I didn’t know it at the time, but a madness was slowly growing within me.
It started like the peculiar feeling of a limb regaining feeling after falling asleep.
The only difference was that this was a “limb” I didn’t know I possessed.
The tingling grew into an itch in my consciousness. The itch turned into a vague question. It pulled at me, called me to seek, to reach… for something. I didn’t know what.
The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like roman candles in the night —Jack Kerouac
Madness is often misunderstood. Those that seem obsessed are often possessed by passion or a desire. They long to live a life where none of their interest is left unexplored.
The advantage of going mad is being consumed by your purpose or whatever is calling at you. The price of not giving yourself over to it fully is your self respect, your own ability to sleep soundly at night, and to die peacefully when your time comes.
The cost of accepting the call is giving up triviality and superficial desires. There is simply no room for diversions or distractions when you say yes to full and total immersion.
Following your deepest impulse, you must sacrifice what lies on the perimeter. You must painfully say No to the other lovers you could have known.
This madness, being baptized completely in my pursuit was the most electrifying and exciting prospect of my adult life.
It was also the most utterly terrifying.
“What about all my other interests?” the child in me cried in protest.
If I chose to go all in with this one thing, I would have to give up so much. There would be many days where I would question whether it was worth it.
Most of all, I’d have to grow up.
It was as if I was standing at a fork on a path. One path led straight ahead, it went up to the top of the mountain that lay in front of me.
This path was rough, winding, and I knew that it would test me in ways that I couldn’t imagine.
Then, there were other, easier paths to my left and right. It wasn’t clear where these led, but the terrain certainly felt easier, smoother. One of the paths seemed to go downhill.
Perhaps it even led back to the beginning. I could turn around and go home.
I would stand at this crossroads, thinking, contemplating, guessing.
Which path should I take? I was paralyzed.
The truth is I knew which path I should take, but I was afraid. It would require all of me. It would consume me.
Most of all, it would change me. By the end, I might not recognize myself.
It was brutally clear which path I should take, but I couldn’t move.
I was paralyzed in thought.
I needed some kind of new resolve. I needed to go out of my mind.
What I needed most, was madness.
Madness is what it takes to do the things everyone else just thinks and talks about. < Click to share
You must be willing to leave the safety of the tribe, and the well known template that they provide.
The only thing that would move me out of that mental paralysis was madness.
The advantage of madness is that you become consumed by your desire. You bathe yourself, immerse yourself in the pursuit of your goal. Because of this, you tap into and harness a courage to be ridiculous.
The crowd tells you something you’ve determined to do as impossible. But because of your madness, you simply view this as a sign you’re on the right track.
Another benefit of madness is that because you’re so consumed, you’re much more likely to master your craft and be at the top of your field. The top is hard to reach, but the best place to occupy.
People come to you at the top. You have the first right of refusal with opportunities. You are seen as the go-to person.
Doing what’s already been done is the work of followers. You are not a follower.
You must learn how to go out of your mind, for the purpose of taking bold action in the direction of your dreams and the masterpiece within you.
This is the advantage of madness.
The truth, is the path of total immersion, of madness, is simply the total YES, to yourself.
Are you willing to go mad and fully immerse yourself in your path?
Max Kreienbaum says
Wow, this might be one of your best pieces. Powerful.
Caelan Huntress says
Inviting madness is the best way to do something that has never been done before; indeed, it is the only way.
We can’t do something completely new if we are still using the old rules, and it is only the lunatics and madmen who are free from every internal constraint.
Just accepted the calling a few minutes ago, and then read this. Thank you