What I love about being featured in this Culture Initiative article, besides the obvious of being associated with such awesomeness, is that they took a holistic approach towards my work, understanding that being creative in today’s world does not have to mean narrowly defining what you do. It is the realization that creatives are not just fine artist, although I am that also, but so much more. We, all of us, are creatives; the problem is you allowed it to be taught, beat, or shamed out of you by friends, teachers, and family, instead of honoring the uniquely brilliant person you are, you succumbed to the pressure of society to get along, and fit in, i.e., be average. And yet none of us are average, we only accept mediocrity because we fear not being accepted, or respected.

Life is too short, and I know that is cliche, but seriously, you get one shot, right now, to shine bright in your own way, stop wasting the opportunity by watching shitty T.V. shows or trolling social media without any intention of paying attention to your purpose. Why take in garbage that you would warn your best friend away from, why hang out with people that want to bring you down, why are you not being you, the highest sense of who you are, in this moment? Well, if you are anything like I was (and sometimes still fall back into), then it is due to FEAR.

This article zeroed in on my life philosophy, my purpose, and that is what you all need to do right now. Put down the remote, the phone, the drink, and sit with yourself, self-reflect and begin to peel back the layers of insecurity, doubt, fear and ego, so that you are left raw with who you really are and therefore who you should really be. Be that person, because I guarantee when you get deep into your core, there is great stuff waiting for you; good, juicy, spectacular stuff, like kindness, trust, empathy, and brilliance. Once there, you realize you share those traits with so many others, and you begin to feel empowered, connected, and seen, not by society, but through the cellular lens of humanity. You are part of something amazing, that supports you, struggles with you, and laughs with you, it encourages you to express yourself, to stand tall and to be vulnerable.

Standing tall can be scary because you feel exposed, like a target, but on the other hand, it is the only way to see beyond the horizon, and above the wall of average, so as to see what is truly possible.

Thanks for all the people that made this happen, I am honored and grateful.

-- mike


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