Dreams vs Goals

As 2013 comes to a close and 2014 peers over the horizon, I started thinking about my goals for the coming year. dreams vs goals

My thoughts swirled…

So, you wanna do some dumb resolution thing for 2014?

No. That’s a bit tired.

OK, maybe write out your dreams for the coming year then…or your goals.

Well, which is it…dreams or goals?

I dunno. Who are we talking to?

It’s me…you.

Oh, so glad it was me talking and not you talking.

What were we talking about before we interrupted us?

The conversation between myself and myself got more strange (if that’s possible) so I continued it on Facebook. I asked if dreams were different from goals and, if so, how? Here’s a few of the responses. Continue reading “Dreams vs Goals”

How to Cure People Pleasing

Michelle Brea via Compfight

Sometimes I’m a people-pleaser. I think many artists are bent in that general direction.

As artists, we often want applause, recognition or just the satisfaction of knowing we’ve made a difference. None of those things are innately wrong…until they become an obsession.

I know I can be overzealous at times.

I want to be wanted.

I like to be liked.

And I pretend it doesn’t matter to me if someone doesn’t like me–but it does matter.

Why? Because making people happy makes me happy–that’s why I love humor–that’s why I love entertaining, writing and any type of creating that changes something in someone.

Laugh it Up

So how do we fix a people-pleasing mentality?

I don’t know, but the only thing I can suggest is a bit of humor for tempering.

In that light, I present to you three miserable attempts at people pleasing, compliments of my dayjob…

1. Refuse to call people by their actual, real-life names.

There’s someone at work who’s name I got wrong when I first met her. She gave me a look as if to say “and you’re our PR Manager?”Look well deserved.

I called her the wrong name again this past week–and I’ve known her for about six months now. Impressive? Prolly not? Continue reading “How to Cure People Pleasing”

The Project Driven Artistic Life

Aaron Shumaker via Compfight

I can remember where I was when I realized I was a project-driven artist.

My wife and I were having dinner at a local pub-estaurant we love and I was talking about how my day job as a corporate sales trainer was good, but not artistically fulfilling. Sure, I was thankful for the job, the pay and the people I worked with and the trainees I’d helped, but a part of me was needed a little nurturing.

That part wasn’t being fed or watered. I felt it inside me grasping for breath.

My wife mentioned that she thought we were ‘project people’. That is, we like to birth an idea, cultivate it until it can stand on its own and then release it and move onto the next project. Sales training was the opposite of that concept and though I enjoyed several parts of the job, I wanted more.

I wanted to contribute more. I wanted to see the process through. And I wanted it for myself.

That last part…the ‘for myself’ was probably the most difficult to come to peace with for me.

“Why do I need to do something for me? Why am I so individualistic? Am I being selfish?” I thought. Continue reading “The Project Driven Artistic Life”

Day Job Dilemmas: Bathrooms, Sawdust, and Hovering Co-Workers

I was having lunch with my co-workers recently and we ended up talking about how shiny the floors are in our company’s bathrooms.

So right now you’re thinking two things: 1) How did that topic come up and/or 2) I’ve noticed that too and it’s disturbing.

You may even say to yourself (with a posh British accent) “why, on such a high-brow blog about creativity, is the author stooping to publish such low-brow humor?” You may never get an answer to that question.

Thus, we begin with #1…

#1 – Shiny Bathroom Floors

Shiny bathroom floors are upsetting, disturbing and borderline pornographic. If we can pick the finish for our printed photos, we should certainly be able to make a decree that all bathroom floors be standardized matte.

Why? Continue reading “Day Job Dilemmas: Bathrooms, Sawdust, and Hovering Co-Workers”

10 Reasons Your CURRENT Day Job is Creative (Really)

In a couple hours, I will don my costume for the day. I call it ‘business casual.’

I will sport a professional, corporate look.

I shall spend the morning in a sales meeting and the afternoon strategizing, making phone calls and working with the marketing department.

Ladies and gentlemen: I am a public relations manager.

Yet, I still consider myself a creative. Are you in the same boat? You’re waiting tables at the diner. You’re answering phone calls in a cubicle. You’re picking up endless messes from the kiddos.

We are all creative.

Today, our jobs are creative because like every prolific artist:

  1. We will influence the way people see something.
  2. We will share joy.
  3. We will connect rather than just exist.
  4. We will employ our mediums, whatever they may be, to communicate our ideas.
  5. We will think as creatives think.
  6. We will bring life to our workplace.
  7. We will entertain.
  8. We will believe that our work is good.
  9. We will help.
  10. We will contribute.

Time to put on that costume now, and I’m thankful. Thankful that it’s my choice to see this day job as an artist does. Continue reading “10 Reasons Your CURRENT Day Job is Creative (Really)”

How to Enjoy Your Day Job

I’m an artist.

I love creating. I love those who create. I love the whole vibe from creative people.

This past weekend I got to do 24 Hour Plays, where a play is cast, written and performed all the course of 24 hours. Awesome and challenging. It was such a thrill to experience that creativity explosion with other writers, actors and directors (here’s my 24 Hour Play experience from last year).

On Monday, it was back to my day job which isn’t always creative. Like most day jobs, there’s a lot of redundancy, e-mailing, spreadsheets, meetings and numbers.


I love my day job.

  • I love that my employers know I’m a creative person and allow me to do creative things that benefit the company.
  • I love that my day job doesn’t rule my life–it simply borrows me for 1/3 of my Mondays thru Fridays.
  • I love that my day job fuels my creative projects like this blog or writing this book to help other creative people.
  • I love that my day job is teaching me things about business that I wouldn’t know otherwise. Continue reading “How to Enjoy Your Day Job”

Ch-ch-ch-ch Changes!

[box options]Today’s guest post is by producer Jason Mundok from the Wood Stove House. WSH produces creative projects such as house concerts, theater events, and a weekly performing arts podcast called Around the Wood Stove. You can also find Wood Stove House on Twitter.[/box]

I had a big birthday last year. I turned 40 in September. I’ve always been a milestone guy when it comes to birthdays, but not in a big party or expensive trip kind of way; more in the introspective and reflective kind of way. A few months before that birthday I had a few life changing experiences and made a few very important realizations.

I’ll save those stories for another post, but the result was significant soul searching, deep conversations with close friends, and finally a decision to leave my very comfortable, very well paid, and very uninspiring I.T. management job to start a business focused on the performing arts. Continue reading “Ch-ch-ch-ch Changes!”

Why Your Dreams Die

Dear Me,

Hey you!

How ya doing?

In Day 1 you read a letter you wrote and then ripped the lie apart that you had a crappy life and nothing to offer. In Day 2, you wrote another letter and figured out just when you stopped working for yourself instead of just working for others.

At some point you fired yourself from your creativity and said ‘other people can make choices for me.”

So that brings us to today. Day 3. You’ve been through Day 1 and Day 2 of creativity boot camp for slugs. You might still be feeling a bit sluggy. Continue reading “Why Your Dreams Die”

Dream Job Day Job Dojo

What’s your dream job?

If you could do anything you wanted, what would it be?

What’s keeping you from fulfilling your dream job?

It’s seems all the rage to talk about day jobs and dream jobs.

It’s a great discussion and I’m so glad people are discovering passions, dreams, and purpose. I love the whole Quitter thing (read more about it here), the ‘chase your dream’ mantra, and working hard to achieve a goal.

But there’s something in the word ‘dream’ that might need clarification.  Continue reading “Dream Job Day Job Dojo”