Finding Focus in a Forest of Possibilities
The woods that hug our property are currently a tangle of brush and trees that soon will be covered in an assortment of leaves. No longer will you see the mess that they are today, but rather they will be transformed into a beautiful wall of all that is good in nature.
As goes the woods, so goes my mind, mood and mental. These days are always dark, confusing and a bit of a mess. The calendar flips and these torment filled hours arrive. It takes a few before I remember that it is commonplace, my normal and that it will pass. Yet, in the midst of this forest of the unknown it always scares me a bit as I try to find my way out.
Life is at an interesting crossroads for me.
I'm happy, healthy(ish) and surrounded by people that care about me.
Looking forward there is a forest of possibilities, but no clear path.
Watching TEDxChange earlier this week I learned the phrase "positive disruption" and that is exactly what I want to do in the world. There had never been a phrase that clicked perfectly in place to describe the kind of work I want to do for the rest of my life. Yesterday, I learned about, bought and started reading Conscious Capitalism and suddenly there was a book describing exactly how I want all businesses to start acting.
Everything does not happen for a reason, but all this is adding fuel to the fire in my belly to make the world a better place.
How I am going to do this is where I struggle at the moment.
My first priority is to provide for my family. This means I have to maintain forms of income and right now that is lacking. Everyone talks about working together, yet few follow up and even fewer pay for it.
Part of me thinks it would make sense to go and be an executive for a big brand that I love or take on an Executive Director role for a nonprofit that I'm passionate about. Both situations could make me extremely happy if the fit was right and my family would definitely be taken care of.
Recently someone asked me where I hoped to be in ten years. That is further out than I believe it is safe to plan with so much disruption going on in our world, but as I pondered it I shared that being a college professor while writing books and improving the world sounded good to me. Professor Chapman has a great ring to it and being a teacher will always be part of my DNA.
Scribbled in my notebook in front of me are the word "cause based storyteller." It was scribbled sometime this week to describe where my heart really lies. The mission of what I want to do.
I have so many ideas for stories that could be told that would shine a light on great work being done around the world and down the street. Finding organizations and brands to sponsor the telling of those stories is the egg I'm trying to crack at the moment. Again, so many conversations of support and encouragement, but so few checks being written.
Author Robert Thurow writes about catching a disease of the soul. I can relate to this.
A friend recently reminded me that I couldn't save the world if I was starving myself. I know this.
Some may scream, "not cool Robert Frost!" and I'll giggle and keep pushing forward.
I know the path I've chosen isn't clear, easy or open. I know that while I may be wandering at the moment, I'm far from being lost.
Just like every time I pick up a camera, I'm seeking to focus in on something great, so am I trying to focus in on what lies ahead. There is no auto-focus in life.
Keep pushing forward until you make a path. That is what I keep telling myself.