If you feel like a lot of the content you see online, on TV, on the radio, or wherever you consume content feels contrived and a cheap imitation of each other, it's because much of it is. Oscar Wilde once said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” This is all and good and all, if all there is is imitation, we get no new good ideas. Imitation and playing it safe has led to Disney remaking all of their classic animated films into poor live-action adaptions and other film studios to make soft reboots or sequels to acclaimed IP like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park/World, Top Gun, Blade Runner and so many more.

And then there are the people who are afraid to create. They see the perfectly filtered image of influencers online and feel discouraged that they can never measure up to that. "My house could never look like that," "They are so fit and I am such a slob," "My art isn't nearly as good!" This is such an unhealthy way to live life. President Theodore Roosevelt said, "Comparison is the thief of joy." Honestly, that phrase can't be more true than it is right now.

Henry Rollins Goes Off Script on MTV in an Inspiring Clip From Over 30 Years Ago

I stumbled upon this clip of Henry Rollins while I was doom scrolling this morning. For those who don't know Henry Rollins, he is a singer, songwriter, poet, comedian and public speaker. He has made a number of visits to Poughkeepsie over the years performing both his music, his spoken word, and his comedy. In the clip below, which I highly recommend you watch, he talks about being inspired rather than awed.

So much of doom scrolling and media consumption is being awed by something. It keeps our interest for a moment, dulls and numbs our senses, and just keeps us in the same place. He emphasizes that majority of the content that we see (mind you, this clips was from 30 years ago and how little has changed) is manufactured in a way to put the best self forward, often a fake or over-produced product rather than the raw reality.

When you see these bands doing their thing, and you think that 'I'll never be that good. I'll never be able to do any of that.' Realize one thing - a lot of these bands when they do the records are playing to click tracks... and sometimes when you see a song, do you realize that is like 5 takes - the band played the song five different times - and they took the best parts of each and glued them together on tape? It's called making a composite... You can be awed into submission and be a fan for the rest of your life instead of being someone who does... You can be a mere mortal on the planet, not be the perfectly attractive, perfectly styled guy... pick up a guitar and actually make some meaningful music.

Henry Rollins urges those listening to not fall victim to being awed, and to rather be inspired. Silence that voice that says you can't measure up to what you see and hear. Each person who is creating something is exactly that, a person. And that person started out in a room learning how to play guitar badly, or messing up their paintings, or didn't know how to write a novel, or was that novice in the gym, or new kid in class, or something along those lines. The difference between those who "make it" and those who don't is that they were persistent and that they did what they wanted to do. Harrison Ford was asked once why he made it in Hollywood versus a number of actors who started at the same time as him but fell out. He said, "I stayed when they didn't." That reminds me of a famous Will Rogers quote, "Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.”

People don't lay there on their deathbed thankful that they played it safe and didn't try something. They think about what they could've done and feel thankful for the things they did do. Even in Citizen Kane, Charles Foster Kane doesn't think about his business empire or the amounts of money he earned. His last word was "Rosebud," calling back to his childhood sled, his most authentic extension of himself that managed not to wither and die in his materialistic conquest. So, if you do anything good for yourself today, please watch this minute long clip, feel inspired, and start doing whatever it is you want to do. Your world will be better off because you became your most authentic self.

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