Monday, June 3, 2013

Pain Is Not Necessary

“Action is eloquence.”
  William Shakespeare
“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”

"I would say that I'm not scared. Everyone has the ability to hurt. It's the choice that matters.”

In case I wasn’t clear in my previous blog, let me be clear now in regard to the subject of pain and art.  The message is this: 
Pain is not a prerequisite to creativity.
Artists, of any kind, do not have to suffer.
(By artist, I mean anyone who is expressing his or her gifts to the world in any form at all.  This includes writers, teachers, dancers, improv comedy instructors, entrepreneurs, therapists, singers, painters, construction workers, accountants, coffee merchants, lawyers, doctors and tribal leaders.  I’m talking about anyone who realizes that he or she has a gift that is meant to help create a less painful world.  I’m talking about just about every human being on earth.)
Pain is a result of being in a fallen world.
Pain does not help anyone.
God did not create the world, plants, animals, people or galaxies, because He was in pain.  He created as an act of love.  He did it because it was fun and He loves beauty and order and color.  He did it because He is an artist.
I don't need to know when something is wrong in my life.  It's usually obvious.
What motivates us, truly motivates us, is action.
Pain does not help.
But a correct response to pain does.
Everyone is in pain.
About 7 billion people are in some kind of pain. 
But only a few will choose the correct response to their pain.
Others will accept, tolerate or make an identity out of their pain.  This is wrong and completely unhelpful and it’s why the world is in such a mess.  Most people have an incorrect response to pain.
This is crucially important for all artists to understand.  Because if I believe I need pain to be motivated, I will create pain for myself and for others.  I will also allow others to hurt me and keep me off course.
And that's just wrong.
Pain will inevitably come in this fallen world.
Respond correctly to it.
But don't look for it or thank it.
Pain is your enemy.
Satan is your enemy.   (Yes, there is a Satan.  He’s real and he wants to destroy you.  I’m not going to shy away from that truth.)
Laziness is your enemy.
Procrastination is your enemy.
Fear is your enemy.
Apathy is your enemy.
Distraction is your enemy.
Self-pity is your enemy.
Rage is your enemy.
Hatred is your enemy.
Even happiness can be an enemy.
The only way that all of the above are not enemies is if we use them as tools.
Otherwise, these are all enemies of the artist who does not respond correctly.
Everyone is an artist, but most people are artists who respond incorrectly.
            The only correct response from the artist is to take action.  Positive, consistent and determined action – this is the only right response. 
In other words, the only correct responses to pain are to Get Started and to Keep Going.