In a recent Facebook update, author Paulo Coehlo, shared the following:
And, more than 37,000 people promptly “liked” the idea. Which is a powerful indication of how badly people want it to be true and a stunning indictment of how judged so many feel in the world.
I loved Coehlo’s book, The Alchemist, it resonated on so many levels.
But as an entrepreneur, I’ve always had trouble with both the above idea and the sea of similar quotes.
In the world of ascetics, philosophers, moguls, monastics and patrons, where the source of enough money to allow you to live well in the world isn’t so much an issue, the quote rings true.
And, a precious few may someday reach a point where after years or more likely decades, they’ve so mastered their craft, mined life on a level that has cultivated a wellspring of experience and wisdom to draw upon and so well-aligned their output with who they are that they begin to literally radiate light and nearly everything they put out becomes magnetized.
I’ll own up to the mad desire to someday be there. Indeed, with the Alchemist, Coehlo very likely moved into that place.
But, that’s not the world 99.99999999% of us live in.
At least not yet.
We’re still building into it. We still live in the real world, with responsibilities we’re not compelled to abandon. A world where the energy you put out into it, whether it be in the form of art, service, business, or otherwise, must be perceived by others as desirable enough for them to exchange value for it. For them to pay you.
In that world, what other people think IS your business.
Because you can’t expect to receive enough value from others to live well in the world unless what you’re putting out into the world resonates not only with what makes YOU come alive, but with what THEY want and need.
I get that people are in pain I get the need to build a living and a lifestyle around the people and activities that allow you to come alive. But, if you want to do that and also live better than hand-to-mouth, you’d better care deeply about what other people think and feel about what you create.
Then work like crazy to build solutions and sources of delight that live in the sweet spot between what makes you smile and what they can’t live without…even if they had no idea it existed until you created it.
Because if you don’t, the quest to indulge the need to build around what’s in your heart can be a very lonely and often near-destitute one. Or one that finds you relegating your “thing” to the level of hobby and giving the far greater part of your life to a paycheck devoid of passion.
Curious, what do YOU think…or feel?
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