How My Passion Died (and How I Won it Back)

I have an embarrassing confession to make (especially as a supposed “leader” in the personal development world).

Over the last five years my passion for self development has quietly withered and nearly died.

I took an overdose of trite, feel-good self help banter and it led to me abandoning the world I had come to love so much.

But it wasn’t always this way.

I’m not exactly sure when the crescendo broke.

The onset of the symptoms were too slow and subtle to detect. I just remember growing bored and agitated by the predictable rah-rah advice from personal development gurus and their aspiring offspring. You know, the social media chorus of “Just do what you love and follow your dreams!” and “Be more epic and forget the status quo!” and “77 ways to be more happy right now!”

Of course, I’m making a caricature out of the matter. But in many cases, that’s what it felt like.

What was once rooted in a solid bed of authentic nourishment felt processed and empty.  Taken out of context and muttered as a mindless mantra, any great advice runs the risk of becoming a hollow prayer.

But instead of seeing the truth of the matter—that I had outgrown something that had once served me or that I had simply become desensitized by hearing sermons become soundbites—I let my heart grow cold.

Rather than feeling the good intention behind their efforts, I only saw the veneer. It became so predictable, so common, that I began to secretly judge these bloggers, aspiring teachers and coaches as naive and deluded.

I even started to question my own work (which obviously holds striking similarities to many of these enthused writers).

I started to give up on the world that had given me so much.

I turned my back and discarded all of it without discernment. I needed to cut the fat, but I took away too much, and was left with only bone. I grew arrogant and distant. And my heart slowly closed off.

What I really needed was to filter through the noise to better discern what really mattered.

I’m learning that now.

I’m letting go of the judgement. I’m realizing that it was rooted in my own self judgement. Withholding love and criticizing my own work led to me to trying to make myself better than others.

Basically, I became a cynical asshole.

And now, I’m opening my heart back up.

Like many people do when they need to make a change, I made an overcorrection.

What was quietly transformed and left in the ashes.

Here’s the tricky part:

Some of what I became jaded about came from a place of outgrowing it and becoming more mature. I saw the error in trying to fix ourselves when we are inherently perfect. We’re born perfect, free, beautiful. It’s only through growing up (a.k.a., domestication), trying to become something and comparing ourselves to others that we are covered with lies and falsehoods.

Now I see growth as a process of shedding the limiting beliefs, discarding the untruths and letting go of everything that doesn’t serve me and the world.

That means letting go of the productivity banter — the do more, be more and be epic chatter that is rooted in trying to be something we’re not.

These days, it’s all about amplifying and releasing the natural greatness within me. Not trying to shape brokenness into greatness.

The Real Truth

Greatness is. It’s our basis. Our core. It’s unchangeable. We can either unfold it, surrender and support it, or we can cover it up and be ashamed of it. <- Click to share.

So right now, in this moment, I accept everything, love fiercely and graciously let go of anything that doesn’t serve me and the rest of the world.

Discernment and maturity? Hell yes. Judgement and closure? No thank you.

Question: Have you ever become jaded about something you once deeply loved? Share with the rest of us and heal yourself.

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Comment & Add Your Voice

Jade June 20, 2013 at 3:45 am

Hi,
Wow this post really f-ing speaks to me!

I’ve become jaded by the exact same thing; personal development and more recently spirituality.

For me I think it was because I started off on the really good stuff (think Adyashanti) and then became more and more exposed to the “how to manifest the man of your dreams” and found people writing books on topics that I think could have been explained in a paragraph.

I got so confused and judgmental as to why people were writing this and why people seemed to be lapping it up. I also wondered if I’d missed something.

For a while I kinda gorged myself on superficial spirituality and enjoyed not liking the writers. Then I realised a few things:

Everyone is at a different stage in their development. Maybe I’d have enjoyed these books/blogs a few years ago.

I don’t know what it’s taken for people to get to where they are. Maybe they were suicidal before, and the material I’m judging actually saved their lives.

That nothing is wrong with personal development. It’s just all about resonance. Something not resonating with me doesn’t make it wrong, it just means we’re not a match.

Ultimately you have to wake up out of everything. I’ve just woken up out the idea if having a broken self to improve.

Thank you for this post. I really enjoyed and resonated with it and think it’s a brave move on your part to talk about it!

Jade xx

Ps. If you’re looking for something that’s more about letting go than improving I can’t recommend Adyashanti enough. Dude is awesome and the best and truest teacher I’ve found.

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Jonathan June 20, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Yep. We’re all at different stages. Sometimes we need something preachy and rah-rah. And that actually pushes us to take action enough to start thinking critically.

I’ll check out Adyashanti. Sounds like an interesting dude.

Vincent June 20, 2013 at 6:31 am

I’m feeling the same way as you, Jonathon. Although I myself write about personal development, I notice a lot of other personal development blogs offer impractical advice and rehash the same ideas we’ve all heard over and over. I think this awareness forces me to focus on the practical, the real, and the un-preachy drivel.

In a way, I’m jaded on the subject, but then again I should be grateful. The slight cynicism I have makes me a better writer.

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Jonathan June 20, 2013 at 4:48 pm

True that. Skepticism and criticism can lead to being more real and helpful. Good for you man.

Clara June 20, 2013 at 8:55 am

This post speaks to my heart deeply. I have also found myself become very judgmental as I have let go of “ideas” that were once absolute truth to me.

At this point, I am trying to to laugh at myself and remember that we are all traveling
in different paths and at our own pace.

Thank you for allowing your authentic self shine with the rest of us.

Clara <3

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Jonathan June 20, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Thank you Clara for sharing your vulnerability as well.

S.R. June 20, 2013 at 8:56 am

Most of this really spoke to me. Not sure if it’s because I’m not ready to see that I’m not evaluating my faults or not.

I’ve become jaded with most self development, spirituality, rah-rah, everything happens for a reason stuff.

Why?

Two years ago my dad put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. He didn’t die. Instead, he suffered for 1.5 more years in brain surgeries, one nursing home or hospital or another. He finally passed in Dec.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in God, but not sure about all the other hype. I’m still dealing with his choice, his suffering (before AND after the incident), his death…and now my mom’s failing health of dealing with this same grief. They’ve known each other since she was 16. Together since she was 18.

WTH?

Now, I’m left to figure out how to ensure my current state of depression doesn’t do me in. Dad was the very last person on this very planet that I would have EVER thought would choose this.

I appreciate your words. Rather than being jaded or angry at misplaced words of friends, acquaintances, I should look for the spirit behind them. Maybe I’m just still pissed and dealing with a ton of crap and they mean well…I can sift. I need to sift.

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Jonathan June 20, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Wow. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to go through something that traumatic. My heart goes out to you.

Good for you to even be in a place right now where you can consider transforming to something more positive. I salute you.

Joanie June 21, 2013 at 10:32 am

I just wanted to add a comment, a vote of support, for SR.

