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Steve Harvey Wants You to Quit Your Job – Here’s Why

BURBANK - APR 26: Steve Harvey at the 42nd Daytime Emmy Awards Gala at Warner Bros. Studio on April 26, 2015 in Burbank, California

Steve Harvey has a lot to teach the world about working at what you love.

He knows even more about what it takes to do it.

If you don’t know Steve Harvey he’s a stand up comedian, turned actor, turned radio host, turned day-time TV show host, turned author.

What you may not know is how passionate he is about inspiring people like you to follow your bliss.

Or why Harvey thinks you need to quit your j-o-b in order to do it.

Or the one thing he says you should definitely count on happening once you do.

Click on the video to hear Harvey’s inspiring and surprising advice

Now that you’re all pumped up to, in Harvey’s words, “live in your gift…” I have some really bad news for some of you.

Sadly, Most People Will Never Jump

If you watched the video then you know Harvey says that once you jump, your parachute probably won’t open.

In fact, he says you can count on getting pretty banged up and bloodied along the way.

But that’s okay… because, like Harvey says, you’ll live through it.

For Harvey, surviving the jump comes down to faith in God.

You don’t have to be religious to understand that jumping requires a certain “leap of faith.”

But getting to live your gift jumping is about something else too.

Something contained in Harvey’s own backstory.

He grew up in West Virginia, the youngest of five children. His dad was a coal miner who would later die of black lung disease.

After college Harvey tried different paths.

He sold insurance, delivered mail, cleaned carpets, even took a shot at becoming a professional boxer before finally finding his calling in comedy.

So Harvey jumped into the highly competitive world of standup comedy.

And just like he said, his parachute didn’t open.

In fact, Harvey was homeless – for a very long time.

After a divorce he was sending most of his meager nightclub earnings back home to support his two kids.

Things were so tight that when a couple of gigs fell through Harvey suddenly found himself forced to live out of his 1976 Ford Tempo.

Reflecting on that time in a 2013 People magazine interview Harvey said:

“It was so disheartening. A week is really the maximum you can do. This was three years! It was rock bottom. But even in my darkest days, I had faith it would turn around.”

And turn it around he did. But not right away.

Harvey continued to try to make it as a standup, all the while being homeless.

His big break came when he got the gig hosting Showtime at the Apollo.

LOS ANGELES - MAY 13: Steve Harvey is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame on May 13, 2013 in Los Angeles, California

From there he worked in a number of films before going on to star in a show that ran on the WB network from 1996 to 2002.

Harvey still hosts the weekday-morning radio show he began in 2000.

When he’s not being the newest face of the long-running TV gameshow Family Feud – a show that’s seen a ratings surge – Harvey is busy hosting his own day-time talk show.

Along the way, he’s racked up a pair of Emmy’s and scores of NAACP awards.

And if that weren’t enough, Harvey also wrote a best-selling dating advice book for women.

Clearly the man is a multi-talented go-getter whose faith has served him well.

At the same time though, Harvey was rewarded for that faith by being willing to make the sacrifices required to live in his gift.

He did it first by putting the welfare of his children above his own.

He did it again when he doggedly pursued his calling despite homelessness… a situation he endured for three long years.

Compare Harvey’s sacrifice with that required of another man with a dream.

“Joe” tells me he hates his job, knows he has gifts and interests, but doesn’t know how to make money doing.

Joe said he really wanted to be a part of my recent weekend long Work @ What You Love virtual workshop – but he couldn’t.

The problem?

Joe lives in the west coast so he’d have to be on the webinar at 7:30am. And as he put it, “That would suck because I like to sleep in on the weekends.”

The workshop sold out and if the evaluations are any indication… lives were changed that weekend. Sadly, Joe’s life was not one of them.

You don’t need to spend a single day living out of your car.

But are you willing to get up an hour earlier or stay up an hour later to go after your dream?

Are you willing to put down the remote control and take one small step each day to take control of your life?

If not, then I suggest you do as I told Joe: Stick with your j-o-b.

What about you? Do you truly want to experience the joy of being able to “live in your gift”?

If so, then I invite you to learn from Steve Harvey’s inspiring example… and jump.

To help you make a safe landing, I created a planning guide designed to help you LOOK before you leap.

10 Steps To Escaping The Job World

It’s called the 10 Steps to Escape the Job World and Create the Life You Really Want Personal Planning Guide.

This is an invaluable resource that helps you track your dreams, identify the exact steps you need to take, and make a concrete plan for creating the kind of balanced, satisfying life (and work) you deserve.

Your 127-page Personal Planner includes all sorts of useful tools for getting your new life off the ground – a Business Plan template, a Multiple Income Stream worksheet, a worksheet outlining the 10 different places to look for support so you can put together your personal Dream Team… and much, much more…

Click here to Learn More.

 


All Who Wander Are Not Lost

Do you know what you want?

I didn’t. In fact, in 1993 I was totally lost.

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Back then I was commuting 90 miles a day to my corporate job.

I knew I needed a change… The problem was I had no idea what I wanted to be “when I grew up.” (Sound familiar?!)

Then I got one of life’s unwelcome wake up calls. My Mom passed away totally unexpectedly of a heart attack.

My mother was just 61 years old and a mere five months short of her much awaited retirement.

Perhaps you’ve had a wake call of your own.

A lay-off. Divorce. Serious medical diagnosis – yours or someone close to you. Or like me, losing someone you love.

For me it was the catalyst to take a job at a smaller company with a much shorter commute.

It took only a few months to realize that career-wise, I’d just traded deck chairs on the Titanic.

My new boss was a door slamming, table pounder with a short fuse. The VP of customer service referred to a new hire as “the colored girl” Seriously?!?

yeller

To be fair, I also worked with some wonderful people. And gratefully I was paid well.

I feel for people who work in a toxic environment and earn very little for their trouble.

Here’s what that experience taught me.

If being miserable was all it took to change course – the world would be full of empty cubicles and commuter traffic would cease to exist. Right?

Up until then I was hoping for the self-employment of Mr. or Ms. Job to fall in my lap.

That’s when I began to do something I now refer to as…
Purposeful Wandering

It’s one thing to be wandering aimlessly with no direction or roadmap.

It’s quite another to meander with the intention of gathering insight and information that can lead you to a specific destination.

At that particular moment I only knew things:

1) I desperately wanted to be my own boss and

2) Whatever I did for work, I wanted to be able to do it from home.

I just needed some kind of direction.

trees

I got it from when Parade magazine featured a story about an enormously successful newsletter called the Tightwad Gazette.

Amy Dacyczyn and her husband put the newsletter together to share the frugal tips that allowed them to raise six kids on a Navy pension and pay cash for their home and acreage in Maine.

Their millions of devoted readers learned ways to make your money go further by making things you use last longer. Things like cutting your scrubbing pads in half (great idea) and re-using your dental floss (uh, no thanks).

