It was in the gap. The (often infuriating) space between the execution of old and the creation of new. As I feared being ‘stuck,’ there was something pivotal happening in the shadows of my unconscious. All of this sporadic work finally merged with these ideas I had branching every which way to form a web that revealed the bigger picture. It connected everything. I now have a clear view of the moon.
Moonshots live in the gray area between audacious projects and pure science fiction; instead of mere 10% gains, they aim for 10x improvements. The combination of a huge problem, a radical solution, and the breakthrough technology that might just make that solution possible is the essence of a Moonshot.
Great Moonshot discussions require an innovative mindset—including a healthy disregard for the impossible—while still maintaining a level of practicality.
I now have my moonshot. I believe I have an idea that will radically change how we view, talk about, and understand mental wellness. Mental health is a massive issue that is becoming more and more apparent in our society and it is time for a new mindset. It is time for new insights. I have been immersed in this world for years now and my passion to radically change the systems of this field has fuelled my moonshot thinking.
Believe me, I am already aware of thousands of reasons why this wouldn’t work. There’s lack of experience, funding, resources, scale, etc. Our minds often play well with a currency of cynicism. However, let me reframe that in a simple way that changes everything. Don’t think of them as reasons it won’t work, but rather challenges to overcome in learning how it will work. Because it will work… probably not in the way that you originally thought or intended, but in the way it is meant to.
So I challenge you to find the big problems that bother you, that make you itch and make your mind stir. Find those problems that set your soul on fire. Work to find your moonshot. Then, prepare the accelerators… and launch.
What’s your moonshot? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
notebook 2014 - Red Deer College Alumni Magazine Feature
I had the pleasure of being interviewed about my experience at Red Deer College and how my Business Administration diploma majoring in Marketing has helped develop my career. This week I received a copy of the beautiful magazine and was happy to see RDC commissioned a local artist to create the cover.
You can read the feature in its entirety below:
Self-proclaimed ‘mental health activist’ Bryce Evans (Business Administration, 2012) experienced a year of opportunity in 2013 beyond any hope or expectation. The 21 year-old professional artist and Founder of The One Project has had his work displayed across Canada, North America and all the way to Italy for the Perugia Social Photo Fest, where he presented The One Project - an online collaborative project aiming to inspire people out of depression and into their dreams.
“It’s hard to imagine that this idea I had three years ago has come to this point where people are willing to spend so much of their own time volunteering for the project,” says Bryce. “The attention, exposure and support it’s received this year have created so many opportunities.” As someone who personally experienced mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, Bryce wanted to find a way to share his story and emotion through photography by presenting a view that moved beyond the stigmas surrounding mental illness and into fulfillment.
For the first year, The One Project was just a personal endeavor. When the chance to win a contest through Facebook was presented, the project went public. “I knew it was helping me,” he says. “But as they started messaging me, I saw how it could help others too. The anxieties of leaving high-school and home, and the expectations to know what you’re going to do with your life can increase depression and anxiety significantly. It’s a pinnacle point – and it’s especially tough for those with mental health issues.”
As a recent high-school graduate, the then aspiring photographer would have liked to pick up and move directly to Vancouver to pursue his dreams. However, at his parents’ convincing, Bryce enrolled and completed the Business Administration Program at RDC, focusing on Marketing.
“It helped me tremendously,” says Bryce. “Vancouver’s a tough place to do what I’m doing. There are so many talented artists here trying to do the same thing, yet not a lot of people have the business and marketing sense.”
Last June, Bryce had his work displayed in a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Calgary (MOCA) after a panel of judges selected his work from competing submissions by emerging Canadian artists. Over the year, his work was exhibited across Canada – winning multiple awards and contests. Because of this, Bryce was commissioned by LUSH Cosmetics to adapt his Erase Bullying concept with The One Project for their North American anti-bullying campaign.
Bryce credits much of his success to the generous volunteers that are essential to his activism. “I plan to figure out how to morph all of this into a social enterprise. I’d like to be able to dedicate all of my time to The One Project, while being able to pay back the other creative people investing time and money into it.”
His goal is to keep building with the current momentum, and increase the opportunities for talks, presentations and workshops targeting high-school students.
Bryce has a gift for creating opportunity out of difficulty, and with so much success already realized at his young age, we will continue to applaud him as he brings change to this generation.