To be sure, life’s deepest meaning is unfathomable. On the continuum of unhappy circumstances, it appears you’ve been handed a rather extreme dose of tragedy and anguish. Not for sissies, as they say and the tone of your letter reveals you as brave, wise, and intelligent. My wish for you is that you find friends, or teachers, worthy of your level of knowing and inquiry. (For one, I humbly offer the resource of Mooji – a kind sage who may be able to offer meaningful comfort and upliftment (by writing your questions/predicament to him for a response).
His homesite is mooji.org Either way, I wish you peace.

newlifesurfer June 23, 2013 at 11:49 pm

S.R. – my heart-felt wishes and prayers for you, your mom and family. I’ve also experienced a significant death of sorts… not as tragic as yours but a learning oppty to try to figure out what to do to survive… A key (there are hopefully only a small few ones that matter…) for me has been trying to find out how to have gratitude – every day… Gratitude is a power that can re-build your strength. The pain and suffering sometimes blacks out everything but the throbbing aches from having been beat to a pulp – emotionally and spiritually. Physically the toll mounts as well cuz you stop your workouts, healthy eating, sleeping, etc. Trying to be grateful (and mindful and purposeful of this state of being) every day could be a positive daily “re-set” routine for your psyche (and it only takes seconds – literally). When you’re “in it” (all the crap of life…), it’s hard – ridiculously hard – to try to find the good in anything and to feel positive. For me, knowing the “why” I’m here helps frame my days, get stronger and make progress. When I slip and/or don’t make as much progress as I should, then being mindful of my responsibility to my “why” and to make a difference so I in turn can help others, renews me and helps refocus my efforts.

Please just “stay” with it and do NOT quit… sift (as you say)… find the simple things to be grateful for – every day… a beautiful sunny morning and day, peace and calm within quiet moments… slowly, daily, re-build your strength and search for the “why” that will keep you here. Then, embrace it and wear it proudly – live your life with purpose and impact – make a difference… Sometimes the path feels like you travel it alone for awhile though you are not alone… take time to feel and work thru all of it… others are waiting for (and need) the new and stronger you…

God bless, namaste, and wishes for good vibes…

DARRELL June 20, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Jonathan, great post. I was messing around with a very familiar concept just this morning. I get tired real fast of the rah, rah speeches and feel good essays. On many blogs they come off as mere ad copy and attempts to sell the latest “figure your shit out” program or book.

What is needed is the truth. That change is hard, real hard for some of us! Don’t just tell me I need to change my mind-set, tell me how you changed yours so that I have a real-world example to follow. Support me when I f’ up.

Your honesty is apparent and appreciated. It is the reason this is one of only two communities that I was happy to join as a member.

Thanks.

DC

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Jonathan June 20, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Thanks Darrell, that means a lot to me.

Karen June 20, 2013 at 5:26 pm

Thanks for sharing this experience. My inner self has been evolving over the past couple of years and especially the past 12 months. I, too, have become disillusioned with the usual brand of “self-help” offerings that don’t speak the same language as I do. I don’t want namby pamby “advice” about how to make changes and move forward. I want to hear truth, the raw truth, about life and how to stay afloat. I survived cancer 4 years ago at the age of 46 – I need to hear the hard realities of surviving and moving on in life post-cancer, not pre-packaged “here’s how.”Which is why I’m developing my own blog, where I can offer my own unique way of sharing my experiences and how I dug out from underneath a lifetime of hardships and beat the biggest monster of them all. Thanks to you, Jonathan (and thanks, too, to Jeff Goins), I’m well on my way to doing what I love and, hopefully, helping others in an authentic and lasting way.

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Jackie @ Auburn Meadow Farm June 20, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Very true and honest. It seems to be a classic obstacle in the journey. It’s stopped me more than once…

I was kind of taken with this book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1577312333/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1371774467&sr=8-1&pi=SL75

The American Indian take on our European – style need to fill voids with words and activity is a pretty fascinating topic that I think is relevant to the state of mind you describe.

I have a whole new respect for silence, being mindful and using only the words I seriously mean and accepting there is an organic timing of natural progress.

Thanks for giving me good food for thought tonight :)

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Stu June 20, 2013 at 5:38 pm

I have to wonder if some of the internal disillusionment and cynicism that we sometimes feel stems from reflecting the doubts of others, especially those closest to us.

I know that personally, the biggest limiting factor of my own personal transformations come from others, in the form of doubts about the viability of my plans, my ability to persevere and succeed, and to truly change and grow. It doesn’t matter how many times I exceed the expectations of others (and my own expectations as well), each transformational stage and successful achievement is just as difficult as the last, and to my continual amazement, many of those closest to me are as skeptical as ever with each new journey.

I believe that true support and encouragement comes not from the reiteration of platitudes in a rote, habitual fashion, but from a sincere desire to wish for the best for others, and an internally authentic belief in their ability to succeed even their own wildest expectations. The line between these is a very tricky one, and often the words expressed on the surface of things will be largely the same. I can only imagine how tough it must be for those of you who do this for a living.

I have tremendous respect for the courage you demonstrate not only by recognizing this and acknowledging it within yourself, but by sharing the struggles you face in this stage of your journey with your audience. By doing so, you serve your cause well.

Thank you.

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newlifesurfer June 23, 2013 at 11:22 pm

people (many) are naturally afraid of change, of that which is other than “normal” – ordinary – familiar… you’re just moving too fast for them… trouble-maker… Congrats!

Gina June 20, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Wow… To be honest, this whole idea that I can have the life that I envision is really new to me. I just finished my MFA in Painting and now I’m trying to forget all the academia that I was taught in order to really find my groove. You’re ideas and methods have helped me to let go of some old ideas that I still have held onto and to get into me… my ideas, my goals, my desires to help others to also dive into their souls and release their inner creativity! But, I have an art festival this summer and so that will come first and then, who knows… the world is wide open!
Thank you for all that you give!
Gina

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Robbie June 20, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Now these are true words of wisdom! thanks jonathon! (and everyone else who has replied) you just described me in a nutshell.
It’s funny, I know my strengths and I know I have great things to give and I even know that I’ve been spiraling down the funnel of self doubt and self pity. But all the same we all too often jump on that bus and settle in for the ride.
Generally, for me, all it takes to turn the tide is someone from outside of daily life to give you a gentle clip behind the ears and say “wake up!”
That’s what you’ve done here! Thanks again for reminding us all that the way forward is right there in front of our eyes.

