Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lessons from Indonesia, pt. 3 - Putting it All Together

Monkey here for round 3 of our "Lessons from Indonesia" series. So in Part 1, we talked about cutting out distractions and getting some important work done. In Part 2, we talked about being grateful for what we had. Today, I want to talk about mixing the two and getting some work done.

So last time I talked about how we need to be grateful for what we have. While this is very important in the way that it makes us happier and (I would say) better human beings, it also lends itself to giving us a call of duty.

While those with video game inclinations might think that gratitude is going to give you a high-quality first person shooter, the call of duty that I'm talking about is your call to action. Whether you want to be a firefighter or an artist, a lawyer or a designer, being grateful for what we have lends itself to you following your dreams.

Confused yet?

The connection between realizing how awesome we have it here in the United States compared to developing nations (or even first world countries ruled by despots) and following your dream is that the single greatest way you can express your gratitude is to succeed. Think about it: we have youtube to teach us practically anything, free or low-cost tools to create a business overnight. We have cell phones, hot, clean running water, sanitary food, large places to live, cars or buses, police who don't steal from you (although pepper spraying is another matter entirely) - we have it pretty good. With all these privileges, it is actually a huge slap in the face to everyone who lives in a shanty town and forges through garbage to survive if we don't live up to our potential. You see, we've got what they dream of: opportunity.

Say what you will about our crappy economy, we still have more opportunity for artists, writers, thinkers, developers, designers, creators, dancers, and game-changers than a vast majority of the world. While we're struggling to pay rent and making the tough decisions like canceling cable and choosing to bring our lunch rather than eat out, other people are dodging bullets daily and walking three miles every day just for water that is not completely toxic, just dirty. It is an insult for us not to do the work, to put in the hustle, to fight for our dreams.

Chances are, we never were maimed by land mines, or had our houses robbed by the police, or had to live in a dump. So for all those that have faced trials beyond our imagination and dream of computers and soft beds and four walls and running water, let us do our part by not feeling guilty and get down about the state of the world. We need to make use of our tools and what we've got to make ourselves the best we can be.

Eve and I both believe that we can change the world through art. It's our calling. Whether that means inspiring someone or building a business that incorporates giving a portion of the proceeds to charity, or making it "big" and being able to donate money to nonprofits, or teaching, or whatever, we believe that our path in life consists of not only creating art but positive change as well. We believe that you can change the world for the better by fighting your own fight, no matter what it is, and realizing your true potential.

We can't save anyone else unless we can save ourselves, so strap in and get your tools of the trade ready. It's time to get down to work and rise towards our dreams together - after all, as fortunate as we are, how can we not?