I fly a lot. It’s part of my work and my life.
I have never boarded an airplane and hoped that the pilot would be doing something s/he’s never done before.
I want the pilot of my plane to be well-rested, sober, and able to concentrate fully for the next several hours. I don’t want my pilot to be a daydreamer.
Same for my surgeon.
I don’t really want them to be in a creative mode while I am under their control.
Ahhh, but you, you are completely different.
I don’t want you to give me today the exact same thing you gave me yesterday.
I don’t want you to be initialing the check list of radio air talent duties minute-by-minute.
From you, I want surprise. From you, I want the extraordinary.
Very few can be extraordinary. It requires a special nature not everyone has, and if you don’t believe you have it, that commitment to not just being unique, but life-altering for one particular listener each time you speak, that’s ok too. In fact, Radio today is run with you in mind.
But as an industry, Radio had better find those who have no choice but to be extraordinary. It’s something they simply must express and can’t always control.
If you are one of these select few, I want to know about you. I want to follow you and encourage you and celebrate your “strangeness.”
You are different.
You have the ability to be extraordinary, and as the late poet Mary Oliver once wrote, “The extraordinary is what art is about.“
“No one yet has made a list of places where the extraordinary may happen and where it may not. Still, there are indications. Among crowds, in drawing rooms, among easements and comforts and pleasures, it is seldom seen. It likes the out-of-doors. It likes the concentrating mind. It likes solitude. It is more likely to stick to the risk-taker than the ticket-taker. It isn’t that it would disparage comforts, or the set routines of the world, but that its concern is directed to another place. Its concern is the edge, and the making of a form out of the formlessness that is beyond the edge.”
Don’t be afraid of the edge. The edge is where you need to be, and if your boss, whether PD or GM of VP of Programming, is keeping you from it, let me try to help you find a place more comfortable with your gift.
Don’t let a paycheck make you ordinary.
“My responsibility is not to the ordinary, or the timely. My loyalty is to the inner vision, whenever and howsoever it may arrive. If I have a meeting with you at three o’clock, rejoice if I am late. Rejoice even more if I do not arrive at all.”
I should remind you here that extraordinary people are never easy to manage. They miss deadlines. They miss appointments. They ask you a lot of questions.
But boy, are they worth it!
“And the occasional success, to the striver, is worth everything. The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.” (all quotes from Mary Oliver)
You are not like the others and that difference, that uniqueness, is exactly what someone listening today needs from you.
Let it flow.
Be who you were meant to be.