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rc June 20, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Jonathan,
I think it was inevitable that a lot of people would start to reject the rah-rah superficial pitch of most self development gurus. As for me, and old guy nearing his sixties, and having spent nearly forty five years studying everything I could get my hands on regarding this subject . I felt that there was something very much awry when social media and marketing online business merged with this learning process. So many people are becoming more and more confused by the nearly worthless self-help advice which is passing for wisdom online. I suffered a traumatic brain injury about a year ago and struggling to regain some semblance of a normal life again. Before the injury my gut had been rejecting a lot of the training I had been working on in building my online business. Doubts about my abilities crept in, the constant marketing bullshit of the powerful gurus in my email everyday felt more and more disingenuous , I just knew something was amiss. And actually after reading your post here I’m convinced my intuition was sounding alarms for the past two years while I worked a number of systems and struggled with all of them to find authenticity in my work. I believe we still don’t know much about how this all fits . Life may indeed just be a damn mystery and we fool ourselves , the way brains can do, that we are ” learning and growing ” . I applaud your post here, my feelings about it though , is that you have still not found the answers you seek. I am starting to conclude that Nature has told us all we need to know and we just can’t accept the simplicity of our existence. The brain is a jester , and humans like games, puzzles and fantasy.

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Mat November 28, 2013 at 9:17 am

“What the thinker thinks, the prover proves.” -Robert Anton Wilson

I struggle with this as well. Sometimes I feel as if I really don’t know anything and I’m not sure how I ought to continue. But I think there is something to unlearning and digging past the rigid beliefs and programming that many of us hold, which I see Jonathon talking about here. Many Unschoolers, people who haven’t been shuffled through the school system and instead allowed to follow their true interests, are quite successful in their lives.

I hope you’re recovery is going well, take care.

Adriana June 20, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Wow. I am so grateful that you shared your story. I tend to second guess myself a lot. I start out feeling good going into a project but then the feeling of not being good enough sets in. Your words have inspired me to start my own family camping blog. Although i may not have that many teasers right now, I’m having fun figuring it out because it’s something i enjoy. Thanks again for your story and honesty.

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Amy Flaherty, LPE-I, RPT June 20, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Jonathan,

Wow, what an honest post! Thank you for opening your real self in such an honest way. I know we have all experienced the moment of “What’s it all about” but rarely have the courage to say it out loud in such a public form. I would love to know in follow up posts about how you keep your passion renewed and excited about getting up the morning. I have recently made a life change with my job (going to completely private practice as a mental health counselor) which has been very scary to be in that vulnerable place but I am finding that I’m finally able to find my voice and passion. I loved your talk about a month ago with finding your tribe and am part of Jeff Goin’s TribeWriters to hone my craft. Thanks for the great example:)

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Amanda Fall June 20, 2013 at 7:58 pm

The real power, for me, has always come when I tap into my own truth–the meaning right in the middle of my life’s mess. Not trying to fix anything or pretty it up–but looking more closely, seeking gratitude and healing right where despair and heartache sit. And when my offerings stem from that raw, real truth? The response is always greater.

I really appreciate what you said about greatness being our core. I used to hide my differences, cover up my quirks, feel shame over my “shortcomings,” but I’m learning that those very qualities inform my unique point of view. The thing we hide may be exactly what makes us who we are.

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Ginger June 20, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Your words ring true to me. I am continually as the Phoenix rising from the ashes of my previous self and beliefs. When cynicism rears its ugly head I know it’s time to examine and change some aspect of what I am doing.
Sharing our experiences as human beings is the highest form of self help. When we share in a positive way, the words do not fall on deaf ears but find their way to the person who needs it at that moment in their life.

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Chere June 20, 2013 at 8:34 pm

I really resonate with your words here, Jonathon. I think I am in this place right now. I read and learn and listen and more and more of what I take in is so much the SAME stuff – just wrapped up differently. It’s difficult NOT to become jaded when all the online supposed ‘leaders of the pack’ are telling us the same shit over and over again. I find myself just having to unsubscribe from a lot of them because I’ve had it with all the crap. Can somebody give me a new concept now and again? (Or, maybe it’s time I came up with my own!!)
Or maybe it’s just what one reader above said..maybe what we really need is for these guys to be REAL. Be VULNERABLE. Tell me how YOUR OWN LIFE has been changed. Stop putting all the same information into different packages and hoping we’ll be stupid enough to buy it. We’re NOT THAT STUPID.

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Michaela June 20, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Wow Jonathan, thank you for being so honest in your writing. This feeling of disillusionment is definitely something I can relate to in reference to the fashion industry which I threw myself into a year ago. What started out as optimism and excitement turned into a lot of negative feelings towards the industry I’m part of and wondering the viability of what I’m doing.

I’ve just recently started getting my head around it with a new mindset like you. I’m hoping we can both move forward with a new energy for what we’re doing! There’s nothing worse than coming to hate what you once loved. I’m excited to love it again though!

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Taiwanda June 20, 2013 at 10:08 pm

“Greatness is. It’s our basis. Our core. It’s unchangeable. We can either unfold it, surrender and support it, or we can cover it up and be ashamed of it.”

Hmm…Interesting! Maybe along the same lines of of what you said, I have come to realize that we are already the person God created us to be and that He’s put everything that we need to be that person inside of us. My prayers generally evolve over time as I come to learn and experience more. Recently, my prayer over the past month or so has changed from “Lord help me to be who you created me to be and do what you created me to do” to “Lord help me to expose more of who you created me to be and more of what you created me to do”. Like Moses, God has already equipped us with what we need to fulfill our purpose in this world.

Hmm…I think I just got the idea of what to write! Thanks for this post to make me think :-)

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Cynthia June 20, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Am realy touched by this article, for its true there comnes a time where you feel that its all worthless or you just wasti g your time with following your passion. Sometimes it just lookpossible that you just decide to let go and mostly one gets critised. Today I rise to give my passion a chance whether its impossible or not, whether am critisized or not.
E
We all fall but its important to stand up and dust your self up again and carry on with your journey.

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Tim June 20, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Ah, how timely your posts are!

I am mid term of month 6 on my Trailblazer program and have hit yet another piece of Government legislation that seems to be designed to keep my ‘offer’ firmly in the hands of Corporate big boys. I feel like giving up and ‘what’s the point’. After all, we-re supposed to jump right out of bed ready to face the World and be awesome right? If you ‘aint doing what ya love…!

Your post has left me feeling much better. After all, if I change track now the most I have lost or set back is 6 months and I’ve so many more skills than last time. So here I go again. Feet gnarled and calloused, ready to blaze another trail. Wish me luck. I guess I’ll see you all in the month 1 forums!

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Katie June 21, 2013 at 7:55 am

Glad this post has helped you Tim and to hear that you’ve been continuing Trailblazer and your efforts against legislation. You have a great mindset there–you’ve only lost a month and you’ve learned new things. Maybe I should renew my own Trailblazer efforts (which smolder in a pile of fear) since the only thing I could lose is a few months and I could gain so much more.

Gord June 20, 2013 at 11:06 pm

I wasted 30 years of my life incarcerated in head offices in the corporate world and hated every moment. I had everything that you could possibly want. I tried every motivational and self-improvement book and course I could find to discover my passion so that I could escape. And then I met an amazingly insightful mentor, Christopher Tims, who simply said “JUST LET GO”.

