Posts from the ‘Career/Wealth’ category

My Method for Finding Purpose Driven Work

An eclectic system to doing the work you were meant for.

Your present:

  • What are your gifts?
  • What do you need to survive?
  • Where are you in societies social structure, and location in the world?
  • What is your personality, nature, characteristics?
  • What is your current knowledge, skills, abilities and capacities?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What are your deepest wants and desires?
  • Your inner fears and character defects?
  • What are you missing in your life?

After doing some inner work I discovered my personality type; INFP.  Here is what that tells me about myself:

As an INFP, career satisfaction means doing work that:

  1. Is in harmony with my own personal values and beliefs and allows me to express my vision through my work
  2. Gives me time to develop substantial depth to my ideas and maintain control over the process and product
  3. Is done autonomously, with private work space and plenty of uninterrupted time, but with periodic opportunities to bounce my ideas off people I feel respect me
  4. Is done within a flexible structure, with a minimum of rules or regulations, letting me work on projects when I feel inspired
  5. Is done with other creative and caring individuals in a cooperative environment free from tension and interpersonal strife
  6. Lets me express my originality and in which personal growth is encouraged and rewarded
  7. Does not require me to present my work frequently in front of groups of people or be called upon to share before it is completed to my satisfaction
  8. Allows me to help others grow and develop and realize their full potential
  9. Involves understanding people and discovering what makes them tick; allows me to develop deep one-to-one relationships with others
  10. Allows me to work toward fulfilling my ideals and not be limited by political, financial, or other obstacles

Work related Strengths:

  • Thoughtfulness and ability to focus on one issue or idea in depth
  • Eagerness to think outside the box and consider new possibilities
  • Deep commitment to work I believe in
  • Ability to work well alone if necessary
  • Natural curiosity and skill for getting the info I need
  • Ability to see the big picture and to see implications of actions and ideas
  • Perceptiveness about people’s need’s and motivations
  • Adaptability; i can shift gears and change directions easy
  • Ability to work extremely well with people one-on-one

Work related weaknesses:

  • Need to control projects or i may lose interest
  • Tendency toward disorganization and difficulty setting priorities
  • Difficulty working on projects that conflict with my values
  • Reluctance to follow traditional ways of doing things
  • Natural idealism, which may prevent me from having realistic expectations
  • Dislike of doing things in traditional or routine ways
  • Difficulty working in competitive or tension filled environments
  • Lack of discipline about attending to and following through important details
  • Impatients working with structures or people who are too rigid
  • Tendency to be unrealistic about how long things take
  • Reluctance to discipline direct reports and criticize others

The secrets to success for me – develop realistic expectations, value compromise, and not take things quite so personal.

Popular careers for INFPs

  • artist
  • writer
  • journalist
  • entertainer
  • architect
  • actor
  • editior
  • musician
  • graphic designer
  • editor of magazine
  • editor of website
  • composer
  • film director
  • set designer
  • interior designer
  • desktop publisher – high grow area
  • College professor
  • Researcher
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Counselor – high grow area
  • Social worker
  • Librarian
  • Special ed teacher
  • Consultant – High growth area
  • Child welfare counselor
  • Legal mediator
  • planned-giving officer
  • Philanthropic consultant
  • Career coach
  • Curator
  • Public health educator
  • Minister
  • Religious Educator  – High Growth area
  • Missionary
  • Church worker
  • Pastoral Counselor
  • Nutritionist
  • Physical therapist – High growth area
  • Home health social worker
  • Occupational therapist – high growth
  • Massage therapist
  • Holistic health practitioner – high growth
  • Human resources deveopment trainer – high growth
  • employee development specialist – high growth
  • Social scientist
  • Diversity manager – human resources – high growth
  • Consultant – team building / conflict resolution
  • Corporate trainer – high growth
  • Customer relations manager
  • Coach – high growth
  • Project Manager
  • Human resources recruiter
  • Educational software developer

Evaluating current work:

  • What would your life look like if you stay on your current career path?  Physically, mentally, and emotionally? Would you be dissatisfied, stressed, etc.? (for me as an electrician with this type of personally it causes me to act outside of my natural behavior.  Causing stress, discomfort, and is unappealing)
  • Keep in mind your own world view and approach reality with as little bias as possible

Thinking of potential ideas:

  • What are you drawn to that you feel in a world of your own?
  • What puts you into a state of flow?
  • What excites you and would make you look forward to waking up?
  • Would you be proud of this work?
  • Can you be excellent at it?
  • Is it aligned with spiritual principles?
  • What do you want? What do you want to see in the world?

Values of the Work (here are mine):

  • Something that is meaningful and positive to myself and all humanity. It changes people for the better
  • Human connection on a one on one basis, but still allows deep individual work
  • Brings me joy and strengthens my higher sense of self
  • Allows me to feel like I am working with a spiritual connection
  • Something I can put my whole heart and being into
  • Not attached to the rewards
  • Has a long term focus and not shortsighted. Can enjoy the journey and not solely focused on an end goal
  • Strives to be the best in the world - Innovative
  • Allows me to express myself and be differientiated through art – passionate, original, creative, and personal that challenges the status quo and changes the recipient
  • Continually challenges me and allows for growth
  • Alignes with my personality and passions
  • Provides a good amount of stability
  • Demands a high skill level and experience
  • Allows the ability to over deliver
  • Able to be fully present when performing
  • Flexible structure

Evaluating the Work:

  • Does the world really need it?
  • Are you able to make a decent living at some point?
  • Will you have co-workers, and if so can you form true friendships with them?  What is the culture like?
  • Would you do it even if you weren't getting paid?
  • What do you bring to the job of value?
  • How many hours will you need to work and will it allow a balanced lifestyle?
  • Does it allow you to enter a state of flow?
  • Does the work allow for vacation time?
  • Is the labor non-commoditized? Or, are you just another easily replaceable cog?

