.

Do what matters

“Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.”

~Hardy D. Jackson

Think of how you spent your day today. What did you do for the majority of it?

How about the week?

Seriously think about it. Now answer one simple question…

Does any of it matter?

Are you spending your time in a way that matters? Both to you and others?

Do you care about your work? Is it based on a cause you stand behind? Is the world better as a result? Are you better as a result?

Do you even know why you’re doing what you’re doing?

Sadly over 80% of people aren’t happy with their work and even more don’t have a clue as to why their doing it. Is that any way to spend the majority of your time on earth?

Everything Starts with Why

When I was on the Summit Series boat a few weeks ago I met Simon Sinek author of the kick-ass book Start with Why. I had recently seen his epic TED Talk: How Great Leaders Inspire Action (actually watched it for the third time yesterday) where he first planted the importance of why in my brain. Thoughts have been running wild ever since. (I give Simon full credit for this post. Thanks for waking me up my man!)

Most people know what they’re doing and some even know how they’re doing it but very few know why.

The problem is that the Why is the only part that inspires people. It’s your purpose, your belief, your (or your company’s) reason for being. Whether you want to end world suffering or just trim your waistline by getting yourself to stick to one spoonful of peanut butter instead of five, without a why you are nowhere.

Unfortunately since those with a why happen to be the exception, most the world is lost. They’re sleepwalking.

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it

How often do you ask people what they do? How often do you tell others what you do? It’s something society has drilled into us (and it drives me crazy). We’re missing the why without even knowing it.

I have news. No one cares what you’re doing. No one even cares how you do it. I don’t care how mind blowing it is.

They only care why you’re doing it. Once you connect with your why, you give them a belief they can adopt – but not until that emotional connection is created. Then the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ become wonderful ways to justify the why. People buy on emotion and justify by logic. They buy on why.

Side note: For the purpose of this article ‘buy’ can mean any type of influence and is not limited to purchasing a product – be it adopting your view, joining your cause or even voting for you. It’s about getting someone on your side.

Facts, figures and stats don’t sell.

They don’t inspire. Especially since any competitor in most any space surely has similar numbers to tout. They’re table stakes. What does sell is your vision of how you can affect the world. That is the only place passion can be found. Passion isn’t buried in some mind-numbing competitive analysis. It’s in the vision, the belief, the why.

Take two of the more powerful brands: Apple and Patagonia

  • Apple makes tech gadgets. There are countless companies doing the same thing, but we buy from Apple because Apple believes in challenging the status quo, in being different and making life fun.
  • Patagonia makes outdoor clothing. So do 50 other companies. But I buy from them because Patagonia believes in igniting the human spirit, in saving the environment and seeking adventure.

I am proud to be behind these causes. I want to be behind them. I get others behind them. And as a result I probably pay a 30-40% premium to do so. And I love it.

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

My Why here is simple

I have a fundamental belief that if I can get those around me doing work they love, we can literally change the world. We can end the majority of bad moods, misconduct and frustration, and if enough people get on board, we can cause a revolution. I believe deep in my soul that if everyone lived and worked their passion and woke up excited, the world would be a fundamentally different place.

That is what keeps me up late at night and waking before my alarm.

Embody your reason for being

My belief has become so fundamental to me that I’ve realized I need a business and brand that fully embodies it. One that screams daily adventure, constant experimentation and learning about yourself to find your purpose and live it. I have been working on this new brand for months now (thanks to a lot of your help and feedback) and it’s finally almost ready. I hope to launch it in just a few weeks.

Don’t worry, the content and focus of my work and writing won’t change-it’s just time to have a business, name and brand that firmly back my why.

For me this will mark the new beginning of my quest to help the world understand their passions and use them to do work they love. It’s one that never ends and I intend to be on it for the full ride.

We are not meant to do things the way they’ve always been done. We are meant to find and follow our own paths. This leads to greatness.

Our days are meant to be enjoyed. The only unsuccessful day is one spent unhappy. We deserve to spend our time on things that actually matter to us. I assure you that if we accomplish this, they will matter a hell of a lot more to the world than whatever we were working on before.

You are all here because you share my belief and wanted to be a part of the tribe. I’m grateful you’ve joined the action. As of last week we hit over 4,000 of us on the same mission! New believers join everyday. If you know someone who should be a part of the tribe but isn’t, please send them a link to this article. If you haven’t joined yet, I hope you will.

