My Challenge To You: Get The Ball Rolling

Steve Chandler is a coach and speaker and author. I found out about him by accident. I was scanning around on Amazon for books that might be useful in my coaching practice, and his book Fearless: Creating the Courage to Change the Things You Can
kept popping up. I bought it, and as a result, I am now a writer.

I don’t know Steve, and he doesn’t know me. But I was so impressed with his book that I wrote him an e-mail to tell him. He wrote back, and we corresponded a couple of times. He read some of my blog, and I read his. Then one day he wrote one thing to me, one small implied challenge, and now I’m different. I’m better. I see myself in a new way. He wrote, “You should write a book.”

Prior to those five little words popping up on my computer screen, I had many reasons for not writing a book or anything else for that matter. I didn’t think of myself as a writer. What did I have to say? Who would want to read it? It would take so much time with no guarantee of ever getting published. I wasn’t disciplined or passionate enough. But Steve blew all of that away like dust on a dandelion.

The Challenge

He didn’t say it directly, but his challenge was, “Just shut up and write.” So I did. I started writing for the joy of writing. Some days I felt no joy, but I wrote anyway and joy showed up. I am creating something, word by word, rain or shine. I am writing a blog. I have written an eBook. I am writing a course. Steve Chandler probably doesn't know he changed the course of my life, but he did.

In another of his books, Shift your Mind: Shift the World, Steve says that passion and purpose are nice but not necessary toward accomplishing something big or small. In fact, they can get in your way. If you keep looking “somewhere out there” for your passion and purpose, your life might be spent looking and not doing. Sometimes people are innately passionate about something, but much of the time they just grow into it.

The Process

There was a time when I felt directionless. “What do I want to do?” “What is my passion?” I felt humiliated and empty because I didn’t know what my passion was or how to find it. I thought I was passionless. So I started looking at myself, asking myself questions, paying attention to what brought me joy. I took some personality and career assessments.

Things started to take shape. Patterns emerged from my self-study. Careers popped up that matched my personality and interests, and I picked one. I signed up for training. I’m doing the work. And recently, passion and purpose both showed up at my door.

Don’t wait for passion and purpose to descend upon you like a voice from the heavens. They will arrive in good time. If you get locked in mental machinations and self-doubt, you will stay on that gerbil wheel forever. Find out who you are and what you like. Find work or a hobby that supports that. Then just do the work, do the work, do the work.

If it’s wrong, you will know it. So just pick something else and try again. Everything you do is moving you forward toward what you want. It’s in each action you take, hands moving, eyes forward, mind focused. It’s not somewhere out there. It’s right here and now.

Your Turn

So here's my challenge to you. You should go do it. Whatever “it” is. Take the first action. Get the ball rolling. If it's not right, so what? If it doesn't work out, so what? You'll never know unless you do something right now. Ask yourself, “What makes me happy?” Ask yourself, “What do I value?” Ask yourself, “What are my skills?” Find the intersection of your answers. Now get going.

Please leave a comment and let me know what your action will be if you choose to accept. Or if you have recently begun something new or challenged yourself, please share that with our community here and inspire others.

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Comments

  1. Hi Barrie:

    All nicely said — as usual.

    I have read a few of Steve Chandler’s books. He, like you, has that special gift with words that inspire you that, most of all, make the reader realize that “It’s up to you. You can do it. And, that’s the key: do it.”

    Thanks always for the wisdom.

    Sincerely,

    Steve

  2. I enjoyed your article, Steve is right, you need to write a book. Thanks for the inspiration. You have made a difference.
    .-= Jeff´s last blog ..6 ways to get unplugged from the days stress and grind =-.

  3. Hi Barrie,
    I’ve never heard of Steve Chandler – but it sounds like he really inspired you! I’m ready to get the ball rolling – thanks for the personal challenge. My first ball is to get my house sold and to move – that should bed happening by mid-November. Once I’m settled again I plan on focusing 100% on my blogging efforts and writing my ebook. I will do it! Thanks for putting the bug in my ear!

  4. Alex Yong says:

    I like this line : Don’t wait for passion and purpose to descend upon you like a voice from the heavens. You are right, waiting is futile. And so is Steve, Just do it!

    Thanks, Barrie, for this inspiring post which is a catalyst for me to start writing my e-book.
    .-= Alex Yong´s last blog ..Go MOH and Make Others Happy Today =-.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Go for Alex! Come back in a few days and tell us what you’ve done to get started.

  5. Great post Barrie! Since I began blogging, over 2 years ago, I’ve spent a lot of time worrying over direction and been distracted with many pursuits. But recently I’ve been able to say to myself “I’m a writer. Writing is my passion – it’s what I want to do.”

    I still get tempted away from time to time by other things which look more lucrative; I find myself perusing lists of careers which are in demand and such. But each time that happens now I come back more strongly to the fact that writing is what I want to do. Writing is something I need to do.

