Close to the edge.
That’s the title of what I was going to write this morning. I even mapped out it’s progressions on my whiteboard last night. But I changed my mind. I might write about it tomorrow.
This morning was perfect. Up early. Meditation. Journalling. Reading. I knew what I was going to write about.
Over breakfast I was listening to Talib Kweli. The song “Ms Hill” came on. It’s Kweli’s tribute to Lauryn Hill. It’s beautiful. He describes the impact she’s had on him personally and on black culture.
There’s this one line:
“Should I be saying all of this while the mic is on?
The forkful of scrambled egg was just about to enter my mouth when I heard that. I paused. It’s not the first time I’ve heard this song, but it’s the first time I’ve listened.
In that moment, a book called “Die Empty” by Todd Henry came to mind. I don’t know why. I haven’t read the book. I only added it to my wishlist yesterday. But what I could make of the central idea from the book’s description appealed to me.
It’s about abundance, how we have more to give than we realise and why we shouldn’t hold back.
After putting down my forkful of egg, I rushed over to my desk, pulled out an index card, penned “Writing” in the top right corner and wrote the word “inexhaustible” in the center.
That’s what I think our creative energy is. It’s unlimited. Like physical energy. The more we use, the more becomes available to us.
I think this is how people whose output blows our mind can sustain their work. It’s because energy begets energy. Being creative drives creativity. Producing enhances your ability to produce. Doing the work allows you to do more work.
It’s about showing up, as Seth Godin puts it. “Writer's block is a myth, a recent invention, a cultural malady” he says.
Limits to creative capacity are self-imposed. A self-fulfilling prophecy. By believing in them we unwittingly cause them to become fact.
If you see the world through the lens of scarcity, everything has it’s limits. Some things are scarce: time, attention, land and property. Some things aren’t: your ideas, your ability to add value, to keep inventing and imagining and contributing.
If you see the world through the lens of abundance, you realise that the world’s appetite for what you have to offer is limitless. And that your capacity to create and do meaningful work is inexhaustible.
Remember that as you eat your breakfast and contemplate the day ahead.