the one scary important question

“The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he poses the right questions.”

- Claude Levi-Strauss

Today I have one very important question for you to answer for yourself – and for me – but let’s first start with a little background, because…

The Right Questions Can Change Everything

My first job out of college was pretty much a disaster. It was mostly monkey work and not useful for me or my employer. It took me about a month to realize how poor the fit was and then another six for me to finally decide to leave.

That was right around when I heard Warren Buffett’s unorthodox advice:

“Taking a job just to build a resume is like saving up sex for old age.”

That made the decision a little easier.

I left with one goal in mind: I wanted to find something I could screw up.

That’s how bad it was. I desperately wanted to have some type of an impact. I wanted to know that the work I did had the potential to actually make a difference.

That’s also about when I discovered the data from Deloitte (and later Gallup) showing that about 80% of people in the working world don’t like their job or are “actively disengaged.”

Then I started asking the one question that changed everything for me.

It was simple:

“What was it that the other 20% had in common?”

And who was I going to ask to find out?

So that’s where the quest began.

I figured there must be some set of principles, strategies, beliefs, actions or whatever that these “lucky few” had in common that allowed them to wake up excited and ready to make a difference in the world.

It was the search for these answers that taught me The Passionate Work Framework and eventually gave birth to the Revolution we’re all leading at Live Your Legend.

Nearly a decade ago, this relentless pursuit caused everything to change.

And it all started with a simple question.

So that got me thinking…

We All Have Our Own One Question – Right Now

Many of our questions might sound similar, but we each have ones that are unique to who we are and where we are right this second.

First, that must be identified, then addressed to keep us making progress.

So what’s your question?

That’s all I ask of you today.

Right now, what one question do you need answered to get you closer to making the difference you want to make? To doing work that actually excites you?

And who would you ideally like to ask?

Because, once you know what you need, you might realize the person capable of helping is closer than you think.

Because People Want to Help…

That’s the curiously nice thing about humans. We’re hard-wired to lend a hand to one another. And the easier and more obvious the issue, the more likely people are to jump at the chance to help move someone closer to victory. I’m sure you’ve done the same for others plenty of times. Few things feel better than helping someone with a problem you’re uniquely good at solving when you know they really need and appreciate it.

But that’s impossible if we don’t ask. And especially if we’ve never thought about what to ask in the first place.  

The challenge is that we often never take the time to stop, wake up and identify the question, let alone have a chance at the answer or to connect with the people here to help us find it. And as it turns out, this community of 50,000+ is eager to help and be helped. Everyone is.

I know, asking is scary.

That’s why most never do it. Because once we admit to ourselves (and the world) that we’re facing a challenge, we begin to feel more obligation to tackle it. And that added commitment is the whole damn point.

It’d be much easier to continue living blind. But what kind of life is that?

Certainly not one that you have any interest in if you’re a part of our Revolution here.

So this is what I ask of you today. Give yourself the space to ask.

What’s the one question you’d love to have the answer to in order to take the next step? Maybe you don’t know how to create or launch a product, leave a job, talk to your boss, deal with the stress, find a mentor, or choose the right task management tool. Whatever it is, anything is fair game.

Just be honest with yourself.

And for bonus points, let us know specifically who you’d like to get the answer from. Or at least the type of person.

Tell us in the comments and your response will also help me with some new tools and workshops we’re looking to build for you all in the coming months.

But most importantly, answer it for yourself – right now.

Because as soon as you identify the question, we can get to work at finding the solution. There are more people out there waiting to help than you probably realize.

Give us permission.


P.S. Wanna know my one question right now? I just left it in the comments. Come have a look!

Photo taken during a beach run in SF. That bench is my favorite seat in town! See more on Instagram.

  • Scott

    Ok I’ll kick it off…

    My question: Simple. What new topic, tool or answer can I provide for you to get you closer to doing what matters? :)

    Who I’d like to ask: Well, you of course!

    This community is only useful to the extent you share what will make the biggest difference for you. And then you and I both do something about it.

    So have at it! We’re all ears…

    • Kayla Waldorff

      I would like the resources and workshops you are mentioning. I am interested in career development and the need to make a difference in the world. I am involved with this program at the University of Florida that approaches the question: how are we going to feed the projected population nine billion people by the year 2050? I think about this question a lot with the questions of how can I make an impact and with the things I want to do, how will I fund myself? I would love to be able to do exactly what I want in the world without having to worry about money.

      • ScrewtheSystemJoe

        Think that’s what we all want – being able to do exactly what we want without having to worry about money.
        That project sounds great. There are few causes on this plant that are worthier than tackling our future impending environmental crisis and problems like overpopulation and lack of food. Got to change this system we live in.

    • Rachel Z Cornell

      Since you asked… I think if you answer the below question you will have your answer to what you should provide.

      “What’s the topic, tool or answer you wish was around to help you (Scott) get EVEN CLOSER to doing what matters? What’s the next thing you need to keep moving on your path?”

      You built what you needed into this thriving community. What you need next is probably what others need next as well.

    • rakesh rana

      sir how we can find the ways to find our passion .don’t we have some scientific method aor some easy method?

      • Matt

        This is also the biggest question for myself. This site has been a great resource (thank-you for that, Scott) and I plan on exploring further. Passion and purpose are my biggest unknowns, with no small amount of time dedicated to pursuing the answers.

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  • Chris Silvini

    The question I really need answered is how do I get myself noticed by the right people in order to break into the film and television industries as a writer. I know the advice is always “if you want to write, you just have to write” but if you want to make a career out of it you have to be noticed. Where do I start?

    • Robert

      Chris, live isn’t about goals and achievements, it’s all about creating a magnificent “symphony” you absolutely enjoy from the beginning to the end.

      If you love writing, then simply do it – do it for the pure joy you get out of it, for the joy of giving something new and unique to others. Be yourself – 100% – in everything: your writing, your style, the way you approach people…

      Don’t try to copy anyone, don’t worry what others may think or say about you and your writing, just master the art of being yourself. That way, you fill a void in the universe, because if you are not 100% yourself, something is missing – you can’t fill that void by trying to copy other successful writers – of course, you can learn from them, but don’t try to be like them, be like you.

      That way, people will become aware of you, they will start listening to what you have to say, they will want more from you…

      And the goals and achievements you desire will come naturally and effortless. But don’t get too focused on achieving specific future goals, fully enjoy your “dance” in the here and now and your goals will take care of themselves.

      • Adam


        Awesome comment there man, very true, something I need to be more aware of in my own life. I have only recently come to the conclusion / turning point in my own life where I have realized I have been living my life ‘to do’ something. Some external goal or that doing the next ‘thing’ will make me happy.

        Along the way I forgot to actually enjoy what I do and got so lost doing things to make myself appear successful instead of enjoying my life. I really like your analogy that life is a dance and you need to enjoy that dance, makes me think a lot.

        Great Stuff!

      • Rachel Z Cornell

        I’m with Robert, in that you create what you create for the love of creating it. If part of that love is the desire to have as many people as possible enjoy your work, then getting noticed might be a piece of that joy. If it is, the two questions I asked earlier remain important.

      • Paolo


        Be AUTHENTIC. :)

    • Sally

      Hi Chris,

      My advice would be to enter competitions. I once wrote a short film script for fun, (for a local competition). It got short listed and one of the judges was from a TV production company. He believed that I “should have won,” (even though the other judges disagreed and chose another script), told me to keep writing and offered to help me connect with the right people. I didn’t do it, but it’s not what I really want to do so it was the right decision for me. That shows how easily it can happen though! All the best to you.

    • Rachel Z Cornell


      1. What advice would you give me if I just asked your same question?

      2. Are you success ready? IF you were to get noticed today, are you ready? Let’s say I have someone in the industry to introduce you to, are you ready for the introduction?

      • Pooja

        Rachel, love the way you get to the core of the “issue”.

        Like they say, when the student is ready, the master appears.

        You got to be success-ready for it to appear also.


  • Steve Roy

    I have recently relaunched my blog after 2 years away, which is in the same niche as yours. I am struggling with finding the best direction for me to head in. When I started it, I ranted about the 9-5 being the bane of my existence, but now that I’ve quit and am doing work I love, I am having a hard time focusing on the best way to move forward.

    I admire and respect your work here and would love to hear any feedback you many have.

    • Pooja

      Hey Steve,

      Congratulations on your blog and being able to do the work you love! :)

      To answer your question, can you speak to your readers about the “HOW” of it? Your ideal reader is probably stuck in a 9-5 rut, so tell them how they can move out.

      Share strategies and tips (that you applied hands-on).

      How about inviting others and interviewing them on your blog? If you’re a natural speaker, how about hosting podcasts (I’ve recently launched my first podcast series and loved it)?

      Or how about reviewing books or other products that help people start their own business?

      How about finding inspiring case studies and real-life stories of people and bringing them on your blog? Jonathan Fields does a lot of this on video.

      There are unlimited ways to move ahead — the question is, which one speaks to you?


      • Steve Roy

        Thanks for the response. I wrote for my site from 2010-2012 and it was all about getting out of the 9-5. I did have a Podcast, which was fun and used guest posts/stories quite a lot.

        I am a big fan of Jonathan Fields and your other suggestions make sense as well. Have a lot of thinking to do…

  • Karen

    Two questions: “Will I regret doing nothing ten years from now?” The answer is usually “yes”. Second question is “If my dreams don’t come true, who is the only one to blame?” And the answer is always “me”. Reminds me to stay on the course I set for myself and keep pushing forward.

  • Jen

    How do if find work I am passionate about?

    Please, anyone can answer!

    My current strategy is to give anything that comes along a go… But the process of elimination is a slow, disempowering strategy. There’s got to be a better way.

    • Lora Frost

      Hi Jen,

      Have you downloaded Scott’s 27 questions to find your passion workbook? (I believe the link is at the top of the page.)

      Also what if you looked at letting go of things as an empowering thing, as a way of getting one step closer to finding your passion.

      One way you could do this is by stating your intention out loud to yourself in the morning, by saying “Today I am excited to find what lights me up”. If that feels awkward to say reword it in a way that resonates with you.

    • Penny

      I can’t answer that for you Jen, however may I ask you a question that might help you find your answer?

      If you won 20 million dollars and did not have to work to pay your bills how would you spend your days? if that question doesn’t work, then what subjects or topics get you most heated and cause you to defend them or speak up on the issue(s)?

      That is where your passion lays.

      • Thomas

        I think a more precise question to ask yourself is if you won 20 million today, but were forced to continue contributing to society at you best, what would you choose to do?

    • RJ

      Hi Jen,

      about 15 years ago I asked this same question to a good friend of mine. he is a true entrepreneur at heart and asked me this: “what is something you really enjoyed when you were younger?” my passions when I was younger were animals, creating and photography. I started a pet sitting business that led to designing pet products which I LOVED but didn’t have enough financial backing. Now I’m pursuing something in photography to see if I can get it to stick :) those things that I had a passion in way back when are still raging within me now at the great age of 45! Explore them all until you find your niche. Best wishes to you on this journey.

