Updated: Feb 10
Early in the fall of 2017 I came to a realization that I needed to be more intentional and conscious about creating my own momentum. This is something I have always done but is not something that I have always been consciously intentional about it. Easy examples for me to point to are goals I’ve accomplished that, for better or worse, I just expected of myself - graduating from college, promotions at work, traveling, homeownership, etc. There is a deeper level of attention I require - how I accomplish goals, why are they my goals to begin with, level of importance, priority and how are they going to allow me to continue growing and chasing the person I am putting in work to become.
To quote a favorite (not Hart) Matthew of mine from his Oscar acceptance speech in 2014, you see, every day, and every week, and every month, and every year of my life, my hero is always ten years away. I'm never going to be my hero. I'm not going to obtain that and that's fine with me because it keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.
I cannot think of a speech or lesson that has better connected me to the growth mindset and commitment to learning from successes and failures that are necessary for me. Consciously taking ownership of creating momentum is my own tool to keep me focused on chasing my hero that is always going to be ten years away and the narrative of the story I want to share along the way through successes and failures.
So where do I begin?
I needed a plan that focused on the 'whole me,' one with balance as opposed to a career or life plan. I needed this to be something grounded in reality and for me, the plan I put in motion had some ‘rules’ to keep me focused on all the pieces of me working together.
The plan could not be only connected to my career. All self-selected on my own.
To 'go deep.' It can be scary, fun but so rewarding to spend time with yourself. We always spend time getting to know other people but do we often forget to get to know ourselves a little bit better?
Long-term thinking - learn more about a topic(s) that will benefit me 5, 10, 20+ years from now
Tap into my creativity. I recently saw 43 (G.W. Bush) keynote a conference in San Diego and when talking about his pursuit of art, he told his art teacher, "There is a Rembrandt trapped inside of me somewhere, I need your help to unlock it."
Take inventory, be honest with myself, and write it out.
Once I established these 'rules,' I began taking action that started with a series of weekend workshops to kick things into gear.
I created my own personal trilogy of workshops at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur (more details to come on these later):
The Art of Leadership: Communication, Creativity and Vision, taught by Dr. Ronald Alexander
The Workshop of Doing and Being: Embodied Creativity in Life, Love and Work, taught by Barnet Bain
The Art of Connection: 7 Relationship Building Skills Every Leader Needs Now, taught by Michael Gelb
Thinking about things I did as a child, what could I do as an adult that wouldn't raise too many alarms with those around me?
For as long as I can remember, I've always loved writing whether creatively or for a paper in school, so I decided I was going to start my own blog to get my thoughts out there.
From 1988 to 1999, I was very committed to collecting sports cards and memorabilia so I revisited a childhood hobby in a major way - going back to collect all of the vintage baseball cards I couldn't afford as a 10 year old.
I would always gravitate toward art - drawing, painting, sculpting - so I purchased a camera to just start taking pictures from the things I do and plan to post them frequently here.
Travel: made a commitment to visit some new and favorite US cities and to always visit more countries than I did the previous year:
Booked a long weekend trip with two great friends to Tokyo
Booked a trip with my brother for his college graduation (Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam)
More to come…
As these experiences unfold, I am looking forward to holding myself accountable to creating my momentum and sharing it all here on my own personal site at mattjhart.com ‘Work / Life / Balance.’