Sunday, 21 November 2010

Paul McCartney And Doubt

Hey Jude, Let it Be, All My Loving, Can't Buy Me Love, For No One, Penny Lane, We Can Work It Out, Yesterday.

Imagine writing these songs by the age of 27.  Imagine how you would feel.  Consider how your life might be different, how other people might treat you, how differently you'd feel about yourself.  Surely if you had written songs of this quality you would feel better about your life - more content, confident, happier?

That's certainly my own assumption.  As absurd as it sounds, my mind often wonders why I'm not Paul McCartney - why am I such a failure?  Why can't I be like him? 

Last night I watched McCartney speaking in a documentary about the making of Band on the Run.  It was a timely reminder of how our minds work.

McCartney was candid about how his most dominant feeling after the Beatles was fear of failure.  He felt pressure from looking all washed up by age 30.  He worried about betrayal and disloyalty.  And he described how his mind always tells him how he could have done more or better, and how he's never quite got it right, even when in The Beatles.

McCartney was in The Greatest Band Ever.  He is a genius whose contribution to my life, and millions like me, has been unique and profound.  And yet even his thinking is dominated by doubt and anxiety and fear of failure.   He has a mind - just like yours and mine - which tells him he is not quite good enough.

You see, the truth is our minds work in a way that means that not even Paul McCartney is Paul McCartney. We will never good enough. 

Always on the run.  

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