Maven Envy, Maker Mode and Great Work

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I’m jealous.

I spent the last week out in Boulder, Colorado. Part vacation and part biz.

Toward the end of the week, my director of photography for the Good Life Project™ (GLP) web show, Eric Michael Pearson, and I headed over the mountain to Keystone. We were on an adventure to film an interview with venture capitalist, Techstars co-founder, author, entrepreneur and just plain cool guy, Brad Feld (amazing, in-depth interview to come, btw).

It was a fantastic conversation. The reason we filmed Brad in Keystone and not Boulder, where he lives and I was staying, was that he’d taken the summer to be in “maker” mode. To allocate his energy to doing a very deep dive into his creative side. To think, run, write, synthesize and learn. And he was on a tear, writing a series of books that are sure to change the lives of so many in the startup community, running marathons and spending a ton of time with his wife every day.

Driving back over the mountain that afternoon, I felt a yearning. I wanted to “be Brad.”

Or so I thought…

Back in Boulder the next day, I kicked off a 3-day retreat I was facilitating, part of the 10-month GLP business and lifestyle training program. Featured faculty for this weekend included process guru, Charlie Gilkey, of Productive Flourishing. I love Charlie, he’s a genius. Every time he opened his mouth, every word, every idea, every process and strategy was so thoroughly thought-out, vetted, tested and synthesized, it was like receiving an intuitive knowledge transfer.

By the end of the weekend, I’d had another awakening. I now no longer just wanted to be Brad, I also wanted to be Charlie.

Or so I thought…

Because these trainings aren’t just about business, but about mindset and life, we began every morning with a short hike in the front range. The hike peaked with a meditation, perched high-up on a rock cluster with jaw-dropping views of what felt like all of Colorado (that’s the image above, btw).

It was during this meditation on the third day that I realized what I’d grown so envious of over the course of the last few days.

I love my life. I love my wife, my kid, my family, my friends, my work. I don’t want to be Brad or Charlie or anyone else I respect the hell out of. I’m very happy being me.

What was bubbling up was a realization. An uncomfortable one. That, in my own way and in my own arena, I was every bit as capable as them. But they’ve made setting aside the time, the focus, the attention and the energy to go deep into maven/creator mode a massive priority in their lives. Enough that they were able to generate outcomes and output on a level that came far closer to expressing their capabilities than I have lately.

That’s what was bugging me. Not that they were doing it. But that I wasn’t.

Their unbridled genius was a painful reminder of my hamstrung potential.

So, what to do?

Shift gears. My job became to own the last part of that sentence. The hamstrung potential. That’s on me. Nobody else, no circumstance to blame.

The responsibility and the need to change my state from hamstrung to awakened and released is entirely mine. To create the structure in my work and life that I’m so good at helping others create (I know, I know, cobbler’s kid bigtime, lol). To reallocate my intention, attention and time in a way that allows me to do what my friend, Michael Bungay Stanier, calls my great work.

It’s not about ego, by the way. Which is where a lot of people get tripped up.

No doubt, there is “marketing” value in bringing out work that makes a difference. It’s good for business. There is no way to strip self-benefit from the equation of helping others, regardless of your motivation. But, on a very personal level, at least for me, that’s not what it’s about.

I don’t care all that much about the need to be recognized or thanked. It’s not about glory, it’s about the work. The pursuit of knowledge, closing the gap between what I’m capable of creating and what I am currently creating. Finding and sharing meaning. Living into the insatiable curiosity, the experiments and conversations and desire to share whatever the process yields.

As Nobel laureate and legendary physicist, Richard Feynman shared, when asked about receiving the Nobel Prize:

I’ve already gotten the prize. The prize is the pleasure of finding the thing out, the kick in the discovery, the observation of the people who use it. Those are the real things. The honors are unreal to me.

With that, I’m about to shift gears for a bit. Starting with a two-month experiment in August and September.

I’ll have certain modest windows predefined for connecting and managing. The vast majority of my time, though, will be sacredly set aside for study, synthesis and creation. I’ll also be shifting my maker, manager and slacker blocks of time to best coincide with the natural rhythms that support each type of activity (more on this in an upcoming post).

