"I have no interest in making a work that doesn't elicit a feeling." — Kara Walker
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Back in November I traveled to California to perform in a magic show in support of my friend, Michael Mirth. We had met just a few years earlier at the Magic & Meaning Conference in Las Vegas. I was a newcomer to the conference and Michael is the kind of man who is instantly welcoming of others. Because of his kindness we became instant friends. Such a generous man, and a phenomenal magician!
Recently Michael was diagnosed with bone cancer and as a way of raising funds for his treatments and living expenses, he asked some of his magician friends to perform in an ensemble show in La Verne, CA. When he asked me to be a part of this, I answered with a resounding YES.
There were some who questioned why I would pay my way across the country to perform for a benefit, when I could have just as easily sent the money to show my support, but I wasn't interested in just providing money. Sure, that was the excuse for being there, but just sending money would have robbed me of the opportunity to show Michael just how much I value him and our friendship.
It's been said that you have two purposes in this life. The first is who you are and the second is what you do with who you are. In other words, regardless of the circumstances, when you focus on the character that you express in the process of pursuing your outcomes, you can experience moments that reveal that you are exactly where you need to be.
One way to explore the first purpose is by exploring your interests.
Interests can be thought of as momentary experiences of captivation, or can be understood it as a more long-lasting feeling, giving us the sense that something is enjoyable and worth further exploration. In other words it’s a psychological state that increases our natural tendency for attention and effort, towards a particular object or topic over time.
Psychologist say that being interested in a topic provides us with mental resources that enhance learning, performance, and achievement, by promoting attention, recall, task persistence, and overall effort. The research is clear, that discovering our true meaningful interests can help us chart a course for life, a course that will naturally make us more happy and resilient.
In other words, what you're interested in are the values that you enjoy exploring with sustained focus and persistent effort; the things that you think about even when you should be thinking about other things.
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Jonas Cain is a Purveyor of Positivity and Facilitator of Fascination, offering support to emerging leaders and their influencers to develop resilience.