About 5 years ago I came across the book What You’re Really Meant To Do: A Roadmap For Reaching Your Unique Potential by Robert Steven Kaplan. In one exercise he mentions the idea of identifying what makes your heart sing by looking back to an early memory of doing something that made you really happy. It could be anything from talking to a stranger to exploring nature. I gave myself time to think through a number of memories that make me happy. I still remember the first time I decided I to pursue a career in the arts. I was in third grade and I drew an impala for a project illustrating Kenyan wildlife.
The common themes in my memories were creativity, nature, and people—specifically seeing the good in others. What I learned is that I could incorporate more of what I love into my work in two ways. First and foremost, making opportunities to work with customers whose mission and values resonate with my own. This would make it easy to see the good in what they are doing and support them 100%. Secondly, I could use my free time to explore projects that are meaningful to me. This doesn’t necessarily transfer to a monetary value but it does help display who I am in work and life—which ultimately helps my brand story.
Last year I made a commitment to carve out time to work on projects that interest me just for the sake of exploring. I started with creating a pattern collection—something I’ve desired to do for years now. Below is a short video that illustrates the pattern-making process I went through and some of the story behind in case you’re interested. I’d love to hear about what you are doing to blend what you love into your work. Feel free to share!