We all need constant reminders that the word is an extraordinary place where dreams are had and followed. Otherwise we experience poverty of aspiration, to borrow a term from the labor party. It’s a state of mind that prevents us from continuing to explore of all the possibilities of life.
ASPIRATIONAL AFFLUENCE — The ritual of reminding ourselves that the word is an extraordinary place where dreams are had and followed.
What fascinating or unusual thing could you do in your own life that would be worth making a documentary about? What new direction could you take that would be worth watching from afar? Those questions can ignite a creative spark within you. They kickstart ambition. Aspirational affluence is what makes you put on your boy clothes and press the flesh and get your hands dirty and keep failing until you finally found a dream worth having. This is how you end up living a life that you wouldn’t trade.
A few years ago, I was going through a creative slump. For the first time in my life, there was no excitement at having discovered something worth doing. I hadn’t chosen a creative project with the potential to galvanize me out of my anxiety trap. And I knew that if I didn’t turn my brain over to some magnificent obsession, and if I didn’t turn an idea that fascinated me into something real in the world, I might go crazy. And so, I started watching one documentary, every day. Even if I wasn’t interested in the topic. Even if I’d never heard of the filmmaker before. Because I knew that would expand and inspire and challenge my mind in new directions. After all, the purpose of a documentary is to give us a genuine slice of something we don’t normally see. My aspirational affluence skyrocketed after that experience.
Having big plans for the future doesn’t have to be an archaic curiosity. We can build mountains for ourselves to climb. How did you overcome your poverty of aspiration?
Snap out of creative slumps
Galvanize yourself out of anxiety traps
Expand your mind in new directions
Find fresh fuel for fresh ideas.