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Just Like Breathing?

What is so natural to you that it is like breathing? What aspect of yourself, which behavior, skill, activity, talent, is so part of you that you could not imagine yourself without it?

Answer this question and you could make yourself so much happier and successful, ignore it and you could be making yourself and those around you miserable.

This is something I have been pondering since my recent trip to SOBCon. Something strange happens when Terry Starbucker and I get together. It seems we have an unwritten rule that all our conversations must in some way fix the world. This was one of our many short but deep conversations.

Why is this question important to you and your productivity (maybe, life)?

Find Your Purpose, Discover Your Joy

In striving to succeed, day to day or for long term goals, we overlook what comes naturally to us. It’s easy to dismiss what we find easy, natural and fun. Many of us are raised to believe that work should be hard.

“No pain, no gain”.

Sorry, but that is rubbish.

There is no rule that we should suffer. No law that you can only spend your days waiting for a whistle to blow at 5.30pm.

Do What Comes Natural

If you look around, you will find the people who are most happy in their work and lives are the people who are in flow. They do what comes naturally. You might say they have a “gift”, or you might just think they are happy that their work is what they love to do. Or perhaps they don’t work, and they spend their leisure time doing whatever brings them the most joy?

My Mum is a natural at nurturing people. She nurtures regardless, whether people want nurturing or not. So she has spent most of her working life looking after people, from special needs schools to residential homes for people with learning difficulties. The times when she has deviated from being in a caring role she has been miserable.

Nobody that knows my mother would ever think of her not trying to help, comfort, or simply feed someone. It’s in her nature that if there is not someone around who needs some care she will go looking. That’s what she does.

Now we should not be tricked into thinking that people are given one role in life and that is what they have to stick to.

My Dad has had three careers, and excelled at all of them. His first career as a printer he did to please his own father. What seemed to suit him best though was when he was rescuing folks from fires and mangled cars.

Knowing he was constantly putting himself at risk scarred us all witless. I still can’t understand what malfunctions in a persons brain that allows them to run into danger when everyone else is screaming away in the other direction, but we are all proud of him that he did it, and did so well at it.

My brother stuck to an office job for a long time until one day he couldn’t take any more. Next thing we knew he had moved down to London and enrolled at a guitar institute. Rocking out in front of huge crowds of adoring, sweaty music fans is what brings him joy, and he is visibly more at home now than he ever was.

All of them do, or did, what came naturally to their personalities. They didn’t just get handed their dream role of course, and it took my Dad thirty some years to find his purpose. The point is there is something you are meant to be involved in that just fits.

Finding What You Were Meant to Do

  • What brings you joy?
  • Can you identify something in your personality that is “so you”?
  • Are there things you find yourself doing almost subconsciously?

These are potential candidates. You might not see the traits as fundamental, or obviously lead to a career or income, but they will hint at what you are meant to be doing.

Liz Strauss is a natural connector. She connects people and it just happens when she is around. For Liz it is not “doing”, it is “being”. Through her career I am sure whatever her role on paper, I bet she has been connecting people. Of course she would create something like SOBCon.

For many of us, I think deep down we know what we are meant to be doing. We just fight it or fear making the changes necessary to go with it. My brother spent many years in a job just paying the bills. He was in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing. He was good at his job and conscientious, but it was hardly his ambition.When he is on stage rocking out his guitar he comes alive.

Others, like myself, find it a little harder to discover what we are meant to do.

Until I left school I had planned to be some sort of cartoonist or illustrator. I quickly realized though that while I liked to doodle, I didn’t like it enough to put in the hard graft to be good enough to earn a decent living. At the same time I had decided I could not afford to go to University either. I was “good with computers” and decided to do that.

What you are good at is not necessarily what you are meant to be doing. I learned that the hard way.

In fact, in a way, I discovered something I found really really difficult was what I was meant to do. Perhaps, like me, you will work out what you were meant to do by process of elimination?

For the first half of my life I was painfully shy. To fix this I took a teaching course. While the course did not actually tell us how to teach, it did force us to speak to groups. For me this was like an arachnophobic type person going to the zoo to hold a tarantula, I am still shy but not half as bad as I was. The best part was it seemed to enable some kind of dormant circuit in me. I teach, that is what I do.

