Video: “I need people’s approval”

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  1. Hi there, I actually have one very important(to me) question to ask of Katie if possible on this link: How does one do inquiry about what they feel/believe their dream occupation is? If I don’t feel I need to achieve my “dream occupation” anymore, I simply feel uninspired, bored, uninterested in doing anything. This leaves me in a very confused place about an inner desire to express ones art/craft and yet feeling no more “need” for it to ever manifest. I’d love any insight in this area. Thank you so much for all!! Brian

  2. Hi Brian,

    Well, I’m not Katie (I haven’t got the legs to be Katie!), but I felt inspired by your post 🙂

    First of all, if the belief about your dream occupation doesn’t cause you stress, I don’t see a reason to question it.

    However, if these kind of beliefs / thoughts come up:

    “I shouldn’t be doing my current job, I should be ……”
    “I’d be happier if I was ……”

    Then they could be inquired into.

    Also, you say you feel uninspired, bored, uninterested in ANYTHING if you don’t feel the need to achieve your dream occupation – is that true or is that a fear you have?

    I’d be happy to email with you in more detail about this if you want – jon at .

    With love and thanks, Jon

  3. Thank you for this site. I had a great (for me) revelation tonight after working with your books and looking on this blog.

    I have been very unhappy with the way my husband has been behaving towards me. What I realized is that the way he behaves towards me is none of my business. What IS my business is the way I behave towards him.

    This has given me a completely new and different perspective on our relationship. I feel good about it for the first time in a very long time.

  4. Brian:

    If I may respond from my own limited perspective? I’m not completely sure what you mean by “How does one do inquiry about what they feel/believe their dream occupation is?” but I can think of at least two possible directions that it might occur to you. To take something that sounds like a simple statement of fact: “My dream job is to be a writer.” or “I need to be a writer.” (Substitute whatever your “dream job” is.) Rather than do The Work directly on those statements, let me respectfully suggest a slightly different one: “If I don’t feel I need to achieve my ‘dream occupation’ anymore, I will simply feel uninspired in doing anything.” I can only answer for myself, but see if there is anything in here that makes sense to you.

    “If I don’t feel I need to achieve my ‘dream occupation’ anymore, I will simply feel uninspired in doing anything.” Is that true? No. I can think of three examples, at least. I can BE a writer without feeling as if I NEED to be a writer. In that case, I gain satisfaction and happiness from writing, but if I were, say, a postal worker instead, I would still be happy since I don’t feel the NEED.

    You can see how the questions would apply throughout that, I bet. It’s very similar, in my mind, to Katie’s response to people who believe that unless they are angry they will no longer have the motivation to seek to right perceived wrongs or to continue in their activism. I’m not sure if I’m quoting her, but I am least paraphrasing her: love acts. The Work is not about becoming passive; it is about becoming clear.

    In which case are you more able to be an effective, happy whatever-it-is: from a state of confusion, or a state of clarity? If you are not currently working in whatever your dream job is, from which state are you best able to attain that? To say “I need….” is to say “I can’t be happy unless….”. I can’t be happy unless I’m a writer. Is that true? How do you react when you think that thought? Who would you be without that thought, and you’re not a writer (in your opinion–since you’re talking about a craft more than an occupation, it seems, you could even question the thought “I’m NOT a writer” (its parallel for you))?

    Do the turnarounds. I CAN be happy without being a writer. My thinking can’t be happy unless I’m a writer. I can’t be happy unless I’m NOT a writer. (Having achieved my dream in that regard, I can think of examples when being a writer “made” me unhappy, when I was not inquiring into my thoughts. Even dream jobs have stressful aspects about them when you continue to believe your thoughts.) I can find some truth in all those turnarounds.

    There’s also a couple of implied statements I think I hear. “I THINK being a writer (or whatever) is my dream job.” Is that true? Of course. The statement includes the truth: it’s my thinking. How do I really know that is my dream job? I have at least twice ACHIEVED my dream job, and in the absence of inquiry found them to not be so dreamy. “I will continue to consider being a writer my dream job.” Can you absolutely know that is true? How do you feel when you think that thought, and you cannot control the future? Who would you be, in this moment, if you were incapable of thinking that thought?

    Ultimately, it’s not about coming up with the right answers, but simply to ask the questions and listen deeply for the answers. The questions are just questions–they don’t even say, “Answer me.” From a place of clarity, you may choose to act moment by moment to move toward that dream job. If so, you will continue to do so, until you don’t. In any case, with inquiry you can achieve the clarity and freedom to know that in any given moment, reality is kind and exactly as it should be. Such clarity leads not to passivity, though, but to exactly the “right” action.

  5. Thank you both Jon and Donnell for your comments and insights. To date, I am at least much clearer with my inquiry. I don’t know how to be happy/feel good about myself if I am not doing what I love most. I have the belief that I am nothing without outer success in this area of my life. Any thoughts on this belief, especially around self value/worth coming from inside would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks again. Much Love!! Brian

  6. Hi Brian,
    Do The Work on your beliefs about being nothing and doing what you love to be happy. Possible statements:
    I’m afraid to be nothing.
    It’s horrible to be nothing.
    I need to be something.
    I need to be doing what I love to be happy.
    I need to be successful.

    Use the hotline facilitators:, click on resources, click on Hotline button in the upper left corner.

    Have fun discovering who you truely are!

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