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By always focusing on what we have yet to attain, we rob ourselves of the joy of where we already are.
By affirming what we lack, we fail to appreciate all that we already have.
By obsessing on destinations, we don’t fully enjoy the journey.

It is incredibly tempting to assume that our life will be better when___________(fill in the blank)

This plays itself out in the sphere of career in many ways, including:

  • The unemployed envy the employed
  • 9-5 ers envy those with time and freedom in their schedules
  • People who want to quit their jobs envying those who are starting their own business
  • Small biz owners envy the consistent hours and paychecks of employees
  • Solopreneurs envy those with business partners or teams

Yet the great irony is that while you are assuming the grass is greener in someone’s yard, they may be projecting the exact same onto your yard. There are pluses and minuses to every position in the world. You may be worse off than someone, but you are certainly better off than many. How happy you are is more a matter of your perspective of your situation than it is of your actual situation.

The key is to focus on all the aspects of your current situation that you are grateful for and to appreciate it for what it is. Then as you move towards more freedom, more security, more money, more (fill in the blank) you can do it from a healthier place. You will still move forward and improve your situation, but you can enjoy yourself along the way. You don’t need to postpone gratitude and joy until we get to xyz…you can find it by realizing how  pretty darn green the grass actually is where you are now.


This is the 1st post in a new Series-
Key Principles for Creative Life & Career Design.


Knowing what is possible for you in your careers scope and impact is greatly supported by finding exemplary role models who’s works and achievements truly inspire you. They don’t even need to be accessible or alive to act as a muse and guiding force.

“Almost all artists derive succor from the dead. The dead continue to give willingly when the living won’t return phone calls and refuse to remember your name. Holding fast to your creative heritage is a way of building an impassioned support system without dealing with anybody! …Having a deep love and understanding for the men and women whose work has inspired and influenced your own can create a spiritual family that has just as much power as a living friend.” -Carol Lloyd from the book ‘Creating a Life Worth Living’

Of course, it is more ideal is if you can find a role model who is not only alive, but also willing to do some active mentoring with you. These relationships can be hard to come by, and the people worth having them with are often very busy. In all centuries previous to ours, apprenticeships and mentorships were the primary ways that trades were learned. Even though we have come so far from that now, many of us feel a sense of nostalgia, or a yearning for that sort of relationship. And anyone with a good heart who has had a fruitful career wants to find ways to help those who are coming up with similar callings. So if you do find a living role model from who’s guidance you would greatly benefit, create a win-win proposal of how you can also benefit them and then pitch it to them!

My own college experience was more based on mentors and advisors than teachers. I did a self-designed degree program through Prescott College (Integrative Arts major & applied Ecopsychology minor). Each course that I designed had to have a clear objective, a set of activities to meet that objective, method of evaluation, and a local mentor who would oversee the course. I was responsible for finding that local mentor and requesting their help. Even though the monetary exchange was very small, I almost always got a yes, and so for 4 years, at any given time I was engaged with 3 or 4 mentors loosely helping me to achieve the objectives of my courses. It was very enriching to work with so many people already established while I was just a student, including authors and key contributors to my field. One of those mentors in particular became a key advisor to me and is now on my board of advisors for Catalyst Arts.

Now most of my role models are virtual and I tap their wisdom through their books and their examples.

Integration Exercises:

1.) Write a list of 3-5 people who’s career path inspires you and what it is about their work that turns you on.

2.) What would your ideal apprenticeship be? Who is the teacher (if they don’t exist imagine them up) and what are you learning from them?

3.) Make a word document of web sites and bios of anyone you come across who does something either similar to you or something you aspire to do. You can also put businesses and organizations on this list. I call mine ‘Role Models’ and open it up when I need a good reminder of what is possible 5-25 years down the road.

We are all familiar with the saying “Be careful what you ask for, you might just get it.” But what about: be specific about what you ask for or you might get the wrong thing?

For example, you don’t go into a restaurant and ask for a salad and assume that it will have the toppings and dressing that you like on it. And if you ask for a salad and get a generic boring salad instead of the spinach salad with roasted beets and warm goat cheese that you later realize was what you really wanted, you can’t blame them for bringing you a generic dish when you didn’t clearly ask for what you want. Even if you ask for what you want and they can’t make it, there is bound to be a restaurant that can.

This semi obvious wisdom in the salad metaphor translates to more profound scenarios such as manifesting the right apartment, shoes, partner, or job. Although in these cases, we don’t have a waiter taking our order, instead we are engaging (consciously or unconsciously) with whatever invisible forces move behind the scenes to make things happen. Many prefer to call this force God, or a variation thereof, and though it may sound somewhat vague, overused, or new agey, I’m going to refer to this great force beyond us as ‘the Universe’.

I am not necessarily just another proponent of the “Secret” philosophy that we can command cars and careers and money from the Universe and it must comply if we do it right. There is some selfishness in this spin on Universal law that I am a bit uncomfortable with. Yet the principles of manifestation seem to be pretty consistent across the many philosophies that proclaim them. These principles involve clarifying your desire, really asking for it, and then combining faith, gratitude and action till it comes to be.

I have had so many experiential confirmations of how easeful manifestation can be that now specificity is mandatory. So when it is time to manifest a new home, I write down the key features that my new home needs to have, from closet size to feel to price and place it on my wall or altar during my search. I still do all the work to find a place, but each time I have done this, I have magically found the place that matched my list.

So let’s take this principle into the realm of jobs. Jobs and money tend to be a place that many of us experience a frustration or a lack of easeful manifestation of just the right situation. But being a career coach in a recession time, I can’t oversimplify the matter by saying that it’s only a question of ask and you shall receive. There are limitations due to the socio-economic design of our modern society, and then there are limitations due to the scope of our own thinking. Yet specificity is still key here in manifesting a good fitting job. Just like our lunch dish, we don’t go to a company and ask for “a” job, we apply for a specific job and in some cases it doesn’t exist and we have to create it. (which will need to be the topic of a future blog post)

The specificity principle is not just applicable for manifesting, it is also a key for marketing. If you put out an ad saying Nice Massage available, you will get a fraction of the response then if I say Therapeutic Massage specializing in low back injuries or neck and shoulder pain from desk jobs. That is why everyone is saying niche niche niche. In the overwhelming array of options, you won’t hit a target unless you are aimed, and your target audience will not find you unless you hone in directly on them and their aims.

We need to have clarity in order to have this level of precision, and we have to be diligently curious and honest with ourselves to get that clarity. We have to ask ourselves over and over again, “What do I really want to be or to do?” What am I really good at? What is my biggest issue and what support do I need to solve it? What do I really want or really need right now?  What can I offer that will help others and feel fulfilling?

If it is clarity you want, then ask the Universe for the specific clarity that you need, and be willing to do the work to find it. Journaling, bouncing thoughts off best friends, or hiring a coach can all help you hone in on the correct target. If you already know what you want then challenge yourself to get really specific and put it on paper and ask the Universe for exactly that. If it is meant to be, it will be. And if you ask for it specifically, so much greater are the chances that your cherished desire will indeed be realized.

Cheers to your Clear and Easeful Manifestations,

Audette Sophia