Are You Sure You’re on the Right Path?

To successfully reach an objective, we need to clearly know our exact destination and our exact starting point. Most do well enough choosing a destination. But when it comes to the starting point, have you ever started walking down the wrong path because you really weren’t sure where you were?

CompassCan we get to where we want to be when we aren’t sure where we are? Sure, we do it all the time. But that’s the struggling, costly, “wait until we hit the bottom” route. There is an easier way. A really good business startup compass would be able to point us in the right direction and start us out on the right path.

(Image by mellowhummer on Flickr, via Creative Commons license)

I use a focusing technique that’s a great right business compass if you pause long enough to check it. When we’re lost in the woods or in life, it’s wise to check our bearings before we move. Do this at the beginning of your journey and you won’t be so tuckered out at the end. Whether it’s in designing a life, finding delightful work or building a business, this method will get you started out right so you’ll have more time to enjoy a drink and watch the sunset.

Let’s say that the key to everything you needed to be aware of, work through, realize or take action on, could be found at the source of one of three paths. If that were true, wouldn’t you want to be sure of your path before starting out? Here they are.
Path in Woods

Personal Awareness Path
Personal awareness could also be described as personal enlighten-
ment, evolution, mindfulness, growth or conscious-
ness. Use the term that resonates for you. On this path we courageously work through our personal points of discomfort. Andrea Hess, Empowered Soul has written an excellent post on engaging consciousness.

(Image by Vortech on Flickr, via Creative Commons license)

Personal Productivity Path
Personal Productivity is a willingness to create and honor an accountability structure that increases the probability that you’ll frequently complete key results-producing activities.

Business Mastery Path
Business mastery is our learning path where we demonstrate a willingness to observe, evaluate, learn and adjust whatever methods, language and skills are essential for success in our chosen field.

Here’s how to read the compass.

Select a current objective where your progress might have slowed. While considering where you want to be, ask. Which path, right now, would move me closer to my destination?

Although it might seem like we need to simultaneously walk more than one path, don’t do it! That’s a sucker’s route that will weaken your focus and get you lost.

Tips & Shortcuts
If it’s a really big question or resolution, you probably need to walk the path of personal awareness. Same thing goes if you are uninspired. Get on this path and question yourself intently until you have a clear focus on what you want.

“Even though you are on the right track – you will get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

Lack of action is an excellent sign that you are on the wrong path. A path can be perfect one day and a total dead end the next. As with using a compass, we need to pause frequently to check our bearings.

If you keep telling yourself you don’t know how, then jump on the path of business mastery. It begins at your search engine. Get online and find what you need to know to make a sound business decision.

If you procrastinate or are lacking energy, validate your destination by asking questions while walking the path of personal awareness.

If you can’t seem to complete, then build a better personal productivity structure by working with an accountability buddy or a coach.

Especially in the discovery stage of seeking delightful work, business discovery hikers sometimes think they need to go back to school or somehow learn how to function in a new career – before they decide on it. These folks jump on the path of mastery before they’re sure what their destination is. That’s definitely the wrong path. It’s like studying how to ride a bike for four years before you jump on and ride.

Beware of the advice of others because they always see things from their own perspective. If they got where they are through hard work, then they may suggest that you stay on the path of personal productivity. But if you’re on the wrong path, working harder at what doesn’t work won’t get you were you are going.

Which path are you on right now? Is it the right one to get you were you want to be?

You Are WHO You Hang With and WHAT Hangs Around You

It’s much easier to change our environments than it is to change our behavior. The first step to improving our environments is be aware of their existence and how they influence us.

One of the nine ingredients of finding delightful work is: Discover and create environments to thrive within. Read this post to see all nine ingredients. Like all the ingredients, our environments are constantly influencing our pursuit of delightful work; sometimes apparently and sometimes without our knowledge.

Environmental life design is the process of deliberately constructing our environments so that they positively influence us in the way we want them to. Conditioning from our genetic makeup, and the influence of previous formative environments, created the person that we are today. But the world is getting smaller and, with the new dizzying speed and quantity of information, the influence of our social environments has grown stronger. Thus, it’s become even more important than ever to consciously choose our molding influences.

