Book Reviews, Opinion

Getting to Neverland

I recently had the opportunity to attend a Leading with Purpose workshop with Nick Craig. For anyone not familiar with Nick’s work, he coaches leaders to find their purpose by focusing on magical moments from childhood and crucible stories. Exploring these life experiences, both positive or negative, is how Nick guides others to find where and how their unique purpose shines. He then coaches individuals to articulate purpose in a way that resonates across the varied facets of real lives. What was fantastic about attending the workshop was seeing – and feeling – how someone’s energy shifts when they literally light up once they find the right words to summarize their individual purpose.

Purpose progress!

I’m still working my way through both what I learned from Nick in person, as well as his book. I’ve been taking the time to pause, reflect and internalize what I’m learning – about leadership, purpose and myself. One of my biggest lessons is that I’m in the middle of a new crucible story. *right now at this very moment*.

I know in my bones that my HAPPY^2 strategy is “something”… I’m just not sure what it is yet.

As of today, I think it might be a class|workbook|presentation kind-of-something. Working with Nick and my cohort helped my tie together what I am doing with this side hustle with what I am doing with my career:

I am helping others believe in their Neverland again.

I want everyone to feel empowered, engaged and enthusiastic to the point where life feels magical. Since we sometimes teach what we need to learn, I’m learning how to do this as I go. My HAPPY^2 message is that each of us can choose to either tweak or transform our own lives so we feel in control and more content. My mission is to share what I know and what I am learning with others, to increase happiness exponentially.

If you’re looking for a map to your Neverland, consider setting aside time to write down dreams for the following 5 focus areas:

  • Health           How are you feeling in mind, body and spirit?
  • Assets            How well is everything you own, from your guest room to your savings account, serving you?
  • People           Why are you spending time with the people you see regularly?
  • Purpose        When do you feel the most you?
  • Yourself        What wild and crazy ideas or wishes do you have that are just for you?

I’ve explored each of these focus areas in more depth on my @workyourhappy Instagram page, too. Dreams are the best place to start, as they provide inspiration and motivation. I hope your dreams help you move towards your Neverland. I also hope you’ll stay with me as I find out how #workyourhappy evolves.

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Happiness Of Pursuit

The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest that Will Bring Purpose to Your Life
Author: Chris Guillebeau, Published September 2014, Random House Harmony 

If you’re looking for a little inspiration to dream again, to think big and then take action to make things happen, The Pursuit of Happiness is a great place to start.
Chris Guillebeau’s subtitle promises a lot. Quests sound like something from a whimsical airy tale, not something in reach of by every day people. As goal-oriented list maker, I was drawn to the stories hinted at on the back cover: ordinary people on extraordinary quests, expanding their happiness and clarifying their purpose.
The book was sparked by the author’s own travel-focused quest to visit all the countries in the world. On his travels, he met others also undertaking sweeping passion projects. This book explores not only the quests and questers themselves; it also includes insights into why working towards a big goal – a dream! – makes people happier, why documentation is important to overall success, and what happens once a quest is finished.
I found The Happiness of Pursuit to be an inspiring read. Most of the quests are not work-related: there’s no documentation here of someone moving up the corporate ladder. The stories are small and human, driven by individual interests, circumstances and talents. The possibility in each story kicked my imagination into overdrive. It is possible to do amazing things in small, incremental steps over a period of time.
Since reading this book, the framework I use to think about my hobbies has shifted. A quest is by its nature, BIG, requiring commitment. What am I willing to commit to doing, big or small? On the smaller end, I’ve committed to knitting a holiday sweater a la Molly Weasley for my son every year. That may not seem like a quest at first glance, but it makes thinking about a new project, working to be sure it’s done by Christmas and imagining decades worth of sweaters seem more important somehow.  My wife and I are going to try to see all the covered bridges of New England – ten down so far! Mapping, photographing and documenting the bridges isn’t something that will be done any time soon, but it’s fun and we have a purpose in exploring a little bit more.
Are you on a quest? I’d love to hear more about your extraordinary, ordinary pursuits.