Energy is everything. How much you have and how you channel it is the difference between success and failure in any endeavor. Some might call it passion, others might call it a calling. Whatever the term, it all boils down to one powerful verb: drive.
So what happens if you’ve lost the drive you used to have for a particular end or activity?
Now is as good a time as any to point out that I have an Instagram account. There’s mostly travel and nature photos on it, but you’ll also notice some of my artwork on there.
Trust me, there’s a point to this.
I found some drawings I did back in the 2009-2010 time frame, and they really made me want to break out the pencils and get going with it again.
But more than the drawings themselves, I was interested the particular time in my life these drawings represented.
Losing the Drive
I made these drawings shortly after a musical project I had been in decided it no longer needed me and gave me the boot. They then went off to find modest success, a sensation that’s not wholly unfamiliar to me.
I was crestfallen in that aggressively annoying way that millennials can get. But somewhere in my piles of stuff as I moped around my apartment I found a pad of paper and a set of Derwent pencils. For some reason, I get compelled to start drawing pictures of random stuff around the house.
I had always loved drawing, as a kid dreaming of breaking into the comic book industry. At this point, though, I probably hadn’t put pencil to paper in over five years.
The first picture I drew was of a teddy bear I had gotten my then-girlfriend and now wife for Valentine’s Day. I stuck a leftover Halloween eyepatch on it for no reason in particular. I flexed my fingers, gripped my pencil, and started drawing.
It took the better part of the night, but when I was finished I felt an immense satisfaction. It was pretty good, if I may say so myself.
Encouraged, I continued to draw any object that piqued my interest. Just for the hell of it, I told myself, but I knew the real reason why I did it.
It didn’t just kill time.
It felt good to my soul.
Redirecting the Energy
We all have that thing that keeps us going. Some of us are talented and lucky enough to make that our profession. Most of us are not. Whether it’s boxing or fitness or acting or cartooning, there’s something that you do for free because it scratches some itch deep inside.
But life tends to get in the way, we tell ourselves. We grow up, or outside circumstances beyond our control dictate that we stop doing what it is that feeds our soul.
A lot of times we don’t lose our drive, we lose an object to point it towards.
For me, it was music. I didn’t just get off on the performance aspect. I loved communicating with other people on a level that was both primal and spiritual.
Take the man away from the music. That desire remains. The desire to communicate.
What I had to do was find another way to communicate with people.
Find the “Why”
As much as I love music, the medium wasn’t the important thing.
What I had to do was dig deep and learn why I liked music so much. I could then find other ways to fulfill that need.
Drawing did it.
Writing does the same thing. Since that time, I’ve written four novels and several short stories. I’ll publish some soon. And there’s also this blog.
And I haven’t given up on music, not yet.
If you find yourself aimless and without that drive you used to have for something, find your “why,” and I guarantee you’ll discover another vehicle for your energy.
It’s all about mindset. Open yourself up to the opportunities and you’ll realize that your drive, your motor, had never left you. It was just waiting for a new vehicle.
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And check out my Instagram here.