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Join the Conversation. What is the #1 thing getting in your way right now of living a more purposeful, meaningful life?

(Answer in a Comment Below)

15 Comments

  1. Dante

    Clear direction. I spent 18 years in an industry I never felt any passion for, but never left because from day one was nearly clearing six figures (and working 65-70 hours a week doing). Then came family and kids that depended on that income and the benefits of strong health insurance and such.

    I left it behind three months ago because it (finally) had nearly killed me mentally, physically and emotionally.

    I have the dream of creating a better future for myself and family but realize I have no desire to enter into anything remotely related to what I had done previously. Now I muddle through ideas, concepts, phone calls with franchisers talking about their systems, support, etc.

    I still find myself spinning into nowhere. No spark, no drive toward anything in particular. That is leading to unbelievable depression and lack of productiveness. I’m letting myself as well as my family down now, and can even notice my wife losing faith that I will come out of this as the A-typical success story that floods the Internet. It isn’t fear of failing that is holding me back, it’s the indecision of what to do that could ignite a fire in me

    Reply
    • Jason Spencer

      Thanks for your vulnerability Dante. Wow, I can relate.

      First, congratulations on finding yourself in this position of feeling stuck! I know that sounds weird… but here’s the thing. Stuck in this way means you are no longer moving in the wrong direction. You put the brakes on, stopped, and now you are in this place of figuring out which road to take, which direction to head in. This is HUGE. Most people, honestly, never get here. You are awakening to a deeper truth of who you are. These doubts, fears, and feelings of uncertainty are normal.

      One thing I can say with absolute certainty is that you are being held up. I can’t say exactly by what, or who, or how. The very nature of the thing that has compelled you out of what was “killing you”, did not do so as a cruel joke to watch you writhe in pain and suffering. Admittedly, this time will be difficult, strenuous and will challenge many aspects of your life, including your relationships and family. By doing this work, though, you are serving all of that. You are calling in evolution, change, and stepping out with trust in a way that will ultimately either break you (and your relationships, family, etc.), or change you for the better (and your relationships, family, etc.).

      I’m saying a prayer for you right now.

      Who are you leaning into for support, mentorship, and perspective right now?

      Reply
    • Steven

      The question I asked is “what is the need others have that I am able to meet”, there must be something others need that you have? Once you answer this question then find just one person with that needing help them. This will Di two things for you. 1) help unpack if your assumption was true 2) if it wasn’t you can do a little more thinking. If it was true you can then get feedback from the person if you were able to help them. In all large companies I have dealt with they all started off small. The reason I share this is that most people I meet try to find an idea that will generate large sums of money which is incredibly difficult to do and extremely lucky, but if you look for something that will just buy you the next meal there may be thousands of opportunities and as you develop from the small..who knows where you will land… Maybe at the place you never dreamed of.

      Reply
  2. tine

    Confusion and/or inability to structure the thesis of my core idea so that I can present it to others as a cohesive, understandable Whole.

    Reply
    • Jason

      Yes. I feel your challenge in that. How have you practiced or are you practicing presenting your core idea to others? I know for me, just putting the ideas out there help to form clarity with practice, time, and outside perspective.

      Reply
  3. Elan

    Failure. I am very afraid of failing, but I am even more afraid of actually not giving it a shot. I have been feeling this unfulfillment thing for quite some time and right now I am about to take the leap and dedicate to my business fulltime. I no longer want to lie to my current (soon to be former) boss and colleagues about bullshit reasons to not to go to work in order to attend my own clients. I want to change and impact other people lives through my work, yet I wonder how would be my like if I weren’t like this (that is, if I were like my coworkers who are apparently content with their jobs). However, I soon realize that is not me and that I want to be free.

    Reply
  4. Adrian

    Fear. I am afraid of taking a leap into uncertainty. Although it’s ironic that I know with certainty that I do not like the spot were I am stanfing.

    Clarity would come second. I believe I have a higher purpose but I am still searching for it.

    Reply
  5. Robyn

    I’m a 56 year old single woman who has had to be strong and independent for most of my life. I have a job that I have absolutely no passion for and I feel completely without purpose or meaning. I have been an Office Manager/Executive Secretary my entire life and am very, very good at what I do but it brings no joy. I dream of quitting my job, selling my house and taking off to anywhere. I do not have any idea what I would do for money except getting menial jobs to pay for food and gas to keep on going. My kids are grown and I don’t have any reason NOT to do this except fear of the unknown and how to make money to eat. I have a lot of different talents but no clear vision of what to do with them and how to bring them together to create a business. I feel stuck and sad and impatient for a change.

    Reply
  6. Cam

    Not a God damned thing.
    I am proud to say that I launched a side business in January and it is growing, and hard, and amazing, and scary and all those things x10.