After several years of listening to him I finally got the message and I took early retirement at 55. But I was a burned-out, numbed, empty shell. My passion to do anything was gone.

Now, 10 years later, after chasing dreams that were no longer important and playing hard at the “good life” and still not finding my passion, I have started to follow Christopher’s words again. I have spent the last year “Doing Nothing” (just appreciating the abundance that is in my life) and I am right-sizing my life, letting go of everything that does not serve me. I cancelled the cable, got rid of the clutter of possessions from the past, scrapped the car, unpluged the TV. I started to walk to regain my health. I am beginning to see a glimmer of the future.

Appreciate the time to read, search for new ideas and think. Follow some great blogs like this one and begin to reawaken the dreams and passions of creating something that adds value to others. And start to remember. From my earliest days, I loved reading and creative writing. Building something out of words that brought a smile to someone’s face.

To get here, at the beginning of the rest of my life (Second Life), I am just learning to even let go of the words from all of the coaches and gurus and finally see the simple meanings behind them. “NOTHING MATTERS, JUST LET GO.” Trust in the currents of life to carry you to your destination.

Everyday, I have to remind myself to let go of my self-importance and just be aware of the abundance and opportunities that will come to me and accept and embrace them. It is not about your doing, it is about your being. If you are feeling uneasy then stop to listen to the message that the Universe is trying to give to you.

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Iris June 20, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Jonathan, I commend you for putting yourself out there – being vulnerable takes courage – especially for a man. As humans, yes we are perfect but we also must grow or else we die. A trainer who’s passion is to make the world a fitter place shouldn’t feel less if it doesn’t compel him anymore – in fact he should be excited and exclaim: “Ah ha! What is this jaded feeling trying to tell me? I must go and climb a mountain or build a shed or wrestle to recalibrate!” Maybe this trainer will come out wanting to be a vegan chef with a passion to make the world a healthier place – the core purpose is still there – transforming the world – but the vehicle is different and probably scary as hell but imagine the growth this man would go through to achieve it.

People often make the mistake of connecting their identity too closely to their vehicles when they are simply a means to convey your message. Jonathan your service to the world still holds and is valid, trade-in the vehicle or better yet forge your own! Maybe completely overhaul the education system and teach “77 Ways to Become Undomesticated and Discover Your True Purpose” as part of the curriculum – revolutionary stuff!

Your lesson on judgement reminds me of a quote from Einstein: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

I honour your openness and frankness. In appreciation,
Iris

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JJ June 21, 2013 at 1:36 am

Hi Jonathon,

Thanks for your post, for the most part I felt I was reading about myself, but I am still in the jaded not sure what to do next area. I had a breakdown about 2 years ago now. I had been doing youth work on top of my 9-5 job for 20 years, seeing young peoples lives change and seeing them realize their potential was the best thing about it, but I knew about 4 years ago that I needed to let it go and move onto something else, still not sure what that is, but just knew it was time for change, but then out of fear I held onto it 2 years too long and the rot set in. I was just going through the motions and eventually cracked, it was a dark place, several of my team let me down, but most of all I let myself down, by not facing the fear of the new and moving on when I knew I should have done.

so where am I now? I turn 40 this year and don’t know what I am doing with my life, all the self help rah rah stuff that I have read over the years about being the best leader etc etc just seems so shallow. I realized about a year ago, as I was coming out of the breakdown, that all my adult life I defined myself as a youth leader and yet know I wasn’t anymore, I didn’t know what to do with that. Throughout my life, despite the ups and downs, nearly dying a couple of times, selling up and moving my family away to a different part of the country, I still had youth work, but now I just feel tired, lost, confused and the strangest of all to me, lonely.

Where do I go now? I am not sure, I have a sense that I am getting to that point of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. I am trying to find out who JJ is and what does he want from life, to give to this life. The journey continues, even when you sometimes have to take a detour into the wilderness.

I am glad you are on your way back, thank you for your honesty and open heart. I have never really put all this down in writing before, so thank you for the opportunity to do that as well.

JJ

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newlifesurfer June 23, 2013 at 10:59 pm

maybe surf?? catch nature’s cure for what ails (some of) us… a wave… doesn’t matter what size the wave is or if you even stand up (at first). not making light of your hard-working and desire for commitment and need to understanding meaning to life. for me, surfing recharges my batteries and gives me peace so the road ahead becomes more clear. if you run or bike or ??, then get out and do that… good luck and hang in there…

Aly Balagamwala (@DiscoMaulvi) June 21, 2013 at 2:04 am

I have stopped reading most self-help literature. I found most of it superficial as you also term it. I am more immersed in making myself a better person, really following my religion to its truest sense ie not just rituals of worship rather a strengthening of character and purification of thoughts. I am also starting to focus more and more on my strengths and working to focus them rather than to dwell on my weaknesses and making myself “well-rounded” (my sweeth tooth already makes me quite well rounded :p).

Thanks for this from the heart post. It is especially hard for someone in the self-help personal development field to say what you did.

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Nina June 21, 2013 at 3:21 am

I’m constantly amazed at the collective consciousness the world is going through since last year.. in my life and those around me there seems to be this huge awakening, of seeing where we’re all at and realising we don’t want to be there any more. We want to be more authentic and real. For me personally, it took many events last year including a friend using me to realise, like you, the things that were or weren’t serving me. What I had to let go of was dance, which I’ve been doing for 7 years and used to love, but realised that I had completely lost the joy of it amongst the peer pressure to drill, spend countless hours on choreography and costuming, and being fake to people just to stay in the loop. I think the world is yearning for the real, the true, the divine and a lot of us are experiencing this disenchantment with where we’re at in life right now. I went to a conference where there were amazing illustrators that just spoke about how they just kept drawing and setting their own projects and it was amazing to see where they’re at now (but not in a superstar kind of way). It just made me realise how I keep putting aside things I enjoy doing for the ‘shoulds’. Apparently this energy will last into 2015 so enjoy the ride everyone! :)

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Lynn June 22, 2013 at 5:50 am

Teach what you know in a joyous way and you will be rewarded

Ewa Laursen June 21, 2013 at 3:47 am

Thanks for sharing. I am having a week of unlikely people validating things I find dear at this time in my life.

As for the subject matter I am with you all the way on the journey to limitless living. It’s hard in the world that screams at you from all sides that you have to BECOME, instead of helping you peel back the layers to who you ARE. A world so wrapped up in behavior adjustment, instead of heart work.

And as in this post I wrote (link below) a lot of this comes from people digging in or hesitating while they look for safety.

http://ewalaursen.com/the-secret-to-effortless-living/

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Vineet June 21, 2013 at 5:53 am

Very true.

Recently I had developed a similar disillusionment towards NLP which I had studied some time back.

Your post has made me suddenly stop and reflect whether I am also missing out on something valuable just due to an overload mails and blogs coming at me ?