The good news is this: environments make it easier for us to live the fully alive life we most want to live because their pull is like a strong current that carries us along. It’s much easier to go with the current than it is to fight our way upstream.

We’ve all heard the adage, “you are who you hang with.” This is a statement about the power of our Relationship Environment. But are you aware of how all eight environments are molding you? According to my coach training from CoachVille’s Graduate School of Coaching, there are nine in all.

  1. The Memetic Environment is made up of thoughts, ideas, beliefs and knowledge.
  2. The Body Environment is our physical body, its health and energy.
  3. The Self Environment consists of our intangible assets, including strengths, values and feelings.
  4. The Nature Environment. If you don’t know what this is, you’re not out in it enough.
  5. The Spiritual Environment is our connection to the Divine and the invisible connection we feel to one another.
  6. The Relationship Environment is made up of our connections to those closest to us.
  7. The Network Environment consists of our larger communities and associations.
  8. The Financial Environment includes our money, as well as everything that supports our financial well-being.
  9. The Physical Environment consists of our physical surroundings and tangible stuff.

Fork in the road

As these environments are all interconnected, I wonder. How does the rise of social networking today influence who we have become? We are at choice – For example, some folks have gotten rid of their TV in order to have better control over the barrage of “dark energy.” However, even when we are consciously aware, look how much uninvited information seeps through. But we don’t have to allow it. Any of these environments can be strengthened to have an overriding positive influence on the others, particularly the Memetic environment.

Even greater news is that the purpose of deliberately designing environments is to inspire enthusiastic living in every regard. Which brings me full circle to my intention to help people with deliberately designing their environments.

A couple of months ago, I was inspired to create an Unconditional Support Experience. This was a direct result of observing the harmful influence of environments on so many wonderful clients who wanted to live more extraordinary lives. I wondered, could a small group of individuals come together for the soul purpose of providing total unconditional support for one another? In other words, could we experience the ultimate connection, our oneness, within such an unconditionally supportive environment? I say YES!

What do you think about the influence of your environments? Which of your environments are you most inspired to change? Which are you very delighted with? Which are slowing your pursuit of work life happiness? Please choose to inspire the environment of this blog with your comments.

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Stumble It!

Seven Things That May Surprise You About Money

These are things I’m pretty sure about regarding money. If anyone speaks with greater certainty on the subject of money – run like hell!
Sometimes it seems like money comes more out of the blue than as a result of the work we do.

I am deeply influenced by the teachings of my friend Egbert Sukop. If you dare, read his groundbreaking book The Money Adventure.

  1. Confidence attracts more money than hard work earns.
  2. When we feel really good, we tend to get more of it. Thus our real work is to do things that make us feel good. What delightful work actions can you take now that really make you smile?
  3. A little financial reserve takes away the stress and causes us to feel better. Even though it may be challenging to build a reserve, nothing takes the pressure off like having a reserve.
  4. Money doesn’t necessarily come because of direct actions, but more often parallel to those actions. Without any action, it seldom comes at all.
  5. Any new movement works. When we take new and different actions, we can see opportunities we were previously blind to. We then, of course, must seize those opportunities.
  6. Just as much money comes by mistake as comes by any intended action. Thus we’d better get over our phobia about making mistakes – and get comfortable making them! When it comes to money, it’s the frequency of attempts that count, more than the certainty of them.
  7. “Money cannot solve money problems.” -Egbert Sukop — Whatever we think we’ll get by receiving more money will not come as a result of receiving more money. Money more often provides more relief than resolution.

If we take into account all of the above, it makes a lot of sense to frequently engage in what I call, Massive Inspired Action.

This theory says that we can increase our probability of success by increasing the sheer volume of inspired actions over a short period of time. The success comes not necessarily as a direct result of those actions, but more as a result of the confident vibes one emits around joyfully taking a variety of actions towards an objective one is passionate about.

I’d like to know. Which of these seven points surprised you? Intrigued you? Infuriated you? Which point will you begin to employ in your pursuit of delightful work?
Stumble It! Stumble It!

Answer this Question and Change Your Life

What really matters to me that I’m not doing anything about?

