Man, wouldn't we all love to work for ourselves? Like a Boss, said Andy Samberg.
The idea of self-reliance has stitched this newsletter together and kicked me out of bed to be something more than nothing for the past year. The writer in me says to do it, much like how the author of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Lewis Stevenson found inspiration in his lucid dreams.
And, as the landscape of our economy changes and the dim dream of it recovering to the pastel beauty of the Fifties fades, we have to start to realize that the Future is here. As freedom creeps into our daily lives more and more, security seems a less likely option. No longer can you clock your time in like some kind of lazy robot and expect anyone to just take care of your needs. We have to wake up and hunt.
My ears were perked and my eyes buzzed when I stumbled on the Harvard Business Review's recent article, The Future of You. It reinforced what I've been seeing the steps to for quite a while: the world is changing. Work is no longer a corporate set of handcuffs. You have to be flexible and calculated. That's good for some, bad for others. Essentially, the Harvard Business Review broke future economic success down to three tenets: self-branding, entrepreneurship, and hyper-connectivity.
If it sounds familiar, it is because it is exactly what Seth Godin was saying to me and I was saying to you when I was nose-first in The Icarus Deception. Without the obstacles of reaching an audience or gathering start-up money, what is slowly becoming most important is how to make a meaningful connection with people just like you. We're realizing the great potential of the tribe again.
The most difficult part is that in a world of instant change, making your dreams come true is not always done in lightspeed. You are not ready to win the lottery. You are not ready to be Justin Bieber. People crack under the pressure they didn't train to expect or earn. It would be the equivalent of Peter Parker trying out for the New York Giants. No chance.
I'm not prescribing back-breaking work; I'm suggesting thought. And sometimes, honestly, that's hard stuff. With work piling up for me lately, I found myself slowly zoning into the static of hours of television to wind down and anxiety in my half-asleep dreams to help people with their websites. What we all need is a beacon, a North Star, a dream, something that reminds us that when we have a free moment, we should and would and will work on it. Because sometimes freedom is not the most freeing thing. Henry David Thoreau probably said it better way back when: “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” What are you willing to sacrifice?
Know your route and believe in yourself. I started reading Kevin Smith's autobiography Tough Shit and early on he hawks this gem: "There's a trick to being whatever you want to be in life. It starts with a simple belief that you are what or who you say you are. It starts, like all faiths, with a belief - a belief predicated more on whimsy than reality. And you've gotta believe for everybody else, too - until you can show them proof."
To be anything in this world, you have to be yourself first. When connections become more important than anything, you'll have to rely on yourself first. No one finds buried treasure without digging. Writing for me is about the sources it is born from. In this newsletter you can see that clearly. It is a regular reminder to kick myself in the ass and dig up some stuff. And then I stumble on a quote like this and I'm forced to rub my chin and scratch my head and pat my tummy and keep moving on:
“To be perfectly original one should think much and read little, and this is impossible, for one must have read before one has learnt to think.” - Lord Bryon
Until next time...
I explode into space.