The first time I heard the quote: “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space” was at “The Conversation” at Columbia University, March of 2010. It was an exciting time, the internet and social media in particular were changing how a filmmaker – or any artist, content producer and creative – shared their wares with his or her audience and fan base. We now had direct access to audiences without layers of sales agents, distributors, aggregators, studios, etc. We could engage directly, get our messages out AND (potentially) make some money.The sentence was uttered by Tiffany Shlain – who, like few filmmakers before her, embraced the digital advantages and shared them with us at the conference. She credited the sentence to her father. (I checked and see that this is a lyric from a song by Nickelback called This Afternoon, or at least that seems to be the most common association on Google).
As with the equation I posted last week: ignorance + arrogance = irrelevance from Brian Solis, I am a firm believer that taking oneself too serious is a cardinal sin. A bit of humility goes a long way in seeing others’ points of view, understanding the big picture (however big you can stomach), and showing compassion for “the other”, because (and yes, I’m sounding like a broken record – or a digital glitch for those of you who do not know what I’m talking about) it’s only through “the other” that we have something against which we can define ourselves. Crassly said: we do not “exist” as individuals if it weren’t for “otherness”. And where “comfort zone otherness” ends and “scary otherness” starts is in the eye of the beholder – and you better be working on moving the comfort zone outward….. ok, enough proselytizing.
I love the idea of living on the edge – close enough to peek into the precipice but still far enough for someone to notice and say: “you’re not close enough to the edge, you’re taking up too much space”… and then you inch a bit closer to the edge and realize that each time you do, the edge moves with you, because there is no real precipice – just the one you imagine, because you have not dared go there yet.
So, challenge yourself and take another inch to the cliff’s edge, because you are entirely taking up too much space!