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Cruising through life

From the time we are born, our parents do their very best to shield us from all kinds of difficulties and provide us the best platform from which to leap.

As we grow older however, we tend to remember more of the comfort and the shielding and forget all about the leaping. We get into a mode where we are cruising through our lives.

When you're on a flight and the pilot announces, "We are now cruising at an altitude of 30,000 feet", he is talking about the same kind of cruising that we tend to do with our lives. And the definition of 'to cruise' in this scenario is - to travel smoothly at a moderate or economical speed.

Airplanes don't leap. They don't have to. They are designed not to. They are designed to follow an exact path from one set of coordinates to another. They are designed to follow a very specific trajectory.

But our lives aren't airplanes.

We need to cruise only when we are learning. And then, we need to leap in order to create art that matters. We need to leap in order to make a difference in this world.

Of course, plenty of us are more than happy to wade through life smoothly at a moderate or economical speed. Much like an airplane. Following a trajectory that we understand very well, one that has been charted for us by the society and the world that we live in.

And then there are the artists.

Artists aren't happy with smooth sailing along a pre-determined path. Voyagers were among the early artists. They seek to leap, and to step out of line, and to discover new and wonderful things that following the set trajectory would never have let them see.

The problem with leaping is that we do not always land safely. In fact, the odds are stacked heavily against landing safely. And yet, the artists choose to leap.

Steve Jobs was an artist. Albert Einstein was an artist. Lionel Messi is an artist.

Being an artist is about leaving the trajectory behind and taking a leap.

Being a successful artist is about overcoming the difficult odds stacked against making a safe landing.

We can choose to cruise through our life.

Or we can be an artist.

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