Standing in front of groups and talking to them is now something I do with alarming regularity, and I find it intimidating and nerve wracking. Considering my deep seated terror might suggest that I have this teaching stuff wrong, but actually that is just one type of teaching you are seeing. In fact through my blog, social media, articles, books and in person, I am teaching all the time. That is what comes naturally to me and what is like breathing. So obvious I miss it. I learn, process, and teach it back.

Remember I enjoyed doodling? I get to use that part of myself in my teaching, either directly with whiteboard doodles, or indirectly by adding cartoons or creative layouts to my articles and materials.

When I write I can get into the flow. Time seems to distort, my brain turns to sweet mush, and the words just arrive on screen. Programming was never like that for me, I am a darned good programmer, but it was always an effort that would give me brain ache.

That’s the key, it’s not just what you are good at, or what people expect of you – what do you do automatically, easily, and would do regardless?

There are so many opportunities now to utilize your whole self, you do not need to overhaul your life if you don’t want to. People outlet their creative side by blogging, tweeting, photography and, a recent discovery for me, scrapbooking. You can even earn good money if that is important.

Once you know what your nature is then you can choose how you express it. The most important thing is to delve into the deepest folds of your brain and work out how you were programmed, what kind of mission were your circuits built to do? :)

While you are thinking about your answer, check out Terry’s article on the same subject.


Important Note: Talking about teaching, Mike has asked me to remind you that if you were interested in the Social Media Success Summit that the early bird discount ends Thursday so you had better get in now if you want to save …

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Comments

  1. Nice post Chris :)

    I wondered what comes naturally to me – probably waffling on with people, talking about motorbikes and writing. Which is why I spend a lot of my time waffling on, writing and waffling on and writing about motorbikes!

    Gareth

  2. Nice post Chris :)

    I wondered what comes naturally to me – probably waffling on with people, talking about motorbikes and writing. Which is why I spend a lot of my time waffling on, writing and waffling on and writing about motorbikes!

    Gareth

  3. Thanks for this, there’s a lot of truth in what you say.

    In my own case I found that I undervalued something I happen to be extraordinarily good at. Because it was easy. I somehow assumed everyone found it easy. It was only when a board level contact said to me “do you know how extraordinary that is? how rare that is?” that I looked around, and shifted where I put my best energy.

    Thanks for reminding me!

  4. Thanks for this, there’s a lot of truth in what you say.

    In my own case I found that I undervalued something I happen to be extraordinarily good at. Because it was easy. I somehow assumed everyone found it easy. It was only when a board level contact said to me “do you know how extraordinary that is? how rare that is?” that I looked around, and shifted where I put my best energy.

    Thanks for reminding me!

  5. I completely understand the concept of flow and doing what appeals to your “core values” (you can read more about it in life coaching). As a result of developing my RSI, I thought very long and hard about what I wanted to do with my life. Clearly doing a 9-5 job in front of a PC was causing me a lot of pain, what else was there?

    That led me to something called a portfolio career. This is where you have a number of part-time jobs that appeal to each of your interests and strengths.

    One of those for me is being a pyrotechnician. Yes, really!

    If it wasn’t for my clarity a year ago, I wouldn’t be making the jump from employment to working for myself in less than 2 months time.

    Dan

  6. I completely understand the concept of flow and doing what appeals to your “core values” (you can read more about it in life coaching). As a result of developing my RSI, I thought very long and hard about what I wanted to do with my life. Clearly doing a 9-5 job in front of a PC was causing me a lot of pain, what else was there?

    That led me to something called a portfolio career. This is where you have a number of part-time jobs that appeal to each of your interests and strengths.

    One of those for me is being a pyrotechnician. Yes, really!

    If it wasn’t for my clarity a year ago, I wouldn’t be making the jump from employment to working for myself in less than 2 months time.

