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Three Questions!!

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Wednesday, December 11, 2019


OK, I'm a pencil -- or as PHEBESS exuberantly commented, a whole SET of coloured pencils -- although not, as another Sparkie wishes (sob sob sob) "pencil thin"!! Remember "pencil thin"? No, neither do I, just the desire to be so. And thankfully the desire to be so has also passed . . . never happened, never gonna happen and a goal that required more energy and attention than it was worth!!.

The Spark article I've linked to above is entitled "Reignite Your True Passion". It's really about when we enjoy most being that pencil!! And whether it's possible to be alert to those situations in which we are able to feel "best used" I suppose!!

How to identify those situations? The article suggests three questions:

1. What job would I be doing if money were no object? If I'd won the lottery (and no, I don't buy lottery tickets). What job would I be doing if it didn't matter what they paid me? Because I'd feel that my skills and abilities were being put to their best use? I'm sure Michael Neill is making lots of money doing what he's doing but I'm equally sure that he's doing what he's doing because that's what makes him feel most alive most days . . . . He's pretty clearly not engaged in coaching Three Principles inside out to impress people or to pad his resume or to win a contract or . . . in fact if he were, he'd be absolutely ineffective at his job. But we don't need to be Michael Neill OR to win the lottery to experience that sense of being rightly used: "Yes, this is what I'm meant to be doing". Asking myself the question helps me think about where my own true passions lie.

2. What charity would I donate to if I had a spare million dollars? Nope, I don't. And I'm more likely to donate time and energy to daily interactions --- pro bono, no charge for a client really in need -- than to donate money to big organizations. But again, that's a question that helps me identify what issues matter most to me. Justice, fairness, advocating for the vulnerable, helping: but also beauty and strength, warmth and calm. Which people don't experience when they're immersed in injustice . . .

3. When I'm so totally absorbed in an activity that I forget to check my phone for messages, what have I been doing? Well, I'm not a "social media" person and I seldom have my phone at hand at all (to the frustration of my kids who like most normal people communicate primarily through text!!) But yeah: what activities draw me so intensely into the present that I forget everything else and feel most alive and engaged? Walks in the woods, watching birds, my exercise and stretching routine . .. filing my own well of beauty and strength, warmth and calm.

So I'm not fighting the artist or trying desperately to take control of the pencil!!

Yeah, the three questions are useful!! What about you? What job, what charity, what activity ignites YOUR passion? So that you too feel contentment and flow in the picture you're being used to create?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    1. What job would I be doing if money were no object?
    Ahhh … volunteer.

    2. What charity would I donate to if I had a spare million dollars?
    I would do what I do now … but on a much larger scale. I secretly pay someone's bill.

    3. When I'm so totally absorbed in an activity that I forget to check my phone for messages, what have I been doing?
    Exploring new places, walks amongst the world's beauty, creating with my hands.

    3 days ago
    40 days ago
  • no profile photo GRAMPIAN
    1. Chef
    2.Salvation Army
    3.Reading - book, paper ...anything. emoticon
    40 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    I read this at work the other day and haven't had time to get back to it but it has been on my mind!

    1. What would I do if money was no object- I know that when I retire, I have thought about volunteering at a hopsice, to hold someone's hand that has no one as they pass into the next world. To be there for people at the last moment. This may seem really sad to some people, and I am sure it would be heart wrenching, but it is something I have thought about for years.
    2. Charity or organization to donate to- those that are homeless and families that are down on their luck and need a helping hand. And for kids that want to go to college but just don't have the means.
    3. What am I doing that has me totally out of social media-Out in nature, be it here at home, just out walking in the woods somewhere or in a new place that we are traveling to. Absorbing the fresh air and the beauty of our surroundings!
    40 days ago
  • BJAEGER307
    As for job, I'm retired now and I really don't have a passion for another job, as I am enjoying life and everything that is brings to the fullest and best of my ability that I can.

    Charity - to give money? Hmmmm I think I would spread it out among local charities where ever I was living. I would do food banks, homeless missions, help the Humane Society for the animals. I would contribute to organizations that help our environment, also for programs that helped our men/women in armed services.
    I just don't think I could dump it all into "one" charity.

    The one thing that takes me totally away from reality is reading a good book. More of my passions is the outdoors, bird watching, and hiking. Star gazing is also one of my favorites.

    Thought provoking blog today! Thanks for the challenge.
    41 days ago
  • NANCY-
    Job? Advocate for Individuals and families of children with disabilities.
    Charities? Some that I always give to would split it:
    Marc, Inc. assists individuals with disabilities.
    Healing Meals provides healthy meals for three months to those dealing with cancer and chemo.
    Protector of Animals is a no kill shelter.
    PBS and NPR public TV and radio.
    Activity? Day trip, movies, swimming and so many other things. Robo calls have taught me not to be at the beck and call of my phone.
    Sorry this is delayed, but I really wanted to think about my answers.

