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.
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.
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.
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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