Day 8: Vulnerable
“One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” ― Abraham Maslow
Safety and security are part of our core needs as people as laid out by psychologist Abraham Maslow in his famous Hierarchy of Needs. “Look both ways before crossing the street. Stop. Look. Listen.” This was ingrained into us as kids and it’s only a speckle of dust in the massive canon of safety measures taught to us growing up. We are trained to be safe, live secure and protect ourselves from the many dangers of life.
Artists are one of the few types of people who discover that all of that safety conditioning must be unlearned. The artist yearns to struggle and to be vulnerable. This counterintuitive mindset merged with the skill of +10,000 hours renders true perfection. Only when that mental model and the ability to surrender to the sub-conscious mind is learned is when the artist becomes an artist.
What about risk? What about reality? Swimming through the pool of the mundane and running on the hedonic treadmill of daily life, the role of the artist is to pull us out of that rigidity and into the intoxicating freedom of immersion. The artist is an expert in creating a different perspective, in facing fear. Great art gives rise to questions. Questions and perspectives which can lead us to live our lives more fully, happily, and yes – safely. Because living safe is unsafe. “Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.”