New Year’s Inspiration

Here are some articles and reading to inspire you in the New Year.

First, Rands posted an article earlier this week titled The Builder’s High. The article reminds us that we all spend too much time consuming, and not enough time creating. Whether it’s twitter feeds or television that consumes your time, it’s a call for action to get off your butt in 2014 and build something.

The things we’re giving to the future are feeling increasingly unintentional and irrelevant. They are half-considered thoughts of others. When you choose to create, you’re bucking the trend because you’re choosing to take the time to build.

For my part, I’m winnowing my list of twitter followers and blogs, and making solid plans to write more, photograph more, and write more software in the coming year.

The second article,Find what you love and let it kill you is by concert pianist James Rhodes. He talks about his all-consuming passion for playing the piano. Now the only musical instruments I ever learned to play are my CD player, iPod, and iPhone, but I certainly can identify with the passion.

Photography more your thing? David DuChemin writes about passion in his article Follow Your Passion.

What “Do what you love” and “Follow your passion” does not mean is an easy road. If anything it means a harder one at times. It does not mean less hard work, it probably means more. But it’s meaningful work. Work that, on balance, gives us more energy than it takes from us. Work that feeds our souls, or whatever you call the deepest part of you. Work we look back on in later years as a road well-taken, one that gave us joy. However you do that, I still believe the only road worth walking is one that you’re passionate about, the one you’re so deep-down in love with that you’ll walk until your shoes fall off and your feet begin to bleed. Whatever that means to you.

There’s definitely a point where you can take this stuff too far. If you’re tempted to quit your job to indulge your passion in cheesemaking, you might want to read the excellent book So Good They Can’t Ignore You. It’s a short read, and the author makes a fantastic argument that simply “following your passion” causes more miserable failures and unhappy lives than just about every other piece of career advice combined. If that sounds depressing, it isn’t. The author shows how to get a career that you are passionate about (and successful at), just using a different path to get there.

There’s lots of interesting work out there in 2014- now let’s go do it!