Ego, Fear, Desire — We Can Make It Through The Fire
Recently I was confronted by an illusion, someone who I didn’t know, the Bryce that was constructed and kept out of sight, but often kept hold of my mind. I’ve been staring straight in the eyes of my ego. A man that used fear to try and sway my thinking and control my actions. Someone who creates drama and feeds off of it. A person who will work without breaks, breakfast or barriers to try and outrun the fears that can come with success. I was always searching for the next high, feeding off of the praise and accomplishments like others would with a bottle or pill. I’ve been finding it hard to write about this as my mind battles this illusory self that does not want to be exposed. After letting these thoughts stew for a bit, I’ve come to learn that my ego is not an illusion and it is not an enemy.
Over the last couple months, I have been taking time off from The One Project and many other parts of my life to try and solidify my foundation — reconnect with the essentials. I have been waking up out of the daydream I was caught up in. With how fast everything happened last year, at the magnitude that it did, I didn’t have much time to pause and reflect. I was sprinting and working unreasonable hours to make it all happen and ensure that it would not stop. One of my biggest fears during this time was to have all of this success, build all of this momentum, and lose it — have it all stop and not be able to get it back. Fuelled by the sheer scale of the opportunities, the recognition, and the fear — this work took over my life. Adrenaline matched with love and support from others were the only things keeping me going.
By far 2013 was the most memorable year I have had in my life so far, but it was glaringly apparent to myself and others that it was not sustainable… changes needed to be made. For months after I got back from Italy I was working on this, creating sustainability for myself and The One Project — or so I thought. I was still caught in the sprint — I fooled myself into thinking I was fixing the issues and making the right changes. Under the surface were the issues I was still ignoring. The image that keeps coming to mind is of me carrying a large bag over my shoulder, filled with everything I needed to deal with, but refused to acknowledge as I continued to move forward and work throughout the year. Now, the baggage has become too heavy and it’s time to deal with all of the weight I’ve been carrying.
Being immediately infatuated with Vancouver and inspired to work towards my dreams, I never took the time to develop my core life skills after moving out to live on my own. I didn’t have a routine that would keep me in proper physical shape, remind me to stay on top of my mental health with the proper tools or help keep me on track with the right nutrition. I was living a chaotic life and clinging to the dream to hold me above the clouds. At a time when I was working to separate myself from The One Project, open it up to others, and build a team — it consumed every second of my day, all of my thoughts, my conversations, my relationships, and it severely affected my health. I went through my highest highs and my lowest lows last year. I was working until I was nearly passing out, forgetting to eat, not taking breaks, not getting enough sleep. I was no longer the priority in my life. I lost myself and became The One Project - just not in the way it’s intended. I lost the essence behind what I worked so hard for:
"I FORGOT THAT I WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT PROJECT OF MY LIFE."
I needed time to reconnect with myself and work through these false illusions my ego built up during this time. I needed to start to build these proper habits, so that I would be able to live this life that I dream of — the life I briefly had a taste of. It was time to develop proper eating habits, the right workout routine, and a schedule to allow it to become a solid foundation for a healthier way of life. A foundation that would stay strong during the most intense, trying and turbulent times. A lifestyle that would ensure my health, while living the life of an entrepreneur and artist — one that still struggles with depression and anxiety at times. I need to ensure that I am always living the words that I speak and stand behind. The only way that I would be able to continue to help people was to first take the time to help myself.
It is nothing short of incredible to see how quickly and easily I was able to be sucked into these bad habits. How my ego was able to take me over and deteriorate my health through not only accessing my fears, but my dreams as well. By no means am I trying to pass this off as an excuse, but I simply know that was not my true self. I am not my ego, much like I am not my depression. These last few months have been unbelievably intense in terms of self reflection and personal growth for me. One sign of this is that for the first time since I first started The One Project, I have once again started to have visions of photographs and stories that I need to create. A mental image of something that I need to express and share with the world. Hopefully something that will not only help me, but someone else who has gone through something similar. I am continuing to open up more and be honest in all aspects of my thoughts and experiences. I am working on being better at reaching out and asking for help right away, fighting that residual hesitation that still lives within me, fed by the fear and stigma. Continuing to share my story is helping me work through it all towards an honest and fearless life. I am feeling much more centred lately, I am in the best physical shape of my life and I am back on track. I am also starting counselling for the first time in my life to work through deeper rooted issues that I believe are holding me back.
As always, I have friends, family and resources available who also support me through it all and I am so grateful for each and every one of you. At times I try to deny these facts to myself, creating the illusion of loneliness, but the truth remains. This will always be my project. It is our project. It is already happening. It always has been. Every week brings something new and we have exciting developments in the works. I want you to know that this is your project as well. Tell your story. Share your ideas. Use it however you need and share it with those who could use it. We are in this together. By connecting, opening up, sharing our stories and improving ourselves we are changing the world. Always remember, you are the most important project of your life. We can make it through the fire.