CoM Quote 9-6-23

What inspires you?

In day 2 of this 4-day email series The Creative Within: Rediscovering Who You Are (Beyond Your Résumé), I’d like to demonstrate the power of combining yesterday’s “Match Quality” exercise with identifying your “Creative Calling.” Once you master both, not only will it be nearly impossible for technology to replace you, you’ll also love your work so much you’d do it for free (more on how to make sure that doesn’t actually happen in tomorrow’s newsletter).

Learn how to future-proof your creative career (and separate yourself from the machines) this weekend in my brand new live workshop!

Save the Date: Saturday, Sep 9th*
Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm PT
Location: Zoom

*If you can’t attend live, the recording will be available for 30 days

👉 Click to Learn More

A few weeks ago I was speaking with one of my students – a successful assistant editor on an A-list streaming show – and she began our private session with:

“I’m usually really energetic, but it’s just not happening these days. I’m avoiding going anywhere because I don’t want to give my bad energy to anyone else.”

When I asked her why she has no energy & motivation, it boiled down to the following:

  • Her show was shut down due to the strikes
  • She’s worried artificial intelligence will render her job obsolete
  • She no longer has any passion for the job

If I were unemployed, worried about my job not even existing when work returns, and dreading the thought of going back to a job I didn’t want to do anymore, I’d feel pretty awful too.

Step 1 was separating what she could control from what she couldn’t.

Strikes? Can’t control those one bit. Moving on…

Artificial intelligence? That genie isn’t going back in the bottle. However, what she could control is designing a plan of attack to learn the proper tools. (more on that in a bit.)

No passion for the job? Now there’s a much better place to focus her energy & attention.

Step 2 was working through the “Match Quality” exercise to identify what skills, abilities, & character traits made her irreplaceable and uniquely suited for her chosen career path. Here’s a small snapshot of what we came up with:

  • She has a high level of empathy
  • She’s an independent thinker
  • She’s both self-sufficient and collaborative
  • She’s great at managing demanding personalities
  • She never quits, no matter the challenge

Given we had a much clearer picture of what made her irreplaceable (in the right role), we moved onto:

Step 3 → Identifying her “Creative Calling”

In my podcast interview with one of the world’s foremost experts on the science of happiness Tal Ben-Shahar, he describes three different ways to make a living:

  • You have a “job” if your work just pays the bills.
  • You have a “career” if your work establishes your identity.
  • You have a “calling” if your work creates a meaningful impact beyond yourself.

On paper my student had built a successful career most people would be envious of. But it lacked meaning and purpose, and each new job just became another credit on her résumé. Furthermore because she was so good at the job, opportunities came to her one after the next, and she felt bad saying no.

She was suffering from the curse of being great at something she no longer wanted to do. And the work was slowly devouring her creative soul.

So we dug far beyond the WHAT of her job to better understand the WHY.

Here are a few example questions we discussed:

  • What makes you feel most alive?
  • What do you enjoying doing so much you lose track of time?
  • What stories are you excited to tell?
  • Who needs to hear these stories? And why?
  • What impact do you want to have on the world?

After discussing these (and more) questions in-depth, we discovered the reason she wasn’t inspired by her job – and why she had no motivation to learn new AI tools & workflows – is because the stories she was helping to tell didn’t interest her. At all.

Once we identified that her “Creative Calling” was to:

Tell inspirational stories of immigrants (considered the underdogs) who have to overcome insurmountable odds to become successful.

Her eyes lit up.

Her energy was back.

She found her mojo!!!!!

Once she had a clear idea of where her skills & abilities were the perfect match for the right people telling stories that inspired her, she was off to the races.

  • Now she has a much clearer idea who to network with.
  • Now she has a much more specific strategy to update her résumé.
  • And now she can begin to narrow down the AI tools she should learn based on which augment her strengths (and supplement her weaknesses) so she can do what she does best and stop wasting time on work that no longer inspires her.

So what inspires you?

If you’re struggling right now to manage your time, energy, and attention due to lack of work, lack of clarity about the future of our industry, or lack of purpose, I can help you with all of the above (and more) in my brand new live workshop.

No longer will you have to define yourself just by what you do.

Now you’ll be able to define yourself by who you really are.

Learn in just a few hours (in the comfort of your pajamas) how to leverage a lifetime of experience to make yourself an irreplaceable creative, double down on what makes you human, and separate yourself from the machines.

Learn How to Diversify The Skills That Make You Irreplaceable and Become a “Jack of All Trades, Master of One”

Saturday, Sep 9th*
Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm PT
Location: Zoom

*If you can’t attend live, the recording will be available for 30 days

👉 Click to Reserve Your Spot

Keep an eye on tomorrow’s email, because in day 3 of this series I’m going to help you clarify the most important aspect of yourself that allow you to set the boundaries necessary to build a more sustainable and fulfilling creative career: Your values.

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor & producer (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, an American Ninja Warrior, and the creator of Optimize Yourself. He believes we all deserve to love what we do for a living...but not at the expense of our health, our relationships, or our sanity. He provides the education, motivation, and inspiration to help ambitious creative professionals DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time and creative energy so you can produce higher quality work in less time. “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people and passions in your life…all without burning out in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”