    But I am planning on leaving my job at the end of September and am so excited to work on my little business full time. Excited to be a part of this little group and share my fears, triumphs, and experiences with other people in my same place.

    Reply
  7. Sam Marwood

    Stable source of income. I know we have a great concept that people love, but it takes time to keep it growing. I can’t work in another job as this will take time away from building our tribe and lose momentum. I’ve been able to financially support myself up till now – but the money is running out. Decisions have to be made about whether I push the enterprise lower down the priority list to focus on making money.

    Reply
  8. Steven

    Gap between present stability (7 figure salary) and nothingness. The company I want to start has no contracts in place, no guarantee of how long it will take to generate income. I’m time poor as the new company will need me in person so impossible to run side by side in my present job. I have a beautiful wife who loves and supports me and four beautiful children. I have seen so many families destroyed through bad decisions and I am afraid of doing the same to my family but am burning inside as I feel compelled to take a step into the unknown. How much time do I have in real terms to make this work? 3 months then it’s over if I resigned today. That is the sum total of the daily expense less income. The one light is that my book was published by penguin and what I want to start is based on the stuff in my book, but there is never a guarantee in life…

    Reply
  9. Sibonelo

    Hi. My #1 thing getting in my way is fear what will happen if I quit. Im employed permanently but the salary isnt great. Im 35, married with 1 kid, staying in a rented flat. I always feel that spark that I should be working for my company but it scares me when I think of not having income to support my family. I have been worked for 10 companies already because it demoralise me when my strategy suggestions are never taken serious in the boardroom and suddenly after a while, you see your superior implementing the same thing you once talked about. Another thing, I need to find my passion because I feel like I am running around like a headless chicken searching for business ideas and concepts. Thank you for this platform. From the Zulu man in Durban South Africa.

    Reply
  10. Jim

    Fear. Fear of disappointing the people that depend on me. Fear of financial insecurity. Fear of loss. Fear of disapproval. Fear of failure (of course). I am afraid. I am stuck in a good paying, emotionally rewarding (sometimes, like a carrot, or golf), job that has absolutely nothing to do with my passions. But, my passions won’t pay the bills.

    And that’s the crux of the matter. My job pays me too well. “Golden handcuffs”. My family, and I, have become accustomed to what my job provides. But, at the same time, I’m slowly dying. I’m 50 years old and I don’t see any end in sight.

    Reply
    • Jim

      OK. I read the manifesto just now and I know what I need to do. Many, many years ago I thought I was called to be a preacher, a youth minister, actually. That never happened but the passion in me to help people, really, spiritually, help people never died. Let me explain how my passion is currently manifesting itself and maybe someone out there has an idea.

      Bear with me:
      My wife and I are square dancers. She enrolled me in lessons several years ago and I loved it so much that we began dancing five and six nights a week. Early on, I knew I wanted to learn to be a caller (the person that tells the dancers what motions to go through during a dance). We became very good friends with a very well known and successful caller and one night during a class a leader in one of the handicapable square dance clubs asked me if I was a caller. I sheepishly told him that I had called once or twice but that I was by no means a professional. Turned out his club was about to fold because they didn’t have a caller. That’s when my caller friend told me I could do it. That it would be good for me and the club members.

      That was almost 9 months ago and I have been calling for the group every Tuesday night since the middle of May and we are all going to the State square dance convention in April of next year, to dance in our very own hall and experience what it’s like to truly be dancers, funny costumes and all 🙂

      If you haven’t square danced, you would never know how tightly knit and supportive the community is among its members. They are loving, giving, passionate people. They saved my marriage. But, the handicapable dancers have no voice. They are the backwater of square dancing. Callers are quickly branded as handicapable callers and don’t get booked for “regular” dances. Callers that get involved to provide advocacy quickly become politicians and may never call again. I want to give the handicapable dancers a voice, but I don’t want to play politics. I want to teach and learn with them. I want to hear them laugh and sing and watch them dance. I want to weep with them at a loss and cry out together with them when they succeed. I want to be their caller.

      Reply
  11. Jenna

    I feel like this is a toss-up between clear direction and fear for me. I have had many, many ideas for businesses or things I could do that might help people. I can’t settle on any of them. I flit around the edges of them, trying to decide if they would work for me or if they would even work at all. I guess none of them inspire me enough to be ready to act on them and try to move past the fear. Or maybe the fear is keeping me from seeing any of them as good ides so I keep looking for the “right” idea. The two have become so intertwined within me that I can’t seem to separate them anymore. So instead of acting on anything at this point I just keep working at this job I hate, spinning around in my own head, and getting nowhere at all.

    Reply

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