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The Hedgehog Concept

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In the book “Good to Great”, by Jim Collins, he talks about the hedgehog concept, which was introduced to me at lululemon and it is quite the amazing tool for discovering your calling in life.

It is based on the story of the fox and the hedgehog.  The fox knows many different and clever ways to try to get the hedgehog, but since the hedgehog focuses on only one important thing (curling up into a ball), he can escape the fox every single time.  He does his one thing and he does it well.

It reminds me of the movie City Slickers, when Curly tells Mitch that the key to life is “one thing”.  He asks what the one thing is and Curly says: “That’s what you’ve gotta  figure out”.

So the hedgehog concept is finding the answer to these 3 questions and discovering that magic center where all three overlap.

The first question is: What are you passionate about? I lived the majority of my life as a people pleaser, I was riddled with worry and guilt most of the time (sometimes for things I had nothing to do with), in relationships I could have won a prize in the Who is more co-dependent contest, and I was judgmental (and what came with that was always thinking and worrying that  people were judging me.) When I learned that my own patterns, beliefs, and behaviors were keeping me from leading a life I love, and that there were tools I could learn to free myself from these things, I signed up for every seminar and bought every book I could get my hands on. (Yes, I’m the weird one in the self help section and if I were homeless, I would live there during the day.)  The knowledge I have gained from learning these tools has offered me a freedom I never imagined was possible, and I have seen so many others experience the same shift in there lives.  So what am I passionate about?  I am passionate about personal development.

2nd question: What can you be best in the world at? One of my greatest strengths is empathy. And based on my obsession above I believe I could be best in the world at being happy, and helping others to discover what it takes to bring more happiness into their lives as well. And I’m not talking happy like “Of course I’m happy, I am married and have kids and I have work right now so that’s all I need.”  I’m talking waking up every morning feeling incredibly alive and excited about your day and then going to sleep every night with a smile on your face because you are so grateful for your life that you can’t stop smiling.  

Question #3: How do you make money? Post college and armed with a PhD, I plan to have a career as a Life Coach.  I will make money by “doing what I love and loving what I do” as Alan Jackson says.

So, I know what I am passionate about, which ties into my strengths, and I am going to school to make money at it.   I have a goal to live my life in the realm where my three things overlap because this will bring me the most joy and I will be able to spread that to others.  This is my hedgehog.  What’s yours?

“Good is the enemy of Great” -Jim Collins



Categories : Be Happy
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That Free Thing

“"We don't see things as THEY are. We see things the way WE are." ”

Raymond Charles Barker