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Roni June 21, 2013 at 5:56 am

I’ve been feeling the same lately, and have also been having a hard time identifying why, and I think you nailed it–especially with this: “it’s all about amplifying and releasing the natural greatness within me. Not trying to shape brokenness into greatness.”

I also find myself being annoyed with certain self-lovey books I have read lately mostly because the voice or word-choices of the writer simply don’t resonate with me. Instead of giving up on this genre completely, I’ve decided to make an efforts to continue exploring a variety of authors but allowing myself to stop reading anything that I feel starting to agitate me without judging myself for not connecting to it. We all deserve to spend our valuable time on things of value to us.

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Kendal June 21, 2013 at 6:13 am

Ha… I feel like I’m on my way to becoming jaded. My last boyfriend was very jaded, to the point of being negative and unsupportive.

I’ve been comparing myself to where I want to be, to other people who are where I want to be, and getting very frustrated. This year has been terrible financially and I feel like a failure. But I know that I’m really not. It’s money. And I did a lot of things I wanted to do over the past few years. I’m still living in France, and kind of enjoy coming up with creative solutions to the money problem. l’m traveling the world and learning a new language, even if it’s not exactly how I had imagined it.

But it’s hard… I see other people using these systems and advice and starting businesses and think…. why can’t I manage to do it? I get irritated and angry at the advice… it seems more and more people are becoming “life coaches” that help people “find and follow their passion!” but I’m just getting frustrated with it, not knowing who to listen to, or if I should even listen to anyone at all!

I’ve decided on my blog to share my insecurities, doubts, and bumps along the way… I read a lot of inspiring posts by other people, and I hope my blog can be inspiring too. But I also know I just don’t have it all figured out, and maybe the only one who has the answers for me… is future me.

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Carol June 21, 2013 at 6:17 am

if it makes you feel any better i had always understood your encouragement to be of the “you are perfect now share yourself with the world” sort rather than the “you can be perfect” sort.
Like the taoist concept of non-action, which to me is more like non-change, you already are everything you need to be, just need to wade through all the bullshit that’s been piled on you through society and remember who you are.

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Stephanie N June 21, 2013 at 7:02 am

I was passionnate about writing all my life but I didn’t know what to do about it so when I started University, I stopped writing. I got involved in Japanese studies, learned Japanese and went to live in Japan. It was all about Japan, and it was great but eventually I felt something was missing. I started to write again. My passion for Japan dimished and my true calling came back. By doing this 10 years detour I managed to find what I really loved.

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Katie June 21, 2013 at 7:44 am

To be honest I wasn’t satisfied the first time I read this post. I wanted more. I’ve worked through self development mantras for three years with middling success, grown cynical with them and have lately just been clinging to the obligations of daily life to get me through.

It took me another read to see the main point I missed, that its not about improving me, its about being me. To be honest, that didn’t sink in fully until I just typed it.

I’ve been in a really dark place and so unconfident in myself and the value of doing anything (even if it would be just for me/just for fun). I wanted more because while you’ve shown me a bit of light, I have no idea how to climb out of this hole.

I’ve never trusted that ‘me’ is the ‘real me’ so its hard to know where to begin and how to convince my rational mind that doing whatever is ‘me’ has value. I’m not sure if I have a conclusion to this comment, just felt compelled to share. I’ll keep reading the comments here, it kinds of helps.

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newlifesurfer June 23, 2013 at 10:42 pm

not a stranger to being in really dark places… I know that when I’ve been doing something for a long enough time, I really shouldn’t have to keep “checking the boxes”. the darkness along with all the other “noise” (experts, information, etc. – all telling you what you should do, how, when…) can suppress your natural instincts. maybe first try to quiet all the noise (stop listening, trying to make sense of it all)and enjoy the simple light and warmth of a sunny morning and peaceful day in a calm and beautiful spot. perhaps this could help strip away or melt some of the layers of stuff burying your pshche. let it breath fresh air, be grateful for that experience and it’s simplicity, and soak up the light (which will hopefully push out the darkness). as layers fall away, maybe your intuition can re-wire you – you will know what’s best, how to do it, and when… all without even really thinking about it. I’m no expert – this just seems like it might help. it has for me… hope it does… good luck and hang in there :)

Gina Musa June 21, 2013 at 8:51 am

Lovely post Jonathan – I really appreciate your honesty. It is so easy to ‘compare our insides with other people’s outsides’ and so I really like to hear people I admire (i.e. you!) being authentic and open about their own struggles (makes me feel so much better :-)). I’ve never really bought the ‘5 easy steps’ approach to things, (even though I’m attracted by the idea) – but for me it has to be all about self-awareness, looking deep inside ourselves and healing the bits that need that. In doing this, inevitably we will outgrow some things and then be drawn to others to take us onto our next step.

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Karen Renee June 21, 2013 at 9:02 am

Over the past few years as I actively challenged all I had believed (and expected of others) out of a desire to find what wouldn’t break under attack, I’ve been through the same process of … irritation with a common shallow identification with once-great/seemingly inspiring teachings that I was seeing everywhere. People just believed what they were told superficially without much heart investment,resulting in a fear of questions and growth, and I felt sick because I’d been part of the problem for so long.

Books that once changed my life became something I hesitated to recommend … until I realized I wouldn’t have arrived where I am without the stages in between. Those viewpoints played their role until they became insufficient. Nobody skips the process, and when they do it often points to a veneer or an act instead of authentic unveiling.

I began to see that the breaking process I was going through wasn’t actually harming me … that every painful shattering was only ideas and beliefs that had been weighing down my identity. It’s incredible how many layers of “I should” and “they say” can build up over authenticity, even in people who deeply desire to be authentic.

I can’t judge anyone’s path. They, too, are in a process and will be amazed by small fragments of truth in a mess of nonsense, just because those truths are new to them. One day they, too, will discard the nonsense and find their way to the good stuff. And if they don’t? Well, that doesn’t mean they weren’t progressing all the same. Can I say I have broken every lie, that I reject all nonsense? No. I can’t know how much more there is to authenticity, until I experience it.

I’ll be exploring and testing and growing throughout the rest of my life. All I can do is be where I am along the way and hope it is a help to others.

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Ti June 21, 2013 at 10:21 am

Let me add my thanks, Jonathan. In the past year, I’ve become unsatisfied with the Self Help Olympics. Let someone else take the podium; it’s time to take all that I’ve learned and, with great gratitude, turn inward. I made my 2014 to-do list. Three items: 1) free myself from debt, 2) listen to me first, and 3) make stuff, especially art.

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Darius B. June 21, 2013 at 10:59 am

My title would say “How My Passion Died (And How I Walked Away)” :)

I would say the situation was rather similar, I’ve been on and off self-development for about 6 to 8 years and I am fortunate enough to say that I have improved my life tremendously, experienced feats that just few years ago seemed like fiction.

Naturally, I wanted to share this with everyone, so I’ve started writing and very quickly it became an e-book. One that I decided to give away for free. Woohoo.. right?

