity, the masses didn’t get what it was they were trying to do.

This is what artists do. They choose to make a sound that isn’t appealing to everyone. Only to someone they were trying to change.


Don Quixote, the second-best-selling book of all time, has sold over 500 million copies.

After that, you have A Tale of Two Cities with 200 million copies and The Lord of the Rings with 150 million.

And if you were to look at their Amazon reviews you will still find one-star reviews.

The best selling books of all time and people still find a way to hate them.

Does that mean Cervantes, Dickens or Tolkein should not have written the books because someone wasn’t going to like it? Does it mean they should have waited to publish it until they made it perfect for everyone who reads it?

Of course not.

Perfection is a place to hide. Don’t fall into the trap of making things perfect for everyone.

If you make it for everyone, you make it for no one.

Even if you are fortunate enough to write a best-seller, most people won’t read it and many won’t like it.

[It is estimated that there have been 5 billion copies of The Bible that have been produced. And yet, there are many people who still don’t like it either.]

Not getting picked

Not getting picked for the basketball team or for a job or to be published…

None of these are a reflection of who you are as a person.

They didn’t pick you because of your resume.

Because the piece of a paper wasn’t what they were looking for.

What’s important to remember:

They don’t know you as a person.

How could they?

You are more than any set of accolades, failures, titles, wealth…

You are unique beyond measure.

Go do something great like you were born to do.

How preferential treatment forms

According to Dunbar’s Law, the max number of relationships a human brain can process is 150.

Yet, when we scroll through the most active Facebook accounts that number is much higher.

The problem is that our brain can’t separate who’s important. The brain thinks what happens with the Kardashians is just as imperative with what’s going on with your co-worker you see every day.

They are all lumped in the same category.

What this means is we tend to treat people in positions of power as friends even if we have never meant them.

Which also means we are more likely to give this person or group the benefit of the doubt.

This is the problem when we give everyone a microphone and a channel. We have to sort through the cruft to find trusted sources. Unfortunately, this is going to take time to sort, given the number of dark patterns of social media.

Write how you talk, talk how you write

The best way to write is to write how you talk.

But how should you talk?

Talk how you write.

With intention. Being mindful of the words you choose to describe events as they unfold. Using language that is more inclusive. And, of course, words that are kind.

Taking the time to really explaining yourself and your action, why you did what you did, exercising vulnerability is a skill and it will help you go a long way.