    • David

      I’m right there with you, Jen. I worked a few jobs through high school and college, a couple jobs since college, and now I’m finishing a master’s degree in a field I likely won’t stay in. When interests are more lukewarm than passionate, it’s hard to find something you want to turn into a career. We’ll get there someday, though!

      • Thomas

        Sounds a bit mundane, David! But still, I’m right there with you. I think the most important thing to remember is that happiness comes from within. And with that said lets just make sure we at least don’t regret our health or habits.

    • Kevin

      Think about all of your interests. Which one would you give anything to do? Which one are you willing to make sacrifices for?

    • Caitlin

      Have you read the desire map by Danielle laporte? It is a pretty neat book even if you have read a lot of self improvement like I have. She makes you explore how you ultimately want to feel and there’s a lot of questions to answer in the book. It helps you think a bit and hopefully gets you a little more aligned with yourself. Keep exploring, fantasize, and most of all enjoy the journey. Try not to stress. Eckhart tolle says that we are here to enjoy our time and become more awakened. We can chase outer purposes but our inner purpose is as simple as that. That’s from A new earth, a book I also highly recommend.

  • Natacha

    I first thought of some technical/strategical question but it didn’t resonate with me.
    My real real question is: What do you want help with/what do you struggle with in our life? and I want to ask it to my future clients/blog readers so I can help more and better with my coaching skills!!
    Great post Scott!!

  • Etienne

    How to build LOCAL LYL in Montreal ?

    How to get other people to make room in their lives ?

    • Etienne

      How to replace this black box with my picture ?

      • Jeremy

        Haha… Go to!

    • Anna

      Great on you, just go for it, I bet you have done scariest things in life already. And from being on the other side- more people in Montreal probably asks “How can I find and surround myself with cool, driven and motivated people?”
      Decide in your heart, put the note in a local shop, facebook,, tell your friends.
      They will make room, because they are looking for meet ups like that :) Just like me. I would love to help you.
      Go for it, keeping fingers crossed for you here.

    • Kevin

      People will not be making room in their lives for you, they will be making room in their lives for them. You don’t need to do anything besides let people know the benefits that will unfold for them.

  • orianna felicity

    question: how do i get my family to realize that my passion for my job is more important than how much money i earn???

    my parents believe that the only way to suceed in life is to graduate college (which i did but i HATE my degree field and refuse to work in it, making my diploma essentially useless) and get a 9-5 weekday job that makes good (read: well above minimum wage) money. who cares if you hate it, hate your boss, are stressed to the max, require extra meds/hospitalization for it (which is why i ended up leaving my crap job) because you earn good money. that’s all they seem to care about: money. yes it’s important, but that’s not my end goal; it’s part of the process. eg: i decided to go back to school for something that interests me, gender studies. the first thing my mom said was “can you make money from that???” i just want them to “get it”: that if i don’t do something i love/care about then i’m gonna have a miserable life, no matter how “wealthy” i am.

    • Freddy

      Hey Orianna! First, maybe you can show her Scott’s TED Talk. Second, you can maybe step up and tell her what you believe and why, in a polite manner. If she rejects your beliefs, just do what you want anyway. You will be happier. Whats the worst that could happen? You ROCK!

    • Kevin

      Ultimately it is your life, not your parents. You just have to explain to them that you are willing to sacrifice some money so that you can be happy, and if they do not understand that, then that’s their problem and not yours. If you are miserable in a job, then you will not be able to sustain your success, and you will eventually fail. If you love your job, then you can become a master at it, and eventually people will give you a lot of money to do what you do.

    • Rachel


      I am in the same place you are in. I went to school and got a degree in chemistry, which I hated, but had no other choice because my parents told me if I didn’t get a degree, they wouldn’t support me financially and I had no money of my own because they never allowed me to get a job in high school. I eventually went to work at a job that I hated and was absolutely miserable at. It took me 3.5 years (and a LOT of pain and tears) to finally quit.

      I’m now headed to culinary school, which is what I have wanted to do since I was in high school, but my parents think its a waste of money. I’m finally following my passions that I had as a little kid by writing cookbooks and trail running books, but my parents still don’t see me as a success because I’m not following their plan. I have had to distance myself from them, and it has been hard, but if I am around them too long I start to doubt myself and I become very unhappy. It hurts like crazy to not have your parents support you, but it hurts even worse to not follow your heart. Be strong, Orianna. Your parents will eventually come around to see how happy you are because you followed your passions.

      Best of luck to you!

  • Abby

    I just want to desperately know if I’m good enough. I’ve been struggling for years working on my own and in university getting critiques not exactly tailored to make me better at what I want to do. I’m doing a fine arts degree but I want to be an animator/game designer/comic artist. So for the past 4 years I’ve been soaking up as much as I can from this degree but I don’t know if getting this degree for the sake of having one was the right decision. I always hear oh you’re good/amazing! Never really what I could be doing to get better. I know I just need to practice more and work more, but I don’t have that mentor who can tell me when I’m at the right level to be able to get a job. I’m stuck in this hole where I want that critique but fear it at the same time. I will be graduating soon, with no contacts or direction to head towards. My passion is for animation, comics, and video games but I’m afraid that I’m not good enough, that I haven’t learned enough. Anyone who can give me some advice, I would be eternally grateful. I don’t have a website just a tumblr account where you can see some of my work:
    Thanks guys


    • Penny

      Hi Abby,

      I visited your site and I wanted to tell you the creature you “doodled before bed” reminds me of something I would have seen in a Hayao Miyazaki film, specifically Spirited Away.

      I am not an artist so I cannot advise on the work or improvement that needs to be made (as I think your work is great!) but have you checked out sites such for writers? Sometimes writers are looking for people to illustrate their books. If you send me your email address I’ll send you a few links [email protected]

      • Karen

        I’m one of those writers! I’ve already purchased a few images a couple of months ago but I’ll probably need to again in the future. Abby – I saved your blog ;)

        Keep on drawing!

        • Penny

          YEA!!! So awesome :)

      • Penny

        Yeah so my daughter just told me that is a Miyazaki character!

    • Kevin

      I was looking through your pictures, and you are really talented. I’m not sure exactly why, but I was particularly drawn in by the person with a lions head that was holding coins over their eyes. I’m not much of an artists, so I can’t really give you solid advice, but I can make a suggestion. Your drawings seem to all come from the same place (or at least most of them). Maybe you should try to experiment with other styles and see what you can learn from them. Like Scott says, do something that you can screw up. Also, maybe enter into some contests. You will probably get critiques from that. Good Luck!

    • Maryanne

      Abby. when I read your comment, I remembered an artist/illustrator/author who I had seen on Ted Talks. I looked up the link. Someone like this would be good to help you with the critique of your work. If not him, find someone who is already in the industry to give you some feedback. Nothing to fear—the worst thing someone can tell you is no.

  • Keith

    My one question currently:

    In the face of clear-cut short-term demands with fairly certain rewards and consequences, how do I motivate myself to consistently execute on the (sometimes ill-defined) tasks that may (with far less certainty) advance me toward my long-term aspirations?

    (A question asking us for our question is unquestionably an engaging approach. ;-)

    • Kevin

      When you live and breath your future goals, you will know what tasks need to be executed and when. Just keep reminding yourself throughout the day that when an opportunity comes along you will not let it pass by. That way it is ingrained in your head so when opportunities do come along, the first thing you think is I’m not going to let it pass by. Also, according to the law of attraction, if you constantly think about opportunities coming your way, then opportunities will come your way.

  • Zarelsie

    I feel that I have done everything I should have in life and gone through some really tough times – my family and I lived a hard life (read it in my book “Running From the Rainbow Nation” – on Amazon), we have migrated (fled our country) under difficult circumstances, we have recently faced hard times with a child’s illness and kidney transplant, hubby and I both work 12 hr a day jobs, I am writing and building my site –, in my spare time, and run a family and grand kids and struggle with a medical condition myself.
    My question: How do I make my website my permanent income : I started in 2011, had a lull for a year with my daughter’s illness, and now am writing full speed again for 2 months. Is it a time thing? Will the traffic and income pick up over time?
    I know what the work is that I am supposed to do – I am supposed to be home for my family and write with personal development advice for others. Period. How do I do that full time and live off it?

    • Kevin

      I feel that your question should be (and I may be wrong about this) “How can I build a bigger community around myself so that I can help them?” You need to answer this yourself because there are an infinite amount of ways to do it, but only one right way for you. It seems like you are on the right track though since you have a book out, a website, and are on here.

  • Brie

    My question is…how do I choose which one of my passions to make into a long lasting career? How do I go about doing that? My passions fall under art, planning, guiding, coaching, organizing, designing. There are many careers paths here and I don’t know which one is the best for me.

    Thank you!

    • Dominic

      You should live all your passions. Check out Barbara Sher, she is great for us who have lots of different interests.

      • Chad

        Who is Barbra Sher? where can i find info about her?

        • Rachel Z Cornell

          Barbara is a mentor and a dear friend of mine. Dominic, I agree she’s a great resource for “Scanners.” Chad, check out her book, “Refuse To Choose.”
          Her site:

    • Nicole


      I’ve struggled with similar stuff. One thing I try to remind myself is that I can always change careers. Some of the people who inspire me most are people who are constantly pursuing new things- at any age. Do we really have to chose? If we chose one path and then discover that it’s not what we expected, and decide to try something different it doesn’t mean the first thing failed, it just means we get to have more experiences and learn more stuff.
      I think the notion of wholehearted commitment is very romantic, and it’s what society encourages us to do, but some people just aren’t built for it. And the good news is that choosing one career path doesn’t mean that the other hobbies and passions have to fall away. You can still do everything you love to do, but you may only be getting paid for one of those things.
      I have a friend who is a photographer. She used to take pictures for the love of taking pictures, but now she does it full time- she’s become so successful that she’s now able to support herself and her partner on that income alone. The only downside is, now it feels like a day job for her. She doesn’t love it anymore. I think this is a common scenario for artists. Something to consider.
      Note: I’m an unemployed optimist who is in no way qualified to give advice. Do with this what you will. Good luck!

    • Linda

      Hi Brie,
      I so resonate with you! I have the same dilemma, I have so many interests, I don’t know which one to focus on. I need to get moving but don’t know where exactly where to start and how to choose! Also a problem would be where to get the money to start up.

    • Kevin

      Which one are you wiling to sacrifice everything for if you had to? Or which one are you wiling to sacrifice the most for?

  • Rick Hengehold

    My question: How do I know which business venture (services or product) is right for me?

    Who I would like to ask: Elon Musk and/or Jason Fried

  • Stephen Eure

    My Question: How can I find people who are willing to provide thoughtful constructive criticism?

    Why That Question: I’m not looking for a miracle worker (I kind of see that as my responsibility) but I surely would appreciate some thorough, well-considered feedback along the way. While I certainly enjoy hearing a “That sounds so nice,” what I prefer is a well-placed “You know, it might be better if you…” or perhaps a “Have you thought about…” or even a “Let me explain why that’s just bullshit.”

    My Responsibility: Yeah…yeah…I know I need to be more aggressively clear in my blogging. I have only recently started blogging and I already realize that I need to work on explicitly verbalizing my plan for service.

    My Hope: I hope that my blog will eventually serve as a vehicle to help me turn ideas into better ideas based on feedback – I’ll be working on converting the ideas into action.

