No Time? Start NOW to Think and Dream

You are always free to create meaningful work.

But, sometimes, it’s just not the right time. Maybe you are the main breadwinner and you can’t afford to make a move right now.

Other times you have things going on in your life that require your FULL focus.

- You are caring for an elderly parent
- Your kids are young
- Your spouse is only working half-time

Or whatever.

I’m not suggesting that you can’t create meaningful work during these times. Some people do. It’s just that these things can make it more difficult for you to put your quest of creating meaningful work first. You have other priorities.

So, maybe it’s not the right time to create meaningful work. Maybe you feel you just can’t risk it, focus on it, do it.

But, even during those times, you can still do something to move you forward.

You can create the time and space in your thinking to dream. To ponder. To wonder. To reach. To start thinking seriously about what meaningful work means to you and what it could look like in your world. Clarity is key to success.

The first step to create meaningful work is to get clear in your own thinking about what meaningful work is, what it means to you and what it is for you.

So, give yourself the time and space to dream about what this work could be. Even if you can’t take action now to bring it to fruition.

At night before you go to sleep.
When you are driving in the car.
Instead of watching TV.
When you are working out, walking, swimming…

Do this for you.

I hear from clients all the time who tell me that they just don’t have the bandwidth to create meaningful work. Or that they want to begin but it’s not the right time. Make it the right time by doing the thinking now. You’ll be much closer to figuring it all out when the time is right. Take steps now. It will feel good because you know that you are making progress towards your goal of fulfilling, satisfying work. Those steps begin by clearing space in your mind to think about meaningful work.

Keep this question in the back of your mind:

“What does meaningful work mean to me and what kind of work would I want to do that has meaning?”

You’ll want to write down your thoughts.
Keep a journal, pen and paper, your phone, tablet, whatever. I like to carry around a stack of post-it notes and write down ideas that come to me. Because ideas come to me in the weirdest places (in the swimming pool, in the shower (what is it about water?), in the car, when I’m walking and running. I actually carry these tools with me sometimes when I’m out walking so that I can capture my ideas. Or use your phone recorder. Just keep track of the flow of ideas. Write them down. Capture them.

Here are some more questions to help you get clear:
  • What are you really good at? (lots of dangling participles in this list!)
  • What do you love doing? What types of things do you do where you get “in the zone” and lose track of time?
  • What have you done in the past that you are proud of? What are your accomplishments? Who could you do these things for and why would it matter to them?
  • What matters to you?
  • What do you believe in?
  • Where have you made a difference?
  • What kinds of things excite you?
  • What would you like to learn?
  • What would you like to work on?
  • What would you like to create? What ideas do you have?
  • Do you have a way of seeing the world that you would like to share with others?
  • How would you like to work? On your own? With others? On a team? A combination of these?
  • Who would you like to work with?
  • Who would you like to become?
  • What would you like to be known for?
Just thinking deeply about these and writing down your thoughts will start you on your journey to create meaningful work…start today. (And, I’d love to hear from you…)

What Are You Waiting For?

You say…
  • you want to do work you love.
  • you want work that is meaningful, to you.
  • you deeply desire to leverage and develop your potential.
  • you know you are capable of doing so much more.
  • you feel like your song is stuck inside of you – and you long to share your voice because you have a lot to share.
  • you believe work can be fun.
  • you want to make a contribution based on what you have to give.
  • you want to be paid fairly for what you bring to the world.
  • you want to make your mark, make a difference, make an impact
What are you waiting for?

Action is required. If you want to make your dream a reality, you need to take footsteps. Deep inside you know this. But, you find yourself saying to yourself, “I can’t make a move right now, it’s not the right time because I need to generate income…people are depending on me and my ability to work.” Some people use these words as excuses. They would rather be unhappily comfortable. Or, wretchedly secure. For most people, however, these words reflect their current reality. They simply cannot change their situation right now. It’s not the right time. Does this describe you?

If so, the danger is that you end up shelving your dreams for your responsibilities and just fanaticize about what could be…and yearn…and spin, caught between what you feel stuck with and what you deeply desire to attain.

Or, you stay put because you don’t know exactly what you want, what it looks like, and you have no idea how to figure it all out. It’s too overwhelming.

So you just stay and spin and say to yourself, “I’ll figure it out someday.”

But, that someday never comes. And, you find yourself stuck for years, wasting time, and not coming close to reaching your potential, your dream.