    42 days ago
    Fashion Design for the elderly
    42 days ago
    Those questions ARE really useful and THIS is brilliant: " It's really about when we enjoy most being that pencil!!"

    1. What job would I be doing if money were no object?
    Same thing I've always done... support people in becoming the very best pencil they can be... it doesn't pay well, LOL, but the dividends are priceless.

    2. What charity would I donate to if I had a spare million dollars?
    Like you, I'm more a one-on-one sort of person... I'd take my pots of money and go build schools around the world, or pay tuition for deserving young people, buy houses for homeless families... (the list is endless)

    3. When I'm so totally absorbed in an activity that I forget to check my phone for messages, what have I been doing?
    Reading/writing, hanging out with people who I find fascinating (again the list is LONG)
    43 days ago
    Great questions, and a great way to figure out what is important for each of us!

    1) What job? I have to admit, being an art teacher in the Caribbean for 25 years was pretty much my ideal job, and I loved 85% of it. (The other 15% that I didn't love would be ridiculous paperwork, school politics, and unruly students whose parents hadn't exactly parented.)

    2) What charity? UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, and Amnesty International. Other small groups, but yes, helping children, places that need medical care, and human rights.

    3) When we travel, we don't have phones with us. Skype and MagicJack on the computer - which means no calls unless we're online. Yeah, travel is probably my top thing to be doing. Or painting or drawing. Or reading a good book. But definitely wandering in some very interesting and new to us place.

    43 days ago
  • SPICY23
    What a wonderful amount of combined wisdom and force for good in the world is represented in these responses. It is also clear most of us are not so young as to have grown up attached to technology. I have learned to text as that is the preferred method of communication these days, but when I am at home my cell phone is 'parked' in the other room (we have very limited service at home anyway, so not much point toting it around).

    As for the job I would choose - I really enjoyed scientific research but that entailed urban settings and I didn't enjoy that. Field work maybe, if I could get it. Have had a variety of jobs, a bit of a jack-of-all-trades and can usually find something to be excited about (at least at the beginning, while learning the trade). I confess to a bit of burn-out and discouragement at my current post (medical office manager) due to the changing climate (getting much harder to help people - dang Insurance companies). Used to volunteer in a number of places usually helping others, animals, or the environment (tree planting, trash clean-up).

    Charity- local. Our area is very poor and people too downtrodden to pitch in, so those of us that do step up (we know each other well by now) are a vital support network. Local - we know and can verify true need and connect people with resources and donations. Nice to see how our funding plays out.

    Where am I when time disappears? Outdoors, gardening, hiking or biking. Or indoors, painting, reading or doing jigsaw puzzles.

    Hope you have a wonderful Holiday.

    Peace and Care

    43 days ago
    What job ?

    My favourite job was working in a factory making stereos, the people there were so great, we were a team and it was fun for all :)

    What charity?

    I like ...well... I love to give, a word, a cake, a visit, a hug. There are plenty of times to give I just look for them :)

    What activity?

    I have three ... knitting as it is a prime pleasure for me and I get to give away what I make.... and the bird song of Magpies ... a chorus of songs sung together that lifts my heart ... and Black Cockatoos sailing over my house .... wonderful :)

    Thanks for asking :)
    43 days ago
    1. I am retired and I will not ever work again. I am free at last, free at last!
    2. Charity 6:8 working to feed the needy in our community and beyond.
    3. I hate to admit this but I love solitaire! Don't disturb me while playing!

    Sorry I wish I was a more altruistic person but there I are!
    43 days ago
    1. Job if money isn't an issue? Animal shelter.

    2. Charity? Anyone related to animals.

    3. Walking in the mountain with my 5 dogs.
    43 days ago
    Wish I could remember how old I was when I was first confronted with these 3 questions ... 19 maybe? Believe it was right around that time. Perhaps, a bit later. Perhaps, a bit earlier.

    I remember an exit interview with my boss and Secretary of the Board when I was in my 20s. I sensed that she was pushing for me to point fingers and lay blame to support my choice to resign. I refused to play that game and instead told her, "My purpose here has been fulfilled and it is time for me to move on." She sat in her chair, staring back at me for a moment in stunned silence and then said, "That's an awfully profound thing for such a young person to say."

    And, we moved on ...

    It was clear to me that life had other ways in which to use me. Remaining where I was would not have served the company that had, oh so many, plans for me. Life had other plans. I chose Life.

    Do I always remember that I am the pencil? H#@l no!

    There's a great chart amongst Michael Neill's website offerings comparing and contrasting characteristics of being On Ones Game versus Off Ones Game.