The newsletter ran from 1990 to 1996 and soon after became a series of best-selling books. It stopped because the couple made so much money – they no longer needed to live frugally or publish a newsletter!

That was my aha moment!

What if I created a newsletter for people who wanted the same thing I did?

A newsletter that offered ideas and information for people who also wanted to change course from having a boss to being their own boss.

Now that the ship pointed in the right direction it was a matter of figuring out how to get to my destination.

Keep in mind this was before the internet. Back when the way to learn things was to buy a book.

So I bought a book that listed resources for people who want to start a business.

That led me to a company that specialized in newsletters. So I mailed them a check for a cassette tape on how to start a newsletter.

From that recording, I learned about a company called the Newsletter Factory that offered day-long classes on how to launch a successful newsletter. So I was off to Boston.

I was still wandering… exploring… figuring things out. But I was far from lost. In fact, I’d never felt so alive.

Because now I was wandering with a purpose.

Purpose sign with sky background

The late comedian Jonathan Winters said, “If you’re ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.”

Being lost is draining. Having a clear direction is energizing. So stop waiting and start doing.

Head to your local bookstore and notice which section you gravitate to…

If you prefer to buy books online, go to Amazon and enter some key words that speak to your gifts or interests and see what pops up…

Check out the magazine rack at a large grocery or bookstore to see what catches your eye…

Pay attention to what television shows interest you…

These are all small things you can do to purposely wander in the direction of your dream.

What about you – do you have a direction?

If not, I invite you to take moment and post below one small thing you can do this week to purposefully wander closer to clarity?

If yes, what’s one small thing you can do this very day to get to your desired destination?


5 Simple Ways to Avoid Choosing the Wrong Career

Do you know what you love to do?

Claire does. I met her last week when I spoke to an auditorium full of students at the University of Oklahoma.

When I asked Claire about her career plans, this bright business manager said something I’ve heard from countless young people before…

“I love helping people so, I’d like to go into human resources.”

All I could think was, “Oh, honey — do you understand what HR is?”

Separating Fantasy from Reality

It’s one thing to know what you love to do.

It’s quite another to find the right match for actualizing that passion.

Woman HR manager at desk
Claire imaged herself sitting in her large private office eagerly helping interesting employees find interesting solutions to their interesting problems.

In reality Claire will spend the bulk of her time managing the “administrivia” of the employment world… hiring and firing… benefits and payroll… promotions and grievances.

Claire could have just as easily said she wanted to become an attorney or a pharmacist or a nurse and the fact would remain the same… most jobs look different from the outside.

Any kind of work has its highs and lows. Parts you love and parts you’ll find… less fun.

And, as my last post on running a bed & breakfast proved – it’s true for businesses too.

You May Find That a Depressing Thought – But It Should Be a Totally Liberating One

It’s why I devote an entire section in my workshop to freeing you from thetyranny of this (and three other) misconceptions that can keep you from experiencing the freedom of being your own boss.

I’m a huge fan of looking before you leap. Understanding the pros and cons helps you do just that. 

So here’s five super simple ways to stick your toe into the information pool.

Talk to people already doing what you love

Find out what they love – and don’t love – about their work.

Ask what a typical day is like?

Find out what they’d do differently if they had to do it all over again.

Never talk to just one person. There are negative Nellie’s and Ned’s in all professions, so always get a range of opinions.

Finally, make sure you talk to people who are actually successful in that business.

Read “how to” books  

Search Amazon for “how to start a landscaping business” or “how to start a pet treat business” and you’ll find dozens of books on these and hundreds of other small businesses.

Of course, not all books are found in bookstores.

After years of running a thriving home-based plant business Mike McGroarty wrote a manual to teach his system to others with a green thumb.

Not into reading an entire book? Then start with an article.

For example, here’s one I found for a client who was considering starting a food truck business.

Take a Class

Are you a foodie?

The Institute of Culinary Education in New York City offers short, less formal courses on how to do such topics as how write a cookbook, breaking into food writing, and how to be a food stylist/photographer.

There are classes on virtually every subject. Check with your local adult education program or do a search for schools specializing in your area of interest.

You never know what’s out there until you look.


Join an industry association

Professional or industry associations offer a host of opportunities to learn from and connect with people in your prospective line of work.

Everything from small newsletters to big glossy magazines. On-line seminars and self-paced classes. Local, regional meetings, and national conferences.

If, for instance, you’d been among the thousands of people from 20 countries who attended the last Romance Writers of America conference, then you’d could have learned from any number of the whopping 800 published authors in attendance. 



If you missed it, there’s still plenty of time to sign up for this year’s conference in beautiful San Diego where I’m honored to be delivering a keynote on confidence.

You don’t necessarily have to join an association to attend their events. You will of course, pay a higher non-member fee. But once there you may be able to join at a conference-goers discount.

To find an organization search [your interest] and [association]. If you want a local experience, add your state or province. 

Hang out with people who are already doing what they love 

There are lots of way to spend time with self-bossers – even if you’re not yet one yourself.

For instance, you don’t have to be an established inventor to join a local inventor group.

Groups like DCInventors.org in the Capital area also have a Google Group.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark office has a list of networks by state. If you live in Canada see Enterprises Canada.

Remember… Small Steps Really Do Add Up

There are so many low cost, low effort ways to explore your passion.

For me it began when I sent a check for $39 for an audio cassette (remember those?!) on how to break into the newsletter business. That was over 20 years ago.

Since then the Changing Course newsletter has helped thousands of people just like you to live and work on their own terms.

The key is to just begin.

Imagine what it would be like if you could go from “wishing” you could work at what you love… to living the dream.

If you had someone to take you by the hand and guide you a step-by-step through a proven process.

What if in literally in a matter of hours you got answers to burning questions like…

How do I figure out what you love to do?

I know what I love to do, but how do I make money doing it?

Is there help for a “scanner” like me who’s paralyzed by the thought of having to choose just one gift or interest?

I have a great idea but where do I begin?

You can have all of this and more. It’s called… 

There are two ways you can show your dream some love this Valentine’s day weekend…

For an intimate online workshop experience — including live Q&As and brainstorming sessions — join me this weekend LIVE at the virtual Work @ What You Love workshop/retreat.

Or, act now to pre-order the recordings so you can take the Work @ What You Love workshop on your own schedule — your choice!

But don’t wait too long because registration ends Friday. 

See what past participants had to say at WorkatWhatYouLoveWorkshop.com

There’s never been a better – or a more affordable – time to start creating the life you really want.


The Biggest Regret of All May Surprise You

Regrets are an inevitable part of life. Fortunately not all regrets are created equal.

Some regrets are minor.

You regret buying those too tight shoes just because they were on sale….

Or picking up the phone as you were trying to leave the office….

Or ordering the fish when everyone in your party is raving about the pasta.

