Ha. I wish I had interviewed him for my little project, but alas, that’s a dream that will probably never come to pass. Note that I dropped the ‘probably’ in there because we all know what he’d say to that…Dream as big as you want to because anything is possible, no matter how bizarre.
No, this is an interview that he did recently with ‘TimesTalks’ in NYC (August 14/15 depending on your timezones). I’ve just been watching it again (of course), and I wanted to write down some of the things he said to drill them into my brain. And as you know, basically everything he says is inspiring and motivating, so I decided to turn it into a blog post. This way, whenever you need a kick in the creative pants, or whenever you are feeling doubtful and fearful about the path you've chosen to take, you can come here and be filled with a fire to create and make your dreams a reality. That’s what he does for me. He makes me believe I can do anything and be anything. I have never met a more inspiring and amazing person, and to be perfectly honest, I doubt I ever will.* There is no one who inspires me like he does. No one. Here are some highlights from the interview, which you can watch in full here. I highly recommend you do that. The whole interview is just over 90 minutes, so this is just a small taste of the beautiful and inspiring things he said:
On deciding to do something special with his life ~
“It’s not such a safe, or predictable, or gentle career path, being an artist. It can be very challenging.”
“I was already dead set on doing something special with my life, come hell or high water. I wasn’t going to let anybody stop me from doing that, because I figured out early on that most people never really try, and if I just tried I had a good shot at making the impossible possible. And I tell people that all the time, you know; taking that first step is the one that most people never ever take. Which is a shame, because great dreams are possible. Do I sound like Anthony Robbins right now?”
On learning from the best film makers in the industry (and inadvertently describing exactly how I feel about him) ~
“I don’t watch David Fincher just to learn about film making, you know; I learn from David Fincher about execution, about planning, about follow through, about perseverance, about having a vision and bringing it to life, and that can be applied to anything…What I found in David Fincher is excellence and not being afraid of ambition.”
I don’t listen to Mars just to listen to music, you know; I listen to Mars to learn about following dreams, about believing in myself, about taking the road less travelled and about fighting for what I believe in. I learn about execution, about planning, about follow through, about perseverance, about having a vision and bringing it to life, and that can be applied to anything. In fact I do apply that to most -- if not all -- aspects of my life, as regular readers and my friends and family would know. What I found in Mars, in Jared, is excellence and not being afraid of ambition. A role model. A role model who makes me want to be better in every single way. A role model who makes me better.
On being committed to your dreams ~
“In order to be an artist, you have to be committed beyond a reasonable doubt. To be a writer, you have to be committed beyond a reasonable doubt…I think that when you take the road less travelled, you have to have that commitment.”
“I think I have an insatiable appetite to make things and share things with the world. I have…You know, I’m compelled beyond a reasonable doubt to do what I do. I don’t think that it can be reasonable or a logical choice. I think at a certain point you’re compelled to do it. It’s too painful, too brutal, too neurotic of path to take otherwise. So I think that that compulsion has to be there. It has to be something that you…You can doubt all the time, but deep down you know that this is something you HAVE to do. And uh…I think that’s I’ve dealt with some of the adversities, some of the challenges – of which we’ve had many. You know, I started a band and the world laughed at me. Literally laughed at me. Kicked us around, talked shit about us in the press for years, and still do. Uh, you know, but we hunkered down and we worked and we worked and we worked. We play arenas all over the world; we have the most amazing brilliant beautiful ‘fans’ one could ever ask for, and we’ve had an incredible life as a result. So if I had listened to the choir, to the chorus of everyone, I would have stopped. Because that’s what people want you to do. For some reason, some people would rather kill your dream than see you succeed. I don’t know what that is, you know. I mean Ayn Rand talks about that as the ‘looters’, you know, we can debate her and that some other time, but, it, you know, I think it’s important to be stubborn and to, to follow your dreams no matter what.”
