Every year I’m presented with dozens of new creative opportunities, all of which could be exciting endeavors. But the reality is, I can only feasibly execute a handful of them. And so, I listen loudly for what wants to be written. I run each idea through my opportunity filter. I ask myself, what does the world most need from me right now? And I remind myself, the more I am me, the better work I do; but if I’m forced to work against my instinctive grain, the output will be shite.
Then, once I finally decide on the right opportunity to pursue, I try not to let creator’s remorse get the best of me. I trust that the windows I missed were the ones that, if I went through them, I wouldn’t have liked whom I had to become to do so.
A few years ago, I toyed with the idea of converting one of my books into an online course. The project would have been useful and interesting and, with any luck, profitable. The only problem was, creating it didn’t make my insides come alive. Teaching wasn’t attractive to me. I'm not a hand holder, but more of a mentor. No matter how hard I tried to convince myself that I was excited about the project, I couldn’t fake the passion. Because deep down, I knew that I wouldn’t be creating from whole cloth, I would be recycling myself. Getting in a time machine to reimagine, revise and relaunch something I’d already achieved. And that wasn’t worth it to me.
So I passed. Reminding myself, that we are defined by what we decline.
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