What did you love to do as a kid?

"You will find more happiness growing down than up."

Back when I was whatever-age-you-are-in-6th-grade, I remember my friend Zax and I, (yes, he spells it with an “x”), were hanging out in the basement playing with power tools and spray paint.

Now, this story could go a number of ways, but thankfully for those of us reading this email, it went as well as one could hope and no one got their arms sawed off. 

But I digress...back to the basement.

What were we doing down there? I recall fitting pieces of pvc pipe into the shape of a handle around heavy, splintery, sword-shaped pieces of wood. Maybe from an old staircase banister? And creating ourselves some good’ol homemade lightsabers.

Black electrical tape for the design on the handle, blue vs. red spray paint for the wooden sword, and enough hot glue to fuse your body to a moving train. They were spectacular. And we fought most valiantly with them in the nearby woods.

So good were these devices of war, that I decided to make a pvc ninja staff with a 2” diameter pipe, (big for a kid), which, if I remember correctly, was easily over 10 feet long. 

To do this, I used just about every-last-strip of my parent’s black electrical tape and had to go out to get even more. Capped-off with foam pipe insulation on the ends...man, was I cool. 

I felt like a Ninja Turtle! I was Donatello! (...does anyone want to be Donatello?)

Whatever, it was awesome. I remember spinning that thing around like a badass cartoon character, smacking myself in the face and the back-of-the-head over-and-over-and-over, but vowing to get it right...then smacking myself accidentally again.

It was wondrous, and those were far from the only weapons we created in the basement that summer. Now, looking back fondly at those time, I am filled with memories of fun, adventure and accomplishment.

But, why am I telling you all this?

Well LPs,

Last night at The Launchpad, we talked about a wide-array of amazing topics that blew our minds, but one thing that stood out from the discussion was the question...

“What did you love to do when you were a child?”

This question comes from the Tim Ferriss Podcast interview “How to Think Like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos” with Dr. Peter Diamandis. You might know these names from…

And in the podcast it is mentioned, that especially for space exploration, these guys are working in industries that engaged them when they were kids. From going into space, to coding the internet, they found ways to immerse themselves in worlds that relate to the things they have always found to be curious.

Emphasis on “curious”. 

Passions are hard to nail down, but what makes you curious is far easier to identify. In my own case, I loved taking things apart and putting them back together in different ways as a kid. 

From the home-phone I dismantled and made into a little robot statue, to the lightsabers I constructed out of miscellaneous basement trimmings, I found a tremendous amount of satisfaction in creating with my hands.

Bringing it back to the present, I no longer have much “diy” in my life. The closest I get to building something new is watching people post their work-in-progress pictures on Pinterest...thanks a lot Pinterest.

So, when I finally came up with an idea for something to build this weekend that would put my toe back in the water of “creation”, I became overwhelmed with excitement. This will be the first thing I’ve made since high school - no wonder I’m so amped up!

And what is better than feeling amped up, excited and curious? So ask yourself…

What did you love to do when you were a child? Do you still do it, or did it get lost in the wake of your “real life”.

Additionally, for those of you still hung-up on that whole “finding your passion” thing, you might want to check out these two reality checks. They are really good. 

As for the rest of the “night at the Launchpad”, our conversations, of course went much deeper than this surface-level-summary. But knowing that our email-attention-span is limited, I’ll leave it at that.

To actually be part of the next conversation, I’d recommend you come to the next Launchpad, at 6:30pm on February 11th. We will be announcing some new ideas for 2015 and getting deeper into personality-types...yes, we have learned more since last time. 

Also, if you'd like to get more involved in the AMA, reply to this email with:
"YO' YOU! GET ME INVOLVED!", or sign up for the Chicago AMA Email List.

Martin McGovern