Not exactly, because in the following months, when I tried writing I realized that I’ve already gave all my best away, that is, continuing to write felt fake, forced and truthfully, the content that came out afterwards was pretty crappy.

I started getting annoyed by seeing all the generic content “X weird ways to do Y” where authors obviously had no first hand experience in actually handling the problem. And then it struck me – I was trying to do the same! Damn, that was a nice kick in the ass :)

When starting my project I promised myself that I’ll never become one of those “gurus”, who don’t walk the talk, there’s enough armchair experts already and we need more people reporting from the field. So I re-evaluated my life and decided to walk away.

Funny things happen when you say “No” to something “Good” and you start noticing “Great” opportunities. For me this meant new business opportunities that are not internet based and in a completely different industry than our current offline business.

The road ahead is paved with extraordinary challenges along the way (admittedly, still feeling intimated just thinking about them) and yet I am delighted to report that my eyes are burning with passion again, just a different passion.

On a side note, I realize that because it’s like the 999th comment in the article (it’s a great article after all) probably no one will read this, but strangely it feels good to get this off my chest. So I thank you for this opportunity :)

Cheers.

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Gandhi June 21, 2013 at 11:14 am

My experience is,
there is a constant transformation process ‘on’ and
our life matter (soul) has been witnessing it.
so, for soul it becomes a movie screened in frames (slow speed) and
thus it recognizes the smaller changes,
sometimes with resistance – sometimes without – sometimes trying to get back to previous state & sometimes trying to rush faster to the new :)

i know, this is just another ‘story’ but, when i believe it, it opens new realms.

with luv,

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noelle lake June 21, 2013 at 11:46 am

Yes! Well said. I’m a fan of nonjudgement – the very best stuff comes out of it. Plus, you respond to what you respond to when you do. No crime in that.

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Katherine Harms June 21, 2013 at 12:53 pm

I know what you are talking about. I do this to myself every day. I get an idea, and the first time I see some defect or need for change, I throw in the towel mentally. “I can’t do this!” I want to make a success of my project so very much, but something inside keeps telling me I don’t know enough, nobody wants to hear from me, and who do I think I am anyway.
I love 5AM. At 5AM I am invincible. Somewhere along the road to lunch, things get more challenging. Thanks for sharing something that must be very tough to admit to yourself, let alone share with the world. Thank you very much. I will remember your story when my own demon hangs his head over my shoulder and says, “That really is about the stupidest post I ever read.”

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Teresa June 21, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Dear Jonathan,

My tendency is not to trust those who never admit to being challenged or lost.

Reading this post was quite emotional for me, it’s beautifully written and completely resonants!
I worked my ass off two full years while holding a day job to pursue my dream, then shortly after launching, I found myself feeling completely emptied out and without the ability to hear my own voice. I invested so much time and money in what others had to say, I never thought to ask Why should I even listen to their shit Or if what they said really mattered, and added significant value to my life! It turns out, some of it did not.
I got so sucked into following others lead, I was left to resent and feel betrayed by those I paid big dollars to, who turned out to be disloyal. I came to realize what a game online marketing is and how manipulative many people are, preying on the vulnerability and desperation of others to buy in. Sometimes the smoke and mirrors make it difficult to tell what exactly you’re getting. Great marketers know how to covert, but that doesn’t make them good honest business people who care genuinely about their customers. Often times, their just very slick about manipulation….and if that’s the model you choose, and you own it, there’s nothing wrong with it. But, I didn’t see all this stuff clearly, like I do now. It was a huge wake-up call.

I know I have everything I need to do the work I really love doing. And the logistical business stuff is going to take some time. It’s more important I find people who see the value in working with me, just as things are, rather than people who are looking for a lot of visual fluff, masked with “feel good” messaging and no substance.

Thank you for allowing your own vulnerability to serve others and to present it in such way, that so many people will benefit.

It’s equally beautiful to see all the comments shared here.
With Gratitude~

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Joyce June 21, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Man, one of the reasons I look forward to sharing your ideas is that you are honest about how hard it is to live authentically. So often it seems So. Much. Easier. to give up dreams, give up trying, blend in with the herd and watch Dancing with the Stars to find meaning. It seems to work for them, you know? I can lose my passion six times a day on occasion, but it’s things like your posts that help me re-commit. Thanks for having the courage to be scared. It helps me do the same.

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Russell Mease June 21, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Jonathan, As I sit down to publish the SECOND post on my new site about Living Unconventionally, I am taking stock of the jaded and disillusioned out there who may be tired of the same old “rah-rah” advice.

At the same time, I believe there are masses of people who need to here the messages that you, me, and other’s offer. I have had thoughts of doubt recently, “Who do I think I am?” “Why should they listen to me when there are so many more qualified people to give advice?”

I think the key is to always be myself, offer what I can to the world without apology, and be authentic. If I keep these things in mind, I believe there will always be an audience for that.

Thanks for talking about this.

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Sandip Mukherjee June 21, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Hi Jonathan! This is Sandip from India. I came to your site yesterday only. Yesterday till midnight I read the Backpack you sent. Not yet finished, but so far a very interesting reading. Good job. This post of yours sounds so honest, fearless and straight from the heart. Yes, I also felt the same like you … and that’s why I am here. Change is the only constant thing in this. Why should we feel ashamed then if we start doubting something which till yesterday we loved so much. This is good, this is healthy. Capacity of unlearning and relearning is no doubt a virtue, a rare quality.

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Lynn June 22, 2013 at 5:45 am

Its easier to accept God’s plan if you remember humans interject their free will into it and screw it up all the time. I get the greatest satisfaction out of weathering a storm… not questioning why it rained.

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Jennifer June 22, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this, Jonathan! So very honest of you, and a great read. I think everyone goes through these kinds of ups and downs, and there is always something to be learned from every part of it (even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time!)

Thank you for all you do!

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Aaron Morton June 23, 2013 at 1:10 am

I wouldn’t say I am jaded but I certainly have a preference with some aspects of personal development than others.

I think it is natural as humans to (a) change our focus and opinion on things as we progress through life and is influenced heavily by ‘where we are at’ in the world at the time. If we feel lost, it is comforting to find spirituality and hear that its ok. If we are motivated to achieve it is comforting to read about ‘blueprints to achieve your goals. (b) filter in what is going on in the world to conform with our current outlook in life in order to confirm and solidify that outlook.

For me, I’m in a ‘creating’ stage in my life so I am not turned on by the spiritual side of personal development where there is a never ending loop of metaphors, prompted more for understanding and being in the now. However I understand some people are at a point where they need that and Im sure there will be a point when I do too.

Thanks for your post Jonathan.

