I've been a designer all my life, my friends are designers, I married a designer, I'm raising a designer and I've hired tons of designers. Being surrounded by designers is a beautiful thing. But there's nothing worse than witnessing the failure and slow death of a great designer.
Why MOST designers FAIL
Many people believe we all enter this world as blank slates. In reality we all enter this world destined for greatness, bursting with creativity and appointed a purpose. Some of us are fortunate enough to walk in our purpose, while others will live beneath their potential and some will fail. the choice is yours. No one will force your hand, but wouldn't you rather die trying than to have seen greatness and never reached for it.
Have you every met a young child who's imagination goes from 0 to 1000, with no warning? Does your mind bounce from idea to idea, finding endless possibilities? Are your dreams so vivid, detailed and expansive they overshadow your every thought? Well, Chances are you're a designer. We all start out believing in endless possibilities, magic is real and our parents are like gods. But somewhere along the way between riding bikes, playing tag and geometry we start trading endless possibilities for bits of the world and preconceived truths. Designers have the supernatural ability to never stop believing in magic. In actually designers realize that they can make their own rules and their own magic.
The BLAH, BLAH, BLAH
As we grow through our teen age years and into adult hood we are taught to mark our success with letters like A+ or numbers like $50,000 and phrases like "free lunch". Which can both be good things, but no one mentions the blah, blah, blah feeling that sets in. Yes, You can ace through all of your classes, land your dream design job making $50k a year, marry the love of your life and still be haunted by "The BLAH". For a designer this can be the death of you. It may take years or even decades before you even realize it's there. "The BLAH" starts like a small itch, but can quickly grow to overshadow every aspect of your life. Once "the BLAH" sets in it can take seconds, years or even decades ot get rid of it.
What is this awful BLAH? It's the realization that the magic you fought so hard to hang onto is not being used in a truly fulfilling way. Like dining at an all-you-can-eat buffet, the moment you leave the restaurant you feel your hunger set in. Your spirit is crying out searching for meaning and purpose. As designers we are vessels for creative purpose to flow through. It's easy and fun to fill all of our time with work, family and social media. BUT, If we are not using out creative genius for something really meaningful our spirits will cry out in pain. I call that cry "The BLAH".
A Natural High
When's the last time you met someone who seemed happy and carefree? Not in the Fiona Gallagher from Shameless way, but the Oprah or Beyonce kinda happy and carefree. Sure, Oprah and Beyonce are wealthy celebrities, but more importantly they are living in their purpose. When you see that kinda happiness in someone it radiates from within. It's the natural high, the joy and peace your spirit experiences when you are fulfilling your purpose in a meaningful way. Not everyone is appointed to a national or global level of greatness. Some of us are destined to be the greatest pre-school teaches, the greatest secretary or the greatest friend. The sooner you realize your predestined purpose the sooner you can cure "The BLAH". For some you may wake up one day quit your job and dive right into it. For others your pain, misfortune and disappointments may eventually mold you into it. You might stay at a dead end job 9am-5pm and work on your dream business from 5pm - midnight. Others might live every moment to put a smile on their loved one's face. But In time your purpose may evolve and grow into something else. As long as you have a beat in your heart and a spirit in your body you have a purpose. There's a natural high that no one can take from you and it's just keeps getting better. As a designer the most important thing you can do is find and follow the creative beat in your heart. It will lead you to peace, joy and happiness. You will be free to experience a natural high unlike any other. If not your creative genius will wither, the childlike ability to make your own magic with fade and you will fail and die a slow boring designers death.
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