One of the exercises we asked people to do over the Wayfinder Weekend at the Wayfinding Academy was to find the Why under their passions and interests. As is always the case, there were more passions than there were people there, but a common challenge people discussed with me was that the only reason they liked some of the things they did was that doing those things made them happy and they felt like they needed something more than that as a reason.
The basis for that feeling is a socially programed belief that you can’t do something just because it makes you happy. There must be meaning, purpose, service, or impact or it’s just selfish. Another thread of that tangled skein is the belief that you deserve to be happy only after you’ve worked your tail off doing something more meaningful, purposeful, service-oriented, or productive. (That’s a shade of the Protestant Work Ethic for you — and you don’t have to be Protestant for it to be operating on you due to socialization.)
Here’s the deal: although you can stumble your way into happiness, a lot of people have spent many decades walking and working on this earth and still haven’t figured out what makes them happy. And when they do figure it out, they don’t allow themselves to be happy. There’s always something more purposeful, productive, meaningful, or important to be doing.
So my invitation here is to let yourself find your path straight to happiness. Life is short and there’s no stamp that shows when it’s your time to be happy. As Jim Rohn said, “Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.”
P.S. Our cultures socialize women to be especially conscious of other people’s needs and happiness, often at the expense of their own. If you’re a woman and this rings true for you, please read this again and pretend that your needs are just as important as those of everyone else you might be supporting.
Here’s this week’s Pulse:
- Are you feeling the “back to school/work” transition creep in? Avoid the back to school/work rush and order your planners from Productive Flourishing. We’ll have more info on the 2017 planners soon — sign up for updates.
- My book, The Small Business Life Cycle, is part of an exclusive library curated for startup and small-business owners called the Ultimate Startup Bundle. This $3000 value is on sale for $97 from August 3rd–August 8th. Grab yours today.
- The FREE planners and productivity worksheets for August are now available for download. Keep them in the cloud or print them out and leave digital distractions at home — whatever helps you be productive. Download yours now.
- Join me next Monday, August 8th at 2pm PT for a free interactive webinar. The Monthly Momentum Calls are part riff, part reader Q&A. Grab your spot.
The Latest Posts:
How to Avoid the Slippery Slope of Learning Seep — Consultants and course-creators: Could scope seep be killing your business? Could learning seep be preventing you from putting down the books and taking action? Breanne Dyck is our featured guest contributor and shares how to stop both types of seep from sabotaging your success.
Quote of the Week:
“Whatever lies in our power to do lies within our power not to do.” –Aristotle
Book of the Week:
Unmistakable: Why Only Is Better Than Best by Srinivas Rao — Unmistakable is both a manifesto and a compass for doing what Srini calls “unmistakable art” — art that doesn’t require a signature because it’s so infused with your heart and mind that no one else could have created it. “Part 2: The Lineup” is particularly insightful, as it covers the enemies of unmistakable art, including the search for best practices (quick fixes) and the echo chamber. If you’re feeling like your work has lost its you-ness or that you’re stuck in the crowd, this is an excellent read.
Features and Mentions:
- How can collaboration affect your business, and how can you incorporate it into your company culture? Watch (or listen to) my interview on Peter Awad’s latest Slow Hustle podcast episode, The Keys to Getting More Done.
- I joined Michael Rogers on the Michigan Business Network podcast to discuss The Small Business Life Cycle. Listen in as I share highlights from the book that will help illuminate how you can take meaningful action to drive your business forward.
The Latest Podcast:
The tables are turned in this episode as Andrea Lee puts me in the spotlight. This one’s coming right after I’ve started sharing more of my thoughts on race, identity, equality, and justice, so a good bit of the conversation focuses on how we might show up as our full selves in our work. If you find yourself at a loss for how to engage with the world while still doing your work, you might find some useful ideas in here.
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