Lori Deschene Tiny Buddha

“Happiness isn’t getting everything you want. It’s appreciating what you have and staying open to the limitless possibilities before you.”

~Lori Deschene, author of Tiny Buddha

*Important note: Be sure to read to the end to have a chance to win a free copy of Lori Deschene’s newest book: Tiny Buddha – Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions. Take 20 seconds to tell us one of your hardest life questions in the comments and you’ll be entered to win. If you’re reading this in email, I suggest you click here to read it on the site to participate.

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Creating Happiness

A few years ago a struggling writer and someone a tad bit lost in the world, decided she was going to take to the online world to see if she could both get some help and offer what help she could to others. She first started a simple Twitter account where she posted a quote a day. Something inspiring about happiness, purpose, embracing fear, love and all else.

Just a few words a day. But she did it every day.

Fast forward to today and that Twitter account now has over 241,000 followers. Her Facebook page has over 72,000 fans. It turned out she wasn’t the only one struggling with these big topics. A couple years ago she also created a website and blog, called Tiny Buddha, as a place to write deeper articles to further explore our biggest challenges.

When you help people, interesting things happen…

Her site now serves as a virtual lighthouse for those of us (all of us, really) who need a little direction. There are hundreds of contributors (I’ve even been fortunate enough to write a few articles for her).

And it’s a damn bright lighthouse at that. Since the day Tiny Buddha went live, the site as received 8.5 million visits and 16 million page views. To put that into perspective, that is in the absolute top tier of all websites on the planet. People from every country in the world routinely visit the site, and her following is now over 300,000 people strong.

The amazing thing is that none of this existed a few years ago. Before then no one had heard of Lori Deschene or Tiny Buddha.

When I first started blogging and writing online, there were a few people who not only inspired me as to what was possible, but who even took the time to personally show me the way. Those few folks opened doors for me (some I didn’t even know existed), helped me form my ideas and were sounding boards on the most pivotal stuff.

Lori was one of those people. I’m grateful for the time I’ve gotten to spend with her both online and off. She’s a friend, Living Legend and mentor all in one.

And now she’s taking her next big step. Lori just published her first hard cover book, Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions. I have an early copy of it right next to me, and it’s been a blast to get through, especially right as the new year’s about to go live!

Lori’s been awesome enough to answer a few questions about the book and her online success, and as a little bonus, she’s offered to give away a couple free hard-cover copies to the Live Your Legend Community.

Without further ado…

Here are Lori’s thoughts on life’s hardest questions:

Scott: You and I both share an obsession for helping people find meaningful work. How can this book be used as a tool for getting people closer to finding what they’re passionate about and building a career around it?

Lori: I’ve learned that creating a career from a passion requires a great deal of self-inquiry. For me, it wasn’t just about identifying what I loved or finding the right professional situation; it was also about understanding the internal blocks that convinced me I couldn’t or shouldn’t create a passionate, meaningful life.

My book delves into a lot of these issues to help readers answer the questions that may be holding them back.

I split it into 9 sections, each covering one of the hardest questions in life, including: What’s the meaning of life? Can people change—and how? Do you need money to be happy? How can you make each day count?

In each section, I shared a little of my own experiences grappling with these big issues, and then offered a number of possible ways to answer these questions, as supported by Twitter-submitted responses, ancient wisdom, and modern research. I also included action-oriented tips to apply these different ideas, starting right now.

Readers won’t finish the book feeling like they know all the answers, but they may have a stronger idea of which possibilities feel right for them—what makes them feel meaningful, happy, connected, engaged, and satisfied in their day-to-day life.

When you understand yourself and what you need to feel empowered and purposeful, it’s a lot easier to design your life in a way that will feel fulfilling.

Scott: What is the most vulnerable experience you’ve had that you share in the book (I’m talking the one that you cut out and put back in 3-4 times before leaving it in for good).

Lori: The story that I felt most vulnerable sharing was the one in the relationship section, because it’s not easy to acknowledge how little I valued myself and how much I was willing to compromise just so I didn’t have to be alone. It’s really the only one I feel exposed sharing, which may seem odd considering how personal the other ones are.

I think it’s because I’ve told many of the other stories countless times over the years, but very few people knew about that one before I chose to publish it in a book.

I knew I wanted to be honest about my struggles with these questions, and there were two reasons for that. The first: I wanted anyone reading who may have had similar experiences to know they are not alone—that their struggles, past or present, do not define them, and there is no reason to feel trapped in shame.

