The 3 Simple (& Absolutely Required) Steps to Doing Work You Love: Live Your Legend’s Passionate Work Framework
“If I had a one-line employment form, it’d say, ‘Are you passionate about what you do?’ because it works.”
– Warren Buffett
Why Live Your Legend Exists
At Live Your Legend, we believe that it’s not only possible, but crucial, that everyone spends their time doing the work that makes them come alive.
80% of the people around us don’t enjoy their work. Our current environment encourages complacency. It keeps us from doing what matters.
This is a tragedy.
That’s why I started working on this stuff so long ago (over a decade), and why I first set out to create this community at Live Your Legend.
For all of us who believe differently, we have a place to come and belong. To get support and to give it. To inspire each other.
To participate in the ideas and practices that make loving your work actually possible.
If we can get this right, we can change the world. And indeed, thanks to all of you, we already are. But there’s so much more this community is capable of. I’ll get to that in a minute.
That’s what I want to talk about today – taking things to a new level.
A Rare Approach to a Common Problem
There are a ton of websites talking about pursuing your dreams, loving your work, quitting your job, finding and following your passion and doing the best with this one life. I hate to say it’s starting to sound like a broken record, but it kind of is – and that’s a good thing. We need a lot of people fighting the good fight with us!
I imagine hundreds more get launched daily or weekly. Some of these sites are fantastically useful. Many of them are not.
But at Live Your Legend, we take a very different approach.
First off, we measure our success based on impact and engagement, not on revenue, subscriber growth or any other easily quantifiable metric.
This site is only successful if it creates meaningful change for our community. That is the only goal. That’s why I do my best to read every comment and email that comes in and respond to as many as I can (although the sheer quantity has made it no longer possible to reply to every single one).
Simply put, I want to help.
If we get this right, I believe all the numbers will work out just fine.
So while we do our best to infuse inspiration into every post, what guides our work and our writing is one question: Will this content be directly useful, practical and actionable?
That’s why you may notice that while the average blog post on the web might be a few hundred words, the ones here are often a few thousands. We write less often, but have a diehard focus on insane usefulness, not fluff.
This dedication is also why you’ll see us pour our heart into creating 5-, 10- or 20-page workbooks, as well as the Should I Quit Test, LYL Local and lots more free tools to further that goal. We offer these 100% for free to all who decide to join our community. They are all a part of the Passionate Work Tool Kit. As long as you keep finding value in this stuff, we’ll keep creating it.
The rule is simple: if it’s not going to allow you to take action, it doesn’t get published.
But that’s just the start.
At Live Your Legend, we take a holistic approach to doing work you love. It is not just about finding a new job or career or starting a business. Doing work you love is a way of life, and that’s how we approach it.
In all my reading, research and client work, I’ve found there are three components that are requirements for passionate work:
Knowing Yourself & Self-Experimentation
Doing the Impossible
Surrounding Yourself with Passionate People
I call this The Passionate Work Framework – and it’s what makes up the secret sauce at LYL.
It is impossible to do work you love without thoroughly embracing these three concepts. This is how we’ve approached it since the beginning, yet it took three weeks exploring Turkey with nine friends to actually distill it down. Another reason why I travel…
Everything we write, create and do, somehow comes back to these three pillars.
That’s the core of what makes our community different.
So let’s break this down a little bit (as well as talk about some big things to come)…
First, to give you the proper background, be sure to check out out TEDx Talk on How to Find and Do Work You love. It’s been watched over 2 million times and covers all three steps of The Passionate Work Framework…
Now let’s break it down…
The Passionate Work Framework: 3 Simple (& Absolutely Required) Steps to Doing Work You Love
Here’s a video I shot to expand upon and apply each of the three pillars. Please take some time to give it a watch, and then read the three-step Framework breakdown below it…
1. Become a Self Expert: Know Yourself & Self-Experimentation
You must know who you are, what you’re good at, what values you hold highest, what you enjoy doing and what you absolutely hate. I call this “The Compass”, hence our logo. This comes from massive introspection (journaling, reading, self-guided education, asking the right questions) and constant experimentation. This is not something you learn in a book. You extract it from your life experiences. The more experiences, the better.