Next steps to take:

  • What work is currently in front of you?
  • What are the next baby steps you can make to start making changes?
  • How can you test different paths to see how they make you feel with minimal initial investment?
  • How can you be happy in the present until the correct path presents itself at the right time?
  • Be fearless, but not reckless.  Feel the fear, acknowledge it and do it anyway
  • Know that if you surrender and pursue what you feel is right with love. The Universe will support you and course correct along the way and more will be revealed
  • When resistance tells you not to do something, listen, read, attend, etc.  GO! Just do it.  Any route you take that doesn’t lead to success is the result of resistance
  • Refuse to do any sort of busywork like check email, and twitter. Don’t distract yourself with anything but your work
  • It’s that race to completion after an idea is born that makes all the difference
  • Build a habit of writing things down, prioritizing the ideas, building them, and shipping it. Start now, today, and ship.
  • If it doesn’t work and you are not changing anyone keep giving gifts.  Make more art and keep learning from it.  The only other option is becoming a cog again.


Spiritual Approach to Working Life

Work, Service & Selflessness From a Spiritual POV

Trying to sum up everything:

Work starts with your entry point in life.  What social class/location you were born into.  From there you need to do some inner work to discover your nature, personality, characteristics, knowledge, ability and capacity. These things will give you some direction. Then, just start with the work that is in front of you at that particular time. Once working, strive to be present and wisely fulfill your duty with your entire being. Knowing that every position is equally important. And with a sense of connection and selflessness for all of the Universe with no attachments to the results. Acting cheerfully out of love.  As you grow and expand in your work/worship to help others and the world, the specific jobs can shift and you can take on new ones.

Various nuggets of wisdom:

Pleasure is not the goal of man, but knowledge. Pleasure and happiness come to an end. It is a mistake to suppose that pleasure is the goal; the cause of all the miseries we have in the world is that men foolishly think pleasure to be the ideal to strive for. All knowledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind; the infinite library of the universe is in your own mind. The external world is simply the suggestion, the occasion, which sets you to study your own mind, but the object of your study is always your own mind. 

Like fire in a piece of flint, knowledge exists in the mind; suggestion is the friction which brings it out. So with all our feelings and actions—our tears and our smiles, our joys and our griefs, our weeping and our laughter, our curses and our blessings, our praises and our blames—every one of these we may find, if we calmly study our own selves, to have been brought out from within ourselves by so many blows. The result is what we are; all these blows taken together are called Karma,—work, action. Every mental and physical blow that is given to the soul, by which, as it were, fire is struck from it, and by which its own power and knowledge are discovered, is Karma, this word being used in its widest sense; thus we are all doing Karma all the time. I am talking to you: that is Karma. You are listening: that is Karma. We breathe: that is Karma. We walk: Karma. Everything we do, physical or mental, is Karma, and it leaves its marks on us.

We are responsible for what we are; and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act

The Gita says that it is doing work with cleverness and as a science: by knowing how to work,. one can obtain the greatest results. You must remember that all work is simply to bring out the power of the mind which is already there, to wake up the soul. The power is inside every man, so is knowledge; the different works are like blows to bring them out, to cause these giants to wake up.

Man works with various motives; there cannot be work without motive. Some people want to get fame,and they work for fame. Others want money, and they work for money. Others want to have power, and they work for power. Others want to get to heaven, and they work for the same. Others want to leave a name when they die, as they do in China, where no man gets a title until he is dead; and that is a better way, after all, than with us.

Even the lowest forms of work are not to be despised. Let the man who knows no better, work for selfish ends, for name and fame; but everyone should always try to get towards higher and higher motives and to understand them. "To work we have the right, but not to the fruits thereof." Leave the fruits alone. Why care for results? If you wish to help a man, never think what that man's attitude should be towards you. If you want to do a great or a good work, do not trouble to think what the result will be.

The ideal man is he who, in the midst of the greatest silence and solitude, finds the intensest activity, and in the midst of the intensest activity finds the silence and solitude of the desert. He has learned the secret of restraint; he has controlled himself. He goes through the streets of a big city with all its traffic, and his mind is as calm as if he were in a cave, where not a sound could reach him; and he is intensely working all the time. That is the ideal of Karma-Yoga, and if you have attained to that you have really learned the secret of work.

But we have to begin from the beginning, to take up the works as they come to us and slowly make ourselves, more unselfish every day.

Our first duty is not to hate ourselves; because to advance we must have faith in ourselves first and then in God. He who has no faith in himself can never have faith in God.

Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest ideal, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the truth.

The great duty of the householder is to earn a living, but he must take care that he does not do it by telling lies, or by cheating, or by robbing others; and he must remember that his life is for the service of God, and the poor.

Our duty to others means helping others; doing good to the world. Why should we do good to the world? Apparently to help the world, but really to help ourselves. We should always try to help the world, that should be the highest motive in us; but if we consider well, we find that the world does not require our help at all. This world was not made that you or I should come and help it. I once read a sermon in which was said:—"All this beautiful world is very good, because it gives us time and opportunity to help others." Apparently, this is a very beautiful sentiment, but is it not a blasphemy to say that the world needs our help? We cannot deny that there is much misery in it; to go out and help others is, therefore, the best thing we can do, although, in the long run, we shall find that helping others is only helping ourselves.

Work, but let not the action or the thought produce a deep impression on the mind; let the ripples come and go; let huge actions proceed from the muscles and the brain, but let them not make any deep impression on the soul.

Karma-Yoga means; even at the point of death to help any one, without asking questions. Be cheated millions of times and never ask a question, and never think of what you are doing. Never vaunt of your gifts to the poor or expect their gratitude, but rather be grateful to them for giving you the occasion of practising charity to them. Thus it is plain that to be an ideal householder is a much more difficult task than to be an ideal Sannyasin; the true life of work is indeed as hard as, if not harder than, the equally true life of renunciation.

Therefore, be "unattached;" let things work; let brain centres work; work incessantly, but let not a ripple conquer the mind. Work as if you were a stranger in this land, a sojourner; work incessantly, but do not bind yourselves; bondage is terrible. This world is not our habitation, it is only one of the many stages through which we are passing.

Krishna says: Look at Me, Arjuna! If I stop from work for one moment the whole universe will die. I have nothing to gain from work; I am the one Lord, but why do I work? Because I love the world. God is unattached because He loves; that real love makes us unattached. Wherever there is attachment, the clinging to the things of the world, you must know that it is all physical, attraction between sets of particles of matter; something that attracts two bodies nearer and nearer all the time, and if they cannot get near enough produces pain; but where there is real love it does not rest on physical attachment at all. Such lovers may be a thousand miles away from one another, but their love will be all the same; it does not die; and will never produce any painful reaction.