The second reason: I wanted to encourage other people to be honest about how they’ve gotten in their own way. I still get in my way at times, but my saving grace is self-awareness. I am always willing to call myself out, publicly or not. That’s what keeps me growing, and that growth is a big part of my peace, happiness, and purpose.

life's questions

Scott: This book is not just written by you. How is it different than others?

Lori: There are other books that include tweets, but for those ones, the tweets are the book. I included around 200—and I didn’t just weave them throughout Tiny Buddha; I shaped the book around them.

To start the writing process, I asked the questions on the @tinybuddha Twitter stream, and noticed pretty quickly that there were a lot of similar answers. For example, there were more than 100 responses to “What’s the meaning of life?” But really, there were many variations on five different ideas.

I chose the sections for each chapter based on the main ideas that came from Twitter, and started each with five of those tweets. In that way, the community is the backbone of this book.

Scott: It must add so much to a book to be able to pull from the experiences of over 240,000 people among your Twitter followers. It makes it so much more relatable for the rest of the world. With that said, you have been helping hundreds of thousands of people via your writing, site and work in the past years. What are your biggest goals about how this will help the world?

Lori: Well first of all, thank you! I love knowing I’m helping people. Really, that is my biggest goal: to do what I can through the site to help myself, help other people, and help them help each other.

That’s why I run Tiny Buddha as a community blog. It’s a place where anyone can share what they’ve been through, what they’ve learned, what they’re going through, and what they’re learning.

From what readers tell me, it’s a space that helps us all remember that we’re not alone, and we can all make a difference in the world. It’s definitely that space for me. I can’t think of anything bigger than doing my tiny part through the site every day.

Scott: It’s no doubt making all the difference Lori. Seriously – nicely done! So can you tell us a little about the experience of getting a book deal? What made that possible?

Lori: Things fell into place nicely because publishers had started contacting me to review their books. One day, I decided to ask one of them if they were accepting new proposals—and they were! They were planning to attend a conference where I was scheduled to speak. Once we were able to meet face-to-face and explore a few ideas, it all snowballed from there.

One thing I learned in the beginning weeks is that publishers look for new authors who have some type of existing platform, and are willing to invest their time, energy, and resources to promote their books. I had a growing social media following, and I had a specific, creative marketing plan—part of which is this blog tour that’s been going on for two weeks now.

Thank you so much, Scott, for being part of it and allowing me to share Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questionswith your readers!

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It’s honor to host Lori, especially at such a crucial time for change being right at the end of the year. Those of you who’ve been around for a while, know that I absolutely love the New Year as it’s my favorite time to set big goals and get inspired to put an even bigger dent in the world. I hope Lori’s work will get you in the right mindset. It certainly did for me.

You can learn more about Lori’s new book or pick up your own copy here at the book website here.

Also, be sure to keep an eye out next week for the totally free Live Your Legend 2012 Goal Setting and Action Workbook. I’m putting all the finishing touches on it this week and it will be available to you all in just a few days. I can’t wait.

Happy New Year – there are big things to come!

-Scott

Leave a comment to win a free copy of the Tiny Buddha book:

Tiny Buddha BookTake 20 seconds to leave a 1-2 sentence comment below sharing one of your hardest life questions (email readers click here). Two of you will win a free hard-copy of the book. Lori’s publisher has been awesome enough to send it directly to your door. Tell us what you think (and I might even get Lori to jump in to provide some of her own responses ;). You can also be entered to win by sharing this on Facebook or Twitter.

Enjoy…

*Update 1/2/12: Congrats to Renee and Chris for winning the two books! They will be in the mail and on their way shortely! Thanks to everyone else for contributing your questions. We loved reading them.

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Image courtesy of Stuck in Customs


  • http://ditlod.wordpress.com David

    My hardest life question at the tail end of 2011 is — what’s my “big thing”? I left my corporate security blanket this year and have a gazillion ideas for things I can do to start earning income and providing for my desired lifestyle, but I’m still stuck on — what do I really WANT to do? And I’m starting to think there’s not going to be a magic answer to that question, just a process of trial & error, and that it will probably change over time. I love photography, I love writing, I love helping people, I love being active & physical — so many different things. And who knows — maybe there is no ONE big thing for me, but MANY big things?

