I have been looking for poetry inside myself for many years, and I’m still looking for it. There are moments when it comes out, and moments when it hides. Sometimes I think that getting worked up about it isn’t worth it, but I do not doubt the fact that it exists. Poetry is in each one of us.

It is a combination of passion, talent and awareness. When these three elements hit the ideal bulls-eye, it means that you will be giving the best of yourself, without effort…almost naturally.
In you, in me, in everyone, these elements blend together when we do what we like doing (passion), we manage to do it naturally (talent) and it is worthwhile, even to others (awareness).

While we are doing it, usually time goes by quickly, it almost disappears. Perhaps Einstein dreamt about this with his “theory about relativity”, a world in which time become void.

In that moment we are in the “flow”, in the “zone”, we are doing what we were born to do. But all of a sudden a voice inside our heads starts saying “yes… but you can’t make a living out of …” and this is another sign of a ruse, because we usually resist them. Or perhaps it might be better to say that we don’t actually resist them, but just a part of us does, the most domesticated part of us. The lazy part, trained not to take risks, not to dream too much and to keep our feet on the ground.

I have been lucky to have met thousands of people and to have listened to their stories. From these conversations, I have learnt that the origin of almost all these problems is “doing what you do not like doing”. I am not just talking about hard work and the sacrifices needed to reach an objective. But simply…

Do you do what you love doing?
Would you do what you do, even free of charge, so that you provide something for someone, ex pressing your passion at the same time?

If the answer is no, then you can understand this paradox: in this precise moment, somewhere, there is a teacher who would like to paint instead of teaching, and there is a painter, who is tired of painting, who would like to teach.

If they traded places, then there would be happier people around.

I know that it is not a simple thing to do, leave certainties to follow dreams and passions, but it is not easy to suffer every day being happy just to get by, without aspiring to something that gives light to our lives.

“Our main task in life is to give birth to ourselves, to become what we potentially are.”
Erich Fromm

Image the poetry that the Teacher is talking about in the film “Poetry” as if it were an inspiration in your life, the direction to take to reach personal success.

Teacher: Writing poetry is all about finding beauty. Understand? It is about discovering true beauty in everything we see in front of us, in our everyday life. True beauty…not things just looking beautiful. Every single one of you carries poetry in your heart. But you have imprisoned them. It’s time to free your poetry. Your poetry trapped inside should get their wings and fly away.

Mija: Sir, when does a poetic inspiration come?

Teacher: When does a poetic inspiration come?

Mija:Yes, as much as I try, it won’t come. I’d like to know, when does it come?

Teacher: It doesn’t, you must go and beg for it. You must pray but even this guarantees nothing. It’s too precious to give itself out. That is why you must go and beg for it.

Mija: Where must I go?

Teacher: It’s not in some special place, but somewhere you must wander around for. It isn’t waiting for you with a name plate saying “poetic inspiration”. The clear thing is it is somewhere nearby, not far away. It’s there right where you stand. I told you poetry can be found even in the dishwashing basin.

Therefore, do not go to far to look for it, rather than scrutinizing your childhood memories. Usually in that period of our lives, our “element” shone bright; education, schooling and experiences have put it out. But the switch is still there, and now that you can, you need to find it.

You might wander about in the dark for a bit, but one day you will make one of the biggest accomplishments of your life.

P.S.: I’d look under the kitchen sink, if I were you. You never know… 🙂


“… and in case I don’t see ya

good afternoon, good evening and good night!”…

(The Truman Show)


Buy the film

Buy the recommended book

"Poetry" A film by Lee Chang-dong with Yu Junghee, Lee David, Kim Hira. South Korea, 2010

"The Element: How finding your passion changes everything" by Ken Robinson, Aronica Lou

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