Tag Archives: advice

!nsp!re – Walking Away From Your Dream

I wanted to share this article from Allison Ford on The Gloss. In it, she details her decision to “give up on her dream” of becoming an actress. Her words and perspective resonated with me; and I think anyone who has struggled with career choices could benefit from reading her story.

Here’s the thing: You can have more than one dream. So many who pursue a career in the arts become obsessed with the one thing they THINK they want that they become blind to all the other possibilities that are out there waiting to be explored.

This situation is exacerbated by parents and teachers who encourage students to “follow their dream” and “pursue their passion” despite being able to (sometimes) see that the student is poorly suited for the path they are choosing.

When I was young, I wanted more than anything else in the world to be an architect. It took a while for me to understand that unless I could muster some interest in math, my career as an architect was an empty, pointless pursuit. As it turns out, I loved the IDEA of being an architect; but not enough to put in the hard work it would take to become one.

That situation repeated itself with music. Again, I had a huge passion for music, living and breathing records, tapes, and going to see concerts. My parents bought me a guitar and after two years of practice, I had gotten to be… atrocious at playing guitar. I was unable to parse that musical dream into distinguishing between loving music and playing music.

And then, finally, there was art. Always art; since early in elementary school. I dove deep into sketching, painting, sculpture, oils, watercolors, graphics, batik, etc. I was going to be a great artist. Except for the fact that I wasn’t a great artist. I was fine but far from exceptional. That was a hard pill to swallow.

Once I got into theatre, I fell in love with scenery design. I had a teacher who encouraged that love and I made up my mind to be a set designer. My reasoning was that it was sort of like architecture and relied on my art training as well. But again, that dream died.

It died when I saw The Police on the Synchronicity tour in 1983 at the Houston Summit. That night, I saw moving lights for the first time (they were in their infancy). I didn’t know what THAT was – but I knew I wanted to do it. So on my way to becoming a lighting designer, I left at least four dead dreams in my wake; and I regret it not one single bit.

As it turns out, my chosen career combines elements of many of those discarded dreams into one pretty sweet package. Had I known that could happen 30 years ago, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble starting down paths I then abandoned.

But each of those paths added to what I ultimately became, so they were worthwhile after all. I still engage my passion and love for architecture, music, and art; in my career and in my life. So, ultimately, they don’t feel like discarded dreams – they’re just elements that added to the whole.

Pursuing your dreams has to be done with diligence, care, and thoughtful self-examination. Note that I said dreamS. You can have more than one!

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!NSP!RE – 8 pieces of advice for thriving in a world of constant change

Just a quick share of a great post.

Many of the thoughts shared by Joi Ito resonate with me, and I really responded to the the thought that “linear thinking is becoming less useful as a model than complex, intuitive thinking. The most important things that we do in the world today are about orchestrating complexity.”

So much truth in that statement.

ideas.ted.com

On a trip to the Bahamas in 2012, I got the chance to feed a group of grey reef sharks. Now, feeding sharks is not an activity to be taken lightly. It’s a complex challenge that essentially requires you to coordinate a group of wild animals; you want them excited enough that they stick around. But you can’t just dump lots of food in the water, because that will whip them into a frenzy, with potentially disastrous consequences.

You spend a lot of time training for a dive like this. And the most important thing is for all of that training to be second nature. If you’re present and aware in the moment, the action just happens intuitively. The sharks, in all honesty, feel almost like dogs. They have personalities — you see which ones are a little bit more aggressive and which ones have a personality that borders on…

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!nsp!re – 19 Daily Habits To Unlock Your Creativity

Today’s share comes from Katherine Brooks at Huffington Post. It’s a list of brief reminders/habits/thoughts from fellow artists than can help with getting out of a creative rut. Here are a few of my favorites:

#10: When in doubt, ask for help.

I’m absolute crap at asking for help, so this one is good for me.

#11: Find inspiration in mundane places.

This one fits perfectly into one of my core beliefs – inspiration is everywhere. We have to work hard sometimes at seeing it, but it’s always there.

#14: Let yourself be impulsive.

This one can be tough. Between deadlines and other obligations, we often feel we can’t just go off and see/do/experience. But every now and again, it’s creatively rewarding to break away from the routine.

I hope you find some new favorites on the full list.