    • Steve

      David
      I’ve had a similar problem (and am still working though it) but have found the following helps:
      a) Identify your values and check which ideas fit these best
      b) Identify your 3 main interests/skills, look at the areas they overlap (in a Venn diagram), especially where all 3 overlap
      c) Just follow your heart/nose – see what you naturally spend your time/energy on and pursue it further. Sometimes this leads to a blind end, others times it stimulates new ideas or twists on existing ideas
      d) Talk about your ideas with others, especially those that also have a passion for the same thing, and see where this takes you
      e) Consider a ‘portfolio’ career/retirement – do two or 3 things (but don’t spread yourself too thin)
      f) Cut down on the thinking/planning (procrastinating) and just try out one or two ideas (as in c above)
      g) Are there any ideas about which you get emotional (tears in the eyes or fire in the belly)?
      h) Which of your ideas are people crying out? Which do people come to you already for help? Which will really help others the most?
      i) Which is most compatible with your partners interests or way of thinking? Which will your partner support you most in doing?
      j) Have some sessions with a life/career coach

      Hope this helps!
      Steve

  • Stan

    I am sure that this book contains phenomenal life changing information… Sometimes life can be complicated and there is only one person to blame… Need I say more?

  • Vivek

    The hardest(?) and most profound question is “Who am I?” It is a question where the value is in the question – not the answer. You keep the question and throw away all the answers. One famous spiritual teacher from India once said, “One who knows the answer to this question will not tell you. And if someone is telling you, know that they have no clue.”

  • http://www.simplemindfulness.com Paige Burkes | simple mindfulness

    My big question as the mother of 3 young children: How can I teach my children the life lessons that have taken me 40 years to learn so that they can live happier and more peaceful lives? Things like personal responsibility, mindfulness, a knowing that all the answers they need are inside of them, trusting themselves, that they are connected to everyone and everything else…. All I can do is be a great role model and hope that they absorb the teachings (and hope I can continue to be a great role model).

  • Lois Kubota

    The hardest question for me is should I put my mom, who has alzheimer’s on hospice. Is it time to let her go? I think she would say so at this point of her disease. Why do we keep fixing her knowin whe won’t really improve any longer?

  • http://patrickzielinski.com Patrick

    My biggest question is:

    Should I trust my instinct to pursue my dreams? Or allow the advice of friends, colleagues or others suggest how I should achieve those goals?

    I know I want to obtain a certain lifestyle but many people suggest taking certain routes which ultimately serve as road blocks. Or they make you triple think what you truly want to do.

  • Mark

    The hardest question I face is “What do I want most out of life?” Keeping that front and center, and avoiding distraction is key.

  • David Bozin

    Firstly, thank you for your post and work.

    As Buddha said,

    The questions that we ask ourselves result in our own self-realization, and the harder the question, the greater the potential. The gateway to self-realization is knowing which questions to ask. Thus, the true question is one that is asked many times, and keeps producing: The question is different, but the path is the same.

  • Patricia Ortiz

    Life’s hardest question is “Am I living my purpose on this planet?” I am the only me there will ever be, and I ask myself if my uniqueness is being shared in such a way that it leaves a lasting impact on the world. I have a legacy to leave to future generations so am I living my purpose in order to make that happen?

  • Galina Angelova

    Hardest question: How to become the person I want to be? How to change my mindset and dare to do what I love and which scares me to death? How to win the love of a special somebody? I’d love to read the book! Success!

  • C Monnet

    My hardest question:
    Why can’t I have a family? My family is very disfunctional and I have had to set strict limits with them to avoid being drawn into their endless drama. I have 1 child and am now going through a divorce. What am I doing wrong that I do not have a family?

    Also what am I doing to bring on all this suffering? I wonder if I did horrible things in a past life to have all this misery and drama in my life.

  • Susie

    The hardest question for my life has always been ‘Why?’ Why do we bother, what’s the point, why are we here? If there is a purpose to our lives, why can’t we see it, why can’t I see it?
    It’s ironic to me that I am considered a high achiever and spiritual by those that know me and I all I can ask myself is, why? I guess I ended up successful and driven because what else was I going to do? More of a why not do something productive while you flail around lost but my why still is hanging out there.

  • http://www.woodstovehouse.com Jason Mundok

    My toughest question is how do I get to the other side of 40 years of baggage about how things are supposed to be in life (a cultural definition of success) instead of how I passionately feel life should be for me? I’m learning to make very small incremental changes as I don’t think there is one big answer, but many smaller ones.

  • Carolina

    The hardest question for me is: how to let go?

    How to let go of our silly fears and useless worries, of the need of acceptance by others, of all the business and clutter and junk from these modern times, of the routines and frustrations that slowly drain our will to do something new and different?

    How can we let go of the small and unimportant – though usually painful – things?

    How can we do this and finally focus on what is truly meaningful for our lives?

  • http://www.rehabalert.com Rehab

    Toughest life question… What is the fastest method one can use to completely reprogram one’s mind to become the person who they envision that they want to be? Is it possible that a complete life transformation (mind, actions, ridding bad or destructive behaviors, health, thoughts, finances, spiritual, etc.) can be made in under 7 days – emerging as a completely different person – the person that you (or they) want to be?

