Live your ideas!

Go ahead… shout it out.
“Live Your Ideas!”
No good.
It just doesn’t have that special… something.
That inspiring, poetic ring.
“Live Your Dreams!”
So you won’t hear it in a speech.
See it raised on placards.
Or read it in a meme.
And that’s too bad.
Because we’re living in chaotic times.
And arousing the wrong sentiment.
A spirited message of division.
I’m being quite sincere.
For what is a dream?
It’s an individual or group vision.
Of an imagined future.
A dream is a head trip.
And a dangerous illusion.
Because life isn’t about separateness.
And it’s not about alluring conjecture.
It’s about messy relationships.
Right here, right now.
Stop living your private dreams.
Stop fetishizing the future.
It sullies the beauty of humanity.
And robs the richness of the moment.
Instead, create a better now.
By living your ideas… today.
Don’t fantasize about your dream job.
Don’t dream about becoming someone.
Bring who you are to life… today.
Don’t dream of becoming an artist.
Make your ideas tangible… today.
Don’t dream about being a successful entrepreneur.
Push forward with your idea to improve people’s lives… today.
Don’t dream about a world of tolerance and love.
Live those ideas from your inside out with everyone you encounter… today.
The world is full of frustrated dreamers of tomorrow.
Making speeches, waving placards, and creating memes.
What we desperately need are more inspired doers… today.
And what of the future?
It’s glaringly simple.
The future emerges from the ideas we actualize.
For all our dreams, we only have what we do…

It’s a passion project.

I’ll never forget those insinuating words.
“I understand… it’s your passion project.”
I was on my third or fourth Skype call.
Dancing with a film industry pragmatist.
Hoping to have our screenplay made into a movie.
But the dance music was composed by a computer.
It was nothing but a steady beat of numbers.
Production costs, demographics, ROI.
And so I was tripping over my feet.
Because the melody (the story they loved) was drowned out.
And then came… the screeching feedback.
A grating sound that moved me off of the dance floor.
“I understand,” he said. “It’s your passion project.”
As if passion is an airy concept.
Fanciful and impractical.
One that should take a back seat to the payoff.
Call me foolhardy, but I will never succumb to numbers.
I don’t live for an outcome.
I embrace the journey and follow my inner voice.
Conviction, then calculation.
Heart, then head.
So I danced to my own tune.
And followed that “passion project.”
All the way to the opposite side of what “they” expect.
And that screenplay is now a novel.
Did I do the right thing?
Of course!
Because the right thing is my thing.
And time will tell if you think so too.