Aaron Morton
The Confidence Lounge

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Deborah June 23, 2013 at 5:48 am

Who know if you will read this. I want to say you hit a “cord” that runs through all people who are conscious or becoming conscious about what their life is and isn’t. You are so right that when we feel burnt out and judgmental we go after others, become discontent and our own fire becomes extinquished. What ways can we keep the home fires blazing? Especially in the mist of the worst emotional holes we get ourselves into? It is amazing how someone can be so successful and yet still deal with the same issues. Do you think it is because we don’t let ourselves play enough? Take enough breaks? Stopped being silly? Acting like a child? Have great experiences that expand our visions and our heart? We don’t feel real and genuine love? Are we resisting change, challenge or full of self righteousness? It can be any or all of these or something else. You are one of the people who sounds genuine and sincere when you write. You don’t sound like you are trying to sell a product, service or endorse something. You aren’t endorsing yourself, as so many “leaders” do. That is why people probably follow you the most. You are sincere and believable. You aren’t rah rah or any of those things others put out there. You aren’t “I know it all so listen to me.” Thanks for sharing and caring so much that you are open and honest with your readers. When one overcomes it is the boast that pulls the whole chain of us up another notch as well. Thanks for being the one of the “one”. Have a great day! Experience the Joy and I look forward to hearing from you tomorrow.

Deborah

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Mark June 23, 2013 at 9:17 am

I relate to your story of being jaded, Jon, and with the comments here. One problem I’m having right now is with the language around spiritual healing. I was at a conference today dealing with creating a national network of spiritual healers and energy workers, and words were flying around like “holding space,” “safe space,” “holding yourself,” “honoring this,” “brilliance,” “beautiful beings,” etc. I’m sure you all know the vocab.

The thing is, I used to really like these words. I was grateful for this language at first; when it was new to me it gave me new concepts and perspectives. But I’ve since started wincing and feeling almost angry when I here people use it in a way that feels shorthand, or don’t explain it – when it seems to be, like you said, processed and empty.

What do I do? How can I appreciate language that now feels hollow to me? And how can I avoid speaking the words in a hollow way myself, but still use them when it’s meaningful?

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newlifesurfer June 23, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Gettin’ to this late in the game… Been busy just surviving and working thru a long and brutal betrayal of the heart (23+ years of commitment) which destroyed my life. When faced with a LOT less time on this rock than once there was, you realize that now EVERY moment counts!! Long story short… spent most of that 23+ years refining specialized skills within Corp America (basically savin’ asses) in order to provide for my family – home, lifestyle, etc. Balancing work and home is usually challenging for most people – was no different for me… Became very jaded having to constantly fix major problems, clean up messes and do the work of 5-6 people (while getting paid for 1 person). As Indiana Jones said, “It’s not the age, it’s the mileage…” After the last 3+ years of hell (so 26+ years for those counting…), the cloud cover should be clearing – finally… Time to get to it. Time to put it in over-drive. Not being a spring chicken (anymore), faith, grit, commitment and not settling or selling out will ALL need amplification (to one of Johathan’s points…). Can be scary stuff, but no time for fear…

A key (there are hopefully only a small few ones that matter…) for me has been trying to find out how to have gratitude – every day… Gratitude is a power that can re-build your strength. The pain and suffering sometimes blacks out everything but the throbbing aches from having been beat to a pulp – emotionally and spiritually. Physically the toll mounts as well cuz you stop your workouts, healthy eating, sleeping, etc. Like others who have posted – those who’ve experienced great loss and those struggling with the blah’s and rah rah’s – trying to be grateful (and mindful and purposeful of this state of being) every day could be a positive daily “re-set” routine for your psyche (and it only takes seconds – literally). When you’re “in it” (all the crap of life…), it’s hard – ridiculously hard – to try to find the good in anything and to feel positive. For me, knowing the “why” I’m here helps frame my days, get stronger and make progress. When I slip and/or don’t make as much progress as I should, then being mindful of my responsibility to my “why” and to make a difference so I in turn can help others, renews me and helps refocus my efforts.
My heart-felt prayers and wishes go out to S.R. – please just “stay” with it and do NOT quit… sift (as you say)… find the simple things to be grateful for – every day… a beautiful sunny morning and day, peace and calm within quiet moments… slowly, daily, re-build your strength and search for the “why” that will keep you here. Then, embrace it and wear it proudly – live your life with purpose and impact – make a difference… Sometimes the path feels like you travel it alone for awhile though you are not alone… take time to feel and work thru all of it… others are waiting for (and need) the new and stronger you…
God bless, namaste, and wishes for good vibes…

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Tamera Lay June 23, 2013 at 10:21 pm

I absolutely have! I am a life coach and an actor. I love them both equally and wanted to do both, so I did! But as an actor there’s so much of the business that I don’t like/agree with, so a while back I found myself in a really negative space. I realized I had lost my faith in myself and my talent. It was horrifying for me, because it had never happened before. I was jaded and bitter for the first time in my life when it came to my acting. When I realized this, I decided to nip it in the butt and see what was going on inside. After a lot of work, I was able to raise my faith and regain my positive attitude by reminding myself why I loved performing os much and of all the positive things it has brought to my life.

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Jo Casey June 26, 2013 at 12:32 am

You’re like a breath of fresh air Jonathan. I’ve become sick of the generic ‘do what you love’, ‘just think positive’ BS that’s out there – and then, like you, I hate myself for being so judgmental and cynical!

The thing is, life doesn’t run smoothly and it’s unrealistic to think that we’re going to be upbeat, happy and positive all the time. But there’s a danger in personal development ‘rah rah’, however well meaning, becomes judgmental and leaves people feeling bad for feeling bad – like they’re not measuring up to the positive bar.

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Monica June 26, 2013 at 11:47 am

Spot On!

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Cme June 27, 2013 at 11:55 am

Hi Iris, I remember reading a quote ‘Don’t compare chapter 1 of your life to someone else’s chapter 10’. I guess the reverse could be applicable for you. The motivational content on blogs promoting positive change are likely to appeal more to those who can relate to the content, and that cannot be forever. I have recently discovered these personal development blogs and I connect with some, not all their content. Since I’m going through a phase in my life where many things are changing, reading about others who went through positive or even traumatic change helps me deal with mine!

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Mariana July 9, 2013 at 4:46 am

I did not take to that point, but I also see the descendant trend of my enthousiasm and my energy. I never really believed the “follow your passion and everything will come”, but I’ve really dreamt it was true. It feels good to know that I am not the only one. You are really a leader for all of us :)

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Ritu July 25, 2013 at 7:52 am

I love this post so much! I started my life coaching site in January, launched in February with a $700 party (that’s huuuge for me to put into a “hobby”), got some traction, got about 200 people on my list and then around June I started to become jaded. I’m still trying to find a way to open my closing heart again. I hit the same wall as you… I don’t want to “fix” you or anyone else because I respect their individual journey. Yet, I guess I have to remember that I have a part to play in just BEING there for someone if or when they need it.

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Esther September 8, 2013 at 11:56 am

Great post. Your openness and honesty has reached me right at a time I was feeling overwhelmingly guilty, confused and lost over my sudden rejection of the self-development world…despite it saving me this last year and (until now) inspiring me to become a life coach.

