As I get up to speed in my first semester at Union Theological Seminary, I’m re-launching a few of my favorite podcast episodes from four years of archives: I hope you enjoy some of these oldies but goodies, particularly if you missed them the first time around! Here’s a conversation I loved with dear friend and mentor Jonathan Fields, from October 2016.
Jonathan Fields' mission is to "live fiercely and study deeply." How does he do that while earning a living? That's what we unpack in this week's episode. According to Jonathan, "There are only two ways to earn a living: you're either solving a problem or delivering a delight. If you're lucky and creative, you do both simultaneously."
Jonathan—or "JF" as I like to call him—has been a longtime mentor whose pivots have inspired me and countless others at every turn: from lawyer to yoga studio founder to author of three books, Jonathan is now studying and embodying what it means to live a good life. We recorded this episode from his plush velvety couches at Good Life Project Headquarters (aka his apartment on the Upper West Side) — I hope you enjoy this off-the-cuff conversation as much as I did. Be sure to grab Jonathan's new book, How to Live a Good Life: Soulful Stories, Surprising Science, and Practical Wisdom, out this week! And his free recently released Unbusy Manifesto.
"Uncertainty may bring unease, but it also brings a vital energy, the exhilaration of creation. Without uncertainty, there is no possibility."
More about Jonathan Fields
A dad, husband, serial entrepreneur, growth strategist and award-winning author, Jonathan Fields inspires possibility. He currently runs mission-driven media and education venture, Good Life Project, where he and his team lead a global community in the quest to live more meaningful, connected and vital lives. They produce a top-rated podcast and video-series with millions of listens and views in more than 150 countries, where Jonathan regularly shares conversations with the world’s leading voices, like Sir Ken Robinson, Elizabeth Gilbert, Milton Glaser, Brené Brown, Gretchen Rubin and hundreds more.
Topics We Cover
How Jonathan translates his purpose to "live fiercely and study deeply" into earning a living
Two ways of earning a living: solving a problem or delivering delight
The shadow side of delight: resolving a pain, something missing.
“If I can take a quest for knowledge, blend it with a quest to create something from nothing and figure out how to marry those two, in a way that’s of value to other people, that’s where being able to earn a living comes in.”
What he learned from trying to create a yoga franchise and his biggest business "failure"
Jonathan's career pivots from being a lawyer to starting a yoga studio, then figuring out what to do after selling his yoga business
When he felt ready to move on, even though things were succeeding by all external measure
“A community needs a shepherd, who really cares and is invested. And I had checked-out, and I needed to own that. I was getting more and more interested in other stuff: I was getting interested in writing and speaking and the digital world and producing media and serving in a different way. So I started to explore that and started to test the waters a little bit."
How he changed the conversation from fear to empowerment during the market crash of 2008, right as his book Career Renegade was hitting the stands.
Podcast: Live Fiercely, Study Deeply with Jonathan Fields
Jenny and Jonathan talk on The Good Life Project podcast: Pivot Your Life (It's no longer optional)
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