    Dan

  7. Good Morning Chris,

    I was drawn to your post by your question – What for you is just like breathing? My answer is very simple – Singing. I actually say things like, “I know I’m alive when I am singing.” I also say “singing is like breathing for me.” And it is! Yes I do sing, and I can’t imagine my life without my music. Singing is not an option for me, it is so apart of me and when I am not singing, there is usually something wrong deep inside, so it is rare. I usually work through things, and many times, singing helps me refocus and re-center so that I can do. When I sing, I know I am alive! Thanks for letting me share!

    Darlene
    Interview Guru

  8. Good Morning Chris,

    I was drawn to your post by your question – What for you is just like breathing? My answer is very simple – Singing. I actually say things like, “I know I’m alive when I am singing.” I also say “singing is like breathing for me.” And it is! Yes I do sing, and I can’t imagine my life without my music. Singing is not an option for me, it is so apart of me and when I am not singing, there is usually something wrong deep inside, so it is rare. I usually work through things, and many times, singing helps me refocus and re-center so that I can do. When I sing, I know I am alive! Thanks for letting me share!

    Darlene
    Interview Guru

  9. Hi Chris,

    What nourishes me deeply is connecting deeply with others. All my adult life I have been fascinated with psychotherapy (the kind that is about deep connection with others).

    Does this come easily – yes of course and most definitely not.

    A big part of me is a teacher too. I’m shy too – so I try to just focus on the subject and the students and it seems to usually go OK.

    My natural way of understanding and expression is words. (I’m lucky this way as this is validated in our culture.) So blogging fits well for me. And blogging about health (especially about ‘self-development’ and authenticity fits well. And that I am usually giving exercises so people can experience stuff for themselves rather than just ‘telling’ fits well too.

    The hard part of blogging for me is all the marketing and so forth. This is definitely the not easy part.

    Thanks for such a stimulating post.

  10. Hi Chris,

    What nourishes me deeply is connecting deeply with others. All my adult life I have been fascinated with psychotherapy (the kind that is about deep connection with others).

    Does this come easily – yes of course and most definitely not.

    A big part of me is a teacher too. I’m shy too – so I try to just focus on the subject and the students and it seems to usually go OK.

    My natural way of understanding and expression is words. (I’m lucky this way as this is validated in our culture.) So blogging fits well for me. And blogging about health (especially about ‘self-development’ and authenticity fits well. And that I am usually giving exercises so people can experience stuff for themselves rather than just ‘telling’ fits well too.

    The hard part of blogging for me is all the marketing and so forth. This is definitely the not easy part.

    Thanks for such a stimulating post.

  11. Chris, that’s a great post. It took me a long, long time to realise that while I’d loved my old job in specialist car sales, the spark was gone. I toughed it out, changed employers to see if that fixed it, but it made no difference. I still liked cars and the motor industry, but this was killing me…
    In 2002, I quit and set up as a pro photographer, shooting cars, writing about cars and also instructing on circuits as a track instructor (we’ve met at Elvington).
    I’m about to change again as motoring magazines begin to die and I start online publishing my own work, thanks to people like you who gave me the information to realise that I can use my skills for my own publishing / blogging.
    I’m still doing what I love and every time I have a bad day, I cast my mind back to the suit and tie and the cold cups of coffee.

  12. Chris, that’s a great post. It took me a long, long time to realise that while I’d loved my old job in specialist car sales, the spark was gone. I toughed it out, changed employers to see if that fixed it, but it made no difference. I still liked cars and the motor industry, but this was killing me…
    In 2002, I quit and set up as a pro photographer, shooting cars, writing about cars and also instructing on circuits as a track instructor (we’ve met at Elvington).
    I’m about to change again as motoring magazines begin to die and I start online publishing my own work, thanks to people like you who gave me the information to realise that I can use my skills for my own publishing / blogging.
    I’m still doing what I love and every time I have a bad day, I cast my mind back to the suit and tie and the cold cups of coffee.

  13. Thanks for digging even deeper on this one, Chris – it made me think about when I was searching for my purpose about 16 years ago. I wish I had the insights you lay out here back then. But I somehow pushed through, and found it. In hindsight I should have taken that full step back needed for self-reflection a lot sooner, for as you point out it’s quite a valuable exercise.

