“I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.” – Edward “Duke” Ellington, Born Apr. 29, 1899.
Hey, guess what? Everyone has problems. Big whoop.
What do you do about your problems? Take them? Endure them? Or do you put them to work? As motivation. As fuel.
If you're not yet doing the things you want to do, and making a good living doing exactly that, why not?
Because some people who can't find the time to work manage to find the time to complain about how they're not doing it yet.
They find the time to go endlessly searching online for people who are doing it, but they don't reach out to those who can actually help.
They instead find other people who are also not doing it, but wish they were. They become codependent and parasitic. They feed off each other's sympathy – instead of starving that shitty instinct to just sit back in surrender.
And maybe they could live comfortably in that state of complaining. Settle for being merely entertained by simple distractions, but never CHALLENGED.
And therefore never SATISFIED.
But they think you get credit for just having the dream. They're wishing. They're hoping. “One day, I'll have an idea. One day, I will actually do it.” And the never-gonna-be vampires praise them and pat their back for keeping them company in stagnation.
Look, the effort it takes to do productive work is largely the same as the effort it takes to grouse and gripe. Every day, you can do the things you dream of doing and build upon that until it can support you.
Or you can do something else.
I love TV and video games and comic books. But instead of indulging in those right now, I'm here, writing this to you. And I'll reward myself with indulgence later, when the work is done.
But I don't mind the work.
Because this work is my dream. I made time for it over past years. I make time for it now. I feed it the energy that I might give to other things. But the fact is I love doing this. This IS indulgence. But it's also productive.
How can you take the energy you're currently using to avoid living your dream and repurpose it?
What can you do today so that you're still having fun, but it's furthering your true pursuit of happiness? It's not buying something. It's not consuming something.
It's in MAKING something, and SHARING it.
Instead of complaining, posting on this website or that one – about how much you hate this or that, create something. Something that another person would find of value. And then share it with them.
Do that every time you feel like you have some anger or resentment or sadness or whatever. Convert that emotional energy into output. Twist it around and put it to good use and then tell people how you did it.
Do that and report back.
<!—- lagniappe So, an important thing to do if you want to turn some excess negative energy into a creative work is to pivot it into something that will leave you AND the reader better off than they were before. Guys like Ellington can just turn blues into Blues and leave it at that. Some people like sad songs after all. But we aren’t artists - we need to move moods to ones that suit our commercial ends. Here’s some thoughts. 1. Include your Instead. If you’re mad at something in your industry or work practice, go ahead and rant. Chances are, others have the same problem and can relate. But include what things should be like “instead” - even if it’s just a suggestion. Think it all the way through and give people a potential positive on the other side of the negative. 2. Solve the Problem. If your gripe is based on having encountered some obstacle, figure out how to overcome it or at least avoid it. Unlike the above, instead of just pitching a vision of what it could be like instead, we actually implement a solution and teach it to others. Here you funnel that energy into attacking the problem, and then report back later. 3. Keep it Secret. Write to yourself. Get it out of your system. Work it out in a different medium like paint or clay or drums or whatever. Vent it without showing it to anyone if it’s a pure dead end. When the mood shifts, THEN go work on something for your audience, because that hopeful afterglow is a great mood to inject into anything. Hope these help - make all your moods productive, and get it done where others would quit and just whine. —->
1 thought on “Failure and Bad Feelings Can Be Burned as Fuel – and They Produce Powerful Work”
Failure should be viewed as an "Option"
Can bring wonders….
I have felt this.