You and Neil Peart
When Neil Peart was in high school He was the geek, the loser, the awkward introvert with hardly any friends. He also had a passion for drumming and writing. When other kids were hanging out, he was drumming and writing . When other kids were at parties, he was drumming and writing. He saw drumming and writing as his ticket to acceptance, and poured himself into them.
The irony here is that despite becoming one of the greatest rock drummers and lyricists of all time, the shyness, awkwardness, and introverted nature of his personality never changed. So when all the parties, friends, and acceptance arrived, he realized he wanted none of it. But he also found that the joy he received and shared every night far outweighed the cost of fame, and continued on.
So what is the lesson of Neil Peart?
When he was young, It would have been so much easier for him to stay small, hidden, and out of view. With his social anxiety, it would’ve been understandable if Neil Peart had never taken the stage. But he loved what he did so much that he figured out a way to do it in a way that worked for him, and in that doing, brought joy, comfort, release, and self expression to millions across the globe for over 40 years.
Can you imagine if his drumming was never heard in public, and instead just resonated off the walls of his parents basement “until he got a real job”? What a tragedy that would have been!
So how does this relate to you?
I want you to think about what you’re hiding.
Think about what you’re holding back.
Think about the things you’re afraid to show the world because you don’t think they’re good enough, or are afraid of what people will say. Then think about Neil, pounding on his craft, constantly perfecting it, then taking that stage night after night on his own terms, and spreading joy to the masses like he was born to do.
Now take a breath, and once and for all, decide to show your true self to the world.
You have that desire for a reason, and the reason is that someone somewhere needs to hear what you have to say in a way that only you can say it.
(Case in point – I’ve been writing since the age of 16, and just this past October, some 37 years later, decided to start sharing it. I’ll be honest, at first, it was painful, hard, and brought loads of self-doubt. But now, 3 months later, it’s just like breathing.)