Here's a fun exercise I like to do/encourage to discover new possibilities for how to live our best lives. It's the juxtaposition exercise and it goes like this:
1. On a piece of paper, write down all the things/hobbies/topics/ that are special - the things about which you are passionate. Place the piece of paper in your day planner or next to your favorite thinking chair.
2. Each day, select two passions and ponder all the possible ways they could be explored together for 15 minutes. Think about juxtapositions for fun (hobbies) and also those that might lead to new work or a career change.
3. Select the most intriguing ideas to share with others and see what might come of it. Share in a meaningful way.
Here is an example. I received an email from someone who had been at one of my book talks. He has a day job and is the primary breadwinner in the family, but would like to combine his loves of classical guitar and the Jewish Faith. He is exploring ways he might be able to make money playing and/or recording sacred Jewish music. Very cool, huh? If anyone has any ideas for this man, send me an email and I will pass it along. To get to that next stage of thinking and manifestation, he needs to share his goal with people who have some connection to either music, Judaism, or both. He needs to be open to all kinds of possibilities.
I was playing with this exercise today while trying to keep cool (we don't have AC because you need it so infrequently in Seattle). The pairing that would NOT leave my thoughts was:
Motorcycles and Motorcycle Touring
Sure, I am writing Motorcycle Yoga, which is a manifestation of these two passions coming together. But I can't help but let my mind wander a bit farther..... If I want to get on the court, I could come up with a few ideas and pitch them to motorcycle publications, motorcycle manufacturers, or others as appropriate. I just might do that!
Here are a few interesting pairs (not mine, just examples) to get you started with how to explore juxtapositions:
If you could combine two of your passions, which two would you most enjoy exploring further? Select a pair of passions and ask 10 people this question:
- In what ways do you think I could combine my loves of __________ and ____________ (add "to make money" if that's important to you.
You never know, this little exercise might lead to a new hobby, project, or a whole new career.