What would you do all day if jobs and money didn’t exist?
The activities you find most fun reveal a whole lot about your values; they’re a great place to start when it comes to discovering the unique art form comprised of your various talents.
Just a disclaimer: I’ll always be one to encourage you to find ways to move toward building your career (and life) around what you most enjoy doing.
It’s been said: “Do what you love and the money will come.”
When I was twenty-six, I sat down one day and literally asked myself out loud how I’d choose to spend my time if anything were possible.
My imagination first went to work bouncing comfortably between idealistic versions of the options I’d already been considering. Then, as if out of nowhere, a vision popped into my head: I saw myself sitting on a beach with a guitar, smoking weed and writing songs.
And I wasn’t getting high at all when I was twenty-six.
I tried to imagine other, non-weed-related pursuits that might be similar but more realistic.
Here we are, nine years later, and I find it almost funny how closely my life path has aligned itself to that random daydream about what I’d most enjoy doing.
How’s what I’m doing now the same as writing songs while high at the beach?
Well, here’s something I wrote (while high) back in August, 2014:
“Do I have to choose to write?
“Not really. It’s attractive to me to see ideas connect, and stories come together.
“For me, fun is having the freedom to dream, and then the tools to effectively turn those dreams into something real.
“My art form encapsulates the best of my most important worlds, drawing on at least two aspects of my personality. It makes me come alive.
“What about you?”
There’s just something my particular mind has always seemed to do or focus on if I let it. I don’t feel like I can ever take credit for the way I am, but I feel like it’s all I can really know for sure.
What I’m talking about is, of course, my experience.
How can we each have talents? Why would a certain occupation fit an individual so well?
It makes sense that we refer to our abilities as “gifts” because they’re capacities we’re born with and can later find so much joy in recognizing and developing.
That’s why I believe everyone is some sort of artist, and why I refer to the combination of your talents as your art form.
Even if you haven’t discovered your art form yet, I think you probably understand what I’m saying.
Your art form is perhaps the main reason you want success—to be successful at something.
I mentioned how your art form is the foundation of your best self—the cornerstone of all the values wanting to work themselves to life through you.
I enjoy my art form, and I always want to be getting better at it. To truly reach my potential, though, I know I have to control my weed addiction and other compulsions.
Your limitations and addictions hold you back from reaching your potential in specific ways as well.
Here’s more of what I wrote while high that day in August, 2014:
“I love you. Who and what you are is fun. Everyone is.
“I find being human incredibly comical.
“Let’s have fun together. It’s worth it.
“In the end, let’s all support each other to be ourselves. That’s all I’m really trying to do.”
Sharing your experience holds you accountable to your best self until your values become your identity.
What gives your best self purpose and direction is your art form.
So, where do you come alive? Is that a choice?
By the way, I believe the opportunity to develop and excel in one’s individual art form should be a basic human dignity or right afforded to all. We don’t choose the abilities we’re born with, so no one deserves the chance to reach their potential more than anyone else.
Tomorrow: the value of fun.
P.S. It might be helpful to remember that no one else really cares about you discovering and accomplishing your dreams, at least not the way you do.
Your talents and art form have a lot to do with your unique perspective; and no one else sees the world exactly as you do. Only you can actually do or build anything real from what you see, making a much needed “you-sized” difference in the world.
Taking steps toward living your dreams can be incredibly difficult when it seems like no one understands, and some even come against you.
In order to successfully discover and develop your art form, you must first grow to where you can’t ignore how important your values are to you, as well as the next inevitable steps you have to take (and the consequences of not taking those steps).
Then all you have to do is go public with that part of your experience. Find those like you who see things as you do. Listen to them. Read.
Hear as many different perspectives as you can.
Your art form, itself, will basically take it from there.