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Breathing Your Passions

Written by George Manty  · May 14, 2009

The other day I read a post by Cris Garrett called “Just like Breathing”. In the post, Chris talks about a short conversation he had with Terry Starbucker, who also posted about their conversation here. In the conversation, Terry asked an AWESOME question that prompted Chris to ask the same question of his readers in a slightly different way. Here is Chris’ question:

What is so natural to you that it is like breathing? What aspect of yourself, which behavior, skill, activity, talent, is so part of you that you could not imagine yourself without it?

That prompted me to brainstorm a list of answers to the question. Here is the list I came up with:

Playing with my kids
Playing video games
Playing tennis, basketball and football (when I was younger)
Being silly
Coming up with funny kids stories
Making kids laugh
Playing games
talking with people one on one

I talked with my wife Jill about the list and one of the things that I realized is that there were two common skills I used in all of the things that are “like breathing” to me:

1. Problem solving
2. Creativity

I love problem solving and I love being creative. You might even say I love creative problem solving.

There were quite a few things that almost made my list because they involved creativity or problem solving but the reason they didn’t get on my list is because they also involved doing things I hate. For instance, writing almost made my list. I love writing creatively, and I love writing about solutions to problems. However, I DON’T LOVE GRAMMAR RULES! I don’t love writing about just anything. So writing couldn’t make my list.

The things that did make my list were things that when I do them I ONLY did them in a way that allowed me to be me. For instance, when I played basketball. The thing I loved doing was being creative. When I was kid growing up some of my African American friend’s might have called me “Bird”, but that is about where the comparison ended. I worked hard at emulating Dr. J’s moves and then adding my own twist. I loved to play a very unorthodox style of basketball, driving to the basket and finding the most creative way possible to score. It was fun. I would never have enjoyed basketball if I had stayed on the perimeter and just shot the ball from long range. I wanted to be creative and solve the problem of getting past all the shot blockers and scoring over people I should never have been able to score against. That was fun.

So, getting back to the list. It’s kind of funny because after I made the list I thought to myself,
“I should write children’s books.” Now where have I heard that before… hmmmm….

If you know of anyone that breathes drawing comic illustrations that would work well with children’s stories then you might want to send them my way… who knows maybe we will both breathe a bunch of awesome books to life.

For now, I am going to take some time to think about this some more, but it was a very interesting answer to a very AWESOME question. I suggest you try answering the question as well. You might be surprised what you find. I was.

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