The Most Important Thing You Could Be Doing

Nov 22, 2010 by     No Comments    Posted under: Attitude, Thousands of Stories, Three Actors

I would wager that the single most important thing you can be doing right now, is figuring out what you are most passionate about. What is at the core of your driving force? What is that which keeps you awake at night racing through your mind? Whatever that is, is your golden ticket. It’s the key to your future.

Economy 2.0

If you follow the people who often discuss what I call “Economy 2.0” such as Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Chris Brogan, Tim Ferriss, Chris Guillebeau, and the like, you very much get the sense that we are in the midst of a revolution. What’s better than that, is the idea that the the core of thriving in this new frontier is finding your passion and living it…hardcore. This is something new, something different. As Seth Godin talked about at his recent breakfast talk in LA, during the Industrial Revolution you thrived by becoming a cog in a larger machine. Now you need get to be your own machine.

Finding Your Passion

Some of you have known your passion since you were 3 years old. My sister, for example, has known that she’s wanted to be a pastry chef since she started making me chocolate chip cookies when she was 8 (I know, I had a rough childhood…) I, however, was not one of those people. I’ve had myriad interests and passions (and still do). In college while I maintained a theatre major, I was also a biochemistry major, then a molecular biology major, before finally getting a degree in political science. While organic chemistry was something I would never wish on anyone, it helped me hone in on my passion. My junior year of college I finally stepped back and realized that theatre was the thing that I had consistently been passionate about the whole time.

So why do I write all this? If you’re the kind of person with many interests, or someone who’s not exactly sure what that “one thing” is, then I think you need to try on as many hats as possible. Read books, watch internet lectures, do internships. Experience as many facets of your interests as possible.

“Waste of Time”

Every new thing you discover you don’t love is never a waste of time. Never.

“I have not failed 10,000 times. I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” ~Thomas Edison on his “failures” before perfecting incandescent lighting

Look, if discovering your true passion is the key to your future, then how could getting closer to that ever be a failure?

Resources

There are a few books and blogs I’ve read recently that really hammer home these points that I would recommend checking out, starting with this video from Gary V:

Watch. This. NOW!

  • Crush It by Gary V. This book is amazing, and if it doesn’t inspire you to start crankin’ away on your passion then I don’t know what will.
  • Seth Godin’s blog is universally applicable, and touches daily on all the most important aspects of what I call Economy 2.0 in a well thought out, eloquent matter.
  • I’m less versed on The Other 8 Hours than some of these others, but have heard amazing things. Plus, this addresses one of the biggest concerns people have: trying ot pursue your passion while maintaining a “normal” day job.
  • Ignore Everybody And 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod is a great, creative, approach to breaking out of the bubble and doing what you love
  • Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi is a great look at how to get out there and meet more people, stay in touch them, which I assure you, will be the key that opens the doors you most want to go through

Translating to Cinemaland

I find that this approach has tremendous application in the specific realm of film as well. Figuring out exactly what you want in this industry is crucial. Under the guise of entertainment (and sometimes creativity ;)) there are SOOOO many things you can do. Write screenplays, be a PA, go into casting, act in sitcoms, be a host, be a professional game show contestant, WHATEVER. The opportunity here is immense, it’s truly limitless. That said, there’s enough competition out there that you don’t have the freedom to NOT figure out what it is you care about more than anything. You don’t. Someone else already figured it out and is spending 18 hours a day pushing out content, talking with others about it, and living that passion. Get started. :)


Ben Whitehair is the Los Angeles contingent of this blog. Find out more information and view his materials on his website, or read the rest of his blog posts.