You might as well pause right here and answer before reading on. It’s such a significant challenge to self-truth. Just the whisper of it will come back to haunt you if you don’t acknowledge your answer right now.

So what did you come up with? Was it a dream you’ve put aside? Was it something new? Something surprising?

Each time we acknowledge that something’s important to us, and then pretend that it isn’t, we poke a little hole in our souls. How perforated do you think your soul might be? Well here’s the good news. You can make yourself whole again by answering this question and then following through with any meaningful action.

We’ve got to play in the big leagues of bare-bones self-honesty occasionally or we begin to settle for a smaller life than we could live. Be bold. Your authentic self will be there to help clear the way.

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” -Johann von Goethe

The participants in an unconditional support group. I facilitated,  made real progress towards magnificently living that objective.

After selecting an objective, they’ll align their thoughts towards the accomplishment of that objective as they feel the powerful support of their fellow champions. If something calls out to you when you answer this central question – join us. Just take this survey to begin the process.

Here are many good tips on how to dream big in this blog post What Will I Be When I Grow Up? I Wonder…

Isle of Delightful WorkIn that post, we imagined that we had move to The Enchanted Isle of Delightful Work. We imagined work that made our heart sing. Take a moment now to read that post and imagine extraordinary support while you move forward on what really matters.

Here is your call to action. Answer this question: What really matters to me that I’m not doing anything about? Imagine that you are delightfully taking action. Then pick one small step and take it without delay. You will then have changed the course of your life towards larger living.
Stumble It!

Who’s Really With You?

With YouPlaying rugby is often like being thrust in the middle of repeated broken plays and controlled chaos. In the midst of this chaos the sweetest words a player with the ball can hear are “with you.” That means that you can advance the ball right to the point of contact and know that someone is there to receive your lateral. Because another is there for you, lost ground is minimized and momentum is maintained.

“With you” means “I’m here for you – I’m on your side and I’ll take it from here.” Support is not in question. It’s unconditional because of the common bond of a clear objective and agreed upon ground rules.

Recalling my playing days, I wondered what our work lives might be like if we could recreate such beautiful support? Wonder no more. I created such an experience The Unconditional Support Experience simply asking folks to take this work life SURVEY.

The Unconditional Support Experience was an experiment to experience the blessings of feeling total, unconditional and celebrated support.

It was a group coaching experience, by telephone, with the objective of inspiring authentic magnificence.

As your facilitator and leader here’s what I believe.

  • Authenticity is the most direct route to happiness, fulfillment, prosperity and all things good.
  • We can all do one simple thing better than anyone else in the world – we can be ourselves.
  • When we uncover, express and exploit our core magnificence, life comes easier and feels more natural – we experience spectacular states of being.
  • The Universe and your soul both love you unconditionally and both want you to succeed magnificently. You will feel this love as your authentic self.
  • You came pre-equipped to create wonder in whatever result or way you most desire.
  • The main thing keeping you back from this natural creation of wonder is a collection of your fears, limiting beliefs and conditioning that cause you to show up as less than you are.
  • The affect of this toxicity can be lessened, released and even eliminated to the extent that you choose to live a purely authentic life.

It is my commitment that by feeling the wonderful warmth of support in this experience, you will begin to let go of what no longer serves you and come into your authentic magnificence.

What questions does this raise for you? I’d love to answer them here so that this discussion may encourage others to join us.

When you imagine feeling this extraordinary level of support, what thoughts show up for you? Are you with me? Then take this SURVEY for enrollment information.
Stumble It!

Where are all the people who don’t know what they want to be when they grow up?

I’m looking for people who are, at this time, looking for inspired vocational guidance. Professionally, this is what matters most to me. I want to find these folks and help them to realize how to live the calling that only they can give the world. I need your help to spread the word. Will you help?

Delightful Work Blog Declaration of Intent
Our mission is to increase the number of folks on this planet who are in active pursuit of work life freedom. We are doing so by:

  1. Encouraging and inspiring the action of discovering, validating and engaging in the authentic pursuit of livelihood – a livelihood so right for you that it provides all of what you want in fulfillment and financial reward.
  2. Creating a community of those who want an ongoing dialogue with others who are in similar pursuit.

