Monthly Archives: July 2013

Want to be Happier? Stop Doing What You Don’t Really Care About

What is it that you really care about?girl-blowing-glitter-113790_640

Your family?

Your friends?

Your job?

Your 401k?

Getting everything done?

It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? On the surface, we all seem to care about the things that people think we should care about.

While it’s completely natural to care deeply about your family, your spouse, your partner, your kids, and your health, it’s equally acceptable to say that you care deeply about your job or your recent promotion (even if it’s way more work for a little extra money).

But are these the things you really care about? This question is a little trickier to answer. By caring about what others expect us to care about, we most often end up neglecting our deepest purpose in life.

Not long ago, I was notified that I would be laid off from my job selling software to large corporate clients. It wasn’t a bad job but I knew that I wasn’t using my greatest gifts.

If someone were to ask me if I cared about my job, I would respond with “of course!”

But deep down I knew that I had more to give. I knew that my mind and body was made to create and build and teach and explore and love. And instead I was sitting on airplanes, sitting in meetings and sitting in front of my computer answering emails all day.

Deep down I was so busy caring for my job that I didn’t even realize I could be caring about more important things. I do not believe that we are meant to spend the majority of our time caring deeply about soul-destroying occupations where we must sit in a fluorescently-lighted box taking orders to do things so boring that we want to cry.

It’s a fact that we have been socialized to relinquish our joy for 8 or 10 hours per day in exchange for a sum of money just big enough that it keeps us chained to a miserable existence.

So many of us feel trapped, desperate, afraid, and separated from everything that gives us true happiness. So why do we care about such things?

Stop doing what you don’t really care about.

Getting laid off from my job was a wake up call. I see it as my chance to move forward and do something great, something that I really care about.

It’s also a chance for me to stop chasing things that I don’t really care about. It’s a chance for me to take my energy away from what I don’t want so that I can put it towards something I do want.

Why do I care so much about what other people think?

It’s been hard the last few weeks. I’ve had to make a huge mental shift away from pleasing other people to truly pleasing myself. Not everyone understands (or even supports) my path to doing my own thing.

Some people think I’m nuts for pursuing my own business rather than jumping back on the conventional path. They don’t say it outright but I can tell it’s what they’re thinking.

I hear things like “good for you for really going for it” and “I know you can do it.” But underneath the comments I can feel the disingenuous nature of these well meaning remarks.

Why do I care what others think? I think its human nature to want to be liked and included. But since when did it become such a risk to start your own business and follow your own path?

I’ve been tempted to continue down the same path.

I’ve had some great job opportunities come my way since being notified of my pending layoff, but it doesn’t feel right to pursue them knowing that I will most likely be frustrated and unhappy six months down the road.

I’m tired of pretending to be interested in jobs that don’t provide me with any significant level of fulfillment. I’m tired of waking up anxious about all the work that I need to do, work that isn’t even interesting to me.

Who came up with the idea that we need to invest our days working to make some big corporation more profitable? I would rather simplify my life, be in control of my income, have more time to enjoy life, and do creative work that inspires me.

The truth is that it probably would be easier to take another high paying corporate sales job. Starting my own business is challenging and it takes time to figure things out.

But honestly, my biggest fear right now is wasting the opportunity to reach out and take my shot at creating something meaningful. After all, I can always go back and get another job.

Getting honest with yourself.

Maybe it’s time that you get honest with yourself. You may – oh dear – disappoint a few people when you:

Follow your heart for the first time,

cut back your hours at work,

say ‘no’ more often,

sell your stuff,

let people be unimpressed,

decide to travel…

And you:

Transfer your skills and desires into your own meaningful project, make time for your Soul to breathe and let your purpose distract you long enough to wake-up.

Pursue your desired reality.

When you decide to go after something meaningful, you need to give less to your current reality and more to your desired reality. I struggled with this a lot when trying to figure out when/if I should leave my job to follow my desires.

Fortunately, that decision was made for me. This allowed me to set my sights 100% on my vision instead of staying in my kinda-crappy situation out of fear, habit, and obligation.

Maybe it’s time that you pursue your highest calling while you’re still employed.

Maybe it’s time that you developed a second income doing something you really care about.

Maybe it’s time that you stop ignoring that little something inside that wants to be born of your creativity and desire.

Maybe it’s time you stop waiting for everything to be perfect.

Maybe it’s time that you stop putting in crazy hours at your current thing, while your big idea waits for you to find the time.