To attain this unattachment is almost a life-work, but as soon as we have reached this point we have attained the goal of love and become free; the bondage of nature falls from us, and we see nature as she is; she forges no more chains for us; we stand entirely free and take not the results of work into consideration; who then cares for what the results may be?

In whatever you do for a particular person, a city, or a state, assume the same attitude towards it as you have towards your children—expect nothing in return. If you can invariably take the position of a giver, in which everything given by you is a free offering to the world, without any thought of return, then will your work bring you no attachment. Attachment comes only where we expect a return.

The whole gist of this teaching is that you should work like a master and not as a slave;work incessantly, but do not do slave's work. Do you not see how everybody works? Nobody can be altogether at rest; ninety-nine per cent. of mankind work like slaves, and the result is misery; it is all selfish work. Work through freedom! Work through love! The word 'love' is very difficult to understand; love never comes until there is freedom. There is no true love possible in the slave. If you buy a slave and tie him down in chains and make him work for you, he will work like a drudge, but there will be no love in him. So when we ourselves work for the things of the world as slaves, there can be no love in us, and our work is not true work. This is true of work done for relatives and friends, and is true of work done for our own selves. Selfish work is slave's work; and here is a test. Every act of love brings happiness; there is no act of love which does not bring peace and blessedness as its reaction.

Therefore the one point we ought to remember is that we should always try to see the duty of others through their own eyes, and never judge the customs of other peoples by our own standard. I am not the standard of the universe. I have to accommodate myself to the world, and not the world to me. So we see that environments change the nature of our duties, and doing the duty which is ours at any particular time is the best thing we can do in this world.

 He told me once the secret of work, "Let the end and the means be joined into one." When you are doing any work, do not think of anything beyond. Do it as worship, as the highest worship, and devote your whole life to it for the time being. Thus, in the story, the Vyadha and the woman did their duty with cheerfulness and whole-heartedness; and the result was that they became illuminated; clearly showing that the right performance of the duties of any station in life, without attachment to results, leads us to the highest realization of the perfection of the soul.

It is the worker who is attached to results that grumbles about the nature of the duty which has fallen to his lot; to the unattached worker all duties are equally good, and form efficient instruments with which selfishness and sensuality may be killed, and the freedom of the soul secured. 

All good acts tend to make us pure and perfect. What can we do at best? Build a hospital, make roads, or erect charity asylums! We may organise a charity and collect two or three millions of dollars, build a hospital with one million, with the second give balls and drink champagne, and of the third let the officers steal half, and leave the rest finally to reach the poor; but what are all these? One mighty wind in five minutes can break all your buildings up. What shall we do then? One volcanic eruption may sweep away all our roads and hospitals and cities and buildings. Let us give up all this foolish talk of doing good to the world. It is not waiting for your or my help; yet we must work and constantly do good, because it is a blessing to ourselves. That is the only way we can become perfect.

So, always remember the instance of the curly tail of the dog whenever you have a tendency to become a fanatic. You need not worry or make yourself sleepless about the world; it will go on without you. When you have avoided fanaticism then alone will you work well. It is the level-headed man, the calm man, of good judgment and cool nerves, of great sympathy and love, who does good work and so does good to himself. The fanatic is foolish and has no sympathy; he can never straighten the world, nor himself become pure and perfect.

Firstly, we have to bear in mind that we are all debtors to the world and the world does not owe us anything. It is a great privilege for all of us to be allowed to do anything for the world. In helping the world we really help ourselves. The second point is that there is a God in this universe. It is not true that this universe is drifting and stands in need of help from you and me. God is ever present therein, He is undying and eternally active and infinitely watchful. When the whole universe sleeps He sleeps not; He is working incessantly; all the changes and manifestations of the world are His. Thirdly, we ought not to hate any one. This world will always continue to be a mixture of good and evil. Our duty is to sympathise with the weak and to love even the wrongdoer. The world is a grand moral gymnasium wherein we have all to take exercise so as to become stronger and stronger spiritually. Fourthly, we ought not to be fanatics of any kind because fanaticism is opposed to love. You hear fanatics glibly saying, "I do not hate the sinner, I hate the sin;" but I am prepared to go any distance to see the face of that man who can really make a distinction between the sin and the sinner. It is easy to say so. If we can distinguish well between quality and substance we may become perfect men. It is not easy to do this. And further, the calmer we are and the less disturbed our nerves, the more shall we love and the better will our work be.

Are you unselfish? That is the question. If you are, you will be perfect without reading a single religious book, without going into a single church or temple.

 He works best who works without any motive, neither for money, nor for fame, nor for anything else; and when a man can do that, he will be a Buddha, and out of him will come the power to work in such a manner as will transform the world. This man represents the very highest ideal of Karma-Yoga.

Just as the universe is always in motion we should always be as well.  We should not avoid work. Just as the body would wither away and die if you never moved.  Perform your duties without concern for the results and for the higher good of all. You reap what you sow.

We must be careful not to engage in work in a selfish manner.  It must be done in a spiritual fashion.  Which evolves in the following way (gunas):

  1. tamas - darkeness, ignorance, inertia
  2. rajas - passion, activity, energy
  3. sattva - goodness, light, purity

In every man there are these three forces. Sometimes Tamas prevails; we become lazy; we cannot move; we are inactive, bound down by certain ideas or by mere dullness. At other times activity prevails and at still other times that calm balancing of both. Again, in different men, one of these forces is generally predominant. The characteristic of one man is inactivity, dullness and laziness; that of another, activity, power, manifestation of energy; and in still another we find the sweetness, calmness and gentleness, which are due to the balancing of both action and inaction. So in all creation—in animals, plants and men—we find the more or less typical manifestation of all these different forces.

These three properties of Prakriti’s gunas, which are distributed disproportionately in everyone and are never in equilibrium, decide the difference in one’s call of duty. If you are predominantly sattvic in nature, you will be fitted for one kind of work in this world; one type of participation will be expected from you in the scheme of things. If you are predominantly rajasic for some reason or the other, then you will be assigned some job, some work, some duty according to your particular temperament. But suppose you are basically unfit for other physical reasons, such as the preponderance of tamas, etc.; then, you will have to be taken care of in a different way altogether.

