when i first went to africa, i thought that I was personally going to save the continent, if not the world. the only way we really create change is to enter any situation with the humility to listen and to recognize the world as it is, and then the audacity to dream what it could be, to have the patience to start and let the work teach you, to be willing to lead when you need to lead, and to listen. to have a sense of generosity and empathy, but not over-empathy, because accountability is so critical to building solutions that work. if there’s one value that is immutable, it’s integrity or respect, for others and for yourself.
drawing has taught me the more you don’t know in your mind what you’re going to do, the more it comes out in your hand. you learn from looking,and look from making, and make from looking, and it’s all part of this ongoing process.
if you’re going to realize your intentions, what you stop doing is just as important as what you start and continue to do. that is where ‘quitting’ crosses over into enlightenment. stopping = the white space. stopping = room to run free and create from the deepest place of being without restraint and compromise. stopping = more time for what matters most. you know how to go, go go. stopping, however, is the stuff of smiley zen masters with all the time in the world
stopping what’s distracting, draining, or aggravating does’t require any heavy lifting or extra stamina - just love and self-respect.
if we grew our own food, we wouldn’t waste a third of it as we do today. if we made our own tables and chairs, we wouldn’t throw them out the moment we changed the interior decor. if we had to clean our own drinking water, we probably wouldn’t contaminate it.
it’s easy to start regarding yourself as some kind of big success, crowing about all the things you did to get there and how you became a serial entrepreneur. but, most of us are just lucky to be alive. we like to come up with stories about our lives that are sensible; stories that make us look good, like we’re survivors of adversity.
when we mythologize ourselves, we tend to amplify the things that turned out okay and try to turn the failures or lack of success into something we learned from. you can do anything to make your life look really grand. it’s a shame that so many people find it difficult to do the things they’d like to do because they feel cowed by seemingly successful people who appear to never do anything wrong, or always learn from their mistakes. that just rings as a lot of B.S. and self-mythology to me.