What will your life be like a year later, or three years later, or ten years later if you just keep pleasing others instead of following your true nature?

Most people will walk this earth for decades, feeling guilty for not pursuing the adventures inside of them. Be the person who is brave enough to trust in yourself, your ideas, and in your ability to know, deep down, what’s best for YOU.


P.S.  Do me a huge favor and share one small step you are going to take towards creating the life you really want.

The Truth About Luck



“It is a great piece of skill to know how to guide your luck even while waiting for it.”

– Baltasar Gracian

Luck has always been on my side.

I was extraordinarily lucky to be born in the United States into a middle class family in a small town in Eastern Oregon. I was lucky enough to be supported by a caring family and never have to worry about food or water. 

When I was a child I was lucky enough to have a father and mother that worked hard. They both worked full time and ran a horse farm that required all of their time and energy after they finished with their regular jobs. Sometimes I felt that that I wasn’t as important as all of their other responsibilities, but now I understand that mom and dad were doing their best to make a better life and follow their dreams. Years later, I was lucky enough to understand that this was my first lesson about working hard for what you believe in.

I was also lucky that my mother worked mostly secretarial jobs and probably wasn’t paid much more than minimum wage. Mom didn’t get paid what she was really worth and I am lucky because I decided to never let that happen to me.

I was lucky because dad worked a job that required him to leave for work at all times of the day or night. Dad did what it took to pay the bills and because of this, I realized that I wanted a better life where I was not at the call of an employer that could drag me from bed and keep me up all night.

And boy was I lucky to have attended average schools that had minimal expectations for me. This inspired me to want more and instilled in me the drive to do better, to go to college, to make the Dean’s Honor List, to get a well paying job with ‘normal’ hours, so that I’d never feel average like that again.

It’s as though I’ve had a good luck charm around my neck for the past forty years.

I’ve also been lucky enough to experience financial hardships and mistakes. I’m lucky enough to have made financial decisions out of fear and greed that cost me nearly everything. For without having made these decisions, I would not have gained the wisdom to approach life differently today.

I am lucky that I had to start over with my career, relationship and finances a few years ago. Without losing all of these things, I would have never gained an appreciation for what I now have.

I was lucky that my first marriage didn’t last. Without going through the pain of separation and divorce, I would have never met the most amazing woman in the world and married her.

I have been lucky enough to work at several great companies over my career. And I am lucky that three of them laid me off. By placing my income and career possibilities into someone else’s hands, I have learned the value in becoming self-sufficient and starting my own business.

I have been lucky enough to realize how important it is to only do the things you love. Otherwise, you’re running on a treadmill. And the treadmill will stop when you least expect it, cracking happiness into pieces.

I am lucky that I experienced personal financial challenges, unemployment and divorce all in the same year.

That kind of luck leaves a burning desire that NOTHING could ever top.

My luck continues. Six months ago, I was lucky enough to start blogging and begin surrounding myself with people that had created amazing businesses doing work they cared about. Today, I have a growing audience of people that care about what I have to say.

I am also very lucky that I had a coach challenge me to begin charging people for what I have to offer. Today, I coach a group of amazing people that value my experience and knowledge. And because of this, I have a growing income that will ease the transition out of my corporate job in August.

What about your luck? Have you lucked out and been fortunate to have gone through similar struggles? Have you been given the inspiration to work harder than ever, to explore new opportunities to take control of your future, and drive towards following your dreams and feeling ALIVE?

Are you one of the fortunate ones that was not born with a silver spoon so that you could learn the importance of adding value to the world in exchange for a fair return? Have you been lucky enough to fail again and again?

Never forget that failure isn’t bad. Failure isn’t final. In fact, failure is part of the process. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from achieving the success you deserve. If you’re struggling, keep going. Keep taking at least one small action step each day.

From my perspective, failure is good luck. Without having failed multiple times, I would not have the amazing wife, business, friends and life that I have today.

A great thing to remember is that everybody in your situation has the same choice: you can regret your situation or you can appreciate it and dedicate yourself to changing it. Accept responsibility for your future. Refuse to complain, criticize, or condemn. If you want people to help you achieve your goals, then trust your intuition and seek out mentorship. Stop doubting it. Stop denying it. Have faith.

I can only hope you’ve been as lucky as I have over the years. So take that luck and leverage it. Keep moving towards the life that you really want. And remember, it only gets easier and better from here.

– Michael

P.S. Share an example of your luck and how it has shaped your life.