Time to make a more serious commitment to people and activities that not only make me smile, but also support my ability to bring my best to the world. To do more great work.

Question is, what about you?

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69 responses

69 responses to “Maven Envy, Maker Mode and Great Work”

  1. Mark Silver says:

    This rings so true, and the truth is I’ve been working over the last six months towards this- mainly expressed in the search, interview, hiring andn ow training/mentoring of an operations manager. He’s two months on the job, and we’re getting closer to freeing me up for this.

    I thought I was just making excuses, but the truth was I really was too busy, and the only thing I blame myself for is not recognizing the need earlier.

    My goal: by this fall to have our new Ops Manager really running the show, and going into winter creating a LOT more creative time.

    I have an external deadline: I have until April to finish my M.Div project (a book) or I don’t complete. Here we go…

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Love it, Mark. I’m following in your footsteps with the realization that my team may well need to grow on the ops side in order to allow me to best do what I’m here to do

  2. Thank you Jonathan! Yes. I have so many deadlines that I feel guilty when I decide to go exercise in the middle of the day instead of working. That’s not what it’s about. 🙂

    Thanks for reminding me! (That also means I need to stop saying yes to so many deadlines so I can free up for creative time)

  3. Oh, it makes my heart so happy to read this! Love that this is where you’re headed and so excited to be a small part of the journey alongside you.

  4. a spiritual multiple personality disorder. Interesting 🙂

  5. I find these situations both inspiring and unsettling because it is difficult to know which to go with

  6. chris zydel says:

    Now I’m envying you! Even though I AM continually creating and getting a ridiculous amount done given my busy schedule, I so long for that time that you are talking about. That time to go DEEP. To find out what I can create when I have the time and space to listen and learn, noodle and dream and simply BE with my own creative self. To make. And birth. And bring the best of me into the world through my work.

    Thanks for the inspiration and the reminder of my souls longing.

  7. Jeremie says:

    This is well timed! I originally had a plan to take August off as a time to focus on creating in my business, specifically a big new project I have been struggling with for awhile.

    Then I started to worry that doing this wasn’t very realistic or business like. “I need to keep being in business, so I cant just take a break and work on something new”

    Your thoughts Jonathan, help me to reconsider and think about how I can return to my original plan. It still feels a bit Sharkey but defitely worth a try.



  8. Julia says:

    I was JUST talking to someone about this FIVE MINUTES ago. It’s like I channeled you to give me a kick in the *ass. Thank you.

  9. Selena says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    This is so timely for me, as I’ve been running these thoughts through my head as well. This year I made a conscious decision to leave most onsite consulting work with IT companies behind and restructure my business to be more in tune with me – all the interests, skills and learning-addictions. I trained on online business models and marketing and such, relaunched my business under a different website, and am busy creating content. The thing I’m missing and trying to fit in is the sacred time to learn, create and share. I know I’m capable of so much more, and need to give myself permission to ignore all the non-important things so I do it.

    Thank you so much, you gave me the boost I needed to really dig in!

  10. There’s an unstated need for courage here. It is so easy for all of us to get “caught up” in that space of racing to do, be, or achieve something. We forget to listen to the inner promptings – not just when they hit us over the head like they did for you Jonathan, but also during the every day. When it becomes easy to get distracted.

    It takes courage to re-prioritize and say “I know this is what I WAS doing, but NOW, I’m doing THIS instead.” and then stay the course as appropriate.

    Somewhere inside, I used to think that only when I valued my own true, internal voice more than the din of the world around us would I be able to take that courageous step. I’m recognizing this year that it’s the small stepping stones along the way that become the cornerstone of our mighty “towers”. They don’t seem so courageous in the moment, and we often “not enough” them and miss seeing how valuable they really are as reinforcement to our dreams.

    The opposite is also true. We can follow the path of distraction and NEVER build our legacy because of it.

    Thanks for encouraging each of us to take a step. 🙂

  11. Oh yes, this is partially what I was feeling when we had lunch. Much going out, not enough coming in – is deadly for me, for all of us. I look forward to feeling the vibe of your great work emerging all the way across the country. I’ll be doing the same.

  12. Jonathan~Another great, resonant piece.

    I sculpt time around what I call Mind Time Zones – and the Creative MTZ normally is crucial.

