Passion and Pursuit: A Dog Chasing His Tail

Have you ever watched a dog chase his tail? If you’re anything like me, you sneak away from your cubicle and watch funny dog videos on the toilet just to remember there is joy in the world…Okay, that might be a bit specific to me, but you know what I mean. As I sat on my icy porcelain seat of sadness, I realized I felt a certain kinship to a dog going round and round then falling over once he finally caught his own tail.

Passion: The first thing I noticed was the fervor in which he chased his own butt. If someone would have thrown a ball out in the distance, that energy would have been pointed at the ball and he would have made a lot of progress. That’s what passion is without direction. Passion is energy, but it isn’t enough. I often feel an overwhelming energy, a hunger, a desire, to reach my goals. The issue is, I haven’t pointed that energy at anything. I have so much energy though, that I HAVE to do SOMETHING. So I do random things that don’t really add value, that don’t get me any closer to to my goal. I’m just going in circles because I have to DO something.

If we get a clear vision, our passion can make feel cool and look cool
We feel cool, but look silly

Falling Over: Not having realized that his butt was needed to continue in the chase, he grabbed his own tail and fell over. I chuckled…then sighed. I thought about all of the times I’ve tried to find validation of my pursuit just to realize I was going in circles. Social Media, for example, is a big part of starting a business. It’s where we can communicate who we are and what we are about (a.k.a. brand awareness). The problem, I realized, was that I thought creating content for social media was progress. I thought that posting a coffee, beer, or wine review on Instagram was getting me close to my goal. Then I looked up and saw that it hasn’t gotten me anywhere. Not that it doesn’t have value, but that I was just doing…stuff. I need someone to throw a tennis ball out into the distance so I can point my nose at something other than my own butt.

This has all been part of my larger effort of clarifying our Purpose, Vision, and Mission. In this analogy, the ball is the vision. It is that tangible thing I am chasing. I have had a vague idea of what I wanted. I wanted a coffee shop where people gathered for meaningful conversations. That is too basic. I need to progress our vision from more basic to less basic (that was for you Kelly). I need to have a specific vision of our future. What does it look like? What color are the walls? The tile? Do I restrict wifi in the restroom so I actually get work done?

I have not made it that far yet. I have expanded the vision from being a place, to wanting three retail locations and a roastery. Soooo….I have a lot of work to do.

A dog chases his ball with passion
A dog going for a ball has vision, mission, and purpose.

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