Adrian Peterson—NFL running back of the Minnesota Vikings—is one of the greatest backs in the history of pro football. He’s also living, breathing evidence of “destiny” and “calling.” When you watch this man run, you can’t help but say to yourself, “this dude was born to run.”
When Adrian Peterson gallops around defenders and dashes to the end zone, you know he’s in his “element.” I’ve heard recently that he even has aspirations to run in the 2016 Olympics—the 200 and 400-meter dash.
It doesn’t surprise me.
If you could catch Peterson’s destiny with the flash of a camera, with an image, it would be of him running in his signature galloping grace. It doesn’t matter whether he’s running in the NFL or the Olympics, on grass or track—either way he’s fulfilling his destiny as a pure runner.
I believe that we too have our own destiny. And our density, like Adrian’s, can also be captured in an “image.”
Maybe yours is an image of the protagonist in your craziest screenplay; maybe it’s a beautiful blend of all your life’s paintings; maybe it’s a snapshot of your truest poem.
Whatever is your soul’s “image,” your life’s task is to rediscover it, and then realize it and manufacture it concretely in the physical world. In other words, to bring into being your “true self” that lies dormant in the non-physical world.
But if we have a life, a calling, to rediscover, does that mean there’s a different side to us, an untold story we haven’t yet lived?
I believe we all have two lives. Our first life is the one we’re living now—the one our family and friends recognize, the one that sees us through school to please our parents and jobs to pay bills.
Our second life, however, has not been realized—yet! It’s pure potential. Our second life is usually unknown to our friends and family, and known only to our most honest selves. Our second life marks our destiny.
Our goal, as artists, is to come closer and closer in contact with that second, hidden, and truer life—the unlived potential that dwells within.
This unlived life is engraved in our souls at birth. We can run away from it and divert or medicate the resulting pain all we want, but our “second life” will never disappear. It’ll always be there.
To rediscover your second life, your truth, it’s helpful to think in terms of an image. Maybe your true calling is represented in the form of a single image that clearly depicts your latent genius.
You and I both have our unique image, and it’s our job to realize it, to live it out.
Every action, and every day lived, should contribute to the development of your soul’s “image.” And every action that leads you away from or obscures this image should be weeded out.
Do as Michelangelo did:
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set it free.”