My first Pie didn’t have a center point or what I’m calling a bullseye.
Recall that Pie was primarily an attempt to recover lost parts of myself and identify opportunities for joy. The rhythm of my days was remarkably productive, but often left me feeling diminished. The structuring of my life had choked out so many things I wanted to be about, but never got to. I needed a new approach.
I’m advocating that you construct a Pie with a bullseye. It is powerful to identify the central premise that connects all the slices. This is where I think Pie can get spiritual.
Consider the bullseye as a declaration of self. Or perhaps a mantra or a phrase that captures the spirit of who you are and how you plan to approach each sliver on your Pie. It isn’t enough to have a lot of cool stuff to do or interesting people to hang out with. Sure, these are key ingredients to making a good Pie, but I believe a great Pie demands an overriding sense of mission or purpose.
My first bullseye read “More Cowbell”. It still makes me smile to think about that original declaration. My Pie needed to be irreverent, contrarian, full of WTF entries, the kinds of experiences that would cause me to pause and think, “Really? No way! But maybe!”
I needed gasoline thrown on the fading ember that could best be characterized as thirty-plus years of “coloring between the lines.” Plus, the cowbell is a simple yet joyful instrument. You have never heard anyone say, “Can you give me a little less cowbell?” If you hand a cowbell to a child or even an adult, they won’t hesitate to clang it with gusto. No one is embarrassed to play the cowbell. Maybe that’s because there is no way to do it wrong.
When my brother saw “More Cowbell” at the bullseye of my Pie, he had to contain his disdain. For him, it was too shallow a mission or purpose. And he wasn’t shy about saying so. This led to further introspection. Where I went next had a distinctly different tone.
I’ve been asked about the bullseye of the Pie a lot. I don’t know what you should put in the middle of your Pie, but I think trying to answer the question of what could be at the epicenter is important.
I believe if you do come up with something, always know you can change what you have claimed in your bullseye whenever you feel the need. What worked for you last year, or even yesterday, may simply not be what takes up the real estate at the intersection of your slices tomorrow. Like everything Pie, it needs to be fluid. The slices change. The bullseye can change too.
Guess what? I went back to “More Cowbell” in the center of my Pie for the time being. And it still makes me smile every time I look at my Pie (which is at least every morning and every evening), so I know I can’t be too far off from the spirit of Pie. I’m no longer even trying to be polite when I claim, “Give me a life of More Cowbell, please!” (in all the slices of my Pie).