    For as long as I remember I can’t imagine living through a day without reading. It’s becoming the same with writing. So, I write.
    .-= Alison Kerr´s last blog ..How to save the world’s water in your garden =-.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      How wonderful to have that certainty and passion Alison. Then you must keep doing it and find a way to make your living at it. It doesn’t sound like you need to be challenged! Thank you for your comments. 🙂

  6. My ball is rolling (or should I say balls!). I’ve been searching for a way to still work days while my kids are old enough to be in school. I used to work more evenings/weekends, but want to be home more when they get home. I took a leap a few weeks ago and set up a virtual office a few weeks ago, so I could offer online counseling. It’s new to me, but I’m looking forward to the adventure. I never thought I’d do this, but this is where life’s path has led me.

    Blogging and putting my words/thoughts out there for the www to read is a leap for me too! Thank you for sharing the book with us.
    .-= Marci´s last blog ..Riding the Waves of Change =-.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Congratulations Marci! That is a brave move, but one I know you will not regret. Finding balance in your life is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family. I think it’s a lot more fun to let life lead you sometimes than to force every decision. Let us know how it goes. Thank you for commenting, as always!

  7. Hello, Barrie! Your email came at an opportune time. Talk about synchronicity. I just came from a month of being more self-aware and finding my dreams, but after that lovely month of dreaming, I felt paralyzed and indecisive. I began doubting whether or not I can achieve my dreams. Then, your encouragement came. I’m going to apply for the scholarships that I’ve been putting off doing. Thank you again!

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      That is wonderful! Hurray for you! I am so thrilled that you got some small bit of inspiration from this post. Keep the momentum going. Please let us know about the scholarship result.

  8. Hi Barrie,
    Once again, your post made my day start on the right foot.
    I`ve been wanting to start a fitness blog for over a year now, yet I always seem to find a good reason to delay the lauch of the website. Perhaps I am scared, maybe lazy or simply used to procrastinating but I feel like I have ran out of excuses at this point. Your words are always encouraging and I realize that I have nothing to loose by putting my ideas, passion and knowledge out there.
    Thanks again.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Izzy,
      You must do it! Absolutely! This time last year, this blog wasn’t here. Now I have a wonderful community of new friends and a great way to share what I’ve learned as a coach. There is absolutely nothing to fear — only a ton to gain and enjoy. If you are completely new to blogging, you might want to check out the A List Bloggers Club (see my sidebar). I can’t recommend it highly enough. You get so much information for such a small price.

      • Hi Barrie,
        Thanks for the words of encouragement, I will most definitively look into the A List Bloggers Club, it looks quite helpful.
        I guess the main reason why I tend to avoid following my dreams is: social approval, as much as I deny it, it does matter to me since I have never really made any of my dreams come true…so for some reason I feel a certain pressure and seem to loose hope and focus from time to time.
        Your blog is always a great inspiration and helps me in so many ways.
        Keep up the amazing work 🙂
        Isabella.

        • Barrie Davenport says:

          Thank you Isabella for your kind words. The best gift you can give yourself is to force yourself not to think about what others think of you, or your fears about success, or any other limiting beliefs. When they come into your mind, do your best to replace those negative thoughts with positive ones, even if it feels awkward. Then break your goal into tiny actions that you can manage, and just keep taking those small actions without thinking about the big picture. Before you know it, the ball will be rolling!

  9. When it comes to life. I have only one thing to say. Find your purpose, your find peace and when you find peace, you’ll understand what true happiness means.

    Great post. Gitty up Gitty Up, Davenport, i hear a book with your name in the future.

  10. Tess The Bold Life says:

    Hi Barry,
    I just ordered the first book you mentioned on Amazon. What a powerful title…that’s a lesson right there;)
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last blog ..What In The World Has Tess Been Doing =-.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Tess,
      You will love Steve Chandler’s stuff. He is a great speak, just like you. He is someone who really turned his life around and is now wildly successful. Thank you for ordering it. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know.

  11. Thanks for the inspiration and the challenge. My goal is to become a Coach. To get the ball rolling, I have to save money for the courses. I’ve started that…$700 saved so far! Yet I didn’t want to wait until ‘all ducks were perfectly in a row’–that does not happen. My coaching focus will be on communication–helping people say what they need/want to say in an effective manner. I figured there’s something I could do in that area in the meantime even if on a small imperfect scale.
    I realized I already had experience in this arena that I overlooked because it wasn’t my background or education. Within an hour of this “Aha”, I chose a domain name, an 800 number, ordered business cards, signed up for license, found a disclaimer, set up an Email address & placed an Ad on CList to advertise service for simple copywriting–online dating profiles, resume proofing, social profiles, etc. I do this now for free and get rave appreciation. Now let’s hope someone will pay me for it! Lol If not, so be it. I’ve got the ball rolling-feels good just taking a few steps-outcome not so important at this moment. Analysis Paralysis, I’ve kicked your butt! 🙂

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Tiffany,
      That is awesome! Fantastic!!!! You will love coaching. You are so smart to start by giving away your services. People will see how good you are and come back for more — with cash in hand. Maybe you can start by asking for a voluntary donation. That way, you can make a little while you are training. Way to go!! Keep it going. Can’t wait to hear how it goes. Please keep us posted.

