Rock Stars

Erik Cooper —  October 7, 2009 — 5 Comments

Most of us are oblivious to what lives inside of us.  We live in slow motion, in monotonous routine, because somewhere deep in our souls we don’t believe we have influence, that we matter, that the world has any need for the things that we allow to lay dormant inside of us.

We’re in a culture inundated with inspiration, self-help books, mind-stimulating podcasts and messages, more self-esteem builders and delivery methods than any time in all of history.  Yet I’m convinced that most of us fight feelings of worthlessness and mediocrity more than we realize or are willing to admit.  We’re blind to our own potential.

We’ve ingested, perhaps even subliminally, our personality-driven culture (definitely prevalent here in America, but becoming a reality in all areas of the developed world).  We all want to be rock stars (yeah, I see you playing air guitar in your office to those old Journey tracks you just downloaded from iTunes).

Our approach to life proves our underlying belief that if we’re not gifted in something that gets noticed by the masses, then we’re really not gifted at all.  And in this new age of technology and a flattening globe, our self-defined value is becoming tied to things like blog subscriptions and Twitter followers.

And because we can’t determine how to influence thousands, we choose to influence…no one.

In risk of turning this into just another self-help post, you really do have something of value to add to the world. You were created to make a difference in someone else’s life.  You just may not believe it.  You may have to dig a little deeper to find it.

Don’t confuse creative capacity with artistry. Just because you’re not a singer, a painter, a writer, a front-of-the-room communicator doesn’t mean you don’t have amazing creative potential to offer to the world.  In fact, just because you’re an artist doesn’t mean you’re creative.  I know plenty of artists who are just cheap copies and phony imitations of others.

So what has God placed inside of you that needs to come out? To be expressed?  To find life and breathe life?  You may never be globally known, play a stadium gig, or write a best-seller.  But will you cheat the world of the innovative capacity you were created to bring forth? What if the very thing you have to offer could drastically change one person’s life, but you never pursue it?  What if you choose to give in to your own insecurities?  To believe that only mass influence is real influence?

What do you need to risk?  To release?  To create?  To invest?  Will you live the adventure or just play it safe?  Don’t be blind to your own potential.  The possibilities are endless, but you have to realize what’s inside of you that just might need to come out.

5 responses to Rock Stars

  1. Please write an entire book. 🙂 Thank you for challenging me…yet again. Good word.

  2. Three weeks ago during a class discussion for grad school, we split into pairs to briefly research our respective partners and sketch a potential technology or device capable of describing the “core” of that person. My partner Bob (name altered for anonymity) quickly revealed his response, indicating “the core” was a question he thoroughly explored beforehand: “I want to do something epic.”

    Digging deeper, I asked him to define what “epic” is to him. “Something very influential. Something that affects many people for the better. I want to change the world.”

    I replied, “So if your entire career and all your influence benefited only one individual, would that not be enough?”

    “Damn.” He paused, eyes locked forward. “No. One is not enough. It has to be big. Epic.”

    Epic Bob, as your article would label him, has a Rock-star-type personality, engaged in sports, drinking, movies and video games primarily as social catalysts; and yet passionate, outspoken, and self-confident. He embraces his creative potential but does not postulate how to achieve this ambitious goal.

    Though possessing a global or broader perspective is both healthy and demanded upon us as Christians (i.e. the Great Commission), it is far too easy to be blind to what’s immediately in front of us. Can we forsake the single individual who needs our help the most – especially if its within our means – for the sake of unrecognized utilitarian ideals? Are we locally paralyzed, convincing ourselves future, “more influential” work will more than rectify any present neglect of “trivial” acts demanding our attention? We cannot disregard either, but broad change first must be realized locally.

    Typically, I spend the first active half-hour of my weekdays running. Monday, I ventured on Indiana University’s campus to traverse a worn 2.5 mile route along parking lots and sidewalks. Running that day came easy, so instead of arching my head forward, as any runner should, I engaged reading building signs to try to identify the location of Assembly Hall (the site of the following day’s walk-in influenza clinic).

    Though I thought the path before me was clear, within five seconds, my left foot smashed into a pile of disassembled wooden barricades set aside from recent construction. Hopping over the ruble, I continued my route after a brief inspection, pain shooting up my leg every alternate step for the next twenty minutes.

    By not focusing my eyes forward on the task before me, I couldn’t traverse the hazards easy avoidable otherwise. I didn’t need to look at building signs, since I could map the location later. Granted, stumbling didn’t halt my progress, but it slowed and pained me.

    We need a larger perspective as fuel for our imagination but ultimately our immediate task is already before us and known to us. We have to be satisfied with the next step, for it’s in the accumulation of day-to-day experiences we establish our “epic” legacy. The journey is much less painful, problematic, and regretful if we anchor ourselves according to God’s perspective, direction, and pace.

  3. Eric this goes right along with my devotion this morning.

    “That’s what I mean: Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag.”

    -Luke 19 message

    I want to RISK it ALL!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Church Planting Blogs of the Week | Planting Space - October 9, 2009

    […] Rock Stars from Beyond The Risk by Erik Cooper Eric talks about the challenges we face in a personality-driven culture. […]

  2. Monday News & Links (October 19) « The Biz Insider News Bulletin - April 1, 2010

    […] On Rock Stars & A Personality-Driven Culture […]

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML. <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>