Tag Archives: Passion

Struggle Does Not Mean Bad: Choices and Illusions, Part 3

In Part 1, we took a closer look at the first 6 chapters of Eldon Taylor’s book, Choices and Illusions. There were some great stories about how our thoughts can have an effect on us, even when we don’t think they do. In Part 2, we looked at chapters 7 through 12. In particular, we looked at an important story that emphasized the importance of ‘wait and see’ as a viable option when deciding a course of action. In today’s post, we’ll look at the last 6 chapters of the book.


Chapter 13 reminds us that we may have limiting belief systems preventing us from achieving what we ‘want.’ For instance, if you want to be successful or prosperous, do you think you’ll get there if you have a belief that people who are prosperous or successful are evil (and you don’t want to be evil)? Taylor also reminds us that we shouldn’t hate our work and discusses the importance of empathy.

In chapter 14, Taylor reassures us that having limiting beliefs doesn’t make you a bad person. In fact, it’s actually quite normal. He goes on to talk about the importance of looking within one’s self to find those limiting beliefs that may no longer be serving you. For instance, when you were younger, you may have developed the belief that speaking in front of people is really scary or that it may cause you harm. If you now work as an analyst for a big company, there’s a good chance that you may have to speak in front of people at some point. As a result, it would probably do you good to have brought this limiting belief to light and then replaced it.

Like with yesterday’s post, there’s a great story from Chapter 16 that I think you’ll enjoy. In fact, it reminds me of the best piece of advice (We’ll See…):

There once was a scientist who beheld the glory of an emperor moth and was so totally taken by the creature that he decided to study it. For more than a year he monitored the activities of the giant moth.

One day he came upon a caterpillar ready to spin its cocoon. He gently captured the caterpillar and took it back to his lab. He watched the caterpillar build its cocoon within a glass container and enter that state of deep sleep. While in the chrysalis it changed its form, from crawling on the ground to floating in the sky.

The day came when the moth was ready to leave the cocoon. The scientist watched anxiously as the tiny head chewed its way into the light of the laboratory. The moth struggled and struggled, seemingly getting nowhere. Its body was simply too large to fit through the tiny hole in the cocoon. The moth tired and laid its head to rest on the shell of the cocoon. The scientist took it upon himself to help the tiny creature. “How could I stand here for so many hours watching this beautiful moth go through such agony and pain?” he questioned. “Where is my mercy?” he continued as he took his tweezers and scissors to cut away the cocoon. The moth fell from the cocoon badly deformed, and soon died.

Later the scientist discovered that it was precisely the cocoon-escaping struggle that pressured the fluids down into the body of the emperor moth and gave it its aerodynamic ability. The cocoon forced the fluids into the body, perfectly proportioning the moth as it pushed its way out. Cutting away the cocoon in an effort to help had only killed the moth.

You may be familiar with a similar story about butterflies and moths, but this is an important story with regard to being okay with things that you may otherwise not be. For instance, some folks couldn’t stand to watch the moth struggle in this case, but if they were to interfere, they’d actually be disrupting the process by which the moth needs to undergo to become a butterfly. This raises all kinds of possible ethical dilemmas when we consider intervening within certain environments or the animal kingdom. To be clear, I’m not necessarily advocating no intervention, but I think it’s important to remember stories like this when we are considering intervening. As Taylor says, “Struggle does not mean bad.”

There’s another great story in Chapter 18 highlighting the possibility that judging could be viewed as a sickness. I’ll let you read that one on your own, though.

(Disclosure: I was given a free copy of the book.)


If you liked this paper/series, you might want to check out some of the other papers/series I’ve posted.

You’re Not Supposed to Hate Work

About a month ago, there was a rather disturbing headline that came as a result of a Gallup study: “70% of americans hate their job.” When I first read that, I thought, that can’t be right, can it? 70%!? That means for every person who likes their job, there are at least 2 people who hate their job. Do you like your job? That means that 2 of your friends hate their job.

Even now, reflecting on this, I find it hard to believe that this many people would stay at a job they don’t like. There would have to be an overwhelmingly compelling reason to stay at a job that one hates. A few things that come to mind: mortgage, children’s college fund, student loans, etc. I suppose we could talk about some of these big-ticket items weigh on the minds of people, but I’d rather talk about work. Why is it that we can’t all be doing something that we like to do?

Assuming that there are as many jobs out there as there are people, couldn’t we reach some sort of Nash equilibrium where everyone’s doing something that they like to do and no one’s doing anything they don’t? Part of the problem with reaching Nash equilibrium would be that some people are motivated by different things or are coming from different situations. So, I might really like construction, but I’m not very good at the things that you need to work in construction. If I have a degree in accounting, I might become an accountant, even though I’d rather be working in construction. There may be someone who’s in just the opposite situation, too. If we could switch jobs, we’d both be moving from miserable situations to desirable situations.

I haven’t really touched on the health implications of hating your job, but that’s an important factor to consider, too:

‘Our analysis clearly established that there was no difference in the rates of common mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression, between those who were unemployed and those who were in the poorest quality jobs.’

I think it’s a misnomer to say that work is supposed to “suck.” Why can’t we do what we love? Maybe for some folks, they don’t do what they love “full-time,” but they can gradually work their way into doing what they love full-time. Ken Robinson, noted TEDTalk speaker, wrote a great book a few years ago about finding your passion. If you’re working in a job that you hate (and statistics would tell us that you probably do) or you know someone who is, I’d recommend taking a look at Ken’s book. It just might change your life…

10 Things That I Can Do to Help Someone Else

It’s no secret that humans need each other to survive. With the way that our society is designed, we depend on each other for sustenance, love, friendship, and a whole host of other things. It’s not just in the big ways, though, too. Sometimes, we need someone to hold the door open for us because we have our hands full. Sometimes, we need someone to bail us out of a sticky situation. Maybe a nice stranger gives up the aisle seat on a transatlantic flight, so that it’ll be easier for you to walk around the plane with your newborn. There are lots of ways we can help each other out on this journey through life. As a result, I thought I’d list a few ideas about how I [you] can help someone else.