    In normal conditions, my wife & I arrange the following:
    * a 48-hr in-house retreat for one another each month (whoever’s on retreat stays in complete silence and gets 3 meals a day delivered to study – the toddler knows not to bother the retreatant)
    * a 4-day or 5-day creation retreat for me once a season

    Before my little girl arrived, I usually had 1-2 3 to 4-week retreats at writing centers. No more, but that’s okay. I also used to have 2 months in the autumn mostly devoted to deep diving. But with business growth, that’s not happening.

    That said, I’ve been in Emergency Momentum Mode for 6 wks due to family needs & have had to re-prioritize.

    In the interim – I am a little behind Mark Silver as I’m currently interviewing OBMs to streamline processes, manage the team, and free me up for even more maven/create time.

    The goal is that within two quarters, biz systems will be streamlined so that I am in the Creative MTZ even more.

    Your GLP work sounds fantastic, btw, as I knew it would be – and Charlie is a genius. Couldn’t agree more with your assessment of him.

    See you in the woods

  13. also I think the deep dive you are planning is essential to keeping ideas and growth and depth alive in our world so it is a deep service!

  14. […]       Maven Envy, Maker Mode and Great Work. […]

  15. Hiro Boga says:

    Ah, yes. The call of the deep dive into creative communion has been growing more insistent, and won’t be denied.

    I’m in the process of training a COO to take care of business ops so I have the time and freedom to write — to create what’s wanting to emerge next.

    Thanks so much for sharing your story, Jonathan. As always, you enlighten and inspire me.

  16. Denise says:

    This has so been my last two years. Seeing the beauty and brilliance in another’s life, figuring out what aspect of that I need to incorporate into my life, and then carving out the time to make the transformation. What I love about this essay is the reminder that no matter how many people I am able to serve through my work, not matter how much I accomplish, I will still need to make the time to delve deep and find more of what I have to offer that needs to be brought to the surface. Thanks for that reminder.

  17. Blair Glaser says:

    Is anyone else experiencing a painful reminder of their *hamstring* potential? Been writing so much, I haven’t gone running or hiking enough this summer and through Brad you made it sound so good.

    Thanks for a great post. There are many ways we can be and are prodded to embody our greatness and comparison is a default and also not my favorite. But as you astutely documented, once you re-cognize yourself, it is often very effective.

    Enjoy the dive.

  18. Chris Shouse says:

    Wow, that was very inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Owen Marcus says:

    Doing great work is ephemeral. One year it’s not working, but learning. The next it’s going all out to create.

    My time in Boulder back in the late 70’s was a time of learning what I never new existed before I arrived in Boulder. Then my time in Phoenix was shipping to use Seth Godin’s term. For the much of the last 13 years I was back in the phase of learning. Once again I’m emerging out of my learning cocoon to create.

    I agree, there is a fine line between jealously and inspiration. I too first want to be or have what another processes. As their gifts percolate down into me they catalyze my gifts to awaken.

    What you point out is so important for this entire processes to occur – a bigger prospective and patience. This morning I was beating myself up for taking too long to do my next Great Work. Being reminded that all great creations come from slowing down and deep introspection I can relax and allow the work to find me.

    In our time of immediate connections it takes courage to eradicate yourself from the world of constant interaction to incubate Great Work. Thank you for bringing my focus back to the why and the how.

  20. James Clear says:


    It will be interesting to see what comes out of this period of focus.

    One point that may be worth thinking about as you move forward: I think the success of people like Charlie and Brad is due not just to the fact that they make time for the process, but also that they are clear about what they are focusing on. In other words, they perform deliberate practice, not just practice.

    One example from my life: I compete in Olympic weightlifting. Making time to practice is a crucial piece of becoming better, but simply dedicating the time isn’t enough. When I show up, I need to be clear about what I’m working on there. What phase of the movement am I trying to improve? How am I going about it? In other words, what am I deliberately improving during my time in the gym?

    It might useful to find a similar point of focus as you pour yourself into creative work in the coming months.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Great point, James, and definitely something I’m going to be exploring over the next few months in a far more deliberate way. Thanks!

  21. Morning Jonathan,

    You are such a divine reflector of consciousness in so many ways. I read a post like this and it’s an affirmation.

