If I had to choose a favorite character from Alice in Wonderland, I would choose the Cheshire Cat. He’s creepy and possibly madder than any of the other characters, but he knows things. He knows things, and he refuses to share them.
I’ve been obsessed with two ideas for the past few weeks: finding joy and creating value. I think they’re two sides of the same coin. What causes me joy should create value, if only in the joy I foster in my audience. Similarly, what brings value to my audience should have some value, some joy, to or for me.
One of my favorite homework assignments in the third grade was using the week’s vocabulary list in some sort of story. I found the assignment to be entirely too much fun. I don’t think I enjoyed the endless repetition of writing the words and their definitions, but I did like using them in sentences. To this day I enjoy such assignments, although they’re never quite as strict. It’s usually some sort of exercise I create for myself in which I have to use a certain word, a type of phrasing, or even a punctuation mark, such as the dreaded exclamation point.
In* order to develop a talent, it has to be exercised. It has to be used on a frequent and consistent basis. Doing so can be hard at times, which is why I believe wholeheartedly in setting up exercises and completing them.
When I first started running, I had to have my iPod. Music was the only way to distract myself from what I considered to be a torturous activity. I eventually began to enjoy running, but my iPod companion remained a constant. I sometimes would refuse to go for a run if my iPod were dead or on its deathbed.