1. Ask, “What can I do to help you today?” Sometimes the simplest ways of helping [asking], can have the biggest impact.

2. Help someone find a job. If you have an unemployed friend, think about the people you know and if you might be able to connect your friend with a new opportunity.

3. Smile at a stranger. It’s contagious.

4. Do a chore that isn’t yours. It can be something small like washing the dishes or sweeping the kitchen. It could also be something big like doing the research for that trip to Tahiti or cutting the lawn.

5. Teach someone only something you know. The gifts you have in this world might not be realized until you share them with the world.

6. Let someone teaching you something. It’s also a great gift to let someone teach you something. Remember to keep an open mind

7. Be passionate about something. Maybe more than smiling, passion is contagious. Watching someone be really excited about something reminds us that we, too, have something that excites us in a similar way.

8. Listen — REALLY listen. It might come as no surprise to you how often conversations are really just about “waiting for your time to speak.” The next time someone is talking to you, really listen to what they have to say. It might shock you how the conversational dynamic changes.

9. Forgive him/her. Is holding that grudge really worth it?

10. Write a letter, send an email, and/or make a phone call to someone who has made a difference in your life. These little drops of gratitude can go a long way. I can guarantee you that hearing they made in a difference in your life will greatly brighten that person’s day.

50 Common Misquotations, but no Howard Thurman

Mental Floss, Mental Floss List Show, Mental Floss YouTube, Mental Floss Salon, Mental Floss Screen Shot, If you follow my Facebook page, you certainly know that I like quotes. For the last 200 days or so, I’ve shared a quote of the day. Sometimes, two! I’ve also written about quotes here on the site. So, when I saw that Mental Floss‘s latest list video was about misquotations, I was pretty stoked!

Most of the quotes in the video I had heard of and knew that they were misattributed, but there were a few surprises. Most of all, I was disappointed not to see one of the quotes that I’ve written about before on the list. I understand that there are lots of misattributions with regard to quotes and 50 is only a small sample, but I really had hoped to see it in there — because it’s a good one! Watch the video and afterwards, I’ll remind you of the quote to which I’m referring.

There are some really good quotes in there, don’t you think? I’d be interested to hear which one’s your favorite — let me know by leaving a comment.

Anyway, the quote that I wanted to see in there:

Do not ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

It’s often attributed to Harold Thurman Whitman (which isn’t actually a person). My guess is it’s some amalgamation with Walt Whitman and the real author of the quote: Howard Thurman. I wrote more about the quote a couple of years ago.


Quotes: Passion, Produce, and Production

I’ve recently started using “” as one of my tags for posts I write. Most of the times I’ve got a quote in a post, I’ll tag it with “Quotes,” so it’ll be easy for you to find all the posts where I’ve used famous quotes. On that same note, I thought it was time for me to do a post of quotes.

Throughout high school and most (okay, all) of my undergrad, I was semi-obsessed with quotes. I thoroughly enjoyed finding concise bits of wisdom from a famous person to express myself clearly. After undergrad though, quotes just seemed to fade as a priority for me. They became less and less a focus of the things I did. Maybe that was because I was in the midst of a PhD program and found myself reading oodles of academic journal articles. Regardless of the reason why, recently, I’ve remembered the value of a short sentence that can speak “volumes.” Today, I thought I’d recount some of the quotes that I’ve come across recently that have made an impact.

One of my current favorite quotes is one that is often and maybe that’s partly why I like it so. It’s not as famous as the misattribution of , nor is it as famous as the to a Martin Luther King, Jr. quote, but I’ve seen it written many times to the wrong name. I don’t remember where I first saw the quote, but I know that I like it. From :

Do not ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

It feels like it speaks to the heart of what I think we should be doing on the planet.People should be passionate about what they do. Find your passion — fulfill your passion. I understand that sometimes people think this is not an option for them (doing their life’s passion), but I believe, there is room for us all to be doing our true passion.

Another good one that I found was at a restaurant that my partner and I were eating at this past winter. It was written on a chalkboard in pretty big letters (and the restaurant is , as they have a farm on the property). When I saw it, I thought, of course! From :

“If organic farming is the natural way, shouldn’t organic produce just be called ‘produce’ and make the pesticide-laden stuff take the burden of an adjective?” – Ymber Delecto

Doesn’t that just make sense? Too often we have a word for something and then we have to develop a modifying word to better understand the initial word. Produce was originally just produce — why do we need to call it organic produce? Another strange one on this topic, specifically in the food category, is the way we talk about sugar. Refined sugar equals bad, but unrefined sugar equals good. We have sugar to begin, but then we add the word refined (to explain that it’s been worked over), but then we need to add the prefix ‘un’ to tell us that the sugar has in fact, not been worked over. Shouldn’t it just be sugar?

One last one that I had found for a presentation I had to give recently. From :

In a truly great company, profits and cash flow become like blood and water to a healthy body: They are absolutely essential for life, but they are not the very point of life.

This comes from Collins’ book, . I think it speaks to a fundamental (pathology, if we want to invoke the documentary, ), with the way the majority of business operates today. Clearly, does not think business should be pathological. He’s been lecturing on sustainability for quite some time now.

So what about you. What are some of your favorite quotes?