Today we speak to an artist of multiple talents — Adam Roa is an actor, spoken word poet, YouTuber, podcast host, online community leader, musician, and a life coach! Adam has spoken at conferences all over the world and his poem, You Are Who You’ve Been Looking For, has well over 200 million views online currently. We get to have an amazing conversation with this true creative, focusing on the power of relationships and how the art that we make, makes us feel. The common thread of relationships is present in all of Adam’s work, a concept that encompasses how we relate to others, as well as to ourselves.
Adam unpacks his thoughts on how to measure what we make, talking about important metrics such as online engagement and financial compensation, but prioritizing how it makes us feel. We also get into the value of self-love and creating and living with compassion. Adam makes a strong argument for treating oneself as someone you love and getting away from too much limitation and critique, and instead, following pure creativity and curiosity. So for all this and more from a wonderfully inspiring person making waves in many different pools, make sure to listen to the full episode at one of the below links:
Key Points From This Episode
The interaction between consuming and creating Art
Art is the expression of your creative energy into tangible form — it doesn’t have to look like drawing, sculpting, or photography. It can look like how you cook, design an app, clean, etc. We are taught in school to memorize and regurgitate information. Now with apps like TikTok, people are largely copying trends and not using their full creativity. Do not forget to tap into your own, uninfluenced creativity, and don’t doubt your ability to find success.
Why you shouldn’t go looking for ‘success’
There’s a lot to be said for following curiosity and creativity without concern for results. For example: if you start dancing, in 2 weeks you’ll be able to put things together that before you started 2 weeks before you wouldn’t have imagined. If you had let that discourage you from starting, you would not have surprised yourself.
Why you shouldn’t focus on overnight success
Adam’s massively popular spoken word poem, You Are Who You’ve Been Looking For, has garnered several hundred million views across platforms. However, it went viral after he had already toured his spoken word poetry several times. The point is, don’t focus on immediate success. Sometimes the best things take time, and that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put your full effort into what you’re doing right at this moment, even if you feel you’ve not yet acquired the necessary skills to be ‘successful.’ And don’t worry if what you think is your best work isn’t performing well right now. Things may change with time.
How you should weigh your work
The metric you should use to measure the value of your work is “how does it feel?” For instance, you don’t actually want to be married with kids, you want the feeling you think comes with being married with kids. You don’t actually want a million dollars in the bank or 200 million views on a video, you want the feeling you think comes with those outcomes. This is why you get so many people who become rich and miserable. Do things that make you happy and don’t think you’ll only be happy when your work hits certain numbers, as you’re really looking for the feeling associated with those benchmark metrics.
“I want to feel like I am helping people, that’s important to me, it’s important to my purpose.” — Adam Roa [0:02:50]
“If it’s possible for me to move through it, it’s possible for anyone to move through it. I wasn’t raised with these skills, I learned them.” — Adam Roa [0:04:19]
“The cool thing is that art is one of the only, and maybe the only permission slip, the only technology that will bypass all of the defences of the human mind and get people to feel.” — Adam Roa [0:08:36]
“I think it feels good to expand as a human being, I think that most human beings on this planet want that.” — Adam Roa [0:11:12]