The Icarus Deception

What’s in it for me? A creative code to activate your inner artist

The digital revolution isn’t going away anywhere anytime soon as computers are only getting brighter by the day. Those annoying and tedious, yet cautious positions that are often linked to the nine-to-five work style are going away, too, but that isn’t exactly a bad thing. However, this does mean that you will need to adjust to this new digital economy.

How do you make that work? You have to welcome creativity with your arms wide open and turn into an artist. Seth Godin accentuates that art doesn’t revolve around painting pictures and creating music, but rather any creative work needs both enthusiasm and sincerity. In other words, aspects that computers don’t have.

It’s not simple to be an artist as you’ve got to be very compassionate and be impervious to things. In addition, it’s pretty dicey on the contrary to previous positions as there isn’t a guaranteed pay for your work. However, it’s much more fulfilling and beneficial to all of society. Just think about it; would you want to live in a world where people didn’t put their hearts and soles into the things that they really cared about?

The thing is, you don’t to do it on your own. In the next paragraphs, we’ll put common myths to rest while offering a lot of assistance in regards to how to release your inner creative self.

Throughout this text, you’ll find out:

  • How come climbing out of your comfort zone will help you do the best work you’ve ever done;
  • How society utilizes shame to get people to follow in line with its beliefs
  • How come grit, courage, and determination are a lot more crucial than pure talent.

The Icarus Deception makes us overly cautious, but we need to move out of our comfort zone.

As time passes, everything will become more and more automated. Machines will take on an increasing number of both manual and administrative jobs. So, what will people be left with? We will have to get a whole lot more creative. However, it’s taken us quite some time to realize this.

The Icarus Deception is at fault; we live in a world where we don’t settle for enough. We’ve taken the Greek myth of Icarus too seriously and we’ve completely misinterpreted it.

Icarus’s father, Daedalus, had been an artisan who had been put into prison with his son as they hadn’t followed Minos’s orders, who had been the king of Crete. However, Daedalus had an idea, so he began to create wings for himself and his son so that they could escape. He warned his son not to go too high or else the sun would melt the wax that was holding the wings together. Sadly, Icarus did not take his words seriously so he flew towards the sun where his wings melted, causing him to fall to his death.

Today, society has become so focused on not flying too high as the main lesson in the story. However, there’s much more to it. Daedalus had also told Icarus not to go too low as the sea’s spray would drench the wings and pull him down. Going for the stars can be dangerous, but the same applies to those who are too careful.

It’s important to keep that second part in mind; if we want to prosper, we have to get out of our comfort zone which means that we shouldn’t fly too low.

The thing is, the world has transformed. Previously, people could get safe and nicely paid office positions that also offered rewards. That concept was put to rest in the 1990s. Now, consistent employment is only promised to those creatives who aren’t afraid to take some risks and launch new endeavors. Take a look at internet startups such as Facebook; it came out when the success of that type of business model was anything but definite.

We have to take pointers from that; today’s comfort zone revolves around both creativity and making connections with other people.

There are fewer gatekeepers and more opportunities in the new connected economy

Whenever a kitten is in diress, their parent comes over, picks them up by the collar of their neck and then brings them over to safety. A monkey, on the other hand, has to keep holding onto their parent’s back in order to get out of danger. In today’s economy, humans have to be more like monkeys versus kittens; we have to figure out how to be more proactive.

So, how would the new economy be described? Well, there are two main points; it’s a lot more connected with a lot less guards.

Those two concepts are interconnected. Since everyone is linked to one another via the internet, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for guards to tell people what to do or even establish any restrictions. Just take a look at creative positions; in the past, potential musicians and actors depended on the permission of authorities within their industries such as agents or directors. In other words, they depended on guards. Now, though, people are able to control their careers on their own. Places such as YouTube and iTunes allow anyone to have direct connections with their target audience and are able to distribute their creative work.

This helps generate a whole lot more opportunities.

Just take a look at the music industry; prior to the revolution of the internet, getting up to the top was a pretty straightforward process. You had to wait until a label talent-scouted you, made a hit song, and then prayed that you’d be one of the lucky ones who wouldn’t be ripped off by your bosses. The probability of becoming a musician was quite low back then. Now, however, this doesn’t happen anymore. If you write and create a song that only two people purchase on iTunes, you’ll end up making more royalties than musicians made from selling an entire album before the internet.

However, musicians are the only ones who benefit from this new interconnected economy. People like designers, consultants, teachers, as well as therapists are all able to create online businesses on YouTube, personal sites, and social media platforms in order to reach out to huge audiences in the millions.

We need to redefine humility and fully commit to our art.

The Japanese word, kamiwaza, is the best way to outline what it means to completely commit to something and completely absorb into it. If you translate it word for word it means “like the gods”. Although that may sound awfully vain, we actually have the wrong idea of humility and we need a new definition immediately.

Humility does not revolve around accepting bad performances or not trying the best that you can. Instead, there’s humility in hard work in order to become as great as possible in something. Whenever you put your all into a task, you get completely lost in it and aren’t embarrassed about what you do anymore. This goes to show that you no longer care about what other people think. This is what true humility is.

Whenever you reach that level of humility, you are now able to work much better with and for others by offering your best self and accomplishments with other people. It lets you agree on taking responsibility while you take the lead with the possibility of having to deal with risk.

As a result, say, for instance, you have a powerful sense of fashion. It would be more modest of you to start your own fashion label instead of keep your job as an office assistant where you deliver dull work. Redefining humility in that way lets you focus on offering society your best work without being arrogant or selfish.

