Cure For Common Fear

Originally posted on February 19, 2009, perhaps the most interesting part of re-reading this post was seeing what my top five strengths were. They are definitely as true today as they were then. — July 25, 2011

I wanted to write a blog posting each day this week, but a lack and alas, yesterday was the day from hell, and I was up until 2:30 AM working. There were a lot of challenges throughout the day, I felt frustrated and was full of fear.

However things would change as the night progressed. Around 8:00 PM, I played a league racquetball match at the club I belong to in Vancouver, and after winning the match and giving my opponent some pointers, I had a revelation. A realization that the cure for common fear is simply sharing my knowledge and experience with other people. Focusing that thought a little more, having the confidence in the knowledge and experience that I have accumulated over the years and sharing it with the people that need or want it.

Last year, I had the opportunity to read “Strength Finders 2.0” by Tom Rath, and through the process of taking the test, my top five strengths were:

Futuristic: “You are the type of person that likes to peer over the horizon. The future fascinates you…You are a dreamer who sees visions of what could be and who cherishes those visions.”

Intellection: “You like to think. You like mental activity. The theme of Intellection does not dictate what you are thinking about; it simply describes that you like to think. You are introspective.”

Input: “You are inquisitive. You collect things. You might collect information — words, facts, books, and quotations — or you might collect tangible objects…Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting.”

Empathy: “You can sense the emotions of those around you. You can feel what they are feeling as though their feelings are your own. You help people find the right phrases to express their feelings — to themselves as well as to others. You help them give voice to their emotional life.”

Adaptability: “You live in the moment. You don’t see the future as a fixed destination. Instead, you see it as a place that you create out of the choices that you make right now. And so you discover your future one choice at a time. You are, at heart, a very flexible person who can stay productive when the demands of work are pulling you in many different directions at once.”

As I reflect upon this list of strengths, the important thing that I learn is that all of the strengths require an ability and desire to share the results with other people.

For example, If I don’t share my visions for the future with others, will those visions have an opportunity to flourish and come true? If I don’t share what I am thinking about, how will I know that those thoughts and ideas impacted someone else? What if someone can learn from what I know? I won’t know, unless I share my collections of information with people. And finally, sharing empathy and adaptability creates an environment of relationship, community and trust paving the way for life to flourish.

The true cure for common fear is to share that which has been given to you with others, and that is what I hope you take from this blog posting, a desire to share with you, what I know. It may seem incredibly simple and easy for you, but for me it is a life-altering attitude that needs to invade everything that I do on a daily basis.

Inspired Intrigue

If you don’t think that you grow and change over the years, I encourage you to go back and read the writings of your past. This morning, I rediscovered my blog from five years ago and had a good time wading through a collection of insecurities, fears, visions and dreams. Inspired Intrigue was a post that I wrote on November 13, 2005, a few months prior to starting Chris Martin Studios. My life has changed in many ways since writing this, but I’m glad that I have been able to maintain a sense of curiosity and intrigue with the world. I am struck by the words of what it means to find your identity: “The only way that we can find our identity is to search, to create, to deny, to believe, to destroy, to build and to find the life that is freely given to us as a gift.” If there is one description of my journey of the years, that is it. Enjoy this trip down the highway of my memories and imagination.

– Chris Martin, July 21, 2011

NOTE: To keep my thoughts simple and straightforward, I use the term “artist” to describe a collective of professionals ranging from filmmakers, print designers, web designers, photographers, musicians, writers, and anyone else that employs creativity to solve a problem. This is from my previous website posted on November 13, 2005.

If you’re anything like I am, you are constantly seeking inspiration. Looking at the work of another artist, a natural state of comparison sets in, and in your mind you either confirm that you are better or worse than that individual. While on the surface that doesn’t seem like such a bad thing, the reality is that comparison in any form defines the main limitation that is consistent between all creative disciplines and ultimately, life. The reason that is true, is because we are uniquely made, and meant to be different from one another. And that is a good thing. It is good that I will never be Michelangelo, David Carson, Steven Spielberg, Walter Murch, Galen Rowell, or Chris Martin from Coldplay. It is good that I will learn to be who I am created to be, because the greatest deception is for us to believe that we can be like another human being in action or intent or desire. As artists, our sole concern is to find our identity…and then smash it into a million pieces as we mold and shape who it is that we are to be. The only way that we can find our identity is to search, to create, to deny, to believe, to destroy, to build and to find the life that is freely given to us as a gift.

I found out lately that it’s okay to think what you think and it’s okay to say what you say. When you try to be someone else, and only say what you think someone else wants you to say, you eliminate your thoughts and ideas and identity, breeding confusion. Confusion in your mind regarding others and yourself. You become self-centered by ignoring your own point of view, because deep inside you hold everyone ransom because you have martyred your opinion. That is the image of a true tortured artist. The primary goal of an artist is to get beyond what others think of your work, and to detach your personal worth and value from the art that you create. If you are unable to do that, you can never have the freedom to be yourself, and the freedom to create and try new things, without the fear that someone won’t like you because your artistic attempt is a failure or not good enough. This is the path that artists must walk. Some make it, some cut off their ears, some quit their jobs in search of something deeper, some end it all. But they must realize that holding the power of creativity in the palm of your hand is dangerous if improperly wielded. However, with a healthy view of the world and your life, creativity creates some of the most beautiful art that has ever been seen this side of eternity.

All that said, I love what I do. I am constantly intrigued by what can be accomplished, and that drives me as an artist. But what intrigues me more is not only what can be accomplished but what has been accomplished in the natural creation of the world that we live in. Waterfalls, canyons, plants, trees, rivers, oceans, clouds, and rain, all beautiful elements that can easily be taken for granted, yet they never cease to amaze me, to blow me away by the unlimited supply of diversity and creativity. I’m also intrigued by people, another source of diversity and creativity. I love to people watch everywhere I go. And how people interact with one another leads me to scratch my head as I wonder why they do what they do, how they are so different from me, and what makes us truly unique.

As you can see I am intrigued by many disciplines of thought, creativity, and art, and yet while they are so different from one another, they are united by their limitations. I believe that the limitations of one discipline only leads to a greater impact in another, increasing the ability to communicate, and that is the heart and essence of true art. A web of mediums and disciplines forming a foundation that is able to support the weight of communication. That is what I choose to stick to, not a devotion to a specific medium, but a devotion to the art of communication, learning to communicate truth, beauty, value, worth; each time simpler and more effectively. That is the true challenge as an artist, and I pass that challenge on to you.