True Passion

I spent last Sunday indoors. While I’m usually pretty restless, I welcomed a lazy day and decided to spend the day on the couch. I had recently picked up Big Magic, a book about paying attention to the opportunities inspiration provides us and harnessing them to their full potential, and I figured this would be a perfect day to crack the cover. Little did I know, I’d nearly finish the book in eight hours. In this post, I aim to discuss the ways in which I’ve noticed Big Magic out in the wild and the importance of paying attention to inspiration when it knocks on your door.

In one of the sections, Liz talks about school, her personal relationship with education, and her practice with writing. The largest takeaway from this book, so far, is that of how personal one’s passion is. She writes not because she wants to read but because it’s the thing she must do.

“I don’t know how I feel about it until I’ve had a chance to write about it.”

She talks about her experience of becoming a novelist. Before the large book deals, she works the jobs she does not only to eat but also to gain life experience, the things she can’t get from a book. As a server, she’d keep one notebook for orders and another to keep track of conversations and to track dialects. As a bartender, she did the same. She’d travel and take notes. She’d ride the train and take notes. Over time, she inevitably acquired notebooks full of notes.

As I think about that type of commitment to personal craft, I think about how rare it is to find in the general population. While many of my teammates at the Elevator Up come to mind, the one that sticks out the most is my teammate, Kendell. This guy loves to code, and it’s incredibly impressive. A few months ago, he gave a team time presentation on what it means to find your main sequence, a sort of code by which he lives. Pun intended. In short, if an opportunity comes about, it needs to fit into his lifestyle of being something he can do with his son, something that has to do with space, and/or something related to JavaScript.

On the other side of the coin, when he’s not working, he’s toying with personal projects. He melds his passion for code and music by way of writing code that controls the lights for his concerts based on the movements made by the musicians’ arm and leg movements by way of MIO devices. (WHAT?!) What’s best is that he shares this information with the world. He’s submitted projects into the world, most recently by way of Art Prize, and regularly collaborates with people in order to do so. He devotes his spare time to teaching people who care about leveling up JavaScript. Whether he’s teaching middle school kids in Austin or adults at a JavaScript meetup, he cares, and it shows.

Kendell on the GR Makers Panel at the Grand Rapids Chapter of Creative Mornings

I encourage you to give yourself some space. Let yourself play a bit as you did when you were a kid when the stakes weren’t high. If you find yourself enjoying something, like really enjoying something, it could be your big magic opportunity knocking. If it’s truly something you enjoy, you won’t be able to get enough of it. It’ll become part of your identity, and you’ll be living your truth. And that is a truly beautiful and rare thing to find.

Is this you? Does this resonate with you? If it does, I wonder how it does. Do you know anyone like this? Is this you? Can you not get enough of your craft? I want to hear about your passion.

~ amelie, product manager