Sorry for the tangent, but I’ve been dying fill you in on the latest!

A Why is the only reason meaningful things get done

If you don’t have a why for what you’re doing, then sit down and find one. The below free workbook will help.

If you can’t find one then drop what you’re doing and do something you give a sh*t about.

Because without a why, not only will you not inspire anyone else, but more importantly, you will never inspire yourself. You are the first person you must get on board. Nothing important ever gets done without a powerful enough reason. Running a marathon or leading a revolution – it all starts with why.

Understand your Why

What is your belief of how the world should be? What is your reason for being? It doesn’t have to be some grand earth-shattering belief. It just has to matter to you. If you care enough, trust me, others will care too.

Most of us who aren’t already living it, have an idea of what it is (or at least what it’s not), you just may have been suppressing it to be more ‘realistic’ (btw, realistic never got anyone anywhere).

If you don’t know then I’m almost sure you have people close to you who have suggested something: “Oh you would make a great coach or speaker or writer or teacher”.

Listen to them and listen to yourself. Then start investigating. That’s the stuff that matters. Not what some job role or area of study says you should be. What do they know about you anyway? Not much. Few people do. That’s why you owe it to yourself to start searching.

Live with passion

When I approached Simon on the boat, I thanked him for his work and told him about our growing crusade here with my writing and coaching. He looked at me with the deepest conviction and congruency, right into my soul, pointed his finger so it was about 2 inches from my chest and said “Listen. The work you’re doing matters. What you and I are doing is changing the world. It literally has the chance to create world peace in a way even the United Nations couldn’t dream of.” He then gave me a small coin, something he called a ‘token of inspiration’, thanked me and we went our separate ways.

He embodied his why so much that it left me shaking with energy. He had given me an even greater responsibility to spread my cause, my belief, my why.

There are big things ahead guys. For you, for me, for all of us. But they’re only going to happen if we sack up and do something about it.

I’ll go first as long as you promise to follow suit.

I can’t wait to show you the refocused vision for ReadingForYourSuccess. I have a feeling you’re going to like it!

So…Does what you’re doing really matter?

Tell us your Why in the comments. Go on, make us believers!

Need help finding your Why? – Free Workbook!

I created a free subscriber-only workbook with three pages of my most thought-provoking questions and actions to help you find your Why.

This workbook is free for people who subscribe for email updates from Live Your Legend. To get the workbook, just enter your email address on the linked page (don’t worry if you’re already a subscriber you won’t be double-subscribed, you’ll just get access to the workbook).

Also, if you’d like to go through the full Why discovery process with Simon Sinek, I highly recommend you check out his Why Discovery Course (this is an affiliate link so a part of the couse will help support our work here at LYL, and I hope you know by now that I only recommend things that truly move the needle. I fully back Simon’s work).

Image courtesy of serendipity


  • http://www.perfectingparenthood.com Alex | Perfecting Dad

    The standard contemplation of all wise and purposely successful people. But very well written, and we gotta learn from somewhere.

    The why behind my website is to share my expertise in parenting, psychology, finance, and personal growth to help people break through their doubts to realize what is possible. I am making super-babies and super humans. Thanks for asking! You can click though if you want to read You Can’t Catch Me: How To Be Wealthier And Smarter Than Others

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      ‘Making super-babies and super humans’ –I love it Alex! No doubt making the world better. Keep it up!

  • http://www.renaissancelearner.com Lisa Alessi

    Wow Scott great post and such synchronicity! I’ve been working with clients on exploring their WHYs since the beginning of the year and its such powerful stuff. I too felt compelled to share Simon’s work because so many people can benefit and I believe what you believe — when more and more people are doing what they love, it will change the world!

    I love that Simon has evolved and reinvigorated the concept of purpose and put it into practical terms that people can relate to. I actually just wrote a blogpost about how exploring my WHY has had a profound impact on my work and the decisions I make every day: http://renaissancelearner.com/the-power-of-connecting-with-your-why Its reflected in my website content and people close to me have said I am very connected to my WHY :)

    Thanks for writing about your experience and sharing the workbook you created. As Simon says — “this work matters” and you are providing awesome inspiration to help so many people find the work they were meant to do! Bravo!

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      Thank you Lisa. That means a lot!

