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Opportunity is an effect, not a cause

The most dangerous attitude a creator can possess is that of someone who is waiting to be given a chance.

Opportunity is not a prerequisite for creating. It is a product of creating.

The methods and means by which an artists is able to do his work is no less a part of the work than any of the other elements he takes to be essential to his art.

The writer must not only write stories. He must also write the story of how he gets to be the person who writes stories. The musician must not only compose songs. He must also orchestrate the conditions of his life in a way that makes it possible for him to be a person who gets to write songs. The inventor, in addition to inventing things, must invent a lifestyle that permits him to be an inventor.

Creativity is a non-permission based enterprise. Creativity is not the sort of thing that somebody else can let you do. The only people who “get to create” are the ones who take responsibility for creating a context that allows them to create.

You don’t have the things you need in order to create because you have to create the things you need in order to create. That, too, is an aspect of the craft.

As Seth Godin said in a lecture called “Thinking Backwards”, “You’re not gonna get picked. Dick Clark has passed away. He’s not going to call and put you on American Bandstand. It’s over! And it’s being replaced by the awesome scary responsibility of picking yourself.”

Don’t wait for “your turn.” It’ll never come. “Your turn” doesn’t exist until you decide to do something that transforms the world.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Actually, it was Dick Clark who hosted American Bandstand. He has left the planet, but I believe Dick Van Dyke is still here. Someone should tell Seth Godin, who claims to be a marketing guy, that the more appropriate current, 21st century comparison would be Simon Cowell. From a really old person who remembers – and watched – American Bandstand.

    1. “Actually, it was Dick Clark who hosted American Bandstand.”

      That was my typo, not Seth’s. I’ve corrected it now. Thanks for pointing that one out. Good catch.

      “Someone should tell Seth Godin…”

      Could that someone be you? Sometimes the best person for the job is the one who feels passionate about the job’s importance. Interestingly enough, Seth Godin “claims” to answer all of his emails, so there may be a decent chance you’ll get through to him.

      As for me, I don’t feel passionate about his analogies. I feel passionate about learning and growing. And no matter how outdated someone’s analogy may be, I’ll focus on what I can learn from it while I leave the rest behind. For me, it’s ultimately not about Dick Clark, Dick Van Dyke, Seth Godin, or Simon Cowell. It’s about each individual’s right and responsibility to step up and become the predominant creative force in their own lives.

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