Last week, I introduced The Art of Unlearning as a graphic novel about self-mastery. This week I’ like to share with you what motivated me to give one year of my life to this book.
Although we all face an uncertain future, it was humankind’s greatest gift to be able to conceive of new worlds and then make them a reality. Human flight was impossible until it was possible. Given that we are currently living in the Anthropocene — or the period during which humanity has become and ecological force — it is incumbent on each of us to dream better.
Yet it is not enough to simply dream and pray. We must embody the truth. Our lives are our message. This embodiment is what motivated me to give one year of my life to illustrating this book. The book is a totemic object documenting our bumpy journey toward higher organisation. This, I believe, is the same thing that motivates a martial artist to earn a black belt or the same thing that motivates an Olympic athlete to win a gold medal. The goal medal is worth more to her than its weight in gold, as it is a totem to the truth of her experience.
We are all dream architects. The co-creators of the world we inhabit. We are not alone and unguided in this voyage into uncertainty. We can feel the wind and smell the coffee. Long before the novice has achieved ten thousand hours of practice, they still possess an innate sense for what is good music and what is bad. One makes the baby giggle, the other makes the baby cry.
We must take ownership of our innate wisdom if we are to discover our passion and share it with the world. The reward will be living with the confidence that comes with knowing how to swim and having somewhere beautiful to swim towards. Swimming is not about having a certificate any more than the tastiness of a tasty meal has anything do with the texture of the restaurant menu.
And your confidence will become the confidence of those whose lives you touch. Your passion, their passion, in their own unique way. But act you must, for you are the first of a million flowers to blossom in your wake. This is the joy of the Dream Architect — the hard-won fruits of freedom.
The impoverished imagination of the corrupt officials exposed in the recent #weknowyoursalary twitter hashtag demonstrate that one can steal millions of dollars worth of public funds yet still lack the experience, taste and empathy to do anything more meaningful with the loot than build tacky high-rise apartments.
Find a mission that matters to you, and you will become a dream architect.