When talking to the people that come to my Meetups, I hear things like this. 

“I like to read self-help books, but I have trouble turning dreaming into doing.”
“I know I need to change jobs (or career field), but I don’t know what I want instead, so it’s easy to procrastinate.”

If you listen to the “traditional success literature” (you know who I’m talking about), the answer would be to put your nose to the grindstone to develop the “universal characteristics of successful people” (discipline, motivation, commitment, “positive attitude”, perseverance, etc. etc. etc….)  

My view is the reverse.  These beneficial traits and behaviours are a consequence of something else.  And that “something else” is community.  Not just any community, but the right kind.  Supportive, dynamic, trusting and real. 

You already have everything you need in you (and more).  You’re not broken, you don’t need to be fixed, and you don’t need to work on wrenching your personal characteristics by force of will over to something they are currently not.   You just need the right environment to let what is already in you, flourish.   

Community may be able to transform your career and life if:

–          You change jobs, but then notice it’s “different job, same pattern”.  For example, the same interpersonal struggle with your boss.  Maybe you notice that you get bored easily, and here you are, bored again. 

–          You have a lot of great ideas but they don’t make it off the journal paper into the world.

–          You do start making changes, but your energy fizzles out, or you reach the point of a challenge you don’t know how to solve and abandon the project.  Then you start again, and stop again.  It never quite gets past the critical threshold. 

–          You acquire numerous opportunities that you could follow up on (job leads, affiliates, mentors, “you-should-talk-to-this-person”s, resources) through networking events, friends and/or family….but you don’t follow up on them.