One of the ways in which I’ve learned most about myself is through personal projects. Some have turned into businesses, books, relationships — even films.
A project is such a great way to figure out what you want to do with yourself because often when you work on a project, you focus your attention on that project for a long period of time, and inevitably, that leads you on a path of self-discovery. But you have to direct your mind in one direction again and again over time, even without knowing where it’s going.
This is not a logical process, but rather the creative continuation of deepening your focus. When you can do that, something inside of you begins to happen. It’s kind of like a long-term relationship. You live with that person for a while and then you learn a whole lot more about yourself.
A project is also a great way to build a network of people who respect you for your ideas. And it’s the perfect tool, writes blogger Penelope Trunk, “for helping you to attain your goals and dreams, when you know what they are.”
What happens, then, when the project is about — YOU?
This is what my mentor and friend, Richard Moss posed to twenty of us, three years ago. He asked us to do a “Project Self.” Not surprisingly, the guidelines were vague, which made it all the more difficult.
This website is my Project Self.
Just like me, it’s a work in progress — and it continues to grow as I rethink my priorities, strive to build a rich inner life, and exemplify the traits of honesty, courage, and love.
Your Project Self
Last year, the Rabbi at the temple across the street told a story from an anonymous poet. This is what she said the poet wrote:
I asked God, “What is my task in life?” “To build a better world,” said God.
I answered, “How? The world is such a large, vast place. It’s so complicated now… and I’m so small and useless. There’s not much I can do.”
But God in her great wisdom said, “JUST BUILD A BETTER YOU.”
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