  • http://trailmonsters.com Glenn Costa

    I will turn 60 on 2012 and the two big questions are. 1. How do I transition into “Act III” and the world of the “Forest Dweller”?
    2. How do I pass on what I have learned and experienced?

  • Francisco H

    My question is:

    How can I enjoy life on my own terms without having the feeling of being tied down by my job, bills, money, and my current status?

  • fiherrera

    Thank you for that wonderful post Scott.

    My toughest life question is

    How can I achieve balance with my work life and my social life? As much as I try, it never seems that I take time to have fun any more.

  • JC Niala

    do i follow what i believe to be true despite the (hopefully temporary) pain it may cause myself and others?

  • http://stopandbreathe.com Jason @ Stop & Breathe

    My toughest question….

    How do I be the best father and husband possible, when the path is sometimes difficult and tiring.

  • emily

    My hardest questions would have to be, How can I achieve the ability to remain in the present when there are so many factors (past and future) that prohibit my ability to live life as life is now?

  • http://www.behappyanddowhatyoulove.com Mary Eve

    Congrats on your undertakings, for both of you! I find it always inspiring to find other people who live their passion too. Scott I’ve discoved your site not long ago, and Lori I’ll make sure to follow you.

    So my biggest question is a dualist one, how to be fully aware in this reality and help people be like that. I blog and I’m a new author too, and I try my best to embody to be the change we wish to see in the world. It’s hard at times but definitevely worth it.

    All the best!

  • Vicky

    As a very new Tiny Buddha reader, I would so love to immerse myself in what I’ve been missing. But then I didn’t miss it, did I? Turning 61,large parts of me are at peace, other parts struggling against nameless dreads and habits. How can I release what does not serve me?

  • Mikka

    “Am I living my life’s purpose?” or “What is my mission in life?

    Initially, it goes with a strange feeling. But since the day I defined my purpose, everything just fall into place. I experienced God’s love and blessings in every event of my life… as simple as giving a smile to strangers.

  • Beth

    “Am I on the right path? Will I survive and thrive?” after leaving the corporate world this year to pursue my passion.

  • Eshha

    Hardest question for me:

    Is giving up on my career and family, for someone who is following his, without getting envious of his little victories, really worth the run of my life, when i’m equally good as him?

  • http://Jenniferfraley.com Jennifer F.

    My big question is “How can I be more present in my day-to-day life?” So often I find myself daydreaming or second guessing myself or obsessing on the future. I want to relish the here and now and as a new mom, be present for my son.

  • Toby

    How do I know and become the person God designed for me to be? How do I know i’m on the right path?

  • Amy

    My biggest question in the present moment is why can’t I let go of my insecurities and worries of what other people thing of me to live my life the way I want to? I keep reading these blogs and books and I get it (at least I think so), but when push comes to shove I often find myself flustered and not being the person I want to be. What am I missing that I need to change my patterns of thought?

  • http://feistykel.blogspot.com/ Feistykel

    How do I become comfortable in my own skin? I don’t want to be lonely and I am sure I can be my own friend, but how?

  • Tiffany

    After diving into Scott’s e-course Live Off Your Passion, I’m discovering what my passion actually is. Now that this e-course has me thinking about it, I can’t stop thinking about it! However, now one of my biggest life questions is how to I start to fund what I’d like to do?!

  • Lessie

    How do I escape tough situations/life and find love and belonging?

  • http://www.enlightenedresourcemanagement.com/ Joel Zaslofsky

    How do I live a life of purpose, intentional action and simplicity when my friends and family not only refuse to buy into it but passively seek to sabotage it?

  • Derek

    Tony Robbins always said to live a better life/get better answers, you need to ask better questions, and I think he is right on. So, my questions is: “What questions are we asking ourselves?

    • http://twitter.com/ngokenny24 Kenny

      My parents are immigrants from Vietnam and the fear of letting my parents down is my greatest obstacle in life. I recently read Amy Chua’s, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” and it has really gave me optimism about the future. The question of satisfying my parents is the greatest task. Thanks again for this opportunity!

  • Mladen

    Hardest Questions:

    What is my life mission? Am I on the right path?

  • Christine Green

    One of Life’s Hardest Questions- Am I living my life honestly?

  • http://wheretigerswill.wordpress.com Will L.

    My hardest question – am I being and becoming who I want to be or who someone else wants me to be? And am I OK with disappointing other people by being true to who God has made me to be?

