Forget the next chapter... what's the next PROJECT? Sometimes working as an Artist can be scary. Being in charge of my own time and my own projects can be creatively draining. I have creative blocks, doubts, mornings when I wake up and I'm not inspired to start anything new. What's next? How do I move on to the next chapter?
Perhaps someone reading this is not having any success yet. Maybe you want to start the first chapter. Maybe it's just so unclear what's next and it's giving you anxiety. I am here to tell you, you're not alone. I have been there so many times. In my experience, the answer is so simple that it's complicated. Many people who have been following my career and reading my captions and posts know that I believe in God. Im not going to start preaching so if the word God scares you, just bare with me. In my personal experience there is a God who has a bigger plan, and i'm just going with the flow. The major key here is not the God part its the going with the flow part. The more I try to control my own destiny, the more trouble I seem to have. The more I try to predict the future, the more anxiety I have. No im not telling you to sit back and do nothing; Im telling you to go with the flow.
Something incredible happened to me yesterday. I am on the tail end of my Tampa trip and a friend picked me up for a late lunch. As I get in the car she turns and says to me, "Hey, Big T just hit me up and invited me to sushi in Brandon with him and his wife. Want to go meet them?" My first instinct says no. Brandon is far... I had a plan for myself. My plan was to do this lunch real quick, then get dropped off at my other appointment. That was MY plan. I wanted to instantly say no. Even though "Big T" is a friend of mine who I hadn't seen in over two years, and my other friend clearly wanted to go... in my own little self centered world, that was going out of the way. You know what I did? I said yes. Would it take a few extra minutes? Yes. Was it my original plan? No. Was it a part of a bigger plan that maybe I couldn't see? YES!
Fast forward to lunch with Big T, not only did I get to meet his beautiful wife and his 1 year old daughter (who was also beautiful and I couldn't help but to exploit her on Snap Chat) Me and T ended up discussing my Basel show in December. Turns out he works as a regional manager for this huge company in south Florida and it's looking like they're going to jump on board as a sponsor for my show in December. I had no idea what he did for work; Nor did i view this as a business lunch. That's just how it played out. This is what tends to happen when I go with the flow. That's the beauty of life, we have no clue what's going to happen!
How can great opportunities arise if we don't let them? When I have this false concept that I am in control, I become my own worst enemy. Especially when the creative blocks come. The feelings of anxiety and self doubt can really eat me alive when I have the mindset that I am in control. In those moments it makes me feel like I am in this alone. I've learned that I need to be open to the opportunities life throws my way. Especially ones that don't immediately present themselves as opportunities. For me this means practicing a few key things: open mindedness, honesty, empathy, and willingness. . Willing to go with the flow! Empathizing with others, because maybe my plan isn't the only plan. I am open to that! When i start going towards that negative head space, I can go resort to these key practices.
Going with the flow can be as simple as going to the movies when your friend calls. Maybe you're obsessing about what's next, having anxiety about work, so you say no. I can't, I don't have time. Meanwhile you do have time! You're not being productive, you're going around in circles; GO TO THE MOVIES! There is a better chance you'll be inspired at the movies then you will when feeding into your own negative thoughts.
I personally believe that God has a plan for me but you don't have to believe in God to go with the flow. If you can find a way to trust in some greater plan, call it the universe or coincidence. Just find a way to go with the flow. If you have a plan for yourself and you are putting in the work to achieve your goals, you MUST remain open minded. Things will NOT always go as planned; i promise. When you learn to embrace the bumps, the hiccups, the creative blocks, and the left turns, that is where you will find inspiration. That is where you will find growth. That is where you will learn lessons and become better.
Imagine a world where everything went your way. That would actually suck. You would have no reason to learn and no reason to grow. Imagine a world where you were your own God. Nothing in your world went wrong... you said something, and it was. What kind of character would that build? What kind of character would you have? You might turn into an egomaniac. You might actually have no use for personal relationships with others. How sad! I have seen people who treat their goals and aspirations as if they're in a contest. It's only about them; they step on others to get where they're going. This is not the way to start the next chapter, this is like tearing out the last page you just wrote. Once you accomplish your goals you're not going to be left with a beautiful piece of literature... you might get to that last page but you'll be left with an empty book! What good is that?
Now imagine every time something goes wrong you reflect on what went wrong and you find a lesson to be learned. You just turned a negative to a positive; You LEARNED. That is what life is all about. Often during the dark times if I dig deep and try to learn something, it sparks new ideas! New inspirations! These new ideas often spin into the next page or even the next chapter. I have also had new ideas come to me at the movies! Movies I was dragged to! Life has a funny way of working itself out when we let it. Good things happen when you embrace the unknowns and go with the flow.