    What’s more, is that it shows your vulnerability and courage.
    So refreshing to come into your words after a morning of yoga, meditation and thought about a project I’m thinking about and deconstructing – over and over. And over and over – cause it’s still emerging. I really feel that choosing to cultivate the down time is key to the creative process.

    Our sensory overloaded culture makes it a sin to step away from the grid and fuels fear that we might miss something and be crushed by the competition. I think it’s just the opposite. The quieter we get, the easier it is to listen to the innovation percolating inside. I’m with ya on August and part of September. It’s way cool that I’ll have company on the other side. Best of luck.

  22. I really appreciate the callout, Jonathan. I loved being there and sharing what with everybody.

    One thing that came up for me is something similar: I haven’t been creating externally as much as I personally need to. I create a lot internally – which is great for live events where I can pull it all together into a cohesive narrative – but it’s time to get more of it out there as a social object that can reach people without me doing the idea-weaving.

    My deep dive right now is, ironically, about coming up for air and leaving something up there. 🙂

    I’ll have certain modest windows predefined for connecting and managing. The vast majority of my time, though, will be sacredly set aside for study, synthesis and creation. I’ll also be shifting my maker, manager and slacker blocks of time to best coincide with the natural rhythms that support each type of activity (more on this in an upcoming post).

    I can’t wait to see what you come top with!

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Love it, Charlie. No doubt, it’s definitely important to alternate between the deep internal dives and the sharing it with the world dives. Been spending a lot more share it with the word time since the launch of my last book now. I love it, it’s fun and I learn a lot about what really works and what needs evolution through exposure and discourse.

      But, still, I need more internal time right now, which seems to fit well into the August energy as well. We’ll just keep alternating currents and see how power we can generate together, lol.

  23. Oh this is such great timing. I was struggling with this very thing last week (a wee bout, if you will). Something was SO out of line for me and I realized it was the hamstrung potential thing. Great read, Jonathan. Thanks so much for sharing this story. Onward!!!

  24. Dear Jonathan,
    Internal and external time are equally important for the creative process. I did internal work in the years of loss and sorrow, so much that what happened when I externalized it was that every thing just showed up without any effort.

    Now the effort goes to communicating it in ways that the audience will recognize the content in themselves and ask for it.

    In my opinion there are 3 phases. Internal. External. Transfer.

    We can internalize, and externalize but without communicating efficiently it to the people who need it will break the process.
    I learned this the hard way, which is the only way to learn. 🙂

    Jonathan thank you for your transparency, your humanity and who you are. You always inspire me to be and do better.

  25. This shift is in the stars as evidenced by so many of us finding ourselves in profound transition!

    One good thing to remember is that there is no there there. This is a time of unfolding process marked by those uncomfortable stuck points of dissatisfaction that you so well describe.

    I set my personal massive wheel of change in motion at the end of March and have exerted tremendous amounts of physical and psychic energy through a big moving process. The process of transition takes time. The waiting and not knowing is the hardest part.

    Whether involved in creation, expression or rest, for me, it’s a practice to be patient, kind to myself and have trust in what I do not have control over. And to be happy with where I am right now! I like to strike a daily balance and make balancing a daily practice.

  26. Did I forget to say thank you for this impeccably timed post? My manners! Thank you, Jonathan! I love your work and Uncertainty is required reading for my drawing and watercolor students.

  27. Liza Mae says:

    Your honesty is so refreshing, Jonathan. Thank You. And may your inward time be more generous than you think 😉 It usually is…Hugs.

  28. I worked as a project manager in corporate America for 38 years and I’m now focused on tasks associated with writing my first book. My life has been formed around project tasks to accomplish an end goal.

    What’s whispering in my mind is the need for a road trip where everything will not be in my control … I’m honestly not sure if I’ll do it or not but I’m listening.

    Great post for my current state of mind Jonathan.

  29. Complete parallel here. Too broad to be deep.

    Already took two steps toward changing that, today.

  30. Kathy says:

    Echoing the others….perfect timing on this Jonathan.

    Just sent an email to a friend questioning why I find it so much easier to help others expand their dreams than to focus on expanding my own. Why were their businesses so much more exciting and interesting and inspiring to me than my own business?