In addition, with regards to humility, you’ll find that it’s the prerequisite to being completely committed to your work; in fact, commitment is the key to being successful. If you hold onto your safe job and go after your art, or whatever else it is that you are passionate about in your free time, there’s a slim chance that you’ll be able to make something out of it.

Making something that you put out there into the world and encourage others through it requires humility and hard work. However, you aren’t ensured success on the contrary to a normal position as art doesn’t have a set pay. All of your hard work may result in nothing, unfortunately, so admitting to it demands confidence as well as humility.

To become an artist, you have to be independent and develop grit.

What exactly is grit? We aren’t talking about the stuff that you occasionally find in between your salad leaves! On the contrary, it’s one of the most crucial resources that an artist can have. To put it simply, if you’d like to become an artist then you have to have grit.

Art doesn’t simply revolve around painting pictures or making music; it’s whatever creative work that you do with the goal of putting something new out into this world. It could be a revolutionary customer service system, or it could be new type of abstract painting. Regardless, you have to have grit if you want to put it out there.

Psychologist and author of Grit, Angela Duckworth mentioned that many people believe that grit simply revolves around perseverance. However, the two don’t fall hand in hand. Grit requires creating straightforward objections that reflect what you truly care about. This could be anything from creating a social platform to bringing together environmental campaigners together. The vision is the most crucial part. As soon as you know what you want to accomplish, it’s a whole lot simpler to persevere in your journey to complete it.

However, grit isn’t the only thing that you’ll have to have if you want to be an artist in this new economy. In addition, you will have to be independent in both your mind and soul. External neglect ends up getting in the way of going after your passions. In order to be a real artist, you have to get rid of external forces that are in charge of your work such as bosses or managers.

When you gain independence, you also have to learn how to work without any outside motivation. In order to be successful, you have to learn to become self-sufficient. How positive or negative you are feeling about yourself or work should not rely on the approval of others. You have to be the main judge of the work that you do.

Lastly, you have to be impartial to both succeeding and failing. When you turn on the TV, you’ll come across many successful talents that are creating only okay songs that will be forgotten sooner than later. Recognition doesn’t always echo the real price of what it is that you’re making. Don’t forget that even though you’re not getting much praise for something, it doesn’t mean that you’re making something that isn’t good or revolutionary.

Shame is the artist’s greatest enemy, so it’s best to focus on connection and ignore criticism.

Superheroes are able to accomplish essentially anything, however, they do typically have an Achilles heel. Just take a look at Superman; the alien mineral, kryptonite, immediately gets rid of his powers. Artists also have their own kryptonite that they have to deal with even though it’s less mysterious than something mined on distant planets: shame.

So, why are artists so susceptible to shame?

The thing is, they are defined by their entire investment into their creative work. Their work is very personal and incredibly meaningful to them which is why criticism hurts that much more. Just imagine that your manager just denounced your ability to take proper notes throughout meetings. You most likely wouldn’t care too much about it. However, imagine how painful it would be hearing some criticism on your start-up concept that you had been working on for many months and really believe in.

Criticism is a common form of shaping others. On top of that, shame has been used for many years as a way to get people to comply with current societal beliefs. For instance, teachers often times try to discipline those that are free spirited and think outside the box by shaming them in front of the rest of the class. Society also keeps us from going after our dreams and gaining freedom by making us feel remorseful about what it says is arrogant and nonsensical.

As a result, you have to get a thick skin and figure out how to tune out the criticism if you’d like to make it out in life as an artist. The thing is, that shame will immediately put a stop to your efforts. Therefore, the only choice that you have is to ignore everything that’s moving you off course from your goal. So, what’s the best way to do that? You want to pay attention to the positive connections and don’t go out of your way to read or listen to the negative reviews and comments. Don’t forget that one negative statement can cause you to question yourself.

To become more successful, learn to recognize opportunities by becoming more observant.

The author, Ray Bradbury, had once given the soon-to-be creatives some really good advice. He stated that the most important thing out of everything else is to stay away from getting stuck in your own head. If you want to be creative then you have to interact with the world instead of constantly think about it. If you want to interact, you have to understand how to truly look at the world.

So, why is this so important? The thing is, success revolves around acknowledging opportunities. Typically, though, we look at the world from our own tunnel vision; we decipher things based on our preconceptions, which ends up clouding our common sense.

Just think about how everyone sees new technologies differently; they stress about how they will alter the world in a negative way and thus decide to disregard them. Afterward, however, they end up missing out on many awesome opportunities. The venture capitalist, Fred Wilson, for instance, made a fortune by taking a look at the world the way it truly is. By understanding in which way the wind was blowing, he chose to invest in internet platforms such as Twitter, which ended up turning into huge success stories.

Other good examples include Alan Webber and Bill Taylor, who had understood that internet startups were the companies of the future. Therefore, they created Fast Company, which was a magazine that outlined that section back in 1995. It ended up turning into a big commercial success.

These founders all share their talent of being able to recognize opportunity whenever it hits them. However, this was not something that they got at birth. They had been able to understand it after teaching themselves to be much more observant.

It’s truly the little things that can make a huge difference. Just take a look at the author Paco Underhill. This gentleman is notorious for his attention to detail. When he had been doing some consulting work for a retail business, he had seen how female shoppers were negatively impacted by those shoppers who were brushing past them. Therefore, he suggested that stores widen their aisles and as a result, they saw a huge boost in revenue.