The good news?

Regrets like these (often referred to as “First World problems”) are ones we can learn from and hopefully, minimize the chance of repeating.

Utmost regrets, on the other hand, are more problematic because the consequences are so much bigger.

Utmost regrets, are also more difficult – and sadly, sometimes even impossible to reverse.

worryI’m referring to the kinds of things you’d absolutely hate to know would one day be etched on your headstone.

Vivian could have been a great writer, if she’d tried.

Sam could have changed a lot of lives, if he’d had the courage to act on his idea.

Ordering the fish is one thing. Bailing on your dream of helping unadoptable kids or entering a writing contest is quite another.

Elizabeth Berg learned a lot about dreams. However, she learned even more about regrets while working as a nurse with terminally ill people.

In an article titled, Dreams Are Not Enough, the award-winning novelist wrote movingly about how not pursuing our dreams may be the riskiest move of all.

It is a lesson she learned from those whose time had almost run out.

Those dying people I cared for believed, as most of us do, that they would have time for everything. So they put things off… Then suddenly their days were almost gone. They were out of the time they thought they would have forever. And while I bathed them, they stared out the window and talked about what they had missed. They might say, ‘I always wanted to see Hawaii, but… I don’t know. I never did.’ The sense of regret was so strong that we both ached. I wanted to lift those people up out of bed, put them in a wheelchair, and take them to the airport. ‘Hawaii, please,’ I wanted to tell the ticket agent.

Everyone has dreams, sadly far too often they get put on hold.

Asking, and then answering her own question, Berg writes:

“What happens to our dreams? They die of lack of nourishment, that’s what. ‘Later,’ we say, and when we turn around, they’re gone.”

The Worry Factor

According to many of the 1,200 elders who took part in Cornell University’s Legacy Project, there is a powerful link between regret about the past and worry in the present.

When asked what they most regret when they look back on their lives, the answer most often given was they wished they hadn’t worried so much.

The way 102-year-old Eleanor sees it,

You just can’t go on worrying all the time because it destroys you and your life, really…. You have to put it out of your mind as much as you can at the time. It’s a good idea to plan ahead if possible, but you can’t always do that because things don’t always happen the way you were hoping. So the most important thing is one day at a time.

And 87-year-old James Huang agrees…

Why? I ask myself. What possible difference did it make that I kept my mind on every little thing that might go wrong? When I realized that it made no difference at all, I experienced a freedom that’s hard to describe.

The thing that takes a lot of people by surprise is this.

regretnothingWe waste our lives worrying about the “unknown risks” that change can bring, when in reality we should be more scared of the known risk of spending the rest of lives in the same place we are today.

If we fail to at least try to create the life we really want, we risk making good on Benjamin Disraeli’s often quoted prediction that “most people die with their music still locked up inside them.”

The sudden loss of my mother at just 61 totally changed how I viewed time (we can choose how we use it), money (things work out), and life (it’s all too short).

I won’t lie. Walking away from a good job with good benefits was – and still is – not without risk.

Yet I knew that the real risk was looking back at my life and saying, “I was miserable; but at least I had a good dental plan.”

What Will You Most Regret?

Take a moment now to choose three things you would most regret not doing in your lifetime. Of these, which would be the biggest?

Now name one small thing you can do today – not tomorrow, not next week or next year, but today – to help prevent your biggest regret from occurring.

Finally, take a moment to post it either in the Facebook comment section, or scroll down for the general comments area. Just by putting your regret and your intention into words is itself a powerful first step!

And, if one of your three utmost regrets is spending your life in a soul-sucking job, I have good news.

As I write this, scores of your fellow change seekers from across the US, Canada, and Europe have signed on for the fast approaching Virtual Weekend Retreat.

WWL-MLWVirtual2015-Click2If you share the dream of finding your calling and a way to make money doing it in order to live a life where you get to calls the shots, then don’t worry…

You still have time to join us. The Early Bird 96% SAVINGS ends Wednesday February 3, 2016.

But don’t wait too long, because after that the price DOUBLES.

Spending twice as much money is not the worse regret in life. But wouldn’t it be nice to instead use the money you’ll save in the service of your dream?

Can’t Make the Dates?

No problem. You can still get access to the Work @ What You Love Roadmap.

For a limited time you can pre-order recordings of the entire 2-day workshop. That way you won’t miss a thing. Plus you can take the class on your own schedule and pace — and retake it as often as you like.

To make sure you get maximum value from the replay, you’ll still receive a complete set of the 30+ page Work @ What You Love handouts.

Whether you join us live or you take the Work @ What You Love workshop on your own schedule… remember this:

When you go to bed tonight, don’t worry about what will happen if you fail. If you must fret at all, worry about how much you have to lose if you never even try.


How to Live the B&B Life Without Owning One

When you work with as many change seekers as I do, you begin to see some common self-employment dreams.

One is the classic bed and breakfast fantasy.

When I ask these clients what they love about owning a B&B, they often say things like…

“I’d love to pick out furnishings and decorate all the rooms…”

Or, “I’d love to go out to the garden to pick fresh herbs for the cook to use in the special omelet of the day…”

Or, “I’d love to welcome and chat with all the interesting guests.”

Once the guests check out, my clients picture themselves sitting by the fireplace with a good book… or puttering in the perennial garden while the housekeepers tidy up.

Utter bliss.

There’s just one problem.

As many B&B owners have discovered, this familiar B&B fantasy turned out to be a nightmare when realized too late that they don’t have the capital to hire people to do the cooking, cleaning, and office work.

Instead they’ve become a combination cook/chamber maid/bookkeeper/front desk clerk!

To be clear: There are wonderful things about running a B & B.

If you’re a natural host who genuinely enjoys meeting new people and making them feel at home…

Or, if you love rising early to prepare a scrumptious breakfast, then go for it!

Still there are several ways you can get your feet wet without taking a financial soaking.

This first one is also perfect if you want to live the B&B owner lifestyle but have neither the funds or the desire to actually own one.

Become a B&B Sitter

Just as it sounds, sitters take over the day-to-day operations of established inns so the owners can go on vacation or otherwise get away.

Companies like Interiminnkeepers.net match B&B owners in the US with experienced relief workers.

Some like Jill Britt have run their own B&B in the past and are looking to channel their experience by offering sitting and other services including consulting with start-ups.

Others, like Kari and Rick Willis are retirees from other careers and up for a new adventure.

Take a Class

You don’t need to earn a four-year degree in hotel and restaurant management to learn how to run an inn.

Many B&B’s offer weekend workshops for aspiring inn-keepers and some owners do individual consulting.

No classes in your area? Then contact a local B&B and ask if they’d let you intern with them in exchange for some free staffing time once you’re trained.

Or for $125-$199 (slightly more for couples) BB Team offers one-day seminars as well as more intensive (and higher-priced) weekend training programs in Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, Maine, and elsewhere.

