Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Stay passionate. Stay focused. (Stay foolish)

Such catchy easy to say. What's crazy about life is that it's so easy to just live life. In the great Amurica, it oftentimes feels as though we are alive and living with the sole purpose of getting through life. Like it's one big race and we are all trying to pile on as much "stuff" - whether it be experiences, money, gadgets or otherwise - and just run. Ok, so stop and smell the roses, right? NO. I vehemently disagree.
I personally believe that we are all here for a reason. We go through the thing that we do which help to make us the people that we are for a reason. A purpose-built tool. But we are more than tools in that tools just sit on the tool board or in the tool box until someone else pulls them out. We have identity. We are here to live lives of make a conscious decision to stay passionate...stay focused...and especially to stay foolish. Those things don't happen by accident. me, this is when I'm "playing" and I'm not talking about video games or soccer. I read an article the other day that defined play -
Play is a state of mind. I've heard it described as a visceral form of learning. It really doesn't matter what the activity is, it's the way you approach the activity that makes it play.
Yeah...that's play. That's living a life of passion. It's foreign to us. I often use the word play when talking about work scenarios. Earlier today, I talked about how a 20% contingency budget for a project I'm working on is "money for the project team to play with". I'm misunderstood but I'm ok with that. In fact, I think it actually trips me up when people understand what I'm saying the first time. Passion is being who you are and seeking to find the place in the world/web/whatever where YOU fit. Where you plug in. That's one of the great things about "the valley" to me. It's filled with tons of kids who took something they were passionate about and made it a reality. It started with the apps/sites/tools/devices and carried on all the way through the way they built their teams - "dude, I'm totally going to hire you when I make a million on this!" - to the way they design their offices and on and on.
Living a life of passion is when we don't accept compromise. Staying relentlessly focused on finding the best fit for you in this world means that you may actually get there. It's a tough haul but better than the alternative of accepting what the world has to offer and just grinding it out. Focused...obvious...but not in the traditional sense. When I think focused, I think about drive...about someone who can sort through the BS in this world and find the nuggets that reflect the reality that "should" be. Reading through news articles to find things of worth...sifting through people and finding people who are genuine and truly worth investing in. It goes beyond just a filter though. Focus is to stay sighted in on that ever elusive ideal state and continually seeking to refine it as more data is added to your filter. What? Yeah, so imagine that at age 5, you wanted to be an astronaut. Who didnt, right? As you went to school, you learned that you really weren't so hot at that math thing which as it turns out is pretty darn important for astronauts. So you refine your goal - you want to be a pilot. Still flying up in the air...still need to know math...but more your speed. That works for you until you get into college...when you realize that you are actually more interested in running a skydiving school and flying those planes. So the cone of uncertainty narrows as you continue to refine your goal...staying focused not on "getting a job" or "making lots of money"...but on relentlessly pursuing and focusing on what you are passionate about.
Filter through the junk in life...and in the world to find what you want. To find out where you fit. favorite. Foolish is that element of you that I have trouble putting my finger on. Foolish is doing that thing that you feel is right even though everyone else thinks it's crazy. You have something unique inside that only you can see. You dream things that dont make sense to everyone. Which is where this gets difficult. If it only makes sense to you, it's not going to be popular. Not everyone is going to like it. They may even hate it and laugh at you for spending so much time/money/effort doing it. I have always wanted to fiberglass body panels for a car as a project and just create something from scratch. I have an artistic side that I dont frequently tap but I want to. This urge doesnt make sense to the mere mortals that walk this earth...just to me. I dont have a goal of starting a company creating custom body panels or fixing cars or even making something that I'll eventually be able to drive down the street. This urge doesnt make sense in most ways...but I have decided that it truly is something I'm passionate about so I'm going to do it. Baby steps...starting to research resins and fabrics...trying to reconcile those things with my experiments with fiberglassing in the past...and just doing it. Foolish is being true to yourself in the face of the world laughing. I step back and give the world a big F-U and remind myself that I'm not doing this for them...I'm doing it because this is what I truly feel I'm built for. Why I'm built this way? I'll have to save that for another rant on life...

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