May 4, 2010

Nothing Excites Like Excitement

Yes, well, it is a silly title. But it’s what’s for writing just before bedtime after a long day at a dialogue mapping workshop, and I say stick with it.

Someone I know recently said that he couldn’t think of anything he was passionate about. Let’s get this straight right now: A statement like that is an outright challenge. “Okay,” I said, “you aren’t passionate about anything. Say, what did you do last Saturday?”

“I did a bunch of yard work. I hate yard work.” No surprises there. “It has to be done, I suppose.”

“Sure, I get that. But what did you do after you put all the implements of yardly torture away?”

“I went for a run,” says he.

“Wait. You did a bunch of yard work. Sweated your butt off. And then you went running?”

“”Well, yeah,” says he. “I’m working up to run a half marathon.”

Can you hear my eyebrows raising? I can’t wait to hear the answer to this. “Why in the world would you want to run a half marathon?”

“I like running.”

“Feels good, does it?”

“Yeah. I look forward to it, actually.”

“Oh. I see,” I say, grinning. “You get a little excited about it?”

He grins back. “Yeah, I guess I do.”

So much for mister ain’t-got-nothing-to-be-passionate about.

There’s Bound to Be Something That Gets Your Toes Wiggling

Babies say it all with their toes. Get them tickled and watch those tiny feets and toes wiggle as though they had minds of their own.

Do your toes wiggle when you get excited about something? Okay, sure, guys probably don’t get wiggly toes. It’s a “chick” thing, right? I don’t buy it. When I’m looking forward to something, I sometimes wiggle my toes just because.

I know I’m being silly, but frankly I don’t care. Neither should you, in my opinion. If you can’t be silly now and then, you’ve gotten yourself too bunched up in life.

So I challenge you, right now, to Dueling “Excites Me” lists. That’s right. Get out that pen and paper.

What’s in Your “Excites Me” List?

The fun part of this challenge is how easy it is. You just write the words “My Excites Me List” at the top of a page and have at it.

Here. I’ll have a go at it myself.

My Excites Me List:

Sex. Cigars. Facilitation. Singing. Writing music. Building information spaces. (Yes, I’m a geek. So what?) Dancing with my wife. Seeing my sons. Having a cat in my lap of a cold, early morning. Writing whatever I feel like writing. Helping people solve wicked problems. Silence. Good books. Turning the amplifier to 11. The idea that I can help others. Interesting problems. Getting a good night’s sleep. Sushi. Taking a nice long drive. Taking a nice long walk. Writing this list.

Hey, that feels pretty good.

Enough from me.

You try it. Off with you now. Write that list. Send a copy to me while you’re at it. Who knows — maybe I’ll have to add “reading other people’s Excites Me lists” to my own.

It’s time for a good night’s sleep.

Surely more to come…

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