Passion is an excellent motivator for action. Enjoying something makes it more likely that you'll find time to do it. But it usually ends there. Interest has to be followed by diligence, learning, and growth. Discovering my ‘dream job’ was awesome. I could easily speak from the heart to partners, donors, and investors about my love for the arts. However, putting emphasis on my affection for the vision kept me from focusing on my development as a leader.

I’ve been using these first weeks of the New Year to reflect and set intentions. With introspection has come a growing awareness of the faulty beliefs I've held in the past. Principles that sounded like universal truths, but when applied, didn’t result in success. When I would fail, however, I wouldn’t question the principle. Instead, I internalized it as a personal flaw, lack of discipline, or whatever else might be wrong with me. It took many years to see I had bought into an idea that wasn’t serving me.

Two months ago I became a father. I didn't feel ready. It’s to be expected - a mix of wanting to be prepared for everything and knowing I couldn’t be. When I held my son for the first time, I had a deep sense of joy that counteracted my overwhelming worry. I constantly feared for his safety and wellbeing. Overshadowing all of these fears were larger questions of my own abilities - my own worthiness of this title of father. Could I set a good example? Could I get better before he needs me to be better?

Writing should be a safe space for someone like me. What’s better than having all the time in the world to contemplate what you want to share? Surprisingly, I don’t enjoy writing as much as I do thinking. By thinking, I don't mean aimlessly day-dreaming. I mean internally struggling with a problem, working through various scenarios, reflecting on my feelings and parsing out some kind of meaning from it all. I was the kid who wondered why we had to show our work when solving a problem.