I was trying to remember the very first day we posted on this site. So I took a trip down to memory land and found this post from April 23, 2005. What I am about to share wasn’t the first post. It was the second, but I love it and we live it and it’s worth repeating:
Want to know what we love about people with their Brains on Fire?
When you’re excited and inspired, fear disappears.
– Greg Cordell
Yup. That tiny little post still rings true today. When you’re fueled with passion, excitment and inspiration, FEAR disappears.
I remember when I was first approached about the idea of a Brains on Fire blog (remember it was 2005 now — don’t judge). My first reaction was “Um, why? Tell me what and why again?”
I’m glad that Geno and Spike were so passionate about pushing the idea of us thinking out loud forward. I’m glad we did it in spite of my initial fears. So many things we do that are worth doing, we do because of passion. We ask our clients to go forward and trust passion every single day. And we don’t take their courage lightly.
So. How will you push yourself with passion today? How are you going to make this day a fearless one?
Come on. Share.
I feel like I need to re-introduce myself. It’s been over eight weeks since I’ve written here! I’ve missed you, but I’ve also really enjoyed seeing more voices from the Brains on Fire tribe think out loud on the blog.
I’ve been busy with my day job and also co-authoring (along with John Moore, Geno Church and Greg Cordell) our next book. It’s called The Passion Conversation and we’re pretty jazzed about it.
Especially now that it’s almost done!
As we went about crafting this new book, we’ve learned a lot.
A whole lot.
So I thought I would take a few minutes and share a few of the lessons we learned while writing.
1. Recording conversations is an eye-opening exercise. We recorded a lot of conversations as we wrote this book. You learn a lot about the things you needlessly repeat. Um. But more than that, you listen better when you’re listening to what you recorded. Because you’re not talking. I know this seems so obvious, but you really can’t listen all that well if you’re talking. So when you are listening, just listen. I tried really hard to say as few words as possible and you’d be surprised how much insight you can gather when you do that. A great writer (can’t remember who) said this about doing interviews of any kind: Try your best to never talk. If there is a lull, just simply say to the person, “You should talk more often…”
2. If you have customers, call them often just to talk. Or not talk. Just listen. This one needs no explanation.
3. Listen to your teammates often too. Listen to their stories. Interview them about what they are doing, what they’re learning. You’ll miss a lot of good things if you don’t do this.
4. If you have a big task in front of you, just start somewhere. You can’t do anything if you don’t get started.
5. Everyone should cut off their phones and spend three days and nights in a hotel by themselves and focus on just one thing. You’ll come out the other side a better person. I promise. I had an real AHA moment when I locked myself away in North Carolina for three days. I realized that in the grand scheme of things, even big daunting tasks (like producing a book) are small. That knowledge is so freeing. We had a lot more fun with this book than the last one and I think that simple knowledge was a big part of it. I can’t wait to see what you think about the Passion Explorations. Here’s a little sneak peek…
I really have missed you all so much. Stop in and comment and let me know what you’ve been up to! Your comments are such a gift.
Can we chat about this typography?
Dressing up your font, pun intended, is a big thing here at Brains on Fire. Emotions and aesthetics go hand in hand, and design often fills the void when words just aren’t enough. That’s an understatement, yes. We have a tweet to back that up.
Kudos, Yvette Yang. I love how much these letters speak. Think about how this typography oozes into our world… and is a reflection of our culture at the same time. This amazing alphabet is only one example. What does it say about us? Perhaps you don’t saunter around in Jimmy Choos all day, but you are quite aware of their place in the couture culture.
Talents, strengths and weaknesses- we’ve all got ‘em. We are master jugglers of these three very unique characteristics. They make us human, after all; we simultaneously live up to them and sweep them under the rug. Funny, isn’t it?
When starting a new adventure, there are certain to be unknowns. They are intimidating. They make us pause. They make us nervous. To this I say: WHO CARES?
Push those fears aside and step up to the plate. Ask for help.
We are human, and to my knowledge, no one has a crystal ball in his possession. (But by all means, correct me if I’m wrong).
We dabble. We learn. We grow. But we cannot know it all. The beauty of teams, collaboration, brainstorming— it’s powerful and empowering.
When you say “Put me in coach, I’m ready” it might be scary. It might be new. But you don’t have to know it all. You have to raise your hand, put your pride in your back pocket, and ask for help. Down the road, someone may say to you, “Put me in coach!” How do you step up to the plate?
I used the Google Person Finder yesterday. It put things in perspective. I’m lucky. My friend, and those who cheered her on as she completed yesterday’s Boston Marathon, are safe.
So many are hurting, and so many have helped.
Thank you for sharing brilliant technology to point others in the right direction.
Thank you for continuing to run to the closest hospital to donate your own blood.
Thank you for reminding us of the power of the human spirit in times of tragedy.
Thank you for risking your life by running into the chaos, saving the lives of others.
Thank you for showing compassion.
No matter where you are, how you’ve been affected, thank you for strengthening the community. Thank you for bring brave.