Earlier this week we talked about the idea of being made for more. Here’s what some of you had to say in response.
“...it really spoke to where I’m at right now. Not sure if you’ve caught it, but I started a new poetry project. It’s just the start, hoping to continues to move into something…..more”
“This is really such an incredible story. I've always loved writing, but I had never written anything professionally as it was not in keeping with what was expected of me as an "Information Technology professional". Needless to say I had a similar epiphany, and I have written and self-published three books in a series called "Ku" which is a story about an individual's search for meaning and purpose in life."
While I have yet to sell a single copy of any of the books on Amazon/Kindle I'm so incredibly happy that I have taken this step in my life. Who knows what is next?”
What’s key in both of these responses is that neither Steve nor Geoff did something that was perfectly in line with their profession. Geoff mentioned he works in IT and wrote a series of books on purpose and meaning.
The concept of MORE is not about staying within predefined lines, it’s about figuring out ways you can go above and beyond.
Let’s talk now about a simple 2-step process you can use to find where you can give/create/do MORE.
STEP 1: MERGE
I recently came across the story of Lin-Manuel Miranda while watching 60 Minutes on TV.
Lin is a playwright and actor. He loves musicals.
But he also loves hip hop.
Musicals and rap music traditionally haven’t gone together. But he took two interests of his and decided to merge them. He said, 'I want to be the guy who makes rap-sicals.'
This is crucial because it’s so easy to keep your interests, hobbies, and ‘personas’ separate from one another. 'Work me is different from home me, is different from weekend me, is different from intramural softball me.'
Forget all that shit, it’s YOU at the end of the day.
Instead of keeping everything siloed, find two interests of yours and merge them. For another example of merging, check out step 2 of The Burner Method.
STEP 2: FIND THE CATALYST
Our playwright/actor friend Lin was on vacation when he picked up a biography about Alexander Hamilton (you know, America’s first treasury secretary...the guy on the $10 bill).
He became so enthralled by the life of Hamilton, that he decided he wanted--nay, NEEDED-- to write a musical documenting his life. But remember from Step 1, Lin wasn’t going to just create any old play. He was going to create a hip-hopera.
So he writes a hip hop musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton, called Hamilton.
He knew he wanted to do something different. All he needed was a catalyst. Reading the biography was his catalyst.
"By the end of the second chapter, I was on Google saying 'someone's already made this into a musical.' How can anyone NOT have made this into a musical?"
When you merge interests, you skyrocket your chances of finding a catalyst because you’ve opened up the playing field to more possibilities. Sure, it was a chance encounter that Lin picked up the Hamilton biography, but your mind naturally gets into a more creative mode when you don’t treat everything in your life as exclusive.
“I drew a direct line between Hamilton writing his way out of his circumstances, and the rappers I’d grown up adoring.”
And because it’s two of your interests and not just one, you become SO MUCH MORE EXCITED to do it. AND ON TOP OF THAT, you don’t get caught in a ‘yeah I’ll get to it later’, or a ‘everything has to be perfect before I can start’ mode. You just go.
“I think the secret sauce of this show is that I can’t believe this story’s true. It’s such an improbable and amazing story and I learned about it while I was writing it. And I think that enthusiasm is baked into the recipe."
You increase your ability to do/create/give MORE.
What happened as a result of Lin merging interests? Well, someone’s ears immediately perk up when they hear there is a hip hop musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton. Check that, everyone’s ears perk up. See, when you merge interests, because it’s so unique, people aren’t going to get it at first. But they will be interested enough to learn more.
"I say hip-hop, Alexander Hamilton, and everyone laughs…and then by the end, they’re not laughing, because they’re in it. Because they get sucked into the story, just like I got sucked in the story.”
Remember, when it’s two of your interests and not just one, you become so much more excited to do it. And the energy and creativity you feed into that output is INFECTIOUS. People vibe off of your vibes.
What people? The beauty of merging interests is you get the attention of multple audiences. With Hamilton, Miranda attracts people who like hip-hop, people who like musicals/theater, AND people interested in U.S. history.
And for people like me who have an interest in all 3--well people like me are straight poppin' boners over this, becoming ultimate advocates. I love hip-hop, I get down with musicals, and U.S. history fascinates me, in particular the revolutionary war period.
Wood has been sprouted.
Hamilton is shattering the Broadway box office. In its first 3 months, Hamilton has pulled in $57 MILLION DOLLARS IN ADVANCE TICKET SALES! $57 Million!!
And Lin-Manuel Miranda is loving every second performing on a stage he loves, in a style he adores, about a person he admires.
Create your Hamilton. What are 2 interests in your life that you could merge? Leave a comment below.