Yesterday I watched a very profound and beautiful interview with one prominent Lithuanian actor, Rolandas Kazlas. It was full of inspiring ideas, but one got very deep under my skin. I cannot quote the exact words he said, but it was something like this: Talent is simply being able to stay in the situation from which everyone else runs away. It means that people whom we coin as talented or successful in their field are those people who stayed when all they wanted to do was run away and hide. These situations are inevitable in any creative journey and they manifest in all the different forms. People criticize you. They ignore you. You fail. You feel like shit. It’s dark and lonely. You want to quit. And you STAY. That’s what makes all the difference between success and failure.
Our natural reaction asks us to resist. To fight back. To justify ourselves. Or simply pack our ideas and dreams and to disappear. I can’t tell you how many times I got hooked on resistance in the past. I made an attempt to express myself, received not enough applauds, let alone critical opinions and off I ran full of resentment towards the cruel world. And then you make a victim story. You say: Listen, I really tried. I did my best, but no one needs me and my work. You go around pitying yourself and collecting crumbs of sympathy while boiling with jealousy, because someone else did what you couldn’t. You chalk that up to success, to talent, to stars. And yet, it doesn’t give any comfort. This little voice inside keeps on whispering: Try again. Harder this time. Stay.
Finally realizing, that there’s no other way out of your misery, you give it another try. And no, it’s not that much more successful than the previous one, but now you’re older and wiser. You know that if you want to reach the light at the end of the tunnel, you will have to rumble thru the darkness. And so you stay. One day at a time. You stay. One step forward, two steps back. You stay. Until you get quite comfortable with the dimness of the tunnel which is sometimes lit by little sparks of light. You start feeling at home on your creative journey. It is ok to fail. Ok to go unnoticed. To work persistently all alone in the dark led by the bright inner lantern which guides you forward.
That, my friends, is called persistence. And that’s the birthplace of TALENT. Let’s all stay, just one more day. And one more…
Persistent in my path,