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How to find your Spark

Over the course of your life, your brain conjures up many ideas from various outlets. The cartoons we watch, the games we play, the books we read, and everything around us all act as inspirations for our growing minds. Have you ever sat down with a really good book and thought to yourself: “Wow, I wish I could create a world this vivid!”? Was there an experience you had in a store that brought up the possibility of someday owning your own shop and recreating or improving the same experience for others? When you were younger, what was the career you scribbled down with your favorite-colored pencil when your teacher asked: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” These are all examples of experiences with being Sparked. Sparks are the beginnings of bigger ideas, or as we like to say at TAM, visions. They are sources of inspiration and can be as big as your first performance in a play that sparks the idea of someday being an actor, or as small as completing a homework assignment for Spanish class and pondering what life as a translator would be like. You may be asking: How do I find my Spark? What a fantastic question! There are many ways to find your Spark. Here are a few:

  • Think back to when you were a young child, discovering the world and learning about the things around you for the first time. Take out a journal or open a document and write down some of the things you enjoyed most in the good ol’ days. Did you watch cartoons, and if so, what were they? Did you spend more time outside or inside? Where were your favorite places to go? What hobbies and interests did you explore? On library day, what genre of books did you beeline toward?

  • What classes did you enjoy in high school or college?

  • What jobs do you daydream about; if you could have any job without worrying about money, education, or location, what would it be?

  • Where is your favorite place to go on vacation?

  • What do you have excess knowledge about?

  • What aspects of your youth do you miss the most?

  • What brings you the most joy?

Hopefully, these questions will help you think about potential careers, business ideas, a television series, or a whole new invention—you may think of things that aren’t even in existence yet! What if your vision has already been implemented in some way? In a world where so much has already been invented and brainstormed, you may be discouraged by the idea that your idea is unoriginal or has already been done. But you have a unique perspective no one else has. No one thinks the way you do. Embrace it. Rejoice in your uniqueness and your brilliant mind! Even if your vision is to someday open your own coffee shop, no one will have a coffee shop exactly like yours. The color scheme will be unique to you. The names of drinks on the menu will be fun and quirky. You might have rabbits roaming around instead of cats! When is the right time to sit down and develop your vision? Start as soon as possible! Rolling ideas around in your mind is good, but once you begin putting them down on paper or verbalizing it to your peers, that’s when the magic truly happens. Beginning the ideation process is also a great way to refresh your brain after a long day of work, classes, or whatever fills your daily schedule. For more on this topic, check out our blog post titled “Is there a perfect time”! Are you feeling any Sparks yet? How exciting!! If you’re still feeling as if there’s an itch in your brain you can’t quite scratch, fear not! I have provided a walkthrough of my own thought process for a few sparks I’ve had in the past few years. Best of luck with finding your Spark, and feel free to drop us a comment with any questions or to share your dreams! Jasmine’s Personal Spark Questionnaire: Childhood: Watched a lot of DC shows, played in my backyard (pretended to hunt dragons and explore new worlds), read a lot of fiction and fantasy books, played video games (especially The Legend of Zelda and Batman: Arkham games), wanted to be a marine biologist or a spy, and was very introverted. Present: Love creative writing, would love to write movies, still enjoy DC cartoons, play more video games, dabble with streaming on Twitch, like editing videos, enjoy forests and mountains, vacations at the beach, would love to be an author of a series of novels/graphic novels, watches a lot of Twitch and YouTube, loves horror movies. Helping others is also a major part of my life. Sparks: Create a superhero character and write graphic novels/comics/novels; write an outline for a fantasy video game that takes place in the ocean; develop a business that allows membership for people to try content creation (providing recording rooms, equipment, and editing software for a reasonable price); craft a script for a scary movie; create content on Twitch/YouTube.

—Jasmine from TAM

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