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I have the opportunity to listen to a lot of podcasts at work and they tend to fall into two categories -- business/entrepreneurship and personal development.  One key topic to both categories is to be your authentic self do what you love.

I've never wanted to be anyone but me, an impressive feat for an introvert, but I have trouble with the second part.  I live life on a very even keel.  I don't get too high and I don't get too low.  Do I have hobbies and interests?  Of course, I do.  Am I passionate about them?  Do they fire me up?  Well, no, not really.

I've been asked many times by many people what fires me up.  I don't really have an answer.  The only times I can recall being fired up, it isn't in a good way.  It's all anger.  If this is true for me, it's probably true for others and  it begs the question:  Is "What fires you up?" the wrong question to ask an introvert?  There are plenty of things that I could see myself happily doing day in and day out and never think twice about whether it was the right thing to do.  Does that make me passionate about it?  I don't think so.

I recently read the results of a study that challenges the results of several others that say extroverts tend to be happier than introverts.  This new study basically indicates that extroverts are far more likely to choose answers at the extremes of a particular question.  Introverts tend to save the extreme answers for the extreme situations.  For example, you will probably never hear me say "This is the best ice cream in the world!"  The odds are pretty good that some ice cream somewhere is better than this stuff.  Good or bad, the experiences of my life fall on a continuum of satisfaction/happiness/joy/fun/etc. and they all get compared to previous events and hopes of the future.  The extroverts seemed to get some satisfaction from answering on the outer reaches.  Oddly enough, the introverts were as likely to avoid the extreme answers as the extroverts were likely to choose them.  As long as that's the case, I guess extroverts will always appear happier.

Is there a better question for introverts to ask themselves to find their core purpose in life than "What fires you up?"  Does this concept strike a chord with you?  Is it totally foreign?

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Comment by Matthew Casteel on October 18, 2011 at 7:33pm

Thanks.  Raun.  Keep us posted if you find any "breakthroughs"


Comment by Raun Lauterbach on October 18, 2011 at 5:31am
Love it, Matthew!  That sounds like a good process to narrow things down.
Comment by Matthew Casteel on October 17, 2011 at 9:59pm

Maybe you could simply do a very pragmatic elimination list. Write out the top 10 things that interest you.  Narrow it down to the top 5 that have actual potential to make you money.  Then to the top 3 things that could make you the have the best potential long range that you could see yourself enjoying and growing as a business.

Then...remember that part of the experience is learning HOW to build a business.  So even if it isn't what you HAVE to do long range for the rest of your life the experience of building a business idea from concept to profit can help you develop the right skill set while you build towards something that really "reveals" itself as your perfect stride later down the road. 

Maybe your over analyzing and what you need to experience isn't the PERFECT JOB but a great idea that can help you develop skills as you grow and mature over the next 5 - 10 years. 



Comment by Raun Lauterbach on October 17, 2011 at 8:06pm
Matthew -- I posted this on my blog the other day (http://backyardlifeblog.com/2011/10/what-fires-you-up/) and got almost the same reaction from another extrovert.  I mostly agree with your wife's thoughts.  The only thing that isn't sitting too well with me is that I'm usually a quite happy person, which makes it difficult to rank what I should be doing, if that makes sense.  It's sort of a "jack of all trades, master of none" kind of thing.  I find it much easier to decide what I'm not going to do than what I am going to do but that hardly seems like an effective way to move forward into my true calling.  Thanks for your comment.
Comment by Matthew Casteel on October 17, 2011 at 7:36pm

This is a great post (the BEST POST EVER!!!!) says a major extrovert.  My wife is an major introvert let me ask her....(hang on be right back)

OK here's what my wife said..(paraphrased by me) "Maybe you'll never be 'fired up' by anything. A simpler way to think about it is, 'what makes you happy'. When you're doing something, maybe something your not even the 'best' at it that makes you happy that might be the place to start.

When my wife looks at decorating magazines she feels happy to think about what our house could be some day.  She would love to have the budget to really do our house up nice and could see herself finding great satisfaction from decorating, but it's not THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD, but it's pretty nice to think about having the house truly reflect what she's feels it SHOULD be like.

Maybe that's something to think about.

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