Build Your Leaders

Archive for the ‘passion’ Category

How to Live Life with Purpose

February 3rd, 2013

In my work (and my book Engineer Your Career), I address four “Ps.” One of those “Ps” is Purpose. I’ve been thinking a lot about purpose. Identifying and  sharing my gifts–my special talents, skills, and attributes–is crucial if I want to live life on and with purpose. This summer, I found these two passages in Paul Ferrini’s book “Silence of the Heart.”

“You think the gift is ‘a doing,’ but it’s not. The gift is a ‘way of being’ that is effortless and exultant. It comes naturally to you. It immediately and palpably brings joy to others.”

“Whatever you do, you can express your gift. You don’t need a special role, a special platform.”

Over the past few months, I’ve been pondering how my life’s work can be more “a way of being” instead of “a doing.” I don’t have all the answers, but in Ferrini’s words I’ve got a direction.

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July 8th, 2011

Absorbing times of intense beauty. It was so beautiful that if it was a painting it would have been on velvet. My friend David and I were watching the sun set over Washington, D.C., from a stone-clad tower at the National Cathedral. The bright tangerine rays backlit the clouds in such a way that the entire scene looked surreal, much like a painting on velvet. In silence we watched as the bright orange ball descended into the horizon, cloaking Washington in darkness.

When I am around such beauty it almost seems more than I can handle. I find myself wanting to fast forward through the experience. Weeks later, I mentioned this to another friend, who quoted a line from the award-winning film American Beauty.  Kevin Spacey’s character, Lester Burnham, delivers it:

“But it’s hard to stay mad when there is so much beauty in the world.  Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once and it’s too much.  My heart fills up like a balloon that is about to burst and then I remember to relax and stop trying to hold on to it and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life. You have no idea what I am talking about. I am sure. But don’t you worry, you will some day.”

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Infuse Meaning Into Your Work

October 28th, 2009

What’s your attitude toward work? Jungian analyst and author Robert Johnson shares a memorable story in his book Living Your Unlived Life: Coping with Unrealized Dreams and Fulfilling Your Purpose in the Second Half of Life. The story is set in medieval times.

A man sees a laborer pushing a wheelbarrow and asks him what he is doing. The laborer replies, “Can’t you see, I’m pushing a wheelbarrow.” Later the man sees another laborer pushing a wheelbarrow, and he asks him the same question. “I’m doing the work of God; I’m building Chartres Cathedral,” the second laborer replies.

Same activities, but totally different interpretations. The second laborer infused his work with meaning, connecting to a greater purpose.

I ask myself, “Do I want to give workshops and coach executives, or do I want to help professionals stand in their power by becoming the full expression of all they are?” The answer’s a no-brainer.  The second approach carries much more juice.

So tell me. What do you do?

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A Compass for Calling

October 21st, 2009

Follow your flow. Years ago, my analyst posed the question: “What would your life be like if you were to simply follow your energy?” In his question, I found a compass for my calling.

Whether called energy, enthusiasm, passion, or love makes little difference: it’s all the same to me. When I follow it, I am in the flow. The right situations, people, and resources come forward. I am following what Joseph Campbell called “my bliss.”

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