“If you knew that your life’s story will be written based upon your choices and actions in 2015, how will you live?”
This prompt in the #quest2015 series from Jeffrey Davis‘ Tracking Wonder is from Todd Henry, an authority on how teams and individuals can execute brilliant ideas every day. His web site says he’s “an arms dealer for the creative revolution.”
There have been many beautiful and inspiring responses to this prompt from the questers. Though most of these have been shared in private, among the excellent responses, you can read Four Elements of Life by Nancy Seibel and a post from Lois Kelly (no longer online) that burst open my imagination.
When I read Henry’s prompt and watched his TED talks, I first wanted to create a set of goals for myself for the coming year. And I did that. I’m good at that. Those goals are already in my calendar and to-do list. Too easy.
As I continued to ponder, I reflected on how for the previous prompt there was a kind of emptying out for joy similar to the pruning that Henry talks about to make room for creative expansion. It is important to see the world in a new way. I’m playing with that and have goals for that, too. Too easy.
He also talks about “unnecessary creating”: a low-risk environment where making stuff is not about meeting a deadline or getting paid. I’m an improviser. It’s not always low-risk, but it’s also often enough about something other than money-making. I do that. Too easy.
It would be more fun, enticing, and challenging to imagine a year that cracks open every intention and turns it into volcanic activity. Some could be full eruptions and others could be massive lava flows, but exploding each of these is the sort of year I want.
Don’t just set goals. Set new ones every time the previous one is complete and make sure it’s more challenging that the last one.These sorts of challenges and intentions defy to-do lists. This will require more of a sense of adventure than a to-do list can handle. Goals are great. Challenges that cover everyday life beyond the beeps and pop-up reminders are even better.
Don’t just find ways to empty out room for joy and creativity. Be a vessel of joy-making that incites riots of smiles and hugs. Now there’s a challenge for an introvert.
Don’t just improvise. Spontaneously make stuff up that simultaneously can go up in a puff of momentary smoke and that leaves the listener and the player wanting more.
This combination requires:
- awareness of both myself and others (collaborators, clients, and so on), taking into consideration capabilities and limitations
- openness to what’s happening now, in this moment, saving any triggered responses for processing later
- fluidity since things are always changing (even these intentions)
- intention, meaning it will be important to stick to these challenges with a resolute and passionate awareness