I haven’t written anything in this blog for months. I haven’t made very much music, either (some, but not much). And something I just read makes me aware of how much I’ve been missing both.

My friend Allan just sent me this piece of writing about doing what you love. If you have ten minutes, I strongly recommend reading it. Especially if you’re young.

It’s a good (if difficult) reminder that we can all try and work on things that we genuinely want to. And work doesn’t need to be – and in fact shouldn’t be – the opposite of fun. These are old ideas, but Paul Graham, the author of the piece, makes them feel new and immediate.

I want to produce good things, and do work that I love and that fulfills me. But it’s hard to know how sometimes. And it’s hard to stay on track when so many things demand your attention and your energy.

I think in order to remain aware of the path we’re on, and whether it’s the right one, we need to ask ourselves some questions on a regular basis, and answer them honestly, so we know where we stand.

Here are a few questions I’m going to try to ask myself at least once a day:

Did you make something today that you’re proud of?

Did you connect with someone you care about?

Did you remember a moment from your life that mattered to you?

Did you get lost in a work of art?

Are you okay? 

Sometimes we need help remembering what we’re here for, and what we love. Here is one thing that I love. It’s a picture of a place that has enormous significance to me – a balcony in Vienna which featured in the movie ‘Before Sunrise’.

Image

I want to remember everything about that place: the first time I saw it, on a screen in my parent’s basement on a sunny afternoon when I was eighteen years old; the moment I visited it last year with my beautiful wife; the ways its meaning has changed for me in the many years since I first encountered it.

And I want to keep things like this place, and this moment, and this photograph, closer to the surface of my life. It’s too easy to forget ourselves and fall into a drowsy pattern of work and food and sleep. I want to live with intention. And I want to be awake.

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