If you’re ready to take the B&B plunge in a big way – or if like me, you just L-O-V-E looking at real estate – check out BB Team’s listings of fabulous B&Bs for sale. (For more affordable options, check the “lifestyle” box.)

Look, every line work, no matter how interesting it may be, will always have aspects that are less than glamorous. Mine included.

The key is to check out how wide the expanse between fantasy and reality really is, before you take the leap.

So what’s your fantasy business? Post it below.

Then keep your eyes out for the next issue when we explore other ways to test your idea before you change course!

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” George Elliott

Do you have a great idea but no clue how to make enough (or any) money doing it?

Or are you still trying to figure out what you want to be when you “grow up”?           


Then again, do you love so many things that you never seem to act on any of them?


If you answered yes to any of these questions, I invite you to join me and a community of like-minded souls from around the world to discover how you too can…

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Click on the heart to learn how.


They Said She Couldn’t Sell Her Music (Boy Were They Wrong!)

It’s been 15 years since I featured the unlikely success story of a homemaker named Lorraine Doan.

Now as then, this story offers hope for anyone who wants to follow your own road but been told, “it can’t be done.”

Like many businesses, Lorraine’s was born out personal crisis when her marriage of 23 years came to a sudden and unexpected end.

At midlife, Lorraine was forced t0 support herself and her kids.

Despite starting piano lessons a mere six years earlier – and at the most devastating period of her life – Lorraine began to compose hymns.

Then she decided to produce an album.

There was just one little problem…

Lorraine had no previous business experience, no computer skills, no knowledge of the music industry, and no financial backer.

Most industry experts would have predicted a doomsday failure.

Lorraine’s, dream of making, never mind selling her own album, should have been history, forgotten, and buried.

But that’s not what happened…

Breaking into Music On a Wing, a Prayer, and a “Secret”

In just two years and without the benefit of commercial advertisement or the backing of a major label Lorraine had placed 13,000 copies of her album The Promise.

That was in 2000. Since then that number has grown to an astounding 91,000 copies!

How Lorraine did it was the subject of an interview with Lisa Hendey, founder CatholicMom.com. (A site which by the way, offers another great example of someone who took a passion and ran with it!)

In the interview Lorraine credits God for her gift, the inspiration to create an album, and for leading her to people who become collaborators and champions.

From there Lorraine used the same “secret” as every other successful small business owner – she rolled up her sleeves and got busy, explaining:

The marketing and distribution of my album was something I learned from scratch. I developed a very simple strategy.  I called every Catholic store in the US that I could find.  Then I mailed a demo and followed up with a phone call.

Her dedication paid off.

Today Lorraine has over 900 accounts that sell her album including some Christian stores.

Since starting her own independent music publishing business in 1998 Lorraine recorded two more albums, her music has been featured on television and radio, been a frequent guest speaker at various Catholic churches and gatherings, and produced albums for another artist.

Turning Can’t Into Can 

We all have gifts. Including you.

Once you discover your gifts, you’ll have also found the path to living life on your own terms.

Sadly, though most people fall victim to the belief that it’s not possible to change course.  Little wonder.

“By the time you’ve hit your 20’s,” says Walter Anderson, author of Courage is a Three Letter Word and The Greatest Risk of All, “you’ll have heard a whopping 25,000 “can’ts.”

Twenty-five THOUSAND… that’s a lot of “can’ts.”

You can’t work at what you love and make a good living.

It’s too hard.

There’s too much competition.

It will never work.

Impossible.

The message is clear: You need to just forget about your crazy dream.

The problem is… you can’t.

The fact that you’re reading tells me you really do know it’s possible to do as the Changing Course motto says and work at what you love… follow your own road… and live life on purpose.

That’s why it’s so important to learn from people like Lorraine.

And to every other self-bosser who ignored conventional wisdom and said, “Yes I can.”

Lorraine was in her mid-forties when she changed course. Once again proving in the wise words of the Victorian writer George Eliot…

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

You just need to start.

Today is the last day to get your free copy of Yes You Can: The Inspirational Kick in the Pants You Need to Take Control of Your Life and Go After Your Dreams (a $29 value).

If you’re ready to turn can’t into can, then click on the heart now to learn how you too can…

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Did He Really Just Say That?!

Adapted from Yes You Can: The Inspirational Kick in the Pants You Need to Take Control of Your Life and Go After Your Dreams

As my nephew Jason prepared to begin his first year of college, his thoughts naturally turned to potential careers. “What would you really love to do?” I asked.

Jason thought for a moment before replying, “I’d just like to have a job I don’t hate too much.”

Did he really just say that?

After a little auntie-to-nephew pep talk about the importance of shooting higher than “one notch above misery,” we got to talking about his great love of baseball.

When I suggested he look into an internship at the minor league baseball stadium just 10 miles up the road, it was clear I’d tapped a Big Dream.

It takes not one ounce of energy more to dream big than it does to settle.

Settling is the emotional equivalent of idling at a red light.

doorfield

A Big Dream, though, is like soul fuel to your inner engine. A Big Dream jump-starts real change.

I received an email from a guy named Jerry Bennett – a 50-year-old airline employee who, in his words, “dreads” going to work.

His real life’s pleasure, is carpentry. Jerry writes…

“Whether it’s building a house, cabinets or whatever, I get lost in the project. I can sit for hours and watch [the PBS program] This Old House.”

Adding, “So many people are trapped in jobs they only tolerate. I guess the fear of failure is our biggest problem, I know it is mine.”

I could practically hear the sigh on the other end of the modem as Jerry ended with a wistful, “Wish I could get the courage to make the change.”

Something in Jerry’s message told me fear wasn’t the whole problem. Part of Jerry’s “stuckness” came from the fact that he was wishing rather than dreaming.

Wishing is passive.

We wish for things over which we are powerless.

We wish we’d win the lottery, that we were taller, that the waiter would hurry up.

Oftentimes wishes are tinged with regret as in, “I wish I’d…”

Dreaming is different.

Dreams are active. They invite possibilities. You can see a dream.

I have a dream

That’s why Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t say, “I have a wish.…” Dr. King knew that dreams are visual, positive – and contagious!

Jerry is pretty lucky really.

Lots of people don’t have the foggiest idea what it is they’d love to do. Here’s a guy who’s plugged into his passion and yet is letting something as natural – and manageable – as fear stand in the way of vocational heaven on earth.

The first thing I did was to remind Jerry of what he should really be afraid of, namely, spending the next 15 years dreading his work.

Next, I suggested some steps he might take to turn his passion into his livelihood like: teaching carpentry classes, writing a how-to-build-it column for the local newspaper, creating his own television segment featuring improvements he’s made to area homes (This Old Carpenter?).

None of these ideas would require Jerry to quit his full-time job right away. Each, however, has the potential to nudge his dream to the next level.

