Following your passion isn’t enough; striving for being rich and famous is.
Just following your passion and everything falling into place is a dreamy lie. Deep down inside, everyone wants to be rich and famous, no matter how inglorious it sounds. Such hard rationales are buried deep inside us, for it murders the innocence that lit the flame of passion in us despite gigantic odds.
How long can a lie sustain the flame of passion without plaguing its sanctity?
Scratching beyond the surface reveals startling answers. Etymologically speaking, passion is derived from the Latin word pati which means to suffer. The selfless idea of a glorified suffering lights up any glittery eyes in this age which is so devoid of emotions. Every soul thirsts for a drop of something with feelings. Something that manifests beyond the laws of rationality. Something that recognizes the feelings that simply cannot be wished away.
Yet something doesn’t sound right here. Pixels don’t match with the bigger picture. Passion and logic do not go hand in hand. Even if it is glorified, why suffer if it serves no end?
Endeavors that we pursue out of its sheer enchantment bury ulterior motives deep inside us. Motives we are often unconscious about. It surfaces every now and then to torment us like a corpse plunged into a murky pond by its murderers. These motives cripple us by shattering our convictions that were so concrete when we took the fateful turn to follow where our innocent heart lay.
The bitter truth is that we all want to be good in the arts we are passionate about. As good as the masters whom we worship if not better. And for the likes of those who brave the suffering, the guillotine is a easily a better choice than to accept mediocrity.
Taking the plunge into the pleasures of the art’s process is captivating. What is equally important is the result. For instance, being passionate about painting is one thing. Producing only amateurish works that earn us red cheeks swelling with shame is another. And the two contradict completely. No, we would not showcase such art in even front of our well-wishers, forget in front of a general audience. Being pursued with the most pristine of amateurish hobbyist enthusiasm does not save face in the world where critics sit on the thrones. No one respects noobs.
No matter how much we are into our craft, unless we produce a work that is as good as our taste for it, we can never hold our heads high about it. And not being able to be is just painful. All the effort and laborious hours seem just a waste.
If following your passion is the rebel screaming inside of you, desperately fighting against the voices that always said you cannot then striving to be rich and famous is the bar we ought to look up to. Sounds queer doesn’t it?
Rich and famous, not in the literal sense of it, but metamorphically. As an instance, anyone who makes good music comes to be known amongst one’s peers. Someone who paints well often is credited to be magically gifted in one’s art. When your work is good, or at least commendable, you end up with some bare form of recognition if not money. A very base pleasure we all secretly crave for — others blowing our trumpets for us.
No matter how embarrassing it sounds, it is often a necessity more than anything else.
It is someway or the other inbuilt to whatever passions we pursue. The creative outlets of our four year olds selves need an audience. Painting, singing, poetry all require people who will see what we take pains to show. Be able to see more than what meets the eye. The rationally sound pursuits we endeavor as adults, too, need an audience. Startups need a customer.
Though our passionate pursuits sometimes act as escapade portals to a secret place away from the cruel world of an unpoetic life, arts would not sustain without someone appreciating the art work. And that someone cannot be the creator. Anyone investing hard earned leisure time in the passionate pursuits needs an audience. Even if that starts off as a solitary voyage, you need someone to tell if you suck or if you are improving.
Feedback, the fuel needed to feed the flame of passion. Feedback, the light that dispels the ghastly ghosts of mediocrity.
We all crave impatiently to be masters at pursuits we pick up all by ourselves.
The notion of rich and famous brings me to one of my favourite music albums, by the band I am feverishly fanatical about. The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. To me, the album was a philosophical, poetic expression of the human self. The lyrics balanced on the fringes that separate the humdrum of myriad existence and the lunatic eruptions of consciousness. The music was an artistic masterpiece rhymed out of the heavens by the gods themselves. Greatness a creative would worship with religious fervor. What completely blew my mind was the motive with which they worked on it.
In The Making of the Dark Side of the Moon, a documentary on the same, the then front runner of the band, Roger Water says ‘We were all trying to achieve one particular goal. That was to become reach and famous.’
Passionate nirvana was taken for a toss to the rational abyss of hell that burns in cold logic.
This brings to the widely accepted idea that our generation is the probably the one exposed most to the paradisiac notion of ‘following your passion.’ Heavy dosage of mathematical thinking is what the doctor ordered but never came. Our parents and grandparents were far too happy to etch out a decent, dignified existence, howsoever devoid of glory it may be. How much I envy them!
With human expressions and expectations getting more complex with every passing moment, passion seekers now live in a world where the path itself is a glamorous rainbow. A pot of gold guaranteed for those riding it on the unicorn of romanticism. The rainbow seems to flicker and dark clouds with no silver linings shadow our world when we come across fellow suffering enthusiasts racing miles ahead in the pursuit of the same art. Logic seeps in and blocks our cogwheels of glorified suffering.
For those truly pursuing the suffering they handpicked should not be deterred by such uncanny truths. Neither should they reduce the godly hours they feverishly save so that they can dive into the world of their own making. The competition in our blissful endeavors we so dread is like the air we breathe. Unseen and unfelt but we would die without it. It is the chaotic ladder that the suffers must climbs to reach the adobe of the rich and famous.
Like everything else in life that comes with a dose of bitterness, rich and famous is the necessary evil for following your passion.