[fblike style=”box_count” float=”left” showfaces=”false” width=”50″ verb=”like” font=”arial”]There is a deep longing in every man to create something. Something that the world cares about. Something that will carry his name on throughout the ages.
This longing is reflected in the many pursuits that are sought by many different people. Whether it is through writing a book, acting in a play, practicing for a sport, or teaching a class, each person in their own way attempts to shape themselves and the environment around them. They want their actions to mean something to others, to matter in a world that can be so massive and cold.
One of the main reasons is that we just don’t take enough time to absorb before we try to create.
When I first started college I had the desire to be able to articulate ideas in such a way as to revolutionize the philosophical world. I wanted to show everyone just how creative I could be, and just how much my ideas were going to matter to everyone.
When I started my first semester, I was enrolled in Classical Greek Philosophy. As I began to study the works of the earliest philosophers I realized something important: That I really had no clue about the world.
The things I thought I knew about the world had already been described in detail by men who lived more than 2000 years ago. These men not only were truly great thinkers in philosophy. They were revolutionary in just about every discipline; politics, ethics, science, etc.
It was at this point that I realized I needed to keep my mouth shut. I just didn’t feel fit to talk about such subjects that I knew nothing about. And so keeping my mouth shut, I continued to study. I learned about the ancient philosophers, modern ones. Men who worked through extremely tough ideas and thought their ways through mazes of arguments.
The drive to create, however, sat there, waiting, like a flame ready to tear across the countryside. I was not just a passive learner. My mind had been working all those years, sifting through the many ideas that passed through it.
When it came time to do my senior thesis, my project that would be the culmination of my time in school, I was ready to explode. I already knew my topic, the work that was left was collecting all of my ideas and synthesizing them in a way that made sense, that counted, that accomplished something.
When all was said and done, I felt like I had done just that. I had created something I was truly proud of, something that would continue to stick by my side and help me in further endeavors.
It was through being willing to keep listening that I believe allowed me to get to that point. You see, sometimes I annoyed my professor with my silence. I would sit and listen and not say a word the entire class time. Part of it was shyness, but the shyness was a symptom of me not thinking I was justified enough in speaking. In my experience, speaking out on topics you know nothing about only makes you look like a fool.
I just needed time to go through my thoughts.
I feel the same principle applies in other endeavors. During my time on the track team in college, I went through a multitude of challenges and learning experiences. One of my greatest lessons was to learn to enjoy each and every day of practice. Without worrying about the next meet, I could focus on what I needed to accomplish on that particular day. I could gather what I needed to succeed when the time came.
That’s what I was doing each day in class, gathering my thoughts on tough subjects.
We know that the best books are those rich with information, with vivid imagery and detailed characters. Without these things, a book is one-dimensional, as flat as the pages it is printed on. A good writer gathers before he creates.
He gathers and gathers, until the characters seem to be in the room with you. The experiences you have reading the book are stronger than ones you have living. It really means something.
These are best creations.
So gather and gather, until you can’t contain your creation. Absorb so much information that you are overflowed. Ponder on things until you realize it is the time to act.
You will know when it happens. You will know the feeling. It’s like wanting to burst. Like a flame out of control, and the only way to deal with it is to let it out. Let it burn.
It will tear across the countryside and let out a light for others to see. It will ignite paths for you to follow to even greater pursuits, and you will start the gathering process again, this time knowing the feeling and craving it.
Since graduating college I have realized that I must start the process again, but this time the fire must be that much larger in order to satisfy my desires. I must search for even greater pursuits and chase them until I can’t help but burst.