A Multi-Layered & Multi-Directional Exploration of Success and Society
We live our lives afraid
Endlessly ambushed in a cocoon of mediocrity
Always envious of those who break the mould
Resentful of people who
Extend their reach without apology
Or achieve levels of success
None of us
Even dare to imagine in our secret spaces or subconsciously.
Purpose. What is your ultimate intention or
Lifelong ambition? Is it too fanciful to even consider?
Are the risks so great that even contemplation
Numbs you back into submission? Capitulation to an
Electronic world that clocks you in, checks you out or
Tries to cleave you into malleable despondency?
For we rise illustrious even when we lose.
Inescapably navigating humility, forgiveness and
Losing empowers us with the temerity to try again.
Except we assimilate more when we win,
Defeating our own defeatism philosophy.
We learn success
Is possible, probable and an achievable outcome.
This society keeps us in life constrained with
Hardship and mayhem as a daily expectancy.
Success must be experienced doubly,
Whenever we combat catastrophe, for this very
Idea to compound itself as a dawning and
Ricochet solidly within us.
Like-minded people find like-minded friends and
Intrinsically triumphant champions leave the defeated behind.
No loser has the mindset of a winner.
Growth and experience mean these prodigies
Exude expectations of success.
No idea how to start?
Escape into your dreams
REM sleep, fantasy states, call it what you will.
Grey or colour, dreams allow anything to happen.
You envision time-shifts as scenes coagulate strategically
To become tenacious new worlds of possibility.
Herein lies the secret: (step one) dream (step two)
Instigate a plan to actuate those ideas.
Slowly work on the plan, your Plan Esprit
With allowances for many failings along the way.
Overcome shortcomings and your success will
Radiate and rejuvenate you.
Life in this cookie cutter world is
Designed to test us, to make us doubt our capabilities.
It makes us hold back in fear
Suckered inside a microcosm of humdrum and uninspired, gritty
Both sides of your picket fence contain broods of sameness:
Exact replicas of ordinary, gaining and experiencing
Twin lifestyles echoed on a cloned playing field.
Time to change the game!
Every time the 9 to 5 grind leaves us anticipating the weekend
Reminding us we only have two days of quality.
Proposition: What if every single day was a weekend?
Listen to your passionate heart
And think about what you would do.
Could you, would you, be something spectacular?
Existentialism aside, science is creating devotees:
Believers from sceptics about how
Energy streams connect us all.
Claims of superstring theory
At subatomic levels bridge
Entwined together but not of our own volition or sovereignty.
You are bound to me and me to you.
Open to energy and flow yet
Uniquely separate like inertia and gravity.
As butterfly wings create tsunamis
Rippling through time and space
Energy is shared. My success is your success: guaranteed.
Interconnection between all humankind
Naturally sees us broaden and grow in degrees.
In every new generation, success is redefined
To expand upon expectations they could not have foreseen.
Do we dare dream when we live in a world
Of pain and confusion, run by committee?
No easily-found bravery to dedicate to a plan
Or to allow yourself to be exceptional –
The person you are supposed to be.
Wise people see through you,
And beyond your tough exterior
Sensing the incredible and invisible
Taste of your inner glow.
Everyday people are blinded to your morphology.
The nagging gnawing grip of fear
Has us tightly in its claw
Eliminating chances we haven’t yet recognised or seen.
Our society, our city, has evolved to hold us back
Pressured to live with the losses suffered by the quotidian.
Prisms of light expand your colours
Offering glimpses of your true spectrum.
Regimented by the machine of conformity
That tells us to be inadequate and insignificant;
Usurping our own uniqueness
Not for our own good, but for the sake of media
The machine is defective! The machine is wrong!
You are significant, you are ambiguous: this I decree.
The most formidable part of any expedition
Originates with this first step of the journey.
Believe and discern your truth.
Express and divine your prize: this is (step three).
The dialogue of universal enigmatic energy
Has no rosetta stone
Each interpretation may conflict uncommonly.
