There’s a certain element that draws a line between existing and living. It’s the same line that divides a drizzle from rain, a hop from a jump, and a jog from a run. It’s the element of intention. It’s also the element that separates indifference from passion.
Our brain produces thoughts. Thoughts turn into signals, which then travel at unthinkable speeds though our body, and are then turned into actions. The profoundness of these thoughts often determines just to what extent we take them. Take for example the Chartes Cathedral (or really any structure of medieval architecture). It was a thought that came from the notion that the more grand and elaborate a a structure of worship was, the more reverence to God it showed. It’s major dates of construction spanned more than 50 years, and no less than 300 men worked on it at once. My point is not to marvel at its structure, though almost incomprehensible as it may be that human hands built it without the means of the modern technology we have today. Chartes, along with other Cathedeals of its era, came into existence because there was intention behind it. For the people of the Medieval era, it was to glorify a higher being.
So I have to ask myself the burning question: what is my intention? I suppose different areas of my life have certain intentions. Some are tougher to identify, as they are more internal. I spent six years of my life devoted to pulling on rocks. I loved it, and was passionate about, but there was a deeper intention that brought about that passion. As I read The Rise of Superman, I was able to more easil identify this intention.
There’s a state of mind called “Flow.” It’s not achievable by all, some have stumbled across it by accident, and others have completely unlocked its access. The world is tuned out, but every action and reflex your body makes is completely automatic. There’s no thinking, only doing. You’ve lost yourself in the element in which you work, and there’s no sense of time. During the send attempt of a boulder problem, this is the mindset; because at that point every movement is done from memory, and there’s nothing to be calculated anymore. It’s 100% execution. The same state of mind can be achieved when working on an part piece, and this is where I’ve walked into it more often. At some point, you aren’t thinking, you’re only responding to what’s on the canvas or paper. The responses may be similar or drastically different. Before you realize it the preconceived image you had in your mind no longer exists, but rather an emotional piece that captures both eye and mind. In creating this piece you realized your intention. In getting to the last move of a boulder problem, you realized your intention. It wasn’t to just make progress, it was to conquered the challenge. On the canvas, your intention was to speak in lines gestures what couldn’t be communicated with words. The difference between a C and a B, and a B and an A, the difference between existing and living, is intention.
Figure out what yours is. Suddenly things make a lot more sense…