Part I: The What and How of Finding Your Passion with Mark Powers

I love when I run across a person that’s making strides in life that are truly admirable. Mark Powers is one of these individuals. He is a dynamic and creative musician, educator, and entrepreneur, who teaches drum lessons, performs live, travels the world, and has developed unique music based team building programs for schools, communities, and organizations. Being a fellow drummer I understand Mark’s passion and had to ask him a few questions about his creativity and inspiration.

Though, when Mark responded to the first question of the interview, he had a lot of valuable ideas to share. So, below you can find Mark’s response to the first question about how to find and follow your passions in life. Consider this just the tip of the ice-berg of the knowledge and advice Mark has to share, and definitely check back for the rest of the interview to come where we’ll be discussing creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, and the power of music! Question: You have been in touch with your passion for some time, and have been formally involved with drumming since you were a young teenager. What advice do you have to help people tap into their own passions and really start doing what they love? On the topic of passion, two things immediately come to mind. The What & The How. Step 1 involves discovering what you are passionate about in the first place. You wouldn’t believe how many people have told me that they are truly unhappy in their current situation but, when asked, haven’t the slightest clue what they’d rather be doing with their lives. In order to find that passion, that career/cause/hobby that really trips your trigger, it’s necessary that you experience new things. Get out of your normal box, your usual daily or weekly routine, and try out some new activities, classes, projects and ventures. Chances are, you’ll have fun, make some new friends and develop some new skills. You just might also stumble upon a love for something you never before knew much about. If you DO know what you’re passionate about, we jump to Step 2: How do I start doing that; or more of that; or only that? This is going to vary a great deal from individual to individual. But I do think that there are some general things we can focus on in order to begin heading in the direction of those goals. The key is simply . . . to S.T.A.R.T.

S: Stop

This is the the first and toughest road to cross. Stop making excuses. Stop saying “I can’t“, or “someday“, or “but what if?” Borrowing from Henry Ford, if you think you can’t, you’re right. You’ve already lost. Go home. But the opposite is also true. Believe in yourself. Someday often never comes. What if what? What if you fail? Then you’re in good company. Like Bill Gates, Thomas Edison, Michael Jordan and countless other greats, you’re on the road to greatness. Part of that journey is learning what doesn’t work. Plan for failure. Welcome it. Relish in it.

T: Timebox

I completely understand that most of us are already plenty busy. Between work, family, relationships and other commitments, it’s difficult to just get away from it all and focus on these new goals. Begin by setting aside just a small window of time each day (or week) to practice that new skill, write a few lines in that WORD document or take notes on that business plan. Maybe you can only squeeze in two 30-minute sessions per week. That’s okay. When that time is up, walk away knowing that you can continue later, are still putting in more time than you previously had, and slowly but surely, progress is being made.

A: Act

No more procrastinating. When tasks come up, resist the temptation to create a monster to-do list for the project. Remember, someday often never comes. Do it, now. Make that difficult phone call; purchase that domain name; book that ticket.

R: Review

Put yourself through the wringer in a monthly, bi-weekly or weekly evaluation. Visit Charlie Gilkey’s for some killer free tools for this, and use your discoveries to guide your next steps.

T: Take

That’s right: take. When the time feels right (maybe that little side venture is turning a profit? or, you can’t get enough of this new passion?), take the plunge. Take the leap, take the risk, take a chance. I believe, without a doubt, that anything is possible in this world. You can have (and do) anything that you want to. But no one is going to hand you your dream life on a silver platter. At some point, you have to buck up and TAKE for yourself the life you truly desire. Marks profession is his passion, so he knows what it means to live a life of enthusiasm and purpose. Be sure to check out Mark’s youtube pages and blog for videos and content to help you tap into your creative frame of mind and start following your life’s passion. Also, if you liked what you read be sure to check back for the rest of the interview to come soon!

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