David Talley1 Comment

The Beetle and the Traincar

David Talley1 Comment
The Beetle and the Traincar

Something I struggle with is focus.

Not the kind of focus where I forget what I’m doing every five minutes. More like, I have so many ideas that I love so much that sometimes it’s hard to commit to just one or two or three of them. This causes a lot of issues for me, but mostly, it just makes me feel stressed. I have “shiny-toy” syndrome. I want to do everything because I have so many ideas. It’s hard to commit to just one.

Towards the end of my visit in Japan, I was feeling super down. I had no idea why. It was like there was this big, angry weight on my chest that was simultaneously thrashing me side to side in a brick room. Everything was totally fine, but I was going crazy inside. I felt like I wanted to just explode with rocket boots in to the sky.


Then I was on a train. Hurtling at some-Km/h-or-other back to Tokyo after a day in Hakone, the mountainous region near Mt. Fuji. Absolutely beautiful, peaceful, and serene - but the whole day I was there, I felt on edge and sad. I missed home. I missed feeling the excitement of creating pure art. I was feeling down. I know I’m headed somewhere, to Tokyo. I know I’m headed somewhere, to the future of my career. Why do I feel like this?

But I was on this train, and I was thinking about all of this stuff. I was on a train hurtling towards a destination. And on this train, there was a beetle. A large, beautiful, green and gold Japanese Beetle. Flying. Everywhere. Hitting. Everything. It was in this train car with myself, my bro Rob Woodcox, and about 30 Japanese people. And everyone hated the dang beetle. Swatting at it, moving away from it to the other side of the train car. And the poor thing probably had no idea. 

So I stuck out my hand in the train. If no one was going to let this little guy go, I was. And BAM. At that instant, he plopped down right in my hand. I just held him there. And then at the next stop, I let him go.

I don’t believe in what a lot of people might call “the final achiebvement.” The point at which you finally “get there.” You finally “do the thing” you want to with your career. Our lives are comprised of moments that make up a story. Some moments are big, some are small, but all of these moments have the chance to share your purpose with the world. To make it a better place.

But this idea of thinking is ingrained in to our culture. Sometimes, we know we’re headed somewhere. We’re making progress. We’re in a train car moving fast towards something. But sometimes, that something gets confused. We think we have one end goal. We think there IS anultimate end goal for our lives. It’s easy for humans to fall in to the idea of thinking that one day, we will have everything figured out. We will “make it.” Finally, we will arrive at our final destination.

And nothing could be further from the truth.

A true vision, a true purpose, doesn't move like a beetle in a train car to one destination. If it did, we’d all be thrashing around. No, our vision, our purpose in life should manifest in all areas of our lives. In fact, it should be independent of what we actually do. I don’t have to be a photographer or a teacher. But I LOVE doing it. And I’m good at it. So I do it. But, maybe one day, I won’t feel the need to be the one behind the camera. It doesn’t matter to me, as long as I’m turning the dark in to the light. Our visions are compromised of multiple things we do.

And the same goes for all of us who have these deep-rooted beliefs and feel a sense of purpose and vision. We’re headed towards something, yes. But that something is a collection of things - that something is the collective ways in which we share our purpose and our vision for a better world. Mine is to show that “even the darkest of moments are followed by an explosion of light.” That there is redemption. There there is a solution. That there is life beyond what we accept and expect in our day-to-day.

And as long as I show that in everything that I do, in all of those ideas I have, then I am doing what I am called to do. As long as you show your purpose in everything that you do, even the most minute of things, then you are, too.

And in case you’re wondering… that weight is gone. It was gone as soon as I let that beetle off the train.

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