This was made by HOLSTEE, whose tagline is “Lifestyle goods, designed with a conscience.”
You can find out more about them here: http://shop.holstee.com/pages/about
I think it’s marvellous, and have had it as my profile pic on Facebook for the last few months, as a constant reminder.
Change is constant. I find the Holstee Manifesto, as well as other inspirational affirmations, to be very useful in keeping me optimistic and motivated to pursue fulfillment. Which seems to be a pretty good contender as answer to the question: What is my purpose?
Last time I wrote I was trying to help launch a new local magazine called ‘Dharma’. Unfortunately, I couldn’t raise enough advertising revenue to make it viable, which is a shame because there was no shortage of wonderful local people willing to contribute articles and columns, or be subjected to interviews. I would have enjoyed writing about local arts, and curating what I hoped to be a real community magazine. But it was not to be.
So it was time to move on, and quickly, because I’d invested time in the project with no financial gain to show for it, and the need to pay the rent is as constant as change.
Through all the personal change of the last year and a half and beyond, despite the necessity for earning a steady income to keep a roof over my head, my inner self keeps resolutely reminding me that my own self-defined purpose is the most important thing in my life. To pursue fulfillment. Now, obviously my kids and my lovely, beautiful Natasha are of utmost importance to me and bring me much fulfillment, but unless I satisfy my own unique passions, I will never achieve absolute fulfillment, if there is such a thing. I will always be left wanting.
We all have passion: a thing or things that uniquely define our personal sense of well-being and fulfillment. My passion, the thing that drives me, is an overwhelming urge to create.
You see, as a child, I never wanted to be a train driver or doctor, politician or scientist. I always wanted to be a writer. Always. I have very vague memories of my childhood because I was usually lost in my imagination rather than paying attention to the world around me, but I remember reading just about every single book my little primary school had. And I remember, in secondary school, literally running towards the library on the regular school visits.
I was writing too: usually classic fantasy quest stories with dragons and magic swords, or sequels to my favourite books, films or tv shows.
That innate passionate excitement over realms of the fantastic overruled all attempts by my teachers, and anyone else, to convince me to get real and work towards qualifications that would lead me to a respectable job. I did an A level in English, took a year off to explore what it meant to be eighteen, then dove into a Popular Music course, following the whim of creativity.
It was only making babies (ah, that ultimate, wondrous whim of creativity), and learning to be a father that finally provided enough of a distraction to push the urge to create into secondary position.
Now I’m 36 and no longer live with my children, though they do come and stay with me twice a week. That innate passionate excitement and urge to create hasn’t gone away. If anything, it’s increased, and is screaming at me to get the hell on with it. If not now, when?
This urge to create goes beyond sating it in my spare time, if I can help it. I want to spend most of my time immersed in story and music: there are a lot of tales to be told and songs to sung. I’m going for a career and I believe I can do it. Why shouldn’t I? Remember: it’s all I’ve ever wanted.
I’m not looking for personal fame or glory. The ambition, beyond the pure joy of being in the endless magnificent moment of creativity, is that perhaps some people might enjoy, be excited, and inspired by my creativity, as I am by that of others.
So, I’ll work enough to keep a roof over my head, I’ll try to be the best father I can be for my children, and the best companion I can be for my love Natasha, but I’m going for fulfillment. I’m a writer and a musician, and no amount or lack of money is going to change that.
The late Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer, said this at the Stanford Commencement Address in 2005:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
You can watch the entire address here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8uR6Z6KLc
or read the transcript here: http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html
It really is a wonderful speech and well worth watching or reading in full.
Steve Jobs’ words, and those of the Holstee Manifesto, and of other inspirational affirmations, resonate like bells in my mind and won’t let go. My heart and intuition is telling me to act upon my passion now, to go all out without all but the most necessary compromise, to believe in myself. And so I shall.
Soon I’ll be launching my new website, which will serve as a hub for my online presence, which includes:
I have a collection of four short stories called ‘Creeps‘ that I promised myself would be done in time for Halloween. It’s done, and I’m in the process of creating a simple self-published edition now. Available soon.
Have you heard of ‘All Hallows Read‘? Last year, Neil Gaiman suggested the wonderful tradition of giving a scary book to someone for Halloween. You can find out more about it here: http://www.allhallowsread.com/
As a gift for All Hallows Read I made the first story from ‘Creeps‘ available to read online. It’s called Haven.
I’ll be taking part in this years National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo) http://www.nanowrimo.org.
The goal: to write 50,000 words in 30 days, starting November 1st. I’ll be writing a dark fantasy story set in my home town Glastonbury.
And that’s just the start.
I’m making tentative steps toward creating my first musical release. I have a novel started years ago that, sitting at 75,000 words, is perhaps a little over halfway done. There is an infinity of expression to fulfill, and there’s no time like now.
Life is an adventure for every moment that I can make it so. May yours be too!
Hallow: “to make holy or sacred, to sanctify or consecrate, to venerate”