So. What does it take to put oneself out there in the world?
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s a handful, nay a fuck ton of advice out there on just about anything and everything you can think of. When we’re being cynical we point out that Google can show us how to make pipe bombs and when we’re desperate we’ll click on just about anything to show us how to attract the right mate. Or if you’re in my industry and you’ll have to check a few different boxes depending on the day to figure out which of “my industries” I’m talking about here; there are a lot of resources out there that promise a formula to success.
But I’ve gotta point out, as far as I can tell, I’m the only one living my life and I’m pretty much the only one that’s ever going to live my life. The good news and the bad news is no matter the advice out there by anyone who’s ever done anything worthy of mention, no person alive or dead will be a better me than me, ever. And for that matter no one will ever get to live your life or be a better you than you can be, ever.
Drop the mic, hang up entire career.
Oh. But there is this one thing. Or maybe, many several "one" things. One of the things is the fun monkey experiment that taught a bunch of sciency people about the power or usefulness of empathy in our brains. Sciency people are quite fond of and do a lot of experiments with monkeys. Anyway, there was this one time with sciency people and monkeys where they discovered that when a monkey is watching another monkey do an activity that its brain lights up in all of the same monkey brain areas as if it was doing the action. Now I know what you’re thinking, you’re having a hard time keeping track of the monkeys, I get it. But we’re the monkeys. Does that help? Sure, sure, some people don’t want to be monkeys. But, um for this instance, just go with we're the monkeys, it will be easier.
We learned to walk and we learned to talk and we didn’t know that we were able to do that, we just thought that we might be able to and we figured it out by watching and listening to all the other monkeys around us. It’s how we work. So the deal is, even though no one else will have our resources, our experiences, or our lives, when we share our experience it allows the other monkeys to find the resources and experiences with in themselves to figure out their own way to walk and their own way to tell their story.
So again, what does it take to put oneself out there in the world? I’m not sure what it’s going to take for you, but watch what other people are doing. Perhaps you will get a few ideas that will feel just YOU enough that you’ll be willing to try them yourself.
If I had a nipple ring for every idea I had...wait, people don’t generally measure things in nipple rings... Hmm… Well thank goodness I don’t have a nipple ring for every idea I have, because frankly, “Ouch” and also, “holy crap.”
I do have a lot of ideas though.
I have all kinds of ideas. They aren’t all great.
In fact, some of the best ones are terrible.
Maybe I should explain. I’ve noticed that some of the ideas that I think are silly or stupid or I’m just saying out loud as a joke happen to accidently be really good ideas. Ideas, inspiration, jokes and what not, frequently come from the same part of our brain. As a person that values creativity I do my best to keep very few filters on my creative source. Which means that sometimes the only way for me to know when something is a good idea or a terrible idea is to just wait. Or, to just do it and see what happens.
Lately I’ve been having tons of video ideas. These days it seems that video is the thing. Every artist and every business needs to be doing video, they say. I’m charismatic enough, but I’m not really skilled at this being in front of the camera stuff yet. I didn’t grow up in a time where everyone had photo and video cameras at the ready. My family wasn’t really into documenting events with cameras. Well, … no...my mother liked us to take photos of the food she’d prepared, what she calls a “spread.” My dad was fond of taking pictures of things that are rusted, breaking down, or in some state of decay. I remember taking a lot of pictures of my feet or inadvertently taking pictures of my fingers while trying to take shots of something scenic. So if we remembered to have a camera with us for events we’d end up developing an expensive roll of rusted things, food, feet and a giant pink monster next to a blurry….mountain…?? We didn’t have a video camera, most people didn’t back then. Maybe if we had, I would have taken videos of my feet. They would have either been terrible or brilliant. It’s hard to say.
I don’t know if you have a bunch of ideas, but there are a lot of ideas that I haven’t done. Yet. Even the good ones. It’s not an entirely comfortable thing to have a bunch of potentially really great things just swirling around in my head taunting me waiting to be done. It’s best to let them swirl their way onto a Post-it or into a file on Google Drive. There’s less taunting that way and more space in my head for, god forbid, more ideas.
So with this video thing, I finally did something about it. I’d told a few people my ideas and they at least thought the ideas were good. I reached out to a friend that actually knows how to do video and she was interested in helping me. But there were no dates set on the calendar, just a “Yeah, that’s great, let’s do it.”
So one day I was sitting at my laptop and I realized that a bunch of videos I’ve watched were created just by people turning on the camera on their laptops. And wouldn’t you know it, my laptop has a camera on it. So I typed “how to record a video with my laptop” into Google, I followed the instructions, I pressed record,
And this is what happened.
There are plenty of possible first steps to making your ideas a reality.
With video, sometimes the first step is deciding to press record.
So it turns out I’m open to suggestions for new blogs posts.
Today someone suggested that I could go to a dog park because I might be inspired to write a blog about dog park etiquette. This got me wondering how life would be different if we all introduced ourselves by spinning in circles smelling each other's butts.
Imagine how this would change networking.
Just yesterday I was at an event and I joked that if I were to encounter one of those germ phobic non hand shakers it would be funny to just grab them and kiss them on the mouth. Just like that.
What would they do then? Huh? Huh?
I probably wouldn't actually do that.
But I am fairly certain that I’ll bring up the dog butt sniffing thing the next time I’m meeting someone new….
Meeting new people can be challenging.
They say it's best to just be yourself....
You know, I might have the guts when encountering a germ phobic person to just say “oh, you know, that’s cool, that’s alright” and then just hump their leg a little bit instead.
Just a little bit.
Because that’s less intimate...
So, yeah, I’m open to suggestions about new blog posts.
(Catalyst, Breakthrough Specialist, Baggage Assassin, Quit Smoking Specialist, Idea Consultant, Force of Nature)