Limit It Editions

A Great read.

kyle bryantComment

I came across an article by Mark Manson yesterday about what you really want in life. Everyone has an answer to that question, but Mason flips it on his head by asking the question differently.

Sometimes I ask people, “How do you choose to suffer?” These people tilt their heads and look at me like I have twelve noses. But I ask because that tells me far more about you than your desires and fantasies. Because you have to choose something. You can’t have a pain-free life. It can’t all be roses and unicorns. And ultimately that’s the hard question that matters. Pleasure is an easy question. And pretty much all of us have similar answers. The more interesting question is the pain. What is the pain that you want to sustain?

The thing that I find so interesting about this idea is that for those of us who really pour our hearts and souls into our art, it really can be a struggle, but when you're in the struggle it is so hard to see the forest from the trees. This really puts things into perspective, questions if what we do is really worth doing.

Stereotypes of artists include being poor, living in a never ending alcoholic binge, sleeping in a less than ideal environment and trying not to starve. These, like most stereotypes, are wildly exaggerated, but not completely off base.

Does the dream justify the suffering? Does the suffering validate the dream come true?

Who you are is defined by the values you are willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who get in good shape. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who move up it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainty of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it.

The question that I now face is, how do I define my suffering? I know the feelings, I know what causes the suffering, but how do I put it to words. That is my next writing exercise, define why I suffer.