      And awesome to hear you’re incorporating so much of it. The simplicity and power of a solid Why is pretty mind blowing. Huge thanks to Simon for getting us on the right track!

      Love the simplicity of your site btw.

  • http://livingthebalancedlife.com Living the Balanced Life

    Awesome words Scott! I love how you talk about connecting your WHY with your audience’s WHY. Very key. I love the saying “If you know your WHY, you can overcome any HOW’.
    Can’t wait to see what you have coming up ahead!
    Bernice
    Why I love Twitter

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      That just it…the Why is so contagious when it’s really coming from a place of genuine meaning and purpose. The people who connect with it won’t be able to help but get on board!

  • Nomi

    I may have to stop subscribing to newsletters like this. They just depress me. All my life I’ve known my “why,” and I’ve never, ever pursued it seriously. I spend 40+ hours a week doing stuff that doesn’t interest me in the least, and have been doing that for 30+ years. I’m stuck — I have children in college and financial obligations. The field I was meant to be in — where I have talent, interest, abilities, training — is one where if you don’t start young, you might as well forget it, professionally. Also it’s one traditionally associated with starvation income except for the very lucky few. I was raised to “be thankful you can find any job at all” and “put your head down and don’t make a fuss” and “only rich, indolent people can afford to sit around and daydream about what they want — the rest of us have to worry about putting food on the table.” I’ve never been able to break away from that. Unless you know convincing help for those of us stuck in a heartbreaking rut and over the hill, I can’t find anything but pain in these posts.

    • John Beadle

      Hi Nomi,

      In no way do I intend to respond for Scott, or downplay your situation, but take a look at this article – I find it pretty motivating: http://liveyourlegend.net/the-beginners-guide-to-enjoying-a-job-you-hate

      • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

        Thanks for chiming in John. I appreciate it. Nomi clearly brought up a topic that warrants a lot of attention in the future!

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      I really appreciate you being straight with us Nomi. I can only imagine how difficult it can be to feel stuck. I have worked with a lot of people who have initially felt the same way–some with one, two and three kids. It’s no surprise since society and past generations have trained us that way. And you can’t blame them too much because it was a lot more difficult to live on passion 50 years ago (not at all impossible but there were fewer high leverage tools and resources available). I think the most important thing to realize is that all this talk of living your Why and living on purpose does not mean that you drop everything right this second and start anew. That’s not practical for the majority of the world, especially when you’re blessed with a family to provide for.

      But you have to think of this as a continuum with ‘hating your job’ on one side and ‘spending every second doing work that you love’ on the other. There are plenty of stops along the way, in between the two, that will add a ton of life, excitement and fulfillment to your days. Unfortunately people get intimidated by the idea of some massive life shift so they never even take the first step or two.

      As with everything, you have to start incredibly small. Build momentum and let things follow. The key is to start stoking and tending to that ember of passion inisde (and in your case you already know what it is which means you’re a lot further than most!). Do small things to reignite it. If for example you loved acting, then maybe you find a fun club nearby where you can spend an hour or two a week acting and having some fun. Do something to give your passion the attention and respect it deserves. (That’s exactly how this site got started 4 years ago–just to fill my need to write and try to help others. I had no intention of it being a big part of my life and business, but I couldn’t deny how much it lit me on fire so I slowing pursued it more and more…and here we are).

      After finding something small, then just leave it at that for a while. Just an hour a week might be all it is. That’s fine. And anyone can find an extra hour, I’m sure of it. Notice how that makes you feel. In many cases something that small can dramatically alter the fulfillment you get out of everything else you do. Once you get that feeling, that excitement, you get addicted and find a way to spend more time doing it. Let things go from there.

      I want to make this very clear, it often doesn’t take much to create a massive shift in your excitement. You MUST start small! There’s no other way around it. But you MUST start. Think of it as an hour here and there, not a life change. Every life chance started with a couple small decisions and experiments.

      This is obviously a huge (and very common) topic and it’s something I plan to cover much more in depth in the new book I’m writing. I hope to have it out for everyone next month. If you want me to add anything else in, let me know.

      Your situation is not as permanent as you think Nomi. Trust me. I hope you’ll stay subscribed because this is exactly why I’m rebranding and refocusing my site. We are here to help! I mean that.

      Scott

    • Aaron

      Nomi: Your post speaks to truths many readers can identify with. I would like to challenge you with some questions that are based on what you’ve written:

      A) Why have you never attempted to seriously pursue your dream field?