  12. Offbeat Woman says:

    Hi Barrie

    What a wonderful and ahem…CHALLENGING post. I love it! The bit about looking ‘out there’ for your passion and purpose resonates with me in particular. Since I started my blog in August I have spent hours and days wandering around the blogosphere absolutely astounded by the talent, passion and purpose that is out there, I think sometimes it is so good that at first it makes me excited because I want to say so much, but then I question what right I have contribute or what do I have to say! Consequently I have been doing more reading and learning than posting. So now I am ready to accept your gauntlet Barrie, and I will pledge to post twice a week …starting today! Also I would love to write a guest post for The Daily Brainstorm but not sure how to go about submitting something for consideration…maybe you can help me with that Barrie? Thank you for stopping me in my wanderings and sending me in the right direction.
    .-= Offbeat Woman´s last blog ..A Brief Guide To Going Over The Edge =-.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Dear Offbeat Woman (can you reveal your name??),
      I am thrilled you accepted the challenge. You DO have something to say. So look at other blogs only to get inspiration for your own. You have done a lot in your life, learned a lot, grown a lot. How can you use that to serve your reader? Do that every day, and you will build a big blog. Regarding The Daily Brainstorm, that was a great, bold move to ask for a guest post! Please contact me at mybloomlife@gmail.com, and we can discuss it further!! 🙂

  13. I am currently working on an ebook, but it’s slow going…

    I did just start a weekly blogging tips newsletter, so I am moving forward.
    .-= Carolee´s last blog ..The Wonderful Wonder Wheel! =-.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      That’s fantastic Carolee. Just keep working on that ebook. It will really help you build subscribers. Do a little every day, and before you know it, it will be finished! That’s great work with the newsletter too. You are moving forward. Hurray! You just inspired me to get my newsletter going! 🙂

  14. Hi Barrie—
    Once again, a very timely and helpful post for your readers. To echo some of the previous comments, you have def succeeded on putting up some very inspirational content on this site. You put yourself out there at all times, showing us step by step how you tread into unfamiliar territory. It is appreciated.

    I have a challenge to myself to post more frequently than 2-3 times per month and continue to work on an outline for a book as well, but I think at this point my most important challenge is of a physical nature, to bring into better shape a body which will, in the next few months, be 48 years old.

    It’s a big challenge, but it has been started, and I am up to the task. Thanks again for an inspiring post!
    .-= Joe DeGiorgio´s last blog ..Love Your Work It’s OK If You Don’t Really =-.

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Joe,
      Thank you for your kind words. You made my day! Congrats on starting the book and getting your rear in gear with fitness. I just came back from a walk myself. I was at Blogworld this weekend, and someone gave us the stats on the average amount of time we spend in front of the computer and what that does to your fitness level. It lit a fire under me for sure!
      Hey Joe — you having something great to say, so yes, yes, yes — post at LEAST once a week. Twice or three times is better. Can I challenge you to once a week? Would you accept the challenge?? 🙂

  15. Hey Barrie,

    Read your powerful post on my phone while sitting at the book store. Read the first 2 chapters of the first book mentioned. Would still be sitting there reading if I didn’t have practice. I can’t wait to continue reading! We need to tell Steve Chandler for the kindle version though.

    Thanks,
    Ken

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      That’s great Ken. I’m so glad you like the book. I will shoot Steve an email and tell him he is getting requests for the Kindle version. Thank you for commenting. I hope you visit again soon.

  16. Hello,

    fell upon this blog and article by “accident” (I can’t even remember how, following link to a link to another link …)
    But anyway, here I am.
    I just recognize myself in this article. The challenge that took me since last sunday is the following.
    I went to Kokia’s Parisian concert (she’s a beautiful japanese singer, be sure to check it out 🙂 ). She chose a little theater with some 200 or 300 seats only. I managed to go with my friends at the first range. When she began to sing, though it was not the first time I saw her in a concert, I was so deeply moved that I understood that bringing emotions with my music and my voice was the most important thing I wanted to do with my life.
    I used to be afraid of me, afraid of my voice, of my music because many people don’t totally agree with my tastes. But when you love what you’re doing and do it for a purpose, you find indeed the way to make it sound perfect. Like Kokia did that night.
    I asked people I know to help me. And I challenged myself to make a real album before my 25th bday. That leaves 2 or 3 years to me. I will remember your article, and keep the ball rolling.

    Thank you, and i will check other posts asap 🙂

    Ama

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      That is lovely Ana! Thank you so much for sharing that story. I encourage you on your self-challenge and look forward to hearing your album in a couple of years. I hope you will keep us posted on your progress.