Delighting in Details, and Finding the Overlap

by Bonnie Tate

NiceDaytoWashWeb  Nice Day to Wash, from my Journal Portrait series

Yesterday I was looking at Atlanta's Youngblood Gallery website, thinking about submitting some work, when I noticed this message in their Facebook feed:

Try to avoid getting too wrapped up in life’s details; their tedium may cause you to plod through your existence unaware of prospective excitement. Once you have created a substantial list of what excites you, find ways to integrate each item into your routine. You will soon find yourself riding a wave of excitement that lifts you up and makes life truly worth living. What excites you in your life?

I really like this thought. I can translate it into my life in a couple of ways. 

First, it's a reminder to make room for things that please me (you), daily. It can be put into practice by simply replacing some tired, familiar details of your day with fresh, inventive ones. I mean small things: trying a new dinner recipe because it sounds delicious, not saving your favorite clothes for special occasions or your best dishes for a holiday, stopping by a shop that has caught your eye a dozen times, taking the first step towards starting a project that's been simmering in the back of your mind…

Second, it's a push for me to keep moving towards doing what excites me most, as my job, even when it's really hard. I was reminded of a great blog post by author Steve Pressfield called Looking for the Overlap. He writes about struggling to decide what writing projects to work on – those he is truly invested in, or those he feels will be commercially successful. Read the whole post – it's really good. But I'll sum it up –  he figured that if he could find the overlap and work only on projects that fit both categories, that the "sweet spot" in the middle would define his business. This makes a lot of sense.

But his model was wrong. What finally did work for him was choosing the writing projects that he truly wanted to do, regardless of whether he expected to make money. Eventually they made him money!

I transferred his idea into my terms: (and it looks like Pepsi's logo)

                  My business overlapping 


                  My business one circle 

Which one will work for me? I can't really say yet. So I will keep you posted. Hopefully the single circle! But I will try each day to keep in mind the things that excite me (including submitting some work to Youngblood Gallery.) I hope you will too.