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Find Your Forum

Let’s dive into a topic that’s close to my heart – finding your forum. We’re all creators, each with our unique voice and perspective, and it’s crucial to discover the platform that lets us express ourselves authentically to the world.

For years, I struggled with the belief that I wasn’t creative, that I didn’t have that artistic bone in my body. I’d look at my sister, the interior designer, my youngest brother with his woodworking prowess, and my middle brother, Tyler, a musician featured in the opening song to my live show. I convinced myself that creativity wasn’t my domain, that my skill lay in logistics and problem-solving.

But deep down, there was a part of me that contradicted this narrative. I had penned a poem in high school that I was proud of, speaking about my love for nature and growing up in the woods. As I ventured into my twenties, I discovered a knack for public speaking, even though it terrified me initially. Networking and business events showed me that I had a unique perspective and a depth of knowledge worth sharing.

So, why not me? The pain of watching others on stage fueled my passion to define my purpose. This journey led me to TEDx talks, keynotes, virtual engagements, workshops, and now a weekly live show where I explore and express my creative ideas.

And here’s the thing: finding your forum isn’t about following someone else’s footsteps; it’s about paving your own path. It’s about challenging yourself to put your unique perspective out into the world. I’ve often been told that not everyone can stand in front of a microphone and start talking, but I thrive on the unpredictability, the joy of starting a conversation without knowing where it’ll lead.

I’m not asking you to follow my path; I’m challenging you to create your own. Take your unique mindset and find your creative outlook. It’s time to break away from the habit of doing things on the side, hidden away from judgment. My challenge to you is simple: get out there, sing your song, and let the world be the judge. The only person you need to impress is yourself.

I’m reminded of a saying my dad shared with me before a keynote presentation: “In the end, people will judge you anyway. So don’t live your life impressing others, live your life impressing yourself.” That wisdom set the tone for my talk, acknowledging my nervousness and embracing the power of positive thinking.

Reflecting on my family, I see artists and creators in each of them. My mom took up stained glass as a hobby and turned it into a passion she now shares with others. The key is being willing to put your creativity out there, to cut outside the lines, and to share your creations with the world.

So, what’s stopping you? What’s your hidden talent or ability that the world needs? These questions aren’t rhetorical; they’re a call to action. Transform the pain of comparison into passion, define your purpose, and find that creative outlet you’ve been keeping to yourself.

The world is full of creators, and you’re one of them. Every day, you have the choice to consume, contribute, or create. The more you put into this world, the more you get out. Give first, give of yourself, and discover the creator within. Forget the labels; we’re all creators in our own ways.

As I’ve delved into my own creative journey, I’ve discovered other creatives, like my brother with his music. Despite our differences, we’ve both transformed our pain into expression, using our chosen mediums to share our stories. We’ve taken what life handed us and turned it into something meaningful.

My brother’s song, “The Thinking Song,” resonates with me, particularly the lines about using language to express thoughts, chasing memories of the past, and embracing the present to shape the future. We may have different creative outlets, but our roots are the same.

Don’t be held back by what you can’t, won’t, or don’t do. Focus on what you can do. Reframe your thoughts, be intentional with your time, and create new stories and ideas with others. Remember, the past is set in stone, but the present is yours to mold for future uses.

So, let me leave you with this challenge: answer these three questions – How can you be creative today? How can you contribute to others’ creativity? What do you consume, and how does it drive your creative outlet? Once you have your answers, get out there, find your creative outlet, and share it with the world.

Remember my three steps for a successful life: Do the thing, tell the world, and show up.

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Andy Weins

Andy Weins is a fourth-generation entrepreneur, Veteran of the U.S. Army, and speaker. Through consulting, teaching, podcasting, and writing, he is an enthusiastic supporter of Veterans, entrepreneurs, community engagement, individual empowerment, and the environment.

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