I was listening to Chase Jarvis, photographer and CEO of CreativeLive.com, on The Tim Ferriss Show. He spoke about intuition. He said, “Our memories and our emotions, all of those things, that’s the equivalent of RAM. We take in like a billion pieces of data a minute or a second or something like that. And we only make use of a very small amount. And the way I do think about this is the equivalent of RAM in the computer like what’s right there on the surface or just below the surface that we can recall. And this theory about intuition is that while we are recording these billions of data points throughout our entire life moment to moment, that we do actually have an archive of those in our body, in the cells of our body. And that intuition is sort of the parsing, what it is called when you refactor, you go back and look at data that’s already there, but you put it through a different process. And to me, this process is intuition.”
Believing deep down that you need to make a certain decision, take a path, make a change, or just keep going. All those data points that soaked into our brains through the years connecting in a subconscious way to help us choose to turn right or left.
And along with intuition, having the support of someone who believes in us beyond reason is invaluable.
When author Stephen King accepted the lifetime achievement honour from the National Book Awards in 2003, he spoke about his earlier writing years. He and his wife and kids were living in a trailer and choosing which bills to pay each month. He was working as an English teacher and his wife Tabby was working at Dunkin’ Donuts. He had been offered an extra role at the school.
He said, “The head of the English department where I taught told me that the debate club was going to need a new faculty advisor and he put me up for the job if I wanted. It would pay $300 per school year which doesn’t sound like much but my yearly take in 1973 was only $6,600 and $300 equalled ten weeks worth of groceries. The English department head told me he’d need my decision by the end of the week. When I told Tabby about the opening, she asked if I’d still have time to write. I told her not as much. Her response to that was unequivocal, ‘Well then, you can’t take it.’ One of the few times during the early years of our marriage I saw my wife cry really hard was when I told her that a paperback publisher, New American Library, had paid a ton of money for the book she’d rescued from the trash. I could quit teaching, she could quit pushing crullers at Dunkin’ Donuts. She looked almost unbelieving for five seconds and then she put her hands over her face, and she wept. When she finally stopped, we went into the living room and sat on our old couch, which Tabby had rescued from a yard sale, and talked into the early hours of the morning about what we were going to do with the money. I’ve never had a more pleasant conversation. I have never had one that felt more surreal. My point is that Tabby always knew what I was supposed to be doing and she believed that I would succeed at it. There is a time in the lives of most writers when they are vulnerable, when the vivid dreams and ambitions of childhood seem to pale in the harsh sunlight of what we call the real world. In short, there’s a time when things can go either way.”
And during that time, if you believe in yourself and you have someone that believes in you too, anything is possible.
As Stephen King says, “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”