Over the last five years I’ve been involved with tutoring high school students to help them become the first generation in their family to go to college. I try to emphasize that they should study something that they like. Maybe doing something they enjoy will be a great way to have a career. This is not strong enough. I believe that some of the problems in our world stem from people doing something that they don’t truly enjoy. And the best thing is to be passionate about what you’re doing in life.
Do you wake up in the morning excited about your day? I recognize that this may not happen every single day, but if you are doing something that you find fulfilling then this should be happening to you on a regular basis. Getting up excited, that is. I remember knowing an attorney that figured out that he had become an attorney to please his mother. He was around fifty and finally woke up to this fact. He had a big problem in that he was divorced and had to pay child support and his life cost a lot monetarily. He felt that he was stuck because he couldn’t do anything else that would make him the money to support the former wife and daughter. (The daughter wasn’t former.) He loved his daughter and continued being an attorney. I know he loves his daughter very much to this day. As far as I know he still very much does not love being an attorney. Come to think of it, maybe I should check in with him and see if he has solved his problem.
My life isn’t perfect, but their are large parts of it that I really enjoy and I enjoy the direction in which I’m headed. I don’t have as nice a house as people that I go to church with and that’s ok. More and more I enjoy the life I’m living and I don’t mean that in a hedonistic sense. I like that I’ve integrated volunteer work over the years. I wish that we all would. Especially with an ongoing non-profit organization. That’s where you can build some relationships. Even if you build one good one, that’s a great perk.
But figuring out what you’re passionate about is not easy for everyone to do. I recommend doing a personal development seminar. I’ve found them to be very valuable. You gain insight into yourself that might have taken years otherwise. You can do it in weeks or even a weekend. Just don’t get into anything cultish. I wouldn’t go near anything to do with scientology. Just my opinion that is shared by a lot of people.
If you’re concerned about doing seminar work you probably do have some learning to do about yourself. If you’re not ready to see that then there are books. You could get a coach and I know a great one in Fran Cannon and another in Dori Klass. I might even coach you if you said the magic words.
Recently I’ve noticed that many people are more comfortable reading a book. That allows you to do something in privacy and you don’t have to expose yourself and your “stuff” to other people. In the long run you are definitely going to benefit by having someone you can share your “stuff” with and the sooner you get to that point the quicker you will make bigger strides in getting to where you would rather be in life. Many people would say that it’s where you’re meant to be. Why you’re here.
Some people won’t even allow themselves to consider a question like this. Not that they haven’t ever thought about it. Most have. But it can be real work to figure it out and that can mean some deeply emotional “stuff” that you need to go through.
What ARE you passionate about? OR, what do you feel called to do? What really lights you up when you’re doing it?
Of course, we are talking about positive stuff here. Not “stuff”. If someone has an addiction to something they can mistake that for being passionate about it. Also, it’s something that I would call “deep”. It resonates within you. You feel so good about doing it when you’re doing it.
When I’m working with Reality Changers I feel great about it most of the time. Sometimes when I come home I have a hard time sleeping because I am thinking about other things we can do there to help the students.
All of a sudden I’m feeling the tiredness again. I got to bed late last night after doing something I enjoy. I don’t know that I’m passionate about it, but I do enjoy it when I keep it in perspective. For years I was very involved and I feel that God is showing me other things that I can spend more time doing.
What was I doing last night? I was playing in a poker tournament. It was fun and I have a level of skill and experience that makes it a realistic possibility that I might win a tournament with nearly 500 players. As it was I came in 22nd or so. I had fun. My wife reminded me that it was happening and I got there early to make sure that I got a seat.
Years ago I was doing that sort of thing all the time. And since you’ve never heard of me you can probably tell that I’m not a world champion. So it was time to have that be a smaller part of my life. Do I still have hopes for winning a really, really big tournament someday? Yes. But not at the expense of other things in my life.
Soon I’ll be a published author and speaker. That is a way for me to reach more people to help them do what they’re passionate about.
That is, in fact, what I am passionate about.
I am passionate about helping other people do what they’re passionate about.
That’s also one reason why I feel I can speak to this subject.
Another is all the personal development work that I’ve participated in.
