Posts Tagged ‘Barbara Sher’

I could do anything if only I knew what it was: Barbara Sher

October 11, 2008

Sometimes you read a book and parts of it just leap off the page at you. This is such a book! 

Here are some of the key points I picked up – but it is absolutely recommended reading. 

  • Are you doing what you are “supposed” to be doing? Are you pleasing other people – your family, your college, your friends…or are you being true to yourself? Sometimes you have to move away from your tribe and act on what you want to do. 
  • Take action even if you don’t know what to do with your life. By setting off in a direction, you will soon know whether you are moving towards or away from what you want. It is easier to change direction once you are moving. Action will also raise your self-esteem and bring “luck” your way. You will find out much more by moving than by staying still. 
  • Many people say they want “meaningful” work – but what does that really mean? You need to focus on what makes you happy and uses your gifts, not on what other people think meaningful is. [A personal note: I wanted to help abused women and started volunteering at a charity, but I soon found out there were more effective ways to help using gifts I really had.]
  • If you don’t know what job you want, identify the job from hell. Write down all the things you couldn’t stand doing, and that make you feel awful. Describe the place, the people, what you do all day. Then reverse it. 
  • You don’t have to quit the day job to pursue your dream. In fact, it’s better not to as it gives you too much time, and too much pressure. You can end up returning to work disheartened and leaving your dream behind. [Personal note: I took 3 months off to write my book. I didn’t get very far and soon drove myself nuts by not achieving. I went back to work and left writing behind for 2 years. Finally I started again while working fulltime. I wrote on weekends and evenings, and finished my first book, How to Enjoy Your Job, in 9 months. I am now starting on the next book – and still working part-time.]
  • Practice, start part-time and keep your day job. Remember that Einstein was a patent clerk by day. 
  • You can have it all, but not all at once. If you are one of those people who want to do everything, write down your life from now to aged 95 and space out all the things you want to do. There is time. You can have multiple careers, and most people do now, but you have to focus on now first. 
  • If you are really miserable at work, then pay attention and sort yourself out. “Your story has not been written”, so live it. Don’t wait for life to find you. Find life. 
  • “the cure for sorrow is to learn something”. If you hate your work, learn something new in your spare time. Take classes in pottery or art, poetry or country dancing. Anything that takes you into a new place where you meet new people. You will be refreshed and this will spill into the rest of your life. 
  • The corporate world is a good training ground for the rest of your working life. It teaches you the basics of what work entails, how to dress and how to behave, what corporate speak involves, and what you love or hate in a job. 
  • If you aren’t able to set an exact goal, set a working goal. Start moving in the general direction of your goal and change it as necessary. Move towards what interests you, and away from what dulls you. 
  • Be a networker, be a joiner. Meet new people, join groups, ask questions, talk to people. You will find new opportunities for your life and your work. 
  • There are different goals at  different ages. Be gentle on yourself and allow your priorities to change over time. 
  • Life is full of necessary chores, but we have to do them anyway because the rewards are obvious. 
  • Sort out your number one goal first, and then use your energy to follow your dream. [Personal note: sorting out my love life was an important first step to then using that energy on my dreams. Relationship stress sucks a great deal of energy from you.]
  • “…what thwarts us and demands of us the greatest effort is also what can teach us most” Gide 
  • We are human and our lot is is to learn and to be hurled into inconceivable new worlds” Novalis, 18th century poet

You can buy the book from here 

Barbara’s official website is here: