As I sit here in my cubicle, perusing various blogs and trying to delay my lunch as long as possible in order to ease the suffering of a long and tedious afternoon, I keep coming back to one thought—the strength of a negative mind-frame, and how important it is to fight against it.
Rarely in the past have I ever considered myself, or been considered by anyone else to be the optimistic member of any group. I usually was labeled the cynic, or pessimist, to which I faithfully replied, “No, just a realist.” But I’ve since learned that reality is not static or fixed, but rather some foggy combination of fact and our perceptions thereof.
It is far too easy to allow the world and all of its inhabitants, tangible or otherwise, to step on you and keep your head under water. The challenge here is to fight back, come gasping back to the surface, while still knowing that there is a long line of people waiting to push you back down. Those people who manage to successfully resurface over and over again have discovered something that others have not—that our attackers are mostly fictional; it is generally our own thoughts pushing us below the surface; usually we are only drowning ourselves.
The most successful people in my experience are those who do not give the negative, invasive, all-powerful constraints of “the real world” enough merit to do any permanent damage. Our dreams as artists are delicate and must be fiercely guarded against the savage beasts of those who have failed before us and wish us nothing but failure and desolation. Unfortunately for the artist, most of those beasts easily roam throughout our psyche due to the fact that our consciousness is their own birthplace.
If you reach out to the world with a vision of something powerful and bold and important in its own right then the world will reach back. There will more often be times when everything seems lost, when you’ve lost the will to continue reaching because nobody seems to return the favor, when the tree in the woods stops trying because it has come to the conclusion that nobody is watching anyway. These times feel like vast and utter failures. But it is only when we lay down and allow our own demons to drown us that we truly fail at anything.
We cannot rely on others to make our world beautiful and complete. We cannot wait for the permission of others to allow our dreams to come to reality. It is up to the individual to create a situation that lends itself to his or her success and happiness. Whether this means changing yourself, your perception of yourself, actively changing your settings or instead molding the surroundings in which you already find yourself to better suit your purpose, it is regardless no one’s responsibility but your own. Strength and courage may be gathered through those that we love and trust, but true success and happiness is borne from a seed that only we can plant in our own consciousness.