I really liked this video posted at John William's site "Screw Work, Let's Play"
In fact I would go a bit further and say that you know when you have a great idea because you don't feel like boasting about it.
There's something humbling about this process. I have experienced it a little when creating a song that just 'feels' great and yet you have a sense that it has been 'given' to you and that you are simply passing it on.
I know that this happens to other people and read other accounts of this sense of inspiration coming from somewhere else.
Others call it 'being in flow'. Whatever you call it, experiencing this in your life depends so much on whether you have recognised which aspects of your life and work are in tune with the things that you are truly passionate about.
Unfortunately, through bad advice when we were younger, discouragement from family or friends who mean well but try and steer us away from 'useless' to 'useful' careers, fear of really pursuing a dream, whatever the myriad reasons might be, many of us are pursuing lives and careers that aren't in tune with our hearts.
Even if you know you are working in the right general area, ie: teaching, perhaps it isn't in the specific area that would give you most satisfaction. Sometimes to really pursue that, it takes bold leap of faith to break with what is comfortable.
I remember one very telling assembly address given by the Headteacher of the first school who were silly enough to give me a job. He spoke eloquently about animals such as squirrels and monkeys who leap off branches sometimes at great heights in order to land on a lower branch of another tree. Get it wrong and they are someone else's lunch. Yet they do it. All have a moment of decision: 'Do I stay on this cussed branch or make that leap and trust the abilities I was born with?'
He was encouraging the pupils of course to be bold in their vision of themselves for the future and not hold back through fear of stepping out. I wonder how many put this into practice in their lives? I wonder how many of them, 30 years on, are still trying to sum up the courage to take that leap?
Fortunately if you feel you are in this position you don't have to jump unguided or alone. That is why I have recommended John's book to others I know. Yesterday I passed it on to a colleague who has been a Primary Teacher all of his life yet is patently very unhappy in this current school, maybe even in the profession.
When I passed the book over, his wife looked at the strap line on the front cover
"How to do what you love and get paid for it"
and smiled wryly. She knows that he is desperate to pursue something that he loves. The only thing holding him back is lack of knowledge about how to get paid for it to meet the financial responsibilities he feels towards his family.
I wonder how many of us are in a similar position? We have short-changed ourselves over the years, for whatever reason, and feel frustrated because we can't quite feel yet that we have found a way to turn our passions into profit.
Even worse, the sands of time tick by and we can get to the point where we begin to think it will never happen.
This is a BIG lie. It's just that you have never been shown how to actually do it.
If any of this chimes with any readers of this blog, I highly recommend John's book as a place to start. I make no money out of this recommendation - he doesn't hire me to publicise his book, in fact I have never spoken to him about writing posts such as these.
You can find his book through his site
Perhaps you are sitting on some idea, some talent, which to you is obvious, but which to others could be AMAZING! How exciting would that be!