I was doing everything right.
I was reading all the right business books, followed all the right names on Twitter, name-dropped all the right people at parties, knew all the right buzzwords, followed all the right fashions and trends, had all the right opinions about all the right companies, voted for all the right candidates, supported all the right causes, sent out all the right “thoughts and prayers” at all the right times on Facebook.
Which meant, quite rightly, that after a decade or so of this I was bored out of my skull.
So to get myself out of the funk, the first thing I did was stop reading business books and start reading proper literature again- you know, the stuff one should have read in college but didn’t.
The second thing I did was turn off the damn podcasts and start listening to music properly again, the way I did when I was a young man. With mindfulness and intensity, not just something you put on for background noise.
What can I say? It worked. After a few weeks of this new regime, life was back in full color.
As an artist, telling people of the importance of art is part of the job. I do it, we all do it. But do we all do it for ourselves? Not nearly as much as we should, if we’re honest. We fall into the same traps that all adults do.
So that’s my advice: if life ever gets a bit same-ol’-same-ol’, switch off the usual suspects and take a deep dive into the best our magnificent civilization has to offer.
Beethoven, Louis Armstrong, George Eliot, WB Yeats, John Milton, Picasso, Matisse- people like that, we keep their names alive for a reason.
Thank you for this reminder, it’s very timely.