THE START SOMETHING PROJECT: It’s Time to Take Yourself—And Your Dreams—Seriously.

It’s like I just woke up. And I realized: this is it.

We only have one world.

We only have one life.

This IS your chance. This IS your life. What you are doing right now, today. Tomorrow.

The day after that.

What are you doing?

That’s you. That’s what you’re doing.

Do you like it?

Are you ready to take yourself seriously?

I’ve been there. I AM there. We are all there. I go through it, over and over again – the fears, the doubts, the insecurities, the scareds, the what-the-fuck-am-I-going-to-do moments. I have weekends spent holed up in my apartment, alone in my room, because I’m not sure what to do next, because my heart is pounding, because I know that I’m just not content with what’s currently at play, and I want more. I've lived through rib removal surgery, I had the delight of fiances and not-so-more-fiances and broken bones and disasters and all of the rough-and-tumble. And in spite of it, because of it, because the world doesn't care what you could have done, I swam nine miles and I said FUCK IT, jumped into the ocean; I built a website because I wanted to write about landscape urbanism and no one would "let me," I gave presentations until people started wanting to hear what I had to say, I stopped plodding and started exploring, and somehow, I found myself skipping instead of walking, dancing my way into the wee hours of the mornings in New Orleans, Omaha, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Paris, Munich, Freising, Taipei, Seoul, Amsterdam, Portland, and many other cities I'd never been to--but I went ahead and went there anyways.

I didn't wait for someone to give me permission.

I just knew, I KNEW that I wanted more than this. I wasn't going to wait until retirement to learn how to love, to dance, to discover, to explore. I wasn't going to wait for permission to be the weird, crazy person that I am. I'm not going to wait thirty years to pay back debts that hold me constricted in limbo at multiple jobs. I see a better alternative.

Today, I tell stories and paint pictures of the world as it exists because I want people to see how arbitrary and utterly strange the world we live in really is. How peculiar the barriers are. How much you're capable of, if you'll couple belief with imagination and action. How many things we can affect change on, if we’re really to push through the terrifying moments and embrace the awkwardness of looking stupid. Of putting ourselves out there. Of giving ourselves a chance.

Because you're worth the chance. Because you're capable of an incredible number of things, if you'll give yourself the chance.

If you'll get started. 

But it's not easy.

No one made a promise to you that it would be easy.

It's hard work, after all. It's not easy to hold yourself accountable. It's not easy to become the person you could potentially be. It's not easy to be good--and it's hard as fuck to be GREAT--because of all the pressures in the world, MEDIOCRE is the easy excuse.

But it gnaws at you, doesn't it? That feeling that you could do something else. That you might be capable of a lot more.

And the times when you're tired, when you're scared, when you think, Well... why should I bother. It doesn't matter.

Wrong. It matters. You've got to do something.

And the number one reason you've got to DO SOMETHING, is because I believe--I know--this more than anything in the world:

If you won’t stand up for you, who will?

It's up to you--no one else--YOU--to do something.

I’m launching a new project—a project to help people kick-start a dream, a discovery, or a project of their own. Four weeks of intense collaborative work, where I send you on daily missions to discover and break through barriers—both real and imaginary.

I'm on a mission to help people start their next project, create discovery, and write the next story in their lives. We need to be willing to take risks, experiment and play more to unlock and understand our own potential. Most of us live far below our current capabilities.

I'm not saying to quit your job. I'm not saying to screw all of your responsibilities. I'm saying:

Try something new.

Start something.

What I believe:

I design environments to maximize human potential. I work in the space between a real job and a made-up job, and I build projects on the side, for fun, because I believe in them, because I know how much I want to do. Because I believe in myself.

And as I dance in this space between technology, architecture, psychology, and design, I realize that the world today is entirely different than it was just over 100 years ago. Our great-grandparents, and the people who lived in the worlds of the 1850's, lived in a mechanized, machine-operated place without airplanes, without sound recording, without television.

And amidst all of these changes, and the whirlwind of the last decade, we find ourselves in a strange place: peculiarly chugging around in cars and incessant traffic, complacent with commuting, living like zombies in cities and lives we haven't chosen, unsure how to design our lives, and knowing only that there's more to life than what we've currently got. But we're not sure what to do.

