Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pursuit of Passion

Had an interesting conversation a few days ago with a group of friends about pursuing our passions in life. There is a lot of talk, examples, and success stories of people quitting their job to pursue a passion and I love reading that kind of stuff. But an interesting point was brought up during our conversation that I haven’t seen addressed as often. Here it is:

What do you do if you have the driving feeling to do something different, something great, and/or something new but you don’t know what that is? In other words, you feel like you should be pursuing your passion, but you don’t know what your passion is.

I thought this was an interesting question. When it was brought up, I realized I have felt some variant of this at times in my own life.

How about for you? Have you ever felt driven or anxious to do something but not known what that something is? Is this a common feeling? How did you overcome it? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Self Imposed Deadlines

For as long as I can remember, I have had a lot of ideas swimming around my head. Even as a kid, I was amused by things around me that got my mind going. To call me curious would be an understatement. And while I am forever grateful for my curiosity, it can make execution difficult. Add being a perfectionist to the mix, and you have a perfect cocktail for a lot of dreaming and not a lot of doing. I know I am not alone in this. I talk to others on a regular basis who face the same struggle—I believe it is at the core of human nature. Some call it fear of success, some call it fear of failure, and I have even recently heard it referred to as the lizard brain. Whatever you call it, it is real, but it is only as strong as we allow it to be—which sounds nice, but is sometimes easier said than done.

I have been very blessed in my life to have some incredible experiences. All in all, I am a very lucky man. But as I look back on my life, I can distinctly see the mental barriers that slowed me down or even stopped me from pursuing certain opportunities. I look back on my past with a sort of fond determination. Fond because I am full of gratitude for where I am, and determination because I am always striving for more. It is a delicate balance—one I am working everyday to achieve.

There are several tools I use to help fight the blocks and overcome the nebulous cloud of ideas floating around my brain, but there is one in particular I am especially excited about and want to share here. I recently organized a small group of close friends to form a creative consortium of sorts. We meet every week on a weekday morning. The group is designed to serve three purposes.

1) Give each of us a platform to share our ideas and crystallize them into coherent thoughts. And I mean ANY idea. So far we have discussed everything from Sketch Comedy and Comic Books, to E-commerce and sales efficiency and beyond.

2) Use honest feedback to decide which ideas are worth pursuing. This is the weeding out process. After we empty our brains out into reality, we start picking the best ideas.

3) To execute, or as Seth Godin puts it: to ship. Through the group, we impose self deadlines and we actually report our progress to the group each week. On top of that, each week one of the group members has the chance to present and discuss their most exciting ideas.

I am very excited for where this might take us.