    • Stephen Eure

      As a follow-up response to myself: I also recognize that I also need to step up to the plate and give the thoughtful responses to others that I am hoping others will provide for me. I’m not a big fan of “You get what you give” – in fact, I’m working on being true to a much shorter version: “You give.” Instead of getting what I give, what I am doing is recognizing that whatever actions I am identifying and seeking as good in others I should also work towards developing in my own life. Let’s call that: “Be what you seek.” That fit’s quite nicely with my other philosophy (can’t take credit for this one): “Let the bomb you throw be YOU.”

    • Claire

      Yes geat question. How to engage a houghtful person who can provide useful, specific advice. (similar to my question :))

  • Becky

    The main thing holding me back from doing work I love is health insurance and other benefits. I have an average paying job at a nice place to work, but it is not related to my passion and allows less time than I’d like to do something on the side and do a great job at it. How do I overcome this? Paying for my own insurance and building my own business sounds like a bad idea when I hear about how much it costs.

    • RJ

      Becky – build your business on the side! That’s what I’m working on right now.

    • Kevin

      Have you ever thought about getting benefits from the government? People who are trying to create their own business is who the government really wants to give help to.

  • Jen Zeman

    Hi Scott! My question: How to secure funding from an investor for a small, eco-friendly online apparel business? And how does it really work with an investor if your plans are to stay small (i.e. no plans to incorporate)? Does this even exist? I already have $10K in credit card debt for the business and not really interested in racking up more.

    Sorry, that was more than one question! But I think overall a discussion on funding small businesses would be great. Thanks!

  • Greg

    I just retired early from my job that I had for 20 years as a dentist. This site has fired me up to finally do something that I truly love. My greatest weakness is writing. I have had to do very little over the last 20 years. Any suggestions on a great on-line course that would help this “old” entrepreneur get going?

    • Linda

      Hi Greg,

      Check out it is a great resource for people who want to pursue writing. They also have a workshop twice a year where you can get great connections with other writers, publishers, agents, illustrators, etc. Hope this helps.

    • Scott

      Hi Greg, I would suggest reading a book called the Artists Way, by Julia Cameron. To get the writing juices flowing again from your mind to your hand, putting ink on paper letting it all free.

  • Rachel Z Cornell

    My Question: Who’s out there who can help pull this book out of me?

    Who I would like to ask: That relabel person who digs my work, has publishing experience and is excellent at cleaning up copy and stitching lots of pieces of writing together into a cohesive book.

    There, I said it!

    • Rachel Z Cornell

      reliable…. SEE, I need help!

    • Linda

      Hi Rachel,

      Please see my response to Greg above. helps with exactly what you’re looking for also!

      • Rachel Z Cornell

        Thank you, Linda. I will check it out!

  • Dawn

    “When will we get our 501c3?” Our animal shelter applied for it’s 501c3 in September 2012 and the IRS says it’s still processing it. I don’t know who else to ask. Until we get that we’re unable to apply for grants or take advantage of many opportunities. We struggle week-by-week to pay the bills – usually out of our own pockets. If I even knew *when* we’d get it, I could start filling out grant applications.

  • Beth O’Donnell

    How can I create a product or coaching service based on NOT changing? My ideal client — single woman over 40 — has been told her entire life to change this or that or everything so she will find a husband. I don’t want to be one more person telling her to change, when she is almost certainly great already.

    • Grace

      I recommend you read a book called “Yesterrday I Cried” by Iyanla Vazant. It was a beautiful book based around just this struggle. Granted, it was published in 1998, so it’s hard to find.

      • Grace

        *Yesterday. My fingers got ahead of my brain. :)

      • Linda

        Hi Grace,

        You can go to to find out of print books. Hope this helps.

        • Grace

          We have a local bookseller that I can get out of print books from very easily. I probably spend more time in his shop than at home, so out of print books is not hard for me.

          It’s good to know about Abebooks, though. I’ll let others know.

  • Grace

    I ask myself the same questions every day.

    In the morning: “If today were the last day I would live, how can I make an impact? How can I accomplish making life better before I leave this world?”

    The one question I always ask myself at the end of the day: “Are you proud of what you’ve done today?” If I answer no, I follow up by asking what I would have changed, then follow through on actually changing.

    So, I guess if I were to ask myself any challenge it would be, “How can I help others make the same positive impact, be proud of who they see in the mirror, and change what they don’t like?”

  • Paula

    How can I make sure that my passion, for which I am working really hard now, stays my passion? Can it be that I’m doing too much for it, which makes me lose the passion I felt for it? Or is it something normal, that it’s not always easy to really follow your dreams, but as long as you keep doing it, it will get better and there will always be ups and downs?

  • Carolyn

    Ok, here’s one I haven’t seen. How can I RESTART my career, after a 5 year sidetrack and downturn during which time I have been underemployed and just scraping by? I have over 20 years of experience in a field I absolutely love, but when things went South in 2008, my business crashed and I haven’t been able to jumpstart it since. I’ve recently moved to a new location and want to DO this work, but have to start over from scratch. A new website is now online (, so I’ve made that step. I can’t do what I love and keep doing it without clients, so the first post about getting noticed in a tough field applies to me, but the responses don’t.

    Who I would ask would be someone who has faced a similar challenge and moved through it successfully. I hope you’re out there.

    Thanks for asking, Scott. I want to tell you that I really like your authenticity. So many people in your field are so polished and so all about their success. You are a breath of fresh air! And, btw, Jesse Jacobs is the son of a very good friend of mine. Small world.


  • Chad

    Hi. Well this will be a bit long so i hope you will read it.
    I seem to not be able to keep a job even in the field/ career I like. Which it seems to be healthcare, but maybe its just a dream. I’ve been a CNA for for quite a few years at different places. I have done construction, factory, retail, food, automotive/auto body, healthcare. But I seem to like health care the most as a CNA. So i figure I should go and be a nurse (yes, I’m a straight guy) because it interests me a lot and it seems like there so many cool areas. But I’m afraid that I will go through the education. starting in fall 2014 (But I don’t have a job now, So I don’t know what I should do until then?) and not find a job/ or if I do I won’t be able to keep it. I’ll end up getting fired for something or another. I want to be able to keep a job at something I like.

    I just don’t want to work some job, Just for a pay check. Yes I like to get paid but I want something has a purpose, So that more often then not you are exited to go work, and everyday something is different, But I also know being a nurse has odd hours. And then to raise.spend time with your child that I only get to see part of the time.

  • Amanda

    I don’t know how to leave me job. I’ve known since my second day here that this isn’t the job for me. It’s boring, and a waste of my time. I haven’t learned anything while working here, and don’t even put my best skills to use. But thought of not having a paycheck kind of scares me, and is not acceptable by my parent’s eyes.
    I’ve expressed how miserable I am at my current position with my parents, but have been told numerous times to just “stick it out” until I find something else. It’s been seven months. Something else hasn’t come around and my situation at work has gotten worse.
    I’m absolutely miserable, but can’t get up the nerve to quit. I don’t know what to say to my supervisor when I quit, how to deal with my parents after the fact, or even how to quit. I’ve never had to quit a job before (without having another one lined up). If I do decide to quit (which im really leaning toward) Do I tell my supervisor that I’m just not happy? Or do I just hand in my two weeks notice and not give a reason? I don’t want to leave on bad terms, because I would like to use them as a reference.
    My parents are an entire different issue, and I’m afraid of what they’ll think of me. I’ve been looking for their approval my entire life, and know for a fact that I’m a disappointment. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I should handle quitting?

    • Claire

      It sounds like you are not having an easy time! My suggestion would be to get some headspace (and maybe physical space) first. Be that mindfulness, meditation, looking at a painting, riding a bike.
      Quitting a job, honestly, is not a big deal. Employers are used to it. People leave for all sorts of reasons. Of course having a job to go to that is a better fit for your skills or is in an exciting area/sector where you’d like to contribute, is easy to describe. But you don’t have to give a reason. Just that you’ve decided for your own reasons that you need to move on. Thank your boss and employees for what they have given you (there must be some positives). Now if you can get space for your head you should also get time to look for other jobs or just talk to one contact a week or something. Set a simple goal that takes you in the right direction.
      Parents – that’s a whole other ballgame and its hard to comment as I can only speak from my situation, experience and cultural background. I didn’t need to educate my parents too much about letting go and letting me lead my own life. Parents need to encourage their children to go well into the world. To be independent. Perhaps you can talk to them about this… Hope this helps. Good luck :)

    • Rachel

      Hi Amanda,

      I was in the exact same place as you. I was working at a job I hated but it made my parents proud because I was a chemist. I hated it so much and I knew it was a horrible fit for me. It took me 3.5 years to finally quit, when I knew I should have left after a month. My one piece of advice to you is to not stay there any longer if its really in your heart that you are on the wrong path.

      When I quit, I gave my supervisor a letter thanking her for all she did for me, and I explained to her why I was unhappy there, but only because she asked. You don’t have to tell them anything other than it wasn’t a good fit, and they will be understanding. I stressed out about it for months and it wasn’t worth all that stress, because all my coworkers already knew I was unhappy and knew I wanted to leave.

      As for your parents, I again was (and still am) in the same position as you. They did not agree with me quitting my job and still make comments that they wish I had stayed. I have had to distance myself from them, and it has been hard, but I am so much happier now that I’m following my true passions and that I’m going to culinary school. They don’t like it because they don’t think I will make very much money, but I have realized that they have a limited point of view of a job, and a very depressing view of life. Basically, you have to take your life into your own hands and do what excites you! Your parents will eventually come around and see how happy you are.

      Best of luck to you!

  • Kelly Dodge

    My question: Who am I?

    I’ve lived most my life as a pinball bouncing off whatever bumpers life has had in my way. I’m paying my bills and getting older, but I have no idea what I would like to do. I’ve taken dozens of quizes and surveys, but they only tell me how I answered the questions, not who I really am.

    Who would I ask it of? The obvious answer is, myself. But I don’t have the answer. So I don’t know.

    • Chad

      Have you ever tried to read the book Now what the young person’s guide to the perfect career? I am.

      • Kelly Dodge

        No, I haven’t heard of that book. Does it still apply to people in their mid 40s with wives and kids and mortgages and live in mother-in-laws? ;-)

        • Zarelsie

          Kelly, I have had this question asked/being worked on by almost every one of my coaching clients. It is my personal opinion that humans mentally mature around the age of 40 and then suddenly realizes that they do not know who they are – really (maybe the cause of “mid-life crisis?). They have been mimicking the blueprints of parents, teachers, peers, – the world up to this point.
          However, I have helped many people, and they have found who they really are, most of them have changed careers, etc and live more fulfilled lives. I, myself, did not find who I was until the age of 39 and the lights went on! I wish someone told me this when I was 17! Now I am helping people who struggle with this. You have got to start by doing some kind of formal analysis – maybe a personality analysis of some sort but don’t stop there (because it is where most people make their mistake). You have to take that analysis and now delve into it further. Analyze the factors one by one on a deeper level. It will not only reveal who you are, but things like how you deal with stress, how you deal with relationships, what your ideal job/career can look like, and many more things. In conjunction with a Personality analysis, also do a talents and strengths finder – there are many ways to do it – google it. Also maybe do a temperament and attributes and skills lists (you have built some skills in 40 years on earth!). After this you will have a “profile” of yourself and a deeper understanding of who you are. If you are having trouble analysing your tests, talk to a coach or counsellor – it is really worth it. Remember that someone with “clarity of distance” will need to help you to reach full understanding and the “aha!” moments. It is quite good to go down this journey at your age – 3/4 of your life is still ahead of you plus you will be doing something 95% of people do not know anything about. :) I am doing free coaching on this through my website (email) if you need my help. The coaching page is not live yet, but you are free to use the Contact page to contact me if you wish. I hope this helps a little.

