Your Sweet Spot is where your passion meets your purpose. I don’t mean something dainty like, “things that are vaguely appealing to me”. The Sweet Spot means Fulfilling Your Electrifying Creative Destiny. It is a force that once you are aligned with it, dominates your life.
Don’t Mess With Your Sweet Spot
My friend Tim Brockett explains this in inspired, poetic and brilliant ways. Tim never deviated from his calling to be a musician. He is a composer, a performer and a teacher. You can learn more about Tim and his honors, awards and work at http://timothybrockett.com. When he talks about his work, I myself feel inspired by his complete alignment with his own gifts and passions. His words push us to be fierce in tracking our passions. While some people are guided by their genius-- he seems to be one and the same with his. He muses:
“It's no accident that the word passion is associated with the impetus for human reproduction; passion and the creative act are one and the same.”
Just like romantic passion your Sweet Spot is like a huge star that exerts a gravitational force that you cannot avoid. Your Sweet Spot loves you back. Tim shares his sense that:
“I do not doubt the nature of my being. Several times when I was younger, though, I did have grave doubts about my willingness to be involved in the business of music, but the real problem turned out to be that I had not yet realized that the creative act itself was for me the end and not just a means to some other end. In other words, I had made the mistake of thinking music was a tool I used to support myself, when the truth of the matter is that I am a tool used to support music.”
The Gift in the Global Economic Meltdown
I asked Tim about any possible fears in pursuing a field that doesn’t promise stable security. He poetically shared that:
“It is a fundamental reality of the human condition that life is inherently fragile. Every breath is a gust of wind blown at a house of cards. Music, like any field, is no more or less secure than that.”
Tim’s quote brings us to an important point. We are so afraid to go after what we really want because we are afraid of losing our security. As we look out at the fiscal cliff, no one knows what the heck is around the corner anymore. One forecaster advises that people should only plan their lives one year at a time now. Given the lack of promise of security, comparatively it is less risky to go after what you have always really wanted to do. Passion evokes an irresistible attraction to something that stokes our inner fire, while “purpose” intimates of legacy, contribution, leaving something to our community that makes their lives better. Again Tim eloquently speaks to this:
“I wholeheartedly encourage anyone to become involved in any skilled pursuit as deeply as they desire. In doing so, they will be crafting mankind's lasting legacy. Or, if they'd rather, sit through a Puccini opera, a Mahler symphony, or a Chopin nocturne, and tell me, if they're not too choked with weeping, what a fool the composer was to go through life without health insurance.”
There is no Fury like a Sweet Spot scorned.
In the past the choice might have been, do what you love or have job security. Sure you want to be a musician but think how great it will be to have a regular paycheck at a Fortune five hundred company.
One thing Tim and I have in common is that we both grew up in the Detroit area. In Detroit, there was a time when security meant working on the line in a manufacturing industry with a powerful union and a pension to last a lifetime with the promise of an early retirement. Those days are gone. Few regions have been as hard hit as the Detroit area. Looking clear eyed at the tragedy there, we can’t help but conclude that following your Sweet Spot -- even if you want to be a clown in the circus -- CANNOT BE MORE RISKY THAN WHAT WE WERE ALL TOLD WAS THE SAFE AND STABLE PATH.
It is brutal to deny yourself your Sweet Spot. As Tim tells it:
“I have a photograph of me sitting at the piano, my hands on the keys, a big grin on my face, when I was no more than eighteen months old, based on the date the photo processing lab stamped on the print. I am a musician. Fashioning me into anything else would have required an act of brute force.”
Following your Sweet Spot may be risky but not following it is brutal to your soul. The future of your economic security may be to tap into the potency and power of your unique genius. If you are better at something than anyone else in the world, you won’t have to worry about outsourcing and collapsing industries.
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