creative actions towards purpose and your red rubber ball

Last Friday I had the opportunity to attend an event put on by a group called Creative Mornings PDX. According to their website, "Creative Mornings is a breakfast lecture series for the creative community." They supply breakfast, coffee and an inspiring speaker. Each month they choose a theme and chapters all over the globe. SCORE!

How have I never heard of this before? Especially since upon further examination I saw that Brad Montague (of Kid President fame) has done one of the breakfast lectures. Let's just say I knew exactly what my weekend was going to be spent doing. (I mean, I of course have other scintillating plans as well so this will just be an addition to the already wild and crazy weekend I had planned.)


I was doubly excited because the person speaking this month was none other than Kevin Carroll. You may recall me mentioning Kevin in a few past posts. 

Yeah, if it isn't obvious, this guy is inspiring. For this session he was speaking on the theme "ACTION". As a person who calls herself the "Chief Ideation Officer" of her own endeavors, the idea of action is a must have. As creatives, we tend to be people full of idea and inspired by the things around us, which is amazing. The struggle, sometimes is putting those ideas and inspirations into action. Dreamers can daydream non-stop. Often times we need to be prodded to keep moving forward on one project instead of jumping around to the next. 

I often speak to this idea of putting action towards your purpose and the question that always comes up is "HOW".  It isn't always easy. If you search hard enough you can find lots of obstacles to block your path. Nobody is going to stand and hold your hand. The truth is that you have to have "a thrust of spirit to do this, you have to want it" according to Kevin. Think about that for a minute... a "thrust of spirit". If you really want something you should be feeling some kind of emotional, physical and/or visceral thrust towards it. You have to feel deep in your spirit. That is what passion is all about. 

Passion isn't about liking something a little more than something else. It isn't about something being cool or popular. Passion is something that cannot be ignored. Surprisingly, passion isn't always sexy. It is a bully in a way. It gnaws at you if you ignore it, sending things in your life time and time again to smack you over the head until you notice it. Most people seek out their passion for a long time but ignore it when it comes to their door. You see, here is the thing, passion isn't just the love or the spirit of something, it has to include the thrust or the chase. Without an action, passion is becomes something different. It's spark starts to dull and it becomes something you yearn for from a far which causes pain. 

Your passion should never be the cause of your pain. Sweat, blood, tears and exhaustion, YES, but pain?Kevin's grandfather often spoke of this idea that "you can't do anything with a broke want." I have heard him say this a number of times and I like the idea more each time. We live in this weird time where "wanting" has become more important than "doing". It's as if we don't realize that if you want something YOU have to go get it. We actually expect other people to satisfy all of our wants and needs and when they deliver we become unsatisfied and can't figure out why.

I'm going to tell you why. We are unsatisfied because if something is truly OUR passion, we don't want someone else to wrap it up in a pretty bow and give it to us. Having a passion is about way more than wanting, it is about the journey. So cliche right? Maybe. Who cares, I happen to believe in the truth of it. You will never truly embrace your passion if you didn't do anything to bring it to life. 

There are a lot of talkers in the world (I should know I am totally a talker), but we need more doers (which I just realized is the tagline of a Home Depot commercial). If you are a talker then use your voice for something, talk about SOMETHING REAL. That is the way to be a doer. If you are a doer, make sure people see it, it will catch on. If you are both, then share what you have learned and how you have found your way.

There's a quote you have probably heard a hundred times; 

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
— Mark Twain

This implies that everyone is born with a purpose. Regardless of what you believe. I believe it is our duty to find that purpose and use it to make the world a better place. It is time that we stop being complacent with our purpose, it is time we put it into ACTION. Don't know what your purpose is yet? Time to get moving and find out.

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
— Albert Einstein

I can't thank Creative Mornings PDX and Kevin Carroll enough for an inspiring morning and for reminding me to act towards my purpose. 

P.S. After finding out Brad/Kid President did one of these as well, I immediately ran home and watched his. Since the one I went to is not yet up online, I thought I would share Brad's. It is truly inspiring and actually kind of follows the theme of "action" so it is a good addition to this post. 

Friday's Three Things - Speaking Part 1...

I have finally settled into this whole blogging thing and I realized that I have yet to really speak about what I love, so for today's 3 things I thought I would discuss my 3 favorite things to speak on. You see, speaking (storytelling) is really what I love. There is something about being able to teach, and relate to a crowd that is so exciting for me.

Find out who you are and do it on purpose”
— Dolly Parton

Because this subject could get very long in the tooth...I will spend the next three Fridays to complete this post. (I realize this is technically cheating the "3 Things" concept but I also know that you don't have time to read a super long post. So here are the three

The buying habits of women & how education, employment & cultural changes have shifted the way we live & spend.

Consumer segments & marketing effectively once you know your target audience.

Purpose, passion & drive and how we not just find them but pursue and succeed at them.

I guess I should start with the first topic I really spoke about. In the last 20 years, I have had the opportunity to speak at sales meetings for a number of companies. They were all AWFUL! I'm serious, like real knee shaking, voice quivering and high speed speaking AWFUL! I have video proof of a practice session is which I literally broke down in tears in front of all of my bosses) It was like that nightmare you have where you walk into work/school naked. (wait is that just me?)

Then I found myself planning an event and before I knew it I realized I had committed to speaking. What was I thinking? Granted, the audience was very small (though size of audience had never calmed my nerves before).I had to get in front of 6 separate small groups in a row.

This is the actual picture of that first group and moment.

This is the actual picture of that first group and moment.

This time I spoke on something a little more interesting to me. The weirdest thing happened, my knees didn't buckle, my voice didn't quiver and I spoke in an even slow tone. (not like ridiculously slow but a proper pace). I was having fun. I looked at the audience and they were having fun too. WHAT? I couldn't believe I got to do this 5 more times that day.

By the closing day 3 I ended up on a stage in front of the whole larger group not one but 4 times on a variety of other topics. Still no nerves. so weird. After this, audience members asked me to come visit them and do the presentation for their staff. WHAT? 

They did, so I spent the next 4 months traveling the country speaking in front of groups and the groups kept getting bigger and bigger. Each time it was so enjoyable. Then on a stage in North Carolina, the moment came. I like to say it was a day when my outfit was amazing, my hair and makeup were fierce and the audience was laughing in all the right places. When it was over I walked off the stage and had this silent moment of awe. It was in that moment I realized THIS IS IT! THIS IS WHAT I AM SUPPOSED TO DO.

This is when a slight terror started to come my way. What do I do now?

Check in next Friday to see what happened next! And if you've found your passion, tell me what it is? Love to see and hear other's people's purpose.