Are You Afraid If You Change For The Better That You’ll Lose Your Edge Of Greatness?

Nov 16, 2014 | Creativity


Welcome to morning flowers at their best: deep color, fresh texture and perhaps even a bit of unusual moodiness.  The shining happy daisies that sit on the side of this stand aren’t quite as beautiful alone as this mix of wildness.

These greens and flowers have an edge to them, you know?   Some rich darkness is wed with almost-fireworks of furry fuzzy blooms.   They have an edge of greatness.

Many painters I know hold tight to their emotional darkness because they believe it fuels their work.  Becoming happy- or sober- would be the end of their art.  Actor friends of mine that are long lost from my life stay on the brink of something catastrophic (financial disaster, emotional melt down, relationship fury) and proudly flaunt their darkness to have their special bit of dramaric intrigue.  I know loads of professionals who party like they are in The Wolf Of Wall Street even though they’ve  long outgrown the all-night parties of teen years but yearn to stay socially controversial and… interesting.

Do you hold onto problems, angst and even bad habits because they are some sort of motivation or catalyst for you?

Are you afraid that if you change too much for the better that you will lose your own edge? 


I look at my little cheerleading squard of fur beside me and I can’t help but smile.  I am about to leave for a week-long trip to Japan. Its a Buddhist trip.  It’s not quite vacation, though it will be a vacation from the Internet for 7 days and that in itself is life-changing.  Each time I go to Taisekiji at the base of Mt. Fuji to practice Buddhism and attend ceremonies and wake at 2:30am to walk the cobblestone streets with lanterns to pray in the mornings I come back lighter, happier and more magnetic.  Deeply, profoundly, I am lighter and transformed.  You’ll see it in my eyes when I get back. I always see it in my eyes.  I’m so grateful and exited at the opportunity to go again… and yet…

The weird thing is… today… as I woke up a bit nervous for the third day in a row… I caught myself wondering… if I changed too much on my trip if I would lose my edge that makes me a writer and motivates me in both business and life?  Isn’t the darkness of my story part of what makes me who I am… even makes me interesting?

If I were to drop more of the things that still weigh me down in life — (everything from the trauma of horrible ex boyfriends to a circus of an upbringing to a feeling that I am always behind and need to catch up to the point of near-workaholism) — would I still be able to do great things in the world? Would I still have my “me-ness” without this secretly dark motivation weighing down my life?

Do you have a similiar edge in life that- in a paradoxical way- you feel motivates you or makes you who you are? 

For some its drama relationships, a war with food, deep fears that feel familiar, drinking, drugs, risky habits, and “-aholic” addictive thing….

I know legendary artists too afraid to drop their emotional baggage that chokes their days and makes them miserable because in some way they think its the secret to their success.  A few I am not sure will outlive their own legendary behavior.

The funny thing is…

I’ve seen artists get sober and just take off in non-stop productive flourish.

I’ve seen people who thrived on their drama suddenly get happy and suddently have the space in their mind – the white space  of quiet not consumed with self-destruction- to make awesome things happen.

I’ve really never seen anyone do amazing work because they chose to sink deep into darkness and let it take over.

It occured to me that even the more sober, more healthy, more rested, more peaceful or more loved still have a powerful story and a unique personality and, yes, their own unique edge of greatness.

Maybe I’d been making too many excuses to hold onto the familiar oppression of my own secret self-torment?

And now… I just can’t wait to let more of it go…!

Are you willing to let go of things to make space for what you tell the world that you want? 

If you are, you most certainly can…!  xoxo Dana



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1 Comment

  1. Jeanne

    There is a quote from Joel Osteen which really hit home for me. “You are not defined by your past. You are prepared by your past.” And, I think this is true. Once you let go, better things will happen because you are ready to be who you are supposed to be. This quote help me to let go of so many things so my success is defined by the great instead of the good 🙂 Have a safe, enlightening and positive trip. You’ll find the answers you searching for 🙂


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