Here’s What Happened When I Figured Out Which Life to Pick… and We ALL Get to Pick

which life to pickIf you only do what you can do you will never be more than you are
– Master Shifu in Kung Fu Panda 3

I discovered I have two lives

There’s the life I have and the life I wish I have. Two, very different lives. We all have them. The internal feelings weren’t new, but the discovery was. I learned that the choice was up to me. I had to pick.

It’s a question of overcoming the resistance

Steven Pressfield explains the resistance best in The War of Art. Steven is a master. This book is a must-read for anyone looking to make a difference. I keep the audio version of this one in my phone. I play it once a month, at least. The resistance is anything I blame, which prevents me from doing my work that matters most.

Notice I wrote ‘anything I blame.’

I looked to the external as my excuse for the avoidance of the work. I was waiting and I would be waiting much longer if I hadn’t received that pearl of wisdom at the beginning of this post.

  • I waited for the motivation
  • I waited to feel better
  • I waited for permission
  • I waited for the right time of day
  • I waited for a sign
  • I waited for the fear to go away
  • I waited for the resistance to stop

Something funny happenedI discovered I was in control. I discovered I had to do the work every day, to ship art every day. This was my purpose. I stopped blaming the resistance. I sat down and I got to work.

Your work that matters most is the work you were born to do

You can’t run from this work. It calls on you when you sleep. You can’t force any kind of work. You were born to do a certain type of work, and not others. You can’t do any work. You have to do the work.

I discovered the resistance masks the work. The resistance is everywhere and it’s really easy to let it to stop the work. It’s easy to say ‘yes’ to resistance and allow yourself to be comforted by it. Avoiding the fear is comfortable, but I found that it didn’t get me closer to my purpose.

My work scares the hell out of me every day

Fear is the greatest indicator you’re on the right path. Our brains are hardwired to be change-resistant. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t feel fear. Here are some of the fears that scare me every day:

  • Will my audience like my work?
  • Am I good enough to do the work?
  • Will I find the motivation to do my work before I go to bed?
  • Will my family support my work?
  • Will my work fulfill its purpose?

I figured out the cure for all these fears–practicing my work every day, no matter how I feel. Sitting down and doing the work. All I have to do is get started and the rest of it no longer feels important. The fear is always there, waiting for me to slip.

It doesn’t matter what you do, just do it every day

When I discovered my work that matters most, I was given a choice. I could follow the the right life or the wrong life, but I had to pick. The decision was that simple. The work is hard and dirty. The process is long and fraught with peril, but the decision was simple.

The professional ships art every day. The amateur talks about it.

It took me 40 years to discover my true calling–my work that matters most. Now, every day I help people uncover theirs. I have students who range from investors to CFOs, stay-at-home parents to Facebook executives, event planners to accountants. I helped them find their way. Perhaps I can help you find yours. I help people all over the world.

Finding the work is the hard part. Doing the work is harder, but if you do the work every day (as I learned) it makes the resistance much easier to ignore.

The time you have on this planet is precious. I found that the longer I avoided my work, the harder it was to get started. I waited a long time and I found that it’s never to late to get started.

The right work is the difference between ease and disease.

When you do the wrong work you lead the wrong life. When my life was out of whack I felt ill. I had no energy. I went through the motions. I phoned it in. I hated my work.

When I found my work that matters most, a new fire grew inside me. Every day is still a challenge. Nothing about this process is easy, and I wouldn’t say that it’s always fun either. However, I know it’s the right work. I hope you find your work, not matter what method you choose.

We are waiting for you

In your service,

J D Yoder

P.S. Think about that Kung Fu Panda quote. Really think about it. We are all capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit.

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Use Tim Ferris’s ‘Three Whys’ To Find The Right Answer To EVERYTHING

whyThere’s an answer and there’s THE answer

No matter what project I choose, what business idea I pursue, or what exercise or learning habit I try to master, THE answer is at the core of everything.

