What Do You Do?

Mindcamp Random

by Veta Bates

PEOPLE: “What do you do?”
ME: “Idea development.”
PEOPLE: “Ah, right… wait, WHAT do you do?”
ME: **broad dimple-inducing smile**

Why the smile? Because I remember having similar curiosity my first time on campus at The Creative Problem Solving Institue (CPSI) in Chicago six years ago, although it was more along the lines of, “you people do THIS, for a LIVING?… all year round?… people actually pay you to help them think, live, express and earn more creatively?”

When I witnessed this to be true, I experienced several things:

  1. a sudden deep-rooted relief from an affliction I didn’t realize I had,
  2. a flash of frustration that my life advisors failed to have this awareness to share with me sooner, and
  3. an overwhelming amount of gratitude for having found my tribe… people who speak my intentional and inventive language… people who believe there are always connections available between living things, ideas, industries, communities… people who seek and create change instead of sitting around debating whether it’s possible.

And so I return, again and again to this joyous source of sensational people, concepts, and challenges for my playful, eager, change-seeking soul… to this fueling station to fill my avid mind… to the inspired, idea rich soil of this annual gathering.

In truth, I still wake up many mornings asking myself what I do, if I really deserve to do what I love as my daily work. I find myself experiencing healthy amounts of awe at the answer when it is repeatedly “yes,” as well as ample resistance to yield to the “yes” once more. I feel so privileged that my purpose and place in the world involves the asking of brow-furrowing questions over and over again by others and of myself. I am humbled by this privilege, by the fact that my mind is most happy when it is a vehicle for ideas with potential to positively impact people’s lives and the world.

And in that state of humility I am comforted by recalling the massive community of creatives also striving to do this work; it gives me the courage to grab hold of my own resistance and drag it alongside me like a feisty squirming toddler to my workspace, into every workshop I give or attend, and safely seat-belted in the passenger seat as I drive hundreds of miles next week to witness the wonders of our work and tap into the magical momentum of Mindcamp.

Veta Bates presents Resistance = Illumination: How Edison’s enlightenment can lighten us up at Mindcamp 2012.

Comments 3

  1. Veta, Thank you for this beautifully written piece. It conveys so eloquently the irresistible pull that brings us “Creatives” together again and again for the inspiration to continue our awesome work.

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