Be the dream, discover the dream
Even when you feel there is none.
Seek your own individual joy
Trust that soft whisper – cascading into a cacophony.
Perpetual students of self development
Engage in a vision of life
Radically different from those
Seeking the conventional.
Often take the chances
Normally discarded to your divinity.
You have the power
Utilise this idea to lead you to self-mastery.
Create cosmic balance:
All are one, yet coexisting in a community of disconnect;
Never liberating ourselves of the fear, to be free
Burst out into something unprecedented
Eagerly expanding your energy: for you are just like me.
This piece has been reworked over a dozen times and bears no resemblance to its early shaping. After many false starts, I resolved to use the city as a focus. Using word association and leap-frogging techniques, I discerned that it is individual societies that truly make each city unique – their values and belief structures. Initially, I began with dialogue – written conversations quickly became rants which developed into a speech. I wanted to make it powerful, discussing how and why we live as we do. However, the more I played with this prose, the clumsier it became.
Because my life echoes with self-doubt about my own values and judgements, I no longer wanted to write something that was a one dimensional speech but rather, something that could move, teach and inspire people. Maybe even help them change their own life just as I wanted to change mine. Whilst I liked the content in my speech, it didn’t have the impact that I was looking for.
I began to turn it into a poem, breaking lines and adapting segments to give it a rhythm. I added instructions and formulated a resolution. My next idea was to make this poem truly unique by hiding secret messages inside it.
After much consideration, I devised the following sentences:
We are one planet filled with swirling energy. This world is a better place because you are in it. Do NOT waste the opportunity to be the best person you can be.
This was 127 characters long and I decided to use this as the core of my piece. I placed each letter of each word vertically with spaces between the words – this showed me the length of each stanza (giving me a 127 line poem) so that if a person studied the poem enough, they would be able to read the core idea from the first letters of each line. Obviously my speech/poem no longer worked with this idea so it took intense revising to give the same ideas and concepts but in this new format.
I liked the idea of hidden layers within the poem, especially as it addresses success. Success isn’t easy and it takes hard work and dedication – so, too, is discovering the hidden words and meaning in my poem. However, by changing the title, it gave a clue to readers that the poem contains secrets within it – not just in the ideas and words put forth as a suggestion for attaining success – but also within each line. Words like ‘quotidian’ were added deliberately to enforce this concept.
This idea excited me and it took me several rewrites to put the speech into this configuration in a satisfying way. I re-approached it a week later, altering sections to give more emotion and imagery rather than just using the vernacular (e.g. voice became whisper etc.) I wanted my readers to work for their success. The constraints of the fixed starting letter for each line became more obvious and required further reworking.
By this point, two layers in this poem did not feel sufficient. I began searching for more ways to add impact and value to the piece in hidden ways. I attempted to make each line a mantra (either negative or positive) so that people could take any line and apply it to their own lives. I hoped people would be able to memorise a line or two that was particularly significant to them and use them as a mantra to move forward and be motivated. I was not as successful at this as I had hoped because the poem really needed the conjoining words to prevent a disjointed read. But where I could make that effective, I did so (eg: You have the power, Create cosmic balance, Believe and discern your truth etc). I also changed the last line of each stanza to rhyme with the ‘ee’ sound as in the word ‘ME’ (which I intentionally placed as the last word of the piece). When a reader is approaching this poem, I want them to be searching within themselves and this sound echoed throughout the poem is a deliberate attempt to have them focus on themselves. For the final layers, I added colours to highlight the ‘stop and go’ of our lives (like traffic lights) with terms that resonate with the values of society. For the final layer, I added another hidden sentence (one word from each stanza) to the poem highlighted in grey – making it harder to find! It reads:
We who dare to win daily, combat expectations. Plan to fear averageness. Change your energy. Open and grow to dream the incredible. Eliminating conformity – this is the whisper of change. Be You.
By creating a multi-dimensional piece, I believe I have achieved success: by having a dream, following a plan and then making it happen.