When it doubt, keep learning and experimenting.
In 2011, I spent hundreds of hours creating a course principally dedicated to this pillar (it covers the others as well, but it must start with #1). The course is Live Off Your Passion. That same year, we were honored to see it win the #1 Personal Development Product of 2011 (thanks to so many of you!). We’ve done over half a dozen major upgrades since then, and I still firmly believe that it is hands down the most comprehensive and directly useful course of its kind on the web. This is our flagship course, and it is designed to provide you the path for finding your passion and building a career around it. So far it’s done that for thousands of our community members – have a look at some of their stories via the links below.
If you haven’t checked it out recently, I suggest you do. You can read all the course details here. And as always, you’re welcome to try it risk-free. Like everything at LYL, it comes with a guarantee I fully stand behind: If you complete the course and don’t start doing work you love in 90 days or less, you get your money back, and I’ll coach you for free. I want you to be successful, simple as that.
2. Do Your Impossible
Most people don’t believe it’s possible to do work they love and get paid good money for doing things they’re good at and enjoy. In fact, society trains us that a lot of unbelievably fulfilling things can’t be done. So we have to brainwash ourselves otherwise. Because when we do things we didn’t think we could do, it puts our thinking on a whole new level. This goes for every walk of life, and the best place I’ve found to start is with your physical body – with exercise and nutrition.
One, because it’s totally in your control. No matter what happens in a day, you can always decide to get out on that workout or choose that salad over the fries – no one can take that from you. And two, because overcoming our own perceived physical impossibilities gives us confidence that is directly transferable to the rest of our life – be it business, relationships or whatever. If you got yourself to lose 50 pounds in six months, then who’s to say you couldn’t double your business’s sales next year?
Showing yourself you can do things you used to write off as impossible has a confidence compounding effect on our life like no other.
That’s why I do things like swim from Alcatraz with a group of 12-year-olds, sign up for events like The Goruck Challenge and attempt to run a 50-mile ultra marathon in 2013 (without still ever having run a sanctioned marathon). Okay, by “run 50 miles”, I mean hobble. I got 12th to last place and came in at 13hrs 48 minutes, barely making it under the 14-hour cutoff. But I did it! And that completely changed my belief of what I was capable of.
It’s also why fitness is my #1 priority and why our official partner charity is impossible2Possible, a youth charity that takes teens on insane physical and educational adventures around the world to show what they’re actually capable of. A portion of all LYL’s income goes to their cause.
We can be more of who we are when we put bodies and minds first. We must train ourselves that most limits are mental. We do that by turning them into milestones. Whether it’s finishing that first mile, writing that first chapter or making that first call – we must stack up proof that we can do what we used to tell ourselves we couldn’t. Then limits disappear.
*Update from Scott: A reader recently brought to my attention that this pillar might not be sensitive to those with physical disabilities or conditions out of their control. I am sorry if it came off that way. It certainly was not my intention. Doing the impossible does not have to be about running an ultra-marathon. It just has to be something seemingly impossible to you. What others do makes no difference. If that means taking one step, lifting one weight, writing one sentence or making one phone call, that’s all that matters. As long as you’re pushing your own limits, you are doing your part and you will reap the benefit. This applies to everyone, and of course every situation will define impossible differently. Sorry for any confusion, guys.
To get a little extra dose of inspiration to what’s possible, watch this video of Kyle Maynard climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with no arms and no legs.
Now that’s what I call brainwashing the impossible!
And to really do this right…
3. Surround Yourself with Passionate People
The fastest way to do the things you don’t think can be done is to start hanging around people already doing it.
Simple as that. The people around you change everything. There is no bigger life hack. That is why creating genuine connections is such a huge part of our foundation here.
