The general manager at my weekend job recently said to me, “Man, is there anything that you don’t do?!”
Among other things, he was referring to finding out I have written two blogs (this one and FunFitTeam.com), published a book (“Make Time to Change – Your guide to figuring out a new change, passion or life’s purpose”, created my websites (MakeTimeToChange.com & MikeHolik.com), am learning how to get better at Facebook and Instagram ads, and even started a satirical YouTube series, based on crazy customer stories from a liquor store.
His question got me thinking… I really do try a lot of different things. Part of that can be attributed to me liking variety in all aspects of my life (more on that), but I think it goes much deeper.
I find that over and over, unknowingly, I follow a certain process: Something new comes to my attention, I become interested in it, become obsessed with it (seriously…its all I think about until I do it), consume/learn everything I can about it, do it and many times share the simplified, most important and actionable information…usually with all of you!
Following are some examples…
Come take a ride with me, Sherman and Mr. Peabody in the WABAC (Wayback) Machine! (Sorry, that old cartoon reference is probably older than most of you). Anyway… around 1997, when I was still married (and was thinner with more hair), I became interested in home improvement.
Back then, there wasn’t the magic of having everything you want to learn, free at your fingertips, like we are blessed to have today with the Internet and specifically, YouTube.
Never having a Dad around that could teach me home improvement, I wanted to do some things around the house – lay a tile floor, build simple furniture and someday remodel a raw basement (Heck, why not dream big?!).
But how should I go about learning all that? Well, I became obsessed with it.
From these shows, I learned basics like the proper way of framing walls, how to paint more efficiently and how to replace a wall switch with a light dimmer.
Next, I bought some specialty How-To books from a big box hardware store, called Builder’s Square. Unfortunately, it has long since passed away, along the likes of Toys R Us, Borders Books and Carson’s. (RIP, Builder’s Square!)
From those books, I learned a little more about plumbing, tiling, how to properly use tools and how to put up and mud drywall.
In the end, I completely remodeled the entire basement of that house…making a fun main room for watching TV and entertaining, a drawing room, a closet and a laundry room. We’re talking framing, putting in doors, drywalling all the rooms, installing lighting, painting and countless other things.
I did learn most of that from TV and books, but the best way I truly learned was by DOING. You gather some general knowledge, and then just DO it yourself. You have to be willing to get dirty and even make mistakes, though. Even today, I still live by the “Measure twice, cut once” proverb.
WARNING: you should probably leave the more dangerous things to a professional, like running new electrical, larger plumbing projects and pretty much anything gas-related (the fuel kind).
Since then, I have used the same process… I’m sure there’s some official, fancy-pants process for doing new things, but here’s my simple version:
Idea > Gather > Do > Improve > Teach
- IDEA: Something new comes in my mind and I become interested in it.
- GATHER: I become very motivated and throw myself into the idea, obsess over it and gather knowledge everywhere I can…online, courses, physical books, TV, friends that know about it…
- DO: I simply do (try) it.
- IMPROVE: Later, if needed, I improve on it.
- TEACH: Finally, I teach others about it or how to do it.
I have figured out how to do all sorts of things…from learning html coding and creating websites, to figuring out exactly how to write a book, get it onto Amazon to sell.
I learned how to run by using a Couch-to-5K phone app and a community of others that were learning it too.
I took an IDOT safety course and learned how to safely ride a motorcycle. Now I have a Harley Sportster!
Around the house I have replaced faucets, power-washed, set cement posts, built a bookcase and mirror, installed a garbage disposer, fixed my furnace (every year, unfortunately!),
Currently, I am obsessing on ways to improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to help market websites to come up higher in Google and other search engine results pages. (More to come on that subject in a future post).
I am also presently learning how to create ads for Facebook and Instagram.
There can be a roadblock to doing something new. There’s SO much information available online, that a person might never finish gathering information on an interest – often because of going down rabbit holes of the internet.
At a certain point, you need to realize you have enough information and stop the “gathering” stage and just get into the project.
Some other support that can help you succeed in your process is motivation, good time management skills, overcoming procrastination and perseverance. Some good, old-fashioned curiosity comes in handy too!
Right now, I’m even trying to instill the habit of trying as many things as he can right now, in my son. Now is the perfect time to find his “thing”… his passion, interest, possible job… while he’s able to live with his parents, before he has all the financial and occupational tie-downs that come in time. At age 23, he’s young enough to try new things and give himself more options to be happy in the future.
Personally, I can’t wait for my next obsession!
So, what is your current obsession?
If you are presently bored or in a rut, want to make a change, but have no idea what to throw yourself into…check out the book “Make Time to Change”. It will take you step-by-step through the process of finding a new interest, using easy worksheets and direction. The book also provides tips on motivation, time management and how to overcome other possible obstacles you may come across in living the life you’d love to have.