Every child is an artist. The problem is how to
remain an artist once he grows up.
Pablo Picasso[featured-image single_newwindow=”false”]
It was the seventh game of the World Series. Bottom of the ninth, two outs, and the bases were loaded. The entire stadium cheered wildly when I came to bat. It didn’t take long for their cheers to exploded into unbridled ecstasy as I rewarded their expectations with a grand slam to win the game. World champions!
Yes, it was truly a highlight of my incredible career. I also caught a miraculous pass to win the Super Bowl, shot the winning free throw in multiple NBA games, even won the pole vault at the Olympics with a broomstick and a tree branch.
Yes, a combination of an overactive imagination and lack of friends made for some amazing achievements in my own mind.
I was just thinking about those moments as a child. The one common denominator of them all was that I always won. What child ever imagines himself missing the free throw or striking out in the World Series? Maybe I’m an oddball, but in my fantasies I was always the hero.
Then I grew up
The real world has a quick way of alerting us to the fact that we are, indeed, not a hero. In the real world, we strike out, miss the shot and drop the pass. In the real world, it truly is a lousy page of scribbles, not the art masterpiece our parents told us it was.
Day after day, step after step, we begin to lose the expectations of our childhood. We resign ourselves to the possibility that we might not be everything we dreamt. Perhaps you can remember a moment when you had to admit to yourself, “This is as good as it’s going to get.”
We take the job, buy the house, and begin to live the life we were dealt. And I don’t mean to say our lives are not worthwhile or happy. For most of us, that’s the problem: we’re happy. We never feel the urge to give up who we are to pursue who we might have been.
What if we could regain that feeling again? You know, the expectation that we were going to light the world on fire. The conviction that great things were ahead of us. What if we could rediscover our inner artist?
It might be simpler than we think
Think about those days. Think about who you expected to be, and what you wanted to be. Think about what excited you. How long has it been since you sang in the shower with utter abandon? How long has it been since you imagined yourself doing something truly memorable?
Just close your eyes and let the child live again. Experience, if only for a moment, the magic of total expectation. Remember what it feels like to win the World Series, even if only in your mind. Take that feeling with you throughout the day. Sing the song, write the poem, dream the dream.
I’m not asking you to change your life. I’m not asking you to quit your job. It doesn’t cost anything. I’m just asking you to find that artist again.