This week we’re looking at niches, passions, picking something (or not), and discovering if that choice is worth the investment of time. A big ask, but help is at hand.
In part 1 (click here), I mentioned that not every person has a passion (in fact, most people don’t – and by passion, I mean a lifelong love of one particular thing you just can’t live without).
It’s good to know this because if you DO have one specific passion you cannot put down, then that’s what you should go for. End of (but keep reading anyway, because you still need to find some way of exploiting it).
For everyone else, we need to dig hard to find something that interests us. Why? Because we’ll get bored (or worse) with whatever we choose if we don’t care about it (but there’s more to that too – coming up in part 3).
Sometime around 2012, Artist Candy Chang transformed an exterior wall of a derelict house by putting up boards painted with blackboard paint and stencilled in the same question 80 times: “Before I die I want to…”
When she returned the next day, she found every line had been filled in. She recorded the answers, wiped off the replies, and repeated this for 3 months.
The answers were recorded in a book – which she then used as the topic of a TED talk in July 2012 – and the whole thing went viral.
Here’s a few of the answers she got:
“Be tried for piracy”
“Love recklessly again”
“Sing for millions”
“Have a student come back and tell me it mattered”
Let’s take the first one – be tried for piracy. This person sounds as though they might be interested in criminal law (or perhaps how to get away with it).
What about love recklessly? Obviously into dating.
Sing for millions? That might be about celebrity, or perhaps even just about singing.
And the final one of those examples is not just about education, it’s about education that makes a difference.
Every one of these is a niche the person who wrote it cares about.
And all this from a simple question exploring ambitions and dreams. Before you move on to part 3, let me know your answer in the comments below to that same question: “Before I die I want to…”?
PS. The big idea here is that whenever we get stuck, if we think about how we might reframe the problem, it often reveals things we’d never figure out any other way. Another method is to ask what it is you NEVER want to do before you die. Add that in the comments too if you can think of any.