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Coaching Corner: Jackhammer or hummingbird?

By “Coach” Marilou Butcher Roth

Recently I watched a show that featured Elizabeth Gilbert, the author who wrote Eat, Pray, Love among other books. She has historically been a huge proponent of finding your passion and living from that place. All good, right? Well, apparently not! During this particular talk she recounted a story from another talk that she had given, recalling the email she received after the talk from a woman who had been in the audience.

This woman in non-edited terms told her that she had never felt so bad about herself as she had after hearing Elizabeth speak. She continued on in her email, telling Elizabeth that in her experience she had no idea how to find her own passion, and hearing how important it was only made her feel worse about herself. Clearly, this was one of those moments that took Elizabeth by surprise, and started an entire thought process about passion and how it shows up within each of us.

The realization that she came to was that she, Elizabeth, was what she referred to as a jackhammer. She knew, felt and lived her passion of writing, and she was now seeing how everyone was not operating from that same place. She knew what made her come alive and she went for it!

Others, however, may not have that same experience. She determined there was a whole other group of people who she now refers to as hummingbirds. Hummingbirds get curious and follow directions that compel them. They may try something once and then move on to something else. In the process of “hummingbirding,” they may in fact find their passion — or they may not!

What I gleaned from listening to her story is that there is no right way to find what brings you to your greatest joy. You do not need to work at uncovering your self described passion. If it is there for you, that is wonderful. If not, how can you get curious and seek out small joys that may (or may not) become something you are passionate about. Too many people I believe are similar in feeling to the woman in this story — feeling frustrated that she doesn’t live from this much sought after place of passion.

If living from that place of passion has not found you as of yet, consider the path of the hummingbird and begin to choose from a place of what wants to happen for you, leading you from one beautiful, succulent flower to the next. And if, as this graceful hummingbird, you do not discover the illusive passion in your life, you will indeed live from a blissful place, finding delight in each and every flower!



Marilou Butcher Roth is the owner of The MBR Group, a coaching and training company working primarily with REALTORS who have a desire to work and live from a more inspired place. She is also the Broker/Owner of Group REALTORS in Cincinnati.

Marilou is a member of the OAR Board of Directors and past chairman of the organization’s Communications Committee. Feel free to contact Marilou to see if coaching is right for you: Marilou@mbr-group.com


Tags: Coaching Corner, training