This is a series of musings from my big leather (really broken-in – to the point of broken-down) chair.
- Excellence is only achieved by the passionate. No one achieves excellence in any field without being passionate about it. I think that we have assumed that being passionate was a sort of intrinsic desire that people have about one specific thing in their life (i.e. Paul McCartney with music, Leonardo DaVinci with art), and that they would have never achieved greatness without finding that one thing that stirred their passion. On the other hand, what if these artists were, by nature, passionate people and would have excelled in another area had their opportunities been different? The key to excellence is surely passion – and here’s another observation: the key to building an audience is passion. People will follow passion… even misguided passion, such as that of Adolph Hitler. Perhaps we should strive to be passionate people rather than trying to find something that fires our passions. It might seem like a subtle difference, but it could make all the difference. It would help us live out the mantra, carpe diem. This phrase is commonly translated as “seize the day,” however, a more accurate translation is “pluck the day,” as in picking fruit while it is ripe. It is actually part of a longer quote from the poet Horace, which is: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero (Pluck the day, trusting as little as possible in the future). In other words, go for it today, there is no guarantee of tomorrow (my translation). What if we lived each day as if it might be our last? How would you live differently?
It is important that we recognize the responsibility that comes with this approach. Since people are attracted to (and will follow) passion, it is important that we direct our passions toward worthy causes. That should be a given. Still… imagine living a life in which you attacked each new day with passion and drive to do something significant, something artistic… something great! Sure beats “living for the weekend,” huh?