      B) Why do you really believe you’re “stuck” where you are in your career?

      C) Why do you believe age is a factor in pursuing a career you love and have training in?

      I believe Scott is right – start small, and rethink your possibilities. I heard from some wise sage once that sometimes, it takes having a breakdown before you can have a breakthrough. Here’s to your breakthrough!

    • http://www.herviewphotography.com Darlene

      Nomi, what is it you want to do? I’d love to know. I’m a photographer and the thing is, historically and in my world most photographers make very little money. The average before taxes is less then 40k a year and they work over 75 hours a week. DOING the thing they love! This is what I’ve struggled with for years – how to do what I love in a business that is a struggle to make a living. Many quit due to burn out – no sh*t!

      I’ve now discovered more of my why and reading this article actually gave me a bit of an aha moment, so thanks for that Scott! What I’m doing now is teaching photography to amateurs and people just starting in it and I love it! I see their excitement when something they try turns out for the first time, and I had a hand in helping in that.

      What I really want to do is lead photography workshops/tours all over the world. My why is to take people to foreign lands and have a cultural experience, meet the locals, eat with them, work with charities, etc. To spread understanding of others different from ourselves through photography and travel. If we understand each other, we can’t hate. If we can’t hate we can only love. So my big why is world peace.

      My stumbling block was – why would anyone choose to come with me when there’s so many other photo tours, some led by National Geographic photographers. The “aha” was more of an addendum to my why – why I’m doing this, is to help the average person learn photography. One that may actually be intimidated by a big famous world renowned photographer. I’ve been doing this for over 24 years and I’ve learned by my teaching so far that I really DO really know my stuff and am a great teacher!

      thanks, gotta go change my About page!

      • Helen

        Hi Darlene,
        We share the same passion but it’s only been in the last few days since discovering Scott’s blog that I’ve come to connect with it again! I’m not surprised that I saw your post today as I recall that in the past whenever I really tuned into this passion everywhere I looked people were doing it! In the past I thought this was a “sign” that there are people better and more equipped than me that are doing it and would let it effect my already low self-esteem and eventually give up on the idea. Since reading Scott’s blog though I realize these were all opportunities to connect and these other people that were better (more experienced) than me were not signs for me to give up or feel intimidated but to actually jump on board. 5 years ago I was ready to take my passion seriously again but found instead that I went for the safe route, following a lesser related passion, that ended up draining me of time to follow the true passion. Now I am at the cross-roads again and feel grateful that I have the time in my life to explore my passion once again and find my own niche. I wish I had some of this advice 10 or 20 years ago because lord knows my parents were anything but encouraging! I am now more determined than ever to make my own unique contribution in the time I have left on this planet. And best of all I believe for the first time ever that it is really possible — or i will die trying!

        Thanks Scott you are doing great work :)

  • http://www.futuremayorofcherryhurst.com Chad Covey

    You’re rolling, buddy. My wife sent me the link to Simon Simek’s TEDTalk last week. You couldn’t have timed this any better, as far as I’m concerned. Now to the question of why….

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      Glad I caught you when I did. This is one of those talks you can watch over and over and always get something from it. I’m on my fourth…

      Come back and let us know a bit about your Why after you give it some thought.

      Btw, what a wife to be sending talks like this to you!

  • John Beadle

    Thanks Scott,

    Steve Jobs in a commencement speech once said “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” – It wasn’t my graduation but it has stuck with me ever since I heard it. I think it’s not necessarily the “why” that makes people great, but it’s the people who spend the time to reflect and find their passion. Thanks for the new perspective, I’m looking forward to seeing your updates.

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      I absolutely love that commencement speech John. I actually have it on my iPhone for long car rides (for audio only of course)! It may be the most powerful talk I’ve seen given how far-reaching and universally applicable it is. I actually wrote a post about it a while back: http://liveyourlegend.net/steve-jobs-2005-stanford-commencement-speech-dont-settle.

      Anyone who has not watched this in the past few weeks has got to spend 14 minutes with it!

      As far as Why and Passion…I see them as one and the same. Why creates passion and deep passion helps you find the real Why. Let the snowball roll!