    • Scott

      Hi Kelly,

      If I may suggest starting a 30 day life changing experience. I have tried it in the past for finding your inner passion. Write 3 pages in a journal every morning before you face the world. Just write what ever comes out, every day and stop after 3 pages. And continue for 30 days, don’t read what you wrote yesterday just move forward, you will start to see something find it’s way out, and maybe work through other items that need attention also. After 30 days read over it all and see what begins to repeat, which will be evident as you are writing each day.

      Best of luck on finding your inner passion.

      • Kelly Dodge

        I have been doing some journalling type stuff. Not as much or as structured as what you suggested. I may give it a try. I’ve had to be really careful about doing lots of journalling type stuff as I end up getting pretty depressed.

        • Matt

          Hey Kelly,

          First off, be careful with the triggers buddy. It’s a big plus that you are aware of them.

          I think you have I it right with “Who would I ask it of? The obvious answer is, myself.”
          Perhaps it’s a matter of asking yourself the question in a variety of ways, or asking the questions surrounding the broader issue? You have valuable life experience to draw from. Even though you may not have that kernel of truth, you likely know yourself better than you give yourself credit for. What are your patterns and consistent themes?
          “Who am I” is a big one, and seems there must be much more under the surface than that singular question. Honest friends and ‘objective’ strangers can make for good sounding boards.

  • Catalin

    Ok, this question came to my mind right now(and it came before on some other ocassions):

    How come that some people who live great lives it seems that life has got them to their great life? Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they had their struggles but it kind of feels like they really didn’t choose what they do, just they flowed to that, while the rest of us still struggle to find our passion or how do you want to call it.

  • Claire

    The question I’d like to ask this group is how to ask the question, of the people I respect, about the specific value I provide. Reading a lot on LYL and going to a local event is really great and I feel I’m close to honing on on my niche. This is difficult for me as I’ve had varied interests and have different skills. So when it comes to identifying that thing of value, considering it needs to be marketable, I’m seeking insights from mentors and other insightful folks.

    • Erik

      What are you most proud of? What have you made or trained in that you’d feel slighted if someone didn’t appreciate the value of it?

    • Matt

      Hi Claire,

      I think what you are proposing sounds like a straight up fair and simple (not necessarily easy) question to ask, if you have found the right people. Are you looking to compare the way you view your skill set and value against the perspective of others? Seeking reinforcement in, or guidance towards, a direction? Feedback for improvement?

      These are people you have a respectful relationship with, and that can go a long way in a conversation like the one you offer. Regular insight is something I try to offer our team regularly, and it is challenging to do so. It is impressive when someone takes initiative and pursues the question.

      Having varied interests may at times feel like a damning circumstance. I trust it makes for interesting and capable people. (a self serving statement, as I suffer from it;-)

  • Lorena Knapp

    Here’s my burning question: How do we prioritize our time between “doing the work” connecting with others and learning new things? These all seem to be in competition for my time and energy and I wish I had a better way of sharing my time between all three. Plus Pressfiled’s capital “R” Resistance also creeps in and sometimes I notice that I might be using one of the three as a way to avoid something that is more difficult.


    PS Just wanted to say that I’ve had a few friends take the Connect with Anyone course and they all give it as high of marks as I do. High-five!

    • Jeremy

      Hi Lorena,

      “How do we prioritize our time between “doing the work” connecting with others and learning new things?” ==> I don’t think there’s any magic formula. You have to trust your gut for what brings in the most value while staying genuine and true to yourself. :)

  • Daniel

    How will I ever get the finances to do what I love to do?

    I’ve sold everything I own… Not enough.
    Have cut all bills down to as low as possible… Not enough.
    Have sacrificed everything else in my life… Not enough
    Worked multiple jobs, 100+ hours a week… Not enough. The result of this was a trip to hospital with a heart arrhythmia, and a $6000 bill after insurance, so it did more harm than good.

    I’ve run out of ideas, and am just about ready to accept that my life is nothing but paying bills.

    • Rachel Z Cornell

      What would you love to do if money wasn’t an issue? Like imagine you’ve just become independently wealthy….What now?

      • Daniel

        My original plan was medical school. A HUGE pile of medical bills put that on hold, now 20 years. To go back to this path, I would have to retake around 15 classes, which there is no way I can do. It will be a long time before I have the money to do that.

        My backup plan was biomedical engineering, which was put on hold for the same reasons.

        I did contract environmental wildlife biology contract work for almost 10 years, but in 2008, that was no longer an option due to finances.

        I would consider going back to any of those, but at 44 years old, I still haven’t gone a single day where I’ve been able to fully support myself, let alone save any money. I’ve always had to depend on someone, someway, to help cover bills. There have been years where I couldn’t afford food, so got it wherever I could for free, including dumpsters, and off peoples trays at McDonalds.

        I would also like to get back to playing music, but can’t afford even the cheapest of instrument. Drums were my instrument of choice back in high school. They’re not cheap, and my living conditions wouldn’t allow the noise.

        It’s one thing to think “what if money was no object”, and think about what you’d love to do, but money is VERY MUCH an object. In my experience, life is more about what you can afford to do, not so much what you want to do. I know that’s a horrible attitude, but I’ve not seen anything to the contrary in my life experiences. Maybe someday I’ll find out I’m wrong.

        • Rachel Z Cornell

          It sounds like you have a lot of financial concerns. I also wonder if such a large focus on money is keeping you from seeing that you actually can have, at least pieces of what you want. If you have an all or nothing approach, you may never have any of what you want in life.

          I can also understand how great it would feel to be able to financially take care of yourself and your own needs. You honesty about being 44 and never having been able to cover your own expenses really moved me. It takes courage to share that. I really respect you for sharing this.

          Perhaps your desired outcome to focus on is financial independence?

          I don’t know if this would be for you but there are 12 step programs for people who struggle financially and identify as “under-earners.” It can help to know you’re not alone and better still to have help creating a plan of action that will bring you to financial independence and then to your other dreams as well.

          You CAN do many more things than your current perspective is allowing you to see. That is my opinion. My husband’s godson goes to music stores to rock on the keyboards he’s not in the situation or position to be able to own.

          I am confident that IF you want something you can create it.

          I would love to share this exchange on a podcast if you would give me permission. You have much to say that I think would help lots of people.

          • Daniel

            That’s a neat idea. What I posted above is kind of a “cliffs notes” version. Is there some way I can send you a more complete version?

  • Christian Soto

    I want to pay off my car loan and student loans while I transition into working with my passions (health and fitness). I’m scared though because I don’t want to have fluctuating income while I have such big debt payments. But I’m also not willing to give up my nights and weekends to something else (I play soccer during those times and that brings me pure joy and happiness. And it’s those little things I enjoy on daily/weekly basis that keep me going) I’m currently in a situation that will allow me to pay off my car in 12-14 months. But the problem is that I don’t want to continue my current line of work for that much time! I like my schedule outside of work I just don’t like the work.

    My question: What can I do so that I can know when is the right time to leave my current job?



  • joey seymore

    Hi Scott, et al.
    I am glad to announce that I’ve been stricken with a bit of an epiphany. I will happily pass some of the credit to you and the cajoling from your organisation.
    I have come to terms with my big question. The one I need to confront to further my goals of living my best life is: How do I monetise my passions?
    Simple, straight forward, but as a man entering my 50th year, it is of remarkable importance. Building slow is not the same option as it is for a friend in their 20s.
    I’d greatly appreciate any further insight and assistance you can give me into this specific conundrum.
    With regards;

  • Flo

    I left my corporate job last year after 20 years of the same grind in different organisations. That paid for my growing interest in yoga through teacher training and private lessons, as a counterbalance for my unfulfilling work. Last year, I started a yoga club in my company which created jealousy from a workmate and later to my exit. I’m now teaching on a paid and volunteer basis, testing myself to see if this is my passion. What I find fulfilling is being able to help people get in touch with themselves, which has been lost in our busy lifestyles. I would like to build a business based on service through yoga. My question is: How do I get started with limited monetary resources? This is why I’m looking at this site.

    • Erik

      Have you thought about offering metrics that other people don’t offer? For instance, testing students’ balance or whatever they want to improve, before and after. Maybe clients would be willing to pay extra for a log of their personal metrics.

    • Linda

      Hi Flo,

      Have you thought of going to businesses to ask if you could do a yoga program for employees during their lunch hour or after work to help improve employee performance and health? You wouldn’t have to pay for a place, you would start collecting clients, help with employee moral, make some pocket change to get started, etc.

      • Erik

        Linda’s idea sounds good to me. It’ll take guts but you can do it. And you already know the corporate language.

  • Parker

    I would really appreciate any and all feedback on my question. This whole community is truly awesome!
    Here’s the setup:

    For those of us fortunate enough to have awesome dreams at night, we understand the profoundly positive effects dreaming can have on our waking lives. It inspires intense curiosity and allows us to reflect upon our waking lives with fresh perspectives afforded by unique dreams. And for the dreamers who have trained themselves in the world that is lucidity, the possibilities are truly endless.

    As matters currently stand, there exists some pretty popular websites that allow dreamers to come together, share, and discuss their nightly adventures/misadventures. You can participate in forums, or even post daily logs of your dreams.

    But what’s missing is this:
    A concise platform that allows passionate dreamers to show the world why dreaming is so important to them.
    A place that refines and furthers the sharing of dreams into a meaningful social experience, because sharing dreams doesn’t have to entail shunning yourself into a corner with the only friend that “gets you”.

    There are so many things we could experiment with:
    -Artistic-minded individuals creating art about their dreams
    -Video editors creating short animations
    -Group collaborations
    -Live streams and Youtube videos
    -Treating the writing of a dream itself as a work of art
    -Carefully composed written storytelling
    These works of expression exist in the world, but they are mostly separate; they do not have a real home.
    And a well-constructed hub devoted to quality content could allow all of these things to come together.

    But I would never start such an ambitious project without seeing if people would be interested.

    So, here’s my question:
    Do you or do you know anyone whose dreaming life is significant enough to them that they would be willing to financially support a high-quality platform that enhanced the social aspect of dreaming, empowering them to show the world their powerful imagination?

    I can definitely make this happen, but as we all know, sometimes it can be difficult to gauge the realities of the world around us.

    As Scott asks: “Right now, what one question do you need answered to get you closer to making the difference you want to make?”
    I think I really could make a difference with this. What do you guys think?