“I’m a maniac about what I do. I LOVE what I do. I would choose my work – which is kinda hard to call it ‘work’ – over my play any day of the week. I’ll work on a Saturday or a Sunday happily. I’ll skip the vacation…If you love what you do, it makes everything easier.”
On music (and again inadvertently describing how I feel about Mars) ~
“That’s what music can do for us…It can be the glue that binds us together. Friends, family, community. It can heal us, it can inspire us…It can change us.”
On failure ~
“The great thing about standing in the shadow of failure is that you learn a lot.”
On pushing through the doubt and fear ~
“I always knew that I wanted to do something different, something special, something creative with my life. But I certainly never knew that it was inevitable. But I knew that certain parts of it were; the part that I was going to be on that path no matter what. But like I said before, it’s about putting one foot in front of the other. I have as much doubt and fear as anyone else. I have my fair share of anxieties, of dark days -- and I think that’s important to say because form the outside people could, you know, maybe just assume I’m thinking about my hair! Or my beard, um, but you know, that’s certainly not the case. It’s a very fragile, “I’m walking on a tightrope over here,” as an artist. You know, one wrong move and it goes away. And you have to work incredibly hard. I think some people, and maybe I used to, think that once you got successful you could [sighs in relief] you’re successful; okay now you can just kind of just relax a little bit, and…But that’s not the case at all. You have to peddle even harder and work even more. There are more opportunities that need more time and dedication, and in order to do them well you have to really really hunker down and do the hard work. But I’ve never been afraid of hard work and I always tell people when I’m asked – and it’s pretty often that I’m asked about dreams and achieving creative goals – that I've always believed that the bridge between reality and a dream is work. And I always, in moments of despair and doubt and dark days, focus on the work. I show up and I work and I work and I work and I work.”
On his writing process ~
“Once you start writing song it doesn’t really stop. It’s like you (the writer interviewing him), I’m sure all the time your putting phrases together and, you know, completing or seeing stories everywhere, right? I see songs everywhere. I hear music and I see music, and I, and I see it in shapes and in colours…It’s always there. It’s like a…I don’t really play mobile games, but it’s almost like a game. Connecting the dots and finding creative solutions to these problems that come up.”
On the meaning of life (bless his little heart) ~
“For me, the first thing that comes to mind [when thinking about the meaning of life] is listening. Something I need to remind myself of more. To listen to myself, to listen to everything…And to follow that voice whether it’s in here or outside, because I think when we listen, we can find the answers. You know?”
On advice for people pursuing a creative dream ~
“I would encourage you to work. It’s like I said before. I mean it sounds like a stupid thing, but it’s really not. The work begets work begets work begets more work and I find that…You know music is interesting. Kurt Cobain was great because he taught us that you don’t have to ask permission to pick up a guitar, right. You don’t have to be proficient or a genius or a master craftsman. You can have something in here [your heart] and you can say it. And it can be sloppy and it can be imperfect and it can be beautiful. Um, so I would encourage you to look for your own voice. And to kill your heroes and to destroy all your influences and to be you. Because your fingerprint, your DNA is going to be the most interesting thing to share with other people. Everybody’s life and everybody’s story is fascinating if you shine the light on it in the right way. And I think when you share your music, you’re sharing your story. If that makes any sense at all.”
“What I would always say to people is don’t ever ask for permission to follow your dreams and follow them no matter fucking WHAT. You know what I mean? It’s important; we have one life here. One life! Everybody has this one life and you are the author of your story. More than anybody else. You are much more responsible for your dreams coming true or not than anyone else you’ll ever come into contact with. So dream big, and work hard, and make it happen no matter what. That’s what I would say.”
God I love him.
Again, if you want to watch the full interview (and seriously, watch it), you can watch it HERE.
And if you need me, I’ll be rolling around on the floor and drowning in my own tears. Is that inappropriate to say on a blog that’s meant to be somewhat ‘professional’? Probably. Oh well. This is who I really am inside.
*Unless you count the fact that I’ll be meeting him again in 20 days…
And again in 23.
And again in 24.
And again in 26.
And again in 27.
And again in 28.