I’m about to share a technique that I use to get to the core

No matter what I’m trying to achieve, I try to use this exercise to dig down to the real reason behind the shiny object I attempt to pursue. There’s the reason and there’s the REAL reason. We all have this for everything we do.

I start with what’s in front of me

There are triggers and first-emotions involved with everything we do. I might pick a greasy snack versus a stalk of broccoli. I might choose a fun task versus that task I should do to grow my business. I may choose an exciting business over a more-mundane one.

The three whys help me choose the right answer

I got this idea from Tim Ferriss. I’m sure he didn’t invent it, but he gets the credit from me. Here we go. When I need to choose between things, I want to get to the core of a decision, or I need to find the REAL answer for a certain behavior, I use the three whys.

Start with your first response

Let’s say I get an idea to start an online shoe store. I ask the first ‘why?’
-Because I want to make passive income.

Then I ask myself the second ‘why?’ (to the response I gave to the original question)
-Because I want freedom to live anywhere and work anywhere.

Then I ask myself the third ‘why?’ (to the response I gave from the second why).
-Because I hate the feeling of being controlled by someone else. I don’t like the idea of a boss. Although I would probably never move around, the ability to have the choice would be enough to solve the core problem.

The third ‘why?’ is the real answer. This is the answer I need to address. This answer may prevent me from diving into an online shoe business I care nothing about, or from chasing another dream that doesn’t address the core issue.

The core issue is the more important issue

When I talk about the work that matters most, it’s 99% a psychological puzzle, and probably 1% an economic one. However, most of us think it’s the other way around. I find if I can solve the core issue, everything else will take care of itself.

This is the basis of finding the work that matters most

When you find the work you are born to do you are much happier, more fulfilled, and more motivated. In-turn you motivate the people around you. You bring joy to the people around you as a result of finding your true calling.

I know I needed to find my calling before I could help others

Same idea as putting on your oxygen mask before your kid’s mask. I found that when I hated my work I hated my life. When I hated my life I was miserable. When I was miserable it affected everyone around me.

This is why I build the Reboot Workshop. When I find the work I was born to do, life is so much better. There will always be hurdles, but at least I’m jumping them towards doing something I love.

What big ‘why?’ are you working on now? How did you apply this principle? I’d love to hear about it.

In your service,

J D Yoder

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The Simple Key To Happiness (And It’s NOT What You Think)

stoolThere’s a simple key to happiness

It took me a long time to figure it out. Much longer than I’m willing to admit. I used to chase after every new, shiny idea as if it were the answer to all my problems. I was desperate to find the work I was born to do, but I wan’t happy.

I couldn’t finish anything.

I was bombarded with so many influences. I read all the books. Watched all the programs. Listened to all the podcasts. They all had the same message. Success was right around the corner. If I would only apply myself to this new idea.

My environment influenced me, heavily.

I watched all the successful people climb the ladder. I listened to their stories. Drank the kool-aid. Their stories seemed so realistic. So do-able. If I could only follow their path and have a life just like that.

I jumped from idea to idea.

Getting started was so exciting. I could work for hours. I was sold. I absorbed it all. But the ideas didn’t work right away. The traffic didn’t come. The sales didn’t ring the register. The phone was silent. The subscriber list was un-responsive.

I was bitter.

I blamed the gurus for false advertising. I blamed my parents for the way they raised me. Blamed my education. Blamed my relationships. Blamed my friends and their lack of affluence (you’re supposed to surround yourself with rich people, they say).

Then I figured it out.

Well, I didn’t really figure it out. I had to be hit over the head with a hammer. I heard an interview with Russel Simmons, the Hip-Hop mogul. Simmons said if you want to be happy, you’ve got to be happy in your seat.

That’s the key.

You must be happy where you are now BEFORE you can grow and be happy elsewhere. Running can’t solve my problems. Running won’t make me happy if I’m not happy now. I had to pick my seat and be happy sitting on it.

This is the key to finding your work that matters most.

Once I discovered what made me happy where I was, I understood how to translate that into something bigger–into making something more for myself. But it couldn’t come before.

I found my seat. Have you found yours?

In your service,

J D Yoder

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