BRIGHT SPOTS FRIDAY: Do the things you enjoy as much as possible


I was texting with a friend this week, someone I haven’t seen in a while. She asked how life was going? Rather than the typically easy “Life is good” reply, I stopped to actually think about how things were going lately.

I thought back to just before New Years Eve, sharing a few days with some friends in a mountain cabin in Western Pennsylvania. Rather than coming up with New Years Resolutions, we undertook a different ritual, challenging each other to identify something we wanted to let go of from the previous year and write it down on a small strip of paper. We then took turns burning the paper over a small flame (feel free to try this at home, just not IN your home like we did). What I wrote was this: “Chasing the Next Big Thing”.

NYU Professor Eliot Gattegno writes, “The hunt for creativity has become one of the hottest pursuits of our uber-connected, uber-productive culture. But while the cult of creativity often portrays creativity as a burst of spontaneous inspiration, the reality is that rediscovering and re-contextualizing old ideas is often more valuable — and more effective — than scattershot attempts to randomly discover The Next Big Thing.”

When I stopped chasing the next big thing, big things emerged on their own. In my personal life, I found new, meaningful kinships. Existing friendships deepened. Strained relationships eased. Some broken ties were even mended. I’ve noticed a change at Nevermore as well. New faces are arriving organically. Retention is stronger. Active engagement from our existing membership is higher.

My Bright Spot is what I am chasing instead… The ability to do the things I enjoy as much as possible.

I’m trying to keep it simple by asking these two questions: 1) What am I good at? and 2) What do I enjoy doing? My job is to make MY life better, reach MY goals, and help the people who WANT my help. These are the things I can control. Outside of this, much of the “chase” is beyond my capacity and distracting to my mission.

The subsequent steps are simple: devise a plan, work hard, be patient, and celebrate the now.

The authors of a Harvard Business Review case study on Gatorade call this type of innovation the “Third Way,” which “focuses on innovating around the current product to make it more valuable,” rather than a “radical rethinking of the business.”

In the Secrets of Adulthood, Gretchen Rubin writes, “The days are long but the years are short.” Instead of chasing what’s next, kick ass at what is right in front of you! PATIENCE is all about changing your perception of time. Bill Gates puts it this way: “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” It’s more practical to chase skills and be PREPARED for the next big thing. Emulate Abe Lincoln when he says, “I will prepare and someday my chance will come.”

Once I invest in growing myself to be the best version of me possible…success in all things, be it love, friendship, money and contentment will be chasing ME!

What is your Bright Spot this week?…

Check this out: