5. Genius: Feed your monster
My uncle used to say, genius comes when a normal mind thinks a lot about one thing.
He and my dad lived in Kansas when they were young and they saw a magazine picture of a hang glider from the new hang gliding industry sprouting up in California. They were intrigued, built one, tested it, learned from it, and built a new and better one. They did this over and over until they had come up with some pretty interesting designs to make their hang glider fly. But it was just because it fascinated them. When they finally took their hang glider out to California, it innovated the industry. My uncle went on to design 6 gliders that are now hanging in the Smithsonian Air and Space museum in DC. All this because they pursued something because they loved it.
Whatever it is that you are passionate about, like a hungry monster in your soul, feed it enough and it will become the strongest creature of its kind.
Whatever keeps you awake at night because you are so curious or excited to develop it, develop that thing. If you let your passion be the driving force to carry you deep, you will discover more about it than anybody who just does it for work. At least that is what has worked for me. Harnessing our passion is powerful.
I started this blog with a vision I loved. I tried in my free time, with no hopes of earning money from it, to make it what I had a dream for it to be. And now it has become my main calling card! And when people have seen it, they often want me to do something similar for them . . . for money!
People don’t usually love the things I have done just for the money. The things I labored over because I loved them were the ones that most often touch other people. When my above-mentioned uncle died last summer, I wrote a book for my aunt about losing a best friend. I cried while I wrote and illustrated it. It worked as therapy to myself as I wrote about the two best-friend donkeys as one of them was taken away. Now people tell me things like their kid takes that book to school with them, or their adult sister took the book back to her PhD Psychology program to use in child therapy. The motivation for writing it was from the heart, and so maybe these things have more potential to touch hearts.
I think heaven will be like this. We will be doing what we are most passionate about and what we were built to give to the world, because we are the only ones so passionate about that one thing to go so deep.
My novel series has been my baby. My monster. I guess it’s my monster baby. But it’s not so baby any more. I have nurtured it for almost 20 years. I think it has some things of great depth and worth, but only because I have made and remade it so many times, and folded layers of meaning into it for so long, that it’s very possible it has some things in it that people haven’t seen for a while. But, I guess we’ll only find out if that’s true if I can now let go of it, like sending a kid off to college, and send my full-grown creative monster out to greet the world.
So please feed your passion so the world will be filled with the beautiful creations we were meant to make.