When Ernest Hemingway was a young American expat struggling to find his voice as a writer of pristine, bone-thin fiction, he would make time to study the work of Impressionist artists.
There was a message in their work, he believed, a code, that he could build into his craft. But he insisted on viewing the paintings on an empty stomach, when he was hungry, believing that this would help him to decipher their genius.
When Elton John was first making himself a force in rock music, he collaborated on songs that spewed raw power out of his piano and onto the streets. Levon. Rocket Man. Daniel. In the years to come, hooks and bubble gum would take the place of the fire put forth by the once confused and hungry musician, searching for something powerful. Something just beyond his reach.
There is an algorithm of sorts between hungry eyes and exceptional achievement. A correlation. As long as a person remains committed to a slightly impossible dream– to a breakthrough in the arts, business, science–that seems to be beyond their talent, knowledge, and ultimately their grasp, they have the possibility of making history. Or at the very least, of