On the Path to “Purpose”

    Just some thinking out loud…I have no idea where this is going, but I am “writing to learn” not only to share my learning.
    This excerpt from my book, “The Innovator’s Mindset” was just reshared with me on Twitter, and it sparked some of my thinking.
    An artist had his easel set up on a street when a person walked by and asked how much it would cost to have a portrait drawn.
    “Fifty dollars,” said the artist. The patron readily agreed, and the artist began to draw. Ten minutes later, the artist completed a beautiful, creative piece. Even though the patron was very happy with the creativity and the high quality of the piece, she challenged the agreed upon price.
    “Something that took such a short time to create should not have the high price tag,” she said.
    The artist responded, “It took me ten years to be able to do it in ten minutes; you have never seen much of the work that I have done to be able to draw this picture so quickly.”

    This story is an excellent reminder for all of the things that go into success. We often celebrate the product, but we don’t identify the process as much as we should. It reminds me of this quote that has many variations but is often attributed to Eddie Cantor:

    What work did it take for someone to get to their current place? Am I willing to do that same thing consistently over time?
    But there is another factor here that I have started to think about a lot more. We often talk about the things you “need” to do to get to a particular place, but what about the things you may have to give up, at least to some extent?  On a path to get to the place the “artist” shared, what time was given up with family, friends, and doing things that may have made that person happy at the moment?  On the path to “purpose,” there are a lot of things that must be done, but there are often many opportunities that are lost.
    I would love to say, “the moral of the story is,” and then provide some profound thought.
    I don’t have one.
    I guess for me, I’m just reminded that in every opportunity gained, some things are lost along the way. Every person’s journey to finding their path comes with some gain and some cost.
    That’s the blog.


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