When I was in high school and thought about my dreams of becoming a fiction author, a part of me would always butt in and say: “Wait! This isn’t deep enough. How can I change the world writing romantic suspense, psychological thrillers?”
I really wrestled with this.
Elizabeth Gilbert talked about this in her book “Big Magic,” where she said (and I’m paraphrasing) anyone who thought their creativity ought to be doing something big and important, to please don’t.
We don’t need more of that. Just do what you love and don’t worry about the rest.
So, while I agree with Elizabeth that the last thing we need is more people lecturing us around deep messages, I also have realized that art has a very important role.
And, when I mean art, I mean all types of art — from Shakespeare and other forms of “literature” to trashy romance novels and mystery books, from classical music to rock and roll, from Picasso paintings to comic strips, from ballet to hip hop and everything else.
I believe art is the language of our emotions.
Art not only allows us to express our emotions when we create it, but it provides a safe container for us to feel our emotions as well. Consider how our emotions come to the surface when we listen to music or read a book or watch a movie.
So many of us are numb. We’ve spent years running away or burying or hiding our fear-based emotions. We don’t want to feel our fear or grief or anger or shame. So we do everything we can to NOT feel it.
The problem is, when we numb or bury our fear-based emotions, we also numb or bury our love-based ones.
As humans, feeling our emotions is important part of our life experience. Not feeling our emotions isn’t living. It’s existing at best.
Art gives us a safe place to tap into our emotions. It gives us a chance to feel those emotions. And, that is super important. There are so many unhappy people who are half living because they can’t feel their emotions any more.
The biggest gift you could give someone is a way to help them feel something. Even if it’s only for a moment.
So, if you have a creative passion you’re not doing because you’re somehow ashamed it’s not “deep enough” or isn’t changing the world or something, I want you to stop thinking that.
It’s not your job to change the world with your art.
Art is the language of emotions. Regardless of what you create, you’re helping people connect with their emotions.
And, that may be the most powerful act you can do to change the world.
(And if you’re wondering exactly how you can get everything you want simply by flipping your perspective? Check out the first episode here.)
If you liked this episode, you may also like my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.