    Something I’ve started to realize is that even though they may sometimes act otherwise, the people who care about me most do want me to be my true self. This has been a struggle I’ve faced with a recent career change, but the people I thought would object didn’t object quite as much as I thought they would.

  • http://www.themommasboy.blogspot.com Sean

    How do we say goodbye? I lost my Mom on March 27th and it hasn’t been getting any easier. All I know how to do is live every day in tribute to her. I strive to make her proud with every action and decision.

  • http://www.tvoftheabsurd.com Cynthia

    Life’s hardest question – how do I be a good parent. So tough.

  • Rebecca

    My question that I always ask myself is Why is doing what you know you should be doing with your life so hard. Idon’t know if I am scared of trying and failing or trying and succeeding…

  • Joshua

    My hardest question at the moment is should I keep fighting to keep my marriage and my wife. She has a really messed up disease that’s slowly killing her and she’s pushing me further and further away. The worse she gets the more she lashes out at myself and anyone around. She has this fear that she needs me to much but I’m willing to care for her no matter how bad things get. Sorry this comment turned into a vent. It’s been a really messed up few week.

  • GINGER CHILD

    Detaching with love…whew! I want to keep letting go and not having others’ actions produce fear (rage,etc) in me.

  • Sam Mukhopa

    Recently got inducted to the basic concepts of Buddhism. Need more exploartion.

  • Emma

    What is my true purpose and how do I beat my resistance and stay on my path. How do I embrace my family and friends while staying true to my own needs?

  • http://wowimhappynow.wordpress.com/ Marcelo Borges da Cruz

    My hardest life question is something like this: I have a passion for helping people, I enjoy creativity, I like finding new ways to evolve myself, I’d would like to keep developing an entrepreneurship spirit and I also enjoy tech stuff… How can I mix all of this in the same bowl and then create something to do for a living (my dream job)?

  • http://none Bob

    How can I show my love and gratitude to my family and close friends on a consistent basis? And how can I keep my quest for learning fresh at 61 years of age?

  • http://michelleamarcus.blogspot.com Michelle Marcus

    Why do bad things happen to good people?

  • http://www.victoriainfosolutions.com Darpan

    My hardest life questions is how to get the decided goals acheived.I seldom reach the goals till the end and get distracted all the time with some thing new.
    Thanks,
    Darpan

  • https://twitter.com/lonnie_scott Lonnie

    Hardest Life Question: Staying in a small dead end town so I can have regular time with my kids, but no career with a crap as the town fails; or pursuing my dreams in a place I dearly want to live, but sacrifice a large part of being with my kids? I’ve always chosen my kids. It’s still a difficult choice at times.

  • KC

    I have been doing a lot of soul searching and life learning as of lately and have been able to develop a very positive way of presenting myself. The only problem is I continue to nurture a very bad habit, one which I have quit and saw the light but restarted again, yet I keep going back to the darkness and hiding that light. Why do I keep falling back into bad habits when I know the light on the other side?

  • Christine

    After living my whole life on a safe path paved with other people’s expectations, my hardest question is what do *I* want and can I get past the uncertainty and take a risk for once?

  • Candyce C. Fleming

    One of life’s hardest questions for me is why do I stop at the 85%? Where to I find the momentum to get over that final 15% hump. I have seen the pattern repeatedly, different topics, different projects. I genuinely believe getting to that 100% on something important to me – will open to door to the path of understanding for many other questions.

  • http://www.lifovation.com Sheila

    One of the hardest questions for me to answer is: How do you maintain a positive attitude, the one you started out with that day, when people who are close to you are always so negative?

    Thank you – I hope I win a copy of this book – sounds wonderful!

  • sandra

    my hardest question right now is should I divorce my husband. He’s a good man, and we’ve built up a good life over 25 years. However he is a workaholic, and has a hard time taking a vacation. My life has been on hold for the last 25 years with basically work, work, work. But I’m retiring soon, and I’d like to start working on my bucket-list instead. He has just scoffed at all my suggestions, but I really want to do some of these things.
    Sad, worried, & concerned.

  • http://aanohelp.wordpress.com/ Cyrus

    My hardest question is should I continue with my alcoholic wife? I don’t think that we really want the same things out of life and, even though we may love each other, maybe we are keeping each other from being happy and fulfilled.

  • http://www.ocsc.com anthony sandberg

    My hardest question was the decision to put my Father, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s on NoCode and allow him to die of Pneumonia with dignity rather than keep him in a vegetable state for more years. It was the right thing to do and I hope that someone will make the same decision for me if and when it is necessary.

  • Leslie

    Why is it that while I know to let go and forgive is right and good for me I am still swept up, a year later, drowning in outrage and pain at obvious injustice?

