I read Outliers recently. Malcolm Gladwell's new book. Interesting stuff that has really changed how I'm looking at things. It's about how they've documented that real success is more a product of work, opportunity and circumstances rather than raw talent. Explains a lot really. And even though he doesn't mention it, to me, it has interesting spiritual overtones.
If circumstances dictate that much, and have THAT much influence, it levels the playing field. We can all do a lot more than we probably think. And it got me thinking, which of my circumstances might be giving me an extra opportunity?
The place I grew up. The classes I took. The classes I didn't take. The friends I made, and the friends I walked away from. It's mind boggling.
There's a great quote from Thom Yorke of Radiohead awhile back that blew me away. They had just named Kid A one of the greatest albums of the last decade and the interviewer was asking him how they did it. He said they were all listening to Miles Davis at the time. They tried to make a Miles Davis album, but none of them could play like Miles. So it naturally bastardized into something original.
I feel that way about most of my artistic endeavors. I want to do a particular thing, but I can't. I don't have the right skill set. I walk away feeling like I failed. Then I'll come back after some time away and realize it came out just right.