  • Carolyn


    This sounds great. It’s a very creative idea. I’m a dreamer (sometimes I wonder if too much), and have engaged in a number of dream groups in person and online. But I never really know what to do with the dreams that come to me at night (or mostly in the morning.) I would love to participate in a forum or a platform of some kind to learn to utilize these dreams more effectively. Mine are often obtuse and tough to unravel, and I’d love to work with others to turn them into guidance I can really use. I’m also a designer (residential interiors) and sometimes answers to sticky questions come at 3 am. Always 3 am. Then the dreams. I’m fascinated by the process and think your platform could be very helpful to other creatives. I would welcome learning of your progress over time.

  • Erik

    If you could have anyone — living, imaginary, or dead — as your personal mentor for a half an hour once every week, who would you choose and why? What would you learn?

    • Freddy

      What’s up Erik! I love your question. I’d choose Tony Robbins for a weekly mentoring session. He is the master of knowing how to make people perform at their best and is a giant ball of love and passion. Who would you pick?

      • Erik

        Hey Freddy! Thanks for the reply. I’ve never heard of Tony Robbins but I’ve never heard of a lot of great people. With praise like that, I looked him up and signed up for the audio coaching sample. Is he currently your mentor? I had to think for a few minutes to answer you asking my question right back at me. I’d choose my actual cello teacher, Stephen Katz. He is teaching me how to play in a way I didn’t think I could ever play, plus getting me psyched about combining music with mobility.

        • Freddy

          Erik! You’re a musician! That’s awesome dude. Is that your “work you can’t not do?”. I’d like to consider him a mentor, however I have never met him personally.

          • Erik

            Yo Freddy! Thanks man, I do love to play music. Yes, you could say I can’t not play music. Take away my cello and I’ll yodel. Stop me from yodeling and I’ll hum through the t-shirt gag.

            Have you read Seth Godin’s post on heroes and mentors? Worth checking out.

  • olivia

    how can I build a life to give away with only $2,000 in my bank account?
    no college degree. no house. no professional expertise. no job.

    just a teen with a dream to remind people how brilliant they are.
    a dream to say no to debt. yes to educational freedom.

    yes to the unforgettable and (yes to building my own tiny house).


    can I live on “my own” for a year and make a meaningful contribution?

    • Matt

      Hi Olivia,

      Could you explain a bit more? I’m intrigued.

      • Olivia G.

        Hey Matt.

        Introduction: My name is Olivia and I am at a crossroads with my education. I’m on a Gap Year adventure. Right now you can find me earning my dog sled certificate in Canada. I dream of a world where college is free—dom. I love chocolate chip cookies, and have until April 1st to convince my parents of a plan to see what else is possible outside of a traditional learning environment. I think this year I would be financially on my own, and I have $2,000 in my bank account to move my life forward.

        My ideas:
        1. Live with experts, mentors, and professionals across all fields (technology, farming, printing, etc..).
        2. Build a Tiny House before I turn 20.
        3. Start my Study on what makes people unforgettable, and create an online vault that shares the ‘secret, common sense’ of being unforgettable.

        I want my life to speak my name. Oh, Live Already. Oh-live-ya, Olivia.
        But I’m struggling to believe this is possible. I’m tempted to say yes to college before I’m ready.

        Can I just say. Thanks for listening.

        • Matt

          In reverse order, if I may; you’re welcome!

          College is a tough one, and I’ll reserve comment for now. It sounds like you already are living true to Olivia, which might not be so interesting without the struggle, but it certainly is possible;-) Brilliant play on the name, and the desire and deeper meaning behind it, love it.

          3. I have a feeling your autobiography may one day include this information.
          2. Very interesting, and there are loads of resources available on this subject, much of it including using recycled material. My wife’s father has built a few small cabins, and is planning some hobbit houses next, very cool.
          1. Excellent way to gain life experience (while earning an income), and easy to supplement with online courses for some formal education.

          You sound like a fascinating person, Olivia (and chocolate chip cookies are fantastic). There are excellent online university classes, and growing availability of them, including MIT last I checked (free in some instances). Depending on your own direction and visa restrictions, there is lots of work up in that frozen tundra north of 49;-) Financial independence for a year, and $2000 to kick yourself off has a certain amount of appeal to me, but I’ve never fit the traditional model very well. We live in Canmore, Alberta. There are a few dogsled operations around, and we have been meaning to take the kids out for a tour. Let me know how you found the experience.

          April is on it’s way, and I wish you the best with your decisions. Exciting times, and know you can handle whatever you take on.



    • Kevin

      You should read some Walden and Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau. Also, as long as you are putting in the work to make a significant contribution to the world, it is impossible not to do so. Even the small things we do make a big difference in the lives of the people around us. When someone sees us do something nice and/or inspiring, then the energy they pick up from that will cause them to do something nice and/or inspiring; and then someone else sees them, and so on, and so on. If you stay true to yourself, then you will be a role model for those around you, and you will build a stronger future for yourself. Sorry, I kind of went everywhere with this.

  • Sam

    My question: how do I balance the time required for starting a side business while still devoting time to my husband to maintain a healthy marriage?

    My problem description in bullet points:
    – I commute 1 hour each way to work & work 4/10s = 12-13 hour days. Don’t get home until 9pm. Just time enough to spend an hour cuddling/TV time with the hubby, or having a nice dinner together to converse (sans tv), or going for an evening stroll to converse and get fresh air, etc. Then bed time.
    – I have 3-day weekends…but about a third of them are spent out of town on trips. The others are spent heavily socializing locally (house parties, dinners, bar outings that translate into lost time the next morning, etc etc) Before you judge and say “aw poor you, you’re having fun” hear me out: I’m an introvert and would be prefer devoting many weekend hours on my business rather than traveling or going out. I have NO problem with sacrificing all that fun. The problem is that my highly-extroverted hubby would be incredibly sad. He makes it his business to be invited to things because socializing is his passion. (Unfortunately, this means that, in MY opinion, we have WWAAAAYYY too many friends. Seriously, every weekend is a birthday part for SOMEone or a baby shower or a wedding or a just-because let’s all go to dinner, Or, or etc.) I’ve already cut back a little and he’s starting to go to things without me, but with that alone I already get quite the guilt trip and he makes it known he’s unhappy I don’t just say yes to everything.
    – I currently only take about 3 hours a week to practice my writing craft, and it already seems to cause tension because “I miss youuuu…..”. How am I supposed to put in the necessary hours building a freelance business without upsetting my marriage???? It’s either his passion for socializing (and his strong desire to have me there too, which means no time to work on my things), or my passion to become a freelance writer and leave my current job. It truly feels as though I cannot have both.
    – He knows I desire to become a professional writer. It’s just that my writing a small handful of hours a week really does seem like a lot to him already. If I take a pitiful 3 hours in a week, I hear “But you had time to write this week. Didn’t you get everything done you wanted to do?” Yeah…in 3 hours indeed….

    • Sebastian

      Hello Sam,

      Don’t take this as an advice to actually change something in your relationship, but here is my short story which I think is related to your problem:

      When I was 19, I decided to start playing guitar. It was my dream. I was 5 or 6 years into a relationship at that time and everything went fine, we thought we loved each other, etc.

      Then my girlfriend saw me playing guitar, saw all the rock magazines in my room. When she said multiple times that my guitar playing skills are pathetic and that “rock music is outdated anyway” and gave me some weird looks whenever I was playing in front of her, and additionally complained about me wasting too much time playing guitar and not going out socializing etc., I actually put down my guitar and my dreams just to save this relationship (which would break up a few years later because of other things).

      I threw my dream in the garbage bin for her!

      Fast-Forward, 14 years later without touching a guitar (!!!) I realized I have lost my dream just because of some girl! I picked up a guitar again and now I’m playing since 2 years and I’m almost living my dream. Imagine the skills I would have developed in those 14 years…

      Needless to say, this is the largest mistake of my life, it will never happen again to me, I will never let some other person decided what is good for me.

  • N. Smith

    The one question I’d love to ask someone is – how do I stop letting anxiety run my life? I think that fear has held me back and kept me from doing many things along the way that could have greatly enhanced my life. I don’t want fear running the show, but it seems to be in control right now.

  • Dna

    It would be a great practical learning opportunity full of motivating force if:
    For a week, you set up a daily webinar that allows your chosen few example start ups to collaborate with you publicly. (you & maybe 3 people for 30mins each, every day for a week) Focusing on a set task for boosting their business growth by the end of the week. Using your assistance/advice/guidance, the whole community could experience how to establish a week focus, break down, action and still go with the flow when things start swaying away from the planned result. Not only a great chance for your chosen ‘case studies’ to get closer to their dream career flow, but also allowing your liveyourlegend community to see a bite size development happen in real time. Step by step focused once a day break down of an actual weeks business growth. From vision, plan, structured to do, obstacles and flexibility to real life end of week result. Not just practical for addressing the more mundane things that can get in the way of success, but the real psychological limitations that can come up too. Multiple level learning for everyone involved!

  • lunn

    So here’s my question —

    I am planning to open an online shop under my own name as a brand, but what I couldn’t find from the internet is that if I need a legal thing to be done to protect my online shop ??? just curious…

  • Mukundhan

    I like to write…having said that, I need to improve my writings skills a lot. I would like to get mentored. So do you have any thoughts on how to find and connect with mentors?

    • Jeremy

      Just write and find the mentor later. :D It’s impossible to not improve while writing. Then when you get better and better, show your potential mentor that you will be a great disciple by showing him evidence that you are already taking it upon yourself to write and improve.

  • Sebastian

    My question is probably way too specific:

    How can I find a partner who would actively support me in my new career as a guitarist, online session guitarist and songwriter?

    Over the last few weeks I realized something very important: I’m very dedicated, I have a lot of talent, but I don’t want to waste it in some local band, and don’t want to travel all the time for live gigs with one specific band.

    So my dream career would be something like an “online guitarist”: writing and publishing my own songs online as a one-man band, creating videos, playing cover songs, teaching, playing guitar tracks for a bands new record, endorsing guitar related products, etc.

    I do already have a ton of drafts for a blog about guitar playing, music, etc., but this is a lot of effort and english is not my native language. With the right partner in the background, I could focus on developing my musical talent further, while my partner would support me with professional video editing, writing and marketing, probably without actually showing up as a band member.

    So where do I find a person who would not do all that only for the money, but she or he would work alongside with me and through this work realize their own dreams at the same time?

  • http://Network Sajid

    Hi Chris,

    You have developed a powerful network of people who can help each other in some ways. I was wondering how can we use that more? For example, I have left my job and currently working on energy and technology sector and wondering whether there is someone who can connect me with possible resources in renewable energy and technology funding. Is there a way I can reach out to people and build on the network and help each other?


  • Freddy

    Hey Scott and Everyone Else,

    I want to know where I can go find a career where I get to help and support people all around the world, and also be able to explore and have adventures around our planet? I love playing and being active with hiking, freediving, biking. I also love helping people. Thanks guys.

    • Erik

      Whoa, you freedive! Where, how deep, what for, how’d you get into it?

      In what way do you love helping people?

      • Freddy

        Hey Erik! Yeah, freedive. I just got into it. I have gone down like 20 ft at most, I’m still learning it. I got into it watching YouTube videos on it. So cool!

