It’s Martin Luther King Monday. And for most of us, life goes on, and work keeps going, with a vague acknowledgment that it’s one of those holidays where some things are closed and others aren’t.
But do yourself a favor and take just a moment right now, a beat to think about this day and what it means to live up to your promise.
If you want to become the person you were meant to be, then let the legacy of Martin Luther King energize your work today so you can lean into not just taking care of the small things on your “to do” list, but actually getting at what matters most.
The Eight Questions
To help you grapple with the nitty gritty of making the change you seek to make in the world, here’s a recap of a favorite tough questions from Dallas Travers. Reflecting on these questions, while this new year is still young, will help you lean in to make the year the best it can be. Write your answers down and save them so you can check in over the course of the year and re-orient yourself to your best intentions. If you want to build a better world it all starts with yourself—build a better you.
1. What’s the feeling you want to bring to your daily work in 2019?
I love this question because I’m usually too much in my head so focusing on both physical sensations and emotions gives me another channel to access how I can step into a new way of moving forward.
2. Which specific strength of yours do you want to lean in to in 2019?
Too often we don’t acknowledge what’s going well; we take our strengths for granted. So instead, let’s build on a specific strength and grow them there.
3. What’s a truth about yourself that you want to own up to and acknowledge in 2019?
Maybe it’s something you’ve felt shame around or something you’ve struggled with to overcome. In the end, it doesn’t help to ignore or hide out truths, or to pretend that we’re something we’re not.
So let’s acknowledge our truths, even if it’s only to our closest friends. There’s a relief and a freedom that comes when you give up the lies.
4. What small habit could help you feed your creative imagination each week?
Be intentional. Whether it’s a walk in the woods, reading from a favorite book, or listening to new works, find something that will engage and stretch your creativity. This regular habit will have a ripple effect over the months and years going forward. Invest in your imagination—it’s your most important asset—the fuel for your artistry.
5. What project are you most excited about?
For me, I’m excited launching a new iteration of my CV Master Course. (I’m also excited about taking improv classes. Talk about getting outside your comfort zone!)
6. What will completing this project bring to your life and your community?
It’s good to think not just about how good it will be to complete your project, but how doing this will change you and those around you. For me, I’m hoping my projects will help me bring more energy and curiosity to all my work so I can help more musicians make more impact. What is it for you?
7. What are you afraid of?
Of course we may fear of making fools ourselves, or fear that we’ll have invested a lot of time and trouble and then be disappointed with the results. There are the initial fear we come up with.
But what else? (the truth this time)
OUCH. There’s often a real “zinger” of a fear that underlies all the others. What is it for you?
8. Who and what do you have to help?
Who are you allies? All too often I find musicians are struggling with projects in isolation. There’s no shame in reaching out for help.
What support and accountability do you have to move forward?
The world needs your music, your light, your good work. Here’s to you moving ahead courageously into your future.
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Dream Big, Plan Smart, Live Well