    “Their unbridled genius was a painful reminder of my hamstrung potential….The hamstrung potential. That’s on me.” Ouch.

    I hear ya. For me, it’s been easier to focus on teaching someone else the existing steps, rather than pushing myself to create the next steps. It’s left brain vs. right, I think. Creating the new is more work than teaching the old. But creating the new is ultimately more rewarding, and ultimately more helpful, as the new becomes what’s taught next.

    But the new takes focus, time, and a certain kind of mental energy not required when you’re complacently hamstrung. It takes the ‘maker’ mentality you’re talking about.

    Hurry up with the post on maker, manager, slacker blocks. I have a feeling it’s going to change the way I look at my days.

    My potential is waiting Jonathan. Don’t keep me hanging.

  31. Loran says:

    What a fascinating discussion! Before I started an online business, I had a lot of time to dive deep and get creative. That creativity generated enough energy for me to launch, but now, almost a year later, all my creative energy has been poured into the business and my well has run dry. Apparently I need more internal time again.

    There is definitely a cycle. If I don’t figure out how to honor that rhythm, I believe it will cause problems one way or the other. I’m not at a place where I can farm things out to a staff but it’s a nice thing to consider for my future.

  32. Rex Williams says:

    Great insight, Jonathan. I do that all the time, amazing people are just
    so… amazing I want to be just like them.

    I volunteered with Charlie at a Seth Godin event in Seattle. Super great
    guy for sure.

    Your statement, ‘Living into the insatiable curiosity’ really resonated
    with me. In fact, I’m working on a site/newsletter and book that will focus
    just on curiosity and how it drives us to action, and to make things happen
    in our lives.

    I think you’ll like it. ‘Uncertainty’ was a great piece of work and
    definitely a driver for this project.

    Good luck with your deep dive.

    Now I want to be you…

    But not quite 😉

    Thanks for your work.

  33. Jonathan, I so needed to read this today. Thank you, as always, for your friendship, your insights, your honesty, and your inspiration. Time to do some great work.
    Talk to you soon,


  34. JF,
    It’s amazing how we all morph into wanting to be somebody else…even if only for a split second. Everyone has a little something that has the potential to make them amazing.
    I look forward to hearing what your creative hibernation brings.
    Regarding the commitment, get Charlie to hold you accountable. If you don’t do XXXXX, charlie will make you do YYYYYYY. could get ugly. 🙂

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Agreed, every person does hold the potential to do great work. On the accountability thing, I’m fortunate in that I’m very self-motivated so my own internal accountability mechanism tends to be stronger than any external one. Plus, I’m far motivated by pull than push.

  35. Cecelia says:

    Jonathan, love this post! I had a similar “realization,” myself, last week. It hurt like hell – but I needed to experience it. Love the photo shot…as a former resident of Boulder, I know exactly where that rock is 🙂 One of my favorite spots! My key take-away from your post was this bit:

    “I don’t care all that much about the need to be recognized or thanked. It’s not about glory, it’s about the work. The pursuit of knowledge, closing the gap between what I’m capable of creating and what I am currently creating. Finding and sharing meaning. Living into the insatiable curiosity, the experiments and conversations and desire to share whatever the process yields.”

    Well said! I couldn’t agree more. My meltdown occurred last week as I created an infographic for one of our agency’s clients. It’s the strangest thing when you go through it – but the coolest thing when you reflect on what just happened, what it’s “really” about, and why it presented itself 🙂

    I want to share a blog post that I came across over the weekend, which also echos your post – practically verbatim!

    See you in the creative gap!


  36. Oh this is an inspiring post, Jonathan. I adore Brad Feld. My Ignite group (in Steamboat, Colorado) had him as a speaker last winter and he was AH-MAZING! It’s incredibly cool to picture him tucked away in the mountains about to deliver something to the world and to himself. And I adore hearing about Charlie Gilkey too. What I loved best about this post is just remembering that I live in a place with amazing beauty every day, so that introspection is available anytime, ahhh and I forget that lesson often. I would love my business to be at a place where I could unplug and re-connect to my maven. I guess this just shows that making it a priority is a choice I can make any day of the week. Thank you for the reminder.

