Introducing The Million Project - Creators, Entrepreneurs and Non-Conformists

Introducing The Million Project

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the million project introHave you ever had this secret wish? A dream of sorts, to do something you really love. Perhaps it’s something you always wanted to do. But then, life got in the way and you took another path. You’ve been successful in what you do today, but you still harbor that secret wish deep inside. If that sounds like you, welcome to The Million Project.

Every morning, I used to see him carry his heavy video cameras and tripods to his car. He then went back into his house to get some more bags of equipments.

I again used to see him come back every night.

Sometimes it was past midnight, around the same time as I got back from work after working long hours in front of a computer.

We used to meet in the car park in front of our apartment and he always had stories to share….with a big smile on his face. I was fascinated, but tired too.

Somewhere in the corner of my mind, I secretly wished I had a job like his.

He was my neighbour and he worked as a freelance photographer. It was 2002, and I had just joined my first job in a multinational company.

Sounds familiar right?

Software engineer. Global meetings. Crazy timings. Junk food. No time for hobbies.

We’ve all been through this.

In the 15 years of working a corporate job, I’ve had conversations with hundreds of people who’ve had the same feeling, at various points in their lives.

And Then….I Made The Transition

There was this day in 2013 when I was literally pressed to make a choice.

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Steve Jobs

In a moment filled with happiness and deep sadness..

I made a choice to follow my heart and explore my interests. I explain this moment in detail on page 9 of my manifesto.

But in this post, I don’t want to focus on that moment. Instead, I want to focus on all of us who’ve been chasing careers, money, power and everything else.

I specifically want to focus on those of us who’ve been in pursuit of these careers and such at the cost of not pursuing our personal interests, hobbies, or sport.

Infinite Potential Trapped In Finite Thinking

I was always interested in education and specifically, lifelong learning.

To further validate this, I started to interview hundreds of people aged between 20 and 50 in the last few years.

These people, from around the world, went to engineering schools, ivy league colleges and worked in companies one would envy.

The goal of these interviews were to understand their frustrations, challenges and how education has played a role in their lives.

The results were pretty interesting.

Here are the top 3.

  1. People have always prioritized college degrees (read labels)
  2. People fixate careers based on degrees they possess or the jobs they take out of college.
  3. Given a choice, people choose to work towards promotions and salary hikes to learning something new or practicing hobbies.

5 More Revealing Facts.

There are a 5 more revealing facts about careers and life I learnt both from interviewing people and other sources.

  1. People are getting stagnated in managerial positions with low self-confidence of surviving another job.
  2. Many people have issues with weight, diabetes and blood pressure in their mid 30s.
  3. More marriages are falling apart.
  4. Kids are getting to see their parents only on weekends.
  5. People are increasingly lacking social and communication skills.

We Live In a Distracted World

That’s true. It’s a distracted world. Perhaps a better word would be disillusioned world.

It’s probably because of the time we live in.

We live in the Attention Economy.

In our world today, attention is everything. How much is the watch time for your videos? Have your advertisements helped get more business? Did someone notice your new dress? Let me take a selfie.

If you don’t get someone’s attention, it’s probably not worth doing it. Really?

The Attention Economy Paradox.

It’s ironical to note that in an age where we are so distracted, scattering our attention on everything else, we are losing sight of something important.

We are losing attention on ourselves.

From paying more attention to salaries, to vacations, college degrees and what our boss’ think of us, we are losing sight of what we do.

“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”

Albert Einstein

As kids we are born with an open mind, but as we go through the systems of education, career and money, we seem to start focusing less on ourselves and more on the system itself.

A Simple Idea

What if I told you that you can stop worrying about getting a second college degree? Go and work for your dream job? Focus on something better than a job promotion or a salary raise?

No, I’m not painting a rosy picture. But if you did just these 3 things consistently, you will be far more happier than what you’d be today:

  1. Take time to explore your interests
  2. Connect with people you don’t know
  3. Learn something new everyday

No, this is not a myth, but 100% reality.

Learners Have No Expiry Date, Jobs Do.

In a world that’s fast changing with technology like artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality, some jobs will give way to newer ones.

The ones who will survive this are not those with ivy college degrees or higher paychecks, but those with interests and skills, ones who can learn new skills faster and the ones with people skills.

Follow Your Heart. Stay Healthy.

Chasing careers and money can stress your mind and body. Whereas following your interests, full-time or part-time, has a therapeutic effect on your body and mind.

Some People Are Already Doing It!

The best part is that there are already people who are doing this. They are following their hearts, practicing those hobbies and being successful at it.

While some have made their hobbies their careers, the others have found a way to use them to live a healthier and wealthier life.

The Million Project

After all these conversations and interviews, I’m convinced that following your hearts and interests is not just important for fulfillment and happiness, but also for good health and general well being.

That’s why I started The Million Project.

The Million Project (million.show) is an attempt to shine a light on those people who are living this simple idea. It’s an attempt to inspire more people to follow their heart.

The goal of The Million Project is a video series where I’m going to interview 1000 people who are living this simple idea, to inspire at least a million people to live that simple idea.

Why a Million?

We are living in a digital age. I’ve always been inspired by Kevin Kelly’s 1000 True Fans. I believe that if I brought out the stories of 1000 people around the world, and each of them had a 1000 true fans, that would reach a million people (1000,000).

That’s the hope on which this project was named The Million Project.

Can I Be a Part of The Million Project?

Sure you can.

1. Join the Facebook Group.

No matter what, you should consider joining The Million Project Facebook group. You’ll find stories, inspiration and a lot more to help you follow your heart, find your passion and live a happy and fulfilled life.

2. Help Spread the Word.

I’m running this project alone. Will appreciate some help and hope to make some new friends and acquaintances along the way. Please help me spread the word.

  1. Share the project with your friends, family and colleagues.
  2. LIKE the Facebook Page.
  3. Use the hashtag #1000VoicesMillionLives on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  4. Follow and share my updates on Instagram and Twitter (DM me and I’d love to know it’s a new friend!)
Instagram

3. Share Your Story.

If you are someone who’s been following your heart, I’ll be glad to hear your story. Do write to me, and I’ll feature it in our community page.

4. Recommend Someone You Admire.

If you’d like to recommend someone for me to interview, please do so here. I’ll be happy to look into their story and take it further.

Can I Count on Your Support?

I truly appreciate you Liking our Facebook page, and share it with your friends. And if you will be interested in listening to the interviews, please do join the Facebook Group. The links are below. Thank You.

Like our Facebook Page: facebook.com/TheMillionShow

Join our Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/TheMillionShow

Use Our Hashtag #1000VoicesMillionLives

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