Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation: What Should You Be Doing With Your Life?

Admin Monday Motivation 24 Comments

Working part-time at lululemon athletica a few years back was a game-changer for me. The first week of training, when I was expecting to learn how to sell the crap out of athletic apparel, I was taken down a completely different training track. I was asked to listen to (are you sitting down?) a series of motivational CDs from Brian Tracy entitled “The Psychology of Achievement.” Seriously. I remember sitting there listening and feverishly taking notes because I was on the brink of starting Balanced Bites as an organic, gluten-free meal delivery business. Who are we kidding? I’m pretty sure those hot black pants sell themselves. Somehow, lululemon had the notion that if they supported their people in following their passion, that they’d end up with a superior staff-base; some of whom would stay for years and go on to become managers, some of whom would “graduate” on to follow their dreams outside of the sea of black and brightly-colored lycra.

Everything this Brian Tracy guy said resonated with me and I was hooked. His voice reminded me of a trusted grandfather teaching me about life and how things work. He spoke a lot about things like mindset, choices and feeling in control of your life, forgiveness about things in the past, your relationship with your parents or partner and even concepts like the law of attraction and the law of expectation. My brain was on overload as I was finally listening to someone verbalize the way I had been trying to live my life but that always felt sort of against-the-grain. I was following my passion every step of the way, even if it took some time to find how that passion was going to translate into a career.

Next up in our training was an exercise where we were to write down answers to the following three questions:

1. What are you deeply passionate about? (This one’s obvious.)

2. What are you or can you be “best in the world” at? (What are your best skills?)

3. What drives your economic engine? (How do you/can you make money?)

Go ahead. Take some time and do the same – write down answers to the above three questions. Now draw a Venn diagram of three circles on a page that all intersect in the center (as shown above). You see that tiny spot in the center where they all intersect? Imagine a job that either exists or that you can create for yourself that would make those three things intersect. This is called a career hedgehog. I don’t make this stuff up!


I know this may seem a bit far-out, but consider this: this diagram may change over time. When I first completed mine, it solidified for me that I was doing the right thing with starting a meal business.

1. I am deeply passionate about nutrition and its impact on health.

2. I am “best in the world” at putting together healthy meals that tasted good and didn’t make people feel deprived or on a “diet.”

3. I have a market of people ready to buy prepared meals from me.



Tiny hedgehogs. Don’t let them choose your next career. Just sayin’.

Now, clearly this isn’t where I am today, but I think that’s the beauty part: your hedgehog is ever-evolving. What’s interesting is that my passion has not changed, but what I’ve discovered about what I’m “best in the world at” (and that doesn’t mean other people aren’t also best at it!) and how I’d make money following my passion and skills would change. And that’s okay! Being honest with yourself about choices that may not be the best is what opens you up to finding out what the next step to take might be.  I learned rather quickly that, while I was good at cooking meals for others and could sell them, I was feeling unfulfilled when I was cooking FOR other people rather than teaching them how to do it themselves. I was also not going to be able to keep my economic engine afloat without a small business loan, and that wasn’t something I wanted to take-on. In my gut I knew that wasn’t my calling. But I wouldn’t have known it without trying.

What’s awesome about getting it a bit “wrong” with that previous hedgehog is that the next time I sat down to create one, I had that much more insight into the second and third questions.

So now my hedgehog looks something like this:

1. I am deeply passionate about nutrition and its impact on health.

2. I am “best in the world” at helping others to understand how food impacts their body and implement changes to create a new lifestyle.

3. I can coach clients 1:1, teach classes and write educational materials.

I asked some of the Balanced Bites fans on Facebook what they are “best in the word” at, here’s what a few of them said:

Alison B: “I am the best in the world at listening to friends and offering moral support. EVERYONE who is friends with me knows that I am always there for them!”

Valerie D: “Teaching math to those who find math awful, terrible, and dreadful”

Trina H: “I am the best single parent of 4 beautiful, healthy, very intellegent children!”

Tammy S.: “I’m good at seeing the problem from different perspectives and coming up with a viable solution and helping others to see the “other side” of an issue to be able to make an informed decision. I’m also great at following my intuition which is usually right. I read situations and people very well, for the most part.”

So, what’s your hedgehog?

Enjoy & be well!

Diane Sanfilippo
BS, Certified Nutrition Educator, C.H.E.K. Holistic Lifestyle Coach
San Francisco Nutritionist & Paleo Nutritionist serving the Bay Area and beyond via phone & Skype consultations.

Author of “The Practical Paleo Nutrition Guide Book.”
An 80-Page eBook guide to making a Paleo diet easy! Filled with tips, tricks, meal planning tools and recipes.


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