Find Your Way Back

When asked about inspiration or career guidance, my advice is often to go back to your childhood. When you were ten years old, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Those who followed their childhood dream, at least in my experience, are typically more satisfied in their adulthood. Those who took another path tell me that they are still wandering, looking for happiness and fulfillment.

Ray Bradbury writes that some of his first sources of inspiration as a child were: Lon Chaney; stars on a summer night in Illinois; science fiction stories; his trip to New York to see the World of the Future. His first career choice was to be a magician, and he received a toy typewriter for Christmas at age 12. He ended up writing about Lon Chaney, the wilderness of Illinois, futuristic worlds like those he saw at in New York, and he considered himself to be a magician of sorts by conjuring characters, worlds, and tales from thin air.

Go back to your childhood, in the days when you heard the whisper of The Muse. What did you dress up as in play? Which stories did you act out? What activity did you have to be torn away from at dinner time? What did YOU want to be when you grew up? These are the breadcrumbs you left yourself to find your way back on the path to her and your heart.

Perhaps that isn't a practical career choice in the middle of the city where you live to be a cowboy (or superhero, or astronaut) but what is the essence of a cowboy that you could apply to your work, your daily life? A maverick spirit, an easy command of your territory, a thirst for adventure and discovery? These are all things that you can weave into your life to become that cowboy (or cowgirl) in your work and life. Find your way back to your younger self and ask advice on how to deal with creative, relationship, or career situations. You might be impressed with the guidance you receive.