A First Draft is the Key

Have you ever experienced a burst of creativity?

Have you ever had a song, poem, painting, journal entry, etc just create itself through you?

I had this happen on a shuttle bus ride between Lake Tahoe and Reno airport Sunday March 6th, 2010.  I was on my way to a conference for work that my brain was curious about, but my soul wasn’t attached to.  My energy and belief were low.  I’d decided to reflect on more fulfilling professional adventures.  I attached my mind (and more) to a peak professional and overall life chapter in which I was striking on all cylinders, my fifth year with salesforce.com (2006).  At that time, I was traveling the world training and motivating sales professionals and loving it.

Within seconds, my actions went from thinking to writing…furiously.  The words were hitting the page faster then my mind could process them.  Below is what my hand and pen recorded in under five minutes. I simply thought about the awesome life chapter and what poured out of me was all the things that enabled it.  I didn’t know it yet, but I was surfacing the key building blocks of my version of optimal living (BEing):  Soul, Tribe, Capacity and Impact.

The real kicker is that I enjoyed this process of personal discovery I’d experienced as much or more than the intellectual output of the exercise.  Seeing all the things that lined up to bring me to the peak happiness and success on one page was neat, but to know that I’d come by them in such a graceful and inspired manner was exhilarating.  I knew in my mind and spirit during that moment that this was a simple value identification process that I wanted to lead people (and organizations) through to help them experience a similar lift in their version of belief and energy.

I hope this post has inspired you to board a bus (or sit on the couch) with a notepad or iPad in your lap and reflect on a peak life (or career) chapter.  Creating a first draft of what optimal living (BEing) looks like for you is the key.  You might just be lucky enough to have all the things that enabled that chapter pour onto the page.  Nothing you write is wrong.  You have the rest of your life to refine and evolve your story.

Assignment- Create your BEing first draft:

  • Get clear on a life chapter (personal or professional) that had your belief (in self and mission) and energy sky high.  Simply put, there were chapters when you were extremely happy and successful however you define them.
  • Open a notebook or iPad and free write all the things that made that peak chapter possible.
  • After your page fills up, reduce the field of enablers to five.
  • Go outside and deep breathe or whatever else you can do to distract yourself and get healthy for a few minutes.
  • Reduce your list of optimal living enablers to 4…never easy.
  • Define each of the 4 with a couple words (remember words can represent much bigger or many concepts).
  • Give your sustainable powersource a 2 word nickname.
  • What color is it?
  • Refine it for a few days.
  • Be stoked, you’ve started something cool.


There are lots of cool things you can do to test your power source and supporting enablers, but this is a good start.

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Bryan Breckenridge