    Seems to me that when one is operating in alignment with their responses to the 3 questions, they are On Ones Game.

    emoticon Cheers to each of us and being On Our Game! emoticon

    43 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/11/2019 1:33:50 PM
    Thanks. 3 good questions. 1. Since I'm retired, not sure #1 applies. 2. I know lots of the local charities. I'd split it up. Having run a small agency that did a lot of good, I know that many agencies are not prepared to manage big donations. Oh, maybe if it was set up as an annuity, but not a non-recurring lump sum. Locally I'd help some of the small agencies finish paying for their buildings or other admin costs so that all incoming donations could go to doing good. 3. I enjoy my walks and run-walks and I enjoy playing piano when I'm making progress particularly. Not sure there is anything these days I'm totally absorbed in. Used to be more. I'll give it some thought.
    43 days ago
    Good questions and should be asked at different times during our lives as our priorities change. Old clothes and old passions don't fit well.


    43 days ago
    1) What job? I am doing it, but only for 3 more months for pay. Having limited treasure (see #2 question) I will be using my treasure and talent for good.

    2) What charity? Too many to name...I work in philanthropy and love a number of great [mostly local] organizations that help people, animals, the planet. If I had one wish [see #1] for a job it would be a 'philanthropist' ... no lottery just luck and elbow grease to make a million.

    3) My phone...take it or leave it. Though I must have it so I can listen to my books. When I am not alone, being with people absorbs my time and I never check my phone.
    43 days ago
  • GABY1948
    1. What Job would I like? I'm retired and love doing the jobs around my house.
    2.. What charity Humane Society, Cancer ( dad died of Colon Cancer at only 78
    3. Walking, sewing, traveling
    43 days ago
    Oh here you go again making me think!
    What job would I take?
    Of all the things I've accomplished in my work life (now retired) I was able to coach at least 5 people to continue their educations and move on to greater successes! I love being a mentor so I guess I'd go back into health science and motivate people to higher education.

    Donations? I would have to split the money among a bunch of charities, perhaps form scholarships. There are so many food and home poor people in the USA I'd split it locally.

    What would I do that absorbs my attention without phones etc?
    Right now I've become a genealogy fiend. Not just for myself but helping other people as well. Like OKM, I love puzzles and apparently I'm good at the family history ones. Getting off my butt and taking pictures of anything that floats my boat would be great as well. It involves travel and that would be pleasing.

    43 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/11/2019 8:50:39 AM
    Already content. I've done so many things in my life and not sure what next.
    43 days ago
    What job? I have been blessed to be able to do what I love for a job most of my life. Every job has it's quirks and downsides and there's always THAT person, who tries to make it miserable. But there are also those folks whose lives remind us of the joy we have in what we do. So I have been very blessed and now I am in the best job of all, with these wee ones!
    What charity? We are already giving to those we value. I do wish I was able to give more time, though. DH's love language is my being there with him, so I don't commit myself to a ton of things outside of time with him.
    I, too, read quite a bit, so perhaps that's what keeps me occupied!
    43 days ago
    1. What job? I really like retirement, i.e. choose my own project!

    2. What charity? I have several: USO, Wounded Warriors, ALS research & family support.

    3. Activity that got me absorbed: working puzzles. Which is pretty much what I used to do for a job, too.
    43 days ago
  • FLYER99
    Hmmm...... here we go.....

    1. Teaching guitar mainly to kids and seniors at no cost to them.
    2. My charity would be to the SPCA and to animal rescue centres.
    3. I would either be reading a book or listening to an audiobook.

    Great questions, btw.

    43 days ago
    The 3 questions are very much like my "imagine your perfect day"

    I think what we need to do is always pay attention to our joy and our happiness and maybe - note what prompts it so we can do more of it.

    I guess -unless one is a psycho or something - I mean - we don't need more meanness
    emoticon (in a whisper) see? overthinking it again ....
    43 days ago
    I don't buy lottery tickets either, such a waste of money! Never thought about a job since I haven't worked in so long, but being a motivational speaker would interest me.
    Charity is so difficult as there is so much need everywhere. And yes, avoid the big organizations as a lot of their money goes to administration and advertising. Dog rescue organizations are my most usual choice.
    No phone and I have a low tolerance for social media and limit my time there. I would be reading, doing qigong or trail walking (and watching birds) in the summer. Spending time with Mom and Daisy is my favorite summer time activity.
    43 days ago
    What job? The Royal Gardener
    What Charity? The heart foundation or Diabetes UK
    What activity? walking along the beach just 3 mins or so away. BLISS

    43 days ago
    1. what job? being a nurse is what I have been and really, always did want to be, so I guess I've been blessed to be content!

    2. What charity? Oh, I have a few . . . . St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Research, Humane Society

    3. What activity are you absorbed in when you forget to check your phone for messages? Reading. But as a matter of course, I usually don't spend much time on my phone.
    43 days ago
    1. Airplane pilot 2. Homeless shelters 3. Sewing or reading
    43 days ago
    1. What job? Landscape planning (spoiler, I do buy occasional lottery tickets)
    2. What charity? Feed Nova Scotia, the umbrella organization for provincial food banks.
    3. Like you my phone is just a tool and is seldom with me. Any outdoor activity is perfect as well as reading.

    43 days ago
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