Work You Love
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Work You Love

Here’s How to Expand Your Horizon

How to Find Your Delightful Passion & Purpose: Work You Love 101 (#31)

Photo by Mohammad Ali Mohtashami on Unsplash

Related to my last prompt about expecting to succeed, your ideas of what is possible can hold you back.

For instance, let’s say someone doesn’t expect that it’s possible for them to have a happy relationship (perhaps because they grew up in an emotionally abusive household).

In that case, they might not even look for an emotionally supportive relationship, simply because it does not really seem like an option to them.

The same is true when it comes to creating work you love as well as living your passion and purpose. If you don’t think these things possible for you, this limiting belief might hold you back.


How can you expand your idea of what’s possible?

Reading about how others accomplished something can be a great inspiration for yourself.

You don’t need to look at business exemplars or megastars for inspiration. In fact, some of the most inspirational people may live what seem like relatively normal lives.

If instead, you only look to the (estimated) 0.0000001% of people who work, you might find yourself become discouraged. This just reinforces the conception that a life of purpose only happens for a very limited number of people and that you need to be really rich and famous to feel fulfilled.

Reading about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people can have the opposite effect. It can show you what’s possible for you, and open you up to possibilities you hadn’t considered before.

There are just…

A few things to keep in mind

The reason it’s useful to read biographies of inspiring people is that it can help you open your mind to what’s possible.

However, what you don’t want to do is to get stuck in comparison (“I should be doing what this person is doing.”). As the famous quote (probably not by Oscar Wilde) says:

“Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Already Taken.”

Ultimately, you don’t want to copy anybody else’s path but find your own.

In the very first article in this series, I mentioned these beautiful words by legendary choreographer Martha Graham to her protégé Agnes de Mille:

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it.”

If you copy someone else, you deprive the world of your uniqueness.

With all that being said, let’s move on to…

Taking action

Grab a pen and paper. 📝Then, take a moment to go through the following process.

  • Make a list of 5 people who inspire you
    Bonus points if you don’t pick the “usual suspects” (Steve Jobs etc.). By reading about people that are not that frequently written about, you can expand your horizon further.
    For instance: “I’m inspired by Carl von Stauffenberg, the German officer who tried to assassinate Hitler. I also find the late American peace activist Mattie J. T. Stepanek and the late Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl very inspirational. I’m also deeply inspired by the attitude with which Treya Killam Wilber approached her struggle with cancer, as described in the book Grace and Grit. In terms of living people, the Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi inspires me.”
  • Decide which person you’d like to learn more about
    For instance: “I think I want to find out more about Carl von Stauffenberg’s life and the lessons from that.”
  • Brainstorm ways to explore that person’s life
    For instance: “There are a number of biographies about his life, so I think I will see if I can find one of them in the library.”
  • Take action

The idea 💡

Your ideas of what you think is possible can hold you back on your journey towards living your passion and purpose.

Reading about the lives of inspiring people can open you up to possibilities you hadn’t considered before.

How can you feel better in just 5 minutes right now? And what do you need to pay attention to most when creating work you love?

If you’d like answers to these questions, I invite you to get my free Work You Love Bundle.

It contains my Mini Meditation for Stress-Relief. This will help you get into a more relaxed state in just 5 minutes.

You will also receive my Essential Guide to Work You Love. It explains the 4 key components of work you love.

That way, you know what to pay attention to!

You can get my free Work You Love Bundle here.

Originally published at on November 15, 2018.



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