When I was a child I was asked “what do you want to be when you’re older?”. My response? – A scientist.
I don’t recall why this profession appealed to me at the time but I distinctly remember proclaiming that it’s what I want to be. As an adult, I’m no longer interested in science. One of my biggest interests is technology (I was early adopter of the Apple Watch!). My monthly copy of Wired magazine is as close as I get to any science-related news these days. I may have claimed I wanted to be a scientist but It was clear that I destined for a different path.
As an eight-year-old, I loved to sing, to dance and to perform. In 1997, my primary school’s choir performed on the BBC’s Songs of Praise for its “Mersey Glory” event at Everton Football Club’s Goodson Park. I still have the t-shirt – It’s a bit small these days. But as a Liverpool fan, blue was never my colour anyway! Other performing highlights of my childhood included a competitive group dance to The Boo Radley’s mid-90’s hit “Wake Up It’s a Beautiful Morning”. There was also that time that myself and four friends dressed up as the Spice Girls (wigs and all!) and performed “Stop Right Now” in front of 500 people at Bootle’s town hall. We were dubbed the “Spice Boys”. I was Baby Spice. If I’m really unlucky my mum will find the VHS recording one day and embarrass me on my wedding day.
My love for the creative arts continued into secondary school. I loved art, drama and music. I took up the guitar when I was fifteen years old (a late adoption) and reached a decent level of proficiency. Finally, when I was eighteen I played the role of Margaret Mead in the school performance of 60’s rock-musical “Hair”. A female role traditionally played by a man…right up my street it would seem.
Never Lose the Spirit of Why You Do What You Do
These days, at thirty years of age, filmmaking and storytelling is how I satisfy my thirst for the creative arts. Overtime I became devoted to film and I have moved back from being in front of the camera to being behind it. Do I think my childhood experiences have made me a better Director? Perhaps. What’s important however is to never let go of the spirit that drove me as a young performer. It should drive everything I do in life and in business. So, when just over a year ago my partner asked me if I’d like to take up ball room dancing my eyes lit up, my heart fluttered. Here was a chance to be that young performer again, throw myself into something new, something exciting and rediscover the joys of dance.
It’s been an incredible journey so far. Hard work for sure, but great fun and for an hour a week nothing else matters. All of the stresses and pressures of adult life and running a business go out of the window – We just dance and it’s marvellous. Me and my partner got engaged last year and we are working towards a wedding dance but we’ve also taken a bronze ball room exam. We passed with distinction. Vindication of the hard work we have put in over the last year.
It’s Never Too Late
I wish I had taken up ball room dancing a decade ago. It’s infectious, it keeps you fit and it’s a great way of meeting new people and blowing off steam. But the point I want to make is it’s never too late to get back into something you love or even take up something new. I recently discovered a great little infographic entitled 8 Ways to Be Constantly Improving. Two of the points particularly resonated with me. Point 4 – Practice Old Passions and Point 7 – Be open to Change. As human beings if we’re going to lead meaningful lives both personal and in business then it’s important to revisit the things we enjoy but don’t normally do. For me that’s my love of dancing. And to be constantly improving you must possess a willingness to change in order to move forward.
I challenge anybody that reads this article to go out and rediscover an old passion. Or better yet, try your hand at something you’ve always wanted to do. I bet how you look at your work life balance will change for the better. Through my business I try to get clients to challenge why they do what they do. What old passions drive their cause, what do they enjoy? Focusing on these things will help drive their businesses forward. I’m always open to meeting new people and discussing their passions and what underpins their business. If you want a little friendly advice get in touch with me and we can meet for a cuppa’ and a chat.