To my surprise, the idea that most intrigued Jerry was also the one most would consider to be a Big Dream – the local television show.

When he told me about a friend with a passion for video production who he could enlist to launch a joint venture, I knew Jerry just upgraded his wish to a dream.

“I am ready to start following my dreams…” he wrote. Adding, “I sure want to go out doing something I enjoy.”

That same week I had the pleasure of talking to a man with a wonderfully Big Dream. Lynn Johnson lives in his hometown of Erie, Penn.

His old neighborhood, he said, has changed a lot. What really concerns him is how few positive outlets there are for the young people there.

Lynn’s goal is to turn a boarded-up house into a multi-faceted arts program for kids.

street” complete with murals and community gardens.

As Lynn talked, a clear picture of a young people’s arts street came into view.

Girl Painting

My mind raced ahead to corporate sponsors from Mellon Bank to Burpee Seeds.

If Lynn could make me see his vision, he could make the corporate grantors see it too.

I even pictured Lynn proudly showing off his “arts street” on Oprah!

When he said he’d traveled to the capital to look into sources of state funding and has a friend who may go in with him on buying the house, I was hooked.

“If you really want this dream badly enough,” I told Lynn, “there is no doubt in my mind it will happen.”

By the long pause on other end I think he was a little taken aback by such a strong vote of confidence from a complete stranger.

But the reason I believed in Lynn was simple. It wasn’t just his passion for his community or his clear vision of how it might be different.

I believed that Lynn’s Big Dream would succeed because by taking action he’d set his dream in motion. And once a dream gets rolling it’s hard to stop.

What about your dream? Maybe all you really know is you need to make a change. That’s ok.

The important thing is to bump “make change” up a few notches and dream BIG.

Think big concept is on blue paper with a red marker aside.

If you dream of working at home, imagine doing it on an island or on a mountain top.

If you have multiple passions, picture being able to enjoy them all.

You may not get everything you want, but one thing is certain: you’ve got a lot more to lose by shooting low than you do by shooting high.

A year has come and gone. Next year will be here before we know it.

Where in your dream-building process do you want to be this time next year?

No further along?

Laying a foundation?

Living it fully?

If you opted for either of the last two options, expand your dream and reach for the stars.

Then, one day at a time, honor your dream with action.

12

WWL-Virtual2015-squareClick

Join Me This February For

A Powerful Virtual
Weekend Workshop

This is your chance to...

  • Discover your calling… so you can have the life you were meant to live

  • Learn the powerful secrets for how to get paid to do what you love – even if you’re a “scanner”

  • Step out of your routine and into your wildest dreams where you can get a new perspective on where you want to be this time next year

  • Learn from someone who built two six-figure businesses working from home what it really takes to live life on your own terms

  • Burst into Monday recharged, with the action plan you need to create the more balanced and rewarding lifestyle you’ve only dreamed of

Over the years, hundreds of freedom seekers just like you have attend the Work @ What You Love workshop. But not everyone was able to make it.

In the past, people have paid anywhere from $299 to $3,999 to attend one of my multi-day workshops – and that didn’t include the cost of travel!

That’s why one of my BIG dreams has been to offer an affordable option for anyone who didn’t have either the time or the money (or both) to attend a live event.

No Brainer

Technology to the rescue!

Now for a limited time, you can experience the contagious energy of attending a live 2-day Work @ What You Love webinar workshop – at 94% less than the cost of my high-end retreats!

In fact, the super low Early Bird price makes saying YES to your dream truly a “no brainer.”

Plus, register for Work @ What You Love in the next 72 hours – and you’ll receive a FREE gift!

Click here now to discover how easy it is to live life on purpose, work at what you love, and follow your own road.

 


How to Connect the Dots to A New Career — And Life

The quest to work at what you love is truly universal.

I’ve worked with clients from every continent except Antarctica.

Change seekers hail from many countries and cultures.

Some know what they love to do… others have no clue.

In the end though, they all want the same thing as you and me. Namely…

To live life on your own terms… doing work you enjoy.

Last week I worked with a client named “Jane.”

Jane has multiple gifts and passions, among them… re-purposing old furniture, history, singing, and writing.

So called “scanners” – a term Barbara Sher coined to describe people who have so many interests they have trouble picking just one – are my specialty.

However, whereas traditional career advisors are interested in things like skills assessments, resumes, and job searches — I only work with people who want to do their own thing.

If Changing Course were an equation, it would look like this…

Discover What You Love to Do
+
See Ways to Make Money Doing It
= Freedom, Control, Flexibility

It all comes down to being able to connect the dots.

For example, last week, I worked with a fascinating client from Europe.

“Angela” was a burned out corporate sales rep. Today she is on a quest to recreate her life.

As background — Angela grew up in Sweden (where she still owns a home) and also owns a home in Barcelona.

She also travels frequently to Bangkok (she is a fascinating combination of half Croatian and half Thai) and is getting ready to relocate to Rome.

Angela’s interests are as varied as her travels.

But her core passion is one lots of other change seekers can relate to… FOOD!

cookingWhat about you…

Do you love to cook or bake?

Are you bothered by the unhealthy eating habits driving growth in obesity among kids?

Do you love community building?

Or maybe you just love eating great food!

The Business Idea Generators here at Changing Course have uncovered three cool ways that you – or someone you know — can profit from your passion.

Along with these, I’m also going to share the key resource I shared with Angela that may well turn out to be a game changer for her, and you!

But before we get to these, there’s one thing you and every other change seeker needs to know.

If you’re waiting to change course until you come up with some groundbreaking idea no one has ever thought of before, then my friend you you’re missing the opportunity boat.

More importantly, you’re missing your chance to experience the freedom and flexibility that comes with being your own boss.

What you really should do is to build on proven ideas.

Here are 3 food-related businesses you can use as a jumping off point to do just that.

The first two ideas build on billion dollar businesses like Airbnb and Uber which have already more than proven the sharing economy is booming.

1) Share Your Meal – for Money

We all know someone who is a fabulous cook.

It could be a relative… a friend… a neighbor… a co-worker…

So fabulous that you’ve wished you could pay that person to share some of that fabulous cooking with you.

Personal chefs have been around for a while now. However, not everyone can afford to pay upwards of $500 a week for meals.

Enter ShareYourMeal.net.

The site matches people who love to cook with people in their own community who love home cooked meals – but who prefer to leave the preparation to someone else.

making-food-982410_1920The company originated in the Netherlands. But they’re starting to make small inroads in the US, Canada, and elsewhere in Europe.

(Click on the language link at the top left of the Share Your Meal page for other locations.)

And that presents a money-making opportunity for anyone with the passion and skills to create some extra meals that others would gladly pay for.

And if you’re interested in the broader concept of the sharing economy, check out this informative TedX Talk by Share Your Meal founder Marieke Hart.

