I’ve talked before about leaning in, about having to really commit to the things you attempt in life if you want to have any hope of making progress. What I haven’t really talked about, yet tend to do a lot lately, is geeking out, letting yourself get carried away with your enthusiasm, giving yourself permission to unabashedly care about the things you unabashedly care about.
Much of this year has been fairly self-indulgent1, it’s been about figuring out what really matters to me and where I really think I can make a difference in both my personal and professional life2. It’s also been about finding and embracing the skills and tools needed to meet those desires.
I’ve given myself permission to care more, and a funny thing keeps happening. I end up caring more about everything. And in allowing myself to really determine what matters, my capacity to care overall has grown.
So often, we hedge our bets and we play it cool. We are afraid that people are going to think less of us or think us mad if we really talk about what excites us. But the truth is this: half measures will only ever lead to half successes.
But here’s the thing about passion: it is contagious. Not only to others, but to ourselves. When we empower ourselves to care wholeheartedly about things, it just becomes easier to figure out what matters and what doesn’t. When we are able to honestly separate obligation from interest, our personal antenna becomes more finely tuned. Our potential becomes greater.
Don’t get me wrong, you can’t ignore obligation and you can’t avoid shit work. But what you can do is aggressively identify what matters to you from what doesn’t and begin to commit time for the things that do. Take a long, hard look in the mirror and make sure that if you aren’t in the right place, that you are at least you on the right path to get there.
Have something that you truly, geekily give a shit about? Good. Start by letting me know below and then start telling anyone else who is willing to listen.