    All this from a 5 minute conversation – imagine what we can do with an hour! I truly look forward to that.

    Thanks and all the best,
    Terry

  14. Thanks for digging even deeper on this one, Chris – it made me think about when I was searching for my purpose about 16 years ago. I wish I had the insights you lay out here back then. But I somehow pushed through, and found it. In hindsight I should have taken that full step back needed for self-reflection a lot sooner, for as you point out it’s quite a valuable exercise.

    All this from a 5 minute conversation – imagine what we can do with an hour! I truly look forward to that.

    Thanks and all the best,
    Terry

  15. Chris,
    I too was at SOBCon. It was my first conference in this industry – how lucky was I that I found what it is I’m supposed to be doing?

    I write. I’ve always written. As a kid, I told my mom I’d be writing a book. I’m very good at taking information, disseminating it and handing it back to people in an understandable format.

    Now, for the monetizing of the writing! Yet, another adventure…

    @debworks

  16. Chris,
    I too was at SOBCon. It was my first conference in this industry – how lucky was I that I found what it is I’m supposed to be doing?

    I write. I’ve always written. As a kid, I told my mom I’d be writing a book. I’m very good at taking information, disseminating it and handing it back to people in an understandable format.

    Now, for the monetizing of the writing! Yet, another adventure…

    @debworks

  17. Did you ever have to do one of those “interest inventory” career aptitude tests in school? I can very clearly remember thinking, “Well, that’s hardly useful!” when my results said I was suited to be a priest, or a journalist, or a teacher. Pick one. Huh.

    Isn’t it delightful that we now live in a world where our natural skills and abilities can lead us organically into a job that doesn’t necessarily fit into a neatly labelled pigeonhole?

  18. Did you ever have to do one of those “interest inventory” career aptitude tests in school? I can very clearly remember thinking, “Well, that’s hardly useful!” when my results said I was suited to be a priest, or a journalist, or a teacher. Pick one. Huh.

    Isn’t it delightful that we now live in a world where our natural skills and abilities can lead us organically into a job that doesn’t necessarily fit into a neatly labelled pigeonhole?

  19. Chris,
    This post is full of great questions and advice and the stories about you and your family perfectly exemplified your points and gave us a welcome glimpse of the personal Chris.
    I too had to more or less leave my first career as a chef to become a wellness coach. When I was young I wanted to become a doctor but a science teacher in high school warned me to stay in language arts. Rebellion set in big time but I was drawn to the art of cooking and found a home there for 20+ years.
    Wanting to help people never left me and when food no longer served I took a seminar to help me find what was next. Seems that coaching, researching, writing, and speaking about medicine, wellness, nutrition and how we do food roll all of my favorite things into one. I still cook now and again for private clients but my love is helping people feel better, teaching them how to feed themselves on all levels.

  20. Chris,
    This post is full of great questions and advice and the stories about you and your family perfectly exemplified your points and gave us a welcome glimpse of the personal Chris.
    I too had to more or less leave my first career as a chef to become a wellness coach. When I was young I wanted to become a doctor but a science teacher in high school warned me to stay in language arts. Rebellion set in big time but I was drawn to the art of cooking and found a home there for 20+ years.
    Wanting to help people never left me and when food no longer served I took a seminar to help me find what was next. Seems that coaching, researching, writing, and speaking about medicine, wellness, nutrition and how we do food roll all of my favorite things into one. I still cook now and again for private clients but my love is helping people feel better, teaching them how to feed themselves on all levels.

  21. That @starbucker! He knows how to stir things up.

    Hearing people’s stories and hearing the meaning and patterns within them is like breathing for me. It’s a chance for my intuition to bloom and to help connect them with their own. I love it.

    Thanks for sharing yours – it’s a wonderful post, Chris.

    Best, Laurie (aka @intuitioneer)

  22. That @starbucker! He knows how to stir things up.

    Hearing people’s stories and hearing the meaning and patterns within them is like breathing for me. It’s a chance for my intuition to bloom and to help connect them with their own. I love it.

    Thanks for sharing yours – it’s a wonderful post, Chris.