I’ve been to Fran Cannon’s seminars. I’ve been to what used to be called IBI and is now called CEO Space. I’ve studied Nonviolent Communication with a group for over a year. And I’ve been to Avatar and in case you look it up – No, it is not a cult. I’m a christian. I’m also a presbyterian and we’re too boring to be in a cult. LOL
If you would like to talk to me about being able to do what you’re passionate about, I’m here. Just know that I don’t like conversations that take 20 emails back and forth. I still use a phone and I can use Skype.
You don’t have to talk to me, but if you want to do what you’re passionate about or figure out what it is…Talk to somebody!
I’m starting this post off with a link:
I think I’ve found someone who can be an important influence for me. Maybe he’ll be of help to you, too.
Just to remind you – this – these – recent posts have been morning pages. Morning pages are an exercise in creativity that I learned about from Julia Cameron who wrote “The Artist’s Way.” I’ve known about Julia for nearly two decades.
Part of what you have to do as a writer is simply write. Julia wants you to write without judgement.
Another influence, Marshall Rosenberg, who wrote Nonviolent Communication, would agree.
When you brainstorm, judgement gets in the way by stopping the flow of ideas.
But what about when you get the effluent out of your system. What happens when you are really getting down to writing the stories you want to write?
Joe Ezsterhas is another influence, but he may be too good for a beginning writer to emulate. Or too, I don’t know…can’t quite put my finger on it.
For those of you who might be turned off by his subject matter, you might be surprised to know that he has found his way back to God.
But, for the art of storytelling, maybe Andrew Stanton is the one I need to watch and read more of. Yes, that preposition is at the end of the sentence.
That’s how we talk in real life. Often. Wasn’t it Mark Twain who first started writing that way? As opposed to James Fenimore Cooper who had Native Americans speaking the Queen’s English perfectly?
There are a lot of influences to choose from, yet I see something in Andrew Stanton that I “get”.
Sometimes you just need someone to speak to you in a way you can hear.
I remember nearly a decade ago when I hosted a networking lunch I called The PG Lunch, in Del Mar, California, which is immediately north of San Diego. I had a friend who is a chiropractor who owned her own business and she came to my lunch several times. My friend and mentor, Fran Cannon, was there nearly every time and he would give a mini-blurb every time about his seminars for business owners. I had told my chiropractor friend about Fran’s seminars more than once. More than twice. More than three times. And she had heard him give his presentation more than once or twice.
One day the lightbulb went on and she said, “Oh, this is the guy you’ve been telling me about!” She ended up going to his seminar within a few weeks from that realization.
Maybe that’s what’s happening to me with Andrew Stanton. I don’t know if he’s incredibly unique and that’s what appeals to me. Maybe I’m finally ready to hear what he’s saying.
I’ve been in Toastmasters nearly 11 years now and we’ve learned that telling a story is very important in giving a speech. I’ve attempted to do so with varying measures of success.
I’ve won contests within our club and competed at the next level.
Recently, writing down stories has become much more important to me. How to do it “right” has been on my mind.
I’ve listened to people before who spoke about storytelling as well as many who were simply great storytellers.
Now I think I am finally getting somewhere. I’ve got my computer, such as it is. I’m practicing writing every day. People in my life are giving me more space to write. Some are even intrigued. Now I can put together stories that people care about.
That’s a big part of what Andrew Stanton is saying. But he’s not just saying that. He’s telling us how to put the elements in place that will make people more likely to care. He’s not saying that it’s an exact science. It’s an art. It takes practice.
Are you writing the kind of writing you ultimately want to write?
First- Judge Not, Lest You Miss Out, er, Disrupt The Creative Flow.
You can always edit later.
What about your ending? How do you want the story/characters to end up?
How do you get people to care about your characters?
I don’t know all the answers, but I honestly believe you should take a peek at Andrew Stanton.
He’s the guy who did Wall-E, among other things.
If you’re a purist about some things and don’t think he’s in the right category for you, remember #1.
You can always throw that stuff out later.
I’ve always been confident that I can learn. Can you learn? What if it’s a new trick?
Don’t be an old dog or stubborn mule.
We have to be humble to learn. We have to know that we don’t have all the answers. Maybe you have everything you need as a writer. If that’s true, I’m sorry for wasting your time.
If you don’t have absolutely everything you need or want as a writer, take a listen/watch Andrew Stanton.
What if you were my younger brother or sister?
I’d just say, “Hey! Do this thing for me, ok?”