A few weeks ago, while spending some reflection time on Öland, a beautiful island on the East Cost of Sweden, I listened to Cal Newports book “So Good They Can’t Ignore You.”
Got the recommendation from Derek Sivers, as a book that any young man should take time to read… So I got with the audiobook…
Though it was a great mistreatment, I believe, of the popular advice to “following your passion!”, it sure gave some perspective and balance in the discussion…
Newport suggests that we should focus on skill, practice & being useful instead of pursuing passion…. And that passion will in this way follow.
I completely agree with his shift of focus, but I still believe that in order to get “so good they can’t ignore you”, we first need to have some level of love for the pursuit…
We can talk about the passion vs. craft question some other time…
I’ve heard countless time how we should never stop learning & reading, because “we never know when that ONE idea will come, that will change everything…”
I heard it so many times that I almost begun to believe it was some kind of brainwashing from authors that wanted us to devour their books, in order to sustain “their business of selling ideas.”
But I think it actually happened…
So, the idea that really resonated with me was the idea of doing “small bets”.
My challenge was that I was not 100% sure what to pursue… what my passion was & what I care deeply about in order to commit to it…
CLARITY IS KEY
The idea of making “small bets” , suggests that in order to find clarity, in anything:
* Clarity in what we want.
* Clarity in what we love doing.
* Clarity in what to pursue.
* Clarity in anything, really…
In order to gain this clarity, one can not simply sit down in ones comfort zone and contemplate different possibilities… But one must decide “what could be interesting to do”?, and then make small investments, with low risk, for the purpose of getting feedback in it.
THE 3 STEP PROCESS
Basically, applying “small bets” in your life is done by this process:
1. Clarify what you “think” you would love to do, pursue and be in your life.
Do this by asking yourself some powerful questions.
2. Clarify what the essence of your dream is.
Dream: Doctor —> Essence: Compassion & Helping.
Dream: Adventure —> Essence: Facing your fears.
Dream: Writer —> Essence: Putting words to your thoughts & beliefs.
Dream: Being Rich —> Essence: Adding value to others & handling your resources well.
3. Seek out ways to experience the essence of your dream on a daily basis… Do it, live it, be it, to some extent, as soon as possible, and to the degree it’s possible, in your every day life.
START WITH EVERYDAY PURSUING THE ESSENCE OF YOUR CHOSEN DREAM, OR END YOUR LIFE WITH REGRETS OF NOT DOING YOUR DREAMS…
What you dream of, you already are in your heart…
You may have the heart of a doctor, a writer, an adventurer, a hero, but if you’re not expressing this today… then… when will you?
By working through this process, the stakes are lower, the environment is safer, and you can get to know yourself better… And this is where our truest power lies… In knowing what we truly love… Then… only we will have found or path in life…
Make a habit of it! Track your progress! Make it a project to pursue.
It’s through these real little actions, these small bets, that we get to know ourselves, what we’re all about and what we really could imagine ourselves, perhaps one day, committing our whole beings to pursuing.
Small bets is sort of like Dating Your Dreams...
Want some help in ways to do this? Please feel free to contact me.
I would love to seek to give you some perspective and clarity on how you can pursue your “small bets” project. 🙂
“Pick a direction, start marching down that path, and see how you like it. Time brings clarity andif you find you don’t like it, you can always change your mind. It’s your life.” – Gary Keller, Jay Papasan, The One Thing
Daniel J. Galovan