It's important to be detached and work from a sense of duty.  Not for personal gain or enjoyment.

Every work is equally good. We should not say, “Why should I do this kind of menial work? That person is doing better work.” There is no such thing as menial work and better work in this world. It is all a contribution from one’s own point of view for the total welfare of humanity. Every work is equally divine; every work is equally contributory to the welfare of one’s own benefit as well as others’. Work should not be compared

the concept of dignity of work, and the divinity that one can see in the performance of duty, is to be the guiding factor in one’s daily life; and there should be no complaint either in regard to placing oneself in a so-called inferior position or imagining that somebody else is in a higher position. There is no higher position or inferior position. Each one is fitted for something, and that must be done; and what we are not fitted for, that of course we cannot do. So, we should not complain.

All work is important.  There is no one thing that is better than another.  It is all apart of a larger system that is dependent on each smaller component.  If you take a wheel off a car the end result is that you cannot drive it.  The same goes for if you take the steering wheel off.  A steering wheel, or tire is equally important in the end goal of driving the car.   Our work is the same in the sense that all work is apart of the system of God .  Whether you're a doctor, or a construction worker building the hospital.. each is dependent on one another for the betterment of humanity.

Where are you starting from?

The Gita calls this your duty.  Just like in the game of cards.  If you get dealt a good hand of cards and play wisely; you have a good chance of winning the game.  If you get dealt a bad hand of cards you have to play the best you can and you can only hope for a small win.  Play either hand foolishly and your odds of losing go up.

The same goes for life.  The hand of cards we are initially handed is our birth into society.

In essence what this is trying to say is you have to accept the life you were given.  If you were born in a very low place it would be very hard for you to say become president.  Or, a smaller person trying to be in the NBA, or NFL.  It's just not in the your dharma.

The broad four conditions/circumstances of human society people are born into:

  1. Power
  2. Intelligence
  3. Wealth
  4. Labour

The four classes of society are blended together and suppose to support one another.

As time goes by your abilities can change your conditions/circumstances.  But each person should perform their duty to where they where they were placed in society.  Then, it's possible for someone to go higher.   

Here is what my path looks like:

  1. Not happy with current labor job and would like to jump into one of the other classes (power, intelligence, wealth)
  2. Accept that it is my duty to accept the place I was born into - labour
  3. Evolve into a higher place as my abilities and capacity grow

Where I feel I have struggled with is not accepting reality and wanting to jump from step 1, to step 3.   You may ask.. what's wrong with jumping to step 3?  Well I think you need to be in the correct place to move into a higher placement.  Part of that involves just loving what is your current reality.  Then, letting go of any expectations or attachments.  And doing your work in a spirit of selfless service.

"Our worship of God should be through the work that we do according to our ability and our concept of duty, performed in a totally unselfish manner"

I kinda think of accepting your duty as a foundation for future work to be built upon.  So as a construction worker.. maybe I would develop into building sustainable homes (wealth class) using the skills and abilities developed from construction work.  Relating it to relationships.  If someone is seeking happiness from their partner because they are unhappy.  They will never truly evolve even if that other person does fill that role.  They first need to become happy with themselves.  Then they will be 100% happy with that other person.

There is also something about letting go of something.  Have you ever wanted something really bad.  Then, when it didn't come let it go.  Only to find a little later after it was let go it comes into your life?  Maybe this is detachment at work?

If I tried to be the president (power class).  My knowledge and capacity would not be enough and would cause me great stress.  I need to stay out of trying to do other peoples work/duty.

You need to do some inner work, and be brutally honest with yourself of your current knowledge and capacity.  Which will give you your starting point in society.

Many people I read about today are unhappy with their current station in life.  Then try and jump to step 3, but have a hard time as well.  What most do at that point is then sell jumping to step 3 to others.  Without having really accomplished anything for themselves.  This is made very clear in the follow the passion crowd.  A person was an unhappy lawyer.  Then, he is writing books on following your passion and giving talks.  He is selling the dream but he is not living it.

"According to our nature, according to the predilection of our psyche, the inborn characteristic of our own personality will decide what kind of work we have to do and what duty is expected of us. Then we shall not have any kind of fear of sin because we are doing the best that we can—kurvan nāpnoti kilbiṣam." - swami-krishnananda

Now, the duty that you are expected to perform in the world is not something imposed upon you by a government, or a social mandate from outside. It is the law of your own nature expecting you to do what is necessary, under the very structure of your own individuality, or jivatva – your personality.

The way to live:

Viviktasevī laghvāśī (18.52): Always wanting to be alone to oneself, and not feeling happy in the midst of people. The more we are alone, the more we feel free and happy. That is the characteristic of a spiritual seeker in an advanced stage. Laghvāśī: Eating only as much as is necessary, and not eating like a glutton. Yatavākkāyamānasaḥ: Working only to the extent it is necessary to work. He does not work beyond his limit and become fatigued. He speaks only when it is necessary to speak, and does not speak unnecessarily. He also restrains the mind, and thinks only when it is necessary to think in a particular line. Otherwise, he does not think anything at all because of his inward spiritual approach. Dhyānayogaparo nityaṁ: Always intent on the supreme meditative mood on the ultimate goal of life. Vairāgyaṁ samupāśritaḥ: Totally renouncing all attachment to worldly involvements, all perishable objects—anything that is external, spatial and temporal—renouncing all these things by vairagya dharma.

The gift of knowledge is a far higher gift than that of food and clothes; it is even higher than giving life to a man, because the real life of man consists of knowledge; ignorance is death, knowledge is life.

The misery that I feel when I am hungry is satisfied by eating, but hunger returns; my misery can cease only when I am satisfied beyond all want. Then hunger will not make me miserable; no distress, no sorrow will be able to move me. So that help which tends to make us strong spiritually is the highest, next to it comes intellectual help, and after that physical help.

We may convert every house in the country into a charity asylum; we may fill the land with hospitals, but the misery of man will still continue to exist until man's character changes.

It is not actually the work that is the source of your satisfaction; it is the connection of this work with the consciousness of your identity with the whole cosmos. 

Yoga is harmony, and it is also expertness in action. Expertness means the ability to see unity in everything that you do, and in every position in which you are placed.