The worst thing you can do is do nothing about it.

Let’s not waste time figuring out who you are, and what you’re meant to do.

Your contribution to the world is important.

You have unique gifts, talents, and opportunities. From the caretaker to the street cleaner to the musician to the global entrepreneur: each person is a part of this puzzle.

So my question for each of you, regardless of whether or not we work together, is this:

Who are you, and what will you do?

I BELIEVE that the way to figure this out is by DOING SOMETHING. Thinking it through isn’t enough. You have to act.

You have to start.

Passion isn’t discovered by passivity. Passion is discovered through experimentation, testing, exploration, and a whole lot of hard work.

But you have to start.

You need to take action.

You need to do something.

THE START SOMETHING PROJECT

I’m looking for a few people who really want to start something of their own. People who are itching to build something, who are invested in their own growth, and aren’t satisfied with their current situation.

I’m looking for people who are committed and willing to invest in themselves.  Talented, courageous souls who are looking to unlock their own potential. People who aren’t satisfied with what they are currently doing–and know that they can do more. People who are committed to taking a chance, and aren’t afraid to take risks.

I will work closely with you to discover your strengths, figure out what’s holding you back, and help create a space for you to grow and excel. Because it’s important to me that you succeed–that you and I work well together–I will be very selective about who is ready for this challenge.

I want people who are inspired to take action. Don’t know what you want to do yet? We can tackle that, too. With encouragement, prodding, unveiling, and analysis, we’ll look into who you are and why you are where you are. And where you might want to go.

Together, for 4 weeks, we’ll work through phone calls, prompts and exercises for you to take action on your big scary project or dream. To figure out a way to change the current habits you have, and break out into new possibilities.

Some nitty gritty details.

For four weeks, we will dive into who you are, what you want to do, and take micro-actions to build your project. The purpose of the month long intensive is to discover your inner strengths and passions, test the validity of your beliefs, learn what's holding you back, practice putting things into action, build confidence through action, and begin the next steps of your project.
The workshop is a one-on-one intensive designed as four week-specific action sequences to get you started on your next project or dream.

I’m looking for people who are ready to start and committed to action.

How to apply.

Applications open today, Monday, June 4, 2012. 

As this is a project about STARTING things, priority will be given to those who apply early—and get started.

Applications are no later than Thursday, June 7, 2012. 

On Thursday, if I think you’re a good fit, I’ll be in touch about the program details and how to get started.

And I want everyone who reads this to commit to doing something, regardless of whether or not we work together.

Do something. For yourself.

--> Apply here <--

Good luck!

 


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10 Responses to THE START SOMETHING PROJECT: It’s Time to Take Yourself—And Your Dreams—Seriously.

  1. Great idea! I put in my application. I think you’ll probably get a flood of interest.

  2. You should partner with Finish Weekend (http://finishweekend.com).

  3. Andrea says:

    Nice post! Very inspiring :) I am too late to join but wish you and your fellows a great time :)

  4. […] I am grateful. For you. ALL of you. You’re stunning. More updates on the Start Something Project project in just a […]

  5. Rochelle says:

    Hi Sarah – you’re doing a wonderful thing. Wish I’d seen it earlier – I would have fired off an application in a heartbeat. Can’t wait to see who you choose and what happens next.

  6. Busyb says:

    Hi Sarah,

    This is awesome. Like you the idea just hit me one day and I came up with a Project to help others. I wish you and your chosen few the best. Hope to hear more about it.

    Thanks

  7. Donna West says:

    Wow, I’m sad to saw, I started my application but let life’s interruption get in the way! What an irony! I have made a promise to myself to push forward and not let, yet another excuse stop me from moving forward and find what is fun, rewarding and satisfying in my own life’s adventure!

  8. Morgan says:

    Very inspiring, but very upset I missed this deadline!
    Good luck to the chosen ones and may you all find exactly what it is you are looking for.

    DO SOMETHING!

  9. Jenni says:

    Why haven’t I been reading your blog all along?!?! I’m so sorry I missed this opportunity, because it sounds awesome. I can’t wait to hear what comes with it!

  10. […] The Start Something Project: It’s Time To Take Yourself (And Your Dreams) Seriously. […]