The Netherlands gave birth to another related idea…

2) Organize A Pop-Up Restaurant

restaurant-738788_1920

Springwise featured a cool a pop-up restaurant in Amsterdam where the organizers brought together a variety of home-based cooks to create meals for diners.

For one weekend the cooks registered with Share Your Meals and served up a variety of three course meals made right in their own kitchens.

Then the restaurant collaborated with a local bicycle courier service to get the meals to the pop-up location.

Clearly, this idea works much better in an urban area – especially the bike part.

But if you love organizing events, fundraisers or otherwise building community, a pop up restaurant with local cooks is a great idea!

Or you could build on it by organizing a collaboration between three local restaurants with each showcasing their signature course.

Alternatively, you could use the same pop up model to promote people who make and sell locally sourced foods – pickles, specialty chocolates, organic beef, and the like.

For food lovers and makers, it’s a win-win!

3) Offer Cooking Classes for Kids

Out of New Zealand comes Little Cooks, a company that offers on-site (schools, birthday parties, etc.) cooking classes for kids.

Founded by Rebecca (Bex) Woolfall and Suzi Tait-Bradley, the friends wanted to find a way to both teach kids about nutrition and as well as how they themselves could create yummy meals.

kid cookingThe kids have a ball cooking.

(What’s not to love about making “fruit hogs” or “piggy pasta”?!)

The driving force for these two enterprising entrepreneurs is giving kids the knowledge and tools to be able to make healthy food choices in the future.

And if you think you need to be a professionally trained chef to run cooking classes, think again.

Before escaping the corporate world, Bex was a marketing exec.

And while she did earn a teaching degree and taught some cooking and baking classes at school, Suzi’s more recent professional experience is leading a Brownie troop.

But perhaps her best “qualification” was an unfortunate diagnosis with Coeliac disease.

An experience that led Suzi to take a closer look at how diet affects health… and then an opportunity to birth a business to help others to do the same.

Game Changer

The moment I turned Angela on to mega Specialty Food show happening this January in San Francisco, she knew she had to be there.

Described as…

…the largest specialty food trade event on the West Coast and a showcase of industry innovation, bringing specialty food’s top manufacturers, buyers, and thought leaders together under one roof for three days of delectable discovery, January 17-19. 2016 will feature more than 80,000 products, 19,000 buyers, and 1,400 exhibitors!

(If you can’t make this one, the East Coast event happens in New York City in June.)

The great thing is you don’t need to even have a specialty food product to benefit.

The show offers three days of educational programming for people at all levels from curious explorer, to budding beginner, to seasoned entrepreneurs.

With this much exposure, contacts, and education/information I have zero doubt in my mind that for Angela, this event is going to be the game changer that will allow her to create the life she really wants.

What About You?

There are endless ways to profit from your passions.

Regardless of where your interests lie, you absolutely must break out of the trap of thinking, “I have to think up something totally new and unique before I can begin.”

The smarter thinking is – where can I find proven ideas I can build on?

Then go do it.

Still Don’t Know What You Want to Be When You “Grow Up”?

YES/NO I want to do work I love, but I’m not sure what that is anymore

YES/NO I know what I love to do, but I have no clue how to make money doing it

YES/NO I know what I love to do, but worry I can’t make enough money doing it

YES/NO I have a great idea, but I don’t know where to begin Sadly, most people spend years – even decades – trying to figure these things out on your own. When in reality…

All You Really Need Is Someone to Show You The Way

I’ve helped people just like you discover creative ways you can turn your interests into actionable income for two decades now.

I’d never describe myself as “psychic.”

But I am highly intuitive.

That means if you and I were talking about your answers to the questions above… there’s an excellent chance my mind would form a picture of you engaged in a certain kind of work.

Work that pays the bills… and feeds your soul.

Simply said, I have a gift for seeing creative ways you can make money without a j-o-b to.

And for a limited time you have the chance to put my special gift to work for you.

I’m getting ready to open up my new 8-Weeks to Work You Love 1-1 coaching program.

Since it is a new program, I’m going to offer a substantial discount.

To learn and to see if 8-Weeks to Work You Love is right for you call 413-203-9754.

I’ve got some speaking engagements this week – so if you reach my voicemail be sure to leave 3 things:

  1. Your name (naturally!)
  2. The best number and reach you (Outside North America – leave your Skype ID)
  3. The best times to reach you this week

I promise to return your call within 24 hours.

Then together, we’ll discover if this is the right time for you to create the life you really want.

And remember, if you could have figured it out on your own by now… you would have.


bathroom, toilet, tub, sink, room

Thanksgiving in the Bathroom?!

A Cautionary Tale… And My Thanksgiving Gift to You

One of the best things about Thanksgiving is spending time with family.

However… if your dream is to quit your soul-sucking job to be your own boss… then spending time with family can also be a dream killer

After all, who are the least likely people to support your dream? 

The people who love you the most, right? 

Why? 

Because they love you.

Which means they want you to be safe

So when you start talking about shaking things up by leaving your job to follow your dream of… 

Sculpting one of a kind caricature cake toppers like my client Leslie… 

Or getting paid to care for other people’s pets in your home like a dog-lover named Maricruz does… 

Or taking steps to become a well-paid keynote speaker like my friend Bob is doing… 

Or basically anything that involves breaking out of the employee pack to do your own thing… 

That kind of talk scares the stuffing out of people who’ve spent their entire lives working for someone else. 

Just ask poor Karen.

Five years ago the aspiring self-bosser wrote to say she spent much of her holiday break hiding out in her in-laws’ bathroom.

Retelling Karen’s story has become somewhat of a Thanksgiving tradition here at Changing Course.


So as you prepare to spend time with your own family and friends, I’d like to once again share Karen’s story as both a cautionary tale – and as an inspiring example of how you can enjoy your family and grow your dream at the same time.

The story begins with an important reminder to anyone looking to escape the job box..
.

Never Discuss Your Dreams With People Who Have Forgotten Their Own 

It was a lesson Karen forgot when she announced over turkey that she’d been thinking of quitting her job to strike on her own .

Not surprisingly, Karen spent the next three days listening to a bunch of discouraging relatives explain why that her plan would never work…   

“Too much competition.” 

“You don’t have enough experience.” 

And the biggest myth of all… “Most new businesses fail.” 

Keep in mind that none of Karen’s in-laws have ever run a business themselves. 

But, when it comes to self-employment, “little things” like accurate information or any actual business experience never stopped anyone – and especially family – from offering uninformed advice. 

At heart of all this discouragement is the message…

What do you mean? You have a good job! You want to be happy too?!”
 

It’s a message I heard for two years before I finally walked away from my corporate job with the 90-mile-a-day commute to create the life I really want. 

To hear the gurus tell it, the solution is simple. Just purge these negative people from your life.

This is Where the “Gurus” Are Flat Out Wrong

The thing is… I loved my grandmother.  