  • http://mscollis.wordpress.com Mary C

    Hardest question: We are often urged/reminded to live like we’re dying (or like tomorrow is our last day), but how does one REALLY do this. Even though tomorrow COULD be our last day, we have to live like we’re in it for the long haul. Have puzzled over this for years.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  • http://www.annesamoilov.com/ Anne Samoilov

    I think one of the most difficult and recurring questions I face is:
    Am I offering my biggest and most valuable gift to the world?
    I have lots of passions and do go after the ones that call to me, but I often wonder if I’m overlooking or taking for granted a more important role or gift that I need to share.

  • Dee

    My hardest question is “What IS my passion?” I don’t seem to have one any more.

  • http://www.twitter.com/BrandonThaGreat Brandon McKinney

    How can I achieve TRUE happiness?? I’m a mess right now in my life and I just need guidance from someone, somewhere or something. I know it starts from within, but I’m having trouble accepting myself so I try and look from an outer source which I know wont help any.

  • http://artexperiences.wordpress.com susan

    Two hardest questions. Whether to file for divorce now or wait 2 years until my youngest has graduated high school. How to get past that danged fear concerning my career.

  • Nikki

    The toughest question I’ve ever had to ask, and try to answer, is, why did my son die before he had a chance to live? My son died while I was in labor with him six years ago. The only answer I’ve come up with is, sometimes really jacked-up crap happens. Not comforting, but true.

  • Eva

    Why do little children have to suffer?

  • andrea

    Thank you Scott and Lori for your inspiring blogs, I’ve learned a lot from both of you.
    One of the hardest questions for me is:

    Why do I deserve to be happy when so many others are in pain? How can I be happy knowing others are suffering, and I am not able to help all of them?

  • http://www.greatlifeblog.wordpress.com Amanda

    Wow. I seriously want that book. I’ve actually always wanted to buy products on the Internet (not all of them of course) but as a 10 year old, how am I supposed to do it?

    Well…my biggest question in life is…how do I know if someone can be trusted? I ask this because I want to keep accountable to others – but how do I choose who to be accountable to? Are they naysayers, will they get jealous? Will they pull you down and discourage you?

    • http://www.greatlifeblog.wordpress.com Amanda

      Oops, I forgot to add this:

      Sometimes I’ve been ‘sort of’ betrayed by my friends – at least, I thought they were my friends. Later when I shared my goals with them they discouraged me. :(

  • Heather

    How do you know when you should quit what you are doing to follow something else much riskier?

  • Mare

    My hardest question : “Why do I stand in my own way?” I always ALMOST attain my goals but fall short. I am my own worse enemy.

  • Renee

    One of my hardest life questions at the moment is “What do I want to do?” In terms of career, I am stagnating where I’m at and see no future in it. I long to be free to do what interests me, but what specifically is that?

    • Scott

      Hi Renee – I just wanted to congratulate you on being one of the two winners of Lori’s Tiny Buddha book give away (we used random.org to pick the winners). Congrats! I will send you an email so I can get your full mailing details and we’ll get a copy out to you. Thanks so much for the comment.

      And actually that’s the main question I’ve dedicated Live Your Legend to answering. That’s also why I created the Live Off Your Passion self study course. You might want to check it out if you haven’t already.

      Happy New Year!

  • Jim Krenz

    My hardest question: As I get older, more and more people pass away. How do I deal with the passing of loved ones?

  • D Waring

    My hardest question: How do I deal with the fear and sheer terror that spoil an otherwise wonderful life?
    (My wife at 44 has been given only a few years to live; our toddler is growing up and must deal with the poor education of the country we live in; we have no money for emergencies; I – at 54 – am getting older and also face an insecure future. Apart from this, life is very positive.)

  • Kylie

    My hardest question is how do I juggle being a mum of three while still pursuing my career/study dreams? I find it very difficult to allocate enough time to two things in my life that are really important to me. On the one hand I can spend a lot of time with my kids, reading to them, helping with schoolwork, crafting, playing outside, etc but then that leaves little time to develop and improve my skills and techniques that are so important to keep me up to date with my working peers. It’s very give and take and I find it hard to balance the two, without detriment to one or the other…

  • Anna

    What is my life mission? I know that I’ll be able to hear the answer if I can only stop to take a breath, but I keep running to keep up with the rest of the world.

  • Anita

    I know what I need to do (to gain a skill, buy a house, become the person I want to be), but why am I stubbornly ignoring and/or avoiding doing it? Change is hard indeed.

  • sos

    What is that I was born for?

