A Few Questions to Ask When Interviewing Hinge Moments
Looking back on it, the idea that a teacher would tell you she thought you were talented and actually use her free time to put together your first book is a stand-out moment. But not all hinges are that neon. Most of the time I think they’re a bit harder to recover. They’re buried sometimes and you have to unearth them. I think you can identify some of your hinge moments by knowing the right questions to ask.
1. What do I love enough to do for free?
That’s a cliché you sometimes hear in guidance counselors’ offices in high school, but it’s no less true. What would you do even if no one paid you for it? I blogged for about two years and didn’t make a dime. I didn’t need to. I wasn’t writing for money. I was writing because I am a writer and that’s what writers do.
2. What do I do that causes time to feel different?
When you really get engaged in your something, space and time seem to shift a little. You’ll sit down to do a little writing before dinner and the next time you look up it’s ten and you never ate. Time shifts when you’re doing what you love. Has that ever happened, and if so, what were you doing?
3. What do I enjoy doing regardless of the opinions of other people?
Your dream can’t be powered by opinion or affirmation. It has to be bigger than the feedback of a peer or a coworker. What would you do even if no one ever told you they loved it?
4. If only your life changed, would that be enough?
If you killed yourself for years creating something and at the end of the experience, the only life that had changed was your own, would that be rewarding enough? If the experience was the lesson and the journey itself was the reward, would that be okay with you? Is there something that holds that sway for you?
5. Are there any patterns in the things you like doing?
If you’ve got a dream, chances are there’s not just one isolated hinge moment in your past. More than likely, you have a list of moments that are similar and related. What patterns can you see in the decisions you’ve made and the experiences you’ve loved?
Ask yourself those questions. Love yourself enough to actually write down your answers. And when you do, show them to someone you trust. Sometimes we’re so close to the painting we can’t tell what it is and we need someone else to point out the truth.