For now, I’ve decided that my only focus will be to try and make this Rumi quote a reality for me: “I have been a seeker and still am, but I stopped asking books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my soul”.

Thanks for reaching out, dude.

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Erin McNaughton October 16, 2013 at 3:06 pm

This really struck deep with me. I had a call with Mike Hrostoski this weekend, and our discussion concluded with the realization that I’ve outgrown my blog. I began it 3 years ago and am an entirely different person that I was at 22. The universe has been throwing wrenches left and right, but I haven’t been listening to them.

I don’t think I’m alone in feeling that my “big projects” are like children–you create, they challenge; you sacrifice, they thrive–but there comes a time where you need to either push them harder or let them go. My writing is emotionally-driven yet, somehow, my heart is not as involved in the process as it once was. I’ve lost sight of my vision and my calling. My greatest passion somehow became an item on my to-do list; that breaks my heart. This is such a timely reminder to *truly* start listening to my heart again, to recognize the red flags and release the baggage.

Thank you for you honesty and openness, Jonathan. Keep on living your beautiful truth.

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Maria February 16, 2016 at 12:06 pm

Thank you Jonathan, for opening your soul and speaking it’s truth.

When I began my training as a shaman, my Spiritual Guides gave me one foundational instruction: “You do it first and you share and show.” Therein began my “show, don’t tell” approach to passing on the life-giving wisdom I have been blessed with.

I don’t know if it’s because shamans have a practical approach to spirituality or because I’m a kinetic, experiential learner, but I’ve developed my “show, don’t tell” approach to this day. Storytelling has allowed me to share the depth and breadth of my own processes in a story instead of handing down the principles or results. Performing my stories has allowed me to “go there” again and then take others with me experientially. And even though I can go into in-depth and at-length principles and insights, at every step I will share my own process.

Right now I am further transforming my teachings by transforming my books into play experiences, so that people can engage their creativity and do the process experientially as they read. The reason why I’m exploring this has to do with what you share here. We are too bombarded mentally by too many theories and we are tired. We have less and less time and more sifting through more bullshit than ever. I was getting a sense that I had to make even my spiritual and personal growth books experiential and to bring more of my art so that people can employ their creativity in the journey. Creativity makes the complex easier without trivializing it.

As I read this beautiful sharing I realized the pristine wisdom of my spirit teachers when they said: “You do it first, then share and show.”

We are violently bombarded with spiritual and growth language from people who have not dove into their pain to find their medicine and therefore have stayed in the surface of what I call their Second-hand Heart.” I know a few famous personal growth gurus that actually say that they “read so many personal growth books” that they thought they were experts. This gives me the shivers. Spirituality is not a mental know-how, but a living soulful journey. I’ve met too many spiritually minded people who are exactly that: minding spirituality mentally and believing that they are enlightened so now they can pass judgement on others and “show them the way.” These people are being lead by their shadows, not their light.

Oh my Goddess, I could go on. It’s a flood of formulas. So it’s easy to get jaded, especially if you are a truth-seeker and truth-sayer and if you listen to your Soul.

Maybe we lose our resonance antenna by digesting too much garbage; and we need to fine tune them. When we are in resonance with our Soul we do recognize the “bell” of truth and the whisper of soul.

There’s also the other side; we as teachers, guides or catalysts. When we try to create income or systems, we are faced with a lot of pragmatic, well-intentioned but formulaic advise. We are told how to communicate in our marketing. We are told how to attract our niche. It goes on and on and some of it is good but lots of it has nothing to do with who we are, our soul’s call or our spiritual truth. Very very few business mentors help you uncover your radiance and express your Essence as your true branding. Even fewer yet help you develop your offer from your core life purpose. It’s all about what the market wants, and while I understand meeting people where they are I also understand this can lead to widespread mediocrity, opportunism and the fix-it superficiality that injures our perfect soul.Especially pernicious is the fear-based marketing and other manipulative bullshit sold to experts in order to make sales.

So when you visit a spiritual guru or personal growth expert, you may find a film overlay through his or her language that is the marketing attempts they are working with. Sometimes this makes it hard to touch the true vibration and quality of this expert. Therefore, we may err in our choices.

Then again, sometimes we lose motivation because we are pushing, overexerting and fixing ourselves and we get exhausted. I’ve learned that when I lose motivation the first thing I check is how many hours I’ve been working and what my BodySoul is telling me I have neglected; how far I’ve strayed from my Essence in trying to achieve my goals.

There’s so much more I’d like to say, but I mainly want to thank you for your impeccable honesty and encourage you to stay in your deepest truth. It heals us so much!

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Ashley February 16, 2016 at 2:57 pm

yes! I so resonate with this. I have to continually check in with myself to make sure that I am not being swept away by my stories and my ego & am instead driven by a desire to better know and understand myself and to utilize my natural abilities & witness my goodness. I tend to get really judge-y when I step outside of my purpose & mission and focus more on my outer experiences. Everything then seems a bit shallow and processed. Thanks for putting in to words my sentiments. You are a talented writer!

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Christine Yole February 16, 2016 at 6:42 pm

For me it went deep, I really loved people and kept running up against people not receiving my love or understanding me (childhood experiences) and then later it became a reality of “I have so much to give but nobody can receive it,” and went to developing beliefs such as “people aren’t looking for transformation” and I just have to accept that. Instead of offering counselling and transformational coaching, I ended up shutting down and just offering relaxation massage,and was committed to give what people could receive and gave up on what I most desired to offer. I had a lot of clients and reasonable success but so much of me was hiding.

In recent months I’ve been re-establishing my willingness to offer the work I love most and realizing that loving and offering my presence and attention is way more transformational than any tools, methods and processes I used to stand behind. I had a follow up session with this couple I counselled a few weeks back and they didn’t know what to talk about, whereas in our first session they were triggered, upset with each other, and afraid about how the other would depict them and their behaviors. It was amazing to see the shift! I can feel my heart opening again, and that desire to show up and contribute. I’m grateful for the people in my life who have been like, come on, you are brilliant, why are you hiding?!! and me finally having the courage and willingness to extend my love and offer my skills, talents and abilities, rather then maintaining the idea that there was no one there to receive them and that I couldn’t handle more disappointment. It’s amazing how much that childhood imprinting can distort the perception of what’s actually true! Thanks for the blog post. I appreciate your sharing your experience.

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Helen February 16, 2016 at 8:32 pm

I would say that you are the most interesting “online life coach whatever :)” I’ve come across, but today’s post is as if it’s written by one from “the crowd” that you felt disappointed at in the beginning of the story. Actually I’ll be honest and say it’s **the only** post by you that I find uninteresting – and every single one till now felt tremendously interesting.
Is your account hacked? :)

Well, my conclusion is that it’s probably speaking to a different category of people than me right now, and they probably need these words.

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