If you don't heed this advice that is offered:

If you insist on your own ahamkara and say, ‘I shall do this, and I shall not do that’—then you will be responsible for what follows.” You shall actually perish if you insist on your egoism and say “I shall do this, and I shall not do that” as Arjuna said in the beginning of the First Chapter. Atha cet tvam ahaṁkārān na śroṣyasi vinaṅkṣyasi: “If you do not listen to this good advice and insist on your egoism again and again—well, you will reach nothing finally.”

You have to be vigilant to see that your behaviour and action at any given moment of time is not out of context with the unity of purpose that is to be at the back of it. Otherwise, it will be a drab, desultory work which will please nobody – neither you, nor anyone else.

Even if people inwardly decide not to do anything, not to work at all, and maintain silence, it is not possible. As long as the body and mind—which are the properties of prakriti—are there, and because prakriti is always in a state of motion, it is not possible for any person to be inactive.

"fearlessness"—fear nothing. Fear is a sign of weakness. A man must go about his duties without taking notice of the sneers and the ridicule of the world.

we need not have to engage ourselves in any work later on. Just as rivers move, but they need not move after they reach the ocean, so too one has to work hard until the Universal Being is reached

Resources The Secret of Work

The Last Webinar – Mike Seddon

Even though I have never met Mike in person.  I've been receiving value from him through a mastermind group for quite a few years.  Not only in wisdom, but observing the actions he took in service to others.

Dov Gordon gave him the gift to give one last time. Through organizing The Last Webinar.  What an amazing idea!


  • Wisdom is timeless.  We take in information, but often times do not act on it. And then, we forget about it.  Listening to the webinar will be a good reminder of maybe some things I have already heard. But, putting them in a different and more personal context that hopefully causes me to take action.  Taking action and succeeding and growing is the best way for repaying Mike.
  • We build a business to build a life.  Over time we forget the building a life part.  The business consumes us.  The answer is to build a ritual of stepping back and getting off the treadmill of constant work.  And making sure you're doing the right things from a higher perspective.  Reminds me of the saying that you can't see the picture when you're in the frame.  Make sure to take the time to do this.  Mike likes the time period of seven days.
    • Remember
    • Reflect
    • Make a change (even a tiny one)

Reflect and take seven days outside of your business (garden, walk, golf, hike..) to think and make notes about the following questions:

  1. What's my why, and am I living it? Applies to more aspects of life than just business.  Living your why makes you happy.  Most people say their why is their family... I have to work too much, miss family things etc... and I am doing this all for you.  It is a slippery slope of a trap. Your family is more interested in the time (and connection I would add) that you spend with them than the money you give them.  No child wants their parent to go to work and leave them alone. They want to play with you.  Others usually get into business to escape a job that they no longer like. Mike got fed up with working with idiots.  And those idiots getting promoted because they know how to butter up the senior idiots!  (I can strongly relate to this Mike).  And it's the same the higher up you go.  That was a lousy why... to run away from something.  But, go deeper.  His why was to really help the small business owners with online marketing and not be a shark out for their money.  When you get your why right you're really giving of yourself and serving that community. Work becomes purposeful and you love doing it, because you're doing it for you why. if you're not doing it out of your why you might as well stay being an employee.  At least you can call in sick if you wanted to.  I really like that Dov chimed in here with "when you have conversations with good people, things become clear".  The change that you want must be clearer than the path you are currently on.  We make excuses to stick with doing the things we know how to do because the change we want to make is not clear and we don't know how.  Or, it requires us to do something we're not so comfortable with.
  2. What does success look like? Starts to bring the money part into the picture.  Most people think of money when trying to answer this.  If that's the case you have forgotten your why.  But a business should have some number goals to to know what you need to support yourself or family financially and achieve your why.  If it cannot sustain itself then it's not a business but a hobby.  Which is fine if that is what you want.  Most people either focus on the money too much, or they give away too much of themselves.  But both can waste your life energy.  Build your business around the value you bring to others, and be well paid for it.  Take the middle of the road. Focus on the people you want to help.  Rather than trying to serve everyone to make the most amount of money.  Make sure your vision of success is your own personal vision and is not being shaped by someone else or societal expectations. Ask is this what you really want.  Meditate and reflect on this.  Most people do things out of fear.  One of the most valuable things someone can do is walk out on something they shouldn't be doing in the face of fear. And they will find what they should be doing.  Be brutally honest with yourself on what you actually want. Don't let fear stop you. If you aren't getting the results you want... don't take it personal.  It's the process you're using.  It's not personal.
  3. Am I enjoying the journey?  Putting too much emphasis on the end result is risky.  You should have goals, but you should make sure you're enjoying the process.  If your goal causes you not to enjoy the process and live an unbalanced life.  Then you  need to change that goal.  Say the goal is to make $100k a year.  If that doesn't allow you any time to spend with your family maybe you should lower it to $60k a year and spend 2-3 days a week with family.  You have to know where you want to end up, and you want to know what the next baby step is to take.  How do you want to be as a person as you go through this journey.  Sticking to your why allows you to keep enjoying the journey.
  4. Am I hanging out with the right people?  Some friends and family are going to be toxic your own business.  Even though they may mean well.  Or, they may even be jealous.  Surround yourself with the right people to share the journey.  People can pull you into the mud with them if they aren't happy.  Share your vision with the right people.  Two types of people.  Stick with the friends you have before the business became successful.  Generally those after may not be true friends.  And surround with like minded entrepreneurs that are on similar journeys.  Don't surround yourself with people who boost your ego.  Put yourself into groups that challenge and stretch you.  You become the average of the group of people you hang around with. In business and life. Little people talk about other people.  Big people talk about ideas and how to make things happen.  Get away from toxic people.  The right people will help build you in a positive way.
  5. What would happen to my loved ones if I was no longer around?  Buy life insurance if you have people depending on you. Dave Ramsey is a good source for setting yourself up for this process.  Build a business that can run without you.  In cases where you're injured and can't work.  Look into automation.  Mike uses IM strategies like member instruction videos that he doesn't have to constantly work on them.  The membership fees will still come in.  Can loved ones take over everything?  Do they have access to needed items such as computers?

Schedule your Seddon Day now to take time off from daily life and get this process going.

One of the greatest lessons I have pulled from this is highlighting the fact of living the best possible life you can right NOW instead of the thinking you can find a cure later.  I read the responses to Mike through our group emails.  And many of them told Mike to fight and listed alternative therapies and websites of people who have healed from cancer. Proving doctors wrong.