    Best, Laurie (aka @intuitioneer)

  23. I have also been naturally drawn to teaching in different ways. I’ve been a professional software trainer for many years, before I started Remarkablogger.

    What I have discovered is that my true natural ability is really around envisioning holistic, interdependent systems. This lends itself well to everything I’ve been doing, but I’m looking to apply this more creatively, such as world-building for fantasy writing or gaming. A classic “idea guy.”

    This post will open up some powerful new thoughts for people, Chris. Good stuff!

    PS – Sorry I missed you at sobcon this year.

  24. I have also been naturally drawn to teaching in different ways. I’ve been a professional software trainer for many years, before I started Remarkablogger.

    What I have discovered is that my true natural ability is really around envisioning holistic, interdependent systems. This lends itself well to everything I’ve been doing, but I’m looking to apply this more creatively, such as world-building for fantasy writing or gaming. A classic “idea guy.”

    This post will open up some powerful new thoughts for people, Chris. Good stuff!

    PS – Sorry I missed you at sobcon this year.

  25. I think that when we follow our passions, what our heart really longs to do, we not only succeed, we also find contentment. My friend and business colleague, Andy Birol, calls it your “Best and Highest Use” or BHU for short. When you align your BHU with what you love to do, enjoy doing and are good at doing, you find personal and professional success.

    And Chris, I see you as an educator, you enjoy sharing with others, whether in print, personally or face to face through presentations. I suspect that you really enjoy that moment when someone else has that “Aha” moment, when their light bulb comes on and they “get it.” You’ve come to see part of your BHU—just as important and natural as breathing—as teaching and sharing with others. You’ve embraced life-long learning.

    Thanks for sharing, educating and informing.

  26. I think that when we follow our passions, what our heart really longs to do, we not only succeed, we also find contentment. My friend and business colleague, Andy Birol, calls it your “Best and Highest Use” or BHU for short. When you align your BHU with what you love to do, enjoy doing and are good at doing, you find personal and professional success.

    And Chris, I see you as an educator, you enjoy sharing with others, whether in print, personally or face to face through presentations. I suspect that you really enjoy that moment when someone else has that “Aha” moment, when their light bulb comes on and they “get it.” You’ve come to see part of your BHU—just as important and natural as breathing—as teaching and sharing with others. You’ve embraced life-long learning.

    Thanks for sharing, educating and informing.

  27. As I firefighter, I can totally understand your father’s love for helping people. Sound like both your father and brother have a love for adrenaline. I totally agree with everything you wrote. It is like the old saying “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.” Too often, we settle for security and do not seek what truly makes us happy.

  28. As I firefighter, I can totally understand your father’s love for helping people. Sound like both your father and brother have a love for adrenaline. I totally agree with everything you wrote. It is like the old saying “Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.” Too often, we settle for security and do not seek what truly makes us happy.

  29. It’s true – sometimes what we should be doing is screaming at us while we chase after someone else’s dreams. I’ve found the biggest thing people miss is taking feedback into consideration. If people you know tell you they think you do something well, it may be a calling. If people you barely know tell you they think you do something well, it’s a sign.

    If you see a sign like that, go in that direction.

  30. It’s true – sometimes what we should be doing is screaming at us while we chase after someone else’s dreams. I’ve found the biggest thing people miss is taking feedback into consideration. If people you know tell you they think you do something well, it may be a calling. If people you barely know tell you they think you do something well, it’s a sign.

    If you see a sign like that, go in that direction.

  31. I would like to think that writing is my nature. But there are times when it feels that it’s just wasn’t it. That there is something else I should be doing.

    I don’t want to spend 30-plus years of my life until I find what that is. Your article moved me and really called me to action.

  32. I would like to think that writing is my nature. But there are times when it feels that it’s just wasn’t it. That there is something else I should be doing.

    I don’t want to spend 30-plus years of my life until I find what that is. Your article moved me and really called me to action.

  33. “Finding What You Were Meant to Do” & “What you are good at is not necessarily what you are meant to be doing.”– Favourite quotes of the passage.

