The voodoo that I do

When I put out the request for blog topics to help my writers block I felt certain I would get a challenge from @stirthesource. Now I don’t mean that in any derogatory sense as in the short space of time I have known Natasha she has really helped my energy levels and we’ve even made a short film together but boy oh boy she asks tough questions so here we go – “Why do you do what you do?” Now the aforementioned film deals with what drew me to work as a coach and I’m still editing it so you’ll have to wait for that but lets take a punt at this one in a general sense.

A number of years ago I was rather lost. I couldn’t work out my direction, couldn’t maintain a relationship and struggled with health and career issues. I’d read a few self help books and still couldn’t get any traction. I could think of plenty of things I didn’t want in my life but narrowing down what I did want was a real problem. I decided to follow this reverse engineering and start to discard the things I didn’t want. Now I won’t suggest it wasn’t hard letting go of certain possessions, dreams, hopes (and in some particularly sad cases, friends) and yet slowly but surely this gave me clarity. I started to dig down in to a few words that had particular meaning for me, to really understand my core motivations and desires. I needed to get far beyond behaviour and deep in to what I believed would help me succeed, what I truly valued. I came up with a little motto to help me out “Seek knowledge and adventure, be open, kind and loyal”. I decided to run much of my decision making through this filter – lets take a look at some examples

  • Go to California to study and then go hiking – yep, seeking knowledge and adventure there
  • Support two different friends and my mother through cancer, whatever it took – kind and loyal
  • Qualify as a mediator – being open to new views and insights
  • Do a charity bike ride for Mind – adventure and kindess

It even works with the simple stuff

  • Take exercise – being kind to myself
  • Which movie to watch – seek knowledge
  • Where to go on holiday – adventure
  • Where to go for a dinner out – be open to new experiences.

Now I’m obviously not suggesting that those words would work for you but I do feel that working out your approach can be useful. Most of us struggle at some point in our lives over what our “purpose” is or what our “legacy” will be and sometimes that tension can lead to us taking our eye off the ball and doing precisely nothing. Natasha asked why I do what I do, well I live by these watchwords because they energise me, they drive me forward and also connect me to those I love.

Now the call to action? Take a look at what words you want to live by see where it takes you.

As ever, if want to talk more, you can find me here, on twitter @projectlibero or over at


About Jon Bartlett

I'm a coach, blogging on things that occur to me, that I want to share and any other fun stuff I find lying around in the real world.
This entry was posted in Coaching, Work. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The voodoo that I do

  1. Susanna Way says:

    This is really so true – I honour the honesty with which you so eloquently write!

  2. monoloco says:

    Great post John, I’m really impressed with the clarity you have about what you truly value and how it helps you test decisions. I think we could all do with seeking a bit more insight into what really gives us energy.

  3. Pingback: Nifty Fifty | projectlibero

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