  • http://www.tameyourmindmonkey.com Camilla

    Hi Scott,
    Long time reader, first time commenter – your post serendipitously arrived in my inbox at the right time. The past few weeks for me have been spent trying to figure out my WHY. I can’t stand ‘going through the motions’ anymore, everyday. I told my partner yesterday that every day I wake up and go to work, it feels like I’m going to prison. I figured out that I want to make people laugh and help protect the environment. They’re two things that I feel within me are part of why I’m here – but how to start? Is it feasible? Can you make a living out of doing stand-up for dolphins? (kidding). But seriously, thank you for your post – it’s given me a much-needed poke to not give up on the incessant voice in my heart that tells me I was put here for a reason and to do great things. I just don’t have a clear roadmap of the ‘what’ or the ‘how’ – I’m off to go do your workbook – hopefully there might be some clarity for me there. Thank you for following your own passion – what you’re doing IS making a difference.

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      Thank you Camilla-both for the kind words and for deciding to speak up! So glad you’re along for the ride.

      And CONGRATS on realizing it can be better. I’ve actually never heard the prison analogy–not bad! Scary but powerful. If the thought of prison doesn’t get you to act, I don’t know what will ;)

      Awesome that you know the two ways you want to spend your time. That’s the biggest part of the battle. Now the fun stuff is finding a way to make it reality. One exercise that I’ve found really helpful whenever you have something you really care about (i.e. the environment) and powerful personality trait (i.e. making people laugh), is to focus on all the possible ways to help the cause that perk your interest and then just lay boatloads of your personality trait on top. A simple example could be a park ranger who gives park tours to kids. The ranger could just approach the tours with unreal energy, excitement, fun and humor which would in turn make the kids much more interested and happy and make them more likely to do something with what they learned.

      Think Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter or Gary Vaynerchuk with Wine. Personality+cause = massive impact!

      Have fun with it!

  • http://yournucleardreams.com Dominic

    Hey Scott!

    Thanks for this apt reminder that everything we do has to stem from a purposeful and compelling reason. I believe it’s the “why” part that is able to make our work awesome, impactful and remarkable and different from whatever else the crowd is producing.

    It’s also true that at the bottom of it, people don’t really care about the numbers and figures, but more on the purpose and motivation behind a vision or a cause. That is something that is worth fighting and even dying for.

    As for myself, my cause and calling is to help others to live out their best through discovering and developing their dreams and passions. I must say that I’m pretty inspired and encouraged by whatever you’re doing…keep it up…your work matters and the world needs to hear it. Cheers! ;)

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      We see the world the same way Dominic. Congrats on what you’re building–we need as many of you guys as we can get!!

  • http://armilegge.com Armi Legge

    Scott I love it!
    no one should ever do anything without being able to answer “Why”. Its the foundation for all our motives and goals. however, we have to make sure that our goals are going to bring us happiness. If we ask “why” and we answer “because XYZ makes us a better person”, that’s not enough. We have to understand why XYZ makes us better and why we’re doing everything.

    Great post!
    -armi legge

    • http://liveyourlegend.net Scott

      Ha. You’re right. Ask the Why about the Why. Good point!

  • http://www.drewdagostino.com Drew D’Agostino

    Hey Scott,

    Your comment about how your “why” keeps you up at night and makes you wake up before your alarm really struck me.

    I’ve felt that before. It’s powerful and addicting. It hasn’t been for a big, overarching life goal like “helping people love their work” though, just individual projects with short bursts of passion.

    I’m giving myself 10 months to put my “why” into specific words. Then I’m diving in. I can’t wait to immerse myself into one goal.

    On a side note, thanks for making your blog so easy to follow. Your style of packing so much value into one article per week is risky, but you’re getting really good at it, and I honestly look forward to reading. This is one of the only blogs which I actively seek out new posts, rather than being reminded of them through email.

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  • http://www.bodytalklifestyle.com.au Lynn Guilhaus

    Hi Scott,

    I’ve only been a subscriber of your blog for a short while but already have had a few ahah’s. This is a great post and after watching the video of Simon Sinek I can see why you’re so impressed by him.

    Over the last 15 years I’ve read a squillion self-help books and been pursuing the adventures on my Bucket List. You see I had a very large brain tumour in 1996 and without realising, made a silent pact to myself to live life to the full and to be an inspiration to my kids. They were 2 and 5 at the time.

    Long story short I recently started a business offering massage (it helped heaps in my recovery), personal training and lifestyle coaching to help people stay active but couldn’t clearly articulate why I was offering it.