  37. Yes!!! This! You spoke exactly to the nagging feeling I’ve been having.

    With love,

  38. Jill says:

    Thanks so much Jonathan!!! This is excellent…

  39. I often think about Woody Allen’s comment: “The only thing standing between me and greatness is me.”

    It’s so much easier to get caught up in the daily grind than to push on with your greatest aspirations which take time and persistence but could reap so much more.

  40. Wow. This message just keeps coming through loud and clear for me at the moment. I keep getting called to pursue my life’s work in a very direct way. Like super direct. Like, I just lost my job, so I’ve been given the time to devote to my passion and myself.

    But also, the message comes through all of the people around me who are committing and recommitting to living a life of service and greatness. Of changing lives (including their own) so they and their tribes can be their best selves.

    And this is what I want for my life. I feel like I’m on the right path, but damn it feels scary.

    Does the fear still come up for you Jonathan? How do you move through it again and again?

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      The butterflies always fly when you’re pushing into something that matters deeply and that requires growth. The reframe is to learn to experience the sensation as a signpost that cool things are happening and lean into it, rather than as a signal to run

      • Yessss. I love that. Thank you.

        ps – It’s always interesting to hear from people that I greatly admire (such as yourself) that they still feel after all of their accomplishments that there is still more potential to explore. I guess it’s a lifelong learning huh? 🙂

  41. WOW, I just got back this weekend from the amazon. Jonathan, you can’t imagine how much by reading this post, I relate to every single word. Being in nature, with NO distractions, but the sounds of nature all around…having spend time with Kichwa tribe family, learning so much from them in being self-efficient, really takes you DEEP within yourself:)

  42. JF,
    Having been one of the privileged to benefit from your outward facing work during GLP, I appreciate you comments greatly! It sounds like a quick road to mediocrity ~ so I’m not surprised by the teeny bit of unrest. Grateful for the lesson of not staying in the un-ease for very long, kicking butt and making changes. Big things ahead! Can’t wait!

  43. Ago says:


    Man ! You’re like a breath of fresh air in a world that seems to be ever more shallow, more commercial and more short-term oriented.

    I’ve been going through my own journey towards more authenticity and depth ever since I struck out as an entrepreneur, and this post and your recent work with GLP just made me realize I need to raise the bar – again.

    Funny this coincided with an interview I recently did with Michael (Bungay Stanier) on Great Work. Anyone who’s interested can watch it on

    Wondering: if you had a chance to go back five years, and give one piece of advice to your younger self that would help them be more authentic and “real” – what would that be ?


  44. […] reading a post from Jonathan Fields’ blog yesterday, I was reminded of something important I tend to forget: […]

  45. Jonathan:,

    This post really speaks to me in a lot of ways. As a widowed mother of a 10-year-old boy, recent graduate, and business owner. I find that the methods I used to obtain my master’s degree does not apply anymore. Trying to take the time to replenish and come up with a new plan is stifled by the fact that I feel like I am simply dragging my feet by doing so. I ave always told my self to never look to the person at my left or my right, but to simply look forward. But since graduating in June, life is one big question mark. But after reading this, I know that can take small but effective steps to get to my new goals.

  46. […] it, you can’t truly create at the level you want. Just ask J-Money Fields, who recently published a post on a similar […]

  47. Sounds like it’s time for that Wednesday “Circle Day” 🙂
    Re-listened to your interview the other day mentioning this. So much wisdom in it.

    That’s part of my “going inward” work this summer. Reflecting on how to best use the work/creative output I’ve already completed – individually and within many wonderful collaborations.

    Speaking of collaborations – love seeing you and that brilliant Charlie Gilkey playing together!

    Thanks for your perspective on exploring the time to sow…time to reap // time to create…time to publish dynamic. Very helpful.

  48. You GO (deep), guy! There’s no way I know to unearth and express our particular greatness but to make that sacred time to dive in and see who we BE. Right now, not last week, but this minute. We need to see who we are to be who we are and to make the significant difference we are born and dying to make. I honor you for this commitment — to yourself and, so, to all of us and the world. Yay for you, Jonathan!