  • Philip

    My question simply is how do I make a living touring with my band and writing albums?

  • Joseph

    How do i stop my mind from jumping around? I set goals and within weeks i lose interest. Then i realize im not making progress so i set new goals. I get excited by ….. then i lose interest and move to something else. I cant pick a path and stick to it! Its infuriating.

    • Anna

      Hi Joseph,
      What is a one (ok, maybe two) things that if someone forbidden you doing ever again, you’d be crushed and miserable? Hope that helps clarify what’s important and follow through.

  • Anna

    Hi Scott,

    Great post & thank you very much. My question is what am I going to loose if I do not dare to risk it all and go for my dream business?

    As a question to you ( re developing new tools): What you think of maybe a monthly post on a one topic suggested by the readers? Might help you with new ideas and keep even closer to what our challenges are.

    Keep rocking!

  • Melody

    I’ve already downloaded the “should I quit” material but the dang window has no link on it to close it so I can read the comments behind it. Just a little frustrating.

  • Melody

    The “hover cards” are also in the way of reading the material underneath. I clicked on remove hover cards, but alas… they are still there.

  • jamie flexman

    I would love to ask;

    ‘When will I become the real me?’

    The only person to answer that would be my future self, but alas he would probably still be asking that same question.

    It’s an abstract and vague question, with many philosophical interpretations, but I think we all wish we could be the person we see in our minds eye. Then again, it could be a never ending goal which produces a remarkable journey along the way.

    • Jeremy

      You got great insights to your own question, Jamie!

  • Scott

    Hi Scott,

    Firstly I would like to say thank you for a great opportunity to ask the one question.

    Reading everyone’s questions and the reply is overwhelming and inspiring with mixed emotions.

    My question is.

    I have found myself in a position that I can no longer preform my trade due to an injury. And I’m fearful for the future of my family financially in looking to change careers. With this in mind I’m not sure if I do want to change careers, and start again in something I’m not sure I have passion for. Or start following a dream I have always wish I persued when I was younger. How can one pick up a paint brush after years to follow a dream, not knowing if he is any good. With fear of financial side needed to support my family, and knowing I have to find time to practice and create the dream. Do I find a high paying job that is draining on my creativity, with no time to paint. Or find a lower paying job that is easy and allows more time to paint, but creates financial burden and worry.

    Thank you to everyone that reads this and I do apologise for the length. Any advice is very welcome. Cheers Scott

    • Grace

      What is your trade that you had to give up due to injury? Are there any related trades you can jump on with little training that don’t require whatever it is that you can’t do?

      If I had to speak from experience, I would say don’t take the lower paying job and create a burden — it’s actually worse for your creativity when you’re worried.

      However, experience has taught me that there is always a way to do both the things you need to do and the things you want to do. Don’t give up your dream of painting for a crappy job. Find a way to sell your paintings at a price that can help support your family.

      Incidentally, I often auction off independent artists work. If you have a link to any of your work, I’d be glad to see if I could find a buyer. :)

      • Scott

        Hi Grace,

        Firstly, thank you for taking the time to reply to my question.

        I’m a qualified chef, and have been cooking professionally for 16 years. I could go in to a couple of area, for here. But a few can be hard to move into.

        Thank you for sharing your experience, and suggesting not to take a lower paid job, as it can demotivate. An inspirational job that allows me to create is ideal, much like cooking.

        I don’t want to give up any more. For to long in my life I have put work first and others before my own dreams. I still need to battle with myself, in making time and not feeling guilty for doing it.

        I have many plans in mind, for where I might be able to sell my work. Finding time to create and make the art I see inside me, with idea after idea everyday if new art work and inspirations I want to make, on a path I’m trying to find. And I know it all starts from doing, taking a chance, make mistakes, and the more I create the closer I will be to becoming the artist I see myself as.

        Thank you for asking to see some work. The auctioning off of artists works sounds really great. This is a link to my Facebook page that I created a little while ago, to start myself a time line to watch my improvement. I have a long way to go in my eyes of where and what I wish to be able to create. And some really big dreams to achieve.

        Thank you for your time Grace.

        I must also mention that you sound like a very talented lady, after reading you response to other posts.

  • Susan Williamson

    Was it magical thinking that convinced me to leave a well paying job and become a painter? Am I delusional?

    • Katherine

      I think Macklemore said it nicely: “A life lived for art is never a life wasted.” (“Ten Thousand Hours”)

  • Carl

    Hi Chris,
    I suppose my questions has to be, what do I have to do to follow my dream, being my own boss, to finish my book and sort my website out. What do I have to commit to the project to see it as a success or failure. I started with great enthusiasm, now it is waning. I am still sure I can make it work and it will be my spring board to greater things – that will allow me to leave my full time job.

    I want to be stronger and have more faith in myself, for my actions and my abilities. To create not only a business but have new skills that can be used to better everyone’s life.

    I just want to clear this block, I know I can, I just need some help. Once this block is cleared I have a clearly defined route to success, I just know I have.


  • Guillermo Mirandes

    How can I ensure I will be successful and achieve my dreams even when I sometimes get stuck in basic stuff. I’m just graduating and starting my career and I am more nervous than ever. I have high hopes and expectations, but I’m a little afraid I won’t meet them.

    • Claire

      Fear is one of the biggest challenges ;) and lots of us have this to grapple with. It’s great you’re thinking about where to next. I can definitely recommend mindfulness and meditation to help feel centred and more focused.

      What do you mean by ‘basic stuff’? Perhaps with some more specifics, I and others could add some more thoughts.

  • Katherine

    I want to know if higher education is the niche for me.

    I’m a senior at the University of Michigan and have been working for the VP for Student Life for the last four years, and I’m in love with the social justice work she strives for every day (plus how cool is it I’ve spent ages 18-21 working under my role model?!).

    I’m investigating higher ed and student life masters programs (always open to suggestions!!), but what I really want is to take a gap year after graduation this May to travel the US and hit every major university where administrators would be willing to grant me informational interviews. I want to see outside of where I’ve spent the last four years. I want to REALLY do the research, because this is my life and I’m determined to spend it in a way that let me touch lives while playing to my professional and personal strengths.

    I’m open to wisdom that anybody might have to share!

    • Grace

      Check out this website,

      It’s for searching for higher ed jobs all over the place. A lot of the blog stuff may give you insight, and you can also make friends on there and connect for interviews.

      Good luck!

  • Eric B

    My question: How do I go about leaving a job?

    Even though I don’t receive any type of penalty for backing out of my contract (provided I give a month’s notice), I still feel like I have an obligation to my company and coworkers to stay. It’s not my dream job, but I really enjoy it. Which makes it seem difficult to leave.

    Who I’m asking: anyone who’s been in a similar situation and/or taught English in a foreign country (my current job)

    • shannon

      I left my job, but i was miserable. I think as long as you feel you have the energy to pursue and think about the things you want, I think it’s different for everyone. I just needed a few months of self reflection, away from a work environment that was toxic. What would you be pursing doing the hours you would be normally working?

    • Kevin

      I just gave my two week notice to my work this week, and I struggled with the decision because I felt like I was letting my bosses and my coworkers down. Then I thought about how bad I would feel if one of my coworkers were not happy but stayed there because they did not want to let me down. I could not let them waste their time just because of me. I would feel guilty for not letting them chase their dreams.

    • Stephen Eure

      First of all, I would suggest that enjoying your job isn’t necessarily what makes it seem difficult to leave – most jobs (and other relationships as well) tend to develop a comfort in consistency. I also believe that the desire for consistency can occasionally manifest itself psychologically as a feeling of obligation – that’s something to think about.

      In my own case, years ago when I was a full-on corporate whore, my comfort kept me from seeing when it was time for me to move along (I was at that job for at least 3 years longer than I should have been!).

      Unfortunately, it is usually difficult to make intelligent and informed decisions about your work and other relationships while you’re sitting in the comfort zone. If you have the way and means to do so, think about taking a short trip – go somewhere you’ve never been – it doesn’t have to be far – go by yourself – and don’t take any work with you – basically get away from the structure of your dilemma and see if your distance gives you a better vantage point to examine your situation – basically…try surrounding yourself with something unfamiliar to help you better understand what is familiar.

  • Paul R

    My question, I think, is one of Scott’s suggestions: where do I find a mentor?

    I’m in an electronic engineering job that I like, but isn’t making me jump out of bed in the morning, and I am left each day with the feeling that there is something better that I could be doing, I just can’t quite place my finger on it. My days are often full of bad habits and procrastination, I think that contact with a mentor will help me to sort out where I am and where I am going. Imagine a square with electronics, writing fiction, playing folk music and religion at the corners. I’m in the middle somewhere.

    I am asking people who have turned a job in a field they love into a job they love.


  • Siim S.

    Out of all possible questions I have, I find this one the most intriguing:
    How do I start to dream, search and think less and start actually acting and doing?

    Also thank you Mr. Dinsmore for the great and inspiring ideas on this site!

  • Abby

    Hi Kevin! Thanks for the advice, to be honest I’ve always been too afraid to enter into competitions. I really need to let go of that fear and I agree a lot of my work is coming from the same place I don’t know why I gravitate towards the same shapes and forms all the time. Thanks again for taking the time to leave me some advice it really helped me out!

    – Abby

  • Caitlin

    How can I help people as an actor? And how do I become as masterful at it as I want to be? I haven’t gotten into the schools.. Yet, and I’m not convinced I have to. To practice I need a troupe, a production team, a company. All this organizing isn’t as efficient as say writers write, painters paint. This art is hard to materialize! I am organizing and making connections but it is a lot to do if I expect to practice any acting at all during the day. And acting my myself seems.. Anti-purposeful. How can I turn it into something to show and share and benefit others with, essentially by myself for now. What fascinating entertaining thing would they get the most from, even want to interact with? Maybe I need an acting mentor and/or a think outside the box mentor/team. Whew, Thanks for helping me think.

  • Alixandrea

    I am *so* ready to start up a practice as a singing coach. I’ve got loads of really clear ideas as to how I would go about it, how to help my clients get the voices they want and how to grow the business.

    But I’ve had a cough since Christmas and currently can barely talk above a whisper, let alone sing, let alone teach someone else how to! I have asthma which was completely under control until the beginning of this year. Since then I’ve had a tightening of my chest and occasional feelings of breathlessness. And this constant damn cough. It’s like there’s mucus far down in the bottom of my lungs. Sometimes it comes out when I cough, but other times, no matter how carefully I try to place the cough, it just won’t come out. I try not to cough at all if I can help it, but the bouts I have are putting strain on my larynx and vocal cords.

    My doc has tried altering my medication, which stopped the ‘steel band’ feeling around my chest but hasn’t changed the occasional periods of breathlessness. I’ve just started taking oral steroids and am keeping my fingers crossed this works. I had a chest X-ray today and am waiting for the results. I have an appointment with a specialist next month. I’ve bought a HEPA air filter (arrived today) and have gone through a bunch of my/my partner’s stuff looking for mould issues as our home is quite damp. We’ve cleaned some boots/shoes that were going mouldy in their boxes. My partner vacuums regularly but I still need to damp down and dust a bunch of our things.

