I watched a TED talk yesterday with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love. She discusses people who pursue creative work. People question those who choose creativity and assume they are going to live a doomed existence. Contrary to those who pursue academic careers which are more respected. She had done some research and in the Ancient Greek or Roman times, they believed creativity did not come from humans, but was projected onto people via another source or universal knowledge. Her argument is to encourage people now to think this is perhaps possible. It would take the pressure off creatives to possibly have created their life’s greatest work by age 40 and nothing worthwhile is accomplished afterwards. I see what she is saying, but feel it could be used as a crutch or excuse why no great work came after a popular, highly regarded piece of work. She is a very good speaker and funny, so her talk was very entertaining.
Then I watched a 10 minute TED talk on how to find your passion in 5 minutes with Adam Leipzig. The idea being to be able to answer these 5 points:
-who you are
-what you do
-who they are (audience)
-what they need
-how they change as a result of what you give them.
He then explains that when you get the difficult question asked of what you ‘do’, then you use how you answered the last question (how they change as a result of what you give them) as your ‘elevator pitch’ or explanation. Here is the interesting part, the first example he gives is someone who WRITES BOOKS FOR CHILDREN. So bizarre, but not coincidental that this is the video I chose to watch. His example was ‘I help kids have wonderful dreams’ (I forget his exact wording), then you explain and elaborate on that statement.
If you don’t have a response to the second question of what you do, this talk didn’t have a lot of substance. You can’t do this exercise if you have 8 ‘likes’ but you aren’t sure what route to take. I would add that to answer this one – what you do, ask yourself what you would ‘do’ if money was not an issue.
TED talks could certainly be my new mentoring source with so many different ideas. I also watched, well – listened, to a reading of a Nicola Tesla interview. But that is a post for another day, he had a mind-blowing amount of knowledge.
Listening to ideas and people’s life experiences is a fantastic way to determine your own direction. As much as I already know what I want to do, I also am SO fascinated with people finding their passion and being in love with their life. I think it is because I have been working towards this myself and couldn’t imagine living any other way. A far cry from my days when I was a kid and would tell people I wanted to be a ‘table- clearer’ at McDonalds (obviously I didn’t want to talk to people as I was too shy). My parents are so happy I aimed a bit higher 😉
Have you found your passion? I would love to hear about it!