What it's like in 2019...
We all live in our silos.
And we all are pursuing a goal. You meet up with friends for a special occasion to catch up. This isn't like just walking in your neighbors front door. It's been a month since you've seen each other, and so it takes a bit of time to debrief what has happened since you've last spoken. A month is a long time, and sometimes it's more...
Your calendar is full.
And so when you plan time with friends it get's added in between your other events. You have a workout booked, or maybe a class, and so you can't commit to a full afternoon, but there are two hours free?
And in those two hours, you have slotted you tell yourself you will relax and just not think at all about what else you have going on...
It turns out we don't see the same movies, and we're not even watching the same networks. So you dig for recommendations but it ends up being a game of charades, describing the art instead of bonding over the art.
You notice what's new.
The restaurant you pick out is new, the shop you're at is new, the product you bought was new. With so much going on it's hard to notice anything. But when something new arrives we respond to it like a notification. And so companies today must reinvent, repurpose, share new messages while keeping the old. It's a tough balance, and businesses have never been great at sustained innovation.
Either way, it's hard to break from your life for moments of serendipity, and so most days we let the calendar drive.
Information is abundant.
We don't have the time to get to everything, so the niche is the name of the game. Ditto for reviews. Yelp, Amazon, Google, you check before you make a decision, so serendipity is scarce.
The good news for artists is you can let your freak flag fly because most won't pay attention and those that do, want to go deeper. With so much choice, we default to different voices, but we can't consume it all. So we dip our toes into different streams, instead of trying to drink the ocean.
Getting personal is rare.
But when we do, we open up like a flower. Does someone else feel like me? Companies in the past we're about setting the standard for the masses and making you feel bad if you didn't partake. Companies today are about making you feel good about who, and where you are, despite being different.
And so we're served by the stories on podcasts and Netflix as substitutes for someone to talk with. But when you do grab an off chance lunch with a friend and you hear about their story, their real story, the obstacles, how everything wasn't perfect, and how they're overcoming it today, you're left inspired. And you're left feeling open to them and to the world.
It feels like a weight is lifting and the air is being let out...and...
Do we seek fame?
Those personal moments are hard to come by because we believe that success means notoriety. That we always have to be on our toes. That we have to prepare. Because to control for a situation is to both avoid its anxieties but also look for a way to capitalize.
When you're seeking fame, every meeting has consequence, ditto for every review. And so your constantly workshopping your material for those who listen, but relaxing becomes impossible. And you can't keep working harder and harder because at a point you run out of hours, and your material loses it's heart and...
We want to connect. Shared stories help us unite, amidst the loneliness of individuals all seeking a goal but not knowing entirely what for. Where will the achievements take us? Beyond the concern of money? Ok, that part is clear. But what about after that? And fame is most of what we see, and so it's comparison all of the time on Instagram; travel, fame, luxury, experiences... But what are you heading towards? Or do you simply keep running up the hill until the hill get's so large you start to slow down and others pass you by?
We can't fix the culture top down, it needs to be bottom up. When you're with your friends and family, are you really there? When you're at lunch with a friend, are you there to give, or are you there to get?
And in your work, you can support and tell stories. You can be memorable, not by being famous but by seeing something in someone else and noticing it and by speaking up.
In 2019 we're all on a journey...where we're going, I'm not sure we even know.
But we know how much it takes to get there. So, often, we're left wondering...
Do we have support?