I’m a voracious reader, and I also listen to several audiobooks and podcasts, so my recent consumption has included some greats:
- Jeff Goins’ The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do. I am in love with this book. Some of my favorite ideas in the book:
- Open to the idea that we don’t have just one calling.
- Consider how to put together a portfolio career by combining parts of your life.
- Create community around building your career. It won’t happen if you’re the Lone Ranger.
- Instead of making a map and following it, be open to twists and turns.
- By lucky timing, I got to review the course that Jeff built to accompany his book. He also has a podcast with 10 episodes that elaborate on the book. Plus, he has a podcast called The Portfolio Life that I like.
- Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work by Whitney Johnson. The best section in the book for me was “Play to your disruptive strengths,” where she asks great questions to uncover your strengths. For example, “What exasperates you about others?” She says, “It may not be that they’re deficient, just that you’re unusually skilled.”
- Elizabeth Gilbert wrote Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, and she produced a series of podcasts that she released around the time of her book launch. The ideas that she presents about how fear holds us back are phenomenal. She talks about having permission to pursue what matters to us, persisting in our endeavors, and yes, she also talks about enchantment and magic in an inspiring way. “Creativity is a crushing chore and a glorious mystery. The work wants to be made, and it wants to be made through you.”
- Gregg Levoy’s Vital Signs: Discovering and Sustaining Your Passion for Life came out at the end of 2014. I got to attend one of his workshops this past year where he asked “If you could choose any mentor in history or present day to guide you in creating the kind of life you want, who would it be? What advice would they give you?” Answer that question, and you’ve got direction!
- The Road to Character by David Brooks has some extraordinary ideas. He splits apart “resume virtues” and “eulogy virtues,” and I wonder what would happen if we pulled them together. He urges us to explore not just our superpowers but the places where we’re deeply broken to plot our paths.
- Brene Brown’s Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution transformed me. She teaches us how to rise after a fall, and as we plot and navigate our careers, there are bound to be falls. “Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending — to rise strong, recognize our story, and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, Yes, This is what happened. This is my truth. And I will choose how the story ends.“
- I’m a faithful listener of Jonathan Fields’ Good Life Project podcast. The people he interviews inspire me and give me great insight into how to create a career.
- I also listen every week to Brooke Castillo’s The Life Coach School Podcast. She has taught me more about how my mind works than any course or book or professor or therapist ever has. I marvel at how she dissects our thoughts and puts them into her model to make sense of how we’re inadvertently self-sabotaging ourselves. I had the wonderful privilege of taking a course with her last year, and at the beginning of the course, she said, “If you let it, this intensive will blow your mind.” And it did.
- 2 TED recent talks captivated me: Stop Searching for Your Passion by Terri Trespicio and Why Some of Don’t Have One True Calling by Emilie Wapnick. In the first, the best quote is, “There’s a dangerously limiting idea at the heart of everything we believe about success and life in general, and it’s that you have one singular passion and your job is to find it and to pursue it to the exclusion of all else, and if you do that, then everything will fall into place, and if you don’t, you’ve failed.” Then, Emilie coins a new term: multipotentialites, people who have a range of interests and jobs over one lifetime. Thanks to these two wise women, we can reframe passion and discard perfectionist tendencies around that construct.
Send me a note (maggie at quietcareers.com) if you have some career resources that you’d like to suggest. I’m always curious about what’s crossing others’ paths.