Tools Archives - Page 6 of 7 - The Meaning Movement

Category "Tools"

How to Make Your Money Work for You (instead of the other way around)

- - Tools, Work

Rarely do I feel like life is working unless my budget is also working. While I write a lot about the pursuit of meaning and making an impact— I don’t as often talk about the large and anxiety producing topic of money.

Money can feel like a dirty word in this conversation, but it can also be the elephant in the room. I want to make sure that is not the case.

Here’s the thing we all know: you have to make money. You have to find a way to meet the needs of you and your family.

So let’s get something else out in the open: money is not bad. It’s not bad to make money. It’s not bad to have plenty of money. One of the many stories that I have to fight against is the idea that asking to be paid for the things I make is conning people. It may sound crazy to hear, but that’s how I felt. It’s one of the many stories that I’ve had to unpack and redefine for myself.

Making money isn’t bad. Having money isn’t bad.

  • If you can get paid to do the work that you’re made to do, it frees you up to do more of it.
  • If you can get paid for your art, you may get to be a full time artist.
  • If you can get paid to create the vulnerable and amazing things that you feel connected to, then you get the privilege of giving more of your time and more of yourself to making them.

But then there’s always the question of how much is enough? When can I make the leap from the job that pays the bills to the work that really fuels me?

Money is usually hard. Both hard and scary. For most of my life my budget has been, "spend as little as possible". Though it keeps me from making unnecessary purchases, it also keeps me feeling poor, and feeling as though my money ruled my life.

Continue Reading

Is it What You Do or Who You Are? How Your Identity Changes Your Work

In the quest for deeper meaning and purpose, there comes a moment when you must go from doing your work because it’s “what you do” to doing your work because it’s a part of who you are.

Steven Pressfield talks about this moment as “turning pro.”

Seth Godin talks about it as “choosing yourself.”

  • It’s when you go from writing here and there to being a writer.
  • When you go from taking pictures to being a photographer.

  • When you go from playing with code to being a developer.

  • When you go from being artsy to being an artist.

  • When you go from helping others train to being a trainer.

  • When you go from working as a nanny to being an early childhood development specialist.

  • When you go from volunteering at your church to being a pastor.

Continue Reading

Don’t Know Your Passions? Here’s How to Find Them (Plus Guide Download)

- - Purpose, Tools

In one hour I’m going to be walk into a room of people to begin a six week process to help them uncover what’s next for them in their careers. I’m nervous, but I’m also really excited. There’s something really amazing that happens with groups.

When you get a handful of people you trust and start sharing yourself and your story with them, they see who you really are: your passions, your hopes, your difficulties and challenges, and your gifts. And no matter how well we know ourselves, when we begin to hear from them with openness and vulnerability, we learn about ourselves.

There’s a saying that fits here: when someone "can’t see the forest for the trees". defines this phrase as, "An expression used of someone who is too involved in the details of a problem to look at the situation as a whole…".

This is so true of our identity— particularly when the pressure to make big life decisions is added to the mix. We’re so close to our stuff (both the good and the bad) that we can’t see the whole picture of who we are and the story our lives are telling.

We need others to inform us and our process.

Continue Reading

How Your Past Connects To Your Life Purpose (A Letter to my 23 Year Old Self)

Dear 23-year-old Dan,

Man. Your hair is way longer right now than you’ll be keeping it in 10 years.

I have a lot to say to you, so get comfortable. You’ll need it, because this might get uncomfortable.

Marry Stacia. That’s the best decision you could ever make. That goes without saying.

That job you’re about to take is almost going to kill you. That’s ok. You’ll survive. And it will teach you something.

The next few years are going to be extremely lonely.

You’re going to make it. But sometimes it’s going to feel like you’re just barely making it.

Go to therapy. Spoiler alert: you’ll decide to go to therapy in a few years, but you should start sooner. I know a guy. I’ll send you his number.

Learn to care for yourself and learn to care for yourself during depression.

Create things. You’re happiest when you’re creating, and people always seem to benefit from what you create.

Don’t just create things, build a creative habit. You make such great things, but you won’t make great things unless you set aside the time to do it. Inspiration will come from time to time, but most great things are made by sitting down and struggling with them.

Continue Reading

When “Don’t Give Up” Matters Most

- - Persistence, Tools

I’m sitting at my desk. Watching a cursor blink on a blank page. It’s 9:11am. I intended to start writing this over an hour ago. But I haven’t been able to.

I had hopes of writing something big and courageous to you today, but it’s just not how I feel. I feel small and afraid.

Creating something worthwhile— whether a blog post, a piece of art, a career, or a life— is hard and scary work.

This probably isn’t news to you.

I had a friend who took a cold shower every day for months in an effort to build mental toughness. I talked with him about it when he was well into the project. He said, “You’d think it gets easier. It doesn’t. You get used to the idea that you’re going to step into that really cold water and it’ll be hard to stay there. But the act of being in it doesn’t get easier. You can get used to getting in, but you don’t get used to staying.”

Continue Reading