    This morning I had a similar read about how we often treat happiness as ‘Subjective Well Being'; although 2 articles not totally relate but it gives a similar point on ‘do what’s meant to be done, and not because you HAVE to because others THINK you should’. In my belief, we are blessed with certain abilities and opportunities in life. Joy is to find the right position, the cause of living and achieving the ultimate satisfaction by doing what you love. The bitter-sweet process just as fulfilling.

    Thank you for the encouraging message.

    @wchingya
    Social Media/Blogging

  34. “Finding What You Were Meant to Do” & “What you are good at is not necessarily what you are meant to be doing.”– Favourite quotes of the passage.

    This morning I had a similar read about how we often treat happiness as ‘Subjective Well Being'; although 2 articles not totally relate but it gives a similar point on ‘do what’s meant to be done, and not because you HAVE to because others THINK you should’. In my belief, we are blessed with certain abilities and opportunities in life. Joy is to find the right position, the cause of living and achieving the ultimate satisfaction by doing what you love. The bitter-sweet process just as fulfilling.

    Thank you for the encouraging message.

    @wchingya
    Social Media/Blogging

  35. Wow, just wow. It is funny because I have been thinking about exactly what you wrote in this post for a few days. Funny how coincidences happen!

    What I do naturally is analyze how I can improve things and how I can do them fast. I also love writing, I started writing stories ever since I learned how to write even remotely well.

    This came to me about one week ago when I started thinking about what would bring me the most joy.

    So I guess I will have to start a website or a blog about something to do with effectiveness and results. There are many blogs out there about that, but so what, I’d rather fail than spend the rest of my life wondering what if ;)

    Thanks for a great post Chris!

  36. Wow, just wow. It is funny because I have been thinking about exactly what you wrote in this post for a few days. Funny how coincidences happen!

    What I do naturally is analyze how I can improve things and how I can do them fast. I also love writing, I started writing stories ever since I learned how to write even remotely well.

    This came to me about one week ago when I started thinking about what would bring me the most joy.

    So I guess I will have to start a website or a blog about something to do with effectiveness and results. There are many blogs out there about that, but so what, I’d rather fail than spend the rest of my life wondering what if ;)

    Thanks for a great post Chris!

  37. Very Zen… well said. I try to live this way, and it’s so much more effective. Quit being “busy” because you think you should be and you’ll be paying attention when what you should do naturally appears. And then just do it.

  38. Very Zen… well said. I try to live this way, and it’s so much more effective. Quit being “busy” because you think you should be and you’ll be paying attention when what you should do naturally appears. And then just do it.

  39. Truly awesome question Chris!

    I am going to sit down this evening and brainstorm answers to the question “What’s like breathing to me?”

    I can hardly wait!

    This came at the PERFECT time for me. And I do mean PERFECT.

  40. Truly awesome question Chris!

    I am going to sit down this evening and brainstorm answers to the question “What’s like breathing to me?”

    I can hardly wait!

    This came at the PERFECT time for me. And I do mean PERFECT.

  41. Each of my 3 seemlingly unrelated career changes has helped me learn skills and conquer fears to be able to do what I do today.

    Like yourself Chris I still struggle to feel confident and composed in front of a crowd but as soon as the first person in the room smiles and nods in recognition of what I’m saying…I’m totally swept up in the joy of sharing stories and ideas.

    Thanks Chris, one of my favourite posts to date :)

  42. Each of my 3 seemlingly unrelated career changes has helped me learn skills and conquer fears to be able to do what I do today.

    Like yourself Chris I still struggle to feel confident and composed in front of a crowd but as soon as the first person in the room smiles and nods in recognition of what I’m saying…I’m totally swept up in the joy of sharing stories and ideas.

    Thanks Chris, one of my favourite posts to date :)

  43. Mike Harper says:

    Thanks Chris, great post and exactly what was on my mind as I started work this morning.

  44. Mike Harper says:

    Thanks Chris, great post and exactly what was on my mind as I started work this morning.

  45. Gee Chris, I’m just like the old you. I’m painfully shy and suck at speaking in front of a group. But when I sit down and start writing, the lights come on in my head and I just write and write. It’s like what you called it – a flow state. I guess blogging really suits me. Thanks for inspiring me.