While I do not disagree and am a big believer in alternative medicine.  He chose to follow the path that felt right to him and his situation.

We often live with the thought.. oh this guy beat cancer by using xyz treatment.  If it ever happens to me I can beat it by doing the same.  I will just keep on living my life the way I want and if it happens I can fix it.

Sometimes... and I would say more times than what is highlighted by the media.  You just can't fix cancer.  As much as we all like to believe in the fairy tale (while they sell us their products...) that against all odds we can beat anything.

Not to say you shouldn't fight or try everything in your power with the right mental and spiritual framework.  If that is what you think the correct decision is for you.

But sometimes.. the cards just don't lay in your favor.  And it's nothing you did wrong.  As they say in racing.. you can't win them all.

So where does this leave someone?

You certainly don't want to feel shame when you're dying.  That you didn't try the right things, or try hard enough to succeed like the websites/books/etc that beat cancer and causing distraction.

For the person not yet in this position I would say you need to put some serious effort into listening to what Mike had to say and follow his advice.  Pull your head out of the sand and get honest with yourself.

Mike stated he is calm and peaceful about what lies ahead.  And wants to impart some more gifts before he leaves.  He is so relaxed because he has been taking 7 days regularly throughout the years to build a life.  And this has given him the peace ahead.  He is able to end his life happy.

One regret Mike admits to is wishing that he was willing to allow himself permission to be himself earlier in life.  He did that around the time he started his business 15 years ago.

Give yourself permission to be yourself - Mike Seddon

This seems to be exactly what Mike is doing in the face of the unknown with a courageous spirit.  A hero.

Thank you Mike.


Living in a Van Behind Walmart

Wow what an awesome story of a dude that embodies simple living.  While actually living and not all about the consumer lifestyle our society promotes.

Here is what I am learning about people who live in cars.  There are people who are forced into it.  Live in their vehicles and do drugs, drink, etc.  These are the people most think of when they see a person in this circumstance.

But, there are also people who choose to live below their means.  Allowing them the freedom to truly enjoy their life on their own terms.

Is life about working your life away to buy a large expensive house with rooms and stuff you don't use.  Or, is it about who you are, how you relate to others, freedom, and the experiences you have along the journey?

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Some of my top quotes:

For almost 80 years, his father and grandfather owned and operated a small bicycle shop in car-dependent Johnson City, and their store was not only a place to sell bikes but a way to spread their family values and popularize a belief system. Play outdoors. Love the earth. Live simply. Use only what you need.

Being alone on the mound reminded him of being out in the wild, where he was forced to solve his own problems and wrestle with self-doubt.

Most players had spent $10,000 or more on laptops, jewelry and headphones. Norris returned with only a henley T-shirt from Converse, bought on sale for $14. It's been a fixture of his wardrobe ever since.

It's enough to live in a van, but just barely. "I'm actually more comfortable being kind of poor," he says, because not having money maintains his lifestyle and limits the temptation to conform. He never fills Shaggy beyond a quarter tank. He fixes the van's engine with duct tape rather than taking it to a mechanic. Instead of eating out with teammates, he writes each night in a "thought journal" that rests on the dashboard.

"Research the things you love," he wrote one night. "Gain knowledge. It's valuable."

"Be kind. Be courteous. Love others and be happy. It's that simple."

"Where else can you be as free as by yourself in the middle of nowhere, or in the middle of the ocean, or on the peak of a mountain. Adventure is freedom."

This is his favorite beach in Florida, a 25-foot stretch of sand separated from the road by a line of palm trees, a place so public that nobody else seems to notice it. The traffic cruises by on the causeway at 50 miles an hour, and he has the beach to himself. He comes here to paddleboard, to read and to journal. Once, after a morning in the water, he returned to the beach and fell asleep on his surfboard. A few hours later, he felt the cold chill of water on his foot and awoke to see that the tide had risen and swept him back out into the ocean on his board. He was quite a distance from shore, out there by himself, disoriented and scared. "That was one of the best moments of my life," he says.



The Rest of Your Life Question

This comes from Dan Sullivan who has been working with business owners for over 40 years now.   Dan wondered what seperated someone who built a large successful enterprise versus a small few man operation.

What he found was that the enterprises where just extensions of the owners unique ability.

They followed that unique ability because it was their passion and found the right people to serve.  It all starts with the list.

How does one start down this path?  Here is some advice from Dan on Huffington Post:

Passion: What do you really love to do and do extraordinarily well? You would do this for free, and if you did it for the rest of your life, you would be constantly motivated, fascinated, and improving.

Hero: Who do you really want to be a hero to? What group of people would you most like to work with and help over the next 25 years?

Multiplier: Which of your capabilities, situations, and relationships have the possibility of growing, not just incrementally, but exponentially? Big games are much more motivating and attractive for everyone.

Imagine that all of your experiences so far are Stage 1 of your life and career, and now you're creating Stage 2. What belongs in Stage 2? I encourage you to use 25 years as your horizon, so you have some time to create something really big and exciting (including the version of you that's going to be here 25 years from now making this all happen). Your filters are Passion, Hero, and Multiplier - identify the opportunities that satisfy all three and forget about all the others. They're just "stuff."

With these three filters as a guide, you can begin to construct a vision for 2014 as the beginning of a permanently exciting, engaging, and focused 25-year future.


Here is an example of a rock climber Conrad Anker (article) I came across today that embodies passion for what he does.  The conclusion of the article:

"But what he really instilled in me during our first day on rock together was what it means to find something you love, and to do it every day."

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From Conrad's website :

“I’ve learned that these things—my family, my passion for climbing and for being a force for good in the local community and in the larger community—are the source of happiness for me,” he says. “I know that life will keep changing and keep throwing new challenges my way, but my intent is always to embrace them and explore them and find a way to turn them into an experience that’s rewarding. Even when we’re suffering, whether it’s in the mountains or because of something going on at home, trying situations are a way to understand our human condition. You have to try to rise above the adversity. I like doing that.”

