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Freelancing, Failure, Follow-up, Risk, Reframing and the Passionate Life: Gregg Levoy Intvw Transcript Part 2

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GL: Absolutely.

Rob: They had a relationship to it that is very different.

GL: Absolutely and they recognize that it was a source and I think that anyway we can get back to remembering that, even if it's just an afternoon spent in the woods behind your house, you know or a retreat into the wilderness like Greenway was doing to remind you that that is source; that's where we came from. You know what I'm saying? I think is useful to the modern civilized top down mind is to remember wow, we are as much animal as we are human, and that, in fact, maybe even more so.

Rob: Having a plant in your house even can be a way to increase your access to the passion in your life.

GL: Exactly, or a birdfeeder in your backyard where you're drawing wildlife you were saying one of your wow moments is encounters with wildlife. Well, increase the chances for having encounters with wildlife. Draw them to you or go out and meet them where they are.

Rob: Alright, so I'm going to rap on this question, maybe, that's my intention. There's a whole generation, a huge percentage is unemployed, people twenty to twenty-five, they're couch potatoes, they're not working. The game business is bigger than the movie business now. They're playing these online games, they're not working, what do you have to say to them and for them?

GL: Well, you know I go into colleges a lot and I have over the years to share actually The Calling's workshops and the title of it is Don't Just Declare a Major, Follow a Calling, and I go into colleges and I believe that I see a lot of old people of twenty. You know? People who they've sort of passed through that membrane between youth and adulthood; youth that has so much passion, just an exuberance and energy naturally to it. And adulthood with very little of that joie de vivre intact, and I just see a lot of deer in the headlights look, I see a lot of resignation in their faces, I see the fear of declaring a major, finding a career path, making a living, raising kids, paying off their college loans, figuring out how they're going to get out of their parent's basement at twenty-five years old or thirty, you know. My older brother used to say only scrambled eggs go back to the nest, which is a little harsh, but there's a lot of kids living at home you know, and I really feel for this situation because I see that these people of twenty years-old, they've become adulterated already. You know? There's sort of a precocious kind of senility that's set in so early in the game, they just lost their spark; I see this a lot. I'm not saying this as a broad generalization about the entire generation, but I see it a lot and I'm not the only one who does. There's - so I just go in there and I try to add my piece to the conversation about living a vital life. You know, ultimately I think that's a lot of what education ought to do you know, is create a passionate relationship to life and to learning and to self-responsibility. And I just would hate to see another generation make the choice that's all about security over passion and that isn't entirely what's happening. I mean I think there's been a resurgence in the peace core in the last generation or two; there's a lot of kids who are really excited about changing the world and thinking out of the box and developing disruptive technologies and all of this. I mean there is a lot of passion there too, but I see a tremendous amount of resignation.

Rob: So what do you - tell me more about what you would advise for them.

GL: I would say -

Rob: You do coaching.

GL: I do.

Rob: What if you had somebody who you spoke to who was in that situation?

GL: Oh I just did.

Rob: Or the parents.

GL: I had a young man come to me and he said he had wanted to be - has wanted to be his whole life a teacher and a public speaker, and he said I spent my entire life biting my tongue. That's the language that he used, and during the conversation I noticed he literally had a really pronounced scar on the tip of his tongue like a huge callous. Where he had literally bitten it repeatedly and I would just say stop biting your tongue. Follow that passion, confront whatever blocks its expression. See this to me is critical in living a quote "passionate life." In order to do that you have to confront whatever blocks the expression of that passion; this is easier said than done, and I grant you this is easier said than done, but confront whatever's making you bite your tongue all the time. The voices in your head, the message coming from parents or the world at large. I think that's a critical piece, the courage. And courage just means heart, alright?

Rob: Find your heart?

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