A long time ago, more than a lifetime ago, when I had no real career and nothing but dreams in life, I wanted to be an artist.
I had joined art school at the age of around 19 in order to one thing– a very specific thing. I wanted to become a metal sculptor.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make, exactly. I just knew that metal seemed like the material for me to use, and that I felt like it would be something amazing to do. So I joined art school.
I found the one art school that didn’t require a portfolio to get in. I visited the school, I applied, and I got in. I began to take drawing classes, art history, and everything else I needed to do. I also had to take a sculpture class that first semester, and so I did exactly what I was planning to do. I took metal sculpture.
It was this moment in my life, this time, at which the internet decided to intervene in my life.
I think it started in a simple way. I wanted a part time job. I happened to be able to type, so I took something at a local startup. This was around the time the dot-com bubble was starting to happen. Companies were building up around all kinds of ideas, large and small, whether there was a business model there wasn’t thought to be necessary. At the time, the name of the game was eyeballs.
Anyway, it quickly took over my life. I never finished art school. Now I do this whole other thing. I love it of course. But I never finished. And unless I start again, I’ll never know.
I’m going to bet you have someone in your life like this.
Your homework this week is to plant a seed of doubt in someone who needs it.
This job doesn’t have to be difficult. You just need to be able to talk to someone and remind them of their other life– the life they could have had, but that they don’t right now.
I did this the other week with a cashier at a coffee shop. I recognized her, and thought “she’s been working here a long time.” So I said so. “It’s been a while, hasn’t it?”
This homework assignment isn’t complicated. But it is important. Remind someone of the life they wanted before they started making compromises. Be as direct, or indirect, as you like. Don’t push, but let it simmer.
Good luck with your assignment. Report back in the comments when youâ€™re done.