I ended 2015 wanting a fresh start. On a simple level that meant tasks like cleaning out the closets, reorganizing my office and sorting a few piles of “pitch, keep, or pay it forward.” On a higher level, it meant choosing healthy over haggard. Somewhere in between, I needed to repurpose my business to reflect five years of experience. So I’ve thrown away a bunch of stuff, quit smoking cigarettes and begun the redesign of Gigspots. January 2016 has been the hardest month of my life since boot camp in 1981.
You learn a lot about yourself in challenging times. I was sure I would die those first few weeks of basic training at Fort Bliss, Texas, the most misnamed post in any man’s Army. Fifteen weeks later I knew I could “fuck, fight and hold the light” on any continent. Thirty five years later I laugh at the memories and love to tell the stories. Our drill instructors loved to remind us that “You assholes volunteered for this!” They all had been drafted and served combat duty in Vietnam.
A former student recently reminded me that I’d recommended a book to her, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. She said it changed her life; I knew it had mine. The four agreements you make with yourself are: 1) Be impeccable with your word, 2) Don’t take anything personally, 3) Don’t make assumptions and 4) Always do your best. After this reminder (thanks S.F.), I recalled that the book had popped up in some close friends’ lives recently. I decided I had to re-read it. I don’t believe in random.
The week before, I had uncovered Ruiz’s book cleaning out my office and I also found my copy of the book Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. This personality assessment book meant much to me when I had decided to leave teaching and try to rediscover what mattered to me. The idea behind the book is that our society wastes much time and energy trying to “fix” our weaknesses rather than recognizing and employing our strengths. My top five themes are Empathy, Input, Intellection, Activator and Connectedness.
So the boxes of photos and books from my past remind me of tough times endured and joyous times realized. They give me something to do instead of smoking which it now seems I spent most of my waking hours doing. I’ve been taking time to rediscover elements of my character and reassessing how Gigspots.com should reflect them. After all, I am the brand. My life themes are the business themes.
So I empathize with your need to find entertainment among people you enjoy. I do the homework to give you input on what’s out there. I ask the big questions like, “Will this enrich some lives?” and I support the causes, not just the events. Think global, act local. Connectedness means “…fortifying the bonds between yourself, the people you know, or even those you will never meet.” That’s what Gigspots is about. I’m building campfires we can all gather around and celebrate what makes us human.