I'm not here to sell you a box of nutritional supplements aimed at amping up your brain power. Nor am I here to teach you how to meditate, to calm your anxieties and fears and let the best, most grounded version of you out into the world. And I'm definitely not going to try to get you to pay me to coach you through your business plan or your career path or your personal growth trajectory.
I'm going to give you all of those things for free!
Well, I'm not, actually. Mostly, dead people are going to do it for me.
All I'm here to do is tell you that, whatever problem you face, whatever thing in your business or personal life or dreams or reality that is stagnant or eating away at you or on fire – whatever you need, you can find guidance in art. Someone has already stared down your mountain and left you a map of how to conquer it.
Not sure how to solve a technical problem? Let it swirl around in your brain while you take in two hours of intricate, demanding, but delicately perfect piano performance. Let the great composers show you, consciously and subconsciously, what it means to take a set of tools and manipulate them to become alive, to bend to your will but also to live on their own. Let an accomplished performer show you where dedication to your problem will take you: to mastery. Be inspired by perfection, by innovation, and by perseverance.
Confronted by old attitudes and customs in your industry, or, more commonly, in your client's sphere of operation? Are you looking to be a disruptor? Seek out contemporary visual art. Be overtaken by the level of dissonance emanating from the works of the great modern visionaries. Be jarred at each new development. Bask in the fearlessness, the renegade expression, the need to be heard. Know that you are the same animal that created these works. Know that you, too, can disrupt – can be seen, can be heard.
Most commonly today – are you feeling overwhelmed? Do you feel isolated by your own internal struggle, by your fears and anxieties and dreams? Find solace in great theatre. Bear witness to your own life through the suffering, foibles, and victories of characters on stage. Laugh at the repetitiveness of the human experience. Take in not only the story, but also the experience of watching people lose themselves in character (then subliminally confront the masks you too wear). Be empowered by releasing your own ego for a couple of hours in the comfort of darkness, surrounded by your community. Reconnect to the beauty of the human spirit. Be humbled and calmed. Be delighted.
Art is an enormously valuable tool missing from the majority of young hustlers' personal toolkits. Curating our lives has become so mainstream we forget we're doing it, yet we've forgotten to cultivate our human spirits. We eat a low-gluten, high-natural fat, mediterranean-style diet. We listen to a hundred different podcasts about business and wellness and personal finance. We have a carefully planned high-impact workout routine that provides us with optimal energy to crush it at work. But we still feel crushed by the enormous weight of the personal, emotional, and philosophical problems people have faced since time immemorial. We stoke our physical and mental fires in increasingly effective ways, yet we've left behind an entire realm of personal development built for us over hundreds and hundreds of years. We've refined the human but left behind the humanity.
So for all you hustlers, entrepreneurs, innovators, influencers, disruptors, grinders, new-agers, and stars of tomorrow, let me invite you to take your own development to the next level by tapping into one of our world's greatest resources. Art is for you. It is the missing tool for your carefully curated personal toolkit.