Cyborg – Following Your Passion and Love

Great post by Zac. What an amazing story about a humble guy who:

  • Followed his belief for his passion, not money.
  • Surrounds himself with people he loved.
  • Persisted when there was no light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Gets out of his comfort zone.
  • Crazy work ethic.  Sweat is not enough.  You have to bleed for what you want.
  • Give it and share your best. Present a good thing to people and it will come back to you. Opportunities will come.
  • You have to give what you love a shot, or you will never know if it will work out. So if you really believe in and love what you do take that chance. Throw yourself at the world and see what happens and you'll grow up as a person.

Which leads to getting the fruits of the seeds he planted with things money cannot buy such as real friends, family, giving back, doing what you love (Cyborg's definition of success).

Ken Glickman – Time Management for New Years Resolutions

Notes from Genius Network interview with Ken Glickman about time management.  This was recommended by Steven Pressfield on his recent podcast so I decided to listen to the interview and take some notes.  Hopefully it helps for a more productive 2014!

People don't understand the true meaning of time management in relationship to their life.  You are also an author writing the story of your own life every day.

You have to understand the element of time.

Anything you want to do in your life is going to require different things, but they all require time, and we only have so much of it.  It is the most absolute resource we have.

Everything in life has consequences.  Where you are today is the result of the choices you have made in the past.   The choice is yours and every choice you make has consequences.  You are in charge of your own life.  Power comes from taking responsibility.

One big reason for overwhelm is not being able to say no to something/someone.

You can only be in one place at a time.  If you say yes to one thing, you are saying no to something else.  If you choose to help someone with something you are saying no to spending time with your family.

If you choose to say yes to you.. what am I saying no too.. and do I want to say no to that.  Answer that honestly and it will help you make the best choice.

Most people can accept if you say no to them right off the bat, but if you say yes and don't accomplish what they need it is a bad situation.

You need to be clear on where you can do the most good to yourself and family and say no to the rest.

Organization - People spend a lot of time looking for stuff.  Looking for keys, notes, socks, etc... maybe several hours just looking for things.  If we take all the wasted time we could do amazing things.

All things of like kind in one place.

Keys - by the front door place all keys in a bowl on a table.  It goes into the bowl when you walk in the door.  After about three weeks it will become a habit. It works because it is easily accessible.  Don't put the bowl upstairs in a second bedroom.  Make it as easy as possible.

Set up a system this way for everything.

These are little things.  So we don't place a large importance on them.  But, it is the little things that add up to the big things.

On a conscious level we can only deal with one thing at a time.  But, on a sub conscious level it can work on multiple things.


Third Parties Not Required

If you base your success on a third party such as steroids, HGH, a high end coach, a program that will give you the shortcut, etc. you're giving your power away. You're saying that you cannot succeed on your own without that help. When that help is not there you will not be able to repeat success. Because you didn't earn it yourself.

I have fallen victim to this line of thinking. "If I just had a mentor, this high end equipment, software program, etc. then I would be successful". The major flaw is not believing in yourself and allowing doubt and fear to run the show.

Take the long road to success. Put the work in and create your own system that's only dependent on you. That way you can repeat and improve the system you create when needed.

Credit for the thought goes to Greg Plitt.

Good Business – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Good Business - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Good Business - from the author of Flow

A book I found at the library recently.  Comes from the author of flow (post on my discovery of his work).

The goal of Good Business is to discuss business success with a broader commitment to social goals.  At first this reminded me of another book I read called Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks. Which is all about going from a selfish business mind to a selfless model of service.  I will re-read it again soon and post notes, because I feel it is worthy.

There seems to be a trend around this notion of selfless service in business along with building a great culture.  It could be the future of excellent businesses.

Currently two types of people hold the position to give spiritual and material needs to a community.  They are scientists and entrepreneurs.  Science helps us live a longer healthier life and business gives us a meaning beyond ourselves.

Looking at human nature you would think that greed would win.  But, there are increasing numbers of business leaders that care about contributing to the greater good.  Rather than solely focused on profits.

Patagonia is a company I keep reading about and is another case study in this book.  They built an amazing building with exposed beams, etc.  Why? They want to give the feeling that they are going to be around in another hundred years from now.  Not just prepping the company to be sold.

The owner states people need some stability in their lives.  You need to have a vision that is meaningful and offers hope to people for their own future and their families.

What does it require to be a business leader that helps build a better future for everyone involved?

"We have a philosophy of trying to have every single product we make be the best in the world.  Not among the best-but the best. Every single thing, whether it's a pair of pants or a shirt, whatever." - Chouinard, Patagonia owner.

To build a enterprise that will last one has to believe in the value of ones work. It a company does not strive to be the best in the world at what it does it will attract second rate employees.  A company that strives to be the best will attract first class workers who care.

Whats interesting is Chouinard began by building hardware that was destroying the mountains.  He saw that and then created new hardware that could be removed.  After transitioning into clothing he saw that industrial cotton was a  terrible process.. relatable to factory farming.  Then, said he will never use a piece of industrial cotton again and began using organically grown cotton.

His ability to pivot when he does not believe in a product is very impressive and inspirational.

The leaders of Cummins diesel engines stated he could have moved somewhere cheaper labor could be found.  But whats the point if you have to thousands of people who know and trust you?

At this point in the book that main take aways are;

  1. Believe in what you do striving to be the best.
  2. Think long term with enduring values and improving human well being, not profits.



Money, security and comfort are the building blocks, but people also need there talents are fully engaged, growth, low stress, excitement, and deeply enjoyable experiences. This is a process of flow which the book will dive into deeper.

Along with flow a business needs to have a meaningful pattern, and a path of growth that leads to cognitive, emotional, and social complexity.

To thrive a business needs to foster the growth of flow and social complexity.

Money and material only make us happy up to a certain threshold.

Relationships are related to happiness.

Businesses should aim to make products and services that make people happier. Review Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

Once all of our other needs are taken care of the highest level of happiness is to express oneself and using 100% of physical and mental powers we were born with to innovate and grow.

A business is successful to the extent that it taps into these forms of happiness.

  • A car sale helps ensure survival, built with green processes give safety and security, gives the owner a sense of belonging (jeep), enhances self esteem, and self actualization by allowing the person to express their taste, driving skills, and lifestyle.

Market value is dependent on the anticipated happiness it is expected to provide.

But it is not all about the product.  A business also needs happy people in a good culture.

