Tama Kieves is an inspiring example of someone who has overcome the pressures to keep following a path on which her high intelligence and capability gained her social and financial rewards, but at too great a spiritual cost because she was denying her creative passions.
She had graduated with honors from Harvard Law School, but left her career as “an overworked attorney” to follow her “soul’s haunting desire to become a writer.”
In her book “Inspired and Unstoppable” she addresses challenges that many creative, high ability people may face – and provides stories and strategies for inspiration.
Here are a few excerpts from her book – I keep returning to it for inspiration and assurance:
As a creative individual, visionary leader, independent thinker, soul-healer, or entrepreneur, it’s your birthright to utilize other talents, insights, resources, and innate strategies.
You are not made to fit into the world, make it in the world, but to remake the world, heal the world, and illuminate new choices and sensibilities.
The problem isn’t that inspired individuals can’t face “reality.” The problem is that they do — and they let it eclipse their instinct and excellence.
Keep in mind that today’s mainstream culture sprang up from the fringes, those with different ideas, the rabble-rousers on a distant shore. Thomas Watson, the founder of blue-chip IBM, for God’s sake, said, “Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker.”
In every age, alternative, bold souls have doubted themselves, have been criticized, and have struggled to forge an outlet for their brilliance.
But it’s only because they gave “the world” more power than their creativity.
If you trust your creativity, your inspired inclination, you will discover a whole new way to flourish. This is the time to do it. These are cutting-edge times, times of global transformation.
Security is a moving target. Yet passion is your real security. Many “safe” jobs have become time bombs for your soul. Others have been downsized, obliterated, or stripped of humanity and fire.
Yet just as old forms break down, new expressions, careers, needs, humanitarian causes, and industries mushroom on the horizon. Years ago, who ever heard of a web designer? A blog writer? A “green” architect? Or a life coach, for that matter.
Now more than ever, it’s a sense of inspired desire that will impel you in the direction of the current that’s coming.
You Can’t Plan an Inspired Life: Tama Kieves at TEDxCrestmoorPark
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[See another video: "Tama Kieves on Pursuing Multiple Passions" in article: Underutilized Talents, Too Many Aptitudes.]
[Image: step by step ~ by AlicePopkorn. Her caption: "There is no one giant step that does it. It's a lot of little steps." Peter A. Cohen]
Tama Kieves writes:
“It takes stubborn originality to make it as an artist, entrepreneur, innovator, or change agent of any kind. You are a channel for inspiration, a new artery of the extraordinary, and it’s your role to tend, trust, and birth this expression, not to deny it, twist it, or make it seem like everything else. It’s not like anything else. And that would be the point.”…
“The independent, creative mind will choose to benefit from everything.”
Poet and novelist Rilke wrote about the journey of being an artist:
“In this there is no measuring with time, a year doesn’t matter, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means: not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree, which doesn’t force its sap, and stands confidently in the storms of spring, not afraid that afterward summer may not come.
“It does come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are there as if eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly silent and vast. I learn it every day of my life, learn it with pain I am grateful for: patience is everything!”
From Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke.
Tama Kieves includes part of this quote in her book, and adds:
“Can you really know what the perfect timeline is for forging one extraordinary life? How long does it take to heal inside, learn to breathe large, and meet the world unconditionally with love, conviction, and talents you didn’t even know you had?
Audio clip – What stops us? - Kieves talks about what stops us from living our dreams for a fulfilling life, from her more than one hour presentation at The New Wealth Experience.
Kieves’ comment that “bold souls have doubted themselves” can apply to many highly talented people.
Her fourth album “Red” had opening sales of 1.21 million – the highest recorded in a decade, and Taylor Swift has had two million-plus opening weeks.
But she has commented, “I doubt myself 400,000 times per 10-minute interval.”
Writer Larry Kane commented about his bio on the musician, “People would be surprised at how insecure John Lennon was, and his lack of self esteem. Throughout his life, even during the height of Beatle mania, he had poor self esteem, even though he exuded confidence.”
Those quotes are also used in my book “Developing Multiple Talents: The personal side of creative expression.”
Also see the book excerpt article Talented and insecure.
Another post (with video): Tama Kieves on claiming our potential with joy.