What if I were to tell you that there is something you can do to move forward RIGHT NOW?

RIGHT NOW…you don’t have to leave your job.
RIGHT NOW…you don’t have to change your career.
RIGHT NOW…you don’t have to give up your financial security.

You can simply DECIDE that you are going to change things. And, you can make that decision RIGHT NOW. You don’t have to wait. You can DECIDE that you are going to find – and even create – work you love, work that allows you to make the impact of which you are capable, even if you don’t know exactly how right at this moment.

Just decide. Once you decide, there is no going back. You are going to COMMIT to that decision to create meaningful work, work you love, even if it doesn’t happen right away.

This simple act of making a commitment to yourself will change everything. It’s powerful. And, whether it takes you 3 months or 3 years to make a change, you have taken the first critical step. You have made a decision and committed to it.

Sounds simple. It is. But, it is also profound because making this decision will give you the confidence that you are on your way, the journey has begun.

As you’ve heard, the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step…

Start your journey today.

3 Steps to Create Meaningful Work

It’s easy to talk ABOUT meaningful work.

But how do you actually create/find/do it?

STEP 1. Define it

The first step is to be able to define what meaningful work is, what it means to you and the role you would like it to play in your life.

It’s hard to search for something if you can’t identify or articulate what you are looking for.

How do you define “meaningful?”
What gives work meaning…to you?
What does it look like?
How do you measure it?
How will this work make you feel?
What do you hope to receive in return for this work? (Financially, emotionally, spiritually?)
What are you willing to do to find/create/get it?

STEP 2. Discover your talents (gifts and abilities)

This next step is to figure out your talents, gifts and abilities so that you can use them in the performance of this meaningful work. You want to find the things that come so easily to you that when you do them, it doesn’t feel like work. It’s these things – your gifts, talents and abilities – that make work fun and fulfilling.

Using your talents, gifts and abilities also makes work easier. It is easier to work when you are simply exercising your gifts and doing something you love. Under these conditions, work feels effortless, like play.

Finding your talents requires you to take a “deep dive” into your past to search for things you’ve done where you’ve made an impact, however small. Talents are linked to things you are proud of in your experience. This process involves excavating your past to unearth treasures you have inside of you. (The You Are Free System™ walks you through a detailed process to help you find those unique gifts, talents and abilities.)

Where have you made a difference in the past?
What enabled you to do it?

STEP 3. Figure out what you have to give

The third and final step is where the rubber meets the road.

This is where you determine exactly what you have to offer the marketplace based on your talents, gifts, abilities, skills, experience, and desire. You need to weave all these together to create a value proposition for the marketplace.

Then you need to go out and sell your value proposition in the marketplace. And, for those of you who are terrified by the idea of selling yourself, think of it this way. Enroll others in your vision of how you want to contribute. Advocate for your value. Educate others about what you do and how it might help them. Offer proof from your past.

If you find someone with a need for what you have to offer, it’s a win. For both of you. And, that’s your job. To find who needs what you have. It’s as simple as that!

Remember…You Are Free!

It’s the July 4th weekend…

That means it’s time to celebrate the birth of this nation, and the principles of freedom, liberty and independence.

While we celebrate together as a country, let’s also celebrate the following principles in the world of work.


You are free to create work you love.

You are free to define what meaningful work means to you and create it.

You are free to determine how to use your talents in the world to make a difference.

You are free to be paid fairly for your contribution, the value you provide.

You are free to discover your “why” and figure out what matters to you.

You are free to decide where and with whom to invest your talents…and for what return.

You are free to make your mark in the world (that is uniquely yours to make).

You are free to perform work that is personally fulfilling. On your terms.

You are free to express yourself through your work – and get paid for it.

You are free to do work that is aligned with your sense of purpose.

You are free to work in a way that allows you to develop and fulfill your true potential.

You are free to create work that is fun.

You are free to find joy in your work.

You are free to control your intellectual property and how to invest your creative capital and for what kind of return.

You are free to walk away from a job that is abusive, dysfunctional or super stressful for a more balanced worklife.

You are free to leave your dead-end, soul-sucking job for something more rewarding.

You are free to do the work of your dreams.

You are free to do the work you were born to do.

So, on this July 4th, let’s celebrate by thinking about how to bring these principles more in line with our experience at work.

You are free. Period. Happy celebrating!!!