  46. Gee Chris, I’m just like the old you. I’m painfully shy and suck at speaking in front of a group. But when I sit down and start writing, the lights come on in my head and I just write and write. It’s like what you called it – a flow state. I guess blogging really suits me. Thanks for inspiring me.

  47. Chris – you nailed it when you said “…what do you do automatically, easily, and would do regardless?” Most of us have many talents so choosing to do what we’re good at won’t always get us where we want to go. We still need to dig deeper and find that ONE THING that we can’t not do. That’s what we should spend our time doing.

    KS

  48. Chris – you nailed it when you said “…what do you do automatically, easily, and would do regardless?” Most of us have many talents so choosing to do what we’re good at won’t always get us where we want to go. We still need to dig deeper and find that ONE THING that we can’t not do. That’s what we should spend our time doing.

    KS

  49. Darren Cronian says:

    Great post. When I tell people this, they think I am using it to polish my ego, but without starting my blog, there is no way I would have done the things I have done.

    – Spoken live on BBC radio
    – Took part in a bloggers summit in Berlin
    – Met high-profile people in conferences
    – etc. etc.

    Would I have done any of this without my blog, no way, do I regret any of it, no way. Blogging pushes the boundaries, and I am not the best person in public for a number of reasons.

  50. Darren Cronian says:

    Great post. When I tell people this, they think I am using it to polish my ego, but without starting my blog, there is no way I would have done the things I have done.

    – Spoken live on BBC radio
    – Took part in a bloggers summit in Berlin
    – Met high-profile people in conferences
    – etc. etc.

    Would I have done any of this without my blog, no way, do I regret any of it, no way. Blogging pushes the boundaries, and I am not the best person in public for a number of reasons.

  51. Wonderful post, Chris.
    I love this “The best part was it seemed to enable some kind of dormant circuit in me. I teach, that is what I do.”
    The word dormant is a key. As in asleep. And maybe even dreaming. We can often find the way to our true work by paying attention to our dreams and fantasies. Note: not the fantasies of world domination that many internet gurus peddle. That fantasy is a false substitute for what you are describing: the authentic wealth that comes from waking up to “what you do”.

    By dreams I mean both aspirations and night dreams. There are clues in both to the deeper calling. Discerning this often means cutting through the cultural conditioning and assumptions that we’ve all inherited about “work”, “success”, etc.

    Thomas Moore has written beautifully about this in his book:
    A Life at Work: The Joy of Discovering What You Were Born to Do

  52. Wonderful post, Chris.
    I love this “The best part was it seemed to enable some kind of dormant circuit in me. I teach, that is what I do.”
    The word dormant is a key. As in asleep. And maybe even dreaming. We can often find the way to our true work by paying attention to our dreams and fantasies. Note: not the fantasies of world domination that many internet gurus peddle. That fantasy is a false substitute for what you are describing: the authentic wealth that comes from waking up to “what you do”.

    By dreams I mean both aspirations and night dreams. There are clues in both to the deeper calling. Discerning this often means cutting through the cultural conditioning and assumptions that we’ve all inherited about “work”, “success”, etc.

    Thomas Moore has written beautifully about this in his book:
    A Life at Work: The Joy of Discovering What You Were Born to Do

  53. Hi Chris

    A very big Thankyou!

    Anne

  54. Hi Chris

    A very big Thankyou!

    Anne

  55. Chris,

    I just wrote about my brainstorming process on my blog:

    http://www.canimakebigmoneyonline.com/index.php/20090514-breathing-your-passions/

    It was a very eye opening experience.

    – George

  56. Chris,

    I just wrote about my brainstorming process on my blog:

    http://www.canimakebigmoneyonline.com/index.php/20090514-breathing-your-passions/

    It was a very eye opening experience.

    – George

  57. It’s amazing how if you really listen to your inner self and pay attention to the signals in your life, you can see how life pushes you in the direction of your strengths and passions. However, oftentimes we ignore the signals and quiet our inner voice. Many times people get stuck on the idea that work shouldn’t be fun or they aren’t good enough. If you to stop resisting and shut down your inner critic you can open yourself up to live the life of your dreams.

