I do not mean it as hyperbole when I tell you that I intend to be great, the greatest even. I am committed to this, like my lungs are committed to breathing. The world will have to suffocate me into a collapse to stop me. And when I am down, it will have to hold me there in place or I will rise again. This is the sort of mindset I use to approach not just what I do, but who I am. I guess in many ways, who I am is defined by what I do.
For people like me, born with this madness and the faith in self to see it through, this is quite a unique time to be born into. The world is literally at our fingers tips. From the screens of our phones even in small sleepy towns, we hold information begging to be organized into knowledge. Can you even begin to imagine the suffering, the ploughing, of many before us? Thirsty but only surrounded by sun-dried wells to draw from. This is a great blessing for the disciplined, the truly committed, the real servant of the work. For the wannabe, the glory hunter, the egotist living in the fantasy of a romantic projection, this is a curse. A curse that they gulp down in a rush like lips to honey because they think tasting is in the tongue. They think seeing is in the eye, feeling on the skin. Fools. They live in illusion, worshipping at the feet of gods, dead or alive. They do not understand that the gods only stand so that we may stand on their shoulders for the ones after to stand yet on ours. Idolators. Resist the abyss of distractions, the pull of hive-minded thinking in defined categories, the seduction of 21st-century material culture.
You will spot these impostors, easily. They talk more than they work, they complain more than they solve. Excuses, excuses, excuses. And they wish upon shooting stars for miracles. Miracles of quick success, instant greatness. Like all the other instant things they get; microwaved food, right swiped love, fast liked posts. They do not want their hands to be stained with soil, but expect their mouth to shine with oil. They cannot understand that in time even the vastest desert’s sand can be counted, a grain at a time.
Do not seek quick praise, do not be impatient with the work, yourself, or time itself. Seek first to know who you are, who you really are. And then what is true. Allow yourself room to grow, to change. The caterpillar, after all, must incubate in its cocoon to allow itself to emerge as the butterfly. For how long can you truly be still? Allow your eyes to see the world from perspectives beyond the narratives you have been trained in. Allow yourself to be born again, and then again and again.
Seek to submit yourself, to discipline, to dedication, to the work. Give yourself to it like the monks do to their faith. Some say it is too much to give, that it is too much suffering and too much pain. They have not been called for the work, for great work. For the greatests know one truth; the work is never easy, like rolling a heavy rock up a steep mountain. It is not work for the weak, it is not work for the vain or fickle. It is hard work, very hard work. But it is work that must be done. And someone must do it. It is in the need, the purpose, and the meaning, that lightness is found. It is from these things, that the rock is transmuted into a feather, and lead into gold.
It could cost you a day, a year, ten years, or a lifetime. It could cost friends, family, love and so much more. It is on you to decide what price you are willing to pay, and when you do, if you do – pay it. With grace and your head held high. It is the sand on your hands that will bring the oil to your lips.
Do not want it, be it.
William Ifeanyi Moore