I’ve been coaching folks in career transition since 1998. It’s the coaching assignment that I care about the most. But it’s clear to me that I need your help to spread the word.

Why would you help me?

Perhaps you believe as I do that our world would be a much more productive and happier place if more folks would simply do what they really love to do for a living. But would that be enough reason for you to help me in this quest?

Perhaps, like me, you really feel for those folks who struggle needlessly when it comes to making a living. Money is a very complex concept, especially when it’s all interwoven with our sense of self-worth and self-judgment of our personal talents.

Maybe you’ll do it for them. Will you pass along this post or Stumble it for all those folks who need help in transitioning to a more fulfilling career? Stumble It!

I can assure you that they will be in very good hands. Have you ever asked yourself the question: What can you be best in the world at? (From the Jim Collins classic Good to Great) My answer: telephone coaching a group of true calling seekers into action on their right livelihood.

I’m open to feedback on how you would reach this group of folks. Where would you look for them? Here’s a question for you. Are the reasons above enough for you to help or do you require further incentive? If you’re a blogger, I’m more than willing to reciprocate in any reasonable way.

But I wonder if that’s still enough incentive for you to go out of your way and help me to spread the word. Time is dear for most of us, so I asked myself this question. If someone were asking me for this same kind of help, what would inspire me to help? Here’s my answer.

Social networking with a deeper connection

I’d be sure to help if I’d be assured of a deeper ongoing connection in the months and years to come. Everyone reading this is aware of social networking sites. I’ve reached out and begun making connections on them as some of you have. But I often wonder if I would be better off belonging to a smaller group who cared more for one another and who were willing to aid one another to a greater extent. A small group of dedicated folks who come alive in deeper, more meaningful connection would make me feel more socially connected. If you’d like to discuss creating such a group, please let me know.

“Anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you.” – David Whyte, from his poem Sweet Darkness.

Who knows what we would have already accomplished if we had been celebrated and loved unconditionally in our formative years?

Whistle While You Work – Happiness Matters

The thought gurus in the movie and book The Secret agree that in order to create the life we want, we need to quit focusing on what’s happening to us and focus our thoughts and words on a picture and feelings of what we really want.

Unfortunately, most folks look at what’s happening and react to that. If what’s happening to you is not what you want, then by focusing on it you just get more of it. What we focus on expands. What we think about, comes about.

Yet according to Sonja Lyubomirsky in her book The How of Happiness our circumstances only account for 10% of what contributes to our happiness. She’s proven that 50% of what contributes to our happiness is our upbringing and genetics. We can’t do anything about that. However, it’s the other 40% that’s vital. Because that 40% is based on our intentional determination and we can choose to have it override the other 60%.

Shawn Achor, Head Teaching Fellow for Harvard’s popular Positive Psychology course shares how scientists have proven that happier people actually have an unfair advantage over others.

Adrian White, an analytic social psychologist, studies happiness and found Denmark to be the happiest nation in the world. The USA ranked number 23. A recent 20/20 television show on happiness referenced a study where Denmark was third. Still not too shabby!

I found these two factors particularly interesting in how they relate to work life happiness.

1). The tax rate in Denmark is 63% of income and the social services given by the welfare state are so supportive and all-encompassing that there isn’t as much need to take risks or try to be wealthy. Because there is a much narrower gap between the rich and the poor, the Danes have created a society where every job is valued and respected. This results in more people simply choosing to do what they enjoy doing without concern for how much it pays or what others think of them.The Danes have created a consumer-less society that’s truly brilliant. They have less reason to compare themselves to their neighbors. Most everyone is on the same level as the Joneses, so the need to keep up with them is removed.

2).Talk about social connection, an astounding 92% of adult Danes belong to either a singing or a dancing club. Imagine a life without financial concern and comparison. In such a life, being the social animals that we are, building relationships would become naturally more of a priority.

Singing is a physical act that draws oxygen in and makes the blood stream richer and opens up the brain so I can think more clearly and get intuitions I didn’t have before. So, I always look to get into action whenever I’m stuck. If the mind is stuck, if the spirit is low–I let the body lead the way even if I don’t feel like it.  Steve Chandler

To summarize here is your action recipe.

