Until I was about 40 I assumed that the reason I was hired for a job was because I had skills and experience that proved that I would be good at doing that job. This stemmed from the belief that I was born a bit of a blank slate, but my life experiences combined with my education yielded a human who was capable of doing very specific things well. So, of course, when I was younger, the assumption was that I provided less value, because I had fewer experiences and less training and education.

What never crossed my mind was that some of the skills that I possessed just belonged to me. They were innate to me. Other folks didn’t just automatically have them, as I had assumed, or even have the ability to acquire them in the way that I just breathed them.  

My friend Susan calls these “success patterns,” and, until I met her, I didn’t realize that these were part of “the Mary package,” and that that package was priceless. 

When Susan asked me to imagine what work would look like if it weren’t hard, my head about popped off. First of all…whaaa? What if work were fun? If it felt more like play? I was skeptical, but I played along.

She was also the first person to ever ask me to answer the question, “What do I want?” When I did, the answers seemed impossible, and yet over the next two years I effortlessly achieved both things.

The living room of my new home

And here I am again, a dozen years later, asking myself, “What do I want now?” 

You can hear about what I’ve come up with so far here.

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “What do I want?” 


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