  58. It’s amazing how if you really listen to your inner self and pay attention to the signals in your life, you can see how life pushes you in the direction of your strengths and passions. However, oftentimes we ignore the signals and quiet our inner voice. Many times people get stuck on the idea that work shouldn’t be fun or they aren’t good enough. If you to stop resisting and shut down your inner critic you can open yourself up to live the life of your dreams.

  59. Chris,

    I googled “working long hours” a couple of days ago and the results were dreadful: working long hours cause brain damage, heart disease, destroys families… working long hours can kill you!

    Of course, the hidden assumption here is that people don’t love their work. If they did, it would be more like, er, breathing: it would nurture them and making them happy… it would actually make them feel more alive than anything else instead of killing them!

    The horrible Google results inspired to write a blog post that I just published today, together with a resource round-up on non-conformism and love-oriented work. I am including your post in it right away!

    Cheers,
    Alan

  60. Chris,

    I googled “working long hours” a couple of days ago and the results were dreadful: working long hours cause brain damage, heart disease, destroys families… working long hours can kill you!

    Of course, the hidden assumption here is that people don’t love their work. If they did, it would be more like, er, breathing: it would nurture them and making them happy… it would actually make them feel more alive than anything else instead of killing them!

    The horrible Google results inspired to write a blog post that I just published today, together with a resource round-up on non-conformism and love-oriented work. I am including your post in it right away!

    Cheers,
    Alan

  61. Excellent!
    We spend so much of our time focused on external things. That we rarely take the time to dream and dive into what makes us soar. I feel that we are often afraid of our power and most of the time we play it safe and what is familiar instead of stretching toward our passion. You are so right when we live our passion it is like breathing. We should let go of the control and run toward our hearts desire.

  62. Excellent!
    We spend so much of our time focused on external things. That we rarely take the time to dream and dive into what makes us soar. I feel that we are often afraid of our power and most of the time we play it safe and what is familiar instead of stretching toward our passion. You are so right when we live our passion it is like breathing. We should let go of the control and run toward our hearts desire.

  63. Thanks Chris, that really inspired me to think about my direction in life. I think so much of the time we try to be something that we’re not, and don’t realize that it’s a state of being for the people who are really good at it.

  64. Thanks Chris, that really inspired me to think about my direction in life. I think so much of the time we try to be something that we’re not, and don’t realize that it’s a state of being for the people who are really good at it.

  65. It does all make sense. Unfortunately, I live on about five hours of sleep per day so I don’t have much time to reflect.

    Here’s an idea…If somehow, we could an extra three hours to each day….Aw…forget it! I would probably work those three hours any how!

  66. It does all make sense. Unfortunately, I live on about five hours of sleep per day so I don’t have much time to reflect.

    Here’s an idea…If somehow, we could an extra three hours to each day….Aw…forget it! I would probably work those three hours any how!

  67. “What kind of mission were your circuits built to do?”
    I am a nurse by trade but my circuits are programmed to be around animals, to help them, to rescue them. I should have been a vet but at the time I was entering college I listened to the wrong people and didn’t believe enough in myself that I could have done vet school. Now I have many animals of my own.
    I help with rescue and right now we have 2 foster mini horse/pony mares who have had a terrible start in life. They don’t trust people but I hope we can teach them there is a reason to trust people over time. Too bad it doesn’t pay the bills……..

  68. “What kind of mission were your circuits built to do?”
    I am a nurse by trade but my circuits are programmed to be around animals, to help them, to rescue them. I should have been a vet but at the time I was entering college I listened to the wrong people and didn’t believe enough in myself that I could have done vet school. Now I have many animals of my own.
    I help with rescue and right now we have 2 foster mini horse/pony mares who have had a terrible start in life. They don’t trust people but I hope we can teach them there is a reason to trust people over time. Too bad it doesn’t pay the bills……..

  69. It’s really great!I’ve been tried to find these words for a long time.this is just the philosophy I’m searching for all these months.
    thanks a lot!

  70. It’s really great!I’ve been tried to find these words for a long time.this is just the philosophy I’m searching for all these months.
    thanks a lot!

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