My grandmother was not a negative person.

It’s just that she lived in the same house for most of her 92 years and she worked as a housekeeper for a local doctor and his family for some six decades. 

Simply said, my grandmother did not like change.

So rather than try to change my grandmother, I instead stuck to safe topics like the price of gas… or the weather…

That way my grandmother didn’t have to worry about me and I didn’t have to defend my dream. 

However, Karen taught me that there’s another way to handle discouraging relatives at the holidays

One that can advance your dream at the same time.

Karen’s Brilliant Idea for Keeping Her Dream Alive 

Like me, Karen was not willing to disown her relatives.

But she was also determined to not go through another holiday like the last one.

Instead she came up with a “unique” strategy for getting through the long Thanksgiving weekend at the in-laws. 

Before leaving town Karen downloaded some of the audios from the “Making Dreams Happen” program to take with her. 

That way during the long drive to and from her in-laws… the endless televised football games… even stolen time behind the bathroom door… 

Karen could listen to powerful reminders that dreams do indeed happen. And so does yours. 
 

All you need is someone to show you the way. 

There’s Nothing Else Like It — Anywhere 

Of course you can listen to anything that supports your dream.

I’m humbled to say Karen decided to grab as many inspiring moments as she could (even bathroom time) listening in as Barbara Sher, Barbara Winter and me layed out our unique strategies for finding and following your bliss. 

Making Dreams Happen is the ONLY audio program of its kind that brings together not one, not two, but three internationally-recognized career and life change experts… 
.

Making Dreams Happen is the ONLY audio program that features not one, not two, but three internationally-recognized career and life change experts…


Best-selling author and Oprah guest Barbara Sher best known for books like “Wishcraft” (over a million copies sold!) and “I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was”



Barbara Winter, best-selling author of “Making a Living Without a Job” and an internationally recognized expert on multiple profit centers



And me. I’m an expert on seeing creative ways to turn interests into income.

In addition to training over 300 people how to be “outside the job box” career coaches, I also wrote a book on confidence that’s been reprinted in 5 languages. (A book which, despite the title, has helped a lot of men too.)

After all, changing course comes down to two things:

Having a great idea and then having the confidence to act on it.

I knew that bringing Barbara Sher, Barbara Winter and me together in one room would be life changing for us – and for anyone who was lucky enough to listen in.

Not only will you benefit from the ideas and methods we share, but you’ll also hear from three other inspiring entrepreneurs – regular people just like you who made their own dreams happen. 

Artist and designer Bonnie Druschel offers a heartfelt account of how, with precious little self-confidence and even less business experience, she went from struggling to paid artist. 

Bonnie will tell you how to avoid the roadblocks she encountered and inspire you… even if you’re not an artist. 

Joan Brett, founder of the Culinary School of the Rockies, tells you how she left behind a successful career as an attorney to build a whole new life around cooking – her passion. 

She started out small, teaching a few classes a week in her home, and built what is today an accredited, professional culinary academy.

Find out how Joan did it… and come away with some ideas of your own about how to design a food-related career. 

You’ll hear, too, from Doug Woods. This enterprising young man tapped local friends and acquaintances to invest in his business idea
.

Doug shares how you can get people to fund your own dream… and reveals the one magic word that makes investors enthusiastic immediately…   

If the idea of loving what you do… of jumping out of bed every morning excited about what the day holds, appeals to you, then I strongly encourage you to take seriously the Making Dreams Happen Audio Program.

Just think: Six months from now, you could be living your dream…

Over the course of the full program, we’ll help you…

  • Tap into your deepest passions, hopes, and dreams. You might be surprised at what you discover!

  • Explore the practical matter of turning those passions, hopes, and dreams into a livelihood. You’ll come away understanding the dream-busting myths about self-employment you must absolutely ignore… the secrets to thinking like an entrepreneur… how to make a living without a job through the power of multiple income streams… and much more.

  • Tackle the roadblocks… what’s keeping you stuck… and teach you how to navigate around them. You’ll learn how to use the CLUE technique to generate fascinating business ideas… and open up an incredible range of positive possibilities and creative alternatives to having a job.

  • Find out if you fall into the “Expert Trap,” the “Rugged Individualist Trap,” the “Natural Genius Trap,” or the “Perfectionist Trap”… and what to do to free yourself…

  • Find out what every expert knows. Learn how to create visibility for yourself… proven ways to package what you know… and how to get the media to promote your expertise, often without spending a dime…

  • Throw an idea party… and get a team of fun, creative people to help you brainstorm ideas about your wildest dreams.

  • Learn big and small ways you can keep your dream on track, even when you have no spare time to attend to it… plus four little words that will jump start any plan…

  • Explore the myths and realities of working for yourself… and talk about the big “M” – money. Get a primer on the nuts-and-bolts of changing course (from marketing your business to getting health insurance). Find out how the attitudes you learned about money as a child could be undermining your dreams…

  • Discover the surprising effect “switching genders” can have on your dream…

  • Figure out what kind of support you’ll need and where you can find it… plus learn the one place you should never look for a boost…

  • Find out how to run a successful Success Team from the woman who invented them. (Mademoiselle called Barbara Sher’s Success Teams “everything your family should have been and probably wasn’t.”) “Isolation is a dream-killer,” as Barbara says… this is your ticket to connectedness… and success…

Making Dreams Happen can easily be downloaded right onto your computer or portable device… or even onto CDs if you like. 

That way you can listen while you prepare your Thanksgiving feast… in the car or on the plane… while you walk off some of those Thanksgiving calories – or like Karen, even in the bathroom if you want! 

Seriously, you don’t have to hide out in the bathroom. 

But if you’re constantly feeling stuck between a clock and a hard place, then upcoming holiday down-time is the perfect opportunity to give your dream of being your own boss the attention it deserves. 

This is also you chance to launch your full time dream at HALF the price

Making Dreams Happen normally sells for $149. 

But when you act by this Sunday November 29th, you can get all 20 hours of Making Dreams Happen for just $74 – That’s a $75 Savings! 

I launched the Changing Course Newsletter 20 years ago.

My hope then and now is to offer change seekers like you the information, inspiration, and tools to help you go from having a boss… to being the boss of you!

I am so grateful to have you in my life. So to show my gratitude I’d like to offer you another Thanksgiving gift. 

Make Your Dreams Happen And Get a FREE Gift! 

The 13th century Persian poet and philosopher Rumi wisely said, “When setting out on a journey do not consult someone who has never left home.”

Instead of listening to people insist your dream isn’t possible, this is your chance to grab a FREE copy of another inspiring and idea-provoking audio series.

It’s called… 

The Life Changers: How They Did It — and How You Can Too!  

The people you’ll hear from are no richer or smarter than you. They didn’t necessarily have more time or courage.

But they all found a way to successfully changed course to follow their own road in life… and as they will show you, how you can too.

