There was one particular example, though, that stood out for me, in a discussion about what passion really is. Taking his cue from Steve Jobs’ last major public presentation, Gallo poses the question, “what makes your heart sing?”
I wasn’t having a great week: I was resentfully back at work after a month off looking after the kids over the summer holidays, and I was struggling to find the time to write. In fact when I did squeeze the time in, I wasn’t happy with what I did manage to write. Not unusual for a first draft I know, but it frustrated me anyway. So I sat back, closed my eyes and asked myself, “What makes my heart sing?” My immediate answer was, “writing”, but I didn’t feel like I meant it, so I questioned myself. Does writing really make my heart sing?
I was honest with myself: when I’m struggling to get in the flow, it frustrates me, when I procrastinate, I annoy myself, when I let others read an early draft, I feel slightly sick. Not much heart singing going on there. BUT. When I’m in the zone and the words are flying out of me faster than I can type, and the characters take it upon themselves to change the plot and surprise me, when I feel it taking shape, when I hit upon a description or a word that makes me smile (or shout out loud – when the house is empty), then I feel like I can do anything and conversely, I don’t want to anything apart from this. I feel like I’m containing so much energy that eventually when I’ve got the words on the page, I have to bounce around the house. I’m smiling now as I write this.
I attended a training course earlier this year, with a company who I was thinking of doing some associate work with. I wasn’t convinced I wanted to work for them, so I wasn’t as enthusiastic as I could have been and I’m sure it showed. One evening I got chatting to one of the other attendees and we got around to my writing (it always seems to happen!). I couldn’t stop talking and I felt amazing, full of energy, so happy and so far removed from how I’d felt just moments before. Her response was, “I love how much you love writing. It’s like you’re a different person.” She’s not the first person to tell me that. And she’s right, in that moment I was a different person. I guess my heart was singing.