Life of Forgotten Dreams (GWTW771)

Life of Forgotten Dreams (GWTW771)

Earlier today, I was writing about the National Geographic docuseries, Photographer, and my lifelong love of photography. This newsletter led me to explore my archives from two trips to Africa in 2008 and Haiti in 2012. Scrolling through thousands of photos, most not very good, I could see something in my work that only the passage of time allowed me to see: the desire to capture and be present with people. In 2008, I could feel the fear, but my creative brain was at work to document what I was experiencing. 2012 was a different story. I was documenting like before, but I was getting closer, physically and emotionally, as I engaged with people. I felt less fear and was more present. And then I came home. I had an adverse reaction to the anti-malarial medication I was taking, and I wanted to die. I didn’t, physically, but part of my creative spirit disappeared over time. And as I look at pictures of me from that time, I realize just how much I miss that young man and his dreams.

Where We Find Ourselves (GWTW770)

Where We Find Ourselves (GWTW770)

How are you doing? No, really, how are you? Scanning social media lately, I see similar messages: clients are disappearing, budgets are shrinking, ghosting has become normalized, big companies are reducing their workforce, and burnout is the new badge of honor for independent creators. It’s tough out there. And in today’s episode, I will dive right into this topic for those of us who have been business owners and independent creators for years and decades. It can be hard to know what to do. I am struggling to know myself, but hopefully, there will be something I share in this episode that helps you face the road ahead.

How to Clear Your Mind (GWTW767)

How to Clear Your Mind (GWTW767)

How do you clear your mind? A simple yet challenging question that I found myself pondering while playing guitar. There is so much going on in the world, so many tasks we need to accomplish, problems to solve, goals to crush, and subjects to learn. It seems like the more we fill our days with, the faster our brains fill, and the harder it becomes to focus, be creative, and produce innovative work. In this episode of Getting Work To Work, I’m exploring five ways I use to clear my mind. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it is a start to helping you and me find a way to carve out time and space for our brains to work and find peace of mind.

Take Your Own Advice (GWTW761)

Take Your Own Advice (GWTW761)

Throughout this podcast, I’ve shared a lot of lessons. From the knocks I’ve taken the hard (and stubborn) way to the wisdom gleaned from the many books I devour each year, I’m constantly searching for answers to my questions with the hope that others will benefit from what I am learning as well. Living a creative life is wondrous, wonderful, and a lot of work. It’s tough at times, while at other times, work flows effortlessly. Producing a podcast attempting to capture the emotional energy of creativity with all the peaks and valleys is a challenge, too. Honesty is great, but lump together too many downer episodes, and will people still stick around? There’s always the fear that the audience will leave no matter what happens. So, it’s probably best just to ride the waves and share what I’ve got. And that’s what I’m doing today: I’m taking my own advice, and you should probably take your own advice, too.

The Power of Your Voice (GWTW759)

The Power of Your Voice (GWTW759)

Do you know the power of your voice? Do you even know your own voice? I’m not talking about just the literal sound but also the content. The life you’ve lived, the experiences you’ve had, the things you care about deeply, and the people you love or hate. All of which inform the words you use, the tone, passion, excitement, or downright disdain. People tell us our voice is powerful and that we should use it to express ourselves for the causes and cares that move us. And for some, they are told to sit down and shut up. As creative entrepreneurs, our voice is all these things and much more. It is why people hire or fire us, the revelation of our curiosities and creative expressions, and how we venture into the unknown and reveal what is to be known. And yet, we often choose not to do any of this and slowly give our power away, wondering why we aren’t where we want to be at this phase of our lives.

What Do You Do? (GWTW757)

What Do You Do? (GWTW757)

What do you do when you are struggling more than you want to admit to others? When you feel like you have nothing left to give, yet still need to put on a brave face and move forward throughout the world? Like many people within and around my circle, times are weird, tough, and tricky. The struggle seems to be both endless and deepening. Unfortunately, these feelings often lead to quick solutions—new business offerings, a course or mastermind or program with magic answers, and the power of positive thinking, otherwise known as mindset—but lack a lasting resonance in our lives. So, what are we to do instead? Especially in an environment where it doesn’t seem we are allowed to be human. I’ll be talking about all these big questions in today’s episode of Getting Work To Work.

Bushwhack Your Path (GWTW755)

Bushwhack Your Path (GWTW755)

What are the popular sayings that knowingly—or unknowingly—guide your life? Maybe something like “stay in your lane” inspires you to become really good at following orders and not getting too curious. Or a popular phrase from The Mandalorian got you repeating “this is the way” so much that you constantly search for the right way to do something. Another saying that trips us all up—”you must know the rules to break the rules”—can keep us locked into the status quo if we don’t eventually break the rules. These are three of an unlimited amount of phrases, mantras if you will, that guide our daily actions. Examining the phrases lodged in our brains allows us to forge a new path to where we want to go. But how do we break free from the scripts, especially when doing something new goes against everything we know?

Freedom in Imperfection (GWTW753)

Freedom in Imperfection (GWTW753)

I don’t know about you, but I’m telling stories in my brain about myself again. Ten days into the new year, I feel like all my faults and imperfections are fully displayed. My mind is flooded with questions. What am I doing wrong? What changes do I need to make so that things will be different? Why couldn’t I learn the lesson the first or even the fifteenth time? But in the middle of my pity party, I remembered a book recommended by Elizabeth Blake-Thomas in an earlier interview on Getting Work To Work: Wabi Sabi: The Wisdom in Imperfection. Page after page, the message seeps in ever slowly: I can discover freedom in the acceptance of my imperfections.

Creative Sin Eaters (GWTW751)

Creative Sin Eaters (GWTW751)

While everyone is flexing on social media with their “New Year, New You” content, I started the year falling on my ass, literally. Sure, it hurts, but with pain comes introspection and insight, and the willingness to throw out the playbook, on day one. As a society, we are entering a challenging year. We are inundated with pain, fear, and rage across all walks of life on a daily basis. How are we to respond with our creativity and curiosity? How can art, beauty, and love stand a chance in an ocean of anger? The answers to these questions aren’t easy to find—and they definitely don’t fit into the perfect 10-slide Instagram carousel—but we can start to see a path toward possibilities as we look to transform pain into love, every chance we get.

New Ways to Push Yourself (GWTW749)

New Ways to Push Yourself (GWTW749)

Welcome to the middle of the dead week! You hanging in there? Full of food and waiting to kick off 2024 with all the energy you can muster? Naturally, I’m thinking about next year while wrapping up this year, just like every other content producer still producing work this week. But I want to give, hopefully, a little bit of a different spin on the “how to level up your 2024” message. I want you to do the work that matters to you, but I also want you to stay true to your convictions, boundaries, and vision. In this episode, I will share ten ways to push yourself a little bit harder and forsake the rules other people have placed on you that keep you stuck in the wrong game.