The best thing about this is that, just like doing seemingly impossible physical and mental challenges, whom you surround yourself with is 100% in your control. I swear if there were only one single piece of advice I could give to someone looking to find and do work they love, or to do anything meaningful for that matter, it would be to find new friends – or to find the right friends. The fastest way to change your results is to change your environment. That’s it.
The people next to you have a much bigger impact than most people realize. They will either kill your dreams or make them all but guaranteed.
If you’re not inspired by them, then do something about it.
At LYL, we facilitate genuine connection in two major ways.
This includes an online membership, weekly interactive multimedia modules, placement into custom mastermind teams and group coaching all to teach you to surround yourself with the peers, mentors and influencers who refuse to let you fail. Connect With Anyone has been the most world-changing course we’ve created for our community to date (based on user results). And it’s now only open a couple times a year strictly by referral and invitation.
This has quickly become the most proud project of my life. And you’ll soon know why.
I believe we’re at the head of a global connection and belonging crisis, and I think online social networks have a ton to do with it. They’re incredibly useful and powerful if used in the right way, but so much of the world is turning toward the Internet instead of real world in-person connection. This is not healthy and certainly not sustainable.
So we’ve created a network of in-person communities in over 150 cities and 48 countries around the world that meet on a monthly basis to help each other find and do work they love. They are all run by our host volunteers – members of this community who are just like you.
And the best part? It’s 100% free to be a part of!
LYL Local is a non-commercial project because I believe that surrounding yourself with inspiring, supportive people in the real world is a fundamental right.
Now, you have to check out one of the most proud moments of my adult life. Behold the LYL Local Global Dance Party Music Video!
This is why we call our LYL movement here a Revolution…
The Community Makes Everything Possible
So that’s the framework, but none of this means anything without our community. The people around us change everything, and you are those people.
This is where I always want to make the biggest change/enhancement/improvements in the years to come.
Live Your Legend measures success based on impact. That means the more community interaction, the more cross-inspiration and the more connecting we can do with one another, the more we can be successful – and the more those around us (and ourselves) can believe this vision of living off our passion can be possible.
Up until today, the spotlight has been mainly on my work, and then you get to digest it and comment on your experience, whether on the site, via email, Twitter, etc. This is a good start for change, but it’s too one-sided for me.
I want the spotlight to be on all of you and how we can inspire each other to operate on new levels.
A dedicated and important member of our community, Paul, said it perfectly when he commented on our World Domination Summit recap:
I wanted to tell you that it is posts like these that are my own personal World Domination Summit. It is you and your materials that show me that there are others like me here, and inspire me to keep pushing to discover my true self and my true calling. For those of us who are still on the path of finding our passions, of finding our true selves, thank you so much for bringing the lessons you learned to us. I know without a doubt it is things like this that will get me to my tipping point to have that ah-hah moment, and I sincerely thank you for it. – Paul
Here was my response:
Wow, Paul. Thank you for this. More than anything, my biggest goal with Live Your Legend is to provide a community where all of us who believe what we do, about doing work that matters and putting our dent in the world, have a place to come and belong. To inspire and be inspired. To raise our own standards and those of everyone around us to do things that make the difference. You are a huge part of that. It goes both ways! -Scott
This is one of the most rewarding comments I’ve ever received.
Because it embodies our most fundamental reason for doing what we do here.
But Paul should not have been thanking me (although I certainly appreciate the note). He should have been thanking all of you. And perhaps without knowing it, he was.
Because without you, there is nothing.
But with you all, crazy things are possible.
And because of you, that’s exactly what’s happening. If you don’t believe me, watch that LYLL video up there one more time.
I could not be more grateful.
Know yourself, do the impossible and surround yourself with passionate people.
That’s the formula – our unavoidable framework. That’s what it all comes back to at Live Your Legend.
But none of it works without the people. They can move mountains or they can chain you to your basement floor.
You all have shown me more peaks than you realize, and I can’t believe we’re just getting started.
And in case I don’t say it enough, thank you for making all this possible.
It means more than you realize.
There are big things to come,
P.S. What would make this community more valuable to you? Tell us in the comments!