    After reading your article today, the WHY became so much clearer and I spent a couple of hours writing my first-ever blog on how to reclaim our power after a big life change so we can live our dreams. It’s not published yet, but I’ll let you know! Thanks for your gifts. They do travel to the other side of the world! (Australia)

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  • http://www.pesawaterbang.wordpress.com miy

    what if the ‘Why’ would only benefit me? not other people? is it okay?

  • anne baker

    would like a copy of the workbook

  • Maria

    I would like a copy of the workbook.

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  • Daniel Diaz

    I am very compelled of getting to know your vision, and I feel very identified with it. You caught my attention immediately when I read one of your articles in The Passion Test website and felt that I needed to know more about your vision. I am researching constantly on how to squeeze the most juice out of life from diverse sources such as Napoleon Hill, Daniel Goleman, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, etc. I believe you are a true inspiration. Your writing style shows true passion about your articles. I just became a huge fan of your articles. From now on I will first ask WHY?

    Thanks

    Daniel

  • A Stephenson

    Do you even know why you’re doing what you’re doing?

    Yes, to pay the mortgage and buy food.

    That’s it.

  • Paris

    A gem from that talk: “What you do is the proof of what you believe.” So important and so true! Thanks!

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  • ahmad

    love your website and follow it often. just didn’t like the image you put for this post… prevented me from sharing it with others. #justsaying…still keep up the great work scott :-)

  • http://kellymagelky.com/photos/index.asp brand

    i think its very nice site!

  • Sion Cable

    I tried to join but I never received anything by mail to confirm my subscription. Please help!

  • Guest

    Please remove or change the picture of the woman at the top af this article….

    I love the article, however, the picture at top is offensive to modest people, and I want to recommend this site to my family and community, but I cannot until that picture is removed or changed.

    Thank you,

    Janos-Mordechai Kralik

  • Janos

    To site moderator:

    Please remove or change the photo of the woman at the top of this article.

    It is offensive to people who respect modesty and keeps me from sharing the amazing wisdom and powerful tools this site offers.

    Thank you,
    Janos

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  • strive4impact

    For 2 years I embodied my why.

    It didn’t pay financially, but it paid in every other way.

    While I was emobodying my why:

    – I felt great.
    – My business fell apart.
    – My income fell apart.
    – Google changed the rules

    And now I’m back to doing things for finances, rather than my why.

    I spent 4 months job hunting, being told by the 400+ jobs that I actually applied for that I was overqualified.

    So now I’m working for a friend, and have been stuck here for a year. But
    I have the job in order to achieve real estate goals (have to have the
    job to qualify for the loans we want to get for the cash flow real
    estate we want), and even then, the real estate process has been
    heartbreaking and felt to be moving at the speed of molasses on a flat
    surface during a Canadian blizzard.

    If my why doesn’t pay financially, it doesn’t work.

    I don’t know how to get my why to pay – at least not in a way that is
    significant financially – at least not in a way that lets me do the
    kinds of things I want to do.

    It hurts my heart every day.

    The people I’ve reached out to for help (the people who actually have the
    answers I need/want – rather than those who think they have the answers)
    want to charge me $250/hour for consulting – and those sessions have
    achieved very little for me.

    I’ve lost my belief, and I don’t know how to get it back.

    I completed your questions workbook… but it doesn’t really seem to
    matter… I’ve built a trap, and it seems I’m the only one who can get
    out of it, because I’m the one who built the trap.

    But I don’t know the way out, and I don’t want out if it just means more heartbreak
    that things don’t change, that people don’t change, and that the world
    doesn’t get better.

    I see that it does get better, people do change and improve, and that things do change, but I’m unable to do anything to grasp it for me in a way that’s meaningful financially.

    Evenif I do make it meaningful financially, it is affected by the whims of Google, the desires of large companies who perceive me as a threat when I really want to support their mission, and the people around who perceive that their reality is reality, rather than just their reality.

    Of course there’s a long back story behind all of this…

    I don’t even know why I’m writing this. It seems it doesn’t matter anyway.

    Iwould like to be the hopeful and optimistic person I am at my core, but right now I just want to say “Not Cool Robert Frost” about the Road Less Traveled. Not Cool at All.

    I feel a part of me wanting to migrate over to that road of mediocrity – I want that part of me to jump off of a very tall building and land with a very loud and satisfying splat.

