Back in October, I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak at the TEDxBrookings event in Brookings, South Dakota.
As I was preparing for the event, I thought about all the different things I wanted to say. All the important lessons that changed my life that I felt could be "ideas worth spreading."
I thought about doing research and have a carefully crafted story arc and finding some earth-shattering insight that no one had ever thought of before like all my favorite talks I've seen. I wanted to say something worthy enough for a TEDx stage.
And then, after I had obsessed about it so much that I considered not even showing up at all, I finally said:
Screw it. I'm just going to get up there and tell my story.
So that's what I did.
See, I haven't always been an artist. And I haven't always been comfortable taking the road less traveled.
In fact, for most of my childhood and early adulthood, I suppressed my creativity every chance I got so that I could spend my time on the pursuits that I learned were seen as more "successful." Things like getting good grades or starting a prestigious career. It wasn't until one simple question opened me up to the possibility of being a more authentic version of myself that I really started my life as the best and brightest version of my true self.
You can hear more about my story in my talk (click the image below to view), and all the slides were painted/created by me.
Whatever you are -- artist or not -- I hope my short story here gives you the encouragement you need to live out ALL your various colors in the brightest, most vibrant ways possible.