living the life you want

Last night was the first-ever Ignite Sussex event, and I had the privilege of being one of the speakers. (Yes, I volunteered. No, I'm not sure why.) If you're not familiar with Ignite, the structure is kind of fun: five minutes, 20 slides, automatic timing. It's a little more difficult than it sounds, and I'm crazy. Yes, yes I am. But anyway, I was talking about taking the steps required to live a life you love, and since I want to get more milage out of them, I'm going to share some of my slides from last night, as well as give you the bulleted version of my speech.

True story: a lot of people say that who you are is more important than what you earn, but not many of them actually believe it. However, it's ok to not have a big house. Decide what is really important to you, and then don't be afraid of disparaging look. Refuse the temptation to get caught up in the comparison game. If that's what important to you, that's fine, but define what matters and then don't be dissuaded.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's incredible to me how many people have failed to ask it. What is that one thing that just thinking about makes you smile? Now find a way to make that thing your life. This can be a long process, but that's ok. Sometimes it takes a while to figure it all out. And sometimes it's a certain aspect of your job that you love. For me, there is this moment when you finally get people to relax, to drop their guard, and they look at the camera and that's the real them. THAT is the moment that I love. And that is why I can't take pictures of barns or trees: there is no real them for me to find.

Yup. At some point it's no longer sitting around brainstorming and there is actual work to be done. You would be amazed at the number of people who say to me "Oh, I've always wanted to be a photographer." Or writer, or musician, or whatever. Well, I have a harsh bit of reality for you: if something is important for you, you're doing it already. We make time for the things that are important to us. And maybe right now you can't get a job you love. Here's the best advice I've ever received from my dad: "If you can't find someone to pay you, work for free." If you're working then when opportunity comes you're ready and you're the one they'll turn to.

This is really important. Many people will think you're crazy for choosing to redefine success, and you need people who will not only cheer you on but will be willing to kick you in the pants when you're lagging. I can honestly say that there is no way I'd be living this life I love without the constant cheering and (loving) nagging of my sisters.

Don't waste time criticizing the bad. Get your butt moving and create something good. Find the best people in your field and immerse yourself in their work. Push yourself. Rethink your processes.

Above all: live your life.


Kathy Sprinkle said…
Perfect! Your first slide in particular was great to read during my humility week. The comparison game is hard to slow down. Thanks for the inspiration!
Kathy over at Everyday Bliss

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