    The mould problem hasn’t been that bad for a long while now, especially since I got a dehumidifer. We did have a problem last year, but got our mouldy basement re-painted with mould-resistant paint. However obviously there’s still a bit here and there around the flat. I only hope that that is the problem, and that treating the stuff we’ve found recently fixes my lungs. Otherwise my doc and I are baffled as to what might be wrong with me. I don’t smoke, I work out, I eat healthily and take my vits/minerals, I meditate (when I remember to), I do yoga…

    Sorry, I know that this isn’t the usual sort of question, but I’m at my wits’ end trying to figure this problem out, fix it, and get on with my life. I’ve just had confirmation that my redundancy application has been successful, so whatever happens I will be leaving my current job at the end of PAril. I was so excited until this cough arrived, now I’m just scared I’ll never get my voice back, let alone be able to teach others….

    • http://sdfjlkadj Ana

      Darn, I just spent a bunch of time writing you a long response Alixandrea, but the website somehow lost it when I went to submit.
      Suffice it to say, you have a serious mold problem and if you can’t lick it through dehumidifiers, you should think about moving, if you can.
      Please look online for ‘toxic mold’ or ‘mycotoxin’ to see how bad this stuff can be for your health.

      And because I’ve had mysterious medical problems that the medical establishment couldn’t diagnose, I had to find my own solutions. I found that zeolite worked for me. It was used in Chernobyl because it has a cage structure that captures toxins. I get mine in bulk from Shop Holistic in Wales in the UK, but there are other sources for it. It is listed as GRAS by the USDA, so it is considered safe, and it worked for me. Please research it and see if it is something you want to try, and if so, I would be interested to hear if it worked for you too! :)

      • Alixandrea

        Ana, thank-you so much for writing back to me! I will have a look for Zeolite and have a go at using it; at present I’ll try anything at all to get myself healthy again and back on track.

        I’ve cleaned everything I can find that had mould on it, and I’ve been running both the dehumidifier and the air purifier in each room, so hopefully that’ll help. The steroids I’m on have dried my lungs out a bit, so I’m coughing up less stuff, but there’s still irritation on my chest. I’m going to try and get a skin sensitivity test this week to see if that can positively identify the problem as mould-related, in which case I can go to the doctor and ask for an anti-fungal medication.

        Thanks again Ana, I’ll let you know how I get on. :-)

    • Caitlin

      When you are ready to teach others, maybe I would be a suitable student for you! I’ve never had voice training but have always wanted to learn to sing.

      • Alixandrea

        Hi Caitlin, that would be great! I’ve linked my name to my website, which is under construction at present. When it goes live, feel free to get in touch and we’ll see if we can organise a Skype call. :-)

  • Steve Daar

    Some great quotes in this post.

    I’ve recently found that if you begin asking these things, you become significantly more likely to receive it.

    My question is how do you go about telling your clients that you are raising your rates? Any experience in how to approach that conversation?

    Thank you,


  • Jeremy

    “It’d be much easier to continue living blind. But what kind of life is that?” ==> Love it!

  • shannon

    My one question would be I took the leap to leave my job, and joined this community and taking a few classes to learn about more opportunities to earn income so I’m doing a lot of self evaluation, and I have a lot of interests .How were your experiences when first pursuing dreams/goals, especially when it wasn’t just one particular thing? What is the best way to break it down and how long was your transformation, is it still ongoing? In the meantime I am also looking for a job in the next few months for steady income. It’s so many different things. I am starting to experiment with writing, I have dreams of writing a childrens’ book, experimenting with scriptwriting, taking documentary work classes, blog writing ,learning more about technology, transmedia activism and entertainment education, the study of human behavior/psychology and character study, it sometimes feels like it’s too much! and these might change! I guess you just start, and things will be revealed when they should be.

  • Pankaj

    Before 10 days I have left my job after getting promotion as Judgment Writer in Courts because I was not happy but now what should I do. I love to dance but not courage to accept it? Should I search for new job or something else I should do?

  • Freddy

    That’s exactly right! Tony Robbins is my hero! haha. Erik, go out and start yodeling!!!

  • JL

    My question is: How do I take a grandiose, huge idea that seems impossible, into small steps so I can actually achieve it? I would also ask Tony Robbins, it seems like he can do anything!

    I’ve known my passion and “I’ll regret it if I don’t do it” idea for 10 years now but always hit a standstill because of the magnitude. It’s a non-profit idea that will serve children and young adults and I’ve had a hard time seeing how to take this huge concept and create a path to actually make it real…..It has nothing to do with my current career path, which may be part of my problem.

    • Kevin

      Look to see if there is anyone else in the world doing what you want to do, or at least something in the same vein. Also, talk to others whom you think might be interested in working with this, and brainstorm ideas. Just because it is a big idea, doesn’t mean that you need to start big. Can you start with doing just one event instead of starting a non-profit? Or, can you start by helping just one person, or maybe one small group, and gradually build from there? Use your time around work and family to work on this. If it’s a big enough deal for you, set your alarm clock an hour, or even a half an hour, earlier each day so you can devote some time to this one thing. Spend several hours on Saturday and/or Sunday working on it; maybe take some vacation time from work. If you are truly passionate about this then it will not be work for you, and you will not regret sacrificing a little time and energy.

      • JL

        Thanks, Kevin. I like the idea of trying one event, I’m going to do that. I’ll also look around more for others that may be interested in helping. So far, I haven’t found anything similar so I’ve had a hard time finding mentors but I’ll give that another shot, too. I’ve devoted many hours/days to this already with applying for grants, creating programs and such so I definitely don’t have a problem sacrificing other activities to get this off the ground. Thanks for the feedback!

    • Kevin

      Whenever you set aside time to work on this idea, have a specific accomplishment you want to achieve during that time: send an email to a specific person, plan a fundraiser, finalize a date for it, create a logo, find someone doing something similar, find someone who might be interested in joining forces for an event. Just make sure you set small, attainable goals. If you put in the work but do not complete the goal in your allotted time, write it on a sticky note and post it somewhere you will see it so you can go back to it when you get a chance. Alan Watts has a great talk relevant to this about life. Look up music and life by Alan Watts on youtube.

      • JL

        Also good things to keep in mind, and I liked the video – thank you!

        • ScrewtheSystemJoe

          Been reading your dialogue with Kevin and want to wish you all the best with your idea.
          It sounds like a great cause and Kevin came up with some great suggestions on steps you can take so I’ll focus more on the inspiration side of things.
          My own experience of having a huge idea that initially seemed impossible saw a year of inspired inactivity. It was only when I started to focus on what was right in front of me (rather than this fantastic vision in my head) that I began to make progress. Keep asking yourself, ‘What’s the next step?’ Then take that step and keep repeating the question. This gives your mind something to focus on and doesn’t allow the doubts of whether or not it’s possible to enter your consciousness.
          You’ll get to where you want to be in the end but it’s also important to keep the grand vision alive. I’d spend 10 mins a day just thinking/meditating on a moment when everything came together and I was living my dream. So what I’m trying to say is that it’s a balance between keeping the huge idea alive and just taking one step at a time.
          Good luck.

          • JL

            Thanks, Joe. I like the suggestion of asking, “what’s next?” I think that will help me as well. I also think the daily meditation you mentioned will keep the big picture around while I make baby steps. I hope that you’ve made your huge idea a reality, or are at least well on your way to making it! I appreciate all of these ideas, they’ve definitely helped get my creative juices flowing and I have a few more ideas now on how to get moving again. All the best to you!

  • Nicholas

    my question:

    will people judge me if I am struggling for money for many years? In america, everyone acts like a man should support himself and be able to have a family and if they come from a wealthy place they should not be spoiled and pursue art or something random. especially women. maybe it’s dumb but i lose a lot of confidence thinking i might be broke or out of a job for a while or long time. i think financial security is independence and a man is his late twenties should be fully independent. is this how everyone else sees it? do you respect people with no money but their dreams…would you date or marry someone like this…be friends with them and believe in them?

    • Jeremy

      I don’t respect people with no money but their dreams. I respect people who have dreams but wake up every day inspired to work hard to make that dream a reality. Whether it takes 5 years, 10 years, until your 29, it doesn’t matter. What I would want to see is that he is working hard for what matters to him, and not doing what society expects of him.

      I would be friends with these people. I would believe in them and encourage them to keep fighting.

    • Claire

      A lot of aspects to the questions you ask. There is a lot in here about mindset – knowing what you’re working towards and being confident in it. I liked this article–7KjHzC15ad

      The other thing is about being knowledgable enough about how to make your dream true. Of course knowledgeable enough? What does that mean? I guess for me, it’s about being realistic. Making smart decisions to slowly but surely progress towards your goal.

      When it comes to values and what other people think of you, what do you value? Once you clarify that, it will be very easy to stay away from those who don’t share your values. Their views and judgements don’t matter.

      If you think earning money is important, why not work part-time to enable some level of financial security and some time to pursue your dreams.

  • Franis Engel

    you know, your pop up to sign up for your offers that comes up when I scroll down toward the comments is really a problem for me on a laptop. (Aside from the fact that I’ve already signed up for your offers…) Because of the size of my screen, I can’t close it and it’s in the way of me reading any of the comments, even when I enlarge it to full screen. You might consider reducing the size of the popup so people such as myself can minimize or close it. It’s annoying to not be able to do that.
    Just a suggestion… it happens on EVERY SINGLE blog page for me… (I’ll try it again using another browser.)

    • Franis Engel

      Strangely enough, after I left this comment – the popup disappeared. So I guess I’m going to be making gratuitous comments to be able to read the other comments – I can live with that!

  • Anthony


    I will be submitting my two weeks notice of resignation from my job tomorrow when I arrive at work. My heart feels very heavy about this because I have given 14 years of my life to this company. I started at this company as a temp in the IT department where I provided technical support (hands on, phone, etc). After a few months, I was fortunate to be offered a full time position. After about two years, I was promoted to desktop support manager and two and a half years later to IT Director. I noticed that after I got my first promotion, I began to truly hate the whole idea of management. I kept quiet about it for the first year hoping that I would feel better as time went on. Unfortunately, my frustration grew more and more. I hated dealing with complaining employees, performance reviews and useless management meetings. Although the salary wasn’t as large as what I made as a manager, I missed being able to help resolve employee’s computer problems as a technician. To walk in an office, fix a problem and then walk away feeling like a hero was the greatest feeling ever. I loved to fix things. I even hired an Executive Coach who kept encouraging me to stay put and tweak a few things here and there. Sure enough, with the help of the Executive Coach, I was again promoted to IT Director. I accepted the position knowing full well that I hated management. I accepted the position because my family was growing and I thought we could use the money. I already had one son and twin girls were on the way. I was continuing to become depressed internally because I felt like something was wrong with me for not wanting to stay in management. As luck would have it, I accepted yet another management promotion at the same company. This time I left IT and took over another completely different program that I had no knowledge about. I have been managing this program for the past four years. I am so disappointed and depressed right now. I left my first love which was IT all for the money. Would you believe that I have never been able to enjoy the money? I am still robbing Peter to pay Paul. I began drinking, staying out late and doing things unbecoming of myself just to cope at work. I am a wreck right now. The good thing is my wife supports my decision. I just want to start over and align myself with what I’m supposed to be doing. I am praying that I can get back into IT. However, now that I’ve found this site, I am willing to accept that it may be something else. I cannot believe that I find myself at this point at age 41. The funny thing is, I always knew that I was climbing the wrong ladder. Day after day and year after year went by and I always knew something wasn’t right. I just kept hoping that at some point I would feel better. I even hired a therapist who confused me even more. I even tried to resign last year but allowed upper management to talk me out of it. Something recently happened at work that made me realize that I have got to go now or else I will die. I’m not doing the job, myself or my family any justice. I’m always angry, depressed and wanting to just sleep my life away. I know no job is perfect, but every day of my life is a struggle to get through the day at work.

