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pebblestorm-unique-genius-sketch-smallOne of the keys to getting clear on your purpose and dream work is to be more selfish than you’ve ever been before – stop holding yourself back by playing small!  You can small in all kinds of ways, such as the amount of money you want to make, the freedom you can have, or in the impact you can make in the world.

I don’t mean be selfish in a negative or greedy way that harms from others.  I mean be selfish in a way that preserves and sustains you, so that you can live the way you want to…and thus have the energy and ideas to make a bigger difference to others.  Are you being unselfish, or are you actually self-sacrificing yourself and your dreams?

By living and working smaller than you deserve, you limit your ability to make a difference in the world and to others. It’s the same reason that airlines tell you to put the oxygen mask on first before you do it for a child.

The following coaching exercise is a favorite of mine, and only takes two or three minutes. Give it a shot, and please leave a comment below about what you think or learned!

The Unique Genius “Ego Indulgement Exercise

  • Get ready to be more selfish than you’ve ever been before…
  • If you had more money than you could ever spend…
  • And all the friends and love and houses and travel and stuff and family and ___ and ___ you ever wanted…
  • There is nothing you want or need that you don’t have…
  • Imagine spending a couple of years ‘on the beach’ just relaxing, until you then get bored and know it’s time to create something…
  • You don’t need to work but want to do something meaningful…
  • What do you do/create?

Ironically, it is the kind of work or business you create at that point in the end, when you don’t “need” anything or to work at all, that will create the possibility of you getting all the other goods (money, freedom, success, etc.) with ease.

Here’s why it works:

1) By first satisfying your ego‘s ‘needs and wants’, it lets your ego chill out while you get clear on what you authentically are meant to do.  When you feel needy and stressed (“I need more money, time…”), it blocks your creativity, intuition and self-awareness, and thus access to Unique Genius insights.

2) Being more selfish than you’ve ever been means taking care of yourself and inspiring yourself first, so that you can help even more people / make an even bigger difference. It means dream bigger.  How many non-profit workers do you know who are making a difference, but are totally drained in doing it?  Couldn’t they make a bigger difference if they found ways to truly take care of themselves at the same time?

Want More? Three More Unique Genius Questions…

  1. What are you already doing for free to help people? (Or what would you do for free?)
  2. If you could be successful at anything (beyond or in addition to your current career or being a parent), what would it be?
  3. What’d you want to be when you were 8, and why?

With question #3, the “why” is the interesting part…what is behind it?  My personal example: I wanted to be a pilot – not because I wanted to fly planes, but because of the freedom.  So it’s no coincidence that freedom is so important to me today and to PebbleStorm!  Another example: a common answer for people who wanted to be doctors is because they wanted to be able to help people.

You don’t have to be a pilot to have freedom within your work, or a doctor to help people in your work.

How can you bring in those childhood desires or passions into what you’re doing today?

P.S.: Coming Soon

A 21-Day Unique Genius Self-Study Program – keep an eye out!

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7 Responses to “A Unique Genius “Ego Indulgement Exercise””

  1. marni battista Says:

    Aaron, I love how you ask people to stretch into thinking beyond limits. I did a visualization exercise with a group the other night, asking them to think one year out. When we were done, one person had imagined HUGE success, but then his intellect kicked in to “remind” him it was unrealistic in just 12 months. Whether it was realistic doesn’t matter, what it points out is that we are so used to thinking within limits, that it requires attention, intention and focus to think beyond the “box.” Bravo for asking tough questions. You rock!

    aaronross383 Reply:

    @marni battista, thank you for the comment Marni my love!


  2. Jeanne Kuntz Says:

    I have the best memories of inspecting and enjoying nature, but I really loved acting. And I realize that I love entertaining people. Not specifically making them laugh, but engaging them, which always makes one feel “light”, less burdened, open to creativity. So, I guess I better stick with the plan because it’s a good one. And it dovetails nicely with my career as a Wellness Coach.

    aaronross383 Reply:

    @Jeanne Kuntz, we will have to brainstorm some ways for you to bring in some acting and entertainment into your coaching – either at your events, or perhaps as exercises for clients 🙂

  3. Kass Hanson Says:

    Hi Aaron,

    Great post and comments and thank you for sharing! I’ve found my passion and purpose are expressed and shared best when I travel, entertain and inspire others (often through laughter) and express myself through fitness, writing, song, dance, and crazy adventures. I think I tried out for the Muskateers? when I was 8 and also sold a newsletter door-to-door. Interesting.

    In any event, this all brought me to Hawaii to restart BALANCE ACT – online lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness coaching . . . and most recently an invite to help manage a dance/voice/wellness studio.

    I’m guessing you’ve already read it but for anyone who hasn’t, “A New Earth – Awakening to your Life’s Purpose” by Eckhart Tolle is a powerful read.

    Your Friend Kassie 🙂

  4. Cheryl Miller Says:

    As usual Aaron, I loved this post.

    I think it’s funny that what I most desired as a kid was to have an Annie Oakley outfit. I wanted it more than anything in the world. I wanted to wear a big thick crenolin that made my dress stick out all over. I wanted guns and a holster and a vest and a hat.

    I’ll have to think about this to see if there’s a deeper desire under it. What’s also interesting is that to my knowledge, I never told anybody that I wanted that. I don’t know if it was just the way things were in the world in the 50’s or what, but I never asked for anything as a kid. You got what you got and were grateful.

    I put that outfit together for an event years ago and SO enjoyed wearing it – all – day – long. Shoot ’em up! Cheryl

  5. Carolyn Ryden Says:

    Hi Aaron –

    This is a great exercise. I’ve done such a variety of exercises, yours and others – and this one cut to the chase. I learned that I have a few different desires….not just one thing. I want to teach people to have fun! I want to give depressed people hope, and help them kick depression, like I have; and I want to travel – teaching people to have fun, and also making journals, painting the local sights and writing about my experiences, and then publish those as books. Lastly, I want a successful one-woman show of big, colorful paintings at a museum!
    Thank you for offering this…love it.

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