Among the people you’ll meet on this eye-opening audio series are…

  • A former nursing home executive who tapped a family recipe he brought from his native Nigeria and now makes and sells to gourmet shops and restaurants  

  • A talented artist who after struggling with low self-esteem discovered the lucrative world of art licensing. Today she is a working artist who gets paid to have her work reproduced on anything from gift bags, to coffee mugs and has recently licensed her own line of inspirational jewelry  

  • A woman bringing in an amazing $70,000 a year as an animal communicatory

  • A couple who walked away from solid careers for a far more relaxing life in the country raising alpacas

  • A woman with absolutely no experience as an inventor who successfully brought not one but two handy product ideas to market

  • You’ll also meet a couple who created an entirely new niche not as inventors but as “product scouts.” Today they help manufacturers find cool new products… Best of all, their new lifestyle allowed them to realize their dream of getting out of New England to spend their winters in sunny Arizona 

I’m really just scratching the surface. There are well over a dozen inspiring self-bossers who make up the Life Changers series… 

Along the way their stories will show you how to recognize and avoid the common detours and speed bumps that can derail your dream. 

Lessons that are guaranteed to save you time, money, and unnecessary frustration and stress. 

As importantly, you’ll be inspired to view your life through the lens of possibility. 

And when you do, you will realize in no uncertain terms that – no matter what your family or friends say — you truly can create the life you really want. 

The Life Changers normally sells for $49. But when your order Making Dreams Happen during this special 3-day sale, you get the entire 4-set audio download FREE. 

Your dream-bashing family and friends will be speechless when you tell them about the Life Changers you’ll meet. 

Click here now to get all 20+ hours of dream-enabling audios in the Making Dreams Happen program for $75 off. PLUS your FREE copy of The Life Changers.

Then as you sit down to your Thanksgiving dinner, give thanks that you don’t have to spend Thanksgiving hiding out in the bathroom like Karen.

Instead you get the unique opportunity to tap into the collective wisdom of three top experts each dedicated to helping you make your dreams happen – and enjoy your FREE holiday gift from me!

Happy Thanksgiving

Valerie Young
Since 1995 the Dreamer in Residence
At ChangingCourse.com

P.S. I’ve never had anyone tell me they listened to me in the bathroom! But hey, if that’s what it takes to get a little alone time with your dreams, then you gotta love the determination!

Act now. Your chance to save $75 on Making Dreams Happens plus get instant access to that and your FREE gift (a $49 value) ends this Sunday November 29th

Click here to claim this opportunity now.


Make Every Day Thanksgiving

This week most Americans will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Our Canadian friends celebrated their Thanksgiving in October.

Other cultures around the world have their own ways of expressing appreciation for life’s abundance.

Make every day thanksgiving1

Thanksgiving and other annual, collective rituals are of course important.  But did you know thankfulness is integral to the career change process?

After all, the whole reason you want to shake up your life is because you’re unhappy with the way things are right now.

In fact, you’re painfully aware of exactly what – or who – is contributing to your current misery.

It’s your lousy job… or disagreeable boss… or annoying co-worker… or maddening commute… or the day-to-day pressures and stress of the job… or the low pay… you fill in the blank.

You’re “here” but what you desperately want is to be “there.”

And while you may not know exactly what “there” looks like yet, you do know this: You want your future to look very different from your present.

And herein lies the challenge. How do you strive to fashion this future life, yet still live happily in the present?

In a word: gratitude. If you don’t like that word then try “mindfulness.”

Make every day thanksgiving2

You see, the key to both your current well being and your future success is the ability to be mindful of all that we have right this very minute. This is all the more true if the present is less than desirable.

As Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin point out in Your Money or Your Life, “So much dissatisfaction comes from focusing on what we don’t have that the simple exercise of acknowledging and valuing what we do have can transform our outlook.”

It’s a lesson I learned first-hand while driving through Connecticut. As usual I was in a hurry to get somewhere.

I was making pretty good time when suddenly traffic on the interstate slowed to a crawl.

As I sat there fuming at the delay big tractor-trailer truck edged alongside me.

Even in my agitated state, I couldn’t help but notice that the side of the truck was completely white.

It was completely devoid of the usual advertising, company name, or words of any kind.

As the truck inched ahead, I could see some writing along the back.

I assumed it would be one of those “How’s my driving?” messages encouraging motorists to call in to report the driver’s performance.

As the truck slowly pulled in front of my car, three simple words written in neat black letters came into view.

The words were: Be Here Now.

I don’t know what the truck company had intended by that message but I do know the effect it had on me.

The first thing I did was take a long, deep breath. My breathing slowed, my muscles relaxed.

Heeding the message, I decided that instead of raging at the traffic gods I may as well pop in a CD, sit back, and do the only thing I could do – enjoy the ride.

I began to compare the simple, yet powerful, message to “be here now” with the popularity of those “I’d rather be…” bumper stickers.

Some of our fellow drivers would rather be fishing.

Others would rather be shopping.

One common in a local college town is, “I’d rather be smashing imperialism.”

We may all fill in the “I’d rather be…” blank differently but the message is still the same – we’d rather be just about anywhere but “here.”

To be fully in the moment is no small task.

Even on a good day our minds have a tendency to race ahead with plans or worries or ideas.

Being present is even more challenging when the current state of affairs is the very thing we so desperately seek to change.

And yet, neglecting the present invariably leads to future regrets.

Being too busy to spend meaningful time with our children, visit a sick or aging relative, exercise, or even have fun is the stuff regrets are made of.

None of us will look back at our lives and wish we’d done less, but we will all wonder why we didn’t do more.

John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” Lennon understood that life is for living… today.

What I’m trying to say is this…

As you work to create that new and different future remember that changing course is as much about the journey as it is the destination.

To fully enjoy this ride called life requires that we appreciate each and every day and that we be mindful of all that we have.

I realize this may not always be easy. Yet even in the most dire circumstances, I’ve learned that there is always something to be grateful for.

My friend’s Aunt Nancy had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. She was given no more than six months to live.

She hung on just long enough to attend her grandson’s graduation.

As we drove Aunt Nancy to the ceremony, we saw the most beautiful sunset. Grinning from ear to ear I heard her whisper, “I’m so lucky. I’m so very, very lucky.”

We were all so very lucky that day.

“Once we are above the survival levels,” say Dominguez and Robin, “the difference between prosperity and poverty lies simply in our degree of gratitude.”

When you consciously focus on life’s gifts instead of its challenges, you’ll begin to feel rich beyond measure.

Make every day thanksgiving3

So as you enjoy a drink of clean water, a warm bed, or the company of a loved one, pause and be grateful for who and what is in your life right now.

Strive toward that new future, but remember to be here now and savor the journey.

To all who celebrate this special holiday, I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.

p.s. If you’re near email tomorrow, look for a special Thanksgiving gift from me.


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