    My question is, has anybody ever done what I’m about to do? Did you make it through? I realize that rebuilding while draining retirement accounts is not the traditional thing to do, but I feel so desperate for a change. I appreciate the opportunity to vent and submit my question. I am looking forward to any responses. Tomorrow morning is D Day. I wish I had found this site sooner.

    Thank you

    • Matt

      Hey Anthony,

      I hope this response finds you well. First off, it appears as though you have (and acknowledge) some big positives in your life. It is fantastic that you have a supportive partner and family. Knowing what work you do enjoy, and having the depth of skill and experience to enable your participation in that work are also huge pluses. I do appreciate that this does not make your situation easy, but will help greatly in getting you through difficult times.

      My situation is similar, and I’m somewhere in the middle of what you are taking your first steps toward. What do you find most daunting about your situation? What are some of the deeper questions you have been asking yourself?


      • Anthony

        Hi Matt,

        Thank you so much for responding. At this time, what I find most daunting is starting over and how I will be able to keep my head up while rebuilding myself/career. I have ALWAYS been responsible, dependable and reliable. You could call me the go-to person in the family. However, for the first time in a long time I am doing something that many outside of my immediate family will probably frown upon. Mainly because I have a family. I have been contemplating this for some time now, but I never would take that step. Some of the deeper questions that I have been asking are:

        1. Can i really do it?
        2. Wouldn’t it be great if I were able to successfully rebuild myself and be a living testimony for someone else?

        3. Why am I going through this at this time in my life?
        4. What did I do wrong to be in this situation?
        5. Will I be able to keep up with these younger technicians out here today?

        Although I have many concerns, the thought of starting over and rebuilding in a more thoughtful and structured way is pretty exciting to think about. I’m also thinking of ways to incorporate exercise into my daily routine after i leave (type 2 diabetic). With the way I work now, I’m usually not motivated to do anything when i get off work except eat and sleep.

        • Matt

          When you shake up the status quo, there will always be some people left shaking their heads. I have learned much about that over the past 15 years. I would like to respond to your points, but it will be necessarily general in nature. There is simply too much to cover, so much will be left unsaid and some of it said may sound a bit odd.

          1. Can I really do it?
          The job: You know the answer to this one. You have been successful at a career that you do not like. How do you think you will do at something you love; that you have excelled at before; and that you return to with perspective and business knowledge that few can offer?
          The change: Oh man, I don’t feel qualified to answer this, haha. I think a lot about this, and still have no clear answer. You can change if you commit to it, just uncertain that the results are always what we expect.

          2. Wouldn’t it be great if I were able to successfully rebuild myself and be a living testimony for someone else?
          Yes, both of those would be fantastic.

          3. Why am I going through this at this time in my life?
          I don’t know. Have read some suggest that it is a nuerobiological imperative for most men around age 40. Others will say “because you are ready”. Others still refer to cultural norms and societal pressures, and many, many more. I have yet to find any singular, particularly insightful answer, but it does make for interesting reading. Let me know if you figure this one out;-)

          4. What did I do wrong to be in this situation?
          You had mentioned that you knew you were climbing the wrong ladder, even as you were climbing it. It’s not too late to find another ladder, and to do so with the support you have is amazing.

          5. Will I be able to keep up with these younger technicians out here today?
          I don’t know the answer to this one either, but think you have a pretty good idea. I don’t think the fear of it should be a deterrent, but perhaps a motivation. Also worthwhile considering if there are other roles you could take on that utilize your tech skills, without the limitations and pressures you feel a management role imposes. There are, and seemingly a growing number, of companies with no structured hierarchy and more egalitarian principles. Are any of these worth exploring?

          I can relate to hating a job, and leaving that job. I can relate to spending years of your life helping build something and then walking away (*be aware of its’ relationship to your identity). I can relate to depression, no income, and everyone wondering what the hell you are doing. You are not alone.

          There is one thing I believe in for myself, and take it or leave it if you feel it applies to you. When that part of you knows that it is time to move on, listen up. The longer you hang on to something you know is wrong, the more damage gets done and time gets lost.

          All the best Anthony!!

  • Anthony


    Thanks again for all of your insight and support. I truly appreciate you taking the time to respond.

  • Kevin

    You should not look at this as a problem, but instead a journey. Yes, you are the dependable one in the family, but at times it is alright for you to depend on them for help. They will surely be elated at the chance to help you after all you have done for them. Don’t worry about what others think of you and your decisions. If they have a problem with it, then that’s there problem and not yours, and worrying about other peoples problems is not very helpful to you right now (well, besides their IT problems.) Think about the example you would be sending to your kids if you stayed in a miserable job that was killing you. Years from now if they find themselves in this same situation then they would stay miserable because that’s what they learned the right thing to do was. You did not do anything wrong to be in this situation. You are not being punished. This is just life. We all have our crosses to bare, and it’s our decision on how to deal with them. I have a lot of respect for you for how you are dealing with this situation. You are not letting your fears rule your life. Congratulations on your first big win; there will surely be many more in your future.

  • Regina

    I’d love to have an answer to this question: How do I balance my day job, the work I love to do which sometimes requires hard work, my personal plus family life? In other words, how can I lovingly blend it all up, have fun and still do what I need to do?

    • Kevin

      You should follow the blog zen habits. He has some awesome posts. He wrote a post on LYL that would be helpful for you.

      • Regina

        Kevin, thanks for pointing me to this article. I do read Leo’s posts and have found them super helpful but I hadn’t seen this one. Thank you! I’m all over it. :-)

  • Kyle

    Well here goes nothing, I’m a (recently turned) 21 yr old male from Ohio. Raised by a phenomenal single mother and a slew of supportive family. Given the best education available where I live, I find it very difficult to settle for any job, or make any life decisions simply because indeed my greatest fear is my potential. I pursued Biochemistry as a premedical major at Miami University in Oxford for a year and a half. This is where I started out with A’s and B’s and found myself with D’s and F’s after pursuing membership in a fraternity and 20 credit hours the following semester to “catch up.”
    I’ve always been a very analytical person, typically very observant with good common sense. I’ve always been very good at math, english and nearly every science I could indulge myself in. But my question lies after working for att for a year making over 30k as a 20 yr old, what’s my next step? Is it time to go back to school finish my degree only to have 6 figures of crippling debt I’ll need to pay off for years? Or pursue my passion to just get the F out and hopefully experience lots of incredible things this world has to offer? I have a tremendous amount of passion and ability/potential, however I lack direction. Like a magnet to a compass, I feel my environment directs me ever deeper into an abyss of others dreams and expectations. I’m dying to find my passion. I would give to this world everything, if I only knew where to put it.

    • Kevin

      You are really the only one who can answer this question for you. College is a great way to experience the world and find your passion because there is so much going on in a college setting; so many classes to take, people to meet, organizations to join, etc.. That does not mean you can not find your passion outside of college. you need to meditate and control your compass. It is good to let your environment direct you, but you must control yourself to look deeper into the stuff that really inspires you. Then your compass will lead you more into these things. There’s an infinite amount of things to do, you need to put more focus and work into individual things.

  • Kevin

    You should follow the blog zen habits. He has some awesome posts. He wrote a post on LYL that would be helpful for you.

  • Anthony


    Thank you so much for your response. I truly appreciate it. I did in fact submit my notice on yesterday. I was asked to ride my two weeks out from home. With that being said, today was my first full day at home to my own thoughts. I’m trying to do what Scott recommended and not do anything just yet. Just take some time to think.

    Thanks again.

  • Anna

    My question right now is WHY I DON’T HAVE ANY PASSION? I just don’t have any idea what I’ll want to do,to work, and believe me, at the age of 37 ,is not so funny:((

    • Jeremy

      Hi Anna,

      Part of life’s journey I believe doesn’t start when you have found that particular “work you can’t not do” or you could say, your passion. Take things easy and explore new things. Talk to new people, and go for all sorts of adventures. You won’t find your passion overnight.

      I just have an article released on Lifehack entitled How To Have No Passion In Life And Still Crush It. You might want to read it and let me know if you’ll apply them or not.

      The idea is to challenge yourself to face your fears and “crush” life and to stop fussing over being unable to to find your passion. Just have fun. And if you follow this article for 1 year, chances are high you’ll get on to something. And if you think about it, if you’re 37, giving yourself 1 more year to find it isn’t that a big deal.


      • Anna

        Thank you Jeremy, I read the article, and I’ll take the chalenge. maybe not all of them, but I’ll definetely try some…
        And yes, you are right, I can give me 1 year more to try new things and see haw is working…Thanks again!

        • Jeremy

          That’s great! I made 12 more for the sake of having an impact in the article. But doing any one or two of them will definitely help.

          You can also try blogging which Scott is big on. You get to learn and discover a lot. And you can connect with fellow bloggers and see what others are doing online. You can use the following link for starting a blog.

          There’s a video there where Scott will walk you through the process. Alternatively you could get on Skype with me and I will do the same of walking you through the process.

          Don’t forget also that Scott’s product Live Off Your Passion (LOYP) is designed to help people just like you find their passion. I believe that could really help a lot.

  • http://[email protected] Chad

    Hi. Well this will be a bit long so i hope you will read it.
    I seem to not be able to keep a job even in the field/ career I like. Which it seems to be healthcare, but maybe its just a dream. I’ve been a CNA for for quite a few years at different places. I have done construction, factory, retail, food, automotive/auto body, healthcare. But I seem to like health care the most as a CNA. So i figure I should go and be a nurse (yes, I’m a straight guy) because it interests me a lot and it seems like there so many cool areas. But I’m afraid that I will go through the education. starting in fall 2014 (But I don’t have a job now, So I don’t know what I should do until then?) and not find a job/ or if I do I won’t be able to keep it. I’ll end up getting fired for something or another. I want to be able to keep a job at something I like.

    I just don’t want to work some job, Just for a pay check. Yes I like to get paid but I want something has a purpose, So that more often then not you are exited to go work, and everyday something is different, But I also know being a nurse has odd hours. And then to raise.spend time with your child that I only get to see part of the time.
    – See more at:

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  • Rafael

    my question is: What is my next step to building my school of life?

    • Kevin

      I’m not sure where you are on the road to accomplishing this, but the next step is probably to get other people involved so they can help you. Choose your comrades wisely because they could make or break your school at anytime. If you have others helping you already then the next step is to just put yourself out there over and over and over again; and then put yourself out there some more.
      Good luck and float on.