Snowballing Passion

February 1, 2013 •

Ideas, and more specifically capturing ideas, is something that I struggle with. I don’t know if it’s because I’m worried that I don’t know where to put them, but I always seem to feel a sense of dread when I have an idea. It makes its way into my inbox, and then I’m paralysed. Admitting that this idea can be realised. Picking a next action. The correlation between concrete steps and seeing the idea birthed. It can be too much. So it sits there for a while, only to become a half-baked “look into” type task.

That’s not how things get done. While projects are driven by next actions, you’ll never bring down a monster if you spend all day swatting flies. Projects are driven by passion - whether you know it or not. If you are passionate about a project then it will get done. I don’t mean passion as in something all consuming and highly romanticised. It can be short-lived. A fleeting five minutes spent engrossed in a Wikipedia article. Often, it turns into an hour or more solving some problem that cropped up whilst you were working. This kind of passion, and the relentless need to get some specific thing done, can often snowball.

As I sat down and reworked this site for the third time in two years, I was turning to the project after letting it sit dormant for a few months. Originally, I wanted to create some kind of dynamic landing page, a big advert for everything I do online. I have no idea why I was pretending that’s what I wanted my website to be. I just want somewhere to write. If I’m recognised on the Internet, I want it to be for my writing.

The rework turned out better than expected, and ended up being completed far sooner than I anticipated. Once I thought about why I wanted to change the aesthetics of my site, I realised it was not the aesthetics that I wanted to change. It was the purpose. This clarity drove me towards cleaning up the design, giving myself permission to change without the baggage of the old posts I would rather forget.

Discovering this purpose turned the project into a passion. Other things were left by the wayside as I pressed ahead with getting this finished. I’m glad I did. Finishing something big is better than finishing one hundred tiny things.

Let your passion snowball, driving you to complete bigger projects in great leaps, not tiny steps.