    The world needs my voice – my enthusiasm, my care, and my insight.

    But it seems to not want to pay me for it… at least not in a way that’s meaningful.

    And if that’s the case… then at least with mediocrity I end up comfortable.

    But it’s not what I want. I want and believe in abundance… it’s just that the path to get there is so unclear to me now.

    What a rant… I’m stopping now.

  • Guest

    I wasn’t able to open the “Why Discovery Course” link. I’m not sure if other people are having this problem, but it may be worth checking on.

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  • Oren

    Your post reminds me of the “He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How” Nietzsche quote that Viktor Frankl uses in his “Man’s Search For Meaning”.

    Not sure if you’ve read about Frankl and his ideas (Logotherapy) – but it is very much in tune with the theme of your movement, in that people need a sense of purpose/meaning… a “why”, so to speak.

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  • http://getreadingnow.org Jackie Paulson

    Your post is so awe inspiring. I can relate to the “work feels like going to prison.” I quit my job in July was feeling like an un-creative ROBOT.
    They-work-culture-corporations have a “proven system” that is suppose to work, blah blah blah.
    I happen to be a very multi talented person whom can multi task as an expert! How do I turn that into my passionate profession? Then I have about five other interests, law, security, organizing, reading books and doing book reviews…
    I also have a skin or face condition that keeps me at home…I am on a holistic method to cure myself, this has been going on for 7 years…I have worked jobs but deep down not happy or self confident and don’t show it.
    I am in college full time at age 47, raised my daughter first she is 49. I was a single mom and did it all alone, and owned a barber shop. I worked three other part time jobs too.
    I will will have my bachelors in tech business mgmt in Aug and hope it leads to something.
    So how do I wrap all that above into ONE things? I think it’s not even possible. My baby step was going back to college. I have read all of the above comments and enjoyed reading them as well., chime in anyone to help me i am going to make 2014 the best EVER.

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  • Great info Thanks. Why Discovery Course link is broken.

    Great info. Listened to the Ted talk. Why Discovery Course link is broken!!

  • Sara Barnson

    I’m new to the Live Your Legend family, and I am incredibly inspired and empowered by everything I read here. I would like to share who I am, what drives me, and how this article is life-changing to me. In case you’re wondering why this is so long, I just got the “Congrats on Joining the Revolution!” email that says, and I quote, “As a member of our tribe we ask that you [...] share your thoughts and struggles in the comments”.

    Ask and ye shall receive.

    I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Everything that I am stems from my beliefs, and for most things I carefully evaluate whether it is consistent with my beliefs, values, and standards. What I say, what I do, who I spend time with and even what I read are all chosen to reflect and magnify the deep love I have for my God and my religion.

    For some reason, this excluded my work.

    My passion, my dream, my deepest desire is to one day be a mother. Being a parent is a sacred responsibility to me, as I believe that families are forever. For a number of religious reasons, and after much research into physiology and biology and history, I believe that it is best for mothers to be with or available for their children, especially young children and infants, the majority of the time. This will be a priority when I become a mother, because I believe that it is vitally important to the spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual development of children.

    (As a side note, it’s part of why I believe so strongly in what you’re doing here – while there is no question that eventual motherhood is my passion, I believe that there are other things I could be passionate about in careerdom. Pursuing those as an entrepreneur would make it possible for me to be the mother I want to be and still have a career.)

    For the last eight and a half months I have been working as a nanny. I took the job to save up to go on an LDS mission, to share my love for my God with others who need it. However, nannying as a job choice does not reflect my most passionate belief: that children need their mothers. This has weighed on me from day one, and no matter what happiness I find in my work or how much heart I put in it, it overshadows my efforts.

    Reading this article has finished convincing me to find a different way to earn money for my mission, one which is consistent with my beliefs and which I am passionate about. I tend to start rationalizing myself out of big decisions like this, and I made the decision to quit this last Sunday… Only to find myself rationalizing the decision away more and more each day, even though I know that this is what I want and even need in order to open up my world and progress.

    No more excuses or balking from change for me. Every ‘what’ in my life must be consistent with my ‘why’. Thank you for all that you do to bring this message to people. I am one tiny part of why LiveYourLegend matters, and for me this matters in a life-changing, all-encompassing way. What you are doing matters more, I think, than the human mind can quantify or fully comprehend.

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