Sunday, June 5, 2011

#trust30 - Day 4

I'm a day late. I'll be posting the prompts for yesterday and today tonight.

We'll start with a status update: my hard drive appears to have died. With luck, I'll be able to recover my files; if not, I figure I've lost three chapters or more. But I haven't lost my outline--or my passion for this story. It will just take a little longer to finish than I thought it would.

Now, on to yesterday's challenge prompt:

Post-it Question by Jenny Blake

That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? . . . Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Identify one of your biggest challenges at the moment (ie I don’t feel passionate about my work) and turn it into a question (ie How can I do work I’m passionate about?) Write it on a post-it and put it up on your bathroom mirror or the back of your front door. After 48-hours, journal what answers came up for you and be sure to evaluate them.

Bonus: tweet or blog a photo of your post-it.

(Author: Jenny Blake)

First, a mea culpa: I didn't make a post-it note. For two reasons: first, I was traveling. Forty-eight hours ago, I was in Jacksonville, Florida; forty-eight hours from now I'll be there again. I could put a post-it note in my luggage and look at it periodically through the weekend, but somehow I don't think that would be as effective.

The second reason is just as simple: the question I would put on my post-it note is one I think about every day. How do I move on to the next phase of my life?

See, I have a good job. It provides a fine life for my family. It's reasonably challenging and usually interesting. I have a lot of autonomy and can make of it what I want. I like my boss and the people I work with. I am committed to doing it well. I could make a career of it and do very well for my family.

But it isn't my passion. Books, writing, history are my passion. Sharing stories with people who want to listen is my passion. Sparking the hunger for more knowledge in the next nerd just as a professor once sparked it in me is my passion. I want to move on from my job to my passion.

And here's the big deal: I can earn more--much more--in the long run at my passion than at my job. At my job, I'll spend the next twenty years chasing three- or four-percent raises. In a good year I might get seven to ten. Working in my passion, my earning potential will be limited only by my ability to reach people, to show them the scenes in my head and help them see their own as vividly.

But it will take a while for that potential to catch up with what I can do for my family right now. And until then, I have to be patient, develop my passion like a second job, and keep my eyes open for opportunities. That's the hard part.

Sharing stories with you, showing you what's in my head and helping you see your own as vividly, sparking the passion in you just like someone once sparked it in me--that's the easy part. The rewarding part. The fun part. The part that makes it all worth it.

Sharing the journey with you is proving to be a lot of fun, too. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Now--go get your nerd on!

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