  • chris

    Should I push head on with my career and how will I know when it is time to stop and start a family?

    • Scott

      Hey Chris – Congrats, you won a free copy of Lori’s Tiny Buddha book. You are one of the two winners chosen using random.org. I will send you an email so I can get your full mailing details and we’ll get a copy out to you.

      Thanks so much for the comment too. It’s a great question and I have a feeling I will be facing that one more and more as my wife and I decide to grow the Dinsmore family in the coming years.

      Happy New Year!

  • Jeff Scott

    My puzzle is to come out of the fog and live purposefully in the here and now.

  • Jenny

    Why does my partner not love me, yet not want to let me go? Will my daughter ever forgive me if I do leave?

  • http://www.MyFirstMagicButton.com Penny

    The hardest question I have is “What is my purpose in life?” Is it important to have this answer or can we move along and just find the answer along the way?

  • Carlos

    I’ve been struggling with Why do bad things happen at the worst possible time and is there a lesson in it?

  • http://higherpotential.wordpress.com Andria

    My hardest question is: Why do people have to be so mean and just not understand the meaning of kindness?
    I know that each person has his/her own story but it really is frustrating some times when you think that the world would be so simple if everyone was a bit more kinder.

    • http://higherpotential.wordpress.com Andria

      *a bit kinder!! My god sometimes I forget my English:)

  • Kristi

    My hardest question- Am I meant to have a family or is the reason we have not been successful is because I’m meant to do something different than being a parent?

  • http://dates.adventure-some.com Matthew

    My hardest life question is: what is the best legacy that I can leave?

  • Maria

    Why do some people not like me and others do even though I try to be kind, considerate and thoughtful to everyone the same. What is it about me that they don’t like? Is it something that is real or something they’ve imagined?
    And does my life really have a purpose or is that just something we tell ourselves to help us understand why we are here? Is there actually no purpose at all?

  • Trace

    I’ve been following you both for some time and Thank you for all of the great ideas. Unfortunately I’m still trying to find a passion. Life has made me so jaded that I don’t even know what makes me happy anymore and I greatly want and need to make a change.

  • http://stevesthinkingspace.wordpress.com/ Steve Strother

    Like both Lori and Scott I too have a strong desire to help the world. I want to do this by finding ways to share the positive. Pointing out examples of what is good in the world in contrast to the opposite perspective that we see way too often in the mainstream media. I also want to write about my experiences as a way of helping myself learn from those experiences and also as a way of helping others that might be working through the same life issues. This is my passion. A main vehicle for sharing this perspective is via blogging. I started a blog about about six months ago but so far my main audience is family and friends. I am grateful for their readership but would like to reach a wider audience. What are the key moves you made in the early days of your blogging experience to start reaching more people?

    • http://stevesthinkingspace.wordpress.com/ Steve Strother

      I realize this question does not sound like one of life’s hard questions but there is a hard question behind it that I do not want to share publicly at this time. The answer to my question above will help me with the bigger question that I cannot share. Thank you!

  • Sharee

    There are so many hardest questions, so many of them similar to my own. My hardest question…I want the best for my children and the best for me, sometimes they conflict. How do I let go of so much guilt? I even carry it from my past.

  • Stephanie Rogers

    Great blog post and interview. I’m really looking forward to reading the book. My toughest question is how do I continue to love my bipolar dysfunctional brother without letting my concern for him get in the way of my passion and inspiration to do great things in my own life? My current challenge is that I allow myself to get sucked into his drama and end up derailed from my own personal goals.

  • http://tinybuddha.com Lori

    Thanks so much for featuring my interview Scott! And thank you to everyone who commented on the post. I could relate to so many of the questions mentioned, especially the ones about trusting your instincts, being the person you want to be, letting go, and being present–and also the one about when to start a family. In fact, I’d say that’s the biggest one in my life at the moment, now that I’m in my early 30s.

    Wishing you all a healthy, happy 2012! =)

  • Po

    How to stay in balance between the things we can change in life and those we can not? How to see the difference?

  • Co

    Who am I?

  • http://emptythoughtsrewritten.blogspot.com Tamara Epps

    My hardest question would have to be:
    How do I fulfill my potential when I have limited energy and finances due to being disabled?

  • Lisa

    How do I know the correct life path! I’ve been struggling to understand!

  • Misha S.

    My hardest life lesson is: Undersatnding and reiterating that my value, as a life, a woman, a person, can be found at a place much deeper and eternal than the external things I temporarily have, amongst behaviors from others that convey the opposite.