  1. Whistle and sing before and while you work.
  2. Know and act on the basis that being happy will get you more of what you want.
  3. Know and act on the basis that you can choose happiness and by doing so you can create the life you most want to win.

My heart goes out to each of you who continue to look at what’s wrong or what’s lacking in your life. Please stop that nonsense now. Yes, tough things happen to good people. But struggle is optional. Isn’t it time for you to wake up and come alive in the glory of your own making?

What’s So Overwhelming About Information Overload?

What’s so overwhelming about information overload? Why do we see it as overload at all? Why do we see too much information as overwhelming? Before the Internet we didn’t get upset because we couldn’t read every book in the library.

If anything, we ought to be overjoyed at all these opportunities to learn, grow and profit. So instead of overwhelm, how about trying on this vein of thought?

What’s really wonderful about having so much information right at our keyboards?

If overwhelmed with overload, you might be forgetting your unique mindset. You, I and everyone else can only see through our own perspective filters. What I find fascinating and inspiring may be boring as hell for you.

Perhaps we could all ask these questions instead of moaning about our inability to keep up.

What if what I’m considering is exactly the right thing for me to see right now? What do I need to see or learn in order to make the decisions that are right in front of me? If overwhelmed, what am I really afraid of?

Hint … perhaps I’m scared to death because with so much information readily available I no longer have the procrastinator’s ignorance excuse of not knowing what to do.

Once this excuse is removed, a feeling of holy cow I’ve got to do something comes up.

Let’s look at the sunny side of overload and overwhelm. Opportunities are endless and we can seize them with the proper focus.

No one can see the opportunity you’re seeing quite like you can. All you need is a feeling of go for it to seize what you see. What’s missing could be the support and encouragement to take action. I’m offering you a way to come together with real support and connection. That group is soon to start.

There is that brief point of inspiration where we need to seize our opportunities as they are illuminated by our own desires. Look out for your points of inspiration. Make note of them. Write them down so you give yourself permission to go back and add to the ideas. An opportunity journal relieves the pressure in a positive way.

What else allows this? Taking action, completing anything, positive encouragement and movement through a point of personal challenge – all will get you feeling light and easy instead of overwhelmed. Quit moaning and be the man or woman you know you can be.

Stumble It!

Four Ways to Awaken Your Hidden Advantage

Leading with your strengths gives you a natural, positional advantage that can make your work life easier, your business more productive and far more fulfilling.

Are you leading with your strengths or are you settling and struggling by engaging your weaknesses? Strengths are our natural talents, powers, qualities, tendencies, capacities and characteristics. Weaknesses are inadequate or defective qualities – lacking strength and vigor.

If you find yourself struggling to complete projects or settling for less enjoyment and aliveness than you know is possible, chances are you’re underutilizing your strengths. What can you do about it?

Begin by journaling and reflecting on the following insights and questions.

  1. Become increasingly aware of when you are struggling and when your work has very little pizzazz to it. What are you engaged in when that happens? Then ask, what natural strength might I lean on to change my results or to change how I feel about my results? Then name that strength so you can claim it.
  2. Know that you are naturally more attractive and more poised when you are simply being yourself. Striving to be something you aren’t takes you out of the present. Yet the present is the only place that you have the power to get what you want. Trying to lead with strengths you don’t have actually postpones the process of being who you are. All good things come to those who are real.So, where are you faking it? In what areas of your life are you certain that you could never excel? What would happen if you just dropped all such activities today?
  3. Strengths actually enlarge the fierce and gentle capacities in our heart. Courage, compassion and generosity are more readily put into play when we lead with our strengths. When we are not leading with our strengths, we are leading with our limitations and compensations. These shortcomings are not elemental to our nature. They are illusions that we trick ourselves into believing to be true. Often when we are not leading with our strengths we make the false assumption that we must be lacking in some way. Know this, you aren’t lacking anything. If you don’t feel energized and strong, you’re being less than you could be by choice. How would your life be different if you only worked on projects where you could lead with your strengths? Who you are right now is more than enough. Believe that and act on it.
  4. Connect to divine guidance because that’s how our strengths were originally installed. Guidance comes easier to verbs than to nouns. Nouns tend to be permanent resting places. Verbs tend to be more alive, open, flowing and active. When searching for life’s purpose or true calling, many hit a dead end by seeking to identify a particular vocation or workplace. They often stop their search because these nouns have no vigor. And they’re lacking vigor because they’re lacking guidance. They would be better served to just show up and play. It’s the active doing in life that allows divine guidance to find us in the form of our own intuition. Get in movement and lead with your strengths and see what develops.

