Step 1

Each and every one of us has a responsibility to find our gift, our voice, our unique talent and share it with the world. It’s not optional, by the way. It’s the whole reason we’re here.

Follow the easy

The inevitable first step to changing the world is identifying what your gifts are. For as simple as that sounds, it’s one of the biggest hurdles for most people. Finding what is unique to you requires two steps. First you must find what your innate talents are. These are those little abilities that mask themselves in a feeling of ordinary. “It’s not a talent, anyone can do that…” is often a good sign that you’re on the right track. What appears to you as a basic skill is a huge challenge for someone else. Pay attention to those.

1% inspiration

Finding those talents is step one. The next step is looking within those gifts to find what motivates you, after all, the process of developing and sharing your talents will take perspiration. You often have to stoke you own fire, so there’d better be a spark there to begin with.

I’m still at step one. My passion and talent seems to be learning more than just about anything else. There’s always something new to learn about music, composition, web development, graphic design, Ruby on Rails programming, Blender and 3D graphics, to name a few of my recent interests. Assuming learning is one of my talents, how exactly do I share that with the world?

They do more before 9am then some people do all day

Sometimes I feel like I’m the “some people” the Army used to refer to. As much as I hate to admit it, my mornings aren’t productive. Really at all.

The Problem

The problem is 3 fold:

  1. I LOVE the idea of getting up early in the morning, but my morning self just doesn’t agree. “Just ten more minutes. I promise.”
  2. I’m a dad. My mornings belong to my wife, my kids and my pugs. Although not always in that order.
  3. Blogs. Need I say more?

That means I’m ready to dive into my workday right around the crack of 11:30am. Not really a recipe for elite productivity.

The REAL Problem

Ok, I lied. Although everything I’ve said about my mornings is true so far, that’s not really my problem. My problem is fear. I may finally sit down to my computer to work at 11:30am, but on most days it won’t be until 2:30pm until I hit my stride. I spend 3 hours being afraid. Wow, that sucks. It doesn’t matter if it’s programming, web design, writing music for marching bands or film scores, I have a very hard time actually starting the work that needs to be done, and that’s the honest truth. No matter how passionate I may be, or how much I love what I do (which I totally do!) I have a strong mental resistance to starting my work. Starting seems to be the key, too. Once I start, I’m good.

The Solution

It’s a problem, so I’m going to try an experiment based on some coding advice from a fellow programmer:

“Leave something broken at the end of the day”

Leaving something broken up on your screen gives you instant access to both the problem you need to focus on and the tools you need to fix it. No more resistance from not knowing what’s next. No more resistance from having to start the apps you need to get to work. Just work, waiting.

Simple, huh! So, today and all next week I’m going to try to leave something obviously broken on my desktop. That way when I do finally sit down at my computer I know exactly what needs to be done, and it’s open, running, and RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, ready to be worked on. Right after I read my blogs, of course.