  49. […] to interview with @Jonathan Fields, who currently is exploring great work…and the seasons of creating and publishing.  […]

  50. Tom Bentley says:

    Jonathan, to hear you, after Career Renegade, Uncertainty, the Good Life Project and a bunch of other sterling posts and pursuits speak of your “hamstrung potential” frightens us mortals. Thank God I can make a good Manhattan or I’d feel inadequate.

    But yes, the call to do your great work is a call that must be answered. Don’t tear your hamstrings, and let us know how it goes.

  51. […] can serve a positive function, if they cause you to examine your preconceived notions like they did for blogger Jonathan Field, who realized he envied others who dedicated more time to creative […]

  52. Jonathan,

    Thanks for sharing so vulnerably and authentically about your experience. I resonate so much with the way you took these seemingly negative and difficult feelings of jealousy towards people you admire and transmuted them into forces for positive change in your life.

    Yes, taking more time to nourish our creativity, soul, and playful side is key to fully bringing our gifts, our deeper callings into manifest reality. I have been feeling this in my life and biz as well, and reading your post was such a great reminder to pause and take in more of the joy that is available in so many special moments in the day.

    I don’t have the luxury right now to take off and give myself a big chunk of creative time, but what I can do is to create creative pockets and playful moments. For instance, I took 5 minutes to tickle and hug my 9 year old as we said good morning which charged both of us up with a boost of seratonin to start off our day. Even taking a few minutes to comment on this blog post is energizing and is giving me a boost as I jump into writing my copy for an offering later this year.

    Much Gratitude and Admiration,

    • Wow Leela. That was stunningly written.

      I love your idea of creating ‘creative pockets’ of time. Small nourishing deeds that ground us and stimulate us. It makes the deeper work so much more achievable + sustainable.

      Thank you!

  53. […] I left Boulder a few weeks ago – read Jonathan’s post to see what I was doing there – I almost emailed a handful of the people who co-inspire me to ask for help and […]

  54. Julie Lichty says:

    Great message…this is EXACTLY what I needed to hear, at the exact right moment. Thank you, Jonathan, I now have a renewed focus for August!!!

  55. Sherrill Leverich-Fries says:

    Thank you for the transparency, Jonathan. The hamstrung realization resonates deeply for me.

    I’m slowly coming to realize that when I’m in my Great Work (which hasn’t been often lately due to a number of things but a major one being a loss/shift/new realization of identity), I don’t need recognition. It’s a nice byproduct, but it holds no real value for me. BUT, when I’m doing less than Great Work (which is often because I’ve got a pretty diverse and wide zone of Excellence and even broader one for Competence), my ego wants accolades and thanks and sparkly gifts sent out of gratitude for my brilliance :-).

    This is not to say that my Zone of Genius doesn’t appreciate those too; the difference is that it’s going to create whether it gets those things or not. The ego…not so much. It starts to sulk if it isn’t praised for producing, yet even the praise feels hollow when I’m being honest with myself. As I write this, I find it interesting that I “unconsciously” chose “creating” vs. “producing”, as well, depending on the zone.

    Thank you also for the reminder of managing the Maker, Manager and Slacker blocks. On my list of need-to-dos is finally working through Charlie’s Heat Mapping process to figure out what those are for me.

    Loved this post, and great comments. Lots of food for thought for me.

  56. Thank you for the reminder that it’s not just about what you do day-to-day, but how you develop yourself for the future. I’m blocking my creative time!

  57. […] I mentioned in a previous post, a few weeks ago, I was in Boulder with Jonathan Fields and his Good Life Project crew. There were some rocks near the house we were staying in that led up to a spectacular view, so of […]

  58. […] If you’ve ever felt envious of another business owner and their success, you need to read this amazing, heartfelt post by Jonathan Fields where he examines the power of Maven Envy, Maker Mode, and Great Work. […]

  59. […] reading a post from Jonathan Fields’ blog yesterday, I was reminded of something important I tend to forget: Our […]

  60. @edgwade says:

    This is a powerful message and I can certainly relate to those feelings. What is it that we’re all so afraid of anyway? My experience has been that in almost every circumstance where I decided to jump, something positive resulted.

  61. […] contact with his followers in order to refuel and create new stuff & ideas. As he says here: “I’ll have certain modest windows predefined for connecting and managing. The vast […]