to Finding Your Joy…Part Two
Finding what brings you joy can be like hunting for a treasure chest without a map or a working compass!
Thanks Jack Sparrow!
As I said last week, the key lies in knowing who you are at the core.
And therein lies the problem for most of us…knowing who we are! Hopefully you started solving that little mystery last week!
This week, we’ll expand on your 10-minute Post-it Party by looking at your post-its and a few common themes you’re starting to see.
We’re going to take those post-its and look underneath! Compare notes. How have your gifts and talents carried through life? Any common denominators? How have you used them? Or did you almost forget about some of them?
Let’s take a look.
I hope you did the “10-minute Post-it Party” exercise for your entire life – all the way to the present day. And, I hope you have several loosely defined categories identified! If not, stop and do that now. (You can find that post HERE.)
It’s not the easiest thing to do I know. I’m here to help you through it!
Now it’s time to look under the hood!
Don’t worry if some of your post-its change categories during this exercise or maybe even become the start of a new category. (Spoiler alert -they will!)
For this exercise, you’ll need a notebook or journal and pen or pencil. No timer needed.
Start by taking one category and the post-its in it. Spread them out on the table.
Now for each “post-it” ask several questions “What about this idea did I like (doing/seeing/experiencing) MOST? What did I enjoy about this activity? What emotion did it evoke that made it so enjoyable? What need deep inside did it satisfy? Dig DEEP underneath it.
This will take practice and time, but it is SOOO worth it! The first few will be difficult to identify. But once you have done a few, you’re going to find it gets easier and faster to identify the “underlying psychological factors” that made these things enjoyable.
Three things you will discover:
1. The activity itself, while enjoyable for sure, wasn’t the main “driver” as much as you thought it was.
2. Things you thought weren’t related on the surface, might be totally connected, and very much the same, underneath.
3. Some of your “post-its” will belong to several categories once you have identified the underlying drivers.
An example from my life to get you started:
What do “reading,” “shopping,” “traveling to Asia,” and “doing bespoke costumes and wedding gowns for clients” have in common? There’s a lot more under this umbrella than those 4 things, but I picked them purposely. On the surface they don’t seem connected at all.
When I went a few layers deeper, I found the love of “research,” the love of “discovery,” and of “finding-what-needs-to-be-found” under all of them. And not just those four.
Anyone who knows me knows I love fabric & sewing and spent many years as a clothing designer. So, it makes sense that I loved designing wedding gowns and elaborate costumes for personal clients. On the surface, that’s correct indeed! But what happens when that business dries up, or it’s just not feasible or cost effective anymore?
What I found was this: The part I enjoyed MOST about doing that wasn’t the actual designing part (although I did love it!), it was the discovery part. Discovering what they wanted. Discovering what would be the best material for it. Discovering of the right swatches-the “finding what needs to be found.” I loved the RESEARCH behind what I was doing. The “searching” and the “finding.” And I found that to be true of a lot of my post-its. It is a major driver in my reading-finding bits of knowledge that link together to be shared with my students. It was definitely part of my travel as a Director of Product Development. And it was a major part of my “shopping’ experiences as a designer, a maker, and an artist. It’s even true now of my mixed media collage art. It’s the fun I have “searching for” and “finding” just the right pieces to make the composition.
Just to clarify, yes, the surface elements count too. I do love to incorporate dimensional design elements, fabrics, and fibers because I still love those elements from my former career. I do still love fabric and stitching. But it took diving deep to discover the underlying “stuff” that gave me back the joy and thrill that I thought only “clothing design” could give. It took discovering the drivers underneath for me to reinvent myself and rediscover JOY in a new form.
Your joy is most important!
Let’s get back to you. I want you to find your joy this month!
So, grab that pencil and take a look at what you REALLY loved about those notes so you can start reinventing yourself! We’ll be discussing reinvention next week! Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or question for me. And join me live every Wednesday at 3 p.m. CST on Facebook @ Virginia Leigh Studio.
Be-U, on purpose, 4-Life
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