Is the foundation of your work your education?
Or maybe it’s your mission?
Maybe it’s your religion?
Maybe it’s your past experiences or some combination of the three?
If we look at this, we know that a foundation is informative of what we create over the course of our life.
That these beliefs and experiences can’t help but bleed into our work.
That say, Lin Manuel Miranda, had a foundation that always had the possibility of “In the Heights” and “Hamilton” as seeds inside of him.
And his development and courage thereafter are what grew them into existence.
But we don’t always consciously choose our foundation. In the early part of our life, this is circumstantial.
We are given a foundation, and it’s our job to use that soil in our own way.
The good news is that everyone has the raw materials to create.
The bad news is that everyone does not have the raw materials to create the same works of art in their life.
I could not, and should not write the play “Hamilton.”
But I am happy that Lin Manuel Miranda, did.
I could not, and should not build the company Space X, but I am happy that Elon Musk is creating it.
I could not, and should not be an IT consultant for the green energy grid.
But I am happy that the soil of someone else has led them there.
I am happy that they have taken what they had and made a harvest.
And I don’t complain about the soil that I’m given.
And the potential that you have is unique.
And you already have it, it’s yours.
But can we change our foundation?
Well, we can examine it, understanding it better to understand ourselves.
And we can add topsoil.
These are times when the mixture of our foundation drastically changes.
As Tyler Cowen calls them, “life-quakes.”
New paths and learnings that fundamentally shift a layer of who we are, changing our foundation, which changes our output.
But let me introduce a different possibility, if this talk of soil is worrisome to you.
I’ve noticed something else in my work with entrepreneurs who have found success in their fields, despite working in a variety of different industries.
And it has helped me recognize my own foundation…
And it’s helped grow other forms of success…
Their foundation is the regular creation of art.
This practice acts water and sunlight.
It’s a bedrock process that supports everything else that they do.
It’s a process that, when done for its own sake, helps them comfortably return to themselves again.
To make peace with who they are.
And to dig to find what is still waiting to be grown.