June 25, 2006

Thoughts On Turning 43 and
Contemplating Professional Success



Breath of Chutzpah. Copyright Sam Sartorius.


It’s not about being #1 or even “the one.”
For no galaxy has room for only one star.


It’s not about being famous.


It’s not about being the "leading anything" or being celebrated, sought after, flashy, admired, rich, noticed, or adored.


For whenever it becomes about any of these things, it ceases to be about what it really is (and always will be) about.


It is simply about doing good and being good. Really, really good.


The kind of good that despite your hours of dedication and study always leaves a small part of you anxious, wondering if you are worthy of the stages afforded your voice and visions.


The kind of good that requires measuring success in decades and years, not days and minutes … letting things unfold at their natural and unforced pace even when it feels as if life is advancing frame by frame by frame instead of a constant reel of progress.


A rushed marinade cooked with the burners on high never equals the pungent flavors that emerge from a long period of slow simmering over low flames.


We must remain forever impatient that we are realizing what is possible in whatever is our chosen craft.


And remain forever patient that we are on the path to becoming the craftsman that is our rightful claim.


Only the craftsman can know if the craft has been mastered.
What others think is just noise.


Special thanks to my good friend and creative compatriot, Sam Sartorius, for the wonderful journal she gave me as a birthday gift. Infused with her spirit, it immediately inspired this reflection.

1 comment:

Lisa Junker said...

Happy birthday, Jeff! I hope it was a great one. I'm looking forward to reading your reflections on life and work for years to come ...