Hear Your Call
How many of us have a set of core values that we know and we've written down, and we can recognize? I put that at one third. For two thirds of you, this is a really core thing. It's a really amazing opportunity. And here's the cool thing. If you don't know, your life is about to get way better. (audience laughs) It's such a fundamental thing, and yet this is part of what made me write this book. It start creative live and do this with you all today is that we're not taught any of this. We're taught but we're literally taught to memorize the multiplication tables. (audience laughs) The state capitals. It's fine. It's fine. I don't wanna throw rocks. I promised I wouldn't. But what about your personal core values? Right? To me, this is a really important thing because this is what's gonna guide you along your path for the next, oh, 10 or 20 years. For those of you who said that there was a gap between where you are right now, and where you wanna be. I'm telling you right now, and this is...
the part, this is a roller coaster 'cuz like we have core values. Your life's about to get better, and now I'm gonna tell you that the gap between where you are and where you wanna be, it could be 10,000 hours of work from right now. (audience coughs) Everybody was just, got really bummed. (audience laughs) But I tell you when you are 10,000 miles away, 10,000 hours, 100 hours, that sounds scary and frustrating, but here is the truth. You may be only one decision from that thing. Just wrap your head around that for just a second. 10,000 miles is when I decided that I wanted to be a photographer more than anything in the world, you know what happened? It was like a catapult. I was shot forward in spirit and soul, and energy in everything because I was listening to the thing that I was supposed to be doing. I had a set of core values. I understood what I was supposed to be. And I knew that I was 10,000 miles, and a bunch of numb cold fingers, and a bunch of dark room time, and a bunch of failure away, but making that one decision change my life. We are taught to ignore our intuition, and you know it, it never goes away. It's there. And if we can listen to it, this is the calling part of the book. It was a little bit of, just the the title of the book. It's meant for people who are looking for their creative calling, to say creative calling, yes, I wanna tap into that. But it's also, it's about creativity and it's about our calling. And the cool thing is that intuition is this amazingly powerful asset that we've all got, and like all those other things that we already talked about, oh, we shouldn't pay attention to that. It's impractical. It's all these other things. But you know what we know about this thing up here, this is a 2 million year old organ. It is not meant to keep you happy. Do you understand what I'm saying? This is meant to keep you alive. (audience murmuring) Here's the cool thing. You can get this thing that's not meant to keep you happy, and it's meant to keep you alive. You can get it to work for you. I will tell you what I learn about most people is that for most people, we work for it, and that's scary. Because we're taught that this rational mind is infallible and it's great, and it's what separates us from this no, no, no, no, no. This thing is looking for saber tooth tigers at all times. (audience laughs) I mean it's okay. The number of Instagram likes that you got yesterday on your post, your brain actually sees that as a saber tooth tiger. This is truth. This is your biology. So in trying to make yourself happy, fulfilled, successful, these words, you're literally working against your biology. Your biology is kind of, it's a blunt instrument. It's trying to keep you alive, not happy and fulfilled. So step one is starting to really cognate around this. And notice, I'm pointing up here but what I really should be pointing at is right here.
Okay. This is something we're taught to ignore. Most of us lay awake at three in the morning saying I have no idea what I wanna do. And then we just sharpen the focus just a little bit. We can get there. Now, I'm not saying that you have to do all those things. I'm saying that in five minutes when you ask the right questions, you can make a lot of ground. And I want everyone at home. You all in your underwear in Ohio, I'm looking at you. (audience laughs) I want you all to be able to understand that this is possible. This is the imagined part of our lives, and we're taught to not imagine. I'm saying your imagination is so rich, and if you can connect to it just a little bit, I'm telling you that your life is possible. I did that. I didn't make films about Holocaust survivors but I took photographs for a living, and I had the same, didn't know what I wanna do. I bailed on a career in professional soccer. I dropped out of medical school. And I bailed on a PhD in philosophy in three separate years. Imagine my poor parents. (audience laughs) These are all really culturally revered things too. Right? Well, you're gonna be a doctor or a professional athlete or if you're not that kind of a doctor, you're a different kind of a doctor. That's great. I disappointed nearly everyone in my life. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, and keep in mind, I am white. I am male. I was born in America in the 1970's. (audience laughs) And I had basically every privilege you can, and it was still the hardest thing I've ever done to disappoint everyone who cared about me.
So I'm not saying this is easy but I'm saying that you must do it. You have one shot.