As creative individuals, groups, teams, and communities we often find ourselves daydreaming about the possibilities of being a best-selling author, the best theatre troupe in town, or just a guy selling plants and making terrariums in front of a restaurant. However, our 9 to 5 lives, mouths to feed, and mortgages controlling our budgets can often put a damper on the fantasies of living out our passions.
Luckily, the easiest way to accomplish anything, is to start small, and take it one small step, or act, at a time. We know you’ll find these five secrets useful in creating momentum behind your passion, or simply discovering what that idea, movement, cause or business idea needs to move forward.
Curiosity is especially important for those of you who haven't pinned down your passion. For those who already have an idea, it’s the foundation for taking action on it. Learn about it! Do research (it’s already available at your Googleing fingertips). Watch films, TED talks, go to lectures, attend seminars, workshops or conferences, and most importantly, ask questions. Then ask more questions.
Curiosity means you’re ready to learn everything there is to learn about that one thing that makes your heart beat faster and your eyes widen with excitement when you think about it. Not only does it help you discover or build your passion, it will make you smarter, healthier, happier, and can even improve your relationships. Get out there and get curious.
Your imagination doesn’t go away after you hit puberty, but most adults don’t regularly engage in imaginative thinking. A little imagination goes a long way when beginning to express your passion. These times of “mind-wandering” help you set goals and creatively express the information you gathered while learning.
Write your ideas down or act them out! No matter how silly they may seem, this imaginative process will guide you toward achieving your goals. It can also help you reduce anxiety associated with working toward a goal, and even help you map the pathway to success! Have fun with it. It’s time to play!
Bring others into it. John’s success with Glass Gardens partially comes from his constant connectedness. Build a community around your idea. Start a Facebook group. Talk about it with others. Someone else is interested in this idea and probably shares this passion. Community allows you to share the legwork, create a network, build references and champions for your brand or idea. Share your curiosity and daydreams with others. It will make it a lot more fun!
Be there for others. Communities around a common cause are stronger and built faster when we work together and help each other. Include anyone and everyone that is interested. Make yourself available to give back to your community. Give stuff away for free sometimes, volunteer your time or donate money when your supporters are fundraising. Build a culture of sharing and collaboration.
The glass is either half full or half empty. It only takes a change in mental perspective to see it one way or the other. Attitude is essential for expressing your passion. Believe in yourself. You can have a day job and it not be your passion. Your attitude will directly affect the outcome of your efforts toward realizing this passion. Stay positive. Get support from your community when it seems like you might falter or want to give up. Take breaks. Be easy on yourself. Success isn’t measured by how much money you made at the popup or whether you won the grand prize; success is measured by how much you learned, imagined, engaged in meaningful conversation, and connected with others. As long as you try, it’s a success.
Here is the big one, the moment we’ve been waiting for now that we’ve learned, imagined, collaborated, and dared to dream. It’s time to take action. It might seem like the scariest part, but in reality you’ve already taken action! You’ve taken Small Acts toward realizing your passion by being curious, imaginative, cooperative, and positive. More action is probably necessary so just remember to keep it simple and take it one day at a time. An inch towards progress in this second becomes a mile after months. Your action is continuing to do what you’ve done: engaging with others, getting involved in the community, "unload whatever's in your trunk, put it on a table, and say it's for sale", partner with other organizations, bring in more people, spend a little money here and there, and refine your process. Go back to the drawing board and get curious all over again.
The story of a slightly obsessive, yet ordinary guy who built a business selling creative energy and artistic passion with succulent terrarium gardens in Norfolk, Virginia.