Browsing Category Inspiration

Your Best Work is Magic

Have you ever witnessed something that felt magical? Not the kind of magic that a magician makes, but the kind that you encounter when you least expect it:

How a singer-songwriter creates a piece that’s surprising and delightful.

How my friend Katharine creates beautiful wool cycling clothes, executing complicated patterns with seeming ease.

How the background of a website slides ever so slightly to one side as a I scroll down.

There’s magic in all of these things. It’s an experience that makes you stop and delight in what’s unfolding in front of you.

The person crafting each of these has put tremendous thought into the creation and execution.

The real magic in a magician’s act is in what you don’t see. We all know that she didn’t just pull a ball out of that man’s ear, or that the other man was not just cut in half with a saw— but what we don’t see is how it all happens. We don’t see the work that went into her holding her wrist in just the right way to make it look like the ball was not in her hand but still under the cup.

The best moments in a magicians show are the ones where what we see defies what we know about the world around us. It’s the moments when feel ourselves ask, “how’d she do that?!?” in amazement…

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The Problem With The Easy Win

We’ve heard lofty promises about how easy success can be if you’ll invest in this or that product. I’m not here to say that there aren’t helpful tools, courses, and experts who know what’s what. There absolutely are (and I hope that I’m one of them!).

There’s just a danger of thinking that life should and can be so much easier, better, more clean, more clear, more streamlined, more linear, etc.

Easy success isn’t what any of us need. It’s thin. Getting an easy win only means you’ll need another later on. Sure, an easy win would feel great, but given enough time we’ll all be right back where are right now— needing the next win.

Take two sports teams of equal skill (you choose the sport). Have one compete against bad teams all the time to ensure they win. Have the other compete against the best teams out there to ensure they lose. A year from now have them play each other. Who will win? The one that has been given easy wins for the past year or the one who has been losing?

My money’s on the team that’s lost the most…

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Why We Want You to Succeed

It’s easy to feel like you’re on your own as you try to lean into doing meaningful work. Whether you are still searching for your mission, or struggling to bring alignment between what you want to do and how you pay the bills— you can often feel stuck and alone. You feel overwhelmed by the distance from where you are to where you want to go.

If feels like you just have to do what you have to do and it won’t matter to others if you succeed or fail.

It feels that way to me at least (is anyone with me in this?).

In my worst moments I feel like people want me to fail. It feels like they’re waiting for proof that I couldn’t handle it, so they can laugh, and look at each other saying, “I told you so.”

(I know! What a cruel and cold world the inside of my head can be…)

I’m learning that there’s another truth, if I can find the space to believe it: people want you to succeed…

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Giving Up: The One Thing I Won’t Let You Do

I will tell you that your work is bigger than your job.

I will tell you not to compare yourself to others.

I will tell you that what you have to create is your own and no one elses.

I will tell you to find kindness for where you have been— even if it’s not where you wished to go.

I will ask you to find places of impact and meaning.

I will ask you to tell your stories. I will challenge you to think about your work and your desire.

I will tell you that you have something great to create.

I will ask you to find the right people to support you along the way.

I will try to help you choose what to do next.

I will show you what’s been helpful for me to read.

I will help you pay attention to the stories you tell yourself and the words that you use.

I will ask you to make your art and to share it with the world.

I will do my best to help you stretch beyond your comfort zone.

I will help you let go of places that need to be let go of.

I will help you make plans and deal with fear and anxiety.

I will do my best to inspire you to dream big dreams and to courageously pursue them.

But there’s one thing that I cannot and will not do…

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One Year In

The Meaning Movement is now just over a year old.

This means that every week for the past year or more I have published an article on this blog. Most weeks I have published two. Some weeks it’s been three. I also write for other sites around the web (contact me if you’re interested).

In order to do this, I write almost every day. I’ve been writing almost every day for nearly two years.

Some days are better than others. Some days I hear stories from people who have been deeply moved and impacted by what I write. Other days I hear nothing. I often have to remind myself why this matters.

Why do I do this?

  • I write to know what I think and have to say. Writing helps me put language and structure to the things I think about. I write to practice finding words for what I believe to be true about people, work, hope, and impact.
  • I write to develop my ability to communicate. The more I write the more chance I have to practice structure and form.
  • And I write to connect people with my work (See my one-on-one work, speaking, or my first book which I’m currently writing.)

More than all of these things, I write to impact people. I write to make a difference.

This is a simple blog post. It has around 800 words. It’s nothing fancy. Writing, editing, formatting, publishing all took me two hours (not counting all the writing I do that never gets published).

But here’s why this blog post, and this blog, are important…

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