Last year, I had an idea that rode shotgun on most of my Winter months. I thought it was fairly eclectic and exclusive to my small world of entertainment folks until I shared it with a friend, who suggested I send it (and an application) to a great lady who just happened to be putting on a TEDx talk that Spring.
I didn’t realize what I was getting into at the time. My thoughts were clear, but the rigors of TED were not. If you ever want to know what you’re really made of, throw yourself into the TED-talk process. Or perhaps don’t– you might decide you’re a fatuous cartoon of idealistic viewpoint that no one will parse or care to understand, much less take to heart- and that would be a shame.
While I wouldn’t recommend this to others, the one choice that saved me was NOT delving into other TED talks before I did my own. I’d been to two TEDx events in Dallas, and had an online favorite I’d been sharing for years-“The Art Of Asking” by the amazing Amanda Palmer- I will never get tired of this message. If I’d delved a bit further and found the work of my new hero, Brene Brown (a researcher on vulnerability, shame, and blame) who pioneered the concepts of Living Brave and is building on her CourageWorks series, I would have quit on the spot. No one has a corner on the market, these ideas of being brave, bold, and vulnerable, but Brown is an icon to me now, and I’m a proud acolyte.
Find her work here: http://www.courageworks.com/
My idea had a different filter, though- quite literally. I believed (and still do) that if you’re seeking to do something big in your life- a unique, significant, life-changing thing that will transform the way you engage with the world and enrich the lives of the people around you, it might be more attainable if you choose to believe in the movies.
You know how people say that only happens in the movies? I think the moments most people treasure in their favorite films- escapism, wish-fulfillment, dreams they won’t allow themselves in the daylight- those moments are why they love movies, and why many of us choose to pursue careers in that arena.
We’ve all had a few moments in our life we’d classify as sparklingly-special, right? I call those Movie Moments. So what if we took the next step? What if we chose to pursue Movie Moments as an attainable goal for our lives- not just a handful of times, but consistently- and to create them in a meaningful, tangible way that makes life better for everyone?
That was the idea, and that was my TEDx talk. A year later, I quit my job and went out to build my own company. Now, there was a bit of a breakdown in the middle there- a crisis of conscience and disbelief- after all, who was I to believe I had the skills, ideas, fortitude, or heart to pursue an idea like this beyond dabbling and hobbying in my non-work hours?
Some people call it The Universe. I call it God, so you should get comfortable with that right now. When I finally, fully exhausted myself with every argument I could think of (and dude, I can think of a lot of arguments) I was too tired to do anything but say okay, but what if I could?
And then an opportunity came. One day, over the course of a single conference call at work, I found a window that would do exactly what I’d been talking about and mulling for the last year- a chance to start a new chapter in my life, but also still be engaged and benefit the people around me.
So I did it. That day. And because my team members and bosses also believe in pursuing dreams and movie moments, they got it entirely.
It’s only been six weeks. I’m not claiming victory yet. But I’m working, I’ve got projects, there’s income coming in, and I’m excited that I don’t know what’s around the next corner.
I’m happy to call that success. For now.
See You In The Lobby –cdo