Over the weekend Kanye West revealed to the world via twitter that he is $53 million in debt.*
He also revealed that he most likely is mentally ill. I don’t want to armchair psychoanalyze him but I’d say he’s got a heavy dose of clinical narcissism going on.
And because he’s clearly a creature in pain, I don’t want to make fun of him. Instead, we’ll let Stephen Colbert do that.
But what I find most interesting about his public cry for financial help (to the likes of billionaires Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page), is that he’s saying out loud some of the things I’ve said to myself before.
That he needs more money to bring what’s in his head out into the world.
Here’s a world wide celebrity who really does have access to capital begging publicly to be given a chance.
Here’s what we can learn from this:
1. People at all income levels experience Not Enough. The feeling of Not Enough time or money or love or support or health plagues the haves and the have nots alike. I have known multi-millionaires who are terrified that they will lose a portion of their wealth. I have met people living simple lives who are terrified they won’t be prepared for the apocalypse. Both of those fear states are really Not Enough.
People at all income levels experience Not Enough.
How does knowing that Not Enough is not classist change your perspective on your current situation?
2. More money does not magically cure Not Enough. So lest you think that a few more zeroes in your bank account will solve all your problems, please think again. Not Enough is a baseline condition of dualistic thinking that pits where you are (Not Enough) against where you think everything will be great (the unrealized Future). The clearest way to understand Future Thinking is typically with weight loss.
Future Thinking of ANY kind is Not Enough. Poor old Yeezy thinks that he can’t bring his full brilliance into the world until someone gives him $1 billion.
What is your most common Future Thought?
3. True artists create in spite of Not Enoughness. And Kanye, bless him, is voicing the same concern that artists all around the world and for all time have experienced: that they lack the resources to bring their ideas to life. Stories of doubt and creative blocks populate the biographies of great creators throughout time.
But they found a way to work through the doubts. I would argue that working through the Not Enough voices will not only silence them but also give you a concrete reason to doubt them when they do (inevitably) appear again.
What can you do today that shows you doubt the voices of Not Enough?
*This may not be accurate, and he is given to hyperbole. It could be the amount of money he’s invested in himself over the past 13 years.