    Quite simply, I feel like that’s the originating belief, meandering around deep inside, that’s precipitated every instance at which I’ve denied my greatness and settled for less. I’ve always had the gift of choice- and I choose to believe that my honoring myself and simultaneously dissappointing those who only wish to control me is compassionate and encouraging of others greatness too.

  • James H.

    My mind keeps turning back to the question of focus: how can I find more of it and where does it belong? Paring my unread RSS feed down from over 500 items to less than a 100 left me with an incredible sense of relief, despite all of the items that I will never read, and I want to repeat that experience with more of the myriad sources of constant updates in our digital lives.

  • Aaron

    One of the toughest questions I ask myself from time to time is, how can I help inspire confidence in others who lack self confidence without being either overbearing or “cute”, for lack of a better word. Any ideas or suggestions would be great, thanks.

  • http://wellnessthenaturalway.com Sarah O’Leary

    Lori’s story is definitely an inspiration – as is yours. I definitely want to check out the book as I find myself wondering if I have really latched onto my big passion yet. And if there’s really any more room in the online world for new inspirations… I feel a little late to the party.
    I’m confident I have a unique contribution to humanity – and hope to discover it in 2012!

  • http://www.alisoncummings.com Alison Cummings

    My ongoing question / goal: What can I do to be a positive influence in the world, making a difference personally and professionally, and also be my own positive influence?

  • http://happymumsathome.com kirri

    I got asked a ‘big’ question early 2011 that really hit me in the gut and brought a huge sense of resistance yet clarity as to what I had been doing for most of my life without truly realizing.

    The question was “Who are you trying to impress?”
    The answer….everyone but my true self.

    I’ve been working on that all year.

  • Christine Martinez

    Thanks for all your awesome information, Scott!! You are truly inspiring!

    My biggest question is “How can I better serve the world to my greatest potential?”

    My own fear and lack of power can sometimes get in the way. Best in 2012!!

  • http://mindfulsearcher.blogspot.com mindful searcher

    “How does one have compassion for those whose negativity seems to suck the joy from their own lives and infect others with negative feelings?” is one of my most difficult questions.

  • grace parkhouse

    This is my second try and putting down in words what I am thinking . How to figure out what kind of person I truly am. I feel like the world sees me as a nurse, wife, mother. But inside I feel different and feel there is more I can share with people but do not know how to share. How does a persosn learn to open up to those around them, to communicate in a clear manner?

  • Dee Partridge

    My biggest life question at the moment is one of balance.

    My widowed father has Parkinson’s and is just at the point of needing more assistance for basic daily tasks than I may be able to provide — I drive more than 40 miles daily to make sure he has been able to get out of bed and to assist him with getting dressed, for example. Plus do grocery shopping, housework, and other driving tasks. Our parent-child relationship is shifting and he’ll need to accept third-party assistance soon.

    Also, I am a stepmother to a 17 yro daughter who is struggling with whether or not to go to college or “take a year off,” and a 10 yro son with learning challenges.

    In addition to my relationship roles, I am currently “between positions” and trying to find or create work that speaks to my passions, is flexible enough to accommodate my care-giving responsibilities, and pay the bills, which are beginning to pile up.

    The life question: how do I ensure I am able to “be” with all that I “must do”?

  • Becky vance

    My hardest question sounds so simple but it’s not for me. How do I follow MY hearts desire without letting others influence me? How can I be sure it is my heart’s desire in the first place? I feel lost and left alone with the most important question looming. I really want to figure this out. At 52 most people know. Bless you and this blog!

  • Steph F.

    My hardest life question continues to be if I am in the right profession. I love helping people, but the rules and restrictions of a government job makes what I do not true social work.

  • Nick Card

    For the past 6 months I have been trying to answer the question “Who am I”. Somewhere over the last 20+ years I have lost myself. The clocks ticking and it’s time to start getting answers.

  • http://liveyourlegend Ana Maria Rodriguez Veraza

    Which are my talents and how can i serve others with them?
    I know i can change the world if i discover this

  • http://www.steamersilkdesigns.com Barbara

    The book looks fantastic! My hardest question: what is the best way I give back to the community?

  • Mark

    Life’s hardest question is “How do I extend my career into new work that will be work that I love? How do I with certainty find and accept work that will be my passion for the next chapter of my career/ life?”

  • http://--- Gonzalo Rubino

    “Men lose their health, to raise money.
    And then lose money to restore health.
    By thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present.
    So just do not live in the present or the future, live as if they were to die and die as if they had never lived. ”
    Buddha

  • Toby Lennon

    Thanks for the article.Thanks Again. Fantastic.

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    It only goes to show where theres will theres a way. Keep on trying. – Dont count the days, make the days count. – Muhammad Ali