I don’t know where we got the idea that it’s selfish to pursue the things that bring us pleasure, but I really wish we’d all agree to stop doing that. It keeps us playing small. The fear of putting our dreams front and center prevents us from fulfilling our highest purpose.
The craziest part is that this often means that the world misses out on the best part of us, the unique gift that each of us has—that each of us is—that wants to be enjoyed by others.
We want to share our writing, but we’re too shy. We want to invest in courses or coaches, but we prioritize everything else instead. We want to inspire or teach other people what we’ve learned, but hang back for fear of being rejected or dismissed.
To discover the true nature of our gift, we need to put our heart’s desire above the obligations we’ve been handed by others. To develop our gift, we need to give ourselves the grace to be a beginner, and then devote time and attention to developing mastery. To share our gift, we need to apply ourselves to creating something that can be used by others. And to help our gift find the humans who need it most, we need to shout about it from the rooftops.
When life and work and family are all competing for our precious time and resources, attending to our gift can feel self-indulgent, just because it is so darn delicious!
I’m not playing that game anymore. I know that honoring my gifts and sharing them with the world is not only my divine assignment, it is also where I find the greatest joy, and how I expand into the fullest version of myself. I’m doing it, and I want to support you in doing that, too.
So, I made a podcast about it.
The Selfish Gift asks the question: “What does it take to go public with your life’s work?” It’s a series of intimate conversations with authors, creators, and the professionals who help them, from editors to ghostwriters to marketers.
Episode 1 drops today with a closeup conversation with one of my heroes, Annie Grace.
Annie Grace, humble hero
When she wrote her international bestseller, This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, she had no idea that her notion of who she was and what she was born to do would be transformed by it. But that’s exactly what happened.
When Annie self-educated her way out of a destructive heavy-drinking habit, she compiled all that she had learned about the effects of alcohol on the human body, mind, and emotions into a PDF, which she uploaded to the Internet and gave away for free (not even collecting email addresses!)
Eight years later, that act of radical generosity has grown into a global community, a wildly popular podcast with over 14 million downloads, and a seven-figure business. Through a “crucifying” editing process, her PDF became a book that has now sold nearly a million copies, followed by more books, courses, and her own accredited coach-training program. Her work has transformed millions of lives, including her own.
In our candid and open-hearted conversation, Annie bares all:
- Why she had to spend several days in bed to to recover from her editor’s feedback—and why she’s glad she took their advice
- How she worked tirelessly to get the word out about the book
- The moment she realized her self-published book was earning her some real money
- Her experience of being courted by traditional publishers with six-figure advances
- The attacks she faced from the recovery establishment
- How her son helped her to deal with the pressures of being recognized in public
To be clear, I don’t think I’ve ever met a human being less “selfish” than Annie Grace. What’s also clear: Stepping boldly into her role as a highly visible anti-alcohol activist has brought immense rewards into her life, perhaps the greatest of which is a deep sense of purpose and fulfillment. She’s helping people to heal, and she loves it.
I hope you enjoy this podcast episode as much as I enjoyed making it. Annie’s story will inspire you to dream, create, and share your own unique gift so that it can transform your life and others’. Consider it my selfish gift to you.
PS: The Selfish Gift is now live on all major podcast directories, including Apple Podcasts, Audible, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and Spotify. You’ll find a video version on our Wonderwell YouTube channel, too. If you like what you hear, please subscribe, rate, and leave us a review! Share it with friends and on social media, tell your mom, tell your cat. I really appreciate the gift of your support.