here’s a question.

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I woke up this morning feeling… restless. I can’t put my finger on any other emotion than that one, and I think it stems from the trashing of my life list. I mean, sure, I have goals. But how many of my goals are for myself — and how many are for greater mankind?

I want to change things, but I’m not sure what. I want to make a difference, but I’m not sure how. What to do when you find yourself with a moderate level of influence, a few spare resources and an ample amount of time to dedicate your life’s work to? How do you decide which direction to take your abilities?


  • Same! I generally feel exactly the same way. I went on a trip to an orphanage and that gave me some direction. I started a project to raise money for families who are adopting ( and that little trip and my new project helped me feel not quite so restless. Take a trip, Ms. Erin! A non-work trip. Do something new. That was the key for me.

  • I definitely had that feeling when I moved into my home a few years back…but after reading about Bea’s tips of Zero-Waste Home and in the spirit of spring cleaning, I’ve been inspired to dedicate my time over the last few weeks to purging & realigning my home & daily living with what I want – the joy of less philosophy. It’s helped me take a fresh perspective & see things from a much clearer view. Less impact on the world but big impact on me. Plus, I love my home so much more now!

  • I hit the same wall when I was in my late 20s/early 30s, and ended up doing different jobs that let me be amongst things I love (worked at a bookstore, as a designer, with children, even at a specialty dog/cat shop!) until everything organically came together & I knew what I needed to do. I opened my own shop dedicated to eco-friendly & handmade ideals (a process which led me to Etsy!). I find dipping your toes into something new, no matter what it is, will lead you a step closer to where you’re meant to be.
    Now, heading into my 40s, I long to dip my toes in a bigger pool of water which will most probably lead me to travel. I don’t think you need to travel far, though, to get closer to your destination.

    Bottom line: the most important thing to do is, get out of your head! :)

  • My husband and I are doing our will right now and trying to decide what charitable donations we would want to make when we die. Nothing makes you think about a lasting difference than your death. Wow, this is kind of morbid but it’s been a good way to sort out your priorities.

    I realized that the organizations we give to now are the ones I want to continue to give to after I pass along and the two that mean the most to me are my alma mater, Smith College and my NPR station. I know it sounds incredibly stupid, but I CRY every time I call to make my pledge to my local NPR station. It has been the soundtrack of my life for as long as I can remember. And Smith, well Smith made the person I am today. I just feel really lucky to have the means to give.

    Have fun figuring it all out; it sounds like a good dilemma to have.

  • you ladies are wise, encouraging and positive. thank you so much for your thoughts — and you’re right. a GREAT dilemma to have!

    thank you!

  • I think for this, and with a lot of things, you kind of already know the answer. You just have to sort of sit quietly and listen to it. You already know in your heart what it is you want to do I think. Almost a let it come to you approach, cause if you look for it too hard you might be coming at it from the wrong angle, i.e. because you think it’s something you should do, etc. Yeah. Listen to your smart, sassy self.

  • What a question. I think one of the first questions to ask yourself is whether you want your business to support some sort of mission — or if you’d like to add another element through volunteerism.

    I’m personally attached to the concept of developing a triple bottom line company, which measures success according to three pillars: economic, eco and social. As I move forward to launch my own business, this is something I’m beginning to research.

    All that said, I predict that whatever you decide will be just as brilliant and witty as your work here.

  • Stillness in the heart always speaks the truth – make the space and listen. Go within and you will always be nourished.

  • I think instead of a life list you could come up with a personal mission statement. A friendly manifesto that states your core values and aspirations. Then every time you are faced with a project or goal or even an activity where your heart isn’t in it, check it against your manifesto. It helps keep your priorities in order!
    It could be as short as 6 words: Show love, do good, have fun.

  • Oh Erin, I have been feeling the exact same as of late. Thank you for sharing – I needed to know that I am not the only one – and have found some insight in the other comments.

    Maybe your talent and direction is to share more of yourself and bring others together. You do it so well.

  • I know for a fact you are already making a difference, and making mankind better. To me it’s interesting how life progresses. Seems like when we make decent headway, suddenly there is a fork in the road and we must decide which way to go. It happens over and over again until we hopefully have reached our destiny. You are an amazing person, and I agree with Stacy– you have such a innate ability to inspire people and bring them together. I know you will figure out the right way to go. Keep leading and inspiring my friend! xo

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