America praises productivity.

We love being efficient here in the United States.

At least in theory. We have some glaring gaps in our practice.

But, for the most part, if something can be done better, cheaper, faster, and repeatedly, we celebrate that as a good outcome.

For many things, widgets etc., this makes tremendous sense.

Small learnings and improvements, repeated millions of times, can have an astronomical impact on one’s output.

Your life path, however, may not be the best place to deploy these same values. The desire to maximize efficiency and efficacy can leave us wanting massively.

About two years ago, I developed the phrase, “If it makes no sense, it is perfect.”

A little tongue in cheek? Sure.

But I will say that the more I commit to it as a mantra, the more that I see its value.

It’s not about being reckless, at least entirely.

It is acknowledging that your desires and needs as a human being are unlikely to fit a rubric, or a structure that was built for efficiency.

The straightest path between two points is a straight line.

Until you incorporate the discomfort and disease associated with the constant battle to will yourself to stay on such a narrow journey.

Until you realize how many chance opportunities and ideas you might miss by exploring something that’s interesting to you.

I saw a different piece of advice dispensed that flies in the face of so much conventional wisdom:

Pursue multiple projects, and work on that which EXCITES you the most at any given time.

What you sacrifice in focus, you gain in sheer momentum from the energy and verve you are able to pour into your work.

The latter much more deeply aligns with my lived experience.

Sometimes, I’m in song writing mode. I can crank out lyrics and cadences and ideas with almost little effort. And then, at some point, the well runs dry. 

I’ve written a song in less than 15-minutes.

I’ve stared at an empty space where the last two lines should be for hours.

I’ve posted on TikTok 5+ times a day for more than 30 days at a clip.

Somedays making a single, 15-second video feels like abject torture.

“That doesn’t make any sense,” I tell myself. “If I can do something for hours on end, doing it for a small window of time should be accessible, no?”

Apparently not.

I know that I’ve written about these ideas before, and I feel some level of self-judgment bubbling up within me for failing to conjure an entirely new idea.

But the reeemergence of this concept is a reflection of how we can wander away from what we know to be true in search of more.

In two weeks, I’m rehearsing with a live band for the first time.

Certain voices in my psyche are self-flaggelating. “You don’t have time. It’s another expense. You haven’t even rapped on stage more than 10 times.”

All true.

But I have a conviction that playing with a live band is the move. The conversation with the bandmates is already bubbling and brimming with different ideas about how to take songs, poems, and stories and give them an entirely different life.

It means that I have the energy of 4 humans instead of 1 on stage to share with an audience.

It forces me to get better acquainted with the music in my songs and how it can evolve to be even more than it’s original form.

So, fingers crossed, Jack Dawkins and his Lovestruck Band (working name – should probably ask the guys) will be on stage in early 2023.

Is there something that you’re dying to do, but tell yourself that you shouldn’t? Or can’t?

I gently invite you to reconsider. 

You never know what nearby door or opportunity you might be closing.

With Love,

Jack Dawkins