As the middle class strives to consume status symbols of a bigger house, better car, and expensive vacations they are giving up growing as an individual,  and developing close relationships.  Most companies take advantage of this fact that people think possessions will lead to happiness.  They contribute to promote materialism as long as there is a demand for it.

The best indicator that someone is happy is they no longer desire anything else.

Because if we feel like we lack something we cannot be happy.  But, very few people have achieved a level of lacking want that are fully happy.  This is why business needs to enhance human well-being.

Two Pillars of Happiness

  1. Differentiation - Seeing that we are unique individuals, and responsible for our own survival and well being, and authentically developing this uniqueness wherever it may lead and enjoying the expression of being in action.
  2. Integration - Even though we are unique, we are all connected in a network of relationships with others, material, symbols, environment.

A person who is is fully differentiated and integrated has the best chance to be happy.

To be successful you have to enjoy doing your best, while also contributing to something meaningful to you beyond yourself.

Humans generally shift back and forth from selfish to selflessness as they age.  One year olds are dependent on their parents, then once they hit two they like to do things on their own and shift occurs.  This happens about ten different times for most people as they grow.

The highest point one may reach is the person who has developed and refined their uniqueness while being in control of their thoughts, feelings, and actions.  While at the same time enjoying human diversity, and feeling at one with the infinite cosmos.  The person is truly happy because they need nothing else.

Business that doesn't contribute to human growth and well-being is not worth doing, no matter how much the profit.

Then comes the question, how broadly is human growth and well-being extended for a CEO?  Most CEOs would say the shareholders are the only humans they have to look after.

But, as most great leaders would agree that is false and one needs to look after;

  • shareholders
  • customers
  • employees
  • owners
  • communities
  • natural environment
  • vendors

What should be optimized is not profit, but the value the company creates and adds to human lives.  The companies goal should be to add quality of life to customers through products and services, and similar add to employees lives through individual development, job security, and dealing with their aspirations.

Does all this mean that the people running these companies are martyrs to the well being of others? Not really.  Doing things this way creates a joyous way of doing business.  People who are driven by the desire to do their best, and to contribute to society, believe in what they are doing, and are happy doing it is a great task.  What else could you ask for?

Enjoyment is the foundation for memories that, in looking back enrich lives, and give one confidence for the future.

It is not possible to succeed as a leader unless one enjoys what they do.

What does it actually mean to enjoy something?

The answer is getting into a state of flow. Examples of flow for me are rock climbing, reading a good book, painting a helmet, riding my mountain bike, working out.

Flow is important in business because if a person doesn't enjoy their job they will not be that great at it. Almost any activity can lead to flow.  Even the most mundane tasks. The person who is engaged with the world, interested, curious, and excited is never at a loss to experience flow.

8 Conditions of flow:

  1. Clear goals - Rock climbing the goal on the mind is not the top of the mountain. It is the next move without falling. True enjoyment comes from the steps one takes towards the end goal, not actually achieving it. Savor the steps along the way and don't be so concerned with the outcome. So don't worry about a successful performance, but more about how you feel during the performance.  If what matters in life is happiness not success, then the journey is what counts, not reaching the destination.
  2. Immediate feedback - Helps you know that what you are doing matters. And has consequences. Feedback may come from others, but its best if it can come directly from the activity itself.
  3. Balance of opportunity and capacity ( a task is challenging, but doable) - Challenge and skills should be high and equal. A difficult task is exciting.  But if too hard it will cause anxiety, and if too easy it will cause boredom. Most people find their jobs too confining, and family life too predictable.  So they seek outside stimulants. The key is to find the opportunity in any situation. There will always be a dozen things to do and enjoy.
  4. Concentration deepens - When you're doing something that has clear goals, and immediate feedback you will become involved in it. Even if the activity is not important.. like a video game.  When intensity rises we will find ourselves deeply into it. Avoiding the monkey mind of daily distraction.  Where awareness and action merge into one.  You are a piece of the bike you are riding, not separate.  When things become effortless and you don't exist. It really comes down to our ability to concentrate on a narrow task.  We cannot focus on many things at once.  You can't rock climb and make phone calls and be in the zone.
  5. The present is what matters - You are focused on the task at hand and not thinking about your everyday life issues. Our mind will tend to wander without a task to work on. And when we have nothing to work on the mind will dig up negative things to focus on and make us depressed. In flow this is not possible as we are focused on what we are doing and not letting the mind wander off wherever it wants.  It is in the present.  It provides an escape.  Some people will turn to alcohol, sex, drugs, etc for this escape, but getting into flow is a much better option.  It will produce a positive outcome through challenges, effort, and building skills versus negative ones found in the former. It is an escape that pushes you forward rather than backward. Einstien said that art and science are the best means to escape from reality that humanity had created.  But I would say we have even more nowadays.
  6. Control is not a problem -In flow one has a strong sense of control over the situation, and more so over one's own performance over the environment.  Being used by the creative forces.. possessed by the muse. What matters is doing one's best for the sake of doing the task at hand, and knowing that the best one can do should be enough to prevail.
  7. Time is altered - Time flies by.  But sometimes the opposite happens as well. Flow will adapt to the action at hand and speed up, slow down based on how absorbed it is. We actually control the experience of time.
  8. Loss of Ego - Awareness of one's personhood temporarily disappears. They forget their social persona, rank, name, status and everything that it entails.  One forget self consciousness.  Their feats, desires, defeats, ambitions, etc. What is important is that when one enters a state of flow and forgets oneself.  After the event and when the self reappears a person has a boost in their self esteem.

"happiness cannot be attained by wanting to be happy-it must come as the unintended consequence of working for a goal greater than oneself. The truth of this insight is borne out by our own findings." - Viktor Frankl

You don't have to save the world to be in flow.  If a action produces flow it is worthy doing for that cause alone.  Don't do a task for the money or fame.  Do it because you love it.

"You are entitled to the work, but not to its rewards."

Something that is worth doing doesn't require an external reward. It is intrinsically rewarding just by doing the activity. Rock climbing isn't about getting to the top of the mountain. The enjoyment is the climbing itself.

Many athletes no longer enjoy their sport because it becomes about a paycheck and contract.

The point to remember is that just because we are paid to do something doesn't mean we can't enjoy doing it. Surgeons are highly paid and enjoy what they do under a flow state.