What’s one project you could begin playing with today? What do you have to lose by engaging it and seeing what develops? It’s a much wiser strategy than standing pat in frustration.

Your strengths are your hidden advantage and your natural competitive edge. Yet you may never experience the bliss of leading with them if you aren’t willing to invest the time and energy in rigorous self-examination, journaling and reflection. Decide today to leave the weak position of saying you don’t know what to do – or what you want to be when you grow up. Begin this honorable work and grow you will.

What Everybody Ought to Know About Finding Work You Love

There are nine ingredients to finding work you love and these ingredients are influencing your search whether you’re aware of them or not.

Nine Ingredients of Right Livelihood

The surest way to clearly hear your true work calling is to deliberately work through all nine essential ingredients by journaling your realizations and conclusions as you go.

  1. Honor your Core Self (inner voice) to bring forth the glory of your soul so that others can feel it and support it.
  2. Identify, clarify, verify, fortify and gloriously express your natural Strengths.
  3. Energize your Heart’s Desires.
  4. Flaunt your natural personality Traits (‘bad ass’ self) and feel good about it.
  5. Orient your life around your Values.
  6. Connect to a deliberate Vision that works for you.
  7. Commit to your nonnegotiable Requirements.
  8. Move through Fears and blocks that are holding you back.
  9. Discover and create Environments to thrive within.

In this post I’ll share some methods to go deep within to honor your Core Self (inner voice) to bring forth the glory of your soul so that others can feel it and support it.

The masters tell us to be who we are or to be all of who we are.

“To go wrong in one’s own way is better than to go right in someone else’s.” – Dostoevsky

But how does one go about discovering and honoring his or her core self? What’s the process? Let’s begin by understanding what our core self is. I’m referring to your essence, the heart of you or vital core, what some call your soul. According to, soul is defined as follows.

Soul is the emotional part of human nature, the seat of the feelings or sentiments.

Soul is the animating principle, the essential element or part of something.

Soul is the inspirer or moving spirit of some action or movement.

I’ve found that the process of honoring my soul (core self) begins by setting the intention to carry on a lifelong dialogue. Our soul provides us with an inner compass that we can align with to become more in harmony with the life we were meant to live. Like wild geese somehow knowing when and where to fly south, our compass is just as accurate and fitting for us.

So we begin this dialogue by simply stating the sacred intention to be true to ourselves. One excellent way is to simply take a deep breath and say out loud. “I choose to be true to my core self.” Then thank your soul for getting your attention in this important matter and invite it to show you ways in which you can. You can jumpstart the process by journaling the following questions.

  1. What parts of myself have I been thus far reluctant to express?
  2. How can I honor myself and bring them out?
  3. What environments do I enjoy so much that just by being in contact with them I embody grace?
  4. What are the ways I like to work that bring me most alive?
  5. Like migrating geese, what wonderful, unseen urge is calling me?

These questions are powerful. But that sad thing is you’ll never know how powerful unless you invest the time to ask them and carry on the dialogue. This is a somewhat tricky process that can only show its gold to you in the doing of it.

“We understand why children are afraid of darkness, but why are men afraid of light? The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Plato

You can do one simple thing better than anyone else in the world: be yourself. When you do that, without holding back, the results are indeed magnificent. Yet that process only begins with rigorous self-examination.

In summary there are nine essential ingredients to get your search for work life happiness and freedom really cooking. Will you begin a dialogue with your soul today so this most important ingredient is present? In my next post I’ll share how to identify, clarify, verify, fortify and gloriously express your natural strengths.